The Past and Present Of New Zealand With Its Prospects for the Future
It was a common impression that the Missionaries have ever been hostile to colonization; this is not, however, supported by fact. The Missionaries received Captain Hobson on his arrival, placed themselves and their houses at his service. They engrossed the treaty of Waitangi, stood by him on every occasion, offered their aid in every way, furnished him with horses, natives, and accompanied him themselves to Hokianga and Kaitaia, where they obtained the allegiance of the chiefs. Archdeacon Henry Williams became his deputy to visit the South and obtain the signatures of the natives there to the treaty. In return for their services, the Missionary body received the fullest testimony from Captain Hobson, that it was only through their influence he had been able to carry out his instructions, and, therefore, made this official acknowledgment of their services: “There can be no doubt that the Missionaries have rendered important services to this country, for, but for them, a British colony would not at this moment be established in New Zealand.”—Governor’s Speech, Dec. 14, 1841.
The Missionary has always been ready to support the Government, and has received constant acknowledgment of the aid rendered. As one of that body, I can affirm, that it has always been the view I have taken and inculcated, that colonization, properly conducted, is the natural adjunct to Christianity, in civilizing aboriginal races. It was thus that the Sandwich Islanders rose to their present state of social advancement; there the two went on hand in hand. It is, therefore, not the Missionary that is to blame for any hostile feelings which may have arisen towards the colonist at home; nor is it to be laid to the charge ofpage 229
Exeter Hall; nor even at the door of the Aborigines Protectection Society, however unfavorable the colonial feeling may be to that society for its late interference. The true parties who have prejudiced the public at home against the colonists are the New Zealand Legislature and the Press. So long as the former enact laws which the colonial papers denounce as glaringly unjust to the native, the home public will never give it credit for fair dealing towards them; and so long as the Press itself affirms those acts to be so, how can the colonist expect any other opinion to be formed of the New Zealand policy?
The “Southern Cross,” of October 2, 1867, though no particular friend of the natives, speaks in the plainest terms of three Acts just passed relative to the native lands:—“One of these is the Native Lands’ Act, 1867, which has been introduced as a substitute for the iniquitous Amendment Act of 1866.”….“We shall be surprised if there is not some provision in the new Act, enabling the Government to do as they please with the native lands. Indeed, it strikes us that, by a very harmless looking, but most ingenious, provision, this has been partially accomplished.”….“It would be in perfect keeping with the avowed designs of the Government in the speeches of Mr. Stafford, colonial secretary, and Mr. Richmond, the native Minister.” Of another bill the same paper adds: “It actually deprives the loyal natives, who have recognized claims within the confiscated block, of the redress for the loss of their land by compensation.”….“And when we state that the miserable hostilities, which Colonel Haultain directed last summer at Tauranga, were caused by the Government attempting to carry out the arrangements in question in their own way, and that the dissentient natives are still in armed possession of the land, and as determined as ever to resist, we think we have said enough to satisfy our readers that the chances of quietly opening the Tauranga district are very small indeed.” “The third bill is one dealing with the unhappy east coast natives at Turanganui,” to supersede another, of which the “Southern Cross” thus speaks:—“But this Act, which originatedpage 230
in a flagrant job, and was intended to harmonize with the Native Lands’ Act, 1866, for the express purpose of facilitating jobbery, became so odious in the eyes of the public, owing to our efforts and exposures, that the Government were forced to give way to public opinion, and to cover their retreat they introduced the present Act.” Such is a statement given by the “Southern Cross.” What would have been said had it come from a Missionary, had one of that order dared to speak in such terms of the Government? and yet this has gone home and appeared in the home papers, from which this has been taken. What opinion can the readers form of the rectitude of the colonial policy towards the native from it? and this extract is but a very small part of the article.