Proceedings of of the Kohimarama Conference, Comprising Nos. 13 to 18 of the "Maori Messenger."
Closing Speech of his Excellency The Governor, to The Maori Chiefs Assembled at Kohimarama, on The11Th Day of August, 1860
Closing Speech of his Excellency The Governor, to The Maori Chiefs Assembled at Kohimarama, on The11Th Day of August, 1860.
My Friends, Chiefs of New Zealand,—
"At this Conference, Chiefs from all parts of New Zealand have, for the first time, met together, You have received from me renewed assurances of Her Majesty's regard for your welfare, and you have heard the guarantees given in the Treaty of Waitangi repeated on Her Majesty's behalf.
Various matters upon which you were imperfectly or incorrectly informed, have been explained to you.
Your attention has been directed to the necessity of some better provision for the administration of justice in Native districts, and a code of Rules prepared by Dr. Martin (the late Chief Justice of New Zealand) has been submitted to you.page 11
You have been invited to consider the subject of Mixed Juries, in cases of murder, where persons of the Maori race are concerned.
Suggestions have been made to you for defining tribal boundaries to land, and securing individual titles, with the view of removing many of the difficulties at present surrounding Native Title.
The English law of succession to property, and the manner of making a Will, as a means of preventing future litigation, have been explained to you.
You have been requested to state your sentiments and wishes freely, and to make known your grievances, in order that (if possible) they might be redressed.
The circumstances which have led to the present disturbance at Taranaki have (at your request) been explained to you: and I think it right to repeat, that I was forced into this war by the aggression of Wiremu Kingi, much against my will; that I desire peace, but it must be peace based on the establishment of law and order, in the place of murder and outrage,—peace which will enable the Pakeha and the Maori to live together in quiet, and without fear or distrust of each other.
Nothing affecting the interests and welfare of your race has been concealed from you, and I doubt not you are quite sincere in the sentiments page 12 of loyalty to Her Majesty and friendship to the Europeans, which you have so generally expressed.
I trust, therefore, that this Conference will prove to have been the means of restoring and strengthening confidence between the two races. Convinced of Her Majesty's desire that her subjects should live in peace, you will return to your homes reassured, and enabled to correct any false impressions which may still linger in the thoughts of your people.
The education of your children, greater attention to the cultivation of the soil, the erection of better houses to live in, and the acquisition of European property, will, I sincerely trust, claim your chief attention, when you return to your people.
I shall have great pleasure in reporting to our most gracious Sovereign, that her Maori subjects, (in whose welfare she takes so deep an interest,) have conducted their first Conference in the most orderly and creditable manner, and that they have given ample proof that they are wanting neither in intelligence nor good feeling,—information which will be very gratifying to her, and scarcely less so to. her Pakeha subjects in England, as well as in New Zealand.
A faithful record of this Conference will be preserved by the Government, and I am sure that hereafter your children will peruse it with much satisfaction, as a history of the first step towards that self-government, which I trust they will comprehend and enjoy.
It now only remains for me to inform you that the Conference will be convened again next year, and the Assembly will assist me in page 13 devising measures for the establishment of order, and for the good of your race generally.
In the interval between the present time and the next Conference, I trust you will carefully consider the subjects to which your attention has been directed, in order that you may come prepared to express matured opinions, and to recommend measures for giving practical effect to your wishes.
Farewell, my Friends! and may God protect you and guide you in the ways of wisdom and in the paths of peace !"