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,./ LONDON: 




SINCE the termination of the ten nights' debates 
on New Zealand in the House of Commons in 
1845, and the cessation of the native war which 
ensued soon afterwards, the public mind in 
England seems to have forgotten the colony 
altogether. Any interest which is taken in it 
seems limited to the movements of the Canter- 
bury Association, or to the Parliamentary Grant, 
which once a year is made in its behalf, when 
financial reformers express their astonishment 
that so flourishing a colony as it is represented 
to be should require such large amounts of 
British money for its support. On returning 
home, after nearly nine years' residence in the 
colony, I find the ignorance of the many, who 



know nothing about it, only exceeded by the 
misapprehensions of the few, who know a little. 
Under these circumstances, it seems a duty 
incumbent on me not to keep back the results 
of my experience. 

I left England in 1842, intending to follow 
the avocations of a private colonist, being a 
barrister of the Inner Temple, and a graduate 
of Oxford. In 1843, on the lamented death of 
Captain Arthur Wakefield, the Eesident agent of 
the New Zealand Company at Nelson, I suc- 
ceeded him in that office. I held it till early 
in 1848, when I received the appointment of 
Attorney-General of the southern province, 
which I accepted on the distinct assurance that 
self-government was immediately to be bestowed 
on the colony. Finding it was not, I resigned ; 
and shortly afterwards, on the death of Colonel 
Wakefield, the Principal agent of the New Zea- 
land Company, his office devolved on me. It 
placed me in charge of the Company's interests 


in the whole of the southern settlements (in- 
cluding New Plymouth), and afforded me the 
opportunity of becoming acquainted officially 
and personally with all their affairs. Imme- 
diately before leaving the colony, I was appointed 
Honorary Political Agent in England for the 
settlement of Wellington. In addition to five 
years' residence at Nelson, and three and a half 
at Wellington, I visited Auckland for three 
weeks, New Plymouth for ten days, Wanganui 
twice, Otago twice, Canterbury thrice (exploring 
a large part of the district), and many other 
parts of the country, where no inhabitants, either 
European or native, are to be found. 

My opportunities for observation, and my 
inducements to observe, have therefore been at 
least equal to those of any person who ever 
visited the colony; and this will, I hope, be 
held to afford a sufficient excuse for the publi- 
cation of the following pages. 

For the valuable Map which is attached, I 


am indebted to Mr. Arrowsmith, who obligingly 
placed the plate at my disposal. It is the only 
map of New Zealand that I have met with 
which is at all complete or accurate ; and it 
brings down the geographical corrections and 
discoveries to the latest date, being founded on 
the most authentic, recent, and original docu- 

London, July 25, 1851. 







2. NELSON 26 

3. OTAGO 29 






















MENTS , 137 









I NEED scarcely commence an account of 
New Zealand by saying, that it lies in the 
Pacific Ocean; consists of three islands, the 
Northern, Middle, and Southern ; and is not a 
part of New South Wales. Nor is it necessary to 
speak of its position relatively to Australia, Van 
Diemen's Land, India, China, or the Polynesian 
groups. All this any map will tell at a glance. 
I shall at once proceed to give a brief general 
description of the physical character of the 

The geological formation of New Zealand is 
volcanic. The most marked traces of igneous 
action are to be seen in the neighbourhood of 
Auckland, where, within sight of the town, are 
twenty-nine or thirty extinct craters, of various 


elevations up to 300 or 400 feet : some of them, 
as Mount Hobson and Mount Eden, in a state of 
great perfection. Around them, on every side, 
lie masses of scoria, varying in size from vast 
rocks to mere marbles. Curious caves are inter- 
spersed occasionally, as at the c Three Kings/ 
which have been used as catacombs by the 
natives, and are full of dead men's bones. As 
you proceed towards the centre of the island, 
evidences of more recent volcanic action exist in 
the boiling springs of Eoturua, and the smoking 
fissures and sulphurous deposits of White Island, 
in the Bay of Plenty. At Wanganui, on the 
northern shore of Cook's Strait, are quantities 
of pumice-stone, floated down the river from the 
interior ; and the rugged hills which surround 
Port Nicholson, bear evidence of a decided, 
though doubtless somewhat ancient, upheaving 
of the surface of the earth. The middle island 
exhibits fewer outward evidences of a volcanic 
origin : there is a greater extent of level land, 
and the farther south you go the more broken 
down (or degraded, as, I believe, the geologists 
term it,) is the appearance of the country. 
There is, however, one rugged and craggy 
chain of mountains, which runs completely 
through the island, nearly north and south, 
approaching the western coast to within a 


few miles of the sea, while it leaves a great 
extent of level or undulating land on the 
eastern side. 

The southern, or Stewart's, island is moun- 
tainous, but indented with fine harbours. 

The harbours of the colony are one of its most 
remarkable features. It possesses a great num- 
ber, many of first-rate excellence. But one in- 
convenience attends most of them : they are not 
generally in immediate connexion with any consi- 
derable quantity of level land. The Irish moralist, 
who illustrated the goodness of Providence by the 
fact of its having placed all the great rivers by 
the side of the great towns, would have been at 
a loss to reconcile his theory with the physical 
character of New Zealand in this respect. Some 
of the finest districts of the north, such as 
Mokau, Kawhia, Taranaki, and the whole coast 
from the latter down to Wellington, are without 
any harbours accessible to vessels of more than 
the lowest tonnage and draft. Two of the finest 
in the colony, Akaroa and Port Hardy, have 
scarcely an acre of available land about them, 
while even Port Lyttelton and Otago are sepa- 
rated from the open country by heavy ridges of 
mountains or hills. None of the rivers are 
navigable for any great distance ; and, with two 
exceptions New River, in Foveaux Strait, and, I 



believe, the Thames, in the north are only avail- 
able for small craft. 

The natural vegetation of the soil is of three 
sorts forest, fern, and grass. The former is 
interspersed all through the country, chiefly in 
the more mountainous parts, though groves of 
fine timber are to be found scattered over the 
level portions. The kowrie, which is confined 
to the north, the totara, and the red and the 
white pines, grow to a great height, are of large 
girth, and without a single lateral branch below 
the top. They are all excellent timber, easily 
worked, free from knots, and (except the white 
pine) durable in the open air. The black birch 
grows on poor and hilly land ; it is a fine, large 
tree, considerably harder than the pines, and 
proves a good timber for ship-building purposes. 

The fern is chiefly found in the northern 
island. When it grows strong (say to the height 
of four or five feet) it is an indication of a 
good soil ; but it appears to sour or exhaust the 
land, and the complete eradication of its roots 
and stems requires a good deal of labour; con- 
sequently, though fern land is easily broken up, 
the first, and probably the second, crop is seldom 
a good one. 

The whole of the eastern portion of the 
middle island, and some extensive plains on the 


northern shore of Cook's Strait, extending as 
far as Wanganui and Hawke's Bay, are clothed 
with most excellent natural pasture. To the 
north of this, scarcely any indigenous grass is 
to be found. The grazing operations of the 
colony will consequently be confined to that 
portion of it which lies south of a line drawn 
from Cape Egmont to Hawke's Bay in other 
words, to the southern province. The portions 
of the island north of that line, present no 
facilities for grazing, and can never become a 
field for pastoral enterprise. For though artifi- 
cial grasses grow there to great perfection, it 
would be a losing speculation in a new country 
to lay down any quantity of land with grass for 
mere grazing purposes. 

It is extremely difficult to form any estimate 
of the quantity of stock which the grazing dis- 
tricts of New Zealand will carry. All that can 
be said with certainty, is, that the natural pas- 
ture is as good as any in the world, and that 
there are millions of acres of it, comprising 
various grasses, equally fitted for cattle and 
sheep. The former will succeed best on the 
level ground, where the herbage is heavier and 
more rank ; the latter will chiefly occupy the 
hills and undulating ground, than which no 
finer ' runs' can probably be found anywhere. 


There are, perhaps, portions of the country 
where a sheep could be kept to every acre, even 
in its present condition, all the year round ; but, 
generally speaking, two, or even three acres per 
sheep, would be requisite to maintain a flock, 
allowing sufficient space for its proper division 
and management. An experienced grazier from 
New South Wales, who had, however, only 
seen a portion of the grazing country of New 
Zealand, estimated that the middle island and 
Cook's Strait would, in its present state, carry 
six or seven millions of sheep. There is no 
doubt that as the country is occupied with 
flocks, the quality and quantity of the pasture 
will both greatly improve, as they have always 
done hitherto wherever tried. 

The climate and country in the southern pro- 
vince are both admirably adapted for sheep. 
The average annual increase on a breeding 
flock, supposing it to be in fair condition, and 
on good keep, is not less than 90 per cent. ; 
and a flock of merinos will clip four pounds of 
wool all round, exclusive of young lambs. The 
deaths, in a district free from native dogs, will 
not exceed a half per cent., that is, one sheep in 
two hundred ; though if among many natives 
the mortality from this cause may amount to 
10 per cent, or more. The average probably, 


from all causes, will not exceed three or four per 
cent.* Sheep farming will, probably, for many 
years to come, be by far the most profitable 
undertaking in which the colonist can engage. 
If he can secure a run which will carry, say 
ten thousand sheep, and will place one thousand 
upon it on his arrival in the colony, seven or 
eight years will see him in possession of the 
former number. His annual clip of wool will 
then be worth at least 1500L, while his lambs, 
and the tallow of such surplus as he may sell 
or boil down, will amount to nearly as much 
more. The expenses will depend on the dis- 
tance of his run from a port, the amount of his 
personal superintendence and skill, the rate of 
wages in the colony for the time being, and 
other circumstances. 

* The above figures are the result of the six or seven 
years' personal experience of a joint owner of the largest 
flock in New Zealand, containing nearly 20,000 sheep. It 
was kept at two different stations, one in the midst of 
native tribes the other remote from them. The only 
dogs which give any trouble are either those belonging 
to the natives, or a few which have escaped and run 
wild. But their number is not great, and they are being 
rapidly exterminated. There are no indigenous native 
dogs, such as the Australian * dingo;' nor is it necessary 
to protect the sheep from them at night by folding. 


Dairy fanning will also, probably, be found 
to pay well. Independently of the local con- 
sumption, there is always a great demand for 
butter and cheese in New South Wales, and 
that which has already been sent thither from 
New Zealand has met with a ready sale at a 
good price; and, for some years to come, young 
stock will probably find a sale in the colony to 
new comers. 

New Zealand will be essentially a horse- 
breeding country also. The vast plains and 
open country invite the gallop, and a taste for 
racing has already exhibited itself in all the 
settlements. The pursuits of a colonist necessi- 
tate his being much on horseback; a horse is 
easily kept, and, in a few years, almost every- 
body will own one. In New South Wales there 
is one horse to about every two souls of the 

All kinds of live stock are imported from 
New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land, at 
very moderate prices.* But though a good, 
useful animal of every sort is imported by per- 

* Horses from 10Z. to 40/.; cattle from 61. to 10Z. ; 
sheep from 15s. to 20s. for maiden ewes. These had 
been the average prices in Wellington and Nelson for 
two or three years before I left the colony. In a new 
settlement they may range ten per cent, higher. 


sons who make it a trade, if the colonist wishes 
to procure a really superior breed, he will be 
wise in selecting them himself in those colonies. 
First-rate animals can be obtained in either, but 
are not generally exported on speculation. If 
the colonist makes his purchases personally in 
the Australian colonies, the risk of the voyage 
will fall on himself, but if advantage be taken 
of the summer season, and personal superinten- 
dence exercised, there is not much danger. The 
transport of stock should never be left to others, 
if they are to be at the risk of the purchaser 
during the voyage. 

There are very few diseases among live stock 
in New Zealand. From the most fatal one of 
New South Wales, the catarrh, which sometimes 
sweeps off tens of thousands of sheep in a few 
days, it is entirely free; and as that disease 
appears to be the result of drought, it will pro- 
bably remain so. Scab, among sheep, is com- 
mon and troublesome, but can be eradicated by 
the usual remedies. The rot, I believe, does 
not exist, nor the foot rot, unless in an isolated 
case, where a sheep may have got into wet 

Among cattle, there are few or no complaints. 
But there is a shrub which is poisonous to them 
(the tutu), when they are newly imported, or it 
is eaten on an empty stomach. But they get 


accustomed to it, and the loss from this cause 
among cattle born in the country, or acclimated, 
is quite inconsiderable. Great care should be 
taken to prevent valuable newly imported cattle 
from getting at it. Two out of four thorough- 
bred cows, imported in the first Canterbury 
ships, fell victims to it. 

The capitalist can scarcely do wrong to invest 
in live stock so long as there is an acre of graz- 
ing ground to be had. But some will, perhaps, 
prefer other pursuits, and engage in agriculture 
or commerce. There are, no doubt, opportu- 
nities for both. Professional men should not 
be recommended to emigrate, unless they have 
some means of livelihood collateral to their pro- 

Labourers, if steady, invariably succeed. 
Wages are seldom lower (for the most ordinary 
kinds of labour) than from 2s. Gd. to 3s. Qd. a 
day; while mechanics will get as much as six and 
seven shillings for a day of eight hours, and pro- 
visions cheaper than in England. A prudent and 
sober man soon becomes independent, and at the 
end of five or six years he is probably an em- 
ployer of labour himself, and grumbles heartily 
at the high rate of wages he is obliged to pay. 
I have before me a copy of a return made in 
1848, from which some idea of the prosperity of 
this class may be formed. Forty- six labourers 


at Wellington exhibited as the result of seven 
or eight years colonization, the following amount 
of property: 


Land cleared . . . 464 being 10 each. 
Do. in crop ... 297 6J 
Cattle 255 or 5 

And this though, owing to political causes, three 
years of this period had been a season of great 
depression and absolute distress. 

At Nelson, according to the same return, fifty 
labourers, in the same period, and under similar 
disadvantages, had 


Land in crop 402 or 8 each. 

Cattle 589 11 

Sheep 606 12 

Goats 679 13 

Pigs 392 7 

Let the Wiltshire or Somersetshire labourer, 
whose usual wages are from six to seven shillings 
a week, and whose usual diet potatoes or skilli- 
galee, be made aware that there is such a land of 
milk and honey to be got at by a four months' 
voyage, and I cannot help thinking that it would 
be very difficult to keep him where he is. The 
only impediment to his removal would be, how 
to find the means of paying his passage, and 
that might easily be done if government or the 
pauper burdened parishes would assist. Let the 
amount be advanced, and a promissory note for 


its repayment be given by the emigrant. This 
security would be transmitted with him to the 
colony, and be recoverable before a justice of 
the peace. Some department of the local go- 
vernment should be charged with the duty of 
enforcing payment; and I doubt not that very 
few cases of evasion would occur. A proposi- 
tion was made to the Colonial Office to this 
effect in 1849, but rejected as impracticable, 
apparently without consideration, or under mis- 
apprehension. Private parties (as Mrs. Chisholm) 
have not found such a system impracticable, and 
there seems no reason why a government should. 
The peculiar character of New Zealand, and the 
limited extent of its population, afford facilities 
for the experiment, and a prospect of its success, 
which might not exist in colonies of larger 
extent and population. It might fail in Canada 
it scarcely could in Madeira, if the latter were 
a British colony; between Madeira and Canada 
it is only a question of degree, and New Zealand, 
I think, comes within the limits in which the 
proposal would be perfectly practicable. 

The climate of New Zealand is, for the pur- 
poses of health and production, probably about 
the finest in the world. It is milder and more 
sunshiny than England ; it is not so hot as 
Italy or Australia. Whatever will grow in 
England will grow there ; many things flourish 


there, for which England is too cold, or the 
south of Europe too hot. Thus the grape ripens 
to perfection in the open air, which it will not 
in England ; and so does the gooseberry, which 
will not in Spain. The only respect in which it 
could be improved is the wind; not that it 
blows harder than it blows in England, but it 
blows hard oftener. This, however, is at most 
only an annoyance, not an actual fault of 
climate ; and even in the windiest places people 
become so used to it, that I have heard an old 
resident express his disgust at a calm day. The 
windiness of the climate has been much exagge- 
rated, owing to most of the early accounts from 
the colony, and many of the later having 
emanated from the town of Wellington, which, 
being situated in a sort of funnel, is windy, par 
excellence. The windiest season all through 
the colony, is from November to January in- 
clusive the early part of the New Zealand 
summer. It is remarkable that the winter is 
the calmest season, when there are often long 
intervals of perfectly tranquil and fine weather. 

Meteorological registers have been kept in 
various parts of the colony, and a good idea of 
the climate may be formed from them. In one 
kept at Nelson, I find in the seven summer 
months the following number of 'fine sunny 
days :' September, 25 ; October, 20 ; Novem- 


ber, 19 ; December, 21 ; January, 16 ; Feb- 
ruary, 19 ; March, 24 ; while the winter season 
gives, April, 20 ; May, 15 ; June, 21 ; July, 
20 ; and August, 15. In September and Feb- 
ruary there was not one rainy day, and the 
greatest number of rainy days in any month 
was in May, when there were six, and five 
cloudy, and five showery. It should be ob- 
served, that in New Zealand a ' fine sunshiny 
day' means a day of clear, unclouded sunshine, 
from morning to night. In the register before 
me, cloudy days are distinguished, as are 
showery ones also. At New Plymouth, the 
number of c fine sunshiny days' was, Sep- 
tember, 21 ; October, 19 ; November, 18 ; De- 
cember, 21 ; January, 25 ; February, 20 ; 
March, 24; April, 16; May, 17; June, 14; 
July, 18; and August, 16. In the three sum- 
mer months of December, January, and Feb- 
ruary last, according to a register kept at Wel- 
lington, there were only two days of continued 
rain, and seven showery, all the rest being bril- 
liant sunshine, yet without any approach to 
drought, or causing any shortness of keep for 
the cattle. Let any one compare these, which 
are fair average registers, with an English one, 
and he will see at once how many more fine 
sunshiny days there are in New Zealand. 

The range of the thermometer shows perhaps 


the smallest variation of any in the world. In 
a register kept at Wellington, the highest mean 
in the shade, for the summer month of January, 
was 67 Fahr. ; the lowesf mean, in July (mid- 
winter), only 51. In England, the highest in 
the corresponding months was 62, the lowest 
36 ; the difference in New Zealand being 16, 
in England 26.* In Cook's Strait, and to the 
north, snow has only once in ten years been 
seen on the level ground, and it did not then 
lie two hours. At Otago, the southern portion 
of the middle island, it has only been known 
to lie for three days in the whole of the severest 
winter yet experienced. The foliage, with the 
exception of some half-dozen trees, is all ever- 
green ; and the small green parroquet, a very 
delicate bird, is found winter and summer in 
Stuart's Island. 

Nevertheless, with all these facts in its favour, 
some persons may not think it an extraordinarily 
pleasant climate. It wants the balminess of 
the Italian air. Its summer evenings are infe- 

* The highest degree to which I have known it 
attain in Wellington, was 84 in the shade ; but in 
some parts of the colony, as at Canterbury, it stands 
higher occasionally. The lowest I have known was 
only one or two degrees below freezing point, which 
happens very seldom, and only for a few hours at a 


rior even to the English, when the English do 
get a fine one. In some places there is more 
wind at times than is altogether agreeable. 
But any one who rejoices in sunshine who 
likes a clear elastic air in which blue devils and 
dyspepsia cannot exist or who wishes for a 
climate in which all sorts of European produce 
flourish, and all sorts of live stock thrive to an 
amazing degree will certainly be satisfied 
with it. 

There are no diseases peculiar to it, while 
many English ones either do not exist at all (as 
small pox), or with less frequency and virulence, 
as colds and consumption. No climate will 
cure the latter when far advanced, but none 
probably affords a better chance of recovery if 
the patient be taken there in the earliest stages. 
I could mention more than one instance of 
recovery, in cases which would certainly have 
ended fatally in England. 

The European population (civilian) in the 
colony at the beginning of 1850, was as fol- 
lows : 

Wellington 4747 

Thence to Wanganui, inclusive .... 654 

New Plymouth ,. 1200 

Nelson 3372 

Otago 1215 

Canterbury, Akaroa, and Banks' Peninsula 734 
Auckland and the north, about .... 7000 



To which must now be added about 3000 
emigrants to Canterbury, 300 or 400 soldiers 
discharged from the two regiments, and an in- 
crease by births at 4 per cent., which will 
give a total of about 23,122. 

The first colonization of New Zealand was 
rude and irregular, effected by runaway sailors, 
escaped convicts, and the hardy but rugged and 
nondescript characters who carried on the shore- 
whaling establishments. There were probably 
not less than 1000 of them in the country when 
regular colonization began. They have now, in 
great degree, disappeared having either died 
off, quitted the colony for haunts where they 
are subjected to less control, or become merged 
in the growing population. 

The regular colonization of the country com- 
menced at Wellington in 1839, and has been, 
effected hitherto in much the same manner as 
Asia Minor, Sicily, parts of Italy, and North 
America were colonized by the location of 
separate communities at various points of the 
sea-coast, separated from each other by physical 
barriers. Each settlement has had a distinct 
origin and a separate aim, which, combined 
with their local separation, makes them more 
truly distinct colonies than Virginia and Mary- 
land, or Delaware and New Jersey. One left 
England as the pioneer of New Zealand colo- 


nization, and still retains its old recollections of 
native negotiations and the early hazards of the 
enterprise ; another, of later date, is remarkable 
as a Scotch settlement, and revives the recol- 
lections of the old country by its kirk, its 
manse and its minister, with its names of Dun- 
Edin, Leith Water, and the Clutha ; another 
consists all of Devonshire and Cornwall men ; 
another carries out a segment of the Church of 
England, with a bishop and his clergy, as a 
nucleus round which its sentiment is to grow ; 
while another claims to be cosmopolite, and 
scorns all specialities and exclusivism. Nor do 
the physical characters of each, and the pursuits 
of their inhabitants, differ less than their moral 
features. One is more commercial, another 
more pastoral, a third more agricultural, while 
a fourth depends on native trade and govern- 
ment expenditure. Hence arises, in a peculiar 
manner the necessity for a complete localization 
of the institutions of government ; and nothing 
has more tended to^ retard the progress of these 
colonies than the attempt to govern them by 
a system of centralization, the head-quarters of 
which are removed 200 miles from the nearest, 
and 800 from the most distant of them. But 
this will more appropriately form the subject of 
a subsequent section. 

On the subject of society and the provi- 


sion for the religious, educational, and physical 
wants of the colonists, a few words will suffice. 
An immigrant will probably judge of the society 
by what he has been accustomed to at home 
it may be too good for some, not good enough 
for others. I will not pretend to pronounce 
upon its merits or demerits ; but this I will say, 
that let him go to which settlement he chooses, 
he will, if he be worthy of it, be received with 
genuine kindness and hospitality, and with a 
cordial welcome to the country of his adoption. 
The habits of all classes are at least as moral and 
respectable as those of the same grade in the old 
country, and in some respects perhaps more so. 

As regards provision for religious wants, the 
amount is pretty nearly equal to that at home. 
Every leading church of the old country has its 
representative there. At Wellington, for in- 
stance, there are two clergymen of the Esta- 
blished Church, with two churches in the town, 
and two or three chapels in the country; a 
Roman Catholic church, with a bishop and 
several priests; a Wesleyan minister with a large 
chapel in town, and smaller ones in the coun- 
try; a Scotch kirk (established) in the town; 
Independents, Primitive Methodists, and per- 
haps one or two more. At Nelson there is a 
similar provision, in proportion to the size of 
the settlement, and so in each of them. 


Schools are also to be found in each settle- 
ment, generally attached to each religious deno- 
mination. Nelson has made itself remarkable 
by an educational movement, which bids fair to 
become an enthusiasm with the colonists there. 
Numerous schools on the British and Foreign 
system, educate an unusually large proportion 
of the children, and work harmoniously with 
those founded by religious sects. The credit 
of their organization and success is due to 
Mr. Matthew Campbell, whose exertions in their 
behalf have been most zealous and unwearied. 
It is unfortunate that, by an educational ordi- 
nance passed at Auckland, they are the only 
schools in the colony excluded from the right to 
receive aid from the state, though, perhaps, of 
all others the most deserving its support. Edu- 
cation for the upper classes is on the whole 
defective, but it is beginning to be supplied by 
degrees. A very good high school appears to 
have been founded at Auckland by the Wes- 
leyans. Bishop Selwyn's college is also esta- 
blished there, though, when I visited it, it 
seemed not well adapted for general education, 
and not very successful. A college, or school, is 
in process of formation at Canterbury; and pri- 
vate academies, ' classical and commercial/ are 
to be found in the other settlements. 

The physical wants of the colonists are amply 


provided for. Flour usually ranges from 121. to 
171. a ton, being about 2d. a pound for bread; 
meat of excellent quality, 5d. to 6d. a pound ; 
tea, coffee, (without chicory) and sugar, as 
cheap, or cheaper, than in England ; butter, 
from 9d. to Is. 3d!. ; cheese, about Is. a pound ; 
bacon, 7d. ; potatoes 31. a ton ; vegetables every- 
body grows for himself; poultry varies in 
different settlements; turkeys, at Nelson, 2s. 6c?.; 
Wellington, 7s.; fowls, at Nelson, Is. 6d. a 
couple; at Wellington, 3s. In a new settle- 
ment, such as Canterbury, most of these minor 
articles will be dear, and some not to be had 
till the colonists produce them for themselves ; 
but, in a year or two, everything becomes plen- 
tiful and reasonably cheap. New Plymouth and 
Nelson are the best supplied and cheapest 
markets. At Wellington and Auckland prices 
are raised by the presence of the troops and 
shipping; but a country settler produces most 
things for himself, and does not much feel the 
higher prices of the towns. 

Land is to be purchased in all the settle- 
ments ; in the older ones, where the sales and 
other arrangements of the government and the 
company have glutted the market, it can be 
bought at prices varying from 6s. or 7s. an acre, 
up to 6J. or 81., the former at a distance, the 
latter close to the towns. The Canterbury and 


Otago Associations still sell on the terms of the 
respective schemes, providing a fund from the 
proceeds for public purposes, such as founding 
schools and churches, making roads and bridges, 
and introducing immigrants. 

Having now touched upon those points which 
are generally applicable to the whole colony, I 
shall briefly describe each settlement separately, 
dwelling chiefly on the particulars in respect of 
which they differ from each other. 


The settlements, or colonies, now existing in 
New Zealand, are six in number : Wellington, 
Nelson, Otago, and Canterbury, in the southern 
province; Auckland and New Plymouth* in the 

1. WELLINGTON, founded in 1839, was the first 

* JN"ew Plymouth has been bandied about from one 
province to the other. It is, I believe, again restored, 
or about to be, to the southern. The Bay of Islands, 
though possessing a government staff, is a mere in- 
significant dependency of Auckland. Wanganui is a 
portion of the settlement of Wellington, and will ulti- 
mately (even more decidedly than at present) become 
identified with it. It has Wellington for its port of 
deposit, and its inhabitants are chiefly from that settle- 


regular settlement established in the colony. 
It is the seat of government of the southern 
province. Its most important feature is its fine 
harbour, which consists of a salt-water lake or 
inlet of the sea, about six miles in diameter, and 
land-locked on every side. At one side of this is 
the valley of the Hutt, containing about 15,000 
acres of land of first-rate fertility, but heavily 
timbered. The rest of the country, for twenty 
or thirty miles on each side, consists of hills, 
varying in height from 500 to 1500 feet, inter- 
spersed with narrow valleys or portions of table- 
land, of a good soil, but covered with dense 
forests. From this description, it is evident 
that the character of the country in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of Wellington is at present 
neither pastoral nor agricultural, and can only 
become the latter by the expenditure of great 
labour in clearing off the timber. 

But Wellington will be the port of deposit 
for fine districts equally fitted for pasture and 
agriculture, which commence at a distance of 
thirty or forty miles on either side of it. On 
the north-west the mountains begin to recede 
from the coast, at a distance of about thirty 
miles from Wellington, gradually leaving a 
splendid tract, which extends, with few breaks, 
all the way to New Plymouth. On the east 
side, at the head of Palliser Bay, is the fine 


valley of the Wiararapa, containing about 
350,000 acres of level land, connected with 
large level grassy plains, divided from each 
other by low hills, which extend up to Hawkes 
Bay on the one hand, and the head of the Ma- 
nawatu river on the other. 

Of these fertile districts, however, a small 
portion only, amounting to about 300,000 acres, 
has yet been purchased by the government, and 
placed at the disposal of the colonists. Another 
portion, under arrangements of a most objec- 
tionable character, which will be further alluded 
to in a subsequent page, is occupied by graziers, 
holding as tenants under the natives. But the 
greater part of the country referred to remains 
unoccupied, millions of acres, capable of main- 
taining millions of people, but which the natives, 
though they make no use of them themselves, 
will not sell to the Europeans, nor permit them 
to occupy in any way. And their title to the 
waste lands having, by an unfortunate policy, 
been recognised as valid by the British govern- 
ment (a point which will be touched upon here- 
after), there is no course to be pursued except 
to wait patiently till the natives either become 
extinct, or can be persuaded to change their 
minds. But, considering that it has been by a 
mistaken policy of the British government that 
the native ownership of the waste lands has 


been recognised, it would seem incumbent on it 
to make any reasonable sacrifice to obtain, by 
purchase, districts which are of vital importance 
to the prosperity of Wellington. It is probably, 
after all, only a question of money ; and, under 
the circumstances, even if it should cost 50,000, 
it does not seem unreasonable to suggest that it 
is the duty of government to obtain the Mana- 
watu, Wiararapa, and Hawke's Bay districts 
without delay. The outlay would soon be repaid 
by the rapid prosperity of the country so pur- 
chased, and of Wellington, which, without it, 
cannot make any considerable progress. 

The fact of its being the medium of supply 
for the more recently-founded settlements in 
Cook's Strait, and, latterly, a depot for troops, 
and its having, together with Auckland, enjoyed 
a monopoly of the government expenditure of 
parliamentary grants and other large sums of 
money, combined with the deficiency of open land 
and the existence of a fine harbour, have given 
Wellington a commercial character, to an extent 
not perhaps altogether consistent with its actual 
progress as a settlement. Too many of the 
population have been engaged in commercial 
pursuits and shopkeeping. There is, however, a 
solid substratum of bond fide colonization, many 
colonists of the upper class being settled on the 
land, and owning large quantities of sheep and 


cattle in the Wiararapa or Rangetiki, and not 
less than from 400 to 500 families of the 
labouring class cultivating land on their own 

2. NELSON, founded in 1841, organized in 
England under different leaders, and, in many 
respects, different circumstances from Welling- 
ton, is, perhaps, the most successful instance 
of a self-supporting, self-relying settlement 
which the history of British colonization has 
exhibited since the American colonies were 
founded. Port Philip or Adelaide may be cited 
as instances of more rapid and greater prospe- 
rity ; but their overland communication with 
New South Wales deprives them of the cha- 
racter of new colonies in any rational sense. 
It was merely the grazier driving his flocks 
from one field into the next. The subsequent 
discovery of copper in South Australia has given 
it a new ground for sudden prosperity, but one 
not at all in unison with, or dependent in any 
way on wholesome colonization. Nelson owes 
its success entirely to itself ; it has never parti- 
cipated in the immense sums of money expended 
at Auckland and Wellington, but has patiently 
dug its own maintenance out of the ground. It 
presents, in consequence, a much healthier 
aspect than either of them, is entirely inde- 


pendent of extraneous support, and not liable 
to be injured or destroyed by the withdrawal of 
troops, or cessation of parliamentary grants. 

The settlement lies at the bottom of Blind 
Bay. There are about 50,000 acres of level, or 
nearly level land, in immediate connexion with 
the port, but probably not more than half of 
this is adapted for agricultural purposes. There 
is, however, much more good land than the pre- 
sent population can use or occupy. The whole 
of it has been sold to purchasers under the 
New Zealand Company, but more than three- 
fourths of those are absentees, and no difficulty 
will, I believe, be found in purchasing from 
them, or their agents, at moderate prices, as 
much land as any emigrant may want, within a 
distance of from one to forty miles of the town. 

Forming part of the Nelson settlement, but 
separated by a ridge of mountains which necessi- 
tates a journey round of sixty or seventy miles, 
is the Wairau valley and plain, consisting of 
about 250,000 acres of land, the lower portion of 
first-rate quality, the upper only fit for grazing 
purposes. It is surrounded by hills which afford 
excellent sheep-runs, and which are occupied by 
Nelson settlers, many of whom live in the Blind 
Bay district, intrust their flocks in the Wairau 
to a shepherd, and only occasionally visit them 
in person. 


The country west and south of Nelson pre- 
sents few facilities for colonization. It has 
been explored as far down as Cascade point, 
in lat. 44 S., by Mr. Brunner, who performed 
three journeys through it, two of them of 
great enterprise and difficulty, in the years 
1846, 1847, and 1848. His last and most inter- 
esting journal has been published (in a very 
brief shape however) in the Parliamentary 
Papers of 1850. 

The country which lies east and south of 
Nelson and the Wairau has been explored 
within the last year by Captain Mitchell and 
Mr. Dashwood. A connexion has been esta- 
blished between the Nelson and Canter- 
bury district, running behind the Kaikora 
mountains, and consisting almost entirely of 
fine grazing country, interspersed with plains, 
adapted for agricultural purposes. Mr. Weld 
subsequently explored, successfully, a route on 
the seaward side of the mountains, which proved 
perfectly available for sheep or cattle, and he 
discovered an easier access than Messrs. Mitchell 
and Dashwood had done to the country con- 
necting, on the other side, with Canterbury.* 
As uniting the two settlements, and opening up 

* His journal is published in the Government Gazette, 
Southern Province, February 21, 1851. 

OTAGO. 29 

a fine tract of country previously unexplored, 
these were among the most useful discoveries 
yet made in the colony. 

The principal charm of Nelson is its climate; 
which, owing to the comparative absence of 
wind, and the extreme clearness of the air, is 
superior, probably, to any other in the colony. 
I have known the sky without a cloud by day 
or night for a month together, even in the 
winter ; and in that season geraniums, cenotheras, 
picotees, and other English summer flowers will 
be found in full blossom. Yet the heat of sum- 
mer is never oppressive, the thermometer seldom 
higher than 80 or 82, owing, probably, to a 
light sea-breeze setting in regularly every day 
about ten A. M., and blowing till sunset, when it 
changes to the exactly opposite quarter. 

3. OTAGO, which is situated on the southern 
portion of the east coast of the middle island, 
was founded in 1847 by a body of colonists 
organized in, and proceeding from, Scotland, in 
connexion with the Free Church, for the endow- 
ment of which, and of schools in connexion with 
it, a portion of the fund arising from land sales 
is appropriated. The principle is the same as 
that adopted in the Canterbury settlement. It 
is special, but not exclusive. The Scotch Free 
Church in the one case, the English Established 

30 OT4GO. 

Church in the other, is the only one which 
receives any endowment from the funds of the 
settlement w^hich are contributed by the land 
purchasers. But all other sects are at liberty to 
establish their own churches, and entitled to 
equal political and social rights with the mem- 
bers of the endowed one. It is only a ques- 
tion of private endowment. The church so 
endowed does not become a state or established 

Otago is a very good country for settlement. 
There is probably none much better. It has a 
tolerably good and extremely picturesque har- 
bour, which a rough Scotch emigrant of the 
labouring class told me reminded him of Scott's 
description of the Trosachs. He was quite right 
in the resemblance between the two places, 
though he had never seen the Trosachs. There 
is a considerable amount of available land around 
the harbour, and within a mile or two of the 
town of Dun-Edin. But the principal rural dis- 
tricts commence about seven or eight miles off. 
They consist of four plains, surrounded by grassy 
hills, all of them of good land, but the Molyneux, 
which is the largest, particularly so. There is 
already water carriage through a great part of 
the district, and ultimately it will all be con- 
nected with the greatest ease by a canal, of which 
three-fourths have been formed by nature. Its 

OTAGO. 31 

grazing capabilities are also very great, as it is 
almost entirely a grass country, and connected 
through the Molyneux with a still more exten- 
sive level grazing country, bordering on Foveaux 

This latter district was explored in 1850 by 
Captain Stokes, E.N., and other officers of ELM. 
steamer Acheron, and proved one of the greatest 
value.* It possesses a very good harbour at the 
c Bluff/ in which the Acheron lay for some weeks 
a river called the New River, navigable for 
large vessels; and a smaller one, known as 
Jacob's River, adapted for coasters. There is a 
good supply of timber scattered through the 

The climate of Otago seems to resemble that 
of Wellington. There are more flying clouds 
and more wind than in many other parts of the 
colony, but the climate is good on the whole, 
and extremely healthy certainly no Scotchman 
nor Englishman either need complain of it. I 
was there when a colonist arrived who had lost 
his health by a long residence in India, and who 

* Perhaps the greatest benefit conferred on New 
Zealand by the home government has been the survey 
of its coasts and harbours by an officer of such esta- 
blished reputation, assisted by others of great experience 
and ability. 


had been unable to regain it on the continent 
of Europe and the watering places of England. 
He seemed completely shaken to pieces. I saw 
him a year afterwards, when his health seemed 
entirely restored he was full of activity, enjoy- 
ing life, and engaged at that particular moment 
in presiding over one of the pleasantest scenes I 
witnessed in New Zealand a harvest home, 
attended by some thirty or forty labourers, and 
their wives and children, who were in his em- 

Otago has made comparatively but little pro- 
gress. It seems to have been neglected in Scot- 
land. It has been hinted that the ministers of 
the Free Church are afraid of encouraging emi- 
gration, lest it decrease the number of the 
members of their church at home, which is in a 
position of rivalry with the Established Church 
in respect of numbers and funds. If they knew 
how great a boon they were conferring on the 
labourer by inviting him to emigrate, men of 
their devotedness and high character would not 
be induced by any motive of personal or ecclesi- 
astical interest to discourage him from taking that 

4. CANTERBURY is yet in progress of forma- 
tion; but it cannot fail to be one of the most 
important settlements in New Zealand. Eighteen 


ships, containing 3000 colonists, have sailed for 
it within the last twelve months. It has for 
its field of operations an immense level plain of 
more than two million acres, on the east coast 
of the middle island, and abreast of Banks' 
Peninsula, one of the harbours of which (ex- 
tremely easy of access and egress) affords it a 
port. It contains many hundred thousand acres 
of excellent agricultural land. It is almost 
entirely a grass country, and borders on other 
fine grazing districts, extending on the north 
nearly as far as Nelson, and on the south to 
Otago. It is, on the whole, as fine a tract as 
has ever been colonized. The port of Lyttelton 
will be the depot of the produce of a third part 
of the east side of the middle island, there being 
no other place from which it can be exported, 
on a coast line of upwards of 150 miles in 

The only drawback in the district with which 
I am acquainted is, that the timber is not con- 
veniently scattered over it, but lies on Banks' 
Peninsula on the one side, and on the hills 
opposite the coast on the other, where, accord- 
ing to the estimate of Captain Thomas, there 
are at least 230,000 acres of forest. The dis- 
tance at which the timber grows, say twenty 
miles from the centre of the plain on either 
side, will probably not much affect the value of 



sawn timber; but it will make the supply of 
rough timber, for fencing or firing, compara- 
tively scarce and dear. Yet perhaps not so 
much so as might be anticipated. In 1849, 
firewood was the same price at Auckland (which 
is worse off for wood than Canterbury) as it was 
at Wellington, which is in the heart of a forest 
of thirty miles in extent. In the former case 
there was water carriage in the latter it was 
brought chiefly by land. There are facilities for 
getting it by water several miles into the Can- 
terbury plains ; and when the settlement is fully 
formed, and employment is properly organized, 
there is little doubt the supply of wood from 
Banks' Peninsula and the hills will form a regu- 
lar trade, and the price become reasonably 
moderate. Coal from New South Wales is now 
imported at 21. per ton, a price not very exces- 
sive, and which will no doubt be reduced, as it 
is sold in Australia at 7s. 

Some reports disparaging this district have 
been circulated in England. The absence of 
any complaints from the colonists themselves 
who, after three months' examination of the 
country, speak of it in the highest terms, ought 
to be perfectly satisfactory to the most scep- 
tical, independently of the reports of numerous 
parties of high character and intelligence, who 
have carefully examined the country, and re- 


ported most favourably of it ; among whom are 
the Bishop of New Zealand; Captain J. Lort 
Stokes, RN; Mr. Evans, sailing-master of 
H.M.S. Acheron; Mr. Hamilton, of the same 
ship; Captain Mitchell, of the Indian army; 
Mr. Dash wood, late of the same; Mr. Mantell 
(son of the geologist) ; Mr. Weld, of Chideock 
House, Dorsetshire (now in England) ; Messrs. 
Deans, who have resided there for seven years ; 
and numerous others of equal credit. I have 
myself walked over a great part of it, and 
formed the highest opinion of it for the site of 
a settlement. 

Whether the Canterbury Association will 
carry out to the full their scheme of special 
organization on Church principles, is a question 
on which colonial experience does not throw 
much light. No doubt it will depend chiefly 
on how far the movement is one of settled prin- 
ciple or mere impulse. There seems nothing in 
the circumstances of the colony to prevent a 
strong organization on any given principle, if 
those who carry it out are sufficiently imbued 
with it, to hold by it till it takes an abiding 
root in the feelings of the people at large. It is 
probable that the " speciality" of the scheme 
will not stand out so prominently in the colony 
fifty years hence, when its founders have become 
intermixed with other colonists, who may resort 


there with different views; but it will, in 
likelihood, always retain something of its origi- 
nal savour. The American States Pennsyl- 
vania, New England, and Maryland are said 
each to exhibit a special character of its own, < 
tinctly traceable to the peculiar religious prin- 
ciples on which it was originally founded. 

5. NEW PLYMOUTH was founded in 1840, by 
a company, formed in Devonshire and Corn- 
wall, from which counties its inhabitants have 
chiefly emigrated. It lies on the west coast of 
the Northern Island, close to Mount Egmont 
which forms at all times a magnificent feature 
in the scenery. It rises up at once from the 
level country to a height of 8300 feet, in the 
most beautiful conical form, and capped with 
snow for a great part of the year. It is the 
most elegant, and certainly not the least im- 
posing of mountains. Below lies a beautiful 
undulating country, bounded by the sea on one 
side, and on the other stretching away, one vast 
forest, into the blue distance. The soil is of 
the very first fertility, and the natural vegeta- 
tion of every sort, except grass, most abundant. 
The town or village is extremely picturesque, 
scattered up and down the sloping sides of easy 
hills, and more resembling an English village 
than any other in the colony. Agriculture is 


almost the sole employment of the settlers. 
Their produce is all excellent; the finest poultry, 
pigs, corn, honey, and everything else that 
people of simple habits can desire. They have 
three excellent flour mills, a brewery, a church, 
a Wesleyan chapel, an independent minister, 
and schools to match. They have not been 
turned aside from the true pursuits of a colonist 
by any government expenditure ; and like that 
of the Nelson settlers, their small society pre- 
sents an extremely satisfactory aspect. The 
chief drawback at New Plymouth is the natives. 
After five years' delay and litigation, the Com- 
missioner of Land Claims decided, that the pur- 
chase from the natives, made by the company 
which founded it, was valid and good. But the 
chief protector, Mr. Clarke, interfered, and 
persuaded Governor Fitzroy to reverse the 
decision. Instead of 60,000 acres which the 
Commissioner had awarded, he reduced the set- 
tlement to 3800, within the limits of which he 
compelled the colonists to retreat. The rest he 
abandoned to a turbulent body of natives, who 
have ever since been a thorn in the side of the 
colonists. Nearly 30,000 acres have since been 
purchased, chiefly in other directions; but 
instead of fine open available land, as the other 
was, it is chiefly heavily timbered, and not 
available for immediate use. Of course this has 


been a most serious injury to the settlement, 
and it speaks volumes for its intrinsic goodness 
that it has survived so great a blow. 

The want of a harbour is no doubt another 
drawback; but the colonists contrive, notwith- 
standing, to import and export whatever they 
want. I saw a vessel loading with corn for 
Sydney when I was there, and considerable 
quantities of produce are sent away, from time 
to time, to the other settlements in New Zea- 
land and the Australian colonies. If a country 
has the resources of wealth within it, and pro- 
duces something which is exportable, shipowners 
will always find the means of doing business 
with it, though it be transacted in a somewhat 
exposed roadstead, and at the risk of losing an 

6. AUCKLAND, the seat of the general (it can- 
not, while placed there, be called the central) 
government, is situated in the northern island, 
on the narrow neck which separates Manakau 
harbour, on the west, from Shouraki gulf, on 
the east. The harbour of Auckland, which is an 
arm of that gulf, is extremely good. Manakau 
is difficult of access in the prevailing winds, a 
tremendous sea breaking across at the heads. 
One of the few large ships which have visited it 
was lost in the attempt to enter about four years 


ago. I sailed from it myself, in a schooner of 
ninety tons, in 1849, but the impression it left 
on my mind was not favourable, and I do not 
think it will ever become a harbour of general 
resort. For all practical purposes, Auckland 
harbour will be the only one. 

Auckland is well situated as a depot for native 
trade, and as the head-quarters of the mis- 
sionary establishments. But, with the exception 
of small detached valleys of volcanic soil, the 
country appears exceedingly poor, with scarcely 
a blade of natural grass, and holding out no 
great temptation to the agriculturist. In some 
portions of the volcanic soil (I am not certain 
whether it is universal, but I saw a district of 
three or four miles extent where it was so) there 
is not a drop of water to be found : none can 
be got even by sinking wells. This description 
of land is generally thickly covered with blocks 
of scoria, which must be picked off before the 
land can be cultivated. The settlers build stone 
walls, houses, and other erections with it. It is 
only fair to state, that my examination of the 
district was limited to a distance of about fifteen 
miles round the town of Auckland ; but I believe 
the character is much the same till you reach 
the Waikato country on one side, and the Thames 
on the other, each about fifty miles off, and 
both still in the hands of the natives. 


The town of Auckland is the largest and most 
compact in the colony. It has one or two very 
good streets, but the lower parts are as filthy as 
c Deptford and Wapping, navy-building towns/ 
Very little except shopkeeping was going on at 
Auckland when I was there. The amount of 
cultivation was very small, and consisted almost 
entirely of a few fields of grass, within four or 
five miles of the town, where newly imported 
stock were kept alive till the butcher was ready 
to wait upon them for the benefit of the troops 
and townsmen.* In short, the settlement was 
a mere section of the town of Sydney trans- 
planted to the shores of New Zealand, filled 
with tradesmen who were reaping a rich harvest 
from the expenditure of a regiment of soldiers, 
a parliamentary grant, missionary funds, and 
native trade. As an instance of colonization, it 
was altogether rotten, delusive, and Algerine. 
The population had no root in the soil, as was 
proved by some hundreds of them packing up 
their wooden houses and rushing away to Cali- 
fornia, as soon as the news of that land of gold 
arrived. In Cook's Straits not half a dozen 

* I speak of Auckland as I saw it in 1849. I have 
been told that the amount of cultivation has since con- 
siderably increased. 


persons were moved by that bait. If the 
government expenditure had ceased, and the 
troops been -removed at that time, I believe 
Auckland would have melted away like a dream. 
The expenditure of British money by the 
government has been enormous in this part of 
the colony, and easily accounts for so large a 
town having so suddenly sprung up. The troops 
stationed there have not expended much, if 
anything, less than 100,000?. a year. Two sets 
of very costly barracks have been erected, with 
a lofty stone wall round each, which cannot have 
cost less than about 100,000?. more. The pen- 
sioners' houses at least 50,000?. ; their pensions 
about 12,000?. a-year ; besides a variety of con- 
tingent expenses. From the parliamentary 
grant, from 10,000?. to 20,000?. a-year ex- 
pended on roads and otherwise. The revenue 
of the northern province about 25,000?. a year. 
The outlay of the three missions, which, I was 
told on undoubted authority, amounted to the 
same sum. Two men of war (not always, but 
frequently) in harbour for long periods. In 
short, in addition to the local revenue, not less 
than certainly 200,000?. a year of British money 
has, on an average, been expended annually for 
the last four or five years ; and one or two lump 


sums, amounting to not less than 150,000?. 
in addition.* 

Nearly the whole population of Auckland 
has been imported from Sydney and Van Die- 
men's land. With the exception of the pen- 
sioners, I believe only one, or at most two 
regular emigrant ships that is, vessels carrying 
bodies of men of the labouring class, ever pro- 
ceeded from this country to that settlement. 
The returns of crime, compared with those of 
the southern settlements, exhibit fearful traces 
of the origin of its population, and display the 
great importance of colonizing on a regular 
system, which may ensure a pure origin for a 
colony. In the year ending December, 1847, 
there were no fewer than 1083 criminal cases 
disposed of by the resident magistrate at Auck- 
land, of which there were 994 in which Euro- 
peans only were concerned ; 857 convictions, 
and 529 for drunkenness ; that is to say, one in 
six of the population was convicted of some crime 
or other ; one in eight, of drunkenness. At Wel- 

* Financial reformers should know that this is pro- 
bably little more than half the amount expended in the 
whole colony. So large a proportion being in mili- 
tary departments, I have been unable to give precise 
amounts ; but I believe that, on the whole, I have 
under-estimated the expenditure of British money in 
the colony. 


lington, the proportion was one in 40; at 
Nelson, one in 79.* 

I have no returns of criminal cases tried in 
the Supreme Court in the north, but those in the 
southern provinces are very satisfactory, indi- 
cating as high a moral condition as can be 
found anywhere. At Wellington, in five years, 
the total cases tried were 92, or about 18 in 
the year, of which 59 were convictions. But of 
these, only 18 trials and 10 convictions were of 
English settlers all the rest being soldiers, 
sailors, inhabitants of the Australian colonies or 
natives. At Nelson, the average is only four 
cases of all sorts in a year ; at Otago, not one. 


In April, 1849, I visited all the Pensioner 
villages in the neighbourhood of Auckland, then 
four in number. They had been established 
between one and two years. The conclusion I 
arrived at was, that, whether viewed in a mili- 
tary or a colonizing aspect, they are costly 
failures, affording a most decided warning 
against the continuance of the experiment, or 
its renewal elsewhere. The same conclusion 

* These figures are from returns made and published 
by the local government. 


is arrived at by a careful examination of the 
few documents relating to them in the ( Blue 

In a military point of view, they are altoge- 
ther useless. Placed as a sort of cordon round 
Auckland, to protect it from the large tribes to 
the south and west, but being mere straggling 
villages, without any sort of fortification, if the 
natives should ever wish to attack the capital, 
they would, any morning before daylight, walk 
through the whole of them, massacre the inha- 
bitants in their beds, and, having seized their 
arms and ammunition, proceed on their way to 
Auckland. The pensioners are, for the most 
part, considerably beyond the middle period of 
life, many of them with constitutions shattered 
by climate and hard living, and a large propor- 
tion of them of very intemperate habits. 

Regarded in a colonizing point of view, the 
pensioner system could prove no other than a 
failure. With the single exception of convicts, 
it would not be possible to select a worse class 
for emigration than old broken-down soldiers, 
stiffened into military habits, or only relaxed by 
the vices of barracks and canteens. Nor are 
their families likely to be much better than 
themselves. Then the manner in which they 
are located is equally objectionable. The first 
essential to colonial success, particularly among 


the labouring class, is perfect freedom of action; 
liberty to go here, or there, or everywhere ; to 
follow the calling of previous years, or turn 
the hand to any new employment which offers. 
This military colonization is fatal to such liberty. 
I found the largest of these villages (Howick) 
located fifteen miles from Auckland, on a bare 
and poor soil, without a stick of firewood within 
many miles, remote from any employers of 
labour, and separated from them and from 
Auckland by an unfordable river. Reports of 
actual starvation among the inhabitants of this 
village, the winter after I saw it, were circulated 
in the Auckland papers ; and, unless it was 
staved off by eleemosynary means, I do not see 
how it could have failed to result from the 
circumstances in which the pensioners were 

Governor Grey, however, on the 9th of Febru- 
ary, 1850, forwarded to the home government a 
return, which, he says, shows that the progress 
of the men towards comfort and competence, 
has been as great as could have been anticipated ; 
that, in addition to their cottages and gardens, 
&c., they have three horses and 171 head of cattle 
among them \ from which he leaves it to be 
inferred that these are the results of their own 
exertions and industry. It appears, however, 
upon looking carefully into the appended report,, 


that all, or nearly all the live stock mentioned, 
has been purchased for them by the government, 
which has made an advance of money for the 
purpose, amounting to 857?. Their houses also 
were erected for them by the government at the 
enormous cost of 37 3 843L, or S71. per pensioner. 
And, in reality, all that they have to show as 
the result of their own exertions, after more 
than two years' settlement, is rather more than 
a quarter of an acre of garden-ground cultivated 
by each man ! Now, when it is considered that 
these men had everything found them excel- 
lent houses, employment for twelve months, 
medical attendance, an acre of land each for the 
privates, and two for the non-commissioned 
officers, that they had horses and stock to a 
large amount found them also, that there were 
officers to guide, counsel and assist them, it will 
appear that, at all events, Governor Grey's anti- 
cipations of their success, which he describes as 
realized, cannot have been of a very sanguine 
order. Any ordinary labourer in the Cook's 
Straits settlements would have cultivated far 
more land, and obtained far more stock in the 
same time, by his own exertions in his leisure 
hours, and the savings of his wages. 

What the ultimate cost of the experiment 
will be, it is not easy to predict. At present 
scarcely any returns have been made on this 


head, as Lord Grey complains in March, 
1850. But the single item given above, of 
37,843?. expended in building houses for 434 
men, being at the rate of 871. per man, is a 
sample of what it must have been. It is cer- 
tain that 100?. will not cover the expense of 
locating each pensioner. Then their pensions 
also, are continued, and many perquisites, such as 
the acre of land, medical attendance, and twelve 
months employment by government must be 
added. When we reflect that from 151. to 
201. will locate a first-rate young agricultural 
labourer in the colony, what shall be said of 
such a system ? 

The whole plan seems to have been launched 
with the utmost inconsideration and haste. 
When the first corps arrived in the colony, 
nobody could ascertain who was to have the 
command of the force. Governor Grey con- 
tended that he was, while the senior officer of 
the force maintained that it was his privilege. 
It was twelve months before this point was 
settled, and in the meantime, there being no 
authority to control them, the officers quarrelled, 
and a series of courts-martial ensued, which 
ended in the dismissal of two of them from the 
service. But a much more important matter 
had been overlooked ; that is, who was to pay 
the expense of the pensioner emigration. It 


seems from the Parliamentary Papers of August, 
1850, that Lord Grey laboured under a delu- 
sion that the home government would pay it, 
and was only undeceived by the Lords of the 
Treasury when the expenses had been all in- 
curred. He then directed the Governor to make 
it a charge on the colonial revenue, as a debt 
due to the military chest. What the colonists 
will say when they learn that they are charged 
with a debt so incurred, remains to be seen. 
The capability of the colonial revenue to bear 
such burdens seems not to have been considered. 
Already it is charged with a debt of about 
60,000?., bearing 8 per cent, interest. It is pro- 
posed to add the New Zealand Company's debt, 
200,000?. more, at 3 (increasing to 5) per cent, 
interest ; and the pensioner immigration charge 
also. The annual interest on these three sums 
will amount at the lowest to 13,000?., payable 
out of a general revenue of less than 50,000?. 
The incidence of the burdens also seems unfair; 
the revenue of the whole colony being charged 
with one item (the Company's debt) with which 
the northern colonists have had nothing to do ; 
and with another (the pensioner immigration) 
in which the southern colonists have not par- 



BY far the greater portion of the natives reside 
quite in the northern part of the colony. 
They are comparatively few in every part of the 
southern province, and in the middle island there 
are scarcely any not above 2600, on nearly 
50,000,000 acres of land, and those greatly 
dispersed. In a late despatch (dated March 
22, 1849), Governor Grey states the number of 
natives in the northern province to be 80,000 
in the southern 25,000.* There is reason to 

* Mr. Hawes, in the House of Commons, on the 14th 
July, stated their number as from 150,000 to 200,000; on 
what authority he did not say, Times, July 15th.' There 
is a very valuable article in the Edinburgh Review for 
April 1850, on this subject, written by a gentleman who 
has resided many years in the colony, and to whom I am 
indebted for several of my facts in this section. The 
careful returns made in the southern province had not, 
however, appeared when he wrote, and I know that they 
materially altered his views as to the existing numbers, 
and that he concurred in those stated by me in the text. 
I differ from him, however, in his estimate of the pre- 
sent and probable future extent of amalgamation. 


believe that the estimate is erroneous, and that 
half of the respective amounts would be nearer 
the truth. 

It is a very remarkable fact, that notwith- 
standing the professions of interest in the welfare 
of the natives made by the government and the 
missionaries, neither of them have ever at- 
tempted a general census. It is evident that 
till such a step is taken, all measures adopted 
with a view to benefit the race, or to maintain 
even-handed justice between it and the European, 
must be founded on data so uncertain and 
inaccurate, that no satisfactory result can be 
obtained. How, for instance, can it be ascer- 
tained what proportion of the revenue is con- 
tributed by each, and to what proportion of 
expenditure on their special institutions each is 
equitably entitled, if their numbers are not 
known ? Similar questions occur at every turn. 
A census is the only solution, and none exists. 

However, a partial, and, as far as it goes, a very 
accurate census has been made by the Lieutenant- 
governor, Mr. Eyre, in the district around Wel- 
lington, and another, under his instructions, at 
Nelson ; while the native population of the 
other portions of the southern province has 
been visited, and its numbers ascertained 
almost to a head, partly by officers in the em- 
ployment of the local government, partly by 


others in that of the New Zealand Company.* 
The result is, that in this province for which 
Governor Grey estimates 25,000 natives, less 
than 11,000 are found actually existing. His 
estimate, as regards the northern province, is 
probably equally inaccurate, though the same 
positive test of its accuracy does not exist. But 
an approximation is to be arrived at from the 
following authorities. 

In 1840, the missionaries and other parties, 
certainly not interested in understating the num- 
bers, estimated them for the whole of the islands, 
at from 120,000 (the highest) to 109,000 (the 
lowest). In 1842, Dr. Deiffenbach, from infor- 
mation furnished by the missionaries in various 
parts of the islands, assumed 114,890 as the 
total number. In 1846, one of the oldest and 

* The Wellington district census is by Mr. Kemp, 
government interpreter, and son of a missionary long 
resident in the colony. Nelson, by the government 
interpreter and officials. Wanganui, returns given in a 
statistical work by Mr. Grimstone, chief clerk in colo- 
nial secretary's office. Thence to New Plymouth, by a 
surveyor in the Company's employment. The rest of the 
Middle, and Stewart's Island, by Mr. Mantell, govern- 
ment commissioner for purchase of native lands, Mr. 
Hamilton, draughtsman on board H. M. S. Acheron, 
and Mr. Brunner, the noted explorer ; all from per- 
sonal inspection, and sanctioned by publication in 
government documents. 



most intelligent missionaries, holding high rank 
in the colonial church, expressed (privately) an 
opinion that the native population was c under 
90,000, possibly very much under.' In the 
same year, Captain Fitzroy, the ex-governor of 
the colony, estimated them at 80,000, (see his 
pamphlet.) In 1850, an intelligent and well- 
informed Wesleyan missionary estimated them 
at 70,000. Deducting from the last the ascer- 
tained number in the southern province (11,000), 
the number for the northern would be 59,000. 

The above figures are probably near the truth. 
Their disparity, inter se, is accounted for by the 
different dates at which the estimates were 
made, extending over a period of ten years. And 
this raises another question, are the natives 
increasing or decreasing in number ? The answer 
which statistics compel us to give is, that they are 
rapidly decreasing that their extermination is 
to be looked for almost within our own life- 
time that in forty or fifty years there will 
scarcely be in existence an aboriginal New 
Zealander.* The conclusion is arrived at by 
the following process. 

* By a strict arithmetical process, it might be shown 
that there may be a single native alive 150 years hence ; 
but according to the ascertained ratio, they will be 
practically extinct that is, there will be barely a few 
hundreds alive if indeed there are those at the period 
mentioned above. 


In 1847, very careful enumerations of the 
inhabitants of many of the pahs near Welling- 
ton were made under the direction of Colonel 
M'Cleverty, the then commissioner of land 
claims, for official purposes. The disproportion 
of women and children to men was very con- 
spicuous, there being only seventy-seven women 
and fifty children to every 100 men. A more 
recent and extensive return, including the 
country district for 150 miles of coast-line, made 
by Mr. Kemp, the native secretary of the local 
government in 1850, gives fifty-two children to 
every 100 men. In England and Ireland there 
are more than 100 women, and 140 children to 
every 100 men. In the United States of 
America there are 161 children to every 1 00 men. 
Now it is evident, that from fifty to fifty-two 
children are altogether insufficient to sustain 
and replace a population of 177 adults of both 
sexes. It is obvious, moreover, that such a 
proportion provides for a decrease of the race 
equal fully to the amount of natural increase 
existing in England, Ireland, or America. 

A comparison of Mr. Kemp's returns for the 
pahs in and about the town of Wellington for 
1847 and 1850 also shows a decrease at the rate, 
as nearly as possible, of four per cent, per annum, 
the number of seven pahs being 633 in 1847, 
and 558 in 1850. And taking the established 
proportion of women and children all through 


the islands, the above ratio of decrease among 
the natives may be assumed as general. 

It is a strong confirmation of the correctness 
of the above calculation, that, taking the highest 
estimate of 1840, (viz., 120,000,) a decrease of 
four per cent, per annum would reduce the 
number in 1850 to 78,841, not very far from 
the estimates of the missionaries and Captain 
Fitzroy, before referred to. 

Taking the more moderate calculation of 1840, 
and reducing them by four per cent, per annum, 
the result corresponds as nearly as possible with 
those estimates. 

Unless, therefore, some check be immediately 
interposed to the process of dissolution, and the 
native race can be forced back from the vortex 
into which it is descending, the annihilation of 
the New Zealanders, as a race, will occur in 
about fifty years at longest. Nay, as it is pro- 
bable that many of the causes in operation will 
act upon the race more forcibly as its num- 
bers decrease, a shorter period will probably 

Supposing, then, that statistics prove the fact 
of the progressive extinction of the natives, what 
are the causes by which it is effected ? are they 
removeable ? Can their force be lessened, or is 
it likely, on the contrary, to increase ? 

The causes, though fatal, are few. They may 


be divided into the physical and moral. The 
pnysical causes are 1. Deep-seated scrofulous 
disease, pervading the whole race, and develop- 
ing itself not only in its primitive forms, but in 
consumption, fearful abscesses, and disgusting 
cutaneous diseases, of which last, if I remember 
rightly, Cook says he saw no instance in his 
time. These, I was told by the late very intel- 
ligent superintendent of the Taranaki Hospital, 
Dr. M'Shane, are more and more increasingly 
prevalent in the rising generation than in the 
adult. Thousands are swept off every year by 
this cause. 2. Very early and very general 
habits of depravity among the women. 3. 
Drudgery imposed upon the women, who do all 
or most of the hard work and destroy their con- 
stitution by it, cultivating the land and carrying 
loads that would not be thought light by a 
ballast-heaver. I asked a native who had accu- 
mulated a good deal of property, how he got it ; 
he pointed to his three wives, and said he made 
them work for it. 4. Polygamy is thus profitable, 
and it forms, to some extent, another cause of 
unfruitfulness. 5. Female infanticide did exist 
formerly, and I cannot think that, in those parts 
where the influence of civilization has not much 
extended, there is reason for supposing that it 
has yet entirely ceased. 

The moral cause in operation is perhaps less 


obvious, but no less certainly at work, and pro- 
bably little less effective. It consists in a de- 
pression of spirits and energy which, in the 
mind of the savage, ensues upon his contact with 
civilized men. He soon sees his inferiority ; 
his pride may struggle against an admission of 
it for a time, he may still occasionally bedeck 
himself with the ornaments of the warrior, and 
endeavour to shame by his barbaric splendour, 
the plainness of civilized industry; but the 
great ships that throng his harbours, the (to 
him) magnificent buildings that spring up on 
every side, the display, if there be any, of 
military force nay, what to the colonist are 
the merest articles of every-day use his watch, 
his plough, his axe, his pocket-knife all de- 
clare in a language which he cannot misunder- 
stand, that it is a superior race which has come to 
share his country. From the day when he 
makes this acknowledgment to himself, he feels 
that his greatness is departed, that his nation 
is henceforth a nation of Helots. He cannot 
form in his mind the hope of rising to the 
level of the superior race ; its existence, and 
everything connected with it, are a mystery to 
him ; what the North Americans call a c great 
medicine/ the New Zealanders, a Typo, or 
divinity. The gulf between him and the new 
comer is too great; he cannot conceive the possi- 


bility of bridging it, so he sits down and broods 
in silence till his appointed time. 

The most probable method by which the 
operation of these feelings could have been 
checked in New Zealand, would have been the 
encouragement to the greatest extent com- 
patible with the general government of the 
colony, of the institution of chieftainship, which 
we found existing among the natives. The 
men of the most enlarged minds and of the 
greatest influence were of that class ; and had 
they been, as I think they might, maintained 
in an elevated position, and their feudal autho- 
rity supported at least for some years, it would 
have given them a position round which the 
rest of the race might have rallied, and whence 
they might have taken their first step towards 
one more elevated and advanced. But with 
the exception of the early founders of the Wel- 
lington settlement, it has been the policy of 
those in whose hands were the destinies of the 
natives, to discourage the institution of chief- 
tainship, and to reduce to a general level all 
classes of natives. An individual chief may 
occasionally, and sometimes very indiscreetly, 
have been petted and encouraged. But the 
' chieftainship/ and the various shades of nobi- 
lity and gentry subordinate to it, have been 
allowed to sink into ruin, and carry all along 


with them to a lower social level than before. 
Nothing more touching and pathetic was ever 
penned than the complaint of Tamati Nga- 
pora, addressed to Governor Grey, in 1848.* 
'Friend, the governor/ he says, 'this is my 
speech to you; hearken to my word, oh, my 
friend. Do not slight my thoughts, because 
this is the thought of many of the chiefs of New 
Zealand. This is the thing that causes confusion 
in all their villages. Formerly, oh father the 
governor, when we adhered to our native cus- 
toms, we had light ; but now, new thoughts 
have been imbibed, and darkness is the conse- 
quence. The slaves of my village will not obey 
me ; when I ask them to work, they will not 
regard me. The result of this conduct is theft 
and adultery. I cannot determine in these 
matters. In your estimation perhaps they are 
trifles, but to me they are great things, because 
they affect the welfare of the chiefs. Formerly 
our word had some weight, but now it is lost. 
The slaves look upon themselves as equals with 
their fathers the chiefs, which has caused us to 
be very angry. Is it right for a servant to be 
indolent, and disobey his master? It is my 
wish to protect my slaves and to respect them, 
and I wish them to respect me in return. If 

; Parliamentary Papers, 1849, p. 19. 


my slaves do evil, their sin will affect myself; 
when my people do well, my heart rejoices. I 
am desirous that myself and my people may be 
an example to the evil ones. Reflect, O father, 
upon my words, that a law may be made for 
the native chiefs, that their slaves may be in- 
duced to obey them; and do you strengthen 
our hands, so that the many slaves of this land 
may be kept in awe, and the chiefs be enabled 
to love and protect you/ 

Bishop Selwyn also complains that the mis- 
sionaries can obtain no hold on the minds of 
the natives, owing to the loss of influence of the 
chiefs. They are, says he, ( a rope of sand; the 
young men escape from all control/ Mr. Clarke, 
the chief native protector, wrote to the same 
effect in 1845. 


BUT, it may be asked, is this theory of mental 
depression consistent with actual fact ? Are not 
the natives rapidly becoming civilized? Are 
not their energies evoked by the paternal care 
of the government ? What is this that we hear 
about their owning numerous coasting vessels, 
about one of them keeping a livery stable, and 
another having an account at the bank ? How 
are such facts consistent with your theory ? 


The answer is, that the facts alluded to relate 
to a very few individual cases. The theory has 
its operation on the great bulk of the people. 
The superior advancement of a few more ener- 
getic minds, individually isolated, will not rescue 
the race. It might if you had time for it, but 
you have not. Before the effect can be pro- 
duced, scrofula and consumption, the drudgery 
and degradation of the women, will have done 
their work : the race will be gone. 

And as regards the degree of civilization 
attained even by the most advanced, it is very 
superficial and limited. In rescuing savage 
races from barbarism, there are three stages to 
be passed. First, they are to be brought to 
tolerate the presence of the civilizer. It was not 
till after numerous massacres of casual visitors, 
and the expulsion of the missionaries more 
than once, that the New Zealander was got past 
this stage. Secondly, there is the stage of 
barter, when, impelled by the desire of procuring 
the luxuries and comforts possessed by the 
civilized race, they bring their food or raw pro- 
duce to market in exchange. And lastly, there 
is the constructive stage, in which they learn 
the arts of civilized life how to make for them- 
selves those things which they desire. 

The New Zealanders have got no further than 
the second stage. They have, it is true, pur- 


chased a few coasting vessels, but they have 
never yet attempted to build one, not even a 
boat.* They have a few ploughs ; they have 
never made one, and not many have ever held 
one. A few of them carry their produce in 
carts to the place of barter, but those carts are 
made by English cartwrights. In short, unless 
it be one or two about the mission stations in 
the north, or the whaling stations in the south, 
I do not know a single native who can do the 
commonest carpenter's work, or has any ac- 
quaintance with any mechanical trade. A few 
(say 500 or 600) of them were employed at 
navvies' work, for a year or two, on the roads 
constructed by government, and in the Canter- 
bury settlement. In the course of this, some 
learned the art of stone-dressing, of which much 
has been made in official reports. But if the 
Europeans were to leave the colony to-morrow, 
I see nothing in their present civilization which 
would be likely to prevent the lapse of the 
natives into absolute barbarism almost the next 
day. The opportunity for barter would then have 
ceased. They cannot construct (I believe I may 
safely say) one single article of utility which 
they could not before we knew them. Their 

* They build, or rather scoop, canoes out of a tree. 
All other boats owned by them are built by Europeans. 


skill as mechanics would be found limited, as it 
then was, to the fabrication of the scanty cloth- 
ing, the domestic utensils, and the warlike 
weapons of savage life. 

Why so few attempts have been made to 
teach the natives mechanic arts (the most solid 
foundation for civilization), is a question which 
has yet to be answered by those who have 
claimed credit for peculiar interest in them. 
How rational and how feasible would it have 
been for the government to have apprenticed 
native youths to tradesmen and artificers in the 
towns, or even, if necessary, at Sydney. The 
money which has been lavished on useless and 
even mischievous objects would have paid the 
apprentice fee of many hundreds. The perni- 
cious c Protectorship' must have cost at least 
5000Z. or 6000Z. in one way or other. The 
government brig, an entirely useless appendage, 
has cost the colony 20,000. or more. Taking 
an apprenticeship fee at 40Z., these two items of 
misspent money alone would have converted 
into useful mechanics between 600 and 700 
natives, now savage and ignorant, carrying them 
through the third stage of civilization, and 
affording a basis for security and progress 
wherever their personal influence might reach. 
Instead of taking active practical steps of that 
sort, the government has satisfied itself with 
mere talk and despatch writing ; and if it can 


point to a complimentary letter written by a 
native chief to the governor, or a native house 
with glass windows and a verandah (of which, I 
believe there are three in the country), it flat- 
ters itself with the idea that it has discovered 
the problem of civilizing the aborigines nay, 
even reduced its theory to practice. 

Is it then possible to remove, or even mate- 
rially to modify, the force of the causes which 
are sweeping away the New Zealanders from 
the face of the earth ? If medical science could 
provide a remedy for the fatal disease which is 
so prevalent among them, how could you apply 
it to a population of 60,000 or 70,000 people, 
scattered over a space larger than England? 
The whole revenue of the colony, expended on 
hospitals, would hardly produce a perceptible 
effect. Can the habits of the women be changed 
in a day ? Will the men in a day consent to 
restore them to their proper sphere, and relieve 
hem from the drudgery they now subject them 
to ? Can the spirit of the New Zealander be 
re-invigorated in a generation, and he take his 
place cheerfully in the race of progressive im- 
provement? You might do something on all 
these points if you had the time if you had 
three or four, or half a dozen, prospective gene- 
rations, and a probable space of one or two 
hundred years to work upon but what prospect 
is there of grappling successfully with such 


adversaries in the brief space to which (if you 
succeed not) the existence of the New Zealander 
is limited. It is too late. As in the case 
of his relatives at Tahiti and the Sandwich 
Islands, his days are surely numbered. In the 
former, the inhabitants in Cook's time were 
estimated at 70,000 ; they are now said to be 
only 7000. In the latter, the ratio of extinction, 
as proved by actual census,* is 8 per cent, per 
annum, at which ratio, if it continue, there will 
in a few years not be a Sandwich Islander 
living. The same doom awaits the New Zea- 
lander it may be fifty, it may be sixty, it may 
be seventy years; but unless you can work 
changes in his moral and physical condition, 
which I see no chance of your working, it is 
only a question of time. His ultimate fate is 
certain ; it is summed up in the single word 

Three hospitals have been established in New 
Zealand, chiefly with a view to the natives ; one 
at Auckland ; one at New Plymouth ; and one 
at Wellington. They are maintained by the 
government, but on a defective system, and one 
which renders them much less useful than they 
might be. 

In England, all hospitals which are supported 

* Printed in the Morning Chronicle, May 1, 1850. 


by public funds, are subjected to public control. 
They are generally under the charge of a com- 
mittee elected by those who contribute to their 
maintenance, and the physicians and surgeons 
attached to them are elected by vote of the sub- 
scribers, while the institution is ordinarily thrown 
open, to a great extent, to all the profession. 
The New Zealand hospitals are each under the 
absolute control of one surgeon, appointed by 
the governor. The rest of the profession are 
virtually excluded, and they are, in fact, to a 
great degree, the perquisite of an individual of 
whose fitness for the charge there is neither test 
nor guarantee. 

Hospitals for Europeans are not required in 
N ew Zealand. All classes can afford to pay for 
medical attendance. They might, however, be 
very useful among the natives if established 
on a proper system. They ought to be placed 
in the districts most densely peopled with the 
natives ; schools should be attached to them ; 
and in charge of properly qualified men, they 
might be of the greatest use as a sort of political 
agency among the natives, and a medium of 
their civilization. Those in existence, however, 
have no such feature. They are all in European 
towns, none of them in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of large bodies of natives ; one, at least, 
is said to be very badly conducted, and their 


utility is comparatively very little. It is true, 
that quarterly returns of patients treated at 
them are made in the government gazette, and 
not "without parade ; but if the hospital did not 
exist there is no reason to suppose that medical 
advice would be denied by the profession to any 
native who might require it ; and, if even small 
fees were charged, it would be better than the 
pauperizing system of a charity hospital. Such 
advice has always been, and is 'even now, exten- 
sively given by private practitioners, but they do 
not advertise their cures as is done by the govern- 
ment hospitals. It is a fact, also, that many of 
the natives have a great dislike to these institu- 
tions, and will not resort to them. A chief, 
resident within 100 yards of that at Wellington, 
refused to let his dying daughter be taken there, 
and it was stated, on very excellent authority, 
that such instances are common. The general 
opinion about them in the colony is, that they 
are a delusion, productive of little good to any 
one except the medical officer in charge. 


The practical question remains, What are our 
present relations with the natives, and is there 
any ground for supposing they will be disturbed ? 


It is certain that they are more inclined to peace- 
ful councils than they were that there is less 
chance of any disturbance. To what is this 
owing ? To feelings of loyalty among them I 
attribute nothing. Queen Victoria is a mere 
abstraction, exercising no practical influence 
over them. Governors they have seen removed 
and renewed ; they fully appreciate how ' a 
breath can make them, as a breath has made/ 
Nor do I think that, as a body, they entertain 
much fear of the military. They always speak 
of them with contempt, though for the blue 
jackets they entertain a profound respect, having, 
whenever they encountered them, found them 
much the most formidable enemies. The main- 
tenance of a military force in the country, is 
principally desirable to meet the emergency of 
any sudden outbreak or riot. If the natives, as 
a body, were inclined to go to war with us, the 
military force at present in the country would 
be most insufficient. But they are not, nor is it 
likely that they will ever be. If the troops 
were removed there might be risk of local dis- 
turbances, which it might be difficult to quell. 
It is, however, none of these causes which keep 
the natives quiet as a body. 

Still less is it anything which government has 
done for them. The establishment of three 
inconsiderable hospitals, the employment, for 
F 2 


two years, of 500 or 600 of them on the roads, 
the passing of an ordinance for the recovery of 
small debts, and the administration of summary 
justice inter se, these are causes altogether 
incommensurate with any general result. No 
institutions of a permanent character, or capable 
of embracing any considerable number of natives, 
have been attempted ; and it may be safely 
stated that the influence exercised over them by 
the government during the last five years has 
been all but inappreciable. 

The link which binds them to us is one of 
self-interest. They get money from us, they 
buy and sell among us, they discover the fact of 
our mutual dependence. This is the great 
security for the continuance of peace. And this 
buying and selling brings collateral securities 
with it ; the natives not only become averse to 
quarrel, they forget how to fight ; the old men, 
' dexterous in battle/ are fast dying out ; the 
rising generation, in a few years, will never have 
seen a battle. 

Of any other amalgamation between the Euro- 
peans and natives than that which is carried on 
over the counter, there is little prospect. A few 
of the old whalers in the southern island, and a 
few of the beach-combing population elsewhere, 
have been lawfully married to native women, 
but their number is inconsiderable. The bulk 
of the English immigrants are themselves 


married people, and even if they were other- 
wise, the ignorance of the native women of 
the arts which contribute to domestic comfort, 
and the private habits of men who never sat on 
a chair, would prevent even the humbler classes 
of colonists from forming permanent alliances 
among them. A sort of Rolfe and Pocohontas 
alliance, though not grounded on the same 
patriotic motive, may occasionally have occurred 
between single young men of the upper class 
and native girls, but, as a legal and permanent 
bond, very seldom indeed. The habits, charac- 
ter, and circumstances of the two races are so 
different as to preclude all prospect of amalgama- 
tion by marriage. With the exception of quite 
an inconsiderable number, the natives continue 
to reside in wretched hovels, go clothed in blan- 
kets full of vermin, help themselves to food with 
their fingers out of a common dish, indulge in 
conversation such as no civilized person could 
listen to, have no fixed laws or institutions, no 
books but testaments and hymns, and, in short, 
retain all the principal, and many of the most 
disagreeable features of savage character.* 

* How little removed they are from barbarism may 
be judged from the fact, that the fence of the pah, at 
"Waikanae (where a missionary and a resident magis- 
trate have resided for several years), continues to this 
day disfigured by a series of colossal statues, carved in 
wood, of the most obscene and disgusting designs. 



In short, no writer of romance was ever 
farther from the truth than those authors, who, 
like Jean Jacques Rousseau, or Mr. Herman Mel- 
ville, have described savage life as a state of 
Arcadian simplicity, and savage character as a 
field on which are displayed all the virtues 
which adorned humanity before civilized arts 
brought vice, confusion, and trouble into the 
world. c The peaceful life and gentle disposi- 
tion, the freedom from oppression, the exemp- 
tion from selfishness and from evil passions, 
and the simplicity of character of savages have 
no existence but in the fictions of poets and the 
fancies of vain speculators, nor can their mode 
of life be called, with any propriety, the natural 
state of man/ * I have not room, in the limited 
space which I have allotted to myself, to illus- 
trate this position by a description of the New 
Zealander from the earliest period of our ac- 
quaintance with him. I will only refer the 
reader to a very admirable little volume, which 
was published anonymouslyf a few years ago. 

* Whately, Polit. Econ., Lect. v. See some sensible 
remarks on savage character there ; and also in his 
Ehetoric, pp. 50 and 71. 

t By Knight, Ludgate Hill. It forms a volume of the 
Family Library, and is entitled, ' The New Zealanders.' 


It contains on the whole by far the best account 
of the New Zealanders extant, as well as a most 
philosophical and sensible disquisition, in one of 
the latter chapters, upon savage character in 
general. Individual character varies, no doubt, 
to some extent among savages, but to a much 
less extent than among civilized nations whose 
habits are less uniform, and whose more nume- 
rous employments necessarily generate a greater 
variety of thought and of action. Among the 
old New Zealanders as among most savages, 
war was the ruling passion, the one great ex- 
citement of life, and this fact narrowed to a 
very limited space the development of indi- 
vidual character. Indeed, I doubt if among 
the chiefs more than two developments were to 
be distinguished ; that of the impetuous, head- 
long warrior, the 'impiger, iracundus, inexora- 
bilis, acer/ of the Achilles breed, and that of 
the subtle, ingenious, treacherous, and long- 
headed schemer of the Ulysses sort. 

A remarkable instance of each has been exhi- 
bited in New Zealand, and become familiar by 
name even to the English public, during the 
period of our colonizing the islands. Raupe- 
raha, the older, most influential and better 
known, died a few months ago. Eanghiaeta, 
his colleague and fighting general, survives him. 

Rauperaha has been often described. His 


cruel treatment of his enemies whom he seduced 
on board a ship, hanging them by hooks through 
their thumbs, cutting them to pieces, and boiling 
them for food in the ship's coppers ; his treachery 
to his relation Te Pehi, whom in the critical 
moment of battle he deserted, securing thereby 
his own elevation to the chieftainship of the 
tribe ; and the part which he bore in the Wairau 
massacre, are the leading events by which his 
name has become familiar to the English reader. 
After the latter event he placed himself under 
missionary protection, and by pretending con- 
version and likening himself to St. Paul, he 
succeeded in hoodwinking his protectors, and 
through them persuading the government of his 
fidelity at the very time that he was supplying 
Ranghiaeta the open rebel, with arms and am- 
munition. Detected, seized, and imprisoned on 
board the Calliope frigate, he was released at 
the end of a twelvemonth, and handed over to 
the chief of the Waikatos who became bail for 
his good behaviour. Carried by him to the 
north he was upbraided with his misfortunes 
by Teraia the man eater, while the more gene- 
rous Te Whero-whero endeavoured to soothe 
his affliction. After a few months he was per- 
mitted to return to Otaki, the place of his 
tribe. There he resumed his pretensions to 
sanctity. ( I saw/ says an intelligent, but newly 


arrived clergyman, who visited him at this time, 
' amongst the other men of note, the old and 
once powerful chief, Rauperaha, who notwith- 
standing his great age of more than eighty years, 
is seldom missed from his class, and who, after 
a long life of perpetual turmoil spent in all the 
savage excitement of cruel and bloody wars, is 
now to be seen every morning in his accus- 
tomed place, repeating those blessed truths 
which teach him to love the Lord with all his 
heart, and mind, and soul, and strength, and 
his neighbour as himself/ Those who knew 
Eauperaha better, may, perhaps, doubt whether 
the ^Ethiop had so completely changed his skin 
as to justify the belief in which an enlarged 
charity, exercised by an amiable man, thus led 
its possessor to indulge. A few days before 
his death, when suffering under the malady 
which carried him off, two settlers called to 
see him. While there a neighbouring mis- 
sionary came in and offered him the consola- 
tions of religion. Rauperaha demeaned himself 
in a manner highly becoming such an occasion, 
but the moment the missionary was gone, he 
turned to his other visitors and said, c What is 
the use of all that nonsense? that will do my 
belly no good/ He then turned the conversa- 
tion on the Wanganui races, where one of his 
guests had been running a horse. 


Such were the last days of Rauperaha. His 
death was an event favourable to the continu- 
ance of peace and the amelioration of the 
native character. His direct influence had ; by 
his age and recent imprisonment, been nearly 
annihilated ; but the mere shadow of his name 
was something ; it was mixed up with the tra- 
ditions of the bloody wars, which, under his 
generalship, devastated for years the whole 
coast south of Taranaki, and exterminated the 
inhabitants of one side of Cook's Strait. It was 
a tocsin, to the sound of which, in the case of 
disturbances elsewhere, the natives might yet 
have responded, and the certainty of which being 
no more heard, is an event calculated to cor- 
roborate the assurance of peace. 

Ranghiaeta has never concealed his true cha- 
racter beneath the veil of hypocrisy ; he still 
continues to display its original features, as the 
bold uncompromising savage still exercises 
his influence, reduced though it is, to thwart 
the progress of civilization, and dissuade his 
fellows from selling their land. He tells the 
missionaries, when they seek him out in his lair, 
that c it is useless for them to give themselves the 
trouble of preaching the gospel to the natives ; that 
the Maories are by nature bad ; that they brought 
the evil spirit with them from the far country 
from which they originally came; that it is still 


in them, and that therefore they cannot be 
reformed/ His wife in the meantime makes 
preparation for rude hospitality, screaming to 
her attendants, and seeming to think that the 
more noise she makes, the more honour she 
does to her guests. ' She was a coarse, dirty, 
ill-favoured woman ; round her neck she wore 
an ornament of greenstone ; her body, like her 
husband's, was smeared with red oxide of iron; 
her coarse and matted hair had evidently never 
known the use of a comb, and her only garment 
was a sort of loose gown, which was so filthy 
that its original colour could not be guessed. 
The result of her preparations were some roasted 
potatoes and a small wild bird, cooked in the 
flames, together with some tea, served up in tin 
mugs, with dark-brown, or rather, black sugar/* 
But Kanghiaeta is the type of a class which 
is fast disappearing. In the north, Heke and 
Pomare are gone, and many a chief of similar 
character but less note. The circumstances out 
of which such characters grew, no longer exist ; 
and though the same passions and temperaments 
may be found in the next generation, their 
development will necessarily be entirely different, 
changed by the changing circumstances of the 

* Keverend Mr. Lloyd, in 1849. 



Whatever be the fate of the natives, it is un- 
questionable that the missionaries have exercised 
no small influence over it, and I am often asked 
what the effect of their influence has been. My 
answer is, up to a certain point beneficial 
beyond that, injurious in a very high degree. 

So far as they have confined themselves to 
their legitimate province, instructing, civilizing, 
and christianizing the natives, their influence 
has been all for good. Whenever they have 
stepped out of their proper sphere, interfering in 
political matters, or dictating the forms of inter- 
course between the natives and Europeans, 
their influence has been without mitigation in- 

It was missionary influence which carried the 
native through the first stage of civilization, 
which made him willing to tolerate the pre- 
sence of the stranger. Without that influence, 
it is probable that we should never have occu- 
pied New Zealand. But their idea was to erect 
the New Zealanders into an independent state 
a sort of Levitical republic, like that of the 
Jesuits at Paragua, guided, and in fact ruled, by 
the missionaries themselves. Colonization was 
death to such a scheme, and the determination 


of the missionary to ' thwart' its progress ' by 
every means in his power/ is matter of history. 
Defeated in the attempt to resist colonization, 
he still clung to the hope of keeping the native 
separate from the white man, whom he described 
as ' an enemy pouring in like a flood \ and he still 
aimed to establish his own power over the mind 
of the native by means of the separation of 
the races. His object in all this may have 
been single-minded ; he may have contemplated 
solely the benefit of the native, and believed 
firmly that this was the way to secure it. I 
do not question his motive ; I only deal with 
the fact. 

The founders of the colony, on the other 
hand, believed that the surest method of civiliz- 
ing the native, was to promote intercourse 
between him and the colonist and schemes 
were devised for bringing them into the closest 
contact. It was the exact reverse of the mis- 
sionary method. 

Neither plan has been fully tried. Each has 
c thwarted' the other, and with the exception of 
a single instance, I know of no case in which 
actual experiment has tested the merits of the 
two schemes. But there is one instance in which 
the two systems has been contrasted, and with 
a result to most minds very conclusive. 

At Otaki and Waikanae, on the northern 


shore of Cook's Strait, fifty miles from Welling- 
ton, the nearest European settlement, there has 
been established for many years the head- 
quarters of the church mission in the south, 
under the superintendence of an archdeacon of 
the colonial church, and another missionary. 
Here the attempt has been made to constitute 
a model community of natives on the separate 
system. They have been removed from their 
former habitation nearer the sea; the street 
lines of a small town have been surveyed ; 
gardens allotted, and model-houses erected. The 
government has also aided in the experiment, 
appointing a salaried resident magistrate, and a 
constabulary staff, to reside among them. The 
bishop has repeatedly visited the village, and 
expressed his gratification at its condition ; and 
it is pointed to by the supporters of the system 
as a most satisfactory specimen of native civili- 

At the Motueka, in Blind Bay, on the other 
side Cook's Strait, and nearly opposite to Otaki, 
there is a small community of natives of the 
same tribe as those at Otaki. They live in the 
heart of the Nelson settlement. Neither govern- 
ment nor missionary influence has ever been 
brought to bear upon them to any appreciable 
extent. But a community of European colonists, 
chiefly of the humbler classes, was located among 


them eight or nine years ago. Their intercourse 
has been close and harmonious ; and whatever 
of civilization the natives there possess, they 
owe to their intermixture with Europeans. From 
them it has spread to other natives on each side 
of them, similarly free from government and 
missionary influence ; and the whole of that 
side of the strait may be regarded as under the 
operation of the same principle. These natives, 
therefore, afford grounds for a fair comparison 
with those at OtakL 

What shall be the test ? Sir Fowell Buxton, 
who had studied these subjects deeply, con- 
sidered the plough the best test of the progress 
of civilization among savages. We will apply it 

At Otaki, the specimen of the separate system, 
with a population of 664 souls, the entire amount 
of cultivation, according to the government cen- 
sus in 1850, is five acres of wheat, and 138 of 
other produce. 

At Motueka, and the other shore of Cook's 
Strait, where the opposite principle has been 
worked, with a population of 1,400 souls, there 
are 1,000 acres of wheat, and 600 of other pro- 

That is to say, on the separate system, the 
natives cultivate only one hundredth part of an 
acre of wheat per head, and less than a quarter 


of an acre of any sort of produce. On the free 
intercourse system, they cultivate three-quarters 
of an acre of wheat per head, and about an acre 
and a quarter of all sorts. 
, Need more be said to establish the point ? I 
would only add that, as far as a very limited 
personal intercourse enables me to judge, the 
character of the natives at the Motueka is in 
other respects nearly as much in advance .of that 
of the natives at Otaki, as it is in the particular 
of industry, as exhibited by the amount of their 

I have said that, with the exception of the 
Otaki instance, I am not acquainted with any 
in which the experiment of the separate system 
has received a fair and full trial, and is capable 
of contrast with a neighbouring community 
founded on the opposite principle. Generally 
speaking, the colonists will not be debarred from 
intercourse with the natives; and it is only 

* At the Motueka I wanted a guide on one occasion. 
A native of consequence volunteered, walked with me 
four miles, carried me on his back over a river, and re- 
fused any reward. At Otaki I arrived at a river which 
was flooded and dangerous. I wanted to know the 
direction of the ford. Three natives, from the model- 
village, who sat on the bank, refused even to point out 
the way till I paid them for it. See also the account of 
the missionary natives, in Mr. E. J. Wakefield's book, 
vol. i., p. 249, &c. 


where local or territorial circumstances inter- 
pose obstacles to their intercourse that the sepa- 
rate principle can be attempted : but the desire 
to carry it out is still manifested by some of 
the missionary body. When the colonists 
commenced their occupation of the Wiara- 
rapa valley, the missionary in that district 
used every means to check the intercourse of 
the races, even to the extent of prohibiting 
natives from engaging as shepherds, because 
they might be required to look after a flock 
on Sunday. Instances occurred in which na- 
tives refused employment on this ground, alleg- 
ing Mr. Colenso's order as their reason. In 
thus resorting to spiritual weapons to enforce 
his theory of non-intercourse, he must either 
have forgotten that works of necessity are sanc- 
tioned on the Sabbath, or not considered sheep- 
tending a work of necessity. 

And this introduces another question: What 
has been the effect of the religious teaching of 
the missionaries on the native character ? I am 
afraid that it is little more than skin-deep. No 
doubt there are instances in which individuals 
have been brought actually under the influence 
of religious principle, but I speak of the bulk of 
the natives who profess Christianity. With 
most of them it is a mere name, entirely inope- 
rative in practice. They will exhibit an atten- 



tion to forms which would, and often does, mis- 
lead a stranger ; but the next hour they will 
exhibit all the habits of an unconverted savage. 
Thus, when travelling, about four years ago, in the 
Wiararapa,Icame upon a native encampment one 
Sunday evening. It rained, and we required some 
assistance towards building a hut, and wished to 
purchase some potatoes. Not a ringer would 
the natives move because it was the sacred day. 
The next morning the same individuals at- 
tempted most deliberately to cheat us ; and one 
of them, who had undertaken to guide us, for 
hire, to a river about ten miles off, attempted to 
trick us by declaring one we came to, at half 
the distance, to be that we sought ; and he en- 
deavoured to force us to pay and dismiss him, 
by seizing a gun which one of us had carelessly 
laid down. They will also exhibit smatterings 
of Scripture, which would lead one to believe 
them better informed than they are, though 
their applications of it are often sufficiently 
ludicrous. One of them, whom the governor 
was upbraiding with having sold his land three 
or four times over to different parties, justified 
himself by quoting the passage, 'After thou 
hadst sold it, was it not thine own f Another, 
a very intelligent native too, to whom I was 
pointing out the impropriety of his having three 
wives, replied, ' Oh, never mind ; all the same 


as Solomon.' A much more serious misapplica- 
tion of the Scriptures occurred during the late 
war, when many of them tore up their Bibles to 
make wadding for their guns. 

As to the interference of the missionaries in 
political affairs, it has been solely and exten- 
sively mischievous. It is a fact too well esta- 
blished to admit of the least dispute, that the 
government of the country for the first six years 
was carried on (in all that related to or bore upon 
the natives) under the advice of leading mem- 
bers of the missionary body. Governor Hobson 
placed himself unreservedly in its hands. Go- 
vernor Fitzroy went the length of stating to 
his legislative council that he relied more upon 
Mr. Clarke (the present secretary of the mission 
in the colony, and formerly one of its catechists) 
6 than upon any five of the other officers of go- 
vernment/ Under these circumstances, a large 
share of responsibility for all the acts of govern- 
ment relating to the natives rests and must for 
ever rest on the missionaries. What the prin- 
ciple was on which they acted may be explained 
. a few words. 
It was termed government by moral force; 

3ut government by immoral laxity would have 
een a much more appropriate designation. For 
it consisted in yielding on every occasion to the 

caprices and violence of the natives, whether 


exercised among themselves or directed against 
the colonists. Its natural and inevitable result 
was to destroy all prestige of the moral and 
intellectual superiority of the Europeans, to 
bring the government into the utmost contempt, 
and to terminate in rebellion only to be quelled 
at a great cost of life and property, besides 
retarding for years the progress and prosperity 
of the country. 

To afford some idea of the follies which were 
enacted under this system take the case of 
Hekfs earliest act of aggression, the cutting 
down the flag-staff at the Bay of Islands. He 
did it as a deliberate and declared act of rebel- 
lion against the British power. Governor Fitz- 
roy, having procured troops from Sydney, 
paraded them on the shore at the bay, when, at 
the instigation of Mr. Clarke, Heki, who refused 
personally to appear, sent in ten muskets as an 
emblem of submission. The Governor returned 
them with a conciliatory message, and removed 
the troops. Within a few weeks afterwards, 
Heki sacked and destroyed the settlement, and 
drove its inhabitants out of the country. 

I wish that I could report that such weak- 
nesses were no longer exhibited in New Zea- 
land. Little more than a year ago Governor 
Grey visited in person the settlement of New 
Plymouth, in the hope of terminating the long 


vexed land question there. He was riding into the 
country, when a small party of natives hostile to 
his object met him, flourished a tomahawk over 
his head, and ordered him back to the town. 
He proceeded to the residence of a powerful 
and friendly chief, and, on complaining of the 
indignity, the tomahawk (but not the individual 
who used it) was brought in and laid at his feet. 
Sir George accepted the apology. It is not to 
be wondered at that before many days were 
over the hostile natives openly plundered some 
of the friendly ones of valuable presents which 
Sir George had given, and that the representa- 
tive of British power shortly left the settlement 
without achieving his object. 

In common with other colonists, I have often 
been hurt and annoyed by meeting with respect- 
able and intelligent persons newly arrived from 
home, whose minds had been impressed with 
the belief that the wars in New Zealand arose 
from the oppression of the natives by the colo- 
nists, and that they all involved disputes about 
land. Such an impression is the very reverse of 
truth. The ultimate cause of the wars has been 
none other than that government by moral 
force before alluded to ; but even with the 
immediate causes the colonists have had nothing 
whatever to do. On three occasions it has been 
found necessary to have recourse to military 


force. The first was in 1845, when Heki sacked 
Kororarika. No difference about land or any- 
thing else existed there between the colonists 
and natives ; but the imposition of custom and 
harbour dues had driven away the whaling 
ships with which Heki had carried on a pro- 
fitable and iniquitous trade in female slaves, and 
which he hoped to restore if he could get rid of 
the British power. The second occasion was on 
the Eiver Hutt, near Wellington, when the 
government undertook to expel certain natives 
from land of which they had repeatedly ad- 
mitted they were not the owners, and with the 
true owners of which the government had itself 
negotiated a valid purchase and paid an ample 
price for it. In the usurped occupation of the 
district by the natives, there was no single* 
extenuating circumstance, nor any hardship in 
requiring them to return to their own posses- 
sions. Their refusal to do so was accompanied 
by several cruel murders of inoffensive settlers, 
and other acts of violence and outrage. The 
third occasion was at Wanganui, where the 
necessity of employing the military arose from 
the barbarous murder of the Gilfillan family, as an 
act of retaliation for an accidental and not very- 
severe wound inflicted on a chief by a midship- 
man of H. M. S. Calliope amusing himself with 
a pistol some time previously, and being in no 


way connected with the family on which the 
revenge was taken. The murderers, five in 
number, were hanged by a military officer in 
command of the district, on which the tribe rose 
and a war of many months' duration ensued. 

Upon the merits of these wars, in a military 
point of view, I am not prepared to enter. 
None but a military man could do so with 
effect ; and though I know the opinions of 
many of that class who were engaged in them, 
I cannot without breach of confidence make 
use of the information I have received from 
them. But I may venture to state the opinion 
of the colonists on the subject, which was, that 
the operations were by no means creditable to 
those who conducted them, not at all calculated 
to add to the well-earned laurels of the British 
army, or to impress the natives with an idea of 
any great superiority on our side. And a 
careful perusal of the despatches relating to 
them leads necessarily to the same conclusion. 
When we read of a force being brought up to 
scale lofty palisades without ladders, of at- 
tempts to capture a fort of extraordinary 
strength with no better weapon than small 
arms, of the disastrous retreat of a body of 
regulars before a party of natives, which was 
immediately afterwards encountered and driven 
away by a dozen militia men, of omissions to 


hem in a rebel chief and all his force in the 
only defile by which he could escape, or to cut 
off a fleet of canoes when they could have been 
surprised without difficulty; of an immense 
military parade, accompanied by the governor 
in person, being suddenly ordered back into 
barracks at the moment when the soldiers were 
levelling their bayonets to rush into conflict 
with an enemy not superior in numbers ; when 
we read of such events as these, even civilians 
cannot help suspecting misconduct somewhere, 
and believing that, if rightly managed, the wars 
of New Zealand might have been brought to 
a much speedier, more honourable, and less 
costly conclusion. With whom the blame of 
these events rests, it is not for me to decide 
in some instances, circumstances point to the 
military officers in command ; but it is only fair 
to the soldiers to state, that they almost to a 
man complain of the interference of the civil 
power with their movements, and that on some 
of the occasions when failure was most evident, 
they were under the immediate personal direc- 
tion of civil authority. If any one should have 
curiosity enough to examine the official records 
of the New Zealand wars, he must carefully 
look at the facts and disregard the high-flown 
phraseology, or he will infallibly be led to mis- 
take a skirmish in which seven or eight men 


fell on each side, for a victory greater than that 
of the Sutledj, when 15,000 of the enemy were 
swept into the river in a morning. Mrs. Hut- 
chinson, in her Life of the Colonel, tells us of 
a certain Sir John Gell who with no appetite 
for fighting, was ambitious of the fame of a 
fire-eater ; and, to obtain it kept in his pay the 
editor of a country paper. On one occasion, 
having nothing better to blow his trumpet 
about, he announced that Sir John GelTs troop 
had ' captured a dragoon in a plush doublet/ 
The reader will find among the official accounts 
of the New Zealand war many ' plush doublet' 


Any account of the present state of New 
Zealand would be incomplete without some 
remarks on the question of the native title to the 
waste lands. 

Two theories have been propounded. Accord- 
ing to one, the savage inhabitants of an 
unreclaimed country have an absolute right of 
proprietorship in its soil, based upon the mere 
fact of their residing on some portion of it. 
Thus, because they live in New Zealand, New 
Zealand belongs to them. According to the 
other theory (which I give in the words of 


Vattel,)* it is contended that, in an unreclaimed 
country, ' in which there are none but erratic 
natives, incapable of occupying the whole, they 
cannot be allowed exclusively to appropriate to 
themselves more land than they have occasion 
for, or more than they are able to settle and 
cultivate. It is urged that their unsettled habi- 
tation in those immense regions cannot be 
accounted a true and legal possession, and that 
the people of Europe, too closely pent up at 
home, are lawfully entitled to take possession 
of the waste and settle it with colonies/ 

The advocates of systematic colonization hold 
to the latter theory. The Bishop of New Zea- 
land, the missionaries, and the landsharking 
interest at Sydney and elsewhere, protest against 
it and adhere to the former. 

I have never seen anything worthy of the 
name of an argument in favour of native right. 
The fallacy used is usually an appeal to the 
sense of justice on the cruelty of robbing the 
natives of what is theirs, f It is an evident 
petitio principii, involving the question whe- 
ther what is called theirs, is theirs or not. 

The argument on the other side resolves itself 

* Law of Nations, Ed. 1834, by Chitty, p. 100. 
f See the Bishop's letter to Lord Grey. Parliamen- 
tary Papers, July, 1849, p. 37, &c. 


into two branches first, the legal, and second, 
the expedient. 

1. As regards the legal, we find, from the 
earliest days of British colonization, the crown 
lawyers treating the crown as entitled to an 
absolute fee simple in the waste lands of coun- 
tries only occupied by savages, or as they called 
them, ' infidels/ In the letters patent given to 
John Cabot, the charter of Lord Carlisle for 
the West Indies, that of Sir Humphrey Gilbert 
for Virginia, and every other document of the 
same sort, from the reign of Henry VII. down- 
wards, we find the crown conferring absolute 
rights in words which even the high preroga- 
tive notions of Bacon or Noy would not have 
led them to use, if they had not considered the 
right of the crown absolute and indefeasible. 
They are not such words as they would have 
used if they had considered the crown only 
entitled to a right of pre-emption over lands of 
which the c infidels' were the true ' owners/ 

It is true that the colonists in those times 
found it necessary, as a matter of fact, to treat 
with the overwhelming numbers of natives 
about them, for liberty to settle in the countries 
they resorted to. But they did not admit, as a 
matter of theory, any c right ' in the natives, as 
appears from an extract from the instructions 
to Governor Endicot (quoted by Bancroft) where 


he is told, that if the natives c pretend any 
right of inheritance/ he is to treat with them 
accordingly. So far from admitting any such 
right, we are told by Chancellor Kent,* that 
c the early colonists came to America with no 
slight confidence in the solidity of their rights 
to subdue and cultivate the wilderness, as being 
by the law of nature and the gift of Providence, 
open and common to the first occupants in the 
character of cultivators of the earth. The great 
patent of New England and the opinion of 
grave and learned men tended to confirm that 
confidence/ It is true the American courts 
have laid down a different rule for their own 
guidance, but neither their decisions nor the 
acts of private colonists or colonizing patentees 
could affect the common law rights of the 
British Crown. Nothing but legislation could 
do that, and there has been none on the subject. 
And in accordance with the same principle, the 
crown itself, on colonizing New Holland and 
Van Diemen's Land, barely fifty years ago, 
entirely disregarded the alleged native right. 
If it have any foundation, the sites of Sydney 
and Hobart Town have yet to be purchased 
from some wanderer in the Australian wilds. 
2. On the ground of expediency still less can 

* Commentaries, vol. iii. p. 387. 


be said in support of the native right. Colo- 
nization being once permitted (and it cannot be 
prevented in some sort, either systematic or 
irregular,) the most beneficial thing that can be 
done for the natives is to promote the immigra- 
tion of civilized people into their country. The 
admission of their absolute right to the land 
raises innumerable obstacles to beneficial colo- 
nization. It involves the colonizing govern- 
ment in endless disputes with landsharks about 
lands which they affect to have purchased from 
the natives. It causes a body of wretched specu- 
lators to throng to the colony for the express 
purpose of raising and establishing such claims; 
men who have neither the capital nor the 
energy to use an acre of the vast districts they 
acquire, but who hope to make a fortune by its 
re-sale, as it gains value by the exertions of 
others and the increase of population.* It 
creates in the breast of the natives an insatiable 
cupidity, which condemns them to listless inac- 
tivity and a continuance in barbarous habits so 

* It may be urged that the assertion of the right of 
pre-emption on the part of the crown will prevent this. 
Has it prevented it in New Zealand, where the land- 
sharks have actually got some half-million acres, which, 
after ten years' fighting with the crown, have been 
confirmed to them by crown grants and ordinances of 


long as they have an acre of land remaining 
by the sale of which they can hope to live in 
indolence. The money they receive for it does 
them no good, but is wasted, or at least spent, 
almost as soon as received, and often in ways 
very injurious to them. 

But though, on grounds both of justice, law 
and expediency, it might, at the commencement 
of New Zealand colonization, have been desirable 
to negative the claim put forth on behalf of the 
natives, it is now too late to think of it. They 
have been taught a contrary c doctrine/ by men 
of sacred character, high in office ; and though, 
I believe, without such teaching they might at 
one time have been easily persuaded to surren- 
der the waste land to the crown, yet now it is 
too late. The only method by which it can now 
be got possession of, is by gradual and some- 
times very tedious negotiation and purchase. 

And supposing the native race not to become 
extinct, or not so rapidly as I believe they will, 
a practice has sprung up which will disincline 
them to sell the waste lands ; which has, in fact, 
already prevented their selling one district the 
Wiararapa valley the acquisition of which is of 
almost vital importance to the settlement of 
Wellington. The practice I allude to, is that of 
colonists leasing the waste lands from the natives, 
the history of which forms an instructive chapter 


on the feebleness of the colonial government in 
reference to the aborigines. 

At the very commencement of the practice, in 
March, 1844, the late Colonel Wakefield, the 
principal agent of the New Zealand Company, 
foreseeing its certain consequences, called the 
attention of the local government to it ; on 
which an official notice was issued by the latter, 
warning all persons against entering into any 
negotiations with the natives for purchase, lease, 
or otherwise. Long experience of the feeble- 
ness of the local government had rendered its 
proclamations waste paper; and numerous par- 
ties, from the highest to the lowest, openly and 
without any attempt at concealment, proceeded 
to enter into arrangements with the natives in the 
Wiararapa in direct contravention of the notice, 
which described the practice as one c which 
retarded the adjustment of very important 
questions, on which the prosperity of the set- 
tlements depended/ No attempt was made to 
prevent them; but in November, 1846, two years 
afterwards, an ordinance of council was passed, 
declaring the practice illegal, and imposing very 
heavy penalties on such as might follow it. This 
ordinance, like the previous notice, remained a 
dead letter; till about a year afterwards, in 
December, 1847, the local government, being 
again called upon by the Company's agent, 


issued another notice, referring to the ordinance, 
and threatening its enforcement. Nothing how- 
ever was done till another year had elapsed, 
when, as if the occasion for these threats had 
become intermittent, another notice was issued 
similar to the former ones, while a party was 
gazetted as public informer, who was himself 
notoriously an offender against it. No prosecu- 
tions ensued ; but, in October of the same year, 
(the Company's agent having determined on a 
final attempt to purchase the valley) one more 
proclamation was issued, being thus the fifth 
document published by the Government, threat- 
ening all sorts of pains and penalties on such as 
should disobey its edicts; and the Lieutenant- 
governor, Mr. Eyre, in his executive council, 
pledged himself to enforce the law. 

The negotiation for purchase failed for the 
time, and the proclamation was heard of no 
more till about nine months afterwards, when 
fresh transactions being brought to his notice, 
the Company's agent again appealed to the 
government, and reminded the Lieutenant- 
governor of his pledge. A long correspondence 
ensued, in which that officer manifested every 
anxiety to fulfil his promise, and maintain the 
dignity of the law ; but it ended in his being 
prohibited from proceeding by Governor Grey, 
who informed him that if the Company's agent 


wished the practice to be stopped, he might do 
it himself, which, as the Company had no execu- 
tive political functions of any sort and no officers 
to employ in such a matter, was equivalent to 
saying it should not be done. 

In the meantime, while these paper threats 
against occupation were being issued, the district 
was being occupied. The whole valley is now 
parcelled out amongst a body of colonists hold- 
ing by lease under the natives, and paying them 
a rent of no less than 600?. a-year. The Govern- 
ment has admitted that the occupants have, by 
its neglect to enforce the law, acquired a vested 
interest, for which they must be compensated 
whenever the district is bought from the 

If this practice is continued, the renewal of 
disturbances with the natives may be looked for 
as a matter of certainty wherever it is allowed. 
Their covetousness has already led them to re- 
pudiate their bargains, and many sources of 
difference are growing up between them and 
their tenants. Both are transgressors of the 
law, and living practically beyond its pale. 
The only means of settling any serious dispute 
which may arise will be the tomahawk. Eeta- 
liation will ensue, and the responsibility will 
rest on those who ought to have prevented the 
origin or continuance of the practice. 




The right of the natives to the waste lands, 
though so contrary to principle, and attended 
with so many bad consequences to themselves 
and to colonization, is now in practice, and ex 
necessitate, admitted, while the right of the 
crown is reduced to a mere right of pre-emption ; 
that is to say, it retains the privilege of being 
the only purchaser from the natives, and pro- 
hibits its subjects from doing so. Hence, it is 
through the instrumentality of the crown alone 
(or, in other words, of the Colonial- office and 
the local government) that every acre which is 
to be reclaimed from the waste and subjected to 
colonizing operations, must be obtained. And 
it follows that every private title must (to be 
valid) be traced back to a grant from the crown. 

This privilege which the crown claims is not a 
mere feudal or prerogative one, but is founded 
on a wise and constitutional principle, by virtue 
of which it assumes the office of regulating the 
future settlement and occupation of the country. 
In the absence of such an exclusive power there 
would result a general scramble, and colonization 
would be an impossibility. 

But in the exercise of this right, the crown is 
but a trustee for the public, and for the colonial 
public as distinct from the general mass of Bri- 


tish interests ; a position recognised by the 
Royal Instructions of 1846, (now in force,) by the 
Australian Waste Land Sales Act, and various 
other legislative and official documents which 
provide for the application of the funds arising 
from the land sales. The waste lands of a colony 
are the inheritance of the crown, but only for 
the purposes of regulation and administration ; 
not to use at pleasure not to be granted away 
for favour or to be disposed of for the benefit 
of strangers. In any other point of view a right 
so large and so oppressive to a colonial commu- 
nity would be intolerable. 

In what manner the trusteeship of the crown 
has hitherto been exercised in New Zealand, it 
will not be uninteresting to inquire. 

In 1840 New Zealand was made an inde- 
pendent colony, and under the act of 3 & 4 Vic., 
c. 62, the crown granted it a formal constitution 
and a separate legislature. The act enabling 
the crown to erect such constitution, contained 
no provisions applicable to crown lands, which 
remained as before, subject to crown regulation, 
and it would seem, not liable to be affected by 
acts of the local legislature. By the charter 
(granted in 1840 under the great seal), power 
was given to the Governor, but subject to any 
royal instructions to be thereafter given, to make 
grants under the public seal of the colony, to 


private persons for their own use, or to bodies 
politic for public purposes. By the instructions 
under the sign manual of the same date, it is 
directed that all the waste lands shall be sold at 
an uniform price per acre (to be fixed by the 
Secretary of State) the purchaser having the 
privilege of recommending, for a free passage, 
a number of emigrants proportioned to the 
amount of his passage-money. Ss. 44 and 
55. By the Australian Land Sales Act, 5 & 6 
Vic., c. 36, all waste lands are to be sold by 
auction at an upset price of not less than \l. an 
acre, the whole proceeds to be applied to public 
purposes, and one-half of the gross proceeds to 
emigration.* By a subsequent act, New Zealand 
was exempted from the operation of the Aus- 
tralian Land Sales Act, and the crown's 
power over the waste lands restored. By the 
charter of 1846 (under the great seal) the crown 
gave the governor power to grant waste lands 
to private parties or public bodies, in accordance 
with royal instructions to be issued from time to 
time (the same as in the charter of 1840.) By 
instructions under the sign manual of the same 

* The net proceeds would seem from the context to 
be intended the clause is not clear. In a correspond- 
ing provision in the royal instructions of 1846, ' net 
proceeds' are specified. 


date, the governor was directed to " ascertain 
and register the native titles, and to consider 
all lands not covered by such titles as demesne 
of the crown. This has not been attempted, 
the opposite doctrine having, as already stated, 
been allowed to prevail in practice, and the 
demesne of the crown having been limited 
to so much as it has actually purchased from 
the natives, whether occupied by them or 
not. The demesne so ascertained was to be sold 
by auction at an upset price of not less than II. 
per acre, the net proceeds to be held in trust 
for emigration and other public services. These 
instructions were suspended by the act 10 & 11 
Vic., c. 112, till the 5th July, 1850, but are now 
again in operation. 

From the general system exhibited above, 
there have been exceptional variations. 

1. By stat. 10 & 11 Vic. c. 112, the lands of 
the southern province and their administration 
were vested in the New Zealand Company for 
three years, which expired, and all rights Ac- 
were surrendered by it, on the 5th April, 1850. 
But the land fund stands charged for ever with 
a debt of about 260,000?. and interest due from 
the Home Government to the company under 
an arrangement of the Colonial Office in 1846. 
2. About 2,000,000 acres in the middle 
island have been vested in the same manner 


in the Canterbury Association, with powers of 
administration, for a term of ten years, con- 
tingent on certain events, and renewable by the 
crown. 3. Several local ordinances have been 
pursued, more or less affecting the waste lands ; 
such as four or five different land claims ordi- 
nances, by which a tribunal was established for 
the purpose of adjudicating on purchases by 
individuals from the natives before the colony 
was formed ; an ordinance prohibiting pur- 
chases from the natives; an ordinance for 
quieting the titles of certain parties who had 
obtained grants in the north supposed to be 
invalid, but which the crown had been de- 
feated in a first attempt to reverse and which 
threatened to be productive of much litigation ; 
an ordinance to regulate the pastoral occupa- 
tion of the waste lands in the northern dis- 
trict, under which licences are granted,* and 
some others. 

But a new light has been thrown on the 
whole aspect of the subject by certain decisions 
of the supreme court of the colony, involving 
consequences of such magnitude and importance 
as must excuse a brief notice of them. 

* No regulations are in force in the southern province 
where all the grazing land is, except at Canterbury ; 
those introduced by the company having expired, and 
none having yet been substituted by government. 


A great number of grants of land were issued 
by Governor Fitzroy, in an irregular manner, to 
private parties claiming under purchases direct 
from the natives some previous and some sub- 
sequent to the establishment of British authority. 
In some instances these grants were in contra* 
vention of the provisions of local ordinances ; in 
others, in opposition to the recommendation of 
the commissioners ; and in all they were opposed 
to the charter and the royal instructions. 

Under instructions from home, Governor Grey 
took steps to settle the question of their validity 
by proceedings in the supreme court at Auck- 
land. Similar proceedings were taken at Wel- 
lington by the New Zealand Company, whose title 
was in some instances affected by such grants, 
claiming to over-ride it.* In all the cases tried, 
the court decided that the grants were valid and 
irreversible. It was thus established, by re- 
peated decisions of the highest tribunal in the 
colony, that a grant of land made by the 
Governor and under the colonial seal, though in 

* Regina v. Clarke ; Regina v. Taylor, and M'Intosh 
v. Symons, were tried at Auckland. The two latter 
are reported respectively in the New Zealand Journal, 
6th November, 1847, and Parliamentary Papers, 
jST. Z. August, 1850, p. 3. Scott v. Grace, and Scott v. 
M'Donald, were tried at Wellington, and are reported 
in the local papers between 1846 and 1848. 


opposition to royal instructions, to the charter, 
and to local ordinances, is valid and binding on 
the crown, conferring a good title on the grantee 
and his assigns. Hence a Governor, though 
acting contrary to instructions, might grant 
away at his pleasure the whole of the waste 
lands, his power being absolute and uncontrol- 
lable even by the crown itself. 

It might have been expected that a decision 
involving such consequences would have been 
carried before the Privy Council, on appeal. 
But Governor Grey, apparently foreseeing the 
agitation which such a course would have created 
among the European population immediately 
around the seat of Government, yielded, and 
passed an ordinance quieting the disputed titles, 
and rendering valid 'all grants under the 
colonial seal made previously to the passing 

* A report Las reached me that the decision of the 
Colonial Court in one of the above cases, was actually 
brought before the Privy Council, when (without hear- 
ing the respondent) it was reversed. Nothing has been 
published on the subject ; but if it be so, it seems extra- 
ordinary that the crown should be advised to abandon 
its rights, or rather those of the public, by confirming 
the ordinance referred to above, which was passed only 
in the belief that the decision of the local courts was 
irreversible, and, as Lord Grey himself states, without 
any meritorious ground existing in the case of those 
benefited by it. 


The governor, however, wrote to the Colonial 
Office, pointing out the consequences of these 
decisions, transmitting a copy of his ordinance, 
and requesting that the c whole subject might be 
brought under the review of the home Govern- 
ment, in order that the authority of the Gover- 
nor may be clearly defined, and such difficulties 
avoided in New Zealand or other colonies for 
the future/ The despatch containing this request 
was written on the 24th of July, 1849, and 
received at the Colonial Office on the 3rd De- 
cember in the same year. It was not till the 
13th of August, 1850, when a whole session of 
parliament had elapsed and all opportunity of 
doing anything had passed, that Lord Grey 
answered the governor's despatch, when he 
merely acknowledged its receipt, expressed his 
appreciation of the motives which led the gover- 
nor to pursue the course he had, and intimated 
her Majesty's approbation of the ordinance. As 
far as appears by the Blue Book, no other notice 
has ever been taken of this most important 
matter ; another session has since elapsed, and 
it still remains in statu quo. 

It will be seen from the above brief statement, 
that many questions of the utmost importance 
arise out of the present unsettled state of the 
law on this subject questions too abstruse and 
difficult to be disposed of or even discussed 


within my present limits. They are such as 
these : 

1. What is the nature of the crown's power 
over the waste lands ? In what form ought it 
to be exercised ? Is the Governor by his com- 
mission absolute territorial lord of the colony, 
capable of alienating at pleasure the entire 
territory to the exclusion of future colonists, 
and the complete extinction of all attempts at 
systematic colonization ? 

2. In what way can the sale of waste lands 
be carried on most advantageously, effectually, 
and economically for the service of the colony ? 
This involves the still larger question, of how 
can emigration be best promoted ? 

3. Is the local legislature at present com- 
petent to make regulations relative to the waste 
lands, and, above all, to ' quiet disputed titles/ 
which virtually means to grant away the lands 
of the crown ? If not, ought not steps to be 
taken to repeal, or rather declare null, the ordi- 
nance passed at Auckland, and to restore the 
crown to its rights ? Can this question be settled 
except by the imperial parliament ? 

4. What ought to be the application of the 
funds arising from land sales ? ought they to 
be charged with debts incurred for special 
purposes, such as the pensioner immigration, or 


the New Zealand Company's debt and could 
any authority, except the imperial parliament, 
with propriety have made, or hereafter make, 
such charges ? This involves the larger question 
of the right of the colonists to administer their 
own affairs, and particularly their own lands. 

If indeed it could be shown that this large 
and important branch of colonial administration 
had been hitherto wise economical and effective, 
the answer would be simple to leave matters as 
they are. But there is a deep-seated feeling in 
the colony and elsewhere, that its interests are 
neglected and mismanaged; and that whe- 
ther wilfully or through inability, the Colonial 
Office and its dependent board the Land and 
Emigration Commission, have failed in the 
object for which governments are established 
the promotion of the prosperity and welfare of 
the governed. In that portion of the colony in 
which the crown has retained the administration 
of the waste lands (the northern province), 
scarcely any lands except a small portion in the 
town of Auckland have been sold ; while I 
believe not less than from 300,000 to 400,000 
acres have been granted away by it without con- 
sideration, and in respect of which no immigra- 
tion has been effected. The only emigration 
which has been effected by means of the land 


fund in New Zealand, is that which has occurred 
in the southern province, where the government 
had put the administration of the waste lands 
out of its own hands. 

I shall now conclude my subject by an 
inquiry into the nature and condition of the 
local government of the colony. 



THE form of government established in New 
Zealand, as in all the crown colonies, 
presents an outward resemblance to a mixed 
monarchy, in which the absolute will of the 
ruler is tempered and controlled by constitu- 
tional checks. But when these checks are 
examined they prove to be entirely inoperative, 
and the government practically exists as a pure 
unmixed despotism. 

The two powers which at first sight appear to 
control the absolutism of the governor, and to 
share if not to over-ride his authority, are the 
legislative councils and the colonial office ; but, 
for reasons which I will proceed to state, neither 
of them have in reality the smallest practical 
influence on his acts. 

The legislative councils fail, and must neces- 
sarily do so, on account of the fundamental 
principle on which they are constituted. They 
consist solely of certain paid officers of govern- 


ment, holding ex-officio seats, as the attorney- 
general, colonial secretary, &c., and of nominees 
appointed by the governor and removable at 
pleasure.* Formerly, the number of nominee 
members was less than that of ex-officio 
ones, but since 1848 (the establishment of the 
provincial councils) this has been altered, and 
there is now a majority of nominated members. 
The result however is the same in either case 
the Governor passes whatever estimates, and 
carries whatever measures he pleases. Under 
the former system the nominee members used 
commonly to make a display (possibly an honest 
one) of opposing the Government ; but their 
opposition was always overruled by the votes of 
the ex-officio majority. The same end is now 
attained in a different way. Care is taken in 
selecting nominees to secure only such as will 
give the Government unflinching support,-)- and 

* They are nominally only removable by the 
Colonial Office, but a word from the Governor will 
always ensure their removal, and in the interval, if 
necessary, the council is prorogued. 

f In 1849, Governor Grey made a show of offering 
seats to the leaders of public opinion, on the liberal side ; 
but the offers were accompanied by others to safe men 
on the Government side, so that if the former had 
accepted, the Government would (with its officials) have 
always had a majority. All the leading politicians 


thus, though often in a majority even on ques- 
tions in reference to which they speak against 
Government, their vote is always with it. In 
the session of 1849, at Wellington, with the 
exception of a single vote of 800?. on the educa- 
tional question, the nominees supported the 
government in every particular of the slightest 
interest to it, and passed the estimates (which 
the colonists at large would have cut down by 
at least one half) almost in the very shape in 
which they were laid before them. One of the 
nominees (Dr. Greenwood) expressly stated in 
council, that their presence there amounted to 
a pledge 'not to oppose the Government/ 
Another of the members (Dr. Monro) finding 
on one occasion that owing to the absence of 
some of the official members a motion of oppo- 
sition on the part of the nominees must neces- 
sarily be carried, chivalrously proposed an ad- 
journment that the Government might bring 
up its forces ; but the Lieutenant-governor good- 
humouredly declined the offer, and the nominees, 
though in an undeniable majority, allowed him 
to carry his measures without any resistance 

declined, and he was driven at last to nominate retail 
dealers, commission-agents from Sydney, keepers of 
small preparatory schools, and others of no position in 
the colony. 


except in words. This was the course of pro- 
ceeding all through the session, and, except as 
far as it relieved the executive government from 
responsibility, the council might as well never 
have met. 

And indeed Governor Grey seems to have 
arrived at the conclusion that it is not worth 
while to go through the form of calling it 
together. At the date of the latest news from 
the colony (the middle of March last) the legis- 
lative council of the southern province had not 
sat for twenty months, and that of the northern 
for nearly the same period. The revenue had 
consequently for eight months of that time been 
expended without any legislative appropriation, 
on the mere warrant and at the pleasure of the 
Governor; an event which occurred also pre- 
viously to 1848. 

The legislative councils therefore appear to 
have been called into existence only to satisfy 
the provisions of the charter which prescribes 
their creation ; but the government is carried 
on, either without their being summoned, or if 
occasionally they are, without their exercising 
the smallest influence over it. 

The other apparent check, the Colonial Office, 
(which is supposed to represent the British 
Government,) is equally ineffectual to control 
the governor, except in extreme cases, when 


action is forced upon it by Parliament, as it was 
in New Zealand in 1845. It is perhaps natural 
that the office should, as a general rule, support 
a Governor of its own appointment. The pre- 
sumption in the mind of Downing-street would 
be that a Governor is in the right, though it 
must be admitted that experience might have 
taught it a different conclusion. Consequently, 
so long as his acts do not get the office into 
difficulties, it seldom if ever interferes with his 
proceedings. But this is not the only cause of 
its inefficacy as a check. There are innumerable 
cases in which complaints of the Governor and 
of his acts are made to the Colonial Office by the 
colonists, and that in a sufficiently imposing 
form as regards numbers, facts and arguments, 
to throw upon the office the responsibility of 
deciding between the Governor and colonists. 
And here occurs the weak point, the means by 
which the Colonial Office is brought always to 
decide in the Governor's favour. Every com- 
plaint, petition, or memorial, relating to him or 
his government, must be forwarded through 
him, and goes home accompanied by his own 
comments and explanations, which are never 
seen by the colonists or open to any reply from 
them, till perhaps they appear in a Blue Book 
twelve or eighteen months after the question 
involved has been decided against them. Of 


course under these circumstances, he always 
makes the best defence he can, whether it be of 
himself personally or of his measures. And the 
Colonial Office invariably adopts his explana- 
tion, and decides in his favour. At least that 
has been the experience of the colonists of New 
Zealand, and more particularly during the last 
five years. 

Nor is it any easy matter to bring public 
or parliamentary opinion to bear upon the Colo- 
nial Office when it decides wrong. So much of 
the questions in dispute as is permitted to see 
the light, is to be found in the Parliamentary 
Blue Books. But the contents of these are only 
selections, and selections made by the Colonial 
Office. They contain a portion of the truth, 
but seldom the whole truth ; and what there is 
of truth is often mixed with what is untrue, or 
plausibly exhibited in a false light. We will 
suppose a memorial to have been addressed by 
a body of highly respectable colonists to the 
home government, complaining of a long series 
of acts of misgovernment, and dissecting previous 
despatches of the Governor. It will appear in 
the Blue Book, in small type, preceded by his 
defence in large, to which is certain to be 
appended a reply from the Colonial Minister, 
assuring him that the complaints of the colonists 
have in no way lessened her Majesty's confidence 


in him. The defence probably consists of a few 
holes picked in some subordinate part of the 
charge, and then a request that the writer may 
not be called upon to reply to statements of 
which these are a sample.* Or an attack will 
be made on the character of the chairman of the 
meeting from which the complaint emanated, 
and the charges ignored, because they proceeded 
from such a source.f Or, if there is an opening 
for neither course, a bold front will be assumed, 
and surprise expressed that charges should be 
preferred, of the falsehood of which every re- 
spectable person in the colony has been long 
convinced.J Or, finally, if the rottenness of the 
case is so apparent on the face of the documents 
that it cannot be otherwise concealed, they will 
be distributed in inextricable confusion and 
small type, up and down the book, while the 
Governor's denial and the Colonial Minister's 
adoption of it, will be printed prominently, and 
in good large type. 

* Mr. Brown's case, Parl. Further Papers, 1850, in 
continuation of 31st July, 1849, pp. 119 and 120 ; and 
Parliamentary Further Papers of August, 1850, p. 31 
to 52. 

t Ibid. August 1850, p. 96. 

J Ibid. 1850, in continuation of July 31, 1849, p. 206. 

See a correspondence in Parliamentary Papers 
(N. Z., 1850, in continuation of 31st July, 1849), com- 
mencing at p. 70, and interspersed through the book 


And in addition to thus forming a weapon of 
defence to the Governor, they provide him with 
one of attack against his adversaries, with which 
he is constantly able to deal heavy blows without 
their being aware of it. Thus charges will be 
made against an individual, who, though in the 
colony and at the seat of government, is not 
there put on his defence, and only becomes 
acquainted with the charge from seeing it in 
the Blue Book a year after it was made.* 

And thus the Colonial Office, so far from con- 
stituting any check on the Governor, in reality 
serves him as a shield and protection against 

to p. 166. If the letter printed at p. 94 had been placed 
by the side of those in pages 73 and 166, the true state 
of the case would have been apparent to any eye. Dis- 
tributed as they are, the confusion prevents detection. 
* See Parliamentary Papers, JN". Z., July, 1849, p. 
52, &c., from which it appears that a most serious charge 
made against the chief justice of the colony, was only 
communicated to him a month after it had been sent 
home, the result being that Lord Grey decided the 
matter without hearing his defence. The case of Mr. 
Forsaith was worse. He saw his character destroyed 
in a Blue Book was able to deny every fact alleged 
against him, and Governor Grey had to withdraw every 
one of his charges ; but not till they had been in 
print for a year. Archdeacon Williams was treated in 
a similar manner, and several other instances could be 
pointed out. No man who has ever taken a part in 
colonial politics is secure against such treatment. 


public opinion in the colony. Colonial govern- 
ments would have to yield to that opinion much 
oftener than they do, if they had not the opinion 
of the Colonial Office to exhibit in opposition to 
it. That department serves, ostensibly, as a sort 
of tribunal of reference between the colonists 
and the Governor ; but stands virtually pledged, 
as well as interested, always to decide in favour 
of the latter. 

The only instance in which a decision has 
been given against Governor Grey, was in refer- 
ence to the abolition of the county courts, a 
matter of little importance, but which was 
clearly an illegal act. On no single question of 
policy have the suggestions or complaints of the 
colonists been listened to. For the last three 
years numerous and repeated complaints on 
matters of vital importance, supported by care- 
ful analyses of his published despatches, and 
emanating from large bodies of the most re- 
spectable and influential colonists, have been 
sent home from all the principal settlements. 
A bare acknowledgment of their receipt, and an 
assurance to the Governor of the continuance of 
her Majesty's confidence, are all the reply they 
have ever elicited from the home government. 

Nothing can be worse than the effect of this 
on the minds of the colonists. Possessing an 
overwhelming majority in the colony, they are 


continually defeated by a minority of one, who 
is enabled to stand his ground against them by 
the support of a distant ally who has never seen 
the colony, and in whose capacity for judging of 
the matter the colonists have no confidence. 
The certainty with which all differences are 
decided against them, impresses them with a 
feeling that it is entirely useless to address their 
complaints to the Colonial Office ; and they 
only continue to make them from a feeling of 
self-respect which prevents their submitting in 
silence, and in a sort of vague hope that in the 
pages of a Blue Book they may meet the eye of 
some colonial reformer, and elicit sympathy, if 
not redress. 


The form of government which I have de- 
scribed in the last section is that to which the 
colonial reformers, who took part in the great 
New Zealand debate in 1845, attributed all the 
evils under which the colony then suffered ; and 
there is no doubt that to that cause they were 
chiefly traceable. They were brought promi- 
nently forward at that period by the personal 
indiscretion of the Governor. Governor Grey is 
a person of more tact and diplomacy than his 
predecessor, and he avoids placing himself in 


positions where the flagrancy of some single act 
might attract public attention to the general 
inefficiency of the system of government of 
which he is himself the development, the head 
and front. Yet for all practical purposes, the 
evils of the system which evoked its emphatic 
condemnation from Lord John Russell, Lord 
Grey, Sir Robert Peel, Sir James Graham, and 
other statesmen, in 1845, exist in their full force 
and vigour at the present hour. If their results 
are less manifest, it is owing to the personal tact 
of the Governor; to the enormous expenditure of 
British money in the colony, which creates a 
fictitious and temporary prosperity ; and to the 
presence of a large military force, which ensures 
tranquillity among the natives. 

But the government, as a government, is as 
inefficient as it was in 1845 : it exhibits the 
same normal and inherent characteristics, and it 
bears, to a great extent, the same fruits. 

The defects of a despotic form of government, 
particularly when its head resides at a distance 
of from 500 to 800 miles from the principal 
communities to be governed, exhibit themselves 
in two aspects, apparently contradictory to each 
other. On the one hand, there is far too little 
government ; on the other, there is a great deal 
too much. I will endeavour to explain the 


The deficiency of government arises from the 
fact, that everything depends on the will of one 
man. ' Be his abilities and his industry what 
they may/ the impossibility of his presence in 
many places at once, the amount of details 
which have to be disposed of, and, in New Zea- 
land, the imperfect perception which he neces- 
sarily has of circumstances at a distance, render 
his efforts, however well intended, feeble and 
ineffective. To add to the difficulty, a very 
large amount of time and of energy is consumed, 
not in any part of the practical business of 
government, but in reporting to the Colonial 
Office his acts or intentions, and in defending 
himself from the attacks and complaints which 
are constantly being preferred against him from 
some quarter or other. Hence, instead of being 
decided on at once, and executed with prompti- 
tude, matters of the utmost but often of purely 
local consequence, are delayed for months by 
the necessity of reference to head-quarters ; and 
when determined on, are carried into execution 
feebly and inefficiently by reason of the distance 
of the agent from the power which puts him in 
motion. In one case, where the purchase of a 
large district of land near Wellington was the 
object, it took seven months before the sanction 
of the governor could be obtained and a com- 
missioner be got to enter on the negotiation. 


On the other hand, there is too much govern- 
ment. The official establishments are altogether 
disproportioned to the communities whose 
affairs they administer. In the southern pro- 
vince of New Zealand there are not less than 
100 paid officials (besides about forty police- 
men) to govern a population (at the time the 
estimate was made) of not 10,000 Euro- 
peans. This is attributable to two causes ; 
1st. The necessity which the weakness of the 
government creates for the employment of a 
great many hands to help it; making up in 
quantity what it wants in quality : and, 2nd, 
The tendency which all despotic governments 
have to buy support by patronage. In the 
southern province, in the year 1850, with an 
ordinary revenue of 19,000?., no less than 
14,000?. (minus a small sum for contingencies 
used in the offices) appears to have gone into 
the pockets of the officials as salary ; while 
nearly the whole of the remainder was expended 
on police, printing, or other matters involving 
patronage, and attaching the recipients to the 
interest of government. In 1846, Governor 
Grey proposed the appointment of a lieutenant- 
governor for the southern province, and pledged 
himself if one was appointed, ' judiciously to 
curtail' the existing cost of government. But 
he has found it impossible, and will so long as 


the present system exists. At the date of that 
pledge, the entire annual cost of government at 
Wellington was 4409?. A lieutenant-governor 
was appointed in 1848, and the cost of govern- 
ment, so far from having been ' judiciously cur- 
tailed/ has swelled to 16,000?., while the ordi- 
nary revenue, in the same period, has increased 
less than 5000?. 

The colonists complain, and apparently not 
without reason, of the manner in which patron- 
age is exercised. The more formidable poli- 
ticians are bought up in the most open manner 
offices being even invented for their accom- 
modation.* If a young gentleman arrives in 
the colony who writes ' honourable' before his 
name who has a cousin in the House of Lords, 
or relatives of influence at the Colonial Office 
he never waits long for an appointment.! If it is 
desirable to secure a partisan of a humbler class, 
1 the first vacancy in the customs is promised ;' 
and, probably, it is owing to the run on this 
department that the collection and keeping of 
the revenue of Wellington alone costs the enor- 
mous amount of seventeen per cent, on the gross 
sum collected ; the whole of which is expended 

* Nelson, in 1847-48. 
f Auckland, 1849. Wellington, 1850. 


on custom-house officers, treasurers, auditors, and 
their clerks. 

But the instances of patronage which create 
the greatest dissatisfaction are those which 
emanate from the Colonial Office. Take the 
Otago judge for example. Mr. Stephen, a 
barrister of Van Diemen's Land (a cousin of the 
gentleman who for a quarter of a century held 
the Colonial Office in fee) was unjustly disbarred 
by the judges of that colony. After a seven 
years' appeal, their judgment was reversed by 
the Privy Council. The Colonial Office felt that 
it was implicated, and that compensation was 
due to the injured. But it spared to take of its 
own flock. The infant settlement of Otago 
rejoiced in a surplus revenue of 800. a year, 
and was only perplexed on what work of utility 
to expend it, when the difficulty was solved by 
the arrival of a judge of the supreme court (in 
the person of Mr. Stephen), with a salary of pre- 
cisely that annual amount. The necessity for 
his appointment may be estimated from the 
fact that only one criminal and not one civil 
case for the supreme court, had arisen at Otago 
in three years, and that there were already two 
j udges of the Supreme court in the colony, whose 
offices were almost sinecures. 

Major Richmond's was a similar case. When 
it was determined to convert the Wellington 


Superintendency into a Lieutenant-governorship, 
and to confer it on Mr. Eyre, orders were sent 
out to the Governor to provide for the Super- 
intendent an office of not less value than that 
taken from him. The Governor had no such 
office in his gift, but the office of Eesident 
magistrate at Nelson was converted into a 
Superintendency, the salary increased from 250L 
to 500L a-year, (the duties remaining precisely 
the same as before), and Major Richmond was 
installed in the office. 

Patronage being so exercised, it is not sur- 
prising to hear the colonists complaining of the 
inefficiency and incompetency of the officials. 
An instance or two may be given. In January 
last a deputation of settlers waited on the 
Governor on business of importance. The 
Attorney-general and Colonial secretary were 
present officially. To the surprise of the depu- 
tation, the Governor and both the above-named 
officials were entirely ignorant that the lands 
within the settlements which had formerly 
vested in the New Zealand Company, had for 
six months past been re-vested in the crown. 
The point arose on an act of Parliament, which 
had been constantly before them for three years 
and a half, and for some months past ought to 
have been their daily study ; and it involved 
the rights of the crown and local government 


over all the settled lands in the southern pro- 
vince. It was not till a correspondence had 
taken place with the colonial secretary the fol- 
lowing day, that the governor could be con- 
vinced of the oversight. A few months before 
this, in consequence of a dispute between a 
party and the registrar of deeds, a case was 
referred to the supreme court for decision ; 
when it turned out, that the system of registra- 
tion in force was directly contrary to the pro- 
visions of the ordinance establishing it that 
the government had in fact for ten years been 
working the wheels of its own machine the 
wrong way, and all it had done was invalid in 
consequence.* A complaint was made against 
a resident magistrate. The colonial secretary 
of the southern province wrote to the complain- 
ants admitting its justice ; and by the same 
post he wrote to the magistrate thanking him 
for the able manner in which he had always 
performed his duties. The magistrate got a 
copy of the other letter, put both into an 
envelope, and sent them back again. The 
colonial secretary of the other province refused 
in council to receive a protest, c because it con- 
tained no reasons in favour of the measure 

* See Judge Chapman's decision in the Wellington 
Independent, August 24, 1850. 


protested against \ and the same gentleman 
moved to strike out of an appropriation Bill the 
words, f not exceeding/ I might fill pages with 
instances of this sort, many of which came 
under my own observation ; but it is not neces- 
sary to pursue the topic. Some further in- 
stances will occur incidentally in subsequent 


The liberty of the subject rests on nothing so 
much as the independence of the judges, and 
all historians concur in praising those monarchs 
who have contributed to place it on a secure 
basis. In England they hold their office during 
good behaviour, and can only be removed on 
an address from both Houses of Parliament. 
In New Zealand (as I believe in most colonies) 
they hold office at the pleasure of the crown, 
that is virtually, of the governor; and the only 
security for the impartial administration of jus- 
tice in cases where the crown may be interested, 
is to be found in the personal character of the 
individuals on the bench in respect of which, 
though New Zealand is fortunate, yet it is a 
mere accident and affords no constitutional 
security for the future. It is not creditable that 
such a system should exist in any part of the 


British dominions, and it ought to be abolished 
without delay. 

The provision for the administration of sum- 
mary justice is also unsatisfactory, and a system 
objectionable in itself has been made worse by 
the manner in which it has been applied. 

There is in every settlement a salaried Resi- 
dent magistrate, who has in most cases the 
power of two justices of peace, and who also 
possesses a civil jurisdiction to the amount of 
20Z. between Europeans, and to any amount 
between natives, being assisted in the latter case 
by two native assessors. 

It is intelligible why in the metropolis and 
other large towns in England, the system of 
employing salaried magistrates has been resorted 
to. It is necessary in such cases to have the 
law administered by persons professionally ac- 
quainted with it, and of course their services 
can only be obtained by paying for them. 

But in New Zealand, though the Resident 
magistrates are paid (and very well paid too), 
not one of the whole number is a lawyer, or 
possesses any law-administering quality which 
would be considered marketable in this country. 
Seven out of eleven are military or naval 
officers ; some of them on duty with their regi- 
ments ; one a nautical surveyor ; one an archi- 
tect and land agent ; the remaining two being 


gentlemen who were never brought up to any 
profession.* Their salaries vary from 100. to 
5001. a year, and some have salaried clerks to 
assist them, and forage for a horse in addition. 

But it may be supposed that a number of in- 
dependent unpaid magistrates, serve to counter- 
balance these salaried officers of government. 
It is not so. Take the Wellington bench for 
example. There are upon it the Resident magis- 
trate and eight paid government officers, such 
as the colonial secretary, attorney-general, &c., 
while there are only seven who are not in 
government pay; and of these seven one lives 
at a distance from Wellington which precludes 
his ever sitting on the bench, and another is 
often absent from the colony. There are also 
in the commission six military officers (on duty 
with their regiments,) who however seldom 
act. For all practical purposes there is at all 
times a working majority of paid government 
officials on the bench. 

* Major Brydges, at Bay of Islands; Major Beckham, 
at Auckland; Captain King, R.N., at New Plymouth; 
Captain Smith, at Manakau; Captain Kenny, at Otah- 
ahau; Major Durie, at Waikanae; Major Richmond, 
at Nelson; Mr. St. Hill, at Wellington; Mr. Hamilton, 
at Wanganui; Mr. Strode, at Otago, and Mr. Watson, 
at Akaroa. A strong inclination to employ military 
men in civil affairs to the exclusion of colonists has 
been shown in New Zealand. 


Nor has the government hesitated to inter- 
fere directly with their deliberations. On a 
recent occasion, a resolution had been passed 
by the bench at Wellington, (in a perfectly 
respectful tone) which was contrary to the wishes 
of the local government. The Kesident magis- 
trate and inspector of police concurred in it. 
They received a severe reprimand from the 
colonial secretary, and were distinctly informed 
(in a letter which I read) that whenever any 
question affecting the government should be 
before the bench, all salaried officials who might 
be sitting as magistrates, were expected to 
refrain from voting against it. 

One such instance is sufficient to destroy all 
confidence in the bench ; and it has done so, as 
is proved by the fact that when any case came 
before it, in which government was concerned, 
(such as a dispute with custom-house officers, &c.) 
it was a very usual practice for the other party 
to canvass the independent magistrates, and 
request their attendance to see fair play. This 
happened to myself twice within the last six 
months that I was in the colony, and the reason 
was on each occasion distinctly stated. 

Complaints are common among the colonists 
of the personal unfitness of many of the resident 
magistrates, and the following anecdotes would 
show that they are not without foundation. 



One of them sent a party 300 miles, to be tried 
by the supreme court on a charge of felony, 
whose offence consisted in being found asleep in 
a cellar where he had no business to be. There 
was a long file of witnesses whose expenses, I 
suppose, had to be paid by the colonial treasury. 
Another assured a party charged before him 
that it was the policy of the law of England 
always to consider a man guilty till he proved 
himself innocent; while a third exhibited his 
legal ability by contending against an unpaid 
brother justice, that the laws of England had 
no operation in a colony. 

There seems no reason why summary justice 
should not be administered in the colony by 
unpaid justices : they would have as much pro- 
fessional knowledge as the paid ones, and might 
be assisted by a paid professional clerk. Inde- 
pendently of the bench being relieved from the 
suspicion of a government leaning, to which the 
present system necessarily subjects it, it is of no 
little importance to accustom the colonists to 
administer justice themselves, and to familiarize 
them with the laws. 


The currency of New Zealand has, till recently, 
consisted of specie and the notes of the Union 


Bank of Australia. The issue of paper money 
by private banks or individuals has, however, 
been recently prohibited, though the existing 
circulation of notes of the Union Bank is per- 
mitted to continue for a time. 

It has been a favourite theory among a sec- 
tion of writers on the currency to put the 
issue of paper money on the same footing as 
that of the metallic currency to make its 
issue the exclusive privilege of the Crown. 
In 1847, Governor Grey was directed by the 
Colonial Office to pass an ordinance creating a 
government bank, and which was to embody the 
following leading points : 1. The business of 
the bank was to be limited to receiving specie 
and issuing paper in return. 2. The notes to be 
payable in cash on demand at the bank of 
issue. 3. To be legal tender for sums above 2. 
4. Specie equal to one-third of the issue always 
to be retained in hand. 5. The balance of specie 
received to be invested on certain specified 
government securities. 6. All other banks and 
private parties to be prohibited from issuing 
paper money. 

The ordinance passed* however, differed most 
materially from Lord Grey's instructions and, 
on one point of vital importance. The whole 

* Sess. viii., No. 16 ; confirmed 12th April, 1850. 


foundation on which the plan rests is, that the 
specie received shall be invested only on the best 
securities, and always be forthcoming when 
wanted. Lord Grey had taken some, though 
perhaps insufficient, precautions on this head, 
but his instructions were disregarded, and power 
retained for the Governor to invest or use the 
bank funds as he might please. The invest- 
ments of surplus specie are, by the ordinance, to 
be in the governor's sole discretion. There is 
nothing to prevent his lending it to any depart- 
ment of the local government he may invest 
it in debentures of his own issue nay, by a 
little ingenuity, he could even discount private 
paper, though not at the banking house, the ulti- 
mate payment of the bank-notes being charged 
on the general revenue. 

This did not escape the eye of the Lords of 
the Treasury, when the ordinance was referred 
home for confirmation. They pointed it out, 
and Lord Grey (while confirming the ordinance 
in other respects) directed its amendment in 
two or three particulars; among others, providing 
for the investment of the specie in the British 
funds. Banks, however, were opened at Auck- 
land and Wellington, which had been in opera- 
tion for nearly twelve months at the latest dates 
from the colony, and the requisite alterations had 
not then been made. 

But this is not the only apparent illegality 


connected with the bank. Its very constitution 
is, as far as can be ascertained, fundamentally 
invalid and illegal. The charter of the colony 
expressly prohibits the Governor and his legisla- 
tive council from establishing a paper currency 
of this description without special permission 
from the crown first given. No such permission 
seems to have been issued, as far as can be 
judged from the Blue Books and other parlia- 
mentary papers. 

The legality of the transaction appears there- 
fore at least open to doubt ; but the considera- 
tions suggested by it are of far graver moment 
even than the validity of the bank paper. It 
exemplifies in a striking manner some of the 
most prominent features of colonial misgovern- 
ment a Governor disobeying his instructions 
without rebuke a nominal legislature regis- 
tering at his bidding an act doubtful at least in 
point of law, and contrary to all sound policy, 
in defiance of public opinion, expressed in the 
most unequivocal manner. And as to the mea- 
sure itself, think what would be said in England 
if an act were passed to place the funds of the 
Bank of England at the disposal of the Govern- 
ment to make Bank of England paper legal 
tender, and to charge all possible losses on the 
consolidated fund. 

That the paper currency of the colony should 
be confined to that of a bank established under 


such circumstances is scarcely satisfactory. But 
even if royal instructions should have been issued, 
and Lord Grey's amendment requiring the 
investment of the surplus specie in the British 
funds were carried out, the measure is one which 
appears to give the Colonial Office an unconsti- 
tutional control of the most objectionable de- 
scription over the finances of the colonists. 
Suppose that, in the course of a few years, a 
large sum should be invested in the British 
funds in the names of commissioners or other- 
wise, and that any dispute should arise between 
the colonists and the Colonial Office respecting 
pecuniary matters, such as the right of the latter 
to charge the cost of the pensioner emigration, 
or similar large sums, on the colonial revenue ; 
what is to prevent the Office from settling the 
dispute by appropriating the bank investment ? 
Something of the sort was done in reference to 
the New South Wales land fund in 1840, when 
the colonists learned with surprise that a sum of 
about 300,000?., which had been placed in the 
hands of commissioners in England had been 
appropriated to the payment of what was called 
a back debt due from the colony to the home 
government for military and other expenditure, 
about the incurring of which the colonists had 
never been consulted. 

But independently of the unpleasant relation 
towards the home government, in which the pro- 


posed investment might place the colonists, they 
naturally feel jealous of intrusting to the hands 
of the local authorities, over which they have 
no control, powers so liable to abuse as those 
the ordinance confers. Without imputing any 
intentional dishonesty, it is well known that in 
the absence of representative government, great 
liberties are not unfrequently taken with public 
money; and an incident which happened in 
the colony just when the bank was being esta- 
blished, was not calculated to increase the con- 
fidence of the colonists in the local government 
as a trustee of public funds of any sort. The 
particulars were these : 

According to the original practice established 
in New Zealand all intestate estates vested in 
the Eegistrar of the Supreme court, who was 
obliged to give a general security for their safe 
keeping ; and if he had an unusually large 
amount in hand he was required by the Judges 
to find extra and special security. The funds 
were thus in the safe custody of the court and 
under the control of the Judges, who were in 
the habit of exercising great vigilance in the 

About three years ago Governor Grey took 
these funds out of the hands of the registrar of 
the Supreme court, and directed them for the 
future to be deposited with the local treasurers 
and sub-treasurers of the provincial govern- 


ment, in common with the general proceeds of 
the colonial revenue. This was done against 
the protest of one at least of the two Judges- 

The consequence was not long in exhibiting 
itself. An intestate estate of considerable amount 
(that of Mr. Perry, who was drowned in Cook's 
Strait, in 1846 or 1847,) had in consequence of 
there being English creditors, been a long time in 
course of winding up. Part of it had been distri- 
buted, but a considerable sum remained, (or 
rather ought to have remained) in the hands of 
the Nelson sub-treasurer. The judge of the 
supreme court at Wellington, in April, 1850, 
issued an order for the distribution to creditors 
of about 300?. of this sum. A solicitor was 
sent over express, and the order duly presented 
to the sub-treasurer at Nelson, That officer 
candidly admitted that the proceeds of the 
estate, or some part of them at least, had been 
spent by the government, and he dishonoured 
the order, which was carried back to Wellington. 
An attempt was made to persuade Judge Chap- 
man to take it back, but he refused ; and finding 
that the local government was inclined to treat 
the matter with levity, he intimated that the 
court would be compelled to enforce its order. 
This put the government in motion, and, I be- 
lieve, after six or eight weeks' delay, the money 
was found somewhere and the amount paid. 


As far as the public has been made aware, 
this breach of trust has not been visited with 
any censure by the higher departments of 
government ; yet the principle involved is the 
same as if the accountant-general of the Court 
of Chancery, or the receiver -general of the 
British taxes, was to prove a defaulter to the 
amount of three or four hundred thousand 


Situated as the several settlements of New 
Zealand are connected by a saltwater highway, 
and no other the means of communication be- 
tween them is a matter of no little consequence. 
Between the southern settlements a pretty brisk 
local commerce carried on in coasting vessels, 
and the monthly or bi-monthly transit of an 
English emigrant ship affords some facilities ; 
but they are not sufficiently regular or speedy 
in their movements to answer every purpose 
which is required. Steam is much needed, and 
in 1848 and 1849, when Governor Grey was 
canvassing for nominees to serve in his legisla- 
tive council, he promised the southern settlers 
to lose no time in introducing it, proposing to 
effect it by an annual vote from the colonial 


revenue, as a bonus to induce ship-owners to 
undertake it. Nothing, however, has hitherto 
been done towards it, except his writing a 
despatch to the Colonial Office on the subject, 
asking for a grant of money ; to which a ' more 
convenient season' sort of answer is given, and 
nothing either done or promised. 

The means of communication with Auckland, 
(the seat of government,) are very defective. 
There is an overland mail, carried by a native, 
which is three weeks on the road, and affords 
the prospect of an answer in seven or eight 
weeks from the date of writing. There is also 
a government brig, which occasionally, but with 
no sort of regularity, visits the different settle- 
ments. In fact, for months together, no com- 
munication by sea between Auckland and the 
Southern settlements takes place. On one occa- 
sion the Lieutenant-governor sent despatches to 
the former place by way of Sydney, and I have 
myself been upwards of five months in receiving 
a reply to a letter of pressing importance. 

The government vessel might have been of 
considerable use in lessening the inconveniences 
arising from the distance of the capital, had 
she been used as a regular packet between 
the settlements. The colonists, however, com- 
plain of her mismanagement, and state that, 
though her maintenance has, since the colony 


was founded, cost nearly 20,000?.,* she has not 
really done work to the value of as many shil- 
lings. She has generally been in an unsea- 
worthy condition, and the accommodation for 
passengers so extremely bad, that nobody who 
had once been on board of her would sail in her 
again if he could make the voyage in any other 

In May, 1850, I returned in this brig from 
Nelson to Wellington, in company with Mr. 
Justice Chapman, who had been at the former 
place on duty, and three other passengers, one 
of them a lady, It was blowing rather fresh as 
we left the harbour, and the first thing that 
happened to us was the carrying away of our 
jib, which there was not another on board to 
replace. We ought to have made the' .passage 
in six-and-thirty hours, but the breeze falling 
light and there not being a single stun-sail on 
board, we were caught by a foul wind just be- 

* 2000. a-year of the parliamentary grant is voted 
for the purpose. In 1846, Mr. Hawes being asked in 
the House of Commons what the item was for, replied, 
' that it was for a steamer in which the governor paid 
his periodical visits to the settlements ! ' There is no 
steamer, and the governor never sails in the brig, but 
always in one of the men-of-war on the station; 
the expense of himself and suite being a further tax on 
the public purse. 


fore we made our port. The sails were so rotten, 
that they had all to be clewed up, the helm was 
lashed, and we drifted back again, stern fore- 
most through the Straits. This happened to 
us twice before we arrived at our destination, 
which we were six days in reaching. In the 
meantime we were nearly starved. The whole 
of the fresh provisions put on board at Nelson for 
six passengers, the captain and chief mate, were 
one very small sheep three pigeons a cabbage 
four mouldy loaves and a kit of potatoes. We 
were reduced at last to rancid salt pork and 
hard mahogany-coloured beef, such as the 
sailors call salt horse. Though the nights were 
long, there was not a candle on board, not a 
lamp, nor a drop of oil ; and the only substitute 
we had, consisted in an invention of my groom's, 
who filled a black bottle with what he called 
' cook's slush/ and stuck a cotton rag into it by 
way of a wick. To add to the other annoy- 
ances I had a valuable thorough-bred horse on 
board, which was seriously injured and very 
nearly killed in the gale, which the want of 
stun-sails compelled us to encounter.* 

* The refusal of the judge and other passengers to 
pay for their passage led to some improvement in the 
management of the brig, but she was still without 
stunsails in January last. 


Till the establishment of steam, the best 
method of communication between the capital 
and the southern settlements would be a couple 
of smart cutters or smacks running the circuit 
every month, which I have been assured by 
sea-faring men could be effected by contract for 
considerably less than half the present cost of 
the brig. 

Overland communication between the settle- 
ments, by made roads, is entirely wanting. But 
large sums of money (wholly, I believe, from 
the parliamentary grants) have been expended 
on road-making, within the settlements of Wel- 
lington and Auckland, with the view of render- 
ing the adjacent districts accessible from the 
towns. The amount expended on this head, as 
nearly as it can be estimated from the state- 
ments published by the local government, has 
been between 60,OOOZ. and 80,000?. It does not 
seem to have been judiciously expended, and 
there is not much to show for it. The best piece 
of work is the road from Wellington to the 
coast, about thirty miles in length, on about 
eight of which, however, (in the centre,) little 
labour has been expended, though the whole 
line can be travelled. It connects Wellington 
with a fine sea-beach, which forms a natural 
highway to Wanganui, and the districts between. 
The Wiararapa road is a failure. The original 


estimate for its cost was 14,000. More than 
20,000. have been expended upon it, and it 
will probably cost 20,000?. in addition before it 
can be used. For the last two years nothing 
has been done to it, and the greater part of what 
has been commenced is useless. It has been a 
subject of much complaint among the colonists, 
that so large a sum of money should have been 
so expended ; and it is considered by many that 
the whole line could have been completed at 
half the cost, if (as the legislative council advised) 
the work had been performed by contract, in- 
stead of being entrusted entirely to the uncon- 
trolled management of the Government en- 
gineer, a very young and inexperienced person. 

The want of proper ferries across the rivers is 
also a serious impediment to travelling, and one 
which has cost many lives. The natives, who 
earn a few shillings by putting travellers across, 
will not allow the government to establish 
regular ferries in charge of European ferrymen, 
while their own performance of the duty is 
entirely insufficient. It often happens that for 
hours, and even days, neither ferryman nor his 
canoe can be found ; and when found, the latter 
is so frail a bark, that danger always, and loss 
of life frequently, ensues. There can be no 
doubt that the right of establishing and main- 
taining ferries is a branch of the sovereign power, 


and that, under the treaty of Waitangi, (if not 
otherwise,) it vests in the crown in New Zea- 
land. But hitherto the Government has de- 
clined to insist on the natives surrendering the 
privilege into its hands, though instances of 
such ferries over wide and dangerous waters 
occur within a day's ride of the town of Wel- 
lington (one within ten miles), and though the 
native secretary has supported the colonists in 
urging the propriety and feasibility of its doing 
so. The censure which a coroner's jury passed 
upon the Government, and a correspondence 
which ensued, led to much discussion on the 
subject at Wellington a few months ago, when 
two valuable colonists lost their lives in that 
settlement by the upsetting of a native ferry- 
boat, but no step to remedy the inconvenience 
has yet been taken.* 

* In his valuable report on the Wellington natives in 
1850, Mr. Kemp (native secretary) writes : ' The want 
of a safe flat-bottomed boat has long been felt at the 
mouth of the lake, where only a small canoe is now 
kept; and as the attendance of the natives is very 
irregular, and as they are moreover incapable of mana- 
ging a boat in a strong tide rip, I think they should be 
required to give up the ferry into the hands of a trust- 
worthy European.' The warning was not attended to, 
and within six months afterwards the two colonists, 
abovementioned, and a native woman and child, were 
drowned at the very spot referred to by the secretary. 



The three preceding sections have exhibited 
in detail a few of the departments of the local 
government ; and, taken as samples of the 
whole, they will I think elucidate what I 
meant by saying that there was at the same 
time too much government and too little. A 
great amount of machinery is worked, but its 
operations are attended either with a bad result 
or no result at all. The only remedy seems to 
be to change the entire system, and adopt some 
other which may be more effective. 

In the great debate in the House of Com- 
mons in 1845,* upon the affairs of New Zealand, 
all parties agreed that the only remedy for the 
evils, which all admitted to exist, was self- 
government. Not to quote the late Sir Kobert 
Peel or Sir James Graham, the present Prime 
Minister expressed his decided conviction that 
' the voice of the settlers themselves, speaking 
through their own representatives, could alone 
extricate the colony from the difficulties in 
which it was plunged/ Lord Grey (then Lord 
Howick) hoped ' they would revert to the 
ancient and wise policy of their ancestors, and 

* See the Eeport, published by Murray. 


allow the colonists to govern themselves/ Con- 
trasting what our ancestors had done in America 
two centuries ago, he ' must say that experience 
was decidedly in favour of allowing a colony to 
govern itself. We had before us a melancholy 
proof of the height to which misgovernment 
might be carried by Downing-street ; and he 
was persuaded that it was utterly impossible for 
any man, be his talents and industry what they 
might, adequately to administer the affairs of 
the British colonies, scattered as they were all 
over the world. It would have been well for 
the natives of New Zealand if the colony had 
been self-governed/ And Mr. Hawes, alluding 
to the great powers placed in the hands of Go- 
vernor Grey, said that ' he would not object to 
it in the present state of the colony. He would 
at least be free from the ' laborious trifling' of 
the Colonial Office. Do what they would, they 
must emancipate the colony from the Colonial 
Office ; they must lay the foundations of local 
government, and the colony, when left as free as 
possible, would soon display the original energy 
of the parent stock. The remedy he proposed 
was simply this, that the colonies should have 
local self-government/ 

Not long after the above remarks were made, 
the colonists heard, with feelings which may be 
easily appreciated, that Lord John Russell, Lord 


Grey, and Mr. Hawes, had come into office, the 
two latter, respectively, as Secretary and Under- 
secretary of State for the Colonies. There would, 
of course now be no delay in reverting c to the 
wise policy of their ancestors, and allowing them 
to govern themselves/ No fear of their being 
any more troubled with the c laborious trifling' 
of the Colonial Office. The very men who but 
a few weeks before had declared self-government 
the remedy for all existing evils, had now the 
power of bestowing it. Doubtless they would 
soon be left ' as free as possible' to administer 
their own affairs. 

The most judicious course to have pursued 
would have been to ascertain by actual refer- 
ence to the colonists, what sort of a constitution 
of self-government would meet their views, and 
be considered by them as a fulfilment of the 
hopes which had been so lately excited. This 
prudent course however was not adopted ; but, 
without even the slightest hint of the views of 
the colonists, a constitution was framed in the 
recess, and, without having been laid before 
Parliament, was sent out to the colony. It 
presented some points which at first sight seemed 
very liberal, such as a suffrage practically uni- 
versal; but these were counterbalanced by 
others such as the double election which 
reduced its liberality to a mere shade; while 


the whole measure was so involved, so little like 
any constitution which had ever been seen 
before, and so entirely deficient in that first 
essential, simplicity of design, that the colonists 
were not less puzzled to understand it than they 
were disappointed at its insufficiency when they 
did so. Nevertheless, believing that it contained 
within itself the elements of amendment in their 
hands, they were content to accept it as an in- 
stalment, and were every day expecting its in- 
troduction, when they learned that it had been 
suspended by act of parliament for five years, and 
no substitute provided by the act for the interval. 
The Governor, however, was authorised by 
the act and by the Colonial Office to introduce 
any sort of constitution he might please in the 
interval; and on his framing one on ultra- 
despotic principles, he found full support from 
the Colonial Office, notwithstanding the loud 
and reiterated complaints of the colonists, which 
were barely acknowledged. 

However, on the 13th of May, 1850, Lord 
John Russell announced, in the House of Com- 
mons that in consequence of advices from Go- 
vernor Grey, the Government was prepared to 
bestow self-government on New Zealand imme- 
diately, but as there was not time then to legis- 
late on the subject (it was only the 13th May), 
it would be postponed till the ensuing session, 


when he would introduce a measure on the sub- 
ject.* The c ensuing session' has now passed 
over, and neither Lord John Russell nor any- 
body else has, in either house of parliament, so 
much as alluded to the New Zealand constitu- 
tion ; and it seems certain that the colonists will 
remain another year, if not many more years, 
in what has been well styled, ' the sad condition 
of being subject to the will of an unlimited 

And now let us inquire into the acts of 
Governor Grey in the colony, in reference to 
this question. 

His first movement was during the short 
secretaryship of Mr. Gladstone, in 1846. Pos- 
sibly he had heard of the very liberal views 
entertained on the subject of colonial govern- 
ment by that statesman. At all events he wrote 
to him, recommending the introduction of self- 
government into the colony, and he took occa- 
sion particularly to describe the fitness for it 
of the colonists in the southern settlements. 
' With a considerable acquaintance/ he says, 
' with British settlements, I can have no hesita- 
tion in recording my opinion, that there never 
was a body of settlers to whom the power of 
local self-government could be more wisely and 

Hansard, 1850. 


judiciously entrusted, than the inhabitants of 
the settlements to which I am alluding/ Before 
this recommendation reached home, Lord Grey's 
constitution was on its way out. On its recep- 
tion, the Governor wrote to Lord Grey, objecting 
to its details, observing, 'that it introduced 
changes greater than he thought prudent/ and 
suggesting a constitution pretty much on the 
established Colonial Office model, consisting 
partly of nominees and partly of representa- 
tives. The home government having on this 
rushed from one extreme to another, and Lord 
Grey's new constitution having been suspended 
for five years, the Governor was authorised to 
add, if he thought proper, to the existing constitu- 
tion of the colony, a Provincial Government, 
formed either on an entirely representative, a 
partly representative, or an absolutely despotic 

He chose the latter, and to justify his doing 
so, he who had but lately described the colonists 
as so remarkably fitted for self-government, 
now turned round, and after enumerating i the 
disappointed applicants for office, the land- 

* See section 4 of the Suspending Act ; Lord Grey's 
despatch of 18th March, 1848; and the replies of Messrs. 
Labouchere, Buller, and the Attorney-general to Lord 
Lincoln in the House of Commons, February 9, 1848. 


sharks, the aliens, the various persons arriving 
from the Pacific, the Americans, and other per- 
sons disaffected towards the British, or, indeed, 
towards any government/ * with whom he finds 
the colony is teeming, he asks, what advantage 
is to be gained by introducing self-government 
among so small a number of Europeans, who, 
were demanding the power of expending a 
revenue arising from the British treasury, and 
who would probably quarrel with the natives, 
and involve the colony in the worst conse- 
quences, if free institutions were bestowed upon 
them ? This was in March, 1849. 

The step aroused the colonists. Associations 
Were formed in the different settlements, nume- 
rous petitions and memorials, complaining of 
Sir George's conduct, and dissecting his pub- 
lished statements, were sent home. There they 
proved altogether ineffectual; but the general 
excitement in the colony, which instead of sub- 
siding continued to increase, appears to have 
alarmed the Governor, and within eight months 
after his describing the extreme unfitriess of the 
colony, as above, he writes home announcing its 
complete fitness, (forgetting, no doubt, 'the 
aliens, the land-sharks, the Americans, and other 

* Parliamentary Further Papers. New Zealand, 
1850, p. 59. 


disaffected persons/) and recommends the im- 
mediate introduction of self-government.* And 
then, without waiting to receive a reply from 
the home government, he produced in the 
colony a portion of a constitution such as he 
stated he had recommended, and proposed to 
introduce it at once ; which, as it related solely 
to the provincial department, he had the power 
to do under the instructions given him in 1846. 
He laid his measure before the colonists, and it 
proved, as many expected it would, a mere 
delusion a simple transcript, in all its leading 
features, of the old Colonial Office model, which, 
while it gives the outward semblance of self- 
government to the colonists, retains all the 
reality of power in the hands of the governor. 
Large public meetings were held at Wellington, 
Nelson, and Auckland ; the subject underwent 
a complete discussion during an agitation which 
lasted for upwards of three months, and it 
ended in the unanimous condemnation of Sir 
George's measure, and a suggestion of a form of 
constitution very different from it, which the 
colonists consider adapted to their circumstances. 
I will in the next section briefly notice the 
leading features of the measures proposed by 
Lord Grey, Sir George Grey, and the colonists. 

Parliamentary Further Papers, August, 1850, p. 104. 


It is not surprising if treatment such as the 
colonists have thus received from both the home 
and local government should create feelings of 
the greatest bitterness among them. There are 
few of them who do not think and feel strongly 
on such matters. Self-government has long been 
regarded by them as the cardinal point of colo- 
nial politics ; and the voluntary excitement of 
their dearest hopes, ending in a series of disap- 
pointments extending over a period of six 
years, is felt to be most cruel, and unworthy of 
the parent State. And when it is remembered 
that the colonists are men of energy, resolution 
-and enterprise, who have staked their all in the 
colony ; that many of them are persons of high 
intelligence and the best education, fellows and 
members of i the English, Scotch, or Foreign 
universities, respectable merchants, or sturdy 
yeomen and farmers, accustomed to exercise the 
franchise in the home country, or familiarized, 
by foreign travel with the institutions of other 
nations ; when it is considered that their 
earnest desire for self-government, and their con- 
viction of the fitness of the colony for it, have been 
thwarted by the opinion of one man of certainly 
no greater intelligence or position in the home 
country than many of them, and whose experience 
has been limited almost entirely to the narrow 
institutions of New Holland, and the still nar- 


rower interests of one of its settlements, when 
these factsare called to mind, we cannot help won- 
dering at the infatuation which perseveres in a 
course so certain to alienate the affections of 
what was at one time one of the most loyal and 
attached of the British colonies. A generous 
loyalty is the offspring of a free spirit, drawn by 
natural impulse towards the institutions under 
which it has sprung up and flourished ; it will 
never long exist in the breasts of Englishmen 
towards those whom they feel to be their oppres- 
sors. For a time they may distinguish between 
the Colonial Office and the Crown, but the gene- 
ral apathy of the home public, and even of some 
who call themselves colonial reformers, and the 
total inattention with which their urgent com- 
plaints are received, cannot fail in the long 
run to break the hearts of the colonists or sour 
their tempers towards the Old Country. Once 
implant such a feeling, and the experience of 
America teaches that a century will not eradi- 
cate it. 


I shall now give a brief outline of the four 
different constitutions which have been proposed 
for New Zealand : 

1. LOKD GREY'S. The colony is to be divided 


into provinces, of which, in the first instance, 
there are to be two. These provinces are to be 
subdivided into boroughs or municipalities. 
Each province and each borough will have its 
own legislative and executive government, while 
a general or federal government will comprise 
the whole. The working of the machinery com- 
mences from below ; the municipal institutions 
are first to be organized. These consist of a 
mayor, aldermen, and common councillors, 
elected on a franchise which is practically 
universal, viz., the occupation of any tenement 
within the borough for six months, by a male 
adult. Then follow the provincial institutions. 
These consist of an upper house and a lower ; 
the former nominated by, and holding office at 
the pleasure of the crown ; the latter elected by 
the mayor, aldermen, and common councillors 
of the several boroughs. Lastly, the general or 
federal institutions, consisting likewise of two 
chambers, the upper selected by the governor 
from the upper provincial houses ; the lower, 
elected from themselves by the members of the 
lower provincial houses. 

Such a constitution could scarcely be expected 
to work. It contains the elements of discord, 
and is based on principles altogether at variance 
with each other. The foundation of the whole 
is universal suffrage ; but the moment the first 


step has been taken on this principle, it is re- 
traced, and the power which was apparently 
vested in the people is found to be handed over 
to the mayors and aldermen. This system of 
electoral chambers, or double election, is not 
new it has been tried in Spain, and else- 
where, and always failed. Then the creation 
of a nominated upper house (very different from 
an hereditary upper house), and an elective lower 
one, is certain to lead to a conflict between the 
two, and a dead lock of the wheels of the govern- 
ment machine. 

Lord Grey also provides for the reservation of 
a civil list, the amount and application of which 
are to be in the discretion of the lords of the 
treasury in England. This is, of course, fatal to 
all pretences of its being a system of responsible 
government in the hands of the colonists. 

And lastly, the entire executive department 
of government, federal and provincial, is placed 
in the hands of the governor. 

2. GOVERNOR GREY'S constitution of 1848, 
now in force in the colony, adopts the provincial 
division of Lord Grey provides a single legisla- 
tive chamber in each province consisting solely 
of ex officio members of the government, and 
nominees appointed by the governor, and re- 
movable at the pleasure of the Colonial Office. 

A federal legislative chamber, consisting of 


one house, composed of the same elements as 
the provincial. A civil list is reserved in each 
province ; the amount and appropriation at the 
discretion of the lords of the British treasury, 
who, for the present, have fixed it at 60001. 
a-year, but which Governor Grey has recom- 
mended to be increased to 10,OOOZ. a sum which 
would absorb nearly one-half of the existing 
revenue, and in case of a subdivision of the 
provinces, and creation of smaller new ones, 
would for some years absorb the whole. The 
entire executive power, without check or control, 
is vested in the Governor. 

3. GOVERNOR GREY'S constitution, No. 2, stated 
by him to have been recommended to the home 
government in November, 1849.* The pro- 
vincial division as before. A single legislative 
chamber consisting of one-third nominees of 

* This is the date of Governor Grey's recantation 
of his despatch of the previous 22nd March. But his 
despatch of November, 1849, does not contain any re- 
commendation of a specific form of government such as 
he proposed in the colony, and said he had recommended 
at home ; nor can I find it elsewhere in the Parliamen- 
tary papers. It appears by the latest news from the 
colony, that he has been since promising the daily 
arrival of a double chamber constitution. Thus are the 
colonists doomed to further disappointments, for none 
such has been framed or gone out from home. 


the Governor, and two-thirds elected members ; 
the franchise for their election being, to be 
an adult male possessed of a freehold estate 
of the value of 501. ; a leasehold of the value 
of 101. a-year, or to be a householder in a 
town of the value of 10Z. a-year, in the country, 
of 51. a-year. The form of federal govern- 
ment is understood to have been recommended 
by the Governor on a similar basis, but with a 
qualification for membership. The civil list 
remains as before. 

The laws passed under the above constitutions 
(both Lord Grey's and the Governor's) are all 
subject to disallowance by the Governor, and by 
the Colonial office also, an absolute veto being 
reserved to both. 

And the waste lands of the colony are still to 
be administered by the crown, the colonists 
having no voice whatever in the matter. 

It is evident that the reservation of a civil list, 
making the executive government of the colony 
independent of the colonists, and the power of the 
Governor to appoint a third part of the legislative 
council, togetherwith the vetos reserved to the Go- 
vernor and Crown, deprive Governor Grey's pro- 
posed constitution of all the reality of self-govern- 
ment. It is true that, like Lord Grey's, it presents 
an external appearance of liberality by the crea- 
tion of an elective franchise almost universal. But 


what can the elected members do when they take 
their seats in the legislature ? They have only 
a small portion of the revenue subjected to their 
control, while they are liable to be thwarted by 
the nominated members; and if they succeed in 
spite of them in passing a law, it may be imme- 
diately disallowed by the Governor ; or, if he 
thinks proper to shift the responsibility off his 
own shoulders, it may be treated in the same 
manner by the Colonial Office. 

4. In short, none of these proposed constitu- 
tions provide a particle of self-government. The 
colonists seem to understand in what it consists. 
They demand the absolute control of their own 
revenue, and of the Executive Government. They 
insist on the exclusion of Government nominees 
from the legislature, and they will admit of no 
veto on their local legislation, except that of the 
governor exercised on his independent responsi- 
bility, and without the control of the Colonial 
Office. They have proposed a constitution, of 
which the following are the leading features : 
A legislature consisting of two chambers, both 
entirely elective. A franchise universal, except 
as far as limited by twelve months' residence. 
No qualification for membership in the lower 
house. Greater age and longer residence the 
qualification for membership in the upper. No 
civil list to be reserved. The judges to hold 


office, as in England, during good behaviour ; 
and not, as now, at the pleasure of the crown. 
The lower house to be elected for three years, 
the upper for five. No veto to be exercised by 
the Colonial Office, nor any interference by it 
permitted in any matter purely local, and not 
involving imperial interests. These are the 
principles they lay down. All questions of 
detail they propose to leave to the legislative 
councils when formed. Whether the form 
in which they propose to embody their prin- 
ciples is the best will of course admit of dis- 
cussion ; but it is certain that no form will 
satisfy them which does not provide for the 
development of the principle of self-government 
in all local matters whatsoever. They do not 
want to interfere in the affairs of the Imperial 
Government, but neither do they wish the impe- 
rial government to interfere with their local 
affairs. They conceive themselves quite as able 
to judge of the expediency of any law relating 
to local interests as the gentlemen in Downing- 
street who have never seen the colony, or their 
deputy the governor, who has no stake in it, 
can be. They imagine themselves as competent 
to judge of the merits of public officers, of the 
necessity of employing them, and the amount of 
remuneration to be paid for their services. 
They think that they will be likely to decide 


quite as well on all which concerns themselves, 
their prosperity and advancement, which they 
know and feel to have been most seriously 
affected and retarded by the acts of the Colonial 
Office. They contend, with honest indignation, 
as Lord Grey contended in 1845, that the 
natives are as safe in their hands as in those of 
Downing- street, to whose mismanagement they 
attribute, as Lord Grey attributed, all the mis- 
chiefs which have occurred in reference to 
them, as well as in great degree the probability 
of their extinction. Their principle in short is 
simply, Local government for local matters ; Im- 
perial for imperial only. 

Their suggestions are now before the home 
Government, and will doubtless be noticed 
whenever a measure is brought before parlia- 
ment on the subject. If the Colonial Secretary 
and Under Secretary were ever sincere in their 
talk about self government, they will bestow 
institutions at least substantially in accordance 
with the wishes of the colonists. If they adhere 
to the old Colonial office form, with its nominees, 
civil lists, dependent judges, vetos and so 
forth, they will merely by their legislation lay 
the foundation of years of agitation and dis- 

The leading feature to be secured is the com- 
plete localization of the institutions of govern- 


ment. I have pointed out in niy first chapter 
the separate and distinct character of the six 
several colonies of New Zealand. Physically 
and socially they have no more connexion than 
the early American colonies had. To ensure 
effective government, they should be politically 
as independent of each other. I do not mean 
by this that a duplicate of the Colonial Office 
establishments now existing at Auckland and 
Wellington should be bestowed upon each of 
the others, at a cost of some 10,000?. a-year in 
each, and with its share of local and home 
patronage. Such blisters would absorb every 
particle of moisture in the social body. But 
give each colony the frame-work of a simple 
elective legislative and executive power in all 
matters locally peculiar to itself; bind them 
together by a federal government in a few 
essential particulars, involving federal interests, 
(such as the regulation of customs, &c.) and 
leave them to work out the rest them- 
selves. This was evidently what the late Sir 
Robert Peel had in his mind when he con- 
cluded the great debate of 1845, and it is 
the only practical and permanent remedy for 
the chronic distempers of New Zealand. 

Delay will make the task more difficult every- 
day. Deprived of all legitimate political action, 
the colonists will become unfit for it. They are 




not now so capable of self-government as they 
were eight or ten years ago. They have for- 
gotten much that they knew, much that they 
had seen in the parent country; they have been 
brought in some instances under influences 
fatal to independence of character ; and some 
are even to be found who, casting aside all poli- 
tical thought, are willing to sit down con- 
tented with things as they are. 



IN a newly-settled country, the transactions relating 
to land are, proportionally, much more numerous 
than in an old one. Every day somebody is buying, 
selling, leasing, or otherwise dealing with that species 
of property. It is the savings' bank of the labouring 
man, in which he invests not only his earnings, but his 
whole heart and energies, as has been so well described 
by Mr. Mill and M. Michelet. Consequently many of 
the transactions relate to very small allotments, often 
not exceeding five acres, to which another five will be 
added when more wages have been saved. And hence 
(though in fact it is not less important to the class 
which owns large estates,) there results in a more evi- 
dent manner the importance of a cheap and expeditious 
method of transferring that species of property which, 
by a feudal form of expression, is still called 'real 

In New Zealand, the law relating to the ownership 
and transfer of land, is substantially the same as in 
England, though modified in some particulars (not very 
artistically) by ordinances of the local legislature, 
passed in 1842. . In the simple state of facts which 
titles exhibit in their earlier stages of existence, the in- 
conveniences of the 'prolix and intricate system' of 
English conveyancing, are comparatively little felt ; but 
when titles become more complex, and are derived from 
a more remote origin, there is no reason to expect that 
the evils which attend it in England will not be equally 
felt in New Zealand. It would be a most desirable 


thing if a system could be introduced at once which 
should obviate the possibility of such an event. 

A method of transfer by registration has been pro- 
posed by some law reformers in England, which, 
whether it be applicable or not in the old country, 
could, I think, be introduced without difficulty into the 
colony; which would ultimately save to the community 
nearly the whole of the immense cost incurred under 
the present English system ; and would place titles to 
land on a secure and transparent basis. I allude to 
the proposal to assimilate the transfer of landed pro- 
perty to that of Bank Stock. 

In any country in which this system is to be intro- 
duced, there must be prepared a set of maps or plans 
of such districts as it may be found convenient to divide 
the country into. On each of these must be delineated 
with accuracy, the general boundaries of every estate 
held as a separate tenement. Such plans would in an 
old country be costly, but in New Zealand they either 
exist already, or are in process of preparation wherever 
the country is being settled. 

The plans being prepared, the local registrar must 
open a set of books headed in accordance with them, 
in which a separate page must be appropriated to 
every estate numbered on the plan. Thus, to take 
Canterbury for an instance, there would be a volume for 
the Sumner district, another for the Wilberforce, a third 
for the Whately, or a more minute subdivision if neces- 
sary ; and under each of these heads a separate page 
would be allotted to section 1, another to section 2, 
and so on. When the registration commenced, every 
landowner would produce to the local registrar his 
land order, or other evidence of title, on inspection of 
which an entry would be made in the page appro- 
priated to his estate, in the register, and at the same 
time a certificate corresponding exactly with such 


entry be issued to him. It would be simply to this 
effect : 

' CANTERBURY, District of Sumner. 

' I hereby certify that A. B. is the registered owner 
of Section 1, Sumner District, containing fifty acres, or 

'Lyttelton, Jan. 1, 1852.' 

This registration being effected and the certificate 
issued, the owner of the estate in question would have 
as valid a title, and a far more easily transferable 
one, than if it rested on the united labours and 
ingenuity of all Lincoln's Inn. 

Suppose that he should wish to mortgage the land 
so registered, he would have nothing to do but to hand 
over his certificate to the party lending him the money, 
accompanied by a memorandum to this effect : 

* Memorandum. That I have borrowed of E. F., 
this day, 2001. t at 10 per cent., upon deposit of the 
annexed certificate. If not paid in full this day six 
months, E. F. may sell at discretion. 

1st May, 1852. (Signed) A. B. 

'Witness, G. H.' 

E. F. would take these documents to the registrar, 
who would make an entry of the transaction, under 
the proper head, and issue a certificate in conformity 
with it, destroying or filing the original certificate of 
ownership granted to A. B. When the mortgage is 
paid off, a discharge would be endorsed on the mort- 
gage certificate by the mortgagee; the mortgagor 
would present it to the registrar, who would cancel the 
mortgage entry in his books, and issue a new certifi- 
cate of simple ownership, or re-issue the original one, 
if filed. 

Similar entries and certificates would attend every 


lease, judgment, or other simple transaction, and sub- 
ordinate entries (in a separate book with references) 
might be made in case of sub-leases, or assignments of 
judgments and mortgages. As far as all the simple 
and ordinary transfers of property are concerned, this 
system could scarcely fail to work. No expense, ex- 
cept the registrar's fees, need be incurred ; no lawyer 
consulted ; no delay arising out of the preparation of 
abstracts and investigation of title need occur. The 
vendor or mortgagor would walk to the registrar's 
office, accompanied by the vendee or mortgagee, pay a 
few shillings to the registrar, and the largest estate in 
the colony might change hands in ten minutes, without 
trouble or risk. 

In the case of subdivisions of estates, they would 
have to be marked on the plan, and a subordinate" 
account opened under such heads as ' Sumner, section 
1, A,' * Sumner, section 1, B,' and so forth. 

With transactions of a more complicated nature, as 
marriage settlements, deeds of trust for creditors, &c., 
it has been questioned how far their nature should be 
noticed in the registry. The Bank of England in its 
transfer books declines to enter into such matters. 
It recognises the registered owner (the trustee) and 
him only. To him it pays the dividends, to his order 
transfers the stock. And no inconvenience seems to 
result. The responsibility of the trustee is secured by 
the Court of Chancery. There seems no reason, how- 
ever, why the registrar should not, if required, record 
fiduciary transactions so far as to give notice to parties 
dealing with trustees of their being such; but of course 
for purposes of transfer, treating them as absolute 

Objections are made to this system on a superficial 
examination of it, on the ground of the inherent differ- 
ence between land and money as subjects of transfer. 


Land, we are told, ' has no ear mark.' But, in fact, 
neither the land nor the money (in case of Bank Stock) 
are the subject of transfer, but only the title or evi- 
dence of ownership in each. Different as acres and 
sovereigns undoubtedly are, the title to them may be 
identical, the same will, settlement, or deed of gift. 
What operates as a valid transfer of that title, when 
stock is the subject matter, may equally operate when 
it is land. Give land its ' ear-mark' by means of a 
plan, and the title to it may be as easily transferred as 
that to Bank Stock. 

Other objections are, the risk of fire and forgery. 
They exist equally in respect of Bank Stock, and may 
be provided against to great extent by a metropolitan 
duplicate registry, and by several symbols, such as the 
issuers of scrip, &c., are familiar with. Insurance 
could be effected against either risk. 

The only remaining objections I have ever heard 
raised, are either such as exist equally to the present 
system of conveyancing, or such as are removable by 
legislation and administrative ingenuity. 

The system must not be confounded with any of the 
existing systems of registration. They only record 
transfers previously effected by deeds involving all the 
cost and uncertainty of which so many complaints are 
made. The method now proposed is to effect the trans- 
fer by means of the registry itself, not merely to make 
the registry a record of a previous transfer. It gets 
rid of all investigation of title ; the title being always 
'written up' to the present time on the face of the 
register, and it also obviates the necessity for the 
seventy or eighty skins or any other number of 
skins of parchment which, under the existing system, 
are necessary to pass the title from one person to 

The plan was proposed by me to the New Zealand 


Company in 1849, and by it laid before the Colonial 
Office, which printed it in the Slue Book for 1850, and 
sent it out to Governor Grey, declining to prescribe the 
enactment of measures of ' a strictly local character ;' 
though it does not appear more so than the Government 
bank and some others which have been prescribed 
from home. Nothing has been done about it in the 

The reader who wishes to examine the subject more 
closely than I can do in these pages, is referred to a 
' Letter to the Earl of Yarborough, by Henry Sewell, 
Esq.,' published by Butterworth, Fleet-street ; in which 
it is very fully and ably discussed ; and to an article in 
the Westminster Review for March, 1846. The prin- 
ciple is evidently approved by the writer of the leading 
articles in the Times of 28th June and 19th July last, 
though, in the present state of the public mind, he is 
contented to take as an instalment the imperfect mea- 
sure now before Parliament. 

It is surprising to me that some attempt should not 
have been made to secure the introduction of such 
system by the founders of the Canterbury Settlement. 
It is not too late now to commence it there. At pre- 
sent every acre of land in that settlement must be 
dealt with in conformity with Coke upon Lyttleton, 
only if at all modified by ordinances passed at Auck- 
land, where an entirely different system of colonization 





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