I mārama te rironga ko a te Kuīni : the Waipukurau purchase and the subsequent consequences on Central Hawke's Bay Māori to 1900 : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
In 1820s and 1830s Māori from Central Hawke’s Bay came into contact with Pākehā for the first
time and they began to trade. From this contact they began to see the benefits of Pākehā. So they
requested the government to establish a Pākehā settlement and offered land for sale. Land was
purchased at Waipukurau on 4 November 1851. Donald McLean made sweeping promises of
benefits and riches when the deed was signed however these benefits and riches would never
come to the Māori of Central Hawke’s Bay.
The Waipukurau purchase opened the door for more purchases. The Māori of Central
Hawke’s Bay began alienating their land. First through direct purchasing with Donald McLean
then through the Native Land Court. Māori would soon find themselves in debt which would lead
to the Hawke’s Bay Native Lands Alienation Commission 1873. Central Hawke’s Bay Māori
emerged as leaders of the Repudiation Movement of the 1870s and then the Kotahitanga Māori
Parliament of the 1890s in order to fight for their lost lands.
In 2015 Māori of Central Hawke’s Bay along with Heretaunga Māori settled their Treaty
of Waitangi claim with the Crown. However, because they went straight to negotiations, a full
report by the Waitangi Tribunal was never completed. This thesis demonstrates a long term and
irrevocable effect of the Waipukurau purchase for the iwi and hapū concerned.