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SINCE the termination of the ten nights' debates on New Zealand in the House of Commons in 1845, and the cessation of the native war which ensued soon afterwards, the public mind in England seems to have forgotten the colony altogether. Any interest which is taken in it seems limited to the movements of the Canterbury Association, or to the Parliamentary Grant, which once a year is made in its behalf, when financial reformers express their astonishment that so flourishing a colony as it is represented to be should require such large amounts of British money for its support. On returning home, after nearly nine years' residence in the colony, I find the ignorance of the many, who
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know nothing about it, only exceeded by the misapprehensions of the few, who know a little. Under these circumstances, it seems a duty incumbent on me not to keep back the results of my experience.
I left England in 1842, intending to follow the avocations of a private colonist, being a barrister of the Inner Temple, and a graduate of Oxford. In 1843, on the lamented death of Captain Arthur Wakefield, the Resident agent of the New Zealand Company at Nelson, I succeeded him in that office. I held it till early in 1848, when I received the appointment of Attorney-General of the southern province, which I accepted on the distinct assurance that self-government was immediately to be bestowed on the colony. Finding it was not, I resigned; and shortly afterwards, on the death of Colonel Wakefield, the Principal agent of the New Zealand Company, his office devolved on me. It placed me in charge of the Company's interests
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in the whole of the southern settlements (including New Plymouth), and afforded me the opportunity of becoming acquainted officially and personally with all their affairs. Immediately before leaving the colony, I was appointed Honorary Political Agent in England for the settlement of Wellington. In addition to five years' residence at Nelson, and three and a half at Wellington, I visited Auckland for three weeks, New Plymouth for ten days, Wanganui twice, Otago twice, Canterbury thrice (exploring a large part of the district), and many other parts of the country,, where no inhabitants, either European or native, are to be found.
My opportunities for observation, and my inducements to observe, have therefore been at least equal to those of any person who ever visited the colony; and this will, I hope, be held to afford a sufficient excuse for the publication of the following pages.
For the valuable Map which is attached, I
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am indebted to Mr. Arrowsmith, who obligingly placed the plate at my disposal. It is the only map of New Zealand that I have met with which is at all complete or accurate; and it brings down the geographical corrections and discoveries to the latest date, being founded on the most authentic, recent, and original documents.
London, July 25,1851.
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DESCRIPTIVE AND STATISTICAL.
SECT. 1. GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE ISLANDS. . . 1
2. THE SEPARATE COLONIES....... 22
1. WELLINGTON.......... 22
2. NELSON........... 26
3. OTAGO............ 29
4. CANTERBURY.......... 32
5. NEW PLYMOUTH......... 36
6. AUCKLAND.......... 38
3. THE PENSIONER VILLAGES....... 43
Sect. 1. THEIR NUMBER........... 49
2. THEIR CIVILIZATION......... 59
3. OUR RELATIONS WITH........ 66
4. NATIVE CHARACTER......... 70
5. MISSIONARY INFLUENCE........ 76
6. NATIVE TITLE TO WASTE LANDS..... 89
7. THE WASTE LANDS.......... 98
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Chapter III. GOVERNMENT.
Sect. 1. THE EXISTING FORM......... 109
2. PRESENT GOVERNMENT--EFFECTS OF ... . 118
3. ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE...... 126
4. CURRENCY, AND INTESTATE ESTATES .... 130
5. COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DIFFERENT SETTLEMENTS.............137
6. SELF-GOVERNMENT.......... 144
7. CONSTITUTIONS--EXISTING AND PROPOSED . . 153
ON THE TRANSFER OF LAND.........163