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William Colenso
Dates: 1811 - 1899
Biographical Account: William Colenso was a Missionary who travelled to New Zealand as a young man in 1834. He was originally a trained printer, and used his skills to produce New Testament Bibles, translated into the M&#257ori language. In later years, he explored unmapped areas North Island, and as an avid botanist, he collected many species of plants that were unknown to Western science. Colenso is a controvertial figure. He appears to have tried to help and advise the M&#257ori in New Zealand, often antagonising the Europeans that leased their land as a result. He criticised European farmers who lived with M&#257ori women without marrying them, but when it emerged that he had fathered a son with his wife's M&#257ori maid, his reputation took quite a knock and his position as a Missionary was terminated. A few years later, he was arrested for technical assault, over an argument regarding his illigitimate son. Even so, the controversies don't appear to have prevented Colenso from getting on.  He became the MP for Napier, elected into the New Zealand Parliament in 1861 and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1866. He died in Napier in 1899.
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