Further Papers Relative to Native Affairs
6th February, 1861
Karaitiana, Tareha, and Renata, did not design, in the first place, to lease lands to the Europeans but the trespassing of the cattle and sheep belonging to Europeans brought it on. They (the Natives) required payment for these sheep and cattle grazing on their lands; and when they found that, in consequence of the law, they would not be allowed to receive payment, they said, Well, then, the stock must go off. It was their desire that their claims for past years should be satisfied; and, when this was done, it would be right and proper that the Council and the Natives should meet together, and arrange a law which would be satisfactory to all parties. After they (the Natives) received such payment, they would better be able to say what would be the effect of leasing their lands to the Europeans. (Implying that this step might have consequences they could not now forsee.) They believed the Ordinance to be wrong, incorrect. The grass for which they asked payment belonged to themselves, not to the Europeans. It was impossible to keep the cattle and sheep off their lands so long as these were unfenced; the cattle would trespass, and they (the Natives) should receive payment. If not, they would have to turn them off, although they did not wish to do so. The Europeans might consider the Native Land Purchase Ordinance a proper law, but they (the Native,) consider it unfair and unjust —intended to force them to sell their lands. But still they would be perfectly willing to submit to it were it not that immense numbers of sheep and cattle belonging to Europeans compelled them to seek for payment. They were now willing that their land should be used by sheep or cattle if the owner was willing to pay for the grazing of the same. The lands which could be so occupied he would describe:—From Napier to Ngaruroro river; following the course of Ngaruroro to the Waitahora stream; following the course of the Waitahora to Awanui; and thence, a line to the land occupied by Te Hapuku. The Waitahora was the lower boundary, and the line to Hapuku's land the upper. The land on the other side of the Ngaruroro and Waitahora was partly occupied by Natives, and partly by Europeans, and would probably have to come under a different arrangement. If the Europeans were willing to pay, they (the natives) would be satisfied; it was good. If they did not pay, it was good also, (meaning that the responsibility then rested with the white man), but that evil would flow from it. This was all the witness as commissioned to say from Tareha, Karaitiana, and Renata; the amount of payment and other details would have to be a matter of arrangement with the parties themselves. It was their wish that an answer should be returned from the Council with their opinions on the matter. If the Council said that they must have further time for consideration, then he had something else to say.