The Laws of England, Compiled and translated into the Māori language.
The power which Magistrates now have of permitting this offence to be atoned for by a payment, when committed by a Maori, is not intended to be permanent. It is an indulgence allowed for the present, while the Maori people are ignorant. It is not permitted in he case of a Pakeha, who, if he steal, must be imprisoned: money cannot be received as an atonement for his offence; he himself must be the atonement. (See Explanatory note to Compounding, 23.)
The thing taken must pass into the possession of another to constitute the offence of Larceny. If taken by a man's wife it is not a Larceny, as the husband and wife are one; the former possesses that which is in the possession of the latter.
If a thing be taken by mistake, under the impression that it might be lawfully taken; or taken with an intention to return it to the owner; such taking would not be Larceny. But it the taking were Larceny, though the thing stolen were restored, the taking would still be Larceny.