In 1860, after working as a nurse in her homeland, France, Suzanne Aubert voyaged to New Zealand to work as a Catholic missionary in Auckland. She joined the Marist Māori mission in Hawke's Bay in 1871, then the mission at Hiruhārama (Jerusalem) on the Whanganui River in 1883.
To help fund Jerusalem she marketed herbal remedies, and used her family inheritance to buy a farm for growing saleable produce.
In the 1820s the Kerikeri mission station was under the protection of Hongi Hika and the Ngāpuhi tribe. Hongi had encouraged the establishment of the mission - largely because he wanted access to muskets, which gave Ngāpuhi a great military advantage over other tribes. Today the 1822 mission house is New Zealand's oldest building.
Of Taranaki and Te Āti Awa descent, Te Ua was born in Waiaua, South Taranaki, in the early 1820s. In 1862 he established a new religion, Hauhau, based on the principle of pai mārire – goodness and peace. But most settlers viewed Hauhau as a fundamentally anti-European religion, synonymous with ‘violence, fanaticism and barbarism’.
On 2 March 1865 Carl Sylvius Völkner, a German-born missionary, was hanged from a willow tree near his church at Opotiki. His death was attributed to the followers of a new religion, Pai Marire, who suspected Völkner of spying for the government.
Henry Williams (1792-1864) was a former Royal Navy lieutenant who served in the Napoleonic Wars. In 1823, as an Anglican priest, he was appointed to head CMS's mission in New Zealand. Under his forceful personality, the mission was highly successful, influencing several thousand Maori to convert and spreading its influence through much of the North Island. By the late 1830s, Williams and most missionaries actively supported British annexation, believing it necessary to protect Maori from lawless Europeans.
The Reverend Samuel Marsden, Chaplain to New South Wales, (1765-1838) was the driving force behind the establishment of Anglican mission stations in New Zealand in the early nineteenth century. He was born in England and based in New South Wales, and he was a member of the Church Missionary Society (CMS). His work and that of his missionaries helped build up a relationship of trust with Maori chiefs, paving the way for the acceptance of an official Crown presence in New Zealand.
Lay missionary George Clarke (1798-1875) urged British annexation for the protection of Maori. In May 1840, as one fluent in the Maori language and a successful farmer at Waimate, he reluctantly accepted the post of 'Chief Protector of Aborigines', heading a small department of sub-protectors, including his two sons. Their role was to look after Maori interests and to assure Maori that their customs would not be infringed 'except in cases that are opposed to the principles of humanity'. But the Governor also expected the protectors to negotiate sales of Maori land.