Discontent among Māori over land sales eventually led to the Hawke’s Bay-based repudiation movement, which rejected all sales and leases. Though runholder Henry Russell (shown here on seat, centre, with leading members of the movement) had purchased land under much the same circumstances as other runholders, he was concerned about the welfare of Māori and believed they should retain land and power over their own affairs. This led him to ally himself with the movement. He was also engaged in serious disputes with fellow runholders, so his alliance was politically strategic as well as philanthropic.
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