March 16th. 1871.
My Dear McLean,
Since I met you in the street, and mentioned that the people at Hokianga beg that a native interpreter be appointed, I have been written and spoken to by others, particularly the representative of a large Company which is being formed in Sydney, for cleaning and manufacturing flax on the spot; and which will be, I hope, of great use to the district. Leases, transfers, etc. etc. are wanted to be made; but as there is no authorised interpreter on the spot, there is much difficulty, as an interpreter cannot be got to come from a distance so often as required, or without considerable extra expence. Will you then be so good as to appoint the former interpreter, or any other person you may think fit, so that business may go on.
I know you are busy, or would call on you. I myself have no time either, being engaged with the Aroha affair. However, when that is disposed of, should you have also any time, I shall call before I leave town, to have a sober chat on things in general; for I think it likely we shall not meet again for perhaps a long time.
Yours ever sincerely,
THE VOLUNTEER MOVEMENT began in New Zealand before it really commenced in England; for in 1858, Companies were formed in Auckland and Wellington, followed in 1859 in Taranaki and Otago.
In the North Island the Volunteers have been many times engaged with the rebels, and rendered good service.
At Taranaki in 1860 and 1861, the Volunteers were on active service, and were in several engagements, side by side with the Imperial Troops.
During the Waikato War in 1863 and 1864, the Auckland Volunteers performed arduous duties, and were engaged with the rebels at Wairoa, and other places.
Mauku, under Major Lusk, did good service, outting their way through a large body of natives.
On the West Coast, the Volunteers of Wanganui turned out to assist the Imperial Troops, and were at many important engagements.
On the East Coast, in 1865 and 1866, the Volunteers of Hawke's Bay rendered most signal service, unaided by the Regulars, under the late Col, Fraser and Major Biggs. (Omaranui.)
The Taranaki Volunteers were also called upon in 1863 and 1864 to assist in the second outbreak
of the Hau Haus in that District, and in the Bay of Plenty in 1866 and 1867.
The Auckland Engineer Volunteers rendered good service.
Again on the West Coast in 1868 and 1869 the Wanganui Volunteers, especially the Cavalry performed most excellent service; while on the East Coast, the Napier Volunteers turned out and aided very materially in the suppression of the raids of Te Kooti.
Although never having been called upon for service in the field. the Southern Volunteers have rendered the Colony much service, and furnished many men for service in Corps in the North Island.
OTAGO. In Otago, the first Companies were formed in 1859, but they languished until about 1862 they were very small in numbers, some 11 men only; but about 1864 and 1865, they took a start, and have since been steadily increasing in numbers.
STRENGTH. The numbers of Volunteers of all Arms of the Service, are steadily increasing. Since the 1st. July last year this increase has averaged over 200 men per month.
The Champion Belt was shot for in 1861, for the first time. Each Corps fired on their own ground, the returns being sent to the Deputy Adjutant General at Auckland, where they were prepared and published.
The same practice was pursued until 1866, when the first assembly of Representatives from all Provinees was held at Wellington, on which occasion the Belt was won by Christie of Otago. It has remained in that Province ever since.
In 1867, owing to the disturbed state of the North Island, there was no Colonial Meeting. In 1868 it was again held in Wellington. In 1869 the Islands were divided; the South sending their Representatives to Dunedin, but the Belt was not shot for. In 1870 Representatives from both Islands met at Dunedin, and in 1871, the present Meeting, in Auckland.
Up to 1865 all Volunteers were enrolled under Regulations framed under the provision of the Militia Act 1858, but on the Volunteer Act 1865 coming into operation, and the old Regulations being repealed, the Volunteers then enrolled were required to re-tender their services under the Volunteer Act, when they became a distinct body, being governed by regulations specially prepared for their guidance.