Historical Records of New Zealand
[Enclosure No. 3.]
[Enclosure No. 3.]
We have great pleasure in answering your letter, and in giving you our opinion of the very great advantages which we think those shipowners who send ships to fish for whales off the coast of New Zealand will gain by the establishment of settlements on that island.
We feel the fullest confidence from all the accounts we have received from the masters of our whaling ships that the soil and climate of New Zealand, with the articles of flax, timber, masts, which are the natural productions of the island, and all descriptions of vegetables growing most luxuriantly there, that New Zealand will afford everything which a ship and crew in distress or sickly can require.
Many British ships fish for whales, which are found in great numbers off the coast of New Zealand, but the weather on the coast is at all times very rugged, and even in their summer months heavy gales of wind are very frequently by which the ships and crews suffer so much that they require a near friendly port to resort to for repairing their damages and to restore the health of the crew after encountering such bad weather and having been long at sea.
The settlements on the coast of New Holland are at a considerable distance from the eastern coast of New Zealand, where our ships fish. If a ship meets with damage, or her crew become sickly, to run to New Holland takes up considerable time, with some risk of loss of ship or deaths of crew. The greatest evil we experience, and which we dread from our ships going to the settlements in New Holland, is that the convict women so demoralize the crews as to make them in a short time, from the best of sailors, become extremely mutinous, and we scarcely know an instance of any of our ships going there without greatly altering the conduct of the crew, many of whom desert, which is attended with serious evil to a whaling ship, and more particularly so when the fishermen desert, which is very common.
The intercourse at present between the natives of New Zealand and the crews of ships is attended with some risk, from many individuals having been killed. If it is considered as good policy by our Government to attempt the colonizing New Zealand with the consent of the native chiefs we feel confident that we shall soon have great numbers of the natives who will be very glad to be taken on board our ships and in a very short time become most valuable seamen, being very powerful, brave, and with strong natural abilities. There are a very few New page 609 Zealanders at this time in British whalers, and their conduct is such as to merit the best treatment. If New Zealand falls into the hands of any other power with whom we should be at war the natives will be found a most powerful ally for our enemy and a bad neighbour to New Holland.
If the natives of New Zealand will allow of British settlements it is not improbable but many of the most respectable settlers in New Holland will remove there, as they have some fine rivers, which run into the sea from the interior of the island.
The expence of colonizing New Zealand will be very inconsiderable compared with that of any other place, as they will be able to obtain all they stand in need of, such as every kind of cattle, poultry, corn, and all descriptions of fruits, vegetables, &c., which have been imported from every part of the world, and which are now seasoned to the climate of New Holland, which is in the same latitudes as New Zealand.
We are, &c.
Saml. Enderby & Son.Willm. Mellish.Danl. Bennett & Son.To Coll. Nicolls, Royal Marines.