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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 8 (December 1, 1933)

Mair the Peacemaker

Mair the Peacemaker.

In his years of official duty as Government Native Agent and Magistrate, he did much to promote permanent peace between the two races, and it was he who was finally the means in 1881 of inducing King Tawhiao and his followers to abandon their policy of isolation and opposition to Government overtures of friendship.

A few years later he, as Judge of the Native Land Court, investigated the tribal titles to the great Rohepotae, the King Country. That was a historic court, at Otorohanga, the first ever held in the King Country, the first step in the opening for pakeha settlement of this territory, now covered with farms and homes and townships.

Such were some of William Mair's deeds of service to his country. A book could be written about him, as about his gallant brother Gilbert the Captain. Like many a very brave man, he was one of the quietest spoken; indeed, the Mair brothers were a pleasure to listen to, and William particularly; his gentle, musical voice, fingers in the memory.