A British ship is wrecked on the coast of Taranaki and is attacked by the Maori. Twelve are killed or wounded, one woman and two children are captured, and a few survivors escape back to Australia. A warship is sent out from Sydney to rescue the captives. The Maori want a ransom. The warship bombards two Maori villages, frees the prisoners, kills a chief, cuts off his head and buries it. The British Colonial Office is “horrified” (1834).

The British Resident’s house is attacked and furniture stolen. The Maori capture the guilty man (a Maori). Busby rules that the man’s house be confiscated and that he be banished from The Bay of Islands. The Maori want to shoot him there and then. (1834).

The residents of The Bay of Islands form a Temperance Society (1837), and then a Vigilance Committee (1838).

A New Zealand Association is formed in Britain to set up a colony in New Zealand, but it fails to meet the government’s conditions for a charter (1837). Two bills are proposed in Parliament for The New Zealand Association, but are defeated because of the “unvarying and melancholy story of colonisation” (1838, two colonies in Australia are also not doing well at this time).

Some missionaries in New Zealand do not want colonists. They want Britain to take over New Zealand and leave it to them to develop a Maori state. Others want missionaries and colonists to work with the Maori. The British government is being pulled in different directions. It doesn’t know what to do.

The New Zealand Association becomes The New Zealand Company. It will set up a colony in New Zealand, with each colonizer buying two lots, one town lot and one country lot, at a fixed price that labourers cannot afford so they will have to work for wages on the land. Profits from land sales will be used to fund the immigration of labourers.

The Company moves fast. It sells 100,000 acres of fictional land in New Zealand, then sends a survey ship to New Zealand to buy the land and survey it, and six ships with 804 settlers to settle it. But as the survey ship arrives only 18 days before the settlers, there is no land yet bought or surveyed (1839, “our bright prospects vanished into thin air”).

The survey ship heads out. After visiting Admiralty Bay and the Queen Charlotte Islands (Cook’s favourite place), they decide that Port Nicholson (Wellington) would be the best place for their colony because of its good harbour; and they “buy” land there from the Maori for 115 muskets, 21 kegs of gunpowder, one cask of ball cartridges, pipes, nightcaps, mouth harps and sealing wax (the Maori who “sold” the land were Maori from Taranaki who had displaced the Wellington Maori who had gone off to the Chatham Islands, 1839).

Illustration by Inkblot

They then “buy” from Chief Te Rauparaha on Kapiti Island, two huge chunks of more land on both islands from Kawhia Harbour south to Wanganui (North Island), and from the Whareama River (North Island) south to Motunua Island (South Island); for 10 single-barreled guns, three double-barreled guns, 60 muskets, 40 kegs of gunpowder, 1,000 flints, two kegs of lead, two dozen scissors, two dozen combs, and two pounds of beads (which the Maori then fight over killing 90 of themselves in the process, 1839).

This area purchased goes from 38oS-43oS latitude on the west coast, and 41oS- 43oS latitude on the east coast. The Maori signatures on the bill of sale are by 43 men and boys and 32 women and girls.

The British government then decides that the appointment of a British Resident in New Zealand has not been successful (despite the two meetings), and appoints Captain William Hobson of The Royal Navy as British Consul and Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand under the Governor of New South Wales. The boundaries of New South Wales are extended to include “such portions of New Zealand as the Crown might acquire”. New Zealand will become an official part of a colony of Great Britain (1839).

Hobson, who has been in New Zealand before and was at the time of his appointment assisting in the survey of Melbourne, Australia; is not pleased. He really does not want to go to New Zealand. He wants to stay and progress in The Royal Navy. But he goes as ordered and like James Busby, he immediately catches the New Zealand become-a-diplomat-and-a-bureaucrat-overnight disease (1839).

Hobson is instructed to: establish a settled form of civil government; obtain from the Maori “recognition of Her Majesty’s sovereign authority over the whole or any parts of those islands which they may be willing to place under Her Majesty’s Dominion; rule on all existing land titles as being either invalid or approved by the Crown, and on all future land titles as being invalid unless done through the Crown”.

Another government position on New Zealand.

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Geoffrey Corfield does not come from New Zealand. But he almost did. He once had a New Zealand “Permanent Entry and Multiple Re-Entry” stamp in his passport in order to take up a job in Wanganui but he never made it. They gave the job to somebody else. He comes from Canada, a country a bit like New Zealand (language, Queen, mountains, forests); and a bit not like New Zealand (size, no palm trees, no bird that can’t fly, ice sports). But why would somebody from Canada want to write a book about New Zealand history? 12 May 1979. I was in a Bed & Breakfast in Wellington and wanted to watch the F.A. Cup Final. There was another fellow staying there from Napier who wanted to watch the Cup Final too, so he took me along to a rugby club and to watch the Cup Final at somebody’s house. We’ve been sending letters back and forth ever since. (Also, I wanted to see if I could write a book about New Zealand history, and if anybody in New Zealand would like it.) This is the eleventh book I’ve written, and by far the most difficult to do. Because New Zealand involves a foreign language. And because New Zealand history is complicated. (You probably wouldn’t be interested in any of the other books. Except maybe the book on the History of Australia. And then again maybe you wouldn’t.) "Nieuw Zeeland An English-speaking Polynesian Country With a Dutch Name" is a MUST read as it has had the infamy of being rejected by non-other than that bastion of balance, Otago University.