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THE PREMIER AT TUAHIWI.

PRESENTATION OP AN ABDRESS,

Not the. least interesting of the gauaerings -which the Premier attended yesterday, and undoubtedly the most piataresque one, was that ait wfhica o,h address was presented to him iby ifche KJaiopoi Maoris at their palh a'fcluaihiwi. The Premier was accompanied by Mrs -Seddon, the Rev.' W. S. Besm, Sir Joseph. Ward, the Hons. J. Carroll, H. K. Tairoa, M.L.C., J. M. Twomey, M.lj.'C., iMr T. Parata, M.H.R., and the following members of the Victorian Labour Commission:—(Messrs P. H. Bromley,, Q. H. Bennetts, and H. S. W. Lowson. On 'the arrival of jtfoe special train at Kaiapoi about a quarter to twelve, ..the Premier was received by Mr Daly ; (the Mayor), Mr Joseph Wilson, and Mr D. Buddo, M.H.R. The (party were conveyed to the pah in drags, rtfhe Premier and Mrs Seddon driv ing with Mr Wilson in his carriage. 'Hie cavalcade presented a picturesque appearance as it proceeded along the Main North road. Accompanying the Premier's carriage were four mounted Maori escorts —two in front and two behind. These were young- men of some consequence belonging to the pah, and their names were: — Ajperahama Horomona (Abraham Solomon), Puniki Huria (Joseph Henry), Edward Tβ Aika,, and Kereopa Harawira (Kerry Hadfield). Each wore a beautiful mat, and carried! a. taiaha.

At the entrance of the Runanga Hall was a large crowd of natives, who, on the arrivaE of the Premier, started a haka of welcome, which was led by Mr W. H. Uru. 1 The company haying grouped themselves in the space in front of .the hafl, Mr Tlru read the address to the Premier. •

The top of the address contains a coloured vjew of Aorangi (Mount Cook), and also 1 a kotuku (white crane), a bird which in ancient Maori legends stood in the same, relation to the people aa does the lion to I the Britisher. A peep of the tiki of the 1 Kaiapohia monument is seen above the Maori national flag, and the present flag of. New Zealand. ' The Maori chief, with his taiaha, and a figure of the British soldier' in khaki,appear on a groundwork of azure blue. The words of the address are enclosed in the outlines, of a Maori house front, and the sides have drawings in colour of the cabbage tree, harekeke (flax), and toi-toi, with some other ponga (fern) foliage. On either side eide of the picture is a plain printed list of the names of all subscribers to the testimonial. Across the bottom is depicted, also in. colours, a large war the Premier's party, including the Hon. J. Carroll. This* is probably a representation of a snapshot taken on Mr Seddon's. memorable trip througih tube Urewera country in March, 1894, -where he and his party came so near to bsing swamped in a large Maori canoe while crossing Lake Waikaremdcum. This, with the annexed test, is included in a heavy frame of New Zealand honeysuckle, the whole forming a unique and appropriate Maori present. The words of the address are: —

'To the Right Hon. Richard John Seddon, Premier of the Colony of New ZeaJand.

"Right Honourable Sir,— "As you are about to leave our shores to represent our country at the Coronation of our Most Noble King, \re, therefore, members of the Ngaitahu tribe, regard this as a fitting opportunity to express to you the very high esteem in which you "are held by us, and our appreciation and admiration of the prompt and practical proof you have given of the sympathy of the people of our country with the £mpire in her houT of need.

"Although for political reasons our offer of service could not be accepted, we are most grateful for the vigour and judgment you have displayed in despatching for the first time in the historical life of Maoiiland, her sons beyond our own shores to fight abroad, where they have proved second to none. "Your action and energy in this matter siave bsen to show that we, though the most remote portion of the land, are*ready, aye! ready! to,defend our country and the integrity of our glorious Empire." "You have elevated the name of our country in the military and political world, for which your name will ever live in the land of the Maoris. Kia ora koe. "Ka ora tonu tou Ingoa. 'In sincere testimony whereof we subeenbe ourselves."

The address bore the names of 250 oereon*. *

Messrs T. Pamta, M.H.R., and Takua presented the address to the - Premier. Mr Sneddon, in acknowledging the address, thanked the Maoris for their hearty , reception, and in the course of his speech ' raio it had ever been his earnest j desire to promote the well-being of ; *"*■ native- race, and he was grati- I bed to know that the results were satisfactory. It was pleasing to know the t naftives were participating in the general ! prosperity In providing land *° r l*nd!ess ' natives the Legislature had done no more t-nan tihe Maoris deserved, and more re- , quired to be done in the same direction. I Speaking to the reference in the address ' to natives not bemjr allowed to go to South. Africa, he said the Secretary of State had evidently forgotten the Maoris and the Treaty of Wakangi, under which the native race was entitled to the same privi- ! ieges as Europeans and to fight for their i country. He was sorry that the privilege j was denied the Maoris, and he intended whiSst at Home to hare the question of [ Maori rights settled once fo r all Conclud- ! ing, fee .said he would be de'ighted to bear to the King their expression of love and ! kmuty to the Throne. I Rain began to fall whilst the Premier was speaking, and after he had concluded, i an adjournment was made to the hall, • where luncheon was provided l . ; A number of toasts were honoured dur- j ing the repast. ! On the way back to Kaiapoi a detour j was made to the Kaiapoi Woollen Com- 1 pany's mills, over which the party were shown by Mr G. H. Blackwell, the Chairman of directors of the Company. The party reached town about half-past four in the afternoon. .

THE OLD AGE PENSIONERS.

PRESENTATION OF AN ADDRESS

■ Yesterday afternoon a representative gathering of old age pensioners assembled at the Provincial Council Chambers, to bid farewell to Mr Seddon, and to present him with an address. Mr L. C. Williams, Registrar of Old Age Pensions, was present, and Mr W. W. Collins, M.H.R., introduced the deputation to the Premier. After Mr Seddon had shaken hands with all present, Mr Collins said the deputation represented the twelve hundred pensioners in the Christchuroh.district, and they desired to express thesir gratitude to the Premier before his departure for England, for the action taken "by hint in securing the passing of tie measure which had been suoh a relief to many of them. Mr William Clarke then read the address, which was as follows: — " We, the old age ■ pensioners of the Christ church district, "desire, on the eve of your departure, to attend the Coronation of our- King to wish you end Mrs Seddon a pleasant visit and a safe return. We.taike tilis opportunity of expressing our heartfelt gratitude to you as having been the means of securing; to us the old age pension—a blessing <£hat only those who needed it can properly appreciate. We can assure you that many'a uiome has been brightened and many an old person made happy bythe ]>ension. To you, sir, belongs tine proud position of having earned tihe gratitude of the aged needy of this colony, and the graftitude of the Empire for the action takenJby you .in sending assistance to our in South Africa is also yours. "May any honours that his Majesty the* King be pleased to (bestow upon you be enjoyed by you *for many years, and tha'fc you, Mrs Seddon, and family may enjoy 'good health is the earnest desire of the ola age jpenskmere of Christchuroh." . , . :

The Premier, in acknowledging the presentation, said that he could not in words ! express how much he. felt at receiv- : ing this token of respect. The address was one. of which . any man might feel j proud. There had been considerable difficulty in getting the measure granting old age pensions on the statute book; it had at first been killed with kindness. The tentative measure passed to ascertain the number of people entitled to consideration from the State was one of, the .best moves he had ever made and led to the passing of the measure' itself. Those .who had taken part in the stonewall against the Old Aga Pensions Bill must now look back with bowed heads. He was delighted to know that now there was' a general consensus of opinion in favour of the scheme . throughout the colony. • Although the , amount required -was now -about £200,000, it was not felt. It only meant a little food and clothing, the money was put in circulation, and!"to. the , bulk of the people it meanf nothing. : It was cheerfully given and, he hoped, as cheerfully received j the recipients, for they would in no wise forfeit their independence by receiving the pensions. He noticed that Victoria had had to come back to New Zealand's line of 7s each pension, although it had been suggested there io make the pension 10s per week. The Act was working well; there was no complaint on the r part of the taxpayers, and there had been no necessity to depart from the principles originally laid down. At the" present time, not only in the Mother Country,-but in the other colonies, and all over -the world, the provision made for the old people of this colony was highly spoken of. He was about to proceed to the Old Country, to take part in the Coronation ceremonies . and other functions, and he would, tell the people there of the benefits of the old age, pension, and "Would miss no opportunity of impressing oh, tfce people of Great Britain that the country ought to wipe out the reproach of not taking similar steps. Noth- ! ing would be more" gratifying to the Em- } pire than that the first Act 1 elgned by their noble King, after bis Coronation, should be an .Old Age Pensions Ac*. 'He did not desire too much credit to be given to himself for the passing of the measure, but he sometimes looked bade to the seven nights passed in his chair to bring happi- j ness, to those old f oiks,. Any lit+le trouble ; or inconvenience he had undergone then j was fully compensated , by the knowledge I of the good done. In conclusion, he again ! thanked them and wished everyone of them I the greatest of" God's blessings — good ! health.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

THE PREMIER AT TUAHIWI., Press, Volume LIX, Issue 11244, 9 April 1902

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THE PREMIER AT TUAHIWI. Press, Volume LIX, Issue 11244, 9 April 1902

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