Parliamentary Papers. CORRESPONDENCE RELATIVE TO LAND PURCHASES, DISTRICT OF NAPIER.
No. 1. THE CHIEF COMMISSIONER TO THE HON, THE COLONIAL SECRETARY, NEW MUNSTER. Ahuriri, December 21, 1850. Sir, — I take advantage of a small schooner, the Rose, sailing direct for Wellington, to report that I arrived from Manawatu at te Waipukurau,*the central Ahuriri plains, on the 11th inst. On the 13th, the whole of the principal chiefs from Ahuriri and the surrounding settlements assembled to meet me, and on the 18th they agreed at a public meeting to dispose of a tract of land, the boundaries of which have been given to me in writing by Te Hapuku, the principal chief. On the morning of the 16th I went out with a body of Natives to examine the boundaries and take formal possession of the block offered, for sale ; afterwards I proceeded with Te Hapuku to Patangata, thence to Te Aute, where a small but beautiful tract of land was offered to me by the Natives, for a portion of which Messrs. Northwood and Tiffin agreed to pay them £60 a year, as will be seen by a correspondence herewith enclosed. ... I am glad to see that the leasing of land from the natives, which was becoming general, has been entirely prohibited in this district; the chiefs, after various arguments in favor of the system, agreed to co-operate with me in carrying out the provisions of the Native Land Purchase Ordinance, Session 7, No. 19. Yesterday I had a large meeting of natives at Ahuriri, when they described the boundaries of the land they have for some time wished to dispose of to the Government. There is now sufficient employment for two active surveyors to mark off the Native reserves and cut the external boundaries, where there ia no river or other natural feature to mark them. I may here be permitted to add that I should feel most happy if His Excellency would secure Mr. Park's services for conducting this survey, as he is not only an excellent hand at managing Natives, but he is both practical, correct, and expeditious in carrying out any duty with which he is entrusted. Natives to join the surveyors can be employed here at a moderate rate. It is essentially necessary that the utmost expedition should be used to acquire this splendid district, which is peculiarly adapted for sheep grazing, and which would be readily taken up by the Wairarapa settlers, whose flocks are increasing so rapidly that they must shortly have an outlet for them. I find also that an excellent line of road at a comparatively small expense could be carried across the country to Manawatu. and there is every probability that the central Ahuriri plains about the Waipukurau, will eventually become the site of a flourishing little English settlement ; there is abundance of wood, water, and rich soil in that vicinity. <■ . ■ Hoping you will excuse this hurried communication, I have, &c, Donald McLean, Land Commissioner. The Hon. the - /, ; Colonial Secretary, Wellington. Enclosure No. 1 in No. 1. Waipukurau, 14th December, 1850. Sir, — Understanding that you are close at- hand, and that you have been recently leasing land from the Natives for sheep runs, I should feel obliged if you would make it convenient to cpme up here to see me on the subject, as I am not able to go your length, from having a large Native meeting at this place to-day. I have, &c, Donald McLean. — . Tiffen, Esq., Ahuriri. Enclosure No. 2 in No. 1. Te Waipukurau, Dec. 16, 1850. Sir, — The- native chiefs Paraoiie, Hoani, Morena, Te Waka, and others, informed me that you have been entering into arrangements with them to lease tracts of land for sheep runs, that one or two of your flocks have actually arrived within a mile of this place where I am negociating with the aforesaid chiefs for the purchase of land,a«d that you have obtained their consent and signatures to a lease for a certain run for 21 years at . (£6O) sixty pounds a year. I need scarcely tell you that these unauthorised arrangements entail various evils, besides operating against purchases of land by the Government ,• moreover, they are a direct violation of the Native Land Purchase Ordinance, Session 7, No. 19, the provisions of which I am directed to carry into effect. I have distinctly l and publicly given notice to the chiefs that the Government will not sanction the leasing of land from the natives in this district; therefore that they must consider your 1 lease as cancelled, as no flockholders can be.peiv '• mitted to run their sheep here untilthe Govern-: " ment arrangements for the purchase of. land are' ;: completed. ' • ; : ■ r " ••■ ; I have therefore to request that you will niake ' '■ ' early preparations to remove your sheep fromthe Ahuriri plains. '.;:..;.••.' I have, &c, . " ;1 ' Donald M'Lean, ' ■; i; ' v ' Eesident Magistrate. ■ ' — . Tiffen, Esq. ' ;" i •' Enclosure No. 3 in No. 1. :••-■■-.••- December 17, 1850. Sir, — I fully expected to have met you before leaving for Ahuriri, when I should explain moi'e . fully to you the necessity there exists of your sheep being removed from here, and I feel certain that a verbal intimation to that effect would have been sufficient, but, having spoken to the native chiefs on the subject, I thought it ne'ces- ; sary that you should at once. r be officially informed of the, intentions of Government in reference to leasing runs in this district.I have, &c. Donald M'Lean.' — . Tiffen, Esq., Ahuriri.
CHIEF COMMISSIONER TO THE HON. THE COLONIAL SECKETABY, WELLINGTON.
Ahuriri, December 28, 1850. Sir, — I had the honor to address you on the 21st by the schooner Eose, stating that I had held several meetings with the Natives of this district, at which they agreed to dispose of certain tracts of land, and that there was sufficient employment for two surveyors, to survey the external boundaries, estimate the extent of the purchases, and mark off the Native reserves. My reasons for applying for two surveyors are, first, to expedite, as much as possible, the negotiations in which I am employed in this district, in order that a country may be opened up for the "Wairarapa settlers, in which most of them may he able to obtain runs from the Government, and •discontinue, without much disadvantage to themselves; the -present system of leasing from the •; Secondly, Hapuku, the principal chief, would be'exceedingly jealous and displeased, if the land offered' by a rival chief Tareha, should be surveyed Before his, .which is forty miles distant ; althou'gh'it is essential that Tareha's land, in the neighbourhood 6f the Ahuriri harbour, where settlers are most likely to form their earliest establishment, should, if there is only one surveyor, be attended to first. By carrying on simultaneous surveys this jea-lousy-could be avoided, and from the preliminary arrangements which I shall make, awaiting further instructions, I hope to be -able to superintend both parties, and conduct the service at less expense of both time and means, than would eventually result from having only one surveyor. The inland boundary of the Ahuriri block borders on the Taupo country, which will render a distinct survey of that part very necessary, if His Excellency favors this application by sending •surveyors. Shortly, I shall write to the Taupo claimants to meet me at the interior boundary, to prevent their raising fresh claims or future •difficulties. The blocks of land offered for sale by the Natives are not extensive, but as the tribes with whom I am negotiating are claimants to large tracts of unoccupied country, extending from Hawke's Bay to Manawatu and Wairarapa, I am in hopes that the Government may be enabled to •carry on purchasing steadily towards these districts. The acquisition of the Ahuriri country "will of itself be of great importance, from possessing the safest, and I may say only, harbour on this side of the island, between Wellington and Turanga on the North East Coast. Until the surveys are progressed, and the country further •explored, I cannot convey any idea of the terms j of payment to be submitted for the consideration of Government! The proximity of Wairarapa renders the ideas ■ of 'the Natives most extravagant on this subject. >;: ;U: . : I have, &c, \ '■ -'■--' Donald McLean, ' :: 4 ' '-• Land Commissioner, j The Hon. the .Colonial Secretary, , j : Wellington, : : '•
No. 3. • i THE CHIEF COMMISSIONER TO THE HONORABLE THE COLONIAL SECRETARY, WELLINGTON. Hawke's Bay, Jan. 23, 1851. Sir, — I have the honor to report that since my i letters of the 21st and 28th" ultimo, the Natives of Ahuriri have agreed to sell another fine district of land in .extension of the block offered by them at the .public -meeting held at the Waipukurau, the particulars of which I have already communicated. ■ , . There are several portions of land such as the . head land, and water frontage, at the Ahuriri river and harbour, which the natives are retaining for the purposes of fishing and trading, and which, together with some belts of timber reserved by them, it would be very desirable to purchase, even at a higher price than is usually paid, for waste lands. Wood is rather scarce in this district, and the land about the harbour would be indispensable for the purpose of a Government settlement. To prevent the expense of future negotiations, and obviate &ie difficulty of hereafter acquiring land when its value is enhanced by the location of English settlers, I shall act until further orders under the impression that it is the desire of Government to acquire, consistently with a due regard to the interests of the Natives, as great an extent of land, especially between this and Wairarapa, as it is possible for me to purchase. From the desire by several parties, some of whom are named in the margin, to obtain sheep runs for which this country is peculiarly adapted, I have reason, to expect that in a few years a censiderable revenue may be realised from the Ahuxiri. 7 With a view of extending the coast frontage of the block offered for sale at the Ahuriri r harbour, I intend in a day or two, to visit some, of the claimants at the Mohaka river, about 30 miles north of this place, thence to extend my journey, to .Tauranga, to give the people here tune to save, their wheat crops, and to acquire infor- . inatipn for the Government respecting the Natives in t£ij!at quarter, some of whom are interested in the negotiations in which I am now engaged. Afterjmy return ; from Tauranga another general meeta^gjpf.-the Heretaunga tribes will be held at Patarigata,~k> consider the boundaries and extent of the block recently offered for sale, after which it would be desirable to have the necessary sur-veys-yigorpusly carried on. Hoping that you will have the goodness to notice these proceedings to His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief and the Lieutenant Governor. I have, &c, ' "■'■■'■'■ - 1 Donald McLean, "<■■■' •■■'■' -■.•.■..:■ Land Commissioner. To the Hon; the Colonial Secretary, tk,, Wellington;
. ;■::■• ■■■■/■'■■■ •"-NO, 4. 1 "'-- THE CHIEF TO HIS EXCELLENCY , / , SHt .GEORGE GBEY, K.Q.B. •;•'!•• ' Hawlte's Bay, Hth itfareh, 1851. Sir, — As your Excellency must feel interested in hearing from (lifferent parts of the Island, I - beg to forward, by the present opportunity, duplicate of letter connected with my late visit to
Turanga or Poverty Bay district, (the original oE which I sent to Auckland,) in case your Excellency might have arrived/there. , In proceeding to Turanga, I took an inland route from Te Wairoa, returning by the coast to see the country, the principal chiefs, and the different whaling establishments, the largest of which is at Table Cape, a narrow neck of land, about fifteen miles long by six wide. On this peninsula, usually called by its native name, "Te Mahia," there were twenty-six boats employed this season in sperm whaling, and upwards of 400 souls, including a large majority of Natives : and Europeans from almost all nations are employed, or in some measure depending, on what is realized from these fisheries. This year they have been more unfortunate than usual, having only caught thirty- three tuns of oil. This is attributed to the number of whaling vessels from Hobart Town and other places, that hover off the Bay, and prevent the whales from setting into the shoals, where they were usually captured by the land parties. There seems also to be a great want of unanimity among the different European parties, and an entire absence of such regulations as .might prevent them from wantonly injuring each others interests. The occasional visit of a Resident Magistrate, to adjust disputes at these places, would be productive of much good. Te Matenga, one of the Chiefs at the whaling station, offered to sell a block of land at Nuhaka, which he pointed out to me ; and at the "Wairoa a small but valuable tract of land was offered by one of the principal chiefs. In coming along, I also obtained an extension of the Ahuriri block towards the Mohaka river, including several thousand acres of land, which, from being bounded by the Mohaka river, will save a great expense in surveying. I was glad to find the Surveyors at Ahuriri on my return. They have made a sketch of the harbour, and laid down a base line for future operations. On Monday next they proceed with the Natives to mark off the external boundaries which should have been commenced sooner had I not been delayed by Native meetings on the coast, and subsequently by the chiefs of this place, who, in consequence of a marriage feast they are providing, decline leaving till Monday. The surveyors, however, are kept employed, and they will now carry on the important surveys expeditiously. I shall carefully avoid fixing with the Natives as to the price and mode of payment for their land until Your Excellency's sanction is first obtained. I herewith enclose the New Plymouth returns for 1850, which are not quite so explicit as I should wish, but at the same time they will no doubt be of interest to Your Excellency, exhibiting, as they do, the steadily increasing prosperity of that settlement. I have, &c, Donald McLean, Land Commissioner. His Excellency Sir George Grey, X.C.8., ■ Governor-in-Chief .
Enclosure No. 1 in No. 4. Tauranga, Feb. 20, 1851. . Sir, — I have the honor to report to you for the information of His Excellency the (xovernor-in-Chief that I arrived at Tauranga or Poverty Bay, by an overland route from Te Wairoa on the 6th instant. The interior of the country between Te "Wairoa and Poverty Bay is very poor and broken, ranges, raupo flats, and lagoons, with here and there a few patches of -wood, where the Natives cultivate. The country, however, as we approached within, a few hours walk of Tauranga, gradually changes for the better. In descending from the interior ranges I had a splendid view of the country round Tauranga Bay (as it does not deserve the appellation given by its illustrious discoverer) which formed a pleasing contrast to the barren hills I passed over ; the land is rich and fertile, intersected by three rivers, which strike their serpentine course through handsome clumps of Kahikatea and Puriri forests, numerous wheat cultivations, and other varieties of English fruit trees. We reached the first settlement on the batiks of the Arai river about sunset, when the Natives were returning from their reaping fields, some leading horses, others driving cattle and pet pigs before them ; they gave us the usual welcome, and presented us with fruit, and honey just taken from the hive. The fat cattle, large wheat stacks of last year's growth, fine alluvial soil, and contented appearance of the Natives, made an impression that this was certainly anything but a land of destitution and of want ; nor has this impression been deranged by what I have subsequently seen of the beautiful Tauranga valley, which contains about 40,000 acres of splendid land, covered with rich grasses and well supplied with wood and water. The Turanga Bay affords tolerable shelter for shipping excepting with southerly gales ; Turanganui is the largest river and admits vessels of 40 and 50 tons; a moderate outlay in blasting a few rocks at the entrance would clear a safe passage for vessels of 100 tons. The Native population as nearly as I can ascertain, may be estimated at 2,500 ; the exports in 1850 at the lowest computation for wheat, maize, pork, and other produce to £2,890. For instance, there were 10,502 bushels of wheat reckoned only at 3s. per bushel ; it is expected that 1851 would show a much larger return. The Natives possess 100 horses and 150 head of horned cattle ; their houses and other domestic comforts, if I may except one or two neatly carved cottages, are still of a very inferior description. The Europeans possess 202 head of horned cattle, 20 horses, 20 weather-boarded cottages, 105 acres of land in cultivation, a few excellent fruit gardens (including the mission garden,) Mr. King's and Mr. Harris' — who is one of the oldest settlers at the place. There is a population of 79 Europeans, including children ; besides 25 half-castes from 1 to 18 years of age. The Natives have held several meetings respecting the sale of their land, one of which was attended by Te Kani Takirau, the great chief of the East Coast, who along with Mr. W. Baker, junr., came from Tologa Bay to meet me. There is a disposition .on the part of some of the Chiefs to have a township, that they may more readily
dispose of their produce ; but they generally dread the idea of a gaol. As yet Ido not consider that they are sufficiently unanimous to enter into a formal treaty for the cession of their land, which they will probably be better prepared to dp in the course of another year. There have been various differences between the Europeans and the Natives, in which the latter have repeatedly taken the law into their own hands, by seizing cattle and horses when it suited their purpose. These cases are not of recent origin, they have existed for several years; one of four years standing was brought before me a few days ago, which resulted in a maro taken from one of the settlers being restored. The Natives had also several grievances redressed, and all the cases in which I could, with propriety aa a Government Agent interfere, have been satisfactorily adjusted. I can easily foresee, however, that misunderstandings will continually arise in this Bay until the Native title is fairly extinguished to such land as may be required for grazing or other European purposes. I have, &c, Donald McLean. To the Hon. The Colonial Secretary, Auckland. "*
No. 6. THE CHIEF COMMISSIONER TO THE HON. THE COLONIAL SECBKTAKY, WELLINGTON. Wellington, 9th July, 1851. Sir, — I have the honor to submit for the consideration of His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief the terms of payment which the natives of Hawke's Bay agree to accept for the blocks of land they offer for sale to the Government. Ist. The Ahuriri block of Three hundred thousand (300,000) acres, including the harbour, was valued by Mr. Park, the surveyor, and myself at One thousand five hundred pounds (£1500), which sum the natives agree to take for ifc, by receiving a first instalment of One thousand pounds (£1000), and a second and last instalment of Five hundred pounds (£500) next year. 2nd. Te Hapuku demands for a block of Bimilar extent as the former, although much superior in quality, a sum of Four thousand eight hundred pounds (£4300), to be paid in four yearly instalments, and requests that he should receive a first instalment of One thousand eight hundred pounds (£1800) to satisfy all the claimants, and induce many of them at Hawke's Bay. as well as at Wairarapa, to dispose of their lands to the Government ; the remaining instalments he wishes to be paid in three equal annual amounts of One thousand pounds (£1000) in each year. 3rd. A block of about One hundred thousand (£100,000) acres at the Mohaka river, recently surveyed, for which a sum of Eight hundred pounds (£800) in four equal annual instalments of Two hundred pounds will be a sufficient payment. 4th. The total amount of land in the three blocks may be estimated at Seven hundred thousand (700,000) acres, for the payment of which a first instalment of Three thousand pounds £3000) will be required. This sum may appear large at first sight, although when divided among the several claimants it will scarcely amount to eighteen shillings (18s.) each, while "the average price of all the purchases, inclusive of native reserves, will be under 2£d. per acre. sth. The remaining instalments will be comparatively moderate, amounting to One thousand seven hundred pounds (£1,700) the second year, and Twelve hundred pounds (£1,200) in each year for the two subsequent instalments. I herewith enclose a translation of a letter from Te Hapuku to His Excellency, in which, with a few slight deviations, he relates the substance of a conversation I had with him and his followers, at a meeting held with them in April last, respecting the price of their land. At this meeting the natives used some forceable speeches and appeals for a payment of from ten to fifteen thousand pounds for Te Hapuku' s block, stating what was quite true, that they were in the habit of receiving large sums of money for letting small spots of land to whaling parties, with whom they carried on a successful pork and I flax trade, besides supplying the stations with provisions, and receiving, during successful seasons, considerable sums as their share for working in the boats, and the various other employments about the fisheries; therefore they considered, when parting for ever with their greatest property, the land, that they should be handsomely paid for it, and repeatedly alluded to the large rents, now amounting to upwards of Eleven hundred pounds (£1,100) annually pj§id to the Wairarapa Natives, with whose system of leasing land they would more fully sympathise, if the Government did not pay them liberally for the districts they were now offering. I told the Natives that the price of the land, in its present wild, and to them, almost valueless state, should not be* the principal object for them to keep in view, neither should they attach such importance to the sums they had been adventitiously receiving from whaling and other sources ; but that they should rather direct their attention to the benefits that all of them, who were disposed to be industrious, would derive from the introduction of a body of European settlers, who would constantly reside among them, and create a demand for their labour and productions. . I have already demonstrated to the Natives of Hawke's Bay that the system of leasing land from them would not be any longer tolerated by the Government, pointing out at the same time, that they suffered less injustice by this prohibition than they imagined, inasmuch as the actual sale of their land, even at a very much lower rate than the Government afterwards resold it at, would be the means of gradually introducing a numertus English population, who would diffuse wealth and prosperity among them, and who would be restrained by English laws from committing any aggressions on themselves or their j permanently reserved properties or estates. The sum which I mentioned to Te Hapuku and his tribe as an equivalent for their block, was Three thousand pounds (£3000), informing them that I had no power to. fix with them for any definite amount until the matter was referred to His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief, to whom I should advise them to appeal if dissatisfied with my proposals. . .
Te Hapuku and his f bllowers willingly agreed to refer their case to His Excellency, and after a day or two's consideration reduced their demands to £4800, a sum which they earnestly expect to receive for their land, and which it may be ad-,, visable to grant, to ensure the co-operation of Te" Hapuku in purchasing the country from Hawke's Bay to Wairarapa, as he certainly appears* to be not only the cleverest, but the most influential and powerful Chief in that part of the island, whose co-operation will be found Of great value and importance to the Government. \ The success which has attended the Government operations for the acquisition of land at Hawke's ; Bay, combined with the proposed liberal regulations for depasturing stock on Crown Lands, which are now being passed in the Legislative Council, has given a severe shake to the unauthorized squatting on Native lands atWairarapa; r and I trust that a system so injurious to the ivel-l'' fare of the community at large will soon be ef-' fectually stopped. - It is quite certain that, while such squatting exists, the Natives, even as far north as Auckland, will oppose the sale of land in the expectation that, although valueless to them at present, they may realise high rents for it. If it could be shown that the Natives themselves were much improved by such a system, it would be a strong argument in its favor, but, from all I can learn, these rents, obtained without much care or labour, are injudiciously expended, and the greatest recipients are frequently, if not always, the most dissolute and idle characters of their tribe, whose reckless conduct, and increasing cupidity, render the position of settlers holding land under them not only disagreeable and precarious, but in every way repugnant to the independent feelings of an Englishman. Several of the Wairarapa settlers, as well as many from Wellington and different other places, are preparing to remove to Hawke's Bay immediately after the natives have received the first instalment, which I shall be prepared to pay to them at any time His Excellency may direct. I herewith enclose a report from Mr. Park, in which he gives a detailed description of the surveyed blocks the natives agree to sell, as Avell as of the general capabilities of the Ahuriri district, which promises before many years to contribute greatly to the wealth and importance of this part of the colony. I have, &c, Donald M'Least, Commissioner for acquiring the cession of Native lands. The Hon. the Col. Secretary, Wellington.
Permanent link to this item
Parliamentary Papers. CORRESPONDENCE RELATIVE TO LAND PURCHASES, DISTRICT OF NAPIER., Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume 5, Issue 316, 16 September 1862
Parliamentary Papers. CORRESPONDENCE RELATIVE TO LAND PURCHASES, DISTRICT OF NAPIER. Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume 5, Issue 316, 16 September 1862
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.