1857 - Paul, R. B. Letters from Canterbury, New Zealand - INTRODUCTION.

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  1857 - Paul, R. B. Letters from Canterbury, New Zealand - INTRODUCTION.
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THE islands of New Zealand, although discovered in 1642 by the Dutch navigator Tasman, were still considered as part of the Terra Australis Incognita until 1769, when Captain Cook took possession of them in the name of the King of England. As early as the year 1793 the coasts seem to have been visited by whalers, whose reckless cruelties provoked the native inhabitants to frequent and bloody reprisals; but no European resided on either of the islands until 1814, when the Rev. Samuel Marsden, Colonial Chaplain of New South Wales, established a mission in the Bay of Islands, in connexion with the Church Missionary Society. At the same time, a proclamation was issued by the Governor of New South Wales, declaring New Zealand a dependency of the British Crown, and nominating the first missionary (Mr. Kendal) to the office of Resident Magistrate. 1 In 1823 a Wesleyan

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mission was founded at Wangaroa, north of the Bay of Islands, and in 1828 at Hokianga, on the northwest coast of the Northern Island. In 1820 two native chiefs, Hongi and Waikato, visited England with Mr. Kendal, and were hospitably entertained at Cambridge, where Professor Lee compiled a Grammar and Dictionary of the Maori (New Zealand native) language, into which portions of the Bible and Prayer Book were soon afterwards translated.

In 1825 an Association was formed for the colonization of New Zealand; but this scheme seems to have failed through the incompetency of the agent sent out to explore the islands. Meanwhile Hongi, having obtained a few muskets and a supply of ammunition from his friends in England, had been engaged for some months in a bloody warfare in the north-west, expelling several tribes, who in their progress southward attacked others, until at length a formidable clan, headed by Rauparaha and Rangihaeta, crossed Cook's Strait, and almost depopulated the Middle Island. In 1827 whaling establishments were formed on the shores of Cook's Strait, where the whalers, a rough, dissolute race, seem readily to have

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fraternized with Rauparaha and his tribe. In 1831 thirteen of the native chiefs, irritated beyond endurance by the aggressions of these confederates, addressed a letter to George IV., imploring the protection of the British Crown, which was granted to the extent of sending out a resident, with powers too limited to be of any real service. In 1835 the sovereignty of the islands was claimed by Baron de Thiery, a French adventurer, who had purchased some lands from the natives through the agency of Mr. Kendal. In their terror at the prospect of French domination, the missionaries and some of the more decent settlers persuaded thirty-five of the native chiefs to sign a declaration of independence, which was recognized by the British Government, who sent out a number of flags, from which they were invited to choose one for their national standard. In 1837 a society was formed in London for the colonization of the islands, but the Government of that day refused to sanction the scheme, on the plea that New Zealand was an independent country, over which the British Crown had no authority.

At length, after protracted discussions and much disappointment, the New Zealand Company was incorporated in 1839; and on the 12th of May in that year Colonel William Wakefield sailed from Plymouth in the "Tory," and reached Cook's Strait on the 17th of August. Meanwhile the attempt at establishing

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an independent sovereignty having proved (as might have been anticipated) a total failure, Captain Hobson, R. N., was appointed British Consul, and subsequently Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand. About the end of January, 1840, Governor Hobson landed in the Bay of Islands, and having soon afterwards established his seat of government at Auckland, proclaimed (with the consent of most of the native chiefs) the sovereignty of the British Crown over New Zealand. This convention is generally known as the "Treaty of Waitangi," from the name of a place in the Bay of Islands, where it was signed. On the 22nd of January, 1840, three shiploads of emigrants, who had sailed from Plymouth on the l6th of September of the previous year, landed safely at Port Nicholson (Wellington), where Colonel Wakefield had already purchased considerable tracts of land from the natives. In 1840 a ship, with about sixty emigrants on board, sent out by a French Association, called the "Nanto-Bordelaise Company," arrived in the Bay of Islands, escorted by a French corvette, the commander of which acceded to Governor Hobson's request that British sovereignty, as derived from Captain Cook's discovery of the islands, should be at once proclaimed at Akaroa, on Banks's Peninsula, to which place the emigrants were bound. Accordingly, the British flag was hoisted at Akaroa, four days before the arrival of the colonists, under the escort of

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M. de Beligny, agent of the Nanto-Bordelaise Company.

In February, 1841, the New Zealand Company founded the settlements of Petre on the river Wanganui, and New Plymouth (Taranaki), on the western coast of the Northern Island; and in October the settlement of Nelson, at the head of Blind Bay, on a site chosen by Captain Arthur Wakefield. On the 29th of May, 1842, Dr. George Augustus Selwyn, who had been consecrated Bishop of New Zealand on the 17th of the previous October, arrived at Auckland, and proceeded to organize an extensive missionary system in conjunction with the Church Missionary Society, besides appointing clergymen to minister to the British settlers at Wellington, Nelson, and New Plymouth. 2 In 1842 Governor Hobson died at Auckland, and was succeeded by Captain Fitzroy,

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R. N., the whole of whose administration seems to have been a period of disaster and disappointment. In the south occurred the lamentable massacre of the Wairau (where Captain Wakefield and many other valuable Nelson settlers lost their lives), and various butcheries perpetrated in the valley of the Hutt, near Wellington, by the followers of Rauparaha and Rangihaeta; whilst in the north the British flag was insulted, 3 and our troops defeated by the insurgent natives. At length, towards the end of the year 1845, Governor Fitzroy having been recalled, Captain (afterwards Sir George) Grey arrived at Auckland, and began his career as governor "by energetic measures for enforcing British law and for conquering the rebellious natives throughout the colony. By a due mixture of conciliation and firmness, he commanded respect from the natives even before he had completely succeeded in subduing them; whilst, by his affable demeanour and a more equitable distribution of an increased government expenditure among all the settlements, he also acquired the admiration of the Cook's Strait colonists." 4 In April, 1847, Earl Grey con-

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cluded an agreement with the New Zealand Company; the principal conditions of which were that the Government should lend 136,000l. to the Company, in addition to the 100,000l. formerly advanced; and that the charter of the Company should lapse to the Government if, within three years, they found it impossible to carry out their scheme. In 1848, Otakou (or Otago, as it is now generally spelt), in the southern part of the Middle Island, was colonized by an Association of members of the Free Church of Scotland; and in 1850 the first colonists were sent out to a Church of England settlement, founded in the vicinity of Banks's Peninsula by the Canterbury Association. The charter of this Association, like that of the New Zealand Company, has since lapsed to the Crown, the stipulated quantity of land not having been sold within a given time. On the 18th of January, 1853, a new constitution, which had been granted to New Zealand by the Imperial Government in the preceding year, was proclaimed by Sir George Grey, who soon afterwards returned to England, and after a long interregnum was succeeded in 1855 by Colonel Gore Brown, C. B., late Governor of St. Helena.

1   The first clergyman appointed to the New Zealand mission was the Rev. Henry Williams (now Archdeacon of the Waimate), who was sent out by the Church Missionary Society in 1822, and established himself at Paihia on the south side of the Bay of Islands. In 1825 the Rev. W. Williams (now Archdeacon of Whaiapu) joined his brother at Paihia, and resided with him until 1837, when he removed to the East Cape.
2   "I landed first at Auckland, on Monday, May 30, from the brig 'Bristolian,' in which I had proceeded from Sydney. Auckland now contains a population of 1900 persons, of whom more than 1100 are registered as members of the Church of England. The Rev. J. F. Churton, late Chaplain at Wellington, has officiated here during the last year and a half. I am now (July 20, 1842) off the harbour of Auckland, in the government brig 'Victoria,' bound to Wellington and Nelson. On board with me are Rev. R. Cole for Wellington, and Rev. C. L. Reay, Church Missionary for the southwestern district." --Bishop of New Zealand's first letter to the Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.

The Rev. William Bolland was ordained Deacon and appointed to New Plymouth on the 24th September, 1843.
3   The ringleader in these disturbances was a chief named John Heke, who commenced hostilities by cutting down a flagstaff on the hill above Kororareka. For a detailed account of the insurrection, see letter of the Bishop of New Zealand to the secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, dated Easter Eve, 1845.
4   "Handbook of New Zealand, by a late Magistrate of the Colony." Parker.

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