Soldiers who had fought in the wars of the 1860s were given grants of confiscated Māori land near Tauranga (Te Papa) and Ōpōtiki. These military settlements, as they were known, were not successful. This official report of 1873 explains why.
The Military Settlements, which cover an area of nearly 34,000 acres, are, as military settlements, entire failures. The causes of such failure are not far to seek. Primarily, the original grantees were not, as a whole, men likely to succeed as farmers. In the next place, they never had a fair chance of occupying their lands. Maori hostility, and the want of any inland communication, being quite sufficient to prevent successful settlement. As the natural result of the operation of these causes, we find only a few hundred acres immediately around Te Papa in actual occupation. But time and adverse circumstances have worked a process of natural selection, and a few of the best men have remained about the town, who have the means and are willing and anxious to occupy their country sections as soon as they shall be made accessible my a main line of road. I learn, also, that there are a large number at the Thames diggings who would return to occupy if they could gain access to their blocks.
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Reference: Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives, 1873, D-6, p. 2
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