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Petition of Henare Matua and twenty-two others : presented to the Honourable the Legislative Council by the Hon. Mr. Mantell, the twenty-first of August, 1874.

To the Honorable the Speaker, who upholds the Maori rights, and Honorable Members of the Legislative Council, and also to the learned men and Ministers, this is from us the undersigned

[i roto i te reo Māori]

To the Honorable the Speaker, who upholds the Maori rights, and Honorable Members of the Legislative Council, and also to the learned men and Ministers, this is from us the undersigned.

                                                      East Coast, June 3rd, 1874.

Friends, we request you to read our petition and our inquiries to the Speaker in the presence of the Council. It is for you to consider those causes of complaint hereunder mentioned, and that it may please the Speaker and the Council to grant our requests in accordance with our wishes.


When the next general election takes place for the purpose of electing members to represent the Maori people, we shall cease to vote for such men as Karaitiana and others, numbering only four. What we wish is to have twenty members, that each tribe may be represented by one of their own men in the Assembly, because each tribe has its own particular measures to ask the Assembly for, which should be granted according to their circumstances.

Not only should those who hold Crown grants vote for such representatives, but those who have no Crown grants should have the power to vote, such as had attained to the age of twenty-one years, whether they be Maori or European.

Those men to be elected should be such as were approved of by the people, and not likely to create disturbances amongst the Maori people, without regard to their holding Crown grants or otherwise, and notwithstanding they are of the Maori race or Europeans: the Maoris themselves should decide upon that question. But those men, when elected, should not be moved into any other position, as in the case of the Hon. Wi Parata and another, who were taken over into the Government by the Hon. the Native Minister, and they now speak in an unknown language. There remain only two Maori members in the Parliament to uphold the requests and wishes of the Maoris. It is owing to this that we ask for twenty members.

Do not say the Maoris are few in number, and that therefore they should have but few members to represent them in the Assembly. This might be right if it had been a law handed down to us by our ancestors that there should be only four members. Now that progress is being made in the law and in knowledge, although this number may seem to be great, they are very ignorant of your customs; for this reason we require more representation in the Parliament. It may be that one of them might acquire a great knowledge of the law, and this would be a great boon to the Maori peopie.

Those men we are thinking about to represent us should be twenty for this island and four for the other island,—in all, twenty-four men. If the Europeans think there should be Maori Ministers, then we should have the right to elect them.

2.We ask, Is the money borrowed upon the name of New Zealand, amounting to fifteen million pounds, or it may be less,—is that money to rest upon the two races ? If the burden of this money is upon us, we say "No; let it not rest upon us, but let it rest upon you." You know how to manage money so as to make profit out of it for the benefit of all the inhabitants of the earth, but we have not the means of arriving at the root of money,—for this is not property which we have inherited, that we should understand much about it. It is for this reason, O Mr. Speaker, we request that the burden of this money be not placed upon us, or we shall not be able to pay for that part of the money which may fall to our share, and the law will press down upon us.
3.With reference to "The Native Land Act, 1873," which passed last Session, Mr. Speaker the Ministers, and the learned men of the Assembly, listen to us, and let not that Act, have any authority over our lands or other property, but allow us to fall back upon the Treaty of Waitangi of 1840, which treaty secures to us the right over our own lands, our snow-clad mountains, our plains, our valleys, our forests, our harbours, and our fishing grounds. Again, Governor Browne at the Treaty of Kohimarama, held in 1860, in the presence of the Maori chiefs, announced in alluding to the Treaty of Waitangi, that the Governor said that he would not take our land from us without proper authonty. For this reason we say, let us do as we please with our lands.
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Therefore, Mr. Speaker, accept this our prayer, and grant unto us, according to our wishes, the verdict of the Speaker and the Assembly. Allow not this petition to lapse into another year, but give effect to it this year.

And now, O Mr. Speaker, the Ministers, and learned men of the Assembly, have respect to the prayers of your unenlightened people, acting upon the authority of Queen Victoria of England. We wish for great prosperity to rest upon us, upon our people, and our descendants who may come after us.

                                       Now we Subscribe our names,
                                                Henare Matua and 22 others.