Until the Maori arrived from Polynesia around 1300, there were no humans in New Zealand. For that matter, there were only two species of mammals (both bats). Birds occupied most of the ecological niches that mammals take up elsewhere, including the seven foot moa. It didn't take long for the newly arrived humans to hunt most of the larger birds to extinction, and more recently human-introduced predators including Australian possums and domestic dogs and cats have had a serious impact on indigenous birds like the kiwi.
The Maori were never conquered by European (mostly British) arrivals, but did sign the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 that established a British governor of New Zealand, recognized Maori land ownership and gave the Maori the rights of British subjects. Until recently, many of these rights were largely ignored but a Waitangi Tribunal was established in 1975 to resolve violations and a number of settlements have been reached. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maori
The Maori constitute about 15% of New Zealand's population, most of them living on the North Island. In Rotorua, there are several Maori institutions that preserve Maori culture and educate New Zealand residents and tourists, including Te Puia http://www.tepuia.com and Tamaki Maori Village