NZ Government selling land off to foreigners since 1870
After much trawling I've finally found it:
The Aliens Act 1870:
AN ACT to remove the Disability of Aliens to hold Land in New Zealand. [12th September 1870.]
This legislation walked hand in hand with the Immigration and Public Works Acts being passed by the Vogel administrations (when he was Treasurer and then Premier). Under these laws Vogel cripplingly indebted the government - basically forever because the massive amounts and the projects they began, like the railways, are still an ongoing cost to the government - in the blind hope that the huge influx of immigrants would stimulate the economy. It caused a temporary boom and then quickly slid into a recession that lasted, with bursts of activity, until the mid 1890s.
The various pro-immigration Acts (which included giving land away by the government: "free grants") were themselves a consequence of the war started by the government to subdue Maori and to seize and occupy Maori territory. The design of the significant confiscations in the North Island were premised on large scale immigration - the importation of people hostile to Maori and naturally aligning with the government.
The NZ government borrowed heavily on that stolen land to advance the European domination of the country. They were so desperate to swamp the country with white people that they began taking Danes and Germans and other Nordic and European people from 1870 and that is particularly why the Aliens Act was passed.
In one eerie echo after another of what was to happen a century later (including an 80s boom-bust and the malfeasance, failure and government bail-out of the BNZ) the development of NZ was made dependent on continuous high rates of immigration - not just to create internal demand for production to support the population in work, but in large part to support an upward spiral of land prices to sustain the wealth of the propertied classes. Nothing in that economic paradigm has changed from that time to this. As I have often said, in most regards New Zealand is still a colonial entity.
So now we are at 2012. We still have no date of independence. Land is still being sold off to foreigners. The Treaty of Waitangi is still used as a doormat upon which the Pakeha-based government scrape their boots. And there's only a single MP in parliament I can think of who has any intention to really challenge this.