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

No. 12. — Copy of a Despatch from Governor Hobson to the Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies

No. 12.
Copy of a Despatch from Governor Hobson to the Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Wellington.—In Reply to Petition of Settlers, praying for the Governor's Removal. Government House, Auckland, 5th August, 1841.

My Lord,—

I have the honour to refer your Lordship to a petition addressed to Her Majesty from some of the inhabitants of Port Nicholson, praying for my removal from this Government, which I apprehend was forwarded in the early part of June in this year, a copy of which is contained in the file of papers I herewith transmit.

It is highly repugnant to my feelings to offer any defence against charges so unjust and so unfounded; but, for your Lordship's information, I beg to state that I deny that Port Nicholson is either geographically or locally adapted for a seat of Government I deny also that I have ever sent a vessel to entice away from Port Nicholson any artificers or labourers who could be induced to leave that settlement, and I beg respectfully to submit to your Lordship that, in the absence of any clue to or knowledge of the intentions of Her Majesty's Government towards the settlers at Port Nicholson, and without the authority usually vested in a Governor, I could not visit that settlement with any advantage to the inhabitants. These three allegations form the grounds of the petition. The first page 166is met by a contradiction founded on authority the most authentic and disinterested that could be procured. The second I deny in distinct and positive terms; premising, however, that I did cause to be hired for the service of Government, in erecting this house, the mechanics and labourers mentioned in the margin,* for whom a free passage was provided in a ship that was casually passing between the ports; but, so far from this step being taken in a clandestine manner, I advertised for workmen generally throughout the colony, without reference to Port Nicholson more than any other settlement where there might be men wanting employment. To the third I trust your Lordship will consider that I have given a sufficient reply.

I have, &c.,

W. Hobson.

* Four pair of sawyers, 2 stonemasons, 4 carpenters, 5 labourers.