BIG MAORI CONGRESS.
. . . GATHERING AT HUNTLY. It is expected that one of the biggest Maori gatherings on record will eventuate at Huntly on Thursday, when some 2000 natives will assemble to consider questions of importance to the Maori race. King Mahuta has convened the gathering, and most of the leading tribes have signified their intention of taking part in the great korero.
The object of the meeting will be to principally confer upon the question of settling unoccupied native lands, and it is proposed that the legislation passed last session shall at once be put into operation.
The leaders of the movement, it is understood, will urge the immediate adoption of the system by which onethird of .the native land shall be conserved for the Maoris, one third leased, and the remaining third sold. In order to expedite the settlement of the vast unoccupied areas, it will also be proposed that a census be taken, whereby it shall be accurately ascertained how many natives there are in each country or district, and what the exact area of ther native land is. A further proposal is that when this information is secured, legislation should be brought to bear, by which the natives still holding unimproved land will be subject to extra taxation. The meeting now in progress at Tokaanu is only a forerunner to the Huntly gathering, and there will be representatives of the following tribes at the korero, which commences on ThursI day:-—.Xgatimaru, Ngatirangi, Ngatii haua, Ngatituwharetoa (Eake Taupo), ! Ngatiawa, and Taranaki.
The Hon. A. T. Ngata will be present, and a wire was sent by Mr. Henare Kaihau, M.P., to the Prime Minister, Sir Joseph Ward, inviting him to be present. Sir Joseph wired in reply that he was much interested jn the gathering about to take place at Huntly, and that he will inquire what Ministers can be present.
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