No. 26.—Petition of Taurau Kukupa and 20 Others.
Petitioners state that they are members of the Parawau Tribe; that, in August, 1880, the Native Land Court sat at Kaihu, in the Kaipara District; that Judge Rogan presided; that the Parawau Tribe was represented by Tirarau Kukupa, since dead; that, in consequence of the illness of this chief, he could not properly attend to the business; that, in consequence, the names of persons who, according to Native custom, had no interest in the land called Whangaimokopuna were entered as page 9part owners; that, upon Kukupa's recovery, he and others repeatedly asked for a rehearing of the case, and that the Chief Judge persistently refused it. Petitioners pray that a rehearing be now granted.
I am directed to report as follows:—
That, on the 29th August, 1881, the Committee reported as follows upon a similar petition: "From the evidence adduced, the Committee considers there is ground for careful inquiry into the case, and recommends the Government to act accordingly, with a view to bring it to the attention of the Chief Judge of the Native Land Court." The Committee again calls the attention of the Government to this case, and particularly to the evidence given by Mr. Mitchelson and Mr. Mohi Tawhai. The whole circumstances of the case as detailed to the Committee, and particularly to the peculiar position of this land, seem to point to the tribe of the late Tirarau Kukupa as sole owners. The Committee has been informed that legislation is to take place upon some cases where a rehearing is desirable, and it would suggest that it might be possible to include this one. The practice of inserting in Crown grants or memorials of ownership the name of a single representative of a tribe without expressing trusteeship is likely to lead to serious injustice in future dealings with land.