Object #1010528 from MS-Papers-0032-0010

7 pages written 31 Jul 1860 by Sir Donald McLean

From: Secretary, Native Department - Administration of native affairs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0010 (29 digitised items). Includes papers relating to the activites of Ngati Toa and its allies along the Kapiti Coast at Wainui, Whareroa, Te Uruhi, Waikanae, Otaki, Ohau, and Porouatawhao ca 1860. This was a period when the colonial settlers at Wellington thought themselves to be under imminent attack by Ngati Toa and others. Wi Tako Ngatata's activities were under suspicion as well (ie Wi Tako left the Hutt Valley with a mounted escort of sixty seven well-armed men from Waikanae and Whareroa).

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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Page 1 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)


Sir, In reply to your Excellencys confidential communication of the 31st of July last

, I have the honor to state:

1st that I do not consider that the management of N.A. including the appointment of and correspondence with all persons employed therein could be conceded to your Excellencys responsible advisers chosen as they are from the elected representatives of the Europeans liable to be changed at frequent and uncertain intervals

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English (ATL)


1st I am clearly of opinion that the feelings habits of thought and customs of the natives should be carefully considered in any measures proposed for their Govt. admitting this to be the case there is no doubt that they would unanimously prefer being governed by Her Majesty's representative and officers appointed by him than by the elected representatives of the Europeans whose precarious tenure of office could not possibly even if they were so disposed enable them to obtain the confidence or support of the Natives whose retrospective

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English (ATL)

habits of thought and feudal attachment to their chiefs would not easily reconcile them to be governed by the representatives of English constituencies unacquainted with their wants prejudices or requirements.

Her Majestys representative is admitted by the Natives to be as he now is in virtue of his office their representative and guardian they are almost entirely unrepresented in the Councils of the country they cannot comprehend the nice political distinctions that lead to frequent changes of administration they have never been informed that any changes affecting their interests are in contemplation, they have

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English (ATL)

been in the habit of looking up to the Governor for a redress of any real or imaginary grievances they may have to complain of and it behoves the Govt. to be very careful in introducing changes in the management of Native affairs. ...

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English (ATL)


Ever since the establishment of the English Govt. in these Islands signing of the Treaty of Waitangi when the objects of the British Govt. were fully explained to them to look up to the Governor for a redress of real or imaginary grievances.

They have been in the habit ever since the objects of the British Govt. were explained to them at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi to look up to the Governor for a redress of their real or imaginary grievances, and it behoves the Govt. to carefully avoid any attempt to subverting the relations as understood by themselves to the natives between Her Majesty representative in these Islands.

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English (ATL)

Consequently the utmost care should be taken not to subvert the relations as understood by the Natives to subsist between themselves and Her Majestys Representative in these Islands.

2. Therefore I submit that such changes would lead to great distrust on the part of the Natives.

3dly. Such being the case I am of opinion that the management of Native affairs including the appt. of and correspondence with all persons employed therein and the disposal of all funds sufficient for the purpose should be reserved to Her Majestys Repr. distinctly and entirely.

I have the honor to remain Sir,


Your Excellenys most obt. servant,
Donald McLean
C. L. Comr.

English (ATL)


Sir, In reply to your Excellencys confidential communication of the 31st of July last

, I have the honor to state:

1st that I do not consider that the management of N.A. including the appointment of and correspondence with all persons employed therein could be conceded to your Excellencys responsible advisers chosen as they are from the elected representatives of the Europeans liable to be changed at frequent and uncertain intervals

1st I am clearly of opinion that the feelings habits of thought and customs of the natives should be carefully considered in any measures proposed for their Govt. admitting this to be the case there is no doubt that they would unanimously prefer being governed by Her Majesty's representative and officers appointed by him than by the elected representatives of the Europeans whose precarious tenure of office could not possibly even if they were so disposed enable them to obtain the confidence or support of the Natives whose retrospective habits of thought and feudal attachment to their chiefs would not easily reconcile them to be governed by the representatives of English constituencies unacquainted with their wants prejudices or requirements.

Her Majestys representative is admitted by the Natives to be as he now is in virtue of his office their representative and guardian they are almost entirely unrepresented in the Councils of the country they cannot comprehend the nice political distinctions that lead to frequent changes of administration they have never been informed that any changes affecting their interests are in contemplation, they have been in the habit of looking up to the Governor for a redress of any real or imaginary grievances they may have to complain of and it behoves the Govt. to be very careful in introducing changes in the management of Native affairs. ...

Ever since the establishment of the English Govt. in these Islands signing of the Treaty of Waitangi when the objects of the British Govt. were fully explained to them to look up to the Governor for a redress of real or imaginary grievances.

They have been in the habit ever since the objects of the British Govt. were explained to them at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi to look up to the Governor for a redress of their real or imaginary grievances, and it behoves the Govt. to carefully avoid any attempt to subverting the relations as understood by themselves to the natives between Her Majesty representative in these Islands. Consequently the utmost care should be taken not to subvert the relations as understood by the Natives to subsist between themselves and Her Majestys Representative in these Islands.

2. Therefore I submit that such changes would lead to great distrust on the part of the Natives.

3dly. Such being the case I am of opinion that the management of Native affairs including the appt. of and correspondence with all persons employed therein and the disposal of all funds sufficient for the purpose should be reserved to Her Majestys Repr. distinctly and entirely.

I have the honor to remain Sir,


Your Excellenys most obt. servant,
Donald McLean
C. L. Comr.

Part of:
Secretary, Native Department - Administration of native affairs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0010 (29 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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