Mr. Alexander Mackay to Mr. Donald McLean.
Nelson, 11th July, 1865.
I have the honor to address you, at the request of His Honor the Superintendent of Marlborough, respecting the extent of a Native Reserve, situated at White's Bay, in the Marlborough Province.
It would appear that this reserve was not laid off until March, 1862, when it was marked out at the request of the Marlborough Government, by Mr. James Mackay, jun., who was guided in the matter by the statement contained in your report of the 7th April, 1856, namely, that the reserves for the use of the Wairau Natives consisted of 770 acres on the left bank of the Wairau River, a small bay named White's Bay, and about 200 acres adjacent thereto. The boundaries of the reserve were accordingly laid off so as to include the area above mentioned. The Natives were apparently satisfied with the reserve as laid off, until the arrival of Hohepa Tamahengia from Wellington, on a visit, who, on being told of the boundaries of the White's Bay Reserve as laid off by Mr. James Mackay, informed them that the survey was incorrect, as it differed from the agreement between himself and Mr. McLean. Hohepa's statement is partly borne out by your memorandum, dated 24th April, 1856, describing the boundaries of the Native Reserves to be laid off, in which I find the following instructions for laying off the Native Reserve at White's Bay as fishing station for the Natives of the Wairau:—
"White's Bay, or te Pukatea, the fishing reserve for the Natives, is bounded to the North by te Akiroa on to the range above the bay, and descends at a red cliff called Tekaraka, where there is a small stream of water; the boundary is to be run back until it reaches the Pukaka Stream, where they desire to fish eels and plant potatoes."
In justice to Mr. James Mackay, I beg to state that he had never seen these instructions; and it was only on my searching through the papers in the department of the late Commissioner of Native Reserves that the aforesaid memorandum was brought to light.
Owing to the dissatisfaction expressed by the Native of the Wairau at the reserve as marked off by Mr. James Mackay, I had a resurvey made in April last, in conformity with the description contained in the said memorandum, and it is now found to contain over 2,000 acres.
The Marlborough Government are now desirous to know whether it was ever contemplated to give the Natives a reserve of so great a magnitude at White's Bay, as the one included in the present survey, as it places them in rather an awkward position, as a great portion of the country now included within the boundaries of the reserve has been held under lease for several years from the Government, by Mr. Samuel Bowler, as a sheep run.
I herewith enclose, for your information, a tracing of the survey made in accordance with the description contained in your memorandum.
Trusting you will excuse me for troubling you with a matter that ought to have been settled long since, and waiting the favour of as early a reply as you can conveniently give.
I have, &c.,
Commissioner of Native Reserves.
His Honor D. McLean, Esq., Superintendent, Hawke's Bay.