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Reminiscences of The War in New Zealand



Six years have now passed away since Te Kooti reached the King country, and, although several murderers and other lawless characters have taken sanctuary in the same district, the policy of our Native and Defence Minister, Sir Donald McLean (now passed away), and his successors in office, has been to wait rather than again plunge the colony into war. Thousands of emigrants have in the meantime been brought out to the country, while the genial nature of the climate of New Zealand has so contributed to the increase of the population that the Maori has already acknowledged his inability to contend longer against the white man, and has in a measure bowed to the circumstances. Our former governor, Sir George Grey, who had retired into private life in his island home, has again come forward to our assistance, and as premier of the colony has really more power to carry out his policy than he had as governor. The results have been already felt and seen: by his friendly visit to King Tawhiao himself, in the Waikato country, on the 4th of February, 1878, the first step was taken towards breaking up the isolation of the Hauhau, and again cementing the bond of friendship which has so long been broken; persuasion, with Maories like most other human beings, having had more effect than threats. The incidence of taxation is also being gone into; and, for the future, those who have most will have to contribute most, by the introduction of a property and income tax, the only real fair and equitable method of raising a page 368fund to carry on the government of a country. The purchase of Maori lands will be simplified, while not only retrenchment in every department will be studied, but all those imports which press on the necessaries of life will be gradually removed. No country in the world has at present a better prospect of a future than New Zealand, and no climate in the world better suits an Englishman's constitution.

T. W. G.