Paraire Paikea, of Te Uri-o-Hau, was born at Ōtamatea, Kaipara, in 1894. He trained for the Methodist ministry, and was ordained in 1920. Later he was attracted to the teachings of Tahupōtiki Rātana, the religious prophet and faith healer, and began to take a prominent role in the Rātana movement. In 1924 he helped prepare a petition seeking compensation for Treaty of Waitangi grievances, which Rātana attempted to present to King George V. In 1925 Paikea became a minister in the Rātana church.
Peter Buck (1877?–1951), also known as Te Rangi Hīroa, was of the Taranaki tribe Ngāti Mutunga. He was educated at Te Aute College and the University of Otago Medical School, where he qualified as a doctor.
In 1905 he worked as a Māori medical officer, under another Te Aute graduate, Māui Pōmare. Buck and Pōmare joined forces to improve the sanitation of Māori settlements and the health of the Māori people. The more conservative Māori leaders often opposed them.
Wiremu Pere, of mixed Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki/Te Whanau a Kai/Rongowhakaata and European descent, was born in 1837 at Turanga (Gisborne). When war came to the East Coast in 1865 Wi Pere remained a government supporter. At the same time, he protested against both the exile of Poverty Bay Maori without trial to the Chatham Islands, and the government's moves to confiscate their land.
Wiremu Te Kākākura Parata, of Ngāti Toa and Te Āti Awa, was born on Kapiti Island in the 1830s. He grew up in a time of great social and political change. During the 1860s he became involved in politics, and was elected to Parliament as the member for Western Māori in 1871.
Henare Kaihau, of Ngāti Te Ata, was born some time between 1854 and 1860 on the southern Manukau Harbour. In his youth he acquired a vast knowledge of tribal tradition and whakapapa. By his mid-twenties he had become deeply interested in Māori politics. Later he strongly supported the King movement, and was a principal adviser to Mahuta, the third Māori King.
James Carroll was born at Wairoa, in northern Hawke's Bay, in 1857. His father was European. His mother was of Ngāti Kahungunu. In 1870, although only 13, he joined the campaign against Te Kooti and was mentioned in despatches. He later became a cadet in the Native Department, and took part in selling land on the East Coast.