The archives of settler journalism provides us with a rich resource for engaging with some of the ‘raced’ discourses in circulation at the commencement of Britain’s colonial project in Āotearoa/New Zealand. From these early literary resources we find chronicled in the settler press evidence of a complex, contradictory and largely imagined relationship with the ‘Natives’. As the colonist confronted the ‘Native’ and authored the encounter in the settler media, he was at the same time working through social hierarchies, resource entitlements, political institutions and the face of a burgeoning indigenous contest. 

The Euronesians is a single newspaper article which appeared in 1843 in an Auckland newspaper, The Daily Southern Cross, established in the same year. This article has been analysed using a critical discourse methodology in order to understand the way in which seemingly munificent articles, that appear superficially, at least, to demonstrate a generous disposition toward the ‘Native’, are at the same time wedded to Britain’s colonising project, and work to justify, excuse, and accommodate a hegemonic white presence. At the core of critical discourse methodologies therefore is a desire to understand how language works to normalise social, economic and political domination. The discourse analyst’s methodological tool kit is therefore a set of key questions that are asked of the text. What is the background to the text? What does it say at its surface? What patterns of meaning do we find and what political work is the text doing? What is silenced? Are the patterns of meaning consistent over time? This paper addresses these questions.

An analysis of the text demonstrates that the apparent display of generosity toward those children of mixed racial parentage (Pākehā and Māori) is in fact demonstrative of a complex relationship between the seemingly contradictory discourses of cultural benevolence and appropriation. As will be demonstrated, the appearance of goodwill and concern for the ‘half-caste’, in this article, retreats into a rationale for demonstrating the untenable nature of certain obligations, protection and rights afforded to the Treaty of Waitangi signatories, which effectively precluded the colonist from the purchase of Native lands. The article ‘The Euronesians’ is partially reproduced along with the punctuation and editing used in the original publication. The use of ‘native’ using the lower case was standard form of the day

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