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George Gipps

George Gipps (1791-1847, Governor of New South Wales 1837-1846) had his commission altered by Letters Patent in 1839 and was reappointed as Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief in and over the territory of New South Wales, the new boundaries of which included any land that might be acquired in sovereignty in New Zealand.

This was intended as a temporary measure to safeguard the administration of such lands until permanent arrangements were made. These permanent arrangements occurred on 18 November 1840 when, only two weeks after hearing that sovereignty had been acquired over New Zealand, the Imperial Government issued Letters Patent creating New Zealand as a separate colony with its own Governor, Hobson.

After Hobson had sailed from Sydney for New Zealand, Gipps issued a proclamation on 19 January 1840 extending his own jurisdiction to land acquired in sovereignty in New Zealand and proclaiming that no further private land purchases from Māori would be acknowledged by the Crown. When Hobson fell ill on 1 March 1840, Gipps appointed Major Thomas Bunbury to command a detachment of soldiers to support Hobson's authority and to be prepared to assume the Lieutenant-Governorship if Hobson was incapacitated or died. Gipps provided Hobson with wise advice and the means to carry out his role, especially against the strong and determined efforts of the New Zealand Company settlers resisting the imposition of government over them.

How to cite this page

George Gipps, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated