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Report of the Native Affairs Committee, 1883.

[No. 47.—Petition of Edward Boyes and 55 Others.]

No. 47.—Petition of Edward Boyes and 55 Others.

Petitioners state that for many years they have occupied Native trust lands at Motueka and Riwaka, at heavy rents; that upon the faith of their leases being renewed they have made improvements and built houses; and that they believe the value of their improvements will be confiseated at the expiry of their leases by the provisions of "The Native Reserves Act, 1882." They pray that "The Native Reserves Act, 1882," may be amended by incorporating with it the provisions as to leasing contained in "The Land Act 1877 Amendment Act, 1882."

I am directed to report as follows:—

That the Committee is of opinion that the interests of the petitioners have been materially affected by "The Native Reserves Act, 1882." In dealing with the trust lands which they occupy there was always an understanding that the tenants should have a renewal of their leases upon paying such reasonable advance in rent as the general increase in the value of the land might warrant, and leaving to them the value of their own substantial improvements. Under this tacit agreement, which was one of honour and not of law, the tenants have greatly improved their holdings, not only by superior husbandry, but by building, fencing, draiming, &c., and have thus much increased even the value of the freehold. The holding are small, ranging from about five to fifty acres, and the rents are already very high, reaching as much as £1 to £2 per acre per annum. This increased value has arisen from the labour of the tenants themselves. Under "The Native Reserves Act, 1882," their customary interest is annihilated, and the Public Trustee will be bound, on the termination of each lease, to put up the land to public competition and to get the highest rent procurable. This is a hardship which was not contemplated by the Legislature. The tenants do not seek for perpetual leases at present rents. They only ask that that part of the property which is of their own creation should be secured to them by law, and point out that if the provisions of "The Land Act 1877 Amendment Act, 1882," were incorporated with "The Native Reserves Act, 1882," They would be satisfied. The Committee recommends this matter to the attention of the Government with a view to early legislation towards meeting the equitable claims of tenants of all Native resrves leased prior to the coming into operation of "The Native Reserves Act, 1882."

18th July, 1883.
page 4

No. 47.—Pukapuka-inoi a Erusra Poihi me etai atu e 55.

E ki ana nga kai-pitihana kua maha o ratou tau e noho ana i runga i nga whenua here a nga Maori i Motueka me Riwaka me to ratou utu i nga reti nui; i runga i te whakaaro tera e whakahoungia atu ano a ratou riihi i tahuri ratou ki te mahi i etahi whakapainga ki te hanga whare hoki i runga i aua wahi; na e mohio ana ratou ko a ratou whakapainga ka riro noa atu a te mutunga o a ratou riihi i runga i nga tikanga o "Te Ture Rahui Whenua Maori, 1882." E inoi ana ratou i naianei kia whakatikaia "Te Ture Rahui Whenua Maori, 1882," kia whakaurua atu ki roto nga tikanga o "Te Ture Whakatikatika 1882 i te Ture Whenua, 1877."

Kua whakahaua ahau kia ki penei:—

Ko te whakaaro a te Komiti e pa nui ana "Te Ture Rahui Maori, 1882," ki nga take o nga kai-Kitihana. I runga i nga whakahaere mo nga whenua here e noho nei ratou i runga e uru ana tenei whakaaro ki roto me whakahou ano nga riihi a nga kai utu reti mehemea c piki atu ana nga reti hei utunga ma ratou i runga ano i nga tikanga hangai mo aua riihi, me te waiho ano ki a ratou a ratou whakapainga tuturu ake. I raro i taua whakaaro, e hara hoki i te mea na te ture engari na te ngakau, i nui te whakapai a aua kai-utu reti i a ratou riihi i runga i te ngaki pai i te whenna, i te hanga whare, i te taiepa, i te keri awa, me etahi atu mea; na e whakanuia ano e aua mahi te utu o te whenua. Ko nga wahi e riihitia ra he wahi iti timata atu i te 5 eka tae atu ki te 50 eka, a kei te nui ano nga reti i naianei ko etehi e tae ana ki te kotahipauna ki te rua pauna mo te eka i te tau. Ko enei utu nui na nga mahi tonu a nga kai-utu reti. E mate ana ratou i "Te Ture Rahui Maori, 1882," notemea e kiia ana taua ture a te mutunga o aua riihi me makete ano e te Kaitiaki a te Katoa a me tuku atu ki te hunga e hoatu ana i te reti nui. He mate tenei kihai i whakaarohia e te Paremete. E hara ta nga kai utu reti i te mea kia pono tonu nga riihi kia ratou ake tonu atu, engari he whai na ratou ko a ratou whakapainga kia whakataua e te ture kia ratou, me te whakaatu mai hoki ki te whakaurua nga tikanga o "Te Ture Whakatikatika 1882 o te Ture Whenua, 1877," ki roto ki "Te Ture Rahui, 1882," tera ratou e pai. E mea ana te Komiti me tuku atu tenei tono kia whakaarohia e te Kawanatanga me kore e wawe te hanga he ture hei whakaora i nga tono tika a nga kai-utu reti o nga rahui katoa i riihitia e ratou i mua atu i to mananga o "Te Ture Rahui Maori, 1882."

18 Hurae, 1883.