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

Public Works

page 63

Public Works.

It was everywhere a constant part of Grey's policy to employ the natives on public works. Buildings were raised by them under European supervision. Like the Duke of Wellington, he was a great believer in roads. In South Australia he had made the Great Eastern Road across Mount Lofty, and thus laid open the valuable Mount Barker district; and he opened up great lines of internal communication that gave access to rich agricultural districts. He now employed the Maoris in the making of roads near Auckland and Wellington, associating them with the English soldiery, and placing them under their own chiefs. When he is criticized for breaking up the tribal system by destroying the authority of the chiefs, and thus precipitating the ruin of the race, both in New Zealand and South Africa, the fact should be remembered. Earl Grey dreaded that just this would be the effect of his native policy, and it is the main thesis of Professor Henderson's biography that this result was actually thus produced in New Zealand. There it was in all probability rendered inevitable by the work of the missionaries, who held the soul of every Maori to be of infinite worth and therefore hastened the development of individualism within the tribes. In Cape Colony the place of the chief has been taken and perhaps more than filled by the black editors of journals, the ministers of the new Ethiopian church, and the leaders of Ethiopianism.