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Petition of Wi Tuku and 141 others : presented to the Legislative Council by the Honourable G.R. Johnson, on the 18th August, 1875

To the Chiefs of the Parliament at Wellington assembled

[i roto i te reo Māori]

To the Chiefs of the Parliament at Wellington assembled.

                                             East Coast, 22nd June, 1875.

Friends, Salutations to you,

This is a petition from us, the Native Chiefs whose names are subscribed to this paper, praying for the repeal of one of the sections of "The Native Land Act, 1874."

The section we ask to be repealed requires that if we dispose of our lands by lease, or by sale, we must appear before a Resident Magistrate to execute those leases.

Now that law is all very well for some districts where the Magistrates are residing near to Native settlements. The evil of this place is that the Magistrates live at so great a distance; we are unable to leave our settlements, and our wives and children, to go to distant parts; then again, the roads are bad; there are floods and other obstacles in the way.

Here is another thing to say; it appears to us there is no such law applied to our European friends, our fellow-subjects of the Queen.

This law applies to us only.

Friends, you must sympathize with this our petition. We are very much troubled, and are weary with this section of that Act.

                                                      Wi Tuku,
                                                         And 141 others.