Political map of Australia, New Zealand & the Southwest Pacific 08 May 1865 (Fijian Confederacy): Facing political instability, rising Tongan influence, and debt, Cakobau (Seru Epenisa Cakobau), ruler of Bau (Vunivalu of Bau) and the paramount Fijian chief, attempted to cede Fiji to Britain in 1858 in return for recognition of his position, but was rejected by the Colonial Office. Instead the British Consul encouraged the Fijian chiefs to unite as a confederacy in 1865. Mildly successful at first, the Fijian Confederacy collapsed within two years due to opposition from the powerful Tongan prince Ma‘afu (Enele Maʻafu).