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Life of Sir George Grey: Governor, High commissioner, and Premier. An Historical Biography.

A Blunder

A Blunder.

Like an unskilled medical practitioner, he was able, for a time, to bury his mistakes, or the mistakes of others, which he sanctioned. A Maori known to the settlers as Martin Luther, and to his own race as Wareaitu, was captured by the troops at Wanganui in 1847, tried by court-martial, and hanged. The despatch in which Grey described the incident was never published, but Mr. Rusden was fortunate enough to find it in the Colonial Office. Grey there states that Wareaitu was executed for his connection with the murder of certain settlers. No such charge was made before the court-martial. He, was there tried as a rebel for attacking the troops. To stigmatize a Maori fighting in defence of his tribe a rebel was monstrous, and to execute him for it as a common criminal was a crime. The execution, said a military surgeon, Dr. Thomson, who has written one of the best books about New Zealand, was the disgrace of Grey's first governorship.