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The Colonies and India, in its issue of 13th February last, has the following : Last year, when the so-called Maori King , —Tawhiao—came to England to plead the ! cause of his quasi subjects, he created some little sensation by. appearing one day in the gallery of the House of Commons. He did not claim to address that august assembly, but was content to watch its proceedings for a short time in silence. The pleasure of hearing a native Maori deliver a speech “ at the bar of the House ” has been reserved for the representatives of the colony in the New Zealand Parliament, where, cowards the end of lasH year, the chief Wabanui claimed the privilege of addressing both the House of Bepresentatives and the Legislative Council upon the Native Land Settlement Bill then under discussion. The scene will be a memorable one, even in the minds of men who had become accustomed to seeing and hearing Maori representatives sit, and speak, and vote, as ordinary members of the House. Wahanui is described as “one of Nature’s noblemen, honest, capableand trustworthy from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, large-brained and big-hearted, shrewd, genial and courteous,” and his speech as “able, moderate and eloquent.” When he answered the summons of the Sergeant-at-Arnas ha “presented a perfect picture of composure, made his graceful bow to the Speaker with less embarrass, raent than the average member, and, with a pleasant smile of recognition all round, entered at once into a clear exposition of his views upon the subject under discussion.’' Those who know the wealth of imagery with which the average Maori enriches his ordinary discourse will not be surprised to hear that Wahanui charmed his bearers as much by his felicitous phraseology as by his manly bearing. The Land Bill he described as having “great sharp teeth projecting from the mouth, and with a sting in its tail ” —a description which he justified by argument. Wahanui concluded his discourse by a prayer that the lane reserved for the use of the people of his race might be “ held sacred,” and that, above all, the sale of alcoholic liquors, which “ stole away their senses,” might be prohibited. His speech, which was loudly applauded, was followed by one delivered from the body'of the House by Wi Pere, one of the lawfully elected Maori members, who drew the following unflattering picture of the dealings of many Europeans with the natives t—- “ They have no shame. They are like atone images—the blush of shame will never be seen on their faces. Their love is all outside, and their hearts are hearts of atone.”

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Bibliographic details

TAWHIAO IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume V, Issue 1510, 10 April 1885

Word Count

TAWHIAO IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume V, Issue 1510, 10 April 1885