Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa Go to Te Ao Hou homepage
No 3. (Summer 1953)
– 41 –

A CENTURY AGO

In 1852, the Treaty of Waitangi was about as far away as the start of World War II is today. The Maori world was changing rapidly through the flood of incoming Europeans, the undreamed of number of their white-winged whaka, and their commercial economy.

Perhaps the following incident will make the Maori bewilderment clear; a ferryman charged the Hon. Arthur Petre £1 for taking him over a river, and answered his objection to the charge thus: ‘I go to Arekana, and I see blankets and tomahawks in the shops. Do the shopmen give them to me without payment? I see the dealings of the pakeha among themselves. Are there any gifts? No. All is buying and selling.’

Among the older chiefs there was a dread of degradation in submission to the demands of the Government, but the majority of the younger leaders relied on the Treaty, and held that the words meant what they said and could not be broken. But they could not explain why the Government bought land for a few pence an acre, and sold it for a far greater price. Tamihana Te Rauparaha thought he had found the answer to the Maori problem when he went to England and saw a system operating whereby all power was derived from the Crown. Before his return he was presented at Court to Queen Victoria, by Sir John Pakington, Secretary for the Colonies, and saw the splendour of the English Monarchy. He returned to New Zealand in the Slains Castle and arrived at Dunedin early in November, 1852, with his solution to the problem—the creation of a Maori kingdom under the mana of Queen Victoria. November, 1852, is therefore the starting point of a movement that led to the formation of the Land League at Manawapou and the election of Potatau Te Wherowhero as the first Maori King.

MAORI SCHOLARSHIP WINNER

The winner of the H. L. Harker Scholarship for Te Aute College is 14-year-old Richard Hohipa, of the Te Reinga Maori School, Wairoa. Richard, a son of the late Mr Rongo and Mrs Hohipa, is the fifth member of the family to win this award. He has two brothers already at Te Aute, and also two brothers at Hato Paoro Agricultural College, Feilding.