Object #1021655 from MS-Papers-0032-0010

7 pages written 8 Nov 1860 by Sir Donald McLean to Sir Thomas Robert Gore Browne in Auckland Region

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)

Native Secretary's Office. Auckland.

8th. November 1860.



Sir,

As the changes recently proposed and assented to by your Excellency, with reference to the management of Native Affairs, involve practically a surrender of their administration to your responsible advisors, I feel it my duty to record my opinion against such a transfer, especially in the present circumstances of the Colony.

1. I consider that such a transfer should not take place at any time without the free

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English (ATL)

and intelligent cansent of the natives themselves, who will be most affected by it; and who, in ceding the sovereignty of the country to Great Britain, relied upon the assurances then given, and which have been since repeated by every Governor, that no change should take place in existing relations between them and Her Majesty.

2. I consider that a time more inopportune than the present could not have been chosen for making this change; when the country is in a state of war, and while the Imperial Government is earnestly solicited to maintain an expensive Military Force for the protection of the colonists.

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English (ATL)


3. It appears unreasonable that the Grown should be called upon to relinquish its administrative powers in dealing with Native Questions, to the Assembly; while it is expected to bear the expense of any wars that may arise under the management of persons irresponsible to the Crown.

4. The ''Native Council Act'', Just passed by the Assembly, does not, in my opinion, offer a sufficient substitute for the powers about to be conceded; as it does not provide for investing the Native Council with any powers of administration, except by the advice of your responsible advisors.

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English (ATL)


5. The contemplated changes, offteffected without the smallest reference to the natives themselves, are calculated to diminish the confidence hitherto reposed by them in Her Majesty's Government, and in the stability of the relations established with them; which they have bees, by every Representative of the Crown, assured should be maintained inviolate.

6. Justice and good faith demand that such pledges or assurances should not be broken; and that the obligations assumed by the Imperial Government, should not be transferred - at least without a sufficient guarantee that they will be faithfully discharged by those to whom the transfer is made.

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English (ATL)

A permanent appropriation of a fair proportion of the Colonial Revenue to Native Purposes could be in the nature of such guarantee.

7. The Imperial Government is responsible, in the eyes of the natives, for the effects of colonising the country; and any injury they may sustain, through the alienation of their lands for this purpose, will be keenly felt, and imputed by them to the parent Government. It therefore behoves the Crown to pause before surrendering its control over the operations, by which the unalienated 19 million acres of territory now possessed by the natives in the Island, may be

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English (ATL)

made available for colonisation.

8. I have not, at the present moment, an opportunity of going so fully into the question, as I should desire; but I have indicated some of the grounds which have led me to form an opinion unfavourable to the changes I have referred to; and I shall feel much obliged to your Excellency, if you will be pleased to transmit this letter, as an enclosure to any despatch you may be forwarding to the Secretary of State, on the subject.

I have etc. etc. (Signed)
Donald McLean.
Native Secretary. To:- His Excellency, Col. T. Gore Browne C.B. Auckland.

English (ATL)

Native Secretary's Office. Auckland.

8th. November 1860.



Sir,

As the changes recently proposed and assented to by your Excellency, with reference to the management of Native Affairs, involve practically a surrender of their administration to your responsible advisors, I feel it my duty to record my opinion against such a transfer, especially in the present circumstances of the Colony.

1. I consider that such a transfer should not take place at any time without the free and intelligent cansent of the natives themselves, who will be most affected by it; and who, in ceding the sovereignty of the country to Great Britain, relied upon the assurances then given, and which have been since repeated by every Governor, that no change should take place in existing relations between them and Her Majesty.

2. I consider that a time more inopportune than the present could not have been chosen for making this change; when the country is in a state of war, and while the Imperial Government is earnestly solicited to maintain an expensive Military Force for the protection of the colonists.

3. It appears unreasonable that the Grown should be called upon to relinquish its administrative powers in dealing with Native Questions, to the Assembly; while it is expected to bear the expense of any wars that may arise under the management of persons irresponsible to the Crown.

4. The ''Native Council Act'', Just passed by the Assembly, does not, in my opinion, offer a sufficient substitute for the powers about to be conceded; as it does not provide for investing the Native Council with any powers of administration, except by the advice of your responsible advisors.

5. The contemplated changes, offteffected without the smallest reference to the natives themselves, are calculated to diminish the confidence hitherto reposed by them in Her Majesty's Government, and in the stability of the relations established with them; which they have bees, by every Representative of the Crown, assured should be maintained inviolate.

6. Justice and good faith demand that such pledges or assurances should not be broken; and that the obligations assumed by the Imperial Government, should not be transferred - at least without a sufficient guarantee that they will be faithfully discharged by those to whom the transfer is made. A permanent appropriation of a fair proportion of the Colonial Revenue to Native Purposes could be in the nature of such guarantee.

7. The Imperial Government is responsible, in the eyes of the natives, for the effects of colonising the country; and any injury they may sustain, through the alienation of their lands for this purpose, will be keenly felt, and imputed by them to the parent Government. It therefore behoves the Crown to pause before surrendering its control over the operations, by which the unalienated 19 million acres of territory now possessed by the natives in the Island, may be made available for colonisation.

8. I have not, at the present moment, an opportunity of going so fully into the question, as I should desire; but I have indicated some of the grounds which have led me to form an opinion unfavourable to the changes I have referred to; and I shall feel much obliged to your Excellency, if you will be pleased to transmit this letter, as an enclosure to any despatch you may be forwarding to the Secretary of State, on the subject.

I have etc. etc. (Signed)
Donald McLean.
Native Secretary. To:- His Excellency, Col. T. Gore Browne C.B. Auckland.

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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