WILLIAM SWAINSON, ESQ.,
FORMERLY ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR NEW ZEALAND,
" NEW ZEALAND AND ITS COLONIZATION," ETC.
SMITH, ELDER AND CO., 65, CORNHILL.
[ The right of Translation i* reserved.~\
Progress and Prospects of the Colony. The recent Gold
Discovery. Increase of Population. The New Zealand
Constitution. New Provinces. The Church Constitu-
tion. Synodical Action. " Land Leagues." The Maori
" King Movement." Policy of Sir George Grey . . 1
State of New Zealand at the time of the Outbreak. Political
Status of the Native Race. Dangerous Consequences of
a Collision foreseen. The Maori Tribal System. Maori
Tenure of Land. Cause of the Insurrection . . .45
The Taranaki Settlement. The Waitara. The Native
Title. The Waitara considered Essential to the Com-
pleteness of the Settlement. Why valued by its Native
Owners. Their Suspicion of the Settlers. Their early
Determination not to sell the Land , 59
The Government urged to adopt a New System in the
Purchase of Native Land. Declaration of the Governor
on the Subject. Negotiations for the Purchase of the
Waitara. Opposition to the Sale. Difficulty of com-
pleting a Satisfactory Purchase. A Survey of the Land
attempted. Martial Law proclaimed. The Land
occupied by a Military Force . . . .77
Memorial warning the Governor not to proceed, and
showing the Rights of the Native Occupants of the Land.
Rank and Position of William King, the Principal
Opponent of the Sale. Apprehension amongst the
Natives excited by the forcible Occupation of the Wai-
tara. Remonstrances of the Absentee Claimants and
others. Their Petition to the Queen for the Governor's
Question of Title. Disastrous Consequences to theTaranaki
Settlement from the forcible Occupation of the Waitara.
Popularity of the Government Policy. Debates in the
General Assembly. Sir William Martin's Pamphlet on
the " Taranaki Question." " Notes by the Governor " . 116
Military Operations. War risked without Preparation.
Power of the Insurgents underrated. Repulse of the
Troops at Puketekauere. The Outsettlers driven in.
Women and Children sent away to the neighbouring
Provinces for safety. The Taranaki Settlements vir-
tually destroyed. Impracticable Character of the
Taranaki Country for Military Operations. The Insur-
gents continue to keep the Field. Embarrassing Position
of the Governor. Sudden Cessation of Hostilities.
Terms of Peace. Difficulty of Warfare in the Bush.
Cost of the War. Change in Public Opinion. Waikato
" King Movement." Change of Ministry. Sir George
Grey appointed Governor. The Colony saved from a
General War 139
Impolicy of risking a War at Taranaki. Policy of the
Government as officially explained. Hostilities : by
whom commenced. The Natives blamed for not
appealing to the Law. Result of the War. Future
Policv . .181
Progress and Prospects of the Colony. The recent Gold Dis-
covery. Increase of Population. The New Zealand Constitu-
tion. 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 produc-
tions, the natural resources of NEW ZEALAND
have as yet been very imperfectly developed ;
but the estimate which was formed of its advan-
tages 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
2 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
establishing peace, order, and government amongst
them, shall be completed, New Zealand will
assuredly rank as the most attractive and im-
portant of our possessions in the Southern Hemi-
When the Colony was first founded, neither
gold nor wool was counted amongst its probable
productions : and the Southern Island was com-
paratively unknown. But the discovery of a
valuable gold-field in the Province of Otago,
commencing about thirty or forty miles south-
ward 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 100,000?. 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
INCREASE OF POPULATION. 3
distributed amongst the several Provinces as
English Maori Popula-
Population. tion: 1857.
Province of Auckland . . . 23,732 . . 38,269
Taranaki . . . 1,239* . . 3,015
Wellington . . 13,049 . . 8,099
Hawkes Bay . . 2,028 . . 3,673
Nelson ( including
Marlborough) . 10,178 . . 1,220
Canterbury . . 12,784 . . 638
Otago ( including
Southland) . 12,691 . ' . 525
Stewart Island 200
Chatham Islands . . . . ' '. . . ' ' 510
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 popula-
tion ; and an attempt will, no doubt, be made to
* A large number of the wives and children of the Taranaki
settlers had been temporarily removed from the province in conse-
quence of the war.
4 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
have it erected into a separate and independent
Previous to the recent gold discovery, wool
was the great staple product of New Zealand.
In the course of seven years the quantity pro-
duced 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 vicis-
situdes; 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
A gold-field has for some time been worked
in the Province of Nelson which produces a yield
of about 50,0002. a year. Gold has also been
discovered in the Northern Island; and permis-
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 de-
structive 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 un-
certain ; but the climate is mild and healthy, and
better suited to the English constitution than that
6 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
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 subor-
dinate Provincial Councils should also be esta-
NEW PROVINCES. 7
blishecl 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 con-
stitution of the three new provinces * 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
* Hawkes Bay, Marlborough, and Southland.
8 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
many ns ilitee different laws in the same country
on a variety of important subjects. It still re-
mains to be discovered how the principal settle-
ments, 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 encum-
bering 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
THE CONSTITUTION. 9
well as the Colonists, if they were fee 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 pur-
suance of a Resolution of the House of Represen-
tatives, the question was submitted to the Attorney
and Solictor-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 be-
come 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
10 NETV ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
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 juris-
diction 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.
RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT. 11
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 Colo-
nists, 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 apprecia-
tion 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 Colo-
nists themselves, the experiment of introducing
the <e 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 acknow-
12 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
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 en-
counter when thrown upon their own resources in
a new country, without law or organization, with-
out 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
THE CHUKCH CONSTITUTION. 13
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 shah 1 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 com-
mission or executive body to act when the Synod
itself shall not be in session; and for deciding
14 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
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 dis-
cussion proceeded, points of agreement were
gradually arrived at. The feeling was unanimous
that rights of private patronage should not be
THE CHURCH CONSTITUTION. 15
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. JBy
degrees, the opinion gained ground, that it is impor-
tant, 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 nomi-
nating him to the Bishop of the diocese for in-
stitution 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 con-
sidered by the Synod of the Northern Diocese,
16 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
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
CHURCH CONSTITUTION. 17
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 Yestry 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-
18 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
mine the value of the system which has been
devised for securing this important object; but
the statute passed by the General Synod, supple-
mented 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 eccle-
siastical system for the Church of England in
New Zealand. A Synod is about to be esta-
blished 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 con-
ducted 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.
LAND LEAGUES. 19
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 them-
selves 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 in-
cessant and destructive feuds. In some cases no
doubt the object of the Land League was to
maintain their own power and influence by pre-
venting 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 in-
fluence of the colonizing race, or that some of
their leading Chiefs, seeing a considerable portion
20 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
of the country already in the hands of the settlers,
should have formed an agreement amongst them-
selves to hold fast to the land which still remains
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 " tempe-
rance 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 culti-
vation. 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
LAND LEAGUES. 21
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 pre-
vent the Native owner from disposing of his land
in open market, and obtaining for it its real value,*
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
* " And with regard to the alienation of land, might there not
exist a well-founded distrust of a Government which, while it
did not permit the sale of land to individuals, does, by holding
out inducements which few savages are able to resist, acquire the
article which the Maori has to sell at a very low rate (sixpence
or a shilling an acre), which article is instantly retailed to the
white man at ten shillings an acre ! " Sir William Denison to
22 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
recognized and respected, and friendlj 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
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
LAND LEAGUES. 23
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.* Yet although her Majesty has guaranteed
* " It might not be generally known that a vast extent of the
lands in the Middle Island was obtained from the Natives on
certain conditions. The whole of the land commencing at Eaiapoi,
and extending south to Molyneux, amounting to about twenty
two million of acres, was acquired from the Natives by a payment
of i,OOOZ., and an assurance given by the Commissioner (himself
Mr. Mantel), on behalf of the Government, that they must not
regard the 2,000/. as the principal payment, but the benefits
they would acquire from schools erected for their education, from
medical attendance, and the general hospitable care of the
Government. Those lands passed to the Government, but the
promises made had never to this day been properly fulfilled."
Speech of the Native Minister (Mr. Mantel), House of Repre-
Nearly the whole of the land in the Province of Canterbury
was purchased from the Natives for little more than a nominal
sum; but the land reserved for them (not more than 7,000 acres),
is now valued at upwards of 60.000/.
24 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
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 pre-
pared 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 equit-
able 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." *
* " There is no question that the common and ordinary mode
of dealing with the differences between the white man and the
Maori would be to treat the latter as a rebel, to pour in troops,
MAORI KING MOVEMENT. 25
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 Govern-
ment," wrote Governor Browne, " does not take
regardless of expense, and eventually to sweep away a race which
occupies land of which the white man professes to be in want>
though he has millions of acres of which he can or does make
no use. This, however, is a very costly mode of dealing with
such a matter; to say nothing of its immorality and injustice.
The Imperial Government will have to pay a high price for
the land which, after having purchased it with its blood and
treasure, it hands over to the Colonists to sell for their benefit.'
Sir William Denison to Governor Browne.
The nature of the territorial rights guaranteed to the Natives
by treaty, has been officially defined by the Under Secretary of
the Colonial Department (Mr. Merivale), who, in his evidence
before a Committee of the House of Commons, declared " that it
was considered that the New Zealand Tribes had a right of
proprietorship over their lands ; not simply a general right of
dominion, but a right of proprietorship like landlords of estates,
for which the Crown was bound to pay them."
26 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
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." * And until a general
* When the name of King was afterwards regarded almost
as a public offence, the Committee appointed to report upon the
finance accounts of the Colony appear to have been surprised to
find that the founder of the dynasty, King Potatou, had been in
receipt of a pension from the Government almost to the day of
his death, and that he had been buried at the cost of the Colonial
Treasury. " The Committee observe," says their Report, " that
the pension to Te Whero Where was paid up to the 31st of March,
1860." They are informed that this is the Chief who was pro-
claimed Maori King under the name of Potatou L, and that he
died on the 25th of June, 1860. Out of the item, " Presents
and Entertainments to Natives," amounting to 4 167. 9*. 6d.,
MAORI KING MOVEMENT. 27
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 Com-
mittee, 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 under-
stood 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 Runan-
gas, 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
the Committee discovered that the sum of I/. 17s. was paid
on the llth of November, 1860, for coffin furniture for Potatou.
" The facts and dates," adds the Report, " appeared to the Com-
mittee to be very remarkable."
28 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
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 neigh-
bourhood of Auckland, he himself formed one
of the party for the purpose of restraining them,
and he was largely influential in keeping them
MAORI KING MO YEMENI. 29
from mischief. Several unruly and headstrong
members of his Tribe went to Taranaki to the sup-
port 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
" 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 per-
severed. I considered how this blood could be made
to diminish in this Island. I looked into your books
30 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
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
MAORI KING MOVEMENT. 31
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 some-
time 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
32 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
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 Govern-
ment. 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 drunken-
ness, 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 move-
ment) 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
MAORI KING MOVEMENT. 33
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, pro-
bably 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
34 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAB.
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 pro-
posal 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 (Kainhakawa) 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."
MAORI KING MOVEMENT. 35
After a careful inquiry into the subject, a
Committee of the House of Representatives, com-
prising 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 in-
consistent 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 con-
tradict it by positive resistance an opinion
which has been confirmed by the leader of the
present Ministry. " The great national move-
ment," 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
36 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
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,* " that without the control of larger
funds for Native purposes than have been placed
at the disposal of the Governor, it has been im-
possible 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,t that " the Governor of
New Zealand is obliged to act under a Constitu-
tion which appears to have been framed in for-
getfulness 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
* The Duke of Newcastle. f Mr. Fortescue.
MAORI KING MOVEMENT. 37
the sovereignty, undertook the responsibility of
establishing law and order in the country. Yet
the late Governor has declared that our Govern-
ment 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 arnong 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 Govern-
ment 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,
38 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAB.
order, or law amongst the great bulk of the Maori
people.* 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
* " Yon have, now, as a fact, the establishment of something
analogous to a general government among the Maories; a recog-
nition on their part of the necessity of some paramount authority ;
this is a" step in the right direction do not ignore it do not,
on the ground that some evil may possibly spring from it, make
the Natives suspicious of your motive by opposing it, but avail
yourself of the opportunity to introduce some more of the elements
of good government among them. Suggest to them the necessity
of defining and limiting the power of the person who has been
elected as the Chief or King (I should not quarrel with the
name) ; of establishing some system of legislation, simple, of
course, at first, but capable of being modified and improved;
but do not attempt to introduce the complicated arrangements
suited to a civilized and educated people, recognizing publicly
and openly the Maories not merely as individual subjects of the
Queen, but as a race a body whose interests you are bound to
respect and promote, and then give to that body the means of
deciding what their interests are, and of submitting them in a
proper form for your consideration." Sir William Denison to
POLICY OF SIR G. GREY. 39
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
40 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
be a reproach to civilization, and a disgrace to
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 alter-
native ; 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 administra-
tion 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
POLICY OF SIR G. GREY. 41
bye-laws, to be brought into operation with the
approval of the Governor in Council, on the
subjects of fencing, cattle trespassing, the sup-
pression 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.
42 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
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 Govern-
ment on the recommendation of the Council, on
such conditions as may be agreed on between the
sellers and the purchaser. The intending pur-
chaser, however, must be a bond 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 Govern-
ment on consultation with the Council of the
district. A lost confidence is not easily regained,
but, by these means, Governor Grey is endeavour-
ing to remove the causes of suspicion and irritation
which exist amongst the Native people, in the
expectation that before the proved and substantial
POLICY OF SIR G. GREY. 43
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." *
* An official notification recently published amongst the Natives
concludes as follows: (Translated: ) "This, then, is what the
Governor intends to do, to assist the Maori in the good work of esta-
blishing law and order. These are the first things : the Runangas,
the Assessors, the Policemen, the Schools, the Doctors, the Civil
Commissioners to assist the Maories to govern themselves, to
make good laws, and to protect the weak against the strong.
There will be many more things to be planned and to be decided;
but about such things the Runangas and the Commissioners will
consult. This work will be a work of time, like the growing
of a large tree at first there is the seed, then there is one trunk,
then there are branches innumerable, and very many leaves: by-
and-by, perhaps, there will be fruit also. But the growth of
the tree is slow the branches, the leaves, and fruit did not
appear all at once, when the seed was put in the ground: and
so will it be with the good laws of the Runanga. This is the
seed which the Governor desires to sow: the Runangas, the Asses-
sors, the Commissioners, and the rest. By-and-by, perhaps,
this seed will grow into a very great tree, which will bear good
fruit on all its branches. The Maories, then, must assist in the
planting of this tree, in the training of its branches, in cultivating
the ground about its roots ; and, as the tree grows, the children
of the Maori, also, will grow to be a rich, wise, and prosperous
people, like the English and those other nations which long ago
44 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
began the work of making good laws, and obeying them. This
will be the work of peace, on which the blessing of Providence
will rest, which will make the storms to pass away from the
sky, and all things become light between the Maori and the
Pakeha; and the heart of the Queen will then be glad when she
hears that the two races are living quietly together, as brothers,
in the good and prosperous land of New Zealand."
State of New Zealand at the time of the Outbreak. Political
Status of the Native Race. Dangerous Consequences of a
Collision foreseen. The Maori Tribal System. Maori Tenure
of Land. Cause of the Insurrection.
OUR former wars with the Natives of New
Zealand were almost inevitable; but they left
no rankling feeling in the Native mind: and not
only our gracious Sovereign, but the various
Representatives of her Majesty * have, up to a
* The Governor is commonly, but erroneously regarded as the
" Representative " of the Crown. " Not in fact," says Lord
Brougham; " he does not even represent the Sovereign generally,
having only the functions delegated to him by his Commission;
and being only the officer to execute the special powers with
which the Commission clothes him." And the Maories have
always been taught by authority to regard the Queen personally
as their ruler and governor, who, though far away, is ever mind-
ful of their interests; and to whom, if wronged, they are to appeal
as one ever willing to listen to their words.
Letter of Governor Grey to Te Whero Whero, dated 3lst of
[After stating the gracious answer of the Queen to the
memorial addressed to her by the Chiefs of Waikato, the
Governor proceeds to say: ]
46 . NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
recent period, enjoyed the respect and confidence
of the Maori race. Queen Victoria is still be-
lieved by them to be the loving mother of her
Native subjects ; but recently, and for the first
time in the history of the Colony, many of them,
for a time at least, became dissatisfied with our
Before the commencement of the Taranaki
insurrection, New Zealand was in a state of
profound peace. For a period of several years,
friendly relations had been maintained between
the settlers and the Natives, and the Colony
had been making steady progress in agriculture,
" My good Friends These are the words of the Queen to
you. I add a few words of my own. Listen to them. You
thought trouble was coming upon you, so you wrote your loving
thoughts to the Queen, and disclosed your fear to her. The
Queen was not deaf to your appeal, but attended to it imme-
diately; and quickly came her letter to remove your anxiety.
Quite full is her letter of words of love and kindness, in return
for your love to her.
"Learn from this, that though the Queen is far away, yet
her love is nigh, and reaches you speedily. Her mindfulness of
you is near at hand to protect you. If you shall think hereafter
that you are trampled on by any person whomsoever be patient.
Let not the heart in its ignorance be excited and led by wrath
into wrong. On the contrary, write your thoughts to the Queen*
for you see her willingness to listen to your words.
" From your loving friend,
" G. GKET
" Governor-in- Chief."
NEW ZEALAND BEFOEE THE OUTBREAK. 47
commerce, population, and wealth. Upwards of
thirty millions of acres more than half the area
of the whole of the islands had been obtained
from the Native owners, for purposes of coloniza-
tion; internal feuds had almost ceased; a growing
desire for the establishment of law and order
amongst themselves was showing itself amongst
the Natives in all parts of the country : and with
wise government and prudent conduct on the
part of the settlers, there appeared to be a fair
prospect of uninterrupted prosperity and peace.
For several years after the Colony was founded,
the Governor was advised by a Council appointed
by and responsible to the Crown, and who held
their offices by a permanent tenure : but his
advisers are now responsible to the Colonists
alone, and are liable to be frequently changed.
When this important alteration in the form of
Government was effected, it was proposed by
the Governor that, as to Native affairs, both
power and responsibility should continue with
the Governor as before, but that the Ministers
should have the right of tendering their advice.
The risk of weakening the Governor's power,
and of exposing him to be influenced by the
48 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
varying and irresponsible counsels of successive
Administrations holding office at the popular will,
was regarded by many as a serious danger; and
it was foretold that the Chiefs, if neglected by
the Head of the Government, and left to be
dealt with by subordinates, would gradually
secede from communication with the authorities,
forming leagues and schemes of which the Govern-
ment would have no cognizance : that they would
thus become estranged, and that when they came
to be feared and suspected, there would be the
constant risk of the Governor being driven by
the Ministers to use the Troops against them ;
and that the country would not be safe for six
months after the question of peace and war had
been entrusted to a Ministry who had the com-
mand of the Queen's Troops, but who were them-
selves neither responsible to the Colonists nor
to the Crown.
In terms, at least, the New Zealand Con-
stitution makes no distinction of race. The
Natives are acknowledged to be the owners of
the soil to have, in fact, a right of proprietor-
ship like landlords of estates ; but it has been
denied that they have such an interest in it
NEW ZEALAND BEFORE THE OUTBREAK. 49
under the Native tenure as to entitle them,
within the meaning of the Act, to vote at the
election. In return for their cession of the
sovereignty, we have undertaken to impart to
them the rights and privileges of British sub-
jects. Yet we have given them no voice in the
Government of the country, while we tax them
for its support. They are not entitled by law
to act as jurors : and they are not tried by a
jury of their peers if they offend against the
law. Though acknowledged to be the owners
of the soil, we have given them no constitutional
tribunal by which conflicting claims to land may
be judicially determined. If a Colonist resists
a threatened injury to his person, or his property,
he exercises a right common to every English
subject of the Crown ; but when the Maories, to
whom we have covenanted to impart these rights,
attempted to assert and maintain them, they were
denounced as rebels, and immediately subjected
to the authority of military law. When it was
urged in their behalf that before being subjected
to martial law, they were entitled to have their
claims considered and determined by the civil
tribunals of the country, a doubt was raised
50 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
whether they are so far British subjects as to
be entitled to the rights and privileges of a
subject of the Crown; and those who attempted
to aid them in obtaining justice were charged
with disloyalty to the Sovereign, and their
interference was declared by those who were
then in authority to amount to a public danger.
We are more scrupulous than the French in
our professions of regard for the rights of the
coloured races who may be subject to our rule;
but we have given our French neighbours some
ground to maintain that the difference between
their system of colonization and our own, is in
truth more theoretical than real.
But the colonization of these Islands having
been undertaken on the avowed principle that the
rights of the Aborigines shall be carefully re-
spected, the project has always been regarded
as an experiment in which the national credit
was at stake. The first Governor was instructed
that the Native inhabitants should be the objects
of his constant solicitude ; that there was no
subject connected with New Zealand which the
Queen, and every class of her Majesty's subjects,
regarded with more earnest anxiety; that the
POLITICAL STATUS OF THE NATIVES. 51
dread of exposing any part of the human race to
the dangers which had commonly proved so for-
midable to Native tribes when brought into con-
tact with civilized men, was the motive which
for a length of time dissuaded the occupation of
New Zealand by the British Government; and
it was enjoined upon the first Governor, that
amongst the principal objects to be aimed at by
him, was the protection of her Majesty's Native
subjects from cruelty and wrong ; the establish-
ment and maintenance of friendly relations with
them ; and the prevention of the diminution of
their numbers; and that to save them from the
calamities of which the approach of civilized men
to barbarous tribes had been the almost universal
herald was a duty too serious and important to
be neglected. Having been engaged for upwards
of twenty years in this great experiment, and
not without some prospect of success, it is humi-
liating to have to record that a number of her
Majesty's Maori subjects took up arms to defend
themselves from what they believed to be the
injustice of their rulers ; and that a demand was
understood to have been made upon Great Britain
by the Colonial Native Minister for an " indefinite
52 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
expenditure of blood and treasure," in order to
The late Governor had not been many months
in the Colony before he discovered, and, like his
predecessors, pointed out the danger of provoking
a conflict with the Natives. " In any real trial
of strength between the Natives and Europeans
there can be no possible doubt," reported Governor
Browne, " as to the result. But it is not less
certain that pending its duration a- vast amount
of life and property would be destroyed : numbers
of thriving settlers would abandon their houses :
immigration would entirely cease; and a great
expense would be entailed on the mother country.
In other words," he added, " the prosperity of the
Colony would be annihilated for years after the
termination of a struggle as successful as could
be desired." It had been declared also by one of
the numerous writers on New Zealand, referring
especially to that part of the country which be-
came the seat of war, that the land might have
been wrested from the Natives, but that fighting,
however successful, must have been attended with
some deplorable result. The Natives might have
been driven off, but their revengful feelings thus
DANGEROUS RESULTS OF A COLLISION. 53
excited, who, in a scattered agricultural com-
munity like this, was to ensure the remote settlers
against the attack of some marauding band?
Certainly not the soldiers. " Peaceful purchase,
on the contrary," the writer adds, " is attended
with many excellent results." Six years pre-
viously the then Native Secretary had recorded
his opinion, " that military operations in the Tar-
anaki district would prove fatal to the prosperity
of the settlement for some time to come, as the
settlers would have to concentrate themselves in
town, for the protection of their wives and families,
and their properties in the meantime would go to
ruin." And more recently, the late Governor had
informed the Colonial Minister, " that the imme-
diate consequences of any attempt to acquire
Maori lands, without previously extinguishing
the Native title to the satisfaction of all having an
immediate interest in them, would be an universal
outbreak, in which many innocent Europeans
would perish, and colonization would be indefinitely
retarded." Yet after having acquired more than
thirty millions of acres of land under a system
satisfactory, in the main, both to the buyer and
the sellers, a " new policy " was believed by the
54 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
Natives to have been attempted, and the Province
of Taranaki was plunged into a civil war, by an
attempt to obtain possession, by military force,
of Native land with a doubtful or disputed title.
When we first became acquainted with New
Zealand, the whole country from the North Cape
to Stewart's Island was parcelled out by natural
or other well-known landmarks amongst the nume-
rous tribes and families who form the Maori race.
Each community holds its land in common ; but
every individual member, besides having a general
interest in the Tribal property, may acquire by
inheritance, by his own labour, or otherwise, a
possessory or holding title to a specific portion,
but he is not allowed to exercise a disposing power
over it. " It is right," said an intelligent Chief,
" that every individual should be free to sell his
own bushel of wheat, potatoes, and corn, for they
are produced by the labour of his hands ; but the
land is an inheritance from our ancestors, the
Father of us all." And so general is the Tribal
system, that in the opinion of the Head of the
Native Department (1856), "no Native can claim
an individual title to land in the Northern Island.
There is really no such thing as individual title
MAORI TRIBAL SYSTEM. 55
that is not entangled with the general interest of
the Tribe; and often with the claims of other Tribes,
who may have emigrated from the locality."
The common property is, in fact, the bond
which binds together the members of the Tribe ;
and it would be inconsistent with the Tribal
system if an individual could alienate away from
the Tribe any portion of territory ; for all the
members have not only a present right in the
uncultivated or unappropriated land, but also a
reversionary interest in those portions of the land
which have already been appropriated by other
members of the Tribe ; and it would be fatal not
only to the Tribal system, but to the existence of
the Tribe itself, if individuals had the power of
their own free will of alienating to a stranger
any portion of the common land. Nor does the
Chief himself hold land on any different tenure.
In addition to a general interest in the common
property, he has frequently, like some of the
ordinary members of the Tribe, a possessory or
holding title to some specific portion of it; but
he is not recognized as having the power at his
own individual will of separating it from the
common stock, and selling it to a stranger. From
56 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
his superior ability and position, he exercises a
powerful influence over their deliberations : he
has also an influential voice as to the sale or
disposal of the common land: yet if all were
desirous that a portion of it should be sold, he
would hardly have the power by virtue of his
Chieftainship to put an absolute veto on the sale :
nor could he, on the other hand, without the
consent of the Tribe, undertake to dispose of any
portion of the Tribal land; his duty being to
act as the guardian of the common property, and
to give expression to the common will.
Early in the year 1860 an attempt to purchase
land without obtaining the consent of all those
who claimed to be entitled to a voice in the dis-
posal of it, provoked the Natives of Taranaki to
take up arms in defence of their territorial rights,
and led to a formidable insurrection. Some years
previously, a somewhat similar proceeding on the
part of the American Government excited the
apprehension of the Red Indians, who also held
their lands in common. "In the year 1825 the
United States Government," says the Abbe"
Domenech,* " wishing to satisfy the State of
* Seven Years' Residence, &c.
TRIBAL SYSTEM. 57
Georgia, resolved to take possession of a large
portion of land still occupied by the Creeks.
Mclntosh and a few other members of the nation
leaned towards the concession, but the great ma-
jority would not hear of it. The Commissaries
of the Georgian Legislature, knowing the state of
feeling, hastily called an assembly of Chiefs on
a spot named Indian Spring. In this important
reunion one of the Chiefs arose, and addressing
the Commissaries, said : ' We have already seen
you at the Broken Arrow, and told you that we
have no land to sell. Then, as now, I have heard
no complaints against my nation. Called forth
in haste, we have come to meet you, but do not
consider the Chiefs here present as having autho-
rity to treat with you. Mclntosh knows we are
tied down by our laws, and that which is not
resolved on in our public places, by our General
Councils, does not bind the nation. I am obliged
to repeat to you what I said to you at the Broken
Arrow, we have no land to sell. There are here
few members of our upper towns, and many of
those of the lower towns are absent. Mclntosh
knows that no portion of land can be sold without
a Grand Council, and without the unanimous con-
58 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
sent of the whole nation ; and that if a part of
the people wish to leave, they may go, but cannot
sell their land, which in that case belongs to the
nation. This is all I had to say to you, and now
I return home.' The Commissaries did not, how-
ever, give up the game : they told Mclntosh and
his companions that the Creeks were sufficiently
represented by them, and the idea of dividing
among them the money that Government des-
tined for the purchase, led the Indians to conclude
with the Commissaries. Nineteen Chiefs only
signed the concession ; the others, more or less,
however, were of inferior rank, and contemptible
characters. Thirty-six refused to sign. This
treaty of the Indian Spring," continues the Abbe*
Domenech, " spread uneasiness on every side."
The Taranaki Settlement. The Waitara. The Native Title.
The Waitara considered essential to the Completeness of the
Settlement. Why valued by its Native Owners. Their Sus-
picion of the Settlers. Their early determination not to sell
THE Province in which the outbreak occurred is
the smallest of the nine Provinces into which the
Colony has been divided : but " no one can speak
of the soil or scenery of New Zealand, till he has
seen both the natural beauties and the ripening
harvests of Taranaki, which by concurrent testi-
mony is described as the garden of New Zealand."
From the beginning of March, 1860, to the end of
March in the following year, this beautiful district
was visited by the scourge of war. Its once
fruitful fields and pleasant homesteads were
abandoned and laid waste ; the ploughshare was
exchanged for the sword ; and the settlers,
separated from their wives and families, and shut
up in an entrenched camp, within sight of the
60 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAK.
wasted labours of nearly twenty years, were for
many months doing military duty under the iron
despotism of martial law.
With a seaboard of about 100 miles, of which
Cape Egmont is the centre, the Province extends
inland from twenty to forty miles; and it com-
prises an area of about two millions of acres. With
the exception of a narrow and irregular strip of
open fern-land near the sea, the country is heavily
timbered. At the commencement of the outbreak,
the English population of the province amounted
to 2,700 souls ; and the Native population was
estimated to amount to about an equal number.
But not having a harbour, being difficult of
access, hemmed in between an open roadstead
and a dense forest, and being almost impracticable
for military operations, the Taranaki district,
where the question of Native title has always been
unusually complicated, was not well chosen, with
all its natural beauties, for the site of an English
The New Zealand Company, acting with their
usual precipitancy, and ignorant as to who were
the real owners of the land, dealt with a few
Natives who represented themselves to have the
THE TARANAKI SETTLEMENT. 61
right to dispose of it, and hardly made the
shadow of a purchase before the settlement was
founded. The first difficulty with which the early
settlers had to contend, as at Wellington and
Nelson, was the want of a clear title to the
land; and it was only by the exertions of the
Government that the Native title to a few
blocks of land of limited extent was afterwards
extinguished, and the settlers, after a period of
ruinous delay, were ultimately put into peaceable
possession of their homesteads.
The Waitara, a fertile, open district, watered by
a small river, ten miles to the north of the town,
and navigable at high water by small coasting
craft, was the locality which in the first instance
was fixed upon for the site of the settlement ; and
it was represented by their surveyer to the New
Plymouth Company, by whom the settlement was
originally founded, that if they were deprived of
that river, they would lose the only harbour in
the neighbourhood, and the most valuable district
for agriculture. But this much coveted spot was
not to t>e obtained from its Native owners ; so the
Company were compelled with great reluctance to
lay out the town upon a much less eligible site ;
62 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
and for nearly twenty years the open land at the
Waitara has with the Taranaki settlers been an
object of almost passionate desire.
When they first landed at Taranaki, the neigh-
bouring country was almost uninhabited. Ten or
twelve years previously, a large body of the Wai-
tara Natives, led by Rere, the father of William
King, the so-called rebel chief,* had formed an
expedition to the south ; and taking advantage of
their absence, their northern neighbours, the
Waikatos, under Te Whero Whero (since better
known as Potatou, the Maori King), made a raid
upon Taranaki, attacked, defeated, and dispersed
* The term rebel, in its legal meaning, is not generally under-
stood. It was admitted by the Attorney-General (Sir John
Campbell), in Frost's case, " that wherever there is a private
revenge only to be gratified, a private grievance to be redressed,
or a private object to be obtained, although force may be used,
and although there may be an offence against the law, it does
not amount to the crime of treason." And it was maintained
by Sir Fitzroy Kelly that if Frost and his followers had conspired
and combined by force of arms to go and burn down the gaol
at Monmouth, for the purpose of liberating Vincent and the
other three prisoners that were there; and if, in order to compass
that design, they had massacred a large body of the Queen's
troops, though it might have been murder, and though, at the
least, the very attempt would have been a high misdemeanor
generally punishable yet it would not have amounted to high
treason ; because the crime of high treason consists in the com-
passing of some general and universal object.
RAID OF THE WAIKATOS. , 63
the remnant of the Natives, and having overrun
the country and taken many prisoners, returned
with them to the north. After the marauders had
retired, a few of the original occupants of the
country ventured to return and take possession of
their houses ; and their captive relations, most of
whom were afterwards released, gradually flocked
back into the district, and again settled themselves
upon the land. The Waikato raid greatly com-
plicated the question of Native title, and the
difficulty of providing for the unfortunate immi-
grants, sent out by the Company before land had
been procured for them, became daily more
apparent. The Chief of the Waikatos claimed a
certain right over the country by right of
conquest; and so far as he took actual possession,
his claim, according to Native usage, would be
valid. It appeared, however, that he did not
permanently occupy the soil ; but being a Chief
of great influence, with might, if not right, on his
side, it was deemed expedient by the Government
to buy up his interest and satisfy his claim.
The members of the Waitara tribe who
happened to be in the south at the time of the
Waikato invasion, maintained that they had not
64 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAS.
forfeited their right to the land by their temporary
absence. " The Europeans were wrong," said
William King, and other Ngatiawa Chiefs,
addressing Governor Fitzroy, in the year 1844,
" in striving for this land, which was never sold
by its owners, the men of Ngatiawa. Now when
the Ngatiawa Tribe went to Kapiti, they left some
men behind on our lands, who were surprised by
the Waikatos, and led away captive, who, having
arrived at Waikato, were afterwards returned to
Waitara to dwell there. Others came back from
Kapiti. We love the land of our ancestors.
We did not receive any of the goods of Colonel
Wakefield (the New Zealand Company's Agent).
It was wrong to buy the land which belonged to
other men. There are many Chiefs to whom the
land belongs who are now at Waikanae and
Arapoa. It was love for the lands of our fore-
fathers that brought us back to those lands.
Friend Governor, our thoughts are that the lands
were never settled by the Waikatos." * And the
claims of those members of the tribe, who were
* According to Maori usage, the conquering tribe never
claimed the land of the conquered, unless they took immediate
possession, by exercising acts of ownership, such as living upon
and cultivating the soil.
THE NATIVE TITLE. 65
absent in the south when the Waikatos overran
the country, and of those who had been carried
away captive, and of the remnant who were left
in the district (if they had ever been forfeited),
according to the evidence given by the Native
Secretary before the House of Representatives,
were afterwards readmitted by the Government ;
and the Tribe has since been recognized and dealt
with as the owners of the soil. But amongst the
Tribe itself, who appear to have had almost a
passionate attachment to the district, the Waitara
had many claimants, and it was not without
difficulty that they could for a length of time be
prevailed upon to alienate any part of it; and
seeing the many disadvantages of the site fixed
upon by the Company for their settlement, and
seeing no peaceable solution of the difficulties by
which the settlers were surrounded, the expediency
of breaking up the settlement was seriously enter-
tained by the authorities more than fifteen years
before the commencement of the recent outbreak.
As land for the purposes of the settlement had
only been obtained in detached blocks, the settlers
and the Natives were settled together in closer
proximity at Taranaki than in any other of the
66 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
New Zealand settlements. Relieved from all fear
of a second Waikato raid, and following the
example of their English neighbours, the Natives
of Taranaki soon became extensive cultivators of
the soil, and the proprietors of a large amount of
valuable farming stock and agricultural implements.
Comparing the condition of the resident Natives
with that of their countrymen in the north, the
Bishop of New Zealand remarked that " the
coasting craft and canoes of Auckland may here
be represented by the almost innumerable carts
which may be seen on market days coming from
north and south into the settlement." William
King and his people, then occupying the Waitara,
alone possessed one hundred and fifty horses, three
hundred head of cattle, forty carts, thirty-five
ploughs, three winnowing machines, and twenty
pairs of harrows; and in the year 1855 they
exported agricultural produce to the amount of
upwards of 8,OOOZ. ; but in the midst of the
general prosperity the peace of the district was
disturbed by Native feuds, and the district was
soon studded over with numerous Native pahs.
The earliest and most serious of these disturb-
ances arose out of an attempt somewhat similar
NATIVE FEUDS. 67
to that which led to the recent conflict an attempt
to purchase land without the consent of all who
claimed a voice in the disposal of it. Being
exposed to a continual pressure from the settlers
to acquire land from the Natives, the Taranaki
Land Commissioner was always in danger of being
urged into undue haste in conducting his nego-
tiations. A piece of land was offered for sale to
the then Local Commissioner (Cooper) by a
Native Assessor named Rawiri ; but Katatore, a
man of the same Tribe, and a near relation, had
always expressed his intention to - retain it, and
threatened to oppose any one who should offer
it for sale. To test Rawiri's power to dispose
of the land, the Commissioner desired him to cut
the boundary line; and while he and his party
were engaged in the work, Katatore and his
followers cautioned them to desist; firing twice
into the ground by way of warning to deter them.
But they still persisted, until Katatore and his
people aiming a deadly volley at them, shot
Rawiri and six of his followers, and wounded
several others. For a length of time afterwards the
relations and followers of the contending parties
were engaged in a deadly fued; and two years
68 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
afterwards Katatore himself was killed. Other
causes of quarrel also arose amongst them; and
for a period of two or three years their progress
in industrial pursuits was brought entirely to a
Up to this time the settlement had never been
occupied as a military post; and it is singular
that, throughout those Native disturbances, the
settlers suffered little direct or immediate injury ;
but being closely intermixed with the resident
Natives, who were all well armed, who occupied
numerous defensible positions, and who were not
unfrequently engaged in deadly strife, the settlers
naturally felt their situation to be painfully in-
secure ; and they made repeated and urgent
appeals to the Colonial Government to garrison
the settlement with troops. But it was believed
by the authorities that the presence of a military
force would excite a feeling of jealousy and irrita-
tion in the mind of the Natives, and would tend
to increase rather than to obviate the danger :
and that so long as they exercised ordinary caution
and forbearance, the settlers would remain iin-
injured: while the presence of the small force
then at the disposal of the Government would be
MILITARY POSITION OF TARANAKI. 69
insufficient to overawe and preserve peace amongst
the Natives, and be calculated to give a false
confidence to the settlers, and lead them to be
less careful to maintain peaceful relations with
their Maori neighbours : and that military opera-
tions once commenced would end in the total
destruction of the settlement. This opinion was
confirmed by the Native Secretary, who, being
a military man, was commissioned to make a care-
ful examination of the ground. "The country
about New Plymouth," reported Major Nugent,
" is very favourable for the desultory warfare of
the Natives. With the exception of a narrow
strip of land from one to five miles in breadth,
extending along the coast, the country is a dense
forest, intersected with numerous ravines: and,
except on this strip of land, the country is most
unsuited for the operation of English troops
against a hostile Native force. The settlement
extends along the coast for twenty miles ; some
of the settlers have penetrated eight miles into
the forest ; and a much larger force than Great
Britain could spare for the whole Colony of New
Zealand would be insufficient for the protection
of the settlement : and in case of a collision be-
70 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
tween the troops and the Natives, the settlement
would dwindle into a mere military post." The
Executive Council of the Colony being at that
time (1855) responsible to the Crown alone,
advised that, looking to the unfavourable nature
of that part of the country for military operations,
every effort should be made to avoid the risk of
hostilities with the Natives in the Taranaki dis-
trict : and that as the then recent disturbances
had their origin in the attempt to purchase land
from the Natives with a disputed title, the Land
Purchase Department should use great caution in
entering into any negotiations for the purchase
of land until the views of the various claimants
should have been ascertained. Governor Browne
soon afterwards arriving in the Colony, and
having before him so significant an illustration
of the danger of attempting to purchase land
with a doubtful or disputed title, condemned
the conduct of the Local Commissioner in com-
mencing a survey before he was assured that
all who had even a disputed claim to the land
desired it should be sold : and he declined to
make a demand for reparation, on the ground that
"it could only be enforced at the expense of a
THE WAITARA COMPLICATION. 71
general war, including sooner or later all the
Tribes in the Northern Island.
After the settlers had long been kept in a state
of ruinous uncertainty, the Local Government
succeeded in completing the purchase of detached
blocks of land of considerable extent for their
occupation. In one instance, thirty thousand acres
were obtained at the rate of tenpence per acre.
But the land being for the most part heavily
timbered, the open country at the Waitara con-
tinued to be regarded by the Taranaki settlers as
essential to the extension of the settlement. This
favoured spot, however, was highly valued by its
original Native occupants, many of whom were at
that time still absent in the South. " This also is the
determination of our people," wrote William King
to Governor Fitzroy. " Waitara shall not be given
up, the men to whom it belongs will hold it for
themselves ; the Ngatiawa are constantly returning
to their land, on account of their attachment to the
land of our birth the land which we have culti-
vated, and which our ancestors marked out by
boundaries and delivered to us. Friend Governor !
do not you love your land, England, the land of
your fathers, as we also love our land at Waitara?
72 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
Friend, let your thought be good towards us. We
desire not to strive with the Europeans; but at the
same time we do not wish to have our land settled
by them : let them be returned to the places which
have been paid for by them, lest a root of quarrel
remain between us and the Europeans." " There
are thousands of others," says Mr. Clarke, referring
to the Waikato raid, " who were not enslaved by
their enemies, and who joined Rauparaha (in the
South) and those of their tribe who had followed
him. These parties have already returned to the
possessions of their families, who claim the country
by right of descent. Every acre of land there has
been allotted by their ancestors to the heads of the
different families, and subdivided into allotments
for the different individuals : they are all marked
out by natural or artificial boundaries, and each
family knows what belongs to itself, and what to
others. These Natives are returning to the place
of their birth every day, and never will give up
possession to the Europeans. One false step now
must plunge us, sooner or later, into ruin perhaps
bloodshed : the Natives never will give up tamely
what they consider to be their just rights." " If
the Government," he added, * are determined to put
APPREHENSIONS OF THE NATIVES. 73
the settlers into possession of land which we cannot
convince the Natives or ourselves, honestly, that they
have alienated, they must do it at the point of the
It was not until further disturbance had occurred
amongst the Natives of the District, that the
Acting Governor (Wynyard) reluctantly gave
way to the importunities of the settlers, and
occupied Taranaki with a military force ; but, as
appears to have been anticipated, the arrival of the
troops in 1855, intended simply as a protection to
the settlers, was regarded with suspicion by the
Natives. Soon after Governor Browne's arrival
in the Colony, the Government was informed that
it was strongly apprehended by the Taranaki
Tribe (not the Ngatiawa or Waitara) that Governor
Browne would differ in his views and measures
from Governor Wynyard, and that, in all proba-
bility, ere long, his word would go forth to put the
troops sent down here as a protecting force by the
latter, into an aggressive motion, and that thus
a war between the Europeans and the Aborigines
would be commenced ; and being still continually
urged to part with the land, the Waitara Natives
were troubled by similar apprehensions, until they
74 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
were visited by the officer in command of the
troops, who went amongst them for the purpose of
explaining the reasons for which a military force
had been stationed in the district. The Chief him-
self appears even to have had some fear of being
seized suddenly like Te Rauparaha. " I assured
him," said Major Nugent, " that nothing was
further from my intention than to seize him
treacherously in the night. He complained much
of false statements which had been made against
huii in the local papers; and in proof that
he had some ground for his complaints, I en-
close copies of the last numbers of the Taranaki
Herald, which do not disguise the wish of some
of the writers in that paper to drive William
King and his party away from the Waitara,
Now, independently of the illegality of such a
proceeding," adds Major Nugent, " the people of
the Tribe have exported produce this year to the
amount of between 8,OOOZ. and 9,000/., the greater
part of the proceeds of which is spent in British
manufactured goods; and consequently, indirectly,
the Natives contribute a considerable sum to the
revenue of the country. I have no hesitation in
saying that these people, who in their position
DISCONTENT OF THE SETTLERS. 75
are useful and beneficial occupiers of the soil,
have been on the point of being driven to become
our declared enemies, and compelled to take a
position in the forest, where all the discontented
and troublesome characters would have assembled,
and from which it would have required consider-
able force, and a large expenditure of money, to
drive them. In the meantime the authorities would
have been harassed by constant alarms, and New
Plymouth might have been thrown back a genera-
tion. I think that for the present the Natives are
reassured : but I cannot answer for the continuance
of tranquillity between the races, so long as such in-
flammatory articles are published in the newspapers,
in which people of much local influence do not dis-
guise their wishes to seize upon the land of the
Natives." These suspicions, however, still con-
tinued, and Governor Browne, soon after his arrival
in the Colony, reported that " various portions of
land have been acquired by purchase, but there is
still a deficiency : and although the greater part,
and all the most respectable settlers, have abstained
from expressing discontent, individuals have from
time to time, by letters in the newspapers, and
otherwise, shown a strong desire to expel the
76 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
Natives, and take possession of the lands to which
they consider themselves entitled in right of the
New Zealand Company's original purchase. Such
antecedents are not likely to have laid the founda-
tion of mutual confidence, and accordingly distrust,
which in most other provinces has given place to
better feelings, has not done so at New Plymouth ;
and the old suspicion," he added, " had been
revived amongst the Natives, that the Europeans
would not rest until they had slain and taken
possession of that which the Maories liken to
The Government urged to adopt a New System in the Purchase
of Native Land. Declaration of the Governor on the Subject.
Negotiations for the Purchase of the Waitara. Opposition
to the Sale. Difficulty of Completing a Satisfactory Purchase.
A Survey of the Land Attempted. Martial Law Pro-
claimed* The Waitara occupied by a Military Force.
As it was found to be impossible to obtain the
assent of all who had an interest in the Waitara,
it was thought that some individual members,
having a special interest in particular portions of
the land, might be induced to sell ; and the
Council of the Province presented a memorial to
the General Assembly in the Session of 1858, in
which they complained that the system commonly
adopted by the Government of acquiring the assent
of every claimant to any piece of land before a
purchase is made, had been found to operate in-
juriously to the settlement : and they urged the
expediency of setting aside the Tribal right
expressing their opinion that such of the Natives
78 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
as are willing to dispose of their proportion of
any common land to the Government should be
permitted to do so ; and that the Government
should compel an equitable division of such com-
mon land amongst the respective claimants on the
petition of a certain proportion of them. And
they added their opinion that " no danger of a
war between the Government and the Natives
need be apprehended from the prosecution of a
vigorous policy, inasmuch as a large proportion
of the Natives themselves would cordially support
it, and the remainder would, from the smallness
of their number, be incapable of offering an
effectual resistance." But the suggestion received
no countenance at that time, either from the
Government or the Assembly. On the contrary,
" I will never," wrote the Governor, " permit land
to be taken without the consent of those to whom
it belongs; nor will I interfere to compel an
equitable division of common land amongst the
respective claimants. This decision is not less one
of expediency than of justice, for the whole of
the Maori race maintain the right of the minority
to prevent the sale of land held in common, with
the utmost jealousy. Wi Kingi has no sort of
THE GOVERNOR'S VISIT TO TARANAKI. 79
influence with me or the Colonial Government.
We believe him to be an infamous character ; but
I will not permit the purchase of land over which
he has any right without his consent."
Early in the following year (1859) the Governor
paid a visit to the settlement ; and although the
settlers had not cultivated more than 13,000 of
the 43,000 acres of land then in their possession,
and of the territory which had already been ceded
by the Natives 20,000 acres of heavily timbered
laud still remained in the hands of the Provincial
Government open for selection, the Governor
was again pressed by them to obtain additional
land for the extension of the settlement. " I found
them," wrote the Governor, " dissatisfied with the
Government, and ill pleased with the Maories,
who, although they possess large tracts of land
which they cannot occupy, refuse to sell any part
of it : and they complain," he added, " that they
had not sufficient pasturage for their flocks, and
that immigrants and capitalists are driven to seek
in other provinces the accommodation which
Taranaki could not under present circumstances
afford." And he then made the declaration to
the Natives, in which he was unfortunately under-
80 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
stood by them to announce his intention to adopt
a new policy in the purchase of Native land, viz.,
to treat with individual claimants, to disregard the
influence of the Chiefs, and to set aside the Tribal
At the meeting which the Governor had with
the Natives, he said he never would consent to
buy land without an undisputed title ; he would
not permit any one to interfere in the sale of land
unless he owned part of it : and, on the other
hand, he would buy no man's land without his
consent. A Native, described in a semi-official
statement of the proceedings as " Te Teira, a
Waitara Native," then stated that he was anxious
to sell land belonging to him ; that he heard with
satisfaction the declaration of the Governor refer-
ring to individual claims, and the assurance of
protection that would be afforded by his Excel-
lency. He minutely defined the boundaries of
his claim, repeated that he was anxious to sell,
and that he was the owner of the land he offered
for sale. He then repeatedly asked if the Go-
vernor would buy his land. Mr. McLean, on
behalf of his Excellency, replied that he would.
Te Teira then placed a parawai (bordered mat)
THE GOVERNOR'S YISIT TO TARANAKI. 81
at the Governor's feet, which his Excellency
accepted. This ceremony, according to Native
custom, virtually placed Teira's land at Waitara
in the hands of the Governor. Paora then in-
formed the Governor that Te Teira could not sell
the land he had offered without the consent of
Weteriki and himself, as they had a joint interest
in a portion of it. Te Teira replied to him, and
was immediately followed by William King, who,
before addressing the Governor, said to his people,
" I will only say a few words and then we will
depart," to which they assented. He then said,
" Listen, Governor, notwithstanding Teira's offer,
I will not permit the sale of Waitara to the
Pakeha. Waitara is in my hands ; I will not
give it up, ekore, ekore, ekore (i. <?.), I will not,
I will not, I will not. I have spoken." And, turning
to his tribe, added, " Arise, let us go." Whereupon
he and his followers abruptly withdrew, and it is
said that some of the Natives present at the meet-
ing cautioned Teira not to embroil the country by
attempting to effect the sale.*
* The maximum price which had been given for land at
Taranaki was three shillings an acre; but it is believed that the
District Land Purchase Commissioner was authorized to give
Te Teira a bonus not exceeding 250/. for the cession of a tract
of land in so advantageous a position.
82 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAB.
Usually negotiations for the purchase of land in
New Zealand are entrusted to the officers of the
Land Purchase Department, but on the present
occasion the Governor himself initiated the pro-
ceedings. To any one unacquainted with the
Natives, the abrupt withdrawal of William King
would doubtless appear offensive, and it was in
fact construed by the Governor into an act of
intentional disrespect ; but it was simply a Native
mode of signifying the emphatic determination of
the Chief of his tribe to give his uncompromising
opposition to the sale, and Governor Browne was
no doubt afterwards considerably embarrassed by
having appeared before them in the character of a
land buyer, and by having given even a con-
ditional understanding to become the purchaser of
It soon appeared that the Native by whom the
land was offered for sale had great difficulty in
making a satisfactory title. William King, the
Chief of the Waitara, acting as the represen-
tative of the Tribe, and as the guardian of the
common property, resolutely opposed the sale ;
and numerous members of the Tribe, including
several who were residing in the south and
OPPOSITION TO THE SALE OF LAND. 83
claiming to have an interest in specific portions
of the block, also refused to dispose of their
respective shares ; and, setting aside any question
of tribal right, denied the right of Te Teira to
deal with any of the land comprised within the
boundaries of the block, except the specific portion
of it to which he was himself individually entitled.
But it appears to have been determined from the
outset, that this interference of the Chief of the
Waitara was a mere assumption, which should be
set aside, in case of need, by force. " I have little
fear," said Governor Browne, officially reporting
the result of his visit to Taranaki, " that William
King will continue to maintain his assumed right,
and I have made every preparation to enforce
obedience, should he presume to do so." The
Chief of the Waitara, however, did venture to
maintain his right ; and in the course of the
following month, acting as the mouthpiece of the
community, and as the guardian of the rights
of those who, besides Te Teira, claimed various
portions of land within the block, and who had not
consented to the sale, the Chief of the Waitara
addressed a written remonstance to the Governor,
claiming to be heard in their behalf. " Your
84 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
letter," he says, " reached me about Te Teira and
Te Ritemana's thoughts : I will not agree to our
bedroom being sold (I mean Waitara here), for
this bed belongs to the whole of us. You may
insist, but I will never agree to it. All I have to
say to you, O Governor, is, that none of this
land will be given to you ; never never, not till
I die. I have heard it said that I am to be
imprisoned because of this land. I am very sad
because of this word. Why is it ? You should
remember that the Maories and Pakehas are
living quietly upon their pieces of land, and there-
fore do not you disturb them." In his letters also
addressed to the Archdeacon of Kapiti some
months afterwards, King uses much the same
language. " I am not willing " he wrote, " that
this land should be disposed of; you must bear in
mind the word of Rere (his father), which he
spoke to you and Mr. Williams. You know that
word about Waitara,* I will not dispose of it to
the Governor and Mr. McLean. Let your word
to the Governor and Mr. McLean be strong, that
they may cease their importunity for Waitara
* Referring to the injunction of his father, in 1840, not to sell
OPPOSITION TO THE SALE OF LA.ND. 85
here, that we and the Pakeha may live in peace.
I will not give up the land. The Governor may
strike me, and without cause, and I shall die !
In that case there will be no help for it, because
it is an old saying, f The man first, and then the
land.' They say that Teira's piece of land
belongs to him alone. No ; that piece of land
belongs to us all ; it belongs to the orphan, it
belongs to the widow. If the Governor should
come to where you are, do you say a word
From the moment when he offered the land
for sale, Te Teira's power to dispose of it was
steadily contested. The duty of inquiring into
the validity of his title was entrusted to the
District Land Purchaser (Mr. Parris), Mr. McLean,
the head of the Land Purchase Department, being
engaged at the time in a distant part of the Colony.
After a lapse of some time spent in the inquiry,
Mr. Parris reported that, in the face of opposing
claims, the purchase could not yet be safely com-
pleted, and some months again elapsed without
his being able to make any satisfactory report of
his proceedings ; but he was informed, by the
then Native Minister, that the Governor felt that
86 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAB.
it was impossible for him, as her Majesty's repre-
sentative, to withdraw from the position he had
deliberately assumed; and the Governor now
directed that the purchase should, if possible, be
closed without delay. " Instructions should be sent
to Taranaki," he wrote in a memorandum of the
27th of August, " to close the purchase of Teira's
land, which was commenced when I was there,
without delay if possible. There is little chance
of Mr. McLean reaching Taranaki for some time."
"The Governor," wrote also the Native Minister to
Mr. Parris at the same time, "is very anxious
about the completion of the purchase from Teira.
I am sure you will press the matter as fast as
appears prudent. It will satisfy his Excellency if,
without writing officially, you will let me hear
privately how things stand. I have been in hopes
that Mr. McLean's visit would effect something
but he delays so long." " The Governor," he added,
" feels pledged to effect the purchase." The local
Land Purchaser, however, who appears to have
exercised great prudence and caution, and to
have fairly set before the Government the diffi-
culties that stood in the way of a peaceable
purchase of the land, was still unable to hold out
REPORT OF THE LA.ND PURCHASER. 87
any hope of a speedy and satisfactory settlement
of the question. " I have been investigating
Teira's question," he informed the Native Minister
(Sept. 21st), "in order to give an opinion as to the
opposition likely to be offered to it, and I am
sorry to say that I find William King full of his
dogged obstinacy, assuming the right to dictate
authority over land offered by the rightful owners
to the Government. He takes this ground, not
being able to refute the claims of Teira and his
supporters, who, from all I can gather from disin-
terested Natives, are the rightful owners. Teira
is emboldened by the justice of his claims. I
therefore find it necessary to restrain him in
many of his propositions, lest anger should arise
and violence ensue. He offers to cut the line, but
at present I decline to give my assent, knowing
the opposition he is sure to meet with. The pre-
vailing opinion amongst the Natives is that Teira's
offer will settle the question of the sale of land for
a long time ; if purchased, more will immediately
follow ; if not purchased, those who want to sell
will be afraid to move in the matter." And a few
days afterwards the local Land Purchaser received
authority from the Governor to make an imme-
88 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
diate advance in part payment for the land.
" Should you be able," wrote the Assistant Native
Secretary, "to satisfy yourself that the parties
offering it have an indisputable title, you will,
however, inform Te Teira that the purchase will
not be completed until Mr. McLean visits
Taranaki." The inquiry, however, was still pro-
longed ; " but not," it was said, " from any doubt
that existed as to the title, but in the hope that the
opposing party might be brought to reason." Two
months afterwards, however, an instalment was
paid. "I do not wish," said the Chief of the
Waitara, who still persisted in his opposition, " that
the land should be disturbed ; and though they "
(Teira and others) " have floated it, I will not let
it go to sea. It is enough, Parris ; their bellies are
full with the sight of the money you have
promised them ; but don't give it to them ; if you
do, I won't let you have the land, but will take
it and cultivate it myself." " Teira stops in
town," added Mr. Pariss, reporting the proceed-
ings, " since he received the instalment, consider-
ing it not safe to stop at Waitara." On the same
occasion a document setting forth the boundaries of
the block was read to the assembled Natives by
ADVICE OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL. 89
Mr. Parris. Appended to the document was a
declaration on behalf of the Governor, that if any
man could prove his claim to any piece of land
within the boundary described, such claim would
be respected, and the claimant might hold or sell
as he thought fit. But all claimants appeared
to be immediately afterwards shut out by a state-
ment authoritatively made and widely circulated
amongst the Natives in all parts of the country,
that the purchase-money having been paid to
Teira, the whole of the land had become the
property of the Crown. Still the opposition con-
tinued, and there appeared to be no prospect of
obtaining undisputed title to the land ; but feeling
himself committed to effect the purchase, the
Governor consulted the Executive Council on
the subject (January 25th, 1860), who advised
that, should William King or any other Native
endeavour to prevent the survey, or in any way
interfere with the prosecution of the work that
the surveyor's party should be protected, during
the whole performance of the work, by military
force ; that the Commanding Officer should be
empowered to subject the Province to martial
law, and that he should be instructed to keep
90 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAE.
possession of. the debateable land, if necessary,
by force of arms. But before attempting a survey
of the land, Mr. Parris, the District Commissioner,
made a last ineffectual effort to obtain William
King's concurrence in the sale. " I was with him
and his people," he reported, " on Monday last,
and went fully into the question with them, in-
forming them of the determination of the Govern-
ment in the matter. I endeavoured to work upon
them by explaining to them how very much the
Government had been troubled with the Waitara
question ; that it was their duty to endeavour to
meet the Government in this matter, and settle
the question without any unpleasantness. In
reply," continued the Report, " a young man
named Hemi Te Koro spoke favourably ; but
before he had finished, William King, perceiving
the tendency of his views, got up and said, * I will
not consent to divide the land, because my father's
dying words and instructions were to hold it.'"
A few days afterwards (February 20th), the
survey was commenced ; but being obstructed,
though without violence, the attempt was for the
time abandoned. " It was the wife of Wiremu
Patukakawiki and their own two daughters, and
OBSTRUCTION OF THE SURVEY. 91
some other women of their hapus" said the
Reverend Rewai Te Ahan, "who drew off the
Governor's surveyors from their own pieces of
land." In reporting the obstruction to the Secre-
tary of State, the Governor says "that no violence
was offered by the Natives " a statement con-
firmed by one of the local newspapers, which
reported that the obstruction was managed in
the least objectionable way possible, and that no
more violence was used than was necessary to
prevent the extension of the chain.*
- ^Pn days afterwards, although there was no
disturbance of the public peace, martial law was
proclaimed, and a manifesto was published by
the authorities in the Maori language, and widely
circulated by special agents amongst all the Tribes
* " Last Monday (February 20th), was the day; and, on laying
down the chain, this was obstructed by a parcel of old Maori
women, sent by William King and his people, to prevent by main
force (although without arms) the surveyors from going on
with the survey. Mr. Carrington, one of the surveyors, was
embraced by one of the old hags, together with his theodolite,
and prevented from using it, and the chain was forcibly taken
away, but was recovered; a reserve of men was stationed near
the old witches, in case they were not able to resist the survey;
but the women were too much for our surveyors, and they were
compelled ignominiously to retreat." Correspondent of the
" Southern Cross."
92 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
of the Northern Island, declaring that Te Teira's
title had been carefully investigated and found
to be good ; that it was not disputed by any one ;
that payment for the land had been received by
Te Teira; and that the land now belonged to
the Queen: and shortly afterwards (March 5)
the Queen's Troops were marched out to the
Waitara, and themselves or their Native allies
destroyed the homesteads of William King and
his people, took military possession of the ground,
and thus dispossessed by force the occupants of
Memorial to the Governor warning him not to proceed, and
showing the Rights of the Native Occupants of the Land.
Rank and Position of the Principal Opponent of the Sale.
Apprehension amongst the Natives excited by the forcible
Occupation of the Waitara. Remonstrances of the Absentee
Claimants and others. Their Petition to the Queen for the
BEFORE military occupation was taken of the
Waitara, an appeal was made to the Governor
by one of the settlers, showing that William
King, being the Chief of the Waitara, it was no
mere assumption on his part to claim to have a
voice as to the disposal of the land, more especially
as many who had never been consulted had claims
to specific portions of the block: urging, at the
same time, that a complete public and impartial
investigation * should be made, and deprecating
* " Had such a tribunal existed, there is little doubt but that the
Waitara misunderstanding would have been satisfactorily adjusted.
At any rate, her Majesty's representative would have occupied
a more dignified position than the one he holds in the case as
prosecutor, judge and jury." George Clarke.
94 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
in the most earnest manner the employment of
military force. "It is with the deepest surprise
and sorrow," he wrote, " that your petitioner has
heard that a resort to arms, in order to enforce
an alleged purchase of an insignificant block of
land at the Waitara, may be almost immediately
expected ; your petitioner advisedly uses the word
* alleged,' as he cannot possibly believe that your
Excellency's Government would consider such
purchase as a de jure or even a de facto one ;
much less, that they would attempt to take
forcible possession of the block referred to, were
they thoroughly cognizant of the real facts and
circumstances. Your petitioner fully believes
that a thorough and impartial investigation, with
due publicity, at a full meeting of all the
Waitara Natives on the spot, would elicit the
following facts, viz. : in portions of that block,
several Natives, whose claims are presumably un-
known to the District Land Commissioner, have
also, like Teira, a bond fide individual or private
interest ; while, over the whole block, rides the
Tribal or public interest. William King admits
that he himself has no individual or private
interest in this particular block ; but (which is
MEMORIAL TO GOVERNOR BROWNE. 95
perfectly consistent with such admission) he right-
fully claims, as the principal Chief of the Waitara
Tribe, and as the acknowledged representative of
the great majority of the same Tribe, that the
individual or private interests referred to, and
also such over-riding Tribal or public interest,
should be alike respected and held inviolate by
the Government. Were the whole Tribe at the
Waitara consenting, the title would of course be
clear enough, and the purchase a good, complete,
and amicable one ; but Teira, so far from having
the whole tribe, has only an inconsiderable frac-
tion in his favour ; while against him is arrayed
the great majority, with the principal Chief at
their head. Did that majority consent, William
King would also consent as a matter of course,
he being, in that respect, the mouth-piece (as it
were) of the great majority ; but until such
majority do actually consent, William King's
concurrence could not justly bind them, and
also could not possibly be of any avail, except
as a mere pretext for an unjust war like the
one which is said to be in agitation." The pre-
ceding statements contain a correct summary of
the Maori unwritten law or custom of real pro-
96 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
perty throughout the Island, and at the Waitara
in particular. " However inconvenient such real
property law may be to the Colonists, or detri-
mental to the Aborigines themselves, it cannot
be forcibly abolished without glaring injustice,
and the almost certain risk of an internecine
war between the two races throughout the
Colony. That war, at all times a calamity, would,
under such circumstances, be also a crime. That
as to the block before referred to, it appears in
the highest degree objectionable that the District
Land Commissioner should, directly or indirectly,
decide on the title of owners tribal or indi-
vidual, absent or present, dissenting or consent-
ing in short, should, virtually, decide on the
validity of his own alleged purchase, and finally,
in order to enforce his own ex parte decision,
should, in effect, have and exercise the dread
power of declaring war: thus resting in one
subordinate officer ministerial, judicial, and dicta-
torial functions. Further, it . would seem that
Teira's allegation of his own absolute interest
the allegation of one who has received British
gold, and who believes that he will be backed
by British bayonets the allegation of one who
MEMORIAL TO GOVERNOR BROWNE. 97
shows himself ready, for the sake of lucre, to
destroy his own tribe and his own race, and
to plunge the whole Colony into unspeakable
calamity is to be accepted as final and con-
clusive, so as to weigh down the unanimous
testimony of the great majority of the Tribe,
who, unseduced by money, and unintimidated by
power, are prepared to seal their testimony with
their own life-blood. Here at present there is
(from various reasons, too numerous to mention)
a dead silence ; no voice is raised at this, the
eleventh hour. Your petitioner has, therefore,
attempted a feeble cry; but do not, let me be-
seech your Excellency, despise the cause, on
account of the feebleness, the informality, or the
temerity of its advocates, for the cause is a good
and noble one: it is not the cause of this or
that individual, of this or that section of Colonial
society, but of humanity and of justice." It was
not until nearly a year after the war commenced
that it was publicly known that such an appeal
had been addressed to the Governor before the
Troops were marched into the field. The appeal,
however, was made in vain. Before it reached
the Governor, martial law had been proclaimed,
98 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
and it was probably thought that it was now
too late to recede, without compromising the dig-
nity of the representative of the Crown : and the
Queen's Troops were marched upon the ground.
The most satisfactory evidence of the valid
purchase of land from the Natives, is the fact
that a survey has been made of it, and that the
boundaries have been marked out upon the ground
without opposition, and without calling forth any
adverse or unsatisfied claim. In case the survey
is interrupted or opposed, the usual course is,
not to proceed with the work until the validity
of the claims has been inquired into ; but in
the case of the Waitara purchase, it appears to
have been predetermined that the survey should
be carried out regardless of any opposition that
might be offered, and that the land should be
occupied by military force.
A few days after the Troops had taken posses-
sion, a small party of about seventy Natives, who
had been driven from the land, returned ; and, for
the purpose of asserting their title, and of keeping
alive their claim, built a stockade within the limits
of the debateable land. It was afterwards admitted
by the local authorities " that no one had decided
OCCUPATION OF THE WAITABA. 99
that the Pah was not built on ground belonging to
persons who built it ; " but the Officer in command
of the Troops immediately (March 17th) took up a
position before it, and sent a summons to its
occupants to surrender, which, however, they
would neither read nor receive. " The guns and
rockets," he reported, " now opened fire upon the
Pah at about seven hundred yards, and in half an
hour I moved to the right, to batter another face at
shorter range, when the Natives opened fire upon
us." Thus hostilities commenced, the first shot
being fired by the Troops. A heavy fire was after-
wards kept up against the stockade with shot and
shell, one hundred and thirty rounds being fired
from the howitzers, besides the rockets. In
justification of these proceedings, it has been said
that "to hesitate about abstract right is to per-
petuate disorder ; " and it was also affirmed that
" the Governor being of right the sole judge of
questions respecting Native territorial claims, was
justified in enforcing his jurisdiction in the only
practical mode, viz., by military occupation."
Yet, assuming that the stockade was built on
ground belonging to those who built it, it is
difficult to see what justification can be pleaded
100 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
for this deadly attack upon the Queen's sub-
If active military operations had been under-
taken in the name of the Crown, for the purpose of
bringing a murderer to justice, or of repressing
some serious disturbance of the public peace, or of
carrying out the judgment of some legal tribunal,
these proceedings would have excited no jealous
apprehension in the Native mind. Nearly twenty
years before, when the Natives were much more
numerous than they now are, and when there was
not a single company of soldiers stationed in the
colony, a young Native Chief of consequence,
belonging to an influential Tribe, was tried with
all the solemn form and ceremony of English law,
and convicted of the wilful murder of an English
family, and publicly executed in the most densely
peopled district in New Zealand, without the
slightest disturbance of the public peace, and the
justice and daring of the act inspired the Natives
with respect and confidence. But when the Queen's
Troops were marched to the Waitara, and when
William King and his people, who for years had
occupied the ground, were forcibly driven off, and
the Troops were seen to take possession of land, the
RANK OF THE WAITARA CHIEF. 101
title to which was disputed, and which for years
the Native owners had in vain been importuned to
sell, it is hardly surprising that they were
irritated to see their old suspicion restored, that
" the Europeans would not rest until they had
slain and taken possession ; " that they should
regard the intentions of the Government with
suspicion and distrust ; and that, fearing a common
danger, Natives in other parts of the country
should take up arms in support of William
The conduct of the Chief of the Waitara, in
opposing the sale, had always been consistent, and
his language appeared to be that of a Chief
engaged in maintaining what he believed to be a
rightful claim ; but it was represented, by those
who were anxious to acquire the land, as that of a
man interposing an illegitimate authority, to pre-
vent the true owners of the land from ceding it to
the Crown ; and an attempt was made to depreciate
his rank and position in the Tribe. But the
Native Secretary, reporting an interview with him
as long ago as 1855, speaks of him naturally, and
of course, as the " principal Chief of the Waitara."
" On our arrival," wrote Major Nugent, " the
102 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
whole Tribe assembled, and after one of the Chiefs
had briefly stated the reports that they had heard,
William King, the principal Chief of Waitara,
arose and spoke for some time ; and the Chiefs of
a neighbouring tribe speaking of him about the
same time, said, * William King being the head
Chief of all Waitara on both sides of it, it was for
himself to choose and say on which side of it he
was to reside.' " And the attempt which was after-
wards made, to raise Te Teira to equal rank with
William King, was treated by the Natives with
derision. "You say," referring to Teira, said a
Chief of Hawkes Bay, " because his genealogy was
published last winter, therefore he is a Chief.
What, indeed, about his genealogy? William
King would never give his genealogy, because it is
known throughout this island ; it is not recounted.
This is a thing for the common man to do, who
never was heard of before. I know that man
Teira, that he is a man of little note ; Wiremu
Kingi is their great man, heard of and known by
all the Tribes ; but Teira's name is Manuka even
Tea-tree Scrub, and nothing more." No one, in
fact, can read the voluminous official documents
on the subject of Taranaki without seeing that
SERVICES OF THE WAITARA CHIEF. 103
William King was always regarded by successive
Governors, and by all the civil servants, as the
de facto lord of the manor of Waitara. But as he
was looked upon as the principal obstacle to the
acquisition of the land, he had always been un-
popular with the Taranaki settlers.
There is no doubt, however, that while he was
residing in the South, he was considered to have
done good service to the Government, and to
have proved himself to be a staunch ally. After
the fatal catastrophe at the Wairau, when the
settlement of Wellington (then utterly defenceless)
was threatened by Te Rauparaha, William King,
then residing at Waikanae, had nearly 1,000
well-armed men who obeyed his orders, and to
his loyalty alone was attributed the failure of
Te Rauparaha's schemes ; and more recently,
during the disturbances near Wellington in 1846-7,
he joined his forces with our Troops, and was
declared by authority to have been mainly instru-
mental in driving Rangihaeta from the bush.
But notwithstanding his public services, he received
no welcome from the Taranaki settlers ; and as his
return to the Waitara in 1848 diminished their
hope of obtaining possession of that district, his
104 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
arrival was regarded by them almost in the light
of a public calamity.*
Though the Waitara Natives had many sympa-
thizers in all parts of the country, the number of
Natives belonging to other Tribes who actually
went to Taranaki to join them, was by no means
considerable ; but the feeling of dissatisfaction and
distrust excited in their minds by the conduct of
the authorities in taking possession of Native land
by force, was almost universal. " Everything,"
as Sir William Martin observed, " tended to
strengthen the notion, already generally entertained
amongst the Natives, that the Government cared
for nothing so much as to get land. Can we be
surprised that the old feeling of distrust acquired
at once a new strength, and spread rapidly through
the widely scattered settlements of the Ngatiawa
Tribe? Nor could it be confined even to that
Tribe. The sense of a common interest, a common
peril, carried it onward through the country ; and
* "During the two years that I knew William King at
Waikanae, I always found him exceedingly quiet and well-
disposed. He was always most attentive to his religious duties;
and during school-hours he was constantly to be found in his
place with the rest of his people, thus encouraging them by
his example, and was undoubtedly a warm support to the
Rev. Samuel Williams.
APPREHENSIONS OF THE NATIVES. 105
when at last force was resorted to, the feeling of
alarm and irritation reached its height. These
men, the Maories, chafe under the sense of what
they believe to be a great wrong. They are
bitterly disappointed. They ask why a Govern-
ment, which had been constantly urging them to
settle their own disputes by peaceable means,
should itself resort at once to armed force ? Why
such force is employed, not to punish crime, but
to seize land ? They ask why is William King,
our old ally, now treated as an enemy? Why
does the Pakeha denounce without measure the
slaughter of the five men at Oraata, committed
after hostilities had commenced, while Ihaia, the
contriver of a most foul and treacherous murder,
is received by us as a friend and ally ? Such
men unwillingly accept the answers which are too
readily suggested: William King will not part
with the Waitara ; Ihaia is willing to sell
As regards the Waitara, too, it has always been
especially valued by the Native owners. " From
ancient Maori traditions," says the late Protector
of Aborigines, " it appears that this land had been
in possession of the tribe from time immemorial ;
106 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
that it is dear to them from the fact that it is the
spot on which their forefathers landed when they
emigrated to this country; that on this account
the place is sacred ground to them, so much so that
when the New Zealand Company's purchase was
made at Taranaki, Wiremu Kingi's father, as head
of his Tribe, and again, some time after, with his
dying breath, solemnly charged his son never to
give up the possession of their ancestors to the
Pakeha." "Brothers," said a Red Indian Chief in
a Council held by the Cherokees, " brothers, we
have heard the words of the great father: he is
very good ; he says that he loves his red children.
Brothers, when the first white man came among
us, the Muscozins gave him ground and lighted a
fire to warm him. When the pale faces of the
South waged war against him, our young warriors
drew their tomahawks and shielded his head from
the scalping-knife. But when the white man was
warmed by the fire lighted by Indians, and had
fattened on Indian liberality, he became very
great ; the summits of mountains did not stop him,
and his feet covered plains and valleys, his arms
extended to the two seas. Then he became our
great father. He loved his red children ; but he
TREATMENT OF THE NATIVES. 107
said, ' You had better move a little farther, lest I
unintentionally tread on you,' and with one foot
he pushed red men beyond the sea, and with the
other he trampled on the graves of their ancestors.
But our great father loves his red children, and
soon held to them another language. He spoke
a great deal, but what he said meant nothing but
' Move farther off, you are still too near me.' I
have heard many speeches of our great father,
but all begin and end in the same way. Brothers,
when he spoke to us on a preceding occasion, he
said to us, ' Go a little farther, you are still too
near: go beyond the Oconce, and the Oakmulyo,
there is an excellent country ; ' he also added, ' This
land is yours for ever after.' And now he says,
* The country in which you are settled belongs to
you, but go to the other side of the Mississippi,
where there is plenty of game; there you may
remain as long as the grass grows and the water
flows.' Brothers, will not our great father join us
there also, for he loves his red children, and has a
forked tongue." When Captain Hobson was
seeking to induce the Natives of New Zealand to
sign the treaty of Waitangi, by engaging, in the
name of her Majesty, that it should be for their
108 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
own advantage to become the subjects of the
Crown, he, too, was believed by many of them, to
whom the fate of the Aborigines of other countries
appeared to have been known, to be speaking with
a forked tongue. " Send the man away," said one
of them ; " do not sign the paper ; if you do you
will be reduced to the condition of slaves, and be
obliged to break stones for the roads. Your land
will be taken from you, and your dignity as Chiefs
will be destroyed." They had heard, they said,
the history of our conduct to the Aborigines of
America and Australia, and could not but be
jealous of our object in seeking to gain a footing in
the country. Great pains have indeed been taken
by successive Governors, missionaries, and minis-
ters of religion, and by all persons in authority,
to satisfy them of our disinterested intentions : but
the forcible occupation by the Queen's troops of
a much valued tract of Native land excited a dis-
trustful feeling in their minds ; and, alarmed at the
growing greatness of the white man, and seeing
that " the summits of mountains do not stop him
that his feet cover plains and valleys, and that his
arms extend to the two seas" the Maories are
becoming possessed by an instinctive misgiving
NATIVE REMONSTRANCES. 109
that they will soon be thrust aside to make way
for the insidious stranger.
Grave remonstrances against the proceedings of
the Government poured in from all parts of the
country, expressed in all cases with great point
and force, and not unfrequently in the most
touching language. " The reason why I write to
you is this," said one of the Natives, referring to
the sale by Teira, " that I feel concerned for the
Pakehas who are living in peace, and for the
Maories also who are living in peace, lest they be
dragged by his evil deeds and get into trouble,
because I am certain they will get into trouble."
" Friends, companions, brothers, farewell, and abide
where you are with the people of your friends,
and your fathers. Listen, Rewai, and your people,
and our Father Hadfield. Here is death I mean
Waitara ; the Pakeha is now taking it." " Now,"
wrote the Reverend Rewai Ahau to the Superin-
tendent of Wellington, " we thought that the in-
tentions of the Governor would not be different
from those of the other Governors who preceded
him. Now, we are perplexed and say, ' Well, these
are new regulations from our Queen ; but we
suppose that the Governor has, perhaps, been
110 HEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
deceived by Teira and his companions, and by his
Land Purchaser at Taranaki; and therefore he has
so lately sent his soldiers to Waitara to frighten all
the men and the women who drove off his surveyors
from the land which was their property and ours,
and to take it without paying us.' * * * I say, in
conclusion, that I cannot find words to pacify my
Tribe, that they may be no longer irritated about
our land ; they are very sore that the land of our
ancestors should be taken without their consent.
If that land should be permanently taken, it will be
a permanent saying, down to future generations,
that the land was violently taken by the Queen of
England's Governor. And where is the help now,"
he concludes, " with which the Governor requites
Wiremu Kingi ? Wiremu Kingi always was one
who upheld the Government. He never in any
way recognized the Maori King up to the time of
the fighting about Waitara."
Six months after the commencement of hostili-
ties, several of the Waitara Natives, who were
then residing in the south, formally addressed the
Superintendent of Wellington on the subject.
"We have portions of land," they say, "at
Waitara, within the piece of land which was
NATIVE REMONSTRANCES. Ill
wrongly sold by Teira to the Governor, as
well as those who were driven off that piece of
land. It belongs to our ancestors. We ask this
question. What are we peaceable persons, who
are not joining in the fighting, to do when our
lands are wrongfully taken by the Governor ?
Where shall we seek a way by which we may get
our lands restored to us ? Shall we seek it from
the Queen, or from whom ? We imagined that it
was for the law to rectif^wrongs. Up to this
time, our hearts keep anxiously inquiring. We
will say no more. From us members of Ngatiawa,
and owners of that land at Waitara." " Birds," said
William Thompson, " do not cry unless there be
an enemy in sight, except indeed in the morning
and evening. At daybreak their song is heard;
and at the twilight again, but not in the daytime
unless some bird of prey appears. They sit quietly
in the branches of the trees and make no noise,
until they see the great bird, the hawk, that comes
to destroy them ; then all cry out, great birds and
small. There is a general cry." (Meaning, we
were quiet and should have remained so, had not
a great bird disturbed us and aroused our fears.)
" Who caused the pain ? " said Renata, the
112 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
eloquent spokesman of the Ngatikahuhuna Tribe.
" I take it to have been the Governor. Very
different were the land-purchasing arrangements
of former days. There was to be an assemblage ;
and when they had all consented, then the land
should pass. All the Maories heard this from the
Governor. But now they hear eh ? this plan of
buying is changed, and land is now to be sold by
a single individual. Sir, this is the way by which
this pain, this trouble* has come upon us ; it was
through double-dealing that this trouble came.
Had the old way continued, we should not have
gone wrong ; but since it has been abandoned, and
attention has been paid to a single individual,
difficulties have arisen. Sir, all these evils are of
your doing. First, there was the wish to take our
lands, and now is the accomplishment of it; for
the cause (of the war) was but a small matter, and
you have gone on importing Pakehas from other
lands to fight with the Maories. The next thing
will be, you will hide your error under the cloak
of the Waikatos having gone to Taranaki to ward
off the weapon raised by you against William King,
whereas your opposition was made in order that
you might get the land. But you say that man,
PETITION TO THE QUEEN. 113
William King, must let down his bristles, and pay-
obeisance to his Sovereign the Queen. This is the
answer : Sir, what then is the Maori doing ? The
Maori is yielding odedience ; for many years he
has been listening to that teaching of the Queen's.
But the Governor has made it all go wrong. Your
word is not clear. Perhaps you think he is not a
man, that you say he should not raise his bristles
when his land is taken from him ? If your land
were taken by a Maori, would your bristles not
rise ? Give him back his land, and then if we see
his bristles still sticking up, I will admit that you
are right. You quote from the Scripture that
children should obey their parents ; quote to the
Governor the other portion of the same passage,
' Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath.' "
On all former occasions of dissatisfaction, the
Natives had been instructed that instead of taking
up arms, and resorting to force for the redress of
their grievances, they ought to appeal to the law,
or seek for protection by petition to the Queen,*
who, though far away, they were taught to believe
is ever mindful of their interests; and several
hundred of the Natives residing in the South
* See Note, ante, Chapter n. p. 46.
114 NEW ZEALAND AND TNE WAR.
addressed a memorial to Her Majesty, praying for
the Governor's recal. " This," said the memo-
rialists, " is the memorial (lit. lamentation) of us
your loving children, (sighing) under the darkness
which has at this present time befallen us. The
Governor has unwarrantably proceeded to take
possession of land of a certain Chief at Taranaki,
named Wiremu King. The Governor purchased
it from a Native named Te Teira ; he has fought
about that land, and fired upon the people of that
place. They were loving subjects of yours. Their
object was not to trample upon the law, but rather
to retain possession of the land handed down to
them by their ancestors and by their father. They
did not wish to sell that land. This unwarrant-
able proceeding of this Governor has occasioned
grief and confusion to all of us, because we know
that this system is not yours ; thus taking away,
without cause, the land of every person, and of the
orphan and widow." An attempt was made to
discredit this memorial ; and in this instance those
who signed it received, in the name of her Majesty,
a curt and discouraging reply. But there is no
doubt that it expressed the feeling of thousands ;
and that the loyalty of her Majesty's Maori
PETITION TO THE QUEEN. 115
subjects was most severely tried, " My heart," said
one of our most staunch allies, " is split asunder ;
half of it ia with the Pakeha who was my teacher,
the other is with the Maories who are my brothers,"
a sentiment which throughout New Zealand then
painfully divided the hearts of the most loyal of
her Majesty's Native subjects. And but for their
knowledge of the fact that they had " sturdy
friends," who, both in the Assembly and elsewhere,
at the risk of being charged with having forgotten
their allegiance, manfully espoused their cause ;
and but for the belief that the Natives entertained
that the Queen of England would yet redress the
wrong, and condemn the policy of the then Colonial
rulers, there is reason to believe that they would
have been driven to make common cause, and to
join in a general resistance to what they believed
to be the injustice of our rule.
116 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
Question of Title. Disastrous Consequences to the Taranaki
Settlement, from the forcible Occupation of the Waitara.
Popularity of the Government Policy. Debates in the General
Assembly. Sir William Martin's Pamphlet on the " Taranaki
Question." " Notes by the Governor."
" THE question of title," it has been said, " is one
on which persons not versed in the intricacies of
Native usage cannot expect to form an inde-
pendent judgment ; and, in the management of
Native affairs, the Governor of New Zealand
commonly acts with the assistance of the Officers
of the Native Department, who from their know-
ledge of the language, character, and customs, of
the Natives, are supposed to be qualified to give
him accurate information and reliable advice." But,
from the published records of the Office, it does
not appear that the Native Department was con-
sulted either as to the validity of the purchase,
or as to the expediency of driving William King
and his people from the Waitara, and of taking
QUESTION OF TITLE. 117
possession of the land by military force. Ex-
perience, however, has long since proved that no
menaces of military interference were likely to
have any effect upon men who from their child-
hood have been accustomed to regard it as a
point of honour to shed their last drop of blood
for the inheritance of their Tribe ; and as not six
months before the commencement of hostilities
the Governor had himself reported that " the
immediate consequences of any attempt to acquire
Maori lands without previously extinguishing the
title to the satisfaction of all having an interest
in them, would be an universal outbreak, in which
many innocent Europeans would perish," it is
impossible to avoid the conclusion that, by whom-
soever he was advised, he was entirely misled
as to the completeness of the inquiry into the
validity of the title, and as to the probable con-
sequences of driving from their homesteads an
influential Chief and his people by military force.
But before the Governor of New Zealand can
form a sound and independent judgment on im-
portant Native questions, he must have time to
become acquainted with Native usages, modes
of expression, and habits of thought. The late
118 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
Governor was no doubt told that William King
had always been the one great obstacle to the
progress of the settlement ; that he had not only
refused to sell his own land, but had interfered
to prevent the sale of the land of others; that
Te Teira and those who offered the block of
land at the Waitara for sale, had an absolute
right to sell it; and that whatever might be the
case in other parts of the country, there existed
no tribal right at the Waitara to prevent the
claimants from disposing of it; that the inter-
ference of William King was an unwarrantable
assumption which he would not venture to main-
tain ; that no danger of an armed resistance need
be apprehended; and, that by showing a bold front,
the Governor would completely overawe him, and
lay a solid foundation for the prosperity of the
settlement, and earn for himself the character
of the most spirited and enlightened ruler who
had ever administered the Government of New
Zealand. But unfortunately the persons by whose
opinions the late Governor appears to have been
guided, were not in a position to give him reliable
advice ; and urged to find an outlet for the
settlers, and counselled by his Ministers that the
RESULTS OF MILITARY OCCUPATION. 119
time had arrived when it was necessary that his
authority should be supported by the bayonet,
he determined to occupy the land by military
The certain consequences of this unusual pro-
ceeding soon became apparent, and the blind-
ness of those who urged the Governor to resort
to force was visited upon the unfortunate settlers
in a manner the most painful and humiliating.
Within less than a fortnight after the adoption
of the " vigorous policy " recommended by the
Council of the Province, and which they declared
would be attended by no danger of an outbreak,
the Superintendent reported "that, with the ex-
ception of about ninety persons, the whole of the
settlers had abandoned their homesteads, and were
concentrated in the town ; that, in a small town
intended for a population of 1,000, upwards of
2,500 were crowded, and that nearly 500 of them
were living upon rations supplied at the public
expense : and he suggested that in point of
economy, and for other reasons, it would be
expedient to deport women and children to the
number of about 600 from the Province."
Whether or not their claims were valid, it was
120 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
now evident that the Natives who had been
forcibly dispossessed would not submit to see
them set aside by force, and since blood on both
sides had been shed, the Governor became alive
to the dangerous consequences of commencing
a survey before he was assured that all who
had even a disputed claim to the land desired it
should be sold. He now reported to the Duke of
Newcastle that a much larger number of Troops
than had hitherto been asked for would be
necessary to maintain possession of the Colony at
all ; that he had written to the Governors of the
Australian Colonies, requesting them to send him
such support as they were able ; and that hitherto
he had considered that 2,000 men, with a strong
Company of Artillery, would have enabled him to
bring such a force into the field suddenly as
would extinguish the first sparks of rebellion ; but
that he was now compelled to say that he believed
3,000 men, a steam gun-boat, and a steamer of
war, would be necessary for some time to come, to
ensure the maintenance of peace. Following
closely upon repeated assurances that the pur-
chase of the land had been completed fairly that
it was not disputed by any one that the Chief
RESULTS OF MILITARY OCCUPATION. 121
of the Waitara had never asserted any title to it
and that no real opposition was expected from
him this startling intelligence surprised the
British Cabinet, and drew from Sir Cornewall
Lewis, then acting as Colonial Minister, a grave
and significant reply.
Many months, however, elapsed before the
public generally was aware how little can be
effected in New Zealand by military force ; and,
with the insignificant number of Troops at his
disposal, the situation of the Officer in command
was painfully embarrassing. The Pahs of the
insurgents were invariably taken, but the occu-
pants as certainly succeeded in making their
escape ; and instead of gaining credit for capturing
their strongholds, Colonel Gould, after being in-
volved in an unequal contest with a formidable
enemy, in an impracticable country, was given to
understand that " the Maories construe escape into
victory," that they must be "made to feel our
power both to protect and to avenge," and that
it was expected he would find some means of
striking an effective blow against them. At the
same time, however, the Governor was anxious to
avoid unnecessary bloodshed ; and two months after
122 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
the commencement of hostilities he requested that
Colonel Gould "would abstain from all inter-
ference with William King, unless he should
himself commence hostilities." He afterwards
repeated the request, and for some time there was
an almost total cessation of active operations.
But, unfortunately for the Officer in command, it
was not then generally known that he had* been
prohibited from taking the offensive and attack-
ing William King; so his unexplained inaction
naturally bore the appearance of a want of energy
and enterprise ; and, failing to gain any decided
advantage over the insurgents, Colonel Gould was
assailed on all sides with the bitterest abuse.
The danger of rousing the Natives into an
armed resistance was now sufficiently apparent;
for with more than 2,000 British troops in the
province, with the sea close at hand for the base
of our operations, and with five ships of war on
the New Zealand Station, the insurgents, in-
ferior to ourselves in arms, numbers, and equip-
ment, soon had the whole district in their power.
The settlers, who bore their accumulated misfor-
tunes with wonderful spirit, and who for several
months were crowded together in a state of
RESULTS OF MILITARY OCCUPATION. 123
helpless inactivity within the narrow limits of the
town,* had the mortification to see their home-
steads set on fire and their cattle driven away
within less than a mile of the military post.
Those who ventured beyond the limits of the
lines were liable to be waylaid and shot; the
road to the Waitara, not more than twelve miles
distant, could only be traversed in safety with a
powerful military escort ; and instead of convinc-
ing the Natives of our power " to protect and
avenge," our protecting power, as had been
frequently foretold, was seen to be practically
limited within gunshot of the camp.
It appears to have been determined that the
public should have no opportunity of expressing
any opinion either as to the justice or policy of
occupying the land by a military force ; thus the
determination of the Executive to have recourse to
force, in case of need, to gain possession of the
land, was designedly concealed, on the ground
that the public discussion of the question would
have been likely to produce more harm than good ;
* The area within the trenches, in which nearly the whole
population were for a length of time cooped up, did not exceed
124 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
and when, to the astonishment of the community,
martial law was proclaimed, Tew of the settlers
were sufficiently informed on the subject to form
any opinion of the merits of the case. It was
officially stated by the authorities that the Native
was in arms against the Queen's sovereign
authority; that the Chief of the Waitara had
never possessed or asserted any title to the land ;
that he was a lawless and turbulent member of
a powerful and mischievous anti-land-selling
league ; that the title of the seller had been care-
fully investigated, and found to be valid ; that to
enforce the purchase would be to protect the weak
against the strong, and would tend to the speedy
acquisition of large tracts of valuable land, not
only in the Province of Taranaki, but in other
parts of the country. Under these circum-
stances, and looking to the opinion frequently
expressed by the Governor, of the danger of at-
tempting to buy land with a disputed title, it was
naturally believed that the Government would not
have risked a Native insurrection by enforcing
the purchase of a small tract of land, the tide to
which was open to the slightest doubt And, as
the expenses of the war were to be borne by Great
POPULARITY OF THE GOVERNOR'S POLICY. 125
Britain, the local Government, on opening the
session, informed the General Assembly that they
had received from all parts of the Colony assu-
rances of sympathy and support. Seeing that
these statements were made on the authority of the
Government, it is hardly surprising that their
policy was afterwards supported by a majority in
both Houses of the Colonial Parliament. In the
Upper House, the war party were as three to one,
and the former Attorney-General of the Colony
was the only member who raised his voice in
opposition. In the House of Representatives,
parties were more nearly balanced. The Ministers
confidently maintained the validity of the pur-
chase, but they showed no desire to have the case
investigated by competent authority, and they
succeeded in defeating a motion for a Committee
of Inquiry. But Native interests were not with-
out powerful advocates in the Assembly ; and the
case of the Natives was supported with great spirit
by the Superintendent of the Province of Auckland,
the Superintendent of the Province of Wellington,
by the leader of the opposition, by the Chairman
of Committees, and by other leading members of
126 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
" Whenever land was spoken of," said Mr.
Carleton, " the suspicion of the Natives was raised.
The influence of the Native Secretary's Depart-
ment had been entirely destroyed by its having
been connected with the Land Purchase Depart-
ment ; the Governor had lost his influence through
having become the chief land broker. The Natives
felt that the Governor was no longer a judge
between themselves and the Land Purchaser."
And he maintained that inquiry should be made
into the circumstances of the case ; and, if injustice
should be found to have been done, that restitution
should be made. " The land," he declared, " was
the bone in this case ; if wrongly acquired, we had
to give it up. For the quarrel was not confined to
Taranaki ; we had lost the confidence of three-
fourths of the Natives, who believed that the
intention of the Government was to take their
lands by force. If we desired to avert a war of
races, we must begin by placing ourselves recti in
curia. War was a heavy responsibility. It was all
very well for those outside the House to rant about
* putting down the Natives,' but the case was
very different within. They had votes; each
Member in the House exercised one-fortieth part
DEBATES IN THE LEGISLATURE. 127
of the Government of the country. They knew
what a fearful thing it was to have upon their con-
science the reckless shedding of blood in an unjust
The leader of the opposition, afterwards Colonial
Prime Minister, Mr. Fox, attacked the policy of
the Government without the slightest affectation
of reserve. " Having," as he declared, " neglected
the machinery of friendly influence and of political
institutions, having taught the Natives that they
were regarded as a separate and independent
people," his Excellency next invited them to arm
themselves for the impending struggle ! In 1857,
long after the King movement was in full progress
long after the signs of disaffection were manifest
to every one his Excellency, for no assignable or
conceivable reason, repealed, by proclamation,
those wise restrictions on the sale of arms and
ammunition which his predecessor had imposed;
and thus, not only invited, but enabled the Natives
to do what they had since most effectually done
arm themselves to the teeth, from one end of the
Island to the other ! And now, having prepared
them for the struggle, he took steps to bring it on.
He effected this importunate, this ill-judged, this
128 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
ill-timed, this incomplete purchase of that miserable
600 acres, of which we have heard so much.
Why did he, at such a critical time, add this cul-
minating cause of war to the others less threaten-
ing? Why was it necessary to buy, why
necessary to survey, why necessary to take pos-
session, at this particular crisis ? I greatly fear,
sir," the honourable member continued, " that other
motives operated in producing the inconsiderate
rashness with which this purchase was effected
unconsciously, perhaps, to his Excellency, but,
nevertheless, influencing his mind. When I
reflect on the fact that ever since the reversal of
Mr. Spain's award the settlers at Taranaki have
looked with a longing eye on the fat and fertile
fields at Waitara when I remember that the
Native Minister is a representative of the Province
of Taranaki and doubt not that his constituents
often pressed him on the subject when, above all,
I refer to that petition of the Provincial Council of
Taranaki which proposes to the Governor to
compel a dissentient minority, or even majority of
the Natives, to divide their common lands with
a view to a sale, and which assures his Excellency
that he need not fear to attempt such compulsion,
DEBATES IN THE LEGUSLATURE. 129
* because the dissentients would be few in number,
and incapable of offering any resistance,' I cannot
help fearing that his Excellency has been in-
fluenced by a pressure from without, which has
forced him into a course from which the least
foresight ought to have withheld him."
" While honestly and conscientiously believing,"
said Dr. Featherston, the Superintendent of the
Province of Wellington, concluding an eloquent
speech, "that the war is an unjust and unholy
war, I cannot but feel that we are placed in a most
painful position ; for while, on the one hand, any
retreat or vacillation in carrying on the war
might be most disastrous to both races, it is, on the
other hand, most shocking to urge that we should
go on shedding blood in a cause which we believe
to be unjust. I cannot but express an earnest
hope that we may be able to devise some means of
bringing the conflict to a close without compro-
mising the dignity of the Crown, or the safety of
both races. I would remind you that, as the
Natives have not in this House any representatives
of their race, we are bound by a sense of justice
by that love of fair play which ever has been, and,
I trust, ever will be, the distinguishing character-
130 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
istic of our nation to protect their interests ; to
mete out equal justice. For my own part, I know
of no higher duty that can possibly devolve upon
this House than to prove to the Natives that it is
a tribunal to which an appeal for redress will
never be made in vain. I can conceive no means
so calculated to restore the confidence of the
Natives in the justice of the Government (which
has been so entirely destroyed by these trans-
actions), as a determination evinced by this House
to protect them from acts of injustice, no matter
how high the powers iby which they are perpe-
trated. Such, I repeat, is the most sacred duty
that can possibly devolve upon this House." And
a large portion of the time of the session was after-
wards devoted by the House to a patient and a
painstaking endeavour to grapple with the diffi-
culties of the Native question; and one of the
oldest and most trusted friends of the Natives was
able to record his opinion " that the rights of the
Natives were nobly vindicated by the independent
representatives of the people." *
* The Superintendent of the Province of Wellington, in his
speech on opening the Council of the Province, expressed similar
opinions. " It is satisfactory to be able to report the continuance
of friendly relations between the Colonists and Natives of the
SIR w. MARTIN'S PAMPHLET. 131
Some time after the termination of the session,
and when the question had been freely discussed
in the Assembly, and time had been allowed for
patient inquiry and calm consideration, the late
Chief Justice of New Zealand published a pamphlet
on the " Taranaki Question." There is, probably,
no individual,^! in the Colony, whose judgment
on the subject is entitled to greater weight. " The
name of Sir William Martin," the late Governor
had not long previously informed the Secretary of
State, " is never mentioned without respect either
by Native or European; and his experience and
intimate acquaintance with the Maories cause him
to be an undisputed authority in everything relating
Province. That such relations have been maintained during the
past eventful year is owing, under Providence, in a great degree
to the mutual confidence which twenty years of friendly inter-
course have established, but still more to the part which your
representatives took in the session of the General Assembly, in
insisting on that investigation into the title of the disputed land
which now, after repeated refusals to grant it, and after virtual
military defeat, the Governor has himself proffered in the terms
of peace proposed by him to the insurgents. The conduct of
your representatives on that occasion removed from the minds
of the Natives suspicions of the intentions of the Colonists
towards them, allayed the alarm and irritation which the unjust
seizure of the Waitara land had provoked, and was, I do firmly
believe, the means of averting from this province, calamities
greater than that which has well nigh blotted out its unfortunate
neighbour from the map of New Zealand."
132 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
to them." The pamphlet itself was admitted by
those whose policy it impugns to be " the fullest,
the calmest, and the most able exposition of the
views of those who condemn the Taranaki war."
" No right of a British subject," says Sir William
Martin, " is more clear or more precious that this ;
that the Executive Government shall not use the
force at its command to oust any man from his
land, or deprive him of any right which be claims,
until the question between the Crown and the
subject has been heard and determined by some
competent tribunal some tribunal perfectly
independent of the Government, wielding the
powers of a court of justice, and subject to the
same checks and safeguards. This is a funda-
mental principle of our English Government ; not
only of our English Constitution, but, of necessity,
a fundamental rule of all free and constitutional
Governments everywhere. For, without it, the
subject has no security against the aggressions of
the Government. If the Government can decide
the matter in its own way, and through its own
dependent agents, and then take what it claims,
the subject is at the mercy of the Government"
* * * At the Waitara, for the first time, a new
SIR w. MAKTIN'E PAMPHLET. 133
plan was adopted. The Governor, in his capacity
of land buyer, was now to use against subjects of
the Crown the force which is at his disposal as
Governor and Commander-in-Chief. If this new
principle was to be adopted, a new practice also
became necessary. Those subjects of the Queen
against whom force was to be used had a right to
the protection of the Queen's Courts before force
was resorted to. It is not lawful for the Executive
Government to use force, in a purely civil question,
without the authority of a competent judicial
tribunal. In this case no such authority has been
obtained, no such tribunal has been resorted to.
The Government thus undertook to obtain posses-
sion of the disputed land by force, to awe the
opponents into submission by a display of military
force. We, the English subjects of the Queen,
dislike nothing so much as being intimidated into
the relinquishment of a right. Why should a
Maori dislike it less ? On the contrary, the pride
and passion of the race, the patriotism of each
clan, have always centred on this point. To fight
for their land, to resist encroachment even to the
death, this has been their point of honour. A
Chief, who should yield to intimidation in such a
134 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
case, would be degraded in the eyes of the people.
The one question to be asked was this: Was
it lawful for the Government, under the circum-
stances, to take possession of the land by armed
force ? There could be only one answer, it was
So grave a condemnation of the proceedings of
the local authorities, coming from so competent an
authority as the late Chief Justice of the Colony,
was sufficient to raise a serious doubt as to the
justice of the war ; and it is not surprising that
the promoters of it were provoked to take the some-
what unusual course of publishing an official reply.
In the voluminous body of " Notes " bearing the
title, in the first issue, of " Notes by the Governor
on Sir William Martin's pamphlet," nearly
twelve months after the public had been officially
and positively told that " Te Teira's title had been
carefully investigated and found to be valid, and
that it was not disputed by any one," it was
admitted that " the title of the settlers to part of
the block is certain ; the Government contends that
their title to, the whole is probable." Thus it would
seem that there was nothing but a probability on
which to rest a justification for provoking and
"NOTES BY THE GOVERNOR." 135
prolonging an agrarian war. Though described
in the first edition as " Notes by the Governor,"
the internal evidence was conclusive that they
were not written by the Governor himself. The
" revised copy " appeared without the Governor's
name, and it would be doing Governor Browne an
injustice to believe that, when he gave his sanction
to the publication, he was even cognizant of its
contents. He would hardly describe Sir William
Martin as an object of universal and deserved
respect, and as an undisputed authority on Native
affairs, and immediately afterwards attempt to show
that he is no authority whatever charge him with
giving a false colouring to his statements with
making use of partial and misleading quotations
with being shifty, uninformed, and untrust-
worthy, suggesting answers which too often give
a false colouring to the subject under discus-
sion, and which do not tend to make tJie Maories
loyal subjects, and immediately afterwards put
forward a public notification requesting that further
discussion of the subject should henceforward cease.
Commenting on a passage in Sir William Martin's
pamphlet, in which the late Chief Justice suggests
that the "new policy" of the Government may
136 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAK.
have found favour with the Colonial public
partly because it was profitable, the writer of the
" Official Notes " tauntingly remarks, " The impu-
tation on the Colonists of New Zealand of mere
cupidity, which is conveyed by the sentence cited,
should have been spared," a taunt which can
hardly have been penned by the Governor, who,
referring to the unoccupied land of the Natives, had
recently informed the Secretary of State " that the
Europeans covet these lands, and were determined
to enter in and possess them, recte si possint, si non
quocunque modo ; that this determination becomes
daily more apparent,, and that neither law nor
equity will prevent the occupation of Native lands
by Europeans, when the latter are strong enough
to defy both the Native owners and the Govern-
ment." Nor is it probable that the late Governor,
the author of so plain an imputation, should imme-
diately afterwards have arrived at the conclusion
set forth in the " Official Notes," that " the desire
for the acquisition of territory springs from far
deeper feelings than the mere love of acquisition
or of property ; " that the Colonists, to whom he
had imputed that neither law nor equity could
prevent their occupation of Native land when they
"NOTES BY THE GOVERNOR." 137
were strong enough to defy the Government, " see
in the extension of British territory a guarantee
for the extension of British law, and for the esta-
blishment of British sovereignty." But the promo-
ters of the war now began to be seriously irritated
to find the justice of their proceedings gravely
called in question by competent authority ; and all
who opposed them were unsparingly condemned.
The Chief of the Waitara, who had formerly been
declared by the Officer in command of the Troops,
on account of his services in the South, to be deserv-
ing of more consideration than any manifested
towards him by the local authorities of Taranaki,
was now described as " in all respects an essential
savage, varnished over by the thinnest coating 'of
Scripture phrases." The late Chief Justice of the
Colony, who only two years previously had been
acknowledged to be "an undisputed authority," was
now treated in the " Official Notes " with but scant
courtesy. Archdeacon Hadfield, who had not long
previously been described by the Governor "as
being more thoroughly acquainted with the Maories
than any European in the country," was now
entirely set aside as an authority ; and the Arch-
deacon for whose " Christian character and talents,
138 NEW ZEALAND AND THE \VAB.
zeal and unwearied perseverance," the Governor
had not long before expressed his admiration, was
now alluded to with a covert sneer ; while the
clergy who, in 1856, were officially reported " to
have done more to tranquillize the country than any
other class of persons," were now denounced as
little better than political firebands.
Military Operations. War risked without Preparation. -Power
of the Insurgents Underrated. Repulse of the Troops at
Puketekauere. The out-Settlers driven in. Women and
Children sent to the neighbouring Provinces for safety.
The Taranaki Settlement virtually destroyed. Impracticable
Character of the Taranaki Country for Military Operations.
The Insurgents keep the Field. Embarrassing Position
of the Governor. Sudden Cessation of Hostilities. Terms
of Peace. Difficulty of Warfare in the Bush. Cost of
the War. Change in Public Opinion. Waikato " King
Movement." Change of Ministry. Sir George Grey appointed
Governor. The Colony saved from a General War.
APART from all question as to the justice of
their proceedings, the local authorities incurred
a serious responsibility in risking a collision with
the Natives, especially in a land question, with-
out first making adequate preparation for the
safety of the settlers. It had long before been
clearly pointed out by Sir George Grey, that
the interval between the isolated English settle-
ments was occupied by a formidable Native
race, armed with rifles and double-barrelled
140 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
guns, skilled in the use of them, addicted to
war, and such good tacticians, that we had never
succeeded in bringing them to a decisive en-
counter. It had also been pointed out, only a
short time previously, by some of the Northern
settlers, that " in case of an outbreak, protec-
tion cannot be afforded to those who are most
exposed to danger, except by a military force
strong enough to garrison every isolated farm-
house." Yet in the face of experience, and
against all reasonable expectation, it was thought
that a simple demonstration the mere landing
of two or three hundred soldiers on the beach
at Taranaki would intimidate the Chief of the
Waitara and his people, and prevent them from
offering any resistance to our occupation of the
land. And with the insignificant force at that
time in New Zealand, and before reinforcements
could be procured either from England or the
neighbouring colonies, actual hostilities were com-
menced; and the example set by ourselves of
beginning the war by destroying the property
of the Natives after driving them from the land,
was speedily followed by their Southern Allies
with the most ruinous consequences. It imme-
REPULSE OF THE TROOPS. 141
diately became apparent that with the town to
protect having to maintain possession of the
debateable land and with the Southern Natives
to keep at bay, we had enough to do, with the
small force then at our command, even to hold
Englishmen find it difficult to believe that any
coloured race can make a stand before them in
the field ; and, until they have met the Maories
on their own ground, our officers invariably
underrate their military prowess. But in the
attack on Puketekauere, both officers and men,
who had only just landed in the Colony, found
that they had to deal with no despicable antago-
nists. Armed with the rifle and the bayonet,
and supported by artillery, our troops were driven
from the field, to the astonishment of the insur-
gents themselves, by a Maori force not more than
double the number of our own troops having no
artillery, without a single bayonet, and armed
only with common muskets, fowling-pieces, and
double-barrelled guns. During their retreat our
troops were so closely pressed by the insurgents
that our dead were left upon the field, and a
number of the wounded also were abandoned to
142 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAE.
their fate. The day but one following, our dead
were buried by the enemy, within a mile of our
camp, and within range of our own guns.
From that day, all who were engaged in this
untoward affair were taught that, both in point
of generalship, as well as on account of their
energy and courage, the Maories, even in com-
paratively open ground, are a formidable enemy
a conviction which they carried with them un-
impaired throughout the whole campaign.
Even before we involved ourselves in the con-
flict, it had almost become an axiom that if you
would have a settlement destroyed, garrison it
with Troops. General Pratt who, on suc-
ceeding Colonel Gould in command, found, as he
reported, " the settlers driven in from their farms,
their cattle seized, and other property destroyed,
many of their houses burnt, the enemy in the
immediate vicinity round the town, an attack on
it avowedly threatened, and the place crowded
with women and children, whose only safety was
the presence of the troops," was not long in
discovering that he was engaged in a novel
species of warfare, in an impracticable country,
and against an active, daring, and formidable
MILITARY OPERATIONS. 143
enemy; and that in superseding Colonel Gould,
he had succeeded to a thankless office and a
As soon as he had made provision for the
safety of the settlers, who were all crowded to-
gether within the entrenched portion of the town,
General Pratt commenced operations in the field.
But the moving of a body of Regular Troops,
with heavy guns and a long line of bullock
drays laden with supplies, through a rugged
country, without roads or bridges, and inter-
sected in every direction by forest, and swamp-
gullies and streams, was a difficult, expensive,
and unprofitable undertaking. Whenever they
were attacked, the Natives abandoned their de-
fences as soon as they became untenable, and
always succeeded in securing their retreat; and
notwithstanding his exertions, the General was
unable to bring them to a decisive encounter.
Though he drove them from their strong-
holds in every direction, and in the course of a
few weeks captured and destroyed nearly thirty
of their Pahs, his services were by no means
gratefully acknowledged : and, like Colonel Gould,
he had the mortification to be reminded that by
144 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
the Maories their escape would certainly be
regarded as a victory.
In urging the general Government to ignore
the Tribal right, and to pursue a '" vigorous
policy," the Provincial authorities of Taranaki
had represented that a large proportion of the
Natives themselves would cordially support us,
and that the remainder would, from the small-
ness of their number, be incapable of offering
any effectual resistance. But the adherents of
William King, including reinforcements from
Waikato and the South, already amounted to
about 1700 men; while Teira's supporters, who
received rations, and a shilling a day each from
the Government, never exceeded 300. Nor had
they in truth the spirit of the insurgents; and
finding themselves in a false position, they were
for the most part unable to act with much
cordiality in our cause. In addition to our 300
Native allies, the British forces now amounted
to 2,300 men, but the difficulty of carrying on
war either with honour or profit in a wild
country, abounding with natural fastnesses, now
began to dawn upon a few unprejudiced minds.
The Governor now saw that, even with a body
NATURE OF THE WAR. 145
of the Queen's Troops considerably outnumbering
the insurgents, unless some decisive advantage
were speedily gained, the war might be con-
tinued indefinitely. Seeing, too, how disastrous
the war had proved to the unfortunate settlers,
the local authorities, who had incurred the
responsibility of provoking it, became impatient
for some unmistakeable success ; and they were
urgent that the General should adopt a system
of guerilla warfare. "I have no doubt," wrote
the Governor, "that a system of sudden, secret,
and constant attacks, when and where they least
expect it, will so distress the Natives in your
neighbourhood, that when their allies return,
both parties will be disheartened and glad to
end their trouble by submission." The General,
however, was of a different opinion. He had
never probably seen an unencumbered English-
man stumbling over the slippery roots of a New
Zealand forest in the vain attempt to keep up
with the nimble footsteps of a Maori, with a
load of forty pounds weight upon his back ; but
he had seen enough to know that if "it is by
the legs, and not by the arms, victories are gained,"
it was in vain to attempt to distress the Maories
146 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAS.
by a system of guerilla warfare carried on on
their own ground by Regular Troops, dependent
upon a regular commissariat, and no match for
the enemy in their local knowledge or in their
power of moving through the bush ; and as
regards the capture of the Natives, the General
reported that the attemps he had made to sur-
prise them had convinced him of the hopeless-
ness of all endeavours to prevent their escape
from any place which they did not intend to
" Pahs in the open country," also reported
the Colonel commanding the Engineers, " will be
invariably left on the approach of a hostile force.
Capture of the Pah," he added, "may be in all
cases calculated upon confidently with little loss ;
but capture of the defenders, with the experi-
ence already gained, will never be effected."
The only course which remained for the
General was to show the Natives that their
strongest position could be approached, turned,
and captured with little loss to the invaders: a
system of tactics which proved indeed very galling
to the enemy, but which, in the face of much
adverse criticism, required no small amount of
SUPPLIES OF THE INSURGENTS. 147
moral courage on the part of the General steadily
to carry into effect.
The contest had now continued for upwards
of eight months. At its commencement it was
generally expected, even if we should be unable
to put down the insurgents with a high hand
and by striking a decisive blow, that a few months
of active warfare would exhaust their ammunition
and supplies ; but excepting a few, who had had
an opportunity of witnessing the difficulty of
military operations in our former Maori wars,
the public were entirely ignorant of the resources
of the insurgents. Tn common with the Natives
throughout the country partly through an evasion
of the law, and partly through the operation of
the relaxed regulations of the Government they
had recently been abundantly supplied with arms
and ammunition. Besides what had been sup-
plied to them in contravention of the law, nearly
eight thousand pounds weight of gunpowder, more
than 300 double-barrelled guns, and nearly 500
single-barrelled guns, had in the short space of
nine months not long previously been permitted
to be sold to the Natives with the sanction of
the authorities. If, as occasionally happened,
148 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAK.
lead ran short amongst them, they made use of
Puriri or other hard-wood bullets ; and to econo-
mize percussion-caps, they sometimes used them
over and over again, pressing the broken edges
together, and reloading them with the detonating
matter on the tip of a vesta match. Being in
possession of the country, living at free quarters,
and following Napoleon's plan of making the war
support itself, the insurgents were thus enabled
to continue to keep the field, and, without in-
curring any serious loss, to give to the Troops
no small amount of harassing and unprofitable
occupation ; and, foiled by their skilful and
cautious tactics, the General had long to wait
for an opportunity of meeting them on equal
At the commencement of the outbreak it was
declared by the Provincial authorities that the
insurgents would soon be starved out, and that
" shut up in the forest by an overpowering
force in the open land, and harassed by irre-
gulars in their retreats, they could hardly be
supposed to have subsistence for a longer time
than twelve months." But it was not the Natives,
but the Troops and the settlers, who were really
SUPPLIES OF THE INSURGENTS. 149
harassed and shut up; and so far from wanting
the means of subsistence, it was reported of the
Natives nearly a year after the commencement
of hostilities, "that since the rebels were located
at Waireka (a few miles' distance from the town),
they had collected a large number of cattle and
horses, which are sent from time to time to the
Ngatiruanui country ; that they were living in
clover, that they had plenty of potatoes which
were taken from the settlers' cultivations, and
as much beef and mutton as they could eat."
More than a year after martial law had been
proclaimed, and when there was a military force
in the Province of more than 3,000 men, ex-
ceeding the number of Natives in arms against
us, the settlers of Taranaki addressed a Memorial
to the Governor, stating "that the position of
this settlement is very critical, and the results
of the present system of carrying on the war
most unsatisfactory. That notwithstanding the
presence of a very considerable military force
in this Province, it is yet unsafe for any person
to venture beyond the outposts, in consequence
of the country being continually overrun by
small bands of marauding Natives within rifle-
150 NEW ZEALAND AND IHE WAR.
shot of the barracks. That within the last fort-
night a large number of valuable houses belonging
to the settlers have been burned, and great
numbers of horses and cattle have been carried
off by such marauders; and recently a most
estimable settler has been waylaid and butchered.
That the proximity of these bands, and the known
existence of large bodies of Natives a short
distance from the town, cause great uneasiness
to the inhabitants, who feel that an overwhelm-
ing force might be brought against it at any
moment without warning." The most sceptical
were at length painfully convinced that the state-
ment of one of the numerous writers on New
Zealand, formerly regarded as humorous exagger-
ation, was really expressed in the language of
soberness and truth ; and that if military pro-
tection is to be effectual, it will be necessary to
have "a sentinel for every cow, and a sergeant's
guard to attend upon every labourer." *
As is frequently the case, the war was most
keenly felt in its indirect effects. For a period
of several months the settlers were not only
concentrated in the town, but cooped up at
* Power's New Zealand.
MORTALITY AMONG THE SETTLERS. 151
night for safety within the narrow limits of the
trenches hardly exceeding thirty acres in ex-
tent so that the town of New Plymouth, once
celebrated for its salubrity, became a hot-bed of
disease. On an average of several years the
number of deaths in the Province did not ex-
ceed twelve or thirteen in each year; but in the
year of the war, 1860, though the population had
been materially diminished by emigration, the
number of deaths amounted to sixty-eight; and
in the course of the first four months of 1861,
the mortality amounted to fifty-three. " In the
town itself," wrote a correspondent at the end of
April, " there is still much sickness ; scarcely a
day passes away without some death being re-
corded, and nearly the whole of our female
population are dressed in deep mourning."
As may be readily imagined, the position of the
Governor had for some time been most em-
barrassing. From the first, both the justice and
the policy of the war had been gravely called in
question. From an early period it was seen that
the ground had been ill-chosen for a contest by
regular troops ; and, after a struggle protracted for
upwards of a year, it was obvious that little
152 NEW ZEALAND AND THE TVAB.
progress had been made, and there appeared to be
but little prospect of reducing the insurgents to
submission. The Governor was no doubt per-
suaded that he was engaged in endeavouring to
maintain the supremacy of the Crown ; but he
had already been reminded by Sir Cornewall
Lewis that a policy which requires the continual
presence of a large force carries its condemnation
in its face ; and he was now told by the Duke of
Newcastle that, instead of being an Imperial
question, the contest was regarded by her
Majesty's Government as "peculiarly a Settlers'
war," or as a " quarrel with William King ; " and,
finding himself involved in a protracted and
fruitless contest for the attainment of an object
which a large body of her Majesty's Maori
subjects regarded as unjust, it is not surprising
that the Governor now seized the earliest oppor-
tunity of bringing the contest to an end. Nor had
the insurgents anything to gain by prolonging it.
It was beginning to be apparent to them that they
were unable to make an effectual stand before our
troops, and that General Pratt was able surely,
and with little loss, to dislodge them from any
position they might attempt to defend. They
SUDDEN CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES. 153
were advised also by their friends that they might
appeal with confidence to the justice of the Crown,
but that it was in vain to defy its power ; that
while they were in arms, their complaints would
not be listened to ; and that they must first cease
fighting, before their wrongs could be redressed ;
and after a period of great suffering to the
Taranaki settlers, and after continuing for upwards
of a year, the war came suddenly to an end like
all our Maori wars, however, without an agree-
ment between the contending parties, and without
any decided advantage on either side. Terms of
peace were talked of and offered by both, but
hostilities were allowed to cease before any con-
ditions were finally agreed upon.
A few weeks before the termination of the war,
William Thompson, a Waikato Chief, who had
always prided himself on being a peace-maker,
went down to Taranaki in the character of
mediator, and with the view of inducing the con-
tending parties to leave their differences to be
determined by the judgment of the law. On
arriving at the seat of war, he applied to General
Pratt to grant a truce for three days, that he
might confer with King and his allies ; but as no
154 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
satisfactory terms were afterwards proposed to the
General, the fighting was resumed on the fourth
day. A few days afterwards the head of the
Native Land Purchase Department arrived from
Auckland, instructed by the Governor to hear
what terms the insurgents had to offer ; and he
had a meeting with William Thompson and about
100 of William King's Waikato allies. In the
course of the conference, Thompson stated that
the Waitara land was the cause of the quarrel,
and that it would have been well if a conference
of Chiefs had taken place before the commence-
ment of hostilities ; that the Natives did not fully
comprehend the views of the Government; and that
as they were an ignorant people, it was necessary
that the Governor and the Europeans, who had
great wisdom, should inquire .nto and adjust the
quarrels arising between the two races. The
meeting, however, broke off without any agreement
having been arrived at
At the conference which was held between
William Thompson and William King, a number
of the Waitara Natives, and the leading men of
their Waikato and Ngatiruanui allies, were pre-
sent. After an interchange of diplomatic courtesies
SUDDEN CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES. 155
between the two Chiefs, it was agreed by all
present that the subject of dispute the land at
the Waitara, and the question of peace or the
continuance of war should be left to the decision
of William Thompson; and in little more than
half-a-dozen words, and with the air of brevity
and decision of the head of a grand army, the
Chief of Ngatiawa dismissed the allies to their
respective homes, and, so far as Taranaki was con-
cerned, almost instantly brought the contest to
William Thompson. " Waikato ! - Return
" Te Atiawa ! To Ngatiawa.
" Ngatiruanui ! Home.
" Let the soldiers return to New Plymouth.
" As for the Waitara, leave it for the LAW to
And in obedience to his command, both the
Ngatiruanuis and the Waikatos retired from the
field ; and the public, not knowing what had
taken place behind the scenes, were astonished to
see the Waikatos suddenly break up and disappear
like a dissolving view. Shortly afterwards, the
156 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
Governor having heard that the Waitara Natives
were willing to make peace, and having deter-
mined to treat separately with the several bodies
of insurgents, proceeded to Taranaki ; but either
because they could not agree as to the place of
meeting, or for some other reason, William King
and the Governor never met, and the Chief of the
Waitara and a number of his people soon after-
wards retired inland, without having come to any
terms. The terms proposed by the Governor
were accepted by a remnant of the Waitara
Natives who remained upon the ground, and peace
was hastily concluded with them. The Troops
were withdrawn from the various redoubts, and
marched into the town ; and shortly afterwards, to
the bewildered astonishment of the Taranaki
settlers, three-fourths of the whole military was
suddenly removed from the Province. To satisfy
the unfortunate settlers who were unable to see
what advantage they were likely to obtain, after
all their sufferings, from a war thus suddenly
brought to an end, leaving many of their culti-
vated farms in the possession of the insurgents,
who now claimed them by right of conquest;
without indemnity for the past, security for the
TEKMS OF PEACE. 157
future, or any guarantee for the continuance of
peace the Governor was reported to have in-
formed them that " the terms granted to the
Ngatiawa were determined on with a view to
simplify the issue in the present struggle ; that it
had been called a land quarrel, but though it
arose out of a land quarrel, it was itself a question
of jurisdiction ; and that it was thought right by
himself and his Executive Council to rid the issue
of this extraneous matter at once, and that he
thought the settlers would shortly see that this
was right. The land-league, he believed, was
broken up for ever in Taranaki ; and as the
Natives, now that its pressure was gone, were
desirous to sell land, all that was necessary for the
consolidation of the settlement would, he had great
hopes, be very soon obtained."
In the terms proposed to the Ngatiawa, or
Waitara Natives, who, it was admitted by the
Government, had been fighting for what they
believed to be their rights, it was declared by the
Governor that " the investigation of the title and
the survey of the land at Waitara would be con-
tinued and completed ; that the land in possession
of her Majesty's forces would be divided amongst
158 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
its former owners, with a title bj grant from the
Crown ; that the plunder taken from the settlers
must be restored, and that the Waitara insurgents
in future must submit to the Queen and to the
authority of the law." Regarding the ground of
quarrel from the Governor's point of view, the
terms offered by him were reasonable and mode-
rate ; and after having published a manifesto more
than a year ago, declaring " that Te Teira's title
had been carefully investigated, and found to be
good ; that it was not disputed by any one ; that
payment for the land had been received by Te Teira,
and that the land now belonged to the Queen," the
Governor showed no small amount of moral cour-
age in declaring, at the end of a year of destructive
warfare, that the investigation of the title should be
continued." But, looked at from the Native point
of view, the proposed terms appeared less satisfac-
tory. The Chief of the Waitara and his people
having been driven from their homes, as they
believed, by lawless violence, and having taken
up arms only in defence of what they believed to
be their rights, regarded the conditions offered by
the Governor as both one-sided and unjust.
In the conditions offered to William King's
TEEMS OF PEACE. J59
Waikato allies, it was required that there must be
from all submission to the Queen's sovereignty and
to the authority of the law ; from those who were
in possession of plunder, restoration ; and from
those who had destroyed property, compensation.
To the Ngatiruanuis similar terms were proposed,
accompanied by a declaration that whenever the
individuals charged with the grave offence of killing
unarmed settlers and children should be taken,
they would be brought to justice and dealt with
according to our law. In the declaration addressed
to the Waikato Natives accompanying the " terms
of peace," they were informed by the Governor
that submission to her Majesty's sovereign autho-
rity required that " rights be sought and protected
through the law, and not by a man's own will and
strength ; that no man in the Queen's dominions is
permitted to enforce rights, or redress wrong by
force ; but that he must appeal to the law." To
this it was objected by the Natives, that as regards
the Waitara it was the Governor himself who had
been the law-breaker ; that instead of appealing to
the law, or without due inquiry, he had himself
driven William King and his people from their
homesteads by " his own will and strength." The
160 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
Waikato Natives were told also at the same time
that "a large number of the adherents of the
Native King had interfered between the Governor
and other Native Tribes in matters with which
they had no concern." " With reference," replied
William Thompson, " to the going of the Waikatos
to Taranaki, for which we are reproached by the
Pakehas, hearken, and I will tell you. It was
Potatou who fetched William King from Kapiti ;
he was brought back to Waitara, to his place.
That was how the Ngatiawa retumed to Taranaki.
I look, therefore, at this word of yours, saying that
* it was wrong of the Waikatos to go to Taranaki.'
In my opinion it was right for Waikato to go to
Taranaki. Come now, think calmly. Raukitua,
Tautara, and Ngatata were blood relations of the
Waikatos. It is not a gratuitous interference on
the part of the Waikatos. They were fetched ;
they were written for by Wiremu Kingi and
Hapurona by letter ; and that was why Te Wetine
Taiporutu went to that war. * * * These were
the grounds for Waikato's going, the bringing back
(of William King) by Potatou, out of friendship to
William. In the second place, because of their
relations, Raukitua, Tautara, and Ngatata; the
TERMS OF PEACE. 161
third, they were written for ; the fourth, Potatou's
word that land-selling should be made to cease.
These were all the grounds of Waikato's inter-
ference. If the Governor had considered carefully,
Waikato also would have considered carefully; but
the Governor acted foolishly, and that was why
the Waikatos went to help William King. For
William King was a man who had not been tried,
so that his fault might be seen in justification of
inflicting severe punishment. You mock us, say-
ing that this Island is one, and the men in it are
one (united). I look at the Pakeha, who madly
rushed to fight with William King. Had he been
tried, his offence proved, and he had then been
contumacious to the law, their interference would
have been right, as his conduct would have been
trampling on the law. As it is, that side (the
Pakeha) has also done wrong. According to your
word, that side is right ; according to mine, also
this side is right; but I think that side is wrong."
A somewhat similar reply was made by Renata.
" All that Waikato desired," he objected, " was to
have an investigation ; and for a long time, as far as
talking could accomplish, they intervened between
the combatants ; and for a long time, whilst the
162 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
Governor was quarrelling with his son, the
Waikato were strenuously smothering their feelings
of sympathy. But when at length the war became
permanent, then they arose to shield him (William
King) from the weapon of him who was placed
over him. Ought they to have given him up to
darkness (death)? This is my custom : if my Chief
is gently punishing his children, they are left to settle
their own differences ; but if I see him lift a deadly
weapon, then I get up to interfere. If he there-
upon turns round upon and kills me, it cannot be
helped. That is a good kind of death in my the
Maori's estimation. "
" About the word relative to the murders,"
wrote William Thompson, addressing Governor
Browne, " my opinion is decidedly that it was not
murder. Look, Ihaia murdered Te Whaitere;
he caused him to drink spirits, that the senses of
Te Whaitere might leave him. He was waylaid,
and died by Ihaia. That was a foul murder ; you
looked on, and made friends with Ihaia. That
which we regard as a murder you have made
naught of; and this, which is not a murder, you
call one. This, I think, is wrong; for the Governor
did not say to William King and the Ngatiruanui,
TERMS OF PEACE. 163
' Oh, do not kill those who are unarmed.' Nor
did he direct that the settlers living in the town
should be removed to Auckland, where there was
no fighting, and there stay ; for he knew that he
had determined to make war at Taranaki ; and he
should therefore have told his unarmed people to
remove out of the way ; he did not do this. Had
he even said to the Ngatiruanui, * Friends, do not
kill the settlers,' it would to some extent have been
a little clearer." With regard to the claim for
compensation, and for the restitution of plunder, we
unfortunately ourselves destroyed the property of
the Natives whom we had driven from their homes,
and laid ourselves open to William Thompson's
not unreasonable retort : " With reference to the
property of which you say that we are to restore
what remains, that also I do not consider right.
Hearken to what I propose with respect to that.
The Governor was the cause of that. War was
made on William King, and he fled from his
Pah. The Pah was burnt, with fire ; the place of
worship was burnt, and a box containing Tes-
taments: all was consumed in the fire; goods,
clothes, blankets, shirts, trowsers, gowns, all were
consumed. The cattle were eaten by the soldiers,
164 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
and the horses, one hundred in number, were sold
by auction by the soldiers. It was this that dis-
quieted the heart of William King, his church
being burnt with fire. Had the Governor given
word not to burn his church, and to leave his
goods and animals alone, he would have thought
also to spare the property of the Pakeha. This
was the cause of the Pakeha's property being lost
(destroyed). When William King was reduced to
nakedness through the work of the Governor, he
said that the Governor was the cause of all these
doings. They first commenced that road, and he
(William King) merely followed upon it."
In the course of the struggle the Maories fairly
fought their way to the good opinion of the
English General, who was not slow to express his
earnest hope that " this unhappy internecine war,"
with a " manly and high-spirited race," should be
brought as soon as possible to an end. For
obvious reasons the war was not popular with the
military who were engaged in it ; and throughout
the campaign the officers in command were most
inconsiderately judged. Instead of blaming their
own rashness in plunging the Colony, without due
preparation, into a costly war, its promoters sought
DIFFICULTIES OF BUSH WARFARE. 165
to impute our disasters to the incompetency of the
Officers in command, and blamed them for failing
to accomplish impossibilities. But the responsibility
for our failures must be shared by the great
majority of the public, who have been too slow to
recognize the fact, long since established beyond
all doubt, that, man for man on their own ground,
and in bush-fighting, the Maori is quite a match
for the British soldier ; that, in point of general-
ship, they are by no means inferior to ourselves ;
and that, against superior numbers, we have never
yet gained a victory over them. Yet in the face
of that experience we have continued to employ
Regular Troops trained to act in masses and
under a system of parade discipline and on ground
impracticable for the ordinary operations of Regular
Troops against the Natives of New Zealand,
who are always led by experienced Chiefs to
whom the art of war has been the study, the
delight, and the practice of their lives ; and we are
then surprised at the small measure of our success,
and but too ready to attribute our failures to the
incompetency of the unfortunate Officer in com-
mand. In describing the difficulties of warfare in
the New Zealand bush, those who have been
166 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
engaged might echo the account given by General
Turreau of the difficulty of carrying on a war in
La Vendee. " It is assuredly a difficult task,"
says the revolutionary general, " to make war in
the midst of such obstacles as bristle in the streets
of La Vendee. You can never arrange before-
hand your order of battle with the rebels (royalists);
you know not on which side to fight, whether you
will be attacked in flank or in rear, and what
dispositions the country will permit of your making.
The rebels, favoured by the accidents of nature,
have tactics of their own which they understand
applying to their position and local peculiarities.
Assured of the superiority which their manner of
fighting gives them, they only fight when they like.
# * * * *
" If you repulse their attack, the rebels seldom
dispute the victory ; but you gain little benefit,
for they retire so rapidly that it is very difficult to
overtake them in a country which hardly ever
admits the employment of cavalry. They disperse,
they escape across fields, hedges, and bushes,
knowing all the paths and by-paths, what obstacles
interfere with their line of flight, and how to avoid
DIFFICULTIES OF BUSH WAKFAKE. 167
<e In general, this war is so singular in its charac-
ter, that one requires long practice to understand
it. A general officer, whose education has been
formed by ten campaigns on the frontier, finds
himself much embarrassed in La Vendee. I
appeal to all generals who have been summoned
from the frontiers to this fearful La Vendee
whether they had formed any idea of such a war
till actually engaged in it? Whether the trained
soldiers disciplined after the manner of Nassau and
Frederick are as formidable opponents, or display
such skill and courage, as these fierce and intrepid
marksmen of the Bocage and Lourouse ? I ask
them if they can imagine a war more cruel and
harassing to soldiers of every grade ? a war
which ruins the discipline and subordination of an
army, and makes the French soldier lose that
invincible courage which has so often triumphed
over the armies of England and Austria? I
believe I have said enough to show that the chief
obstacles to military operations in La Vendee arise
from its natural features." After being exposed
to much ignorant criticism for his careful tactics
in the bush, it must have been gratifying to
General Pratt to find that, in the judgment of the
168 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
Home Authorities, his operations " were well and
judiciously carried out ; " to receive a public
acknowledgment of his services for bringing to
a close "a war of a peculiar and difficult cha-
racter ; " and to receive the thanks of the Colonial
Minister " for the valuable services which he had
rendered to the Colony." *
* " Many people had thought," General Pratt is reported to
have said, on referring to his New Zealand campaign, " that a
New Zealand war could be brought to a speedy and rapid termi-
nation, by the striking of some decisive blow that would at once
awe and paralyze the Maori. But people holding these opinions
could not have read, or, if they had read, must have forgotten,
the history of all former New Zealand wars. Neither could they
have given a fair consideration to the impracticable nature of
the country, and the warlike character, habits, and tactics of the
athletic New Zealander. In a country singularly adapted for
bush warfare, the plan of the Maories was never to expose them-
selves in ' the open,' but always to' occupy such positions as were
most difficult for an attacking party, which no party could
approach without receiving great loss from the enemy, and from
which the defenders had always a secure retreat ; a retreat by
which they could neither be intercepted nor surrounded. The
only occasion on which the Maories departed from that cautious
style of warfare, they met with a most signal and complete
defeat; and he had reason to know that they were loudly censured
and upbraided by their tribes for their rashness in that instance.
It would have been easy enough for him to have ordered and
the brave soldiers under him would willingly have obeyed the
order a rush on these positions ; but the proceeding would have
been attended with heavy loss on our side, and trifling loss on
the part of the enemy; and he felt satisfied that he was stating
the truth, when he said that, so far from such conduct being
COST OF THE WAE. 169
During the continuance of the war, the pro-
ductive industry of the Province was brought
entirely to a stand, and the whole European
population crowded together within the narrow
limits of a small portion of the town, suffered
severely from sickness, anxiety, and harassing
suspense. Both in men and money, and in the
calculated to bring the war to a conclusion, the effect would only
have been to make the campaign prolonged and universal. Now
having such a foe to contend with, and having such a country
of mountain and forest, swamp, gully, and fern, to operate in,
and having with him a most excellent Commandant of Engineers,
in the person of Colonel Mould, and a most excellent Staff, at
the head of which was an officer now present, he determined
upon attacking the enemy somewhat in his own style, and, by
sap and redoubt, showing him that his strongest position could
be approached, turned and captured, with little loss to the
invaders. He had reason to know that this mode of proceeding
on the part of the English force was inexpressibly galling to the
Maories. They found themselves thus driven from position after
position which they had occupied and fortified with care
without the power of inflicting any injury upon those opposed
to them; until they could stand it no longer, and accordingly
they made a most fierce attack on the English advanced redoubt.
This gave an opportunity to Colonel Leslie and the gallant 40th
the power of showing how slanderous were the statements which
had been circulated against them. The result was well known.
Now, he felt the most perfect confidence, that when the history
of this war was written, when the whole truths came out, and
when mis-statements were cleared up, full justice would be
awarded to the expediency and wisdom of the course adopted,
and to the patient endurance and gallantry of the English
170 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
destruction of property, the cost of the war was by
no means inconsiderable. Our casualties amounted
to 210; viz. 67 killed and 143 wounded, several
of whom afterwards died of their wounds ; and the
extraordinary amount of sickness, the result of
over-crowding and other causes, carried off up-
wards of 100 of the Taranaki settlers. The loss
of life on the side of the Natives has not yet been
clearly ascertained, but there is reason to believe
that it amounted to about 150. In addition to the
ordinary cost of the ships and troops employed,
the expenses of the war paid by the Imperial
Commissariat amounted at least to half a million
sterling. To the Colony itself for Militia, Volun-
teers, relief and other expenses, the cost amounted
to more than 200,000^ The neighbouring Pro-
vince of Auckland also suffered severely from the
sudden and complete check which was put to
a stream of immigration which was yearly adding
some thousands to the population of the Province.
But it was the unfortunate settlers of Taranaki by
whom the sufferings of the war were most severely
felt. " Their losses," says the Memorial addressed
by them to the General Assembly, " are variously
estimated at from 150,0002. to a quarter of a
COST OP THE WAR. 171
million sterling. Two hundred houses have been
burned ; horses, cattle, and sheep have been killed
or driven off' ; fencing has been destroyed ;
noxious weeds have overrun the cultivated lands,
and the agricultural part of the community have
been deprived of their means of subsistence."
In its indirect effects, the war was still more
disastrous; and it is to be feared that a feeling
of antagonism has been excited between the
Natives and the settlers, which will not easily be
At the end of nearly a year of war, an
Official Notification was published in the New
Zealand Gazette, stating that "disaffection was
spreading through the Maori population ; " com-
plaining that the "justice and legality" of the
policy of the Government had been impugned
by persons of " high authority " in various parts
of the Colony; and warning the Colonists that
an Englishman's privilege of freedom of speech
could not any longer be exercised without danger
to the State; and a body of Englishmen con-
scientiously believing that a portion of her
Majesty's own subjects were being "unjustly
and illegally" treated, were officially requested
172 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
to remain silent, and to abstain from publicly
criticising or censuring the conduct of the Execu-
tive until their policy should have received its
final condemnation. It is no doubt possible that
a people, through misgovernment or by the mis-
management of their Rulers, may be brought into
such a condition that the authorities may honestly
believe that even the truth may not be spoken
without danger to the public safety. But, as
has been said of a policy which requires the
continual presence of a large force, a policy
which requires the silence of conscientious men
of high authority carries its condemnation on its
But during the progress of the contest, public
opinion underwent a material change. So long
as the merits of the case were imperfectly under-
stood, it was reasonable that the public should
believe that the Local Authorities had exercised
a sound discretion in enforcing the purchase of
the land, and at the outset, the supporters of
the war formed a large majority. Many of them
had been taught to believe that the land had
been fairly purchased ; that William King was
a lawless disturber of the public peace, and that
CHANGE IN PUBLIC OPINION. 173
in opposing the Governor and his Ministers, he
had been guilty of actual rebellion. Others
thought that even if the Governor had been
wrong, it would be unbecoming to recede; and
that as we had entered into the struggle, the
rebellious Chief must at all hazards be put
down. Many rejoiced at the prospect of seeing
the Maories thoroughly subdued; while others,
believing that the Tribal system was about to
be broken up, had confident expectations of a
large extension of territory, and of abundant
outlets for their flocks and herds. But, how-
ever various were the motives of the war party,
they were all agreed in advocating the " vigorous
prosecution " of the war. Its policy and justice,
however, were warmly called in question by a
small but influential minority; and the cause of
the Natives was supported by them with great
zeal and spirit. Those who were regarded as
the best authorities on Native questions were
almost unanimous in condemning the war on
the ground of its injustice : many who were less
clear as to the validity of the purchase believed
that it was an act of madness to risk a general
war by attempting to take possession of land
174 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
with a doubtful or disputed title; and that so
far from showing their disloyalty by opposing
the war, its opponents believed that they should
more worthily maintain the true dignity of the
Crown and the character of the nation by pre-
venting an act of injustice being done in the
Queen's name, than by seeking to promote
the triumph of a questionable cause. And for
the first time in the Northern part of the Colony,
the whole community were divided by a great
public question. Ordinary party ties were sud-
denly broken, and in many instances those who
for years had been opposed to one another were
now ranged together on one side. After the
nature of a majority, the war party were dis-
posed to be tyrannical: adverse opinions were
barely tolerated, and impatiently heard; ready
evidence was given to wild stories of imaginary
plots; those who ventured to express an opinion
unfavourable to the war were either publicly
held up to odium for giving encouragement to
rebellion, or were privately denounced as dis-
loyal to the Crown; and but that they were
Englishmen, living under a free Constitution, the
opponents of the war would certainly have been
CHANGE IN PUBLIC OPINION. 175
intimidated and put down.* But as the facts of
the case gradually came to light, public opinion
underwent some change ; and before the war
was brought to an end its justice appeared less
clear, its policy was frequently called in ques-
tion, and the opinion was becoming general that
it had been blindly commenced, feebly conducted,
and that after a fruitless waste of life and pro-
perty, it had been brought to a hasty and un-
satisfactory conclusion. And the Ministers who
had advised the Governor to risk the war, finding
that it had been productive of nothing but disas-
trous results, and that the Home Authorities
regarded it simply as a " Settlers' war," now
appeared by no means unwilling, so far as the
original cause of quarrel was concerned, to bring
the war at the Waitara to an end, and to hazard
an imperial contest at the Waikato for the sup-
pression of the Maori King.f
* The recent experience of America has proved that " free
institutions " give no security against the most flagrant acts of
f " Great pains have been taken to submerge the Waitara Land
Question under that of the King Movement ; but it must be
remembered that until the declaration of war they were perfectly
separate. Great stress has also been put upon the necessity of
' upholding her Majesty's supremacy.' Perhaps it will startle
176 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
But, in addition to the virtual destruction of the
settlement, the war at Taranaki had cost three
quarters of a million; and the settlers in other
parts of the Island, with the experience of
Taranaki before them, and believing that the
Government were prepared to take up a new
ground of quarrel in another province, and to
march the Troops into the interior to enforce the
submission of the Waikato Tribes, and to put
down the Maori King, now became alarmed lest
war might be brought to their own doors, and
find them unprepared. A committee was therefore
appointed by the Assembly to report upon the
military defence of the Colony ; and a deputation
of Representatives of the Province of Welling-
ton earnestly warned the Governor not to risk
war a second time without making timely provi-
sion for the safety of the principal settlements.
The Superintendent of the Province (Dr. Feather-
ston), who was the chief spokesman, said that
"they came in their capacity of Representatives
of the Province of Wellington, to point out to his
the reader when I assert that among all her Majesty's Maori
subjects, there is not one at this moment more loyal in disposition
than Wiremu Kingi himself." Remarks, ffc. by G. Clarke, late
Chief Protector of Aborigines.
WAIKATO KING MOVEMENT. 177
Excellency how utterly inadequate the forces at
present stationed there would be to afford almost
any protection in the event of a rising among the
Natives. They regretted to be obliged to inform
his Excellency that though peace had hitherto
been preserved, and that though some consider-
able time after the commencement of the war at
Taranaki there was every reason to believe that
the great bulk of the Natives would continue loyal
and well-affected ; yet, owing to various causes, a
feeling of intense distrust of the Government had
within the last few weeks taken possession of the
Native mind ; large numbers were giving in their
adhesion to the " King movement," and in fact
almost the whole Native population might be said
to be preparing for a war which they deemed
inevitable. What the Natives said was simply
this, that as long as the war was confined to
Taranaki, they looked upon it as a dispute
between the Governor and William King about
land, which would be settled sooner or later with-
out their being dragged into a quarrel ; but that if
the war was carried by the Government into
other parts they could and would only regard it as
a proof of the determination of the Government to
178 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
attack and destroy them in detail, and that they
would be forced to take part in the war. Even
the most loyal Chiefs those who had proved
themselves staunch allies of the Government
declared that if war was carried into the Waikato
country it would be the signal for a general rising;
they might not themselves join, but their tribes
would make common cause with the Waikatos.
Since they had been in Auckland they (the
members) had seen and heard enough to satisfy
them that there was a strong probability of
military operations being undertaken in the
The Governor, in a semi-official publication, is
reported to have informed the deputation that
20,000 soldiers could not protect all the out-
settlers ; that in the event of an attack they would
have to take refuge in the centres of popu-
lation build block-houses as the settlers at
Taranaki had done, and defend them: and that
war carried on in a country where wealth and
property are scattered broadcast must be attended
with great loss and very serious consequences.
That the terms he had proposed to the Waikatos
he intended should be insisted on ; and that he
CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT. 179
believed at the first shot that was fired in the
Waikato there would be a general rising of the
Tribes connected with the King Movement in the
several Provinces. But the Government who had
already burdened the Colony with a heavy debt
for a disastrous war were prevented from provok-
ing a second war on a still more costly scale,
being shortly afterwards defeated on a vote of
want of confidence, and displaced by a Ministry
desirous of avoiding a renewal of the war. The
Home Authorities also being satisfied at length
that " little effect had really been produced by the
military operations at Taranaki," and that dis-
affection was spreading through the country, and
feeling that no expedient should be left untried to
arrest the growing evil, determined for the second
time to avail themselves of the peculiar qualifica-
tions and experience of Sir George Grey; and
commissioned him to proceed at once to New
Zealand to take the place of Governor Browne, and
the Colony was opportunely relieved from the
imminent risk of a still more general war.*
* " Downing Street, 25th May, 1861.
" SIR, I have perused with much anxiety the intelligence
respecting the progress of the Native war, which is contained in
your despatches, recently arrived.
180 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
" I cannot but perceive that, in spite of some symptoms of a
desire on the part of the Natives for the restoration of peace,
little effect has really been produced hitherto by the military
operations at Taranaki; and that, notwithstanding all the efforts
of yourself and your advisers, the disaffection of the Maories
is extending itself to those Tribes whose amity, or, at least, whose
neutrality, has hitherto been hoped for, and is assuming a more
organized form, and a more definite object.
" I am far indeed from ascribing this untoward course of events
to those who are responsible for the conduct of affairs in New
Zealand. On the contrary, I recognize with pleasure the sound
and impartial judgment, the integrity, intelligence, and anxiety
for the public good, which have characterized your government
of the Colony for nearly six years. The present conjuncture,
however, renders it necessary for her Majesty's Government to
leave no expedient untried which is calculated to arrest the
course of events now unhappily so unpromising; and, at the
same time, to provide for the future difficulties, which there
is only too much reason to anticipate, even if the war should
happily be soon brought to a conclusion.
" Having regard, therefore, to the peculiar qualifications and
experience of Sir George Grey, now governing the Cape of
Good Hope, I have felt that I should be neglecting a chance
of averting a more general and disastrous war if I omitted to
avail myself of the remarkable authority which will attach to
his name and character as Governor of New Zealand.
" I trust, therefore, that you will not feel it as any slight on
yourself that I should have determined to place the Government
of the Islands in his hands at a moment when your own term of
office has all but expired, and you would have no opportunity
of providing against those future difficulties to which I have
referred. I hope that, in doing so, I shall not deprive the Crown
for any long period of the advantage of your services."
Impolicy of risking a War at Taranaki. Policy of the Govern-
ment as officially explained. Hostilities : by whom com-
menced. The Natives blamed for not appealing to the Law.
Eesult of the War. Future Policy.
THE more the subject is considered the more
remarkable appears to have been the blindness ot
the authorities in plunging the Colony into war.
Unless the character of the New Zealanders has
been entirely misrepresented, it would not have
been consistent with the maintenance of his posi-
tion for a Maori Chief to submit without resistance
to be driven with his people from the land they
were occupying, and to see their claims openly
disregarded. Nor, looking to the character of the
Chief of the Waitara, his power and influence, and
seeing that in the presence of the assembled people
he had distinctly declared that Waitara was in his
hands, and that he would not give it up ; that he
had formally, and in writing, declared that the
land belonged to the whole of the people, and that
182 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
it would not be given up, never until he died
was it probable that he would quietly acquiesce in
being driven from the land ? Nor is it easy to see
how the proceedings of the authorities, in taking
possession of land by military force before it was
ascertained that all who had the power to sell
were willing to sell, were considered to be necessary
for the maintenance of the Queen's supremacy.
Looking to the nature of the Taranaki country
to the amount of force available for the purpose
and to the jealousy with which the Natives regard
any infringement of their territorial rights, it is
certain that neither the time, the place, nor the
occasion was well chosen for a collision with the
Natives, either with a view to prove the justice of
our rule to establish the prestige of our power
or to maintain the supremacy of the Crown.
The grounds on which the Local Executive
justified their proceedings have been frequently
explained. In his speech to the General Assembly
in opening the session of 1860, after referring to
the attempt of William King to prevent the sale of
the Waitara, it was declared by the late Governor,
that he "felt it to be his duty to repel this assump-
tion of an authority inconsistent alike with the
IMPOLICY OF THE WAR. 183
maintenance of the Queen's sovereignty and the
rights of the proprietors of the land in question.'
In opening the following Session, he informed the
Assembly that, "in the policy which he had pursued
with reference to the affairs of Taranaki, his
object from the first had been to secure peace by
putting an end to the constantly recurring land
feuds which for years had maintained barbarism
amongst them." In afterwards offering terms of
peace to the Waitara Natives (April, 1861), he
declared that he did not use force for the acqui-
sition of land, but for the vindication of the law
and for the protection of her Majesty's Native
subjects in the exercise of their just rights. In the
exposition of his motives, given by him immediately
after the event, he informed her Majesty's Minis-
ters that "he had insisted on this comparatively
worthless purchase, because if he had admitted the
right of a Chief to interfere between him (the
Governor) and the lawful proprietors of the soil,
he should soon have found further acquisitions of
territory impossible." He was informed, and he
doubtless believed, that the Chief of the Waitara
had no legitimate title to a voice as to the disposal
of the land in question. He declared that any
184 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
recognition of such a power aa that assumed by
William King would be unjust to both races, because
it would be the means of keeping millions of acres
of waste land out of cultivation. He doubtless
expected, too, that if the purchase were completed,
it would probably lead to the acquisition of all the
land south of the Waitara River, which was
essentially necessary for the consolidation of the
Province, as well as for the use of the settlers.
Believing, too, that the Chief of the Waitara would
not venture to maintain his assumed right, and
that by making a mere demonstration he should
be able to confer a solid benefit on the Colony,
the late Governor, supported by the advice of his
Ministers, hastily, and without adequate prepa-
ration, proceeded to dispossess the actual occupants
of the land by military force. A somewhat
similar proceeding in Cook's Straits, nearly twenty
years ago, drew from the then Colonial Minister
the most grave condemnation. In that case,
a civic magistrate, armed with a regular warrant
for the apprehension of Te Rauparaha, and sup-
ported by a numerous body of armed followers,
finding that Chief unwilling to surrender himself,
ordered his party to advance. Shots were fired by
IMPOLICY OF THE WAR. 185
both sides, and many valuable lives were sacrificed,
" So manifestly illegal, unjust, and unwise," said
Lord Derby, "were the martial array, and the
command to advance, that I fear the authors of
that order must be held responsible for all that
followed in natural and immediate sequence upon
it. I know not how to devolve that responsibility
upon the Natives ; they exercised the rights of
self-defence and of mutual protection against an
imminent, overwhelming, and deadly danger.
Revolting to our feelings as Christians, and to our
opinions as members of a civilized state, as was
the ultimate massacre, it is impossible to deny to
our savage antagonists the benefit of the apology
which is to be urged in their behalf. They who
provoke an indefensible warfare with barbarous
tribes are hardly entitled to complain of the
barbarities inseparable from such contests."
An attempt was made to fix upon the Natives
the responsibility of commencing the war ; but
long before hostilities commenced it appears to
have been determined that William King's claim
to a voice in the disposal of the Waitara should be
ignored, and that his opposition, if necessary,
should be overborne by force ; and the Governor's
186 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
advisers decided that " the case in question was
as favourable a one of its class as could have been
selected/' that the issue had been carefully chosen,
and that the occasion had arisen, on which it had
become necessary to support the Governor's
authority by military force." If their intentions
had been made known to the public, it is probable
that representatives would have been brought for-
ward sufficient to raise a doubt as to both the
justice and the policy of such a proceeding, and to
prevent Ministers from carrying it into execution.
But wishing to avoid any public discussion of the
subject, their design was purposely kept secret.
As to the interruption of the survey, it was
managed in the least objectionable way possible ;
and yet, almost immediately afterwards, no breach
of the peace having in the meantime taken place,
the public were informed by a proclamation of
martial law that " active military operations were
about to be undertaken by the Queen's forces
against Natives in the Province of Taranaki," and
the Natives were at the same time informed by a
proclamation in the Maori language,* that the law
* "With respect to the translation of the proclamation of martial
law at Taranaki into Maori, a grievous error was committed,
HOSTILITIES: BY WHOM COMMENCED. 187
of fighting was about to commence, and that
until further notice, fighting was to be the order
of the day ; the Troops were marched out in
martial array to occupy the disputed block of
land ; and the land which the Chief of the
Waitara and his people had occupied for years
was taken possession of by the soldiers, by whom
the first shot was fired. Under these circum-
stances it is difficult to understand, except on the
principle that " he who returns the first blow
begins the fray," how it could be maintained that
the war was commenced by William King.
As the Chief of the Waitara directly appealed
to the fountain of justice in the Colony claim-
ing the land for the whole of his people, declaring
at the same time that he was anxious for the
preservation of peace, it is not easy to see, in the
absence of any constitutional tribunal, and fail-
ing his appeal to the representative of the
Crown, what remedy was open to the Waitara
Natives for the protection of their interests and
the meaning of that proclamation having been entirely changed
by the translator. A New Zealander would understand it thus:
' Arm yourselves for the battle; and we will fight it out.' It is,
in fact, an invitation to take up arms." George Clarke, formerly
Protector of Aborigines.
188 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAB.
for vindication of their rights. It is true that,
after martial law had been proclaimed, and after
the Governor had determined to resist by force
of arms, the Chief of Waitara was invited to
come into the English settlement; and he has been
blamed for not complying with the Governor's
invitation. But it would seem that some time
previously he expressed a strong apprehension
that there was an intention on the part of the
Government to seize him like Te Rauparaha.
It can hardly be looked upon, therefore, as culpable
contumacy on the part of that Chief to decline
to come into the settlement, after it had been
declared in the name of the Governor that the
Queen's Troops were about to commence active
military operations against the Natives of the
district. Two facts, however, have since been
made clear with respect to him, that long before
any anti-land-selling league had been heard of
in the country he had declared his determination
not to give up the Waitara, and that he had no
connection with the so-called " King movement,"
until after martial law had been proclaimed.
It has been allowed by the promoters of the
war, that the Chief of the Waitara and his people
ANOMALOUS POSITION OF THE NATIVES. 189
believed that they were fighting for their rights ;
but they have been blamed for taking up arms,
instead of appealing to the law ; yet it does not
appear what tribunal or what legal remedy was
open to them by which their claims could be
judicially determined, and legally enforced. By an
Act of the local Legislature, it had been declared
that no court of law or equity in the Colony has
any cognizance of any question affecting the title
or right to or over Native lands. " The position
of the Native race," said Chief Justice Amey, in
addressing the Legislative Council, "is a most
extraordinary and anomalous one. They are
practically without rights, for they have lately
been pronounced to be without a remedy.* After
* In answer to the question afterwards submitted to them by
the Governor of the Colony, whether an efficient Court could be
established for disposing of questions relating to land over which
the Native title had not been extinguished, the Judges of the
Supreme Court gave an opinion, of which the following is an
" By treating the latter in the largest and most general way,
we feel justified in suggesting that a competent tribunal might
be established by the formation of a Land Jury, selected by lot
or otherwise from members of the various Tribes in previously
defined districts, nominated by such Tribes as competent to act
in that capacity, to be presided over by a European Officer or
Commissioner (not being an agent of the Crown for the purchase
of land), conversant with the Maori language, and assisted, if
190 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAB.
twenty years of government, during which period
the Colony has been advancing in wealth and
legislation, all that legislation has profited, is little;
he is practically beyond the protection of the
" And who are this people ? Politically they are
a people to whom twenty years ago the Queen
guaranteed all the rights and privileges of British
subjects, and this Colony has been enriched and
our own Government established on the faith of
that guarantee. In numbers they are about one-
half of her Majesty's subjects in these islands, far
more than half of the population, for whose benefit
the Government of this Northern Island has been
supposed to be administered. True also, they
have been christianized (thanks to the self-denying
zeal of the missionary); as a people they have
shown themselves teachable, capable of civilization,
easily convinced by reason and argument, no
longer generally disposed to quarrel among them-
necessary, by a Native Assessor, and whose duty it should be
merely to propound the questions for the decision of the Jury,
to record their verdicts, and to administer oaths to witnesses.
" (Signed) GEORGE ALFRED AMEY, Chief Justice.
" ALEX. J. JOHNSTON.
" HENRY B. GRKSSON.
RESULT OF THE WAR. 191
selves, not factious nor unruly: I accept the
memorandum appended to these papers as an index
of their domiciliary condition. It shows that they
possess little to tempt the cupidity of the unscru-
pulous ; but they do possess that one ewe lamb,
their land. It is this which they love and cherish.
For this they have fought and bled, and at
Taranaki we now find they will still fight and
bleed again and again ; and yet it is in respect
of this darling object of their patriotism, their
property, their all, that now after twenty years
of successive governments, from the direct govern-
ment of the Crown to the present responsible
Government under our Constitution Act, the
Attorney General of England is constrained to
tell them their rights can neither be recognized,
ascertained, nor regulated by English laws. Their
property is without the pale of the jurisdiction of
the Queen's Court."
For " Indian " read " New Zealand," and for
" Pondiac " read " William King," and the history
of our war with the North American Indians a
century ago might serve to describe the Taranaki
war. " The Indian war was now drawing to a
close, after occasioning great disquiet, boundless
192 NEW ZEALAND AND THE \TAE.
expense, and some bloodshed ; even when we
had the advantage which our tactics and artillery
in some instances gave, it was a warfare of the
most precarious and perplexing kind. It was
something like hunting in a forest at best, could
you but have supposed the animals you pursued
armed with missile weapons, and ever ready to
start out of some unlooked-for place. * * *
We said, however, that we conquered Pondiae
at which no doubt he smiled; for the truth of
the matter was, the conduct of this war resembled
a protracted game of chess. He was as little able
to take our forts without cannon, as we were able,
without the feet, the eyes, and the instinctive
sagacity of Indians, to trace them to their re-
treats. After delighting ourselves for a while
with the manner in which we were to punish
Pondiac's presumption, could we but once catch
him, all ended in our making a treaty, very
honourable for him, and not very disadvantageous
to ourselves. We gave both presents and pro-
mises, and Pondiae gave permission to the mothers
of those children who had been taken away from
the frontier settlements, to receive them back
again on condition of delivering up the Indian
RESULT OF THE WAR. 193
prisoners." * Our recent experience has proved
that war in New Zealand, when it can be
avoided, is not only a crime but a blunder. A
warlike and high-spirited race like the New
Zealanders may be civilized, or they may pos-
sibly be exterminated; but they can hardly be
subdued. In the art of war they are quite
equal to ourselves; in knowledge of the country
they have the advantage over us ; they have
comparatively little to lose, and they can always
find subsistence on the sheep and cattle of the
settlers: unencumbered, too, with baggage, and
independent of a regular commissariat, they can
move freely and with great rapidity, and can
always choose when and where to make a stand ;
and in the neighbouring forests they are sure in
case of need of finding a secure retreat. If the
Maories had been a civilized people and we had
been the barbarians ; if they had a rich capital to
be plundered, or a Summer Palace to be sacked, we
might have gone to war with them with a reason-
able prospect of success ; but being ourselves the
owners of valuable property, and having a hun-
dred defenceless homesteads open to attack, the
* Memoirs of an American Lady.
194 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAB.
local authorities, when they declared war against
the Natives of Taranaki, engaged in a ruinous
undertaking. By the Chief of the Waitara and
his immediate followers, the war was conducted
with as much high-spirited generosity and forbear-
ance as the most civilized nation would have
shown ; * but by murder, pillage, and the wanton
destruction of property, the Natives from the south
brought discredit on his cause. In destroying the
habitations of the people, in setting fire to their
corn-stacks, in breaking up their flour-mills, and
in opening their potato stores to be devoured by
the pigs, we ourselves also either set or followed a
Seeing that he was obliged to act under a
Constitution which was "framed in forgetfulness
of the large Native Tribes within the dominions to
which it was intended to apply," the late Governor
was placed in a trying and anomalous position.
To the heavily-burdened taxpayers of Great
* "William King," said the Governor, in an official notifi-
cation contrasting his conduct with the Ngatiruanuis, " William
King is a Chief, and he did not make war on the unarmed and
the helpless. He said his quarrel was with the Governor and
the soldiers, and if the settlers did not molest him, he should
not molest them."
RESULT OF THE WAR. 195
Britain, who have been called upon to pay half
a million sterling for a fruitless attempt to vindi-
cate his authority, the policy pursued by him may
not be satisfactory ; but to the Colonists his
answer is complete : the authorities of Taranaki
urged him to try a new system to obtain land
at the Waitara: his Ministers advised him to have
recourse to military force : a majority in both
Houses of the Assembly expressed their approval
of his policy ; and from all parts of the Colony he
received assurances of sympathy and support.
He no doubt formed a mistaken estimate of the
probable consequences of his own acts, but he is
fairly entitled to the consideration claimed by
Lord Grey in favour of the Governors of distant
Colonies, that " in times of civil commotion they
are placed in situations of so much difficulty
and responsibility, that every generous mind will
be disposed to put the best construction on their
conduct, and to believe, until the contrary is clearly
proved, that they have acted to the best of their
judgment and ability."
But if the Taranaki war has been disastrous, it
has not been without some good result; it has
shown the importance to the general interests of
196 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
the Colony of the good government of the Native
race; it has shown that the interests of the two
races are inseparable ; that the successful colo-
nization of the country is possible only so long
as peaceable relations are maintained between
them ; and that the best guarantee for the pre-
servation of peace consists not so much in the
number of our forces as in the justice of our
rule. What provision shall be made for securing
the fulfilment of the obligations we have con-
tracted in favour of the Natives what measures
should be taken for promoting peace, order, and
good government amongst them to whom may
the administration of Native affairs be most
advantageously entrusted are questions of which
Governor Grey is now engaged in attempting a
solution. Opinions no doubt differ as to the
particular measures to be adopted, but all are
agreed that whatever they may be, it is essential
to their success that they should have the cordial
co-operation of the Colonial Parliament.
It is impossible, however, to win the willing
obedience of a free people simply by the sword.
By a ruinous sacrifice of property, by a large
expenditure of money, and after a protracted
FUTURE POLICY. 197
period of miserable warfare, we should no doubt
be able to decimate the Maori race ; but instead
of rendering the remainder good subjects of the
Crown, we should probably reduce them to the
condition of a sullen, discontented, and dangerous
class, whom it would then be impossible to govern
excepting by the sword. But it would be a poor
triumph for a powerful nation like Great Britain
to crush by the sword a few Native Tribes, just
rising out of barbarism, who, relying on our justice
and good faith, have confidingly placed themselves
within our power ; it would be but little to our
credit as a colonizing people, if we shall be unable
to govern excepting by the sword a conquered
remnant of the Maori race. But be just, and, as
Sir W. Martin has observed, " you may easily
govern the Maories." Be just, and a moderate
force will suffice. Be unjust, and a force far
larger than England can spare will not suffice.
Force is good if subordinate to justice, but it is a
sorry substitute for it. The Maori is not to be
intimidated; but, like all other human creatures,
he is to be influenced through his sense of fair
dealing and of benefit received; he is governed
by the same motives and led by the same induce-
198 NEW ZEALAND AND THE WAR.
merits, as other men. Let the Maories be
practically taught that our laws are better than
their laws, and that our rule is better than their
own ; let them understand at the same time that
in their relations with each other, and so far as
,is consistent with the supreme authority of the
Crown, and with the general interest of the
Colony, they may, if they desire it, govern them-
selves by themselves, and that we will aid them
both with money and with men we shall then
have endeavoured to fulfil the obligations we have
undertaken in their favour, and have taken at the
same time the most reasonable means of securing
their willing allegiance, and of removing any
desire they may entertain for the maintenance of
a separate nationality, independent of the Crown.
Here, then, "in New Zealand our nation has
engaged in an enterprise most difficult, yet also
most noble and worthy of England. We have
undertaken to acquire these Islands for the Crown
and for our race, without violence and without
fraud, and so that the Native people, instead of
being destroyed, should be protected and civilized.
We have covenanted with these people, and
assured to them the full privileges of subjects of
FUTURE POLICY. 199
the Crown. To this undertaking the faith of the
nation is pledged. By these means we secured
a peaceable entrance for the Queen's authority
into the country, and have in consequence gra-
dually gained a firm hold upon it. The compact
is binding irrevocably. We cannot repudiate it
so long as we retain the benefit which we obtained
* " The Taranaki Question." Sir William Martin.
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