Photograph of Maraekakaho station at Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand.
Courtesy of Mrs Ann MacPhee
Born in Kilmoluaig in 1820, Donald MacLean emigrated from Tiree aged eighteen. After a brief stay in Australia he moved to New Zealand where he became a fluent Maori speaker. The colony’s governor made him Protector of the Maoris around New Plymouth.
In 1844 he successfully defused a confrontation between Maoris and British settlers over disputed land. He travelled hundreds of miles on foot through scrub and along the coast by canoe, negotiating land sales and calming the simmering feuds between Maori tribes.
He bought 30,000 acres of rough land at Hawke’s Bay in 1855 where he established Maraekakaho station. In 1869 he became Minister of Native Affairs and also Minister of Defence. After his death in 1877, an old Maori chief wrote that MacLean had ‘spread the sleeping mat of peace for the tribes of the island.’
Black and white photograph of Mararekakaho station.
Mararekakaho station at Hawke`s Bay, New Zealand, established by Sir Donald MacLean.