Missionaries bought land from Maori for three reasons: on behalf of the Church Missionary Society to accommodate mission houses, schools, churches and other station buildings; to put land in reserve for Maori against a tide of speculators and colonisers; and privately for their own purposes – principally to farm and provide an occupation and income for family members when they came of age. Unlike some other bodies, the Anglican mission assumed its members would stay in New Zealand – although several returned to England for health or family reasons. The Society bought land at Hohi for its first station in 1815, followed by acquisitions across the Bay of Islands. Henry Williams made several purchases at Paihia on behalf of the Society. Both Henry and William bought land on behalf of the Society to place in trust for Maori – the former at Wellington and Wanganui, the latter at Poverty Bay and Wairoa. The intention was to thwart the acquisition policies of the New Zealand Company, whose actions they deplored, and the unregulated activities of settlers and speculators. Look for more on this site under the ‘Williams and Land’ tab.

​© 2013 H & W Williams Memorial Museum Trust.  All rights reserved.


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