Story: Land ownership

William Spain investigating land claims at New Plymouth, 1844

William Spain investigating land claims at New Plymouth, 1844

The huge purchases of land the New Zealand Company made from Māori in 1839 were investigated by land claims commissioner William Spain, following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. He conducted hearings, and Māori tribes were called to give evidence. This sketch by Edwin Harris shows Māori, probably Te Āti Awa, who have gathered to present their side of the story. The commissioner sits with scribes in a raupō hut with Mt Taranaki in the background.

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Puke Ariki - Taranaki Museum & Library
Reference: A75.441
Wash drawing by Edwin Harris

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How to cite this page:

Jim McAloon, 'Land ownership - Māori and land ownership', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/17886/william-spain-investigating-land-claims-at-new-plymouth-1844 (accessed 19 August 2019)

Story by Jim McAloon, published 24 Nov 2008