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William Rolleston : a New Zealand statesman



The position of Superintendent of a Province was one of great responsibility. It was rendered difficult by the fact that, like the President of the United States of America, he had no seat in the Council. He could not therefore explain his proposals in person, and could communicate them only by message.

It is easy to appreciate the fact that, under this system, the Superintendent was apt to be thrown at times into conflict with his Council. Hence it is not surprising that Rolleston's papers show evidence of frequent quarrelling and bickering with his Council, and even with his executive. Rolleston made various proposals for improving the machinery of government so as to make it work more smoothly, but without success. "The Superintendent", says Morrell, "had a threefold leadership—he was the principal dignatory of the Province, he was the real as well as the executive head of the Government and performed important administrative functions, and he was its chief political leader."