THE WAAH! KORERO.
NATIVE PROBLEMS. >v iA QUESTION OF POLICY.. " " (By Telegraph.—Own Correspondent.) j HUNTLY, Friday. Practically no businees was done at the. Maori meeting at Waahi to-day.- Fresh arrivals have built up the total number participating in the korero to well over 1500 people. No attempt Was made,. however, to cope with the uusiness of the conference, and the visit of the Hon. A. T. Ngata, as representative of the Government, was only made the occasion for many epeeches of welcome, poi dances and indulgence in other quaint Maori customs. On arrival, Mr. Nga'ta was welcomed as a representative of the East Coast people. The Minister's reply was that the East Coast natives had not been invited to attend, and that he was there as a representative of the Government. He was sorry the Prime Minister had been unable to make it convenient to be present, but he hoped that the Hon. James Carroll would be able to come before the meeting was over. In the meantime he wee there to hear their proposele and to assist them in putting the tsame into practical shape.' . Further speeches of welcome were delivered by the leadei-3 of different tribes represented at the conference, and the whole of the afternoon was devoted to this interesting but unprofitable course of procedure. The actual business of the korero commences at 9.30 to-morrow morning. As already stated, the area, of Native lands involved totals 656,801 acres, and of this it is proposed to lease about half, conserve a quarter for papakainga. purposes, and either farm or sell the remainder. Some 16 counties are affected, and from information gleaned this afternoon it would seem that the various tribes interested are hardly so unanimous as was at first thought in regard to the method oS disposal. The King party, with Mahuta and Kaihau at their head, are anxious to have the agreement drawn up at Ngaruawahia twelve months ago now ratified. Another section, known as the Progressives, of which Taingakawa is the recognised head, does not concur 'with the Kingite party as to the method of disposing of the land. This section holds most of the Native area 3in Piako, Tauranga, Matamata, and part of Kawhia, and they object to any suggestion that the hind should be sold. Tainga-k.-iwa's idea is that the. question of individualisation should be settled, and the Maoris themselves placed in a position to carry on farming operations on their own property. With the leader of this section in the camp are Rawhiti, Mahuta's late private secretary, and Tinohakarawa, and they will take up a stand at to-morrow'e conference on the lines that Taingakawa has laid down. This evening the Hon. Mr. Ngata and Mr. Henare Kaihau, M.P., had a long conference in connection with the business to come up for consideration tomorrow, lm nothing has been divulged as to the result of their deliberations, beyond the fact that a wire liae been sent to the Hon. James Carroll asking him can he find it convenient to attend, before the korero ends. . BUSINESS MEETING COMMENCES. . (By Telegraph.—Own Reporter.) HUNTLY, this day. The business of the conference commenced this morning. Mahuta was the first speaker, and he welcomed the Hon. A. T. Ngata as the representative of the Government, who had come to determine the policy of their lands. Henare Kaihau gave a long address, welcoming the assembled chiefs and Mr. Ngata as the Government representative. They had, he said, for years laboured under difficulties, and desired to benefit by liis advice. The Maoris could not act aparv; from the law. He welcomed Mr. Ngatn, and congratulated him on Lis accession to the Ministry, which augured well ior the -welfare of the native race, Mr. Kaihau then read the proposals already published for dealing with the 656,801 acres in which the tribes assembled are interested. Details thereof, he said, were submitted to the Native Land | Commission on the Hon. J. Carroll's request, but he did not know what the Commission had done. In the meantime many lands scheduled and: submitted had been dealt with by the Native Laud Court. Would-Mr. Ngata tell them what was required to he done to complete the reservation of papakaingas, so that the people might enter into occupation? They were, anxious to use some of the farm* lands for this purpose at once. Lands set apart fbr sale, particularly manor lands, they wished to cell. They did not wish the matter delayed till after the session. Mr. Ngata, in reply, eaid the points at issue could be reduced to one or two. The most important was what form should the administration of lands owned by the Waikato confederacy take? Mr. Kaihau had outlined. the district within which the Native committee should exercise control. Within tha* district there were two Maori land dietfricte, and two Maori land boards, Waikato and Maniapoto Tuwharetoa. Thej boards were charged to, first, investigate and approve of dealings; secondly, to administer lands vested in them. Did they ? want the Native committee to supen&ede, the boards in respect of these functions?' If so they must consider the expense of administration and other elements which apparently made boards unpopular in their districts. His opinion was that the adminitsration of papakiangas, reserves, and lands set apart for Maori farming might be entrusted to the Native committees, more particularly if titles were not individualised; but areas set apart for leasing and sale should be administered through existing machinery. Mr. Kaihau expressed his appreciation of the issues stated, and suggested referring the points to a committee. This was agreed to, and the'conference adjourned till this afternoon, when the Hon. J. Carroll and* Dr. Buck will also attend.
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