No. 73 of 1882.—Petition of Petera Te Pukuatua and 400 Others.
Petitioners describe themselves as Arawas. They refer to the evils of the old mode of dealing with Native lands, and express hearty approval of" The Thermal-Springs Act, 1881." They pray that the above-named Act may be made permanent instead of temporary, and that its provisions may be extended over the whole district.
I am directed to report as follows:—
That the evidence of a very intelligent Native named Aporo Te Tipitipi was to the following effect: 1. That the Act protects the Natives by preventing hasty sales. 2. That it carries out the principle of public competition. 3. It prevents personal disputes between owners and lessees. 4. Under the old system, the Natives not having money to pay surveys, the whole business was thrown into the hands of European speculators, and consequently many difficulties arose. 5. That though the Act may require some amendment, this can only be found out by giving it a fair trial. 6. Land companies and other speculators are now engaged within the district making advances even upon proclaimed lands; and the Natives fear that these may have such influence over members of Parliament that the Act may be repealed or seriously modified. 7. The advances referred to being made secretly, it is only by accident that those most interested know of them. The Committee recommends these considerations to the earnest attention of Government in any attempt at amending" The Thermal-Springs Act, 1881."