Report on the Petition of H. M. Rangitakaiwaho and 394 Others.
This is a petition from the Natives of the Ngatikahungunu tribe on the East Coast of the North Island. The petitioners desire that publicity should be given to the fact of their allegiance to the Queen, and their faithfulness to Her laws.
The petitioners allege that there ought to be an annual assembly of Native chiefs from all the tribes, to discuss subjects of interest to the Native race, and to suggest subjects to be brought up before the General Assembly.
They also express an opinion that the existing Maori Representation Act should be repealed, with a view of passing another Act largely increasing the number of Maori members in the House of Representatives.
They state that the operation of the Native Lands Act is bad, and pray that attempts to purchase land under that Act by officers of the Government should cease; and they further pray that a better Act may be passed.
I am directed to report as follows:—
That this petition involves questions of public policy, many of which have a very important bearing upon the interests of the Maori race.
The Committee suggest that the petition be printed and circulated, and they recommend it to the favourable consideration of the Legislature.