A Life of Donald McLean
Shortlisted for the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards
Shortlisted for the University of Melbourne-based Ernest Scott Prize for 2008
This monumental work of scholarship is the first full biography of one of the key actors in the drama of 19 th-century New Zealand land dealing. It fills a gaping hole in NZ historiography, and will be an enormously valuable resource for future writers and researchers.
Donald McLean was born in Tiree in the Scottish Hebrides in 1820 and came to New Zealand in 1840. His first government appointment was to the Protectorate of Aborigines in 1843, and he was to have a major public role until his death in 1877, as Land Purchase Commissioner, Native Minister, and major landowner in his own right.
McLean was highly respected by Maori for his knowledge of Te Reo and respect for rank and protocol, and was closely involved in land dealings in the Taranaki and elsewhere that still have repercussions today. Highly regarded by politicians and settlers for his ability to get things done, he was also denounced after his death for having failed to open up the King Country to settlement.