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conceptualising and writing national park history in Australia (1995).
The right of Bruce Baskerville to be identified as the moral rights author of this work is hereby asserted in accordance with the Copyright Amendment (Moral Rights) Act 2000 of the Commonwealth of Australia.
This essay was originally written as the second chapter of my draft Ph D thesis at Macquarie University, Sydney NSW. The thesis remains incomplete.
Concept and Historiography
The history of national parks in Australia has not yet emerged as a discrete field of study, although this is not to say that no-one has made any attempt to research and write the history of Australia's national parks. The attempts to do so, however, have been very few, tending to be mainly descriptive and related to wider fields of inquiry, especially regarding recreation and leisure or nature conservation, and more recently, Aboriginal and native title rights. In these endeavours, the national park has been regarded as an expression of one of these wider discourses.
It is my intention to explore the idea of the national park as a concept in its own right, and to follow the thinking of German 'conceptual historian' Reinhardt Koselleck in this regard (Koselleck 1979:1985). Koselleck's thesis is that concepts do not merely serve to define a given state of affairs, but actively reach into the future. Since the French Revolution, social groups in western societies have created concepts of the future, with positions that needed to be captured first having to be formulated linguistically before it is possible to enter or permanently occupy them. Social and political conflicts of the past, therefore, need to be interpreted and opened up via the medium of their contemporary conceptual limits and in terms of the mutually understood, past linguistic usage of the participating agents. The fact that these agents often overlapped personally and socially makes it all the more important to clarify the political and social fronts within these groups, and so expose hidden interests and intentions. Explaining concepts in these terms should bring into clear view the contemporary intentional circumstances or relations in their form. Koselleck's 'history of concepts' is initially a specialised method for source criticism, taking note of the use of terminology by social and political elements and analysing expressions having social or political content (78-79). Over time, this approach will become a history of the particular concept being studied, especially its persistence or change over time. Questions to arise from this approach will centre around
To what extent has the intentional substance of one and the same word remained the same? Has it changed with the passage of time, a historical transformation having reconstructed the sense of the concept? (80-81) The persistence and validity of a social or political concept and its corresponding structures can only be appreciated within the context of its historical development. Words that have remained in constant use are not in themselves a sufficient indication of the stability of their substantial meaning (81).
The Canadian medieval historian R. William Leckie Jnr., discussed the issue of source criticism in his critique of a medieval history written by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the twelfth century. Geoffrey's history purported to cover the period in British history between the departure of the Romans and the establishment of Anglo-Saxon control of England, a period that had not previously been written about due (partly) to a lack of source materials. Supposedly derived from a recently discovered ancient text, contemporary historians remained uncertain about the veracity of Geoffrey's work. Leckie notes that the distribution of materials on the pre-Anglo-Saxon period has long been seen as a factor in the general acceptance of Geoffrey's history as it is only in the cases where some basis for the comparison of source materials exists that writers can exercise some control. The extent to which Geoffrey's account overlapped with other authorities was very small, and he remained the only source for most of what he reported. His seemingly orthodox approach endowed his history with a verisimilitude in the absence of other controlling data. The paucity of other source materials was compounded by the physical location of writers and sources at the time. Generally, monastic chroniclers of the period were limited to the materials available in a relatively small geographic area, with few writers able to travel extensively, and chance encounters between historians playing a significant role. In such a situation, trust in an author's veracity might turn out to be misplaced, but some measure of reliance on the testimony of others was unavoidable (40-41).
What can this brief discussion of German conceptual history and medieval historiography tell us about national park history in modern Australia? The first point to note is that the designation of 'national park' is as much an ambiguous concept in its own right as a word with specific meanings in the context of recreation, nature conservation or native title concepts. As a concept, 'national park' defined a certain area of the future that was derived from the past experiences of its creators. The personalities and social groups that formulated the concept were then able to control a certain cultural position, and thus a part of the future . The obvious questions then follow. Who formulated the concept? Why? What did they intend by it? From this one has the ask whether the sense of the concept has changed over time, and if so, what historical processes have facilitated that change and what have the changing meanings been? In order to answer such questions, it is necessary to survey the existing body of literature on national park history as well as the available source materials, and to then ask whether the sources support the interpretations of contemporary writers. It also requires that the physical location of those writers be established, and the links between them explored with a view to determining whether geographical situation and a reliance on the veracity of other writers has produced a particular understanding of the history of Australia's national parks to this point. Koselleck states that his 'conceptual history' method rests upon a basis that distinguishes between the expressions 'concept' and 'word'. Language posseses a series of expressions that, on the basis of critical interpretation, stand out definitively as concepts. Each concept is associated with a word, but not every word is a concept. Concepts possess a substantial claim to generality and always have many meanings (83). It is my intention to treat the expression 'national park' as a concept rather than as a word as it so often is in every-day discourse.
Looking into the Shadows of the Past
Yellowstone National Park in the American state of Wyoming is generally written of as being the world's first national park, with Royal National Park in New South Wales being the world's second. However, some writers have suggested that the style of 'national park' was not adopted for Yellowstone until sometime after the park was established in 1872, which raises some interesting questions about when and where the idea of 'national' parks developed and what was meant by the use of the term. By returning to original source materials the historical development of the 'national park' as a concept laden with meanings specific to particular times, places, personalities and social groups can begin to be explored.
AMERICA AND THE 'WORLD'S FIRST'
In 1872, the United States Congress passed an Act to "...set apart a certain Tract of Land lying near the Head-waters of the Yellowstone River as a public Park." . The boundaries of this tract of land were generally described in the Act, and the area was withrawn from occupancy by, or sale to, settlers under federal land laws. The area was "...reserved and...dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.". The park was placed under the control of the Interior Department, which was to make regulations to preserve timber, minerals and natural curiosities in their natural condition, and to prevent the destruction of fish and game for commercial purposes. Funding for road and path construction was to come from the granting of leases for building visitor accomodation in the park (Statutes at Large, 1872).
This legislation was not a lone act at the time, with the Statute Book containing several enactments whereby Congress created public, mainly municipal, parks. What made Yellowstone different was that control was retained in a federal agency rather than being devolved to local authorities. An earlier example of this more common trend was the granting by Congress towards the end of the Civil War in 1864 of the 'Yo-Semite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Grove' to the State of California "...for public use, resort and recreation...". Conditions of the grant included that the land would be inalienable for all time, that it was to be managed by commissioners appointed by the Governor of California, and that the boundaries were to be determined by a federal surveyor (Statutes at Large 1864). However, despite this more common trend, retention of federal control in Yellowstone appears to have served as a precedent of some sort. During the 1880s, the War Department began to acquire and administer what are now known as 'national battlefield monuments', which were mainly of civil war origin, such as Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Shiloh and Gettysburg (Ramirez and DeGarmo, 106).
The wording of the legislation creating Yellowstone Public Park was repeated, virtually unchanged, in another Act to create a public park in the Mount Diablo region of California in 1890. The only difference in the Act's wording, apart from the description of the place, was the inclusion of a preamble stating that Whereas, the rapid destruction of timber and ornamental trees in various parts of the United States, some of which trees are the wonders of the world on account of their size and the limited number growing, makes it a matter of importance that at least some of the said forests should be preserved. Again, this park was referred to as a public park (Statutes at Large. 1890). The significance of the preamble is its reference to a goal that firmly places the creation of the park within the context of the preservationist debates that preceded the 'Progressive Era' of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States, a preamble not considered necessary two decades earlier. Clearly, the term 'national park' was still not being used in American park legislation in 1890, although it was surfacing elsewhere in a fairly unlikely place - the federal budget papers. In 1878 and 1879 $10 000, and in 1880 and 1881 $15 000, was set aside by Congress in the annual Appropriation Act "...to protect, preserve and improve the Yellowstone National Park." (Statutes at Large... 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881). These seem to be the earliest references to a 'national park' in American legislation, and mark the commencement of regular federal funding for America's national parks.
The adjectival use of the word 'national' in relation to certain pieces of land had a precedence in the United States. Following the recognition of the independence of the original thirteen British colonies in 1783, Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut ceded their claims to land beyond the Appalachian Mountains to the new central government. These territories, along with others ceded by Britain or taken from the Indians formed a 'national domain' that, within a year, was twice the size of France and free of State controls and land laws. This land was regarded as a common treasury which could be named, organised, divided and sold off by the federal government, and was variously known as the 'national domain', the 'public domain' or 'public lands'. The words national and public were interchangeable, indicating that a place to which they applied was owned by the federal government and generally available for private purchase. No analogy existed in contemporary Europe for such a domain, and concepts such as a 'national interest' had yet to develop (Boorstin, 243, 250-251, 419). (One writer) has claimed that the real significance of the creation of Yellowstone Park was that it was the first major move against the trend of privatising public land. The salient point is that, in the 1870s, to legislatively describe a place a public park or a national park would mean much the same thing, even though control of most public parks had devolved to State or local administrations.
These federal national parks were controlled by the Interior Department until 1886, when they passed to the Army Department (Encyclopedia Americana, 668). In 1916, Congress created the National Park Service within the Interior Department to control
...Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations...by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of said parks, monuments and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." (Statues at Large, 1916).Section 3 of the Act provided for the issue of grazing lisences in such 'federal areas' except Yellowstone National Park. An Act of 1953 defined the 'national park system' as all federally controlled lands in the
...descriptive categories: (1) National parks, (2) national monuments, (3) national historical parks, (4) national memorials, (5) national parkways, and (6) national capital parks." (US Statutes, 1953).By 1953, a national park was one of several 'descriptive categories' of federally owned and administered lands, and as such, the concept had not altered all that much since 1878. Eighteen years later, however, when Congress designated 1872 as the "...beginning of the worldwide national park movement..." the concept had undergone significant change (US Statutes, 1970). The status conferred by this retrospective act of creation is now accepted as a historical fact, and the first three American national parks have been listed as Yellowstone 1872, Yosemite 1890 and Sequoia 1890 (Dictionary of American History, 216-221).
It is important that these developments should be considered within the context of other events in the Yellowstone region at the time. 1868 was notable for the signing of several treaties between Indian groups in the region and Presidential envoys whereby tribal lands were ceded to the United States in return for recognition of the Indian's perpetual native title rights in certain 'reservations' and compensatory cash payments (Statutes at Large, 1863, 1868). The Shoshone, whose territory included much of the future parklands, were allocated the Wind River Reserve, to the southeast of the park and Fort Hall Reserve to the southwest, on either side of the Rocky Mountains, while the Crow Nation Reserve ran along the park's northern boundary in the upper catchment of the Yellowstone River, and various Souix reserves occupied the plains to the east of the park, notably in the Black Hills of Dakota. The northwestern part of the future park, apparently contested by several Indian groups, was seized rather than ceded in the same year (Gilbert, 62). In 1871, a U.S. Geological Survey team travelled through the Yellowstone region under Dr. Ferdinand Hayden, accompanied by the photographer William Jackson. Jackson's photographs are credited with persuading Congress to create the park (Weymouth, 78). During the Presidency of Union civil war hero General Grant (1869-1877) two significant events to note are the declaration of the park in 1872, and the battle of Little Big Horn in June 1876. This was fought in the Yellowstone catchment to the north-east of the park between a detachment of U.S. Cavalry under Colonel Custer and a Sioux force under chief Crazy Horse. Within a month of Custer's defeat, Congress approved the expenditure of $200 000 for the construction of military posts on the Yellowstone and Musselshell Rivers, to the north and north-east of the park (Statutes at Large... 1876).
Can a military function for the park be derived from these events? They certainly suggest some sort of role in the subjugation of the Indians of the northern plains, although the lack of expenditure within the park during this early period suggests some ambiguity about its appropriate use. It seems to be significant that the park boundaries enclosed mountainous peaks and lakes overlooking the plains of Montana through which the Yellowstone River meandered and which formed part of the Sioux domain. In 1872, General Howard acted as a peace envoy in the Southwest where he negotiated the end of the war between Indians and settlers. He then travelled through the Northwest, meeting with Chief Washakie of the Shoshone "...who had chosen to be a friend of the white man." (Howard, 315). The Shoshone controlled the mountain passes through Yellowstone Park, and had recently defeated a Sioux attack. Because of this,
...in the Yellowstone Park [Washakie] sent Shoshone Jack with a band of Indians to ride just out of sight on all sides of us as a guard. We were as safe in that wild country with them around us as we would have been anywhere else in America. (Howard, 320)Clearly, the park in 1872 was a dangerous frontier zone with both Indians and Americans using both pacific and violent means to seek control of the region's resources. The park declaration represented the staking of a claim by 'white' America over a significant tract of land that only a few years earlier had been deep within the Shoshone, Crow and Sioux domains. However, to have acknowledged a military role for such a strategically located area at that time may have alienated all the Indian groups in the region, whereas the more neutral designation of 'park' enabled conflict between Shoshone and Sioux, and probably other Indian groups as well, to be turned to the advantage of American interests. Given the contemporary nature of frontier conflict in the region between Americans and Indians, the provocative nature of the park's creation cannot be ignored.
The end of General Grant's presidency coincided with the end of the frontier wars in the Yellowstone region and the commencement of its incorporation into the American state. In 1880, the Yellowstone Land District was declared, and a land office opened in Miles City, some 300 kilometres north-east of the park on the banks of the Yellowstone River. All land in the district, excluding Indian reservations, was opened up for settlement, and public expenditure to facilitate that settlement began. In the half-decade between 1878 and 1882, Congress authorised the expenditure of a total of $110 000 in the region, half of this in the park itself, and the rest on surveys and 'improvements' of the Yellowstone River.
NEW SOUTH WALES AND THE 'SECOND OLDEST IN THE WORLD'
The creation of The National Park at Port Hacking in New South Wales occurred in 1879, when the only American reference to national parks was a single line buried within a large federal Appropriation Bill of 1878. It seems very unlikely that the colonial politicians and civil servants in Sydney at that time were aware of this reference and sufficiently attracted by it to simply apply it, unchallenged and unacknowledged, to their colonial environment. In fact, the use of the term in New South Wales also requires further explanation than has been the case.
In April 1879, 18 000 acres (7 284 ha) of land at Port Hacking was "...reserved from sale for a National Park." by the Lieutenant Governor under the Crown Lands Alienation Act 1861 (NSW Government Gazette, 4.4.1879, p1591). Three weeks later, a further notice in the Gazette named eleven trustees of the reserve appointed under the Public Parks Act 1854 (NSW Government Gazette, 26.4.1879, p.1924). Section 4 of the Crown Lands Alienation Act under which the reserve was made allowed lands to be "...reserved from sale...for the preservation of water supply or other public purposes [and] dedicated or reserved accordingly.". By this fairly ambiguous 'other public purposes' section the land was withdrawn from sale or occupation by settlers, but its designation as a public park was derived from the Public Parks Act which provided for the management by local trustees of "...lands granted for or dedicated to purposes of public recreation convenience health and enjoyment." In 1880, the land was "...dedicated for the purposes of public recreation...", and in 1886 was proclaimed to be a public park with the name of 'National Park' (NSW Government Gazette, 3.8.1880, and 16.4.1886, p.2799).
By this process the land at Port Hacking was set aside for a public park. Just what was meant by a 'national' park at the time, however, is unclear, although it is much more likely to be derived from local rather than American factors. What was made clear in the 1886 proclamation was that National Park was the name of a particular park rather than a certain category or type of park. Its status as a park was derived from legislation much more akin to other colonial legislation, such as the Public Parks (Ireland) Act 1869, rather than from a site-specific law as in the case of Yellowstone. Other notable differences are that Yellowstone was remote from any urban centres, whereas National was close to Australia's biggest city; that National was created by a local authority rather than a central authority as with Yellowstone; and that Yellowstone was created in a period characterised by post-civil war reconstruction, while National was created in a period characterised by post-gold rush affluence. The use of the term 'national park' was arrived at in the United States and in New South Wales by different routes for different reasons.
This then leads to the obvious question: how did the term come into use in New South Wales? There was, between the 1840s and 1880s, a persistent debate in the colony that involved the use of the term 'national'. The debate related generally to education, and more specifically to questions of who would provide schooling and what would be the curriculum used (NSW Dept. of School Education, 1993, pp6-7). It is in this context that the use of the term 'National School' assumes importance. The National System of education was introduced into Ireland by Lord Stanley, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, in 1831. Its fundamental principal was that children of all religious denominations could be admitted to the same school, and be taught those sections of religious scripture common to all Christian faiths. The aim of the national system was to promote the introduction of schools to small towns where the provision of separate denominational schools was not feasible because of small enrolments, and so relieve the government of subsidising the many small church schools. This, in turn, would enable a sufficient salary (from school fees) to be provided to obtain good quality teachers, provide for the training of teachers and inspection of schools, and generally promote harmony and good-will between the different denominations in the community. 'National', in this sense, sought to overcome communal differences by defining people according to their geographical place of residence rather than their religious beliefs.
Governor Bourke attempted to introduce the 'Irish National System' in the 1830s, but religious opposition prevented this until 1848, when Governor Fitzroy appointed the first Board of National Education to establish and run a system of public education. The first National Schools were established in areas without any church schools, and it gradually became accepted that the state had a role to play in providing education. National Schools gradually spread throughout the colony over the next two decades, and in 1866 the Public Schools Act 1866, renamed them Public Schools. This Act maintained state aid to church schools, but debate continued, and in 1874 the Public School League was formed in Sydney to lobby for "...national, free, secular and compulsory..." schooling. The League stated in its manifesto that its "...first and chief aim...is to make education universal by adopting a national and uniform system..." ('Manifesto...', in Barcan, 153-154). 'National' now meant that everyone should have available to them the same opportunities regardless of denomination or place of residence - a national system would equip all children with the same skills needed for the colony's future development, and thus remained an important concept in public debate during the 1870s. In late 1878, a new government was formed under Premier Henry Parkes, with educational reform high on the agenda.
In July 1879, the Catholic Bishops in the colony issued a pastoral letter condemning national education and public schools as
...seedplots of future immorality, infedility, and lawlesness, being calculated to debase the standard of human excellence, and to corrupt the political, social and individual life of future citizens." (quoted in Barcan, 165).In October 1879, the government retaliated, introducing the Public Instruction Bill into Parliament which provided for compulsory education, established a Department of Public Instruction, and withdrew state aid from church schools. The bill became law, and the first minister appointed to head the new department was Sir John Robertson.
It was during this period of debate and legislative action on the question of national education that the land was reserved at Port Hacking for a national park. The first chairman of the trustees appointed to manage the national park was Sir John Robertson. It is in this highly charged and emotive local context that the national park came into being, and it can be fairly assumed that the 'national' aspect of the park was clearly meant to indicate that this was to be a park open to all the people of the colony, and particularly of Sydney, regardless of religion or residence or class. It is highly unlikely that the nascent American idea of a national park being a park administered by the national, or federal, government had much influence on the creation and naming of the national park at Port Hacking.
Most writers of the National Park's history have attributed its foundation to Sir John Robertson, and at least one of his biographers has made a similar attribution within the context of Robertson's public life at the time (Nairn, 45). Robertson's political leanings were that of a colonial liberal, and from the 1850s land reform, free trade, abolition of state aid to religion and national education formed the basis of his platform. For Robertson, land reform meant enabling small settlers with limited capital to have access to land for agriculture, even when that land was already covered by pastoral leases. Robertson was not a revolutionary seeking to overthrow the squattocracy, but stressed the interdependence of farmers and graziers in promoting the colony's prosperity. The Crown Lands Alienation Act 1861 was sponsored by Robertson with these reforms in mind, but tensions remained between farmers and pastoralists. In 1866, he lost his seat of West Sydney when he was blamed for reserving crown lands from selection until it had been surveyed for water supply or other public purposes. His argument that this was in the public interest was drowned out by accusations that he was using this process to support the squatters. He was also accussed of being a Fenian, but balanced his sectarian views by being a member of both the Irish National League and the Freemasons. In December 1878, Robertson accepted the posts of Vice President of the Executive Council and leader of the government in the Legislative Council under premier Sir Henry Parkes, and from this position he influenced much of the legislative program of the government until his resignation in November 1881.
Clearly, Robertson was in a position to decisively influence events associated with the reservation of the park lands at Port Hacking in 1879, and it is ironic that the very section of the Act that had been Robertson's downfall in 1866 was now used to facilitate the development of a whole new concept in the colony's land use. Just as clearly, Robertson's beliefs included a commitment to some idea of the public interest and he was, as Nairn puts it, "...the great apostle of social equilibrium through land justice."(42). His interest in the development of the national park precipitated his departure from colonial politics when, in 1886, he was injured while working in the park. He resigned from Parliament soon after, and later argued against the movement towards federation, adding a final twist of irony in the story of the founder of the 'national' park.
BUT WHAT ABOUT NEW ZEALAND?
The Pacific, of course, is not an empty region of the globe. During the nineteenth century, the islands of the southern Pacific were colonised by several European powers. The islands now called New Zealand were vaguely considered a part of British New South Wales prior to 1841 when, following the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between British and Maori representatives, the country was constituted as a separate colony. Unlike the situation in Australia, the British recognised the native title rights of the indigenous Maori, and a system for the orderly purchase and transfer of land title from the Maori to the Crown was developed. It was within this framework that the development of New Zealand's first national park began in 1887, a year after the National Park was officially named in New South Wales, and a year after Yellowstone Park was transferred to the control of the United States Army Department. The development of Tongariro National Park followed a course closer to the American experience rather than that in New South Wales, possibly because of the similarity of imperial expansion via the piecemeal treaty system of ceding native title to places in the United States and New Zealand rather than the blanket approach of terra nullius.
Tongariro is located in the mountainous volcanic heart of the North Island. The name Tongariro originally referred to a group of volcanoes sacred to the Tuwharetoa people who maintained an effective tapu (sacred prohibition) over the area until the 1880s. Conflict between Maori and Pakeha (European) during the 1860s had been followed by the commencment of a government policy of conficscating the land of 'rebels'. These confiscations deprived several maori iwi (tribes) of their lands to the north, north west, south west and east of Tongariro. A system of Native Land Courts was established to determine Maori ownership of land and its subsequent disposal. Most of the confiscated 'rebel' land was transfered to Crown ownership, and from there sold off to settlers, with other less agriculturally productive parcels being redistributed to 'loyal' tribes. Between 1879 and November 1881, a large Maori settlement west of Tongariro at Parihaka became an increasingly stubborn obstacle to greater settlement of the Taranaki plains and was forceably occupied by government forces. The settlement was broken up and its inhabitants forced away (Riseborough). In the aftermath, Tuwharetoa ownership of Tongariro was increasingly questioned at Native Land Court hearings by 'loyal' tribes who accused the Tuwharetoa chief, Te Heu Heu IV Horonuku of actively assisting 'rebel' leaders, such as Te Kooti on the East Coast in the 1870s and Te Whiti at Parihaka. A son-in-law of Te Heu Heu and member of parliament for Tauranga, Lawrence Grace, suggested that the Tongariro volcanoes be presented to the Queen to be protected in perpetuity as a national park. Grace apparently argued that this would restored Te Heu Heu's chiefly prestige among both Maori and Pakeha as well as prevent rival claims to ownership of the land (Temple, 36).
Accordingly, Te Heu Heu ceded some 2 633ha to the Queen by a deed-of-gift dated 23 September 1887, and the next day the Native Land Court sitting at Tapuaeharuru made an order defining the boundaries of the ceded land (Tongariro Act, preamble and schedule). The only mention of Te Heu Heu's gift in the New Zealand parliament came later in 1887, when a skeptical Andrew Graham, member for East Coast, asked that there be tabled in the house
...a return, with tracing attached, showing the acerage now owned by the Government, as freehold or otherwise, in Tongariro National Park; what it had cost from first to last; and if there be any conditions, and, if so, what, attached to the land now said to belong to the Government. (Parliamentary Debates [NZ], 30 November 1887)The salient point to note is the accepted use of the term national park when the only precedents available were the National Park in New South Wales and Yellowstone (National) Park in America. Elements of both the settlement of frontier wars and of the need to build a new colonial consensus can be seen.
It was not until 1894 that the New Zealand government finally designated the land officially as Tongariro National Park. Once again, the interplay of Maori-Pakeha land politics can be seen in the determining of Tongaririo's national status. In 1893, Hone Heke, member of parliament for Northern Maori, told an interviewer that
...the native races...are dissatisfied, and...now take a deep and absorbing interest in the land question - a personal interest... We would welcome [European] settlement but for the unfair terms imposed upon us by acts of Parliament... (Hone Heke 1893).The following year, parliament threw out the Native Rights Bill sponsored by Hone Heke providing for Maori self-rule on Maori lands (McIntyre & Gardner, 164-5). During the same session, parliament dealt with the Lands Improvement and Native Lands Acquisition Act, the Native Land Claims and Boundaries Adjustment and Titles Empowering Act, the Native Land Court Act, the Native Land Court Certificate Confirmation Act and the Native Land (Validation of Titles) Act Amendment Act (Statutes of New Zealand, 1894). Far from agreeing with concepts of Maori self-government, the colonial parliament acted to strengthen the settlers grip on the country's land. The Tongariro Act extinguished any remaining native title within the park boundaries and authorised compensation for any remaining native interests. It also established Trustees for the park able to exercise management powers confered under the Public Domains Act 1881, and provided for the Governor to issue 'special regulations' for the administration of the park (Tongariro Act, ss.2, 4 and 5). Despite these legal proceedings, it was not until 1909 that the Main Trunk Railway began to provide public access to the park, and not until 1922 that the first effective park board began providing tracks, huts and rangers for visitor comfort.
I. Primary Materials
II. Secondary Materials