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

No. 55. — Copy of a Despatch from Governor Sir G. F. Bowen, G.C.M.G., to the Right Hon. the Earl of Kimberley

No. 55.
Copy of a Despatch from Governor Sir G. F. Bowen, G.C.M.G., to the Right Hon. the Earl of Kimberley.

Maori Members in Legislative Council. Government House, Wellington, N.Z., 21st October, 1872.

My. Lord,—

In my Despatch No. 79, of the 20th September ultimo, and on previous occasions, I have reported that the experiment of admitting Maori members to the House of Representatives had proved completely successful, and that it had been decided to admit them, also to the Legislative Council. A resolution recommending that course has been adopted in the popular Chamber, and it seems to be generally approved by all parties, both within and without the Legislature.

2.As your Lordship is aware, the Maoris in the House of Representatives are elected by their countrymen; but, as the members of the Legislative Council are nominated by the Crown, the selection from among the principal Maori clans and chiefs was a matter of delicacy, requiring careful consideration. With the advice of my Ministers, I have now summoned to the Legislative Council, in the name of the Queen,—(1) Mokena Kohere, of Waiapu, in the Province of. Auckland, a chief of high rank and commanding influence in the great clan of the Ngatiporou, and who was recently presented by Her. Majesty with a sword of honour for his long and gallant services in fighting for the Crown during the second. Maori war; (2) Wiremu Tako Ngatata, of Waikanae, in the Province of Wellington,.the foremost chief of the clan of Ngatiawa. When the first English colonists, under the auspices of the New Zealand Company, arrived in this country in 1840, they found this chief living in.a pa on what is now the site of the City of Wellington. Together with his friend and relative, the celebrated Te Puni (whose death was recently lamented by both races), Wiremu Tako Ngatata cordially welcomed the early settlers, made over to them large grants of laud, and protected them from the attacks of the hostile Natives. I have already borne my testimony to the assistance which he afforded to me personally at the very critical period of the dangerous outbreak on the west coast of this Island in 1868.
3.Both of the above-mentioned chiefs are universally recognized as good representatives of their race. They have taken their seats in the, Legislative Council, and have already begun to show, like their countrymen in the other. House, an intelligent and active interest in the debates, and in the general business of the Parliament.

I have, &c.,

G. F. Bowen.

The Right Hon. the Earl of Kimberley.