'The Trail Of Waitangi' - The Treaty
(vi) Corruption Sets In
It is now very apparent that there were two different entities trying to establish themselves as the Government of New Zealand. The newly formed official Government, working on the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the New Zealand Company with its own method of operation.
The influences behind the two parties were of quite different sources. Behind the Treaty were the influences of the missionaries and certain chiefs who held a high regard and respect towards the natives and their attachment to the land. These people also knew very well the destructive nature of the New Zealand Company whose sole aim was financial reward and material gain at the expense of anyone that would be in their way.
Prior to signing the Treaty the Mäori had been assured that their proprietorship of land would remain the same excepting for only one reservation, that if they wished to sell their land then it had to be sold to the Crown. Although this clause would have stopped others from purchasing land and selling it on at extreme profit, it also opened the way for the incoming Government to obtain a monopoly themselves on the land trade.
Too much had been taken for granted in assuming that the Government would actually pay a fair price to the natives, and accordingly the price they offered was about three pence per acre in the North Island. This was in steep contrast to the missionaries who had paid on an average between three and sixpence and five shillings per acre. The Government subsequently began to on sell the land to the colonists at a vastly huge profit. At one stage Governor Fitzroy (who succeeded Governor Hobson) waived the right of preemption in the Treaty to give the colonists an opportunity to pay a fair price for the land, however this was apparently considered not within his power, and it was revoked by Governor Grey.
The New Zealand Company were now furious at the Treaty interfering with their land trading operations, and any portion of the Treaty that guaranteed the posession of land to the natives was attacked with 'systematic hostility', but their relentless attempts to overthrow the Treaty were initially a failure.
However, there was at the time a change in the Colonial Office in England when a Lord Grey, (not the same person as Governor Grey in New Zealand) entered into their ranks, and he unfortunately favoured the operations of the New Zealand Company. The situation was now about to take a turn for the worse, for he was a man of much power, his opinions generally being listened to. In 1846 he introduced what was known as the "Charter of 1846" into which there was woven an ingenious method to get around the Treaty.
With heart sickening subtlety the charter stated that it was required that all the native lands should be registered, and that failure to do so would result in land being confiscated! An officer was to be appointed by the Government to register the claims of the native people to their lands, and the Maori were to have no control or right of interference in any way with respect to the officer appointed, nor of his conduct when appointed! What is more, if the appointed officer failed to cause any claim to to be registered, even from oversight or error, then the lands not registered were to be confiscated! And worse still, any claim on any virgin land by the natives was not to be recognised, and therefore also confiscated!!
Words are hard to find to express the enormity of the evils being brought upon New Zealand, and yet the English supporters of the New Zealand Company were overjoyed, applauding the decision that swept away the so called "Treaty of Waitangi nonsense". However in New Zealand the new instructions came as a most horrible blast of ill omen, and everyone in the north of the country knew that any attempt to enforce them would mean certain war.
There began a considerable amount of argument and angry correspondence from all quarters. Governor Grey seemingly tried to protect his position by fobbing off Lord Grey's Charter and said that all parties had totally misunderstood the issue, and then even went as far as denying that there was any unrest or turmoil amongst the Mäori.
Again the missionaries were called upon to settle the situation, and cutting across the intent of the Charter, they assured the people that the instructions would not be carried out, and Governor Grey was unable to bring about the instructions outlined in that Charter.
Although the Charter as such was not implemented, the spirit and innermost intent of those associated with the New Zealand Company, and of a growing number of those in Government, was now fully exposed.
In politics the majority vote rules rather than the Truth, and in New Zealand it was no different. Even the Mäori so called 'friendly natives' were those who were now found supporting the so called 'white' system, a political system that was to cause so much havoc throughout the country.
As the increasing majority of the population under the influence of the New Zealand Company began to reject the path that had been laid out for them, they required an excuse or scapegoat to justify their ways, and accordingly, upon Henry Williams, the brunt of all the accusations were to fall. Mr Williams in his time would have given more to New Zealand than any other man, and it was his stand for the Truth that caused him as a person to be virtually excommunicated by the rising political (and religious) 'system', a rejection that still continues today by those who favour their own eminence.
The political and religious systems have always combined together to reject any Godly establishment of order, and this is again evident in the next section where Henry's own Bishop fails to recognise the driving force behind him, and asks him to justify the Treaty! ....
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