1861 - Bunbury, T. Reminiscences of a Veteran [New Zealand chapters] - CHAPTER V, p 173-207

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  1861 - Bunbury, T. Reminiscences of a Veteran [New Zealand chapters] - CHAPTER V, p 173-207
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Captain Fitzroy and Acting-Governor Shortland--Temporary Charge of the Government undertaken by the Officer Commanding the Troops--A Deputation arrives from New Plymouth--Right of property in Land--How acquired by Natives --The Waicato and Nyetewatua Tribes--An European purchases Land from the Natives in direct contravention of the Right of Pre-emption of Her Majesty--Thefts committed by the Natives--Consequences of the Conviction of one of the inferior Chiefs--Conduct pursued by Governor Fitzroy's government--Insecurity of Europeans and their Property--Appointed to command the Troops in New Zealand--Financial Measures and receive the thanks of the European Inhabitants and Public Officers on leaving the Colony.

THE conduct of Captain Fitzroy, R. N., on assuming the Government of New Zealand, was anything but dignified towards his predecessor, who now again reverted to his old appointment of colonial secretary.

He appeared determined to wound that officer's feelings as much as possible, in order to induce him to resign his appointment, and he succeeded.

The President of the Agricultural Society had drawn up some very able reports for the information of settlers. He had been an officer, and assistant-surgeon in the royal artillery prior to his appointment as colonial surgeon, and most

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people supposed that this person would succeed; but the appointment was given to Dr. Sinclair, a surgeon in the navy; a very good man, and who turned out to be a very good man of business, but he was unknown, and without experience. Of this it seems the Governor had his misgivings.

At a large evening tea-party at Government House, (for they never gave a dance, to the great dissatisfaction of the ladies of Auckland) I was beckoned by Governor Fitzroy to follow him into a private room, and he then told me the great difficulty he had in finding a person to undertake the charge of the Government, during his absence. The officers, he feared, would be quarrelling with one another; if, however, I would undertake the charge, he was sure they would all obey me and do their utmost to further the public service. I replied my instructions were to afford the Government every assistance in my power, and that I was desirious of so doing; but I must beg to remind him that the charter of the colony precluded the officer commanding the troops from exercising the duties he now required of me; and, also, that I was under military orders to be in readiness to return to Sydney as soon as my detachment should be relieved, which was daily expected, and I could not think of remaining behind the detachment. He then said he had

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foreseen the first difficulty, and he would give me a written authority on his own responsibility, and also a sealed letter, should it be disputed, which I was to open only if required, and in which I should have ample authority. Regarding the second difficulty, he did not expect I should be relieved so soon as I expected, but of course, were the case otherwise. I should be at liberty to return with the troops.

Of course I felt obliged to undertake the duty, and knowing the low state of the colonial finances, I told him I would not claim any allowance for the extra duties imposed upon me.

The charge of the public offices was now handed over, and his private secretary was instructed to afford me any assistance, and to supply me with any document I might require. I was further told to act in every thing according to my own judgment. He did not think it necessary to give me instructions. The Government pinnace, he said, he expected in the harbour daily, and when she arrived he wished me to send the Protector of Aborigines in her to the Mercury Islands, Mercury Bay, to inquire into the conduct of some natives, who had destroyed a fishing establishment and buildings belonging to some Europeans, during their absence from the island; the natives setting fire to their dwelling and the

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sheds, where they were in the habit of drying their fish.

The following is a copy of the letter addressed to me by the Governor on his leaving the station, the sealed instruction I of course subsequently returned to him unopened.

Government House, Auckland, Aug. 18, 1844.


During my temporary absence from the seat of Government, it is my direction that you take upon yourself the charge of acting here as my deputy in my place, and that you do all that in your discretion may appear to be for the good of the colony under my charge, and not in contravention of the law, or instructions already made public.

I have the honour, &c, &.

R. FlTZROY. Governor.
Major Bunbury, Commanding the Troops New Zealand.

I attended punctually every morning at the Governor's office, and by adopting a systematic course of proceeding, found I got through a deal of business. I do not think that anything was allowed to fall in arrear during Captain Fitzroy's absence. I made every case originate at the Colonial Secretary's office, and be registered there when decided upon, unless it might be a mere

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departmental detail of the Surveyor General, or other public officer.

The Colonial Secretary, Dr. Sinclair, attended every morning, with any application, report, or complaint, he might have received, with such explanation as he was enabled to afford, written in the margin. When this was not satisfactory, I wrote underneath the nature of any further information I required, and the parties capable of giving it were ordered to be applied to.

It sometimes happened, when the answers were received, that a further application was to be made to some of the public departments, such as to the Protector of Aborigines, the Surveyor General, or to a district magistrate living at a distance; but the whole of these documents were appended to the original claim, and when it involved a point of law, I used to direct the whole proceeding to be sent to the Colonial Legal Adviser, the Attorney General, and on receiving his opinion, also appended, the case was decided upon, and the result communicated by the Colonial Secretary to the parties concerned. The proceedings were then registered, and deposited in the Colonial Secretary's office, and might at any time be referred to.

A singular case occurred shortly after the departure of the Governor. A writ of ne exeat regno was about to be served on Mr. Shortland, the late Colonial Secretary, who had taken a passage for

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himself and family for England, by a bankrupt merchant, member of council, the purchaser of the selected allotment of the former. A large sum had been paid on first entering on possession, and the remainder was to be paid within a certain period, and as soon as the title deed was received from the Government. On the strength of this agreement, a considerable outlay in buildings on the premises had been made by the occupant. Some intimation of this affair had been received by the Home Government, and in a despatch recently received by the Governor, he had been instructed by the Secretary of State to put up this allotment for public competition at auction; but in consequence of the buildings erected upon it, other interests were now involved, and I suppose he was afraid to grapple with the subject, or to permit me to do so; for the despatch was no where to be found. It had been hidden, or taken away. A copy, however, was shewn me, and I at once saw the importance of acting with promptitude, on the Secretary of State's letter, and that every day's delay would render the case more difficult to deal with.

I accordingly ordered the allotment to be advertised for sale on a specified day, the upset price to be what Mr. Shortland had paid for it. Both parties were dissatisfied and remonstrated. I told

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them that the Secretary of State's order was peremptory, and must be complied with.

I did not choose to say so, but it struck me that the case was very simple. Had there been any competition, on account of the value of the buildings, the Government would have been easily persuaded to give up the increased sum as a compensation to the injured party; but of this there was little fear, as few persons had at that period so large a sum to speculate with, and therefore I incurred little risk or responsibility; the property was knocked down to Mr. Shortland, the original purchaser. I then advised him to tender it at once to the merchant, and demand the balance due, which the other being unable to pay, their previous contract became of course null.

After the return of the troops from Tauranga, the tribes in the vicinity of Auckland, and indeed all over the country, were in a very unsettled state, so much so, that I thought it advisable to recommend the force to be increased in the following letter, addressed to Lieut-General Sir M. O'Connell.

Government House, Auckland, Jan. 25, 1844,


A deputation arrived here yesterday from New Plymouth, and from a memorial from the inhabitants, it would appear that district is in a very un-

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settled state, the natives having assembled in considerable numbers, and menaced by threats of violence to oppose the location of any settlers on their land, and in one instance firing the dwelling of a European.

Although I do not apprehend a continuance of these disorders, or any immediate outbreak in that neighbourhood, from the fortunate circumstance of the Governor having sailed in the "North Star" some days ago, with an intention of visiting that settlement, troops being also at hand at Wellington, yet I do apprehend some very serious disturbances will yet eventually take place between the European inhabitants of the Company's settlement, and the natives of Cook's Straits; from the position this Company has placed itself in, by so slightly regarding the claims of the natives, and by not legally establishing their asserted purchases, as a preliminary step towards settling, or letting the lands.

It is not for me to enter further into details on these matters; but in the absence of the Governor, as the officer commanding the troops in this colony, I would beg respectfully to suggest to your excellency, that the force at Auckland should, with as little delay as possible, be augmented to one hundred rank and file, in order to have a force of fifty or sixty men available for any part of the colony where their services may be temporarily required.

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I have sent Lieut. Bennett, the commanding engineer, to Wellington, to renew arrangements for the accommodation of the detachment of the 96th regiment stationed there, the period for which their present quarters was lent to them by Colonel Wakefield, the Company's agent, having nearly expired.

I fully concur with the Governor, that it will now be necessary to retain a detachment of troops at Wellington, and by decree of his Excellency, I have ordered Lieut. Bennett to prepare a plan and estimate for a fortified barrack, capable of containing one hundred men, with a small magazine and hospital accommodation in proportion.

Lieut. Bennett will wait upon his Excellency at Wellington, in order to select a site proper for this purpose, and Deputy-Assistant-Commissary-General Lardner's services being necessary at that station, I have availed myself of your Excellency's' permission to send him there.

I have the honour, &c, &c.

Major 80th Regiment, Commanding Troops in New Zealand.

To understand properly the nature of the proprietorship of the land at Taranaki or New Plymouth, and even that on which the town of Auckland was built, and the immediate vicinity, it may be necessary to observe that the very

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powerful tribe of Waikato, had quite depopulated both these districts, carrying what inhabitants remained of the former into slavery; and selling their lands to the Europeans. The tribe of Nyetewatua were also dispossessed of their lands, but a few, with their chiefs Kawau and Paul, were permitted to remain in the neighbourhood of what afterwards became Auckland. All these lands were likewise sold by the chief Wetera, or by the Auki te Werra Werra (Auki a kind of high priest or Pope among the natives). The part round Auckland, to a Mr. White of Kaipara, who again sold it to Captain Symonds, the son of the surveyor-general of the navy. But Captain Symonds having been afterwards unfortunately drowned in the harbour of Manukao, before his claim had been submitted to the commissioners of land-claims, his property reverted back to any of the tribes who chose to take it.

This land was now by far the most valuable in New Zealand. Yet out of these simple elements, Captain Fitzroy, by his Utopian schemes of philanthropy and wavering policy, contrived to find the materials for creating dissension between the native and white populations. Had the Christian teachers, as stated in Captain Fitzroy's pamphlet, page 30, when they prevailed upon the Waikato tribe to give the Taranaki natives liberty to return to their own land, explained to them also, that

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the land had passed into other hands, having been sold by their masters, who had in those days the undoubted right, to do so, they would have gone down there a useful body of labourers to assist the white population, the present occupiers, or they might have been suffered to locate on allotments not yet sold. The persuasion of the Missionaries backed by the threat of the Waikato tribe, to march them all back again if they molested the European occupants, would have had, I have no doubt, the desired effect, as it perfectly agreed with their own customs and notions of native rights.

The Queen's right of pre-emption, as conceded in the treaty of Waitanghi, having been maintained so long, could not be given up to the natives without doing a manifest injustice to the European settlers, who had purchased land from government at a minimum price of one pound per acre.

It could now be had from the natives at five shillings, of a far more valuable quality. As they had been accustomed to sell their land in large blocks to the Government, at the rate, on an average, of one farthing per acre, and were now able to obtain a higher price, their cupidity was excited to claim land already sold, on the plea that the purchase had not been made of the proper owner.

Hence also disputes now became endless. The

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first purchase made by a European from the natives near Auckland of this kind, I conceived would end in the man's ruin, and I satisfied myself by cautioning him, and making, in the absence of the governor, a report of the circumstances to Lord Stanley, the Secretary of State for the Colonies. This I did in the following despatch.

Auckland, Feb. 12, 1844.

My Lord,

As illustrative of the grievances in this colony, to which some of the purchasers of land are so prone to subject themselves, regardless of the embarrassment their conduct may occasion the local government, I have the honour to submit, for your lordship's perusal, the translation of a letter addressed to the chief protector of aborigines, by the chief of the tribe of natives, who are located in the immediate suburbs of Auckland.

In July last, great apprehension was entertained lest the two tribes, who are located in the suburbs of Auckland, should go to war with each other on account of some disputed land, which one party (the Waikato natives under the Auki Te Werra Werra) asserted was theirs by right of conquest, and stated that the others had located themselves on the establishment of the British rule only on sufferance; whilst the other tribes under Kawau

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and Paul asserted that the Chief Wetera had been invited to live peaceably amongst them; but not to cultivate, or assume property in the land to the extent they were doing.

Some explanation took place between the chiefs, which ended by the allies of the one party brought from Kokouja returning peaceably to the homes, and in an amicable adjustment.

The natives of the country are considered excellent judges of the soil best suited for cultivation. The fine, well wooded district, fronting the entrance of the harbour between the Touraki ruins and Auckland, now in dispute, forms a striking proof of their discernment. This district is also remarkable for the splendour of its scenery, and were it not for their erratic mode of cultivating patch after patch, as the wood is burnt off and destroyed, there would be more than sufficient ground for ten times their number; but as it is, they have resisted until now any overture of the government to purchase any part of this desirable district. The Chief Wetera of the Waikato tribe, complained of by Kawau and Paul, is, however, now selling this land to a great extent to Europeans, who are stated to be making purchases by depositing 20 per cent on the sum agreed for; the native chiefs in return promising them, at a future period, possession. These proceedings, if permitted, will not only end in the total expulsion

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of the natives from the district, but it will also inflict a great injustice on the purchasers of land from the government, and be productive of endless litigation.

I have not thought it necessary, at the present stage, to republish the proclamation dated 30th January, 1840, or any other as the governor, on his return, will doubtless, take steps to put an end to these speculations.

I have, &c, &c.

Major 80th Regiment, for the Government.

Protector's Office, Auckland, Feb. 10, 1844.


I have the honour to enclose and transmit to you for the information of his Excellency the Governor, translations of two letters from the Chief Kawau and Paul of the Nyetewatua tribe, protesting against the Chief Te Wetera, taking possession of his lands, and selling them to Europeans.

I have, &c, &c.

Chief Protector of Aborigines.
The Honorable the Colonial Secretary.

Friend Clarke,

This is what I have to say to you. Our land is

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taken by Te Wetera. This taking of our land has no foundation or root (of equity). This is the ground or foundation. A word from our parent, since deceased. His word was this. He said to them, (Wetera and his people), here reside and cultivate food for yourselves, in order that you may be near the Europeans. This was his speech which we all agree, that they should settle by sufferance on the land of the other men (meaning our land). Mr. Clarke--On Friday, Kawau went to Remuerra, when Wetera got up, and said the land was for him. His speech was very obstinate, or determined, about taking for himself a residence. Kawau then arose, when Edward Meurant said to Kawau your speech is wrong, sit down.

This is Kawau's speech for us only in our land. This is our speech also. All of us said we say to you, that this is our land as long as we live, whan we leave it to our children. Mr. Clarke, chief protector.

From PAUL.

Friend, Mr. Clarke,

Saluting you. Listen to what I have to say about Remuerra. Wetera has sold it to the Europeans; but I say, I will not let my land go for him. If Wetera persists I shall be mischievous; that is all. This is to let you know, that I shall be mischievous.


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This tribe did become mischievous, but in a different way from what might be supposed.

The natives had lately acquired a habit of pilfering the shops of articles they pretended they wanted to purchase. One merchant, in particular, had been more victimized than the others, and as it was very difficult to obtain redress when natives were concerned, he determined to force a case on the Government, with evidence so clear, that all the ingenuity of the protector's should not be able to screen the culprit. An inferior chief was accordingly soon detected in the act of stealing a forage cap, and was apprehended. When his trial came on, a number of his tribe were in the court, but when the sentence was delivered, they sprang into the dock and carried the prisoner off. It was evident they had come armed with tomahawks hidden under their blankets and dress, and the outrage was immediately reported to me by the magistrates. The plan of the Government would have been to let the man escape, and take no further notice of the matter. The natives would thus have been encouraged to the committal of fresh outrages, and perhaps in the end the settlers would have taken the law in their own hands; finding redress could not be obtained by other means.

This, however, was not my view of the means to be adopted. Seeing six canoes pulling with

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great vigour against wind and tide towards the Pa of Kawau, I concluded at once that the rescued prisoner was with them, and collecting a few armed soldiers, we sprang into some boats on the beach and pulled immediately off in pursuit, desiring the next senior officer to follow with the remainder of the force and the magistrates by land.

We could not come up with the canoes until they reached the land, when I found that the whole proceeding had been a mere stratagem to draw my attention from the party, who were conveying the prisoner away by land; to enable him on reaching the bush, to conceal himself and escape.

A native who had been in one of the canoes, commenced loading his musket. I, however, ran up to him, wrenched it out of his hands and beating the stock against the ground broke it to pieces, throwing the stock one way and the barrel another. I then gave the man and the chief Kawau's son, who had also been in the canoe in charge of a sergeant, whom I ordered to convey both with the six canoes back to Auckland without delay, or waiting for the rest of the party. By this time the party with the magistrates, and that portion of the tribe who had made the rescue, also arrived with the old chief. Kawau came to me apparently in a great fright to express his regret at what his people had done, and when I said that I must take him a prisoner with me to

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Auckland; he said he would go if I would only promise not to put him in the wari hari hari, (prison), but the moment he attempted to follow me, the tribe became, as it were, frantic; one fellow in particular, commenced his war dance with the most hideous contortion of countenance: He seemed, when so doing, to cause so much excitement amongst the others, that I went up to him, leaving the chief, and endeavoured to get from him his tomahawk, but this he would by no means allow, drawing back his arm. However, on my shewing him the point of my sword, which was exceedingly sharp, and telling him it was my determination to run him through if he did not cease his capers, he stopped; but after I released my hold, on the old chief attempting to follow me, he recommenced. The women of the tribe were by far the most noisy. I was much pleased at the conduct of some of our men, who were ready to pick off any of the natives who might attempt violence; holding their muskets ready for that purpose. I then told the magistrates that I could serve the writ if they wished it, but not without bloodshed. On consulting together, they thought it better not to arrest the chief; particularly as he had promised them that the prisoner should be brought back to Auckland in a day or two.

On returning to Auckland, the magistrates

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thought it would not be necessary to detain the chief's son. He was accordingly released the next day, and the canoes were detained until the prisoner should be given up.

The tribe of Te Wetera immediately volunteered their services to bring the tribe of Kawau and Paul to their senses, which of course I would not permit, although I believe they would have been too glad to have again possessed themselves of their lands in the neighbourhood of Auckland.

Many reports were now circulated that the natives were about to attack the Europeans, particularly the soldiers at Auckland, and in order to tranquillise the inhabitants, I had the barrack yard strengthened, and alarm posts assigned to the inhabitants. What made this report more generally believed was, that the natives had suddenly bought up all the gunpowder they could get, and such was the cupidity of the shop-keepers, that not a pound was to be found in the place, although they knew they might require it themselves.

As a mark of attention to Mrs. Fitzroy, although I had no fears myself, I called at Government House, to point out the church and brick building under the fire of the barracks, as a place for her to retire to, should she think it necessary. Mrs. Fitzroy had in the morning sent her children with their governess on board a schooner, laying

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in the harbour. She was the daughter of General O'Brien, who came out from England with them. I cannot easily forget her answer. "My children with their governess are safe on board, and you are greatly mistaken, if you think that I have any personal fears for myself. I am a soldier's daughter. My father will not leave Government House, and whilst he chooses to remain, I will not shew myself so unworthy as to abandon him; give yourself no trouble on that account."

No natives made their appearance excepting those about the streets at their usual occupation. Kawau sent to me to be allowed to come to Auckland, and apologize to me for the conduct of his people, but I told him to remain where he was until the return of the Governor; for should he come to Auckland, it would be my duty to arrest him. He was a good old fellow, and we had hitherto been great friends.

On the return of the Governor, I expressed my satisfaction at the cordial support afforded me by all the government officers, with the exception of the Protector of Aborigines, on whose account nothing had been done with regard to the complaints of the owners of the fishery at Mercury Island. The subject was evidently distasteful to the Governor, and the Protector's conduct, passed unnoticed. With regard to the affair with the natives, he disapproved of it altogether. I had lost that

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respect from the natives, which as commanding the troops, I had hitherto possessed, and in his pamphlet he accuses me of great rashness. The chief protector, he says, had influence enough to have effected a peaceable adjustment of the matter, and a voluntary return of the prisoner to his confinement. In reality I never once saw the Protector during the whole of the business. He was hated by the Europeans, and held in utter contempt by the natives, and had he possessed any influence whatever, it would have been exercised to paralyze the action of the executive authorities. He never came near me, with information or with advice. He knew that I held both in contempt. Governor Fitzroy asked me what I meant by keeping the canoes as hostages, and further enlightened me by observing that such a thing was unknown in law, and not acknowledged in the British constitution. I told him that the prisoner was, however, again in custody, for him to deal with as he might think proper. He was released. The Governor's violation of his own proclamation regarding the Queen's right of pre-emption, and the sale of lands by natives was sanctioned afterwards by law; and the dangerous power and influence of the chiefs over their tribes was secured to them by an act of the legislature which made them the sole instruments in arresting their refractory people. Clanship of feudal times with its worst features

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and when the natives ought rather to have looked up to the same laws which governed both races, they were told to cling to their chiefs, and look to them for safety.

I was sent for by the Governor afterwards to explain how I had settled the affair of Mr. Shortland, which he said he had understood I had done, so as to satisfy every condition which he could not understand. He therefore wished me to explain it to him, and when I had done so, he said, "Good, that was well done;" these were the only thanks I received! Old Kawau, on coming with his tribe to visit the Governor, seeing me stand at my door in my dressing-gown, when they landed, came to the bottom of the garden fence. Observing that he wanted to speak to me, I of course went to meet him, when he put out his hand over the fence saying, "My people acted wrong, you are too good to us, give me your hand, I hope you will forget it." On going to Government House, I passed other tribes seated on the ground, and in sight of the Governor. They all rose to salute me as I passed, rather an unusual thing with them, and on my pointing this out to Captain Fitzroy, and asking him if he thought that looked as if I had lost my influence with them, he said, "No, but you might have done so." There is a great deal of trash in Captain Fitzroy's pamphlet, which I gladly pass over as only fit for a

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text for some of the twaddlers at Exeter Hall to discourse upon. One statement, however, deserves some reply, when he asserts that the protectors of the natives have been more efficient protectors of their own countrymen. I ask, was it experienced by the shopkeepers at Auckland, when their goods were pilferred? Was it by the fishermen at Mercury Island? Was it by the punishment of some natives who set fire to the house of Mr. Forsyth near Hokianys, after plundering it during his absence. No, Mr. Forsyth had resided many years in the country, spoke the language fluently, and was generally liked. He was appointed a sub-protector, and compensated by the salary of government.

I will mention my own case. I discovered a very large and ornamental tree on my farm, of a species of which there were none in the neighbourhood, called "ilenau." Besides being very ornamental, its bark contained some peculiar properties, a deal of the tannin principle, and was much used also by the natives in dying black. I immediately set a gang of ten or twelve natives to clear the ground in its vicinity, as a security against the copse taking fire, to which at particular seasons it was very liable. On going to visit my pet tree three or four days after commencing clearing, I found some person had stripped it entirely of its bark; the roots which lay exposed on

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the surface not escaping the same process. I was of course indignant, and suspecting some natives who had been loitering about the place some days before seeking employment, I ordered a strict search and inquiry to be made, and I found the bark in the house of some settlers, who had purchased it from a native, who stated to them that he had brought it from a district where it was afterwards ascertained none existed. Hearing of its properties, they were on the point of making some experiments with it. On finding the native who had done me this damage I took him to Mr. Clarke, who employed himself in seeking excuses for the man and how he could best screen him. To have followed the matter further would have been to embroil myself with the man's tribe, which when I considered myself as a private settler I always carefully avoided. I therefore told Mr. Clarke that suspecting how he would treat the subject, I had come to be myself a witness to his mode of dealing with the natives, and, having satisfied myself, I should pursue the matter no further.

I was much gratified afterwards on learning from an old settler that this tree would revive and recover its bark, which was smooth and very unlike the "quercies" species; but I did not stay long enough in the colony to witness this desirable result. I am not aware of the process by which

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the natives obtain their black dye from the bark of this tree; but the dye seems to me to be very permanent.

These were not the only losses I sustained by my ornamental timber being cut and carried away. I am sorry to say this was done sometimes by my countrymen. One kind in particular which suffered, was the tree myrtle which grows out of the clefts of the rock overhanging the Tamika river. It was, independent of the large beautiful crimson flower with which at particular seasons it was studded, very valuable timber for boats or large vessels. The wood was red and beautifully grained. The site where it was growing being at a distance from my hut, I did not perceive my loss for some time afterwards.

I now received orders from Her Majesty's Treasury to establish a military chest, for which on account of the great trouble and responsibility it entailed I was to receive an allowance of five shillings per diem! I was also now appointed to command the troops in the colony of New Zealand, but no mention was made of an allowance for that appointment; and in return the first order I gave was granting myself £100 per annum, each captain £75, and subalterns £50 lodging money from the day that our tents had become unserviceable. The order was never questioned, and the officers continued ever afterwards to receive it until quarters were provided for

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them. I never could get the General to give this order. He told me that I might do as I liked when I got the command, and I therefore sent him a copy of the order I had given; but my reign did not last long. We were relieved at the expiration of three months, and all the allowance I got for my services in New Zealand, besides this sum which I gave myself and comrades, was £24 in four years!

A commissary of accounts was attached to the command, Mr. Turner who had before served with me in Norfolk Island as a commissary for the issue of provisions; our experience was therefore very limited, and the instructions furnished from the Treasury were scanty indeed.

The moment Governor Fitzroy heard of this windfall, he sent to tell me that he should require £30,000 for the service of the colony, and he wished to see me on the subject. I was allowed to peruse the printed instructions for the guidance of governors of colonies, which stated that all sums required for the public service were to be drawn from the military chests and be provided by the officers commanding the troops; but we found that it needed also a Parliamentary grant to sanction the issue. I asked time to consider, and having sent for the commissary of accounts we decided not to give the money, but to put the matter in a tangible shape. I was to write to him

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to inquire whether such a thing was compatible with his instructions. He had none, but it was decided that on the production of the grant for the Colony by Act of Parliament for that amount, the money would be procured.

I enclosed his letter to the Governor regretting that I could not comply with his demand without the document alluded to. We were both the next day summoned before the Council, and on my adhering to my resolution, he said he must order the Colonial Treasurer to draw bills on the Treasury, and as there would be two of us in the market in our small community, cash would only be procurable at a very ruinous rate.

I told him I could not help it, and took my leave. From this day, the financial affairs of the Colony got into the greatest disorder.

The following very handsome testimony to the estimation in which the services of the troops and myself were held by the inhabitants of Auckland and its vicinity, contrasts strangely with the light in which they were viewed by Governor Fitzroy, as seen through the contortion of the Chief Protector of Aborigines' visual organs, and whose signature alone of all the Government officers and officials is wanted to stamp approval on my conduct. May I not consider the omission flattering?

We, the undersigned, in behalf of the public of

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Auckland, request the honour of the company of Major Bunbury, and the officers of the 80th detachment, to a public dinner on Thursday next, at the Exchange Hotel, as a slight mark of the high esteem which all classes of the community feel towards them, and their deep sense of regret at their departure from among us.

(Signed by ten of the principal inhabitants.)


Taurarua, April 18.

My dear Major,

I have this morning received a note inviting me to meet you at a public dinner to be given to you this evening.

Various circumstances will make it impossible for me to attend; yet I so entirely sympathize with the public feeling towards you, that I have thought it necessary to write to you, lest my absence should be misconstrued. I beg you to be assured that no man in Auckland will rejoice more heartily to witness your safe, and prosperous, and honoured return to this land, than will, (if such a pleasure be in store for him),

My dear Major,
Yours most faithfully,
Major Bunbury, K. T. 8.

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TO MAJOR T. BUNBURY of Her Majesty's 80th Regiment.


We the undersigned magistrates, clergy, and colonists generally of Auckland and its vicinity, are desirous of an opportunity before you leave of expressing to you the unqualified esteem and admiration that we entertain towards you in every capacity of life. Under the circumstances of your hurried departure, we can devise no means so suitable as a public address, conveying to you the assurance that we are fully sensible of the advantages we have derived from your manly, consistant, and affable conduct amongst us.

You have occupied the highest situation amongst our society, and in that trying position, (for the period of your time was one of singular excitement), you fully justified these conclusions, which had been already established by your unvarying and brilliant example as an officer, a colonist, and a most dearly esteemed citizen.

Permit us, therefore, the undersigned, to say that you carry with you our most grateful feelings, and our most sincere and ardent wishes for your health and happiness.

Our unaffected regrets on the melancholy duty of farewell, is greatly tempered by the hope and belief that you will soon return, and we shall hail that event as one of all others most propitious to

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the advancement of New Zealand. But if it shall, as it possibly may please Her Majesty, to avail herself of your eminent services in some other more extensive sphere, we shall forget our own regrets in the anticipation of those brighter prospects for yourself which you are so highly deserving of. We earnestly pray that God may prosper you.

The original addresses forwarded with a memorial to the Commander-in-Chief, in the year 1846, were not returned, but the following names of officials were attached to this.

J. F. Churton. Minister of Auckland.
Felton Matthew. Police Magistrate.
F. Whittaker. Judge.
J. Coutes. Clerk of the Council.
Andrew Sinclair. Colonial Secretary.
T. Scott. J.P.
W. Swainson. Attorney-General.
Alex. Kennedy. Manager of the Auckland Bank.
Percival Berry. Sheriff.
P. Hogg. Collector of Customs.
Dudley St. Clair.
W. Shepherd. Colonial Treasurer.
D. Rough. Harbour-Master.

And most of the principal inhabitants and shopkeepers of Auckland, with a unanimity of feeling of rare occurrence in a new colony.

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The following answer to this address was returned.



The proof which I have this day received of the partiality with which my humble efforts have been viewed by the magistrates, clergy, and colonists generally of Auckland, whilst I was honoured with the charge to which you allude in your very flattering address, convinces me that the expressions are those of unfeigned friendship.

As a soldier, I should consider it my paramount duty at all times to protect the life and property of Her Majesty's subjects, denuded of every personal consideration of advancement, praise, or censure.

As a magistrate, that duty was doubly incumbent on me; but honesty and truth forbid that I should arrogate to myself the sole credit of having by these acts obtained your approbation, when I was so cordially aided by the advice of the public officers, and the zealous and effectual co-operation of so many of the inhabitants.

You are right, gentlemen, in your conjecture of my intention of again visiting this colony, and probably ending my days amongst you; and you may rest assured, that the unmerited expression of esteem

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and regard which I have received this day, has not diminished that desire. My professional duties must, however, separate us for a time, which I trust will be of short duration; when, gentlemen, I hope I shall prove to you that none will be found more desirous of co-operating for the advancement of this promising colony.

An experience of four years, two of which were passed in the tented field without ailment, has convinced me of the salubrity of the climate, and of the propriety of my choice as a colonist; practical observation of the extraordinary productiveness of the soil has caused me to esteem it beyond any other.

In common with the Australian colonies, I fear, gentlemen, that your adopted country has suffered from the pressure of the times; but I trust the evil will be of short duration, and should Providence permit my return, I hope to find the city of Auckland increased, and the colonists rich and prosperous.

Major, Commanding Detachment 80th Regiment.

From my neighbours in the rural districts of the Tamaki, I also received a most flattering address, to which I returned a suitable reply.

My connexion with New Zealand ended here. My services afterwards in India promised.

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to be of such long duration, that I found I should be too old to think of becoming a settler in a new colony. I sold my farming establishment in 1849, to Colonel Taylor, of the Madras army, for 26,000 rupees, (about £2,300). He had purchased some adjoining farms; and his two sons had already occupied part of mine, as tenants, where they were expecting to do well. From the period that I left New Zealand until its sale, I had never expected or received any rent; it therefore seemed the height of folly to retain it.

Shortly after, we were relieved by a party of the 96th regiment. As I had often predicted, the vacillating policy of the Government brought the troops in collision with the natives, and it became necessary to increase the force to nearly two regiments. At first the troops suffered some reverses and loss of officers and men, and although employed against Heke and his insignificant tribe, it was some time before order could be restored.

The troops, however, must have been highly appreciated at the Horse Guards, if we may judge from the promotions and honours bestowed upon them on this occasion. These, though not more gratifying, were certainly more substantial than what the 80th detachment received during the period of four years that they served in the colony. I mentioned this circumstance about two years afterwards to the military secretary, Lord Fitzroy

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Somerset. His remark to me was, that we had not been engaged! I cannot take upon myself to say whether his lordship was joking, or in earnest; his relative, Captain Fitzroy, having pronounced me rash and imprudent, when dealing with the natives.

On the 10th of May, 1844, I arrived with part of the detachment at Sydney, the other portion under Captain Lockhard having arrived two days previously; and about a week afterwards Lieutenant-General M. O'Connell made his half-yearly inspection of the regiment, with which in a public order he expressed himself highly pleased. Subsequently, Sir Maurice learnt that he had succeeded Lieutenant-General Sir John Taylor, as Colonel of the 80th regiment. We had always been with him a favourite corps, and on this occasion his joy knew no bounds. The officers were feted, and his house was always open to them. To the men he gave a dinner and beer; the fellows were drunk for nearly three days, and we began to fear that they would never get sober; but to their honour and credit be it said, that in all that time, there was only one man who had at all compromised himself.

One of their freaks, I did not at all approve; they insisted on chairing their officers all round the barrack yard. Even the gouty Lieutenant-Colonel, was obliged to submit, some officers

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made their escape, but were brought back and chaired. I was more fortunate, for when I saw the turn matters were taking, I got away at once, and went and spent a day in the country with a friend.

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Photographed by Day & Son, Lithrs. to the Queen.

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