Met by a combination of mutual mistrust on the one hand and a sense of opportunity on the other, the earliest contacts between Māori and Europeans would grow into a mutually beneficial economic relationship by the 1840s and 1850s. The Treaty of Waitangi sealed the relationship, with a vital element of the relationship becoming amalgamation. Māori was granted the rights and privileges of British subjects under a universal system under the treaty’s terms and early colonial laws. Unfortunately, the relationship was often one-sided, favouring the Crown and settlers who would set the terms of the amalgamation process into one of assimilation, intending to absorb Māori into the white settler world. This path led to conflict, followed by erecting barriers between Māori and Settlers that would endure for generations. One Hundred and Seventy-Nine years after the treaty’s signing, the relationship between Māori and Europeans has matured, with many colonial-era grievances reconciled or on the path of reconciliation. A sign of how far the nation’s relationship between Māori and Europeans has matured is found in one of the institutions of the state, the Army, now recognised as the standalone iwi; Ngāti Tumatauenga – ‘Tribe of the God of War’.
Ngāti Tumatauenga is the youngest iwi of New Zealand, as it was only established in1994 as the result of an initiative by the Chief of General Staff (CGS), Major General Anthony Leonard Birks, CB, OBE. The CGS intended to regenerate the Army’s culture into a “uniquely New Zealand Military culture by combining appropriate aspects of European and Māori heritage to enhance further the cohesion, morale and esprit de corps of the Army”. Established with the blessing of the veterans of the 28th Maoi Battalion, the Māori Queen and iwi surrounding Waiouru; Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Tuhoe.  Ngāti Tumatauenga blends the customs and warrior traditions of Māori and European into a fusion of both, laying the basis of the New Zealand Army’s ethos and values. Although Ngāti Tumatauenga is a modern conception, it has a strong whakapapa drawn from its Māori and European ancestry, reflecting its position as the guardian of all the peoples of New Zealand regardless of race, religion or creed.
The path towards Ngāti Tumatauenga has been long as, for most of its existence, the New Zealand Army, like those of Canada, South Africa and Australia, embraced British military traditions. Regardless of the British Military influence, there has always been a desire to identify New Zealand as a unique military entity. In both World Wars, Canada, South Africa, and Australia would send expeditionary forces filled with units bearing English, Scottish and Irish names, motifs and identities to battlefields worldwide; New Zealand would be the exception. Although there were Territorial units in New Zealand with Scottish identities, the New Zealand Military authorities felt that New Zealand was too small to allow these identities to be embodied as separate units within the Expeditionary Forces. New Zealand Forces would march in one khaki uniform and wore distinctive New Zealand badges up to the Second World War, which often included Māori phrases and symbology.
The sole and logical exception was Māori, who participated as a subunit, representing a subset of New Zealand in a way that the Scots or Irish did not. Unknowingly in their desire to make New Zealand Forces identifiable as a national entity, New Zeland Military authorities had set the path and framework towards establishing Ngāti Tumatauenga in later years.
Alongside the British Military traditions, it is Māori Tikanga which is the glue that binds Ngāti Tumatauenga together and provides the distinct and unique cultural practices and traditions which enhance the loyalty, cohesion and tribal identity of the Modern New Zealand Warrior. Contrary to popular belief, Māori warfare was not an established feature of Māori culture and life but rather something that Māori would apply themselves to depending on the circumstances to acquire land, counter threats or defend Mana. Māori would refine their warfighting traditions as participants on both sides of the conflicts of the nineteenth-century New Zealand land wars. In the twentieth century, Māori leaders such as Sir Apirana Ngata would see military service for the Crown as an extension of their warrior heritage and a pathway to equality. In his 1943′ price of citizenship’ pamphlet, Ngatai would assert, “We are of one house, and if our Pākehā brothers fall, we fall with them. How can we even hold our heads when the struggle is over to the question, “Where were you when New Zealand was at war?”. Excellent and honourable service in the Second World War would cement the place of Māori in the post-war Army, with a 1977 survey establishing that the Regular Force consisted of 34 per cent Māori and the Territorial Force 16 per cent, a higher proportion than Māori employment in the general civilian workforce. With the Māori cultural resurgence of the late twentieth century, the Army was well placed to embrace change as this resurgence impacted change in the Army.
The regeneration of the culture of the New Zealand Army initiated by the CGS in 1994 was swift in its implementation, the Army badge would retain its traditional British design but was modified to include a taiaha in place of a sword and a scroll embossed with “Ngāti Tumatauenga.” on its base. 
The Army Marae Te Whare Tū Taua a Tūmatauenga, the home of Ngāti Tumatauenga, was dedicated during labour weekend in 1995. The Army Marae is the single point in the New Zealand Army through which all members, regardless of race, gender or creed and where they originate from, pass through on their military journey. Unique amongst Maraes, Whare Tū Taua a Tūmatauenga faces west and the setting sun, sending a message that Ngāti Tumatauenga protects the country by night and day.
The regeneration of the army culture was not without its challenges, and by its nature, the Army Marae is less formal than traditional Maraes, with one recruit commenting, “The Māori it’s so cabbage here! ‘Cause I come from a place where it’s really rich. I was telling my dad, we went to the Marae and they spoke English!”  Despite this lower-level critique, another soldier with Māori ancestry explained that “Ngāti Tumatauenga represents the amalgamation of the Imperial soldier’s spirit with the Mana of the Māori warrior. This is a positive reflection of the Treaty of Waitangi partnership principle, giving many much pride in using Ngāti Tumatauenga in their pepeha.” The introduction of Ngāti Tumatauenga also faced detractors and sceptics. The speedy introduction caught many members of the Army off guard and unprepared for such a sudden and, at times, aggressive cultural shift. The passage of time and the ensuring benefits of the adoption of Ngāti Tumatauenga has modified the attitude of many of the original detractors and sceptics.
As Ngāti Tumatauenga approaches its twenty-fifth year, its acceptance in the community as an iwi is further enhanced by the use of Māori performing arts to promote and sustain the Army’s cultural ethos. Ngāti Tumatauenga hosts and participates in Kapa Haka competitions at the national level, with, at times, non-Māori leading performances. The use of Māori performing arts by Ngāti Tumatauenga extends past competitions in New Zealand. Kapa Haka is used by Ngāti Tumatauenga as a military and diplomatic tool on the international stage, reflecting how the shared Māori and European military heritage works to uphold the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and the interests of the New Zealand people. 
In conclusion, the transformation of the New Zealand Army into Ngāti Tumatauenga – “Tribe of the God of War” echos the aspirations of the early Māori and European residents of New Zealand and their perception of amalgamation under the terms of the treaty of Waitangi. From 1840 to 1994, to road towards Ngāti Tumatauenga was complicated by the conflict between Māori and the Crown defining the Māori and Pākehā relationship into one acknowledging the martial ability of each other. The World Wars of the early Twentieth Century would see the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces and their respective Māori Battalions earning the respect of friend and foe, leading to Māori finding themselves a place in the post-war New Zealand Army. Riding the wave of a resurgent Māori culture, the leadership of the New Zealand Army took a significant risk and implemented the regeneration of the Army’s culture. The New Zeland Army, through its transformation into the iwi of Ngāti Tumatauenga, has transformed into a unique iwi, shaped and defined by the influences of a resurgent Māori culture and the combined martial traditions of European soldiers and Maori warriors, their shared history, heritage and experience of war.
Major-General A.l.Birks. “Chief of General Staff Directive 9/94; the Army’s Culture.” Wellington: Army General Staff, HQ New Zealand Defence Force, 1994.
New Zealand Army. “The Army Culture.” NZ Army Publication (NZ P77) Why? Chapter 3, Section 1 (2014).
Brosnahan, Seán. “Ngāti Tūmatauenga and the Kilties: New Zealand’s Ethnic Military Traditions.” In A Global Force: War, Identities and Scotland’s Diaspora, edited by David Forsyth, 168-92: Edinburgh University Press, 2016.
Cooke, Peter, and John Crawford. The Territorials. Wellington: Random House New Zealand Ltd, 2011.
Corbett, D. A. The Regimental Badges of New Zealand: An Illustrated History of the Badges and Insignia Worn by the New Zealand Army. Auckland, N.Z. : Ray Richards, 1980, Revised Edition, 1980.
Harding, Nina Joy. “You Bring It, We will Bring It Out”: Becoming a Soldier in the New Zealand Army: A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Social Anthropology at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand. 2016.
Hohaia, Debbie. “In Search of a Decolonised Military: MāOri Cultural Learning Experiences in the New Zealand Defence Force.” Kōtuitui (Online) (2016).
McKenzie, Peter. “How the NZ Army Became an Iwi.” https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/11/25/331569/peter-mckenzie-on-army-as-an-iwi-for-monday.
Oldham, Geoffrey P. Badges and Insignia of the New Zealand Army: An Illustrated Price Guide to Cap and Collar Badges, Insignia and Shoulder Titles of the N.Z. Army, Police & Militia, from 1847 to the Present Day. New and rev. Ed ed.: Milimem Books, 2011.
Soutar, Monty. Ngā Tama Toa = He Toto Heke, He Tipare Here Ki Te Ūkaipo : Kamupene C, Ope Taua (Maori) 28 1939-1945 : I Tuhia Tenei Pukapua I Roto I Te Reo Maori. David Bateman, 2014.
Taylor, Richard Tribe of the War God: Ngati Tumatauenga. Heritage New Zealand, 1996. .
Te Ao Māori News. “Te Matatini 2015 – Te Kapa Haka O Kairanga.” https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/te-matatini-2015-te-kapa-haka-o-kairanga.
“Discussions conducted by author with various members of the New Zealand Army “. 2019.
 Major-General A.l.Birks, “Chief of General Staff Directive 9/94; the Army’s Culture,” (Wellington: Army General Staff, HQ New Zealand Defence Force, 1994).
 Peter McKenzie, “How the NZ Army Became an Iwi,” https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/11/25/331569/peter-mckenzie-on-army-as-an-iwi-for-monday.
 New Zealand Army, “The Army Culture,” NZ Army Publication (NZ P77) Why? Chapter 3, Section 1 (2014).
 Richard Taylor, Tribe of the War God : Ngati Tumatauenga (Heritage New Zealand, 1996), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 110-11.
 Although many NZ badges follow British badge design conventions and in many cases are direct copies, many badges have also included many unique New Zealnd features such as the adoption of Māori iconography and symbols and use Te Reo Māori in place of the traditional English or latin for mottoes. D. A. Corbett, The Regimental Badges of New Zealand : An Illustrated History of the Badges and Insignia Worn by the New Zealand Army (Auckland, N.Z. : Ray Richards, 1980, Revised enl. edition, 1980), Non-fiction, 9-17.
 Seán Brosnahan, “Ngāti Tūmatauenga and the Kilties: New Zealand’s Ethnic Military Traditions,” in A Global Force: War, Identities and Scotland’s Diaspora, ed. David Forsyth (Edinburgh University Press, 2016), 168-83.
 New Zealand Army, “The Army Culture.”
 Monty Soutar, Ngā Tama Toa = He Toto Heke, He Tipare Here Ki Te Ūkaipo : Kamupene C, Ope Taua (Maori) 28 1939-1945 : I Tuhia Tenei Pukapua I Roto I Te Reo Maori (David Bateman, 2014), Bibliographies, Non-fiction, 35.
 Peter Cooke and John Crawford, The Territorials (Wellington: Random House New Zealand Ltd, 2011), 371.
 Geoffrey P. Oldham, Badges and Insignia of the New Zealand Army : An Illustrated Price Guide to Cap and Collar Badges, Insignia and Shoulder Titles of the N.Z. Army, Police & Militia, from 1847 to the Present Day, New and rev. ed ed. (Milimem Books, 2011), Bibliographies,Non-fiction, 92.
 Nina Joy Harding, “You Bring It, We’ll Bring It Out” : Becoming a Soldier in the New Zealand Army : A Thesis Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Social Anthropology at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand (2016), Non-fiction, 130.
 McKenzie, “How the NZ Army Became an Iwi”.
 “Discussuions Conducted by Author with Various Members of the New Zealsnd Army Command Chain.,” (2019).
 Te Ao Māori News, “Te Matatini 2015 – Te Kapa Haka O Kairanga,” https://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/te-matatini-2015-te-kapa-haka-o-kairanga.
 Debbie Hohaia, “In Search of a Decolonised Military : MāOri Cultural Learning Experiences in the New Zealand Defence Force,” Kōtuitui (Online) (2016): 52.