His Lordship the Bishop of New Zealand to the
Hon. Mr. Tancred.
Sir,—Auckland, 28th April, 1860.
After reading in the New Zealand Gazette of the 23rd April the resolution of the Provincial Council of Hawke's Bay, passed on the 30th March, 1860, I feel it to be my duty most respectfully to record my deliberate protest against the statements contained therein.page 146
Because martial law was proclaimed at Taranaki before a single Native was known to have taken up arms against the Government, and when no offence had been given by the Natives beyond an unarmed obstruction of the work of the surveyors.
Because the persons described in the resolution as "disaffected aborigines" were the faithful and efficient allies of the Government in the war at Port Nicholson, and were always considered as among the most loyal, peaceable, and industrious of the New Zealand tribes, till they became entangled in the land questions raised by the English settlers at Taranaki.
Because, in entire opposition to the resolution in question, I claim, on behalf of the New Zealanders,—(1.) An investigation of all questions relating to their title to land, before a regular tribunal, with the usual safeguards against partiality or error, viz., evidence on oath, arguments of counsel, and a right of appeal; (2.) That military force shall not be employed till the civil power shall have been tried, and shall have been found insufficient to carry out the judgment of the Court; (3.) That, inasmuch as this colony was avowedly formed, not for the acquisition of territory for the English race, but for the protection of the New Zealanders, this primary object shall not be sacrificed to the aggrandizement of the English provinces.
Because the willing and prompt surrender by the New Zealand tribes of millions of acres of land, including all the best harbours, for very trifling payments, deserves the respect and gratitude of the whole colony, and especially of the Province of Hawke's Bay, where the extinction of the Native title has been unusually rapid, and where the greater part of the land was offered to Government for sale in 1842, and declined for want of funds.
Because, finally, I am so far from concurring in the hope "that such policy will for the future be everywhere alike steadily and zealously adhered to," that I believe that the repetition of any similar policy would be as unwise as it would be unjust, and would lead to the most disastrous consequences to the English colony and to the Native race.
I have, &c.,
G. A. New Zealand.To the Hon. Henry John Tancred, acting for the Colonial Secretary.