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

Claim of Horomona Pohio and others

Claim of Horomona Pohio and others.

Horomona Pohio exclaimed: I appear for the people of Arowhenua, Waitaki, and Waimatemate. They have said that I should speak for them. The Arowhenua people want 600; Waimatemate, 500; and Waitaki, 450 acres.

By Mr. Rolleston: We propose to use this land for farm purposes. I don't know how many acres are now under cultivation. All of it has been in wheat, with the exception of some on which the stumps of wood remain. It was all laid down in crop, and fenced—the floods swept all away. Each man cultivates where he pleases; the land has not been divided. The reserves made by Mr. Mantell did not include all our cultivations. The only thing we understood from Mr. Mantell was, that we were to have our eel weirs in perpetuity. Mr. Mantell told us we should use or occupy the eel weirs outside the reserve. We were told we should have all the fisheries and burial places. Mr. Mantell spoke of this at Arowhenua. I also heard him say so at Waikouaiti.

By the Court: We are more numerous now than we were in Mr. Mantell's time. Then, our food consisted of potatoes, eels, cabbage-tree, mussels, and wood-hen; we had also began to eat flour at that time, and had commenced to cultivate vegetable marrows and corn. Now, we cultivate wheat, oats, hay, barley, pumpkins, vegetable marrows, and potatoes. We don't cultivate Kumeras. We have many saddle, dray, gig, and plough horses, pigs, and cattle. Although the land is worn out we still keep on cultivating. If we had other land, we should use it and leave the worn out land. We have six ploughs of our own, and hire others from white people round about. The land at Waitaki is stony, and we do not cultivate it. There are 40 children, 20 men, and about 26 women at Arowhenua at the present time. I draw the line for a child at ten years. We desire to make the Natives all alike. If the chiefs had all the land under their control, they would lease it and use all the money, giving none to the people. The pakehas' laws are not good; some of them are made great gentlemen, and others very small; and there are some of them going about the streets whom the Maoris are feeding. (Laughter.) This is a new custom of making every one equal. In Mr. Mantell's and Mr. Kemp's time, only one man spoke about the sale of the land and received the money. If the land had not been sold, it would have remained, as in Mr. Kemp's time in the hands of one man. We do not wish to lease our eels pahs, but to use them for our own purposes. We have not leased lands at Arowhenua, Waitaki, cr Waimatemate.

The further hearing of the case was adjourned until 10 o'clock on Wednesday morning.