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Report of the Native Affairs Committee, 1883.

No. 381.—Petition of John Duncan and Wiremu te Aho

No. 381.—Petition of John Duncan and Wiremu te Aho.

Petitioners state that they understood that the block of land in Waikato called Opuatea, containing 45,500 acres, was Crown-granted to the whole Ngatitipa Tribe; but that they now find that only a few names have been inserted in the deed, and that not as trustees for the tribe but as absolute owners. They pray that the Crown grant may be cancelled, and an inquiry made to ascertain the names of all persons interested, and that the present grantees may be declared trustees for them.

I am directed to report as follows:—

That this is one of the numerous cases in which those whose names were put into Crown grants for convenience may assume all the rights of full ownership. They were not thought by the ordinary members of the tribe to be more than trustees; but lately so many of these virtual trusts have been misappropriated to the profit of individuals that naturally the Maoris outside of the record of grantees have become alarmed by the actual or possible sacrifice of their interests. The Committee considers that, in the interest of the general body of real as apart from nominal owners, legislation is necessary in order to have reviewed Grown grants similar to the one now referred to, and recommend the subject to the early attention of the Government.

16th August, 1883.