Judge Robert Jones poses in the elaborate uniform of the Society of Freemasons in 1930. Jones chaired a commission investigating Māori land claims in 1919–20. Its findings surprised and embarrassed the government that appointed him. Jones recommended a financial compensation for Ngāi Tahu which became the basis for settlement in 1944. He later became under-secretary (head) of the Native Department (later renamed the Department of Maori Affairs).
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