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The Maori King

Editor's Introduction

page viii page ix

Editor's Introduction

On the 17th of May, 1860, the ‘splendid White Star Liner Red Jacket, Capt. S. Reed’—quite the finest merchant vessel ever to call at the port, in the estimation of a local newspaper—berthed at Auckland, 111 days out from Liverpool.1 Among the passengers was a well-to-do young man of twenty-five, John Eldon Gorst, who (so he explained later) had come out to study how ‘half-civilized people’ ought to be managed.2 More plausibly, perhaps, his son Harold was to write that Gorst had wearied of a ‘tame and unadventurous life in England’ and now sought ‘to try a more active existence in the Colonies’.3 Whichever was his intention, he could scarcely have chosen a better place.

A month earlier, war had broken out in Taranaki, two hundred miles to the south. In the capital, Auckland, the settlers were waiting anxiously to see whether the great tribes of the Waikato district, a mere fifty miles to the south, would fall upon the almost defenceless town. Two years before, those tribes, supported by many others, had shown what they thought of the Queen's government by electing their own King. Already some of the more militant among them were setting out to help the rebellious Taranaki tribes.

Within a year, it was to be Gorst's task to try to introduce British authority along the Waikato river; to describe the ceremonies and intrigues at the court of the Maori King; and to chronicle the events leading to a new campaign in the Maori Wars.

Gorst was born in Preston, Lancashire, in 18354 and died in 1916. He was educated at the local Grammar School and at St John's College, Cambridge, where he took his degree in 1857,

1 Southern Cross, 18 May, 1860.

2 GBPP, 1865/3425, Gorst to F. Rogers, 20 December, 1864.

3 Harold E. Gorst, The Fourth Party (1906), pp. 25–6.

4 Statements about Gorst not otherwise attested are based on information in the following sources: Gorst's letter cited in note 2 above; H. E. Gorst, The Fourth Party (1906); J. E. Gorst, The Maori King (1864) and New Zealand Revisited (1908).

page x third in the mathematical tripos, and was elected a fellow. Thereafter he travelled in Europe. Then he began reading law in London, but soon abandoned it, and took a position teaching mathematics at Rossall School in Lancashire in order to be near his father, who was seriously ill. When his father died in 1859, Gorst turned down a position offering a salary greater than that of the New Zealand premier, and decided to go to New Zealand.

The adventures which—as his son believed—Gorst sought, came soon enough. In the Red Jacket he helped put down a mutiny; acted for a time as amateur doctor; and became engaged to Miss Mary Elizabeth Moore. In Melbourne she joined her father, the Reverend Lorenzo Moore, once an Indian army major, who was later to settle in New Zealand. Gorst continued his voyage to Auckland. There he met Bishop Selwyn, a fellow of St John's, who was busy preparing his college at Kohimarama to receive a large conference of Maori chiefs which had been called by the Government in order to explain the decisions which had led to war in Taranaki.

Late in June, while Gorst was assisting at this task, the Reverend Benjamin Yates Ashwell arrived with news that the Melanesian Mission schooner, Southern Cross, had been wrecked near Whangarei, to the north of Auckland. He and the rest of her crew and passengers had been rescued after spending a night in the rigging.1 Selwyn immediately set off, in a small schooner, for the scene of the wreck, taking Gorst with him. At Whangarei they breakfasted with a gentleman who was the local postmaster, customs officer, harbour master, magistrate, policeman—and held every other civil office. Gorst wrote: ‘I thought this extraordinary at the time, little thinking that I was destined to fill a similar post in Waikato. This was before the Mikado and the character of “Pooh-bah” had been heard of.’2

Two weeks were spent in unavailing efforts to refloat the mission schooner. Gorst saw his first Maori villages, bought his first Maori pig, and by night, while he picked oakum for caulking, had lessons in Maori from the Bishop. At the end of July he returned to Australia to marry.3

By early October Mr and Mrs Gorst were on their way

1 ‘Letters and Journals of the Rev. B. Y. Ashwell’, (Typescript), Auckland Institute and Museum; Southern Cross, 26 June, 1860.

2 New Zealand Revisited, p. 31.

3 Daily Southern Cross, 30 July, 1864.

page xi (by van as far as Drury, on horseback, on foot, and finally by canoe) to visit Ashwell's mission station at Taupiri, on the Waikato river, a short distance from the Maori King's capital at Ngaruawahia. There they found themselves in a dangerous situation which Gorst describes in The Maori King (see below, pp. 3–4, 98–100). A Maori had been shot, allegedly by Europeans, and the Waikato tribes were threatening to attack the settlements. It was at this time that Gorst first met Wiremu Tamihana, the Maori ‘King-maker’, who is one of the main characters in this book. At the end of his career in British politics, Gorst was to write of him: ‘I have met many statesmen in the course of my long life, but none superior in intellect and character to this Maori chief, whom most people would look upon as a savage.’1

Gorst spent some months on the Waikato. For a time he taught at a school for Maori boys at Hopuhopu, near Taupiri.2 In January 1861 there was some talk of his becoming a government officer, but nothing came of it.3 In mid-1861, after a truce had been arranged in Taranaki, he wrote three letters to the New Zealander, an Auckland newspaper, under the pseudonym ‘Fabius’.4

What policy, he asked, was the Government to adopt, now that it stood face to face with the Maori King? Force—or conciliation? The world at large would not, he suggested, think that there was ‘much glory in a highly civilized nation of 28,000,000 men crushing 50,000 “half-naked savages”.’ There were great difficulties in the way of a policy of force. Moreover, he reflected:

It is not impossible that the process of forcing law and civilization upon the Maories may render the Maories incapable of receiving them; the medicine may be drastic, but

1 New Zealand Revisited, p. 141.

2 ‘Letters and Journals of the Rev. John Morgan’, (Typescript), Auckland Institute and Museum, 17 December, 1863. Morgan says Gorst became a favourite of the Church of England Board of Native Education, the chairman of which was Bishop Selwyn.

3 T. Gore Browne Letterbook, National Archives, Wellington, T. Gore Browne to Sir Charles Clifford, 20 September, 1862. Governor Browne wrote: ‘He [Gorst] came out to the Bishop of N.Z., with whose views he sympathized strongly & as a matter of course he differed widely from me & avowed it; I had however so high an opinion of him that I engaged to employ him (and not having been able to do so before I left) I recommend. him officially to Sir G. Grey.’

4 18 May, 1 June, 26 June, 1861.

page xii induce a more incurable disease. The Maories have vices at present, but they are those of free men and not of slaves. That same haughty independence which renders them disagreeable to some people, and difficult to bring under fixed laws, is the very quality which affords strong hope of their ultimate civilization.

He concluded that, while it was undoubtedly desirable that the King movement should be put down, it should be done by peaceful means. The Government should introduce a comprehensive scheme of English education and law in the Waikato.

Already Gorst had formed the views which, partially modified by his later experience, he was to advance in The Maori King. The King movement he regarded as ‘the revolt of the most intelligent and patriotic Natives’ against the policy of laissez faire adopted by the Government in Maori districts. ‘Under this rude form of government [the King movement], it is no exaggeration to say that the Maories have done more for themselves than we have ever done for them.’ The Government neglected to rule the Maoris or to confer promised benefits upon them; and losing faith in the British, they determined to unite in order to look after themselves. Substantially, these were the views of Francis Dart Fenton, a lawyer who had been Native Secretary in 1856, and to whose magistracy in the Waikato in 1857–8 ‘Fabius’ referred with approval.1 Probably Gorst was introduced to Fenton's opinions by their mutual friend Ashwell.2 On 29 October, 1860, while Mr and Mrs Gorst were visiting him, Ashwell wrote in his Journal a sentence which might have been penned earlier by Fenton or later by Gorst: ‘The Natives feel they must have law; if not Anarchy will soon prevail.’

Gorst's first letter provoked a leading article in the other Auckland newspaper, the Southern Cross. 3 Even more worthy of remark, he was given, within a few months, an opportunity to put his ideas into practice. He had criticized the termination of Fenton's appointment in the Waikato and had urged: ‘It is

1 Some of Fenton's reports are summarised in Chapter VI, below. The originals are to be found in AJHR, 1860, E-1C and F-3, p. 133 ff.

2 See Ashwell's ‘Journals’ and AJHR, 1860, F-3, p. 45 ff., where Ashwell defends Fenton before the Waikato Committee, a Select Committee of the House of Representatives which in 1860 investigated the condition of the Maoris in the Waikato.

3 21 May, 1861.

page xiii absolutely essential that men should go and reside among the Maori; the race can never be civilized by men sitting at mahogany tables in Auckland. It was by resident missionaries that they were converted to Christianity; it is by resident magistrates that they must be taught institutions and laws.’ In September 1861 Sir George Grey arrived for a second term as Governor and, with the co-operation of the Fox ministry, embarked on just such a policy as ‘Fabius’ had adumbrated. In November William Fox sent Gorst to the Waikato to inspect the government-subsidized mission schools, and, unofficially, to sound out the intentions of the King Maoris and their reaction to the return of Grey.1 Shortly afterwards Gorst was appointed Resident Magistrate in the Waikato. Until June 1862 he and his wife (and their baby son, John Eldon, who was later to be the British Agent and consul-general in Egypt) lived at Te Tomo, near the Reverend John Morgan's mission station at Te Awamutu.

Gorst's life in the Waikato from this time onwards is described in The Maori King. Though he won the confidence and affection of many Maoris, he was boycotted in his official capacity. As a magistrate, his duties amounted to settling civil disputes among the handful of local settlers. When he tried to assert his authority among the Maoris, he was defied. In June 1862 he wrote a report on the anarchy prevailing in his district and the inadequacy of the Government's measures.2 The need is not for further laws or magistrates, he argued, but for a police force to enforce existing laws. Privately he asked Grey whether, holding such views, he should not resign. The Government called him to Auckland, where he was interviewed by the Governor:

I there became the subject of the extraordinary powers of personal persuasion which was one of the remarkable characteristics of Sir George Grey. He agreed with the conclusions drawn in my report, and in the opinions formed of the general condition of the natives. He not only persuaded me to go on in the native service, but inspired me with great confidence in himself and the measures he proposed to take. He disclaimed any responsibility for what had hitherto been done in

1 See Gorst's reports to Fox, AJHR, 1862, E-1, pp. 13–14.

2 AJHR, 1862, E-9, III.

page xiv Waikato, and hinted that he agreed with me in thinking Mr Fox and his ministry a set of old women; and it ended by the whole Waikato district, both Upper and Lower, being placed under my charge, with the provision that I was to take all instructions from Sir George Grey himself.1

Gorst returned to the Waikato as the Civil Commissioner, the local representative of the Government. His chief task was to introduce the new scheme of local government, which would now be called one of ‘indirect rule’, in the Waikato. He was to act as president of the Maori District Runanga (Assembly) and to guide its deliberations—a difficult task which Gorst did not have to face, since no Runanga met in his District. He was to administer the law, hold courts, settle land disputes, perhaps raise taxes, and to cope with whatever problems might arise.

Gorst took over Morgan's mission station, which remained his headquarters until he was driven out by the Kingites on 18 April, 1863.

The Government invested much money2 and hope in Gorst's mission; his efforts were greatly appreciated. F. D. Bell, the Native Minister in the Domett ministry, which succeeded that of Fox in 1862, wrote in a memorandum to Grey of the objects for which the government school was established at Te Awamutu:

Their prosecution was confided to a man who, to a real interest in the Native people, united peculiar abilities for the task: willingly relinquishing the advantages which private fortune gave him in a country where wealth is so easily accumulated, and content, a Master of Arts of Cambridge University, to live in the bush, almost without society and without books, for the sake of laying the foundation, with a few poor Native boys, of a school that should replace the indolence and dirt of a pa, by the industry, discipline, and comfort of a civilized home.3
For a few months after leaving the Waikato Gorst acted (‘out of friendship’) as private secretary to Bell, who was suffering

1 New Zealand Revisited, pp. 224–5. The interview occurred in late June. 4, memo written by Gorst at this time and a letter to Grey are in AJHR, 1863, E-A pp. 35–6.

2 £3,360 in nine months, for example, on the education of a dozen Maori boys (the average monthly attendance at Gorst's school). AJHR, 1863, E-14.

3 AJHR, 1863, E-1, p. 1.

page xv from an eye complaint which restricted his reading and writing. In August Bell sailed to Australia to recruit military settlers.1 Such a task was naturally distasteful to the friend of Wiremu Tamihana, and Gorst accompanied Bell only at his request and with the understanding that he was free to return to the United Kingdom. After spending a short time in Australia, without waiting to hear confirmation of an offer of appointment to the New Zealand Legislative Council, he returned to England in order, he wrote, to give publicity to his views on the situation in New Zealand.

For a time his views received, in New Zealand at least, all the publicity he could have wished. A speech he made in Preston, his letters to The Times and the Evening Mail, an article in MacMillan's Magazine and then the publication of The Maori King, 2 were reported and denounced in the colonial Press for two years. He spoke of ‘conquests’ in New Zealand—and of European aggression: he alleged that the confiscation of Maori land was essential to the Government because a militia had been enrolled in Australia on the promise of a share in the spoil. The settlers, always exceedingly sensitive to English opinion, were alarmed lest such views should be accepted in London. Editorials, reviews and special articles dissected Gorst's career, opinions and character.

The colonial newspapers were ever on the look-out for self-interest behind actions or opinions of which they disapproved. One alleged that Gorst was suffering from ‘sour grapes’ from not securing a seat in the Legislative Council. It was said that he aspired to an imperial appointment as Native Commissioner to rule the Maoris—a view which the last chapter of The Maori King seemed to support. Editors complained of his rashness and, above all, of his facetiousness. He wrote his book, the Daily Southern Cross suggested, ‘to prove to his friends that he… was an uncommonly clever fellow.…’

Throughout much of his life, Gorst was to make enemies not so much by what he said as by how he said it. A common reaction to him was that of the Reverend John Morgan (who was, indeed, suffering from ‘sour grapes’, for Gorst had taken

1 Daily Southern Cross, 4 and 5 August, 1863.

2 E.g. New Zealand Herald, 26 February, 2 March, 19 March, 1864; Daily Southern Cross, 7 July, 8 July, 30 July, 6 August, 1864, 24 August, 1865. These newspapers quote the comments of English, Taranaki and other newspapers.

page xvi over his mission station and school on the initiative of the Governor and the Bishop). While recognizing Gorst's devotion to Maori welfare, Morgan wrote of him in 1864: ‘He was a man of talent; although in his plans as unstable as water, still he was a new man and a clever and a young man.’1

In the twentieth century, as the hatreds of the New Zealand civil wars have died down, The Maori King has come to be regarded as one of the very best of nineteenth-century accounts of life among the Maoris. But its importance extends far beyond these shores. Whoever wishes to understand the building of the nineteenth-century British Empire, not merely in terms of the formulation of policy in London, but quite literally, from its foundation in native villages all over the world, can scarcely do better than turn to Gorst. His book has, moreover, a relevance to the modern world where nationalist movements, often anti-European in tendency, and imperial (or ‘imperialist’) wars, continue to occur. Where else has the development and character of a non-European national movement, or the day-to-day events leading to a ‘native’ war, been so carefully reported from personal knowledge?

Gorst's account of his activities in the Waikato in the years 1860–63, and of the events leading to new campaigns in Taranaki and the Waikato, is a record of permanent value to the student of New Zealand history.

Gorst is very critical of the British invasion of the Waikato district in 1863. He speaks from first-hand knowledge, and on many of the attendant circumstances his is the most important testimony. However, he is not entirely fair to the Governor. Gorst shows that, by early 1863, Grey had tired of his unavailing efforts to persuade the disaffected Maoris to accept British authority, and decided upon firmer measures. He went to Taranaki and sent troops to reoccupy the European land at Tataraimaka, which the Maoris had held since the fighting of 1860–61. This was an unwise move, for Grey knew perfectly well that many Maoris would regard it as a declaration of war. To Rewi Maniapoto and the extreme Kingites, this land was

1 Morgan's ‘Letters and Journals’, 3 October, 1864. Morgan felt himself very badly treated over the loss of his school and apparently resigned from the Church Missionary Society.

page xvii held as security for the Waitara block, over which the war had begun, and which was occupied by the British. After taking Tataraimaka, Grey instituted a fresh investigation of the Maori title to Waitara, concluded that its purchase by the previous governor had been unjust, and decided to return the land to the Maoris. In view of the strong feelings of the Maoris, Grey would have been better advised to reverse the order of these actions. The hostile Maoris interpreted his policy as aggressive. Rewi advised the Maoris at Tataraimaka to attack the Europeans, and they did so.

Two months later, in July 1863, Grey ordered the invasion of the Waikato. He sought to justify this on two grounds, first of all as a punitive expedition against Rewi. In effect, as Gorst says, he was making all the King tribes pay for the act of Rewi and a few other chiefs. Secondly, Grey explained that the invasion was carried out to forestall an imminent attack, of which the Government had received many warnings, on the Auckland settlers. This brings us to one of the most controversial points of New Zealand history.

It is quite certain that Rewi and the most anti-European Maoris had contemplated attacking the settlements. The Government received too many warnings to leave room for doubt on this point. But Grey alleged that there was a definite plot, and that, before the British invasion, Maoris had already begun to move into position for attack. Many historians—and a Royal Commission which investigated the incident in 1927—have accepted the Governor's word. Nevertheless no unequivocal evidence has ever been produced to establish his contention. It is probably now impossible either to prove or disprove it. To the editor the very lack of convincing evidence makes it seem improbable that the Maoris had come to a firm decision to attack. On this point Gorst was probably in a better position to judge than anyone else:

It is, without doubt, highly probable that an attack on Auckland was proposed and discussed at war meetings. It would be strange had it been otherwise. We had often proposed and discussed an attack upon Waikato ourselves. But that the Waikatos would have crossed Mangatawhiri to assail us, I utterly disbelieve.… Tamihana and others kept Rewi from page xviii attacking Auckland, for a period of two months and a half, while the town was comparatively defenceless; and there is no reason to suppose that they would have failed to restrain him when the town was under the protection of ten thousand soldiers.

Nevertheless, Gorst rather minimises the difficulties of the Governor's position. The immediate reason for the threatened attack on Auckland was Grey's own actions in Taranaki—but the threat did exist, and he had to meet it. In Taranaki Grey had ignored warnings of an ambush and they had proved only too well founded. Gorst is somewhat contradictory on this point, for he remarks that the authorities could not afford to make the same mistake again, and then says that the Maori warnings were ‘in themselves no real evidence of danger’. From Grey's point of view, if he ignored the warnings in Auckland, the hostile Maoris might move undetected through the dense Hunua forest and fall upon the out-settlers and villages. Rather than take the risk, Grey decided to attack first and to drive the Maoris up the Waikato river.

Needless to say, Gorst's references to events prior to his arrival in New Zealand are less reliable than those arising from his own experience. His account of the events which led to the first Taranaki campaign (Chapter VII) is substantially a summary of the explanation, highly inaccurate and misleading, offered by the Government of that day. He creates prejudice in the reader's mind by asserting that the Ngatiawa, including Wiremu Kingi, who returned to Taranaki in the years 1841 to 1848, having no claim to their tribal land there, ‘unjustly seized’ it. In fact most of them had voluntarily migrated further south in the eighteen-twenties. Since few of them had received any payment from the New Zealand Company for their land in Taranaki, there was no valid reason why they should not reoccupy it. Gorst then assures the reader that ‘after many years of bloodshed, Wiremu Kingi succeeded in establishing a close land-league’ to prevent the sale of further land to the settlers. This ‘land-league’ existed only in the vivid imagination of some of the settlers. Though certain Taranaki Maoris sought, in the early eighteen-fifties, to establish one, they did not succeed; nor does Wiremu Kingi seem to have assisted them in this effort. page xix And in connection with the Waitara purchase, which led to the first Taranaki War, Gorst asserts flatly that Kingi ‘was most clearly in the wrong’—an assertion that many politicians and missionaries challenged in 1860 and most historians have rejected since.

Gorst has little to say about the early origins of the King movement in the eighteen-forties and fifties, or about its rise in districts outside the Waikato. Consequently his remarks need to be amplified by reference to earlier events and other places, in particular to the anti-land-selling movement and the Kotahitanga (unity) movement in the Taranaki and Wellington Provinces.1

It has been suggested that Gorst's first interpretation of the rise of the King movement was influenced by that of F. D. Fenton: the ancient Maori tribal rule was collapsing under the pressure of European society, but the authorities had done nothing to replace it, so the Maoris were attempting to set up their own government. Such was the view of Sir William Martin, the Chief Justice, and of the most intelligent commentators of the day. To a considerable extent Gorst still accepted this explanation when he wrote The Maori King; indeed, he paraphrases or quotes several passages from the letters of ‘Fabius’ written three years earlier. ‘If we had educated the natives in civilization, and fitted them for the enjoyment of those full rights, as British subjects, which the Treaty of Waitangi promised, nothing would have been heard of ‘land-leagues’ and ‘king-movements’ (p. 26). In discussing other motives which led to the King movement, he generally relates them to this central theme. For instance, he emphasises the general reluctance to sell land, but suggests (in a passage on p. 44 taken from ‘Fabius’) that they would have sold it for civilization and equality. Or he refers to the Maoris’ sense of political inferiority on finding themselves excluded from the political institutions of a self-governing colony, but again he relates this feeling to their desire for equality.

1 For more recent studies of the Maori national movement see the following books: J. Cowan, The Maoris of New Zealand (1910); K. Sinclair, The Maori Land League (1950) and The Origins of the Maori Wars (1957); I. L. G. Sutherland (ed.), The Maori People Today (1940), Chapter 11, ‘Maori and Pakeha’, by H. Miller. For recent detailed articles see The Journal of the Polynesian Society (Vol. 62, No. 3, 1953), R. W. Winks, ‘The Doctrine of Hau-Hauism’, (Vol. 65, No. 3, 1956), M. P. K. Sorrenson, ‘Land Purchase Methods and their Effect on Maori Population, 1865–1901’; Historical Studies: Australia and New Zealand (Vol. 5, No. 18, 1952), K. Sinclair, ‘Maori Nationalism and the European Economy, 1850–60’.

page xx

Such an explanation of Maori nationalism had (and has) considerable appeal. It attributes the most enlightened motives to the Maoris, while suggesting that a wise European government could have prevented all desire for Maori separatism. Nevertheless, it is open to serious objections. For one thing it minimises the force of the Maori anti-land-selling movement, which arose in the late eighteen-forties and early fifties among tribes who would not sell their land at any price. And it does not recognize the fundamental conflict of interest between the two races—each wanted the land, and especially the good arable land.

Another weakness of Gorst's basic assumptions about the King movement is apparent, perhaps, only in view of the subsequent history of Maori nationalism and of other similar movements. ‘Fabius’ asserted the imperialists' article of faith: ‘we can govern the Maories better than they can govern themselves’ (his italics). But was nationalism ever cured by good foreign government? Foreign government is, rather, a persistent cause of nationalist sentiment. Gorst sees the King movement as imitative of European government, but it was not merely that. Increasingly, after 1863, the Maori rebels came under the leadership of men who did not want European civilization; who rejected, ultimately, even Christianity. From the first they imitated European political organization, partly at least, in order more effectively to resist European colonization and to conserve their own society.

In The Maori King it can be seen that, in the light of further experience, Gorst was modifying his earlier opinions. In particular he now sees—and expresses with wonderful vividness—the brute force of racial hatred. Consequently in some respects his judgments on the King movement are more mature and convincing than those of ‘Fabius’. He appreciates that it was not entirely rational and progressive, for it is not likely that many Maoris, or any other people, ‘would be wise enough sincerely to desire order and laws’. He shows that different Maoris had different motives for supporting King Potatau. Now he ridicules William Fox for ‘his belief that the “King movement” arose out of a mere desire for law and order, and that the flag would be hauled down before any second magistrate who should attack it with Mr Fenton's weapons’. Thus, though Gorst still considers page xxi that the King movement largely arose from the Government's non-government, he no longer supposes that it can be put down by education and laws. He wants, not new laws, but the enforcement of the law.

In his concluding chapter, Gorst proposes his solution to New Zealand's problems. It is a modification of the plans proposed in 1858 by Fenton and the Stafford ministry, and in 1861 by Grey and Fox. He would free all Maori districts from the colonists’ jurisdiction and place them under direct imperial control so that a fresh effort might be made to civilize and govern the Maoris, A British Resident would live among them, gain their confidence, and ‘teach them to obey’. It seems scarcely conceivable that such a scheme would have worked. The settlers would not have accepted the exclusion of great areas of good land from their control. The rebellious Maoris would not have welcomed further attempts to civilize them. And if, as Gorst shows, the Maoris would obey neither the Governor nor their own King in 1862–63, how were they to be taught obedience in 1864? The settlers’ answer was that they must be conquered. Gorst can merely talk of a Maori police force and of the ‘personal influence’ of the Resident. But he had already tried to form a Maori police—and Grey had sought to rely on his very considerable personal influence. They had failed, and it is difficult to believe that others might now have succeeded.

Gorst was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1865. In the following year he was elected to Parliament, but lost his seat in 1868. Disraeli asked him to organize the Conservative Party on a popular basis, and for five years he laboured, without salary, at this task. He soon proved that the understanding of the problems of government which is revealed in his comments on the organizations of the Maoris and settlers, was matched by practical administrative ability of no common order. He has been credited with laying the basis of the first modern British political party and of the great Tory victory of 1874. He was disappointed not to get office (Disraeli later enquired why he had not asked for something, like everyone else) and was to be disappointed again.

In Parliament, in the years 1880–84, Gorst was one of a group of four Conservatives, whose leader was Lord Randolph page xxii Churchill (the others were Arthur Balfour and Henry Drummond Wolff) who set themselves up as a free—lance opposition to the Gladstone Government and won the name of ‘the Fourth Party’. It was, Harold E. Gorst wrote, ‘the author of political ingenuities which bordered upon practical joking’. The four allies represented, in varying degree, that ‘Tory democracy’ for which Disraeli had allegedly stood. For a time they succeeded in distressing the Conservative leaders quite as much as in embarrassing the Government. Largely because of Gorst's knowledge and experience, they gained control of the popular National Union of Conservative Associations, which now joined battle with the self-appointed Central Committee which controlled the Party. But then (while Gorst was on holiday with his family) Churchill made his peace with Salisbury and the party leaders. Gorst was left, Sir Winston Churchill wrote, ‘in a position of much weakness and isolation. He had incurred very bitter enmities by the part he had taken in the quarrel’.

When the Conservatives took office in 1885, Lord Randolph Churchill became Secretary of State for India. Because of his patronage, Gorst, who had seemed marked out by talent and service for higher office, was appointed Solicitor—General. He was knighted and made a Privy Councillor. In later years, at various times, he held such important offices as Under—Secretary for India and Financial Sercretary to the Treasury. He was a successful lawyer; he laboured endlessly to reform education; but he did not win the most glittering prizes. He never over—came the hostility of most of the aristocratic leaders of his party. He was too independent, too outspoken; and he took ‘Tory democracy’ too seriously. Was it not, as Rosebery said, ‘the wolf of Radicalism in the sheep—skin of Toryism’?1

The Maori Kingites were soon defeated; Rewi Maniapoto was beaten in 1864; Wiremu Tamihana made peace in 1865. But the fighting went on until 1872 (when Wiremu Kingi laid down his arms) against desperate Maoris, many of whom reverted to practices of ancient savagery after the Government confiscated 3,000,000 acres of Maori land. The King retreated

1 Gorst's career in British politics has been described in much detail. See, e.g., H. E. Gorst, The Fourth Party (1906); W. S. Churchill, Lord Randolph Churchill, (1906); Lord Rosebery, Lord Randolph Churchill, (1906); W. F. Monypenny and G. E. Buckle, The Life of Benjamin Disraeli (1910–20).

page xxiii to the fastnesses of the central North Island—still, today, known as ‘the King country’—and did not resume friendly relations with the Europeans until the eighteen-eighties.1

In all these developments, Sir John Gorst took a great interest, as in imperial affairs in general—he was a founder of the Conservative, ultra-imperialistic Primrose League in 1883. He corresponded with Rewi Maniapoto and Tawhiao, the second Maori King. When the latter, accompanied by Te Wheoro and Patara Te Tuhi took their grievances to London in 1884, Gorst introduced them to Lord Derby, the Colonial Secretary, who referred their petition back to the New Zealand Government.

In 1906 Sir John returned to New Zealand as Special Commissioner representing the British Government at an International Exhibition in Christchurch. Te Kohi (as the Maoris called him) was met at the Auckland wharf by Patara, who had edited the Maori King newspaper, Te Hokioi, while he was editing the rival Government paper, Te Pihoihoi Mokemoke. Everywhere he was warmly greeted by the Maoris as an old friend.2 He wrote New Zealand Revisited (1908), comparing the Colony he had known with the Dominion which New Zealand became in 1907.

The Maoris, he found, were very dissatisfied with the land legislation of the day. Some of them thought of sending a new deputation to London to lay their complaints before the British authorities, though Gorst tried to convince them of the futility of such actions. He still wondered, despite the increase in their numbers shown by the last two censuses, whether the Maoris were dying out. But though their condition was far from ideal, he was immensely impressed by ‘the alteration in sentiment with which the white and brown races regarded one another’.

He observed that the European New Zealanders now treated the Maoris ‘both politically and socially, as perfect equals’, and were ‘not a little proud of their success in assimilating into their

1 The King movement survives today, though its followers are less numerous than a century ago. It plays a vigorous part in local affairs in the Waikato. There have been five Maori Kings: Potatau Te Wherowhero, who reigned from 1858 to 1860; Tawhiao (or Matutaera or Potatau II), from 1860 to 1894; Mahuta, from 1894 to 1912; Te Rata, from 1912 to 1933; and the present King, Koroki, who was crowned in 1933.

2 See New Zealand Revisited, passim; and the New Zealand Press, e.g., New Zealand Mail, 5 December, 12 December, 13 December, 1906; The Weekly Press, 19 December, 1906.

page xxiv civilization this ancient and picturesque race’. For their part, the Maoris had lost ‘the bitter feeling of hatred’ of forty years before. When Gorst addressed a large Maori meeting, called by the new King, Mahuta, on the Waikato river, he told the audience of his hope that Maori and Pakeha would ‘together raise up a great nation that will one day be known to all the world as New Zealanders’. No doubt he was too optimistic about the position of the Maoris; but that he found it possible to make such a remark showed that the reconciliation between the races, for which he had laboured unsuccessfully over forty years before, was at last coming about through time's mediation.

The sub-headings in the original table of contents have been omitted and an index is provided. A note on Maori pronunciation provided in the first edition has also been omitted. Except for the use of ‘£’ for ‘1’, the correction of a few spelling mistakes or inaccurate references in footnotes, and the clarification of the punctuation in one sentence, the text is that of the original edition of The Maori King published in 1864 by Macmillan and Company. It should be noted that, although the nineteenth century spelling of ‘Maories’ is retained in the text, the modern plural is ‘Maoris’. The editor's additional footnotes have been placed in square brackets, to distinguish them from Gorst's. All references to the Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives are given as ‘AJHR’ where Gorst wrote ‘N.Z. Parl. Papers’. British Parliamentary Papers are referred to as ‘GBPP’.

I am glad to acknowledge the help of Dr Maharaia Winiata, who gave information and advice on several points relating to the Maoris. Mr M. P. K. Sorrenson, Mr C. W. Vennell, Mr M. Standish of the National Archives, Professor J. Rutherford, Dr B. G. Biggs, Father E. R. Simmons and Dr W. J. Cameron kindly provided certain references. I am indebted to Miss Olive Johnson for making the index. The illustrations are from the Rev. J. Kinder's album in the Auckland Institute and Museum.

Wherever possible I have identified Maoris mentioned by Gorst from references in newspapers, from missionary journals, from G. N. Scholefield's Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (1940), or from official reports of the eighteen-sixties. There are two lists of Waikato tribes published in 1860 (AJHR, 1860, page xxv F-3, pp. 146–8, 166) and a list of Native Assessors (AJHR, 1862, E-1, Appendix). Readers wishing to identify the hapu (sub-tribe) of Maoris mentioned, or the name of their village, may in many cases find this information in these lists. The editor has, in general, not given this information, partly to avoid excessive detail; partly because most Maoris were related to several hapu; partly because government officials were unlikely, in collecting information, to mistake the tribe of a chief, but might have made errors in noting down the hapu.

In an Appendix will be found Wiremu Tamihana's own report on the meetings in 1858 at which the King was finally ‘elected’ and ‘installed’ in his capital at Ngaruawahia and at Rangiaowhia. This letter, recently discovered in the Southern Cross of 1858, though in places somewhat obscure, amplifies Gorst's account of the rise of the King and is, so far as is known, the only Maori description of these important meetings. It appears to establish beyond doubt, what has often been disputed, the date of the King's accession to power as 2 June, 1858.

KEITH SINCLAIR, University of Auckland.