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

No. 10. — Copy of a Despatch from Lord John Russell to Sir George Gipps

No. 10.
Copy of a Despatch from Lord John Russell to Sir George Gipps.

Downing Street, 21st November, 1840.


I have received your Despatch No. 66, of the 29th May last, transmitting a copy of the address with which you opened the session of the Legislative Council of New South Wales, and in which you stated that a Bill to empower the Governor of New South Wales to appoint Commissioners to examine and report on claims to grants of land in New Zealand would be proposed for the consideration of that body.

On the Position of the New Zealand Company.

I transmit to you herewith copies of a correspondence which has passed between this department and the gentlemen associated under the name of "The New Zealand Company," with regard to the rights which may have been acquired by the company, and the terms on which their corporate existence would be sanctioned by Her Majesty's Government. You will defer the execution of any powers that may be given to you by the Bill above alluded to, should it pass into law, until you shall receive further instructions from me on the subject.

Land Claims Commissioner to be appointed.

You will understand, however, that it is not my intention to abandon the plan of instituting a Commission to inquire into the titles or claims to land in New Zealand, but that, on the contrary, I fully intend to carry it into execution, and that I write the present instructions in order that means may be taken for executing it with the greater accuracy as well as acknowledged impartiality. For this purpose I shall probably find it necessary to send out a Commissioner from this country.

I have, &c.,

J. Russell.

His Excellency Governor Sir George Gipps.