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William Rolleston : a New Zealand statesman



Alfred Cox in his Reminiscences, p. 130, says:

When Rolleston was Under-Secretary in the Native Department, he was constantly to be seen hovering about the Speaker's Chair in the House of Representatives. He thus became well-known by sight to all the members of the General Assembly, and, being a capable man, he was utilised in many ways by the Government. He was commissioned to examine into and report on the condition of native schools in the North Island. He performed that work thoroughly after his accustomed fashion. He was sharply criticised in some quarters for what he had said in the Report, but he could see no reason to retract anything he had written…. When Under-Secretary, he was a splendid man to go to for information upon almost any question coming before Parliament. He seemed to have all Parliamentary records by heart, was, in a word, the most complete political encyclopedia within reach, and was always more than ready, as well as capable to give all information sought.

Enough has been said to show that Rolleston achieved a great success in the Native Affairs Department.