Object #1010229 from MS-Papers-0032-0011
25 pages written 26 Jun 1861 by Sir Donald McLean
From: Secretary, Native Department - Administration of native affairs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0011 (26 digitised items). No Item Description
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I have to offer the following remarks upon some of the statements contained in a letter of 5th. inst., addressed by Bishop Williams to His Excellency.
With respect to the statement of Mr. Shortland quoted by the Bishop on the subject of the old land claims, it may be proper to refer to the opinion of the Chief Protector of Aboriginies, Mr. Clarke, given in July 1845,
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in the following terms:-
"Notwithstanding the time, labour, and expence which has been bestowed upon the Land Commission, the result of the enquiry has been far from satisfactory. All that has been ascertained is that various Europeans have made purchases from certain natives; but whether those natives had a right to sell, or how that was acquired, is still, in the majority of
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cases, quite a matter of doubt.''
With regard to the purchases of the New Zealand Company, the Bishop says, - ''The effect upon the native mind, was, at first, a distrust in the proceedings of the Company; but afterwards, satisfaction, when they found that justice was done to them by the Government."
An examination of Commissioner Spain's Report will shew that in the settlement
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he endeavoured to make with the natives, he met with very serious difficulties. He says, - "In cases where they (the natives) have only sought for compensation and never denied a partial sale, the moment the amount to be paid to them was decided upon, they began to object to accept it, and to propose terms that could not be entertained. In fact, it appears to me that they have determined totally to disregard British law and authority; and
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that they have come to the conclusion that we are not strong enough to enforce the one, or maintain the other."
Bishop Williams is not ignorant of the influences brought to bear against colonizing efforts generally, whether those of the New Zealand Company, the early settlers, or the Government.
The Bishop expresses himself satisfied with the earlier purchases of the Land
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Purchase Department, but finds fault with the later ones. He fails, however, to show that the latter were conducted on any different principle. The fact is that the system pursued has been the same throughout. The change has not been in the system, but in the views of the natives. That a great change has taken place in these, is beyond question, and could hardly escape the notice
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of an attentive observer. The Bishop, however, either ignores or overlooks this feature of the case.
The reference by Bishop Williams to the Hapuku feud shows that he obtained his information from one of the parties only. Had his enquirer been more impartial, he would have discovered that the land question was only one among the many elements in this feud.
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The extreme rivalry and jealousy existing between Te Moananui and Te Hapuku, years before any land was acquired by the Government in that District, were well known to every person who had any acquaintance with those tribes.
Had the Bishop taken pains to inform himself thoroughly on this subject, he would have found that the land-selling, as far as it had formed
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an element in the dispute, had been completely eliminated from the question.
As the Bishop has chosen, by quoting Renata's statements, to endorse them, I feel called upon to give them that notice, which I should not, otherwise, have done. I regret very much that the Bishop has condescended to found his animadversions against the Land Purchase Department on the unproved
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assertions of others, rather than upon facts coming under his own observation. I cannot believe that he is aware of the position in which he is thus placing himself, as the apologist of the Maori King, and Anti-Land-Selling League.
It is perhaps, however, doing the Bishop no injustice to assume that his sympathies were with the latter movement; and that the natives generally
Secretary, Native Department - Administration of native affairs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0011 (26 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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