Opinion of the Attorney-General as to the Legal Status of the Maoris now in Arms.
The opinion of the Attorney-General was requested, by direction of the Hon. the Colonial Secretary, on 23rd June, 1869, in the following terms: "The concluding paragraph of Earl Granville's despatch No. 30, of 26th Pebruary, 1869, implies that the Maoris now in arms against the Government are a foreign enemy, or, at all events,'belligerents,' with whom 'the usual laws of war' must be observed. The Attorney-General is requested to state his opinion how far this is true, and to define the legal position of the Maoris according to the existing law."