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The Laws of England, Compiled and translated into the Māori language.


[i roto i te reo Māori]


The rules with respect to actions at Law in reference to Land will not be stated here, because the Maori tenure of land is quite different from that of the Pakeha. The Law of the Pakeha in reference to land, does not apply to land held under the Maori title. If, however, the Maori tenure were made similar to that of the Pakeha, the provisions of the Law of the Pakeha, in reference to land, might be brought into operation for the adjustment of those disputes which now arise among the Maori people, and cause strife between their tribes. If their lands were divided, and each individual had his own portion, and held it under the same kind of title as the Pakeha holds his land, that is, under a title which could be recognized by the Law, the Pakeha Law might then with propriety and advantage be brought to bear upon all cases of disputed ownership. It is a good and just Law, and there is no case of dispute about land among the Pakehas which cannot be properly adjusted by it. Possibly the Maori people may soon adopt the Pakeha mode of holding land, when the same Law will extend to both alike, and protect each individual land owner, of both races, in the peaceable enjoyment of his own estate.

We have here endeavoured to explain some of the principal features of the English Laws, and if the Maori reader makes himself master of what has been written, he will understand enough of the Law of the Pakeha to convince him of its justice, and of the advantages which must result from its being acknowledged and obeyed, by the Maori as well as the Pakeha.

There are many other matters respecting which rules have been laid down by the Law. There is the Law about Wills, or written documents, by which a man arranges who is to possess his land, or other property after his decease: there are also rules about many other matters. Those we shall leave for some future time. That which has been already explained may suffice for the present.