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An Epitome of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs and Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand

No. 35. — Extract from a Despatch from Governor Sir G. F. Bowen, G.C.M.G., to his Grace the Duke of Buckingham

No. 35.
Extract from a Despatch from Governor Sir G. F. Bowen, G.C.M.G., to his Grace the Duke of Buckingham.

Government House, Wellington, 5th March, 1868.

My Lord Duke,—

  • 1. Among the manifold and urgent public questions which have necessarily pressed themselves on my attention during the month which has now elapsed since my assumption, on the 5th ultimo, of the Government of New Zealand, I have given much thought and care to that very complicated and difficult but highly interesting subject, the present condition and future prospects of the Maori race.
  • 2. By my desire the Minister for the Native Department (Mr. J. C. Richmond) has addressed to the principal officers and agents of the Government throughout the colony a circular (of which I enclose a copy) directing each of them to furnish, for the information of the Governor, a detailed report on Native affairs in his district. It will be seen that this report is to contain as full a history as page 185 possible of the last few years, and of the events that have come under the personal cognizance of each Government agent. Reliable information is called for as to the; actual number of the Maoris; the causes and influences affecting their increase or decrease; their feelings towards Europeans generally; their physical and moral condition; the rise, object, progress, and tendency of the Hauhau movement; the opinion of the Maoris in respect of the recent war, of the removal of the Imperial troops, of the suppression of the recent outbreaks of rebellion on the east coast of the North Island and elsewhere, and of the prospect of the permanent restoration of peace. Finally, the several agents of the Government are required to notice the working of the recent Acts of the New Zealand Legislature in reference to the lands, the education, and the parliamentary representation of the Maoris; and generally to supply such further information as may appear likely to be useful in framing an accurate opinion of the present state of Native affairs.
  • 3. I am assured that the public officers in the Maori districts are for the most part men of ability and local experience, and it is hoped that the reports which will be elicited by the above-mentioned circular will go far towards enabling both the Imperial and the Colonial Governments to arrive at a correct estimate of the present condition, feeling, and prospects of the Native race. It will be my duty to transmit to your Grace copies of these reports, when they shall have been received, together with such remarks and illustrations as they seem to need…..

I have, &c.,

G. F. Bowen.

His Grace the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos.