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Title: Prospectus of the Scots New Zealand Land Company

Author: Scots New Zealand Land Company

Patrick Matthew

Release date: May 29, 2018 [eBook #57235]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Craig Kirkwood and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from scans of public domain works at The National
Library of Australia.)



Transcriber’s Notes:

The Table of Contents was created by the transcriber and placed in the public domain.

Additional Transcriber’s Notes are at the end.


Reasons for Emigrating.
Reasons for Preferring New Zealand to Every Other Emigration Field, and for Forming a Scots New Zealand Company.
Fundamental Rules Respecting Shares.
Further Regulations Respecting the Management of the Company’s Affairs.
Importance of Colonization to the British People.
Land Property Right.
Utility of Emigration and Colonies.
Especial Reasons for Colonizing New Zealand.
To the British Fair.


The object of the Scots New Zealand Land Company, is to lay out the Capital of the Shareholders to the greatest advantage, in transporting them, their families, and friends, to New Zealand, and in purchasing Land and other Property, and to obtain Protection and other Social Advantages.

At a Meeting of intending Shareholders, held at Perth, on the 24th of August 1839, Patrick Matthew in the Chair, the following Prospectus of the Scots New Zealand Land Company, moved by William Gorrie, and seconded by William Taylor, was unanimously agreed to, and ordered to be published, the principal portion of the same having previously been examined and approved of by intending Shareholders in various parts of Scotland.


1st, Because a new country, free of debt and ancient encumbrances, with a plentiful supply of virgin soil at a low price, under all the advantages of modern science and art, affords a superior field for human industry, higher wages for labour, and greater returns upon capital, and also more healthful occupation, than an old densely-peopled country, where all the land is already appropriated, cultivated, and high-priced,—where capital is rendered comparatively unproductive, science in a great degree unavailing, and industry is crushed to the earth by a load of public debt, and[2] where a great portion of the population follow unwholesome occupations, shut up from the fresh air of heaven.

2d, Because, in a new country, free of slavery, almost every man is a holder of property,—deriving an income at the same time from property and from labour, a state of things propitious to liberty, and where a family of children is of the utmost value in assisting their parents (the happiest condition of human existence, alike favourable to the development of mind and body, and increase of population); whereas in an old country, at least in Britain, the many are entirely dependent for support upon labour-hire alone, and a family in too many cases the entailment of misery and starvation.

3d, Because, in the case of small capitalists, or middle-class men of circumscribed income having families, to remain in this country, is merely to sacrifice their children to their own selfish love of present ease, and cowardly vis inertiæ,—it being the lot of the greater portion of their children here to sink prematurely under the wasting confinement and miserable prospects of the counting-house clerk and shopman, and the small portion of them who may survive, and struggle up to a condition to support a family, are for the most part become diseased or aged,—finely illustrating the working of the destructive and preventive Malthusian checks, the admiration of certain political economists.[1]

4th, Because, in the present peculiar condition of Britain, great capitalists are enabled to undersell small capitalists, rendering it a matter of necessity for small capitalists to emigrate, or to sink to the condition of hired labourers.


The climate of New Zealand is more temperate than that of any other country, and pre-eminently healthy. The soil is rich, and the supply of rain being regular, capable of producing all the grain and fruits of Europe in great perfection,—potatoes two crops[3] in the year, good pasture at all seasons, and wool much superior to that of Australia. New Zealand is, besides, most advantageously situated for obtaining a market by disposing of its produce to the numerous South Sea whaling vessels which frequent its shores, and in supplying the wants of Australia at all times, but especially during the terrible visitations of drought and injuries by blight, to which that great island is so liable,—natural disadvantages which will limit Australia, at least for a long period, to a grazing country, rendering it more profitable to import agricultural produce from New Zealand than raise it at home.

Nothing is so important to the success of a new colony as a temperate climate. In New Zealand, the thermometer (Fahrenheit), during the day in winter, is seldom known to fall below 40°, and any slight frost which may occur during the night disappears when the sun has arisen. The summer heat generally ranges from 60° to 75°, very rarely reaching 80° in the parts of the northern island nearest the equator,—neither the cold of winter, nor heat and drought of summer, causing any serious check to the pasture fields, which continue in a growing state all the season round, rendering a hoarded winter supply and housing for bestial unnecessary. This is of the utmost consequence to the husbandman, as a vast deal of labour is required, in nearly every country suited to the British race, to construct houses to contain the stock, and to lay up provender for their sustenance during the inclement winter, and is more especially advantageous in the case of new colonies, where the industry of the husbandman is directed chiefly to the rearing of stock. In New Zealand, the labour of the emigrant will be doubly productive to what it is in almost every other emigration field suited to the British race.

The Islands of New Zealand are estimated to be nearly of the extent of Great Britain and Ireland,—about seventy millions of acres. They contain numerous friths and rivers, some of which are navigable to a considerable distance inland,—the Waikato Rivers for about 200 miles, with a great extent of country along the banks, of exceedingly fertile soil. The whole native population of these extensive regions does not equal that of Edinburgh. The natives have exhibited much barbarity and ferocity against their enemies, or those they considered to be such; but where Europeans have appeared, not in the character of an enemy, they have been tolerated to live amongst them, and even treated with kindness. The[4] Missionaries, with their families, now about 100 individuals, have resided amongst them without personal injury for more than twenty years, and about two-thirds of the Northern Island is said to be under their influence. During the last fourteen years, with a very considerable number of sailors, lumberers, and traders, roaming over these Islands, and mixing with the natives, not one well attested case of murder has been laid to the charge of the natives, evincing a degree of forbearance and respect on their part, which perhaps would not have been equalled in any country of Europe. The extreme healthiness of the Missionaries and their families, considering that they have been the first Colonists in a very remote wilderness, almost destitute of the comforts of civilized life, and their success in agriculture and grazing, several of them possessing fine productive grain farms, and thousands of cattle, is conclusive in regard to the salubrity and steady fertility of New Zealand,—perhaps no first colony in any other country has ever been so successful and healthy. We extract the following account of New Zealand from “Emigration Fields,” a work recently published by Adam Black, Edinburgh.

“Estimating the advantages of position, extent, climate, fertility, adaptation for trade,—all the causes which have tended to render Britain the emporium of the world, we can observe only one other spot on the earth equally, if not more favoured by nature, and that is New Zealand. Serrated with harbours securely insulated, having a climate temperated by surrounding ocean, of such extent and fertility as to support a population sufficiently numerous to defend its shores against any possible invading force, it, like Great Britain, also possesses a large neighbouring continent (Australia), from which it will draw resources, and to which it bears the relation of a rich homestead, with a vast extent of outfield pasturage. In these advantages it equals Britain, while it is superior to Britain in having the weather-gage of an immense commercial field,—the innumerable rich islands of the Pacific,—the gold and silver producing countries of Western America (by far the richest in the precious metals of any of the world),—the vast accumulations of man in Japan and China—all these lie within a few weeks’ sail.

“The south temperate zone, from the excess of ocean, has a much more equable temperature throughout the year than the north. New Zealand, considering its territorial extent, participates in this oceanic equality in an extraordinary degree, by reason of its insularity and[5] oblong narrow figure, stretching across the course of the prevalent winds from lat. 34° to 48° south,—the most enviable of latitudes. On this account, it enjoys a finer, more temperate climate than any other region of the world; and, in consequence, the trees, from the principle of adaptation, are only biennially deciduous, and present, as well as the herbage, a never-failing verdure. The great mountain-chain, or back-bone ridge of New Zealand, which extends through nearly fourteen degrees of latitude, attracting and condensing the high-towering clouds and vapour of the Southern Ocean, affords a constant source of showers and irrigation and freshness to the lower country; and this regular supply of moisture, under the most balmy atmosphere, and the generative influence of a sun brilliant as that of Italy, produces an exuberance of vegetation surpassing that of any other temperate country,—the richness and magnificence of the forest scenery being only equalled by that of the islands of the eastern tropical Archipelago;[2] and the mountains themselves, the sublime southern Alps, more elevated than the highest of the Alps of Switzerland, upheaved, from the depths of the great south sea, in some places to more than three miles of altitude, and, from their volcanic character, of the boldest, most abrupt outline, are perhaps unequalled in all the world. The character of surrounding objects must exert a powerful influence upon the genius of a people. These stupendous mountains, with innumerable rills pouring down their verdant slopes,—their great valleys occupied by the most beautiful rivers,—their feet washed by the ceaseless south-sea swell,—their flanks clothed with the grandest of primeval forests,—their bosoms veiled in cloud,—and their rocky and icy scalps piercing the clear azure heaven,—must go to stamp, as far as earthly things can have impression, a poetical character upon the genius of the Austral British. The small portion of New Zealand already under cultivation, yields, in luxuriant abundance and perfection, all the valuable fruits and grain of Europe; and, unlike Canada (where the husbandman has to endure life-consuming toil in the very hot enervating summer, to lay up provender for the subsistence of all his bestial during the long and rigorous winter), stock of all descriptions fatten in this favoured[6] region, at all seasons, upon the spontaneous produce of the wilderness.[3] The climate is also the most favourable to the development of the human species,[4] producing a race of natives of surpassing strength and energy. From the mountainous interior, the country is, in a wonderful degree, permeated by never-failing streams and rivers of the purest water, affording innumerable falls, suited to machinery, adjacent to the finest harbours. The forests abound in timber of gigantic size, peculiarly adapted for naval purposes and for house-building, and, from its mild workable quality, much more economically convertible and serviceable than the timber of any other country in the southern hemisphere; most of which, from extreme hardness, is almost unmanageable.[5] Millions of acres, it is said, are covered with the famed New Zealand flax (the great value of which is now coming to be appreciated, and which, in case of necessity, will render Britain independent of the Russian supply of hemp and flax); and around the shores are the most valuable fisheries, from the mackerel to the whale; in the pursuit of which latter, many of our vessels resort, though at the other extremity of the earth. Combining all these natural internal advantages with the most favoured position for trade, New Zealand must ultimately reign the Maritime Queen of the South-eastern hemisphere.

“Estimating these surpassing natural advantages in their peculiar adaptation to the energetic maritime British race, it is somewhat remarkable that no regular attempt has been made by Britain to colonize New Zealand. This must have arisen from the numbers and barbarous character of the native population; a population so small, however, reduced as it now is, as to be quite out of[7] all proportion to the extent of territory, and which exists only around some of the sheltered bays of the coast, and in a few of the rich valleys of the interior. According to Mr Yate, and the other missionaries who have had the best means of estimating their numbers, the whole amount may be about 110,000. Another writer states: ‘The inhabitants, in fact, have not, in any sense of the word, taken possession of the country which they call their own. It is still the undivided domain of nature, and they are merely a handful of stragglers who wander about the outskirts.’ Thus, densely populated Britain, with the means of effectual relief, is allowed to remain writhing under the preventive and destructive checks, while a region, the finest in the world,—a region which, beyond all others, can lay claim to the name of Paradise, is lying an untenanted wilderness.”[6]

Already British emigrants of steady character are beginning to flock to this fine country. The New Zealand Land Company, a company of land speculators in London, have made and are making purchases of lands in New Zealand, at almost nominal price, from the natives, or from others who say they have purchased from the natives, and they have sold in this country to intending emigrants upwards of 100,000 ac. at L.1 per acre,—land which neither the Land Company itself nor these intending emigrants have ever seen, nor do the latter even know in what part of the islands their lots may be situated, neither have they received any guarantee from that Company that they will receive them at all;[7] and several thousands of these emigrants, with their working people, are now departing from our shores.

The Scots New Zealand Land Company is not a land speculating company, consisting of great capitalists residing in this country and trafficking in New Zealand with intent to profit. It is a company of industrious men, chiefly working small capitalists, who[8] are to go out to New Zealand to make their own market, and, after seeing the article, to purchase a territory either at first hand from the natives, or from any other individual or company, wherever they can obtain lands best and cheapest, and to occupy these as soon as bought, thus leaving no room for mistake as to tenures, multiplicity of claimants, or doubtful claims. They, with their families, will themselves cultivate the lands they purchase, as is done in the non-slave portion of the United States, where the principles of colonization, from greater experience, are better understood than in Britain, and where the practice is successful beyond all parallel, the only instance of successful colonization on an extensive scale without slavery,—indeed, the only manner in which colonization can now succeed without slavery, notwithstanding of the “sufficient price,” (merely a new Corn Law!) or any other servant-producing scheme it is possible to devise.

The Scots New Zealand Land Company of emigrants will manage their own affairs,—their own property, while existing as a company, and their political and social matters till the British crown shall interfere to supply a government. They will form their own regulations in New Zealand, suited to local circumstances, with the full power of modifying or changing these immediately, as events may require. They will not be subservient to the rule and dictation of a company of land speculators, or committee ambitious of governing power, residing at the other side of the globe, who may have interests and principles, or prejudices, distinct from or opposed to those of the colonists, and who, even with the best intentions of acting for the good of the colonists, must, from ignorance of facts, at least only receiving their knowledge of these through a colouring or distorting medium, combined with the long period of time that must elapse before the Home Committee can be made acquainted with the necessity of any change of regulations and orders for the change arrive out,—be full as likely to direct wrong as aright.

The evil effects of a managing Committee, at the other side of the Globe, ignorant of facts and of a governor without sufficient discretionary power, has been exemplified in the colony of South Australia (founded in 1836), where, in consequence, the first emigrants were delayed a season after going out (consuming much of their means), waiting till their lots were surveyed and prepared for being occupied,—the working surveyors having deserted, from insufficient pay, and a quarrel having arisen betwixt the Governor[9] and Colonel Light, and other officials, respecting the site of the capital. The unfavourable condition of the colony, as late as February 1839 (corresponding to August in Britain),—only one grain field (it is said) existing,—the sheep, which had been imported at very high prices, perishing from the drought, and of little value, and the portion of the emigrants, destitute of capital, shipped off in such numbers, to act as servants, in a state approaching to insubordination,—is attributable, at least partly, to the same source, the ignorance and prejudices, or rather the erroneous Theories, of a Home Committee. The people which the Home Committee have so unwisely sent out, and encouraged to go out,—poor improvident men, without habits of forethought, economy, or steadiness of character,—and capitalists themselves, not inured to work, and expecting to benefit by the abundance of hired labour, but most of whom, in effect, have become mere gambling land-jobbers—are not the classes suited for colonists. Colonization can only proceed successfully, under the three following systems:—1st, Compulsory labour or slavery. 2d, Working small capitalists, working families. 3d, Co-operative working societies, possessing capital. The plain fact is, that the Swan River and South Australia colonization has been sacrificed, and the New Zealand London colonization is about to be sacrificed, to a scheme of master and servants, under circumstances where master and servants, at least to any considerable extent, is impracticable. In a new colony, at least under the present diffusion of knowledge amongst British men, it is imperative that the majority of the colonists be working capitalists. This is absolutely necessary to solder a new society together. Their fine spun plausible theories, totally unsupported by facts, or rather totally in opposition to facts, about “the sufficient price,”—fixing the price of fresh land so high as to keep it above the reach of the poorer class—thus forcing the working men, carried out, to work as servants—desirable theories, which have imposed upon the understanding of many, and amongst others, upon that of the late Colonial Secretary Lord Glenelg—are mere moonshine.[8]


Independent of mutual protection, conveniency of transport, and other social advantages, a principal object of the Scots New Zealand Land Company, is, that the shareholders may purchase from the sellers of land in New Zealand, in a body, and not raise the[11] price greatly by the demand which individual competition would create. The following scheme of the Company has been drawn up, as much as possible suited for the advantage of small working capitalists, on whose efficient support the success of the colony will depend.


1st, That every shareholder take out one person, if the person is above 7 years of age, for each share; and in the case of children under 7 years, two persons for each share (the shareholder counting one should he or she go out). In case of an odd child under 7, to be allowed to take in lieu a half share, and possession of the property purchased by the share funds, to be obtained only after the person or persons covering the share shall have arrived at the place, excepting in the case of death on the passage, which will be held the same as the arrival: That no sailor, unless he is a shareholder, or carry out a wife or family, be allowed to cover a share.

2d, That should any shareholder fail to embark a person or persons to cover his or her lot or lots in New Zealand, within three years from the time of the sailing of the first expedition, or such person or persons fail to arrive in regular time, death on the passage alone excepted, such lot or lots shall be sold by the Company, and the subscribed money returned to the subscriber, should the proceeds amount to as much. In case the proceeds should be below the subscribed money, the proceeds only to be remitted.

3d, That for each share, the amount of subscribed capital be L.28 for investment in New Zealand, and a specific sum for passage, and New Zealand provision supply of meal, flour, and rice for one year. That for an adult this sum be L.16 for passage, and L.6 for provision in New Zealand,—in all L.50 per share; but in the case of the shareholder taking out children to cover shares, under 14 years of age, when embarked, that the passage and New Zealand provision-money be as follows:—Below 1 year, when embarked, L.1, 10s.; below 2 years, L.2, 5s.; below 3 years, L.3,[12] 10s., and L.1, 10s. for every year more till the age of 14. The provision-supply in New Zealand, being for children under 3 years of age, when embarked, one-fourth of that of an adult; between 3 and 6 years, one-half; between 6 and 9, three-fourths; and above 9 the same as an adult. A family consisting of more than cover its shares, to pay L.22 for an adult, and for children in proportion.

4th, That each subscriber pay up L.10 upon each share, by approved bill due on ... and the remainder when the Committee shall appoint, by approved bill, including interest, or by cash; notice of 20 days being given should one-fourth be required, and 30 days should a greater portion. That in case any of those the shareholder carries out be not adults, he shall state their age, giving proof of the same, when, according to the above scale in No. 3, a deduction will be made on the sums to be paid, in proportion as the whole sum he has to pay falls short of L.50 per share. Any one failing to pay according to these regulations, to forfeit 5 per cent. of the money he has given bill for or advanced, should the delay of payment be less than one week, and to forfeit 10 per cent. of his money for every week of delay, ten weeks’ delay forfeiting the whole money he has given bill for or advanced; excepting in the case of the shareholder dying, when his or her payment will be returned to the heir or heirs, should he, she, or they not wish to continue shareholders. Shares to be transferable.

5th, That in Britain, and previous to the expiry of the fourth year in New Zealand, each shareholder above 18 have a vote for each share until the number of shares exceed 10, but, however many shares more, not to have more than 10 votes. That the same rule be observed in all property affairs of the Company, in New Zealand; but in all political affairs in New Zealand, that every British settler in the Scots territory, above 21 years of age, have a vote after the fourth year from the arrival of the first expedition.

6th, That the first expedition, independently of its own funds, take out L.28 of each share, and L.14 of each half share, of the subscribers who are to follow, to be laid out as a New Zealand investment, the remaining L.22, or smaller sum, being left to carry out these following shareholders, and to provision them for a year in New Zealand. The passage provision to be plain and wholesome, any thing beyond this to be charged extra. The funds taken out to be in blankets, iron, tools, implements, utensils, dollars, and other articles suited for traffic with the natives.



1st, As soon as what is considered a sufficient number of shareholders shall have subscribed, that a general meeting be held of the shareholders, or their accredited agents, to choose a Governing Committee or Directory,[9] in which will be vested full powers to[14] carry on the enterprize in the most effectual manner. This Directory will purchase or hire a vessel or vessels, to sail for N. Zealand as early as possible, and as soon as a sufficient number, say one hundred shareholders, are prepared to go out: The Directory having discretionary power to choose and limit those going out, in case the number coming forward at the time of sailing exceed what the vessel or vessels can conveniently carry, so that those on the first expedition may be as masculine and efficient as possible, but in no case to separate the members of a family without their own consent.

2d, That previous to the sailing of the first expedition, in which the Directory and Company’s officers will go out, a Home Director, Deputy, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be appointed, forming a Home Committee, along with a Head of Department and Deputy Head for each district. This Home Committee to act under the directions of the Foreign Committee or Directory, in managing the concerns, and sailing of the expeditions which follow;—the Foreign Directory having the sole management abroad in laying out the capital of the Company, and in directing matters generally.[10]

3d, That, previous to the sailing of the first expedition, the amount of the shares be ascertained, and the first subscription closed. A second subscription to be immediately commenced, for further investment in New Zealand, under the management of the Directory in New Zealand, who will purchase territory with the second and further subscription funds, as soon as the funds are sent out.

4th, That, as soon as the site of the principal town, or first settling station, shall have been chosen, that one-half or one-fourth acre of town-land, and from five to ten acres of suburban-land, for gardens, be divided to each share, for a commencing nucleus, and that the country lands be afterwards divided when required,—if possible, 100 acres of good land to be apportioned to each share. The whole to be drawn for by lot. A shareholder having several[15] shares, to receive the whole wherever his first lot may happen to fall. And, as matter of conveniency in occupying and enclosing, and also as some recompense for their pioneering labours, the first expedition shall have the first choice of the town and suburban land, but not of the country land. Any residue of territory to be disposed as a general meeting of the shareholders shall determine.

5th, As soon as the first expedition shall have located itself, and made purchases to a certain extent, that the speediest intimation of this be sent home, and all of the shareholders at home, that are in readiness, to go out with the least possible delay, in a second expedition, if the Home Committee has not in the mean time thought it expedient to send out the second expedition sooner: To be in readiness for which latter arrangement, the first expedition will have notice waiting at the Bay of Islands, where some of the intending shareholders have already extensive possessions, of the place of its rendezvous, by which the second expedition may be enabled to reach it.

6th, That after the expedition shall have located itself, a certain per-centage on the share, or land-tax, shall be levied, or a portion of the undisposed land be sold, to procure medical treatment to the natives, and, if necessary, to keep up a small hospital, where the natives may obtain food and lodging during their medical treatment. The natives to be treated with untiring kindness, and in every way encouraged to obtain property by provident industry.

7th, That the actual necessary personal expenses of the officers of the Company be paid to them; the vouchers for which must be given in to the Secretary at each general meeting, for the time previous, in order that the meeting may examine and sanction the same. That the reward or payment for the public labours of the officers be determined by the shareholders assembled at the general meetings, it being understood that all public officers, where any considerable amount of labour is required, have a fair and sufficient remuneration for the time of service, but no retiring salary. That these rewards of officers for labour performed be given in land in New Zealand, or in money, at the option of the shareholders.

8th, That each shareholder and emigrant of the Scots New Zealand Land Company, before embarking, give his solemn pledge that he will obey the Committee of Government in all things not opposed to the common rules of morality, and in all duty which free citizens owe to the government of their choice, until such time as[16] the British Government shall have assumed an energetic governing control over that part of N. Zealand. That in case any shareholder will not submit to the directions of the Committee, at any time previous to the individual possession of the land, that he or she shall be obliged to sell out of the Company, within a time to be fixed by the Directory; and if subsequent to the possession of the land, that the Scots New Zealand community break off all intercourse and social connection with this refractory emigrant.

9th, That all above fourteen years of age carried out by this Company pledge that they will not, directly or indirectly, purchase from the natives any lands till the Company shall have made an end of its purchases in investing the Company’s first funds, or at least till one year after the arrival of the first expedition, should the funds not be sooner expended. Any one breaking this pledge, to be held infamous, and beyond the pale of society.

10th, That every male above fourteen years of age be regularly armed, at his own, the Company’s, or the British Government’s expense, with such arms as the Governing Committee may think most fitting; submit to such military training as this Committee may think necessary, and be at all times ready to act in defence for the public safety. That all who go out pledge to this.

11th, As a chief element in the prosperity of a country is secure and unfettered possession of land, and easy transmission, that the tenure or condition under which the land shall be held, and mode of conveying it, in order to be of the simplest and clearest description, be allodial (without any superior), and The Book of First Allotment made out by the Register Keeper and the Surveyor be of itself sufficient evidence of the title. The lots to be described in this Book as definitely as possible; and the lines of demarcation or marches to consist of natural divisions, such as water-courses, inclination run or shedding of water, line of rocks, &c.; and, when these are not convenient, that marks prominent to view be stamped upon trees or earth-fast stones, or pits be dug, by the Surveyor. That this Book of First Allotment or Register Book (kept in a fire-proof apartment) have a page opened for each division of land, describing its name, boundaries, size, owner, in the fewest words possible. In the case of transfer, or borrowing money upon it, the same to be recorded, in the fewest words possible, on the Register page, and signed by principals and two witnesses: The lender, on receiving the money back, merely signing his name as receiver, attested by the[17] Register Keeper and witnesses, and no bargain respecting land to be binding till registered in this Book. That possession, living witnesses, and the Register Book, be the only necessary title: But, in order to provide against the possible destruction or loss of the register book, the holder, upon requesting it, and paying the necessary cost, to receive from the Register Keeper a copy of the register page, describing his own lands down to a specified date, written upon a paper stamped by a peculiar die, used for this exclusive purpose, and signed by the Register Keeper, attested by witnesses.

In connection with the Register Office, a Bank might be formed, based upon the land-property of the shareholders, each of these landholders being allowed to draw out notes to the value of two-thirds of his land-shares, or more should the land rise in value, forming a currency of heritable bonds. The notes to be payable in gold or dollars, upon giving six months’ notice, the same as with heritable bonds here.[11] This would prevent any mischievous run upon gold, and at the same time keep up the paper to its proper value, affording a sufficient paper currency, and facility of borrowing on land-property, so important to the prosperity of the country, and so necessary to keep up the mental acumen and wisdom of the holders.—The regulations for this system of currency, and for many other things, cannot well be detailed in a Prospectus.

In the mean time, this meeting recommend to intending subscribers in every district or town which any number of intending subscribers reside, to form Branch Societies, and appoint a Head of Department or Committeeman, who can communicate with the central head, or attend general meetings, as the representative of his brethren. Persons wishing further information, or who wish to subscribe for shares, to apply by letter, post paid, to the Chairman. The applications for shares to be in the following form. The letters requesting shares not to be binding upon the subscribers, unless 200 shares shall have been subscribed for by Martinmas, 22d November 1839.

To Patrick Matthew, Esq. Gourdiehill by Errol, Scotland.

(Insert here the date and your residence.)

I hereby engage to take (Insert here the number of shares) of the Scots New Zealand Land Company, conform to the terms specified[18] in the Prospectus issued by a meeting of intending shareholders, held at Perth on 24th August 1839, and signed Patrick Matthew, Chairman.

I am, Sir, yours, &c.


Certain nations, or rather races of men, have a disposition to increase in numbers and are continually throwing off swarms; while other nations or races, from some progressing deficiency of vital stamina similar to the gradual decline of old age in the individual, are sinking in population, and the countries they have occupied becoming open to the immigration of the prolific and more vigorous races. The causes which tend to produce the one or the other condition of human vitality, seem to lie beyond the bounds of philosophic inquiry, but the fact itself is sufficiently clear. Hitherto the swarming or emigration of the more prolific races has been left to little else than instinctive or brute feeling of necessity—has at least not been entered upon by any government or society with any thing like the vigour and compass of plan which would result from a rational estimation of its importance, under proper regulation, to the comfort and happiness of the community.

When more than one-half of the earth is wilderness, and transport become so easy, it is treason to the human race to speak of preventive or destructive checks. As things are now situated, every adult in Great Britain has a right to demand of the Government to be put in a condition of marrying, should he incline, with the certainty by common industry of providing comfortably for a family. This condition of things is the great, the only test of a good Government. The Government that cannot or will not provide for this, is either grossly ignorant, impotent, or criminal, and unfit for its place. A sufficient emigration of the labouring and property classes, would improve the home field for labour and capital, and raise wages and the returns upon capital so high that every industrious man would be able to maintain a family in comfort as soon as he had reached maturity, say the age of 21, and had attained a fair proficiency in his calling or business. Marriage about 21 is desirable on several accounts. The head of the family is stronger and healthier to provide for his children, and more likely to survive and provide for[19] them till they attain strength to provide for themselves. The children are also stronger and healthier and easier provided for:—And the earth is comparatively a desert. The British Navy ought to be employed during peace as transports, carrying out emigrants to our colonies—in laying the foundation of future empires. By this, two very desirable ends would at once be gained—a sufficient and safe means of transporting our surplus population to new lands, and the proper discipline and experience of the Navy itself.

Colonization is merely sowing the seeds of future prosperity. The perfection and extent of our manufactures, the source of our national wealth and of the value of our landed property, are owing to the demand and supply of the United States and other colonies which we have planted,—our trade to which exceeds that to all the world besides. During depressions of trade, we give charitable supply to those who cannot find employment, keeping up numbers of unemployed people, ready should labour come a little more into demand, to compete with those in employment, and thus keep down wages to the lowest pitch. This is merely a nursing of misery. Were those who could not get employment, or who could not live comfortably upon what they received for their work, sent out to fruitful new lands and properly located, each person sent away would give employment to a person at home in fabricating articles for his use, and for which he would make return in raw produce, thus converting our paupers into rich customers, and raising the price greatly of home labour. Emigration is going on to a vast extent from the Eastern and Middle United States, keeping up a most favourable field for industry, and rendering a family highly advantageous in these countries. Nothing hinders Britain from enjoying the same advantages but her stupid and guilty neglect. Our colonies are fully as extensive, as healthy, and as favourable a field for industry, and it is not more difficult now for a native of Britain to emigrate to some of our very extensive colonies, than for an inhabitant of the Atlantic States to go to the banks of the Missouri or the Texas Territory. It would be more so were Government to give its aid in Navy transports, and by so doing the Service would be greatly benefited. Why, then, should the condition of the working population of Britain not be as favourable as that of the people of the United States?

But if the Legislature and Government of Britain shall fail to do their duty in providing for the welfare of the community, and the community are not able to procure a Government capable and willing[20] to do this duty, still there is no reason why the British people should sit down in despair. Not only can working small capitalists emigrate in a sufficient number, especially by uniting their efforts, but working men without any capital, have it in their power by forming Emigrant Associations, with weekly subscriptions, to invest money in new lands,[12] and to export portions of their own body to these lands should the hire of labour be too low here, or whenever the want of labour-demand threatened to reduce wages. To diminish the supply and increase the demand is the only legitimate way to keep up the price. And the increase of wages which would thus be obtained, would more than pay the subscription necessary to carry out and supply with land and commencing stock the number of their brethren requisite to be sent off to keep the labour demand in a salutary state. Trades’ Unions might work very advantageously in conducting this. This is a better plan of keeping up wages than strikes, which in nine cases out of ten are the means of lowering wages. Were the money which has been injuriously expended on strikes, and still more were the money that is injuriously expended by the working-men upon ardent spirits, strong ales, and other baneful intoxicating drugs, employed in planting a sufficient number of their body in fruitful new colonies, the condition of the working-men in Britain would be immeasurably elevated.

They have allotted a certain portion of the price of fresh land to carry out working emigrants without means. This plan might be worked advantageously perhaps were the price of the land sufficiently low,—that is so low as to command the desired amount of sales, and not impede the emigration of working small capitalists, or the purchasing of the land by working-men, say about five shillings per acre, as in the United States. There is, however, something ungracious in their schemes or manner of conducting them, which has not met the approval of the British working-men. The emigrant is exported and set down in a strange land, without funds or friends, and under the necessity of engaging as a servant to others (his[21] reason for emigrating is to escape from servitude), and certain regulations are adopted, and troublesome certificates required,[13] which impede the working of the system. As soon as the Scots New Zealand Company shall have located itself and made the necessary arrangements, it will be ready to co-operate with emigration societies of working-men in Britain, in carrying through any plan which may appear most advantageous;—not with a view to procure servants, but to obtain friends and neighbours. In the mean time, emigration societies should be formed, and funds collecting.

There will, no doubt, be servants or helps in New Zealand, and need for them, too, in some cases, independent, even, of what the natives will supply. But any scheme of emigration to encourage the system of master and servants to such an unnatural excess as to allot (as it is said they propose) 75 per cent of the whole price of the lands to carry on the servant-trade from Britain to New Zealand, would be attended with the most injurious consequences, not only to the employment and civilization of the natives, but to the prosperity of the settlement, if it did not ruin it altogether. Servants or helps should, like every thing else, be left to the salutary direction of demand and supply,—that is, the trade should be left entirely free, without exclusive tax or bounty, provided, indeed, it shall not be thought contra bonos mores, and prohibited. And if Government or the Legislature interfere, it ought surely to be to encourage, by affording means of transport to that class which experience has proved to be the most advantageous,—in fact, the only class by which free colonization can be successfully carried on,—working small capitalists, and which the system of master and servants, attempted to be achieved by the “sufficient price,” would do much to obstruct.


Right to land property is of two kinds, National and Individual. Both are founded on Utility, that is, the advantage of mankind.

National or Government Right exists only where there is a presiding responsible government competent to treat with other governments, and to obey international law, and able to put down pirates and freebooters within the territory of the state. National or Government[22] Right is evidently founded on the utility of government power, and of national responsibility. Individual Right, or appropriation of land, arises from actual occupancy of the lands, more especially cultivation by labour. Individual Right is founded on land being more advantageously employed and cultivated when divided and appropriated than when held in common, and on the claim which a person acquires to any article, not belonging to another, by expending his labour upon it. In some instances land has been cultivated in common by the tribe or district inhabitants, and sometimes the government has engrossed this right of property in land, and farmed it out in portions; but neither plan has been found to promote improvement so well as individual appropriation.

The natives of New Zealand themselves admit, and every stranger who has been amongst them corroborates the fact, that they are incapable of combining and forming any thing like a responsible government fitted to treat with other governments, and to observe international law, or even to maintain any proper government authority within the territory of New Zealand. They have, therefore, no national or government right to the New Zealand territory, and have only individual right to those parts which they cultivate or derive some benefit from by occupancy. A native of New Zealand has no right to the unappropriated wilderness of New Zealand more than any other person who may be standing beside him in that wilderness. But as the natives of New Zealand, in common with the natives of New South Wales and Tasmania, have got a sense of right to these unappropriated territories, it is well to purchase their good will to the occupancy of these,—that is, their forbearance from molesting the occupiers; because, to take possession without doing so might lead to the sacrifice of life, and because it is even cheaper to hire their forbearance than to compel it by force. Any one purchasing their good will to a portion of territory has no right, however, to that territory, further than not to be molested by the natives; and unless he himself has settled on the grounds, grazed them with stock or cultivated them—the quantity of ground bearing a reasonable proportion to his stock or means of cultivating—he has no right to prevent any individual from taking occupancy and cultivating, and thus becoming rightfully possessed of the same lands. Any one who has purchased the forbearance of the natives, and failed to occupy, and who out of revenge may instigate the natives against the person who does occupy, is manifestly guilty[23] and answerable for the consequences. It is useless here to assert the right which the imperative necessity of an overflowing population gives to spread over and occupy the waste portions of the earth. This right has been acknowledged and acted upon in all ages; and the right to any territory, not having a population capable of forming a presiding responsible government, is recognised to belong to the nation which has first discovered and taken formal occupancy.

No Company in London can assume a government right over New Zealand, which, by first formal occupancy by Captain Cook, belongs of recognised right to the crown of Great Britain. Still less can this company receive any government right, or individual right, to lands in New Zealand from the natives, who, we have shewn, have no such rights to give, except in regard to the small portions which the natives have acquired individual right to by cultivation. The New Zealand Land Company in London have, indeed, the good sense to be aware of this,—that they can give no guarantee to the possession of the lands they are selling;—taking good care in their conveyance to the buyers to specify, “and the Company are not to be considered as guaranteeing the title except as against their own acts and the acts of those deriving title under and in trust for them.”

Any attempt of capitalists in London or elsewhere forming New Zealand Land Companies, to monopolize whole provinces of New Zealand, by purchasing the good will of the natives at a mere nominal price, ought, therefore, not to stand in the way of emigrants going out and occupying any of these lands which the London or Home Companies or their assignees may not have become possessed of by actual occupancy, that is, by the lands being apportioned amongst and occupied by settlers, in numbers something commensurate to the extent of grounds. The British Government and Legislature will surely look to this?[14]

To allow any company of home capitalists to monopolize the territory of New Zealand in this way, would be to subject the colonization of New Zealand to such a tax as the company might choose to lay[24] upon it (at present L.1 per acre is the tax, minus such a portion of it as they may choose to expend upon carrying out emigrants, and the price they may pay for the good-will of the natives). This tax, or price of L.1 per acre, nearly four times the government price of land in the United States, by depriving the emigrant of his little capital, so very necessary to his success as a settler, will act as a great barrier to colonization, and prevent that fine country from becoming speedily of paramount value to Britain.[15]

Should the New Zealand Land Company of London capitalists go on purchasing the good-will of the lands they are selling only, and not attempt to engross or monopolize large portions of New Zealand, to the exclusion of emigrants who will not consent to pay to them their heavy monopoly price or tax, and if they shall employ 75 per cent. of the price they charge for the lands in fitting out colonizing expeditions, consisting of a proper assortment of emigrants, as they have done in the first instance, but which they refuse to go on doing; or, if they shall dispose of the lands at a price nearly equal to the government price of the United States for fresh lands, and not take to themselves beyond a fair interest for the capital they may lie out of, allotting the residue for the internal improvement of the colony (roads, bridges, &c.), and for civilizing and ameliorating the condition of the natives, their agency in promoting New Zealand colonization may be of very great utility, by giving confidence and security to emigrants. If this is the line they are to pursue, the Scots Company will do every thing they may have in their power to further the London Company’s objects, and will no doubt be met by the London Company in the same spirit. New Zealand will afford more than a sufficient field for the exertions of both.



Extract from “Emigration Fields.”

Britain, at the present moment, exhibits man in a position altogether new, from the extensive application of steam power and improved machinery in aid of human labour. By means of these facilities to production, together with combined labour, the work of man has been rendered doubly efficient in raising food, and many times more efficient in fabricating clothing, and other human requisites. An immense available power and surplus labour supply has thus been developed, limited in the field of food production by our confined territory, restricted in the field of manufacturing production by our home food-monopoly. A great change in the relative proportion of labour and capital requisite for production has also taken place, and human labour, in part superseded by steam power and machinery, has undergone a comparative depreciation of value. The usual balance of demand and supply of labour being thus deranged, has caused occasional gluts, and it may require a time, and much further misery may ensue, risking political convulsion, before the social economy adjust itself, unassisted, to the new order of things.

One of the most prominent consequences of this new order, is the great comparative increase of number of the non-producing classes (the holders of accumulated wealth—the idle recipients of income) and the unprecedented extent of their comforts and luxuries, while the condition of the working-class, instead of improving, has deteriorated. Had the free-trade system been adopted contemporaneously with this available increase of power of production, the condition of the working-class would, no doubt, have improved in nearly an equal degree, as an almost unlimited demand for our manufactures, in exchange for the food and raw produce of the Continent, would have taken place. But as this system, however much to be desired, is awanting, and the mischievous effects of our restrictive system already in part irremediable, humanity calls upon us to endeavour to devise some other means of effecting an improvement in the condition of the working-class, but of such a nature, as not to impede the attainment of free trade.

Prevented by our trade-restrictive system from obtaining a market in foreign nations for the immense surplus fabrics which this vast increase of power is capable of producing, there is only one other available resource,—to transplant our surplus working-population to new lands. This would not only bring about a salutary balance in our home economy, but at the same time, by raising up new and most valuable customers, would afford wide and extending fields of consumption, commensurate with the future increase of our powers of production. In the present condition of Britain, it is even probable that a system of colonization, judiciously planned and sufficiently followed out, would eventually be equally promotive of the comfort and happiness of the working-population of Britain,[26] as if free trade were to give full scope to the employment of the whole working-population at home, and at the same time be more influential in improving the race of man generally. Change of place within certain limits of latitude, seems to have a tendency to improve the species equally in animals as in plants, and agricultural and trading occupations are far more congenial to health and increase, than manufacturing occupations. It cannot therefore be doubted that the increase of the British race (evidently a superior race), and their extension over the world, and even the vigour of the race itself, will be more promoted by this colonizing system, than by the utmost freedom of trade without the colonizing system, and the turning of our entire energies to manufacturing industry.

But our advocates of restriction and home monopolies exclaim—Why export workmen when so much improvement can still be made in Britain? Why import food and raw produce while we have full capacities of growing enough at home? Were Great Britain properly cultivated it would produce double what it now produces. The answer is, It is not what Britain is capable of producing, but what it in reality will be made to produce, which concerns us. Further improvement, and even the keeping up of the improvement already effected, depend upon the returns of the capital employed. If, from the less exhausted field for production abroad, we can obtain ten per cent. per annum for capital, while from the more exhausted, restriction-limited field at home, we can obtain only four per cent., capital will continue to be exported and British improvement will languish, or things will retrograde. This is the actual state of matters, and unless means are taken to bring about a more salutary state, the improvements they look forward to, and which Britain is indeed susceptible of, will never be attained. By a properly conducted colonization, in the first place, diminishing the labour-supply, and acting as a stimulus to our labour-market, and afterwards affording a continually increasing stimulus by means of the new-created, fast-extending colonial field of demand for British manufactures, and all this working in mutual reaction to excite industry, we may in reality go on improving till Britain produce ten times over what she now produces.

This attempt to draw attention to colonization proceeds from no wish to check the present national effort to obtain free trade! Colonial intercourse is in effect a circumscribed kind of free trade, under peculiarly favourable circumstances; and the amazing increase, and vast extent and advantage, of our colonial trade, is the most direct proof of the advantage, not only to Britain, but to mankind, which would result from free trade over all. Every enactment to prevent the exchange of the produce of labour between man and man, and nation and nation, if the article is not injurious to health and morals, is truly diabolic. All who have aided in these enactments ought to be held up to the detestation of mankind as repressers of industry, as promoters of misery, as ministers of evil, selfishly bent upon rendering abortive the good which a benevolent Providence[27] has designed for man, in forming one portion of the earth more fitted for the seat of manufacturing industry and trade, and other portions for the peculiar production of various kinds of food and raw material, thus calculated, by giving rise to a reciprocity of advantageous intercourse, to promote an enlightening and friendly connection, and to diffuse science, morality, the arts of life, all that conduces to improvement and happiness, over the nations.

In the event of our own Legislature adopting the free-trade system, the introduction of the colonizing, by rendering Great Britain more independent of foreign nations, will be a means of inducing these nations also to agree to a reciprocity of free-trade; whereas, were we soliciting the free exchange of commodities, and apparently dependent upon these nations for a market, there would be no end to the haggling of their selfish and ignorant governments. In this view, therefore, colonization is a step to the attainment of general free trade throughout the world; at any rate, the increase of our trade and manufactures, sequent to an extensive emigration, by diffusing intelligence and wealth, must sooner bring about the free-trade system.

The mind is almost overwhelmed in contemplating the prospects of improvement in the general condition of humanity, now opening through the medium of British colonization, and the consequent diffusion of the elevating and meliorating influences of British liberty, knowledge, and civilization. One great free naval people, aided by all the discoveries of modern science, and united under the attractions of a common literature, and the reciprocal advantage of the exchange of staple products, increasing rapidly in numbers, and ramifying extensively over numerous maritime regions, will soon overshadow continental despotisms, and render them innocuous.

From the unlimited supply of new land, colonies are especially fitted for a connection with Britain. Being in the opposite extremes of condition, they are in the highest degree mutually beneficial, the former affording the raw material in exchange for the more laboured products of industry of the latter, while at the same time the colonists are by habit great consumers of British manufactures. What is required is, that the extension of colonization should go hand in hand with the extension of manufactures, thus generating new markets in proportion to the increase of fabrics.

But, at the present moment, it is as a salutary drain to our overstocked labour-market, that colonization is so vitally necessary. To bring things to a healthy state, a vast exportation of working-population must in the first place be effected, and to keep them so, a constant great stream of emigration must be afterwards kept up. And in proportion as this efflux is properly regulated, will, at the same time, the condition of the people at home and abroad be prosperous, and the population progressive.

Emigration to fruitful new lands, where our superabundant capital and population would be employed to the greatest advantage and most rapidly[28] enlarged, is in policy and humanity alike our interest and our duty, as being the clear and direct road to prosperity. Under a properly regulated colonization, the most sanguine can scarcely form a conjecture of the extent to which our manufacturing and commercial greatness might be carried; and the comfort and happiness to which all classes might attain.

Under a properly regulated colonization, to obey the common instincts of nature, “to increase and multiply,” instead of being, as it too frequently has been in Britain, a curse, will become, as in the United States, a blessing. Things have been so far misdirected hitherto, that the greatly increased facilities of production of what is necessary to the comfort and pleasurable existence of man, which, under proper direction, ought to have benefited all classes, has only administered to the luxury of a comparatively small number, the property class. So sensible are the working men in England of this, that they have considered facility of production their enemy, and have had recourse to the most pernicious and atrocious practices,—machinery-breaking, and burning of agricultural produce, to prevent it. The old system of English poor-law (perhaps the worst that could have been invented) and the new amendment, are equally ineffectual to accomplish the end desired,—the prevention of human misery,—the removal of those sufferings arising from inadequate employment or inadequate remuneration, evils for which there can be no effectual remedy save an increased or improved field of labour; and this, as formerly stated, is obtainable in Britain only by free trade or by extensive emigration, but most effectually by both. The prudential check, from which so much has been expected, is but an irksome and unnatural palliative, scarcely preferable to the natural destructive check itself. And in respect to gratuitous assistance, nothing can be more pernicious than poor-law contributions, and charitable givings, and bequests of all descriptions, at least as these matters have been conducted. It is merely a nursing of misery,—keeping up a vast number of unemployed people, ready at all times, should labour come a little more into demand, to compete with those in employment, and keep down wages to the lowest pitch that the animal machine can be kept working upon. It is the interest of the property-holders to have a very numerous population at this lowest pitch, and their poor-rate and charity contributions are virtually a mere pittance-supply to prevent their indirect slaves from perishing.

Charity is not less injurious as interfering with the great law of nature, by which pain and death are the established penalty of ignorance, idleness, and improvidence; enjoyment and life the reward of knowledge, industry, and forethought. Alms or relief to the poor is clearly an interference with, or a subversion of, this natural law, and though it does not prevent the suffering sequent to the former, it destroys the advantages sequent to the latter, and only promotes general misery. It is to the purposes of colonization that the English poor-rates and other charitable bequests, now worse than uselessly consumed in nursing up[29] the improvident poor and keeping down the industrious, should be converted.

A sufficient emigration of the labour-classes would increase the labour-demand, and raise wages so high, that every one able and willing to work would obtain a competency for the support of a family, and even of a parent in infirm old age, in case of necessity; thus cutting up pauperism by the roots, and leaving the bastiles, the poverty-prisons in the south of England, untenanted. In the United States of America nearly all the marriageable people enter the marriage state, and find a family advantageous to the increase of their wealth and comfort. This arises from the favourable field for industry, and the social advantages they enjoy. Nothing hinders Great Britain from enjoying these, and even greater advantages, but her own stupid and guilty neglect. In many respects she is equally favourably circumstanced as America, in some much more favourably. Her climate is better, her capital beyond comparison greater, her machinery and aids of human labour and advantages of combined labour vastly superior, her new unpeopled territory more extensive and more favourably situated for trade, and equally easily reached. Why, then, should the condition of the working population of Britain not be as favourable as that of America? Simply because the field of labour, from our narrow home territory, dense population, and restrictive trade system, is more limited in proportion to the labour supply, and that we fail to profit by our opportunities of extending it. A sufficient emigration would render it equally, if not more favourable. Let the truly charitable—those who have the welfare of their suffering countrymen really at heart, reflect that ignorance is criminal, where knowledge is within their reach. Let them hasten to devote their exertions and wealth to purposes of utility, and not waste them in increasing the very evils they wish to remedy. Let them promote colonization. With an overflowing capital, and a population, notwithstanding our emigration, increasing at present nearly 400,000 annually, and as things are regulated beyond the means of full subsistence and labour-demand, Britain is placed under circumstances more favourable than ever occurred at any former period for carrying the principle of colonization into effect to its fullest, most salutary extent. The importance of emigration, as before stated, is proved by the immense and most advantageous trade we now carry on with the countries we have colonized; an almost unlimited extent of unoccupied territory is at our command; a very extensive emigration is necessary to render a poor-law practicable in Ireland, and to assist the working of the new poor-law in England (a sufficient emigration would soon render both unnecessary); the economy of transporting great numbers to distant countries in health and safety, and with celerity, is nearly perfected:—all these conspire, in an almost miraculous manner, to place the destinies of man at the disposal of Britain, and to render the present era the most eventful in the history of the world—the era of colonization.


Even although 450,000 (the present total yearly increase, including the present emigration of nearly 100,000) were exported annually, the future increase, from the improved condition of the great body of the people, would extend perhaps to double this number, say 1,000,000 annually, and that of our capital in a corresponding ratio; while at the same time the demand for manufactured produce, caused by the wants of the exported portion of our people, would greatly improve the home labour-demand, even with this great increase of hands. Thus our numbers would go on increasing faster at home than at present, while at the same time the country would increase in power, in a ratio still more rapid from the greater prosperity of all.

It is only within a few years that the immense importance of colonization has come to be appreciated; recently the most unfavourable prejudices existed respecting it, and the most erroneous and absurd doctrines were promulgated, to feed the popular odium, by political economists; who, in their wisdom, could never solve the difficulty how Britain continued the richest nation of the world, while her resources were being wasted upon numberless useless colonies. Let us contemplate the difference of results which the resources of Britain would have accomplished had they been so wasted,—had they been devoted to purposes of creation as they were to purposes of destruction during the American and French revolutionary wars. We did not then hesitate to lavish hundreds of millions in engaging in deadly feud the European and American nations. It seems hitherto to have been the principle of Government to hold any expense incurred for purposes other than rapine or destruction as a misapplication of the national resources. A change is at hand. The reign of Queen Victoria promises to be glorious for a victory over barbarism and human misery—Colonization is the means.

A tax of ten per cent. in Britain and Ireland upon land rental would be most profitably employed in carrying out labouring emigrants, and in locating them comfortably. This would be a humane and rational amendment of the English poor-law, and the best poor-law for Ireland that could be introduced. This fund, together with the proceeds of the sales of colonial lands, under judicious and economical management, would in the course of a few years have a most beneficial effect upon trade, and greatly ameliorate the condition of the working population; continued for half a century it would change the face of things over a great portion of the habitable world; and the extent of its effects, persisted in for several centuries, would be beyond even what we now can contemplate.

Independently of the communities formed by British emigration, were a good system of colonial government adopted, islands and inferior states would find it their interest to unite with us, and the whole of the multitudinous island-groups scattered over the vast Pacific, in number as the constellations of the heavens, might become incorporated as part of the British empire.



Independent of the natural peculiar adaptation of New Zealand for a British colony, there are several very cogent reasons to induce Britain to occupy this country without a moment’s delay.

I. In the present posture of affairs, when Russia and the United States are gradually extending their territory, increasing their means, and preparing for, or at least looking forward to, a contest with Britain for the naval supremacy, it is for us to look around over earth and ocean, and to pre-occupy, if possible, every favourable position.

In glancing at the map of the eastern hemisphere, where, from the extending territorial possessions of Russia, and the great and rapidly increasing trade of the United States, as well as of Britain, a considerable part of the contest may be expected to be carried on, any one must remark the commanding position of New Zealand,—with innumerable harbours, with vast naval resources, standing forth like an extended rampart in advance of, and covering our wide Australian possessions, and having the whole of the Pacific under its lee. In marking these advantages, one is disposed to inquire,—Has Britain not stirred to secure this most important position, in reference to curbing the United States and Russia in the East,—this most invaluable acquisition in reference to augmenting our trade and resources? Has she not conciliated the natives, who are a warlike maritime race, capable of forming excellent seamen and shipwrights, and as such would be most valuable auxiliaries? Has she not erected forts at the Bay of Islands and in Cook’s Straits, under whose guns our numerous South Sea whalers and our Australian traders (they pass New Zealand homeward) could take shelter in case of hostilities? She has done nothing of all this. She has only thought of a plan to afford her a pretence for preventing others (on the dog-in-the-manger principle) from colonizing this valuable country. She has sent out one solitary Resident, and made some sort of an acknowledgment of a New Zealand flag.

II. Another reason for the friendly occupation of New Zealand in provident policy, scarcely second to the above, has, I believe, never been taken into view. From the unsteady climate and extreme droughts of our colonies in New Holland, they, as they become more populous, will be periodically subjected to destructive famine, unless some neighbouring country, whose climate does not partake of the same vicissitudes, can afford them supplies. Excepting New Zealand, the distance to other countries from whence sufficient supplies could be obtained is so great, that extreme horrors of famine might be experienced before intelligence of their wants could go out, and supplies back could reach them.

III. There is yet another pressing motive for the immediate occupation of New Zealand. No other branch of maritime industry has increased[32] so much of late years as the Southern Whale-fishery. This has arisen partly from the recent development of the business itself, and partly from the failure of the Northern Whale-fishery. From the general resort of the southern whalers to the shores of the New Zealand group, in whose firths and bays much of the fishery is carried on, there can be no doubt it is fitted beyond any other place for the seat of this trade. There are at present 15,000 seamen and 150,000 tons of shipping engaged in it. An economic alteration in the conducting of the fishery is now in progress. Instead of vessels proceeding on a tedious three years’ voyage from the United States, France, or Britain, the fishery is now, to a considerable extent, being carried on by boats or small vessels constantly employed in the business (bay fishing), and the prepared oil conveyed to Europe and other markets in common merchantmen. Nearly three-fourths of the fishing is now in the hands of the United States, and a little less than one-fourth British. But were the occupation of the whole of the New Zealand group to take place, there is no doubt, from the superior cheapness and conveniency with which the fishery could be carried on by the New Zealand British, that the greater part of it would soon be in British hands. It would afford a rich field for the enterprise of the colonists and native New Zealanders, to whose character and maritime habits this employment is peculiarly suited; and it is incomparably the best training for maritime war. The policy of immediately occupying New Zealand in reference to this most important object is manifest.

IV. In a philanthropic point of view, New Zealand is a most eligible field for colonization. It is perhaps the sole instance, at least the most striking instance, of a thin or scattered population which would not necessarily suffer, but might greatly benefit by the immigration of Europeans into their country. The aborigines of the greater part of America and of New Holland are, or, when in existence, were hunters, subsisting upon the feræ naturæ. From long-continued use, constituting instinctive habit of race, they had themselves become, or were, in a manner, feræ naturæ, altogether incapable of, or extremely inapt to, agricultural labour and fixed residence, at least without a very gradual change of habit extending to several generations. As these hunters, in their pristine state, have their numbers balanced to the hunter means of subsistence which the whole country produces, the entrance of the civilized races, occupying a portion of their territory, not only abridges their hunting-grounds, but also by the employment of firearms speedily diminishes the game in the adjacent territory. Thence, if the hunter-aborigines do not fall by the musket of the stranger they are forced by famine to invade the hunting-grounds of the neighbouring tribes, and war ensues. Thus the aboriginal race is gradually extirpated by slaughter and famine, assisted by the new diseases and intoxicating poisons of the stranger. Much the same takes place with nomadic nations,—tribes subsisting principally by flocks and herds,—such[33] as the Hottentot and Caffre of South Africa, who are also already, at least were, balanced in number to the means of their pastoral subsistence. These, when encroached upon by and forced to retreat before the fire-armed European, have not space left for the support of their herds. They are driven by necessity to trespass in search of pasture upon their neighbour’s territory, and exterminating war is the result. On the other hand, the New Zealanders, in a country, although so rich in vegetation, almost destitute of game, and without herds of any kind, have been accustomed to raise their food, with the exception of fish, by agricultural labour (either by digging for roots, or digging to produce roots); and, instead of being peopled up to the means of subsistence obtainable by agriculture, do not reach the one-hundredth part, their numbers having been kept down apparently by their ferocity and by anarchy. The entrance of Europeans in a friendly manner (such as is here proposed) affording them protection to person and property, domestic animals, better implements of husbandry, more valuable fruit-bearing trees and edible plants, all the advantages and comforts of civilization, which tend so much to the increase of population, and which they, from their character and previous habits, appear capable of receiving and benefiting by, must, instead of operating to their injury or destruction, prove to them the greatest blessing.

In the case of the scant-peopling hunter, the imperative necessity of an overflowing population, such as that of Britain, is a justifiable reason for breaking up his preserves. In the case of the pastoral people of South Africa, it is unjustifiable to invade their territory and disturb their quiet feeding herds, at least while any part of the world available for British emigration remains under the hunter occupancy. But in such an anomalous case as New Zealand, where a very scant agricultural population occupy a few straggling districts of an extensive country, with the exception of these petty districts, to them entirely useless, and which, from defects in the social order and other circumstances, they are not only totally unfitted for populating, but are even fast decreasing in numbers; and where a steady general government introduced by the emigrants would, in all probability, remedy the consuming evils under which the race is disappearing,—it is here, if we are at all to be guided by reason, humanity, justice,—it is surely here where we ought to locate our overflowing population. In the case of a region only inhabited by a few scattered barbarous tribes, totally incapable of instituting any responsible government, and where, in consequence, the country and adjacent sea are infested with lawless bands of robbers and pirates, any nation which possesses the power has a right to interfere, establish a government, and colonize,—surely much more so in the case of New Zealand by Britain than in the case of Florida by the United States.



The withering effects of the arid climate of Australia, is manifest in the haggard walking skeletons of the aborigines, while the balmy mildness and moist air of New Zealand exerts a directly opposite effect, evinced in the fine stately forms, smooth polished skin, and rounded beauty of the Malayan population, although they are evidently a little out of climate—so far removed from the Tropics; much more must this delicious climate have a propitious effect upon the Caucasian British race, who are naturally suited to the climate. The rose tinge of the cheek is a direct consequence of moist air of a fresh stimulating coolness. We find in Van Diemen’s Land, which approaches the New Zealand climate, that the rose of health is common, although it seldom is so on the main of Australia, where the air is too dry and parching for this species of flower. The British Fair may rely that England’s Rose will not fail to blossom in New Zealand in all its native richness, giving the unmatched tinge of flower-beauty and freshness. The danger is, that it may even throw that of the mother country into shade; although its sister, the vegetable rose, has never been seen indigenous in the southern hemisphere, while it surrounds the globe in the northern with a flowery chaplet.

There is but a very small portion of the world where the rose-bloom is constantly domiciled on the cheek of beauty. In Asia and Africa it scarcely appears but in gleams of transient suffusion. In America it is almost equally rare, except in the New England States, the hills of Virginia, and the maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Canada, and Nova Scotia,—in the latter country the carmine blending to shades of purple and blue, and not unfrequently a little out of place; while, in the interior plains of Canada and the United States, the pallor is universal. In Europe, it blossoms in the cooler, aquatic, and hilly regions, wherever the air is fresh and moist,—in Britain, especially the western side,—in Ireland, Holland, Prussia, Denmark, Norway.

Were the direful effects of a summer spent in the dry parts of the south of Europe generally known, we should have less of female emigration to these countries. The lily and rose-leaf cheek and cherry lip of the British fair, whose purity and dewy freshness is nourished by the moist coolness of their native air, when exposed to the Levanter or Sirocco of Italy and Spain, or even to the dry hot air of the more arid parts of France, soon shrivel to mummy and wrinkled parchment. The seclusion of beauty in Mahomedan countries, and the Mantilla of Spain, is less from jealousy of man than of the arid Eurus.

Female beauty, which, under hot dry atmosphere, withers like the rock-rose “ere the noon,” in tropical countries often before the age of twenty, and in the warm parched portion of the temperate zones, before thirty, may be expected in New Zealand, provided warm fire apartments (very little needed in that climate) are not much in use, to last till nearly double that age.


Much depends upon regular and natural habits of life,—exposure to the stimulus of the sun’s light, and especially to the fresh moist air of the morning. It is customary for girls to go out agathering May-dew, to form a rose-cosmetic,—and the roses certainly appear. Airy sitting and sleeping apartments are essential, and especially to guard against exposure to dry fire heat, and, above all, against the modern abominations of heated air and gas-burners. In some parts of the north of Europe, where the climate is severe in winter, the rooms are heated by stoves, which, in order to prevent dust, open only to the lobby or passages, and consequently afford no ventilation to the rooms, but give out a close suffocating heat. The women are confined to these rooms all the year, excepting during the short warm summer, and being thus always exposed to vitiated air and high temperature, are nearly of as short duration as within the tropics; while the men, more healthy and lasting from greater exposure out of doors and cooler atmosphere, say they require two sets of wives. In the mild climate of New Zealand, where the houses are scarcely needed but to guard off showers, the beau-sex, passing most of their time in the open air, and the remainder in well ventilated apartments, will not have this contingency much to fear. In other respects, from its soft moist climate, New Zealand, like Sicily, may be expected to be especially propitious to women.—The prospects now before them must cause the bright blood to mantle deeper on the cheek of the British Fair.


It, nevertheless, but ill becomes the home British to say much about the United States’ slavery, or, indeed, about any slavery. The causes which operate to promote or prevent direct slavery, have never, that I am aware of, been clearly pointed out. Slaves (direct) are found only where land is cheap. When the land, from its redundancy in proportion to population, as in America, is of little or no value, the whole property consists of labour, or the produce of labour; and the covetous man not being able to satisfy his lust for riches by the produce of his own labour, has no other way of gratifying it but by obtaining possession of the persons of his fellow-men, and compelling them to labour the otherwise unprofitable ground for his emolument; and this he finds profitable, because the produce of labour, even of slave-labour, in this favourable field for production, is more than sufficient to support his slaves as reproductive labouring-stock, or to purchase new ones should they wear out. On the reverse, slaves (direct) are not found when the land has been all occupied, and has reached any considerable value or rental. Wherever this has taken place, and population has become dense, hired or piece-labour becomes more profitable than slave-labour, and drives it from the field. The reason of this is obvious: man, in a state of comparative liberty of action, has more of mental energy to stimulate and carry on his corporeal exertions, and to direct them to more profitable effect, than when under direct slavery, while at the same time he can be maintained at less cost as a reproductive animal when in semblance free. Besides, when the land has been all taken up, and has come into the hands of a small number of the community, these, from being the possessors of property, generally obtain the governing power, and form a land-aristocracy class. They proceed to legislate and[36] levy taxation in the most partial and unjust manner to forward their own selfish interests, they secure the land-property to themselves and their posterity, and, by taking advantage of the poverty and necessity for food of the labouring population, make out to obtain a more complete command over their labour, and more power to render them subservient to their pleasure and luxury, than if the working population were slaves direct.

In this way, by means of a food-monopoly for the emolument of the heir or eldest male of the family, and excessive taxation upon the necessaries of the working people for the support of the younger branches, our governing land-aristocracy have done every thing in their power to bring the working population to a complete state of indirect slavery, the only slavery which, from the nature of things in Britain, is profitable or practicable, and they have succeeded,—the destitution and hollow cheek of wife and children being a more powerful incentive to severe toil than the whip of the hippopotamus hide. A sufficient emigration would help to reform this. The purpose of the “sufficient price” (a high price upon fresh land in colonies) to compress population together, will be seen by the reader at a glance. It will, as Mr Wakefield naively tells us, “render slave-labour a loss.” The indirect slavery, as in Britain, will be more profitable!!


The Scots scheme of colonization is in itself calculated to have an efficient selecting power to procure emigrants of moral and intellectual superiority, and eminently fitted for colonists. A power of selection in the scheme itself, is preferable to any inquisitorial committee. The condition of working small-capitalists is generally the consequence of some mental superiority, which has led the individual to be providently industrious, and to despise mere momentary sensual gratification. It is the boldest and wisest of these who will join in this scheme. And amongst the working classes, those who possess the greatest share of moral courage, intelligence, and determination of purpose, will be the men who will join the Emigration Societies, and work out their own and their family’s independence, at whatever cost of present exertion and self-denial. The general diffusion of wealth, the possession of some property by a large majority of the people, is necessary to human comfort and rational liberty: Equal political rights and property in the hands of the few cannot co-exist. Did our working men form an emigration-fund of the money (collectively, at least, thirty millions Sterling yearly) they, in self-indulgence, waste upon pernicious liquors and tobacco, which enervate body and mind, they would soon be able to carry out and supply with land and stock, one-half of their number, and the increase of value of their colonial property under the management of those sent out (the most trusty individuals of the association, chosen by ballot), would be sufficient to transplant, if necessary, the remaining half, while the time and strength saved from being wasted in dissipation, would serve greatly to increase the comforts of themselves and families, independent of the rise of the wages of labour which would ensue. The greatness of the object ought to be appreciated,—the change from mere labour-drudges (most frequently in unwholesome occupations) in a country where a property-class have in a manner secured every thing to themselves, to the condition of proprietors in a most beautiful, fertile, and salubrious country, is surely a sufficient motive for exertion. An association of twenty working men, by subscribing each 2s. weekly, can transplant two, or with a family, one of the members yearly; and, aided by the increase of the value of their colonial property, in the course of six years, or with families, eight or ten years, the whole could be proprietors residing on their own estates, the value of which every passing year would increase for ages to come.

P. M., Chairman.


[1] While two-thirds of the world are lying almost waste, it is yet rather premature to speak of preventive or destructive checks—war, nunneries, infanticide, single-blessedness. The latter, recommended as preferable to colonization by political economists, may be left to their own especial practice.

[2] “‘It is a most beautiful country. I have visited the Brazils, the whole of Van Diemen’s Land, and New South Wales, and been on the Continent, but I never saw a country in the world that equalled it (New Zealand). In scenery, climate, and productiveness, it is a perfect paradise.’—(See T. B. Montefiore, Parliamentary Evidence, 1838.)”

[3] “The missionaries have been sojourning in New Zealand for the last twenty-three years. They, with their families, amount to upwards of ninety individuals, and, with the exception of infants, only one death (it is said) has occurred amongst them. In this country, according to the Rev. W. Yate, ‘invalids become well, the healthy robust, and the robust fat. It has a perpetual spring, the whole atmosphere seems impregnated with perfumes, and every breath inhaled stimulates the system, and strengthens man for the labour which may lie before him. I am persuaded (says he), that all graminivorous animals, wild or domestic, would thrive well in this temperate clime, if allowed to range at large in the forests, on the hills, in the valleys, or on the plains.’”

[4] “‘Marriages among the English have been prolific, in a very extraordinary degree, of a most healthy progeny.’—(See official document by T. Busby, Esq., British Resident.)”

[5] “‘There is a great variety of timber in the country fit for all purposes, as for shipbuilding, domestic, and other purposes. The forests of New Zealand afford perhaps the finest spars for masts and yards in the world, and which are extremely valuable. In India, the wood being there very heavy, they cannot get any description of wood to make good spars, and those taken from New Zealand find there a ready sale.’—(See J. L. Nicholas, Esq., Par. Evidence.)”

[6] “Mr Flatt, an agriculturist from the East of England, of considerable professional and general knowledge, and who has lately returned from New Zealand, where he had been remaining several years, informs the Author, that in crossing the North Island, he travelled along a tract of fine alluvial soil in the lower valley of the Waikato rivers, equal in extent, but richer, than the alluvial level between Cambridge and Hull,—the kernel of England. Mr Flatt also corroborates the statements of others respecting the salubrity, mildness, and beauty of the climate,—that it is a land of sunny-showers, and that is the case of heavy rains, the clouds clear off immediately when the rain ceases, and a most brilliant sun shines out.”

[7] “The Company are not to be considered as guaranteeing the title, except as against their own acts.” See published “Terms of Purchase” by the New Zealand Land Company, and signed John Ward. This is the amount of their boasted security of title.

[8] The cost of free labour in a new colony, or wherever all the land of fair quality is not occupied, has always been—from the ambition to be his own master, inherent in man,—must necessarily be, greater than the producing value of the labour. Where fair land is unoccupied, none but he, who, from some natural defect or incapacity, is incapable of working to himself so well as to produce a maintenance, will ever work as an agricultural servant to another, excepting at a hire beyond the value of his labour; consequently, the work performed for hire will be done in a very inferior and unprofitable manner. This must cause the hired workman to be not upon the best terms with his employer, and he will be felt to be a plague rather than a help. Mr Wakefield’s “sufficient price” plan, “a high price upon fresh land,” at least “such a price as render slave labour a loss, plenty of free hired labour being made attainable,” is one of the most crude and impracticable schemes in reference to a British race population, that the brain even of modern political economists has hatched. Nevertheless, he has procured a whole host of followers, including the South Australian and New Zealand Committees. How would people be prevented from settling beyond the precincts of his high-price-limited territory? Would he keep an army scouring the country beyond this line with fire and sword? Nothing short of this would suffice; and we should have enough of bush-fighting. We would remit from the heated fancies of ignorant closet colonists to the experienced judgment of men who have seen colonization going on, and more especially who have borne a part in it, to determine of the utter unfitness of the “sufficient price.” Has the attempt at the sufficient price worked well in South Australia? Has not a great proportion of the small capitalists lost their capital and been forced to become servants (in some cases obliged to the servants they had carried out for procuring a master), while only the larger capitalists have been able to hold out? Has not the high price of land, L.1 per acre, instead of condensing been the means of dispersion,—throwing the stock owners with their flocks out to wander over the undivided territory for which they pay no price, which in fact is worth no price—perhaps no great loss in that arid country where change of place is necessary in the season of drought to obtain herbage and water—a country only fit for this Tartar or Arab system of husbandry? Has the miserable Adelaide and the steril sands around it, a place scarcely capable of affording support, even under the best culture for which it is fitted, for a few hundreds, become any thing but the grave of the hopes of the many thousands who have been thrown upon this desert coast by means of the money extracted from capitalist emigrants by this “sufficient price,” or by money borrowed at 10 per cent. per annum upon the faith of the “sufficient price?” Adelaide will never reach higher than a miserable village, unless like Sydney it get an extraneous Government expenditure of several hundred thousand pounds per annum (Sydney without this would have remained a miserable village). As soon as the money spent by emigrants (not unfrequently all they possess) waiting upon the lagging surveys, or upon some plausible means of employing their little capital to advantage, shall have ceased to flow, Adelaide will appear in its natural poverty.

Is the sufficient price calculated for New Zealand? Why import so many servants when it is so politic to employ native labour, and to leave the labour market open for this supply? The natives say they have a double motive for selling land to the British—the price they receive for it, and the employment they procure in cultivating it. Why take means to prevent dispersion when prudence will direct a pretty close arrangement? Why take means to procure a consolidated population as a market for agricultural produce, when a market so very favourable already exists in the agricultural produce-demand of Australia and of the South Sea Whalers, together with the British and Indian demand for flax and spars? For what then is a “sufficient price” desirable? Only for the private emolument of managing secretaries and other officials, to whom the “sufficient price” will pay a pretty good tax in transitu, and to be a plausible pretext for the Land Company resident in London to obtain the warrantry of the Legislature for monopolizing whole provinces of New Zealand, and for selling the land at a high price to the buyer;—no doubt thinking the buyer will be a more industrious colonist after his pockets have been emptied into this land-jobbing Company’s coffers. From some hints which have been thrown out in Parliament lately, it would seem to be in contemplation to have something like “a sufficient price” in the British colonies in the West Indies (perhaps practicable there by a sufficient demonstration of bayonets), that is, a plan of preventing the working black population from procuring portions of land, by the industrious cultivation of which they could maintain themselves in ease and comfort. By this plan it is intended “to make slave-labour a loss, plenty of hired labour being attainable,” the black population being thus compelled to labour to the planters at whatever hire the planters choose to give, or to starve. Perhaps there is some understood stipulation, that the planters will restore the twenty millions to the British Legislature on the passing of this “sufficient price” act, as well they might? Welcome back slavery to the West Indies—welcome West Indian slavery to the working man in Australia and New Zealand, rather than the “sufficient price.” But it is an absurdity, and, if persisted in, will ruin these colonies. For a complete exposure of the indirect systems of slavery, see “Emigration Fields,” pages 53 and 187.

[9] The following scheme of a Directory or Government is submitted to the Shareholders for consideration:—

In order that the Executive may be conducted as a whole with promptness and decision, and that the various individuals composing it may act in unison, and be brought more readily under the control of the shareholders, who stand on the same relation to the Executive as a parliament does to the ministry, it is resolved that one individual, elected by the shareholders, act as the head, choosing his assistants, for whose official conduct he is responsible.


1 Governor, appointed, and removable at any time by the Shareholders.
1 Deputy-Governor,}Appointed and removable at any time by the Governor.
1 or more Secretaries,
1 Treasurer,
1 Surveyor, with Assistants,
From 4 to 10 Councillors,

The powers and business of the Governor to be accurately defined by the preliminary general meeting of the shareholders by which he is elected. All moneys put under the control of the Governor to be voted at quarterly general meetings of the shareholders. In case the shareholders become too numerous for a deliberative body, each ten or more to elect a representative.


Board of Politics,}Each Board to consist of four persons appointed by the Shareholders.
Board of Health, Physical and Moral,
Board of Works,
Board of Trade,
Board of Native Protectors,

The above Boards to supervise the concerns of the Company; and, should they observe any thing wrong, or tending to wrong, to report of the same to the Governor, and at the same time to retain a copy of this report, to be laid before the next general meeting.


1 Treasurer or General Receiver of subscribed capital, also to act as Land-Register Keeper,}Appointed by the Shareholders.
3 Guardians of Widows and Orphans,
1 Conciliator,
2 Judge-Arbiters,
1 or more Medical Practitioners,

In case of quarrel or property dispute, the parties to appear personally before the Conciliator, and, if he fail in settling the affair amicably, that he remit to the Judge-Arbiters. Should one of the parties agree to settle the dispute amicably by the Conciliator’s advice, and the other party do not, that the latter, should judgment go against him, pay the whole cost of the arbitration, including pay of witnesses on both sides. In case the Judge-Arbiters be not unanimous, to remit to the first meeting of the shareholders.

The Governor, the Boards of Observation and Officers, to be annually elected, and changeable at any time, wholly or in part, by a general meeting convened for the specific purpose. All the Executive chosen by the Governor to vacate with the Governor, and to have no retiring salary. That one-third of the shareholders, or the Governor, have power at any time to order the Secretary to convene a general meeting for any specified purpose, which the Secretary must do immediately, by circular letter (giving one week’s previous notice) to each shareholder; but in all cases that the business of the meeting be limited to the object stated in the requisition.

[10] It would be well did our Home Government limit its cherishing care to protection,—vessels of war, and a harbour fort or forts in New Zealand, leaving the internal government entirely to the emigrant population, with this proviso, that trade in native produce (pernicious maddening drugs excepted) be free between the parent country and the colony. This would be the cheapest colonial organization, and also the one which would attach the colony the most firmly. Instead of jealousy and discontent (the natural produce of the present system) we should have pride in the parent country, and honourable enthusiastic attachment towards it.

[11] Would such a plan not be practicable in Britain?

[12] We would recommend investment in new lands as incomparably superior to investments in savings’ banks, as affording far better security and higher profits, and would urge those who have money in savings’ banks to withdraw it, and purchase shares in the Scots New Zealand Land Company. The effect of a proper system of colonization and the exclusion of bad subjects, has been recently exemplified in Russia. A number of working small capitalists, solicited and received the grant of a desolate hilly portion of country from the Emperor. They divided this into portions of about 60 acres of tillage land, with a suitable portion of hill pasture to each family, allowing no one to enter the community, unless he possessed a certain capital, and totally excluding lawyers and priests. The success has been great beyond all precedent. No quarrels, high morality, industry, economy,—the country cultivated like a garden,—plenty to all.

[13] Certificates are forthcoming and favourable in proportion to the worthlessness of the subject. The friends are active in procuring the necessary certificates of character to those they are ashamed of, and wish at the antipodes.

[14] The proper means to prevent settlers from seizing upon more land than they can put to good use, and taking up too wide an arrangement, is not a high price upon fresh lands (which is merely to suck out the life’s-blood of the colonist just as he is about to commence the arduous combat), but a low land tax per acre, rated permanently to three or more class qualities of soil. This is the only genuine tax,—should be the only tax, and made available to the whole government of the colony. Instead of repressing industry as other taxes necessarily do (those on pernicious luxuries excepted), this tax would even benefit the payer by stimulating him to improve his lands, and thus render them of higher quality, while their class rating for taxation remained unchanged.

[15] In conjunction with the Scots New Zealand Land Company, it is intended to establish a New Zealand Whale Fishing Company, having a domicile at one or more of the maritime stations of the Land Company, at which the families of those engaged in the fishing will reside, and where the oil will be prepared for export. This will be mutually beneficial in a high degree. The fisheries will draw in a great revenue to the colony for exported oil, and those engaged in them will constitute the best of customers for the fine produce of the land. The families and shore-establishment of the Whale Company will be sheltered by the Land Company during the time their own strength may be absent in the fishery; while, should any thing serious be apprehended to the Land Company, the assistance of the daring and formidable crews of harpooners, who will be absent only on short voyages, will soon be forthcoming. They will indeed constitute a most formidable defensive force; and, instead of being a great cost and population-check, a consuming evil and source of decay, like the armies of Europe, they will be the source of wealth, and population, and power.


Transcriber’s Notes:

The full title of this document is Prospectus of the Scots New Zealand Land Company, and the author is Patrick Matthew.

Footnotes have been moved to the end of the text and relabeled consecutively through the document.

Punctuation has been made consistent.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation were retained as they appear in the original publication, except that obvious typographical errors have been corrected.