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THE following Letter, which was written before the New-Zealand Company had commenced its operations, appeared in one of the earliest publications of the Aborigines' Protection Society. It exhibits the views entertained by the friends of the Aborigines at that time, and anticipates some of the difficulties which have since been experienced. The suggestion for the organization of the Native Population in connection with the British Settlers would probably still be found of practical advantage, and prove the most effectual and peaceable mode of consummating the object contemplated by the Treaty of Waitangi, since the preponderance of those districts in which British law is effectually established must lead to the progressive annexation of the remainder.
DR. HODGKIN TO BENJAMIN HAWES, M. P.
Lindfield, 11 Month 27, 1837.
As I was about to leave London on account of the state of my health, which has rendered it necessary for me to abandon all my occupations, I received a little book from my friend Saxe Bannister, containing an account of New Zealand, and of a project for colonizing it, under the auspices of a Society, of which I observe thou art one of the Directors.
The lively interest which I feel in the subject induces me so far to transgress the restriction of my medical friends, as to dictate a few observations relating to it, with which I shall take the liberty of troubling thee, not doubting, from thy zeal in the cause of humanity, that thou wilt receive them as they are intended.
I was much gratified to observe that the New-Zealand Colonization Society has, in very unequivocal terms, expressed its desire that the settlement which it is about to form may become the means of rendering important services to the Aborigines of the country, and thus form a contrast with every instance of modern colonization now on record.
I observe that, in accordance with this resolution, several pages of the volume in question are devoted to the consideration of regulations proposed to be made on behalf of the Natives.
It is from a serious apprehension that these projected measures must fail to accomplish the benevolent object for which they are designed, that I am anxious to claim thy attention to the observations which I
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have to offer. Though they do not possess the weight which personal experience in enterprises of the kind might confer, yet they proceed from one who, for more than twenty years, has devoted much careful attention to the subject, and watched the result of the operations of others. Your Society proposes,
I. To acquire the land, on which its first settlement is to be made, by purchase or other amicable arrangement with the present possessors.
II. To form a Colony so complete in all its parts, by the arrangements made in this country, and by the requisites in persons and things taken from hence, that it may resemble a full-grown tree transplanted with its own soil about its roots.
III. It contemplates, that not only this establishment will be eminently successful, but that its example will effectually convince the Natives of all our advantages and superiority, and lead them to imitate our example, and seek to come under the government and protection of the Colony.
IV. It contemplates that the Chiefs and others in authority will so far participate in this opinion, as to give up in your favour the power and authority which they at present hold; and certain privileges are projected to be given to them in compensation for such surrender.
1. Although nothing can be said against the just and honourable principle that has dictated to you the first of these articles, yet I cannot help looking to the probable consequences to which this step, perfectly unexceptionable in itself, may tend. Experience has shewn that it is almost impossible perfectly to amalgamate widely-different races, especially when the line of demarcation is still more strongly marked by differences of religion and language, and great superiority of physical force, civilization, and intellectual cultivation.
As a consequence of their not amalgamating, jealousies and differences spring up between them, which are more or less protracted, according to the degree of strength with which the inferior can oppose the superior, but ultimately terminating in the absolute subjection or total extermination of the former.
Notwithstanding your best intentions, it is to be feared that differences will arise between your native neighbours on your account, some being disposed to favour you and seek your alliance, whilst others will cling to their ancient ideas, and, in seeking to injure and oppose you, will really be much more destructive to the interests of their countrymen: the assistance which you may be called upon to give to your friends must almost inevitably increase the evil and expedite the diminution of the native inhabitants.
2. The complete equipment of your settlement as a transplanted British community will, doubtless, greatly contribute to the comfort of
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the individuals composing the expedition, and thereby promote the success of the undertaking: it cannot, therefore, in itself be otherwise than a laudable arrangement; but, as respects the Natives, it may tend to occasion two not insurmountable evils. (1.) The Colonists being, as respects their comforts, so completely independent of the Natives, will not be much disposed to cultivate social intercourse with them, but rather promote and maintain that superior standing by which they are so widely separated from them. (2.) The comforts and prosperity of your people will encourage other White settlers from this country, from Australia, and the United States, either to increase the number in your Colony, or to institute others of a rival character in different parts of New Zealand: both of these consequences will be injurious to the Natives, but the latter will be scarcely less so to yourselves also.
3. From what I have already said, thou wilt see that I doubt the realization of the anticipations contained in the third article. In doing so, I am not forgetful that the New Zealanders have distinguished themselves from almost all the uncivilized Natives with whom we are acquainted, by their inclination and aptness to imitate European arts. But that very high intellectual standing which has prompted them to exhibit this character, will make them in some degree alive to the advances and growing power of a race, which they will, sooner or later, perceive to be their rivals for the possession of the country which, in common with various rights and customs, their ancestors have transmitted to them. They will make you feel that they have endeavoured to be apt scholars in the art of war, but they will shun your religion, your politics, and your social economy; and, above all, they will be under the strong counteracting influence of the Chiefs and Priests, few of whom, I may venture to predict, will permanently submit with any degree of cordiality to the proposals comprised under the fourth article.
4. The possession of power, and more especially unlimited power, is so sweet to all those who have once enjoyed it, that we see it, with few exceptions, strongly clung to, from the lowest slave-holder to the highest monarch. The most important and desirable reforms which you may offer to the New Zealanders for the regulation of their civil affairs, will, I fear, be rejected in limine, if they are offered in conjunction with the abolition of the existing authorities. The aristocracy of New Zealand, in whose cordial co-operation you will, in the first instance, find the most important element of success, will so far resemble their most conservative antipodes, as to employ all the means of authority and intimidation in their power, to avert what they will regard as fatal revolution and change.
To prevent such results attending your well-intentioned efforts, I would suggest that you should rather attempt to found a commercial
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metropolis for the Natives of New Zealand, than seek to colonize the country, and open the door for emigration from this and other civilized countries. Let emigration be encouraged to those regions which are either wholly without inhabitants, or very thinly peopled, but not to a country like New Zealand, which is already tolerably well peopled by a race possessing strong mental and bodily powers. I would ask, whether every really desirable purpose which you have at heart might not be more easily, speedily, and economically effected, by founding a well-placed city, having a certain limited territory belonging to it. With this little territory, the various petty states, into which the country may now be divided by its native possessors and rulers, might, by skilful management and address, be induced to form such a league or confederation, as would not only secure your safety, but maintain peace and tranquillity amongst the neighbouring Chiefs, whose hostility to each other has been exhibited in warlike expeditions, which their acquaintance with European arts have made more frequent and bloody. The peace which you will thus promote would favour the introduction and cultivation of all the arts necessary for the production of those commodities, which it is your object to import from your settlement.
By adopting a liberal principle in your commercial intercourse with the Natives, they would soon begin to feel and appreciate the advantages of a better system of exchange than any which they have hitherto enjoyed. Your popularity and influence would increase, and by degrees you would be able to introduce into the territories in alliance with your settlement all the reforms which Christianity and philanthropy desire, and you will have it in your power, as far as you can reasonably wish, to check the formation of rising settlements, projected in this or any other civilized country, to compete with yours, and threaten by its rivalry the peace of the country. When I visited Sicily, some years ago, I saw, on a small scale, an illustration of the principle which I propose, in Woodhouse's establishment at Marsala. He had not only introduced the cultivation of the vine upon his own estates, which were of considerable extent, but he had succeeded in persuading the occupiers of the neighbouring country to follow his example; and he was thus enabled, with a mutual advantage to himself and the Sicilians around him, to supply the demand for the improved wines of the district, which are sought in the markets of Europe and America. Thus this individual enterprise produced the manifest fruits of industry and activity over a considerable tract, which formed a striking contrast with the obvious apathy which the misrule of that beautiful island had too generally occasioned. You might easily persuade the New Zealanders to frequent your plantations, your manufactures, and your schools; and they might soon be trained to build and navigate your vessels, as well as to raise and bring to your
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markets the exportable productions of their soil. To the Courts of Justice which you would institute our countrymen might be amenable for those acts of injustice and atrocity by which they disgrace England and Christianity, and excite the barbarous retaliation of the savage. Whilst the Missionaries would be protected by your influence in the prosecution of their Christian and laborious efforts, they would feel your inspection a check to inactivity, as well as to more serious evils, by which some among them have, it is to be feared, dishonoured the high profession which they are making, and placed stumbling-blocks in the way of the Heathen, before whom they have disgraced themselves.
Could I succeed in inducing you to make such modifications in your plan as to give to your Settlement the general character of the outline which I have sketched in this Letter--which I have extended beyond the limits to which I originally intended to confine myself--I cannot but encourage the gratifying anticipation that you will not only avoid being the unintentional authors of much evil, but that you will become the originators of many important advantages. Not only will you spare yourselves much trouble and expense, but greater profits will reward your outlay: you will have set a bright and much called for example, in your new line of policy towards uncivilized races; and you will have founded a city, which, by its importance as well as its position, may be the future London of the Southern Hemisphere, worthy to mark the auspicious commencement of the reign so nearly coeval with its origin.
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PASSAGES ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE NATIVE CHARACTER, AND OF THE INFLUENCES ACTING UPON IT.
MR. HALSWELL to the Secretary of the Company.
Wellington, Nov. 11, 1841.
MOST of the tribes in the interior are largely engaged in agriculture, producing potatoes, maize, melons, &c, and also breeding pigs: it is not possible at present to calculate to what amount this is carried on, but it is very considerable. The custom-house returns at Port Nicholson will, in time, give some insight into this question. The actual value of the labour done by the Natives at Port Nicholson is estimated, by a very acute mercantile man at this port, at little short of 30,000l. since the first formation of the Settlement.
The Native is an excellent thatcher, and has already caught the inclination to build a better house than the one he has been in the habit of living in. Their aptitude generally is remarkable; and it is obvious, with proper encouragement, they would soon not only acquire our language, but adopt our customs to a certain extent. With the rising generation there would be no difficulty, and it is much to be regretted that the adoption of the English language has been so long delayed. It cannot, however, be any farther resisted, for the Native is breaking through all restraint; and, amongst some of the young men, to speak and to read English is eagerly desired. I have known several who have spent hours by my side endeavouring to make out words and sentences from English books, asking the name and power of such letters, which are not taught by the Missionary, because they are not in their language. I have found them full of intelligence, of quick apprehension, and generally they are good tempered and patient; and, to use a familiar phrase, because it is most expressive, they are what may be called "wags."
They are nevertheless frequently caught by the unprincipled dealer. For land bought from the Natives by the Government in the neighbourhood of Auckland, a good garment, worth twenty shillings, is perhaps given as part payment to some one of the tribe; this is immediately taken to the barracks, and the soldier purchases the same for five shillings, the money for the time being in more estimation than the trousers. The poor Native is next attracted by a common red cotton handkerchief, flaring from the entrance of some dealer's tent: he immediately lays out his five shillings for an article not worth one, and carries off his new toy with great satisfaction. A fish-hook, not worth a
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halfpenny, will at times purchase a melon, for which he has refused a shilling; but these deceptions never occur twice, as he soon finds out the real value of the article so procured...
From Sir RICHARD BOURKE to JAMES BUSBY, Esq.
New South Wales Government House, 13th April, 1833.
... AN address to His Majesty, lately forwarded from several of the Chiefs of New Zealand, requesting the King's interference for the punishment of evil-doers, and claiming his Majesty's protection for their country, sufficiently shews the favourable point of view in which the power and justice of Great Britain are regarded by them.
From JAMES BUSBY, Esq. to the Hon. the Colonial Secretary of N. S. W.
British Residency, Bay of Islands, 16th June, 1837.
... I MAY go further, and submit that this would seem the instinct of natural justice, as exemplified by the reference which the Chiefs made to the King of England in their declaration of independence. They prayed "that His Majesty would continue to be their parent, and that he would become their protector." The sentiment and the language were their own.
J. BUSBY, Esq. to G. W. HOPE, Esq.
38, Norfolk Street, Strand, 17 January 1845.
... WHEN it was proposed to the Natives to cede the sovereignty of their country to the Queen, the alleged grounds of that proposal were the great influx of Her Majesty's subjects into New Zelaand, which she could not prevent, and the impossibility of repressing the disorders which resulted from such a state of things, and of affording protection to the weak and well-disposed of either race from the violence of men of an opposite character. The only motives alleged were those of benevolence and protection. The Chiefs were persuaded to agree to the treaty (so far as it was executed at Waitangi) by their confidence in the Missionaries and myself. But had we been aware that it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to enter into a competition with the New-Zealand Company in colonizing the country by the profits to be realized from the lands of which the Natives were invited for their own protection to yield the pre-emption, we could not, with our knowledge of their feelings and sentiments, have conscientiously recommended them to agree to the treaty; nor, had it been otherwise, would our recommenda-
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tions have had any influence with the Natives, provided the intentions of the Government had been made known to them...
... It therefore need excite no surprise that they should consider themselves as over-reached and betrayed, when that right of pre-emption which they were prevailed upon to yield to the Queen, for the benevolent purpose of protecting them from the fraudulent dealings of her subjects, should be made the very instrument of realizing their worst fears. Whatever may be said of the desire of the New Zealanders to have our countrymen settled amongst them, they have always dreaded the approach of such numbers as should place them in our power. They are aware of the degradation to which the Aborigines of other colonies have been reduced by the establishment of British dominion; and they frequently refer, with pain and apprehension, to the conduct of the Governor of New South Wales towards "his friend Bungarahie," meaning the Aborigines of New Holland and Van Diemen's Land, as represented in the person of their Chief.
Enclosures in a Letter from W. Shortland, Esq. to Lord Stanley.
[No. I. ]
SPEECHES OF THE CHIEFS -- TREATY OF WAITANGI.
Williams. --They tell us you are come to murder all the Maories; but if your works are good, you will come to preserve us. If you are like the Missionaries, that will be good. We fear the soldiers.
Davis. --I say, yes; I say, yes, for the Queen: although other men say no for the Governor, I say, yes. If the Governor come to be our shepherd, that is good; but if he come to take our land, I will not have him. If you say, Who makes me say, yes; I say, My own heart. Much land has been bought by the Pakehas. Let it not be said it has been taken by the Governor. It has been taken before. I have nothing more to say. If you have any thing to say, say it now; but do not go home and grumble.
Forde. --Let all our sayings be one; let none say, no. The Governor has not taken our land; it was taken before: my heart and my thought are with the Governor. I say, yes, yes.
Busby. --Before the Pakehas came, we loved our own people: we sometimes quarrelled; then made war; then we made peace again, and rubbed noses; then we had another battle. I am glad you are come: let our hearts be one. If quarrels happen, who will settle them? You are so far off. Murder and theft may be repressed, but what shall be
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done with adultery: it is carried on privately: do not let it be said I hide any thing.
Prin. --It will be good to see all the adulterers hanged in a row.
Mathew. --Will a man be taken up if he walk in the night? that is all I am afraid of. If a man steal, it is right to punish him. This is all I have to say. Let all the Governors and Pakehas be like the Missionaries, that we be good: we have not been hurt by them.
Mattu. --If your thoughts are as our thoughts in Christ, let us be one. We believe your hearts to be good. The Pakehas bought all our land, and we have no more.
Broughton. --There is only one great man that cannot be killed, that is the tongue: it often stirs up great wars. My father, Noble, was sitting in his house reading his Bible when they said he was gone to the north to kill the people.
[No. II. ]
SPEECHES OF THE CHIEFS. -- TREATY OF WAITANGI.
Chief Tainni. --We are glad to see the Governor; let him come to be a Governor to the Pakehas (Europeans). As for us, we want no Governor; we will be our own Governor. How do the Pakehas behave to the black fellows of Port Jackson? They treat them like dogs. See! a Pakeha kills a pig; the black fellow comes to the door, and eats the refuse.
Papahia. --What is the Governor come for? He, indeed! he to be high, very high, like Maungatanina (a high hill near Hokianga), and we low on the ground, nothing but little hills. No, no, no! let us be equal: why should one hill be high, and another low? This is bad.
Tainni. --We are not good (or willing) to give up our land: it is from the earth we obtain all things: the land is our father; the land is our chieftainship: we will not give it up.
Kaitoke. --No, no, Mr. Governor, you shall not square out our land and sell it. See there, you came to our country, looked at us, stopped, came up the river; and what did we do? We gave you potatoes, you gave us a fish-hook; that is all: we gave you land, you gave us a pipe; that is all. We have been cheated: the Pakehas are thieves; they tear a blanket, make two pieces, and sell it for two blankets; they buy a pig for one pound in gold, sell it for three; they get a basket of potatoes for sixpence, sell it for two shillings: this is all they do; steal from us: this is all.
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Tainni. --Lo! now for the first time my heart has come near to your thoughts. How do you do? How do you do? I approach to you with my whole heart: you must watch over my children; let them sit under your protection: there is my land too; you must take care of it; but I do not wish you to sell it. What of the land that is sold? Can my children sit down on it; can they, eh?
John King. --My speech is to the Governor. This is what I have to say: it was my father, it was Muriwai, told me to behave well to the Pakehas. Listen, this is mine: you came, you found us poor and destitute: we, on this side, say, Stay, sit here; we say, Welcome, welcome. Let those on the other side say what they like; this is ours to you, Stay in peace: great has been your trade with our land: what else do you come for but to trade? Here am I--I who brought you on my shoulders, (who have been favourable to the introduction of Europeans): I say, Come, come: now you must direct us, and keep us in order. That is all mine to you. If any one steal any thing now, there will be a payment for it. I have done my speech.
Daniel. --What, indeed! do you think I will consent to other people selling my land? No, truly; if my land is to be sold, I shall do it myself. But no, I will not sell my land; I do not like the Pakehas to tease me to sell my land: it is bad; I am quite sick with it. This is my speech.
From Capt. W. HOBSON to his Excellency, Sir R. BOURKE, Governor.
H. M. Ship, "Rattlesnake," Port Jackson, 8th August, 1837.
... Reverting to the position in which our countrymen stand in regard to their factions, it is a remarkable fact, and worthy of imitation by more civilized powers, that the hostile forces have repeatedly passed through the very inclosures of the Missionaries at Paihia, on their way to and from the field of battle, without molesting a single article belonging to the Whites; and in one instance the two parties, by mutual consent, removed the scene of action to a greater distance from our settlements, lest a White Man should by accident be injured. How long this feeling may continue it is impossible to say. I only know that those who have everything at stake--their lives, their families, and their properties--entertain not the slightest apprehension of any change.
I heartily wish I could report as favourably of their situation with respect to the abandoned ruffians from our own country, who have, from time to time, found their way to the Bay of Islands. From these, indeed, there is much to be dreaded. An instance of a most daring burglary occurred in my absence on the east coast, in which a British Settler was extensively robbed, his life attempted, and the females of his family
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most brutally treated. I am happy to say, two out of four of the perpetrators of this outrage have been apprehended and banished by the Natives, and were brought to Sydney in this ship.
Heretofore, the great and powerful moral influence of the Missionaries has done much to check the natural turbulence of the native population; but the dissolute conduct of the lower orders of our countrymen not only tends to diminish that holy influence, but to provoke the resentment of the Natives, which, if once excited, would produce the most disastrous consequences. It becomes, therefore, a solemn duty, both in justice to the better classes of our fellow-subjects and to the Natives themselves, to apply a remedy for the growing evil.
It has occurred to me, that if factories were established at the Bay of Islands, at Cloudy Bay, and Hokianga, and in other places, as the occupation by British subjects proceeds, a sufficient restraint could be constitutionally imposed on the licentious Whites, without exciting the jealousy of the New Zealanders, or of any other power...
Report of MR. G. CLARKE, Jun., Deputy Protector of Aborigines.
Auckland, Dec. 13, 1843.
... I ALSO gather from the Natives that the inhabitants of Te Aro, Kumutoto, and Pipitea, finding that the Europeans wanted to take possession of the land on their side of the harbour, resisted the surveyors, and every attempt at building for some time; but were pacified by a Christian Native named Richard Davis (who possesses very great influence over the Natives, and who has had a good deal of experience in the English language and customs of Europeans). He told them that it would be better for them to use no force; that the Government would send down Magistrates (Kai Wakawa), who would see that justice was done to them. With this they were satisfied at the time; but new aggressions again exasperated them, and several disputes followed, which, however, were partially settled by the interference of Davis.
Since my residence in Port Nicholson the Natives have been incessantly complaining to me, that, notwithstanding the assurances given to them by his Excellency, the late Governor, that the Europeans should not interfere with their pahs or cultivations, it has not been attended to by the Settlers. Many of them have had their cultivations destroyed, many taken away, and they have not been able to obtain any redress. From my duties being confined to the Commissioner's Court, I did not deem myself authorized to interfere with what was evidently the duty of
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the Protector of the district, and accordingly instructed them to apply to that gentleman...
... The small proportion that the children bear to the adults is alarming. Take Te Aro, for instance: the total number of souls in the pah is 136, of which 70 are men, 42 women, and 24 children....
... I had an opportunity of visiting some of the Natives in Cloudy Bay. I found them very much excited in consequence of some outrages that had been committed upon them by Europeans. It appears that a party of disappointed whalers have been prowling along the coast, entering the burying-grounds, and disinterring the bodies for the sake of the green stone and other treasure generally buried with them. Amongst others, they exhumed the body of the eldest brother of Rauparaha, the principal Chief of the southern district. I saw the Natives, and informed them that I would lay the matter before the Government in Auckland. The aggressors, I believe, escaped to Otago, or some of those new settlements in New Munster. I could not but be surprised that the Natives should so quietly refer the matter to the Government. Can we wonder that the Natives are so excited against Europeans? We can hardly form any conception of what a New Zealander would feel when the bodies of his nearest relatives are exhumed, and their cemeteries desecrated.
On my way to the seat of Government, the "Victoria" touched at Nelson. I found very few Natives in the town, and they were only visitors. There is, however, a settlement a few miles from Nelson, and there are several in Coal Bay: in the latter place they were disputing the land with the Company.
From the Report of Mr. Commissioner Spain.
"MR. CAMPBELL, our surveyor, informs me, and I fully coincide in his opinion, that, with few exceptions, the native reserves have been selected in spots so distant from the pahs, and where the ground is so hilly as to render them almost useless to the Natives for the purpose of cultivation; and that little regard has been paid to the interest of the Natives in these "choices"
Respecting this official Report we have a remark in the evidence before the Committee of the House of Commons; viz. that of F. A. Molesworth, a personally interested settler: --"It is totally untrue. The Natives, in fact, always take the hilly land for their potatoe grounds: they hardly cultivate at all upon the flat ground, so that it would have been more suitable for them even if he (the person selecting for the Natives) had chosen the hills for them on that account."
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In opposition to this may be cited the testimony of a very old resident,. Walter Brodie.
Question put by Mr. Clive. --"You would infer that the valleys and the neighbourhood of the hills alone are cultivated, and that the hilly parts are uncultivated?" Generally speaking, the valleys and the banks of the rivers have a great deal of cultivation. There is one place on the west coast where there are perhaps three or four hundred acres of maize grown by the Natives: that was a thing not generally to be met with in the country: it was on account of the great price maize brought in the New South Wales market three or four years ago. Parties went down from Sydney and offered the Natives five or six times the price of corn which they had been accustomed to give the year before, which made the Natives turn to cultivate it."
The importance of water frontage and provision grounds for the Natives is strongly attested by the words and practice of one gentleman who was able and ready to judge for them. Edmund Halswell, who was sent by the Directors in London to watch the interests of the Natives, writes:--
"In making these selections for the Natives, I have carefully attended, whenever possible, to their own wishes, such as I have been able to collect, either from themselves on the spot in the different districts, or from others who have visited me in this place. My attention has been particularly drawn to their own clearings and pahs, and I have secured for them as much water frontage as possible.
On this point the evidence of other witnesses may be quoted.
J. W. Child. --"Do you concur in the opinion that the statement of Mr. Spain is totally untrue?" "No."
"The Natives had early choices from the lottery; and many, both of the pahs and cultivated grounds, in consequence of those early choices, might have been selected for them."
"I do not find fault with the choices of the Natives being on hilly ground, but that their cultivated ground should be passed over, and waste land chosen instead, in several cases."
"Is there any reserve for the Natives, giving them a power to come upon the beach, and to draw up their canoes, and other advantages of that kind?" "Yes, but not at Te-Aro."
"Is that one reason why they will not leave the pah of Te-Aro, because they will not be cut off from the beach?" "That is one reason, and also the general sacred character of the pahs."
F. A. Carrington, Employed Surveyor. --"On the 20th, agreeable to the notice, the selection of the rural land took place, and there were no reserves selected for the Natives."
"What became of the reserves you wished to have selected?" "One
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was selected by a Mr. Cooke, a magistrate, and the other, I think, by a Mr. Evans, a surgeon;" (the Natives were living upon them).
"At the river Waitera there is not a reserve, and there is not a place for a canoe to be hauled up."
The great comparative value of water frontage, and the opposite character of back and elevated land, is confirmed by another passage in the evidence of
Walter Brodie. --"If I were awarded 600 acres out of 10,000 by the present Survey Bill, I am obliged to take two miles back, and half a mile frontage upon the river: the chances are, that half a quarter of a mile back would be the only good land, the rest would be wholly hilly; therefore I should pay at the rate of 1l. 9s. an acre for the whole of my land, because all the back land could be of no service to me at all."
The following passage in the evidence of F. A. Molesworth also deserves attention:--
"With regard to the native reserves, it has been represented, that, in the Port Nicholson district, 'the boasted tenths, the reserves for the Natives, are far away in the distance, and in the most ineligible and worthless spots; and that they, the original lords of the soil, are to be marched off and doomed to perpetual banishment and misery there, while the strangers are enjoying the fat of the land.' Do you believe that that representation is totally incorrect?" "I believe it is."
"Who is the Rev. John Whiteley, the writer of that communication?" "A Missionary."
Commissioner Spain states in his Report:--
"In fact, the whole conduct of the parties engaged in the Company's cases towards the proceedings of the Court went to shew their utter disregard of all forms observed in Courts of Inquiry, and they evidently wanted to make it appear that the executive of the Commissioner was a mere useless form."
"Colonel Wakefield once told me that I ought to have called all the Natives of the district together, had a korero with them, and then made my report, without resorting to the tedious mode I was pursuing of examining native witnesses."
"After I had examined all the Natives I could find, who had been parties to the conveyance of the Company, and having given it my best consideration, I came to the conclusion, that, if I proceeded to make my final report, it must have been unfavourable generally to the Company's title."
"I could not agree to their (the Natives) pahs, cultivations, and burying grounds, being taken from them without their own free consent, because it appeared clear, from the evidence, that they had never alienated them."
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On this subject we have also the evidence of
Walter Brodie. --"I think that there is a great deal of land in that country; indeed I know that there has been land sold in this country which was in fact never purchased from the Natives."
The following authentic anecdote shews the Native, although of the rank of a Chief, submitting to the European, even when the right is on his side.
A highly respectable Settler at Wellington, enjoying the esteem of his countrymen and of the Natives, happened to lose a pig. Suspecting it to have been stolen, he sought it in a neighbouring pah. He there saw a pig belonging to the Chief, whom he upbraided with having stolen it. The Chief protested his innocence, but submitted to have his own pig taken away. Subsequently, with the assistance of his tribe, he sought and found the Colonist's pig, which he restored to its owner, refusing any return beyond the restitution of his injured character, which of course was readily granted, and the Chief reinstated in favour.
A Correspondent, of undoubted veracity, gives the following statement, which exemplifies the mode in which British law may be brought into disrepute with the Natives.
Two valuable tame pigs belonging to a young and intelligent Native who worked on the survey, near Nelson, for full wages, were killed by an emigrant. The thief was arrested: the evidence was clear against him: the young man was persuaded to appeal to our law for redress. He lost his time, and had to get the assistance of his friends to bring him over in a canoe. The case was heard; the man committed; and the Native, instead of obtaining compensation according to the usage of his countrymen, by a form incomprehensible to him was bound over to prosecute; and had actually to deposit with the Magistrate the few sovereigns which he had saved from his wages. The prisoner was bailed by his friends. No Court for the trial of such cases then existing, about six months elapsed, and when tried, the thief escaped all punishment owing to some legal informality. Was such an event likely to recommend the merit of civilized institutions? On the subsequent occurrence of a similar theft, the Natives became excited, and, binding the culprit hand and foot, threatened to take his life, unless compensation were made.
Another instance of injustice towards the Natives deserves to be mentioned. A party of Colonists proceeded to load a vessel with coal, which was very accessible at a particular part of the coast. The Natives interrupted the work, and began to throw the coal overboard, claiming it as their property, and expressing their readiness to load the vessel themselves if payment were made. The Colonists were about to fire on the Natives, and, by force, accomplish their object. They were, however,
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happily restrained by one of their party; but it does not appear that the Natives' right to the coal was eventually respected, or that any compensation was given to them for it.
NOTICES OF THE NEW-ZEALAND CHIEF JOHN HEKE.
From J. BUSBY'S Letter to G. W. HOPE, Esq. M. P., Jan. 17, 1845. I was a witness to the baptism of John Heke and his children about six or seven years ago, and his fast-flowing tears on that occasion shewed how keenly he felt the solemnity of that sacrament, and the obligations it imposed.
It is impossible for me to believe that he was at that time otherwise than a sincere and intelligent convert; and though I have since heard actions imputed to him inconsistent with his Christian profession, I have no difficulty in believing that he considers he was only doing the duty of a patriot to his country in the late disturbance.
Heke is married to the daughter of the late Hongi, who visited England, and was introduced to King George the Fourth, and who was the greatest warrior New Zealand has produced.
There is much reason to apprehend that his influence would be very great throughout the northern part of the island, should matters be pushed to extremities between him and the Government ...
Bay of Islands, Saturday, Jan. 25, 1845.
WE understand that Heke gives out that he has no quarrel with the White Men; but he will never allow the English flag to fly unless a New-Zealand colour is hoisted along with it: in fact, he is determined to purchase a name among his countrymen, whether for good or evil, which will ultimately cost him his life; but of this he is quite indifferent: he will be a great man (in their estimation), and there is an end of it.
We formerly deprecated the policy adopted by Government in offering large rewards for the apprehension of the disaffected Chiefs; and we learn it is having any thing but a good effect generally among them. They ask if a Native Chief is like a pig, to be bought and sold; and instead of being the means of bringing the present offenders to justice, it is only making the Natives more united among themselves.
From the Southern Cross.
JOHN HEKE is a remarkably intelligent and comparatively well-educated Native, a warrior by birth and profession among his own people, and, moreover, a professed Christian, who, like the Puritans of old, appeals
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to the God of battles for the justice of his cause, and sanctifies his warfare with the services of religion. Heke, who has evidently all the qualities of a patriot and a hero, has no dislike to Europeans; on the contrary, he professes great regard for them, which there is no reason to question; but he has a determined antipathy to British Sovereignty in New Zealand. With this feeling he announced to the European inhabitants of the town of Russell, or Kororarika, in the Bay of Islands, that on a certain day he would come with an armed force, and cut down the flag-staff with the British ensign, which he did accordingly, a few months ago, without in any way injuring the inhabitants. The character of Heke, as a brave man, will appear in a still more favourable light, when it is added, that he has entered on his present hopeless career with no indistinct conception of the power and resources of Britain. He was some time in this Colony, about the year 1832, and was engaged by the local Government of the day to proceed to Norfolk Island, with two of his followers, to teach the convicts the mode of preparing the phormium tenax, or New-Zealand flax. He went accordingly thither, and remained about twelve months on the island, receiving, when he left it, his stipulated hire--three muskets, three barrels of gunpowder, three blankets, and a number of hoes. During his stay, however, he never associated familiarly even with his own followers, who always treated him with great respect; and he uniformly refused to perform any manual labour, saying, he was a Rangatira, or gentleman, and not accustomed to any thing of the kind. --From the Sydney Atlas, June 21, 1845.
Is it wonderful that he should have resisted the pollution of a penal settlement?
The following extract exhibits the good feeling and just views entertained towards the Natives on the part of the Directors.
Instructions from the New-Zealand Land Company to Colonel Wakefield, Principal Agent of the Company.
... And you will abstain from completing any negociation for a purchase of land, until this, its probable result, shall be thoroughly understood by the native proprietors, and by the tribes at large. Above all, you will be especially careful that all the owners of any tract of land which you may purchase shall be approving parties to the bargain, and that each of them receives his due share of the purchase-money...
... The land is really of no value, and can become valuable only by
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means of a great outlay of capital on emigration and settlement But at the same time it may be doubtful whether the native owners have ever been entirely aware of the consequences that would result from such cessions, as have already been made to a great extent, of the whole of the lands of a tribe. Justice demands, not merely that these consequences should be as far as possible explained to them, but that the superior intelligence of the buyers should also be exerted to guard them against the evils which, after all, they may not be capable of anticipating. The danger to which they are exposed, and which they cannot well foresee, is that of finding themselves entirely without landed property, and therefore without consideration, in the midst of a society where, through immigration and settlement, land has become a valuable property. Absolutely they would suffer little or nothing from having parted with land which they do not use and cannot exchange; but relatively they would suffer a great deal, inasmuch as their social position would be very inferior to that of the race who had settled amongst them, and given value to their now worthless territory.
CHANGE IN THE POSITION OF THE COMPANY ON THE ASSUMPTION OF THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE ISLANDS BY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT.
MR. SOMES to LORD STANLEY.
N.Z. House, London, Nov. 24th, 1841.
... The Company's Agents complain that, though they, in obedience to our instructions, assisted to weaken their own influence over the native mind, by describing themselves as mere subjects of the Queen in New Zealand, no representative of Her Majesty has, since the passing visit of Mr. Shortland, been really present to exert authority, or even acquire influence. The Natives have come to regard the Settlers as their equals, while no European has appeared to occupy the position of a superior.
INDISCREET PROCEEDINGS ON THE PART OF SOME OF THE COMPANY'S AGENTS IN THE COLONY.
MR. SHORTLAND to LORD STANLEY.
Torquay, Jan. 18, 1845.
... HAVING offered these observations on the Report of the Select Committee, it may not be irrelevant for me to express to your Lordship my opinion as to the causes to which are to be attributed the difficulties experienced by the New-Zealand Company in its attempt at colonizing New Zealand.
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The first, indeed I may say the principal, of these causes, was the imperfect manner in which the purchases of land, by the Company's Agent, were conducted...
... It was on the system of acting "without the sanction, and in direct defiance of the Crown," that the Company's Agent opened the districts of Wanganui and Taranaki for selection by Settlers, in defiance of a notice of the Local Government to the Settlers, that those lands had never been conveyed to the Company; and that unauthorized intrusions have been continually made into pahs and cultivations in the actual occupation and enjoyment of the Natives. I have, &c.
From A. F. Carrington's examination, pp. 79 and 80 of Minutes of Evidence, it appears that an armed force was sent to settle a dispute about land; and that without investigation it awed the Natives into submission; that this submission was attended with much excitement; notwithstanding which, the step having succeeded, was applauded in the Settlement as an example; and that the attempt at Wairau was in fact made at this suggestion.
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EXTRACTS EXHIBITING THE SENTIMENTS OF THREE SUCCESSIVE SECRETARIES OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES.
From the MARQUIS OF NORMANBY to CAPT. HOBSON.
Downing Street, Aug. 14, 1839.
THE Queen, in common with Her Majesty's immediate predecessor, disclaims, for herself and for her subjects, every pretension to seize on the Islands of New Zealand, or to govern them as a part of the dominion of Great Britain, unless the free and intelligent consent of the Natives, expressed according to their established usages, shall be first obtained. Believing, however, that their own welfare would, under the circumstances I have mentioned, be best promoted by a surrender to Her Majesty of a right now so precarious, and little more than nominal; and persuaded that the benefits of British protection, and of laws administered by British judges, would far more than compensate for the sacrifice, by the Natives, of a national independence, which they are no longer able to maintain; Her Majesty's Government have resolved to authorize you to treat with the Aborigines of New Zealand for the recognition of Her Majesty's sovereign authority over the whole or any parts of those Islands which they may be willing to place under Her Majesty's dominion. I am not unaware of the difficulty by which such a treaty may be encountered. The motives by which it is recommended are, of course, open to suspicion. The Natives may probably regard with distrust a proposal which may carry on the face of it the appearance of humiliation on their side, and of a formidable encroachment on ours; and their ignorance even of the technical terms in which that proposal must be conveyed, may enhance their aversion to an arrangement of which they may be unable to comprehend the exact meaning, or the probable results. These, however, are impediments to be gradually overcome by the exercise, on your part, of mildness, justice, and perfect sincerity in your intercourse with them. You will, I trust, find powerful auxiliaries amongst the Missionaries, who have won and deserved their confidence; and amongst the older British residents who have studied their character and acquired their language.
It is almost superfluous to say, that, in selecting you for the discharge of this duty, I have been guided by a firm reliance on your uprightness and plain dealing. You will therefore frankly and unreservedly explain to the Natives, or their Chiefs, the reasons which should urge them to acquiesce in the proposals you will make to them...
... Having, by these methods, obviated the dangers of the acquisition of
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large tracts of country by mere land-jobbers, it will be your duty to obtain, by fair and equal contracts with the Natives, the cession to the Crown of such waste lands as may be progressively required for the occupation of Settlers resorting to New Zealand...
... All dealings with the Aborigines for their lands must be conducted on the same principles of sincerity, justice, and good faith, as must govern your transactions with them for the recognition of Her Majesty's sovereignty in the Islands. Nor is this all: they must not be permitted to enter into any contracts in which they might be the ignorant and unintentional authors of injuries to themselves. You will not, for example, purchase from them any territory, the retention of which by them would be essential, or highly conducive, to their own comfort, safety, or subsistence. The acquisition of land by the Crown, for the future settlement of British subjects, must be confined to such districts as the Natives can alienate without distress or serious inconvenience to themselves. To secure the observance of this will be one of the first duties of their official Protector.
There are yet other duties owing to the Aborigines of New Zealand, which may be all comprised in the comprehensive expression of promoting their civilization; understanding by that term whatever relates to the religious, intellectual, and social advancement of mankind. For their religious instruction, liberal provision has already been made by the zeal of the Missionaries, and of the Missionary Societies in this kingdom; and it will be at once the most important and the most grateful of your duties to this ignorant race of men, to afford the utmost encouragement, protection, and support, to their Christian Teachers. I acknowledge, also, the obligation of rendering to the Missions such pecuniary aid as the Local Government may be able to afford, and as their increased labours may reasonably entitle them to expect. The establishment of Schools, for the education of the Aborigines in the elements of literature, will be another object of your solicitude; and until they can be brought within the pale of civilized life, and trained to the adoption of its habits, they must be carefully defended in the observance of their own customs, so far as these are compatible with the universal maxims of humanity and morals. But the savage practices of human sacrifice, and of cannibalism, must be promptly and decisively interdicted. Such atrocities, under whatever plea of religion they may take place, are not to be tolerated within any part of the dominions of the British Crown.
It will be remembered that Lord John Russell's feelings in favour of the Natives of New Zealand were very strongly and publicly expressed
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on the occasion of his dining with the Company in the City. The following short quotations, from documents issued from the Colonial Office, will shew what were his views with respect to the land.
LORD J. RUSSELL to Governor Sir G. GIPPS.
Downing Street, November 21, 1840.
... YOU will understand, however, that it is not my intention to abandon the plan of instituting a Commission to inquire into the titles or claims to land in New Zealand; but that, on the contrary, I fully intend to carry it into execution; and that I write the present instructions in order that means may be taken for executing it with the greatest accuracy, as well as acknowledged impartiality. For this purpose I shall probably find it necessary to send out a Commissioner from this country.
Mr. VERNON SMITH to Mr. SOMES.
Downing Street, December 2, 1840.
... WITH regard to all lands in the colony acquired under any other title than that of grants made in the name, and on behalf of Her Majesty, it is proposed that the titles of the claimants should be subjected to the investigation of a Commission to be constituted for that purpose. The basis of that inquiry will be the assertion, on behalf of the Crown, of a title to all lands situate in New Zealand, which have, heretofore, been granted by the Chiefs of those Islands, according to the customs of the country, and in return for some adequate consideration. Lord J. Russell is not aware that any exception can arise to this general principle; but if so, every such exception will be considered on its own merits, and dealt with accordingly.
Lord Stanley's sentiments, as expressed in the following passage of a letter written by his under Secretary, are quite in unison with those of Lord J. Russell, as respects the native rights.
Extract of a Letter from G. W. HOPE, Esq., to J. SOMES, Esq.
1st February 1843.
IN answer to these claims, Lord Stanley desires me to remind you, that he has offered, on the part of the Crown, as matter, not of right, but of grace and favour, to "instruct the Governor to make them a conditional grant, subject to prior titles to be established as by law provided, not only of such portion of the Wellington Settlement as is in the actual occupation of Settlers under them, but also of all parts not in the occupation or possession of others; the extent of such grant, of course, not to exceed that to which they are entitled under Mr. Pennington's award."
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Further than this, Lord Stanley cannot consent to go, consistently with the obligations by which the Crown, as he conceives, is bound. Lord Stanley is not prepared, as Her Majesty's Secretary of State, to join with the Company in setting aside the Treaty of Waitangi, after obtaining the advantages guaranteed by it, even though it might be made with "naked savages," or though it might "be treated by lawyers as a praiseworthy device for amusing and pacifying savages for the moment." Lord Stanley entertains a different view of the respect due to obligations contracted by the Crown of England; and his final answer to the demands of the Company must be, that, as long as he has the honour of serving the Crown, he will not admit that any person, or any Government acting in the name of Her Majesty, can contract a legal, moral, or honorary obligation to despoil others of their lawful and equitable rights.
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FROM GOVERNOR FITZROY'S ADDRESS.
Auckland, Saturday, March 8th, 1845.
Tuesday, March 4th, 1845.
THE Governor opened the Session with the following address:--
In addressing you at the opening of this the fifth Session of the Legislative Council of New Zealand, &c. &c.
Were it not for the machinations of a few persons, some of whose wicked attempts have been discovered, and may yet bring punishment upon their authors; were it not for such evil agency, and the pernicious effects of slanderous publications, attacking Natives as well as others, the worst parts of which are speedily made known to the more intelligent Chiefs; were it not for such mischievous efforts as these, aided by bad example, this country would be undisturbed, tranquil, and prosperous.
But even under all the excitement of the last year and a half, our criminal calendar has been remarkably light, as the Returns, which shall be laid before you, will prove. Only two cases of homicide have occurred among the whole White population of New Zealand, in neither of which was the accused pronounced guilty; and no case of murder has been brought before our Courts.
Among the aboriginal population crime is wonderfully rare, considering that they are usually armed, are unaccustomed to restraint, and, but a few years ago, were among the wildest of barbarians.
Under such circumstances, their forbearance, self restraint, and general tranquillity, are quite wonderful: and I cannot but feel frequently vexed and disappointed by some of my own countrymen, who, heedless of such considerations, expect the New Zealanders to be, even now, without faults--without those failings which are inseparable from our common nature.
While the Natives, with the minds of children, but the passions of men, are acting according to their own usages, and perhaps unintentionally offend, they are too often insulted and irritated by words, which, to us, may seem trifling, but to them are gall. Sometimes mutual ignorance of each other's language causes serious misunderstandings. Occasionally some of the ruder Natives act in a manner which their warmest partisan could not justify. Yet, notwithstanding all this, I think we might challenge the world to shew a population of one hundred and twenty thousand souls, taken promiscuously in any country, among whom there has been a less amount of known crime than has occurred in New Zealand during the last year and a half.
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May God grant that such a report may be made in future years! Much will depend on our conduct, on our justice and forbearance, and on our mutual charity of disposition towards one another.
[From the Southern Cross.
That the consequences of Governor Fitzroy's interview with Rauparaha was, to say the least, not injurious, may be inferred from the course which that Chief has since taken.
Wellington, Jan. 18, 1845.
WE are informed that his Honour the Superintendant of the Southern District, in his late interview with Rauparaha, has made an arrangement by which that Chief undertakes to withdraw from the Hutt, by the end of March following, all the Natives who, by his direction, and that of Rangiaiata, have settled in that district. It is understood that the reason assigned by Rauparaha for this delay is, the necessity for some compensation, or its equivalent in time, to allow these Natives to procure food sufficient for their subsistence; as, if their immediate removal were insisted on, the tribes to which they belong must provide them with food and seed-potatoes for their next crop. Rauparaha has also agreed that no fresh crops shall be planted by these Natives in this district; and that the Settlers shall not be disturbed or interfered with by them in the land which they (the Settlers) have obtained possession of, or in clearing land on their sections; and that Thompson, the son of Rauparaha, and Martin, the nephew of Rangiaiata, should visit the Hutt this week, for the purpose of explaining to the Natives this agreement, and enforcing its fulfilment by them. --From the Southern Cross.
FUNDS DESTINED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE NATIVES, THE PROTECTORS, &c.
Copy of a Despatch from Governor HOBSON, to LORD STANLEY.
Auckland, 4th August, 1841.
To make provision for the superintendence and protection of the Aborigines, a sum of two thousand three hundred and thirty-five pounds, twelve shillings, and sixpence has been estimated; but I am fearful this sum will be barely adequate to meet the expenses of this department, as it is with great difficulty I can procure gentlemen, who are sufficiently acquainted with the native habits, customs, and language, to perform the required services effectually...
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Inadequate as the amount is stated to be, it appears that a large proportion was diverted from its ostensible objects, as shewn by the following extract from the accounts:--
1 Borrowed from the emigration fund, and from the fund established for promoting the civilization of the Aborigines,. £16,487. 19. 2 1/4.
£. s. d.
Total land sales
34,112 7 0
15 per Cent. for Aborigines
5,116 17 0 1/2
£28,995 9 11 1/2
£. s. d.
Amount actually expended for Aborigines
1,120 16 11
Total to credit of Aborigines
3,996 0 1 1/2
£5116 17 O 1/2
Auckland, Saturday, March 15, 1843.
Thursday, March 13.
Present, all the Members.
MR. HEALE expressed his great surprise at a proposition to raise the salary of the chief Protector. The office was intended for great and noble objects; but it had dwindled into mere interpreter. It never was contemplated that this officer should confine himself to adjust the paltry squabbles continually arising. In any serious outbreak among the Natives, the Bishop was always on the spot; but not so the chief Protector. Another branch of duty, either neglected or indifferently performed, was that of sending half-yearly Reports to the Home Government of the condition of the Natives. When he was in England, eight of such Reports were due; and when the Committee of the House of Commons had waded through those before them, they were obliged to discard them, and to base their Resolutions, as regards the Natives, on the Report of management of Natives in another colony...
... The Governor said he could bear witness to the merits of the chief Protector. He had sought advice from those who had been long resident in the colony, and well acquainted with the Natives; he had sought advice from that most neglected individual the Bishop; from Archdeacon Williams at the Bay; from Archdeacon Williams at Tauranga; in fine, from all those who could form an opinion of the Natives; and all have recommended him to take the opinion and counsel, on such subjects, of the chief Protector. If he were to select whether he would lose the services of five of the most efficient officers under the Government, or
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dispense with the advice and assistance of the chief Protector, he would prefer losing the former...
... Mr. Donelly remarked, that the Natives of New Zealand had been very inefficiently protected altogether. When the colony was first established, the whole European population were dependent on the Natives for food and assistance of various kinds, and then the Natives were fostered. Now that the former were becoming less dependent in these respects, the poor Natives were reviled and abused. He thought much reproach was to be attributed to the Home and Local Governments for their neglect of the Natives. Neither to their health, nor to their education, had any assistance been rendered. Lord John Russell's instructions were explicit as to medical assistance and as to other points; but when and where had these instructions been fulfilled? He greatly deplored these facts, and feared that it would be proved in this colony, as Lord John Russell had so emphatically declared had arisen in all others--that where civilized man placed his steps, there the extinction of the whole native race inevitably ensued...
... The Governor considered that recently the whole European population had been placed, as it were, on a powder magazine, or on a volcano. Had not the Natives had implicit confidence in the Government, the whole Southern District would have been in a fearful state. The safety with which the population have pursued their avocations arises from the confidence of the surrounding Natives. The disturbances at the Bay of Islands had their origin in the insidious remarks of ill-disposed persons among the Natives, who endeavoured to impress the latter with the belief that Government would take possession of their surplus land, and eventually the Europeans would treat them as they had done the Natives in the neighbouring colonies.
[From the Southern Cross.
From a Letter of G. CLARK, Chief Protector of Aborigines.
Auckland, June 30, 1843.
"I would also urge upon His Excellency the necessity of my being furnished with definite instructions as to the duty of a Protector of Aborigines; in short, the apparent contrarieties may be avoided, and I be placed in a position to support the interests, liberties, and properties of Her Majesty's Aborigines' subjects to the fullest extent."
William Watts, Printer, Crown Court, Temple Bar.