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A Compendium of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs in the South Island. Volume Two.

No. 4. — C. H. Brown, Esq., to the Native Minister

No. 4.
C. H. Brown, Esq., to the Native Minister.

Christchurch, April 20th, 1865


I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of a letter dated 8th April, 1865, containing instructions for the further sub-division of the Kaiapoi reserve, and thereon to remark that according to my judgement it is an excellent scheme, and the best possible, under existing circumstances, to meet the claims both of Kaiapoi and Moeraki Natives. Yet I anticipate hot opposition on the part of the Kaiapoi Natives, partly on account of their general discontent on the subject of land claims, partly because of their special discontent at sanction refused to Mr. Hinge's lease (on which subject I propose addressing you a separate letter), partly because, if I may judge from Mr. Buller's final report (Section IV, 6th and 7th paragraphs), the Kaiapoi Natives have anticipated appropriating the bush land after the timber has been removed. In these paragraphs I find the following words:—"As it is, the matter stands thus:—Each Native, as he removes his allotted share of the bush, will quietly appropriate the land."

In view of this extremely probable hot resistance, I have delayed submitting to the Natives your scheme for the completion of the sub-division of the reserve, until I shall have ascertained your views of the precise footing on which the scheme now stands: I mean, do you conceive that the entire control of the sub-division has been handed over by the Natives to the Government, i.e., to the Native Minister? or do you conceive that the consent of the Natives must be obtained to each further step in the sub-division and appropriation: in other words, am I to announce to the Natives that the Government have decided that the sub-division of the reserve is to be carried out so and so, or am I to tell them that the Government propose that I shall proceed so and so, and to ask them to be pleased to consent? It is most important that I should be instructed on this point, as a false step now might greatly increase the difficulty of a peaceful completion of the sub-division.

With regard to selling Block No. 1 for the benefit of the Moeraki claimants, I would suggest that it should be left to the Moeraki men themselves to decide whether they wish to retain it as freehold landed property, let it, or sell it. In the latter case, I think the price should not be distributed, but used for some purpose of general benefit, as schools, churches, roads, &c., &c. If they would let it, I have no doubt that Judge Gresson, whose property it adjoins, would be glad to rent it on a 99 years' lease.

Block No. 3 set apart for the general benefit of the Moeraki claimants, and consisting chiefly of the Wheki swamp, is likely in a few years time to be greatly increased in value by the making of the railway, now laid out on plan through the swamp, which will be probably drained by that means.

As regards the southern arm of the reserve and its indefinite boundary towards the sandhills, and the apparent discrepancy between the Provincial survey maps and the sketch map by Mr. Wills, I have mentioned in another letter that I have been unable yet to forward a tracing of Mr. Wills's sketch map, owing to the refusal of Te Aika to get me his copy of it, he (Te Aika) being away thrashing. The Maoris, I may mention, were then all assembled, and employing white men to thrash for them with a machine.

With regard to the delay in preparing Crown grants for allotment No. 44, in consequence of the death of one of the grantees, I have to report that I have been advised by the Rev. Mr. Stack that the following grantees have also died, viz.:—Nos. 17, 27, 29, 37, 53, 68, 95, 107, and 112 of allottees, per Mr. Buller's report, p.p. 7 and 8—in all, including No. 44, ten grantees. I beg to suggest that I be instructed to carry out, in these cases, the provisions of "The Native Intestate Succession Act." With regard to block assigned to the fifteen Natives passed over in the first division (Mr. Buller's report, Section VIII., p. 10), I have to reply that four are dead, and one, a Kingite, Tarewa, is said to have gone to Hawke's Bay and joined the Kingites, concerning whom I have to enquire further.

Are Natives who hold a sketch of their allotment, as assigned by Mr. Buller, to be at liberty to let before arrival of Crown grants? No. 120 of Mr. Buller's list, Henare Tauhiri desires to let his (fenced) to a pakeha.

Horomana and Pita te Hori wish to sell two small detached pieces on the proper right bank of the Korotuakeka, and marked Native Gardens, on the plan sent to me, but not tinted. Pita asserts he inherits one piece as nephew of Paora Tau, deceased, for whom the reserve was made. Mr. Harrison, a respectable white man living on his freehold land adjoining it, would buy. I desire to page 106know whether the sale would be sanctioned if no impediment appear on further investigation, and the runanga made no difficulty.

I think it highly desirable that I should have authority conferred on me to settle points of minor importance, without the necessity of referring to the Hon. the Native Minister on every occasion.

I have, &c.,

C. Hunter Brown.

The Hon. the Native Minister, Wellington.