In the period between the first European landings and the First World War, New Zealand was transformed from an exclusively Māori world into one in which Pākehā dominated numerically, politically, socially and economically.
The Native Land Court was one of the key products of the 1865 Native Lands Act. It converted traditional communal landholdings into individual titles, making it easier for Pākehā to purchase Māori land.
Henry Williams was a missionary who supported British annexation. He believed that Maori should be protected from lawless Europeans and fraudulent dealings. He and his son Edward translated the Treaty of Waitangi into Maori.
William Spain was a land commissioner who investigated the New Zealand Company's claims that it had purchased 20 million acres in 1839. The claims were not settled until several years after Spain's death
Edinburgh-born James Busby was British Resident, a consular representative, in New Zealand from 1833. Based at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, he was given little material support to achieve British policy aims, but in early 1840 he helped William Hobson draft the Treaty of Waitangi.