Papers and Documents Relative to the Purchase of the Wairau District, March, 1849.
Despatch from Governor Grey to Earl Grey.
In reference to my Despatch No. 14, of 27th January last, in which I enclosed copies of a correspondence which has passed between His Excellency Lieut.-General Sir M. C. O'Connell, and this Government, upon the subject of Lieut.-Colonel McCleverty, who had been sent out to this country to settle the land claims of the New Zealand Company, having been appointed the officer in command of the troops in New Zealand; and in reference to the observations I made in that Despatch upon the injuries to which the settlers were subjected by the continued delay in the adjustment of these important questions, as well as upon the disappointment which must be experienced by the Native chiefs, who, upon my explanation of the intentions of Her Majesty's Government to send out an officer to fulfil the duties which were assigned to Lieut.-Colonel McCleverty, had waited patiently previously to his arrival, and since his arrival, trusting that my promises would be fulfilled.
I have now the honor to report, that, finding that the arrangements of the Lieutenant-General prevented me from entertaining any hopes of Lieut.-Colonel McCleverty's being able to afford me efficient assistance, and that the Natives were at the same time unwilling, from feelings of jealousy, to transact with the New Zealand Company's Agent any business relating to the districts of land which had, previously to his arrival, been in dispute, I found it necessary to take into my own hands the settlement of the most important of these questions.
The land claims which appeared, in the circumstances of the Colony, to require immediate adjustment were those advanced by the New Zealand Company:—Firstly, to the district of country, including Porirua, and lying between that place and Wairau. Secondly, to the district of Wairau, in the Middle Island, and the country lying immediately to the southward of that district.
In both of these districts the Company had actually disposed of large quantities of land to European settlers, whom, of course, it was desirable, if possible, to place in possession of the sections which they had purchased; and moreover, in a military point of view, the possession of a great part of the Porirua District, and its occupation by British subjects, were necessary to secure the town of Wellington and its vicinity from future hostile attacks and aggressions from evil-disposed Natives, as it was only by the occupation of the Porirua District that the various tracks leading across the woody mountains which lie between Porirua and Wellington could be effectually closed against an enemy. The claims of the New Zealand Company to the Porirua and Wairau Districts had not only been decided upon by Mr. Commissioner Spain as against the New Zealand Company; but after disallowing the claims of the Company to these districts, that officer had further reported that "the district lying between Wainui and Porirua, inclusive of both places, must be regarded as being in the real and bonâ fide possession of the Ngatitoa Tribe; and that a district of country in the Middle Island, comprising the Wairau and a part of Queen Charlotte's Sound, must likewise be regarded as being the real and banâ fide possession of the same tribe." This latter decision really gave a claim to the Ngatiton Tribe to a tract of country in the Middle Island extending to about 100 miles to the south of Wairau, as their claim to the whole of this territory is identical with their claim to the Valley of the Wairau.
Under such circumstances I determined to purchase, on behalf of the Government, from the Ngatitoa Tribe, a large district of land surrounding Porirua, including as much of the land which had previously been disposed of by the New Zealand Company as I could induce the Natives to alienate, thus meeting, in as far as practicable, the specific claims of Europeans settlers; and in addition to the land so acquired by the New Zealand Company, I determined to include within the limits of the page 202purchased land a very extensive block of country to meet the probable prospective requirements of the Government and the settlers.
The Ngatitoa Tribe, after securing an extensive reserve for themselves in one continuous block (as Shown in the enclosed plan), agreed to dispose of the tract of country I required (which is also shown in the enclosed plan), which included the whole of the sections the New Zealand Company claimed, with the exception of about sixteen. As Lieut.-Colonel McCleverty had been directed by Her Majesty's Government to decide upon the reasonableness of the price paid to the Natives for land, and as he was then at Wellington, I thought it right to take his opinion as to the sum which should be paid for this tract of land. He named the sum of £2,000, which, under all the circumstances of the ease, appearing to me to be a reasonable and proper sum, I agreed to pay it to the Natives, arranging that one-half of the sum should be paid down on the 1st of April, 1848, and a like sum upon the 1st of April, 1849.
In reference to the Wairau District, I thought it advisable not only to purchase this district, which was estimated by the Surveyor-General to contain 80,000 acres of the finest agricultural land, and about 240,000 acres of the finest pastoral land, but also to endeavour to purchase the whole tract of country claimed by the Ngatitoa Tribe, and extending about 100 miles to the southward of that valley, the greatest portion of which country is, I understand, admirably adapted to European settlers, and is likely to be almost immediately occupied by sheep and cattle, as I thought that an ultimate and decisive arrangement of this kind would be excessively advantageous to this Colony.
The Ngatitoa Tribe, after considerable discussion, agreed to dispose of the required territory, still reserving their claims to that portion of the country which is shown in the accompanying map.
Upon consultation with Colonel McCleverty, I agreed to pay the Natives (who demanded the sum of £5,000) £3,000, in five annual instalments of £600 each, the first instalment of £600 to be paid on the following day, whilst the remaining instalments of £600 each were to be paid on the 1st of April in each of the four next succeeding years.
Having completed these arrangements I directed Major Richmond to write to the Company's Agent to inform him that the New Zealand Company might, in conformity with the regulations made under the sanction of your Lordship's department, select such portions of land in the two districts thus purchased as they might require to fulfil their engagements with the settlers, it being understood that they should repay to the Government, for the lands they might select, such proportion of the total purchase money as Her Majesty's Government might, on being informed of the arrangements I had made, direct to be refunded as a proper and reasonable payment.
I trust that the arrangement I have made for the purchase of these two tracts of country will be satisfactory to your Lordship. Every land claim but one, in the southward of the Colony, which is likely to occasion any future discussion or disturbance, has now been disposed of. The principle which I have adopted of annual money payments, instead of giving at once large quantities of marchandise, will, I think, have a powerful influence on the future advancement of the Natives in civilization.
They are already making rapid and unexpected strides in the arts of civilized life, and the funds thus supplied them will materially assist their advancement, whilst the experience of each year will render it probable that every successive annual payment will be more judiciously expended; and there can be no doubt that the fact of the Ngatitoa Tribe receiving for several years an annual payment from Government, will give us an almost unlimited influence over a powerful and hitherto a very treacherous and dangerous tribe.
As the great majority of the land questions which had formed subjects of dispute and discussion have now been disposed of, and as the Natives have now become accustomed to Europeans, and understand that the laws and regulations of the Government must be respected and obeyed, I have no doubt that now the uniform system of purchasing from them such districts in their bonâ fide possession as may be required by the Government is adopted, that no further disputes or disturbances on the subject of land will take place throughout the southern portions of New Zealand.
I have, &c.,
The Right Hon. Earl Grey.
Report from Mr. C. W. Ligar, Surveyor-General, to His Excellency the Lieutenant-governor.
In order to carry out the instructions which I received from your Excellency at Wellington, on the 19th of last month, I have the honor to report that I proceeded in the "Victoria" brig, in company with Mr. Fox, the New Zealand Company's Agent at Nelson, to Port Underwood, where we arrived on the 20th, and made arrangements with some whalers to take us to the Wairau River.
In the course of the day I visited a party of Natives, some of whom had just returned from thence, and ascertained that I should not find any people residing there. They themselves were not in the habit of residing at the Wairau, but about six weeks previously twenty of their number went to cultivate potatoes, and had, as far as I could learn, planted from three to four acres. They also told me that no one had resided permanently in the district since the Rangitane Tribe was conquered and taken captive from it by Rauparaha and his people the Ngatitoa, except a party of fugitives, consisting of nine individuate of the conquered tribe. These concealed themselves after the fight, but have gradually emerged from their hiding-places, and scattered themselves over the country. The Natives date the attack of Rauparaha about ten years back.
They likewise said that it had been the intention of the Natives to cultivate land at the Wairau at the time of the massacre, but that after it had taken place the district was considered as sacred.
To obtain permission to cultivate as much as they had lately done, they had sent messengers to Rauparaha, who failed in seeing him, in consequence of his being taken prisoner by the Government; but Puaha, in the absence of the other chief, gave them the liberty of doing what they required.page 203
Mr. Jenkins, a gentleman connected with the Wesleyan Mission, who assisted me at the interview with the Natives, informed me it was his own and the general impression in the neighbourhood, that these people had recently gone to cultivate at the Wairau merely to strengthen, as they supposed, their claim to the land, having heard that the Europeans were again turning their attention to the district. Mr. Jenkins resides near the pa, and would be likely to know the sentiments of the Natives. Their former intention of cultivating, at the time of the massacre, had, it is supposed by Mr. Jenkins, the same object in view.
From all I could learn, it would appear that the Wairau District has been very little used or occupied since the expulsion of the Rangitane Tribe.
The Natives residing at Port Underwood, and with whom I had communication, consist of twenty men and about the same number of women belonging to the Ngatitoa Tribe, and nine men and one woman of the Rangitane Tribe. The latter are the slaves, but one of their number, Kaikora, has acquired much influence, and may now be considered the head man of the little settlement, being referred to on all occasions. When I requested the people to tell me the boundaries of the Wairau District, he drew a plan of the coast on the ground, naming each place. I endeavoured to obtain the inland boundaries or limits; but the Natives and Kaikora seemed never to have given them a thought, and looked upon my inquisitiveness on this point as useless and troublesome.
The boundaries of the Wairau District are described by Kaikora and the Natives residing at Port Underwood.
The same people gave me the following list of the owners of the district as described above. They are all of the Ngatitoa Tribe. They have no particular portion set apart for each, but have a joint interest in the whole:—The consent required of Puka, Nohoroa, Martin, Thompson, Puaha, Rauparaha, Nohoroa (Waterhouse), Te Kanae, Bangihaeata, Tamaihangia, Pukeko, Pukekowhatu, and Pikiwau (or Te Wawhanua, a rebel).
In addition to the above list there are many who have claims, but these are the chief.
I was informed by the Natives of Port Underwood that the Ngatiawa Tribe, from the Waitohi, in the Sound; have lately been cultivating on the Tua Marina, a branch of the Wairau River; and that they (the Port Underwood Natives) drove them off and destroyed their cultivations.
As the weather proved unfavourable for entering the Wairau River, and the men we had engaged to take us considered there might be no opportunity of doing so for some days, we abandoned the original intention of ascending the valley of the Wairau from the sea, and determined on entering it from its inland extremity, and following its course downwards to Cloudy Bay. For this purpose we proceeded to Nelson, and set out, accompanied by three Natives and one of the New Zealand Company's surveyors, Mr. Bridge, who had lately been engaged in cutting a line from the Nelson District into the Wairau. We followed his route, which keeps on the west side of a range of mountains stretching to the south of Nelson, and separating the Wairau from the Waimea. A walk of forty miles brought us to a wooded pass leading into the former valley, and other ten miles brought us to the valley itself. Where we struck it, the breadth is not more than half a mile; but there is a gradual increase in width towards the sea for thirty-eight and a half miles, when it suddenly expands into a plain eighteen miles long by seven and a half miles broad.
Messrs. Cooper and Morse have established a sheep station at the head of the valley, and have about 1,000 sheep there.
The lower part of the Wairau near the sea is subject to floods in the winter, and will require extensive draining; but the plain is in general well adapted for agriculture. The upper valley and hills-afford a most abundant pasture, and are better suited for that purpose than for agriculture.
The limits of the Wairau District, as described by the New Zealand Company's Agent, are the same as given by the Natives; but it was not intended to use the great mass of mountains included within these boundaries. The quantity of level land available for agriculture and pasture is 128,000 acres, made up of the following items:—
Great Plain, 80,000 acres, available for agriculture; requiring some draining near the sea.
Wairau Valley, 28,000 acres, chiefly valuable for pasture.
Kaiparatehau, 20,000 acres, ditto ditto.
In addition to this quantity, there are 240,000 acres of hill pasture beside an equal area occupied by mountain ranges.
Throughout the district, with the exception of the head of the valley and the vicinity of the sea coast, there is a great deficiency of wood for fuel or other purposes.
The means of communication between Nelson and the Wairau, by land, at present consist of a good cart road for seventeen miles, and a horse track for the remainder of the distance, thirty-three miles. The horse-track crosses four considerable streams, two steep ridges of hills, and passes through ten miles of forest. It could not be made passable for carts without much expense, and would most probably require to be changed for some miles of its course, if an undertaking of the kind were contemplated. This route strikes the valley of the Wairau at fifty-six miles from the sea, and at fifty miles from Nelson. Horses have been lately taken by it into Cloudy Bay down the Wairau, by keeping on the eastern side of the valley.
There is another approach to the Wairau, which leaves the Town of Nelson and follows the Maitai River to the eastward, passes through the valleys of the Pelorus and Kaituna, meeting the great plain at eleven miles from the sea. The length of this track is fifty miles. Up to the present time only two persons on foot, accompanied by a Native guide, have penetrated it, and they report it to be very difficult. It is very probable that another line, midway between these two, may be discovered through the mountains at sixteen miles south of Nelson; which would shorten the distance to the Wairau from fifty to thirty miles, and at the same time enter the valley at a convenient point for every purpose.
During my journey in the Wairau District, both in the valley and plain, I saw no traces of Natives, or of their cultivations. There were no indications whatever of their having occupied the land, except near the sea coast; and I could not discover the place they have recently cultivated. This I might page 204have been able to effect if I had not been disappointed in obtaining a guide from Port Underwood; my own Natives were strangers.
The journey from Nelson to Clondy Bay, and returning, occupied ten and a half days, but with horses it might be accomplished in seven.
The sketch of the route which I have made, connecting Nelson and Cloudy Bay, showing the whole length of the Wairau Valley, I will forward to your Excellency in a few days, as I have not had time to copy it since my return on the 6th instant
I have &c.,
Ch. W. Ligar,
Deed of Cession of the Wairau District.
The payments that are for these lands is three thousand pounds, to be paid as follows, viz., on the
Eighteenth day of March, 1847, six hundred pounds; 1st payment.
Eighteenth day of April, 1848, six hundred pounds; 2nd payment.
Eighteenth day of April, 1849, six hundred pounds; 3rd payment.
Eighteenth day of April, 1850, six hundred pounds; 4th payment.
Eighteenth day of April, 1851, six hundred pounds; 5th payment.
Making three thousand pounds, which concludes.
Rawiri Kingi (his x mark) Puaha.
Henere Matene Te Whiwhi.
Tamihana Te Rauparaha.
Witnesses to signatures:—
W. F. G. Servantes, Lieut. 6th Regt., Interpreter to Forces.
William F. Christian.
£600.Wellington, 18th March, 1847.
Received from Lieutenant W. F. G. Servantes, 6th Regiment, the sum of six hundred pounds, being the first instalment of the payment for the Wairau District and the other lands named in the deed of sale signed by us this day.
Rawiri Kingi (his x mark) Puaha.
Henere Matene Te Whiwhi.
Tamihana Te Rauparaha.
Witnesses to signatures:—
Edward Last, Major, 99th Regt.
Wm. F. Christian, Merchant, Wellington.
W. F. G. Servantes, Lieut. 6th Regt.,
Interpreter to the Forces.
Original Deed in Maori.
Ko nga whenua enei i tukua ano e matou ki a te Kawana, ko Wairau haere atu Kaparatehau, te Karaka, haere rawa atu Kaikoura, Kaiapoi atu. Kotahi tonu te wahi o enei whenua e waiho ana mo matou. Ko nga rohe enei o te wahi mo matou, haere mai i te taha ki raro o te awa o Wairau haere tonu mai ki Waikakaho katahi ka tika te rohe i tera awa tika tonu, i tera awa tae noa ki roto. Ko Kaituna, ko te Hoiere, kahore enei whenua e tukua e matou. Ko tatahi'o te wahi o Wairau e waiho mo matou, mo Te Kawana a reira kia kotahi te hawe maera te raununui o te wabi i tatahi i ririro i a i a. Ko te kongutu awa o Tua Marina mo Te Kawana hoki a reira i nga maka i tuhia ki te pukupuka nga rohe, na ko tetahi taha o Tua Marina puta noa ki runga mona hoki, kotahi te maera te raununui o te taha i riro i a ia. Ki te mea mai ia kia tapahia te ara i te taha o Tua Marina e waihoa ana ki a matou, e pai ana kia tapahia te ara i te taha o Tua Marina e waihoa ana ki a matou, e pai ana kia tapahia te i kona. Ko nga utu mo enei whenua koia enei, e toru mano nga pauna.
E ono nga rau e homai a tenei rangi, a te tahi tekau ma waru o nga ra o Maehe, 1847, E ono nga rau, a te tahi o nga ra o page 205
Aperira, 1848, E ono nga rau, a te tahi o nga ra o
Aperira, 1849, E ono nga rau, a te tahi o nga ra o
Aperira, 1850, E ono nga rau, a te tahi o nga ra o
Heoi ano ka toru nga mano ka whakamutua.
Rawiri Kingi (his x mark) Puaha.
Na Henere Matene Te Whiwhi
Na Tamihana Te Rauparaha.
Witness to signatures:—
W. F. G. Servantes, Lieut. 6th Regiment, Interpreter to the Forces.
Wm. F. Christian.
W. A. McCleverty, Lieut.-Colonel
Dated at Wellington, in New Munster aforesaid, the 19th day of April, 1849.
Dated at Wellington, in New Munster aforesaid, this 1st day of May, 1850.
H. Tacy Kemp.
Witnesses to the payment by Native Secretary, and signatures—
Letter from Wi Kanae and others to Major Richmond, attached to the Plan of the Land in the Wairau District ceded by the Ngatitoa Tribe in March, 1867, signifying their approval of the boundaries laid off by Mr. Brunner.
E hoa E Te Retimona,—Wairau, 14th o Maehe, 1851. Tena koe. Kua tao mai tou kairuri ki a matou ko Parana, nana i ruri i te rohe i korerotia e tatou. Kua kite matou i tera ruri, tika tonu te rohe ki o matou whakaaro, ina kua tuhia iho ki roto i te pukapuka ruri, kua tuhia hoki o matou ingoa i roto. Ko te wahi whero to matou wahi i whakatapua mo matou. Ko te wahi ma te nga Pakeha kei waenganui ano te rohe. Heoi ano o matou kupu ki a koe. Na matou,
Witness to the signatures—Thos. Brunner, Waitangi.
Friend Major Richmond,—Wairau, 14th of March, 1851.
Salutations to you. Your surveyor, Mr. Brunner, has arrived, and has surveyed the boundary about which we conversed with you. We have seen his survey, and the boundary is quite correct, according to our idea, as it has been laid down on the plan; and we have signed our names to it. The part coloured red is that which has been reserved for us; the white is that for the Pakehas; and the boundary is between.
This is all we have to say to you. By us,
Witness to the signature—
Thos. Brunner, Waitangi.