To the Honourable the Speaker of the Legislative Council of New Zealand.
Friend, accept our greeting. We send you these remarks relative to the rules in the Floatage of Timber Bill. We have nothing to say regarding those streams which have been sold to pakehas, as they have the entire control over their own properties, but do not permit the pakeha to wrest from us the control of the streams in our own possession.
It has been distinctly understood by the entire population of this island, that the Queen entered into a most solemn compact, at her Treaty of Waitangi, by the Proclamation that the rights and titles of lands, forests, streams and fishing grounds would thereby be permanently secured to the Maori people, and that the Queen would protect them for us and for our future descendants. This was Her law for New Zealand, so that our rights should not be. extinguished by the different nations inhabiting this globe.
We have, in consequence (of this treaty) written down these remarks; because, if this Bill be passed, rules will be imposed upon us which will annihilate our privileges granted to us by the Queen in the above-mentioned treaty.
Of course it is not possible to collect all the evils of this Bill into an ordinary letter like this, and therefore we leave you to carefully consider the evil consequences of water-dams, logs of timber grounding upon our cultivations or levelling our fences; the workmen trampling down our crops; the breaking of our weirs, or perhaps the sending of our eel-baskets adrift. Of course you are aware of these being our means of subsistence.
We do therefore beseech you to diligently look over these remarks which we have made.
From Renata Kawepo, and 16 others.