New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, Volume V, Issue 348, 12 June 1844, Page 2
The Company's Agent can never rid himself of the responsibility which is the conse-quence 'of bis having violated the contract into
which he entered with Mr. Shortland last January twelve months, for the settlement of the Land Question. Had be carried out that self-imposed obligation, Mr. Shortland would have issued Crown grants many months since for the various blocks of land claimed by the Company. Ruin, irretrievable ruin to many must be the result of Colonel Wakefield's conduct.
Had Crown grants been possessed, and had tha Maories molested the settlers, then Captain Fitzroy must either have protected them, or avowed that he would not or had not the power to protect them, and protection from home must, upon either of these avowals, have ensued.
The Company's Agent has endeavoured to make good his purchases, in accordance with Captain Fitzroy's wishes. The payment for the lands in the town and for small patches in its neighbourhood have been offered to and accepted by the natives. But though payment has been offered to the natives they have refused it for the main districts. The valley of the Hutt, and the Manawatu and Wanganui. All that the Crown Commissioner has awarded for these districts has been tendered and refused, and another season is lost to the cultivator. The Company's Agent has played his part he can do no more. The question is now between the settlers and the Governor.
The difficulty which has arisen was anticipated while Captain Fitzroy was here, and the deputation stated to him as their opinion that when Colonel Wakefield had fulfilled his engagement, the Company would be entitled to Crown Grants, and the settlers to protection if molested in taking possession of the land they purchased from the Company. But this opinion was nob sanctioned by our Governor. He recommended patience, and seemed to think that for a settler it was compatible with starvation. He assured the deputation that he felt for the distressing position in which the Company had placed their settlers nevertheless it appeared that he preferred cons tilting maori caprice to the settlers salvation. Months since we anticipated that soon after
the arrival of Captain Fitzroy the Land Question would be settled. Noting the inve-
teracy of his Maori mania, we must admit we now see no prospect of any thing approaching a satisfactory termination of the subject.
The question now is what is to be done? Settle it*ourselves we cannot, and to hope that Captain Fitzroy will settle it would be madness. We can appeal to the Home Government by petition, but of what avail? Relief may be had, at the expiration of years, when it will be valueless to those who are now in the settlement. Our difficulties are palpable, their remedy is not before us. It is always safe when in such a position to make the ruling few uneasy, and it is plain that the Auckland folks are, or soon will be, in the humour to join us. What say the settlers to a little wholesome agitation It may do good, it cannot do harm.
Since writing the foregoing, we have seen a letter from Taranaki, dated the 6th of Juue, the writer of which states that Mr. Spain and Colonel Wakefield had gone through the titles to land there, that Mr. Spain's award was to be given on the 8 th, and that the opinion was that compensation would be awarded and tendered to the natives, but that they, as they have done in most other cases, would refuse to take it.