CHAPTER I. Progress and Prospects of the Colony...
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Progress and Prospects of the Colony. --The recent Gold Discovery. --Increase of Population. --The New Zealand Constitution. --New Provinces. --The Church Constitution. --Synodical Action. --"Land Leagues."--The Maori "King Movement."-- Policy of Sir George Grey.
VARIOUS and valuable as are its known productions, the natural resources of New Zealand have as yet been very imperfectly developed; but the estimate which was formed of its advantages as a field for British colonization has been verified in almost every particular: and when the confidence of the Natives shall be restored, and when the measures now being taken, under the able administration of Sir George Grey, for
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establishing peace, order, and government amongst them, shall be completed, New Zealand will assuredly rank as the most attractive and important of our possessions in the Southern Hemisphere.
When the Colony was first founded, neither gold nor wool was counted amongst its probable productions: and the Southern Island was comparatively unknown. But the discovery of a valuable gold-field in the Province of Otago, commencing about thirty or forty miles southward of Dunedin, already promises the most important consequences. In the course of a few weeks 10,000 persons, chiefly from the Australian Colonies, were attracted to the Province, and were engaged in the search for gold. Gold to the value of more than 100,000l. has for some weeks been carried by escort from the ground; in proportion to the numbers employed, the yield largely exceeds the richest of the Victoria gold-fields, and within less than three months the population of the Province was more than doubled.
According to the Official Returns for the year 1860, the English population of New Zealand, amounting to upwards of eighty thousand, was
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INCREASE OF POPULATION.
distributed amongst the several Provinces as follows:--
|Maori Population: 1857
|Province of Auckland
| Nelson (including Marlborough)
|Otago (including Southland)
But the Colony has now an English population, exclusive of the Native race, of more than 100,000 souls, nearly equally divided between the two Islands; but if the Southern gold-fields shall prove, as they promise to be, not only rich but extensive and permanently productive, the Southern Island will soon have a large preponderance of population; and an attempt will, no doubt, be made to
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have it erected into a separate and independent Colony.
Previous to the recent gold discovery, wool was the great staple product of New Zealand. In the course of seven years the quantity produced has increased sevenfold; and the value of the wool now annually exported from the Colony amounts to more than half a million sterling. It is grown chiefly on the grassy plains of the south; but wool of superior quality is also grown on the cultivated pastures of the Province of Auckland. Sheep-farming, even on the grassy plains and rich pastures of New Zealand, is not without its vicissitudes; but, under the eye of the master, and with ordinary care and attention, it is found to yield a profitable return for the capital employed in it. But nearly the whole of the crown-land available for pastoral purposes is already occupied by a few extensive run-holders, who have for some time been in the receipt of a very considerable income.
A gold-field has for some time been worked in the Province of Nelson which produces a yield of about 50,000l a year. Gold has also been discovered in the Northern Island; and permis-
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sion has recently been obtained from the Natives to search over the gold-bearing district of the North; and the offer of a free grant of forty acres of land to each immigrant is again, since peace has been restored, attracting to the Province of Auckland a stream of valuable settlers. The other provinces, with the exception of Taranaki, are also making steady progress.
In both Islands the soil and climate have been proved to be adapted to the growth of every description of farm produce. Of the thirty millions of acres of land which have been acquired from the Natives, almost 150,000 acres have been brought into cultivation; and the colonists are already rich in live-stock of every description. More than 15,000 horses, 150,000 head of cattle, and upwards of two millions of sheep, are owned by the settlers alone. The country is liable neither to oppressive heat, severe frost, nor destructive drought; but the climate will disappoint those who expect perpetual sunshine and an atmosphere undisturbed by wind or rain. The weather is changeable, and the seasons are uncertain; but the climate is mild and healthy, and better suited to the English constitution than that
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of Canada, Australia, or the Cape of Good Hope. For those who are liable to pulmonary disease, there are districts in New Zealand which, as a place of residence, are hardly inferior to Madeira itself, and greatly superior to any part of Italy or the south of France. But in spite of all warning, numbers leave England for the Colonies who are utterly unfitted for a settler's life, not a few of whom find their way to New Zealand; with these exceptions, the settlers who have been steady and industrious have bettered their condition, and the greater number have laid the foundation of an early independence.
The form of Government best suited to the peculiar circumstances of the country is a problem which still remains to be solved. When the subject was under the consideration of Parliament it was obvious that, with its numerous and widely detached settlements, New Zealand could not be governed in detail by a single central authority; and it was provided by the Constitution, that in addition to the general Legislature, six subordinate Provincial Councils should also be esta-
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blished with large powers of legislation. Yet with all this legislative machinery, it was found that there was important districts still governed from a distance, and in which the inhabitants possessed little or no power of local self-government. Three of the most important of these outlying districts have, under the authority of an Act of the Assembly, been recently carved out of the original provinces; and New Zealand is now divided into nine provinces of unequal extent; Auckland, the largest, having an area of upwards of seventeen millions of acres; and the smallest, Taranaki, having an area of between two and three millions only. In some respects the constitution of the three new provinces 1 differs from that of the provinces established by Parliament: instead of being elected by the people themselves, the Superintendent is chosen by the Council of the province; and an Act passed by any new province cannot come into operation until it shall have received the Governor's assent. But with this restriction, the legislative jurisdiction of the new provinces is equally extensive with that of the original provinces; and there may now be as
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many as three different laws in the same country on a variety of important subjects. It still remains to be discovered how the principal settlements, several hundred miles distant from the seat of Government, may have free scope for their development, and how the more thinly-peopled outlying districts may enjoy sufficient power of local self-government, yet in due subordination to a single central authority, and without encumbering the Colony with an inconvenient multiplicity and diversity of laws.
The Natives of New Zealand, like ourselves, appreciate the advantage of law and order; but, like ourselves, they also prefer self-government to being governed by a stranger. They say that it is not just that the Maories should be placed entirely in the power of the white man; that salt water and fresh water do not mix well together; and that if their affairs are to be put into the hands of any assembly, they should be placed in the hands of an assembly consisting of their own race. No one would have desired to see the whole of the Natives at once placed on the electoral roll; --but in the first instance, it was generally understood that the Natives, as
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well as the Colonists, if they were the owners or the individual occupiers of lands or tenements of the value prescribed by the Constitution, would be qualified to vote at the election of Members of the Colonial Legislature; and several of them claimed to be placed upon the electoral roll, and gave their votes at the election, but their claims to vote as owners or occupiers of land held under native tenure was soon called in question. The late Governor's advisers declared the opinion that it is just in itself, and a political necessity, that no electoral qualification should be derived from the tenure or occupation of lands or tenements which are not held under a Crown title; and in pursuance of a Resolution of the House of Representatives, the question was submitted to the Attorney and Solicitor-General, whether the Natives can have such possession of any land that is used or occupied by them in common as tribes or communities, and not held under title derived from the Crown, as would qualify them to become electors. The opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown brought to light the fact that the Natives have hitherto been left as entirely without law or tribunal for the determination of questions
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relating to territorial rights, as they were before the discovery of the country by Captain Cook. "Suppose," say the Law Officers of the Crown, "in a district of Native land lying within the limits of an Electoral District, that one Native by consent of the rest is permitted to have exclusive possession of a piece of land, in which he builds a Native hut for his habitation, but is afterwards turned out or trespassed on by another Native: could he bring an action of ejectment or trespass in the Queen's Court in New Zealand? Does the Queen's Court ever exercise any jurisdiction over real property in a Native district? We presume," they say, "this question must be answered in the negative; and it must of necessity therefore follow that the subjects of householding, occupancy and tenements, and their value in Native districts, are not matters capable of being recognized, ascertained, or regulated by English law." And on the question submitted to them they gave their opinion in the negative. And it has since been admitted by the Colonial Department that the New Zealand Constitution was framed in forgetfulness of the large Native Tribes within the dominions in which it was intended to apply.
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If a separation shall take place between the Northern and Southern Islands, the Constitution must of necessity be revised, and an opportunity will be afforded of reconsidering its provisions. But whatever may be its defects, it has proved generally acceptable at least to the English Colonists, and largely instrumental in promoting the progress of the several principal settlements. On leaving the Colony, Governor Browne had the satisfaction of receiving an address from the House of Representatives, assuring him of their appreciation of his endeavours to facilitate the operation of responsible government in the Colony, and to fulfil the promises which he made prior to its introduction. So far also as relates to the Colonists themselves, the experiment of introducing the "responsible" system has been conducted with prudence and moderation. Able men have been found amongst the Colonists to undertake the management of public affairs. The fittest men have hitherto had no difficulty in finding seats in the House of Representatives; and the debates in the Assembly have been conducted with acknowledged ability.
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The measures which were prepared by the General Conference for organizing a system of government for the Church in New Zealand have been completed; and though based only on the principle of voluntary compact, they promise to be productive of useful results. If the subject of organizing a constitutional government for the Church of England shall ever become a question of practical importance, something may be learned from the New Zealand experiment. It must be interesting indeed, under any circumstances, to witness the difficulties which churchmen have to encounter when thrown upon their own resources in a new country, without law or organization, without endowments, and beyond the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical tribunals of the mother country.
Regulations had already been made by the General Conference, prescribing the number of members of which the first General Synod should consist; but no provision was made for the constitution of future General Synods; so the first business of the first General Synod, held at Wellington on the 8th of March, 1854, was to prepare a measure for the purpose. And it was provided that in future the General Synod
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THE CHURCH CONSTITUTION.
should consist of the several Bishops for the time being; of eighteen Clerical Representatives, to be elected by the clergy; and of twenty-nine Lay Representatives, to be elected by the laity: that every layman of the age of twenty-one years, or upwards, who shall sign a declaration that he is a member of the United Church of England and Ireland, shall be entitled to vote at the election of Lay Representatives for the district in which he may reside; and that every layman, being a communicant and qualified as an elector, shall be qualified to be elected as a Lay Representative.
In addition to a General Synod for the whole Colony, it was provided by the Constitution that a Synod should be established in each diocese; but it remained to be determined what should be the number of the members, their qualification, and the mode of their election; and statutes were passed for the organization of Diocesan Synods and of Archdeaconry Boards; for regulating the formation of parishes; for the appointment of pastors of parishes; for delegating certain of the powers of the General Synod to a standing commission or executive body to act when the Synod itself shall not be in session; and for deciding
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doubts in the interpretation of the statutes to be passed by the General and the several Diocesan Synods. A measure was also prepared, but left for final consideration at a future session, on the subject of Church discipline; --and after a session extending over a period of twenty-eight days, the first General Synod brought their proceedings to a close. Within less than a year afterwards Synods were also called together in the several dioceses (excepting Waiapu), whose members devoted themselves with considerable zeal and interest to the task of completing the work of organization which the General Synod had begun.
One of the most important of the measures of the first General Synod was the statute to provide for the appointment of pastors to parishes. When it was first mooted, the subject was entirely new to most of the members. As might be expected, opinions were various; and, in the first instance, there was little prospect of unanimity. No ready-made plan was brought forward either by the Bishops, Clergy, or Lay Members. As the discussion proceeded, points of agreement were gradually arrived at. The feeling was unanimous that rights of private patronage should not be
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THE CHURCH CONSTITUTION.
admitted. No one proposed that the Bishop of the diocese should be the sole and absolute patron; nor, on the other hand, that pastors should be appointed by the parishioners at large. By degrees, the opinion gained ground, that it is important, not to the parish only, but to the Church at large, that a proper appointment should be made to every vacant cure; and that every cure should, if possible, be filled by a clergyman acceptable to the congregation, yet without being directly chosen by themselves, and without being removed from a more extended sphere of usefulness. To secure these objects, it was finally determined that the trust of selecting a clergyman and nominating him to the Bishop of the diocese for institution to a vacant cure, should be vested in a Board of Nominators, to be appointed annually by the Diocesan Synod, and by the Vestry of each parish. But of what number the Board should consist, and in what proportion they should be elected respectively by the Synod and by the Vestry, was left to be determined by the Synod of each diocese.
When the subject afterwards came to be considered by the Synod of the Northern Diocese,
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the question as to the proportion in which the members of the Board of Nominators should be elected by the Synod and by the parish was debated at considerable length; --a majority of the Lay Members inclining to the opinion that the members of the Board to be elected by the Vestry should exceed the number of members to be elected by the Synod; and it was ultimately determined that the Board of Nominators should consist of five members, two of whom should be elected each year by the Synod, and three by the Vestry of each parish. As not less than two-thirds of the members of the Board must concur in every nomination, no nomination can be made without the concurrence of four out of the five, and consequently no nomination can be made in opposition to the opinion of a majority of the members elected by the Vestry, nor, on the other hand, without the concurrence of one at least of the two members elected by the Synod. As a further safeguard against an improper nomination, the Bishop of the diocese, if not satisfied of the fitness of the party presented by the Board, may reject him; and as a security against the exercise by the Bishop of his power
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of rejection on arbitrary, frivolous, or vexatious grounds, the rejected nominee may appeal to the House of Bishops, who, if they think the Bishop's alleged grounds of objection insufficient, may over-rule them, and may direct institution to be given. The members are changed every year, so as always to represent the Synod and the Vestry for the time being; but the Board is always in existence, and ready to act whenever a vacancy may occur, special care having been taken that the members of it shall not be elected for the purpose of nominating in any particular case. By means of the members elected by the Vestry, it is expected that the Board will be made acquainted with the condition and circumstances of the parish, and with the views and wishes of the parishioners; and by means of its diocesan members, that the Board will be made acquainted with the character, ability, and antecedents of the several candidates; and that possessing this united knowledge, the Board of Nominators will be qualified to act in the character of a valuable council of advice to the Bishop in appointing the fittest person to the vacant cure. Experience alone can deter-
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mine the value of the system which has been devised for securing this important object; but the statute passed by the General Synod, supplemented by the Statute of the Diocesan Synod of Auckland for the appointment of a Board of Nominators, may be regarded as affording some test of the fitness of the Colonists for the work they have undertaken of organizing an ecclesiastical system for the Church of England in New Zealand. A Synod is about to be established in the Native Diocese of Waiapu, under the presidency of Bishop Williams; several of the Clerical Members will be Native deacons; the whole of the Lay Representatives will be Natives, and the proceedings will be conducted in the Maori language. Considering the time, the place, and the circumstances, the first meetings of the Synod of the Diocese of Waiapu will be one of the most remarkable events in the history of the Church.
The recent disturbances in the Colony have compelled general attention to the necessity for reconsidering our relations with the Native race.
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The Land Leagues which have been formed amongst them, and their connection with the "Maori King Movement," have been frequently misunderstood. In some instances the Natives, in forming a Land League, and in connecting themselves with the King movement, neither intended disloyalty to the Crown, nor wholly to put a veto on the sale of Maori land; their object in placing the land of the Tribe under the care of the King being to make him the arbitrator in case of disputes amongst themselves; to constitute him their mouthpiece as to the land which the tribe as a whole were or were not disposed to sell, so as to prevent the tribal property from being dealt with by individuals, or a fraction only ot the Tribe, and thus spare themselves from incessant and destructive feuds. In some cases no doubt the object of the Land League was to maintain their own power and influence by preventing any further alienation of territory; and it can hardly be surprising that a high-spirited people should look with suspicion and misgiving at the increasing numbers and the growing influence of the colonizing race, or that some of their leading Chiefs, seeing a considerable portion
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of the country already in the hands of the settlers, should have formed an agreement amongst themselves to hold fast to the land which still remains to them.
But unwise as it may be, this compact, so long as it is confined in its operation to those who are parties to it, is no more an offence against the law than an "eight-hours' movement" or a "temperance league," nor is there any reason to fear that it will long be persisted in, or become a practical hindrance to the progress of British colonization. For more than twenty years land has been acquired from the Natives faster than it can be made use of by the Colonists. Nearly the whole of the Middle Island has already become by purchase the property of the Crown; and in the Northern Island, where we have not yet 50,000 Colonists, we have acquired from the Natives seven millions of acres, of which but an insignificant portion has been brought into cultivation. In fact there need be no real difficulty in acquiring the whole of the surplus land of the Natives as fast as we can use it. It is by no means essential to the successful colonization of the country, that the Crown should continue to
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monopolize the right of purchasing Native land; nor is there any reason why its owners should be virtually compelled to dispose of it at a price below its market value. Let the Government abandon its position as a land dealer. Let all unnecessary restrictions be removed which prevent the Native owner from disposing of his land in open market, and obtaining for it its real value, 2 and let the Colonists at the same time moderate their apparent eagerness to obtain possession, and the Natives generally will soon become as clamorous to dispose of their land, as some of them have for some time been determined to retain it. But under any circumstances land can always be acquired from the Natives much more quickly, and much more cheaply by fair purchase than by military force. Nor would any true friend dissuade them from parting with their land. Hitherto their rights have been
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recognized and respected, and friendly relations have until recently been maintained between the two races; but if the dominant race, whose flocks and herds are already numbered by the million, shall find themselves cramped for space, and if the progress of colonization shall be seriously impeded, the surplus lands of the Natives will become a bone of contention, with a result which the light of history renders it by no means difficult to foresee.
The attempt has indeed already been made to induce the British Government to regard the conduct of the Natives in resisting what they believed to be an encroachment on their territorial rights, in joining the so-called "King Movement," and in forming a league to retain possession of their lands, as acts of rebellion against the British Crown justifying the confiscation of their land, and calling for the employment of the Queen's Troops at the cost of the Imperial Treasury; but unless the statement officially reported by the late Governor be an unwarrantable libel upon the settlers, that they "are determined to enter in and possess the lands of the Natives, and that neither law nor equity will prevent them," and
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if it be true, as stated by the late Native Minister, that a degraded portion of the newspaper press had teemed with menaces of this kind, and with scurrilous abuse of the Natives and of all who took an interest in their welfare, -- there will always be danger of a Native insurrection, so long as it shall be understood that an extension of territory may be obtained by the forfeiture or confiscation of Native lands. The Native owners of the soil have already peaceably alienated more than half their territory on the most reasonable terms. 3 Yet although her Majesty has guaranteed
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to them the undisturbed possession of their land, "so long as it is their wish and desire to retain it," their unwillingness to alienate the land which still remains to them has already been imputed to them as a public offence. If Great Britain would not be again called upon to take part in Native wars, it should be authoritatively declared that while the Imperial Government will be prepared to sanction any measures which may tend to facilitate the acquisition of land in New Zealand for the occupation of our enterprising countrymen, either by direct purchase or otherwise, on equitable terms, they will not under any circumstances acquire or take possession of land in New Zealand by forfeiture, or confiscation, or without the free consent of all who, in accordance with the customs of the country, may be entitled to a voice in the disposal of it; and that they will neither sanction nor permit any violation of that provision of the Treaty of Waitangi which guarantees to her Majesty's Native subjects the possession of their land "so long as it is their wish and desire to retain it." 4
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MAORI KING MOVEMENT.
The attempt which has been made by certain of the Tribes to unite themselves under a King, whether for the purpose of maintaining their nationality, for consolidating their power, or of raising themselves from barbarism by means of laws and institutions to be made and administered by themselves, shows a remarkable feature in the character of the race. When the movement for setting up a Maori King first attracted attention, it was viewed by the local authorities not only without apprehension, but as offering, under wise guidance, an opening for good. "If the Government," wrote Governor Browne, "does not take
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the lead and direction of the Native movement into its own hands, the time will pass when it will be possible to do so. * * * The influence of oratory, and, perhaps, evil counsel, aided by the actual excitement of the Natives, may incline them to make laws of their own at these meetings, and thus add to the present difficulty; but they will probably refrain from doing so if they see that the Government is actually doing what they wish." But in the following year (1858), he entertained a different view. "I trust," he said, "that time and absolute indifference and neglect on the part of the Government will teach the Natives the folly of proceedings undertaken only at the promptings of vanity, and instigated by disappointed advisers." 5 And until a general
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MAORI KING MOVEMENT.
feeling of apprehension had been excited in the Native mind by the military occupation of the Waitara, the movement had little or no vitality which, by prudent guidance, might not have been turned to valuable account.
According to the Report of the Waikato Committee, the object of a large section of the Natives was distinctly expressed at a great meeting in the Waikato, in April, 1857, at which the Governor was present, and at which it was understood by them that his Excellency promised to introduce amongst them institutions of law, founded on the principle of self-government, analogous to British institutions, and presided over by the British Government. "I was present," says the Rev. Mr. Ashwell, referring to that meeting, "when Te Wharepu, Paehia, with Potatou, asked the Governor for a Magistrate, Laws, and Runangas, which he assented to; and some of the Natives took off their hats and cried, "Hurrah!" "I want order and laws," were, in fact, the first words of the leading member of the movement for
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establishing a Maori King. "The King would give us these better than the Governor, for the Governor has never done anything, except when a Pakeha was killed; he lets us kill each other and fight. A King would stop these evils."
The two most active leaders of the movement may be taken as representative men of the new generation of Maori Chiefs. William Thompson is remarkably silent and reserved; he listens patiently to what is said, but thinks and decides for himself. He spends a great part of his time in writing; noting down everything remarkable he sees, hears, or reads; and he is engaged in constant correspondence with all parts of the country. He is well versed in Scripture History; --a fluent speaker and a formidable antagonist in debate. Though he is the son of a celebrated warrior, he prides himself on his character as a peacemaker. When several hundred armed Natives descended the Waikato River, in a state of dangerous excitement, to inquire into the violent death of one of their countrymen in the neighbourhood of Auckland, he himself formed one of the party for the purpose of restraining them, and he was largely influential in keeping them
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MAORI KING MOVEMENT.
from mischief. Several unruly and headstrong members of his Tribe went to Taranaki to the support of William King, but it was without his sanction or authority; and he himself afterwards proceeded to the seat of war, and succeeded, though not without great difficulty, in withdrawing them, and in bringing about a general cessation of hostilities.
"I thought," he said, describing his own share in the movement, "about building a large house as a house of meeting for the Tribes who were living at variance in New Zealand, and who would not become united. That house was erected, and was called Babel. I then sent my thoughts to seek some plan by which the Maori Tribes should become united, that they should assemble together and the people become one, like the Pakehas. * * * Evil still manifested itself; the river of blood was not yet stopped. The ministers acted bravely, and so did I, but the flow of blood did not cease. When you came, the river of blood was still open, and I therefore sought for some thought to cause it to cease, as the ministers had long persevered. I considered how this blood could be made to diminish in this Island. I looked into your books
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where Israel cried to have a King for themselves, to be a judge over them, and I looked at the words of Moses in Deuteronomy xvii. 15, and in 1 Samuel viii. 4, and I kept these words in my memory through all the years; --the land feuds continuing all the time, and blood still being spilt, I still meditating upon the matters, when we arrived at the year 1857. Te Heu-heu called a meeting at Taupo. Twice 800 were assembled there, when the news of that meeting reached me. I said, I will consent to this, to assist my work, that the religion of those Tribes that had not yet united might have time to breathe. I commenced at those words in the Book of Samuel viii. 5: 'Give us a King to judge us.' This was why I set up Potatau in the year 1857. On his being set up, the blood at once ceased, and has so remained up to the present year. The reason why I set up Potatau as a King for me was, he was a man of extended influence, and one who was respected by the Tribes of this Island. That, O friend I was why I set him up; to put down my troubles, to hold the land of the slave, and to judge the offences of the chiefs. The King was set up; the Runangas
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MAORI KING MOVEMENT.
were set up; the Kai-whakawas were set up, and religion was set up. The works of my ancestors have ceased, they are diminishing at the present time; what I say is, that the blood of the Maories has ceased to flow. I don't allude to this blood (lately shed). It was your hasty work caused that blood. I do not desire to cast the Queen from this Island, but from my piece of land. I am to be the person to overlook my piece."
A similar account of the origin of the movement was given by Renata, another of its earliest and most influential supporters. After passing sometime in captivity in the North, where he received (in 1842-3) some teaching at the Waimate school, Renata returned to his own people in the Hawkes Bay district, where both with the settlers and the Natives he has established a high character for his ability and integrity. For several years he has been engaged in promoting the building of Native churches, schools, and flour-mills; for some time he employed at his own cost an English teacher to instruct the Native children. "It was my wrongs unredressed by you," he said, "that induced me to set about to work out an idea of my own; that is, Waikato, the tribe who set it
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going. They were in doubt whether to term Chief or Governor, and neither suited, and they established him as 'the Maori King;' it was tried experimentally, and proved as a means of redress for wrongs not settled by you, by the Government. The only wrongs you redressed were those against yourselves; but as for those all over the breadth of the country, you left them unnoticed. Sir, the enemies he (the Maori King) had to fight with were the crimes of the Maori; his murders, his thefts, his adulteries, his drunkenness, his selling land by stealth. These were what he had to deal with. * * * Did I set up any King in secret? As I view it, Waikato wished that his authority should emanate from the Governor. And then it was that we tried to do the best we could for ourselves. When it was seen that evil was partly put down by the Runanga, and the stupid drunkards became men once more, then the work (the King movement) became general.
"But is this (King movement) indeed to cause a division between us? No, it will be caused by secret purchases of land, the thing which has been going on for years." And Renata was
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MAORI KING MOVEMENT.
careful to make it clear that the promoters of the movement had no intention to subvert the Queen's authority. "You say, 'The Maories are not able to fight against the Queen of England, and kill (prevail against) her.' This is my answer. Sir, you know perfectly well that the Maori will be beaten; though it be said that this war is for sovereignty, the fault of the Governor can never be concealed by that. Who is the Maori that is such a fool as to be mistaken about the sovereignty or supremacy of the Queen of England? Or who will throw himself away in fighting for such a cause? No, it is for land; for land has been the prime cause of war amongst the Maories from time immemorial down to the arrival of Pakehas in this island of ours. The Maori will not be daunted by his weakness, by his inferiority, or the smallness of his Tribe; he sees his land going, and will he sit still? No; but he will take himself off (to resist). The Queen's sovereignty has been acknowledged long ago: had it been to fight for supremacy, probably every man in this island would have been up in arms; but in the present case the fighting is confined to the land which is being taken
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possession of. There is a letter of William King's lying here, in which he says that if his land is evacuated, he will put a stop to the fighting. * * * * It was proposed to leave it to the Queen, to judge between the Governor and William King: you witnessed the general assent of all to that proposal that the Queen should be the judge. Well, does this look in your opinion like a rebellious word in regard to the Queen, that you have left it out of sight, and taken up that word of your own invention about the Maori making war against the Queen? Sir, the Maori does not consider that he is fighting against the Queen; I beg therefore that you will cease to pervert words, and rather consent to our proposal that we should all join in writing a letter to the Governor (to propose) that the war may be stopped, and that it may be left for the Queen to decide in this quarrel; and then let us write a letter to the Queen (to pray) that she will send a Commissioner (Kaiwhakawa) to stand between us, and let us all join together in inquiring into this dispute. Cease (arbitration) by guns, and now let it be left to inquiry, that a remnant of men be left."
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MAORI KING MOVEMENT.
After a careful inquiry into the subject, a Committee of the House of Representatives, comprising several of its leading members, reported their opinion (1860) that a great movement had been going on amongst the Native people, having for its main object the establishment of some settled authority amongst themselves; that such movement need not have been the subject of alarm; that its objects were not necessarily inconsistent with the recognition of the Queen's supreme authority, or with the progress of colonization; and that it would have been from the first, and would then be, unwise to contradict it by positive resistance--an opinion which has been confirmed by the leader of the present Ministry. "The great national movement," said Mr. Fox, "which has been seething in the Native mind for years past, is not, as the Duke of Newcastle has been taught to think it, based on a desire to get rid of British rule and British civilization; but we recognize in it the desire of the Native race for self-elevation: we see in it an earnest longing for law and order, and an attempt (not feeble or ill-directed had it only been encouraged and guided,) to rise to
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a social equality with ourselves; and there is no doubt that if judiciously dealt with, this remarkable movement might have been turned to valuable account, and that few of the Chiefs who ever formally acknowledged the sovereignty of the Crown would ever have desired to establish a national independence."
After the admission made by the Colonial Minister, 6 "that without the control of larger funds for Native purposes than have been placed at the disposal of the Governor, it has been impossible to adopt such measures as would be effectual for the Government and civilization of the Maories," and after the admission of the Colonial Under-Secretary, 7 that "the Governor of New Zealand is obliged to act under a Constitution which appears to have been framed in forgetfulness of the large Native Tribes within the dominions to which it was intended to apply," it is hardly surprising that an attempt should be made by the New Zealanders to find out some mode of government for themselves in their relations with each other. More than twenty years ago, the British Government, in assuming
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MAORI KING MOVEMENT.
the sovereignty, undertook the responsibility of establishing law and order in the country. Yet the late Governor has declared that our Government in many places is almost unknown by the Natives; -- that some of the most populous districts--such as Hokianga and Kaipara--have no magistrates resident among them; and many --such as Taupo, the Ngatiruanui, Taranaki, and the country about the East Cape--have never been visited by an officer of the Government "The residents in these districts have never felt that they are the subjects of the Queen of England, and have little reason to think that the Government of the Colony cares at all about their welfare." And yet, by the treaty of Waitangi, the Maori people were guaranteed all the rights and privileges of British subjects; but though they are taxed as subjects, they are not allowed to take part in making laws even for the Government of their own people; in matters of a criminal nature, even when a Maori is concerned, they are allowed to take no part in the administration of the law; and neither by the English laws, nor by laws specially made for them, has her Majesty's sovereignty been exercised to promote peace,
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order, or law amongst the great bulk of the Maori people. 8 And until recently little or nothing has been done or attempted to take advantage of the desire of the Natives for law, and of their aptitude for self-government. But with the new Ministry, and under the administration of Sir George Grey, there is ground to hope that measures will be taken for establishing law and order amongst them on a sound and permanent footing. "The first great principle," said Mr. Fox, in his exposition of the policy of the new
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POLICY OF SIR G. GREY.
Government, "on which we base our policy is this, that the Maories are men of like passions and feelings, and to be acted on by the same motives, as ourselves. It may seem strange to be standing up to assert that the Natives are men. But it is necessary to assert it, for the theory of the Native Office and its practice have been to treat them, not as men, but as spoiled children. It is necessary also to assert that they are of like passions, and to be operated on by like motives, as ourselves; for there are those in this House, and out of it, who see in the dark skins of the Natives a warrant for dealing with them on principles different altogether from those on which we should deal with each other, who believe that because the New Zealander came from Asia, he must be governed differently from the Saxon race. * * * I do not hesitate to say that of all the races on the face of the earth, there is none that comes so near to the Anglo-Saxon in temperament, in mental capacity, and in habit of thought, as the Maori. After failing to fulfil our own obligations, to attempt, by brute force, to stifle the instinctive yearning of a brave people for the preservation of their nationality, and for the introduction of order and law, would
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be a reproach to civilization, and a disgrace to British rule."
Any fusion of the two races, however, into one system of government, it has been said, is not at present possible. The establishment of separate institutions for the Native race is the only alternative; and this is the very thing which they crave at our hands. And the measures which Sir George Grey is now engaged in bringing into operation are based upon the principle that the Maories themselves should, as far as practicable, make and enforce regulations suited to their own requirements, and have a share in the administration of the government of their own country. It is proposed that the Native territory shall be divided into convenient districts, for the purpose of local self-government, that in each district there shall be an English Civil Commissioner, a Runanga or Native Council, consisting of the leading men of the district, who are to be paid, and to act also as Magistrates or Assessors; a small body of Native Police, an English medical man, and a Native clergyman, to act also as schoolmaster. The District Council is to be presided over by the Civil Commissioner, and to have the power of preparing
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POLICY OF SIR G. GREY.
bye-laws, to be brought into operation with the approval of the Governor in Council, on the subjects of fencing, cattle trespassing, the suppression of nuisances, for regulating the sale of spirits, &c, and other subjects prescribed by an Act passed some time ago by the General Assembly. It is intended that the Council shall also have the power of inspecting schools, erecting gaols and hospitals, and constructing roads (not being main lines of road) within the districts; of deciding who may be the true owners of any Native lands within the districts, and of recommending the terms and conditions on which Crown grants may be issued to tribes, families, or individuals.
It is also intended that the Civil Commissioner, resident Magistrates and Native Assessors shall periodically hold Courts within the district, and that in all cases in which the punishment awarded shall exceed a certain amount, their proceedings shall be submitted for review to a Judge of the Supreme Court: that Native offenders, instead of being taken to the gaols in the English settlements, shall be confined in the district prison, and tried by a jury of their countrymen in their own district and by a Judge of the Supreme Court on circuit.
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It forms, also, an important feature in Sir George Grey's scheme of Native policy, to relax the restrictions by which the Natives have hitherto been prevented from disposing of their lands, excepting to the Crown; and when the boundaries and ownership of land in any district shall have been ascertained in accordance with the regulations of the Native Council, the Native owners will be allowed to dispose of it by direct sale to any purchaser who may be approved of by the Government on the recommendation of the Council, on such conditions as may be agreed on between the sellers and the purchaser. The intending purchaser, however, must be a bona fide settler, and will not be entitled to a Crown grant of the land until he shall have been in personal occupation for at least three years. It is also intended that the Native owners shall be permitted to lease such lands upon terms to be decided on by the Government on consultation with the Council of the district. A lost confidence is not easily regained, but, by these means, Governor Grey is endeavouring to remove the causes of suspicion and irritation which exist amongst the Native people, in the expectation that before the proved and substantial
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POLICY OF SIR G. GREY.
benefits of the Queen's sovereignty the "King Movement" will die out "In this way, the Government will have discharged its duty to this people: it will have become, for the first time, the Government of the Maori as well as of the Pakeha: and will have saved the Colony from the misery, and the mother country from the burden, of a protracted and costly war." 9
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