Early pastoralists leased land directly from Māori, which was illegal at the time. The government decided to purchase land in Hawke’s Bay so it could control all land transactions. Māori also wanted more Pākehā settlers, because these brought them money and prestige. In 1851 the government agent Donald McLean purchased three blocks of land which totalled 254,547 hectares. This land was then sold to pastoral farmers.
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