Famous Freemasons - Governor Sir George Grey
SIR GEORGE GREY (1845-1905)
Food For Thought
ISir George Grey, KCB (14 April 1812 - 19 September 1898) was a British soldier, explorer, Governor of South Australia, twice Governor of New Zealand, Governor of Cape Colony (South Africa), and the 11th Premier of New Zealand. His political philosophy could be considered what is termed Gladstonian liberal. Grey eschewed the class system for the prosaic life of Auckland's new governance he helped to establish.
1812 - 1826 - Early life
George Grey was born in Lisbon, Portugal a few days after his father's death at the Battle of Badajoz in Spain. His father was just a few days before his birth. He was the only son of Bvt. Lieutenant-Colonel George Grey, of the 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot. His mother was Elizabeth Anne née Vignoles, who overheard two officers speak of her husband's death and this brought on the premature labour. Her father was Irish, a retired soldier who became a clergyman, Major later Rev. John Vignoles. Grey's grandfather was Owen Wynne Gray
Grey was sent to the Royal Grammar School, Guildford in Surrey, and was admitted to the Royal Military College in 1826.
1830 - Early in 1830, he was gazetted ensign in the 83rd (County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot. His regiment was sent to Ireland, where he developed much sympathy with the Irish peasantry whose misery made a great impression on him.
1833 - He was promoted lieutenant
1836 - obtained a first-class certificate at the examinations of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, in 1836.
1837 - At the age of 25, Grey led an ill-prepared expedition of exploration to the north-west Australia - only one man of his party had seen northern Australia before. It was believed that a huge river entered the Indian Ocean from the north-west of Australia, and that the country it drained might be suitable for colonisation. Grey, in conjunction with Lieutenant Franklin Lushington, of the 9th (East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot, offered to explore this country and on 5 July 1837 he sailed from Plymouth in command of a party of five, the others being Lushington; Dr William Walker, a surgeon and naturalist; and Corporals Coles and Auger of the Royal Sappers and Miners. Others joined the party at Cape Town, and early in December they landed at Hanover Bay. Wrecked, almost drowned, and completely lost, with Grey speared in the hip in a skirmish with Aborigines, they traced the course of the Glenelg River before giving up. They were picked up by the Beagle and Lynher and taken to Mauritius to recover.
1839 - Grey returned to Western Australia and was again wrecked with his party, again including Surgeon Walker, at Kalbarri; they were the first Europeans to see the Gascoyne River, but then had to walk to Perth, surviving the journey through the efforts of Kaiber, a Whadjuk Noongar, who organised food and what water could be found (they survived by drinking liquid mud). At about this time, Grey became one of the few Europeans to learn the Noongar language of south-west Western Australia.
Upon the death of Sir Richard Spencer RN KCH, the Government Resident Magistrate at King George Sound, Western Australia, in July 1839, Grey was promoted to captain and appointed temporary resident magistrate.
On 2 November 1839 at King George Sound, Grey married Eliza Lucy Spencer (1822-1898), daughter of the late Government Resident. Their only child, born in 1841 in South Australia, died aged 5 months. It was not a happy marriage. Grey, obstinate in his domestic affairs as in his first expedition, accused his wife unjustly of flirting with Rear Admiral Sir Henry Keppel on the voyage to Cape Town taken in 1860; he sent her away. She lived a life of misery until old age brought a formal reunion, but co-existed unhappily until 1897. However, Grey adopted Annie Maria Matthews (1853-1938) in 1861, following the death of her father, his half-brother, Sir Godfrey Thomas. She married Seymour Thorne George on 3 December 1872 on Kawau Island.
1841 - George Grey became the third Governor of South Australia.The British government was concerned about the treatment of aborigines by settlers, and Grey was known to have sympathies with the indigenous people. He oversaw the colony during this difficult formative period. Despite being seen as less hands-on than his predecessor, George Gawler, his fiscally responsible measures ensured the colony was in good shape by the time he left to govern New Zealand. He remained in this post until 1845
An early portrait of George Grey in uniform, As Governor of New Zealand, while Governor of Cape Colony, South Africa and on returning to New Zealand
His first term was beset with dealing with land issues between the Maoris and the Pakeha settlers. This was an ongoing problem with the earlier 1840 agreement of the Colonial Office with the New Zealand Company. This agreement between the company and Colonial Secretary, Lord John Russell, had provided for land purchases by the New Zealand Company from the Crown at a discount price, and in essence a charter to buy and sell land under government supervision. Money raised by the government from sales to the company would be spent on assisting migration to New Zealand. The agreement was promoted by the company as "all that we could desire ... our Company is really to be the agent of the state for colonizing NZ." The Government waived its right of pre-emption in the Wellington region, Wanganui and New Plymouth in September 1841.
During this time, European settlement accelerated, until in 1859 the number of Pākehā reached parity with the number of Māori (60,000). Settlers were keen to obtain land and some Māori were willing to sell, but there were also strong pressures to retain land - in particular from the Māori King Movement. Grey had to manage the demand for land for the settlers to farm and the commitments in the Treaty of Waitangi that the Māori chiefs retained full "exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties." The treaty also specifies that Māori will sell land only to the Crown. The potential for conflict between the Māori and settlers was exacerbated as the British authorities progressively eased restrictions on land sales.
In addition Grey's appointment as the third Governor of New Zealand in 1845, followed Robert FitzRoy, when violence over land ownership had broken out in the Wairau Valley in the South Island (June 1843). This land dispute had begun before Grey’s arrival in Zealand and was a dispute as to sale of land on the Wairau plains to Captain Blenkinsop, who had negotiated with Ngāti Toa that he could take wood and water from Cloudy Bay in payment of a ship’s cannon. But the document that Blenkinsopp drew up in English, which the chiefs could not read, stated that 26,500 acres of the Wairau Plains were sold to Blenkinsopp. A major clash came in 1843 when Te Rauparaha and his nephew Te Rangihaeata tried to prevent the survey of lands in the Wairau plains. These lands had been claimed by the New Zealand Company "on two grounds - alleged purchase by Captain Blenkinsop, master of a Sydney whaler in 1831-2; and the negotiations between their principal agent (Colonel Wakefield) and Rauparaha, the head of this tribe, in 1839".
The Ngāti Toa war party warned off the surveyors, but they persisted. Te Rauparaha burnt down a whaling hut (known as a whare) which contained the surveyors' equipment. The local magistrate ordered his arrest and deputised about 50 settlers for this purpose. Te Rauparaha resisted, fighting broke out and 22 settlers and at least four Māori were killed. Te Rangihaeata, the warlike nephew of Te Rauparaha, insisted on killing the captured men because his wife, who was Te Rauparaha's daughter and Capt Benkinsop's ex-wife, had been accidentally shot and killed. The settlers were furious as many of those killed in utu were unarmed Quakers. Te Rauparaha was astonished not to face a strong British military reaction. He left the Rangitāne land he had conquered and never returned. It was not until 1846 that Governor Grey had Te Rauparaha arrested. However, his imprisonment, which remained controversial amongst the Ngāti Toa, was not related to the Wairau incident.
1845 - In March 1845 Hone Heke had begun the Flagstaff War, the causes of which may be attributed to the conflict between the Ngāpuhi understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi and the actions of succeeding governors in asserting authority over the Māori.
On George Grey arrived in New Zealand to take up his appointment as governor Hone Heke challenged the authority of the British, beginning by cutting down the flagstaff on Flagstaff Hill at Kororareka. On this flagstaff the flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand had previously flown; now the Union Jack was hoisted; hence the flagstaff symbolised the grievances of Heke and his ally Te Ruki Kawiti, as to changes that had followed the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
There were many causes of the Flagstaff War and Heke had a number of grievances in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi. While land acquisition by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) had been controversial, the rebellion led by Heke was directed against the colonial forces with the CMS missionaries trying to persuade Heke to end the fighting. Despite the fact that Tāmati Wāka Nene and most of Ngāpuhi sided with the government, the small and ineptly led British had been beaten at Battle of Ohaeawai.
Backed by financial support, and with far more troops, armed with 32-pounder cannons, that had been denied to FitzRoy, Grey attacked and occupied Kawiti's fortress at Ruapekapeka; this forced Kawiti to retreat. The Ngāpuhi were astonished that the British could keep an army of nearly 1000 soldiers in the field continuously. Heke's confidence waned after he was wounded in battle with Tāmati Wāka Nene and his warriors, and by the realisation that the British had far more resources than he could muster; his enemies included some Pākehā Māori supporting colonial forces.
After the Battle of Ruapekapeka, Heke and Kawiti were ready for peace. It was Tāmati Wāka Nene they approached to act as intermediary in negotiations with Governor Grey, who accepted the advice of Nene that Heke and Kawiti should not be punished for their rebellion. The fighting in the north ended and there was no punitive confiscation of Ngāpuhi land.
1845-1846 - While in Port Nicholson (Wellington) the New Zealand company, whose colonists had arrived in November 1839 onwards, in ships charted by the New Zealand Company. Within months the New Zealand Company purported to purchase approximately 20 million acres (8 million hectares) in Nelson, Wellington, Whanganui and Taranaki. Disputes had arisen as to the validity of purchases of land, which disputes remained unresolved when Grey became governor.
The New Zealand Company saw itself as a prospective quasi-government of New Zealand and in 1845 and 1846 proposed splitting the colony in two, along a line from Mokau in the west to Cape Kidnappers in the east - with the north reserved for Maori and missionaries. The south would become a self-governing province, known as "New Victoria" and managed by the company for that purpose. Britain's Colonial Secretary rejected the proposal. The company was known for its vigorous attacks on those it perceived as its opponents - the British Colonial Office, successive governors of New Zealand, and the Church Missionary Society (CMS) that was led by the Rev. Henry Williams. Williams attempted to interfere with the land purchasing practices of the company, which exacerbated the ill-will that was directed at the CMS by the Company in Wellington and the promoters of colonisation in Auckland who had access to the Governor and to the newspapers that had started publication.
1846 - These unresolved land disputes that resulted from New Zealand Company operations erupted into fighting in the Hutt Valley. The Ngati Rangatahi were determined to retain possession of their land. They assembled a force of about 200 warriors led by Te Rangihaeata, Te Rauparaha's cousin, also the person who had killed unarmed captives in Wairau Affray. Governor Grey moved troops into the area and by February had assembled nearly a thousand men together with some Māori allies from the Te Āti Awa hapu to begin the Hutt Valley Campaign.
Richard Taylor, a CMS missionary from Whanganui, attempted to persuade the Ngāti Tama and Ngāti Rangatahi to leave the disputed land. Eventually Grey paid compensation for the potato crop they had planted on the land. He also gave them 300 acres at Kaiwharawhara by the modern ferry terminal. Chief Taringakuri agreed to these terms. But when the settlers tried to move onto the land they were frightened off. On 27 February the British and their Te Ati Awa allies burnt the Māori Pa at Maraenuku in the Hutt Valley, which had been built on land that the settlers claimed to own. The Ngati Rangatahi retaliated on 1 and 3 March by raiding settlers’ farms, destroying furniture, smashing windows, killing pigs, and threatening the settlers with death if they gave the alarm. They murdered Andrew Gillespie and his son. 13 families of settlers moved into Wellington for safety. The Māori attacked Taita on 3 March 1846, but were repulsed by a company of the 96th Regiment. The same day Grey declared martial law in the Wellington area. Sporadic fighting continued, including a major attack on a defended position at Boulcott's Farm on 6 May. On 6 August 1846, one of the last engagements was fought - the Battle of Battle Hill - after which Te Rangihaeata left the area.
In January 1846 fifteen chiefs of the area, including Te Rauparaha, had sent a combined letter to the newly arrived Governor Grey, pledging their loyalty to the crown. After intercepting letters from Te Rauparaha, Grey realised he was playing a double game. He was receiving and sending secret instructions to the local Maori who were attacking settlers. In a surprise attack on his pā at Taupō (Plimmerton) at dawn on 23 July, Te Rauparaha, who was now quite elderly, was captured and taken prisoner. The justification given for his arrest was weapons supplied to Māori deemed to be in open rebellion against the Crown. However, charges were never laid against Te Rauparaha so his detention was declared unlawful. While Grey’s declaration of Martial law was within his authority, internment without trial would only be lawful if it had been authorised by statute. Te Rauparaha was held prisoner on HMS Driver, then he was taken to Auckland on HMS Calliope where he remained imprisoned until January 1848.
Auckland had been made the new capital of New Zealand in March 1841 and by the time Grey was appointed governor in 1845, it had become a commercial centre as well as including the administrative institutions such as the Supreme Court. After the conclusion of the war in the north, government policy was to place a buffer zone of European settlement between the Ngāpuhi and the city of Auckland. A part of the background to the later invasion of Waikato in 1863 and also, in part, reflected the belief that the Auckland was at risk from attack by the Waikato Māori.
Governor Grey had to contend with newspapers that were unequivocal to their support of the interests of the settlers: the Auckland Times, Auckland Chronicle, The Southern Cross, which started by William Brown as a weekly paper in 1843 and The New Zealander, which was started in 1845 by John Williamson. These newspapers were known for their partisan editorial policies - both William Brown and John Williamson were aspiring politicians. The Southern Cross supported the land claimants, such as the New Zealand Company, and vigorously attacked Governor Grey's administration, while the The New Zealander, supported the ordinary settler and the Māori. The northern war adversely affected business in Auckland, such that The Southern Cross stopped publishing from April 1845 to July 1847. Hugh Carleton, who also became a politician, was the editor of The New Zealander then later established the Anglo-Maori Warder, which followed an editorial policy in opposition to Governor Grey.
At the time of the northern war The Southern Cross and The New Zealander blamed Henry Williams and the other CMS missionaries for the Flagstaff War. The New Zealander newspaper in a thinly disguise reference to Henry Williams, with the reference to "their Rangatira pakeha [gentlemen] correspondents", went on to state:
"We consider these English traitors far more guilty and deserving of severe punishment, than the brave natives whom they have advised and misled. Cowards and knaves in the full sense of the terms, they have pursued their traitorous schemes, afraid to risk their own persons, yet artfully sacrificing others for their own aggrandizement, while, probably at the same time, they were most hypocritically professing most zealous loyalty."
Official communications also blamed the CMS missionaries for the Flagstaff War. In a letter of 25 June 1846 to William Ewart Gladstone, the Colonial Secretary in Sir Robert Peel's government, Governor Grey referred to the land acquired by the CMS missionaries and commented that "Her Majesty's Government may also rest satisfied that these individuals cannot be put in possession of these tracts of land without a large expenditure of British blood and money”. By the end of his first term as governor Grey had changed his opinion as to the role of the CMS missionaries, which was limited to attempts to persuade Hone Heke bring an end to the fighting with the British soldiers and the Ngāpuhi, led by Tāmati Wāka Nene, who remained loyal to the Crown.
1847 - The Hutt Valley Campaign was followed by the Wanganui Campaign from April to July.
1848 - Te Rauparaha's son Tamihana, was studying Christianity in Auckland and Te Rauparaha gave him a solemn message that their iwi should not take utu against the government. Tamihana returned to his rohe to stop a planned uprising. Tamihana sold the Wairau land to the government for 3,000 pounds. Grey spoke to Te Rauaparaha and persuaded him to give up all outstanding claims to land in the Wairau valley. Then, realising he was old and sick he allowed Te Rauparaha to return to his people at Otaki in 1848.
During Grey's first tenure as Governor of New Zealand, he was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (1848). When Grey was knighted he chose Tāmati Wāka Nene as one of his esquires.
He took pains to tell Māori that he had observed the terms of the Treaty of Waitangi, assuring them that their land rights would be fully recognised. In the Taranaki district, Māori were very reluctant to sell their land, but elsewhere Grey was much more successful, and nearly 33 million acres (130,000 km²) were purchased from Māori, with the result that British settlements expanded quickly. Grey was less successful in his efforts to assimilate the Māori; he lacked the financial means to realise his plans. Although he subsidised mission schools, requiring them to teach in English, only a few hundred Māori children attended them at any one time.
1850 - Grey gave land for the establishment of Auckland Grammar School in Newmarket. The school was officially recognised as an educational establishment in 1868 through the Auckland Grammar School Appropriation Act of the Provincial Government. Chris Laidlaw concludes that Grey ran a "ramshackle" administration marked by "broken promises and outright betrayal" of Maori people. Grey's collection of Māori artefacts, one of the earliest from New Zealand and assembled during his first Governorship, was donated to the British Museum in 1854.
1852 - Sir George Grey was a profound influence on the final form of the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852, after the 1846 Act was largely suspended at his request. He was briefly appointed Governor-in-Chief, whilst he oversaw the establishment of the first provinces of New Zealand.
Two portraits of Sir George Grey as Governor of New Zealand after returning from the Cape Colony, a later portrait with him and his great maori friend Hami Hone Ropeha, and one of the last photoraphs of Sir George Grey
1854 - Sir George Grey made Governor of Cape Colony. He was Governor of Cape Colony from 5 December 1854 untill the 15 August 1861. He founded Grey College, Bloemfontein in 1855 and Grey High School in Port Elizabeth in 1856. in 1859 he laid the foundation stone of the New Somerset Hospital, Cape Town. When he left the Cape in 1861 he presented the National Library of South Africa with a remarkable personal collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and rare books. In South Africa Grey dealt firmly with the natives, but endeavoured by setting apart tracts of land for their exclusive use to protect them from the white colonists. On more than one occasion, Grey acted as arbitrator between the government of the Orange Free State and the natives, eventually drawing the conclusion that a federated South Africa would be a good thing for everyone. The Orange Free State would have been willing to join the federation, and it is probable that the Transvaal would also have agreed. However, Grey was 50 years before his time: the colonial office would not agree to his proposals. In spite of their instructions, Grey continued to advocate union, and, in connection with other matters, such as the attempt to settle soldiers in South Africa after the Crimean War, instructions were ignored.
All considered it was unsurprising that Sir George was recalled in 1859. He had, however, scarcely reached England before a change of government led to the offer of another term, on the understanding that he abandon schemes for the federation of South Africa and, in future obey his instructions. Grey was convinced that the boundaries of the South African colonies should be widened, but could not obtain support from the British government. He was still working for this support when, war with the Māori having broken out, it was decided that Grey should again be appointed governor of New Zealand. When he left his popularity among the people of Cape Colony was unbounded, and the statue erected at Cape Town during his lifetime described him as
"a governor who by his high character as a Christian, a statesman, and a gentleman, had endeared himself to all classes of the community, and who by his zealous devotion to the best interests of South Africa and his able and just administration, has secured the approbation and gratitude of all Her Majesty's subjects in this part of her dominions."
1861 - Grey was appointed for a second term as Governor of New Zealand in 1861, replacing Governor Thomas Gore Browne, and serving until 1868. His second term as Governor was greatly different from the first, as he had to deal with the demands of an elected parliament, which had been established in 1852 by the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852.
Immediately prior to Grey’s re-appointment there had been rising tensions in Taranaki that eventually led to the involvement of British military forces at Waitara, in what is sometime called the First Taranaki War, from March 1860 until the fighting subsided in 1862.
The leaders of the King movement or Kīngitanga, had written a letter to Governor Browne stating that the Waikato tribes had never signed the Treaty of Waitangi and that they were a separate nation. Browne regarded the stance of the Kīngitanga as an act of disloyalty; and prepared plans for the invasion of Waikato, in part to uphold "the Queen's supremacy" in the face of the Kīngitanga challenge.
1863 - Grey launched the invasion of the Waikato in 1863 to take control of the heartland of the Kīngitanga. The war brought thousands of British troops to New Zealand: 18,000 men served in the British forces at some point during the campaign, with a peak of about 14,000 troops in March 1864.
In the later 1860s the British government determined to withdraw Imperial troops from New Zealand. At the time the Maori chiefs Te Kooti and Titokowaru had the colonial government and settlers extremely alarmed with a series of military successes. With the support of the Premier Edward Stafford, Grey evaded instructions from the Colonial Office to finalise the return of the regiments, which had commenced in 1865 and 1866. In the end the British government recalled Grey in February 1868. He was replaced by Sir George Bowen and during his term hostilities concluded with the abandoned pursuit of war leader Riwha Titokowaru - again in Taranaki - in 1869.
Sir George Grey was greatly respected by Māori, and often travelled with a company of chiefs. He induced leading chiefs to write down their accounts of Maori traditions, legends and customs. His principal informant, Wiremu Maihi Te Rangikāheke, taught Grey to speak Māori. Historian Michael King noted:
"He learned Māori and persuaded Māori authorities to commit their legends and traditions to writing, some of which were subsequently published ... His collected papers would turn out to be the largest single repository of Māori-language manuscripts."
Grey bought Kawau Island in 1862, on his return to New Zealand for a second term as governor. For 25 years he lavished large amounts of his personal wealth on the island's development, including enlarging and remodelling Mansion House, the former residence of the copper mine superintendent. Here he planted a huge array of exotic trees and shrubs, acclimatised many bird and animal species, and amassed a celebrated collection of rare books and manuscripts, artworks and curiosities, plus artefacts from the Māori people over whom he had ruled.
In 1865, during Grey’s second term as governor, the capital was transferred to Wellington, which was seen as a better choice for an administrative capital because of its proximity to the South Island.
Return to England
1870 - Although by philosophy Grey was a liberal, his extremist views on the questions of the Colonial Empire, of emigration, of Home Rule for Ireland and the cause of the English poor were contrary to the interests of Gladstone's Liberal government. Grey was marked as a "dangerous man". In 1870, at a parliamentary by-election for the Borough of Newark that followed the death of the sitting Liberal MP, Grey stood as an independent liberal against Gladstone's Liberal candidate Sir Henry Storks. Determined that Grey should not be elected and seeing that splitting the liberal vote would result in both Grey and Storks losing to the Conservative candidate, the Liberal government engineered an arrangement where both would withdraw, leaving another Liberal candidate, Samuel Boteler Bristowe, to take the seat. Storks was rewarded with the post of Surveyor-General of the Ordnance and Grey returned to New Zealand later that year.
1875 - In 1875 Sir George was elected Superintendent of Auckland Province (24 March 1875 - 31 October 1875). He stood in the general election for both the Auckland West and the Thames electorates in the 1875-76 general election. In the two-member Auckland electorate, only Grey and Patrick Dignan were put forward as candidates, and were thus declared elected on 22 December 1875. The two-member Thames electorate was contested by six candidates, including Julius Vogel (who was Premier in 1875), William Rowe and Charles Featherstone Mitchell. On election day (6 January 1876), Grey attracted the highest number of votes and, unexpectedly, Rowe beat Vogel into second place (Vogel also stood in Wanganui, where he was returned). Hence Grey and Rowe were declared elected for Thames. A protest against Grey's election was lodged with the returning officer the following day, protesting that Grey had not been eligible to stand in Thames as he had already been elected in Auckland West. This petition was filed to the House of Representatives at the end of January.
With this controversy going on for several months unresolved, Grey advised in mid June 1876 in a series of telegrams that he had chosen to represent Auckland West. On 8 July, the report of the committee inquiring into his election for Thames was read to the House. It was found that this was in accordance with the law, but that he had to make a decision for which electorate he would sit.
1876 - On 15 July 1876, Grey announced that he would represent Thames, and he moved that a by-election be held in Auckland West for the seat that he would vacate there.
Grey opposed the abolition of the provinces, but his opposition proved ineffective; the provincial system was abolished in 1876.
1877 - On defeating Harry Atkinson on 13 October 1877 in a vote of no confidence, he was elected Premier by Parliament. He asked Governor-General Lord Normanby for a dissolution of parliament, but was flatly refused. Grey thought New Zealand's unique constitutional 'provincialism' was under threat, so championned radical causes, such as one man-one vote.
1879 - An economic downturn in 1878 put pressure on incomes; defection across the floor of the house of four Auckland members defeated Grey on a vote in October 1879. He resigned as prime minister. Grey described his philosophical radicalism:
"This is a revolt against despotism…. What I am resolved to maintain is this, that there shall be equal justice in representation and in the distribution of land and revenue to every class in New Zealand … equal rights to all - equal rights in education, equal rights in taxation, equal rights in representation … equal rights in every respect."
His government did not operate particularly well, with Grey seeking to dominate the government came into conflict with the governor. His term as premier is regarded by historians as a failure. Towards the end of 1879, Grey's government got into difficulties over land tax. Eventually, Grey asked for an early election, in 1879.
Grey was elected in both the Thames and the City of Christchurch electorates in September 1879.Grey came first in the three-member Christchurch electorate (Samuel Paull Andrews and Edward Stevens came second with equal numbers of votes, 23 votes ahead of Edward Richardson).Richardson petitioned against Grey's return on technical grounds, as Grey had already been elected in the Thames electorate. The electoral commission unseated Grey on 24 October, with Richardson offered this vacancy a few days later. Grey kept the Thames seat and remained a member of parliament through that electorate.
1881 - In the 1881 election, Grey was elected in Auckland East and re-elected in the 1884 election. In the 1887 election Grey was returned for the Auckland Central electorate.
1889 - In 1889, Grey put forward the Election of Governor Bill, which would have allowed for a "British subject" to be elected to the office of Governor "precisely as an ordinary parliamentary election in each district."
1890 - By now Grey was suffering from ill health and he retired from politics in 1890, leaving for Australia to recuperate. On returning to New Zealand, a deputation requested him to contest the Newton seat in Auckland in the 1891 by-election. The retiring member, David Goldie, also asked Grey to take his seat. Grey was prepared to put his name forward only if the election was unopposed, as he did not want to suffer the excitement of a contested election.
1891 - Grey declared his candidacy on 25 March 1891. On 6 April 1891, he was declared elected, as he was unopposed. In December 1893, Grey was again elected, this time to Auckland City.
1894 - Grey left for England in 1894 and did not return to New Zealand.
1895 - He resigned his seat in 1895.
1898 - Grey died at his residence at the Norfolk Hotel, Harrington Road, South Kensington, London on 19 September 1898, and was buried in St Paul's Cathedral. Grey lived longer than any other New Zealand Prime Minister, 86 years and 158 days.
Some contemporary insight into what sort of man Sir George Grey was from two people who knew him
Quotes from "NEW ZEALAND" by William Pember Reevespublished about 1898
from the series "The Story of the Empire" (edited by Howard Angus Kennedy)
Chapter VI - CROWN VERSUS COMPANY
The first draft of this church constitution came indeed from the brain and hand of Sir George Grey, but for the rest the credit of it belongs to Selwyn.
Chapter VII - GOOD GOVERNOR GREY.
CAPTAIN Grey came in the nick of time. He arrived in November, 1845, to find Kororareka in ashes, Auckland panic-stricken, the Company's settlers in the south harassed by the Maoris and embittered against the Government, the missionaries objects of tormenting suspicions, and the natives disaffected and exultant. The colonists had no money and no hope. Four hundred Crown grants were lying un-issued in the Auckland Land Office because their owners could not pay the fee of i apiece due on them. Happily Lord John Russell not only gave the unfortunate settlers a thoroughly capable ruler, but supplied him with sufficient troops and a certain amount of money. His first business was to end the war. This he did by attacking Heke's strongest pa, Ruapekapeka. Colonel Despard again commanded our troops, which, as at Ohaeawai, greatly outnumbered the garrison. The pa, with its cleverly constructed defences, fell by an accident. Our artillery fire, continued for several days, was rather to the surprise of our Maori allies not stopped on Sunday. The defenders, Christians also, wishing to hold divine service, withdrew to an outwork behind their main fort to be out of reach of the cannon balls. A few soldiers and friendly natives, struck by the deserted aspect of the pa, crept up and got inside before they were discovered. The insurgents, after a plucky effort to retake their own fortress, fled with loss. The blow thus given ended the war. Heke sued for peace and was pardoned. From that day to this there has been no outbreak amongst the tribes north of Auckland, and Heke's relation and namesake, Hone Heke, M.H.R., is now a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives, which he addresses in excellent English.
The petty warfare in the Cook's Straits district took longer to end. It was a series of isolated murders, trifling skirmishes, night surprises, marchings and counter-marchings. Their dreary insignificance is redeemed by one story of heroism. An outpost of the fifty-eighth regiment had been surprised at dawn. The bugler, a lad named Allen, was raising his bugle to sound the alarm when a blow from a tomahawk half-severed his arm. Snatching the bugle with the other hand, he managed to blow a warning note before a second tomahawk-stroke stretched him dead.
Rauparaha, so often mentioned, now a very old man, was nominally not concerned in these troubles. He lived quietly in a sea-coast village by the Straits enjoying the reputation earned by nearly fifty years of fighting, massacring and plotting. The Governor, however, satisfied himself that the old chief was secretly instigating the insurgents. By a cleverly-managed surprise he captured Rauparaha in his village, whence he was carried kicking and biting on board a man-of-war. The move proved successful. The chiefs mana among the Maoris was fatally injured by the humiliation.
Peace quickly came. It is true that at the end of the year 1846 there came a small outbreak which caused a tiny hamlet, now the town of Wanganui, to be attacked and plundered. But the natives, who retired into the bush, were quietly brought to submission by having their trade stopped and in particular their supply of tobacco cut off. Fourteen years of quiet now followed the two years of disturbance. During the fighting our loss had been eighty-five whites killed, and one hundred and sixty-seven wounded. Small as this total seems, it was larger than the casualties of the insurgents.
For his success Governor Grey was made Sir George, and greatly pleased the natives by choosing Waka Nene and another friendly chief to act as esquires at his investiture. But it was in the use he made of the restored tranquillity that he showed his true capacity. He employed the natives as labourers in making roads, useful both for war and peace. The Maoris found wages better than warfare. He gained their confidence and interested himself in their material welfare as well as in their customs, songs, and old traditions. After a good deal of tedious litigation he was able to settle nearly all the outstanding land claims. His influence with the Maoris enabled him to buy considerable tracts of land. By him the Colonial Office was persuaded to have a reasonable force retained for the protection of the colony. He abolished the paper currency. He put an end to the office of " Protector of the Aborigines," the source of much well-meant but unpractical advice. When Earl Grey sent out in 1846 a constitution prematurely conferring upon the colonists the right of governing themselves and also of governing the Maoris Sir George had the moral courage and good sense to stand in the way of its adoption. For this, and for refusing to allow private purchase of native land, he was bitterly attacked ; but he stood his ground, to the advantage of both races. Especially in the settlements of the New Zealand Company was the agitation for free institutions carried on with vigour and ability.
In addition to this hornet's nest, the Governor had enemies amongst the missionaries. A certain number of these belonging to the Church of England had, between 1830 and 1845, bought about 216,000 acres of land from the natives. The English Commissioners cut down this purchase to about 66,000 acres. Even then there was some litigation and much bitterness. Some of the very missionaries who had been most prominent in thwarting the land purchases of the New Zealand Company were themselves purchasers of land. As may be imagined, the criticisms directed at them were savage and often grossly unjust and exaggerated. The Governor became involved in this miserable controversy, which only slowly died away when he passed ordinances that did much to settle doubtful and disputed claims.
With the Maoris, Grey's relations were as pleasant as pacific. The chiefs recognised his imperturbable courage and self-control and were charmed by his unfailing courtesy and winning manners. The study of their character, their songs, customs, and art was not only to him a labour of love, but bore practical fruit in the knowledge it gave him of the race. Few men have ever understood them better. He could humour their childishness and respect their intelligence. When a powerful chief refused to allow one of the Governor's roads to be pushed through his tribe's land, Grey said nothing, but sent the chiefs wife a present of a wheeled carriage. Before long the road was permitted. But on the all-important question of the validity of the land clause in the treaty of Waitangi the Governor always gave the Maoris the fullest assurance. He helped to found schools for them and interested himself in the all-important question of their physical health.
Chapter IX - CHURCHES, AND SHEEP
......... .As early as 1846, Earl Grey had sent out the draft of a constitution the details of which need not detain us, inasmuch as it never came to the birth. Sir George Grey refused to proclaim it, and succeeded in postponing the coming-in of free institutions for six years. For many reasons he was probably right, if only because the Maoris were still in a large majority; yet under Earl Grey's proposed constitution they would have been entirely governed by the white minority. Warlike and intelligent, and with a full share of self-esteem, they were not a race likely to put up with such an indignity. But Governor Grey's action, though justifiable, brought him into collision with the southern settlers. Godley, with questionable discretion, flung himself into the constitutional controversy.
Grey was successful in inducing the Maoris to sell a fair amount of their surplus land. During the last years of his rule and the four or five years after he went, some millions of acres were bought in the North Island. This, following on the purchase of the whole of the South Island, had opened the way for real progress. The huge estate thus gained by the Crown brought to the front new phases of the eternal land question. The question had to be faced as to what were to be the terms under which this land was to be sold and leased to the settlers. Up to 1852 the settlers everywhere, except in the north, had to deal, not with the Crown, but with the New Zealand Company. But in 1852 the Company and its species of overlordship were finally extinguished. A quarter of a million was paid to it in satisfaction of its claims. Thereafter, the Company, with its high aims, its blunders, its grievances, and its achievements, vanishes from the story of New Zealand. In the Church settlements of the South the Wakefield system was in full operation. Three pounds an acre was being charged for land. One pound went to the churches and their schools. This system of endowment Grey set himself to stop, and he did so at the cost of embittering his relations with the Southerners, which already were none too pleasant. For the rest, the southern settlements continued within their original special areas to sell land at from ;i to 2 an acre, and on the whole, at any rate up to the year 1870, their system could not be called a failure. A great deal ofgood settlement went on under it, and ample funds were provided for the construction of roads, bridges, and other public works. Meantime, Grey was called upon to devise some general system of land laws for the Colony at large. The result was the famous land regulations of 1853, a code destined to have lasting and mischievous effects upon the future of the country. Its main feature was the reduction of the price of land to ten shillings an acre. Had this been accompanied by stringent limitations as to the amount to be purchased by any one man, the result might have been good enough. But it was not ; nor did those who ruled after Grey think fit to impose any such check until immense areas of the country had been bought up by pastoral tenants and thus permanently locked up against close settlement. Grey's friends vehemently maintain that it was not he but those who afterwards administered his regulations who were responsible for this evil. They point out that it was not until after his departure that the great purchases began. No doubt Sir George Grey never dreamt that his regulations would bring about the bad results they did. More than that one can hardly say. His own defence on the point, as printed in his life by Rees, is virtually no defence at all. It is likely enough that had he retained the control of affairs after 1853 he would have imposed safeguards. He is not the only statesman whose laws have effects not calculated by their maker.
Chapter X - THE CONSTITUTION AND PARLIAMENT.
Constitution under which the colonists were granted the management of their own affairs was mainly Grey's work. Its quality may be judged from its duration. It worked without alteration for twenty-two years, and in the main exceedingly well. In more recent days, it has been much cut about and modified. Briefly described, it provided the Colony with a dual system of government. Side by side with the central Parliament were to exist a number of provincial assemblies. The central Parliament was to have two Chambers, the Provincial Councils one. Over the Parliament was to be the Viceroy ruling through Ministers ; over each Provincial Council, a Superintendent elected, like the Councils, by the people of his province. Each Superintendent was to have a small Executive of officials, who were themselves to be Councillors a sort of small Cabinet. The central Parliament, called the General Assembly, was to have an Upper House called the Legislative Council, whose members were, in Grey's scheme, to be elected by the Provincial Councils. But the Colonial Office demurred to this, and decided that they should be nominated by the Crown. Had Grey's proposal been carried out, New Zealand would have had a powerful Senate, eclipsing altogether the Lower Chamber. The Lower House was, of course, to be elected on a franchise liberal though not universal. In 1853, the year of the land regulations, the Governor was entrusted with the task of proclaiming the constitution. He took the rather curious course of bringing the Provincial Councils into existence, and leaving the summoning of the central Parliament to his successor. He left the Colony in December of the same year, praised and regretted by the Maoris, regarded by the settlers with mixed feelings. Nevertheless, it would not be easy now to find anyone who would refuse a very high meed of praise to Governor Grey's first administration. It was not merely that he found the Colony on the brink of ruin, and left it in a state of prosperity and progress. Able subalterns, a rise in prices, the development of some new industry, might have brought about the improvement. Such causes have often made reputation for colonial rulers and statesmen. But in Grey's case no impartial student can fail to see that to a considerable extent the change for the better was due to him. Moreover, with singular foresight and power of imagination, he not only grappled with the difficulties of his time, but built for the future, and with one marked exception laid foundations deep and well.
If the Colonial Office did not see its way to retain Grey in the Colony until his constitution had been put into full working order, it should, at least, have seen that he was replaced by a capable official. This was not done. His successor did not arrive for two years, and, meanwhile, the Vice-regal office devolved upon Colonel Wynyard, a good-natured soldier, unfitted for the position.
Chapter XIII - THE HAU-HAUS AND THE SELF-RELIANCE POLICY
What, it may be asked, were the strong and very expensive Imperial forces doing during these years? The answer is surprisingly little. General Cameron did indeed appear with a force upon the coast north of Wanganui. But his principal feat was the extraordinary one of consuming fifty seven days in a march of fifty-four miles along the sea beach, to which he clung with a tenacity which made the natives scornfully name him the Lame Seagull. He declared it was useless for the regulars to follow the natives into the forest, and committed himself to the statement that two hundred natives in a pa could stop Colonel Warre with five hundred men from joining him. He declined to assault the strong Wereroa pa the key to the west coast. He hinted depressingly that 2,000 more troops might be required from England. In vain Sir George Grey urged him to greater activity. The only result was a long and acrid correspondence between them. From this to one who reads it now the General seems to emerge in a damaged condition.
In truth, he and many of his officers were sick of the war, which they regarded as an iniquitous job, and inglorious to boot. They knew that a very strong party in England, headed by the Aborigines Protection Society, were urging this view, and that the Colonial Office, under Mr. Cardwell, had veered round to the same standpoint. This is probably the true explanation of General Cameron's singular slackness. The impatience and indignation of the colonists waxed high. They had borrowed three millions of money to pay for the war. They were paying £40 a year per man for ten thousand Imperial soldiers. They naturally thought this too much for troops which did not march a mile a day.
To punish the insurgent tribes, and to defray in part the cost of the war, the New Zealand Government confiscated more than three million acres of native land. Coming as it did in the midst of hostilities, this did not simplify matters. At first both the Governor and the Colonial Office endorsed the confiscation policy. Then, when Mr. Cardwell had replaced the Duke of Newcastle, the Colonial Office changed front and condemned it, and their pressure naturally induced the Governor to modify his attitude. But Grey, in endeavouring to quicken military operations, had the sympathy and support of the colonists. He did not confine himself to exhortations. He made up his mind to attack the Wereroa pa himself. General Cameron let him have two hundred soldiers to act as a moral support. With these, and somewhat less than five hundred Militia and friendly Maoris, the Governor sat down before the fort, which rose on a high, steep kind of plateau, above a small river. But though too strong for front attack, it was itself liable to be commanded from an outwork on a yet higher spur of the hills. Grey skilfully captured this and with it a strong reinforcement about to join the garrison. The latter fled, and the capture of Wereroa was justly regarded as about the most brilliant feat of the whole war. The credit fairly belonged to Grey, who showed not only skill but signal personal daring. After this really fine feat of Grey's, the officer commanding the two hundred moral supports was made a C.B. But Grey, it is needless to say, by thus trumping the trick of his opponent the General, did not improve his own relations with the Home authorities. He did, however, furnish another strong reason for a self-reliant policy. Ultimately, though gradually, the Imperial troops were withdrawn, and the colonists carried on the war with their own men as well as their own money.
Sir George Grey had been recalled in the early part of 1868. He left the Colony bearing with him the general esteem of the colonists. True, his second term of office had been far less prosperous than his first. He had failed to prevent war, and had made mistakes. But from amid a chaos of confusion and recrimination, four things stand out clearly: (1) he came upon the scene too late ; (2) he worked earnestly for peace for two years ; (3) the part that lie personally took in the war was strikingly successful ; (4) he was scurvily treated by the Colonial Office.
He was the last Viceroy who took an active and distinct share in the government of the country. Since 1868, the Governors have been strictly constitutional representatives of a constitutional Sovereign. They have been without exception honourable and courteous noblemen or gentlemen. They have almost always left the Colony with the good wishes of all with whom they have come into contact.
Chapter XV - EXEUNT THE PROVINCES ENTER DEMOS
Nevertheless, the provinces did not fall without a struggle. In both the south and the far north the older colonists mostly clung to their local autonomy. Moreover, Sir George Grey had taken up his abode in the Colony, and was living quietly in an islet which he owned near Auckland. Coming out of his retirement, he threw himself into the fight, and on the platform spoke with an eloquence that took his audiences by storm. Though he failed to save the provinces, he was elected and remained the leader of the New Zealand Opposition, and this had a quite unexpected outcome. Until then there had been no clear and permanent division in New Zealand between the parties of conservatism and progress. Feuds between centralists and provincialists, between the war party and the peace party, between the north and south, and between individual districts, had supplied substitutes for party divisions. But in 1877 Sir George Grey appealed for the first time to the mass of the colonists with a policy distinctly and deliberately democratic. Then and subsequently he advocated triennial parliaments, one man one vote, a land tax, and a land policy based upon the leasing of land rather than its sale, and particularly upon a restriction of the area which any one man might acquire. This policy, though he gained office, he could not carry, and after a premiership neither long nor brilliant, he fell in 1879, and was deposed from the leadership of his own party by his own followers.
Strange as this may seem to those not on the scene, it was by no means so to close observers. His cloudy eloquence would not do for human nature's daily food. His opponents, Atkinson and Hall, had not a tithe of his emotional power, but their facts and figures riddled his fine speeches. Stout and Ballance, lieutenants of talent and character, became estranged from him. The leader of a colonial party must have certain qualities which Sir George Grey did not possess. He may dispense with eloquence, but must be a debater; whether able or not able to rouse public meetings he must know how to conduct wearisome and complicated business by discussion ; he must not only have a grasp of great principles, but readiness to devote himself to the mastery of uninteresting details ; above all, he must be generous and considerate to lieutenants who have their own views and their own followers, and who expect to have their full share of credit and influence. In one word, he should be what Ballance was and Grey was not. Nevertheless, one of Grey's courage, talent, and prestige was not likely to fail to leave his mark upon the politics of the country ; nor did he.
Though he failed to pass the reforms just mentioned, he had the satisfaction of seeing them adopted and carried into law, some by his opponents, some by his friends. Only one of his pet proposals seems to have been altogether lost sight of, his oft-repeated demand that the Governor of the Colony should be elected by the people.
The Grey Ministry committed what in a Colonial Cabinet is the one unpardonable crime it encountered a commercial depression. This overtook the Colony in 1879. The good prices of wool and wheat did not prove permanent. The output of gold, too, had greatly gone down. There had been a feverish rush for land, and much private borrowing to buy it or to set up or extend commercial enterprises. Then there happened on a small scale what happened in Victoria on a larger scale twelve years later. The boom burst amid much suffering and repentance. In some districts three-fourths of the prominent colonists were ruined, for the price of agricultural produce continued on the whole to fall relentlessly year after year until 1894. The men who had burdened themselves with land, bought wholly or largely with borrowed money, nearly all went down. Some were ruined quickly, others struggled on in financial agony for a decade or more. Then when the individual debtors had been squeezed dry the turn of their mortgagees came. Some of these were left with masses of unsaleable property on their hands. At last, in 1894, the directors of the bank which was the greatest of the mortgagees the Bank of New Zealand had to come to the Government of the day to be saved from instant bankruptcy. In 1895 an Act was passed which, while guaranteeing the bank, virtually placed it under State control. This was the last episode in the long drama of inflation and depression which was played out in New Zealand between 1870 and 1895. No story of the Colony can pretend to be complete which does not, however briefly, refer to this. The blame of it is usually laid upon the public works policy. The money borrowed and spent by the Treasury is often spoken of as having been wasted in political jobs, and as having led to nothing except parliamentary corruption and an eternal burden of indebtedness and taxation. This is but true to a very limited extent. It was not the public borrowing of the Colony, but the private debts of the colonists, which, following the extraordinary fall in the prices of their raw products between 1873 an( i *%9Si plunged so many thousands into disaster. Nine-tenths of the money publicly borrowed by the Colony has been very well spent. It is true that between 1870 and 1898 the public debt has been multiplied six times ; but the white population has nearly tripled, the exports have more than doubled, and the imports increased by 75 per cent. Moreover, of the exports at the time when the public works policy was initiated, about half were represented by gold, which now represents but a tenth of the Colony's exports. Again, the product of the workshops and factories of the Colony are now estimated at about ten millions annually, most of which is consumed in New Zealand, and therefore does not figure in the exports. The income of the bread-winners in the Colony, the wealth of the people per head, are now nearly the highest in the world. In 1870 the colonists were without the conveniences and in many cases comforts of modern civilisation. They had scarcely any railways, few telegraphs, insufficient roads, bridges, and harbours. Education was not universal, and the want of recreation and human society was so great as tolead notoriously to drunkenness and coarse debauchery. New Zealand is now a pleasant and highly civilised country. That she has become so in the last thirty years is due chiefly to the much-criticised public works policy..
Chapter XVI - LAND SETTLEMENT AND LOCAL INDUSTRIES
Quite as keen has been the fighting over the principle of State repurchase of private lands with or without the owner's consent.
It was a favourite project of Sir George Grey's .......
Chapter XVII - THE STATE AND ITS FUNCTIONS
...... Mr. Ballance at the close of 1890 and still retains office. The precise cause of their victory was the wave of socialistic, agrarian and labour feeling which swept over the English-speaking world at that time, and which reached New Zealand just as plural voting had been finally abolished by Parliament on the motion of Sir George Grey.
SOURCE: Extracted and edited from Wikipedia
THE ABOVE QUOTES ARE FROM VARIOUS CHAPTERS IN THE BOOK (printed in 1880)
RECOLLECTIONS OF TRAVEL IN NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA. BY JAMES COUTTS CRAWFORD, F.G.S.
Quotes from "RECOLLECTIONS OF TRAVEL IN NEW ZEALAND AND AUSTRALIA" by James Coutts Crawford, F.G.S
Printed in !880. (from his diaries from 1839 to 1877)
from chapter - PREFACE
Of Governors, New Zealand has already had along roll, from the naval reigns of Captains Hobson and Fitzroy to the civil and military of Sir George Grey, Sir Thomas Gore Browne, Sir George Grey a second time. Sir George Bowen, Sir James Fergusson, the Marquis of Normanby, and Sir Hercules Robinson.
Governor Hobson was an honest, straight forward sailor. Governor Fitzroy 's reign was short and stormy. He was not supported by the Colonial Office, and was succeeded by Sir George Grey, who at that time achieved so high a reputation that he was afterwards chosen to reduce the anarchy of the Cape Colony to order.
Sir Thomas Gore Browne was the first Governor who had to work the representative institutions of the Colony, although a commencement of the new regime had been made under Acting-Governor Lieut. Colonel Wynyard of H.M. 58th Regiment. Sir Thomas was one of the best Governors that New Zealand has had; but the Colony having got involved in war at Taranaki, the Colonial Office, instead of putting under him two or three regiments, with which he could easily have subdued opposition, thought fit to send Sir George Grey from the Cape, and a small but expensive army.
from chapter - RETURN TO NEW ZEALAND IN 1846.- BAY OF ISLANDS, AUCKLAND, AND WELLINGTON
The troops having been landed. Sir George Grey commenced a series of interviews with both friendly and disaffected natives, no doubt with a view of coming to an understanding and averting bloodshed. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, This state of matters continued for some months, when Sir George Grey, finding that old Te Rauparaha, although pretending to be friendly, was at the head of the movement, planned a scheme to arrest him, which proved successful.
from chapter - A TRIP TO TARANAKI.
Governor Sir George Grey being about to visit Taranaki in H.M.S. “Inflexible,” I was kindly offered a passage by my friend Captain Hoseason of that ship. It was, I think, in the summer of 1847 that we steamed out of Wellington Harbour and up the Straits in the teeth of a strong north-wester. As night drew on, the wind increased, and I retired to bed at 10 P.M., leaving Sir George Grey and the Captain in the midst of an argument as to the Governor's power as Vice-Admiral. Long afterwards I awoke and heard the argument still going on, and I believe it lasted, with intermissions, for some years. Reaching Taranaki on the following day, I landed and walked out to the house of Mr. J. G. Cooke, some miles from the town. As we returned on the following day to New Plymouth with Mr. Cooke, we found the whole population streaming into town; they were excited, and seemed determined to have a holiday. The Devonshire type was very perceptible in the population. The girls were comely, and the men well favoured. We found Sir George Grey seated in "durbar," receiving a large body of Maori chiefs and listening to their grievances. He was in full uniform, and, like all men who successfully manage barbarous races, showed great patience. These interviews lasted for several days, during which time I occupied myself in visiting the surrounding country, including the Parsonage, near the Waiwakaio, Captain King's beautiful farm, and a lovely small lake some miles to the south of the town. The mountain was a source of never-ending interest: rising in a regular and graceful cone to a height nearly three times that of Vesuvius, and its base covered with a luxuriant and brilliant forest, it gives its character to the province of Taranaki
from chapter - TOPINI
Sir George Grey had offered the Maoris institutions by which they might govern themselves, and that to elect a king without any means of raising a revenue except fines was sure to end in defeat and dissatisfaction. Topini was himself talked of for the crown, but he declined the honour. He had in 1847 claimed payment for Port Nicholson, and commenced the war in the Hutt. I afterwards spoke to Sir George Grey about him, stating that I thought him wavering, and that he might be made friendly. Sir Georges reply was, that Topini was the only Maori who had ever deceived him: that when he came to Wellington in 1847, he was told that all that Topini required was a small payment of five or ten pounds; that he gave him the money, and on the following morning he began the war.
from - JOURNEY TO THE NORTHERN PENINSULA OF THE AUCKLAND PROVINCE.
Soon after landing I met Bishop Selwyn, looking very brown and sunburnt. He had just come in from the Waikato, and he informed me that he should return to the front on the following morning. I called on Sir George Grey, and endeavoured to get from him his views on the seat of Government questions. With his well-known reticence, however, he kept his opinion to himself He suggested Picton. He told me that Morgan of Waiapu, instead of being able to defend himself against the king party, or to attack their followers, only thought that he would defend himself at Table Island.
from - UP THE WAIKATO AND WAIPA
Altogether, it struck me that the war was conducted on a somewhat too imperial scale both as to men and money - it was employing a steam-hammer to crush an egg. If Governor Sir T. Gore Browne had been allowed the use of two or three regiments, the work would probably have been done as well as it was by Sir George Grey and some ten regiments sent at an enormous outlay.
from chapter - NEW ZEALAND POLITICS.
The land regulations which in New Zealand have been found to work best in practice are those of the provincial district of Canterbury. There the land was sold by free selection at a price of £2 per acre, the country being at the same time divided into Stock-runs, which were let for a term of years, but on which purchase of the freehold, as above stated, could go on at any time. By this system a very large number of freeholders have been settled on the land, whereas if the price had been lower, the whole of the Canterbury Plains would have been "bought up by a few capitalists, and the growth of settlement and of population been long delayed. This is no theoretical idea, for the result was nearly brought about by Sir George Grey during his first term of office as Governor. He reduced the price of Canterbury land to ten shillings an acre, and immediately several large estates were bought up, one of them consisting of sixty thousand acres. A few weeks of this would have ruined the province; so the price was again suddenly raised to £2 an acre
Electoral Qualification. - One great piece de resistance during the last two or three sessions of the Assembly has been the qualification for the electoral roll, Sir George Grey mounting the hobby of manhood suffrage, while the Opposition and many of his own party held that a small property qualification was desirable. As every ratepayer was entitled to be on the roll, the qualification was already by no means illiberal.
The worst of such a low qualification as manhood suffrage is that the electors do not vote according to their own instincts of what is best; but are worked by “professionals," and brought up to the poll to give a block vote. As a matter of fact, they vote for men who have only their own personal interests to serve, and who merely make cats paws of their constituents. The decadence of the fine province of Victoria should be a warning to retain at least some property qualification in the electoral roll.
I have mentioned Dr. Featherston's name because, although he did not speak their language, yet he had great influence with the Maoris; but. being chiefly engaged with other matters, he did not come within the category of a "Maori doctor." Of these, the two leading men - and they both spoke the Maori language - were the late Sir Donald M'Lean, and Sir George Grey. By a “Maori doctor" I mean a person who professes, from knowledge of the language and customs of the Maoris, and from personal influence among them, to have an exclusive power of managing them.
I regret very much personally the loss of Sir Donald McLean. He was a kindly Scot. He put me very much in mind in his personal appearance of another well-known old friend, the late Rev. Dr. Norman M'Leod. They were both about the same size, complexion, and style of form and features, and they were both from Argyleshire; and although no doubt the clergyman was the most highly educated and most brilliant of the two, yet I should say they were similar in their tone of mind. The other "Maori doctor," Sir George Grey, has been trying the effect of his personal influence upon the Maoris during the last two or three years. The results appear to have been nil. Dr. Featherston's plan of patience seems to be the best, although it is impossible sometimes to avoid a display of force and of authority.
When I attended the General Assembly in Auckland as far back as the year 1860, the House of Representatives contained many men who, as statesmen, as scholars, and as possessing weight of character, might compare on terms of equality with the members of any representative assembly in the world. The deterioration since that time has been great and rapid, and it has been lately very much accelerated by the action of Sir George Grey. It is not my wish to say more than can be helped about the action of a man who has in his day done good service; but, on the other hand, when a former Governor descends into the arena of politics, there tries to set class against class, insults Her Majesty's representative, gratuitously attacks the Judges (able, worthy, and conscientious men), tries to introduce the worst features of American political life into the colony, and almost succeeds in reducing New Zealand to the very low political level of Victoria, it would be wrong to remain altogether silent The administration of the colony fell into such confusion under Sir George Greys Ministry that he has at last been hurled from power, and it is to be hoped he will finally retire into private life. A Ministry is now in office composed of careful and steady men, and we may hope that time will be given them to restore the finances and the prosperity of the colony, and clear away the effects of the political tornado which has lately passed over it.
from chapter - VOYAGE FROM NEW ZEALAND TO ENGLAND VIA AMERICA.
Sir George Grey appears, to advocate the government of the various groups of islands from New Zealand, but the colony has at present no spare funds to expend for the purpose, and no fleet or army with which to defend the islands. The proposition would therefore seem to amount to this, that New Zealand should govern the islands, while Great Britain should pay the cost of government and of defence - an untenable proposal, which could not be listened to.
THE ABOVE ARE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK (printed about 1898)
NEW ZEALAND BY WILLIAM PEMBER REEVES