1845 - Wakefield, E. J. Adventure in New Zealand [Vol.II.] - CHAPTER XIX

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  1845 - Wakefield, E. J. Adventure in New Zealand [Vol.II.] - CHAPTER XIX
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Arrival of Governor Fitzroy at Wellington--Auckland officials -- Levee --Discouraging opinions of the Governor--Public rebuke-- Effect--Dispersion of the assembly--Taunts of the natives--Private interview with his Excellency -- Accusations -- Captain Fitzroy's demeanour--Friendship towards the natives--Captain Fitzroy at Nelson--Dismissal of Magistrates--His Excellency's interview with Rauperaha at Waikanae -- Sir Everard Home shakes Rauperaha by the hand --Reflections on Captain Fitzroy's decision--Some account of Captain Arthur Wakefield--Major Richmond appointed Superintendent--Captain Fitzroy and the land-claims--Reasons for leaving the colony--Prospects of the colonists--Of the natives--The only hope--Return to Europe.

ON the evening of the 26th January 1844, just a twelvemonth since Wellington had been graced with the presence of an Excellency of any sort, H. M. S. North Star again entered the harbour, with Captain Fitzroy on board. She had accompanied the Governor from Sydney to Auckland, and brought him thence to this place.

Mr. F. Dillon Bell was also a passenger on board, having been up to Auckland as Agent for the selection by the Company of the stipulated 50,000l. worth of land there. The most important of his arrangements, however, made for this purpose with the Acting Governor, had been overthrown by his successor.

In addition to this, Lieutenant Shortland had been so wantonly insulted by Captain Fitzroy at his first public levee, that he was obliged to resign his office.

Lieutenant Shortland had done but little during his reign of nearly a year towards the good of the colony. His term of office was reported in the Auck-

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land papers to have been principally employed in the management of a speculation for monopolizing the supply of stationery from Sydney to the Government offices at Auckland. Notwithstanding the mischief which ensued from his negligence and callousness of feeling, he will soon sink into oblivion.

Mr. Cooper, another of Captain Hobson's train, and for some time one of the ex officio Legislative Councillors, had proved a defaulter to the Customs revenue, of which he was Collector, to the amount of 2500l.

Mr. Freeman, the only one of their number who could write a despatch, had been taken out of the debtor's jail on "day-liberty" for many months past, for this indispensable purpose. On the resignation of Lieutenant Shortland, Captain Fitzroy had appointed Mr. Freeman to the vacant office of Colonial Secretary. But several of the other officials and leading people at Auckland intimated that their wives would be unable to meet Mr. Freeman's wife at his Excellency's house; so that the office was again taken from that gentleman, and conferred on a Mr. Sinclair, who had made Captain Fitzroy's acquaintance at Sydney, whither he had proceeded as surgeon of a convict-ship.

Immediately on the arrival of the frigate at Wellington, a notice was sent on shore and circulated, that a levee would be held by the Governor on Saturday, the next day, at two o'clock.

Considering the short notice, the levee was very numerously attended. On landing, the Governor was greeted with cordial acclamations of welcome from a large assemblage of the best settlers in the colony. They appeared determined to prove their confidence in his favourable intentions towards them.

The arrangements for the levee were rather undignified; no aide-de-camp, sentries, or constables had

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been appointed to keep the ingress through the French window of the large room in the hotel free; and I got jostled in by the eager crowd, along with two or three other settlers, to a spot nearly under his Excellency's nose. He had just done thanking the members of a deputation from a public meeting for their congratulatory address on the safe arrival of himself and his family. He was proceeding to enlarge upon some other topics as I got within hearing; and a general stillness, a sort of chill or damp, seemed to creep over the noisy bustle of the crowd as his opinions were gradually made known. He said that all parties might rely on receiving justice, and nothing but justice at his hands. He then deprecated, in the strongest terms, the feelings displayed by the settlers at Wellington against the native population, of which he judged by what appeared in their newspapers. He stated that he considered the opposition to the natives to have emanated from young, indiscreet men; but he trusted that as they had years before them, they would yet learn experience. One of the first measures to which he would turn his attention, would be the settlement of the land question, which ought to have been settled two years ago. He would send for the Company's Agent at ten o'clock on Monday morning, and go into the question. Having so lately left England, he could not be ignorant of the intentions of people there; none would emigrate to New Zealand unless they believed there was a good understanding between the settlers and the natives, and unless the settlers did all in their power to conciliate the natives, to forgive them, and to make allowances for them because they were natives, even if they were in the wrong. He had great cause of complaint against the Editor of 'The New Zealand Gazette' (the Wellington newspaper), which he had carefully read for a

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long time, and believed to contain most pernicious statements against the native. The natives should be protected. Justice should be done. If in the power of man, unless some unforeseen obstacles arose, which he did not contemplate, he would settle the land question. But, "my friends," continued the Governor, "mistake me not; not an acre, not an inch of land belonging to the natives shall be touched without their consent; and none of their pas, cultivated grounds, or sacred burial-places, shall be taken from them whilst I have the honour of representing the Queen, my Mistress, in this country."

E Tako and one or two other inferior native chiefs were then presented to him. He shook hands with them, and treated them with marked courtesy; he then called upon Mr. Clarke junior to interpret to them that they might rely upon it that their lands should not be taken from them unjustly, but that they must assist the Magistrates to prevent the natives from doing wrong; and that he approved most completely of all Mr. Clarke had done as Protector, and would support him to the utmost in the very arduous duties which he had to fulfil.

Several of the settlers, and among others Colonel Wakefield, were then presented to him by Major. Richmond; and he addressed a few short words of usage to some, and only bowed to others. I followed, as soon as I could extricate myself from the crush, and handed my card to Major Richmond. I had made my bow and had passed on into the crowd on the other side, when the Governor called me back by name. I returned and stood in front of him; when he used nearly the following words, with a frown on his face, and the tone of the commander of a frigate reprimanding his youngest midshipman: --"When you are twenty years

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older, you will have a great deal more prudence and discretion. Your conduct has been most indiscreet. In the observations which I made to this assembly just now, I referred almost entirely to you. I strongly disapprove and very much regret everything that you have written and done regarding the missionaries and the natives in New Zealand. I repeat that your conduct has been most indiscreet."

I was so perfectly astounded, that I gained some credit for forbearance, which I should otherwise not have deserved. I looked steadily in the Governor's face while he spoke; and when he had done, walked away in silence without bowing again, and left the room. I walked into the billiard-room adjoining. Two officers of the frigate left the room, apparently fearing lest they should become unwilling listeners to treason, so violently did some of the principal settlers express their feelings. The Crown Prosecutor was sneering at the exasperated party, and reminding them that "he had predicted they would get King Stork instead of King Log."

I again took a peep into the presence-room. It was fast thinning. A large number of the most respectable settlers, feeling that their sentiments were the same as mine, had put their cards in their pockets and left the room without being presented. In a few minutes his Excellency remained standing with only the officers of the frigate and of the troops looking at each other. He then advanced to the open window, and began to address the mob of labourers and others of the lower classes. He preached on the same text. "Live and let live!" he shouted to them; and the labourers cheered vociferously, for they thought he was alluding to a recent dispute about the rate of wages between the employers and the workmen. But

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when some one in the crowd explained that the allusion was meant as regarded the natives, and when some more clear expressions branded the White population with cherishing unjust hatred and revengeful and oppressive feelings towards them, even this audience melted away, and the Governor was left talking to the winds and a few wondering natives. He then walked across the deserted street and beach to his boat, and returned to the ship without a single cheer or murmur, or expression of feeling of any sort; except when a rude laugh followed the blowing of his cocked hat into the water by a puff of wind.

On Monday I wrote to request a private interview; which was granted me for the following afternoon. In the interval, several of the natives had got hold of the rumour that I had been rebuked by the Governor; and at two or three houses in the Pipitea and Te Aro pas, whose inhabitants had always remained most friendly to me up to that time, notwithstanding the numerous disputes and bickerings between the races generally, they now insulted me, jeered and scoffed at me, because "the Governor had spoken angrily to me, and I had not a word to reply."

Along the beach I more than once met Charley of Cloudy Bay (the younger brother of Puaha, who had been with us to the Pelorus in 1839), and several other natives whom I knew to have taken part in the massacre. They shouted Wairau! Wairau! at me as I passed them. They were in Wellington on a visit, to trade and to see the arrival of the Governor.

On Tuesday I had the interview with the Governor which I had requested. His Private Secretary and Major Richmond were in the room. The Police Magistrate rose to retire, but his Excellency desired him to remain.

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He began by telling me, that had he not imagined that I was about to leave town immediately after the levee, he would have taken a less public opportunity of expressing his disapprobation of my conduct.

After reading to me some passages from his instructions as Governor, and from the charter of the colony, in order to show me that he had a right to reprove misconduct, he referred to letters which I had written at different times since the first formation of the colony, and which had been published in the 'New Zealand Journal' of London; remarking that they were filled with sneers and sarcasms levelled at the missionaries; and that I had shown myself, in thus writing, a decided enemy to their proceedings and to religion! His Excellency assured me with great regret, that I had, by these writings and my general conduct in setting an example to the natives, obtained for myself the name of the "Leader of the devil's missionaries!!" at Sydney and elsewhere.

He then told me that my name would be one of several to be struck off the Commission of the Peace; and that, although this would appear in public as a simple reduction of the number of the Magistrates of the territory, it was his duty to inform me in private, that he "considered I had been included in the Commission most inadvertently by the late Governor, on account of my youth and indiscretion, on account of the bad example I had set the natives, and on account of my being known as one of those who entertained an especial hatred and animosity towards them."

He proceeded to blame me severely for having, since the Wairau massacre, worn arms while travelling among the natives who had partaken in that affair, although I had been warned against such a proceeding by the Chief Police Magistrate, Major Richmond. He

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said that such a course was calculated to encourage distrust and suspicion among the natives, and was, moreover, mere childish bravado; and that he should "not be surprised if on some future occasion they should take my sword from me and beat me with the flat of it, or duck me in a pond, by way of joke."

He then censured, in most unmeasured terms, my letters in the paper, reporting Rauperaha's statements; and added, that he was surprised Mr. Clarke should have been foolish enough to allow himself to be drawn into any such correspondence. He rated me for attempting by this means to excite the feelings of the Europeans against the natives; and ridiculed the idea of "hunting about for foolish stories of skulls in one place and bones in another, in order to alarm people who had not sense enough to treat such reports as they deserved."

He begged me to consider in what position I should have been placed had he chosen to instruct the Attorney-General to file a criminal information against me for defaming the character of the natives alluded to in that letter. He "wished me to know, that if I, or any other person, should write a similar letter, he would not be allowed to profit by a friendly warning, but would first hear from an officer of the Supreme Court."

All this was accompanied with the most overbearing gesture, the most arrogant expression of countenance, and the most dictatorial tone. Even if its substance had been true, I could hardly have endured the quarter-deck manner of the lecture from my own father. It gave me the idea that Captain Fitzroy was taking advantage of his high station to lay aside all the feeling and demeanour of a gentleman.

And at the end of the violent attack he rose, and

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wanted to bow me out of the room, saying, "Now, my time is very precious; I've a great deal of business to transact;" and so on. I insisted, in as polite terms as I could, on being heard at least in defence. But I had better have left the room at once; for I was interrupted at every three words, contradicted, browbeaten, unheard, and worse insulted than before. He told me repeatedly, "that he knew his duty and he would do it, without caring for public feeling; that he would not be dictated to; that he came here to govern, and not to be governed;" none of which I had attempted to deny.

I was not allowed to explain how unjust and ungenerous a charge was that, against me in particular, of bearing animosity towards the natives. At that very time, Wahine iti was waiting to hear from me when I was coming to England; as his father and all his family had agreed that, notwithstanding the chance of war, he should accompany me to be educated properly. And the lad himself was only one of those who were now, I am proud to say, devoted to me. At that very time, I was constantly receiving the most pressing letters from the chief of Tokanu at Taupo, who had travelled from his home first to Wanganui then to Otaki, in order to bring me, in state, a present of 40 or 50 pigs, and as many mats, which he had collected for me since my visit to that country. He eagerly entreated me to come to Otaki, where he was stopping with a numerous train; as he wished to consult me on the present state of affairs, and on the subject of migrating from Taupo to Wanganui with his whole tribe (400 persons), in order to join in the benefits of the flax-trade. I must add, that I had established this traffic at Otaki, Wanganui, and other places, at a considerable loss to myself, principally to

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befriend the natives on a large scale. In short, I am compelled by the charge of Captain Fitzroy to boast, that to no White man in New Zealand would his accusation of animosity towards the natives have been less applicable.

I just managed to tell his Excellency, that I had always intended to resign my commission as Magistrate, on account of his conduct to me at the levee; as I felt that, under such marked censure, I could not claim in that capacity any respect either from native or from White man.

A deputation of the settlers had waited on his Excellency on Monday and Tuesday, with a memorial detailing all their political wants. Except as regards the Wairau question, which he passed over by reminding his hearers "that our countrymen were the aggressors," his promises gave general satisfaction. He especially promised to settle the all-important matter of the land-claims with the greatest possible despatch.

On the 3rd of February he sailed for Nelson, after a ball to which he and the officers of the North Star were invited by the settlers.

He returned on the 16th. At Nelson he had behaved still more violently than here; so rebuking the Magistrates who had signed the warrants against Rauperaha and Rangihaeata, that they instantly threw up their commissions in a body, except one who preferred to be turned out in order that he might forward his remonstrance to England. Captain Fitzroy had made, both at public meetings and at private interviews, the same declarations, that he knew his duty, and that he came to govern and not to be governed. He had branded the whole population, more deeply than at Wellington even, with the name of wishing to oppress

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and exterminate the natives. With scarcely an exception, the whole settlement of Nelson had overflowed with the greatest indignation at the treatment, they received. The few exceptions were placed in the vacant seats of the Magistrates. The places of Mr. Constantine Dillon, Mr. Macdonald the banker and Sheriff, Mr. George Duppa, Mr. Tytler, and Dr. Monro, all estimable and independent men, were filled up by some unknown persons, who had fawned on the Windsor uniform of the Governor.

His Excellency had then gone to Waikanae. His proceedings there have been minutely recorded by an eye-witness, Mr. Dillon Bell, who had obtained a passage in the frigate.

I shall be excused for transcribing a document of such length, when I observe, that it is of importance to know the precise means by which the Governor of an English colony on the other side of the world can take upon himself the combined offices of Coroner, Judge, and Jury, in order to decide a case of alleged murder, entirely from hearing a narrative made by the accused party, differing in many important particulars from three or four narratives which he had previously made of the same occurrence to other persons. An intimate knowledge of the facts, as related in this naked statement, is indispensable to every person who takes an interest in the deliverance of both races in New Zealand from the evils with which they are threatened.

Mr. Bell states that his notes are imperfect, but will serve as an outline of what took place, as he put down nothing but what he was sure of having understood. He adds, that his Excellency frequently interrupted Rauperaha to have questions repeated distinctly, besides at those times he has got down; and that Mr.

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Hadfield still oftener called upon Mr. Clarke junior to amend his interpretation of words or sentences.

"On Saturday the 10th of February, H. M. S. North Star left Nelson, and anchored under Kapiti on the following-morning. It being Sunday, the Governor would enter upon no business, but landed in the afternoon at the pa at Waikanae with some of the officers and myself, for the purpose of visiting Mr. Hadfield, and attending the church. At the pa we found Major Richmond, Mr. Symonds the Police Magistrate, and Mr. Clarke, who had arrived the previous day by command to meet the Governor; two or three settlers were also present, and about 500 natives had assembled. Before going to church, a great number of natives congregated in an enclosure, and went through their catechisms before the Governor; Rauperaha sitting apart on a potato-house, and looking on; Rangihaeata was not at the pa, having declared, that if the Governor wished to see him his Excellency must go up to his place at Otaki. As soon as service was over, the Governor returned to the boat. Rauperaha had joined the other natives at church, probably to get a word from Captain Fitzroy, for he complained of not having been spoken to at first; however, the Governor embarked without speaking to him, although Sir Everard Home shook hands with him.

"The next day it was blowing too hard to land in the boats; so we got on board a small schooner anchored near us, and sailed over to Waikanae. On our arrival, we found that Rangihaeata had come down at the earnest request of Rauperaha; and after an hour's consultation at Mr. Hadfield's house the conference began. The Governor had prepared an address which had been translated into Maori, on board the North Star, by Mr. Forsaith, the Native Protector; and I suppose the delay at Hadfield's was caused by the correction of the speech in both languages.

"About 500 natives had assembled in the square in which they were catechising the previous day, Rauperaha being

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seated next to a chair prepared, for the Governor. Rangihaeata at first stood aloof, having, as we understand, quarrelled with the other as to what they were to say; but when the Governor had begun to speak, he came down, seating himself some 20 yards off behind the ranks of natives, who were squatting in a semicircle around us Europeans. Of Englishmen, there were present, besides the Governor and his Secretary, Mr. Hadfield, Major Richmond, Sir Everard Home, and several officers of the frigate, Mr. Symonds (Police Magistrate), Mr. Spain and his clerk, Mr. Forsaith, and Mr. Clarke junior (Native Protector), myself, and one or two settlers, I believe, from Wellington.

"I did not attempt to take notes of the Governor's speech, and what follows is from memory. He commenced by telling that he had come out to govern all classes, native and European: --'When I heard of the Wairau massacre at Sydney' (he spoke to this effect), 'I was exceeding angry; my heart was very dark, and my mind was filled with gloom.

'My first thought was to revenge the deaths of my friends, and the other pakeha who had been killed, and for that purpose to bring many ships of war, sailing vessels, and vessels moved by fire, with many soldiers; and had I done so, you would have been sacrificed, and your pas destroyed. But when I considered, I saw that the pakeha had, in the first instance, been very much to blame; and I determined to come down and inquire into all the circumstances, and see who was really in the wrong. I have visited Wellington and Nelson, and have heard the White man's story; now I have come here--tell me your story, the natives' story, that I may judge between them.' He then directed Clarke to repeat his speech so far in Maori. When this had been done, as no native rose for a few moments, the Governor directed Clarke to call up Rauperaha to speak; and after a little delay and hesitation, the old man rose and commenced his harangue.

"I was unable to take copious notes of Rauperaha's speech, for Clarke's back was turned to me; and as he spoke very low, and I was some paces behind, I often missed

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his sentences. In those cases, however, I put nothing down: what follows now is, therefore, only what I heard well, and I think it is pretty correct, as far as it goes.

"He began by saying, that the dispute which had terminated in the Wairau affair was occasioned by the land not being paid for. When the Port Nicholson purchase was made, only one tribe met; and the natives got angry because a few only among them were applied to to sell and got the payment. The Tory anchored one day off (some place), and Wide-awake wanted to purchase the Taitapu. 1 He (Rauperaha) sold him Blind Bay and Massacre Bay. Totaranui 2 was also sold, and that was all that he disposed of. Warepori sold Port Nicholson, and he and his friends sold Blind Bay and Massacre Bay. He and Hiko sold the land; but they never consulted Rangihaeata or any other chiefs. When Wide-awake came to Port Nicholson afterwards, he claimed places which he {Rauperaha) had never sold. He then was proceeding to state what payment he had received; but the Governor stopped him, saying it was unnecessary to go into that point. However, Rauperaha said he meant it to show why he turned the Europeans off land; and that Wideawake claimed the Porirua district, though he had only given a cask of tobacco for it. As soon as Rangihaeata heard of these sales, he was in a great rage; he was up the country at the time, and when he came down the goods had been distributed. Rangihaeata was at Wairau when a party of surveyors commenced surveying there; he and his party went over to Nelson, and warned the chief surveyor to desist. They also went to Wide-awake's house (Arthur), and had a korero about the land. Wide-awake said he would take possession by force, if necessary, as they had sold the land; and if the natives resisted he would make a tie of them. Rangihaeata said he would never be tied up, even if he should be shot for it. Captain Wakefield replied, that if he resisted the law, he would be shot. The Maori then returned home, and Wide-awake sent more surveyors, Barnecoat and

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Thompson, to the Wairau. Rangihaeata came over to Porirua to say the Wairau was being surveyed. Then Rangihaeata and the rest went over to Queen Charlotte's Sound and sent up the Wairau river, where they met Cotterell. (Here I missed some sentences.) When the natives had burned the warre's, they brought the things out in safety. (The Governor asked what natives had brought out the things? Some slaves, answered Rauperaha.) Then Mr. Parkinson's people left Cloudy Bay, and afterwards Mr. Tuckett came up the river with twenty people in the big boat. The natives continued to cultivate their ground, until one morning they saw the Government brig standing up, with Mr. Thompson and the others on board. (Here I missed many sentences.) When the White men came up to where Puaha was, Thompson held him by the hands, and detained him. On arriving at the scene of the fight, Thompson said, 'Where's Rauperaha?' 'Here I am.' 'You are to come with me.' 'Where am I to go?' 'On board the brig.' Rauperaha answered, that he would not go. Thompson then said, 'Come on board to talk.' The natives said 'What is the talk?' Thompson answered, 'About the warre's you destroyed.' Then he {Rauperaha) said, 'I won't go on board. If you are angry, let us talk here now, and again to-night or to-morrow, as the korero is good about the land; but as to being tied up, we won't be made a tie of.' Rangihaeata had yet said nothing. Then Thompson called to the constables to bring the handcuffs, and holding up his hand said, 'Here is the book of the Queen.' Rauperaha said, 'What book? is it a book to tie us up?' Then Thompson spoke very loud, and was in a great passion, and ordered them once more to come on board. Rauperaha and Rangihaeata said, 'We will not obey you.' Thompson said, 'Well then, I will order the people to fire.' Rauperaha said, 'If I am shot, I am shot; but I won't be made a tie of.' Thompson told the constables, who were opening the handcuffs, to put them away, and then called out, 'Fire!'

"The Governor--'Did Mr. Thompson say 'I will order the men to fire, or did he give the order to fire?--Mr.

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Clarke had understood Rauperaha to say, 'Thompson gave the order to fire.' The Governor: 'Ask him again.' Mr. Clarke again repeated his question, and repeated the previous answer.

"Rauperaha continued--He asked Thompson if he was going to fire; and Thompson called out again, 'Fire,' Not Wide-awake, but Thompson. Rauperaha then said, 'This is the second time you have ordered them to fire.' The women and children were at this time round their fires close by. The first few shots from the Europeans killed two natives and wounded three. When one man had been killed and three wounded, he {Rauperaha), Rangihaeata, and Puaha called out, 'Now pay yourselves; fire!' The natives fired, and killed three; then the Europeans fired, and killed a woman. The natives soon got desperate; and then the Europeans ran away, firing as they retreated. All went away, including the gentlemen; and the natives chased them in the bushes.

"The Governor here asked, 'How was Captain Wakefield killed?'

"Rauperaha gave no decided answer, but continued to say that some of his slaves, who had gone after the White men, brought back Captain Wakefield to him.

"Rangihaeata came running down and called out. 'Your daughter.' Captain Wakefield had come from a hill about 100 yards off, with the other gentlemen; the firing was still going on where the natives caught them; and when those natives who had been chasing the White men returned, the gentlemen had been killed. Thompson asked him (Rauperaha) to save their lives. He replied, 'Did I not warn you how it would be? and yet you now ask me to save you!' It was according to their custom after a fight to kill the chief men of their enemies.

"(In this last part I missed a great deal, though I strained every nerve to listen.) Clarke spoke so low, that no one near me could hear more than I did. But I believe Rauperaha neither offered nor was asked for any account of the

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manner of the gentlemen's death, after the Governor's question on that point, which he did not answer.

"At the conclusion of Rauperaha's speech, the Governor said, 'Tell him to sit down, that I may think over what to say to them.'

"Captain Fitzroy then took a pencil, and wrote for about a quarter of an hour; and a little more time was then occupied in consulting with the interpreters, apparently in order to translate what he had written into Maori. When this was over, the Governor again rose, and spoke to the following effect: --'Listen, O ye chiefs and elder men here assembled, to my words. I have now heard the Maori statement and the Pakeha statement of the Wairau affair; and I have made my decision. I, the representative of the Queen of England; I, the Governor of New Zealand, have made my decision. In the first place, the White men were in the wrong. They had no right to survey the land which you said you had not sold until Mr. Spain had finished his inquiry; they had no right to build the houses they did on that land. As they were, then, first in the wrong, I will not avenge their deaths.'

"Repeating these last words emphatically, he ordered Mr. Forsaith to repeat what he had said in Maori. When this had been done, he went on: --

"'But though I will not avenge the deaths of the Pakehas who were killed at the Wairau, I have to tell you that you committed a horrible crime, in murdering men who had surrendered themselves in reliance on your honour as chiefs. White men never kill their prisoners. For the future let us live peaceably and amicably--the Pakeha with the native, and the Maori with the Pakeha; and let there be no more bloodshed.' He went on to say that he would protect them most fully: no pa, or burial-ground, or any other land which they did not choose to sell, should be taken from them; and no land should be taken henceforward which they had not sold. But the Maori should not, on their part, disturb settlers who were occupying land; they must wait

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until he had decided all questions about the land, which he was now going back to Port Nicholson to do. He had come out here to do strict justice to everyone--Maori and Pakeha; and they might depend that he would take care strict justice was done. He concluded by recommending them to be guided by 'their true friends, the missionaries, the Native Protectors, and the Government officers;' and wished them farewell and the blessing of God.

"He desired Mr. Forsaith to repeat his last words over again when he translated the above into Maori, and particularly to repeat his wishes for the blessing of God upon them all. Immediately afterwards, his Excellency introduced Major Richmond as his representative, who would act just like him, and decide any disputes about land in his absence. He also brought forward Mr. Spain, and told the natives that he was going to enter immediately on the land question by his command, and would get it settled as soon as possible."

"I watched the natives very attentively," continues Mr. Bell, "throughout the meeting; and I am satisfied in my own mind (whatever may be thought by others to the contrary), that neither the threat in the first part of his speech, nor his sudden clemency afterwards, produced any great impression on their minds."

"I did not observe the Governor speak to either Rauperaha or Rangihaeata; though Sir Everard shook hands with the former. Immediately on breaking up the meeting, the Governor took his leave of Mr. Hadfield, and returned to the 'North Star.'"

Rauperaha told some whalers at Waikanae that same afternoon, that "this man had been talking a great deal of nonsense to him; but that it was all tito," or "lies," "and that in fact the Kawana was

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afraid of him! He would eat the frigate, Governor and all!"

I have already described what got to be called the "Government fever;" which was almost inevitably communicated to any person who helped to drain the purse of the Cook's Strait settlers through the Auckland treasury. No matter how unprejudiced might be the mind of an Attorney-General or a Land Commissioner on his first arrival from England; no matter how completely a less distinguished subordinate might have shared at one time the wholesome spirit and feelings of the "good colonists;" it would be no less difficult than invidious to point out a single instance which surpassed the others in accepting the "virus" together with the quarter's salary and the town allotment.

But it is disgusting to remark the purulent and contagious nature of the disease. In some cases direct private gain could hardly be assigned as the cause of the unmitigated infection of persons who were only connected with the officials in a casual and honorary capacity. It appeared as though the moral plague of aversion to the independent settlers was spread by the mere breath and odour of authority.

Sir Everard Home, a Captain in the British Navy, had just deserved the honour of being made a Companion of the Bath for gallantly maintaining the dignity of Great Britain in the Chinese war, with his frigate.

He bore a Governor and a suite of New Zealand officials about the coast for some months.

He then pressed, with a friendly grasp, the hand of a man who had only six months before taken a leading part in the foul death of one of his brother-officers, most esteemed in the service, besides many more of his

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countrymen. The cunning savage himself must have despised the White man, unmindful of the White man's blood, even while accepting the ceremony of shaking hands, which he knew to convey the sympathy and approval of the fighting chief who commanded 300 warriors.

The decision, as he was pleased to call it, of Captain Fitzroy, is a still more serious subject. As to his opinion that the savages were innocent, I will not lay myself open to the charge of making a cry for vengeance on the murderers of a near and dear relative. But as he declared that the White men were in the wrong, I must claim indulgence for stating the opinion of many thousand British subjects now living in New Zealand, that the White men were in the right.

I should not have dared to contradict the verdict of twelve impartial and fairly-chosen Jurymen, or to impugn the sentence of a Judge acting as he was entitled and bound to do by the British constitution. But I have a right to dissent, in the most explicit terms, from the despotic decree of a man who has assumed to himself, against all law and custom, both of those important functions.

The mode of investigation adopted by Captain Fitzroy was subversive of the simplest principles of justice towards both the parties. In fact, he decided the matter without hearing either state his own case, and without giving either an opportunity of answering the other. He equally neglected the observances of justice towards both parties; and only did not do equal injustice to both, because his passions had determined him before inquiry to decide entirely in favour of one.

He professes to have heard the White story, and thus

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to be qualified to assume the office of public prosecutor of the accused men. When did he hear the White story? It is just possible that he may have read the depositions taken before the Magistrates; but as no further proceedings that can be called legal ever took place, how can the public know that he ever even did that? He may have read the White story; but, if he did, it could only be that which was reported by those Magistrates for the purpose of justifying a particular step in the process of investigation, and not as substantiating the European view of the whole subject.

He professes to have heard the Maori story, and thus to be qualified to act as counsel for the accused person. When did he hear the Maori story? He heard a confused narrative from one of the accused men, which was only one of half-a-dozen varying narratives which the same man had told to different persons.

Thus he picked up what he calls the story of each party from one or two chance representatives of its interests; and heard both stories by snatches without any means of testing the truth of either, and without giving either the opportunity of commenting on the other. Among the uncivilized savages themselves, when they do decide a dispute by formal conference, a korero is never thought complete unless the two parties are confronted with each other. But Captain Fitzroy preferred a course no less inconsistent with the customs of New Zealand than with the laws of England and the practice of civilized men.

There was in the whole proceeding just so much of resemblance to the forms of judicial inquiry as to mark the absence of substantial justice. Without an opportunity to the prosecutor to state his charge, the accused person (for he was no prisoner) having been called upon to criminate or exculpate himself, without con-

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firmation or denial, and no witnesses on either side having been heard, Captain Fitzroy resolved himself into a judicial character, and proceeded to make some show of coming to a judgment, which there can be no doubt that he had in fact reduced to words before the pretended inquiry.

No matter whether his decision were right or wrong, he was guilty of a breach of the law, without having the apology of conforming to the customs of the New Zealand chiefs; and still less with any pretence of taking an effectual and straightforward way of getting at the truth, and giving a just decision. If he had decided that the savages were in the wrong, and had taken upon himself to order their apprehension and execution for the crime, equally without the intervention of those forms of our law which are revered for their even-handed justice, he would have been equally culpable in the highest degree. Indeed, when he told the natives that on first hearing of the affair at Sydney, he intended to visit them with war and extermination, he was guilty of great injustice; and taught them to believe the question to be one of race against race, and not of law against lawlessness. It was giving them a strange notion of English law, to inspire them with the belief that an English Governor would regard it as his duty to lay waste the pas and take the lives of a large body of Her Majesty's subjects because two of their number had committed a crime.

He avoided this injustice only to refuse all redress to that portion of the community whose habitual obedience to law rendered it probable that it would submit with the greater tranquillity to his injustice. For his unconstitutional conduct at Waikanae was but a weak subterfuge for avoiding the necessity of

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using compulsion to enforce obedience to British law by rebellious British subjects.

My uncle and Captain Fitzroy had been friends: for they were midshipmen in the same ship; and not only had they kept up the intimacy so occasioned, but in 1837, Captain Fitzroy had joined his old shipmate in so cordially approving of the views of the New Zealand Association as to write a strong opinion in its favour, and to be a member of it for some days. It is true, that after those few days he changed his mind, and wrote another letter to my uncle expressing the opposite views of Mr. Dandeson Coates. Their personal friendship, however, was not interrupted; and when, in 1841, Captain Wakefield was about to sail from England in command of the preliminary expedition for founding Nelson, they held frequent and friendly communications on the subject of that undertaking. The Committee of the House of Commons of last year has spoken of my uncle's "long and distinguished services in the British Navy." These, with the exception of nearly four years when he commanded the Rhadamanthus on the Mediterranean station, are related in a document which the Directors of the New Zealand Company printed, in order to inform their constituents "what sort of a man Captain Wakefield was," and which appears in the Appendix to this book. I hope the reader will excuse me for praying of him to read it. The writer of that document first went to sea at ten years of age, with a pay of less than 20l. a year, and never afterwards occasioned his family the expense of a shilling. He made some prize-money, and presented the bulk of it to poor relations. He never owed anybody a farthing; and yet always seemed to have money in his pocket for a generous purpose. In his management of the Nelson settle-

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ment, he was conspicuous for a total absence of selfishness; and was accordingly revered by his fellow-colonists, who, almost to a man, grieved for his death as if they had lost a near and dear relation. I have said before how the natives, before they were corrupted by the insane course of Captain Hobson's and Lieutenant Shortland's governments, described him as "a man with a soft tongue and a great heart." He was one of the authors of the project for amalgamating the natives with the colonists by means of upholding the rank of the chiefs through the possession of valuable property in the civilized community, and was an enthusiast in seeking to promote that honourable work. And all this Captain Fitzroy knew well.

This part of the new Governor's conduct of affairs was put aside for a time by the settlers, in their consideration as to how they should treat him. In everything else they said that he promised to do all that they could wish; and it was useless for them to enter into a new contest, already more than half crippled as they were.

Major Richmond was the perfect shadow of his Excellency during his stay at Wellington, and was duly appointed Superintendent of the Southern District, with the title of "His Honour," and a salary of 600l. per annum. It had been thought that some one might have been selected for this situation from among the leading colonists. Mr Petre and many others were considered as fit for the duties as an over-cautious hanger-on, who displayed but little sympathy for either settlers or natives, and who was apparently callous to all feeling except self.

Every one who knew the public conduct of Major Richmond was sure that Cook's Strait would still be under the rule of a mere Police Magistrate, only better

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paid. To suppose that he would ever take upon himself any responsibility in emergencies beyond the close letter of written instructions, would have been flying against reason. I have since heard of several applications made to him on most trivial subjects, which he declared he could not answer without referring them to Auckland.

Captain Fitzroy re-opened the negotiations for the award of compensation to the natives; calling upon Colonel Wakefield to be ready to pay whatever sums might be awarded for the disputed waste lands, without any relation to the reserved pas, cultivations, or burial-grounds. I last saw him under the lee of a garden-fence, listening to the renewed demands, more exorbitant than ever, of E Tako and other inferior chiefs, in a little ring of the discontented natives. Mr. Spain, Mr. Clarke junior, another Protector of Aborigines, and the Private Secretary, were also inside the ring. A few settlers were shrugging their shoulders and scarcely restraining their laughter when they heard the Governor telling the natives they should have whatever they asked, but warning them not to ask too much. The day was windy and unpleasant, and the place bleak except where the little group were cowering under a fence; so that few people observed the assemblage, or had the least idea that this was a Governor conferring with that class of his subjects to whom he professed himself most attached.

His Excellency had fixed his day of departure in a week from that time; but declared, much to the surprise of everybody, including Mr. Spain, that he was determined to settle the land-claims before he went.

For my part, I could stay no more in the country with comfort under this Government; for so long as

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Captain Fitzroy ruled, I must always appear to a certain degree as a disgraced member of the society. However much I felt sure of the sympathy of the settlers, the pleasure of my friendly relations with the natives must necessarily be fatally impaired, when they heard that the highest authority in the colony had degraded me because I was their bitter enemy.

I might, to be sure, have waited to be turned out of the Magistracy, and then have become one of the unfortunate men with a case at the Colonial Office in Downing-street. So I might have wasted months in the "room of sighs," while Mr. Dandeson Coates walked past daily to a tete-a-tete with the Secretary of State.

I wrote and published a letter to the Governor, defending myself from his opprobrious charges, in order that I might still enjoy the respect of the settlers with whom I had spent four happy years; and I reminded his Excellency at the end of the letter, that his threatened course of prosecuting me for a libel on the natives would not have been compatible with English law or liberty. I got an acknowledgment of the receipt of this letter, but of course no further notice or answer; and two days afterwards I embarked in a ship that was bound for Valparaiso.

I left Cook's Strait with the conviction that the brave colony of Englishmen planted on its sunny shores had taken a firm root in the fertile soil; that no blight, however blasting, would be able to wither it; that no cold winds would be able to kill its vigorous shoots; that no grubbing would eradicate it; that no cherishing of noxious weeds would be able to smother its ultimate growth into a flourishing and happy nation: so plentiful are the resources of the country, and those

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of the stalwart and invincible colonists who have chosen it for their abode.

But I foresaw for them at least many months more of harassing delays, doubts, and torments, under the tread of a ruler who seemed well inclined to adopt, as far as regarded the delicate native question, the whole determination of the intolerant portion of the missionaries to "thwart them by every means in their power."

And I grieved when I felt sure that the poor natives must inevitably descend one step nearer towards a miserable end, while debased by the care of a father so weak as to yield indulgently to every whimsical demand and self-destroying caprice which the spoiled child might imagine--so foolish as to encourage the savage in his infantile ambition to maintain himself in a rivalry with the White man.

The last hope appeared still to be that some really great man might be despatched in time to remedy the evils which were accumulating for both White people and natives. Some such man as Lord Metcalfe or Sir Henry Pottinger, able and willing to grasp with his master-mind the task of uniting two races in one nation, might yet heal the wounds inflicted by a prejudiced incapable. A firm and unwavering course of foreseeing philanthropy could alone lay sound foundations for a gentle and permanent union.

We were 37 days in reaching Valparaiso: I remained five weeks at that port and in the neighbouring part of Chile; and then rounded Cape Horn in a French merchantman, which made the voyage to Bordeaux in 92 days.

And since my arrival I have written the foregoing narrative. I hope it is not unbecoming in me to say

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that my intention in every part of it has been to relate truly and exactly the scenes which I saw, and the things which were of paramount interest to me at the time. So earnest has been this intention, that I have often dwelt over-minutely on trivial details, and have fallen almost unawares into the language, while I acquired the unavoidable spirit, of a partisan.

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1   Native name for Blind Bay, literally "sacred tide."
2   Native name for the north end of Queen Charlotte's Sound.

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