Notes on Sir William Martin's Pamphlet Entitled the Taranaki Question
"And yet to claim great powers"…………
It may be as well, in order to prevent misunderstanding which might occur from the use of the word "powers", to explain that the Chiefs never had any real authority, unless it was that of the strong arm.
Mr. Busby, writing in 1837 to the Governor of New South Wales, says:
"To those unacquainted with the status of a Native Chief, it may appear improbable that he would give up his proper rank and authority. But in truth the New Zealand Chief has neither rank nor authority but what every person above the condition of a slave, and indeed the most of them, may despise or resist with impunity."—[Parl. Pap. 7th Feb. 1838, p. 9.] Even Sir William Martin says (page 123): "The Chiefs of the Native communities "possess only influence, no authority."