1843 - Dieffenbach, Ernest. Travels in New Zealand [Vol.II] [Capper reprint, 1974] - Chapter IX: How to legislate for the Natives..

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  1843 - Dieffenbach, Ernest. Travels in New Zealand [Vol.II] [Capper reprint, 1974] - Chapter IX: How to legislate for the Natives..
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How to legislate for the Natives of New Zealand?

A feeling of regret is, I believe, very generally excited amongst thinking men, when they observe how little benefit has resulted to barbarous tribes from then- intercourse with the people of civilized nations. Not only does the bodily frame of the savage lose its health and manly beauty, his mind its instinctive acuteness and primitive resources, but, either by the more violent means of wholesale murder, or gradually, as if acted upon by a slow poison, the races diminish in numerical strength, until they cease to exist as nations or tribes. The philosopher in his study speculates on the causes of the disappearance of certain kinds of animals, by changes which have taken place in the physical condition of the globe, whether in the earliest or more recent periods. It is well known that, besides one division of natural history embracing the subject of living animals and plants, there exists another relating to those which are extinct, and for the investigation of which their fossil remains furnish us with materials; but it is not so generally known that we have proofs of similar extinctions

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continually going on, even down to the present times. In some cases the extermination of a species of animals seems to be connected with a plan of nature, which man can neither frustrate nor comprehend. The Apterix australis, which is deficient in what affords to a bird its principal protection--wings--and which, from laying but one egg in a season, does not multiply sufficiently to make up for the loss, could not resist the effects resulting from the introduction of the dog into New Zealand, and is now very nearly extinct. Another bird, the kakapo, which, judging from some feathers which I obtained, must have been a large and beautiful coocoo (Centropus), has not been seen for many years; indeed, it is only the oldest natives who have ever seen it; and they say that the cats which the Europeans brought into the island have destroyed this bird, which used to roost on the lower branches of trees. In other cases, when man has been aware of such an extinction going on, either absolutely or in a certain locality, and when his interest has been roused, he has succeeded in counteracting the process, or at least in retarding it. Thus the Bos urus, a large and powerful animal, which in the times of Tacitus lived in large herds in the countries inhabited by the Germanic and Sclavonic nations, was nearly exterminated in the beginning of this century, and all that remained were about 500 head in a forest in Lithuania. Protection was then afforded to these

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animals, the destruction was stayed, and their numbers have again increased. In these cases it has generally been the introduction of different species of animals or of man, and the physical changes thence resulting, that have occasioned the extermination of certain species which were unable to resist their effects. But man, I believe, does not stand in this position. All our researches into his history lead us to conclude that the races are not different in their origin, and forbid the idea of inferiority, and of the necessity of one race being superseded by another. I am of opinion that man, in his desires, passions, and intellectual faculties, is the same, whatever be the colour of his skin; that mankind forms a great whole, in which the different races are the radii from a common centre; and that the differences which we observe are due to peculiar circumstances which have developed certain qualities of body and mind. Man, even in the state of barbarism in which the Polynesian nations remain, is superior in many respects to a large proportion of the population of Europe. That he gives way before the European, and is gradually exterminated, whilst it shows our superiority in some points, shows also our deficiency in the arts of civilization and moral government, which disables us from uniting his savage simplicity and his virtues to what our state of society might offer to improve his condition, and which causes him merely to taste what is bitter in civilized life. But this by

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no means shows his inferiority: the lion that tears the deer into pieces is not therefore made of nobler material. We, who with "firewater," with the musket, and disease, war against the unoffending tribes of coloured men, have no right to talk of their inferiority, but should rather perceive a deficiency in our own state of civilization.

The subject of preserving the natives from extermination by the spreading of colonization has been the study of many excellent men; perhaps it has been thought more difficult than it actually is. If we dismiss the belief that there is something in their physical configuration or mental disposition to prevent their continuance when in contact with Europeans, or that there is any natural necessity for their giving way to another race, and if we are inclined to exercise what we profess by our laws and our religion, I see no difficulty in legislating for the different people amongst whom colonies have been established, although the minutiae of a legislative design must always be modified according to the different races. I think there can be little difference of opinion as to the general principles; but to adapt them to a particular country must be the result of a knowledge of the principal causes of the decay of the natives in that country. In the following pages I shall merely speak of the natives of New Zealand, and attempt to show how that fate can be averted which, in the opinion of many, seems inevitably to await them.

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There are already reasons for fearing an approaching conflict between the natives and the colonists, if the latter continue to be placed upon land belonging to the former, and for the peaceful and lawful acquisition of which no attempt even has been made. Up to the present time the energies of the New Zealanders to defend their rights have not been roused, and they have merely protested against the injustice; but, if left unprotected, the multitudes of Europeans pouring into their country will not intimidate them--they will rather fill them with suspicion, stimulate them to exertion, and convert them into open foes. And let not such an enemy be despised: the New Zealander is no coward; he can live in his impenetrable forests, where no European can follow him; he can cut off all chance of colonization, especially if necessity teaches the tribes to forget their own dissensions and to be strong by union.

And yet, of all the nations of the Polynesian race, the New Zealanders show the readiest disposition for assuming in a high degree that civilization which must be the link to connect them with the European colonists, and ultimately to amalgamate them.

This disposition is especially the result of the nature of their country. If in the islands situated between the tropics Nature has been profuse in her gifts, yielding spontaneously, or with little exertion on the part of man, all the necessaries of life,

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man has at the same time become there more effeminate, and less inclined to great bodily or mental exertion. Where the climate is so genial, clothes are superfluous, and houses of a complicated construction are not wanted. Agriculture--that corner-stone of an advanced state of civilization. --remains in its infancy; and the cattle, roaming at large, destroy the young cocoa-nut and bread-fruit trees. The milk of the cocoa-nut serves the natives instead of that of the cow; bread-fruit, bananas, yams, and taro, are all highly farinaceous, and take the place of the cerealia of Europe. The acquaintance with European luxuries, and the creation of artificial wants, have not made these islanders healthier or happier than when they lived upon the bounties of Nature.

How different is the case with the natives of New Zealand! Their country produces spontaneously scarcely any indigenous articles of food; all these they have to plant, with much labour: their climate is too severe to allow of their dispensing with clothes or with substantially constructed houses, to obtain both of which they are obliged to exercise their mental and bodily faculties; and they have, therefore, become agriculturists, with fixed habitations. They are not, indeed, as cleanly as the natives of the favoured islands to the north, but that is a consequence of their climate and their poverty. If the first contact with Europeans produced an injurious effect upon their health, in consequence of the entire change

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in their food and mode of living, every succeeding step is a gain to them; every advance in the knowledge of our system of husbandry and of our manufactures increases their bodily welfare; every mental acquirement gratifies their ardent desire for information. The division into separate castes, which we find more or less in the Polynesian nations, as derived from Asia, is very indistinct in New Zealand, where there is more of the shadow of it than of the reality; and this circumstance will facilitate their amalgamation with Europeans upon the broad principle of equality. Their family connexions--that first foundation of social life--that first and strongest link in the chain which binds men into a community --have with them a powerful influence. Among them also woman is on an equality with man, and enjoys the influence due to her position. The New Zealander has excellent reasoning powers; he has no deeply-rooted prejudices nor superstitions, although fond of contemplation. Formerly these people were very warlike, but they are now inclined to peace, and the greater part of them are Christians; they are friends of the Europeans, and particularly of the English, and have become reconciled to their taking possession of the country.

In consequence of the interest which the natives excited, Her Majesty's Government, in making New Zealand a British colony, acknowledged it as a prominent object to protect the native population in

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their inalienable rights. His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor was instructed to acquire the sovereignty from the native chiefs by means of treaty. This was done with a few tribes in the northern parts of the island, and with some individuals in the southern; but circumstances made it afterwards necessary, without consulting the wishes of the inhabitants, to assume at once the sovereignty over the three islands. This was a mere formal step to prevent other nations, or individuals, or bodies, from acquiring in any way sovereign rights. It could not imply any duties to be performed by the natives, nor any sacrifices to be made by them, before they had become fully acquainted with the duties of a citizen, and were able to participate in the benefits of the new organization. The measure was also unavoidable, for, the numerous tribes being perfectly independent of each other, it would otherwise have been necessary to send a commission over the whole country to acquire their consent. But, even in the case of a single tribe, the chief has no authority to give away what he does not himself individually possess; each of its members is the sovereign possessor of his own plot of ground, and to have the consent of all would have amounted nearly to an impossibility.

A far more important question for the Administration to settle is that of the territorial rights of the natives. I have shown that they are perfectly

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aware that they possess such rights. They disposed several years ago of the larger part of the islands to Europeans, and they acknowledge the titles of those who have purchased from them. It has been said that the natives are now strangers on the soil, that they have sold all their land, and that nothing remains to them. This is not quite the case. Well acquainted with the nature of their country and the capabilities of the soil in the different districts, they have generally retained such parts as were best suited for cultivation; but in some instances they have not made any such reserve. According to European law, the new proprietor would in these cases be entitled to remove the native inhabitants from their land; such, however, can never be allowed in New Zealand, and this point calls for the special interference of Government. The deeds of purchase have almost always been written in a foreign language and in a vague form, and the purchases were often conducted without a proper interpreter being present. Where the natives had made no particular reserve for themselves, the land was sold by them with the implied understanding that they should continue to cultivate the ground which they and their forefathers had occupied from time immemorial; it never entered into their minds that they could be compelled to leave it and to retire to the mountains. There was, perhaps, an understanding between the parties that the seller should not be driven off by the buyer; but this was

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verbal only, and not recorded in the written document. It would indeed be sad were the native obliged to trust to humanity, where insatiable and grasping interest is his opponent, and where the land has gone through ten different hands since the first purchaser, who perhaps bought it for a hundred pipes, and where not one of the buyers ever thought of occupying it. In transferring land to Europeans the natives had no further idea of the nature of the transaction than that they gave the purchaser permission to make use of a certain district. They wanted Europeans amongst them; and it was beyond their comprehension that one man should buy for another, who lived 15,000 miles off, a million of acres, and that this latter should never come to the country, or bestow upon the sellers those benefits which they justly expected. The most vital point in regard to the native inhabitants, where they occupy part of claimed land, and are inclined to retain it, is that the extent of such disputed land should be fixed by legal titles and boundaries, and that they should be protected in the possession of it against the cupidity of the Europeans.

Her Majesty's Land Commissioners, in deciding questions according to the letter of the deeds, where the native sellers do not dispute the legality of the title, cannot be aware of the hardship and injustice which in some cases they will entail upon native tribes. I will give one instance. An

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emancipated convict from Sydney bought from the natives a piece of land in one of the northern harbours of the island some ten years ago, and settled there. The natives continued to cultivate the best part of the land, which was not of very great extent; but the man sold the land to another European, with whom I visited the district when he went to take possession of his property. The natives acknowledged that the land had been fairly purchased, and declared their willingness to give up what they had not cultivated, but said that they had no other place to go to, and therefore begged to retain their cultivated ground. Now the commissioners, who will arrange this matter without visiting the spot, will probably decide the case in favour of the European. The latter told me that he would wait for this decision, and then turn the natives off! The New Zealand Company has cut the Gordian knot of native territorial rights by reserving to them a tenth, and afterwards an eleventh, part of all country and town sections which were sold. This plan, as regards the town allotments, was certainly very judicious and expedient, as the best means to procure a sufficient fund to be applied to the expenses of protecting and civilizing the natives. It was, however, an error to believe that they would at once occupy their town allotments, and would live in one community with the Europeans. It may be that single individuals will do so, but it will never be the case with the majority. What

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attractions can town-life have for them? Being unaccustomed and unwilling to drag on a life of labour and exercise, the native has no means of procuring in a town that which is necessary to enable him to equal even the lowest of our labourers in comfort and appearance. The chief, who thinks himself equal in station and importance to any gentleman, will not consent to send his son to the shoemaker, or tailor, or carpenter; and he would feel himself degraded if he should continue to live amongst enterprising European mechanics. It is true that some New Zealanders have learned a trade, that others have become domestic servants, and that still more have taken to a sea-faring life; but, generally speaking, they have the best chance of being preserved as a nation, and of becoming civilized, by following their own inclination, and becoming landed proprietors or peasants. Since Europeans have inhabited the island, that is, ever since the colony has been established, the natives have not only provided them with food, but have also supplied more than 150 vessels annually, and have freighted smaller vessels for New South Wales with pork, maize, and potatoes. They have increased their cultivations in proportion as emigrants have flocked to their shores, and they are wise enough to perceive that by these means they can procure what they want, and be independent of the Europeans, without sacrificing their nationality. They would especially be able to do this if they were

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supplied with the capital resulting from the sales of their town allotments, so as to become proprietors of live-stock. The cutting and squaring of timber, and the preparation of flax, are not contrary to their disposition, and I include these employments among the resources of a peasant.

I have always observed that the natives who hover about the settlements of Europeans are far inferior to those in the country: they are not only more unhealthy, but also become an ill-conditioned compound of the dandy, beggar, and labourer.

Distilled spirits, being in most extensive use in all the Australian colonies, and being, in fact, the chief source of the public revenue, have not failed to corrupt, mentally and bodily, the natives, as well as the European settler.

With regard to the above-mentioned arrangement, of reserving to the natives the tenth or eleventh part of the country lands, I do not mean to assert that that quantity of land is insufficient; on the contrary, it is more than is in any respect required for the present or for future generations. The point upon which I would insist is this, that they will not occupy the reserved land. They have their favourite places, generally not very available to Europeans. What an injustice would be committed if we were to take from them the land which they occupy, and which they have cleared, and were to restrict them to that portion which has fallen to them by a lottery in London, and thus

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perhaps to separate a tribe from the spot where they were born, where they have hitherto dwelt, and where they have buried their kindred! It must be at once obvious that, as a general principle, this plan of reserves is impracticable. If it were carried into execution with regard to all the land in New Zealand, the native share alone would be 5,000,000 acres--a quantity vastly greater than is wanted for a population, at the highest, of 115,000 souls.

To consult, therefore, not only the wishes of the tribes as to the place, but also their interest as to the quantity of land which is deemed sufficient for each of them, and to acknowledge their titles to such land, are measures which seem to result immediately from the nature of the circumstances, and should precede any adjudication of land to European claimants, or any further acquisition of it on the part of government. The natives form small tribes all over the country. It is in vain to expect that two tribes or more will ever amalgamate into one; but there is no doubt that, if each tribe is left in the possession of its own ground, the aborigines will more effectually become mixed with the Europeans than if there were larger native communities.

To carry this measure into effect it is necessary that the approximate population of each tribe should be ascertained; that it should be explained to them that they are at liberty to choose any spot which they may prefer, and that the rest is either given to the individuals to whom they have sold it, if the

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claims of the latter are found consistent with justice, or that it will return to them, and that they may sell it to government.

With regard to the quantity of land, it will be the duty of the commissioner to procure them a sufficiency; and as to what constitutes a sufficiency, I think that ten acres of arable land for each individual of the tribe, man, woman, or child, chief or slave, is ample. New Zealand is not adapted for pasture, but for agriculture; and, being a mountainous country, the quantity above mentioned will be very valuable. When the question of providing for the children of the missionaries was brought before the committee of the Church Missionary Society in London, two hundred acres for each child was thought to be a liberal allowance. It must, however, be observed that, in a country where there is such a great difference in the value of land, and where only cultivable land is valuable, as there is no natural pasturage, ten acres of arable land must be regarded as sufficient for all reasonable wants of an individual. On the other hand, if that quantity is not thought sufficient for the children of a missionary, who have no claims to the land, I should assert that it is not sufficient for a native, there being no reasonable ground for making a difference between them. As many of the natives will leave their tribe, and seek a livelihood amongst the Europeans, those who remain will benefit by their departure, as, according to the present established

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custom, such property, when abandoned by individuals, belongs to the tribe. It is, however, obvious that the commissioner of the native reserves must act in most cases according to circumstances.

Taking the population of both islands at 114,890 souls, the quantity of land which would have to be secured to them, allowing, as proposed, ten acres for each, would amount to 1,148,900 acres; and its distribution, according to the numbers in each tribe, would be as follows: --



Land in Acres.
















Nga-te-awa (a)....



Nga-te-awa (b)















Rangitane ...






With regard to the reservation of town allotments, I am of opinion that it would be much better if, instead of doing so, a certain sum from the proceeds of sales of town and country land were appropriated to the native population. It will make the duties of the commissioner too complicated if the allotments themselves are reserved, and will lead to controversies between him and the municipality,

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particularly in cases where a native reserve becomes desirable to the local administration, or for government purposes--an instance of which has already occurred. It is far better to treat with the natives for the purchase of their right in such a spot at once, than to have afterwards the disgusting spectacle of seeing the land, inch by inch, come by indirect means into the hands of the Europeans.

II. Her Majesty's ministers having decided that government should have the first right of purchasing the remaining land from the natives, there is the best possible opportunity for giving them in exchange for it such articles as will be of permanent and increasing value to them, and will raise their condition as peasants. In almost all the purchases of land which have been made by private individuals, the purchase-money consisted of guns, gunpowder, lead, blankets, tobacco, and pipes; and in several purchases which were made by government, flour and blankets formed the greater part of the payment. All these articles lose their value in a very short time, and are not of much advantage to the natives, as they can procure them by barter for their produce. Live-stock and agricultural implements are now the articles in greatest request, and, indeed, the most essential to their welfare. It would be expected that, having so many missionary establishments amongst them, they would already be in possession of stock; but this, except in one or two instances, is not the case; and the only way in

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which they will ever obtain it is, by a liberal payment for their land in stock, which can be very cheaply imported from South America, and in cattle from Sydney, if the prices at the latter place continue as low as they are now.

III. As a great many unions have taken place between Europeans and native women, and a number of half-caste children exist, whose mothers have often received a quantity of land as a dowry from their fathers, or as being their property by birthright, such land should remain the property of the mother and children.

The number of half-caste children exceeds 400 on the islands: and connections between Europeans and native women are generally fruitful.

Of all measures which could be proposed for the benefit of the aboriginal population, the most important is to leave them undisturbed in the possession of their old cultivated grounds, and in the enjoyment of their own manners and customs, as I have above recommended. The sudden exchange of their own habits of life for ours has always been followed by the result which might naturally have been expected, viz. their quick return to their kindred and their old habits. Placed amongst a European colonial community, a native, when he ceases to be an object of curiosity to us, is little regarded, unless he gives us his aid as our servant; and even as such he often finds himself curtailed in the recompense of his labour. He is soon made

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sensible of the differences of rank, and perceives that he is not treated as one who is made of the same flesh and blood as his master. Of all the better enjoyments of civilized life he is deprived, as in colonial society every one gives up his mind solely to the acquisition of money. In the lower orders, with whom he comes in contact, he can perceive nothing desirable, nothing to prevent his regretting that independence which he enjoyed in his own home, and from the fruits of his own land: he is expected to forget his language; in fact, all the sacrifices are on his side. In his own village, on the contrary, he lives in the midst of his kindred and is respected; nor are his means of subsistence so precarious as amongst the colonists: he is convinced that what he grows, and the manner in which he grows it, are the fittest for him, and the best adapted to his means, when compared with what he sees the Europeans doing, with all their vaunted intellect, as they have not the advantage of knowing, as he does, the nature of the soil and the climate of the country: and thus he will in time adopt what is desirable in his circumstances; he will by degrees be taught the value of civilization, and be able to appreciate its manifold advantages, without entailing on himself its miseries only.

IV. The internal division of such native reserves should be left to the tribe itself. I am well aware that there exist differences of rank amongst them,

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and that all the individuals of a tribe have not equal claims to its property. This, however, is no objection to the arrangement which I suggest. The tribes are small, their constitution nearly patriarchal: all who belong to one family work in common; and it seems to be advisable not to interfere with this. Wars having ceased, slavery will wear out in time; any interference in the latter respect would not be properly appreciated, either by the masters or by the slaves. The latter are now generally seeking their fortunes amongst the Europeans, in consideration of giving their master a part of their earnings, in return for which they are fed, and participate in the resources of the tribe. When the old generation dies off, this state of dependence will cease. When members of a tribe die without leaving heirs, the property should belong to the rest of the tribe.

V. There are, however, some cases in New Zealand in which the interference of the commissioner is required. These are, for instance, when a tribe has been conquered by another, and has been allowed to remain on the land, or has had some other place given it to inhabit. According to native customs, they have no right to the place in which they live. In such cases, a place of habitation and their freedom should be secured to them by treaty or by purchase from the conquerors, and the latter should be made aware that they must give up all pretensions to authority over their former foes, and

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that henceforth the government will defend their rights.

VI. The administration of justice within the limits of the tribe should be left to the natives. Crimes are very uncommon, although murders, resulting from superstition, sometimes happen. It is clear that instruction as to the deep guilt of this act, and an intimation that it is contrary to the laws of civilized nations, are the best means to prevent it in future. And I can bear witness that it requires very little labour to convince them of the enormity of this practice, and to make them discontinue it.

VII. To invest formally, and in an impressive manner, the principal men of a tribe with a certain degree of authority, to show these people that we regard them as capable of becoming civil functionaries, and to connect gradually the native administration of justice with the law of the country, seem to be the next steps to civilization. Each of these native functionaries should act as a magistrate in his own tribe, or as a constable in regard to European colonists, denouncing their aggressions to the proper authorities, securing runaways, and delivering them up for trial. Several instances have occurred in which natives have of their own accord secured runaway prisoners, and have brought them to the towns. In such cases, the usual reward should be given to the captors, and it should not be pleaded, as I have known it done, that a great benefit would be conferred upon them by retak-

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ing a prisoner and clearing their country of bad characters.

The native constable, or magistrate, who would thus be established in every tribe, must be paid; and it must be made his interest to further the views of government. The principal object in making the appointments should be, to show the natives that we treat them as we do Europeans. By thus manifesting that we believe them capable of fulfilling the duties of their commissions, we give to their self-esteem and to their sense of dignity that stimulus which renders them subservient to ulterior views for their own improvement. I would also recommend that a dwelling should be erected for the native magistrate in the principal village. I would furnish that dwelling with some of our domestic comforts, and by this means make the natives acquire a taste for the rest. A colony is established; all the Europeans soon have furnished and comfortable houses. In the neighbourhood lives a native tribe in slovenly huts; they have relinquished their own solid architecture, and have no means of competing with the Europeans. They continue to live in the old way, wandering from one patch of cultivated land to another, and constantly changing their place of abode. But if the chief, whose civil office will now add to his importance, is encouraged to build himself a house on his reserved ground, perhaps in an improved native style, a point of centralization will

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be given, the foundation-stone of a native village laid, around which the rest of the tribe will assemble, and under proper guidance will improve the roads and the agricultural capabilities of the surrounding country. It is very obvious that the colony at large would greatly gain by such an arrangement.

It might be objected that the missionary-house and church already form this central point of attraction; but these settlements in only a few cases are situated in places where the natives generally assemble and cultivate the land. Where they have been established in the midst of a native agricultural district, as for instance in Kaitaia, the improvement of the surrounding country and of the natives themselves strikes the observer at once.

VIII. The relations of the several tribes to each other should also occupy the attention of the commissioner. There are still some old differences between tribes, and several battles took place during my stay in New Zealand. It must, however, be observed, that a great number of the inhabitants of the islands are now Christians, and that the first result of this has been to abolish aggressory wars. In such a case the only steps which the commissioners could take would be to go immediately amongst the contending parties and dissuade them from hostile proceedings; to prevent these skirmishes by force would not always be in the power of government, even if it were advisable to do so.

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IX. It has often occurred to me that the advantages which would accrue to a new colony by a proper direction of the labour of a population of 114,890 souls has not been sufficiently considered. If work of any description is to be done, the making of roads and wharfs, the felling of timber, clearing of ground, and so on, the authorities will not take the trouble of superintending its execution by the natives; and the latter on their part are very cautious in taking contracts, and will only trust those parties who have gained their confidence: the principal cause of this is, that they are always expected to do the work at a very low rate of remuneration, in comparison to the high wages which are paid to Europeans, and that in some cases procrastination, if not deficiency, of payment has taken place. When once the confidence of the natives in such engagements is lost, it is very difficult to re-establish it. In New Zealand, where there is neither slave nor convict labour, and at the same time a great scarcity of free labour, the rapidity of its progress as a colony will in a very important degree depend upon the natives finding it their interest to exert themselves. I have seen them work very hard where they had this stimulus, or where they were otherwise well managed. In some instances in which timber was to be brought down from the sides of steep ravines, and along mountain-streams, where Europeans found the task impracticable, an equal number of natives easily accomplished it.

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Their powerful frames, their indifference to wet, and their habit of labouring unclothed, renders them, if once roused to exertion, particularly suited to such kind of work. If the tribe nearest the place where the work is to be done is unwilling to assist, it has often happened that a very distant tribe has engaged to perform it, and this has created no feeling of envy. In all cases, therefore, where public works suited to their powers are to be executed, an offer should be made to the natives on terms similar to those offered to Europeans; the nature of their engagement should be explained to them, and a written agreement drawn out. As it is probably intended to establish settlements in many different parts of the island, it would be advisable to establish the system of employing the natives some time before the scheme is put into execution, as this will not only facilitate the subsequent arrangements, but materially diminish the price of labour, and will, in fact, often be the only way to have works executed at all.

X. I believe that, even in their present state, the natives of New Zealand are well qualified to enjoy all the personal rights of British subjects. They are trustworthy when called upon to give evidence in public, as was fully shown in their depositions before the court for examining into land claims; and I believe they might with advantage be admitted into the land and sea service. Formerly many hundred natives served in British

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ships, especially in whaling-vessels and in the pilot-boats of Hobart Town and Sydney. But of late they have become very unwilling to serve, on account of the bad and humiliating treatment which they have received from the Europeans. In Her Majesty's forces this would not be the case: on account of the discipline which is kept up amongst soldiers, they are great favourites with the natives. The commissioner should inform them that, according to the laws, they will enjoy the same civil rights as British subjects, explaining to them the duties of such situations, and offering his assistance in procuring for them full participation in those rights.

XI. I have elsewhere mentioned the changes that have taken place in the physical condition of the natives since they have come in contact with Europeans. I have traced this effect to that alteration in their mode of living which their acquaintance with new kinds of food and clothing, and their altered occupations, have occasioned. I have seen many natives fall in the prime of life victims to diseases which, by early attention, could have been cured or averted. A surgeon was formerly employed by the Church Mission, but for the last few years his duties have been discontinued. The Church Missionary Society supplies medicines to its members, and there is much willingness amongst the missionaries to assist the natives. But everybody knows how much mischief is done by such an unprofessional system of "dispensing,

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bleeding, and blistering;" and besides, assistance is always refused if there is anything sexual in the disease. On the other hand, it is not medicine alone that is wanted, but advice and dietetical measures, with a few simples; and in a great many cases a medical man alone is able to form a correct judgment. In order to provide this aid for the natives, it would perhaps be advisable that the commissioners for the different provinces should be individuals having some degree of medical knowledge, that they should direct their attention to the state of health of the aborigines, that they should communicate to government a quarterly statement of the health of those intrusted to their care, and that they should issue a printed circular to all the natives of the district, informing them that they can obtain help on application.

To insure to the aboriginal inhabitants the means of livelihood, to protect them in the possession of their property, not merely by the letter, but by the spirit and most scrupulous application of the laws, to place them in all civil rights on a footing of equality with the Europeans, are no doubt among the first and most essential duties of the legislature. But, in a new and prominent effort of European enterprise, as the colonization of New Zealand will be, civilization ought likewise to show its usefulness by developing the slumbering faculties of a native population through instruction, and by rendering them gradually capable of participating

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in our arts and sciences. And here I am naturally led to speak of the exertions of the missionaries. There are at the present moment missions of three different sects in New Zealand--of the Church of England, of the Wesleyans, and of the Roman Catholics. The first, which is the oldest, and was established by a very excellent and pious man, the Rev. Samuel Marsden, in 1814, consists of the following stations: --

Stations of the Church Missionary Society in New Zealand.










Bay of Islands.


(a) Paihia.



(b) Tepuna.



(c) Kerikeri.



(d) Waikeri...



(e) Kororarika.






Frith of the Thames.


(a) Puriri



(b) Maraetai
















Port Nicholson


















There is also an inspector of the printing-office, who is one of the most useful members of the mission, and has an assistant.

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The Wesleyan mission, whose members are all ordained clergymen, consists of the following stations: --

Wesleyan Missionary Stations. -






















Cloudy Bay


This mission likewise employs a printer at the Mangungo press, Hokianga.

The Roman Catholic mission consists of a bishop and ten priests, one of whom is generally stationed at Wangaroa, one at Hokianga, one at the Bay of Islands, one at Tauranga, and one in the Southern Islands. In accordance, however, with the spirit of the Roman Catholic missionary system, they are generally without fixed places of abode; and the bishop, whose diocese extends over several archipelagos in the great ocean, is continually travelling from place to place, accompanied by priests.

There are, consequently, at the present moment forty-four missionaries employed in New Zealand; which, taking the population at 114,890 souls, gives one missionary for little more than 2500 natives. Their duties, however, are by no means equally distributed, as the places most remote from

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the Bay of Islands have but lately been occupied by them; and many densely populated districts have no missionaries at all. The expenses of the establishments of the Church society amount to nearly 17,000l. annually.

If asked to point out the fruits of employing such a large body of teachers, I should, from my own personal experience, answer as follows: --

The exhaustion produced by sanguinary wars during many years, and the necessity imposed upon the natives, by the influx of Europeans, to accommodate themselves to certain changes, have prepared the field to receive the seeds of Christianity. The most powerful lever in the hands of the missionaries was the printing of a translation of the Gospel, the Catechisms, and a few tracts. They gave the natives a language, by communicating to them the art of reading and writing, and, as the latter possess a great taste for such occupations, this knowledge spread throughout the country by mutual instruction, even in places where no missionary had ever been, and many thus became acquainted with the precepts of Christianity. It is not at places where the greatest number of teachers is found that there are the best Christians: on the contrary, the missions were generally established near the chief harbours, and the natives of such places are the worst in the islands. Christianity has not failed to exercise its inherent soothing and pacifying influence; but the assertion is not quite correct that the mis-

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sionaries have cleared the way for the settlement of Europeans, as in almost all cases they have been preceded by European adventurers, who dwelt in safety amongst the natives for many years before any missionary made his appearance. Their efficiency would undoubtedly have been greater if they had shared the adventurous spirit of the settlers, and had lived amongst the interior tribes, instead of dwelling many together on the coasts and in harbours, where so many things counteract their efforts.

The New Zealand mission having been first established as a trial of the so-called civilizing principle, many men were chosen who, although otherwise respectable, could not, from their limited education, and their somewhat low views of the apostolical character of their mission, be expected to dedicate themselves entirely to the business of their call. The consequence has been, that many of these older missionaries have become landed proprietors; and many, by other pursuits, such as banking, or trading with the produce of their gardens or stock, have become wealthy men. Their influence upon the native character would have been the same if they had been sent out and supported merely as colonists, and with no higher pretensions than their station of life entitled them to.

The acquisition of land by these individuals is the reason why the whole body has been so much abused, although the fault lay only with a few. It cannot be doubted that, in a country where each

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strives to outdo his neighbour in the accumulation of worldly treasures, often setting aside all other considerations, the missionaries should have endeavoured to counteract this tendency, by confining themselves to their proper sphere as civilizers and instructors, especially as, in opposition to other Europeans, they professed themselves imbued with the highest Christian principles of humility and disinterestedness. They ought to have expected that to be seen foremost in mercantile pursuits would diminish their credit with the natives, and put a weapon into the hands of their adversaries. Nobody would have grudged them or their children the possession of as much land as they could possibly have required for their own use; but the belief prevalent in Europe, that the missionaries cultivate the chief part of the land which they possess, is very erroneous; I do not believe that more than sixty acres are in cultivation by missionaries or their sons in the whole of New Zealand; and as that country is not a pastoral, but purely an agricultural one, the quantity of land which they have claimed, as being requisite for the support of their families, is infinitely too large. Eleven missionaries, the only ones who had given in their claims to the land commissioners when I left New Zealand, demanded 96,219 acres! and four others had not yet submitted their claims, which I doubt not will be equally large. Some of these persons are now retiring on their property, and their sons have become

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so independent as to refuse lucrative situations under government, for which, had they been properly educated, they would have been particularly qualified, as being masters of the native language.

I will insert here a list, which will show in what proportion the land thus claimed is distributed amongst the individuals in question.

Religion has been at all times the most effective civilizing power, and it evinces a gross ignorance of facts to deny that missions conducted according to pure exalted conceptions of the divine Author of Christianity are the best outposts of the intercourse of Europeans with uncivilized nations. The natives of New Zealand may fairly claim to be placed on an equality with the colonists as regards their religious wants. Many of the missionaries are excellent and disinterested men; and although only a few of them have had the advantage of a university education, they seem to be perfectly qualified for holy orders, and to officiate as clergymen.

The Wesleyan missionaries are not allowed to purchase land, but are restricted to an allotment sufficient for the wants of their families. Their success amongst the natives has been quite as great as that of their brethren of the Church of England.

The Catholics evince in New Zealand, as everywhere, the restless spirit of proselytism, and there results from this the singular spectacle of a lively controversy on religious points being carried on

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Table of the Land claimed by Missionaries in New Zealand.

Besides these claims, the missionaries Shepherd, Hamlin, Puckey, and the former missionary surgeon, Ford, claim large districts; so that the quantity of land, exclusive of that which has been bought by the Church and Wesleyan missions as bodies does not amount to less than 130,000 acres.

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amongst the Protestant and Catholic natives. The humble and disinterested manner of living of the priests, and the superior education which they have generally received, have procured them many friends both amongst Europeans and natives, and also many converts amongst the latter.

It probably is not to be expected that other branches of useful knowledge will be imparted to the natives by the missionaries, and in this case their knowledge of reading and writing places in the hands of native commissioners the best means of imparting instruction by the all-powerful press. The schoolmaster is not so much wanted in New Zealand as books, which travel through the country, and are read and understood by young and old, if they are written with a knowledge of the native capabilities, which, by the bye, are not to be estimated very low. For the composition or translation of such books the native language is perfectly sufficient, as it admits the formation of new words on a native basis. This has already been done to a great extent in the translation of the Scriptures. The commissioner should cause to be published not only all acts of government, but also information on English laws, books for children and for adults, and so on. Every one must be struck with the assiduity and perseverance with which mutual instruction is carried on amongst the natives; they will often sit for hours together criticising the meaning of a phrase in their books. In this man-

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ner we can permit them to partake of the enjoyments and instructions of civilized life, without mixing them up with ourselves, where their pride and self-esteem must be often sorely offended.

As to what books ought to be printed, I think a judicious selection from the 'Penny Magazine' would be one of the best and cheapest provisions that could be made.

It has been asked whether it would not be very desirable to educate some youths--perhaps the sons of chiefs--in this country. I believe that such experiments never had any very good result. Our climate, and our artificial manner of living--so different from what the natives are accustomed to--are generally very injurious to their health; and, instead of contributing to their welfare, we render them miserable. This is the principal objection: but there is another; a man thus educated, if he do not possess a very superior understanding, could do no more good to his countrymen at large than a European, who has already these acquirements, and likewise a knowledge of the native language. With regard to the youths sent to England being selected from the sons of chiefs, I should say that, from the small difference which exists in the rank of the New Zealanders, it is very immaterial for ultimate usefulness whether any attention is paid in this country to the distinction between a chief and a slave. It has been the custom amongst missionaries to employ native catechists: these should

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be encouraged, and be made the means of imparting knowledge to the children and youths. Many of these catechists are to be found who have grown up near the missionaries, and who are competent and willing to enter into every measure for the improvement of their countrymen.

The whole system of effectually protecting and gradually civilizing the natives of New Zealand may therefore be reduced to the following simple points: --

1. Security in their titles to the land which they occupy, provided such land is a sufficiency.

2. Purchase of their remaining land by payment in live-stock.

3. Security of the property of the children of Europeans by natives.

4. The internal arrangement of all the reserved landed property to be left to the natives themselves.

5. No purchases of such land by Europeans to be valid, nor under any condition to be occupied for government purposes.

6. Procuring by treaty or purchase a sufficiency of land for conquered tribes, who are henceforth to be under the protection of government.

7. The administration of justice within the limits of the tribe, and amongst themselves, to be left, for the present, to the natives.

8. Publishing a short code in their own language, which shall be simple enough to be in harmony with their rude state of society and their wants, but of

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such a progressive character as to allow the gradual and complete introduction of English laws.

9. Investing the principal man of a tribe with a civil function -- that of magistrate or constable.

10. Construction of a house for him in an improved native style.

11. Preventing collision between tribes, not by force, but by persuasion.

12. In employing and paying them for public works, the natives to be placed on equal terms with Europeans.

13. Their admittance into the navy and army.

14. Provision of medical aid for them.

15. Equality of the natives with Europeans regarding their religious wants, and the providing teachers for all the tribes.

16. The establishment of a printing-press in New Zealand, and a regular supply of small books in the native language.

The ruling spirit of English colonization is that of absolute individuality. It is unwilling in its contact with foreign nations to acknowledge any other system than its own, and labours to enforce on all who are under its control its own peculiar principles. This has been most destructive to the native races, as might be expected from the sudden and violent change which was demanded from them; and hence principally it is that no amalgamation has taken place between the aborigines of America, of Australia, or of Van Diemen's Land, and the Eng-

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lish emigrants, but the original inhabitants have either disappeared or greatly decreased in number and natural vigour. The East Indies may perhaps be cited in disproof of this opinion, but they can scarcely be termed colonies in the true sense of the word. In our Asiatic possessions the number of Europeans is too small to effect extensive changes; the natives are possessed of a civilization and a religion of their own, which through ages have taken deep root, and, consequently, were not so easily affected by foreign influence; whilst at the same time, by a wise policy, our civil and religious institutions were never in any way forced upon them. To India, therefore, what I have said above does not apply.

If in New Zealand a too violent change is introduced at once, if the natives are forced to live amongst the Europeans in towns, or if they are driven from their cultivated lands to others, their future prospects will be gloomy; if, on the contrary, a strong protective administration watches over their interests against the baneful selfishness of colonial schemers, if their intellect is judiciously improved by good and useful books, --then indeed I believe that it will be possible for them to continue in the midst of a prosperous and thriving colony, until in the course of time they become amalgamated with it.

The Abbe Raynal says, in his 'History of the Establishments and of the Commerce of the Euro-

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peans in both Indies,' when speaking of the aborigines of Brazil, that l'amour de la patrieis an artificial sentiment peculiar to our state of society, and unknown to the man who lives in a state of nature. The French humanist would have found it difficult to define where, amongst the many nations inhabiting the earth, civilization ends and barbarism begins, or to prove that this feeling really decreases as we descend from the most highly civilized nations, as they are termed, to those which are less civilized. It seems to me that this assertion of the Abbe is contrary to all historical experience. I would say, on the contrary, that a man's love of his native land is much stronger in a state of nature than in an artificial society! Does not the savage desire to die on the spot where he has hunted, and to be buried in the same grave as his kindred? And does not the philosopher, on the other hand, smile at all this, and pride himself on his cosmopolitism? Did not the ancient Britons and Germans right obstinately against all-subduing Rome out of love for their country? And does not the extirminating warfare which is carried on at this moment by a slave-holding republic against the Seminole Indians result from a violation of the territorial rights of the latter by intruding and reckless adventurers? But if in a native the love of his country is much stronger than in a colonist, if all his recollections, all that gives him strength to defend the soil of his fathers, are identified with

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the land in which he was born, and which is as it were a part of himself; is it not a disgrace to our civilization to allow him to be oppressed by strangers, who have no interest in the country, no regard or attachment towards it, beyond its money value? If we deem ourselves a nobler race, why not act as the gardener does, who grafts upon the wild pear-tree a twig from a nobler stem, and so gives it the durability and higher qualities which he is anxious to propagate? The system of exterminating the original races is a gross and a fearful mistake in the management of modern English colonies. Not only have their traditions and remembrances died with them, which would supply the place of their history, and would relieve the insipid character of these purely trading communities, but the principle of stability and of patriotism has also been destroyed. The natives have universally showed a far nobler attachment not only to their country, but also to its European discoverers, and to the first colonists, than the imported race of shopkeepers, who only strive to dissolve the ties which should bind them to the land of their birth, and who pride themselves on their own ignorance regarding everything that belongs to the original inhabitants. The natives, properly controlled, would be a far better bulwark against the aggressions of other nations than the colonists themselves. And it is remarkable that those advantages are never taken into account which would ensue to the mother

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country by a largely consuming native population fulfilling at once two of the grand objects of colonization--first, that of opening new markets for British manufactures; and secondly, which is still more important, converting in the course of a few years an island of savage tribes into an integral portion of Great Britain, emulous to resemble its parent land in wealth, happiness, strength, knowledge, civilization, and Christian virtues.

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