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

No. 82. — Copy of a Despatch from Governor Sir George Grey to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle

page 87

No. 82.
Copy of a Despatch from Governor Sir George Grey to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle.

Taranaki. 9th May, 1863.

My Lord Duke,—

From - despatches which I have sent Home by this mail, your Grace will learn that a very serious state of things has arisen in the Northern Island of New Zealand, and that there is great reason to apprehend that a general rising of the Native population may shortly take, place, for the purpose of making a simultaneous attack upon the several centres of European population, with a view to the total expulsion of the white race from "this Island.

  • 2. X am quite satisfied that such a plot has been formed by a large number of influential Natives, as also that they are now busily engaged in trying to carry it into effect. I still hope that they will fail in conducting it on such a large scale as they propose, but I believe the danger to be of a very serious and alarming kind, which may-lead to a vast destruction of life and property.
  • 3. To meet this danger the promptest measures must be taken, and my Responsible Advisers concur in opinion with me that the force in this country in addition to the regiment now coming out, the 2nd Battalion 18th Regiment, will require without delay to be increased by about three thousand men.
  • 4 It has been found from a long experience that there are parts of this country in which European troops carry on a war with difficulty, being neither fitted by previous training, equipment, nor habits of subsistence, for a warfare of the nature of that in which they are necessarily engaged, and it has been the general opinion of officers who have served in India that Sikhs would be better qualified than any other troops to perform the military duties required in New Zealand.
  • 5. I represented this to my Responsible Advisers, and they have authorized me to apply to your Grace in order, in the present most serious state of affairs, that one European regiment and two regiments of Sikhs should be sent from India to New Zealand with as little delay as possible.
  • 6. My Responsible Advisers think that the pay of the Sikhs should be doubled, and they undertake certainly to defray the increased rate of pay which will thus be given, stating further that they think this object of such great importance that they undertake to propose to the House of Assembly at its next meeting that the colony should bear the cost of the whole pay of the Sikhs.
  • 7. I can assure your Grace that I think that the reinforcements asked for should be sent as promptly as possible, for much will depend upon the despatch with which they reach, this Island.

I have, &c.,

G. Grey.

His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, K.G., &c.