Frank Owen Fisher to John Gorst, 18 August 1886, C133/248

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Fisher, Frank Owen








New South Wales

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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C133-248


Bay View, Randwick
Sydney, NSW
August 18 1886

Dear Sir John,

Enclosed you will find a letter from Tawhiao Potatau of Waikato NZ respecting a petition that he recently sent to the N Zealand Parliament. To this I have appended a translation from which you will perceive that having been refused his request by the Colonial Government he desires you to lend him your aid in bringing pressure to bear upon them through the Imperial authorities. You will observe that he has greatly modified his demands since he first placed himself in communication with the colonists, and his request now is simply that he may be permitted to administer the law to his own people subject to the authority of the N Zealand Parliament.

Whether your bringing this matter forward in the H of Commons can be of any service in the cause is for you to judge, but I must say that I consider his demand is reasonable; for he is far more trustworthy than a native land court judge, who is under the influence of the minister and must, therefore, be a creature of circumstances.

I explained to Tawhiao’s secretary, Henare Kaihau, that there was small chance of their request for local self government being granted, but I really think that the N Zealand Parliament would show some leniency if they had a word of friendly caution from the Imperial authorities.

Mr Ballance, the present native minister, is much more amenable to reason than was Bryce, and he will stay in office for another year at least.

I write to Tawhiao by tomorrow’s mail to ask for the printed copy of his petition and the Government’s reply. When this reaches me I will at once forward it.

Believe me to be
Yours truly
Frank Owen Fisher

Sir John Gorst