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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

Early Colonisation—The Passing of a Pioneer

Early Colonisation—The Passing of a Pioneer.

The beginning of the colonisation by Edward Wakefield was in 1839, and at this time emigration and colonisation were in the air. Numerous associations were being formed to found a new settlement, and one of these was the New Zealand Company, founded in 1839. Edward G. Wakefield's influence had been used to direct the attention of British people to these islands. The company resolved to send out representatives who would explore the islands, obtain land from the Natives, and arrange for the reception of the immigrants. As yet the colony had not been proclaimed, but several missionaries and settlers had made New Zealand their homes. In May, 1839, the pioneer ship of the company was ready to sail. She was only of 400 tons burthen, and was, like many merchantmen in those days, an armed vessel. She had eight guns, and small arms for her crew and passengers. The leadership of the expedition had been entrusted to Colonel William Wakefield, and one of these early immigrants was the late Mr T. W. McKenzie, a settler of 1840.

The late Mr T. W. Mackenzie, whose death at Wellington was chronicled just recently, was a type of the straight-going, kind-hearted, clean-living pioneers who have left their mark on the history of the city of Wellington, and also that of New Zealand. His life was made up of deeds, rather than words, and he was a man naturally modest and unobtrusive in his be- page 26 nevolence. If he could not speak good of a men, as a rule be refrained from speaking of him at all.

Mr Mackenzie arrived in Wellington in February, 1840, in the ship Adelaide, the fourth of the Company's vessels to make port in New Zealand, the preceding vessels being the Tory (advance ship), Cuba (survey boat), and the Aurora. None had a better right to be called the "Father of Wellington" than the late Mr Mackenzie, for he was one of its pioneer settlers, and ever since his arrvial there, when he took a prominent part in the work of founding the city, he was closely identified with its wonderful progress, He always took a lively interest in public affairs, and occupied many important public positions, including that of city councillor, and a member of the Hospital Trusted lie was also an elder of St. John's Church, and Trustee for the Home for the Aged and Needy, and did a great amount of work in hundreds of ways. He was the proprietor of the "New Zealand Independent," and founded the "New Zealand Mail" and the Wellington almanac, which publications were all disposed of to the "New Zealand Times" Company. Mr Mackenzie acted as Manager and Secretary of that Company for some time, but when the business again changed hands he severed connection with, the newspaper business, with which he had been associated for a great many years, and after that time was not actively identified with the press of New Zealand, living in retirement.

Mr Mackenzie was the first corresponding secretary of the Manchester Order of Oddfellows in New Zealand, and it was he who wrote to Manchester for the charters of the first six, lodges opened in the Dominion, He acted as honorary secretary of the Widows and Orphans Fund of the I.O.O.F., M.U., from 1848 up till a few years ago, and occupied the highest offices that Oddfellowship can offer. He was instrumental in acquiring a grant of land on Lambton Quay, Wellington, from the Provincial Council for the Oddfellows, and exerted himself in connection with the erection of a large hall, which was used as an assembly hail and theatre for many years, besides lodge purposes. This valuable property is still in possession of the Order.

The late Mr Mackenzie was held in lifelong respect and esteem in Wellington, where he played so important a part in its early progress, He was a fine sample of the stalwart and invincible British colonists who have converted New Zealand from a desolate land, occupied only by a cannibalistic race, to a sunny fertile land, on which is to be found an enlightened, flourishing, and happy people.

page 27

Note.—In connection with the detail of events which lead up to the capture of Te Rauparaha—printed on page 3 of this pamphlet—I would like to add the following Te Rauparaha was taken prisoner at Porirua by Governor Grey without sufficient pretext. It appears that a letter was written by Mamaku and Rangihaeata, who signed Te Rauparaha's name to the espistle, and forwarded it to the chiefs of Potutokotoku, at Wanganui, and by means of this information the great chieftain's arrest ultimately followed. Tamihana te Rauparaha was at school at this time in Auckland, and did not see the capture of his father. When Tamihana te Rauparaha arrived in Wellington, he went on board the Calliope, the man-o'-war in which his father was a prisoner, to see him. They cried together, after which Te Rauparaha said to his son: "Go to your tribes, and tell them to remain in peace. Do not return evil for evil; you must love the Europeans. I was arrested through the lies of the people. If I had been taken prisoner in battle it would have been well, but I was unjustly taken." After this Tamihana and Matene te Whiwhi returned to the shore, and went to Porirua, and there saw the Ngatitoas and Rawhiri Puaha, to whom they repeated Te Rauparaha's words respecting doing good and living at peace. They then went on to Otaki, and told the same story to the Natives. It was Rangihaeata who wished to destroy Wellington. Tamihana and Matene te Whiwhi told Rangihaeata that he must put an end to this foolish desire.