New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
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             The First Decade - Methodism in Napier


EUROPEAN settlement in Hawke's Bay began comparatively late. There were whalers at the Mahia in the early Thirties, and pastoralists and runholders came up the coast from Wellington later, but great stretches of country, bounded on the west by the high ranges and southwards by vast areas of virgin forest, remained unoccupied. It was not till 1850 that Donald McLean, afterwards Sir Donald, and distinguished as Native Minister, purchased from the Maoris for £7.000 the site on which Napier now stands. The town was founded five years later.