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I should have felt that some apology was due to the public for thus adding to the number of publications already before them on the subject of New Zealand, had I not been fully satisfied that the observations I shall make, being the result of personal experience, will not be without utility to the Emigrant,--and being the testimony of an eye-witness, will confirm some statements of great importance to the Colony to be known,--as well as correct many mistaken views which I have found, since my return from New Zealand in 1844, to be too prevalent in the public mind.
I have discussed freely, but without the slightest feeling of personal animosity, the conduct and the errors of the Local Government; and I have endeavoured to trace to its origin, the present embarrassed and almost ruined state of the Colony.
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To the account of the Indigenous Exports of the country, I may fairly claim attention, as I have myself travelled over the greatest part of New Zealand, with the view of ascertaining, among its other resources available for colonization, the natural products of the islands, all of which I have enumerated, and all of which are of inestimable value to the settlers. Of two of these, Flax and Copper, I have given a more detailed account, as claiming a greater share of present attention, and affording the prospect of incalculable future wealth. It may be predicted that flax will form the staple and the principal export of the country, and that copper will be found (chiefly in the northern part of the North Island) in inexhaustible quantity.
I have thrown together some hints and observations on the subject of Emigration, though in a somewhat cursory manner, unavoidable in a hastily-written work like the present, but which will not, I trust, be without, value to those for whom they are chiefly intended. And I here repeat the advice I have given elsewhere to those about to emigrate, on no account to be induced to purchase land while in this country, but to take their money with them, (not in bills on any person or bank, either in New
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Zealand or New South Wales, but in specie,) and there to judge for themselves, and select their own situations.
My wish throughout has been to state the truth, and to illustrate it by facts; and neither with regard to individuals, or other matters, have I advanced any statement which I am not prepared to verify.
I have endeavoured to render my observations practically useful, and by their value, in this respect alone, I am desirous that the following pages should be judged.
THE GORE, EASTBOURNE, SUSSEX,
January 1, 1845.
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The Appointment of Mr. Shortland..........4
The Settlement at Russell Town...........15
The bad policy of the Local Government towards the Aborigines..........21
The Non-Settlement of the Land Claims.........44
The New Zealand Company.............78
Indigenous Exports--New Zealand Flax (Phormium Tenax)........90
Rotorua Lakes and District.............131
Visit to the Reinga, the reputed Dwelling of Departed Spirits.......16
Page 9, line 2 from bottom, for Mr. Cowper read Mr. Cooper.
-- 57, -- 7 " " for Mr. Lawrence read Mr. Florence.