Object #1017171 from MS-Papers-0032-0267
4 pages written by Francis Dart Fenton to Sir Donald McLean
From: Inward letters - F D Fenton, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0267 (60 digitised items).
57 letters written from Whaingaroa, 1857; Auckland, 1862-1875 and undated. Includes one letter from Fenton to Fox, 1872.
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
I have not been in a hurry to write a reply to your note on the N. L. Bill because I wanted to be sure of my opinion. I have now thought as well as I can over the Bill and as you ask for my unreserved opinion, I give it you as one honest man to another. It is a hopeless Bill.
In the first place. The expence would be beyond any thing you could get the Legislature to sanction. You would want 5 departments like mine with accompanying survey departments. You would have different laws and rules varying with each district. Finally many of the things are impossible. I do not lay any stress on the change of title, though I think we do not deserve such an uncalled for reuke. Because Sir W. Martin and one or two of the Supreme Court Judges objects to our name is no reason that it should now be changed. If the thing were to begin again, they might be listened to, but not now. Kai whakawa whenua Maori is a name known from one end of N. Z. to the other. Recorder is only known, even to us, as a criminal Judge in two or three of the towns in England. It appears as "one of no records" in the history of Josiah, & Hezekiah. To complete the parallel Dickey ought to be called a scribe and Hammond a Parisee. What puzzles me most is that I find none of your ideas in the Bill. I think I understand your view.
1. More equity and less law.
2. Simplification of proceedings.
3. Diminution of expence
4. No trusteeship
5. An opportunity for priority of purchase for the Crown.
To all these I agree. But none of them are in the Bill. I think we ought in Maori matters never to change if we can avoid it. When they know a system dont change it, beyond remedying defects which have displayed themselves. Now after 9 years' experience we know where the shoe pinches and can mend the shoe. But Martin, instead of doing that, experiments with a new pair of boots of new fashion and material. I have drawn out a statement which I will send in an official of erroneous statements of fact for that gentleman. But as Ryan says, what can you expect from a man who has not been out of his bedroom for 16 years. But he is potent for mischief. Witness Hawkes Bay, in which through Karaitiana he has set race against race. I will write again. I think you may finally settle the land question in New Zealand but this Bill will not do it.
Yours very truly,
F. D. Fenton
Inward letters - F D Fenton, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0267 (60 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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