Mr. Alexander Mackay to Under Secretary, Native Department.
I have the honor to forward herewith a conveyance of sections 5, 6, and 160, at Motupipi, from the College Governors at Nelson to Her Majesty the Queen, in order that the said land may be vested in certain Natives residing at Motupipi, in fulfilment of a promise made to that effect in the year 1863.
With reference to the original proposal that the Crown should invest this land in the hands of trustees to be chosen from among the Natives for whose benefit it has been restored to the Crown, I would beg to recommend instead, as a means of preventing jealousy and quarrelling among those whom it is proposed to benefit, that the land should be subdivided, and individual Crown Grants, withholding the power of sale, should be issued to each of the persons interested, under the provisions of "The Crown Grants Act, 1862," and for this purpose I would beg to propose that a subdivisional survey should page 338be made of the land in question. This would not occupy very long; and if Crown Grants were issued as suggested, it would give much greater satisfaction to all concerned than merely granting the land intact to one or more of their number as trustees for the whole.
Should the Government see no objection to the above suggestion, I could put the work in hand at once. There would, however, be one difficulty in the way of making a uniform survey of Nos. 5 and 6, owing to the intersection of these sections by Native Reserves I, J, and K. The Native title over these reserves has never been extinguished, and in the event of its being found necessary, for the sake of uniformity and for other causes, to carry the divisional lines through these lands, the title being still in the Natives would preclude the possibility of including such portions of any of the allotments forming part of such reserves in a grant of portions 5 and 6. I presume, however, that his difficulty could be overcome by obtaining the assent of the Natives owning reserves I, J, and K, whose interests are identical with those in whom it is proposed to vest sections 5 and 6, to bring these lands under the operation of "The Native Reserves Act, 1856," and, on this being effected, reserves I and J, and sections 5 and 6, could all be dealt with as one block.
It will be observed by the plan in the margin of the conveyance, that it would be very awkward to deal separately with either of the blocks, owing to the peculiar shape of the aforesaid reserves, and, for the sake of convenience, it would be advisable if the whole could be dealt with as one block; moreover it would prevent complications in future if the whole could be treated alike, and save the Natives the necessity of having ultimately to take their claims to I, J, and K to the Native Lands Court to procure a title.
Should the Government nevertheless deem it advisable to adhere to the first intention,—that of granting the land to trustees only,—I would beg to submit the names of Eruera Wirihana Te Rauakitua, Pirimona Matenga, and Raniera Matenga, as trustees for sections 5 and 6, and those of Rawiri Watino, Hohaia Te Rangirunga, and Hira Rawiri, as trustees for section 160.
Waiting your instructions,
I have, &c.,
Alexander Mackay, Native Commissioner.
The Under Secretary, Native Department.