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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Maning, Frederick Edward

Maning, Frederick Edward, late Native Lands Court Judge, New Zealand, was the eldest son of Frederick Maning, of Johnville, co. Dublin, Ireland, at which place he was born on July 5th, 1812. His father, attracted by the free grants of land to settlers in Van Diemen's Land, emigrated with his family to that colony, arriving at Hobart in the ship Ardent on May 24th, 1824. His son, being of an adventurous spirit, went to New Zealand in 1833, when twenty-one years of age. New Zealand was not then a British colony, but Mr. Maning acquired land from the Ngapuhi tribe at Hokianga, and took up his residence among the Maoris at Onaki, and rapidly acquired a thorough acquaintance with the laws and customs of the Maoris. This led to his being appointed a judge in the Native Lands Court, in which capacity he served for many years. He had lived among the Maoris, and looked upon himself as a "Pakeha Maori," by which name he was generally known. He published an interesting book embodying his experiences among the natives, called "Old New Zealand, by a Pakeha Maori." This is regarded as the most admirable picture of life in New Zealand in the olden time ever issued; it was republished in London in 1876, with a preface by the Earl of Pembroke. Mr. Maning died in London on July 25th, 1883. His only other published work was a small book entitled "The War in the North," which gave an account of the first Maori insurrection under Honi Heki and its suppression by the Imperial forces. The story is told from the Maori point of view. It is appended to Lord Pembroke's edition of "Old New Zealand." Judge Maning married a Maori wife. He rendered considerable services to the English in the Honi Heki war in 1845, and later in the war of 1861, which he was able to do from his great influence with the Ngapuhi tribe, the most powerful and advanced tribe in New Zealand, amongst whom he was naturalised.