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

Page 75

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Page 75.

"The party which sought to disturb the existing order of things."…………

The question, however, is what was the party which sought to disturb the existing order of things? It has been shown that Governor FitzRoy and Governor Grey laid down certain rules which formed and form the extreme limit of the claims of any section of the Ngatiawa Tribe. In soliciting the permission of Governor Grey to return to Waitara, Wiremu Kingi admitted his obligation to abide by those rules. He agreed to the conditions on which Governor Grey granted that permission, and then broke them.

Every block of land had been acquired in the New Plymouth settlement in accordance with the rules so laid down. Wiremu Kingi admitted the rules when he put in a claim to compensation for the Bell Block, which claim was disallowed by the Puketapu section of the tribe.

When he sought to establish in Taranaki the mandates of the Land League, which prohibited the further sale of territory under penalty of death, he attempted a new system wholly at variance with the precedents of many years.

It was Wiremu Kingi, therefore, and not the Governor, who "sought to disturb the existing order of things."

In one sense the Governor may be said to have disturbed it. The "existing order of things" among the Ngatiawa at New Plymouth was a desperate feud, in which the most horrible cruelties had been practised and threatened on both sides. This Sir W. Martin quite forgets, when he says "The first wrong was not on the part of the Natives, it was on the part of the Colonial Government," and urges that "the party which sought to disturb the existing order of things was "the party which needed to justify itself by some legal warrant for so doing." The Governor was undoubtedly determined to "disturb" that "order of things."