Object #1025720 from MS-Papers-0032-0010

6 pages written 3 Nov 1860 by Thomas Fenton 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.

Download alow-resolution PDF or high-resolution PDF

Page 1 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

COPY. Auckland.

3rd. November 1860.



My dear Judge,

I am truly ashamed that I have not written to you before now. I have been so much harrassed of late with Native work that my correspondence has been much neglected. We have had rather critical times here rately; but I trust matters will assume a better aspect.

Your notes on Maori matters should have been issued long ago; but the printers have been so engaged with Assembly work

Page 2 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

that I have only yesterday received a part of the first proof for correction. The Governor and the Chief Justice are much pleased with the paper, and 250 copies are to be struck off.

The Maori question is such an inexhaustible subject that I do not think the publication will be by any means too late. I wish the Governor to submit the paper to the Secretary of State with his observations, if I can have your permission to do so; and you will, I hope, allow your name to be mentioned as the author. Weld, who is one of the best of our Ministers, goes down by this opportunity, and he will be able to give you all the Auckland news. I am very glad the Governor has got such a thoroughly upright

Page 3 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

man in his council in such a critical time. Sir Charles Clifford leaves for England, not intending to return for some years. There are several parties leaving Auckland, but none of them are actual settlers; in fact these occasional panics, through fear of the Maoris, are felt much more by the townspeople than by those eho are most exposed to danger in the country.

There has been a good deal of time occupied by some of the members of the general assembly, in an investigal on of circumstances connected with the introduction of civil institutions into the Waikato district, and some blame imputed to me for the withdrawal of Mr. Fenton; who was sent there as

Page 4 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

Resident Magistrate. The facts of the case can be summed up in a few words. I was quite favourable to the introduction of such institutions if properly and judiciously initiated, not mere spasmodic efforts, which aimed at the breaking up of the influence of the old Chiefs, and disturbing the present social organisation of the tribes however defective, without being prepared to substitute something permanent and reliable to replace those institutions of Chieftainships, and tribal relations recognised by the people. Moreover I did not wish the Maori to be made the subject of untried experiments subservient to the ends of party politics, while unprepared to introduce

Page 5 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

and support a large and comprehensive scheme for their better government; which the circumstances of the Colony very much require, but which the Assembly, until now, has never showed an earnest willingness to supply. The socalled friends of the Maoris of the present day would not grant £1000 for Native purposes two years ago; although they contribute at least £25,000 to the yearly customs revenue, independent of their contributions in selling us land at a cheap rate, which twey retail at a handsome profit, When it suits a party or political purpose, the natives or the native office is found a very convenient stalking

Page 6 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

horse; but experience proves to me that professions of unbounded generosity in times of war or danger, are not to be relied on as the sincere promptings of the minds of the present Maori sympathisers. However every well-wisher of the Maori race must hail with satisfaction a spirit of enquiry among the Europeans, as to the Maori question; which must lead to a more full appreciation and just recognition of their social, and political rights.

I remain, my dear Judge,
Yours very truly, (copy unsigned)

English (ATL)

COPY. Auckland.

3rd. November 1860.



My dear Judge,

I am truly ashamed that I have not written to you before now. I have been so much harrassed of late with Native work that my correspondence has been much neglected. We have had rather critical times here rately; but I trust matters will assume a better aspect.

Your notes on Maori matters should have been issued long ago; but the printers have been so engaged with Assembly work that I have only yesterday received a part of the first proof for correction. The Governor and the Chief Justice are much pleased with the paper, and 250 copies are to be struck off.

The Maori question is such an inexhaustible subject that I do not think the publication will be by any means too late. I wish the Governor to submit the paper to the Secretary of State with his observations, if I can have your permission to do so; and you will, I hope, allow your name to be mentioned as the author. Weld, who is one of the best of our Ministers, goes down by this opportunity, and he will be able to give you all the Auckland news. I am very glad the Governor has got such a thoroughly upright man in his council in such a critical time. Sir Charles Clifford leaves for England, not intending to return for some years. There are several parties leaving Auckland, but none of them are actual settlers; in fact these occasional panics, through fear of the Maoris, are felt much more by the townspeople than by those eho are most exposed to danger in the country.

There has been a good deal of time occupied by some of the members of the general assembly, in an investigal on of circumstances connected with the introduction of civil institutions into the Waikato district, and some blame imputed to me for the withdrawal of Mr. Fenton; who was sent there as Resident Magistrate. The facts of the case can be summed up in a few words. I was quite favourable to the introduction of such institutions if properly and judiciously initiated, not mere spasmodic efforts, which aimed at the breaking up of the influence of the old Chiefs, and disturbing the present social organisation of the tribes however defective, without being prepared to substitute something permanent and reliable to replace those institutions of Chieftainships, and tribal relations recognised by the people. Moreover I did not wish the Maori to be made the subject of untried experiments subservient to the ends of party politics, while unprepared to introduce and support a large and comprehensive scheme for their better government; which the circumstances of the Colony very much require, but which the Assembly, until now, has never showed an earnest willingness to supply. The socalled friends of the Maoris of the present day would not grant £1000 for Native purposes two years ago; although they contribute at least £25,000 to the yearly customs revenue, independent of their contributions in selling us land at a cheap rate, which twey retail at a handsome profit, When it suits a party or political purpose, the natives or the native office is found a very convenient stalking horse; but experience proves to me that professions of unbounded generosity in times of war or danger, are not to be relied on as the sincere promptings of the minds of the present Maori sympathisers. However every well-wisher of the Maori race must hail with satisfaction a spirit of enquiry among the Europeans, as to the Maori question; which must lead to a more full appreciation and just recognition of their social, and political rights.

I remain, my dear Judge,
Yours very truly, (copy unsigned)

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)

Usage: You can search, browse, print and download items from this website for research and personal study. You are welcome to reproduce the above image(s) on your blog or another website, but please maintain the integrity of the image (i.e. don't crop, recolour or overprint it), reproduce the image's caption information and link back to here (http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=1025720). If you would like to use the above image(s) in a different way (e.g. in a print publication), or use the transcription or translation, permission must be obtained. More information about copyright and usage can be found on the Copyright and Usage page of the NLNZ web site.

External Links:
View Full Descriptive Record in TAPUHI

Leave a comment

This function is coming soon.

Latest comments