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

Page 21

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Page 21.

"It was recognised by the Government itself."…………

It has been shown that the Government might have rested from the first on the Waikato cession; and they would very probably have done so, if they alone had been concerned. It was on the strength of that cession that Governor Hobson fixed the limits of occupation by the Waikatos at Urenui, some miles north of Waitara, so as not to interfere with the European settlement. But the case was complicated by the two purchases made by the New Zealand Company —one in Nov. 1839, from Wiremu Kingi himself and other absentee Ngatiawa Chiefs, the other in February 1840, from the few resident Ngatiawas at Taranaki. It was these purchases which Commissioner Spain investigated,—it was his judgment upon them that Governor Fitzroy refused to confirm. When, therefore, Governor Fitzroy stepped in to disallow the Commissioner's judgment, he, no doubt, admitted the Ngatiawa to a position which up to that time had been denied to them. But that position, as has been shown, certainly did not recognise the tribal title at all; and it was, as shown in the Governor's Despatch of the 4th December 1860, the extreme limit of the Ngatiawa right. Where the case is perverted is this:—The Government never pretended that, after Governor Fitzroy's proceedings in 1844, they could claim the Waikato cession in bar of the separate rights of the Ngatiawa families and individuals: they have admitted Teira's proprietary right as they would admit William King's. Where the Waikato cession is good against William King is that it absolutely precludes such a right as he claims to prevent Teira and the others of his party from selling their own land: it would equally preclude Teira from preventing any one else from selling his.