Answer of Governor Fitzroy to the Address of the Inhabitants of New. Plymouth.
Gentlemen,—Auckland, 14th March, 1844.
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt on the 11th instant of your memorial, dated the 18th September, 1843, and return you my sincere thanks for your congratulations and kind expressions.
I am fully aware how vital a question is the settlement of claims to land, and I am most anxious to forward it as speedily as possible. I have desired Mr. Commissioner Spain to proceed from Wellington to New Plymouth, and I believe that he will be accompanied by the New Zealand Company's Principal Agent, to endeavour to arrange matters in the Taranaki District as satisfactorily as they have been arranged at Wellington.
I am aware of the opposition made by certain aboriginal natives of Taranaki to the progress of some of the settlers, but I have reason to fear that the asserted purchase of much land in that neighbourhood does not rest upon sure grounds, and that the Natives did not consent to our taking possession.
Recommending earnestly the exercise of forbearance, kindness, and justice towards the Natives; reminding you that the Government can never encourage or sanction any aggressive or unjust conduct; and assuring you of the utmost assistance and countenance that the Government has it in its power to show, while it has justice and good feeling on its side,
I have, &c.,
Messrs. J. G. Cooke, R. Chilman, J. Flight,
and other gentlemen residing at New Plymouth.