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the case with the Maoris, for ingratitude is more common to mankind than gratitude ; but it is an extraordinary circumstance that so many conflicting elements should combine for a common object, at the risk of utter destruction, or at least the certain curtailment of those favours which have advanced the aborigines of this country to a more than ordinary degree of prosperity and comfort. This circumstance gives the present struggle more than usual importance. It raises it, in fact, to the dignity of a war for political independence on the one part; and on the other, to acquire the sovereignty of the country by conquest, and by force to establish the blessings of law and order amongst the community. War has, therefore, become a necessity to us. Civilization must give way to barbarism if we shrink from the conflict; and prudence and duty alike impel us to prosecute it with vigour.

We shall take this war for the conquest of New Zealand to have commenced actively in March, 1860, when the Waitara purchase was made the plea of action by the Government, although the natives' opposition in this case was by no means an exceptional exhibition of their insolent contempt for the supremacy of the Crown and the laws. It is evident, to a candid inquirer, on reading the public records of the period, that the representative men of the Maori people had, with undeviating persistency, forced on this final struggle between the two races in the North island. There is no difficulty in detecting this covert purpose in their acts of aggression, their language, and contempt of authority, long previous to the date of the open rupture in the beginning of 1860. The fault of the Government, (and it was a cardinal error) was to ignore this attitude of the Maori people, and narrow the cause of war to the dispute regarding Wi Kingi's title to the Waitara block. The colony and the Queen’s Representative thus placed themselves in a false position, from which they seemed unable to extricate themselves. Indeed, with singular shortsightedness, the political leaders in the colony did not appear conscious of their folly, and rung the changes on Waitara until the British people became impressed with the conviction that the colonists of New Zealand had brought about a costly war with the natives, to become wrongfully possessed of a paltry 600 acres of waste land on the banks of

a the Waitara. On no other hypothesis can we explain the language of the English press in reference to this colony ; but the speeches in the General Assembly, the pamphlets published on the subject, and the more ephemeral articles in New Zealand newspapers, certainly do justify, to our mind, the imputation by the English press, that the colonists of New Zealand forced on a war with the natives, nominally to acquire possession of a moderate sized farm, but really to secure the large military expenditure which necessarily follows the presence of several thousand troops in the country. It is scarcely necessary to state that the damaging speeches and writings referred to, have been proved, by events, to have been uttered and penned (let us charitably hope) in complete ignorance of the spirit and intentions of the Maori people, and the nature of the struggle that had then begun in this colony. The effect of the colonial policy—for the colony is bound by the political acts of its representative men—was to provide an excuse to the Maori leaders, justifying their violent conduct, and placing the colony in the wrong. The Maori leaders instantly perceived the great advantage they secured by adopting our definition of the cause of war, and to their credit be it said, they made the most of it.

VOL. I.-Xo. 7.

2 A

It never struck colonial politicians that the alleged cause of war was altogether disproportioned to its magnitude ; but if they had reflected, they must have perceived that sucli was the case, and been led to the conclusion that Waitara was only an excuse, under cover of which the Maori people were establishing their tribal and individual independence of law and authority, and restoring their waning prestige as a warlike race by an appeal to arms. The great bulk of the native population took no pains to conceal their real design, but their attitude was disregarded, and the pacific professions of their politic and sagacious leaders were accepted as the sincere professions of honest men, and not understood in their diplomatic sense. The result of the whole has been, that whereas the colony and its administrators narrowed and made everything hinge on the Waitara purchase, the Maori leaders took advantage of Waitara, and our attitude regarding it, to push vigorously forward their great design of retrieving their race from the embarrassments of civilization, and the meshes of law. They were being conquered in an inglorious way by the ever-flowing and placid tide of civilization, and their fierce spirit rebelled at this. The aves of a new life wrippled on their sandy beach, and overflowing the country, obliterated as it flowed every trace of internecine strife. The Maori felt himself borne down in the noiseless flood. He had toated on the coming tide at first, and like a strong swimmer struck out manfully, giving promise of a great future. But his efforts were in vain. Farther and farther this tide of a strange life carried him away on its sparkling and treacherous surface from the old land-marks he loved so well, and the swimmer lost heart. He attempted to swim back against the flood, but it was now impossible. He had left far behind him the habits of his father's home. While he floated with the stream it was easy work; when he turned to stem the flood, he had to encounter a rapid current, whirling him about, giddy and sinking, in its capricious eddies. And now he collects his last energies for a desperate effort to regain a footing on the rugged mountains and lonely glens familiar to his savage childhood. He

opposes barriers to this tide of civilized life ; and sooth to say, until a recent period indeed, it seemed as if he would be successful.

The Maoris took their stand upon Waitara, while it was possible for them to use it as an excuse ; when that ceased to be possible, however, they were at no pains to conceal their real designs. They instantly shifted their ground, and prepared to make good their pretentious to independence by a general rising of the tribes, emissaries to enlist recruits having been labouring for that purpose for a couple of years at least, throughout the North island. How far they will succeed in their object events as they occur alone will tell. Our task is not, however, to speculate on that, but as reviewers to revert to the conduct of the campaign of 1860, having already referred to wbat we consider the cardinal political error of that period. And our remarks on the campaign of 1860, from its commencement to its close, will be few. It does not require a lengthened disquisition on military tactics to support the view we take of that campaign, as the results supply the key by which to unravel the mystery of our defeat. From the beginning to the end of the campaign every act of the military commandants was characterised by irresolution or incapacity. There was a dread of responsibility which, wherever it exists, paralyses the arm that wields the sword. Strategy there was none.

Expeditions disproportioned to the nature of the service required were planned, and even these were so managed as to become a parade of weakness instead of strength. This is a humiliating picture, but it is true nevertheless; and it had the effect of stimulating the war spirit amongst the natives. The moral effects of this inglorious campaign were widely felt in the North island. Fresh spirit was diffused throughout the whole of Maoridom. Success had attended their appeal to arms. By adopting our definition of the quarrel they had put us in the wrong, and justified their acts of violence and rebellion ; by standing resolutely at bay they had baffled and defeated our military leaders, dispirited the army, and extorted from the colony the concession of a truce, which left all substantial advantages on their side, and gave them time to recruit their strength and complete their plans of organization. They had done something even more than this (great as were these triumphs), because it appealed directly to their lust for plunder, which is the major passion of the Maori race. They had succeeded in despoiling a fair settlement, and obliterating almost entirely every trace of occupancy by civilized men. Homesteads were burned down, the settlers were driven into a little town within a few yards of the ocean by which they came, and their property had gone to reward the enterprise and valour of their assailants. This was a tangible result, which the least acute native could understand ; and doubtless it has had its effect on the Maori people. Everything promised to become as it had been in New Zealand's palmiest days, when powerful chiefs led their naked warriors to battle and returned laden with spoil.

The warlike prestige of the race was restored ; and in one province at least, the power of the Crown and the colony had been unable to protect the settlers. Was not everything tending to that happy state of things, so admirably described in “Old New Zealand,” when the pakeha trader paid the chief in whose settlement he was resident, for protecting him against friends and strangers! Truly this appeared to be the case, but on a larger and more magnificent scale than it had ever been seen in “the good old times.”

Let us see how this conviction was brought home to the native mind. It will be recollected that we pointed out what we consider the great political blunder of the period, and showed how the evil effects of that mistake were strengthened by the unsuccessful conduct of the campaign in Taranaki. Instead of retracing our steps during the truce, the political blunder regarding the casus belli was continued. In fact it was made the base of the new pacification policy of the Government. Being totally beside the real question at issue, we are not at all surprised at the failure which attended that scheme. But as a main part of the means to the great end of peace, and the establishment of law and the supremacy of the Crown in the colony, this scheme is deserving a passing word of comment. It was by no means an original plan. There was not a single feature of novelty about it; but after all, there was a good deal more of honesty underlying the new policy than its opponents gave its authors credit for originating. It was based on the assumptions that selfishness is the great motive-spring of human actions, and that although this is undoubtedly true it is a dangerous experiment to appeal directly to human selfishness. A little management must therefore be resorted to if it is to succeed.

Doubtless the pleasure is as great

Of being cheated as to cheat, when done on a large scale; and our political Solons were prepared to do an extensive business. They gilded the pill, therefore, with a spice of novelty—something to tickle the palate, to flatter the vanity, and minister to pretentious individual weaknesses. The pill was a simple bribe ; the gilding, the new institutions. There was something for everybody. If all could not be assessors, many could be wardens or policemen ; and those who could not carry the policeman's baton, or sit in the curule chair, might have seats at the runanga. For the sake of appearance, every male of the tribes who accepted the new institutions could not well be public pensioners; but to make up for that, was there not an army of Government officials appointed to dispense the gratuities of the colony? It was an excellent plan, based on a correct estimate of human nature, and might have succeeded in the end but for three conditions which had been overlooked by its authors. First, they shut their

eyes to the real cause of the war, and proceeded on a false issue ; second, they began their new system at a time when its triumph should have been assured, if tried at all; and third, the gifts which it was in the power of Government to bestow, were not equal in value to the plunder acquired in war by the “free lances” of the Maoris, nor was the novelty of judicial proceedings and noisy runangaing to be set in the same balances with the excitement of fight and the intoxication of victory. The new institutions failed in their object. We have explained why we think this failure was brought about ; and we would not have adverted to the subject at all were it possible to overlook that pretentious plan, for the development of which the Imperial Government and mother country, as well as this colony, waited with remarkable patience for two years, and appropriated money with benignant complacency.

To the last moment, even after blood had been shed in the second Taranaki campaign, maugre the failure of the pacification scheme, the political leaders of the colony perpetuated the same gross political blunder about Waitara. They talked of Waitara, wrote of Waitara, almost wept over Waitara. Everything in their mind turned on Waitara ; and the wily diplomatist Thompson, took advantage of this political infatuation and boldly challenged the Governor of the colony to recognise the supremacy of the King in return for his nominal interference in regard to Waitara. There was then a chance of the new policy succeeding. The interest in the game of diplomacy was at its height at that time ; and our player, too intent on his own game, forgot to consider minutely the positions of his adversary. A concession is made ; the King movement is not to be recognised, but it is not to be put down by force. It was, therefore, un fait accompli. The natives were masters of thesituation, and soon acted as if they knew they were so. The Queen was held in check by the King's knight. The whole fabric of the new institutions suddenly crumbled to the dust, and the minions of the Maori potentate threatened the same fate for Auckland, Wellington, and Hawke's Bay that had befallen Taranaki. The supremacy of the Maori was nearly established ; and, as we have said, even after blood had been shed in Taranaki, in May, 1863, in defence of the inviolability of Maori territory, with culpable infatuation on the part of the colonial authorities this bloodshed was set down to the account of Waitara,

Let us proceed more in the order of events, however, and go in imagination to Taranaki early in the present year, shortly after the unfortunate concession to the symbol of Maori sovereignty, mentioned above, had been made. The Governor, impressed with the conviction that be had won the day, instead of being circumvented by Thompson, as he really was, accompanied by the representative men of his Ministry, and the General commanding the forces in New Zealand, went down to that province to effect the reinstatement of the settlers. He proceeded cautiously, feeling his way as he proceeded. First, the Waireka hill was occupied by the troops, and a redoubt (Poutoko) built there by order of General Cameron. Next, a movement was made towards Tataraimaka, and on its southern boundary another redoubt was built and garrisoned by the troops. There was no opposition. It is true the political atmosphere seemed charged with combustible elements, but the portentous clouds might dissipate, and all be well. There was no positive resistance to the occupation of the Tataraimaka block, and the soldiers were at first welcomed by a few Maoris at the Kaitake river. The land held by conquest had been quietly ceded, it was said, and the air rang with the jubilant shouts of those who sang the triumphs of the “new” policy. All is well. The Governor wisely kept in the back-ground all reference to Waitara the unblessed. He spoke only of his own-of the lands held under Crown grants, from which the settlers had been expelled by armed bands of rebellious natives ; and these blocks were occupied in the manner described. It was a military occupation, and so far it answered the purpose ; but no settler would go upon the land. They saw the unsubstantial character of the proceeding. They felt that they could not recommence their labour of improving the soil, and creating capital in the districts out of sight of the military camps ; and afterevents proved that in the vicinity of a camp life was unsafe.

For a time the Court bulletin was uniform in its tone : everything is going on as well as can be expected ; but by-and-by the storm burst. It was necessary to cross a block of unalienated land to get upon the Tataraimaka block, and this violation of the sacred soil of Maoridom by the soldiers was resented by the massacre of the 4th of May last. And once more we are forced to refer to that crowning political blunder to which reference has been already made. It is the last act in regard thereof we will be compelled to mention. The massacres took place on the Oakura block, and our political Solons groaned “Waitara !" Without loss of time an apologetic proclamation was issued, confessing to the Maori people our fault in having had anything to do with the purchase, but giving a slightly different version of the document in English. Surely this will satisfy the Maori magnates ! Has not the Governor confessed his sin and the sin of his predecessor ; and has the confession not been countersigned by the Colonial Secretary on behalf of the colony ? And again the spirits of the admirers of the “new” policy rose with the occasion, and the wisdom of the concession and its justice were duly extolled. That it was not a wise concession, we think will appear from what we have written ; and that it was not an act prompted by a sense of justice is apparent from the time, the mode, and the terms, of the concession. It was the crowning act of political folly of this strange history, and it was committed with fear and trembling, to propitiate the bloodstained champions of Maori independence.

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