Polynesian Mythology & Ancient Traditional History Of The New Zealanders
TOWARDS the close of the year 1845 I was suddenly and unexpectedly required by the British Government to administer the affairs of New Zealand, and shortly afterwards received the appointment of Governor-in-chief of those Islands. When I arrived in them, I found Her Majesty's native subjects engaged in hostilities with the Queen's troops, against whom they had up to that time contended with considerable success; so much discontent also prevailed generally amongst the native population, that where disturbances had not yet taken place, there was too much reason to apprehend they would soon break out, as they shortly afterwards did, in several parts of the Islands. I soon perceived that I could neither successfully govern, nor hope to conciliate, a numerous and turbulent people, with whose language, manners, customs, religion, and modes of thought I was quite unacquainted. In order to redress their grievances, and apply remedies which would neither wound their feelings nor militate against their prejudices, it was necessary that I should be able thoroughly to understand their complaints; and to win their confidence and regard it was also requisite that I should be able at all times and in all places patiently to listen to the tales of their wrongs or sufferings, and, even if I could not assist them, to give them a kind reply, couched in such terms as should leave no doubt on their minds that I clearly understood and felt for them, and was really well disposed towards them.
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