Story: Newspapers

Letter from Barzillai Quaife, 1842

The Reverend Barzillai Quaife, a British-born Congregationalist minister, edited the New Zealand Advertiser and Bay of Islands Gazette in 1840, followed by the Bay of Islands Observer in 1842. As well as government notices and local news, the papers contained Quaife's criticism of government actions when buying Māori land, which was not popular with higher powers. By the end of the 1842, he was forced to stop publishing the Gazette. He then wrote a long letter of explanation to Britain. The highlighted extract reads:

The case was simply this - I commenced to write with the earnest hope, judging from Lord Normanby's instructions to Capt. Hobson, that New Zealand would be an exception to the long catalogue of Colonial misrule, with regard both to Europeans and Aborigines, with which history is stained. I fully meant to make my paper in every respect auxiliary to the establishment of regular authority and good order. During about three months I adhered to my hopes, in spite of many misgivings which the merely nominal state of the Govt. excited in my mind. No sooner however did Sir George Gipps' Act respecting the Land Claims make its appearance, than I felt assured the Govt. had come to carry on similar schemes of oppression against the aborigines which had been adopted in the older colonies; and I felt it my bounden duty to expose the real character of the measure. This I laboured to do during the latter three months of my paper, and such as the effect of my writing, that the commissioners were compelled to suspend their proceedings.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: MS-Papers-0467-1-2

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Newspapers - First newspapers, 1839–1860', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/zoomify/43172/letter-from-barzillai-quaife-1842 (accessed 23 October 2019)

Story by Mark Derby, published 22 Oct 2014