Letter from John Whiteley
to His Excellency, T. Gore-Browne,
dated 22nd. August 1859.
August 22nd. 1859
I trust my anxiety with regard to the interests, both European and Native, of this Province, will be regarded as a sufficient apology for my presuming to trouble Your Excellency, with a few brief observations.
When this settlement was favoured with a visit by Your Excellency, some months ago, the hopes and expectations of all classes were raised by the intimation that it was Your Excellency's intention that in a short time, Mr. McLean should return for the express purpose of attempting the purchase of land.
I believe the offer which was then made by Te Teira to Your Excellency, of land at the Waitara, is only waiting the arrival of Mr. McLean, to be renewed, Te Teira is still firm in his determination to sell, in spite of all opposers, but if his patience should be much longer taxed, he might possibly yield to adverse influences; and it would be a great pity for him to desert the interest of the Government.
The business of making peace with Ihaia and his people, is going on slowly; but I think, otherwise satisfactorily. That party will still adhere to their determination of selling lands to the Government; and I think the presence of McLean would not only tend to support them in this righteous policy, but would also lead to successful results.
The great need of more land for this settlement is being felt still more and more. Every confidence, I am sure, may be placed in the zeal and ability of the Government Officers on the spot; but as some of the native Chiefs are opposed to the sale of land, and have very high notions of their influence and dignity, I believe the presence of the Chief Commissioner would very powerfully tend to counteract that influence, and assist the Officers here in overcoming it.
I am aware of the important services which require the attention of Mr. McLean in other Provinces, but I submit there can be no part of New Zealand where the powerful influence of this respected and successful Officer is needed more than in the Province of Taranaki.
The above are some of the reasons which I would humbly suggest to Your Excellency, in urging that Mr. McLean may be sent here as soon as possible. This, I think, is a most important and not unfavourable juncture
of time and circumstances; and the opportunity should not be lost. These proud and haughty Chiefs like to be treated with by Superiors; and if by meeting and gratifying this vain conceit, Mr. McLean could relieve them of some of their useless lands, he would confer an incalculable blessing, both upon him, and the Province of Taranaki.
Of course there may be uncertainly as to any more land being obtained; but even, if after all Mr. McLean should not succeed, the people, both natives and Europeans, would be so far satisfied that Your Excellency's promise had been fulfilled, and the attempt had been made.
Your Excellency's obedient humble servt.
T.G. Browne. C.B.
Governor of New Zealand.