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THE STATION AND THE LAI CHIEF. STORES or THE MACLEANS HOSTS OF THE "SWAGGIES." (By J.C.) "One of my guests," said Sir Dou»L Maclean as met a swagger on °tl hill road inland from Hastings, Hawke Bay. when we were driving back fro & visit to Marae-Kakaho station one da last year. And my good and kind friend told some anecdotes of his expei ence with swagmen in his half centui of ownership of the big sheep run. "Son ef the very best m-en we ever had on tl Station," he said, "cams there wit swags on their backs. A good class < fellow we always took on if we had job going, and some of them were thei for years." The standing instruction to the static manager is to give food for tea an breakfast, and a bunk, to every swagg< calling there. And sometimes Marai Kakaho has entertained as many a twenty-two swaggers in a night. Mos trampers looking for a job whom on encounters on the road from Napier an Hastings to the hill country is bound fc the patriarchal Maclean estate. Now Marae-Kakaho knows its chief n more. Sir Douglas was laid to rest th other day on the beautiful hilltop i Napier town by the side of his famou father, Sir Donald Maclean, and his sol dier son, who was a captain in th Cameron Highlanders in the Great Wai tnd who eame home to die from th after-effect* of iroundj and sickness. A Great Landed Estate. Sir Douglas Maclean was only twenty firs or so when hia father died, worn ou by the strain of public affairs (and th. son used to declare, prematurely aged b 1 the unscrupulous attacks of his politica opponents), and he had to unravel thi tangle of native leases and incompleti titles and build up the estate that Si Donald had pioneered. Marae-Kakahi stands to-day as probably the bes example of a great all-round station foi purebred sheep, cattle and horses in th' Island. He grew old with the growth o: his fine estate, and as he grew old h« delighted to see his many employee! happy and contented. I have never hearc of a more generous employer among ths big estate owners. Douglas Maclean wa.< no niggard with his wealth, and h; expended it to a very large degree in helping on his feljow-men. Many i farmer in Hawke's Bay and outside if to-day owes his start in life to the chiei of Marae-Kakaho. The Township "Marae." That day at the station homestead, 'ying well to ths sun among its great shelter plantations and orchards, Six Douglas took me first to see the "community heart" of. Marae-Kakaho. Here are a school and a church hall, on a green terrace above the clear little river that flows past the homestead and the woolsheds. Other buildings stand around —the dwellings of some of the station employees. Sir Douglas had the church hall put up at his own expense, and he and the residents furnished it. It is the social gathering-place on week days as well as Sundays. Here the Maori word "marae" strikes one as particularly appropriate. The marae, or village assembly ground, the square among the houses, was the gathering-place of tribe or hapu. And along the river bank the "kakaho," the toetoe or pampas grass, once waved its plumes abundantly; hence the place-name which has puzzled to many of the overseas and colonial visitors to the Maclean, estate. Here at the entrance to the homestead grounds are other buildings which go to make a little township on the station— a peat office and store and an accommo-dation-house for business travellers —all • form part of the big business of running ■e. great wool and meat and purebred stock estate. Sir Donald Maclean's Work. As we walked about the place and Sir Douglas described early-days efforts in . breaking in the back-country and perfecting the station, stories inevitably came of the great founder of the stockraising establishment, who in his day the most successful administrator of Maori affairs. Sir Donald Maclean was eight times Native Minister, and ' it was he who finally established peace between Maori and pakeha. A little detail of name-spelling may as well he made clear. Probably no Scottish Highland name is so variously spelled as Maclean. The correct orthography of the Marae-Kakaho family name is as I have given it, Maclean, without a capital after the "Mac." But there are at least eight other spellings used by various branches of the clan, as given in the Lochbuie Papers, a celebrated Scottish record; viz., Maclayne, McLean, Maclain, McLain, McLeane, Macllean, Mclain and Machine. Highlander and Maori. They were a warrior folk, these Macs whose remote ancestor was a certain Lain or Lean; and the warlike traits of the Scottish clans young Donald Maclean found exactly reproduced among the Maoris when he landed in New Zealand ninety ago. Small wonder that "Te Makarini," as the Maoris quickly christened him, speedily came to entertain a lively sympathy with the natives and to learn their language and enter into their ways of thought. He became able to appreciate the Maori point of view, to place himself in the position of the Maori w hen occasion called, and to understand the peculiar workings of native mentality. He was thus soon qualified to play a leading part in the early negotiations with the native tribes for lands, and in the pacification of war-loving elements in the population. From the earlv position of Protector of Aborigines he graduated to that of Chief Government Native Agent; he became the firs: Superintendent of Hawke's Bay pro rince. When he entered Parliament he was so successful as Native Minister that Cabinets might come and_ go, but whatever changes there were in ot er positions Maclean was repeated y wanted for Native Affairs, irrespective . ef the political colour. His own political £reed rose high above narrowness ana J,

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Bibliographic details

MARAE-KAKAHO., Auckland Star, Volume LX, Issue 46, 23 February 1929

Word Count

MARAE-KAKAHO. Auckland Star, Volume LX, Issue 46, 23 February 1929