17 FEBRUARY 1855, Page 13


Orra last resume of political news from New Zealand painted the state of affairs in that colony in somewhat gloomy colours. The acting Governor was left, at Auckland, in the painful position of having made an imperfect attempt to institute "responsible govern- ment," and of having incurred an almost laughable failure, through the joint effect of official reluctance to do the thing thoroughly, of overstrained finesse on the part of some promoters of the principle, and of possibly an overstrained punctilio on the part of others. The Government, in fact, had come to a nonplus; legislation was at a dead lock; and no party seemed able to proceed without reducing its action ad absurdum. Now, however, both from the colony and from the governing department at home, we have more satisfactory and cheering information. Parties in the Legislative Assembly cut the gordian knot by a very simple but not a very common resort —they had the good sense to leave off quarrelling, and to set to work with the object of doing as much as they could in the way of useful legislation before the Assembly broke up for the season. Accordingly, during the last fortnight they sat early and late, voted estimates liberally, passed a waste lands bill, a marriage bill, and other measures for which there was a practical necessity. The acting Governor prorogued the Assembly in a conciliatory speech, on the 16th of September, until the 9th of July next; and the Southern members rushed to their homes.

From what followed, it will be seen that Colonel Wynyard, "the officer administering the government," really deserved full credit for the spirit in which he was acting. Through a well-in- formed and trustworthy channel we learn that he had redeemed his pledge to the colonists, by sending home a strong recommend- ation that responsible government should be conceded in the form that the colonists had desired,—namely, that the heads of the de- partments should be individuals possessing the confidence of the House of Representatives. To the Colonial Office we must con- cede its share of merit: the principle recommended by Colonel Wynyard was adopted at once, and instructions, we understand, have been sent to the colony to carry it out.

Moreover, a new Governor has been appointed for the colony— Colonel Gore Browne, who was lately Governor of St. Helena; and of whom we have heard, through more than one channel, such ac- counts as induce us to believe that he is a highly intelligent and upright man, with strong aspirations to do good. Our informant says, from personal knowledge, that Colonel Browne is imbued with "the right principles" for his task, is heartily in favour of responsible government, approves of an elected Upper Chamber in place of a nominee Council, and altogether promises to be the best and most popular Governor New. Zealand has yet seen. He is at present in London, and is to sail for New Zealand early in ApriL Having lately reflected the dark picture which the colonists sent home to us, we have now great pleasure in holding up a light, which may cast a more hopeful tint upon the prospect.