Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

An Epitome of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs and Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand

No. 102. — Copy of a Despatch from Governor Sir G. F. Bowen to the Right Hon. the Earl of Kimberley

No. 102.
Copy of a Despatch from Governor Sir G. F. Bowen to the Right Hon. the Earl of Kimberley.

General Report on the State of the Natives. Government House, Auckland, N.Z., 20th May, 1871.

My Lord, —

The monthly mail [unclear: vi] San Francisco will leave Auckland to-morrow; but I have little of importance to add respecting the present condition of Native affairs to the contents of my Despatch No. 29, of the 24th March ultimo, and of Mr. McLean's memorandum of the 28th ultimo, transmitted (Enclosure No. 3) with my Despatch No. 39, of the 1st of May instant, to which latter document I would request special attention.

  • 2. Since my arrival in Auckland after my recent official tour in the southern provinces, I have received at the Government House several of the principal Maori chiefs of the North, and, in particular, Tamati Waka Nene and his brother Eruera Patuone, who assured me of the continued loyalty of the great clan of the Ngapuhis, the most powerful in New Zealand; whose country, character, and position were described in my Despatch No. 51, of the 26th May, 1870, written immediately after my last visit to them.
  • 3. With reference to paragraph 7 of the last-mentioned despatch (No. 51), your Lordship will learn with interest that the Bishop of Auckland, Dr. Cowie, recently consecrated the church which has been built by the Maoris who fought against the Crown in the war of 1845–48, but who are now among the most loyal subjects of the Queen, on the site of the pa of Ohaeawai, near the Bay of Islands, in the attack on which, in July, 1845, the British troops suffered a severe repulse, with heavy loss both in officers and men.
  • 4. I regret to say that the adherents of the so-called Maori King in the centre of this Island still decline to surrender the murderers of Mr. Todd, and that the Hauhaus at Ohinemuri still refuse to allow the telegraph line to be carried from Tauranga to the River Thames, a distance of about forty miles. This gap in the general system now extended over the remainder of the colony has the effect of isolating Auckland, in some degree, from the southern provinces. But it is hoped that this difficulty will be ere long overcome, and I trust that next year I shall be able to furnish a practical proof of the cessation of all active hostility by travelling overland myself from Wellington to Auckland, a journey which has not been undertaken by any European since the beginning of the second Maori war in 1860.
  • 5. On the east and west coasts of this Island general tranquillity continues to be maintained, and several fresh bodies of Natives recently in open rebellion have given their submission and engaged to live peaceably for the future.
  • 6. In several previous despatches I have expressed a strong opinion that the surest plan to keep the Maoris quiet and to train them to habits of industry is to give them constant employment at good page 107wages on roads piercing their own mountains and forests; in short, that the pickaxe and the spade are the true weapons for the pacification of the highlands of New Zealand, as formerly of the Highlands of Scotland. This policy has been steadily pursued for some time past by the Colonial Government; as will be seen by the annexed memorandum and map, which have been prepared in the Native Department under the direction of Mr. McLean, and which will well repay a careful perusal and examination.
  • 7. It will be observed that contracts for roads within their own districts were, in the first instance, offered to the friendly clans, who responded willingly to the invitation of the Government. By degrees the wavering, and even the hostile, tribes began to appreciate the advantages of the new policy, and requested to have similar benefits extended to them. The result is that a large number of Maoris recently in arms against the Queen are now peaceably labouring on public works, and that (as will be seen by the annexed map) a great portion of the country infested two years ago by the rebel bands of Te Kooti and Titokowaru is now thrown open. Already upwards of four hundred miles of road have been completed or are in course of construction in the Native districts by Native labour, and this system is capable of almost indefinite extension. In connection with this subject reference may be made to the "Correspondence relative to the Construction of Roads in the North Island" (A.-No. 17 and 17a), in the papers presented to the New Zealand Parliament in the session of 1870.
  • 8. As I have remarked on a previous occasion, in addition to the many obvious advantages, civil and military, of opening up the interior of this Island in the manner described above, the Government will thus be enabled to keep in constant employment and under useful industrial training a number of the lawless spirits that abound among the Maoris, eager for the excitement of war and plunder, but not caring much on which side they fight. Finally, it will be remembered that Earl Grey, in his work on Colonial Policy, has recorded that the late Duke of Wellington strongly advised that the construction of roads should be one of the very first objects to be aimed at in New Zealand.

I have, &c.,

G. F.Bowen.

The Right Hon. the Earl of Kimberley.