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Notes on Sir William Martin's Pamphlet Entitled the Taranaki Question

Page 10

Page 10.

"For through the tribes"…….

The embarrassing uncertainty of Sir W. Martin's definitions is here apparent. If he had used his first term "community," there would have been no real objection to the paragraph as applicable to the purchases made from the generality of tribes by the Crown in New Zealand. But if, as a reader in England would naturally suppose, the word "tribe" here meant the whole tribe (iwi), he could come to no more inaccurate conclusion. It is notorious that almost all the land purchases of the Government in New Zealand have been made of sections of tribes without any reference to the tribe at large, or even a notion on the part of any person concerned that such a reference was necessary.

The land purchases made from the Natives by the Crown are divisible into two great classes: First, those made of leading Chiefs representing whole Tribes (iwi); secondly, those made of sub-tribes (hapu), or of families or other comparatively small groups of individuals. In sales of vacant territory, the principal Chiefs have themselves been the vendors. In sales of occupied territory, an absolute and unquestioned right of alienation has always gone along with the right of occupancy, which is generally exclusive in certain hapus or families, and not common to the whole Tribe.