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

Page 20

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Page 20.

"That which Potatau really possessed."…………

What possible right of the sort could Potatau possess after the establishment of the Queen's sovereignty? The Waikato had completely driven off the Ngatiawa years before, and at the time of the cession of sovereignty held that absolute right in the soil which, according to Maori usage, was vested in conquerors who had succeeded in displacing the original owners: and that right they sold. But, though they could have no power or right of the sort stated by Sir W. Martin, it is true that they frequently threatened to renew their war on the Ngatiawas if they presumed to return to the district. The principal reason for no compensation being awarded to the Ngatiawa by Commissioner Spain in 1844, was that the Protector of Aborigines specially charged with the maintenance of their interests himself declared, that if any payment were made the Waikatos would certainly come down and take it.