After the initial enthusiasm of the 1870s, Julius Vogel’s reputation suffered in the 1880s when New Zealand’s economy slumped into a long depression that was triggered by an international banking crisis.
In 1870, Colonial Treasurer Julius Vogel launched the most ambitious development programme in New Zealand’s history. The ‘Vogel era’ was a decisive moment in New Zealand’s 19th-century transformation from a Māori world to a Pākehā one.
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.
Premier Julius Vogel's great plan was to borrow heavily to build infrastructure and to lure migrants. It was controversial, but the money and migrants stimulated the economy and created a viable consumer market for producers.
John Sheehan, the first European New Zealand-born Parliamentarian, was a lawyer who, on many occasions, represented Maori in land claim cases. However, in the later part of his career, he damaged many of his relationships with Maori through bungled negotiations and his own incompetence.
James Crowe Richmond, elected member of Parliament in 1860, believed it vital to defeat Maori opposition to European settlement. At the outbreak of war in Taranaki, he took refuge in Nelson where he became a member of Nelson Provinical Council, and editor of the Nelson Examiner
Rees was drawn to New Zealand in 1866 by the lure of the Otago gold
fields. He practised law for several years, and entered Parliament as
an Auckland member from 1876 to 1879. He then acted as counsel for
Ngati Porou of the East Coast in their claims involving dubious land
purchases. Through his skillful support and his ability as a speaker he
gained the strong support of Maori leaders such as Wi Pere of
Rongowhakaata/Te Aitangi-a-Mahaki/Te Whanau a Kai.