Object #1007778 from MS-Papers-0032-0030
24 pages written 16 Sep 1870 by Sir Donald McLean
From: Native Minister - Administration of native affairs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0030 (32 digitised items). Includes a letter in Maori with translation for an article in Waka Maori newspaper
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LAID BEFORE CABINET BY NATIVE MINISTER.
The past year has brought about a great improvementmin the aspect of native affairs, and a transition has taken place from a state of hostility to one of comparative peace.
It cannot, however, he denied that in those transition stages, a sensitive warlike race like the Maoris, require careful
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and firm treatment.
Any system that is adopted must be gradually introduced step by step.
Previous efforts have failed from doing too much at once. A full recognition of the influence and power of the Chiefs, will be essential to the success of any policy.
The application of experimental political theories, begun at one time, and abolished at another,
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are most dangerous.
The practical questions. for present consideration, are those of peace and war. The latter, with slight intermissions, has prevailed in the North Island, for the last ten years. The consequences have been fatal to its progress and prosperity.
The King Territory long remained the centre of dissafection; and crimes have been committed
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throughout the country, in the name of the King, of which he was not cognisant, and which he even deprecated.
A reconciliation with him having taken place, some anxiety still remains on the part of the public, who are easily agitated on questions with which they may be insufficiently acquainted; and it is desirable when the
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opportunity offers, that some more definite and disticnt arrangement should be concluded with him and his adherents.
A policy of non-interference is decidedly the safest. Any meddling with the natives before they are prepared to offer or receive overtures, would be most unwise.
Several courses would
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present themselves to different minds, on the best means of solving the native difficulty; and differences of opinion arise, even among those best skilled in Native affairs, as to the best mode of dealing with the question.
One mode suggested by men who have devoted a great deal of thought to the subject, is the definition of districts
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within which the natives can carry out their own laws and usages.
No doubt the tendency of those who are adherents of the King, is much in favour of this view.
They exercise an independent jurisdiction within a certain district; they are not subject to the restraints and annoyances of progressive colonization; which, however, we may regard
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it from our point of view as advantageous to them, they recognise as the extinction of their nationality and independence.
A continuation of peace would gradually overcome those strong anti-progressive tendencies, and soften the asperities and prejudices that have been nourished by the excitement of war.
To rudely interfere with
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those prejudices would be most unwise; and if a general desire is exhibited on the part of the King natives to maintain a friendly neutrality within certain definite limits, it would be prudent to gratify their desire in this respect.
After two centuries of similar conflicts with the American Indians, the President of the United States has
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arrived at a similar conclusion.
General Grant, in his recently delivered message to Congress, aware from early personal experiences as a professional soldier, and from later experience as a statesman, of the length, the cost, and the cruelty of Indian wars, expressed his anxiety to inaugurate a better system, or rather to extend the old system of treating the Indians, by placing them in reserves.
Native Minister - Administration of native affairs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0030 (32 digitised items)
Series 7 Official papers, Reference Number Series 7 Official papers (3737 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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