Stout Research Centre Seminar by Sandra Thomas (Wellington, 17 October 2018)

Sandra Thomas will present a paper as part of the Stout Research Roundup Seminar Series this October. See details below:

What price loyalty?  The Compensation Court’s operations in South Auckland and the Waikato 1865-1867

The New Zealand Settlements Act 1863 enabled confiscation of land from Maori in the Waikato and South Auckland as a punishment for “rebellion”.  Inevitably the land of Maori who had not joined the King was included in confiscated blocks.  The settler government, cognisant of this collateral effect, established a court in 1865 – the Compensation Court – to award cash compensation to “loyal Maori” for their involuntary losses.  The Court would determine whether an applicant had an interest in a particular piece of confiscated land, whether or not they had been in rebellion, and the market value of their interest. In 1866 the Court was also enabled to award land. There has been relatively little written about the Compensation Court and much of it focusses on the awards of land, its conversion from customary to individual titles, and the relationship between the Compensation Court and the nascent Native Land Court. But what of those Maori who received only cash compensation for their loyalty? How and why were they treated so poorly?

About the speaker:

Sandra Thomas is a PhD candidate with the Stout Centre and will present some preliminary findings about the operation of the Compensation Court in the South Auckland blocks in 1865 – the period before the Court could award compensation in land.  Her interest in this area arises out of her role, in 1990, as a research assistant, contributing to the creation of the Raupatu Document Bank (in particular Volumes 100-110 which deal with the Compensation Court records) and as a member of the Crown team assisting Hon Doug Graham in the Waikato-Tainui negotiations which led to the settlement in 1995.  Since that time she has worked as a public servant in the Justice sector and more recently as a family lawyer. She completed a BA (Hons) in History and Political Science in 1988 and an LLB in 1999 at Victoria University of Wellington.

Date: Wednesday 17 October 2018
4.10 p.m. – Tea and Coffee at 3.45pm
Stout Research Centre Seminar Room, 12 Waiteata Road, Kelburn