The aim of The Maori Record (1904-1907) came from ‘an earnest desire to place the grievances, desires and aspirations of the Maori people before their European fellow-subjects’ (February, 1906: 1). The paper's purpose was to generate support for Māori grievances from the Pākehā community. Many of the subscribers were members of the New Zealand Bar and judges. The Maori Record is critical of Sir James Carroll and his Government's Māori land policies.
The first issues, like Te Puke ki Hikurangi, were funded by the Wairarapa chieftainess Niniwa-i-te-rangi. Later issues were funded by Rangi Topeora, Kuini Wi Rangipupu (Mrs R S Thompson), and Wikitoria Taitoko. The Maori Record was edited by R S Thompson and was issued monthly at 3 pence per copy or 12 shillings and 6 pence per annum payable in advance.
From August 1906, the banner includes: It is the peculiar misfortune of New Zealand natives, that they are alternatively treated as British subjects, or as foreigners, according to the interest or caprice of their British rulers – GORST. This banner by Gorst, the former Waikato Resident Magistrate during the 1860 Land Wars, sums up the tenor of the paper and its theme of settling Māori on their own land. It refers to Māori people being charged rates for their land as were all British subjects, but at the same time not given clear title by which to raise money, or subsidies by Government, to develop their own land into productive farming units.
After several years, The Maori Record ceased. The editorial in the last issue notes: ‘Compared with two years ago the proposals for the administration of Maori lands are much improved....All we claim is that the RECORD has assisted in working the change’ (June, 1907: 99).
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