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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 30

The North Island Trunk Railway

The North Island Trunk Railway.

Many people were of opinion, from the facility with which they got through this railway, that very little was required. He could assure them a great deal was required, and the task had been an exceedingly difficult one. But not only had the natives agreed to allow the railway to go through their land; they had even offered the land required for the railway as a free gift to the Government. The work of constructing the railway, so far as the natives were concerned, had gone on without a hitch. When the Government took office the natives were not at all disposed to bring their land into the Land Court, but they bad since withdrawn from the position they had taken up towards Mr Bryce, and now they had the most hostile tribes going into the Land Court. Even the Taupo and Waikato natives—Tawhaio himself and his Prime Minister, Major Te Wheoro—had come into Court. But this had not been brought about without a great deal of work. When the Government took office the natives were sorely discontented; there was not a friendly feeling abroad among them towards the Government, but what was it to-day? Even on the West Coast Te Whiti did not show any inclination to disturb the peace of the colony (applause). When they took office they found an expenditure going on at the rate of £60,000 a year, to maintain 650 men to keep the natives in order. To-day the whole force was reduced to about 40 men stationed at Opunake; all the rest have been withdrawn, and the reign of the civil police has been established, and things are now going on much more quietly than before. They had abolished the military rule, and in its place they had set up the "one policeman policy," which he ventured to think had been much more successful (applause); They had saved there some £60,000 in abolishing the Armed Constabulary, and in establishing the reign of civil police. And here he might say that the colony was greatly indebted to one man who had carried out the administration of affairs on the West Coast—he referred to Inspector Pardy—for the great courage and discrimination he had shown, and the marvellous success that had attended his efforts in getting the natives under control. He believed that there would be no further difficulty. Mr Pardy was an able administrator, and his thanks and the thanks of the colony were due to him for the assistance he had rendered to him (Mr B) and to the colony, in the administration of affairs on this coast.