If we use the word land to refer to the physical substance, and reserve the word property for the intellectual apparatus that organizes rights to use land, we can say that in colonial New Zealand, the British and the Maori overlaid two dissimilar systems of property on the same land. That difference in legal thought structured each side's perception of what the other was doing, in ways that illustrate unusually clearly the power of law to organize our awareness of phenomena before they reach the level of consciousness. Over the course of the nineteenth century, as the balance of power gradually swung to the side of the British, they were largely able to impose their property system on the Maori. The centrality of property within the thought of both peoples, however, meant that the transformation of Maori into English property rights involved much more than land. Religious belief, engagement with the market economy, political organization—all were bound up in the systems by which both peoples organized property rights in land. To anglicize the Maori property system was to revolutionize Maori life.