MR. E.W. Puckey's Report upon the Natives of the Hauraki District.
The following is Mr Puckey's report furnished to the Under-Secretary, Native Department,, last year-.—-The accefton of the present Ministry, iv which one of themselves is a member, has afforded them much gratification. They hailed the change withvpleature m an earnest of much good to follow, and have been watchiug with the most intense interest the progress of negotiations with the King party. In respect of agricultural^ pursuits, I re* gret that I am unable to report favorably, as the Natires do not appear to make any advance whatever.. The, last season, however, being an exceptionally favourable one for the potato crop, I am glad to say they are placed beyond the reach of absolute want of food during the present year. With regard to their physical and moral condition no material change can be reported, but I might state that a free-lore movement was introduced by the late v Ngatipaoa chief, Tarapipipi, which, however, found '''little favour, though, under his auspices and at bin invitation, a considerable number of professed adherents of the Hauhau party removed from their homes at Ohinemuri, Hikutaia, Kerepebi, Waitakarawia, and Y^hakatiwai, .and formed a new settlement afc Te Hoi-a-Tainui, where for the most part they still remain. .Te Kooti has been on a tour endeavouring to promulgate his own peculiar views of theology. I; understand a sort of camp* meeting was held in the country somewhere between Te Aroha and Katikati. His wife had, prior to that, been 1 conducting special services at different places in this district, and had made a good many converts'; but I do not think that any political significance need be attached to this fact, as the Haiiraki tribes are unmistakably lojal. Hauhauism, which was thought by so many a year or two back to be waning,: appears to be gaining fresh ground to some. extent here at least. An influential section of Ngatitamatera, living on-the northern. part of this peninsula, have adopted it, though I cannot think they will consider themselves bound by its anti land-selling principles' Whilst they —• have a single acre $o sell. The Thames County Council, I have much pleasure in stating, have been successful beyond the most sangnine expectations in dealing with the Native difficulties, whioh have hitherto interposed what has all along been held to be an impassable barrier to the forming of roads in this district.. The main trunk road between Shortland and Ohinemuri has been opened for traffio between the former place and a point on the Hikutaia ri»er, where a substantial.bridge has been built. A road between Paerda and Te Puke is in course of formation by a party of Natives who have always-stood bj-us, and that,in the face of the determined opposition which has so consistently been made by the anti-progress party. A bridle roadway from Ohiuemuri to Te Aroha has been completed, whilst another between Ohinemuri aud Katikati is being rapidly pushed on.. . i . A road has,.4j||o..JbejeujpartlalT^' completed, under the management of tfieHirataanga Highway Board, between Kepanga and the southern boundary of theGpromandel County, which hat been' made, available, for traffic southwards from Coromandel nearly, as far as Eereta. On : all these; (Works Natives, have been employed, and, I ( ,am pleated to s»y, -with fow(exc4ptipns, have, give^safcisfi^ion to their employers. .n;'..: ;; \. < lib is with much regret that 1 have to report the death; of <two t of the„■ principal chiefs of Haiiraki during; the ; past ; year-r-aamely, ' Tanumeha te Moananui. and Iwiapipipi to Kopara, both men ofjthe 'highest rank.™ A maßkedjfaUlifcyiaippearii.tQ.feaye,befallen the Hauraki chiefs, during ;the, last, years. First, in 1871,KitahiteTam^enadied,} then,' . ilß72,<Ta«ay»; iin.lß7^, HaoraTipajiin 1876, Tamati te Otahu and Rapana^wnganoa--all men who in their: time,;have, ? exercised influence: in the councils of Manituaha, and have done their best according to their lights to advance tliq interests oif.the respective tribes.—l^hate, &»., J5. W. P^kky, Native Agent. " .. ■, ', .; ; .- ,;.; ,•. s I ■■■.■;■