RETURN OF MAJOR HEAPHY WITHOUT OPPOSITION.
Yesterday the nomination of candidates for this district took place. Thero was no excitement whatever, not more than a dozen persons being present when the Returning Officer read the writ (at noon) in front of the Parnell Hall. The election had been announced to be held in the hall, but the key could not be procured, and the step of the building was made available as a hustings. Col. Balneavis having read the writ and the published notice assembling the electors, asked whether any elector had a enndidato to propose. Mr. W. Hunter (Builder, Parnell), came forward and proposed Major Heaphy, V.C., as a fit and proper person to represent the district of Parnell in the General Assembly. Ho was sure that the gallant Major was well known to every elector iv. the district, and was by his position and ability peculiarly fitted for their representative in the Colonial Parliament. Mr.B. W. Wtnn seconded the nomination of Major Heaphy. He said it was not necessary for him to say much as to the qualifications of the gentleman who had been proposed as a candidate, the more especially as the fact that tlicc was to bo no opposition was a sufficient testimony to his fitness and ability. At the same time he would make an observation or two with regard to the claims of Major Heaphy, not only on the district but on tiie Province of Auckland, and even the Colony at large. They could all well remember that a claim was made against the province by an arrangement under one of the Allocation Acts of £257,000, and a commission had been appointed, consisting of Dr. Knight, Mr. "Woodward, Mr. Thompson and Major | Heapliy, to inquire into the whole subject. It was through Major Heaphy's exertions, who represented the Province of Auckland in this commission, that that claim was reduced from the sum above stated to £164,573. Most of tho electors present would not hesitate to think that such a service was a good f round for the claim of Major Heaphy upon tho rovinee of Auckland. He (Mr.Wynn) would not refer to another claim which Major Heapliy had upon the people of that the Northern Province of New Zealand in respect to the manner in which he had demeaned himself as an ollieer engaged at the head of liis Volunteers. He had been rewarded for that by the highest power in the empire, and it was not necessary to consider that matter further as the gallant Major's services had been recognised. It was necessary, however, to allude to some observations that had been made to the effect that Major Heaphy was going to the Assembly with the view of getting place and joining the Ministry. There was no foundation for such statement, and even if there could be effected an union between Otago and the province of Auckland so that the ministry should be turned about their business, he .was sure that the people of Auckland would not objeDt to see Major Heaphy in a ministry, for he would be faithful, and there was no fear that he would betray them as they had been betrayed in an instance to which it was not then necessary more particularly to allude. There had been some talk about not electing a member who would go into the ministry, about persons when elected going into the ministry, but the fact, itself should be regarded by the electors rather as an honor than otherwise, and it was to be considered generally an advantage that the representative of a district should have a seat in the ministry; Major Heaphy would not betray his constituents as one " honorable " member had done nor would he ever follow in such footsteps. He _ felt great pleasure in seconding the nomination of Major Heaphy as a fit and proper person to represent the district of Parnell in the General Assembly. . Ma joe Heathy came forward and in addressing the electors, said that he thanked them exceedingly for the kind manner in which they had asked him to stand to represent the district. He could never have expected, owing to his almost entire absence from any connection with politics, to see such a requisition emanating from the electors of Parnell, a3 that containing the signatures of so many gentlemen who requested him to put up as a candidate for the vacant seat, and that having put up he should have, what was termed in politics he believed as well as sporting, "a walk over." He esteemed this circumstance a very high honor indeed, and would long remember it. He had a debt of gratitude to pay to his learned friend Mr. Wynn. That gentleman was for a short time before the electors as a candidate, with a very excellent chance of being elected as their member, but Mr. "Wynn hearing that he (Major Heaphy )was coming forward retired, showing great abnegation of selfinterest, and kindness. The gentlemen engaged in the canvas of friends in Parnell had stated that while there was an unanimous expression of confidence in Major Heaphy, yet thero had been very naturally a question asked as to whether he would be thoroughly free, and an independent) representative going into the Assembly. On any other occasion than the present he (Major Heaphy) would have been disposed to tell those asking such a question that if they entertained any doubt of his honesty they had betcer look out for some other candidate. But there were circumstances which had lately transpired which might well excuse the electors when they asked such a question, and that they should take more special care that they should elect a fit and proper person who going to Wellington to represent them should really represent their interests. He therefore under such circumstances would accept those questions and admit those doubts, but had they been asked or entertained three years ago, he would not have admitted them or answered them. The district of Parnell had always been in .in especial manner dear to him. The question i.. 1 been asked whether, if returned, he would take office. In answering that question he would first say that by law persons holding certain offices, under the General Government in certain departments, such for instance as the Post-office, the Customs, the Registration and other offices, if they were elected and they attempted to sit they were liable for each day.they sat while holding such office, to apenalty of £20. But with respect to ministerial office the position was different. It was necessary for the holders of such offices to give their whole time to the duties of their office and for the service of the country, and they hold their office only so long as-the House of Representatives desired thatthey should retain them. Such offices no person could go into the House pledging himself not to take. He Major Heaphy had not at present the presumption to aspire to any such position, for he held it to be necessary that members going into +j A ? semb] y should become thoroughly acquainted with the habits, feelings and business of the house, as also the political history of the time, and the actual position of all the interests in the country before he should aspire[to take any minoffice. He believed that every member should serve, so to speak in the ranks, for four or live years before seeking such a position. But as to pledging himself on this point he would not think of doing it. At the same time he did hold a „ m ? mb ® r ia either house of the General Assembly should, if he chose to take office, first resign his seat. That was the English plan, and he did not know of any exception to it, but they should allow him to go to the Assembly without a pledge on this point of ministerial office, for when they insisted upon pledges of this kind they made their members liable to be twitted when they went into the Assembly, that they were not independent members. So far as he was concerned he would go into the Assembly quite independent. There were two or three other subjects of considerable interest which he would say a few words upon. It would P-otf perhaps, be beyond the limits allowed
him if lie were to speak for a moment or so upon the question of Separation. Ho did believe that the separation of the Northern island from the Southern parts of the Colony would bo advantageous, and was necessary. He did not approve of Provincial separation. He should be sorry that New Zealand should be cut up into a few Provinces. J3ut separation at Cook's Straits was a natural separation. Besides, the physical circumstances of the Southern Island were different from those of the Northern. There were immense sheep runs extending over tracts of land which might bo considered in this country as counties, wliero the population was principally sheep, and very few shepherds, with a great return of wool, but little, or no cultivation. The circumstances of the people occupying a country of that kind, must be totally different from those of the North ; where, behind every little point, in every little bay and inlet behind the coast line, they would find the liomo of the artizan or labourer with an elector in it, and whose interests were entirely mixed up with local self-government. Under such circumstances as those, scarcely any law that could bo made which might be applicable to one could be applicable to the other. But while speaking of separation at Cook's Strait, it was to bo borne iu mind that a confederation of the Islands would stilJ be necessary; that is to say, there could not be an absolute separation. Indeed there should be a confederation, as the marine law must always be the same for the two islands, the laws effecting light-houses, pilot stations, and many other regulations must bo tho same, and secondly the relations and circumstances of both as connected with the mother country, as for instance, postal regulations and laws, must bo tho same. Therefore it was not absolute separation that was wanted, but such a separation as would enable each island to govern itself in its own way. This question in any ease must be approached with great delicacy. Thero was another matter which wanted attention in the present condition of tho Province of Auckland. In several of the provinces, indeed, there was little or no money to maintain public works. But for all that they might be able to provide a fund that would in the future assist to carry on public works, as -n?bll as proceed with them at the moment. By the Auckland Waste Lands Act, ISG6, it was provided that scrip should be given to the extent of half the cost of any public works—bridges, roads, &c., which auy private person or any number of private persons should make. He (Major Heaphy) would bo disposed to say, let not merely one half be given in scrip, but let the whole cost be given in scrip. Land scrip for one half of the cost is good, when the Government is in a position to supplement it, but it is not enough when Government is in a position to give nothing. If the scrip were given for the whole, endowments could be found for repairs and improvements in i the future. If, for instance, the cost of improvements were £100,000, instead of the half being given the whole might be given—one half to go to those who had made tho improvement, and the other to buy lands which shoidd be an endowment, and the proceeds of which would maintain the improvements in the future. They might take an illustration from what "was before them. There had been always a desire in Parnell to get a thorough and direct communication to town by the cliff across Mechanics' Bay, the cost of which might be estimated at £30,000 more or less. Now while the persons who should carry out that improvement would be entitled as now to £15,000 inland scrip as the half of the cost, if there could be a measure passed by which the other half or £15,000 could be applied for the purchase of land which would be the absolute property of the public, and which could be made an endowment for the district iu which the improvements were made.it would be a means of maintaining such improvements for the future, for the land would be available for letting or otherwise, and so there would be no further cost to the Government. In this manner local endowments might be obtained for public purposes which would be a great incentive to persons to improve their districts by public works. That was a question which might be submitted to the Assembly with good effect. [Major Heaphy was greeted with very hearty and general applause at the conclusion of his address.] Mr. Kemi'THOkne and one or two other electors asked a number of questions which Maj or Heaphy replied to, to judge by the chcers and laughter, in a highly satisfactory manner. The Ef.tuhnixg Officer declared Major Heaphy, there being no other candidate, duly elected to the seat in the House of .Representatives rendered vacant by the resignation of E. Whitaker, Esq.
On tliQ motion of Major IlEArnv, a vote of thanks was passed to the Returning Officer, and the proceedings terminated.
Permanent link to this item
PARNELL ELECTION., New Zealand Herald, Volume IV, Issue 1111, 6 June 1867
PARNELL ELECTION. New Zealand Herald, Volume IV, Issue 1111, 6 June 1867
Using This Item
NZME is the copyright owner for the New Zealand Herald. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence . This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of NZME. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.
This newspaper was digitised in partnership with Auckland Libraries and NZME.