The Constitution of New Zealand: Despatch From Sir George Grey to the Right Hon. Earl Grey (Classic Reprint)
The subject of colonial federation having again come to the front, it has been thought desirable to republish a despatch written more than forty years ago upon this question.
The result of that despatch was the enactment by the British Parliament of 'An Act to grant a Representative Constitution to the Colony of New Zealand.' This was the most liberal constitution which had at that time been conferred upon any British Colony, and formed the basis of the constitution given to Canada.
The Colonial Minister, Sir John Packington, in transmitting to the Governor the New Zealand Constitution Act, July 16th, 1852, informed him as follows: - 'They Her Majesty's Government are, in fact, well assured that the measure itself, now reduced into a law, owes its shape in great degree to your valuable suggestions. It has been thought advisable that the Provincial Councils should consist of a single Chamber, consisting wholly of elected members.
'Her Majesty's Government determined on submitting to Parliament another suggestion, originated by yourself, although not actually reduced by you into practice, that of rendering the Superintendents of Provinces elective. They are aware that this is an innovation on ordinary usage. But they have not, on this account, thought it necessary to withhold what they have every reason to believe will be regarded by the colonists as a valuable concession, whilst they feel a confident hope that the electors will form the best judgment as to the persons qualified to serve the public interest in offices for which a knowledge of the wants and circumstances of each locality is peculiarly necessary.
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