CHAPTER V. RETREAT FROM THE HORIKIVA VALLEY...
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RETREAT FROM THE HORIKIVA VALLEY--EXPEDITION TO WAKANAE--LETTER FROM THE CHEF, WILLIAM KING --EXPEDITION TO WANGANUI--SUMMARY PUNISHMENT OF SOME OF THE REBELS--SHIP-BUILDING--FISHERIES --"TANGI," OR CRY--IMPROVEMENTS IN THE COLONY --NATIVE MILL--TOMMY RAUPARAHA--PASSAGE VIA PANAMA -- LAND CLAIM -- RECENT EARTHQUAKE AT WELLINGTON--CONCLUSION.
AFTER it was decided that we were to retreat to the hollow which we had occupied on the first night of our arrival in the valley, we sent parties down to make such preparations as the place afforded for our comfort; that is to say, making the huts water-tight, and lighting fires on the ground inside them, to absorb a little of the moisture which had made our beds so soft on a former occasion. We were
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agreeably surprised on reaching our huts to find that the day's rations had been issued, some of the force having been three days on very short allowance; the wet and cold, as well as the fatigue we had undergone (it being the middle of winter), making our gill of spirits most acceptable. There were many extraordinary modes of cooking invented this night--such as frying pork in a tin drinking-cup, grilling pigeons on ramrods, boiling water in a glass bottle, and such like. Hunger being the best sauce, enabled us to make a hearty meal; and we soon forgot our little privations, and should have been jolly enough, had not the loss of poor Blackburn, who had been the gayest amongst us on the last night of our being together in this place, cast a gloom over our little party. We stretched ourselves out, warning the long-legged ones to keep their feet out of the fire. We were disturbed, however, by the groans of an unfortunate one of that species, who in his sleep
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RETREAT FROM THE
had stretched himself beyond the accommodation which our dwelling afforded; consequently, thrusting his feet into the fire, had burnt his boots, and partly roasted his pedal digits before he was awakened from his sound sleep. Early in the morning we retraced our steps over the vile roads of which I have already spoken, taking back with us the mortars which had cost us so much labour to bring up.
When we reached our camp at Porirua I took off my clothes, for the first time for a week, on going to bed; and my hut here, rough as it was, appeared quite a palace after my late muddy couch. The whole force came down the next morning, bringing information that Puaha and his people had had a skirmish with the rebels, who had retreated from the place from whence they had fired on us; this turned out to be only an entrenchment, with a small pah about a hundred yards in the rear, which was only partially surrounded by a small rail. They left
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this as our allies entered, not having made any stand: they appeared to have been very hard up for provisions, as they had been eating a species of fern-tree, leaving no signs of anything else. The rebels now made the best of their way to join the tribe coming down the coast to meet them; they were followed by our native allies, who had several skirmishes with them, our friends always causing them to retreat. There were several killed on either side; seventeen prisoners were taken by the police and the Wakanae natives, who were most stanch in opposing Rangahiata's passing through their ground; they had also prevented the other party of rebels from coming down to join him. The prisoners were all embarked on board the Calliope; from them we learned that their party had dispersed in small bodies, having been almost famished, and were making the best of their way to some of the unfrequented parts further to the north. We tried to persuade the chief of the Wa-
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WILLIAM KING'S LETTER.
kanae tribe, William King, to co-operate more fully with us and our other native allies, our force being too small without his assistance to follow the rebels into the bush: having only forty sailors from the Calliope, the Hutt company of militia, and Captain Durie's party of police. He, however, declined moving his people any further from their homes; saying he had fulfilled his promise to the Governor, having prevented the enemy from retreating by the beach, cutting off their supplies of provisions, and stopping their friends from joining them; that it was time to commence fortifying himself, by strengthening his pah for the protection of his women and children.
Captain Stanley offered to defend his pah, provided King would take the field, but he again declined. Three women and a child were taken prisoners by his people in a starving condition; they had left the retreating rebels, and come down to King's cultivations for food. The following letter was addressed
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TO THE GOVERNOR.
by him to the Governor to learn his wishes regarding them.
LETTER FROM THE CHIEF, WILLIAM KING.
"Waikanae, Aug. 23, 1846.
"Friend the Governor, salutations to you! Hear you: we have arrested three women and a child, making four persons, of Rangahiata's tribe, who are retreating over the mountains. The white people said, 'Put them on board the ship;' but I replied to the captain of the ship of war, 'No; leave them in our care; we will wait for the Governor's return.' Then they said, 'They will return to Rangahiata.' But hear you: we shall retain them until your arrival, or we receive your commands (in reference to this subject). We shall not permit these persons to join their tribes: the decision rests with you. Hear you this. --At a skirmish which took place between the Ngatitoa and Ngatiawa, against Rangahiata, at Porirua, when they were beaten, they retreated, and
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THE GOVERNOR'S REPLY.
are lost in the woods or mountains, the smoke of their fires not being seen. We do not intend to follow them any further. The white people are at Waikanae, but they are returning.
(Signed) "WIREMA KINGI WITI."
To the Governor."
HIS EXCELLENCY'S REPLY.
"Auckland, September 12, 1846.
"My friend William King--I have received the letter from you, the chief of Waikanae, regarding the three women and the child whom you took prisoners. My order regarding them is this. --I do not make war against women and children: treat them well; warn them not to allow their husbands to be so foolish as again to get into difficulties of this kind; tell them that the only object of the Governor is to do good to all. When this has been said to them, give them sufficient food for their journey, and let them go.
(Signed) "G. Grey."
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RANGY'S NEW PAH.
Several fruitless attempts were made to intercept the flying rebels, but nothing further took place in the fighting way for some months. Rangy established himself in one of the most inaccessible parts of the district, and built a pah on a small hill surrounded for several miles by swampy ground, which would have rendered it almost impossible to bring artillery against it. The approach by sea was equally bad, shallow water and sandbanks extending for a mile or two from the beach, with a heavy surf at all times setting in. Rangy himself remained at this place, but several of the minor chiefs proceeded to Wanganui, and joined the disaffected natives in that neighbourhood; upon learning which, a detachment of the 58th was embarked on board the Calliope, and we proceeded to look for Wanganui, which place was very indistinctly laid down on our chart; and not having water enough to keep very close to the shore, we were rather puzzled to find the entrance to
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ATTACK ON WANGANUI.
the river off which we were to anchor. Old Rauparaha, however, seeing we were at fault, pointed out the hills immediately over the town: with this landmark we stood in, and discovering a small vessel close in shore, apparently standing away from us, we fired a gun, and hoisted the pilot jack. This not being taken notice of, and the captain being particularly anxious to land the troops before dark (as information had been sent to the Government representative at Wellington that the inhabitants of this place were threatened to be served as Heki had served those of Kororarika), fired a shot, which passed so close to her that they immediately went about and stood towards us. On nearing us, we discovered her to be a colonial smack, with the police magistrate and several other of the Wanganui settlers, who had come out on purpose to meet us.
We anchored about four miles from the shore, and commenced at once disembarking
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ATTACK ON WANGANUI.
the troops and guns, finding the smack of great use. I was sent in the pinnace with a party of soldiers, taking one of the colonial sailors as a pilot for crossing the bar, which is the only thing which prevents this river from being the best harbour on this coast. We entered safely--not, however, without having run considerable risk in coming through the breakers in an overloaded boat. We were told that it was highly probable that our landing might be opposed; but having a clear space on each side of the river, and seeing no one, we did not wait for the other boats, but landed our party and returned to the ship for another load, passing the smack on her way in with the remainder of the soldiers. I came in a second time with provisions, and had a hard pull up the river against a strong tide, which made it very late before we reached the town; there I found Captain Laye and his party on the look-out for me, his men not having had any rations that day, nor indeed himself and brother
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MURDER OF A WHOLE FAMILY.
officers, who had been located in the school-house. After unloading the boat, I found it too late to return to the ship, and anchored for the night, going on shore myself to endeavour to procure a small quantity of spirits for my boat's crew, who had had a hard day's work and no grog. I found that no one was licensed to sell this luxury by retail, although there was plenty of it in the place. Thinking this rather hard, considering the mission we had come on, I pointed out the probability of the dissatisfaction such treatment would give to my captain, and succeeded at last in getting their coveted gill. I was comfortably housed myself till daylight, when I returned to the ship. We sailed that day for Wellington, and I never returned to this place.
During Captain Laye's command there were several skirmishes, and one most horrible murder of nearly a whole European family; soon after which, eight or nine of the rebels, being taken prisoners, were tried by a court-
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THE MURDERERS HANGED.
martial and hanged, this being one of the first instances in which summary punishment was applied; and I feel sure that, had we been enabled to make a few such examples in the early part of our proceedings in the south, the war would not have lasted so long.
Large parties of soldiers and natives were now employed cutting and making a road through the bush from Porirua to Wellington. It was astonishing to see how anxiously the natives sought for engagements at this work. They were divided into parties, each under the superintendence of a chief of their own, who received two shillings a day, the labourers only getting one. They were paid regularly every Saturday, and it was amusing to see their delight when assembled for this purpose; it afforded them a never-ceasing topic of conversation and calculation as to how these earnings could be most advantageously laid out. This employment became very popular, and large parties came down the coast
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several hundred miles to offer their service: working and living together in their usual way, and the regular payment being the principal inducements, for they are naturally more mercenary than industrious: they delight in what horse-dealers in England call "doing each other," and he who gets the worst of a bargain is sure to be laughed at by the others.
We found them very expert at felling trees, and were apt scholars in learning the use of the various tools necessary for such work, particularly carpenters'. I have seen them using the adze with great precision, steadying their work with the naked foot, which a false stroke would have cut to pieces. They also became clever at moving the huge trees, after they were felled, to the side of the road, as well as placing them across the streams to form bridges when necessary; using bars, levers, wedges, and other purchases necessary for such purposes. The timber cut down in the making of this road will, I have
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no doubt, now that it can be so easily conveyed to Wellington, assist greatly in defraying the expenses of the undertaking. I was pleased to see several small vessels on the stocks at and near Wellington, and many others afloat, not only built of New Zealand wood, but sparred and rigged with colonial gear, their flax making very serviceable rope; and I hope, now that the natural energy of the Wellington settlers will be able to develop itself, a few larger and more serviceable vessels, fit to be employed in the whale fisheries, will be built and fitted out at this port, and establish a trade in opposition to the Americans, who have at present almost a monopoly in this lucrative business.
The few shore stations occupied by the colonial fishermen are precarious speculations; the weather in Cook's Straits, as well as the strong tides, frequently causing them to lose their fish after they have killed them. From the large quantities of eatable fish found on
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nearly every part of this coast, I am confident that a most profitable trade might be established, similar to the cod fisheries in Newfoundland; the harbouker, a large fish, even superior to the cod (more resembling salmon), being found in sufficient numbers for considerable exportation. The natives are very clever hand-fishermen, but have no idea of it on a larger scale; they might be made good working hands in fishing crafts if they commenced young: they are now frequently employed in whale ships and at the whaling stations, and make very active boats' crews.
Whilst on this subject, I will say a few words in reference to the natives employed in the police service, which has become very popular with them; so much so that the boys, when told that they would not be admitted if tatooed, expressed their determination to keep clear faces, and learn the musket exercise, in hopes of being received into this corps. In
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DECREASE OF ABORIGINES.
a few years a strong mixed force of natives and Europeans might be brought to such perfection as to keep in subjection any ill-disposed or disaffected tribes; and, in case of war, prove a powerful auxiliary in preventing the place falling into the hands of a foreign foe. It would be advisable to have a few native officers, notwithstanding the unfortunate prejudice which all Englishmen have to a dark skin. I have no doubt that a good maori placed in that position would soon obtain the respect and confidence of the Europeans as well as his own people.
It is melancholy to see how fast the native population is decreasing: the number of deserted pahs and neglected plantations showing that civilisation has, as usual, thinned the aboriginal inhabitants. They account for these desertions by relating horrible massacres which have taken place from time to time in their wars with each other; but infanticide, neglect, and disease, have all assisted to ruin these intel-
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INTERMARRIAGE OF RACES.
ligent and able-bodied people; and I suppose they will share the deplorable fate of all other aboriginal populations, and dwindle away as civilisation advances. They might be exceptions to this universal rule if they were permitted to mingle with the emigrants, and share with them the advantages which belong to their highly-favoured country; thus, in a few years, merging the one into the other, and forming a nation of athletic and intellectual people, in every way calculated to develop the resources of a country unequalled in every respect.
Many of the half-caste children are very pretty and intelligent. The men do not shew the same desire to intermarry with white women, as the white men do with the maori whihienes (women), who make for the working classes far better wives, from their many useful qualities in a bush life, than any Europeans, let them be ever so willing. I have known instances of real grief shown on the loss of a child by a native woman married
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THE "TANGI," OR WAIL.
to a white man--so different to their usual "tangi" or cry, which is a most theatrical and discordant exhibition, occurring very frequently on the loss of a friend or relation, as well as on meeting them after a long separation. They do not, as we do, give way to the feelings of grief on the impulse of the moment, but wait for a good opportunity, which does not interfere with their other occupations; when they assemble at some convenient spot, squat down in a circle, commencing a howling and blubbering truly piteous to hear and behold; the tears streaming down their dirty faces, and their long dishevelled black hair, giving them the appearance of abject misery. But in spite of this they watch each other narrowly, and do not fail to laugh afterwards at any who happened to snivel out of time, or in any other way show their ignorance of the part assigned them: this is against the theory of savage life, being free from affectation. I once visited the pah at Taupo after I had taken Rauparaha
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prisoner, and found his wife and the rest of the women having a tangi for their captive husbands and friends: they, however, stopped the cry and began another for me, as recalling sad recollections. This, however, did not last long: they began to laugh, and ask questions about the captives, making many ridiculous inquiries, and laughing most heartily at their own wit; at the same time expressing a great wish to be allowed to visit their imprisoned friends and relations, old Rauparaha's wives impressing upon me that they were my slaves, he being considered my prisoner. This, it appears, is the native custom. However, I was glad to grant them their freedom and take my departure, knowing that there was an ill-feeling existing amongst some of the men of this tribe against me. Immediately I had left, I heard the doleful chorus resumed. They frequently stop to eat and drink, at which time they are as merry as usual; but, when refreshed and invigorated, resume their howl-
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CAPT. GREY'S IMPROVEMENTS.
ings with redoubled energy. It is not unfrequent amongst the native women, on the loss of their husbands, to lacerate their faces and bodies with the instrument used for tatooing the men, rubbing in the same substance employed for that purpose. They soon become old and haggard; which may be accounted for by the want of proper nourishment, their hard work, and their frequently nursing their children until two or three years old, as well as their marrying very young.
Since Captain Grey's administration, a great improvement has manifested itself amongst the natives; and, from very late accounts, it seems that the roads lately made in the southern provinces have done much to improve the condition of the colony; showing the natives how easily such work can be done when persevered with, as well as the great use of facilitating the communication between the out-settlements and the principal ports, and the advantage it is to themselves to have such employment given them. We ex-
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plained to them that this road would soon be made all the way to Auckland, a distance of 500 miles, and that coaches and waggons would be frequently going to and fro between these two places. They are making rapid strides in the various branches of trade: in January, 1847, it was agreed to at a meeting of the natives at Otaki,
"That a mill be built by subscription; the money to be raised in shares of 10l. That 4l. be paid immediately by each shareholder. That a sum of 3l. more be called for on the 1st of January, 1848; and 3l. more on the 1st of January 1849, or such sum as may be necessary to complete the mill. That all wheat ground in the mill, not belonging to shareholders, be paid for at the rate of 6d. per bushel. That a book be kept of all wheat ground in the mill, and all money received.
"That all shareholders be entitled to have forty bushels of wheat ground annually in the mill.
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"That the accounts be made up annually, and if any surplus remain, after paying for tne current expenses of the mill, and for repairs, &c., it shall be divided equally, one half being divided among the shareholders, the other half to be reserved as a deposit to meet contingencies.
"That Zachariah Te Keinga be appointed treasurer.
"That a committee of management be appointed, to consist of five persons--namely, Zachariah Te Keinga, Thomson Katu, Henry Martyn Te Wini, Abraham Te Ruru, and some pakeha not yet named."
To reduce the cost of the building, the maories belonging to the district have agreed to do all the labour required in forming the dam, &c, gratuitously; and to prevent any delay in the execution of the works, those maories who may be employed in sawing timber, &c, for the building have agreed not to receive payment of any sums due to them until all the
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work executed by Europeans has been paid for. To insure its early completion, some of the shareholders also have expressed their willingness to advance money on the building at the rate of four per cent.
A fine stream in the neighbourhood, which offers several eligible sites for a water-mill, has been selected, having a plentiful supply of water all the year round; and on its banks, about two miles from the shore, will be erected the first mill in this district owned by the maories. The fall of water is about sixteen feet; and the mill, which will be turned by a breast-wheel thirty feet in diameter, will be furnished with one pair of stones at first, but the machinery will be of sufficient power to allow the number to be increased as cultivation is extended. The machinery will be chiefly constructed by engineers belonging to this settlement. It is estimated that, exclusive of the labour for sawing the timber, forming the dam, and executing other works which may
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be performed by natives under the superintendence of a European, the sum of 300l. will be required for its erection. This sum it is proposed to raise by means of a company, the amount being divided into thirty shares of ten pounds each: 120l. has already been collected, and it is confidently expected that the whole amount will be subscribed before the building is completed. Three shares are the greatest number held by one individual: some hold two shares, but the great majority of shareholders hold single shares. Some of these hold shares in their own name, which are subscribed for by the hapus, or subdivisions of tribes of which they are chiefs.
Amongst the principal rising natives is a son of old Rauparaha, of whom a colonial paper gives the following flattering account, and, as I have often been in his company, and remarked his intelligence, and I may say gentlemanly bearing, I feel great satisfaction in relating it. "Perhaps a more striking contrast
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is not to be found than in Rauparaha and his son. The old man, with a great deal of natural sagacity, cunning to a proverb, and deeply implicated in every deed of blood which has darkened the history of this part of the island in his generation, has all the vices and qualities which belong to a savage; but his only son--the last of his race (the others having fallen in the different wars in which their parent has been engaged), destined to continue his father's name and succeed to his authority--has profited by the lessons and examples of civilisation. Both he and his wife are always dressed after the European fashion. His house is composed of wood, built on the native construction, but with wooden floors, doors, and glazed windows; and is furnished with chairs and tables and a bed. As he is about to remove with the rest of the tribe to the new village, he has not thought it worth while to incur further expense or trouble in altering his present dwelling. He
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NATIVE CHRISTMAS DINNER.
always uses at his meals plates and knives and forks; the table is covered with a white tablecloth; and both he and his wife sit at the table in the European manner, on chairs. They are always glad to see, and hospitably entertain, any settlers travelling along the coast.
"On Christmas day Thomson gave a dinner to the people of his tribe; his table could only accommodate sixteen at a time, but in the course of the day about sixty partook of his hospitality. The entertainment consisted of soup, fish, pork, and plum-pudding. Both men and women sat down together--a thing totally unprecedented in maori customs; every guest was dressed in the European fashion, and sat down to dinner on chairs, using plates and knives and forks at their meal. To the first sixteen Thomson produced--it was all his cellar could boast of--a bottle of American cider. In this description we have been minute, but we have endeavoured to be correct." The facts above related show that
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PROGRESS OF CIVILISATION.
civilisation has taken root, and is advancing with rapid strides among the native population of this district. They do more; they offer to intending settlers the best guarantee they can desire for the future tranquillity of the district. The natives are now most busily employed in the arts of peace; pleased with the progress they have made, they are most anxious to be further instructed; the fruits of their honest industry they dispose of to the settlers, and expend the proceeds in the purchase of British manufactures. They are too much interested, they have too much to lose, to allow the peace of the district to be disturbed; and the more roads are opened, and the means of communication improved, the more intimately the races are brought together. In the very formation of these roads the European and Maori may be found working side by side. It is possible that disturbances may occasionally occur, for with Rangahiata and those who act with him the old leaven still remains; but the
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GOVERNOR GREY'S SUCCESS.
great bulk of the native population are peaceably disposed, and rapidly advancing in civilisation. Let the force now in this part of the island be maintained for a few years longer; let the present influences now at work be suffered to have their free development; let the firm but kindly policy now pursued towards the natives be persevered in, and we have the surest pledges of the rapid progress and prosperity of the colony.
The progress made in every way in New Zealand within the last three years, and the first two under such disadvantagous circumstances, reflects the greatest credit on the present Governor, whose indefatigable exertions have been crowned with unexampled success; inspiring those who are already out in the colony with hope of a speedy return for their care and hardships, and those who are thinking of going out, with confidence as to the ultimate issue of the undertaking. The present drawback to poor people of gentility
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emigrating is the voyage out under the present system.
I have no doubt that mountains are made out of molehills when accidents do happen to emigrant ships, exaggeration being but too common on all such occasions. The insufficiency of the agent's staff, at the different emigrating ports, to inspect the emigrant ships, stores, provisions, &c, is one evil; and the want of discipline on the voyage, to insure cleanliness, and precautions against fire, another. Surely, such a very serious consideration as emigration has now become deserves much encouragement; and as it is the boast of England that the sun never sets on her dominions, this increase of territory might be dealt with by increased care and attention. A man of education and talent, in making up his mind to desert his mother country and adopt a new one, has much to check his ardour, particularly if he has any ambition in his composition.
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First, his affectionate friends at home, to whom he imparts his intention of going to New Zealand, or any other colony, set to work most industriously to rake up from the depths of their memory any disasters which they may happen to recollect as having occurred to some acquaintance who has already gone out; and not always confining themselves to memory alone, call on their invention to dishearten the adventurous with some well-told tale of misery. Petty as this may seem, it all adds to the uncheering prospect which one must feel in undertaking to dive into a totally new existence; knowing that the utmost that a colonist can expect is to make money, which may bring with it ambition: and if talent exists in the individual, he naturally returns to England, to enter for the many prizes which wealth and ability open to all at home; no such prize being obtainable in any of our distant dominions, except by her Majesty's officers, who return to
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THE TEDIOUS PASSAGE
their homes with what honour or glory they may have derived from their services in these countries, leaving the plodding settlers often discontented at finding themselves out of the pale of receiving even the minor honours showered on all who have the luck to possess interest enough to bring them within the reach of the power able to reward the deserving. No such boon is obtainable by the possessors of equal ability and talent amongst our exiled countrymen. This deadens the feeling of proper ambitious pride, without which the state of society of any community must degenerate.
With the immense capabilities which England possesses of colonising, as well as the great advantage it must prove to her own overpopulated country, the time cannot be far distant when more facility will be offered to those who wish to visit the distant colonies of New South Wales and New Zealand; the time now occupied on the passage being to
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MAY BE SHORTENED.
mercantile men a serious drawback to undertaking any speculations requiring their presence for a time in either country. The passages already made by steamers round the Cape of Good Hope are sufficient to prove that the time may be considerably shortened, and that there is nothing to prevent steam communication between England and these distant colonies; although I am inclined to be of opinion that the overland route, via Panama, is the most likely to be adopted, principally on account of the mails, which might thus very well reach New Zealand in seven weeks, and Sidney and Hobart Town in eight, having branch steamers from Wellington to take the Hobart Town mail and passengers. This would do away entirely with the long tedious sea voyage at present unavoidable. I will not attempt to enter into the particulars of the route which may be most advantageously taken across the Pacific, as I see that this subject has already been considered by people
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PROBABLE TRADE WITH CHINA.
intimately acquainted with the resources of the islands lying between Panama and New Zealand, and which would be the best depot for coals and other necessaries.
Whenever a brisk trade is commenced between New Zealand and New South Wales, it will soon extend itself to many of the islands lying between Singapore and these countries, as well as to China; and I have no doubt that some of the ingenious and persevering natives of the last-named country would soon find their way, with their many manufactures, to so desirable a market. A few of these industrious people would be a great acquisition to New Zealand; as fishermen they are unrivalled, and would set a good example in sobriety and industry to the natives and colonists.
New Zealand has now taken a fair start, and the Government and Company are proving their anxiety to do the colony justice; and even the intricate and unsatisfactory land
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GOVERNOR GREY'S ARBITRATION.
claim in the Southern district is taken in hand by one whose care and sagacity cannot fail to adjust this complicated question to the satisfaction of those who can he satisfied. The task is anything but an enviable one; and the interests of those from whom information is to be gained are so directly opposite, that one party or the other must (or will) think themselves aggrieved. It is to be hoped that the unhappy differences which have existed between the Company's settlers and the natives, as well as between the settlers themselves, will be terminated, and that the arbitration of his Excellency will not be made a subject of private animadversion or party feeling. The lamented death of Colonel Wakefield, the Company's resident agent at Wellington, has deprived Sir George Grey of an able and zealous assistant in bringing about an amicable and satisfactory arrangement of this important question. From Colonel Wakefield's long residence in the colony, and his
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having devoted the whole of his attention to its advancement, his death is a great loss to all those interested in the welfare of the Southern district of New Zealand. It is to be hoped, moreover, now that the disadvantages this part of the colony has hitherto laboured under have been removed, that his successor will meet with but few of the difficulties which have as yet rendered the New Zealand Company's agency such an unenviable post.
By some of the late accounts from Wellington, it appears that that town has been visited with some severe shocks of earthquake, and that many of the flimsy brick buildings (which I wonder stood the gales of wind so long) came down about the people's ears. The first account of this was a melancholy picture of misery, but from subsequent arrivals from the colony it turned out that only a few of the weak-hearted ones were frightened; from whose description of this awful visitation we at the antipodes might
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have been led to suppose that the whole place had been swallowed up, and the hungry earth waiting impatiently for more victims: such however was not the case, and the prospects of the colony seem now brighter than ever they have been. Nevertheless, every allowance must be made for the murmurings of these much tried people, whose courage and fortitude have been put to such severe tests. They appear to have set to work with true philosophical heroism to repair the damage, instead of losing time in bewailing their losses. Their fellow-colonists at Auckland, with praiseworthy promptness, upon the receipt of the exaggerated account of the disaster at Wellington, raised a handsome subscription amongst themselves, which was forwarded immediately for the relief of (as they supposed) their destitute brethren at their late rival settlement, whose misfortunes seem to have removed the deep-rooted jealousies which have hitherto existed between
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RIVAL JEALOUSIES REMOVED.
the two places: and it is to be hoped that this good feeling will continue, as it must in the end prove of the greatest benefit to the colony at large; and, as a colonial paper observes,
"Let us unite with dauntless hearts and strong arms in pushing civilisation and prosperity towards each other, until they render the now almost impenetrable boundaries of New Ulster and New Munster an imaginary line."
The only rivalry now existing between these two places is the desire to excel; and although the inhabitants of Wellington could not countenance the exaggerated statements of the damage done by accepting the liberal offer of their generous fellow-countrymen, they have returned the money with such expressions of gratitude for the intended kindness, and at the same time hoping that it may be laid out in some public building commemorative of the occasion, and of the benevolent spirit which led to the collection of the fund, that the good feeling thus started through the
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medium of the late mishaps is likely to become the means of forming a lasting and beneficial friendship between the inhabitants of the two capitals.
The last arrival from the colony brings the news of the assembling of the first legislative council at Wellington, which the colonial press ridicules. Many gentlemen declined accepting seats, in consequence of their not liking the nominee system. A meeting had been held to memorialise her Majesty on the subject of a representative legislative council to enable them to govern themselves; which, from all accounts, they are in condition to do quite as well, if not better than some of our older colonies. The Governor-in-Chief, Sir George Grey, has disappointed them on this important subject: he having expressed his opinion some time since (1847) that the colonists were quite capable of managing their own affairs, but from some cause unknown has since refused to grant them this boon, although
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authorised to do so by the home government. They are, however, promised a complete system of representative government three years hence, when a general assembly will be constituted for the whole three islands, consisting of two chambers--one appointed by the Crown, the other chosen by the people of the provinces, according to the proportion of their respective populations. Each province will also have a separate assembly, composed partly of persons named by the Crown, partly of members elected by the people. The General Assembly is to have the usual powers of a colonial parliament.
I am only sorry that I have not the ability to do this highly-favoured country justice in describing its many recommendations. I cannot say too much in its favour; and I sincerely hope that, under able management, it will be freed from the heavy clogs which have hitherto retarded its advancement, and, with the assistance of Providence, become the comfort-
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able and happy home of many thousands of our fellow-countrymen who are now wanting the common necessaries of life in England, and be a lasting monument to the memory of those who formed, and carried into execution, the praiseworthy undertaking of colonising this extensive and unaccountably neglected country.
C. WHITING, BEAUFORT HOUSE, STRAND.