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Progress and Prospects of the Colony. The recent Gold 
Discovery. Increase of Population. The New Zealand 
Constitution. New Provinces. The Church 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 
Recal 93 


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 



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 


distributed amongst the several Provinces as 
follows : 


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. 



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 


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- 


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. 



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 


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 


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. 


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- 
ledged ability. 


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 


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 


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 


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, 


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 


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- 


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. 


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 



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 
to them. 

But unwise as it may be, this compact, so long 
as it is confined in its operation to those who are 
parties to it, is no more an offence against the law 
than an " eight-hours' movement " or a " 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 


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 
Governor Browne, 


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 
to foresee. 

The attempt has indeed already been made to 
induce the British Government to regard the 
conduct of the Natives in resisting what they 
believed to be an encroachment on their territorial 
rights, in joining the so-called " King Movement," 
and in forming a league to retain possession of 
their lands, as acts of rebellion against the British 
Crown justifying the confiscation of their land, 
and calling for the employment of the Queen's 
Troops at the cost of the Imperial Treasury ; but 
unless the statement officially reported by the late 
Governor be an unwarrantable libel upon the 
settlers, that they "are determined to enter in 
and possess the lands of the Natives, and that 
neither law nor equity will prevent them," and 


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/. 


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, 


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." 


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., 


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." 


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 


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 
of hostilities. 

" I thought," he said, describing his own share 
in the movement, " about building a large house 
as a house of meeting for the Tribes who were 
living at variance in New Zealand, and who would 
not become united. That house was erected, and 
was called Babel. I then sent my thoughts to 
seek some plan by which the Maori Tribes should 
become united, that they should assemble together 
and the people become one, like the Pakehas. * * * 
Evil still manifested itself; the river of blood 
was not yet stopped. The ministers acted bravely, 
and so did I, but the flow of blood did not cease. 
When you came, the river of blood was still 
open, and I therefore sought for some thought to 
cause it to cease, as the ministers had long per- 
severed. I considered how this blood could be made 
to diminish in this Island. I looked into your books 


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 


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 


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 


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 



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." 


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 



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. 


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, 


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 
Governor Browne. 


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 


be a reproach to civilization, and a disgrace to 
British ruleN 

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 


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. 


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 


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 


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 

October, 1858. 

[After stating the gracious answer of the Queen to the 
memorial addressed to her by the Chiefs of Waikato, the 
Governor proceeds to say: ] 


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." 


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 


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 


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 



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 


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 



expenditure of blood and treasure," in order to 
subdue them. 

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 


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 


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 


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 


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. 


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- 


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 Land. 

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 


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 


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 ; 


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. 


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 


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. 


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 



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 


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 



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 


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- 


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 


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? 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 
Naboth's vineyard." 



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 


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 


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- 


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) 


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. 



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 
the land. 

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 


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 



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 
the Waitara. 


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 
to him." 

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 


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 


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- 


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 


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 


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 


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." 


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 
the soil. 



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 
Governor's Recal. 

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. 


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 


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- 


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 


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, 



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 


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 



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 


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 


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 


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 


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. 


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 ; 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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, 


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. 



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 


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. 




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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 
thirty acres. 


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 


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 
the Assembly. 


" 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 


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 


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, 


* 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- 



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 


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." 



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 


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 


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 
not lawful." 

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 


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 


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 


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, 


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 


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- 


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 
our own. 

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 


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 


enemy; and that in superseding Colonel Gould, 
he had succeeded to a thankless office and a 
difficult command. 

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 


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 


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 



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 


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, 



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 


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- 


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. 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 
an end. 

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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 



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, 


' 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, 



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 

o O 

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 


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 


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 
them. ***** 


<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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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 
tyrannical despotism. 

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 


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. 


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 



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 
Waikato country. 

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 


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. 



" 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 


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 


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 


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 


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 


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, 


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. 


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 


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 


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. 




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 


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 


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. 



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 
barbarous example. 

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." 


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 


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 


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- 


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 


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 
by it.* 

* " The Taranaki Question." Sir William Martin. 



65, Cornhill, London, 
February, 1862. 




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