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

Page 94

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Page 94.

"It is plain then that those operations were commenced in the belief and on the ground."…………

The manifesto issued by the Governor before he went to Taranaki in February, 1860, entirely disproves this assertion. The ground was that Wiremu Kingi was acting not as "Chief of a tribe" but as a Chief of the Land League, and in no other capacity. The Natives were informed with careful distinctness of the grounds on which the Governor was moving the troops:—

The Queen has said that all the Natives shall be free to sell their lands to her, or to keep them, as they may think best. None may compel the Maori people to sell their lands, nor may any forbid their doing so.

William King sets his word above the Queen's, and says, though the rightful owners of the land may wish to sell, he will not allow them to do so.

The Governor cannot allow William King's words to set aside the words of the Queen.

William King has interfered to prevent the survey of the Queen's land by Her own surveyors. This interference will not be permitted.

The land has been bought and must be surveyed. The Queen's soldiers will protect the surveyors. If William King interferes again and mischief follow, the evil will be of his own seeking.

There seems a peculiar injustice in the late Chief of the highest Colonial Court, accustomed to weigh evidence, rejecting distinct and unmistakeable assertions published to the world by the Governor, and then stating himself a "ground" which there is no evidence whatever to show the Governor ever took up.