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An Epitome of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs and Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand

No. 66. — Copy of a Despatch from his Grace the Duke of Newcastle to GovernorGore Browne, C.B

No. 66.
Copy of a Despatch from his Grace the Duke of Newcastle to GovernorGore Browne, C.B.

Relative to Appointment of Sir George Grey as. Governor. Downing Street, 25th May, 1861.


I have perused with much anxiety the intelligence respecting the progress of the Native war which is contained in your despatches recently arrived. I cannot but perceive that, in spite of some symptoms of a desire on the part of the Natives for the restoration of peace, little effect has really been produced hitherto by the military operations at Taranaki, and that, notwithstanding all the efforts of yourself and your Advisers, the disaffection of the- Maoris is extending itself to those tribes whose amity, or at least whose neutrality, has hitherto been hoped for; and is assuming a more organized form and a more definite object. I am far, indeed, from ascribing this untoward course of, events to those who are responsible for the conduct of affairs in New Zealand. On the contrary, I recognize with pleasure the sound and impartial judgment, the integrity, intelligence and anxiety for the public good which have characterized your government of the colony for nearly six years. The present conjuncture, however, renders it necessary for Her Majesty's Government to leave no expedient untried which is calculated to arrest the course of events now unhappily so unpromising, and at the same time to provide for the future difficulties which there is only too much reason to anticipate even if the war should happily be soon brought to a conclusion.

Having regard therefore to the peculiar qualifications and experience of Sir. George Grey, now governing the Cape of Good Hope, I have felt that I should be neglecting a chance of averting a more general and disastrous war if I omitted to avail myself of the remarkable authority which will attach to his name and character as Governor of New Zealand. I trust therefore that you will not feel it as any slight on yourself that I should have determined to place the government of the Islands in his hands at a moment when your own term of office has all but expired and you would have no opportunity of providing against those future difficulties to which I have referred. I hope that, in doing so, I shall not deprive the Crown for any long period of the advantage of your services.

I have communicated to Sir George Grey my wish that, as the matter is one of urgency, he should lose no time in proceeding to New Zealand, for the purpose of assuming the government. My confidence in your public spirit assures me that in transferring it to him you will give him every assistance and information which is calculated to facilitate his dealings whether with the local Government or with the friendly or hostile Maoris. I have only to add that, in case you should be disposed to accept another Australian Government, it may be convenient that instead of repairing to this country you should remain for a short time in Sydney, until I am able to communicate with you more definitely upon that subject.

I have, &c.,


Governor Gore Browne, &c.