Historical Records of New Zealand
[Enclosure No. 2.] — Marquess Normanby To Mr. Attorney-general. — (No. 2.)
[Enclosure No. 2.]
Marquess Normanby To Mr. Attorney-general.
Circumstances have recently occurred which impose on Her Majesty’s Government the necessity of establishing some system for governing the numerous body of British subjects page 740 who have taken up their abode in the New Zealand Islands, and who are still repairing thither.
It is proposed to obtain from the chiefs of New Zealand the cession in sovereignty to the British Crown of the territories which have been, or which may be, acquired by Her Majesty’s subjects by proprietary titles, derived from the grants of the different chiefs. It is further desired, if possible, to add the sovereignty thus obtained to the Colony of New South Wales as a dependency, in the same manner as Norfolk Island, which is nearly equidistant from Port Jackson, and is now a dependency of the same colony. This arrangement, however, proceeds on the assumptions—first, that it is competent to the Crown thus to enlarge the limits of the colony; and secondly, that the authority of the Legislative Council established under the statute 9, Geo. IV, c. 83, would be extended to the settlements in New Zealand so soon as any such annexation should have been made. The accompanying draft of a new Commission to the Governor of New South Wales has been framed on these assumptions. I have to request that you and Mr. Solicitor-General would consider and report to me your joint opinion whether it would be lawful for Her Majesty to annex to the Colony of New South Wales any territory in New Zealand of which the sovereignty might be acquired by the British Crown, and whether the Legislative authority of the Governor and Council of New South Wales could then be exercised over the British subjects inhabitating that territory, and whether the accompanying draft is properly framed to give effect to these intentions.
I am, &c.,
Normanby.To Mr. Attorney-General. [A similar letter to Mr. Solicitor-General.]