The petition of Paora Tuhaere, of Orakei, near the City of Auckland, in the Colony of New Zealand, an Aboriginal Native Chief, of New Zealand aforesaid:
That the subject of this petition presented to your honorable Assembly is the claim of your petitioner to compensation for a piece of land situated near the City of Auckland, in the Province of Auckland, in the Colony of New Zealand, containing by admeasurement two hundred and fifty-two acres one rood (more or less), and called or known by the name of Taurarua, shown on the plan hereto annexed.
That your petitioner and the chiefs of his tribe know how the boundaries of the lands that were sold to the parties acting on behalf of the Government of this Colony were defined. The pieces of land first sold to the same Government are all on the south-westerly side of the road extending from Auckland to Onehuanga, and the first piece of land occupied by the Europeans was called Horotiu.
That at the time the Europeans lived on the lands called Waiariki (Official Bay) and Waipapa (Mechanics Bay), they did not own those lands, as they had not then been purchased by the said Government; but it was agreed by the chiefs, the owners of the lands, that the Europeans should occupy the lands.page 5
That the boundaries of those lands were not then defined. The occupancy by the Europeans was simply occupancy without ownership, as the lands were not purchased till some time afterwards.
That it was not till Governor Hobson arrived in this Colony that any lands were sold to the Government by the Maoris, and it was then yonr petitioner and the other chiefs pointed out the boundaries of the lands that were sold to the Government.
That Mr. George Clark, senior, at present residing at the Bay of Islands, in the said Province of Auckland, and formerly Lands Purchase Commissioner, was the European who acted in the matter of the purchase of the lands from your petitioner and the other chiefs, and we, the chiefs who pointed out the boundaries, are all living but one. The man who died is Te Reweti.
That the first boundary of the lands sold to the Europeans begins at Taurarua Bay, going in a straight line to the Native road called Te Tiki (which line is edged red and the Native road coloured green on the said plan). The continuation of the road from Auckland to Newmarket till it meets the Ruareoreo Stream, which road is coloured yellow on the said plan, constitute the eastern boundary of the land sold to the Europeans. The boundary then continued in a south-westerly direction to Opou River (now called Cox's Creek), there ending, and Taurarua, the land for which your petitioner now claims compensation, was not included in any lands then sold to the Government, although the Government now hold possession of the said land, and claim to have purchased it, as the only lands then sold were to the west of the said road coloured yellow, and the said boundary line edged red.
That your petitioner, and the other chiefs who accompanied the said George Clarke, senior, when the boundaries of the said lands were defined, placed a large stone in the ground as a landmark. The position of the said stone is at the junction of the said boundary line with the said Native road Te Tiki, and is shown on the said plan, and is coloured pink.
That all the lands sold were to the west of that stone, and those were the only boundaries pointed out.
That Your petitioner and the said chiefs were not aware that the lands were surveyed, nor were they ever informed that the Government intended to survey the said lands. Your petitioner and the said chiefs were not asked to point out the boundaries of the said lands to the surveyor; nor did they know, until afterwards, that the Government intended to claim any other lands than those then sold.
That your petitioner and the said chiefs, when they signed the deed conveying the said lands to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, were not aware that they had conveyed Taurarua, as the true purport of the deed was never correctly explained to your petitioner and the said chiefs, they having agreed to sell the lands to the west of Taurarua only.
That in the said deed the boundary of the said land is described as the Bay of Orakei, but the bay pointed out by your petitioner and the said chiefs was the bay of the Taurarua Stream, and the Government, taking advantage of that sentence in the said deed, have included Taurarua, which was never sold; nor was the name Taurarua even mentioned in the said deed, nor has your petitioner ever been paid for that piece of land.
That your petitioner and the said chiefs, when they signed the said deed, were not aware that the Government intended to include Taurarua in the lands sold. Had the said George Clarke, senior, stated that the deed included Taurarua, your petitioner and his ancestor Apihai Te Kawau, the owners of Taurarua, would not have given their consent or signed the said deed, for the matter of the purchase of the said land. Taurarua was never mentioned, nor have your petitioner and the said Apihai Te Kawau ever received payment for the said land.
That other lands of your petitioner, namely, Matapipi, Kumeu, and Waikoukou, situated in the Kaipara district, were taken more recently by the Government in the same manner as Taurarna; but for these pieces of land your petitioner has received compensation; for lands were formerly purchased by the Commissioners on behalf of the Government without the deeds describing the lands being properly read over and explained to the Natives before they were executed, and lands not intended by the Native owners to be sold were often, through error, inserted in the deeds.
That your petitioner humbly begs that your honorable Assembly will not consider his claim for compensation for Taurarua is unjust, or that it has only now been advanced; for your petitioner, in the time of Governor Fitzroy, preferred his claim for compensation to the Government.
That, during the time of Governor Fitzroy, the Europeans had permission to purchase land from the Native proprietors without restrictions; and Sir William Martin, on account of the love your petitioner and the said Apihai Te Kawau bore to him, was allowed to live at Taurarua.
That Sir George Grey succeeded the said Governor Fitzroy as Governor of the said Colony; and immediately after the arrival of the said Sir George Grey, the lands acquired by the Europeans from the Natives were taken from them, and Taurarua was taken by your petitioner.
That your petitioner did not know that the Government had asserted any right of ownership to Taurarua until the erection of Mr. Kissling's school house on the said land, and the occupation of the said land by a minister of the English Church.
That immediately your petitioner ascertained that the Government bad taken possession of the said land, your petitioner, with other chiefs of his tribe, waited upon His Excellency the said Sir George Grey, and informed him that the land was your petitioner's. The said Sir George page 6Grey informed us we had better see the said George Clarke, senior; and your petitioner wrote a letter to the said George Clarke, senior, and was informed by the said George Clarke, senior, in reply, that he knew nothing of the matter.
That at the conference of the Native chiefs held at Kohimaramara, near the said city of Auckland, on the 10th day of July, 1860, His Excellency Thomas Gore Browne, who succeeded the said Sir George Grey as Governor of the said Colony, stated in the eleventh paragraph of his address to the chiefs there assembled:—"Your lands have remained in your possession or have been bought by the Government at your desire." And in the twelfth paragraph of the said address: "It is your adoption by Her Majesty as her subjects which makes it impossible that the Maori people should be unjustly dispossessed of their lands or property." "Every Maori is a member of the British nation; he is protected by the same law as his English fellow-subject."
That your petitioner, in his reply to the said address of the said Thomas Gore Browne stated that he had found something wrong in the eleventh paragraph of the said address, which your petitioner stated read thus: "Your lands have remained in your possession, or have been bought by the Government at your own desire:" and your petitioner then continued as follows:—"My words now are in disapproval of those expressions of the Governor. Listen all of you! The Government has got possession of Taurarua, and I have not yet seen the payment. The land is occupied by Bishops, and Judges, and great people, but I am not paid for it. I applied to the first Governor for redress, and to the second, the third, and fourth, without obtaining it. Matapipi has also been taken from me. I did not receive any payment for it. I am continually urging payment for those pieces of land. Had these lands belonged to some people, they would have made it a greater cause for war than that which originated the present one" (namely the Taranaki War, that was at that time being carried on). "I content myself with constantly asking for satisfaction. Now, listen all of you! If the matter is not arranged on this occasion, and if life is spared to me for two or three years, I shall go to England to the Queen about it."
That nothing was stated by the representatives of the Government in answer to the claim then made by your petitioner.
That Sir George Grey returned to the Colony as Governor in place of the said. Thomas Gore Browne, and your petitioner knowing that it was in the time of the said Sir George Grey that your petitioner's land had been taken away, waited upon the said Sir George Grey, accompanied by Te Keene Tangaroa. The said Sir George Grey asked your petitioner what he had to say. Your petitioner replied, "I have come to converse about Taurarua, the land you heard of at the time of your first arrival in the Colony as Governor." Sir George Grey replied, "That is correct, Paul; but what is to be done in the matter?" Your petitioner replied, "I want payment for that piece of land." Sir George Grey said, "Paul, don't demand too heavy a payment. How much do you require?" Your petitioner replied, "Four thousand pounds." Sir George Grey said, "That, is far too much. You had better compromise it." Your petitioner replied, "Now, according to your idea, how much should it be?" Sir George Grey said, "One thousand pounds." Your petitioner replied, "The reason I ask four thousand pounds is that my land was taken away for no reason, and without my consent." Sir George Grey said, "Agree to take the one thousand pounds." Your petitioner replied, "Will the one thousand pounds be paid at once?" Sir George Grey said he would speak to his Council, and he asked your petitioner to return on the following day.
That your petitioner and the said Te Keene Tangaroa attended on the following day upon the said Sir George Grey, and your petitioner was then informed that in the opinion of the said Sir George Grey it would be better to decide your petitioner's claim to compensation for the said land by arbitration.
That your petitioner replied, "O! my friends, this is a new idea of yours! It was never mentioned yesterday, when you said I should receive the one thousand pounds on this day, and thus made me agree to that sum." Sir George Grey replied that he considered the best course to adopt would be to hold an inquiry, so that the whole matter could be investigated. Your petitioner assented to this proposal, and the investigation took place in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty two.
That the arbitrators appointed by the Government were John Jermyn Symonds, the Resident Magistrate of Onehunga, and Major Charles Heaphy; and the arbitrators appointed by your petitioner were Te Hemara Tauhia and Aihepena Kaihau, two Native Assessors.
That the, said Te Hemara Tawhia and Aihepena Kuihau considered the evidence adduced by your petitioner and the chiefs who pointed out the boundaries of the lands sold to the Government in the time of Governor Hobson, conclusive proof that Taurarua aforesaid had not been included in the lands then sold; but the said John Jermyn Symonds and Charles Heaphy considered the sentence in the deed, "that the boundary of the land is at Orakei," a proof that the lands had been sold, but at the same time the said John Jermyn Symonds and Charles Heaphy stated that the descriptions of the lands in the said deed, and the boundaries of the same, were very vague, and did not clearly define the said lands and boundaries.
That the said arbitrators consequently could not agree, and no decision was given respecting any claim to Taurarua aforesaid.
That your petitioner not being able to obtain any satisfaction in respect of his said claim, wrote to the said Sir George Grey informing him that your petitioner intended to fence in Taurarua aforesaid; but to that letter your petitioner received no reply.
That on the arrival of His Excellency Sir George Ferguson Bowen, as Governor of this page 7Colony, your petitioner addressed a letter to the said Sir George Ferguson Bowen, praying him to satisfy your petitioner's claim in respect of Taurarua aforesaid; but to that letter your petitioner received no reply.
That your petitioner then resolved to apply to the Native Land Court for a certificate of title under the Native Lands Acts for the said land; but, on consulting his solicitor, your petitioner was informed that, as Crown grants had been issued for portions of the said land, the Native Land Court would not investigate your petitioner's claim.
That your petitioner was then informed that his only available remedy would be to apply to your honorable Assembly for compensation for the loss of his said land.
That your petitioner assented to this proceeding, as he was exceedingly sad and grieved about the loss of his land; for your petitioner and his descendants will always maintain that they did not receive payment for the said land, and that the same was unjustly taken away.
That your petitioner does not wish your honorable Assembly to restore Taurarua aforesaid to him, as Europeans are now inhabiting the land, and Crown grants have been issued for portions of the same, but he wishes to obtain compensation for the loss of his said land.
That your petitioner would most respectfully remind your honorable Assembly that in the early times of this Colony the Government obtained lands for little or no payment, and the Maoris were glad to receive the Europeans among them, and the Europeans were allowed to acquire large tracts of valuable land for a few blankets and articles of clothing. Even the missionaries pursued this plan of acquiring land, giving in exchange a few axes, iron pots, or fish-hooks; telling the Maoris to believe in God, engaging their attention heavenwards, and whilst they were in that position, ere the eye had turned to the earth, bought the land and none remained. When the Maoris were wiser, the missionaries ceased to buy land.
That your petitioner would most respectfully remind your honorable Assembly that he has never allowed his claim to rest. The claim is not a new idea in the heart of your petitioner, for from the time of Governor Fitzroy to the present day your petitioner has always urged his claim in respect of the said land.
That your petitioner would most humbly and respectfully remind your honorable Assembly that he has always been a faithful and loyal subject of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, and that your petitioner has been the constant friend of the Europeans since their arrival in Auckland.
That your petitioner would most respectfully remind your honorable House that Taurarua aforesaid is now of immense value.
That your petitioner most respectfully prays that your honorable House will carefully consider your petitioner's claim to the said land, for it is the birth-place of his forefathers; and your petitioner respectfully submits that his aggrieved heart should be comforted. The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Romans, 7th chapter and 24th verse, says, "O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death."
Your petitioner therefore humbly prays that your honorable House will be pleased to grant him such relief as the justice of the case justly entitles him to and your honorable House shall think fit.