Life of Sir George Grey: Governor, High commissioner, and Premier. An Historical Biography.
He had thrown open the wide waste lands of the Colony to the whole people and to future generations of immigrants. He had framed a constitution for the Church, as he had for the State. He had left everything in readiness for bringing into operation the constitution he had shaped, loyally accepting its deformities and its blots. What was left for him to do? As if conscious that he had no longer a place in a constitutionally governed country, he then prepared to leave New Zealand. He did not leave it without committing one more act of insubordination. The Constitution Act provided that one-fourth of all sums derived from the sales of land throughout the Colony should be remitted to London and there paid to the account of the New Zealand Company in compensation for the expenditure it had incurred in settling the central portions of the Colony. The Governor loyally remitted the bulk of the money thus received, but directed that the portion of it derived from land-sales in the province of Auckland should be retained in the Colonial Treasury, on the ground that that province had all along lain outside of the Company's operations. The reason assigned was good, or at least the case was arguable, but the terms of the statute were express and left him no alternative. It was not the first time he had flown in the face of an Act of Parliament. Yet even then the rebellion was closely veiled. Should his "reasons fail to command the assent of Her Majesty's Government," he said, he desired that the Colonial Office should draw on the New Zealand Treasury for the amount in defect. As a matter of fact, page 91the sum was never paid till it was made a part of the first loan raised in England by New Zealand. We shall see how the Colonial Office dealt with the rebel.