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Historical Records of New Zealand


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The object sought to be attained by the publication of the “Historical Records“ of New Zealand can best be understood by a perusal of the preface to the “Historical Records“ of New South Wales, printed in this volume. The reason why the method is adopted of explaining one set of Records by quoting the preface to another is that this volume comprises almost exclusively those documents among the “Historical Records“ of New South Wales which concern the Islands of New Zealand. Those belonging to the years prior to 1811 have been extracted from the printed, those after that date from the manuscript “Historical Records,“ lying in Sydney, which latter, by the kindness of the New South Wales Government, were put at the disposal of this country. The New South Wales sources are therefore our sources, their preface our preface.

So clearly are the objects to be gained by the publication of the material and the sources from which it has been procured stated in the preface to the “Historical Records“ of New South Wales, that the Editor sees no necessity to deal at any length with the task of justifying or explaining the publication of this volume. The documents, it may however be mentioned, are arranged in chronological order, and it is intended to continue the issue of fresh volumes from time to time as the material obtained justifies that course. Already a very large amount of additional material, sufficient to warrant the belief that another two years should see a second volume emerge from the printer’s hands, is ready for the compositor.

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The plan of issuing volumes without waiting until the whole of the material is to hand is explained by the fact that the work was undertaken by the Editor to enable the incidents in our country’s early history to be put at the disposal of the people of the Dominion as soon as possible. To wait until all was collected would be to indefinitely postpone the publication of what was available, without the certainty of finality ever being reached. Interim publications will effect the object the Editor has in view.

Robert McNab.

Wellington, New Zealand,

21st April, 1908.