D. McLean, Esq., to J. W. Hamilton, Esq.
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your very interesting report of the 11th ultimo, notifying the surrender to the Crown by the Natives of their remaining possessions in Banks' Peninsula.
In reply, I am directed by the Governor to convey to you His Excellency's thanks for the able manner in which you have brought this long pending question to such a satisfactory termination; the mere so from the fact that the question was one which was generally misunderstood on the part of the Europeans; and in which the Natives might infer that the Government was not acting on those principles of equity and good faith that have been observed in the various other treaties for the cession of territory that have been made between the New Zealand tribes and the officers deputed by Her Majesty's representative to effect those treaties. The Maoris in this particular instance have probably felt that advantage was taken of the comparative weakness of their position to deprive them of the land to which their claims had never been extinguished, while, with few exceptions, the Europeans were labouring under an impression that the Natives were setting up claims and endeavoring to extort further payments for lands which they supposed had been purchased. These misconceptions have now, after a sifting investigation, been happily removed, and it is to be hoped that the Natives will feel that, while His Excellency would not tolerate any imposition on their part, that it affords him the greatest pleasure to recognise and religiously observe all their just rights, as nothing would be more foreign or page 16repugnant to His Excellency's feelings than to learn that in any way the Natives should be divested, without compensation, of a single acre of their lands to which they had a just and equitable claim.
I am further directed by His Excellency to request that you will convey to the Rev. Mr. Aldred his best thanks for the able and indispensable assistance he has rendered to you in acting as Interpreter as well as to Paora and the other chiefs, whose combined influence and co-operation have so materially aided you in bringing this negotiation to such a pleasing issue.
His Excellency will cause instructions to be given to preserve the rights of the Natives to their lands under crop until the end of March, 1857, the period you hare limited in your report for this purpose.
I have, &c.,
J. W. Hamilton, Esq., J. P.,
&c., &c., &c.