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Historical Records of New Zealand

Thomas Raine to Sir George Murray, G.C.B

Thomas Raine to Sir George Murray, G.C.B.

Sydney, Jany. 3, 1829.


Under the full impression that the Islands of New Zealand were a dependency of this colony, I, about two years ago, formed an establishment on the north-west part of the Northern Island, at a place called E. O. Kianga [Hokianga], which has now risen in consequence to a place of some consideration. With such views and impressions I have built two vessels, one called the Enterprise, and the other the New Zealander. The former, on her arrival, I obtained a register for; that vessel has since been unfortunately wrecked on the coast of New Zealand.

The New Zealander, a brigantine of 140 tons, arrived in this port early last month, and when I applied for a certificate of registry for her I learnt from the authorities here that no such registry could be granted. I am consequently now obliged to sail that vessel on my own responsibility between this colony and New Zealand exclusively. For the more perfect information of the Home Government, I have the honor to enclose copies of my correspondence and communications on the subject, and beg most respectfully to solicit that this case may be taken into consideration, and a register ordered to be given for the vessel.

And I beg further to state that I am still prosecuting shipbuilding at my establishment, and have now men engaged for the purpose of building a vessel of 300 tons register, which I hope will be launched by the time I shall have the honor of being favoured with a reply to this letter. The persons employed are British subjects; the materials, with the exception of the timber, are all from and belonging to the Mother-country.

Perhaps it would not be considered impertinent nor irrelevant in my here mentioning the other main pursuits I am following at New Zealand—namely, the procuring of flax and spars. Of the former I have sent a considerable quantity to England, and of the latter I have sent one whole cargo, viz., per ship Harmony, and from the experience thereby gained I shall this year import into England a cargo of spars that will, I trust, page 687 be found to answer, and be of importance to His Majesty’s navy.

I cannot let this opportunity pass without respectfully drawing your attention to my exertions at New Zealand, with the hopes that His Majesty’s Government will be pleased to consider them meritorious and deserving of encouragement.

I have, &c.,

Thomas Raine.

To the Right Honble. Sir George Murray, H.M. P. Secretary of State for the Colonies, &c., &c.