Copy of a Despatch from Governor Sir G. F. Bowen to the Right Hon. the Earl of Kimberley.
In continuation of my despatches respecting my recent journey overland across the centre of the North Island of New Zealand, I have now the honour to report that I left Auckland on the 31st ultimo, on my third visit to the Waikato District.
- 2. Full accounts of this important part of the colony, which was the principal field of the operations of the Imperial and Colonial forces, under General Sir Duncan Cameron, in the campaigns of 1863 and 1864, will be found in my Despatches No. 49, of June 30, 1868, and No. 31, of March 7, 1870, written immediately after my two former visits; and in the maps and other documents accompanying those despatches. To the above-mentioned papers, several of which have been laid before the Imperial Parliament, I would request your Lordship's attention.
- 3. I now address your Lordship from Ngaruawahia,* the township at the confluence of the Rivers Waikato† and Waipa, and commonly called "the old Maori capital," because (as I have explained on a previous occasion) it was the residence of Potatau te Wherowhero, who was elected, in 1857, to be the first (so-called) Maori King. This celebrated chieftain and warrior, who had been a firm friend and ally of the English in the early days of the colony, and who never took part in any hostilities against the Queen's troops, died in 1861, and was buried at Ngaruawahia. On my first visit to the Waikato, in 1868, I caused his tomb, which had fallen into decay, to be repaired; and this act is said to have produced a very favourable impression on his son and successor, Tawhiao, and ou their family and clansmen.
- 4. On my journey hither from Auckland, I have proceeded by short stages, visiting all the English settlements and Native kaingas, or villages. I have been everywhere received with the most cordial respect and welcome.
- 5. Nothing can be more satisfactory than the general progress made in the Waikato since the date of my first visit in 1868, and especially during the last two years. The colonists and the Natives alike appear to feel that permanent tranquillity and confidence have now been finally established.
- 6. I annex a clear and concise report from Mr. McLean (who is also in the Waikato) on the present aspect of Native affairs.
- 7. After completing my visit to this district I shall return to Auckland, and thence proceed to Wellington in time for the opening of the next session of the New Zealand Parliament, which is summoned to meet for the despatch of business on the 16th July.
I have, &c.,
G. F. Bowen.
The Right Hon. the Earl of Kimberley.
* This name signifies "the meeting of the waters."
† The Waikato, before its union with the Waipa, is sometimes called the Horotiu.