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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.

Meeting between the Premier and the Chiefs and Others of the Ngatikahungunu Tribe at Waipatu, 30th March, 1898

Meeting between the Premier and the Chiefs and Others of the Ngatikahungunu Tribe at Waipatu, 30th March, 1898.

Wi Pere, M. H. R., asked for permission to be heard first.

The Premier: I would just like to communicate the course I propose to take at this meeting. Those present desire to know the intentions of the Government respecting some matters which have been the cause of anxiety. I have been asked by Mr. Wi Pere that he might be allowed to say a few words before I unfold the propositions of the Government in respect to Native matters. He is a friend of mine, as he is also a friend of the Native race, and I shall be very pleased indeed to hear n few words from him first. Time will not permit of my remaining here to-day after noop. After Mr. Wi Pere has introduced has business, I propose to unfold the propositions of the Government. which I feel sure will take the Natives some time to consider. It would be unreasonable for me to expect them to be adopted at once. You will ask for time for consideration. and this you are entitled to. Parliament will not meet for a few months: after you have thought over your proposals I will expect you to communicate with mo and let me know whether you like them or not, or whether improvements are considered necessary. I am taking you of the Native race into my confidence and dealing with you in the same way, as we deal with Europeans. It is well that we should do our business in this way, for then there will be no ill-feeling later on. Having made these introductory remarks. I will now leave Wi Pere to say a few words.

Wi Pere: I have not many words to say by way of introduction. You are perfectly aware of the matters that I shall place before you, as you are far superior in intellect to me. and know far more than the Native race do. You are the centre of all the people of this Island. For years the evil that has fallen on this Island has been the selling of the land by the Natives. Europeans have acquired 60,000,000 acres, and the Natives have only got 5,000,000 to themselves-it might be only 4,000,000. The Maoris have put their requests in writing. The memoranda are as. follows:—

"The Hon. the Premier.

"Waipatu. 30th March. 1898.

"Long may you live, you the head of the Government of the Colony of New Zealand. who is administering the affairs affecting the two races in the whole Colony of New Zealand.

"The subjects that were discussed and settled at this meeting, and to be laid before you, are as under:-

  • "(1.) We, your Maori people, ask you to assent to the request embodied in our address to Her Majesty the Queen—namely, that all purchases of the lands remaining to us Maoris should entirely be stopped, no matter what Act they may be held under.
  • "(2) We, your Maori people, also ask that some way be opened to us whereby we may be enabled to borrow money at a low rate of interest to enable us to improve the lands remaining to us.page 6
  • "(3.) So that this may be a token and an honourable recognition of our gracious Queen having reigned for fifty-eighth years over us Maoris.

"Long live the Premier!

"From All the Maori People."

"The Hon. The Premier.

"Waipatu 29th March, 1898.

"This is a communication from us, your Maori people, to you, requesting that you will entirely prohibit the purchase of Maori lands by the Government or by private Europeans, and that the lands remaining to your Maori people be absolutely reserved as reserves for ever and ever until the end of the world, as a fitting memento of Her Majesty's lengthened reign on the throne of her ancestors, and as a memento also of the Queen's fifty-eighth year's reign over us Maoris.

"Long may you live, O Premier.

"Confirmed by the committee.

"Roore Rangiheuea, Chairman of the Committee."

"No. 2.—That the Native Land Court be abolished.

"Confirmed by the committee.

"Roore Rangiheuea, Chairman of the Committee."

Wi Pere (continuing) said,—These are the words which the assembled Natives wish to place before you to-day. The Native people are conscious of what has befallen them in years past, therefore they ask you to make the few acres of land remaining in Maori hands perfectly inalienable. Do not make them inalienable for three or four years only, but make the lands absolutely inalienable. Now, for instance, during your term as Premier you might make all this land inalienable, but in the event of another Government being elected they might after this. In former times the Natives lamented the sale of their lands, and the Government made them inalienable; but certain Europeans set to work, and the restrictions were removed. It was afterwards enacted that only the Government should purchase, and Europeans generally were not allowed to buy. That was done merely to satisfy the Natives for a short time. Now you, the Premier, know that the Natives have suffered great losses, and that there are only 5,000,000 acres remaining to them. I would therefore impress upon you the importance of making these lands absolutely inalienable. You must know very well that the Natives are not people who look to the future; the Natives now desire to place themselves under the care of the Government. It is not right that they should be left to look after themselves, for they are not able to do it. In former times the restrictions have been of such a nature that under certain enactments Europeans and Natives could buy land. If the law of the Natives to the effect that whoever sold lands should have his head cut off were in force, then the Natives might not attempt to sell the land, but the Europeans have done away with this great law of the Native race. According to European law the person who takes the life of any one forfeits his own life also; therefore our request to you is to place the care of the Native race in your hands; but if you do not agree to this, and continue to allow the Natives to take care of themselves, then you must permit them to refer back to the old Native custom, that any one selling land should have his head cut off. You are urged to endeavour to find means for assisting the Natives in utilising their lands, so that they might become improved, as the law has imposed rates on this land. Our two great wished are: First, that the remaining lands should become absolutely inalienable; and the other is that you should find means to give the Maoris money for improving their lands. This last is my own suggestion, but the greater number of the Natives of this Island agree with it. This is all we have got to say at present, as you are in hurry to get away. We would have liked you to have stayed over to-night. I would again repeat that the great desire of all these people is that you should be strong in taking care of them. Do not listen to what Europeans have to say, lest evil might result. One other subject that the Natives bring before you is with regard to the Native Land Courts. We would like to see them abolished absolutely. We know the grievances that prevail in consequence of the existence of these Courts, and our wish is that an Act should be passed stopping the sale of all Native lands, and abolishing the Native Land Courts. If the Courts are abolished, no other institution should be established in their place. You are the person who knows all the wishes and desires of the Natives. We would like the different chiefs to consider what is to be done with the few remaining acres of land that we have. I would like this to be done at once, and not put off from year to year. Do not say, "Wait, wait." There are two evils besetting the Maori, and if you can remove these evils the Natives will continue to live. Do not listen to Europeans who would extinguish the Maori race; they have 60,000,000 acres; let them divide that land amongst themselves. It is only by adopting such measures as these that the Maori people can truly be called children of the Queen. I hope you will restrain the land-purchase officers from making advances on the purchase of our lands—throwing corn for the fowls to eat.

The Premier: Many years ago there was a great gathering of your ancestors to discuss whether they would grant to the British Crown the sovereignty of New Zealand. After most carefully considering the mattes they decided upon the terms upon which they would do this. The ancestors I allude to were those who framed the Treaty of Waitangi, the most famous treaty in the history of the Native race. Your ancestors were far-seeing men, and they saw the danger of their descendants becoming landless; they also saw the need of food being secured for their descendants: page 7the forests must be preserved, so that the birds might live; the water to conserve the fish, and that was why the rivers and lakes were mentioned. They also saw the necessity of preserving the lands, for without the lands the Natives, of course, could not live. Now, if the Native race had followed on the lines laid down by your ancestors in the Treaty of Waitangi, there would have been no necessity for this meeting to-day. If you look back you will see that as children you have made mistakes, but I am not here to-day to chide you or to say unkind words. You know quite well the great mistakes that have been made. With your anxiety for the care of those who are to come after you, it behoves you, before it is too late, before all your land is gone, to consider what can best be done to prevent the evils that have existed for so many years. After giving this question years of attention, I say that it is necessary now that we should stop the sale of the remaining lands, for if we do not do this the Native race will keep on decreasing in numbers rapidly, and before very long most of those remaining will become a burden upon the community. Again I would ask, who is it that runs after the Native-land purchase officer to sell his land? It is the Native owner. Who was it that asked Parliament for the right to sell land to anybody they liked? It was the Natives themselves. They said, "Give us our lands; let us hold our lands in the same way as the Europeans hold theirs." Parliament said, "Very well, here is your title, and do as you like with your lands"; and before the ink was dry on the deed these Natives who had obtained the fee-simple of the land were rushing after the Europeans begging them to purchase it—in fact, the Native-land purchase officers almost required to carry a rod with them to keep the Natives away, so eager were they to get rid of their land. This is why you have so little left now. What is the reason for your having hundreds of landless Natives? It is largely owing to their having sold their lands. Having done this, they now want the lands belonging to other people. Wi Pere amuses me when he advises the Europeans to divide their 60,000,000 acres of lands amongst themselves, and to leave the Native alone. I would say to Wi Pere and the other chiefs who are large landowners, "Why do you not divide your lands amongst those of your race who have none?" If the Native race were to set this good example, then probably the pakeha would do the same, but I do not for a moment think any of them will do it. It is all very well to give advice like this, but there are very few who will follow it. My own opinion is that if, to-morrow, you had a fair distribution of the land and wealth amongst the Natives and the Europeans, next week some one would have disposed of his share, and be again crying out for another division. We will say that a big Native meeting was being held, or that sorrow had overtaken some of your people through the death of a dear one, or perhaps there was a race-meeting, or a circus going on: what would be the first thing you would do? You would feel in your pockets to see if you had any money there; if you found you had none, but knew that you had land, you would straightway rush for the nearest land-purchase officer and say to him, "Give me some money for my land; I want to go to the races, or to the circus, or to hold a tangi over my departed relative." This has often made me feel very sad, and I have felt very sorry indeed for you good Native people—you are too kind-hearted; it is bad enough to have the sorrow caused by death, but, owing to your customs, the result is that the living are made to suffer. You hold a great tangi, and to do this you have to get money upon your lands; in this way you have a double sorrow, you lose your relative and you lose your land and your money. It is the duty of all people to show respect for the dead, and they should show consideration for those who have suffered bereavement, but there is no necessity for spending large sums of money in doing so. I have no hesitation in mentioning the main causes of the Natives losing the bulk of their lands; one is the expense of holding tangis, and the other is indulging in fleeting pleasures when they ought to be cultivating their lands. Another great evil, and perhaps the greatest, is the Native Land Court and the lawyers. In my opinion, the lawyers have swallowed up in fees more Native land than all the other Europeans taken together. Now, I am simply leading up to the present situation. Mr. Wi Pere, your respected member and my friend, and the other chiefs who have met in council to-day, have been continually advising me that some change is necessary. The results of these meetings have been embodied in the resolutions read to me by Mr. Wi Pere. As to this, you appealed to your mother, my mother, and the mother of all of us—that is, our beloved Queen—and, of course, she replied that this was a matter that would be dealt with by her Ministers, and by her representative, the Governor; but I tell you here that you have the matter in your own hands. There is no law in New Zealand to make you sell your land; no one could take hold of your hand and make you sign a deed. This being so, then why do you do it? What is really wanted is some one to restrain you, to keep you from signing these deeds. Mr. Wi Pere has said that Parliament must get hold of your hand, that it must be tied behind your backs, that you must not on any account be allowed to sell your lands. You of the Native race, you rangatiras, have come to this conclusion: You say, "If the power to sell is given, we will soon have none, and so step in as a father would do in the case of an erring son, and stop us from doing injury to ourselves." As you say, "Stop us from selling the land from this time forward, or after next meeting of Parliament no Native lands shall be sold"; and you say, "Abolish the Native Land Courts so that no more titles shall be given; and if they are abolished that will help to stop the sale of Native lands." Now, your ancestors said that if there was to be any sale of land, or transactions in it, it should be through page 8the Government; that is laid down in the Treaty of Waitangi, and it would have been a good thing for the Native race if that had been adhered to. If it had been strictly adhered to there would have been no necessity for this meeting to-day. As to the next question respecting lands purchased by the Government, I myself have for years felt that no proper principle has been laid down. The law affecting the Natives has not been the same as that affecting the Europeans. If we buy any land from a European, or take any land from him, a tribunal has to be appointed consisting of three men—one appointed by the owner, one by the Government, and a Judge of the Supreme Court acts as umpire. These settle the question. What has been good for the Europeans would, in my opinion, have been good for the Natives in the past. There is one thing that I can honestly say, and that is that since my Government and our party have been in power we have given better prices to the Natives for their land, and because we have dealt more fairly with the Natives in this respect they have forced more land upon us. Take, for instance, the Awarua, Ngapaeruru, and Waikopiro Blocks; we have in many cases doubled the prices. I tell you that, so far as the Government is concerned, we do not want to buy much more Native land. I believe the system adopted in the case of the Europeans—namely, the leasing of the land—is much better than selling it; you would then retain it, and at the same time get moneys for its use. I would also point out that there is a necessity for the land being properly used. To leave land in its native state when it should be profitably used is a crime. The land is there to enable men, women, and children to live, and without it there can be no existence. It is therefore necessary that these large tracts of unoccupied Native land should be occupied; if this were done I am satisfied that every Native would get sufficient to keep him in a much better position than he finds himself to-day; but, in suggesting this most important departure, I do not propose to compel you to do anything unless you think that it would be for your own good. What is to be done must be done with your full approval, and with your consent. If we are to have a change of law it must be optional; you may adopt it or reject it. Some Natives may prefer to go on as at present, and others may desire a change, just as you do; therefore we must leave the matter to the Natives of the different districts themselves; we must have a law passed so that it can be made to apply to the Maoris of the different districts; we must have a law passed so that it can be made to apply to the Maoris of the different districts if they thin fit. Those that come under its provisions will have their interests safeguarded—their lands will be inalienable for them. If, on the other hand, they prefer the risk of becoming landless, if they prefer to go on selling to meet their daily necessities, that is their business; they will bring injury upon themselves, which I would very much regret. Now, first of all, I wish you to understand this: If Parliament passes a Bill making the Native lands inalienable, then the Natives of particular districts must be consenting parties before it can be brought into operation in these districts. A certain number of Natives will, by petition, ask that this law shall apply to their district; if twenty Natives object to it, then a ballot is to be taken, and the Native owners are to decide by vote whether or not the law shall be made to apply to their lands. but the great difficulty I see is this: If you make a sudden change when the land is not producing anything, how are the Natives to live in the meantime? They must have means of obtaining food somehow. Those who have means will not care about sharing with those who have no money, consequently there must be some way of getting over the difficulty in the meantime. Now, there must be some one appointed who shall be responsible for the management of the land. You said that you would require an advance of money; you also claim that those who have to manage the land shall be people of the Native race interested in the land. As to this, I tell you candidly that you will not get any advance from the Government if it is simply to be handed to the Natives. In the matter of advances there must always be some Europeans appointed by the Government who are to account to the Government. There will, therefore, be a necessity for having upon the board of management Europeans as well as Natives. Your lands require to be roaded, and your rivers and creeks bridged; where is the money to come from to make roads and build bridge? It must come from the Europeans. Have you any Natives that can lay off a road and prepare plans for bridges? I do not know of any. Therefore joint control is absolutely necessary. On this matter I know that there will be a difference of opinion. As Minister for the Native race, and having to submit these proposals to Parliament, I must, if I am to carry them through, have a board of control jointly representative. If that is not agreed upon it would only be a waste of time to discuss the matter at all. To the younger generation I would speak as a father would to his sons, and I take counsel with those who, like myself, have the snow on the mountain-top. I wish you to weigh my words when I say that you will never get your land thrown open for selection, and roaded, and have money advanced upon it unless there is joint control. I may tell you that this is the first time that we have proposed to give representatives of the Maori race a place on a Board dealing with the roading of lands, the building of bridges, or the advancing of money. We are prepared to pay the members of the proposed Boards for their services; they are to have a salary which is to be fixed by Parliament, and the Naives who are to be members of the Boards are to be elected by their own race. The men and women who have the land in particular districts shall have the settling of the matter, in the same way as they have elected their members of Parliament. The proposed Boards are to be elected for page 9three years, and they, with three others, will have the land vested in them to lease, road, and manage generally. This, I believe, is the fairest way of giving joint control. The Board is to lease the land solely in the interests of the tenants and the Native owners. There is to be no sale of the land vested in the Board; it must be leased at the best rentals. Knowing that some of you have already borrowed money on your land, and that there are certain liens at present existing over the land, and that there are deeds which must be discharged, we propose to give power in this measure to the Board to pay off these liens, and to let you have the money at 5 per cent., the land being the security for the advances, and the repayment of the money is to extend over forty-two years. Later on I will run through the Bill clause by clause, giving you a short précis of it, so that you may understand it. I intend also to circulate amongst you printed copies of the préis in your own language. Mr. Wi Pere said there was a general desire to abolish the Native Land Courts. I entirely agree with this statement; the time will shortly arrive, I think, when we shall be able to take steps to do away with the Native Land Courts within a reasonable period. The death-blow will be given to these Courts when the Bill that I have been referring to has been passed by the Legislature. In building up a new structure one has to be very cautious; it is an easy matter to get over a wall by means of a ladder, but one should not kick the ladder away until he is quite sure that he does not want it to go back again. We have taken very great care indeed in drafting this Bill, and it was after mature consideration that it was decided to leave the adoption of its provisions entirely in the hands of the Natives themselves. You have had long koreros at great meetings in different parts of the colony, at which large quantities of food have been consumed; nothing but words, however, have been the result. Now, it this Bill is passed, you can have your koreros, you can argue the matter out amongst yourselves, and if you decide to adopt the Bill, then you have got something to work upon. If it proves a success in its operation, and if the Maori members elected to the Boards prove to the satisfaction of the Natives themselves that they might be trusted with the management of their own affairs, then, later on, we may change the constitution of the Boards and give the Maoris absolute control. You must first prove that you can manage your own lands, and that you can be just in administering the laws, then Parliament will probably relax the conditions. I want the Maoris to prove to the Europeans that they are really capable of managing their own affairs. If you had something more to occupy your attention and exercise your minds upon it would be much better for the race. It is having nothing to do that is causing demoralisation, and steadily helping to exterminate you. If there were less koreros and big meetings, less tangis, less going to horse-races and circuses, and more work upon the soil, it would be greatly beneficial to your race. You may not like me to tell you the plain truth, but I think it is the duty of the Native Minister, wherever he finds these things going on, to point to the dangers, and tell you to work more, especially the young men. Without labour a people cannot be contented and happy, and the earth will not give its increase unless it is tilled. We often find the young men riding about the country, and in other ways wasting their time, while the wahines are left to do the cultivating. I repeat the men ought to work more and leave less for the women to do. I will now give you a précis of the proposed measure:—

  • "1. The colony, for the purpose of this Act, to be divided into districts.
  • "2. For each district there shall be a Native Land Board consisting of the Commissioner of Crown Lands and two Europeans to be appointed by the Governor, and two Natives to be elected for a term of three years by the owners of Native lands within each such district respectively.
  • "3. The members of the Board (Europeans and Natives) shall be paid such salaries and allowances as may from time to time be fixed by the Governor out of moneys appropriated by Parliament.
  • "4. The Commissioner of Crown Lands shall, by virtue of his office, be Chairman of the Board, and shall have a casting-vote only; in his absence he may appoint one of the European members as Deputy Chairman.
  • "5. A Deputy Chairman shall have a deliberative as well as a casting vote.
  • "6. Three members, including at least one Maori, shall be a quorum.
  • "7. 'The Disqualification Act, 1878,' shall not apply to Maori members of the Board.
  • "8. The adoption of this Act in any district is permissive. It may be brought into force by the Governor on the petition of any twenty or more of the Native owners.
  • "9. On receipt of the petition, the Governor shall publish it in the Gazette and Kahiti, and call for objections.
  • "10. If twenty or more of the other Native owners object to the petition, the matter shall be decided by a poll of all the Native owners.
  • "11. On adoption of the Act in any district, all Native lands, which means papatupu, and all other lands owned by Natives, shall vest in the Native Land Board, except lands purchased by Natives from the Crown, or from pakehas, or lands which the Governor in Council exempts from the Act in cases where he is satisfied that the Native owners are themselves competent to administer the same, or lands subject to 'The Thermal Springs Districts Act, 1881,' 'The Westland and Nelson Native Reserves Act, 1887,' 'The West Coast Settlements Reserves Act, 1892,' and 'The Native Townships Act, 1895.'page 10
  • "12. The Board shall have power to dispose of Native lands by lease at such rentals, for such periods, and subject to such conditions as are prescribed by regulations under the Act.
  • "13. No Native lands in any district where the Act is adopted may thereafter be disposed a by way of sale, except for completion of dealings lawfully commenced before passing of the same, as where the lands are exempted as hereinbefore provided.
  • "14. The Board is empowered to reserve land for, as far as practicable, the individual use and occupation of Native owners on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit, and also to reserve lands for burial-places, schools, churches, and other purposes of public convenience or utility.
  • "15. When disposing of Native lands by lease the Board may give priority to applications of Natives who are landless, or who may be owners of the lands thrown open for leasing.
  • "16. The Board may agree with Her Majesty for Native lands to be available for mining purposes under 'The Mining Act, 1891,' the revenues from all such lands in respect of mining being paid by the Warden to the Board for the benefit of the Native owners.
  • "17. The Board may expend money on the formation and maintenance of roads, streets, surveys, and opening up land for settlement, or any other purpose authorised by the Act of regulations.
  • "18. The Board shall have such further powers as may be conferred upon it by regulations and all regulations shall by laid upon the table of both Houses within fourteen days after being gazetted, if Parliament be in session, and, if not in session, within fourteen days after the commencement of the first ensuing session thereof.
  • "19. The Board shall, with respect to Native lands vested in it, have all the powers of the Native Land Court as to partition, succession, definition of relative interests, and appointment of trustees for Native owners under disability.
  • "20. The income of the Board in respect of Native lands shall be applied—(1) To defray costs of administration; (2) paying off mortgages, charges, and liens that are due; (3) paying balance to Native owners according to their relative interests.
  • "21. No Native owner may dispose of his interest in any Native land within a district in which the Act has been adopted, except by will in favour of another Native.
  • "22. No Native land within any such district may be seized or sold for debt.
  • "23. The Board may borrow from the Government upwards of £5,000 in any year for the purpose of roading, surveying, and opening lands for settlement.
  • "24. At the request of the Native owners concerned the Board may borrow from the Government in any year upwards of £5,000 for the purpose of discharging mortgages or other encumbrances to which the lands are subject at the time of the adoption of the Act, and upwards of £1,000 for the purpose of lands are subject at the time of the adoption of the Act, and upwards of £1,000 for the purpose of paying then existing unsecured debts of the Native owners.
  • "25. The moneys so borrowed from the Government shall be repayable, with interest at 5 percent. per annum, by equal annual instalments extending over upwards of forty-two years, and the instalments shall be deducted from the income of the Native owners for whose benefit the money was borrowed.
  • "26. Uncompleted purchases by the Crown, and all uncompleted private dealings lawfully commenced, and which could have been lawfully completed but for the passing of Act, may, in the districts where the Act is adopted, be completed through the Board.
  • "27. The Governor in Council may make all such preparations as are necessary for the carrying-out of the provisions of the Act.
  • "28. The Governor in Council may exempt any Native land from the operation of the Act in cases where he is satisfied that the Native owner is himself fully competent to administer the same."

Now, friends, my last words to you these: Our meeting to-day is a most important one—in fact, I think as important as the meeting at which your ancestors agreed to the Treaty of Waitangi. The clauses of this Bill are framed on what were the general principles running through that treaty. If this Bill is adopted the Natives themselves shut out every one from buying Native lands. We are now, for the first time, going back to what was originally intended, and providing that the lands shall be occupied for the good of yourselves and those who come after you. I expect the land. grabbers, agents, and pakeha-Maoris will fight me over this Bill; they will maintain that a large Portion of the land is not producing anything, and will say, "Why should it not be made to do so; we must get the Natives to sell it." There may be also some Natives who may object to this proposed legislation; it may not be perfect; there may be defects in it: but your wise men, Your councillors, must meet together and go through it carefully, and let me know what the mind of the Natives is upon it. As the Minister for the Native race, I want to preserve the race, and I hope to see your numbers increasing and to find you prospering. You require to be saved from yourselves. Unless something effective is done, and done with as little delay as possible, I fear that it will only be a question of a comparatively few years till the remnants of one of the noblest aboriginal races that ever lived under the British flag will be found walking about the streets in abject poverty, and casting reflection upon the Legislature of the colony that ought to have stepped in and saved them. This need not happen, however, if you are guided by what is now proposed, if, as I am fain to page 11believe, I can get it through Parliament. I want you to well consider what I have placed before you. Nothing has pleased me so much for years past as to have had the pleasure of meeting you all, and discussing these proposals with you, and nothing has caused my heart to bleed more than to find so many Natives in the South Island practically landless. My Government had to find no less than 60,000 acres to give them a little land upon which to live. The Europeans have disagreed upon some of the questions of the policy of the present Government: but, in respect to our Native policy, I hold that no Government has done so much for the Native race as the present Administration. And here I must not forget to do justice to a great man who has passed away. I refer to my former chief, the late John Ballance. He was ever a firm friend of the Natives, and the great success that has attended our efforts is owing to this. We have always consulted you, we have reasoned with you, we have asked you to advise the Government, and we have not applied force. In this way confidence is begotten, and the greatest sympathy between both people exists. You have as much right to be consulted as the Europeans; that is the reason for my being here to-day. It is sad to part, but I must now say Good-bye. Before doing so I desire to say that I hope the words I have given expression to will be pondered over, and that the conclusions arrived at will be in the direction of agreeing with the proposals, with any minor alterations that you may think necessary in order to perfect the measure. While I am now leaving you, my heart will continue with you. I hope that every happiness will attend you, that your numbers may increase, and that you may live in amity contented and happy, side by side with the Europeans of this colony.

Mrs. Donnelly: Before the Premier leaves us I desire to thank him for his kindness in attending this meeting for the purpose of discussing and explaining these matters. On some future occasion we will take an opportunity of sending to you any suggestions that we may think necessary to make with respect to the Bill. At present this is all I have to say, because the time is short.

Mr. Henare Tomoana corroborated what Mrs. Donnelly had said.