Report on Petition of Wiremu Parata and 18 Others.
The petitioners pray that land granted by their tribe to the Bishop of New Zealand may be restored to them, the conditions of the grant not having been complied with.
I am directed to report as follows:—That the Educational Reserve referred to in the petition is a block of land situated at Porirua, in the Province of Wellington, containing 500 acres, which in the year 1850 was conveyed by Natives of the Ngatitoa and Ngatiraukawa tribes to the Bishop of New Zealand, in trust for religious and educational purposes.
There can be no doubt, from the terms of the grant, that the erection and maintenance of a school at Porirua formed the principal conditions of the trust; and it seems equally clear, from evidence taken by this Committee, that a school has not been erected there.
Moreover it does not appear that there is any intention on the part of the Trustee to fulfil this condition of the trust.
This Committee are not prepared to say that it would be now either wise or expedient to erect a school on this particular piece of land for the purposes indicated in the grant, and still less are they disposed to recommend that legislative action should be taken for the conveyance of the land in question to the petitioners. But your Committee are of opinion that, if many educational reserves are similarly situated to this one, the present position of the religious, charitable, and educational trusts of the colony requires the most serious and careful consideration of the House.