No. 60.—Petition of Wi Katene Paremata and Another.
Petitioners claim to have had interests, through an ancestor named Kauhoe, in the Whakapuaka Block (Nelson District), and allege that, in consequence of the non-fulfilment of a promise made to page 11them by the present owner (Huria Matenga) to see that their names were included in the title when the land was put through the Native Land Court, they have been shut out of the same. They how pray that a rehearing may be granted to enable them to establish their rights.
I am directed to report that the Committee find that this is a case of some difficulty.
There was some evidence that the Whakapuaka Block was owned by Kauhoe and her on, Wi Katene te Puoho. It is stated by Mr. Alexander Mackay that Kauhoe's rights were only as trustee for Wi Katene, and that she had no individual rights. It seems doubtful if in 1832, when the land was handed over by Ngati Koata to Kauhoe, that she would not have been deemed to have rights in the block.
It has also been proved to the Committee (vide Appendix to Journals of House of Representatives, G.–2, 1881) that any rights Te Wahapiro (the son of Kauhoe, through whom the petitioners claim) had were ceded to the Crown. If the petitioners had therefore, through Wahapiro, made out any right to any portion of the block before the Court, the Court would have been bound to award it to the Crown. There was no claim made by them before the Court. They assert, however, that they kept away from the Court because of an arrangement made between them and Huria Matenga. This is denied by Huria Matenga. It is thirteen years since the Court sat and awarded the land to Huria Matenga, and only now has a petition been brought before Parliament. No application has heretofore been made to the Court or the Crown by the petitioners. Their absence from the Court and their delay in making a claim seems to confirm the view that Wahapiro's descendants did not think they had any claim to the land. The Committee cannot, therefore, say that the petitioners have made out a claim to their satisfaction.