In bringing forth any work which appeals to the public for encouragement and support, it is customary to offer explanations of the plan and principles by which its conductors intend to be guided. We should adhere to this time-honoured observance, had we not already spoken sufficiently of ourselves in the "Prospectus" which has been for some time before the public, and which will be found in our present issue.
Click here to see how this editorial looked in print in 1863.
We this morning enter upon a new career, with an anxious but hopeful confidence in the success of the undertaking upon which we have adventured. We believe that the field is already sufficiently wide to afford us room; and it is daily becoming demonstrable that that field is rapidly expanding. We have regulated our plans so that we may be able to keep pace with the spirit and requirements of the time.
We enter upon our duties at an eventful era - one unquestionably of immediate anxiety, but whose troubles once disposed of, the prosperity of every Province of New Zealand will, we feel assured, be established upon a basis that will push forward the Colony to a foremost position amid the southern dependencies of the British Empire.
The native rebellion, though the most prominent and not the least important, is not the only question that agitates New Zealand. Of the war and its incidents we shall spare neither cost nor care to keep our readers fully, promptly and reliably posted; and with that view we have made and shall continue to make every necessary arrangement.
There is another and vital question which quickens the colonial pulse from the North Cape to the Bluff, and which the Government are seeking to set at rest, dealing with it in the most considerate and conciliatory spirit. That question is the better government of the Middle Island, on which an animated and adjourned debate in the House of Representatives has already taken place. In the course of the arguments employed, allusions to removal of the seat of government from Auckland, of possible separation of the Northern and Southern Islands, were made. There were likewise passing remarks on the Constitution Act, its alteration and amendment; indefinite notions expressed of Provincial Councils and Superintendents, of well-regulated municipalities - these hints, coupled with the presentation of a petition for repeal of the New Provinces Act, and the desire of the Auckland Provincial Council that the Superintendent shall be one of the Council's election, are all suggestive of inroads upon, if not the eventual overthrow of, the Constitution Act, and of a possible construction of but two Provinces, comprising the Northern and Southern Islands, after an improved form of the two original Provinces of New Ulster and New Munster. Much temper, great forbearance, and thoughtful discrimination will be necessary to constitute a form of legislature such as, without injustice done to Auckland, shall prove satisfactory to the Middle Island. To Auckland the equitable adjustment of this exceedingly delicate question is not one whit less momentous than the successful extinction of the native rebellion; and it is one which shall engage our utmost forethought and consideration.
To the affairs of the New Zealand at large, as our title indicates, we shall bestow unwearied attention. Even with such distracting questions as the seat of government, and possible separation, there is an evident and an honourable anxiety on the part of representatives, both of the North and South, to inculcate the old and wholesome precept, "Union is strength". Frequency and improvement in the means of steam communication will smooth away many asperities and fortify us in the good and kindly opinion we are entertaining of each other. An honourable and manly rivalry in the race of competition is fairly setting in, and the day is not very remote when New Zealand will win, and wear her as yet premature appellation, "The Britain of the South". We have said sufficient. We shall strive hard to fulfill every promise made or implied. It cannot be expected that every arrangement shall be rendered perfect on the instant, but every care shall be bestowed whether in our literary or mechanical departments, to deserve a share of the public support which we now most respectfully venture to solicit.