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Nor is there any real injustice in this inequality. To the Natives, or their Chiefs, much of the land of the country is of no actual use, and, in their hands, it possesses scarcely any exchangeable value. Much of it must long remain useless, even in the hands of the British Government also, but its value in exchange will be first created, and then progressively increased, by the introduction of. Capital and of settlers from this country. In the benefits of that increase the Natives themselves will gradually participate.

Nor is this all: they must not be permitted to enter into any contracts in which they might be the ignorant and unintentional authors of injuries to themselves. You will not, for example, purchase from them any territory, retention of which by them would be essential, or highly conducive to their own comfort, safety, or subsistence.

The acquisition of land by the Crown for the future settlement of British subjects must be confined to such districts as the Natives can alienate, without distress or inconvenience to themselves. To secure the observance of this, will be one of the first duties of the official Protector. On the authority of the Noble Marquis, then at the head of the Colonial Department, the Committee thus distinctly understood that New Zealand was to be dealt with as an independent State; that the cession of the sovereignty was to be obtained by treaty; that the cession of the sovereignty was not to involve the surrender of territory, either in whole or in part; that the cession to the Crown of such waste lands as might be progressively required for the use of settlers, should be subsequently obtained by fair and equal contracts with the Natives; and that no lands were to be claimed for the Crown in New Zealand, except such as might be obtained by purchase from the Natives, or by their own free consent.

In this interpretation of the Instructions given to Captain Hobson, the Committee are supported by the views expressed by Captain Hobson himself, previous to his departure, in the Letter of Inquiry which he addressed to Mr.


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His remarks show that he clearly understood that all his proceedings with New Zealand, at all events so far as the Northern Island was concerned, to the Chiefs of which "His late Majesty's Letter was addressed on the presentation of their flag," were to be conducted on the principle that it was possessed of a recognized national independence, and the only point on which he required explanation, in reference to the question, was whether, if he were urged by circumstances, he might not plant the British flag in the Southern Island, by virtue of the right of discovery, remarking, "it is obvious that the power of the Crown may be exercised with much greater freedom in a country over which it possesses all the rights that are usually assumed by first discoverers, than in an adjoining State, which has been recognized as free and independent.

On his arrival in New Zealand, Captain Hobson, in pursuance of his Official Instructions, and under the conviction that the Natives would not take any important step without the counsel of their Religious Teachers, made application to the Wesleyan Missionaries, as well as those of the Church-of-England Society, to use their influence with the Chiefs in favour of the Treaty which he had prepared for ceding the Sovereignty of the country to the British Crown.

His Excellency assured the Missionaries of the Wesleyan Society, that it was "in accordance with Instructions which he had received from the highest authority in the realm," that he requested their assistance in effecting the negotiation with which he was entrusted. Feeling themselves bound by their allegiance to render all dutiful support to the representative of their Sovereign, yet, knowing how great had been the solicitude of the Committee under whom they acted to avert from the New-Zealanders the evils attendant upon colonization, as it had been generally conducted, in which solicitude themselves had largely participated, --the Missionaries of the Wesleyan Society, nevertheless, deemed it to be their duty fully to ascertain the sense in which Captain Hobson intended that the Treaty should be understood by the Native Chiefs.

They had not read Captain Hobson's Instructions, for those Instructions were not then published; but they fully understood the claims of the Natives upon the soil of New Zealand, and the point to be ascertained was, whether the Treaty was designed to admit and confirm those claims, in the full and unqualified sense in which they were made. The Missionaries knew that the Natives claimed, as their own, the entire soil of New Zealand. On this point, the Committee of the Church Missionary Society, in an official document, printed by order of the House of Commons, in , made the following statement The question has repeatedly been put to them, and their answer has uniformly been, one and all, affirmative of this proposition.

The evidence of the Wesleyan Missionaries is in entire accordance with this testimony. For a great number of years, the land-question has been continuously pressed upon their attention by a combination of circumstances; but, in their extensive correspondence with the Committee upon this question in all its various bearings, they have never reported a single case of a tract of land without a Native claimant, On the contrary,.

In the view therefore of both the Natives and the Missionaries, the sovereignty and the land were two entirely distinct things; and to preserve the latter intact, while they surrendered the former, was the great solicitude of the Natives. From Captain Hobson, the Missionaries received the most satisfactory explanation of the terms of the Treaty. The Treaty which he had prepared dwelt explicitly on both the sovereignty and the land, and the interpretation which the Missionaries were authorized to give of it was that, while the entire sovereignty should be transferred to the British Crown, the entire land should be secured to the Natives.

Most certainly the Missionaries received the fullest assurance that, in surrendering the sovereignty, the Natives would not by that act surrender their original claims upon any part of the soil. In this sense the Chiefs themselves also understood the Treaty, as it was propounded to them. They clearly comprehended its two main features, as explained in their own figurative style, that "the shadow of the land," by which they meant "the sovereignty," would pass to the Queen of England, but that "the substance," the land itself, would remain with them.

Nor were the Chiefs and the Missionaries peculiar in their views of the meaning of the Treaty. They are supported by the independent testimony of parties who were present at Waitangi when the Treaty was executed, some of which parties were not favourable to the Treaty itself; as for instance Mr.

Brodie, who, when the question was put to him before the Committee of the House of Commons, 4th June, , "Do you mean that there is no land which the Crown could take upon itself to dispose of in New Zealand? On the question as to whether the wild lands were not to be considered as comprised in the surrender of the sovereignty, he answered, "I should say not. Captain Hobson mentioned, through Mr.

Williams, that they acknowledged that all the lands belonged to the Natives, and that they did not intend to rob them of any land, or to take any, but what they purchased from them. Brodie further said Other witnesses from New Zealand testified to the same effect, before the same Committee. As was anticipated, the Chiefs would not enter into the Treaty, without the advice of their Religious Instructors. The Wesleyan Chiefs said, in effect, to their Missionaries, "We do not know the Queen of England; but we know you, and can trust you.

If you say that the British Government speaks true about the land, we will believe you, for we know you will not deceive us.


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On the strength of the assurance thus given, the Wesleyan Chief Neni, more generally known by his Christian name of Thomas Walker, pronounced by the Natives Tomati Waka, and his relative Patawoni, went from the Hokianga to the great Native Meeting at Waitangi, and according to Captain Hobson's own Despatch to the Marquis of Normanby, of the 5th February, , contributed very mainly to the settlement of the question; the eloquence and influence of Neni having decidedly turned the scale in favour of the Treaty, which was signed by the Chiefs present on the following day.

A few days afterwards, on the 11th, Captain Hobson proceeded to the Wesleyan Mission at the Hokianga, where another large Meeting was convened, at which the Rev. Hobbs, one of the Society's Missionaries, acted as interpreter, and rendered into the Native language Captain Hobson's own interpretation of the Treaty; which then received the additional signatures of One Hundred and Twenty principal Chiefs. The signatures of the Chiefs in the Southern Districts of the Northern Island were shortly afterwards obtained by Commissioners appointed for the purpose; and, at all the other Wesleyan Stations, the Society's Missionaries shared with their Brethren in the North, the responsibility of encouraging their people to place reliance upon the faith of the British Government.

In conclusion of this transaction, Lieutenant-Governor Hobson issued a Proclamation on the 21st May, in which he, rested the claims of the British Crown to the sovereignty of the Northern Island exclusively upon the Treaty which. The Instructions addressed to Governor Hobson, on the 9th December , by the Right Honourable Lord John Russell, as to the measures to be pursued for the protection and improvement of the New Zealanders, who had then by. His Lordship distinctly recognized the Treaty as the ground on which the title of the British Crown to the sovereignty of New Zealand exclusively rests; while his reasoning on the advances which the Natives had made towards a civilized state, and their instruction in the Christian faith, furnished a vindication of the previous recognition of the independence of New Zealand by the British Government.

They are not mere wanderers over an extended surface, in search of a precarious subsistence; nor Tribes of hunters, or of herdsmen; but a people among whom the arts of government have made some progress; who have established by their own customs a division and appropriation of the soil; who are not without some measure of agricultural skill, and a certain subordination of ranks; with usages having the character and authority of law.

In addition to this, they have been formerly recognized by Great Britain as an independent State; and even in assuming the dominion of the country, this principle was acknowledged, for it is on the deliberate act and cession of the Chiefs, on behalf of the people at large, that our title rests. Nor should it ever be forgotten, that large bodies of the New-Zealanders have been instructed, by the zeal of our Missionaries, in the Christian faith. It is, however, impossible to cast the eye over the map of the globe, and to discover a single spot where civilized men, brought into contact with Tribes differing from themselves widely in physical structure, and greatly inferior to themselves in military prowess and social arts, have abstained from oppressions and other evil practices.

In many, the process of extermination has proceeded with appalling rapidity. Even in the absence of positive injustice, the mere contiguity and intercourse of the two races, would appear to induce many moral and physical evils, fatal to the health and life of the feebler party. And it must be confessed that, after every explanation which can be found of the rapid disappearance of the Aboriginal Tribes in the neighbourhood of European Settlements, there remains much which is obscure, and of which no well-ascertained facts afford the complete solution.

Be the causes, however, of this so-frequent calamity what they may, it is our duty to leave no rational experiment for the prevention of it unattempted.

Who We Are

Indeed, the dread of exposing any part of the human race to a danger so formidable, has been shewn by the Marquis of Normanby, in his original Instructions to you, to have been the motive which dissuaded the occupation of New Zealand by the British Government, until the irresistible course of events. Stress has been laid upon the fact that, in the Charter for erecting New Zealand into a separate and independent Colony, which, by the advice of Lord John Russell, passed the Great Seal in December, , and in the Instructions accompanying it, "occupation" and "enjoyment" are mentioned as alone establishing the right of the Natives in property; but, without entering into any disquisition on the meaning to be attached to these terms, it may be remarked, that, in whatever sense it was meant that the rule thus laid down should apply to the Middle and Southern Islands, the Committee were not able, from Lord John Russell's administration as Colonial Secretary, to gather any reason for concluding that his Lordship intended that that rule should be made applicable to the Northern Island, in opposition to the understood meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The consideration that the Right Honourable Lord Stanley belonged to another Ministry, and was therefore in a position for forming an entirely unbiassed and independent opinion on the Treaty of Waitangi, tended greatly to strengthen the conclusions of the Committee as to the interpretation of that Treaty which they had been led to adopt. In a dispatch to Governor Fitzroy, August 13, , his Lordship, while commenting on the Report of the New-Zealand Committee of the House of Commons, just presented to the House, having dwelt upon the superior claims of the New-Zealanders as compared with other uncivilized nations, then adverted to the views which he had formerly expressed to his Excellency in reference to the extent of the Native rights, and remarked It most be remembered, that these directions had not only been promulgated but acted upon in the Colony at an early period after the sovereignty had been assumed.

Lastly, it appeared to me inconsistent with the practice of these Tribes, who, after cultivating, and of course exhausting, a given spot for a series of years, desert it for another within the limits of the recognized properly of the Tribe.

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This liberal view of the Treaty of Waitangi, adopted by Lord Stanley from the consideration of the terms of the Treaty itself, in connection with the Despatches of his noble predecessor, was invariably maintained by his Lordship in practice. Although he had supposed that there might be found some lands in New Zealand without a Native claimant, yet his management of the affairs of New Zealand, throughout the whole period of his remaining in office, strengthened the Committee's opinion, that that meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi to which the Missionaries had pledged themselves, was the correct interpretation.

The decided views of the Right Honourable William Gladstone, Lord Stanley's successor, in favour of the widest interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi, are so well known as not to require any comment. If the meaning which the Committee have been led to attach to that Treaty is thus sustained by the concurrent judgment of those distinguished individuals who have been successively at the head of the Colonial Department, that meaning is further confirmed by those to whom has been entrusted the local administration of the affairs of the Colony of New Zealand.

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The interpretation of the Treaty to which the late Governor Fitzroy adhered, it is sufficiently understood, was in unison with that of the heads of the Colonial Office, and therefore need not be enlarged upon; but it is deemed important to cite the testimony of his predecessor, Mr. From the official relation in which he stood to Governor Hobson, at the time when the Treaty of Waitangi was adopted, he must be regarded, not merely as the exponent of his own views, but also as a competent expositor of the Treaty in the sense in which Captain Hobson proposed it, and afterwards practically admitted its obligation.

In a letter addressed to Lord Stanley, after his return to England, dated Torquay, 18th January, , he comments upon the Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, of the preceding Session of , and, adverting to the opinion expressed in the Report, that the Treaty of Waitangi amounted to little more "than a legal fiction; that the sovereignty of those Islands might have been at once assumed without this mere nominal Treaty; and that there would have been no greater difficulty in obtaining the acquiescence in the.

I was present at the several Meetings of the Natives at Waitangi, Hokianga, and Kaitaia, for the purpose of considering the Treaty; and the impression on my mind at the time was, that the subject was fully understood by them, and they were quite aware of the nature of the transaction in which they were engaged.

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I was so impressed with this idea, and so struck with the shrewdness and intelligence of many of their remarks, at the first Meeting at Waitangi, that, at the subsequent ones, I noted down the speeches of the Chiefs, copies of which I have the honour to enclose, as they will serve to show to your Lordship, not only that the Natives understood the Treaty, but that they were peculiarly sensitive with regard to every question affecting their lands. Of this I could produce many instances, did space permit, but will content myself with noticing that the Church and Wesleyan Missionaries, possessing, as they deservedly did, before the assumption of the sovereignty by Her Majesty, the unlimited confidence of the Natives, incurred by their aiding the local Government to effect the peaceable establishment of the Colony, the suspicion of the Aborigines, who frequently upbraided the Missionaries with having deceived them, saying 'Your Queen will serve us as she has done the black fellows of New South Wales; our lands will be taken from us, and we shall become slaves.

If considerable space has thus been occupied in showing the substantial agreement between the Wesleyan Missionary Committee's interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the views of the successive heads of the Colonial Department on the one hand, and of those to whom the local administration of the Government of New Zealand has been successively committed, on the other, as well as with the reluctant testimony of witnesses unfriendly to the Treaty itself,--it is because the Committee consider that, in respectfully pressing upon your Lordship a wider interpretation of the Treaty than you have hitherto apparently.

The fact is simply this, that they discover a real discrepancy between your Lordship's Instructions and the true interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi. That wide interpretation of the Treaty, which is now submitted to your Lordship by the Wesleyan Committee, may be said to prevail universally in New Zealand. No class of objections which are urged in some quarters against the Treaty, no force of reasoning as to what ought to be its meaning, in any degree affects the matter-of-fact questions as to the sense in which the Treaty was actually agreed to.

The Missionaries, after all that can be said on such points, retain the most perfect conviction that, when they counselled the Natives to sign the Treaty, it was on the explicit assurance of the Representative of the British Crown that, while the entire sovereignty should be ceded by the Natives, they should at the same time retain in their rightful possession the entire soil; and the Natives, on their part, are prepared to maintain, at all hazards, that that was the only sense in which the Treaty received their assent.

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The Missionaries and their friends in New Zealand thus reason upon the subject. The Instructions evidently provide that, contrary to the Treaty, some claimed lands may be taken from the Natives without their own free consent. If the Instructions did not contemplate this, they were unnecessary; for all unclaimed lands in the Middle and Southern Islands, and also any lands without Native claimants, even in the Northern Island, --if any such could actually be found there, --would, as a matter of course, fall to the Crown; but, if it was designed that, according to the provisions of the Thirteenth Chapter of the Instructions, no Native claims upon land should be admitted by the Colonial "Land Courts" except in cases where benefit is derived from the land "by means of labour expended thereupon," the inevitable consequence would be that large tracts of land would be seized for the Crown, in violation of the Treaty of Waitangi; for that Treaty most unquestionably was designed to guarantee to the Natives the undisturbed possession, not merely of the lands upon which they had actually.

It becomes the duty of the Committee to inform your Lordship, without disguise, that the Missionaries of the Society apprehend the most fatal results from the strict enforcement of those Instructions.