Notes of Meetings Between His Excellency the Governor (Lord Ranfurly), The Rt. Hon. R. J. Seddon, Premier and Native Minister, and the Hon. James Carroll, Member of the Executive Council Representing the Native Race, and the Native Chiefs and People at Each Place, Assembled in Respect of the Proposed Native Land Legislation and Native Affairs Generally, During 1898 and 1899.
Native Chiefs desire to have Reports of Meetings Printed
Native Chiefs desire to have Reports of Meetings Printed.
It has been suggested to me that the report of what has been done may be printed and circulated in the Native languages, so that those of the Native race may have the report of the proceedings correctly placed before them. I with pleasure accede to that request. I will have the report circulated through the Kahiti as an inset.
I conclusion, may He who watches over both races take you into His loving charge, and preserve, sustain, and keep you.
Mr. Kaihau: It is just as well that I should say a few words with reference to certain of the matters that have been mentioned to-day. It is with pleasure we heard that the Premier consents to certain words given expression to at the end of this meeting—to the effect that the chiefs should set to work in earnest to get some representative of their own appointed to the Upper House, to support those who are struggling in the House of Representatives to have Bills passed. This can be answered very shortly. Consent can, of course, be easily page 88given, but there will be a good deal of discussion before it is absolutely settled. I mentioned that in the past, when Sir Donald McLean was in the Government, it was stated by him that he was desirous of making some return to the Natives who had suffered severely during the waikato war. I will not detain you long. After that came Sir George Grey. In his last message he told them that he was agreeable that they should set up amongst themselves council to take into consideration their own affairs, but that the laws of the colony were averse to it. Moreover, he was desirous of returning certain thousands of acres to those who had suffered during the war; and the only thing that prevented this being done was the existing law. It is the same thing that they are advocating now. These people represent the Waikato people. All our desires are now in your possession. There is nothing outside of what is before the Government. The only thing that was left was that there should be a meeting at which you could meet these people face to face. If through want of authority there is anything in the Bill which you think dangerous to the Natives, that could be considered. With reference to your advice to the chiefs to consider these matters: well, all I can say is that all our considerations are in that Bill; but it is quite right that you should put your views before us as you have done. These Natives are landless because the whole of their land has been confiscated. Originally they were owners of the land. Therefore I say that it is for the person who has got the goods to consider as to the disposal of them. You have got the whole power in your hands. I am standing here naked. I am standing naked, and the sun and the rain are beating down upon me. Therefore I say it is needless trying any one else; the whole thing is in yours and Mahuta's hands. We have nothing to do now but wait result. What I plainly feel is that if these matters are favourably considered these men will set all that straight. This is my reply to you. Let there be good feelling existing between us all.
The Premier: Mahuta and I will settle these matters, but he will require to go to wellington. Both of us desire to see them settled in the interests of both races.
By Authority: John Mackay, Government Printer, Wellington—1990.