History of New Zealand. Vol. III.
Chapter XVII. — 1872–1874. — Mclean and The Maoris
Mclean and The Maoris.
Donald Mclean, meanwhile, was tempering to the chiefs the loss of their lands by urging them to cultivate flax. A few sentences will show how the Gael accommodated his phrase to the Maori. “Pleiades is high in the heavens, the warm season has arrived, and the thoughtful man considers it time to grow food to enable him to live, and to extend hospitality to strangers, lest he be as the thoughtless one who, when seasons of scarcity arrive, is in a very help less condition. In former days all kinds of food used by the Maoris—kumara, taro, and other things were largely cultivated; at present their cultivation has decreased. I therefore think that you should again be attentive lest they disappear utterly; and that the word of the proverb ought to be fulfilled, which says, ‘The fame of a man brave in war is uncertain, but the fame of a man diligent or brave in tilling the ground will always last.”’ He offered prizes for production of flax. “I know that you, the Maoris, are ignorant of the prices, &c., in England; therefore, I think that if you will again turn your attention to these industries you will obtain the benefit of prosperity.” The Maoris could not but reflect that former governments had destroyed their plantations and burned their dwellings.page 2
The burly Scotchman was not easily stirred from his policy of peace. A surveyor, Mr. Todd, was shot near Pirongia, in Waikato, by a Hau Hau, who took refuge at once in the king's territory. McLean determined to treat the outrage as agrarian rather than political. It was anomalous that no writ could run within Tawhiao's territory; but a broken pledge to him might entail many more murders. The king's pale recognized by the government could not be infringed. If the Hau Hau who committed the murder had hoped to embroil the races afresh he was disappointed. Even when a chief on the Thames River barred the electric telegraph, and stopped the conveyance of the mail between Auckland and Tauranga, McLean pursued his policy. It was condemned as dilatory by some fiery spirits. In March, 1871, 167 residents in Waikato petitioned the Governor. They asked him to establish a rival pale to that of the Maori king, under penalty of death to any Maori who might cross it. By this bold and firm policy, they said, peace would be secured. McLean was not to be diverted into a path which led to blood.
Sir G. Bowen visited the Middle Island early in 1871. When he returned to Auckland he was confronted by the eld difficulty of retaining Imperial sympathy without a symbol of Imperial strength. H.M.S. “Virago” was ordered to England in March, and until the “Rosario” could arrive in New Zealand in May no man-of-war could be placed there by Commodore Stirling, who was in H.M.S. “Clio” at Sydney. Instantly the New Zealand ministry declared that it was “very perilous” to withdraw the “Virago.” Mr. Fox telegraphed to the Governor that “the removal of the land forces, and the manner in which it was done, and Lord Granville's celebrated despatch, tried the loyalty of the colony very severely, and I consider it my duty to state, in the plainest possible manner, that should the colony arrive at the conclusion that the Imperial government intends to withdraw the countenance afforded by the presence of a naval force, small as it already is, it will be very difficult for many of the best affected to retain those feelings of attachment to the parent country which have hitherto been so strongly felt and warmly expressed.” Whether Fox ineluded page 3 himself amongst “the best affected,” after the “coasting welcome with which he had unclasped the tables of his thoughts” to a foreign consul, it might be hard to tell. But it was clear that many of Fox's supporters would be the “spoils of opportunity.” On the day on which Sir G. Bowen received Fox's telegram, he telegraphed to the commander of the “Virago”: “I request you to postpone the departure. I take the responsibility on myself. I will write to the commodore.” McLean separately urged the necessity of retaining a ship of war. “An imaginative and acute race like the Maori was,” he said, “quick in seizing upon any points of apparent neglect towards New Zealand on the part of the Imperial government.” The commander of the “Virago” agreed to wait till the arrival of another vessel, and copies of the correspondence were sent to England. The Earl of Kimberley told the Governor that, under the circumstances, the detention of the “Virago” was justified, but he regretted the tone of Mr. Fox's telegram, which that gentleman would on reflection see was ill-calculated to improve and strengthen the friendly relations which it was the earnest desire of Her Majesty's government to maintain. The Earl had shown readiness to retain ships of war in New Zealand, and was able to refer to correspondence in rebuking Fox's intemperance. It is fair to add that Mr. Fox regretted his expressions, and assured the Earl that nothing could be further from his intentions than to disturb the friendly relations between the Imperial and Colonial governments.
A singular turn of fortune about this time brought Mr. Fox into antagonism with his old opponent, Mr. Weld, who became Governor of Western Australia in 1869; the only colony in the Southern seas to which English prisoners had recently been transported, and which had then ceased to receive them.
Both Maoris and colonists had protested against Earl Grey's proposition to send convicts to New Zealand, and they had never been sent thither, although, amongst the troops of gold-seekers, quondam convicts had found their way. When, in order to rid itself of some refuse of the convict system in Tasmania, the government granted pardons enabling criminals, who had not undergone the page 4 whole term of their sentences, to migrate to other colonies, South Australia, Victoria, and New Zealand at various times passed Acts to keep out convicts. The New Zealand Act was passed in 1867. To the horror of Mr. Fox, eight convicts holding conditional pardons (i.e. pardons with a condition prohibiting a return to England) arrived at Port Lyttelton in 1871. Four of them were Fenians, and the New Zealand government had already been troubled at the goldfields by Fenian disturbers. Mr. Fox and many others were indignant with Mr. Weld for subjecting New Zealand to the pests thus cast upon her. There was commotion amongst ministers and in despatches. Four ordinary holders of conditional pardons were sentenced in the resident magistrate's court to be deported to the colony from whence they came. The Fenians were released on bail, on their undertaking to leave New Zealand. Mr. Gisborne, the Colonial Secretary, in an angry letter demanded from Western Australia the cost (£150) of sending back the four convicts, but it was discovered that no New Zealand law gave power to hold in custody the arrested convicts when the vessels containing them should reach waters outside the jurisdiction of the colony, and a claim could hardly be urged for payment by one colony to another for the doing of an illegal act. The convicts undertook to depart to New South Wales. Mr. Fox's remonstrance was transmitted to the Secretary of State, and Lord Kimberley assuaged the wrath of Fox and his friends by directing that the holders of conditional pardons should be barred in future from resorting to any Australian colony, and that a breach of the condition should entail forfeiture of the pardon.
The amicable relations which Lord Kimberley established fired the soul of the special envoy, Mr. Vogel. He scorned the lower rung of the ladder of promotion. Presuming on his position as a loan negotiator, accredited to the commercial capital of the world, he aspired to be made a knight, without passing through preliminary gradations. Even his New Zealand associates declared that to grant the request of so recent an interloper in New Zealand affairs would arouse mdignation. Eventually, but by steps, the New Zealand envoy obtained the coveted honour. It is fair to mention page 5 that he had never joined in disaffected movements, and had advocated a large view of the advantages which Imperial connection might confer upon colonies, and on this ground his private claims were urged upon the Colonial Office. It was true that his view was not a high one. He valued the connection with the mother-country because the colony might borrow money more easily there than elsewhere. But the Manchester school was in high repute in England, and its principles were not very different from his. His success in carrying his financial schemes in the New Zealand Assembly commended him to moneyed men in England. His reception by moneyed men in England impressed colonists with his importance. His colleagues put off the meeting of their Parliament in order that he might be present to expound his views.
When the relative strength of armed men under the hunted Te Kooti and the quiescent Titokowaru as compared with the Europeans and allied Maoris is considered, it might seem difficult to imagine that the helpless condition of the colonists had driven such men as Mr. Fox to countenance, and others to advocate, that separation from England which all men deemed it Earl Granville's desire to permit if not to procure. After Te Kooti had been brought to bay at Mahaetari—his prisoners being recaptured, his forces annihilated, and his “mana” swept away—he merely slunk from hole to hole to escape seizure by Ropata. Titokowaru was absolutely at peace, and it was not deemed necessary to take any measures against him. Yet when Mr. Fox emitted a spark of disaffection on the proposed removal of H.M.S. “Virago,” there were enrolled in New Zealand 4263 militia, 6568 volunteers, 723 armed constabulary, 4000 armed Maoris; total, 15,554. Of this large force less than 3000 (volunteers) were enrolled in the Middle Island. Nothing but the suddenness of Te Kooti's raids can explain the terror which his name inspired, and the loud wail with which, in speeches, despatches, and letters, the hard fate of the colonists was sighed to the Colonial Office. In addition to the Maoris formally enrolled there were others eager for the fray. Old Waka Nene, full of years, erect in stature, but undimmed in mind, passed away in the faith of the Christian, with his last page 6 words enjoining peace between the English and his tribe. Borne to his grave by some of the principal colonists, the pall bearers being his brother chiefs and colonial officials, the funeral obsequies were, by his own desire, conducted according to the liturgy of the Church of England. His death was deemed worthy of special notice in the Governor's speech to the Parliament, and both Houses concurred in lamenting the death of the great chief, whom the Council termed the unswerving friend of the colonists and the constant supporter of the authority of the Queen. His children had preceded him, and the silver goblet which the Queen had sent to him he bequeathed as an heirloom in the family of a niece married to an Englishman. In the churchyard of Kororarika1 the traveller may still see the following public memorial:—
Waka Nene's character, as described in these pages, is confirmed by the epitaph prepared by the government.
The hereditary lust for battle was not extinct in his tribe, and when the old man was removed, some fiery spirits desired to display their prowess. They demanded page 7 from the counsellors of King Tawhiao the surrender of the murderers of Mr. Todd, and they would have made refusal a ground for war. But McLean would not yield to such demands. His policy was accepted by all. The Assembly raised no questions about it. Those who had thirsted for revenge against Titokowaru and Te Kooti sullenly consented to leave things alone, trusting to the decimation by disease and death, which the rifle and civilization had ensured.
Two meetings were held by the Maoris—one at Parihaka on the west coast, where Te Whiti was rising into repute as a prophet; the other at the Maori king's residence, Te Kuiti. To both of them colonists and their Maori friends were invited, and Te Wheoro was treated with marked respect at Te Kuiti, where the Maori king no longer kept aloof, but mingled freely with his guests, as had been the custom before the rape of the Waitara in 1860.
When the Assembly met (Aug., 1871), Mr. Fox made more pronounced his past antagonism to Sir David Monro, who retired from the Speakership, himself proposing his successor, Mr. Dillon Bell. Sir D. Monro had been Speaker from 1861 to 1866, and again from 1866 until, at at the close of the session in 1870, he announced his intended retirement. He expected that Mr. Fox would then “invite the House to take the steps which are dictated by custom and courtesy,” but averred that he “was allowed to leave without a single word of thanks or any acknowledgment” of his services. Fox retorted that it was not usual for a ministry to recommend that their active opponents should be offered seats in the Legislative Council, and he did not doubt that Sir David Monro was opposed to the government policy. Sir David, irritated at the discourtesy shown, was elected to the House of Representatives, and proposed the new Speaker before he was himself unseated on petition. Then the representatives, feeling compunction for their late presiding genius, adopted an address to the Queen, on the motion of Mr. Fox, seconded by Mr. Stafford, praying that some mark of favour might be shown to Sir David Monro, and Sir G. Bowen was requested to intimate that the intention of the House would be met if a seat in the Legislative Council page 8 should be offered to Monro. Though Fox moved the address to comply with public courtesies, he thwarted its immediate fulfilment. An official memorandum by the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Gisborne, declared that though the government had moved the address, “they would not on any account recommend that Sir David Monro should be placed in the Council during the then session.”2
A dispute between the Houses threatened to arrest public business. Mr. Vogel carried through the Lower House, though not without opposition, a Payments to Provinces Bill, modifying certain provisions in the cognate Act of the previous year. The Council demurred to a clause which tended, under colour of repayment to the provinces of former outlay on public works, to endow provincial treasuries with additional funds. To divert to a new use a sum authorized under a Loan Act for specific purposes was a violation of the spirit of the Loan Act. The Council expunged the clause. The Representatives impugned the right of the Council to interfere with clauses relating to appropriation of money. The Council claimed a right to exercise its own judgment whether the clause violated the faith pledged by the Parliament. Each House gave reasons for insisting on its position. Conferences were held. Mr. Sewell, who had recently retired from the Fox ministry, held a seat in the Council, and with Major Richmond and Mr. Seymour was appointed to prepare the reasons of the Council. Mr. Fox, Mr. Vogel, and Mr. Stafford performed a like office for the Assembly. Towards the close of the dispute Mr. Sewell openly voted with the majority in the Council, while his late colleagues in the Lower House were active on the other side. It was easy to get rid of a colleague, even if he should be unwilling to go, but it was impossible to pass a measure against which there was a majority in the Council. Finally, the Council resolved that while insisting on its constitutional right to make the disputed amendments, it would abstain from exercising that right if the other House would engage:—1. To amend the Bill by restricting its operation to the financial year. 2. To refer the point in dispute to the law officers of the page 9 Crown in England, upon a case to be prepared by managers appointed by each House. Subject to these conditions, the Council would, on being made acquainted with the names of the managers appointed by the representatives, cease to insist upon its amendments. These terms were agreed to; the limitation clause was passed, and the case was transmitted to England. The law officers, Sir J. D. Coleridge and Sir G. Jessel, were categorically asked—Whether the Council was constitutionally justified in striking out the disputed clause, and whether the claims put forward by the Representatives were well founded, or what were the proper limitations of them? It was contended on the part of the Council that a Privileges Act of 1865, which gave equal privileges to members of each House, had conferred on the Council a power to deal with money bills in detail. It was retorted that if such a power had been acquired it ought to be taken away. The law officers in England held that the Council was not constitutionally justified in its amendments, and that the claims of the Representatives were well founded,3 … “subject of course to the limitation that the Legislative Council have a perfect right to reject any bill passed by the House of Representatives having for its object to vary the management or appropriation of money prescribed by an Act of the previous session.” As in 1870 so in 1871 there were many conferences on bills. In most cases it may be inferred from the yielding of the Representatives that they had been in the wrong; for men are loth to admit their error even when they see it. A difference on an amending Immigration and Public Works Bill was only solved after a free conference the day before the close of the session. In that case the Representatives adopted the advice of the conference. Certain amendments were made in the manner recommended by the Council, and the Lower House abandoned its disagreement on all questions not specially dealt with by the conference.
Mr. Sewell did not shrink from displaying his contempt for the Treasurer, and broke off his connection with the ministry before the session closed. A proposition to replace in the provincial treasuries funds already dedicated to page 10 railway purposes by the provinces, and to charge the cost of the railways to the general government, was one which he refused to propose to the Legislative Council. He would rather resign office. Fox could not dispense with Vogel's services, and Sewell resigned. Mr. Waterhouse (without a portfolio) undertook to represent the government in the Council. He resigned his position at the end of the session. Hard words were uttered in both Houses. Stafford could not control his anger against Vogel, whose help he had himself used in the expulsion of the Weld ministry, but to whom he had not given office, and who had crept into place under the wings of Fox and McLean when Stafford was expelled. Mr. Vogel's mission to England formed the staple of much discussion. He associated himself with Mr. Julyan (one of the Crown agents for the colonies) in negotiating the loan on the Stock Exchange at 5 per cent., and raised £1,200,000 at a rate of £95 16s. 9d. Contractors were found who undertook the construction of railways to an extent of £4,000,000. The contractors were guaranteed interest for their outlay, and the government was to have power to purchase the lines when made. Two forms of agreement were signed in England to enable the colonial government to exercise an option. Under one of them it was proposed to give the contractors three-quarters of an acre of land for every pound sterling expended by them in constructing railways and providing plant.
Though not present at the opening of the Assembly on the 14th Aug., Mr. Vogel made a financial statement in it on the 12th Sept. The revenue had fallen off. The invitation to the provinces to co-operate with the government in promoting immigration having produced no fruit, the government proposed to deprive the provinces of all control in the matter, and their policy was not repelled by the House. New Zealand seemed to have put her affairs into the hands of an agent, who, having contracted her debts, was to be allowed time to show whither they would lead her. Attempts were made to abolish the gold export duty, i.e., the trifling royalty collected at the Custom House on the treasures taken from the earth by every comer and goer. By large majorities the proposition was rejected on two occasions.page 11
The revenue was supplemented in 1871 by increased Customs and Stamp duties. Contractors were on the way to the colony to carry out the works for which loans had been raised, and when the session was concluded additions were made to the ministry. Mr. J. D. Ormond became Minister for Public Works, and was to reside in the Northern Island; Mr. Reeves became Resident Minister for the Middle Island. Mr. Vogel was looked upon as a kind of dictator, and to avoid inconvenient responsibility he generally travelled during vacations to England or to the neighbouring colonies, but always upon an errand which imposed upon New Zealand the cost of the journey.
A terrible shock, felt poignantly throughout the southern hemisphere, caused fervent addresses to the Queen. John Coleridge Patteson, Bishop of Melanesia, who ever modestly declared that he sat at the feet of Bishop Selwyn, the founder of his bishopric, was one of those rare mortals who seemed vouchsafed to the world to show that humanity, not altogether vainly, may strive to follow the precepts of the Divine Master. Able, but veiling all consciousness of talent under the simplicity of earnestness; yearning after his dark pupils as veritably and indeed carven in the image of God, and calling in their weakness for help from their more fortunate brothers; gentle, yet bold; considerate of others’ fears and prejudices, yet daringly committing himself to the surf and landing defenceless, save by his heroic bearing, amongst the wondering armed islanders who were accustomed to see the scoundrels of the Pacific loaded with weapons which they mercilessly abused—the young Bishop had won the affection and admiration of all who had seen or heard of him. He falsified the adage that no man can be a hero in the eyes of his valet; and proved in so doing how much higher is the type of the Christian than that of the man of the world.
There had sprung up an abomination under the name of labour traffic among the islands of the Pacific. The natives were nominally hired. In most cases it was ascertained that the terms of the so-called hiring were not understood by the hired. Three months was their idea when three years were in the bond. But fraudulent or deceptive contracts were not the only weapons resorted to. By artifice page 12 or force natives were kidnapped when they were unwilling to go with the robbers of men. When crowds of islanders gathered round a vessel heavy weights were dropped upon canoes to crush them, and the natives on rising to the surface were picked up, or sometimes shot in brutal sport if they seemed able to swim to the distant shore. On the sea, terror was the rule—murder the means to enforce it. Seventy lives were sacrificed by indiscriminate firing into the densely-crowded hold of a vessel in which the islanders were packed. The dead, and even the wounded, were cast into the sea when the white savages proceeded to put their vessel in order. One rascal simulated the appearance of the bishop by walking on the deck clad in bishop's garb. The islanders thus inveigled were seized, and their countrymen were enraged. At Nukapu, an island of the Swallow group, near Santa Cruz, the bishop and two companions, one of them a native missionary, were slain in revenge—and never perhaps was there more willing martyrdom. He had earnestly besought the government to restrain the traffic whose atrocities incarnadined the seas. He knew, and others dreaded, that in consequence of it, wherever he went, his life was in his hand. Both Houses in New Zealand declared that there was reason to believe that his death was owing to an infamous traffic, which was a reproach and scandal to the British name. Both Houses implored the Queen to take some steps to redress the wrongs of the islanders, and redeem the character of her subjects.
The addresses were graciously received, and a bill was laid before Parliament to check the horrors which, under a smooth name, and sometimes under the flag of England, vied with the black deeds of the slave-trade. The Admiralty was set in motion, and Commodore Stirling was instructed to be vigorous in repressing “the abominable traffic” which had grown up. A vessel of war was requisite at New Zealand, and another at Cape York; but the other four vessels under the Commodore might be employed in the Pacific, and he was empowered to build some small craft to aid them. The cry of outraged humanity had reached the throne. The law enacted was useful, but the one thing needful, though pressed upon the official mind, was not page 13 accorded. If every vessel proved to contain a South Sea Islander, placed there without his or her consent, had been by that fact confiscate, the labour of the Commodore would have been light, and the traffic in mankind would have been stayed. It was urged upon the Colonial Office that there could be no nobler task than to obtain the aid of the United States, of France, and of other nations in crushing the nefarious trade in which rascals of all countries were engaged. Mutual permission of search in the Pacific would speedily clear the seas of the ruffians. But a proposition so simple did not commend itself to diplomatic minds.
New Zealand laboured in troubled waters as to the relation of provincial and general governments. The subject was discussed more than once, but remained to harass future Parliaments. The Native Lands Court was taken into consideration, and Sir W. Martin was consulted, but no legislation was arrived at during the session. The Maori members were not idle. In August, Hori Kerei Taiaroa carried a resolution that there should be a council of native chiefs for the Middle Island, charged to devise means for the better administration of lands (whether held by Maoris under Crown grants or not) and of Maori property. Mr. McLean supported Taiaroa's proposal. In October, the same chief carried, by forty-one votes against fifteen, a resolution—That all bills or parts of bills specially referring to the native race be translated into the Maori language before discussion, and referred to the committee on Native Affairs. One member, Mr. Reynolds, said that the motion pandered too much to the Maori members. Karaitiana Takamoana raised a larger question. On his motion it was resolved that it was desirable that the native race should be represented in the other branch of the Legislature. He moved further—that a Maori should be appointed a member of the Executive Council to advise with the Minister for Native Affairs; that the Maori Representation Act should be amended, and the number of Maori members “increased to twelve, giving three Maori Representatives to each of the present Maori electoral districts; and that Europeans as well as Maoris should have the privilege of voting at election of Maori members of the page 14 House of Representatives.” The propositions were rejected without a division. Katene, stimulated by the example of his colleagues, carried a resolution that “the government be requested to send down to this House a measure by which a runanga will be granted to the districts of the Bay of Islands and Mongonui; the object of such board to be the promotion of public works, education, the carrying out of law and order, &c. &c.” Nor was the success of the Maori orators due to contemptuous pity. The Governor reported that he had been assured by Mr. Fox that undoubtedly the best speeches of the session were those of the Maori members. Mr. Sewell declared that the Maori members contrasted favourably with many whom the colonists were pleased to call the superior race. Mr. McLean was in favour of the proposition to give to the Maoris a voice in the Legislative Council. Karaitiana Takamoana's motion was carried on the 15th Sept. On the 29th, Mr. Mantell moved in the Council that it was desirable that the Council should be informed of the views of the government on the subject, but after discussion the motion was withdrawn. Not only by Mr. Mantell and Mr. Sewell were kindly feelings expressed in debate in the Council. Colonel Russell did not scruple to say that the peace negotiated with the Maori king was due to the Maori members, through whom the first communications with the king-party had been made.
The new Maori members in the Representative House were the theme of universal praise in both Chambers.4 In the prorogation speech the Governor said that the high intelligence of the Maori members, and the judicious manner in which they exercised their functions, fully justified the page 15 recommendation of the Representatives, and that he would consult his advisers as to the best means of giving it effect. A Bill to Amend and Consolidate the Laws relating to the Native Land Court passed the Legislative Council, and was sent to the other House on the 20th Oct. There it was not even read a second time; yet the subject had been earnestly considered by McLean and his colleagues. The Native Lands Act of 1865 had been amended in 1867, in 1868, and in 1869, but yet there were causes for discontent. The certificates issued were deceptive. The original Act of 1865 required that the native owners should be ascertained, but a proviso that “no certificate should be ordered to more than ten persons” was alleged to have deprived of their rights large numbers of proprietors. The definition of the estates or interests of the natives was left so vague, in the form of grant prescribed by the amending Act of 1869, that litigation, if not absolute warfare, would be engendered. Moreover, a single native could call upon the court to deal with a claim to land which nine out of ten of his tribe were unwilling to sell. They could not take refuge in apathy. They had to risk loss of land, or accept the burthen of litigation in a court whose fees were complained of as excessive.
Karaitiana Takamoana, of Hawke's Bay, visited Auckland in Jan., 1870, to lay the Maori grievances before Donald McLean. He had detected faults which had escaped notice. In 1870 McLean consulted many persons, and amongst them was Sir William Martin, who drew up in Jan., 1871, a careful statement of the amendments required. McLean requested Sir W. Martin to draft the necessary clauses, and the work enlarged under his hand until, in July, 1871, a draft bill was prepared which elicited from Mr. McLean the “best thanks of the government for the arduous labour” undertaken. A separate bill dealt with the native reserves, the income from which Sir W. Martin considered it proper to administer through the Native Department, and not in connection with the Land Court. Mr. Fenton, the chief judge of the Land Court, did not agree with all Sir W. Martin's proposals. His assistant judges furnished reports, which, with his own comments, were forwarded to the government.page 16
Colonel Haultain reported upon the whole question. After the surrender by the Crown, in 1865, of its exclusive powers as to sale of land, to the end of 1870, the Land Court had heard 3489 applications for investigation of title in the North Island. Certificates or Crown grants had been issued in 2619 cases for an area exceeding 2,400,000 acres. “The natives are almost universally opposed to the employment of English counsel in contested cases. They say that these know nothing of Maori law and custom, and only protract the sittings and increase the expenses. If one side employs them the other must do the same; but they would like to see them altogether excluded from practising in the court.” So wrote Colonel Haultain. Another of his opinions was significant. “The Maoris have always been loth to part with their fertile land, and it is chiefly by confiscation that we have obtained any large tracts of really good land.” Many chiefs wrote earnestly to Colonel Haultain. Te Wheoro said it would be better if “lawyers’ agents and interpreters were disallowed in the land courts, as they make so many expenses. The money goes, and so does the land. Behold! there is the survey—one; the court—two; the lawyers—three; the interpreters—four; the Crown grant—five; and the giving of the land to the other side. The burden of this is great. Nothing could be objected if it was only the court and its interpreter.” Weary of forensic ways, he urged that a Maori runanga should settle all land disputes, and that the magistrates in their different districts should carry out the decisions of the runanga. An Arawa (an assessor in the Native Land Court) argued that the Acts relating to native lands should be translated. “I have never seen a translation of the Acts of 1865, though I have been in the chief judge's office for three years. I myself paid for printing, at the Bishop's press, some portions of the Acts. The natives would gladly read the Acts if they could get them, and there are intelligent men amongst them, well able to explain the Acts to others.” The Maoris highly prized the digest of criminal law prepared by Sir William Martin, and a summary of the Land Acts should be translated for their behoof. He also would banish lawyers. “It was to be expected that they would prolong cases in order to get more fees.”page 17
In the General Assembly (Nov., 1871), Parata declared that much dissatisfaction existed with regard to adjudication by the Land Court in cases where there had not been actual survey. The Maoris had been informed that a plan ought to be deposited with the court before the case could be tried. How then stood the matter? Was there a law passed by the House, and kept back from the Maoris? Mr. McLean pointed out that there was a clause in the Act of 1865 authorizing new trials without survey. He confessed that in a matter affecting tribal rights the natives ought to have been made acquainted with the law in their own language, and that they had not been so made acquainted with it.
Though the government thanked Sir W. Martin, they did not adopt his draft bill. Mr. Fenton drew another which they preferred. Mr. Sewell introduced it, and took occasion to speak of Mr. Mantell thus: “I say now what I have always said, that if there is one person to whom the colony is more deeply indebted than to another for having brought about a better state of things between the two races through the working of the Native Land Court, that person is Mr, Mantell.”5 On one point, Sir W. Martin, Judge Fenton, and Mr. Sewell agreed, viz., that in order to prevent the sanctioned mischief created by facilities given to an individual to bring his tribe into litigation without their consent, it was essential to provide that there should be a thorough investigation before any title could be brought under the operation of the court. After long debates the bill was passed in the Council, but the Lower House declined to discuss it.
A Committee 011 Native Affairs, to which Taiaroa's resolution referred all clauses relating to the Maoris, was appointed. There were fourteen members, including Mr. McLean, and the four Maori chiefs. Five formed a page 18 quorum, and they were empowered to send for persons or papers. Petitions from Maoris were referred to and reported on by them.
Ere long the old chief, Te Rangitake, gave convincing proof of his trust in the policy which McLean directed, and in which Maori chiefs had a voice. He had accepted the proffered peace in his retirement in the forests at the rear of Mount Egmont in 1864, but held aloof from the settlers. He refused to countenance Titokowaru, but would not associate with those who had robbed him of his land, destroyed his property, and slain his people. When Donald McLean became a minister in 1869, he lost no time in apprizing Te Rangitake that land at Waitara should be reserved for his use, but the old chief still held aloof. In 1872, his scruples were overcome. McLean was at Taranaki when Te Rangitake, after twelve years of estrangement, mingled again with Europeans. With four hundred followers he marched to Taranaki, where a repast was prepared for them at the Native Office. European inhabitants crowded to see the warrior whom some remembered, and all knew by repute. Children were allowed to enter the room in which he sat, and a bystander reported: “The old chief seemed to enjoy the levée, for as each batch of children came in, he laughed with delight as he took their tiny hands in his, and kindly shook them.” Mr. McLean pointed out the Maori significance of the speech, that when a chief trod in friendliness the path lately pursued by warparties, hostility was past, and even the thought of revenge for the dead was put away. Thus did Te Rangitake, denounced by the Governor's advisers in 1860 as “an essential savage,” and robbed of his land, return in 1872 with the warm approbation of another adviser. In the theatre of his wrongs the children of his persecutors came round him with affection, and by the “touch of nature which makes the whole world kin,” as by the wand of a magician the strifes of the past were quelled—for a time. There were none to carp at the reconciliation, for all men knew that in the past Te Rangitake ever spared the weak and made war only against the proud.
Titokowaru emerged from his forest haunts about the same time. Mr. McLean let him know that he would not page 19 be molested if peaceful, and with about 30 followers he returned to the neighbourhood of Patea, the scene of his successes against Colonels McDonell and Whitmore, and of his discomfiture by Rangihiwinui and the men of Wanganui. There was less satisfaction at his implied pardon, but not much was said about it. Te Kooti was compelled to learn that a policy of peace was adopted, and that his day was past. Ropata Wahawaha's myrmidons were scouring the mountain fastnesses in which Te Kooti had lurked, and the passes from the Uriwera territory to Waikato were guarded by numerous bands. Nevertheless, he eluded them, and in June, 1872, it was reported that, “in spite of the various parties watching for him,” he passed with less than a score of companions to the sanctuary which Rewi had stipulated for, and Donald McLean had agreed to, at Te Kuiti in 1869. The government, though vexed at the escape of the marauder, whom it had hoped to bring, like Kereopa, to the gallows, did not commit a breach of the peace they had made. On the whole, everything seemed prosperous. There was a large debt to be paid in future; but thoughts of payment are put off like thoughts of death. Moreover, in the case of a State, not the borrower, but a successor pays. The first mixes the potion which the last must drink.
To carry out the authorized public works immigration was actively promoted. Dr. Featherston, the Agent-General, was instructed to send out, in 1872, 8000 adults. He had arranged in 1871 for the deportation of 6000 Germans and Scandinavians. Moreover, the railway contractors were to procure labourers, and the agent was to provide passages for them to an extent, including wives and families, of 5000 persons. There was in London an Emigrant and Colonists’ Aid Corporation, of which the Duke of Manchester was chairman. An agent visited New Zealand and purchased for the corporation more than 100,000 acres of land in the Manawatu district, undertaking to convey not less than 2000 statute adults to the island within a limited period. Some Norwegian immigrants were placed, on their arrival, at Palmerston, on the Manawatu river. Twenty acres were reserved for each family for two years, with a right of purchase. On purchase of them within 12 months 20 page 20 other acres were similarly reserved for purchase, so that in a short time each family might become possessed of 40 acres at the rate of £1 an acre. Swedes and Danes followed the Norwegians, and an official report6 stated that “their fears of their future neighbours were much lessened” by a present of potatoes and kind speeches from a Maori chief. Tidings of the illness of the Prince of Wales reached the colony early in 1872, and the general joy at his recovery gave occasion to the Governor to report that the loyal sympathy displayed by Englishmen and Maoris could not be surpassed in any portion of the empire. Prayers and thanksgivings were offered in the churches. At a crowded theatre the audience rose as one man and sang together “God save the Queen” and “God bless the Prince of Wales,” on the day when the recovery was announced. It was now known that in the colony, as in England, a few disloyal busy-bodies had put forward their own ideas as those of the public, and had been believed by the mass of mankind which is incapable of weighing evidence. An English newspaper which had deplored the manifest decay of loyalty in England was startled by the outburst of national grief at the illness of the heir to the throne. Its morality had been to study signs and to prophesy the immediate future. It had erred. It avenged itself by declaring, not that it had erred, but that “the community was astonished at its own profound emotion.” It professed to believe that Englishmen had been disloyal rather than its scribe mistaken. If men could appease their consciences by casting imputations on others, the world would cheaply become moral. A day of public thanksgiving was appointed in New Zealand. Services were held in all the churches on the 9th May, and the people responded to the proclamation by the government.
After a tour through the province of Marlborough, Sir G. Bowen started on an expedition to Lake Taupo—the abode of Poihipi Tukeraingi, who once stood almost alone in that central spot to resist the tenets of the Hau Haus. He met the Governor with oriental welcome at Tapuaeharuru (“resounding footsteps”), where hollow reverberations warn page 21 the traveller how thin is the crust which separates him from the subterranean fires which rage continually from Whakare to Tongariro. He told how great had been the troubles of the loyal… “Still a few of us were ever true to the Queen: and, like the Horormatangi (sea-god) that dwelt of yore in Lake Taupo, and swallowed the evil monsters of the deep, we have now destroyed our enemies.” The Governor unprophetically told him that the Queen would ever maintain inviolate the treaty of Waitangi which Poihipi had signed. The Hau Hau flag had disappeared in the district, and the Union Jack met the eye. Hundreds of men once active or aidant in rebellion were at work to subdue the land by making roads, and Topia Turoa, the companion of Rangihiwinui in his march from Wanganui, welcomed the Governor at Tokano, at the south end of the great lake. Maoris were working for wages on the roads. At their head was Ngatote, a brother of Kereopa who had recently been executed. The loyal Arawa were everywhere eager to obtain good schools and roads. At Tauranga the Ngaiterangi chiefs, some of whom had fought at the Gate Pah, were as cordial as the Arawa. Two of them volunteered to escort the Governor through the forest from Kati Kati to Ohinemuri on the Thames. At Ohinemuri the Governor met Mr. McLean. Sir G. Bowen was anxious for an interview with the Maori king, but McLean's negotiations were resultless. The Governor's tour on the whole was described by McLean as “productive of the most beneficial results;” but the secluded king maintained a boundary which he would not pass to see the Governor, and which the Governor could not cross to look at him. The attempt seemed so easy and McLean's triumphs had been so great that the Governor could scarcely curb his vexation. Mr. McLean essayed to pacify him by declaring that “owing to various tribal differences the interview is likely to be deferred, and it is deemed advisable that no impatience should be displayed to hasten the negotiations.” There was a lamentable tone of exultation in some documents of the period, at a rumour that Tawhiao had given way to habits of intoxication—a tone which can be accounted for, but not justified, by disappointment at his obstinate seclusion. While the Governor was thus employed, page 22 the Treasurer was abroad at the expense of the colony. Between the end of 1869 and the beginning of 1872 his travelling expenses were £3825, which he charged against various funds in round sums, and in which he did not affect to be economical. The New Zealand ass was saddled, and had to bear its burden.
A despatch from Lord Kimberley (1872) gives significance to the Naturalization Act of 1870, and its tendency to undermine reverence for the title of an Englishman, and the love of country on which that reverence was founded. In 1871 a convention, under Mr. Gladstone's and Earl Granville's auspices, was entered into at Washington to empower Englishmen and citizens of the United States mutually to part with and reassume their nationality, as a man puts on and off an easy glove. “I, A. B., being originally a citizen (of the U.S.) [or a British subject], and having become naturalized within the dominions … do hereby renounce my naturalization as … and declare that it is my desire to resume my nationality as …” This glib transfer could be made before the clerk of a court or before a consul. It was hardly to be wondered at that the original Act failed to clothe such a transaction with sufficient legality, and a new statute was passed in 1872 to remove all doubts. The pupil of Peel had become the Coryphaeus of the Manchester school in a sense never countenanced by his master. The decay of the republic was at hand when Roman freedom could be gained without desert. But while Rome remained great the words Civis Romanus sum never ceased to thrill the bosom of a Roman with a pride which the labours of Mr. Gladstone and Earl Granville tended to banish from the breast of an Englishman.
A significant meeting of Maori chiefs took place on the east coast. Ropata Wahawaha had been kind to captives made in his recent campaigns. To retain them amongst his own people until peace could be established was his aim. He called an assembly of the tribes, at his place, Mataahu. More than 3000 Maoris met, and under his guidance made friendly orations, hoisted the Union Jack in token of their loyalty to the Queen, and celebrated the rejection of Hau Hauism and a hearty return to Christianity. page 23 “That, Sir,” said McLean in the House, “is the sequel to those operations which have been carried on under Major Ropata.”
A Maori clergymen, Rev. Mohi Turei, rendered thanks, and asked “for the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord, that we may show forth Thy praise and declare Thy goodness, not with our lips only, but with our whole hearts, and turn unto Thee, and walk before Thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord…” Ropata, wearing the sword presented to him by the Queen, exhorted the tribes to “pray always, in prosperity and in adversity, to be the children of Christ, as the first duty, and to be loyal to the Queen. God preserve the Queen and you (the people), and take you under His Divine protection.”
When the Assembly met (July, 1872), the Governor congratulated it on peace, prosperity, and public works. The government had no representative in the Council. The committee appointed to prepare the Address regretted that the Governor had not been “advised according to constitutional usage” to secure a representative. The omission was especially notable, because new members had recently been appointed. The attempt to dispense with a responsible organ of the government in a legislative chamber was not persisted in, and Mr. Hall and Mr. Miller were appointed to represent the government in the Upper House. Mr. Hall's first appearance as a minister had been with Fox in 1856. Stafford then cut short Fox's term of office. Ten years afterwards Hall joined Stafford. Fox turned Stafford out in 1869, and in 1872 Hall again cast in his fortune with Fox. Parata asked why the government had done nothing towards compliance with the resolution of the House, in 1871, that it was desirable that the native race should be represented in the Council. McLean announced that measures would be taken to call two members to the Council. Nearly three months elapsed, two changes of ministry had been made, and the session was almost at an end before the promise was fulfilled. Wi Tako Ngatata from the west, and Mokena Kohere from the east, were then (11th Oct.) appointed. The first had laid the English under page 24 obligation by checking Hau Hauism at a critical time. The second had risked his life in campaign after campaign, and had received a sword from the Queen. Sir David Monro, whose appointment to the Upper House had been looked for as an act of courtesy, had found a constituency at Waikouati, and sat again amongst the Representatives. At his election he had denounced the policy of the government as “reckless, extravagant, and unstatesmanlike.”
The manner in which the ministry made and annulled ministerial offices induced Mr. Waterhouse to move in the Council that it was opposed to constitutional usage. The burning question of provincial and central powers had been raised, but evaded, in 1870 and 1871. Mr. Macandrew's proposition, in the latter year, to substitute, inter alia, one provincial government in the Middle Island for the several existing provinces, and to establish a uniform system of dealing with land throughout the colony, had been defeated by 41 votes against 22. In the same session Mr. Vogel had promised that the government would, in 1872, introduce a measure to deal with the whole subject. Mr. Gillies, member for Auckland City West, and Superintendent of the Auckland Province, asked for the fulfilment of the promise. Mr. Vogel said that the government were of opinion that “it would not be feasible to take from the provincial governments their present powers without throwing so much work on the central government as would break it down… We are not in any degree approaching the termination of provincial legislative powers. I think it quite possible that we shall see—perhaps after the lapse of considerable time—the establishment of a single province in each island, exercising larger provincial powers than those which at present exist.” The question was evaded without a division, but a future measure was hinted at. Supporters might be lost in 1872 if its provisions should not prove acceptable, and while the bill could be renewed there was no desire to meet its obligations. But no caution could ward off a blow even in 1872. Mr. Stafford moved hostile resolutions. Some effect was produced by a member for Hokitika, who showed how the Treasury had subsidized petty partisan newspapers by advertisements, and squandered most money where least result was obtained. Other favours there were, secret, page 25 sweet, and precious, which Mr. Vogel justified on the ground that, as an old member of the fourth estate, he knew they would be agreeable to many newspaper proprietors. Corruption was hinted at by Mr. Reid, the member for Taieri. “Has the action of the government with regard to appointments been satisfactory? My reply is that they have not, and it would be interesting for us to know how many appointments are yet to follow, especially for members of this House. I may say that there are rumours about the lobbies that appointments are to be given to honourable members, but I do not know that they would condescend to accept them.”
Mr. Vogel, to whom the manœuvres complained of were chiefly imputed, showed little sense of the degradation they represented, but he was apparently heard without impatience:—“I should like to know whether entering this House is to be considered as a disqualification from holding office in the Civil Service of this colony… We are carrying the principle to a ridiculous extent if we exclude persons who have been members from receiving appointments…” “The statements which have been made are not reflections upon the government; they are reflections upon honourable members. If there are corruptors there must also be corrupted, and when we are charged with corruption it is also a charge against members of this House that they are capable of being corrupted.” By this process it might be argued that when the physician of Pyrrhus offered to poison his master, Fabricius became corrupt although he exposed the corruption of his tempter; or that when Fabricius refused to be dishonourable the physician ceased to be corrupt.7
Mr. Fox could hardly rely on such a defence, and early in the debate McLean was put forward. His aid had enabled Fox to oust the Stafford ministry in 1869. Confidence in him gave assurance of peace. His speech was a running page 26 commentary on his dealings with the natives. The Board of Advice at Taranaki, which comprised Maori chiefs; the peace with the Maori king; the campaigns of Rangihiwinui and Ropata; the civil service then being rendered by Rangihiwinui, “as faithful and good an officer as there is in the country;” the intention of the government to avail themselves still more of Maori advice; the special intention “to restore to Te Rangitake a portion of his ancestral property;” the prospect of a general amnesty;—formed the burden of his address. At its close he revealed a startling proof of the confidence reposed in himself. A suggestion had been made that he should take office in the new government on the downfall of Mr. Fox, but he had stated that he should decline to do so. Yet, after this public statement members expressed a hope that McLean's scruples would be overcome. One member declared: “If the government are saved upon this question it will be through the reputation of Mr. McLean.” They were not saved. By forty votes against thirty-seven, Mr. Stafford's first resolution (on administration) was carried. The four Maori members were equally divided, for and against the resolution. Mr. Vogel probably thought them stupid. A ministry hung in the balance, and yet these men talked about peace, patriotism, and justice. Sir G. Bowen wrote that it was reported that the chiefs said that as both sides were profuse in expressions of friendliness they determined not to be unfriendly to either, but to allow the dispute to be settled by the Pakeha votes. Fox resigned (Sept., 1872) and Stafford formed a ministry. Mr. Waterhouse declined to take office. Mr. Sewell became Colonial Secretary. Mr. Fitzherbert, Mr. Gillies (Treasurer), Mr. Reid, and Mr. Curtis were his colleagues. Stafford announced that the government would maintain the unity of the colony with the seat of government at Wellington. He enumerated the measures which he would proceed with before the recess. But he was not fated to reach that haven of rest. His assumption of responsibility for native affairs was not calculated to breed confidence. In 1860 he concurred in the rape of the Waitara; and in later times he had allowed Col. McDonell so to deal with a few cases of horse-stealing as to rouse Titokowaru page 27 to resistance. He had transported (without warrant, and untried) Te Kooti, who had never been a rebel. He had converted the escape of his captive into a dreary catalogue of murders, which only the gallantry of Rangihiwinui and Ropata and the prudence of McLean had been able to crush. He had insulted and dismissed the man on whom Maoris looked as their friend. To secure the aid of that man he was now willing to arrange that if McLean would, on the fall of his colleagues, come over to the camp of the victors, McLean should retain the office for which all men thought him fitted. Failing to secure McLean he would himself be Native Minister, and deal with Maoris through local officers. Not to such hands would either colonists or natives submit themselves. Sir G. Bowen lost no time in soliciting for Mr. Fox, Mr. Vogel, Mr. McLean, and another outgoing minister, permission to retain the title of “honourable”8 after their retirement.
Eruera Patuone, the brother of Waka Nene, died a few days after Stafford became minister. He announced that the government would accord a public funeral to one of the most faithful allies they ever had. McLean told the House that in anticipation of the old man's death he had issued the necessary instructions before vacating office. Captain Wynyard, son-in-law of the deceased chief (and son of page 28 General Wynyard), had died in New Zealand, and Patuone was to be buried by the side of his white son-in-law. On the same day (19th Sept.) that this tribute to a faithful ally was promised, Taiaroa, who had voted against the downfall of McLean, put a crucial question to Stafford. Would the government consent to the appointment of a committee to inquire into the unfulfilled promises in the Middle Island; or would they inquire into the matter? Stafford was scarcely ingenuous in reply. He did not object to the committee, but had no power over the order in which notices were brought before the House. McLean thought the reply unsatisfactory. Precedence could easily be given to Taiaroa's motion. Stafford took the hint. Precedence was given, and Taiaroa carried his motion without a division.
Another Maori matter cropped up. Tauroa, a chief of the Pakakohi hapu on the west coast, had joined Titokowaru. Tauroa's friends averred that he was compelled to do so, and Colonel Whitmore stated in the Legislative Council that Titokowaru “sent parties to bring Tauroa and his hapu to his camp by force.” When Titokowaru was routed and Rangihiwinui was pursuing Te Kooti, the resident magistrate at Patea and Major Noake (commanding the local force, nearly 300 (composed principally of Maoris) marched to the abode of Tauroa, who had refused to act with Titokowaru any longer. Tauroa had fought against the English in 1866, and his tribal rights had then been declared confiscated, but Mr. Parris had afterwards permitted him to settle on a block of land, on which he was living peaceably when Titokowaru compelled or persuaded him to take arms. Major Noake with his small army found Tauroa willing to submit to the Queen. The resident magistrate reported: “Tauroa does not plead anything in extenuation, and has thrown himself entirely on the mercy of the government.” With 122 others the chief surrendered, and was handed over to the Ngatiporou allies, who were serving in the forces on the west coast. But such chivalrous treatment was brief. Tauroa was sent to Wellington, convicted of high treason, and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. The sentence was commuted to page 29 three years’ imprisonment.9 Captain Fraser declared that— “The self-denial of the chief, and his affectionate attention to his people during their incarceration, won for him the respect of everyone connected with the gaol, and (Captain Fraser) was so favourably impressed with his conduct that he told him that when the time came for his delivery from the gaol, he would do all in his power to obtain for him the restoration of a portion of his lands.” Rangihiwinui and others pleaded for their countrymen. At last Donald McLean appeared, and Tauroa with the remnant of his hapu was taken back to Wellington in 1872. Then new difficulties arose. The white settlers at Patea resented the proposal that Tauroa should return to the land of his birth. McLean feared it would be injudicious to restore him at once. The remigration was arrested. The natives were told that they might quarter themselves on their countrymen anywhere except at their homes. McLean hoped to allot land to them out of Tauroa's hereditary possessions, when discontent amongst the settlers had subsided. How the discontent might manifest itself was adumbrated by a paragraph which at this time was quoted by Mr. Mantell in the Council, from a newspaper. “We are assured, however, that if there is any further interference the Maoris page 30 will be shot down like dogs, as a number of determined men are armed and ready to act. This is the best argument in such a case with savages, if the Native Agents and Native Office cannot maintain the indubitable right of the settlers. The argument is a potent one with the Australian blacks.”
Potent indeed had been the rifle and the gun against the Australian native, and the wide domains of Queensland had witnessed and were witnessing in 1872 unnumbered murders committed on a race ignorant of fortifications, and armed only with wooden missiles. But what the editor called argument was not less brutal because it was true. Colonel Whitmore, who had met Tauroa in the field, admitted that it was a Maori custom for a successful chief to compel the adherence of others, “and it seemed to be a peculiarity in the native character that it never occurred to them to resist or refuse under those circumstances the constraint that was put upon them.” He sympathized with Tauroa, but said that Fox had created a special difficulty by improperly telling the settlers at Patea that Tauroa should never return there. Thus McLean's hands were bound, and Colonel Whitmore feared that if the unfortunate tribe should appear in its birthplace it would go from imprisonment to death. After an adjourned debate the Council resolved that it was “desirable to act with clemency and liberality towards the chief Tauroa, and the Pakakohi hapu, lately prisoners at Dunedin, who have been dispossessed of their land.” On the day when the Council thus resolved, Taiaroa brought forward a kindred motion in the Representative House. Parata supported it. Would the government restore a fragment of Tauroa's birthright to him? Let them not refer to the deeds of the late government. Maoris wished to know what was to become of their brethren,—whether they were to be well or ill treated,—whether they were to exist or to perish. Mr. Fox thought it was highly dangerous for any one but McLean to deal with a problem so difficult. Several members asked Taiaroa to withdraw his motion. Katene joined in the entreaty, but denied that Maoris only were in fault in the past. Was there not the Waitara land seizure? Did they not know that if Te Rangitake had been willing to abandon to the Pakeha what his father on a deathbed page 31 had enjoined him never to lose, the government would have been friendly to him? Say not then that the Maori had committed all the faults. “It was alleged that there were difficulties in doing anything for Tauroa and his people; but the promised act of grace was long in being fulfilled, and therefore it was that the Maori members joined in urging a speedy determination, so that these people who were wanderers on the face of the earth might be settled somewhere …” Let not the government make matters worse by selling the land which might be needed for the returned prisoners. In deference to the desire of the House, Taiaroa withdrew his motion; hoping at the same time that the government would leave the matter open for a just settlement by not selling land in the district in the meantime.
On the 4th October, Mr. Vogel moved that “the House has no confidence in the present government.” There had been much secret management and Mr. Vogel considered a majority secure. But Fox was not more popular than Stafford, and it was arranged that Fox should declare that his name should not appear in the ministry to be formed on the fall of Stafford. McLean, of course, as Native Minister, was to be a tower of strength. Vogel, resolute to take office, spoke of the “exquisite tact” of the gentleman who thus gave way to a politician so young and inexperienced as himself when compared to Mr. Fox. He assailed the government for having, during their month of office, followed “the footsteps of their predecessors.” He revealed unintentionally his own disappointment because he had not in 1865 been taken into Stafford's government when Mr. Weld was driven from office. He stood forward as the champion of provincialism. “All the prominent members of this House who are provincial in their tendencies” (he said) “were members of the party whose vote turned out Mr. Weld's government, and who in a little room in this building asked Mr. Stafford to accept the position of head of the government under the assurance—alas! it was a very delusive one—that he would carry out the policy of his party. It is a matter of history how he became released from his colleagues a few months afterwards, and joined himself with those whom, by the assistance of the provincial party, he had before turned out.” He descanted page 32 about the Treasury accounts; he extolled McLean, and predicted that “native affairs in disorder,” and a stop to colonization, would be the result of Stafford's continuance in office. A relic of the contempt formerly felt in the colony for the mover was shown in Stafford's reception of the motion. No one rose to reply to it, and when Vogel complained that discussion would thus be “burked,” Stafford said there was nothing to debate. By 37 votes against 35 the motion was carried. Parata, the western Maori member, with Katene and Taiaroa supported the resolution which seemed calculated to restore McLean as Native Minister. The influence of the goldfields population was powerful in all divisions. There were 33 members for the Northern Island, and there alone Maori questions were dangerous, but 45 members for the Middle Island were able to overbear them. Stafford asked for a dissolution. Sir G. Bowen wished to know whether the existing Assembly would grant supplies. He added (in a postcript to one minute) that he would not object to testing the opinion of Parliament upon the point at issue:—on condition that his correspondence be placed before it, and that the passing of the Appropriation Act be deemed the proof that Parliament agreed with Mr. Stafford. Stafford replied, that but for the postcript he would have tendered his resignation at once. He submitted that before making proposals in Parliament founded on a contemplated dissolution, he ought to “be enabled to announce that on supplies being granted Parliament would be dissolved. By adopting any other course the duty of deciding whether Parliament should be dissolved or not would in fact be relegated to the House instead of resting, as it constitutionally does, with his Excellency.” It was Sir G. Bowen's habit to discuss profusely with men of all parties every question of the hour; and those who thought his confidence most intimate and gracious, were surprised to find that he had poured into the ears of many what they had thought reserved for their own. He had arrived at the conclusion that Vogel could form a ministry, and he declined to give the pledge desired. He laboured to secure a fresh administration containing Mr. Vogel. He urged that all proper attempts to form a ministry had not been exhausted, and that if circumstances page 33 were different his action would be different. He did not touch upon the implication that he had been ready to surrender the prerogative of dissolution to the will of the House. Mr. Stafford, after one month's tenure of office, placed his resignation in the Governor's hands.
Mr. Fox was not to be one of the new ministry. Donald McLean resumed office as Native Minister. The knotty question of the confiscated lands was to be decided by him in conjunction with Maori chiefs. In the management of native reserves, Maori chiefs were to be associated with the existing commissioners. McLean was prone to magnify his office and to assume that none but himself could deal wisely with the Maori question. His colleagues were compelled by public opinion to accept him at his own estimation, and he easily induced them to put Ngatata and Kohere into the Legislative Council. The final constitution of the ministry was deferred until the end of the session. Some offices left unfilled became baits to the expectant, and postponed the anger of the disappointed. Mr. Vogel could not safely assume the position of head of the ministry, but assured himself that he could be the real leader under the name of another, who came from an unexpected quarter. Mr. Waterhouse, a comparatively new colonist, but a man of position who had migrated from South Australia, and had in 1870 become a member of the Legislative Council, had publicly stated to the Council (13th Sept.), that “no consideration whatever would induce him to identify himself with any party or any administration” in New Zealand. Therefore he had declined to join Mr. Stafford, although there was “no difference of opinion between them.” It was said that his resolution fell before the persuasive entreaties of the Governor. On the 11th October, Mr. Waterhouse became the chief minister without salary. It was correctly anticipated that he would either be a creature in the hands of others or that he would cast off an ignominious position. Mr. Miller, by whose amendment Waterhouse's condemnation of the Fox ministry had been barely qualified in August, now declined to rejoin the remnant of that ministry which Mr. Waterhouse was nominally to lead. The latter, in announcing the fact, page 34 publicly deplored the loss of Mr. Miller's “ability and integrity of character.”
The new ministry was in no danger throughout the brief remainder of the session. The railway policy of the Fox administration was pursued. Seven hundred and sixty-four miles of railway, to be constructed at the public cost, were sanctioned. The inadequacy of New Zealand ministries in fulfilling promises was speedily displayed. Wi Tako Ngatata, taking his seat (15th Oct.) in the Council, asked for the postponement of a bill by which lands, to which titles were in dispute, were affected. He wished to see a translation of the bill, but none had been made. On the 18th October Mr. Mantell carried a motion that in order that Her Majesty's subjects of the Maori race might have full opportunity of considering legislation affecting them, all bills of such purport should be “prepared, translated, printed, and circulated at the earliest possible date prior to their introduction.” McLean did not produce his measure for constituting native local councils until the 22nd October. It was to apply only to what were called native districts. Everything was to be done with consent of the Maoris. McLean said they were the best judges of their own disputes, and that no English lawyer or judge could understand them so fully as they could, but the House was averse to entertain the subject at the close of a session, and McLean withdrew it. A measure dealing with remnants of the celebrated Rangitikei-Manawatu land case was introduced at an equally inconvenient date. On the 22nd Oct., McLean moved the second reading. After all Dr. Featherston's labours, and after the judicial decision accepted by so many natives, McLean assured the House that so inexorable was the pugnacity of Maoris that “it would have been dangerous to attempt anything like forcible measures for the occupation of the district. This much he could say, that if such measures had been resorted to, no settlers would now be living upon that block.” To justify his position he declared that the imputation that he was responsible for the Waitara wrongs was erroneous. He did not deny that he had advised Governor Browne in March, 1859; but long before “disturbance broke out he was on the east coast, and did not know what was taking place. page 35 He afterwards removed to the Middle Island, having determined to retire for two years on account of illness. On his return from Otago after an absence of a few weeks he first heard that war had been declared at Waitara.” His enemies declared that he had secluded himself under the plea of illness when he saw the gulf into which Governor Browne's advisers were about to plunge, and even friends must have been disappointed, when after twelve years the old man could make no better defence than the ambiguous statement dragged into the debate on the Rangitikei-Manawatu Bill. It may have been that McLean like others had something to learn in 1859, and had been wise enough to learn it. It is certain that his reputation in the colony in 1872 enabled him to take higher ground than he could aspire to when the Taranaki conspirators obtained the ear of the Governor in 1859, and McLean, like Crispus, yielding to the torrent, defended in 1860 at Kohimarama the wrong doing at Waitara.
The bill of 1872 related more to provincial necessities than to Maori tenure. McLean had reserved nearly 14,000 acres for the Maoris in order that the government might derive benefit from the decision of the Land Court in 1869. An Act was required to make valid a grant of the land, which was provincial, and the province of Wellington demanded compensation, although by the reserve of less than 14,000 acres McLean had secured quiet possession of 240,000. A clause added to the bill appointed the Speaker (Dillon Bell) to decide what compensation should be given. The clause was rejected in the Upper House. Vogel asked the Lower House not to insist upon it, but its author, Mr. Fitzherbert, foiled him on a division. Vogel equivocated, and Mr. Fox declared—“The House has now done the maddest thing I have ever known any Assembly to be guilty of.” A prorogation terminated the dispute, and the efforts of the session were not altogether thrown away. A Rangitikei-Manawatu Crown Grants Bill, previously passed, enabled the Governor to fulfil agreements with the Maoris. The Speaker furnished an opinion only, as the Attorney-General had formally pronounced that he could not give an award. The opinion (brought before the Representatives in 1874) elicited angry disputes. It recog- page 36 nized the broad facts that after the decision of the Native Lands Court in 1869 there were disturbances, the surveyor's pegs were removed by the discontented, and McLean, with the earnest concurrence of the general government and of the province, had hastened to the spot to allay trouble, and make needful concessions. All were glad when he made them in the shape of reserves. Fox telegraphed from the spot (Nov. 1870): “There were only three possible courses:—1st, to fight for it, which neither the government nor the Assembly would do; 2nd, to render settlement possible, by satisfying the natives as McLean has done; or 3rd, to let it stand over for years. The course pursued has been by far the best and cheapest of the three.” For the 13,875 acres reserved by McLean, and taken from the provincial estate, the province of Wellington claimed compensation; and the Representatives, on the opinion of their Speaker, seemed willing to grant it, to an amount of about £15,000. But the government, with questionable morality, strove to evade responsibility for McLean's award by saying that they thought it would bind not them, but the province. They alleged that McLean, though Native Minister, must have been deemed acting as an agent to save the province from trouble, and the province ought to bear the cost. Fox said that such was his impression at the time; but when asked whether—if money had been awarded by McLean instead of land he would have thought that the province ought to pay it—he replied that he “did not think that view occurred to him at the time.” The provincial authorities, on the contrary, averred that they believed it to be the duty of the government to put them into peaceable possession of the block. Seizing upon the Attorney-General's opinion, Vogel said: “The government have no intention whatever to abide by the award, but to confine themselves strictly to the terms of the reference.” The Speaker replied that when the Native Minister declared to him that the government were willing to leave the matter to his decision he had agreed to act, but that if he had known how the government were about to proceed he would have washed his hands of the whole affair. Angry debates ensued. Mr. Gillies, differing from the award, thought the honour of the government pledged to it. Fox defended, and Mr. page 37 Fitzherbert vehemently attacked the government. By 29 votes against 25 Mr. Vogel was defeated. He then opened a masked battery. He would include the sum in the Provincial Works Advances Bill then before the House, and thus keep the word of promise to the ear, but break it to the hope. Mr. Fitzherbert retorted that such a course would be equal to saying, “We owe you £15,260; we will discount your bill and charge you for it;” and Mr. Vogel resorted to secret means to sap the majority recorded against him. A week later, in committee, a different decision was arrived at by 31 votes against 25; after a debate in which Mr. Fitzherbert averred that Mr. Vogel had “connived, colluded, and conspired with certain members of the Provincial Council, and had informed them that they need not put themselves to the trouble of rejecting a certain bill, for if it were sent up to him he would disallow it.” Mr. Vogel denied the impeachment, but his antagonist undertook to prove it in the House, and Vogel could only reply that what he said in private conversation was not said in his capacity as Chief Minister. The New Zealand proverb that land was I a cause of war had been exemplified at Manawatu. From I the time of Eauparaha's conquests in 1818 until 1874 the land had furnished battle-grounds for Maoris, for soldiers, for land courts, commissioners, governors, and politicians. Sir Charles Dilke thought he had seen it put to rest in 1866, yet in 1874 it was the subject of doubtful contest in the General Assembly for adepts in secret arts which they called diplomacy, but for which other men found other names.
The railway policy sanctioned by the loan schemes of 1870 was pushed on in 1872, although the contracts entered into by the government were largely in excess of the amounts authorized by law. Vainly a member implored the House not to approve a plan which would create a debt of £4,000,000 sterling for works to which, under the existing Loan Acts, only £2,000,000 were applicable, while more than £1,000,000 had already been paid. Vainly some members shuddered at the blankness into which they were asked to plunge. Sir J. Cracroft Wilson reminded the House that two years previously he had warned them of the calamities they were page 38 embracing, and they had now nothing to do but to front the danger boldly. Vainly Mr. Sewell moved an amendment expressing a desire to give effect to the true policy of 1870, but refusing to authorize the government to enter into new contracts beyond Parliamentary control, for which no provision had been made, and by which unlimited liability might be created. Vainly Colonel Kenny entreated the Council to stand between the colony and ruin. Vainly Mr. Charnberlin made “one remark” on the bill: “I am one of those who supported the public works scheme, and never in my life did I make a greater blunder.” Vainly did Mr. Sewell declare that they were allowing the Treasurer to saddle a population of 280,000 people with a total debt of more than £14,000,000 sterling. Eleven members of the Council entered upon their journals a protest against the bill. The enormous debt, so disproportionate to the means of the colony; the vague powers put in the hands of the government; the indecent haste with which the measure was forced on at the close of a session, and when many members had left the seat of government,—were recorded for the benefit of the curious.
The royalty or export duty on gold was ordered to be reduced to two shillings an ounce. The government had urged that the loss of revenue would fall on the provincial governments, but the motion was carried, some members ludicrously denouncing the royalty as a tax upon a class. The gold which was public property was allowed to be removed at a rate which for eleven years averaged more than £2,000,000 sterling in the year. Any one of the public could remove it if he chose. The duty was levied only on the amount of public property abstracted, and the amount paid by way of royalty for taking possession of the property was about 3 per cent. Generally, it was removed by persons who were not the material of which worthy colonists are formed. Yet to obtain votes the mining interest was to be propitiated. In vain did Mr. Curtis, a Nelson member, assert that though obtained for convenience through the Custom House the levy was derived as royalty, and was properly Crown Lands revenue. Other Acts of a less objectionable nature swelled the statute-book. But the page 39 master-stroke of the session was the Railways Bill, which gave blank-charter to Mr. Vogel, who relied upon the necessity under which the colony would be placed to retain him as croupier in the game played under his direction.
After the close of the session the Waterhouse ministry placed two Maori chiefs, Katene and Parata, in the Executive Council. Early in 1873 the Governor was informed that his services were to be transferred to the colony of Victoria, and that Sir James Fergusson (Governor of South Australia) was to govern New Zealand. Sir G. Bowen's last public act in New Zealand was to unveil the monument in memory of Waka Nene, at the Bay of Islands; and he commented on the fact that the close of his government witnessed such “a mark of respect to the memory of the Maori chief who was mainly instrumental in procuring the cession of the sovereignty of the islands to the British Queen.” He had sent to England a significant document prepared by McLean in Feb., 1872. At the west coast, as at Waikato, McLean pledged the government to terms on which the Maoris were to live peacefully on their hereditary lands. McLean wrote: “During a late visit to Wanganui and Taranaki, he had been enabled to adjust various points in dispute in connection with land boundaries and other matters which had for some time been a cause of irritation… Arrangements have also been entered into with a view to a more accurate definition of native rights within the confiscated territory, and for the acquisition by purchase with the goodwill of the natives of such portions of land as they hold within it but do not require for their own use, and which appear desirable for European settlements.”10
The Governor congratulated the Secretary of State on these “very satisfactory assurances of the establishment of permanent tranquillity.” Lord Kimberley, in return (May, 1872) had “much pleasure” in conveying to the Governor “the congratulations of Her Majesty's government upon the success which has attended your endeavours and those of your ministers to improve the relations between the Maoris and the settlers.”page 40
Ten years later it was the miserable fate of Lord Kimberley to assist in violating the arrangements of which in Her Majesty's name he thus approved.
On the eve of his departure the Governor was perplexed by the resignation of Mr. Waterhouse, who found his position irksome. He had taken office to confer dignity upon the ministry, and he had brought indignity upon himself. The Treasurer's office enabled him to drag his colleague through ways of which the latter disapproved. Mr. Hall, the Colonial Secretary, resigned, and in handing Mr. Hall's resignation to the Governor, Mr. Waterhouse tendered his own. He declared that he did not desire that his release from office should terminate the ministry. He was willing to hold office till the return of Mr. Vogel, who, as was his custom, was absent at the charge of the colony at a conference in Sydney. Three of the ministry, Messrs. Bathgate, Eichardson, and O'Rorke, entreated Mr. Water-house to withdraw his resignation. The Governor was equally importunate. But Mr. Waterhouse resented the Governor's reference to the importunities of his colleagues.
“He, while Premier, and not his Excellency, was the mouthpiece of the ministry, and felt bound to observe that the numerous interviews which his Excellency has had with Mr. Waterhouse's colleagues, and the formal meeting which, prior to the receipt of Mr. Waterhouse's resignation, his Excellency arranged to have with them, but to which Mr. Waterhouse though Premier was not invited, have not been in accordance with recent constitutional practice.” For a time Sir G. Bowen appeared master of the situation. When Mr. Waterhouse pressed his resignation, the Governor told him that Mr. Vogel would be asked to accept the office of chief minister on his return from Australia. Mr. Water-house declined to nominate a new Colonial Secretary, and directed the master of the vessel which was to waft the Governor to Auckland not to sail without directions from himself. He entreated the Governor at the same time to accept his resignation. In dudgeon, Sir G. Bowen wrote a curt minute, formally releasing Mr. Waterhouse. The “New Zealand Gazette” informed the gossiping public of many minor details. Mr. Fox consented to hold office until the return of the man whom the strange “art of the page 41 necessities” of New Zealand had made precious to her. On Mr. Vogel's return he became chief minister in name as well as in fact. He took into the ministry Major Atkinson, of Taranaki, who had been a colleague of Mr. Weld in 1864. McLean was the inevitable Native Minister, and Dr. Pollen accepted office as Colonial Secretary, with a seat in the Legislative Council. Throughout the ministerial changes the Maori chiefs, Katene (the Ngapuhi) and Parata (the Ngatiawa), remained members of the Executive Council.
The material progress of New Zealand during Sir G. Bowen's tenure of office may be briefly recorded. The population, 218,668 in 1867, was 279,560 at the end of 1872. The export of gold had fallen from £2,700,275 to £1,730,992; but it was natural that the hoard of ages at the surface should be grasped in larger quantities by early seekers than by subsequent gleaners. The value of wool exported had risen from a million and a-half to two millions and a-half sterling. The flax exported had sprung from £4256 to £99,405. The kauri gum had risen from £77,491 to £99,405. Of wheat, provisions, tallow, timber, and minor articles, the exported value had mounted from £116,834 to £584,703. The ordinary revenue had declined from £1,195,512 to £1,005,942; the territorial had increased from £561,730 to £618,772. The total imports were £5,344,607 in 1867, and £5,142,951 in 1872; but the importation of capital and labour required for the public works and immigration schemes, the consequent increase of population, and the facilities of communication which would be afforded by the hundreds of miles of railway, the construction of which was in progress, were rightly regarded as sure to remedy, at least for a time, the decline in that table of figures which is the gospel of men of the Manchester school. The electric telegraph already throbbed over much of the island. There were 714 miles of line in 1867. In 1872 there were 2312. The postal revenue had risen from £55,331 to £94,733. There were nearly 10,000,000 of sheep in the islands, which showed an increase of nearly a million and a half since 1867; and horned cattle had multiplied from 312,000 to 436,000.
A laudable ambition prompted the authorities of the universities of New Zealand, and of Otago, to petition for page 42 Royal recognition of their degrees throughout the Queen's dominions. The Waterhouse ministry supported the petitions. Lord Kimberley shrank from advising the grant of charters to an indefinite number of universities in the colony. He had thought that the university constituted by an Act of the general legislature would be looked upon as the central university, and would wait for further information as to the views of the General Assembly. His suggestion was well received. The original Act, founding the New Zealand University in 1870, and enabling the Otago University to merge itself by arrangement with the general university, was repealed by a new Act (1874), reconstituting the New Zealand University, and recognizing it as the institution which was to confer degrees in the colony. The authorities of the Otago University concurred in the arrangements made, and the Queen granted a Charter of Incorporation.11 Mr. Henry John Tancred, one of the members of the first ministry appointed by Governor Browne in 1856, was elected Chancellor by his brother councillors in 1871, and was re-elected in 1873 and in 1875. The office of Vice-Chancellor was similarly conferred on Mr. Hugh Carleton, previously mentioned in these pages. Mr. Fitzherbert, Mr. Gisborne, Mr. Rolleston, and Mr. Stafford were amongst the public men appointed by the Governor-in-Council to control the university when it was first created in 1870, and an amending Act in 1874 confirmed them and others in their positions. Letters patent of a later date gave rank and precedence to degrees conferred by the University of New Zealand, equal to those of degrees conferred by universities of the United Kingdom.
During Sir G. Arney's temporary administration an event occurred which warned the colonists of the thin crust which separated them from the volcanic fires which lay under what was called the native question. Maoris were in many districts resuming agricultural operations, but commissioners and magistrates reported that there was a growing addiction to strong drink, and that the rising generation were not so fine a race as their progenitors. The chief page 43 Katene was complimented upon having energetically promoted roads and public works in the north, and eagerness was shown in many places to establish schools. Mr. H. T. Clarke uttered a warning voice as to the risk of collision, by reason of the eagerness of European speculators and run-holders. Friendly relations with the Ngatihaua ought to be encouraged, inasmuch as “in the event of a conflict with the Waikato, should such a calamity arise, altered relations with the Ngatihaua would tend greatly to the security of the Bay of Plenty districts.” At Wanganui, Rangihiwinui was commended for having declared that he would look to the law, and to the law alone, for redress of land grievances between his people and the Ngatiraukawa. He had subscribed largely towards the erection of a mill at Pipiriki, in order to win back to their old homes the tribes which had been scattered by the war; and McLean promised a government subsidy of £50 for every mill erected.
Suddenly, where Mr. Clarke apprehended danger, amid the Ngatihaua territory, a deed of blood threatened to revive animosities. The territory of the tribe at the place was about 400,000 acres. Confiscation had taken from them 150,000 acres. They had alienated a larger quantity by lease or sale to Europeans. Of the remaining 90,000 acres about 50,000 were claimed by a “hapu” unfriendly to the remnant of the followers of the late king-maker. That remnant, nevertheless, could put fighting-men into the field. Many of them were Hau Haus, and might meet sympathy among Tawhiao's adherents. Blocks of land in their territory had been surveyed, and the Native Lands Court had, in 1867 and 1868, investigated the title and issued certificates. The surveyor swore that when making his survey of the Pukekura block he was opposed by two Maoris, Tima and Mohi Purukutu. Mohi declared that a portion of the land was outside of the government boundary. The Court found that a large number of natives living with Tawhiao had claims on the land, but it nevertheless issued a certificate in favour of 26 named Ngatihaua claimants; and subsequently a Crown grant was issued to 10 Maoris recommended by the claimants as the persons who were to hold the land in trust for the owners in terms of the Act. One Captain Wilson obtained a lease of the page 44 block, and transferred his lease to Messrs. Walker and Douglas, who placed stock on the land without delay. In Sept., 1870, three cattle were shot. In July, 1871, a hut was burnt on the land, and sheep and cattle were driven away. In 1872 Mohi Purukutu harassed the cattle on the land. A meeting of Tawhiao's friends was held (Jan., 1873) at Maungatautari, and a king's messenger said that the cattle ought to be removed. Mohi Purukutu was the keeper of the march (the king's aukati in the neighbourhood), and after the Maungatautari meeting associated nine others as his “comites,” with Maori titles. Unfortunately, McLean's wariness was not brought to bear on these dangerous symptoms. In Feb., 1873, two of the border counts saw Europeans digging near Rotorangi on land which had been purchased, and Paora Tuhua struck one of them. The assailant was seized, but was released immediately. Mohi Purukutu threatened worse proceedings, not only against Europeans, but against natives who had concurred in letting or selling the land. On the 23rd April a Maori, Parakaia, was seized by Mohi Purukutu and armed companions, who carried him off to their settlement. They questioned him sharply, but spared his life on finding that he had taken no part in leases or sales of land. Some of the band kept guard over him while seven went on an expedition. At daylight on the 25th they returned, and saying that “slaying had taken place,” released their captive. The man slain was Timothy Sullivan. With two other men he had been engaged (24th April) making a fascine road outside the confiscated boundary. They knew that they were beyond that boundary. While gathering firewood one of them looked up and saw natives. It must have been felt that transgression was dangerous, for the man cried out, “We are dead men, the natives are upon us.” All three ran. After a few minutes Sullivan called out, “I am done, I shall stand. Good-bye; take care of yourselves.” He endeavoured to hide in some underwood. The others held on their course for two miles, but they heard a shot fired near Sullivan's hiding-place. When they reached the confiscated boundary the leading Maori fired a parting shot, and called off the pursuers. Sullivan's body was found mutilated. The head had been taken away. One of the successful runaways page 45 testified that a friendly Maori had warned him that the Europeans must be cautious, for that natives were out in the fern, but he said, “The reason why I did not take the warning was that I had been so often warned before.” He thought that the man who shot Sullivan was Te Pouturura, and suggested the names of two others. An inquest resulted in a verdict that Sullivan was “wilfully and brutally murdered by Pere Te Pouturura and three other natives, names unknown, but one supposed to be a native named Whira, and another named Paora; and that the government be requested to adopt such measures as will effectually prevent the recurrence of such horrible outrages.”
How much mischief might have been done by prompt seizure of the Maoris named may be inferred from the official report of Mr. James Mackay, jun., who was ordered to inquire into the circumstances. “The finding of the jury has since been discovered to be incorrect, and that none of the persons mentioned in the verdict were present at the time.” The perpetrators, Purukutu and Te Tumu, with Maori candour, made no secret of their work. A significant report was made by Mr. Mair in June. “The unfortunate murder of Sullivan, while working on leased land, now admitted to belong to Mohi Purukutu, but leased to Europeans by others, furnishes considerable cause for uneasiness.” Mr. Mair acquitted the Maori king of any responsibility for the murder; he was, indeed, using his influence to withdraw Mohi Purukutu and other dangerous persons to his residence, where he might control them. But his influence was not great. Mr. Mair said:
“In consequence of the repeated warnings about the selling and leasing of land, very few of the kingites will admit that the slaying of Sullivan at Pukekura is a ‘kohuru’ (murder); with them it is simply a ‘patu’ (killing). At the same time they think it only natural that we should expect ‘utu’ (payment) for Sullivan's blood, and if Purukutu could be secured quietly, I believe that they would willingly let the matter rest; but the open advance of a European force into the king country even for the avowed purpose of pursuing the murderers of Sullivan, or the occupation of Kawhia, would, I am satisfied, lead to a war all along on Waikato frontier. Ngatin:aniapoto, as a tribe, might for a time stand aloof, but the well-known Maori lust for excitement, recklessness of consequences, would be too much for the hot blood of so warlike a people. Te Kooti does not appear to exert his influence for evil, his desire being to live at peace; but should the tribe go to war, he would, I am convinced, again come to the front.”page 46
The government sent Mr. J. Mackay, jun., to Cambridge to investigate the circumstances of Sullivan's murder, and of the Pukekura block. He called on the principal Ngatihaua chief to surrender the murderers. He wrote to Tawhiao, to Rewi, and to Tamati Ngapora. He learned that they disapproved of the murder, but attributed it to unauthorized meddling with lands. He did not ascertain until the 16th May that the finding of the coroner's inquest was erroneous, and in the meantime an attack had been made upon his own life. Receiving no answer to his letters to Tokangamutu, and learning that Ngapora had written that he could go “to Tokangamutu if he liked,” Mr. Mackay left Alexandra (5th May) accompanied by Hone te One, a native assessor; Warana, a native policeman; and Eruera Hororiri, a Ngatihaua Hau Hau. At Te Kuiti, food was brought and natives called to see the visitor. In the morning he was surprised to hear a Hau Hau service in the open air, such ceremonies being usually confined to houses, but he did not rise. A native named Ruru walked into the tent, and made a blow at him with a native weapon, which, though partially warded off, wounded his temple. A struggle ensued; Mackay seized the hands of his assailant, and called out that he had been struck. A native, Parawhenua, followed by Mr. Mackay's companions, rushed into the tent, and Ruru was dragged away. When Mr. Mackay was washing the blood from his face by the Mangaokewa stream, Rewi rushed up to him, and said: “I am Rewi. Come with me. If I wanted to kill a person I would do it openly, not thus.” He turned to his people, and said: “Do not slay me in this manner.” He bandaged the wounded man and took him to his house. But Mackay could not see Tawhiao or Tamati Ngapora. The mind of the latter was dark because of the deed of Ruru. At night Mackay slept in a house protected by 60 of Rewi's people. On the 7th, with a guard of 25 of Rewi's horsemen, he went to Te Uira, where he saw Te Kooti and shrunk from conversation, but Te Kooti insisted on telling how he had been wronged by deportation to the Chatham Islands, when innocent, and fresh from fighting for the government at Waerengaahika. Rewi arrived at Te Uira on the following morning at daylight, but would say no more than that the subject of the page 47 murder of Sullivan would be considered. He showed how accurately he had been informed about it: “I have heard that the Maoris who killed the Pakeha (Sullivan) at Pukekura chased another man named Jones, fired at him, and when Jones reached the boundary of the confiscated lands, called out:” Stop, Jones, there is an end of it; you are at the boundary. “Mackay said: “Yes, that took place. Jones says so.” “Then,” rejoined Rewi, “do you not see that the Maori thought that he was acting-according to the law? The king said, ‘Do not lease the lands outside the boundary.’ They are leased and the Europeans are therefore killed. If you demand the slayers they will not be given up.” With a body-guard of 19 men provided by Rewi, Mackay rode back to Alexandra, and thence returned to Cambridge, where the government, assisted by Te Wheoro and Kukutai, established patrols and redoubts for the protection of the district. Te Wheoro had a contingent of 60 men. At the suggestion of Mr. Mackay the government withdrew some survey-parties from the Ngatiraukawa district, and Tawhiao kept Purukutu out of further mischief by keeping him at Tokangamutu, where rumour stated that it was his custom to be always armed.
When Sir G. Grey quitted the government in 1868, brief time elapsed before mismanagement under Mr. Stafford provoked Titokowaru and Te Kooti to the field. It almost seemed as if before the new Governor could arrive, in 1873, the Waikato frontier was to be in a blaze. But Donald McLean averted the danger. Sir G. Arney informed the Secretary of State that it was deemed unwise to pursue Sullivan's murderers, who were lying in wait, ready to be attacked, and hoping that an assault upon them would rouse Ngatimaniapoto and Waikato to their aid. It was determined to appeal to Tawhiao, through the mission of Mr. Mackay, and otherwise. Many chiefs expressed their disgust at the murder of Sullivan, and at a meeting of Ngatihaua and Waikato chiefs at Tamahere, on the 5th May, a committee was appointed to take measures to capture the murderers. The Ngapuhi tribe offered their services as usual to uphold the law. The government resolved “to treat the outrage as an ordinary case of murder;” to secure if possible the aid of Maoris in arresting Purukutu page 48 and his comrades, and by no means to endanger peaceful relations with the Maori king, or embroil the centre of the island in war. Sir James Fergusson, having arrived in June (1873) met the Parliament in July. His speech dwelt more on renewed declarations of loyalty by friendly chiefs than on the atrocity committed, and announced the grounds -on which the government had abstained from precipitating a war. Both Houses accepted the policy of McLean. The fact that Purukutu was really an owner whose interests in the Pukekura block, though asserted, had been unjustly neglected, was not forgotten in a Native Land Bill which McLean introduced and in the preparation of which Sir William Martin assisted.
Almost for the first time was heard a voice expressing doubt whether the Maoris were destined to disappear from the face of the land. A more accurate census than had previously been obtained indicated, in 1874, that their numbers were greater than had been believed.
|There were in the North Island||23,639||19,769||43,408|
|In the Middle Island||1,417||1,191||2,608|
The returns furnished to Sir G. Bowen in 1868 had ascribed to the North Island 37,017, and to the Middle Island 1500, making a total Maori population of 38,517; and though hundreds had fallen in the field in the mean time, the later census showed that the Maori population was larger by nearly 20 per cent. than had been supposed. Mr. Fitzherbert declared that the race was not in his opinion destined to be swept away so rapidly as some who professed to be great authorities imagined, “and he saw no reason, looking at the matter from any point of view, why such a consummation should be expected. He believed the natives would yet form an important part of the permanent population of the country.”
McLean's Land Bill thrust increased responsibility on the government, and gave more power to restrain improper traffic in land. It professed to guard the native reserves as an ancestral patrimony inalienable by temporary occupants; it threw on the government the charge of the page 49 surveys of lands, leaving it to make necessary arrangements for the recouping of the cost; it prevented any litigious member of a tribe from forcing upon the Land Court the investigation of a title when the tribe who were joint-owners were almost unanimous against it. It required that, not ten names only, but that those of all native owners should be included in a grant. Mr. McLean declared that the native members had made “valuable and thoughtful suggestions” which he had embodied in the bill. Critical members almost shrank from the task of analyzing the bill, which Mr. Rolleston pointed out was hopeless in face of the fact that “last session it was impossible in the view of a considerable number of the members for any government to exist that had not Mr. McLean in it.” Takamoana opposed the bill because it had no retrospective action in regard to lands already unjustly dealt with. Mr. Fitzherbert did not oppose the bill, but objected to the provision that the lands of original native owners should be unaffected by provincial or county laws. With his views that the Maoris would not vanish from the land, he thought it monstrous that their lands should for ever be exempt from local taxation. He saw danger in legalizing large purchases by speculators. It would be well to suspend all transactions temporarily. One person had negotiated for 50,000 acres, at fourpence an acre. How, if such things were allowed, could the Legislature afterwards burden the country to make roads and railways for the benefit of owners of lands thus acquired? Parata supported the bill, not because it was brought in by his honourable colleague (McLean), but because it embodied a principle in vogue with Maoris for eleven years. He maintained that the Native Land Courts had conferred great benefits, and averted frightful evils. The absence of compulsion in the new bill was prized by Maoris. Mr. Reader Wood supported the bill. Mr. Sheehan, the first of the New Zealand legislators of European descent who could claim Maoria as the land of his birth, supported the second reading, but suggested alterations, and after a short reply by McLean, the second reading was agreed to without a division. There was one palpable blot in the bill, which was not removed. The judges under the Act of 1865 held office during good behaviour, and their salaries were fixed. page 50 McLean, prone to personal government, and jealous of other authority than his own, left the salaries to be annually appropriated; the Governor (acting, of course, under McLean's advice) having power to remove any judge from time to time and appoint another. Although the bill contained this arbitrary power, McLean said: “The constitution of the Native Lands Court did not vary from what it was formerly, except that the government from year to year would ask the House to vote the salaries of the judges of the Native Land Court, and thus the House would exercise a control over this branch of the native service.” Mr. Rolleston remarked that nothing could be more “mischievous than that the judges, if they did not carry out the desires of a political body, should be liable to have their salaries reduced,” but he raised no question as to the power to remove judges “from time to time.” The student of constitutional history is aghast at the readiness with which the independence of judges was imperilled by making their remuneration precarious, and subjecting their tenure of office to the caprices of an executive department.
Though passed without obstruction, the measure was not deemed a final settlement. In both Houses warning voices were heard. Seeds of war or of subversion were espied. Mr. Sewell prophesied evil from the attempt to force upon the natives individual titles in subversion of tribal rights. The substitution of each owner's name in the grant instead of the ten names held to be sufficient under the existing law did not remove the blot complained of, because the fixing of the proportionate share of each owner disintegrated the tribal rights. Was not the blunder of neglecting Purukutu's claim the cause of Sullivan's death at the Pukekura block? Wi Tako Ngatata entreated that time might be given to the Maoris to consider the bill. He had presented petitions from Rangihiwinui and others, who declared that they could not concur with it. Tikawenga te Tau and forty-four other chiefs had petitioned that the bill might be circulated for a year amongst the Maoris, so that they might be able to consider it. Henare Matua and twenty-nine others had arrived at Wellington from the east coast with a commission from 1661 of their countrymen to protest against the bill and other contemplated measures.page 51
“We have,” they said, “suffered from mortgages, from sales of land, and spirituous liquors; … we trust you will permit our land to abide with us, for such was the Queen's promise at the treaty of Waitangi in 1840. The same promise was renewed by Governor Browne (at Kohimarama). Friend, Mr. Speaker, … the Queen has certainly no desire to see her Maori people, her New Zealand subjects, live without estate. Should you nevertheless sanction these laws, then our very existence will be crucified… We ought to project laws for ourselves, inasmuch as you have been these 32 years enacting laws for the Maori people, and grievances to the Maoris are the only results of your labour and your guidance.”
It may seem incredible that, after Mr. Mantell's motion was carried in 1872, the New Zealand ministry had done nothing in the way of compliance with the resolution that bills affecting the Maoris should be translated for their information. The defect was exposed by Mr. Mantell himself. He moved for a return showing the titles of the bills translated, and the dates at which they had been circulated. Dr. Pollen, the new leader of the Council, confessed that the return would be—nil. Mr. Mantell carried his motion, and the return, when furnished, was a blank.
It was natural for Wi Tako Ngatata to demand time to consider the new bills. It was not unnatural that the Vogel government should be careless about compliance.
The Native Lands Bill was passed with amendments added in the Council. The warnings of Mr. Fitzherbert were justified by events. Rogues and capitalists plied their various arts to cajole the Maoris and procure their lands. McLean probably had not intended to promote those arts; but it was difficult to resist the wiles of schemers whom he was unwilling to offend.
A Native Reserves Bill, brought in by him, proposed that receipts and expenditure connected with the reserves should be published annually in the Maori language. It consolidated and amended the existing law on the subject. In the early occupation of New Zealand it had been customary for purchasers from Maoris to make reserves for the natives. If the purchasers desired to appear honest such reserves were absolutely essential; for Mr. E. J. Wakefield told the House in 1873 that the claims of the New Zealand Company, with those of private purchasers, amounted to 13,000,000 acres more than were comprised in the islands of New Zealand. The “tenths” which the New Zealand Company allotted page 52 would have left to the Maoris 5,000,000 acres, if under the circumstances such a quantity could be found for them. Other instructive remarks were elicited in 1873. Mr. Sheehan stated that he “could name scores of instances in which the land had mostly gone in paying for the survey and recovering the survey fees.” Against one block surveyed for about £25 there was a judgment obtained for £120, and it was about to be “sold by public auction to satisfy the surveyor, and to pay the expenses attendant on enforcing his claim.” Wi Tako Ngatata said that the prevailing difference between the Pakeha and the Maori was that the Pakeha had for thirty years always tried to rob the Maori; and Dr. Pollen, who represented the government, declared: “I have myself seen natives hovering about the streets of Auckland who owned an estate of 30,000 acres against which there was a surveyor's charge of some £150 or £200, and I have known that estate sold for one shilling an acre to pay the surveyors. The unfortunate proprietors left the town without a sixpence in their pockets, feeling that their estate had been unjustly and ruthlessly sacrificed.”
Dr. Pollen illustrated the manner in which Maoris were made “victims of licensed interpreters, land-sharks, and lawyers.” There was a block of 48,000 acres of land, between Napier and Taupo, with natural boundaries so complete as to require only three or four miles of fencing to enclose it:
“That land was let, or purported to be let, by the native owners, for what did the council think? £18 a year!—48,000 acres of land for £18 a year! In the document which purported to be the lease there was a covenant inserted to the effect that at the termination of the lease the natives should pay to the lessee compensation for every kind of improvement he might have effected upon it during the term of the lease. What did that mean but absolute confiscation of the land. But there was more to be said about this particular transaction. The clause which he had just referred to in the deed was ruled over with a black pigment of some kind, as if it were meant to be an erasure. There was not the usual memorandum in the margin, showing that the erasure had been effected at the time the deed was signed; there was nothing to show when or how it was done. The whole affair seemed very remarkable. It struck him that the colour of the ink was unusual, and he took the document into a survey-office, and having asked one of the draftsmen what was the character of the ink, he took a sponge and showed that it was quite possible to wipe out the erasure by simply washing it over. That came within his knowledge in his capacity as commissioner. It was an extreme case, but it illustrated the system of fraud, under the authority of the law, the natives had been subjected to for years.”page 53
Such were the acts that goaded the Maoris. These were the resources of civilization which made them appeal across the ocean to the Queen for some impartial judge to stand between them and Governor Browne's advisers, who hurried him into the Waitara war.
It was impossible that in any assembly containing English gentlemen redress should not be sought for such grievances. Sir William Martin was at hand to strive for justice. Mr. McLean declared in debate that he was about to add clauses to the Native Reserves Bill which Sir W. Martin had suggested. Takamoana was not satisfied with the bill. It did not define the reserves. The Assembly was making many laws, so many indeed that the Maoris were not able to carry them all on their backs—they had better be provided with a cart to put them in—but he did not approve of a bill which did not explain clearly what it meant. After debates in which Mr. Fitzherbert and Mr. Fox took part, and Mr. Rolleston said that nothing new which was in the bill was good, Mr. McLean steered it safely through the Lower House. In the Council the two Maori members found friendly aid in the Standing Orders. Mr. Pharazyn pointed out the neglect of the order that bills relating to Maoris should be translated and printed. The Speaker could not allow the bill to be proceeded with unless on suspension of the Standing Orders. Wi Tako Ngatata asked Dr. Pollen not to be in a hurry, but to wait until the bill was translated and understood; and the second reading was deferred. When, subsequently, Dr. Pollen moved it, Wi Tako Ngatata asked:
“Why should our lands and our houses be taken care of? My house is my own; my coat is my own;—why should they be interfered with? Have you Europeans a similar law? I believe not. And this law is to apply only to the Maori… For what reason was I invited to this council? Why was there not a reserve put upon me? Let us have no such provision made for the Maoris. You tell us that we are equal to you… Do not enact that the Maoris shall be treated in one way and the Europeans in another. That is wrong. Now listen. It is thirty years since the European came here, and there is this difference between him and the Maori; that it was the European who had the desire to rob the native. My opinion of the bill is that it is wrong. I asked that it should be translated so that the tribes should be able to read it for themselves. These two things I cannot do. I cannot read English and I cannot understand it; and that is the reason my people have presented to you a petition upon the subject of printing bills in our language. I wish you to know that I page 54 am well-disposed towards you, as I now live amongst you. We have assisted the Europeans when we have been disregarded by our friends; and our property has been taken from us. We had no disturbances till these laws were introduced, and I am forced to believe with regard to this bill, that you are now tying us up with a rope, and placing us in the position of horses. You tie the Maoris to a post, and the commissioners are to come and take care of us. We have no affection for this… You know a great deal about legislation. You say our lands should be taken for the benefit of the natives; and our lands are taken, and our children are to be taught the English language. And after they come out of the schools what land are they to live upon? Are they to live upon the earth, or fly like the pigeon? What is the good of saying that the Maori children shall be educated in English? When you take the land from under them what is the good of education? Serious thoughts have oppressed me during the last few years. I have not seen any justice done by the Europeans lately… As to commissioners being appointed, that is something new. They are to be substitutes for the Queen. It is not right that somebody else should take care of my house and land. I can take care of them, and of my wife, and of my children too. It pains me much to see these laws passed… My people have seen this bill, and they say it will be like the time of Pharaoh when the yoke was placed upon the necks of the children of Israel. The same thing is being done now. Whilst we live we can ward off dangers, but when we are dead our children will be like the children of Israel. Our lands will all be in the hands of commissioners. What I have to say upon the subject is, that if you wish this bill to be read, I am quite agreeable that it shall be read—this day six months.”
Mokena Kohere seconded the amendment and briefly declared his agreement with Ngatata. Colonel Whitmore supported the chiefs. Mr. Mantell was “not surprised that the natives were opposed to this abominable measure.” He read to the Council some words spoken there ten years before:
“I was present when the treaty of Waitangi was made, and an attentive and an anxious listener to all that passed. I heard Her Majesty's representative arguing, explaining, promising to the natives, pledging the honour of the Queen and of the British people for the due observance of it; giving upon the honour of an English gentleman the broadest interpretation to the words in which the treaty was couched. The ink was scarcely dry on that treaty before the suspicions which had been temporarily allayed by the promises of the Governor were awakened with redoubled force; and I need scarcely remind the Council that from that time to this every action of ours affecting the natives has presented itself to their eyes, and has been capable of that interpretation, as showing that the one object and business of Europeans in New Zealand was to obtain possession of the lands of the natives, recte si possint, si non quocunque modo. Before we talk of the duties of the native to us we ought to be able to show that some of the duties which the Crown undertook to discharge to the native people have been so discharged. I ask any one to point out on the statutes of this colony any of those measures which might fairly be said to have fulfilled any of those obligations which devolved upon the Crown at that time.” “Those,” said Mr. Mantell, “are remarkable words. They come from an authority which even the honourable gentleman representing page 55 the government will not question—from the Honourable Dr. Pollen. I hope the time will come when we shall see him in a position to give utterance again, unfettered, to similar sentiments.”
Mr. Mantell denounced the clauses which gave power to Commissioners to extinguish native titles and vest land in Her Majesty as a reserve subject to the operation of the Act. He would be ashamed to give his assent to such iniquitous provisions. He entreated the Council to listen to the request of Wi Tako Ngatata. Mr. Waterhouse, on the other hand, urged that to throw out the bill would leave the existing law in force. Let them rather amend the bill. If they could not do so, he would join in opposing the third reading. Dr. Pollen did not attempt to answer his own words. He complimented the intelligence and ability of his “honourable friend, Ngatata,” and undertook to avail himself gratefully of assistance in amending the bill, which was read a second time and referred to a select committee, on which Dr. Pollen placed Ngatata. The committee amended the bill in such a manner that some who opposed the second reading voted in favour of the third, but Mr. Mantell and Mr. Pharazyn were hostile to the end. One amendment may be cited as a proof that Ngatata's appeal was not wholly in vain. “In every district created under this Act there shall be elected by the natives resident in the district from amongst themselves … three persons as Assistant Commissioners, who, together with the Native Reserves Commissioners, … shall form a Board of Direction for the administration of the native reserves in such district… The Native Reserves Commissioner shall from time to time … call a meeting of the Board, who shall by a majority of its members decide on all matters connected with native reserves in the district for which they are constituted, &c.” The Representatives agreed to the amendments made by the Council.
Mr. McLean was unable to carry a Native Councils Bill through the troubled waters of the session, and withdrew it in the Lower House, promising to introduce it afresh in 1874. A Native Grantees Bill was passed to remedy grievances suffered by native grantees under Crown grants. The bill afflicted their tenancy. Mr. Sewell and Mr. Hart discussed page 56 the legal bearings of the question from hostile points of view. Colonel Whitmore could not learn from their arguments how to decide, and advocated delay, though the session was almost at an end. Mr. Waterhouse derived as little help from the lawyers as Colonel Whitmore, but said “it was satisfactory that they had in the Council honourable members of the native race who had been successful in understanding the bill, and he would compliment the Council on the fact that the natives comprehended a bill that was beyond the comprehension of the rest of the Council.” Supported thus the bill was passed on the 1st October.
Taiaroa was unsuccessful in establishing the claims of the natives in the Middle Island. He obtained a committee which reported to the House on the antepenultimate day of the session. Mr. McLean opposed the adoption of the report. It might lead to “forfeiture of a large proportion of the public estate.” Mr. Rolleston and Mr. Fox objected also. Taiaroa had a word to say. Why did not Mr. McLean and Mr. Rolleston attend the committee of which they were members? There was no trouble likely to flow from adopting the report.
“It said that the government should, in the first place, consider the claims of the Maoris; and the appointment of commissioners, one by the government, and one by the natives, was only an alternative course,… promises had been left unfulfilled for the last 25 or 26 years; he would like to know why the member for Avon and the Native Minister who had been connected with the government had not caused those promises to be sooner fulfilled. It was on these promises that the land in the Middle Island was sold, and they ought therefore to be fulfilled… If these promises were not fulfilled he would be compelled to accuse the Europeans of having committed a great crime. He would be glad that the government should take the matter in hand; but if they did not there was a Parliament of greater magnitude than this in another part of the world to which the natives could have recourse.”
Mr. Sheehan formally moved the adoption of the report, but withdrew his motion on the assurance that the government would endeavour to settle the matter fairly during the recess.
The conduct of the “Waka Maori” newspaper, which was in 1877 to shake a government to its foundations, was discussed in 1873. On appeal from Mr. Stafford, Mr. Waterhouse had in Jan., 1873, promised that no partisan page 57 spirit should appear in it; and Mr. Mantell, to enable the public to watch the paper, carried a motion that for the future the “Waka Maori” should be printed in English and in Maori in parallel columns. The article complained of by Stafford was an indictment of himself, and a panegyric upon McLean.
The difficulty of coercing a Legislative Council has always provoked the indignation of the leader of the larger House, where to sustain his position, he must make promises which it is not in his power to keep while another House has a free voice. A glaring attempt (1861) to overwhelm a nominee Upper House in New South Wales by the sudden creation of members in order to carry a particular measure had been foiled by peculiar circumstances, which became known in New Zealand, and the members of the Council were on the alert to guard the rights of the people of which they were the depository. The busy brain of Mr. Vogel was equally vigilant, and the ministry devised a plan formed upon the model which in England had been condemned in the House of Lords stirred by the eloquence of the veteran Lord Lyndhurst. The day after the Assembly met, Dr. Pollen introduced a bill to provide that all persons summoned in future to the Council should hold their seats for a limited period instead of for life. The measure was heralded by the Governor's opening speech as one “to initiate a reconstruction of the Legislative Council.” A call of the Council was ordered. Mr. Waterhouse moved for a committee upon the best method of reconstructing the Council, and enlarged upon the necessity for a second Chamber and the best means of creating it. But the Council were disinclined to be led by him. They adjourned the debate until Dr. Pollen's Temporary Appointments Bill had been disposed of. Without debate it was rejected. Mr. Waterhouse's motion for a Select Committee on the Constitution of the Council fared no better.
Mr. Vogel increased the public burdens, by a new Loan Act, for public works and immigration, of two millions sterling; and by a General Purposes Loan Act for three-quarters of a million. Vain objections were made in both Houses. By the first of the bills power was given to the Governor to buy land in the North Island from the natives page 58 at a cost of £500,000. A portion of the province of Canterbury was in an anomalous state. The watershed on the west coast, which comprised the grandeur of Mount Cook and the lure of the Hokitika goldfields, had been in 1867 created the county of Westland. It had a county council, but that council had not legislative powers equal to those of the provinces. When it was created there had been an impression that provincial powers would be diminished, but in 1873 no steps in that direction had been taken. Mr. Vogel had always advocated provincial powers, and one of the charges which had driven him from office in 1872 was that he manoeuvred with the provinces to secure support in his immigration and public works policy. He brought in a “bill to constitute the county of Westland a province,” and it became law. On the 25th July a Provincial Council Powers Bill was read a second time. It removed some of the restrictions which the Constitution Act imposed on the provinces with regard to courts of judicature. It entrusted them inter alia with the control of valuation and assessment of property for rating purposes and other matters. Mr. Vogel believed that “a provincial council would be better able to look after and attend to local requirements than the general legislature.” One member protested against such a provincial policy. It would, he said, “be better to hand over everything to the provinces and let them take the management of the Land Acts, the Customs, and be separate States at once.” The bill passed the Representative Chamber, but was lost in the Council. With an Education Bill of a permissive character the government was hardly more fortunate. The industrious Vogel carried it through the House in spite of active opposition. It was declared to be suspiciously akin to a bill introduced two years previously by Mr. Fox, and found odious to the Otago province. Supported by many members, the bill passed through the Council with amendments. Messages and reasons were interchanged between the Houses at the close of the session, and the prorogation caused the bill to die in the hands of the representatives. It was difficult for the moving mind of the ministry to determine under what guise the control of the colony could best be retained. As a provincialist he had in 1865 got rid of Mr. page 59 Weld, and in 1873, as on former occasions, he bitterly complained that in 1865 he had only pulled chestnuts out of the fire for Mr. Stafford, who gave to the catspaw no fruit of its labours. Parties were so balanced that, fearing to offend either, he advocated a policy of equilibrium, with the natural result that neither was contented. Till a majority could be assured it was dangerous to declare too strongly for provincialism or centralism. In spite of taunts in both Houses about the phantom of equilibrium which eluded his embrace Mr. Vogel pursued the arts by which he maintained his ground.
But financial questions pressed for settlement. There were adverse critics of the manner in which the public works policy had been carried out, and it was expedient to shift responsibility for blunders to vicarious shoulders. A Provincial Loans Bill was introduced to relieve the central government of a portion of the burden, and to permit the provinces to raise loans for certain purposes. It was declared to be a government measure, and no exertion was spared to secure a majority. The house rang with imputations that secret influences were resorted to. Mr. Gillies, Mr. Header Wood, Mr. Stafford, Mr. Sheehan, Mr. Reid, Mr. Rolleston, and others opposed the bill in vain. One supporter of it, Mr. Steward, candidly stated that if it had not been brought down as it was with an intimation that the fate of the government was involved, “it would have been immediately kicked out of the House.” Mr. Fox threw himself with vigour into the fray on the side of the government, and spoke with an air of authority which offended Mr. Fitzherbert, who intended to vote for the bill, though hostile to some of its details. Mr. Vogel wound up the debate. Other members always considered how their provinces would be affected by a measure. The government only thought of the welfare of the whole colony. In proportion to its resources New Zealand was not heavily burdened. Scanning the debts of European nations, he asserted that the colony compared favourably with any of them. He harped upon the virtues of Mr. McLean. “I feel absolutely certain that if the government had been in the hands of Mr. Stafford and his colleagues we should be meeting now not to devise schemes for prosperous settlement, page 60 but for carrying on a sanguinary war. We owe to the moderation of the Native Minister the fact that we have escaped war.” Mr. Reader Wood hinted that the Upper House would reject the bill, but Mr. Vogel considered that it would “have a large respect for the House composed of representatives of the people upon matters which more properly belonged to them than to a nominated Chamber.” When the bill went to the Council, Mr. Waterhouse condemned a clause which provided that notwithstanding any Loan Ordinance creating a liability, the provincial revenues should be subject to be dealt with as if no such liability had been created. Only the special security described in the ordinance was to be held pledged. Such a clause was unparalleled in the annals of any legislature. Provision for a loan was coupled with provision for its repudiation. Mr. Waterhouse affirmed that in the end the colony must become liable. By 19 votes against 12 the bill was thrown out. When the decision was known, the government found its supporters almost unanimous in deprecating a struggle with the Legislative Council. Mr. Vogel yielded; but took up his parable against the offending body. He denounced their presumption in talking of finance, and the Speaker, Sir F. D. Bell, being appealed to by Mr. Stafford, ruled that the word “presumption” was unjustifiable, and that the Council had an undoubted right to deal with questions brought before them. Mr. Vogel tempered his remarks; but said the crisis was grave, and the government would be justified in using all strictly constitutional means to secure obedience to the behests of the elected Chamber. But the government did not contemplate the “swamping” of the Upper House by creating new members. He proposed to open a door for penitent members. The ancillary Provincial Loan Bills were before the Assembly. He would modify them. Perhaps the Council, which objected to give a general power to the provinces to borrow on specified securities, would not object to modified bills dealing with specific cases. Hawke's Bay, Marlborough, Taranaki, Wellington, Otago, Nelson, and Auckland Loan Empowering Bills were proceeded with so rapidly that they reached the Council on the 25th Sept., on which day that body was considering the Native Lands Bill. Mr. Pharazyn implored members “to save the honour of page 61 New Zealand by voting against the bills.” Mr. Bonar quoted a speech in which Mr. Vogel had formerly denounced the wrong which would be done by adopting any such principle as that contained in them. Unaided in debate, Dr. Pollen found only 5 members to vote with him against 23. All the bills were thrown out. On the 29th Sept., Mr. Vogel said that there might be a prorogation, but the government believed that the Council would in a new session reject measures as summarily and ignominiously as in the current one. The Appropriation Bill could not be used for tacking purposes, because special legislation would be required to provide security in land. “There is no doubt that the victory lies with the Council at present. It has set itself against the wishes of this House, and has thrown out the measures which this House has passed by large majorities. To those who ask, Are we to succumb to such action? —are we to allow the people to be governed by the nominee branch of the Legislature?—the reply is, that without very extreme action no other course is open at present.” The government would consider the subject during the recess. When the Appropriation Bill was before the House, Mr. Fitzherbert and Mr. T. B. Gillies animadverted upon the conduct of the government. The former declared that no prime minister ever more flagrantly violated constitutional usage than Mr. Vogel, when he suggested that members should endeavour to stir up men's minds against the Legislative Council; and when, instead of sending measures to that body boldly, he tampered with individual members of it in order to ascertain how they would vote upon certain propositions. Mr. Vogel had, moreover, promised to propose to borrow money for the works desired, on the credit of the colony, pari passu with a measure for a property-tax. The promise solemnly made had not been redeemed. The breach of faith had humiliated the House. The Council had the honour of sincerity. The House was, by its leader, made to appear dishonest. Mr. Vogel's reply did not traverse the charge thus made, but attacked Mr. Fitzherbert on various pleas, and enumerated the measures which did credit to the session. The government would not resign because a nominee House chose to throw out any of its measures. Mr. T. B. Gillies gave a different summary of page 62 the session. He spoke of the miserable outcome of the large promises of the government. He declared, in conclusion, that “a system of log-rolling was the mode by which the government endeavoured to maintain its position.” Strongly against his wishes, he had been convinced that provincial institutions ought to pass away. They had once done good; but corrupted as they had been, and applied (as by the government in the Provincial Loans Empowering Bill) to a use which would have rendered government by log-rolling the only possible government, he must thenceforward be ranked as an uncompromising opponent of provincial institutions. These words were significant. The colonists had clung to their provinces in spite of many inconveniences. They had maintained their Provincial Councils, and had made provincial laws in spite of obstructive incongruities, which the veto of the Governor on provincial enactments was able to temper, but not to remove. Others besides Mr. Gillies thought that if their provincial machinery could be wielded injuriously, it would be better to abandon it. Intercommunication between New Zealand provinces and ports had become more easy. Railways were being constructed. Larger population had brought into use more powerful vessels to supply daily needs. Journeys which once occupied weeks could be performed in a few days, or even hours. The knell of the provincial system was rung when leading men began to think it was perverted to sinister uses. Like all institutions, it might have friends staunch to the last; but when they who were of its own house distrusted its capacity for good, there could be little hope to avert its doom, though few could foretell what hand would deal the final blow.
The growth of commerce in the South Seas gave the colonies weight in matters connected with postal and telegraphic services. An intercolonial conference was held in Sydney in 1873, and separate postal lines by way of Suez to Melbourne, and by Torres Straits to Queensland, as well as the continuance of the line through America to New Zealand, were recommended. Intercolonial commercial reciprocity was discussed. The representatives of New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia advocated “a common tariff based on the principles page 63 of free trade, and a Customs union” between the colonies. The representatives of Victoria, Queensland, and New Zealand (Vogel and Reynolds), opposed them. Earl Kimberley gratified the discordant conference as well as he could. An Australian Colonies Duties Act was passed by the Imperial Parliament in 1873. It defined the word “country” as meaning “any country or place except Australian colonies and the colony of New Zealand.” It empowered the colonial legislatures severally to remit or impose duties on articles exported intercolonially, with a proviso that, for such purpose, “no new duty shall be imposed upon, and no existing duty shall be remitted as to, the importation into any of the Australasian colonies of any article, the produce of any particular country, which shall not be equally imposed upon, or remitted as to, the importation into such colony of the like article, the produce or manufacture of any other country.” Two things were clear to all students of political events. One, that in thus classing Great Britain as a foreign nation, the bulk of the colonists had taken no part, and that in the abstract they would have been opposed to it; the other, that when their political leaders for the time being had made the demand it was acquiesced in without inquiry by the colonial public, and would probably have been supported vigorously if those leaders had had occasion to appeal for popular sympathy. Public sentiment will make common cause with its own creatures, even when public reason disapproves of their conduct.
The contract for carrying mails by way of San Francisco, in which Mr. Fox had taken so much pride, did not prove prosperous. Irregularities in delivery had not saved the contractors from pecuniary loss. Penalties had been enforced, but more were due, and on the request of Mr. Vogel the Representatives declared that they need not be exacted.
An angry debate arose in the House with regard to Dr. Featherston, the agent-general in London. In moving the second reading of a bill to attract a better class of immigrants to the colony by a remission of £20 in the value of land to each adult member of a family, Mr. Vogel hinted that the relations of the government with Dr. Featherston page 64 were unsatisfactory. A private member followed with a violent diatribe against that gentleman, and many members resented an attack upon an absent man. The government, in deference to the more manly instincts of the House, consented to produce a despatch, which had ungenerously been alluded to by the government, but had not been laid on the table. The storm passed away, and the bill, which had been the innocent cause of it, became law.
The difficulty of obtaining from immigrants a repayment of any portion of the cost of their passage money was put before the Assembly in a petition for relief. The railway contractors had undertaken to import labourers. The contractors took promissory notes from the immigrants for repayment, but could not recover the money. They averred that if they sued the defaulters they were compelled to pay ten shillings a week for the maintenance of each in gaol. The same inevitable difficulty had existed elsewhere. Gibbon Wakefield had warned a committee of the House of Commons, in 1836, that all conditions partaking of the nature of a promise to do something after the obtaining of land would become dead letters. On the scale which the New Zealand loan works involved, the contractors averred that their loss from deserters was nearly £40,000. It was urged that the government which imported immigrants ought to re-imburse the contractors. A select committee reported adversely to the claim, and deprecated the production of the evidence taken. Mr. Fitzherbert moved that it be printed. The House had been generous to the defaulting contractors for the postal service, because it had benefited the colony. The country had gained 2000 immigrants by the railway contractors. Justice demanded the application of the same principle of leniency in both cases. In the existing state of the House the subject created confusion, and a debate upon it was abruptly broken by Mr. Fox, who called attention to the presence of strangers.
Colonies have always been full of activity and apparent prosperity when immigration has poured in upon them. A simultaneous expenditure of many millions sterling on public works made New Zealand resound like a bee-hive with the hum of workers. The revenue sprang from about £1,300,000 in 1871 to more than £2,700,000 in 1873. The page 65 ordinary revenue of 1873 was in excess of the total revenue of 1871, and the territorial almost equalled the combined revenues of the former year. Mr. Vogel conceived the idea that a handbook ought to apprise the world of the progress of the colony. He announced (15th Sept., 1873) that a pamphlet would be issued describing the resources of New Zealand. It appeared in 1875. Vogel was editor. Fox, once his master but now his pupil, described the early settlement. Donald McLean told of the native race. Superintendents of provinces lent their names. Dr. Hector, the government geologist, described the climate and the mineral and agricultural resources. Though published in London in 1875 the book was printed in New Zealand in 1874. “It has been printed here” (Vogel wrote to Dr. Featherston) “solely for the sake of enabling the editing to be effected with greater facility. I have decided that the book shall be printed and published in England… I suggest for inquiry whether it might not be well to incur the cost of stereotyping the work.” Embellished by photographs and maps, and “edited by Julius Vogel, C.M.G.,” at a cost of more than £2000, the work found an unappreciating public in the colony, but served as an advertisement in more senses than one; and its editor attained the honours which he coveted. He became, in 1875, a Knight of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. He wrote to Dr. Featherston12 in London, as Masaniello might have written after discarding his fisherman's dress. Even when the agent's arrangements prospered he was told that he deserved no credit, but that if he had obeyed orders sooner success would have been earlier attained. On one occasion (24th Nov., 1873), Vogel imputed corruption to the emigration officers appointed under the Passengers Acts in England. “I positively instruct you (Dr. Featherston) that you place no reliance whatever in the examination of the officers of the commissioners.” The commissioners asked for an explanation, but Vogel's progresses made it inconvenient to furnish one. In April, 1875, he wrote in London to the Secretary of State that “his letter was of a confidential character and its publication was a mistake.” After his return to the colony he would decide whether to furnish proof of the truth of his statements or to withdraw them. The Governor wrote from New Zealand (Jan., 1875), that search had been made, but nothing found, to account for Mr. Vogel's accusations. There were signs that the colonists were becoming weary of the idol the had set up. But the prosecution of the financial schemes could hardly be withdrawn from Mr. Vogel. Its supporters thought that it could best be done justice to by its author. Its opponents thought it right that he should have a fair trial, and that if it should produce disaster the workman and the work should be condemned together. Already there were rumours that the successful adventurer was, after all, only making New Zealand a stepping-stone to London, and that if he could secure a position there, either on the Stock Exchange or as Agent-General for New Zealand, he would flit from the colony with the plumage obtained at her cost. In dismissing the General Assembly, Sir J. Fergusson congratulated it on the measures passed.page 66
In 1868, the House had agreed that inquiry should be made with a view to preserve the forests of the colony. In 1870, a Joint Committee recommended that the government should encourage the planting of forests, and the agency of the provinces was chosen as the best means of promoting the object. In 1871, a bill, devised in the Canterbury Province, was introduced by Mr. Hall. It provided that every one who, in accordance with regulations made by the Governor-in-Council, planted one or more acres with timber trees, should be entitled to a grant of two acres of waste land for each planted acre. The provisions of the bill were made applicable to any province on due requisition from the province to the Governor. The province of Canterbury was not inactive. It established nurseries, distributed plants, and voted money to encourage plantations. Nevertheless, the waste of public forests proceeded with alarming rapidity, and in 1873 a private member moved that the Governor be requested to appoint a commission on the subject. The Government admitted its importance, but opposed the appointment of a commission. They would consider the page 67 matter. New Zealand was on this question like other colonies. In all, the governments allowed the riches of the woods to be remorselessly squandered or destroyed. In all, some colonists, wiser than their rulers, implored that something might be done to arrest the waste, which was never arrested. For a nominal fee anyone obtained license to cut down and sell the growth of ages without being required to plant successors to the forests swept away. Prophesies of deterioration of climate and failure of harvests did not move the destroyers. The gold-seeker, whose occupation was to prey upon the carcase of the colony, found imitators. It was deemed harsh and unpopular to prevent waste. A Select Committee on colonial industries (in 1873) suggested that the provinces should be invited to consider how best “the wasteful destruction of the forests of the colony” could be prevented. The rate of the waste was approximately shown by Dr. Hector. There had been in New Zealand in 1830, 20,370,000 acres of forest land; in 1868, 15,276,000; and in 1873 there were only 12,130,000. Four millions of forest land in the Auckland province had dwindled to less than one million and a quarter.
When the session of 1873 was at an end, Dr. Pollen communicated with the provinces. Earl Kimberley sent official reports on the Ceylon forests, and fervid appeals from Dr. Hooker (Director of the Royal Gardens at Kew), who dreaded disasters in Ceylon. From Australian colonies, where the subject had been more or less languidly taken up; from England; from India, where conservators of forests had made valuable researches; from Germany, whither some of those conservators had travelled to observe the careful system pursued by skilled Forstmeisters, information was received. It might be well to narrate here the legislation resorted to in 1874 upon the subject were it not the fact that it led to unexpected consequences.
While it was popular to do so, Mr. Vogel supported provincialism. When the elements of public opinion seemed to be in a state of fusion, he watched for signs of the new form into which that opinion would crystallize. While the result was uncertain he was a votary of equilibrium. As soon as there were indications of the manner in which the divided particles would coalesce his mind was made up. It page 68 might perhaps be said that his conversion into an ardent centralist was unworthy, but it mattered not what might be said if only the manoeuvre should succeed. A people willing to be deceived can only be enlightened if the deceiver be dull. If the New Zealand atoms were about to crystallize, Mr. Vogel would be among the first, and would become conspicuous in the new order of things. He would make his defence as remarkable as his apostasy. If upbraided for abandoning his principles he could rebut the charge as “much ado about nothing”; and could truly affirm that when he said he would die for provincialism, he did not think he would live to destroy it. Before obtaining office he had published a pamphlet to prove that the English national debt might be paid off if England would borrow money and lend it to the colonies at an advance of half percent, on the English rate of interest. The colonies would fatten, and at the same time would pay off the mothercountry's debt in a hundred years.
It was fortunate that Dr. Featherston in stimulating emigration from Germany to New Zealand had employed German agents only. The English chargé d'affaires at Berlin reported in 1873 that the Prussian government, to discourage emigration, had resolved to expel all emigration agents or sub-agents not of German nationality. Not content with providing emigration to New Zealand, the ministry devised a plan of annexation of islands in the Pacific Ocean. Sir G. Grey had during his first government urged that England ought to assert dominion over many of the island groups. In 1871, an emissary was sent to the Navigator Islands to report to the New Zealand government upon their capabilities. In 1873, Mr. Vogel “respectfully submitted that a policy or line of conduct should be decided on, not alone in connection with one or two clusters of islands, but applicable to all Polynesia.” In Feb., 1874, more precise propositions were made. Mr. Vogel thought that New Zealand might “earn for reluctant Great Britain—without committing her to responsibilities she fears—a grand Island Dominion.” A company was to be formed. A man who had been arranging preliminaries for a bank at Fiji had furnished the idea of founding a trading company which, like the East India Company, was page 69 to acquire ascendancy; although, unlike that company, it could procure no monopoly. The projector thought that Mr. Vogel might be useful in “floating the company.” Mr. Vogel suggested that a commercial company should be formed, and that New Zealand should give a guarantee of 5 per cent, on the share capital (£1,000,000 sterling) for fifty years. New Zealand was to be the centre of operations. Factories were to be established there, and steamers were to ply with their products to all the islands. The company was not to ship goods to the islands except from New Zealand, and on all goods shipped to them “other than the produce or manufacture of New Zealand” the company was to pay a royalty of 7 ½ per cent. The government was to appoint a managing director in London and another in New Zealand. How the company could contend with the outer world which had no royalty to pay upon trade was not explained. Like the Mississippi system of Law, the New Zealand scheme was to shower benefits at home and abroad. The islands were to be “one dominion, with New Zealand the centre of government.” The scheme was submitted to the Governor in Nov., 1873. In Feb., 1874, promoters had been found for “The New Zealand and Polynesian Company,” and Mr. Frederick Whitaker negotiated for it with Mr. Vogel. He objected to the royalty on shipments, and Mr. Vogel accepted, instead, a provision impounding profits to repay advances made by the government. The outer world, unfortunately for the scheme, was still free. Voluminous papers on the capabilities of the islands were laid before the Assembly in 1874, but the Governor's opening speech only said that “the civilization, settlement, commerce, and forms of government of the islands present problems of great interest and importance to this colony.” At the close of the session, Mr. Vogel, in reply to a question, stated that he “believed that instructions had been received to reserve the bill if it had passed.”13 But the ministry submitted no bill page 70 to the Assembly, and the England of 1874 escaped the temptation of France in 1718. Lord Kimberley gave a significant hint to Sir J. Fergusson, when Mr. Vogel's financial statement (of 1873) reached England. Passages which asserted that the Imperial government were concluded in an “undisclosed guarantee” for colonial loans, and that “the Governor being an Imperial servant, the Imperial government would be responsible if their nominee did not respect the priority which the law established,” were pointed out as totally unwarrantable, and the Governor was enjoined to give a copy of the despatch to his advisers.
After the session of 1873, disturbance about land was apprehended between a section of the Ngatiraukawa and Muaupoko tribes. McLean resorted to the telegraph, and the Governor reported that the influence of Rangihiwinui was effective in averting war. It was arranged that the case should be reheard by the Native Land Court. Released from anxiety, Sir J. Fergusson visited Canterbury, Otago, and Westland. His published despatches were neither so numerous nor voluminous as those of his predecessors. The Waitangi treaty, the Wairau affray, the wars of Heke and of Rangihaeata had given exceptional interest to New Zealand, and Parliament had been fully supplied with information. With the triumphs of Sir G. Grey curiosity languished, and was only revived by the rape of the Waitara block, when again volumes of blue-books were produced. The Waikato war and the wars in memorandum carried on by Sir G. Grey exhausted curiosity and patience, and Sir G. Bowen with discursive pen vainly strove as special correspondent with Downing Street to stimulate curiosity. Those who knew anything about New Zealand were satisfied that so long as Donald McLean was Native Minister there would be no native war. Those who knew nothing wished to know no more. Though Sir J. Fergusson contracted page 71 the limits of his correspondence he apprised the Colonial Office of his movements. In March, April, and May, 1874, he visited the east coast and the Waikato district, travelling without unusual escort from Cambridge to Rotorua. He reported with sadness the evident decline of Maori morality. “I wish,” he said, “that some systematic effort were made to fit the children of chiefs by higher education for their proper work among their people, and even for taking a part in the future government and business of the country. In spite of the comparative failure of some former attempts, I hope, through private association if not by the action of government, to set on foot some definite organization for this purpose.” The very hope thus expressed breathes sweetly among the dusty records of New Zealand story.
Early in July the General Assembly met at Wellington. In that month Earl Carnarvon wrote that on his recommendation Her Majesty had promoted Donald McLean to be Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George.
2 N.Z.P.P. 1872; A. No. 1, p. 20.
4 Katene's views on parliamentary government were thus reported:— “All parties act in the same way. They always have objections to the government in power. I know very well what they mean by that. I am only deficient in this respect. I cannot hear all that goes on, and am not able to speak in the European language. All that the opposition want to do is to oppose the government in power, in order to take their places upon those benches. I do not think that a proper course for the General Assembly of New Zealand to pursue… It is not right that the desire for the emoluments of office should be the cause of upsetting a good policy which is for the benefit of the whole colony.” Sober truth seems almost like the satire placed by Swift in the mouth of the king of Brobdingnag.
5 Mr. Sewell averred that the bill framed by Mantell and his colleagues in the Fox ministry in 1862 was (although not passed) the “foundation of the Native Land Court Bills;” that it was revived in Domett and Bell's Act of 1862 (Mantell being still Native Minister), which was inoperative until, “on the return of Mr. Mantell to the administration of native affairs in 1864, it was galvanized into life… In 1864 he gave life to the Native Land Court, which up to that time had been practically dead.”
6 N.Z.P.P. 1871; D, 3, A. p. 21.
7 Mr. Reader Wood, a colleague with Mr. Fox in 1864, asked in the debate, and no one impugned him: “Has not patronage flowed back wards and forwards through this House in one continuous stream? How many members have been launched into the Civil Service? Has it not been understood, and have we not intentionally been made to understand, that the direct pecuniary interest of members of this House is to support the government?”
8 The craving for the retention of this title might have warned the Colonial Office that by wholesome conferring of heritable honours a valuable order might have been created; while the grace of the Queen would have been revered. Some Governors were blameable for not enforcing the early colonial regulations which declared that it was understood “that outgoing ministers would tender their resignation of office as Executive Councillors.” Some defeated ministers declined to conform to this requirement; and Governors did not compel them to obey it. Sir W. Denison in New South Wales was an exception. He told a recalcitrant that unless resignation were tendered removal would ensue. The New Zealand and other examples fixed the evil practice. Amended Regulations for Her Majesty's Colonial Service have stereotyped it. It is now “understood that councillors who have lost the confidence of the local legislature will tender their resignation … or discontinue the practical exercise of their functions, in analogy with the usage prevailing in the United Kingdom.” The Governor is empowered to “appoint and remove,” but the power is ineffective. An ex-executive councillor may misconduct himself without fear of removal. In one colony a man who was dismissed from an inferior post for dishonesty, became subsequently a minister, and induced the Governor to cancel the order of dismissal made by a previous Governor; and the man remained officially “Honourable.”
9 Tauroa could not understand why the colonists punished the body and also confiscated the goods. “I was told” (he said to the West Coast Commissioners in 1880)—“‘You and your people have done wrong in rebelling against the Queen.’ I answered, ‘I have not done wrong. I have not carried arms against the Queen, but against you, and you now say it is done against the Queen.’ I waited, expecting to be told that the land would be all taken for my wrong-doings; but no; all the blame was put on me, and not on the land… If I had been told, when I was tried at Wellington (1869), that my land was to be taken for my offences, then I should have understood it; but I was not told so at the time. My body was punished for my offences.” Messrs. Fox and Bell told Tauroa that it was no part of the duty of the judge to say anything about the confiscation: but the facts remained that Tauroa was occupying his land with full knowledge and consent of the government in 1869—that no proclamation of confiscation was or could be made after that date (the Settlements Act having expired)—and yet his land was seized. Another Maori retorted to the Commissioners: “Mr. Richmond's promise to Tauroa was not made verbally only; it was put in writing.” “We know that,” replied Fox and Bell; “but the war swept away all promises written and verbal to those who joined in it” (N.Z.P.P. 1880; G. 2, pp. 37, 38, 39), How foolish must the Commissioners have thought the hero of Waterloo, who declared that there could be “no higher interest than that of keeping your word!”
11 Canterbury College, and the Auckland University College prospered. In 1892 Canterbury had 345 students, Otago 213, Auckland 137; and the number of enrolled graduates (by examination) in 1893 was 373.
12 On one occasion Dr. Featherston significantly replied: “I still hold that the course which I adopted, in the case referred to, was the only one that any gentleman would, under similar circumstances, have pursued towards another.”—N.Z.P.P. 1874; D. 3, p. 52.
13 In 1876, a Mr. Phillips petitioned for compensation for having made known to Vogel the Polynesian scheme. In 1873, Phillips saw Sir James Fergusson, and Vogel told Phillips afterwards that the “quieter he should be with regard to his plans the better.” In 1874, Vogel told Phillips that he intended to carry out the scheme himself, and would not require help from Phillips. “Under a promise of compensation of £2000 the petitioner reluctantly resigned” his plan to the government, and Vogel in that year told the House that Phillips was “entitled to substantial compensation.” A Select Committee examined the rival projectors, who cross-examined one another. The Committee reported that Phillips had given information to Vogel, and that he should receive £150 for it, and a like sum for his other expenses.