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The Southern Districts of New Zealand

II.—Report On Land Claims

II.—Report On Land Claims.

page 284


“In reporting to you on the claims to land in the Middle Island and Stewart's Island, which were brought before Commissioner Godfrey, I have the honour to refer you to the enclosed tables,* to some plans drawn by Tuhawaiki, and to a sketch of the line of coast from Foveaux's Straits to Kaiapoi, which will place before you in a concise form various information regarding their position, extent, &c.

“All the lands referred to in the tables, with exception of a small portion, claim 70 b, are situate south of Taumutu, and the rights of the European purchasers are acknowledged; the sales having been made by the admitted proprietors—the descendants of Ngatimamoe.

“Other natives who now reside on some of these lands were invited to settle there by the chiefs

* This enclosure is omitted.

Vide page 81.

Vide Map fronting the title page.

page 285 of Ngatimamoe, when a general movement to the southward took place during the wars with Te Rauparaha. They do not, however, from residence, pretend to any right to sell, but merely to occupy and cultivate; and many are now beginning to return to their former localities about Hakaroa and Kaiapoi.

“I have arranged separately those claims which are small or moderate in extent, and those which are excessive.

“With regard to the first, I believe that titles may be granted by the government immediately, and to their full extent, without any injustice following to their aboriginal proprietors.

“With regard to the second, it will be necessary first to reserve for the natives those portions which are now occupied by them, and a sufficiency of the adjacent land for their future operations. From the remainder, the claimants may be permitted to select the number of acres allotted to them by the Government.

“For information respecting the claim of the French Company, I have the honour to refer you to my letter of the 14th instant, enclosing a copy of notes* which I wrote by desire of Governor Fitz Roy, for the information of Mr. J. J. Symonds, whom His Excellency had appointed to negotiate the purchase of land, at Otakou.

* Vide infra p. 288, enclosure referred to.

page 286 You will observe that a very inconsiderable portion of the land claimed by the French Company is allowed by the natives to have been sold absolutely. But it is admitted that an understanding existed, that any part of the district, which they—the native sellers—did not require for themselves, should be sold to the French Company, on the return of their vessel from France with property, the nature of which appears to have been specified in a paper drawn up on the occasion.

“Tuhawaiki, however, and other chiefs of influence, who have undoubted claims to the land, were not parties to this act; and about the same time, as stated by him, made proposals at Port Jackson to sell Hakaroa to Sir George Gipps. On that occasion they received presents of money from Governor Gipps, and were desired to return on the following day to complete the negotiation; but this was prevented by the intrigues of some land speculators, by whose contrivance they were kept out of the way, till an opportunity offered of sending them back to New Zealand.

“Tuhawaiki makes no opposition to the sale of those portions of land sold to the French Company as specified in the enclosure above referred to; for they do not include land over which he has a particular right. But it will be necessary that he and the other ‘pirigna’ or persons allied by birth to the former or present occupants page 287 of the district, be parties to any future more extensive sale.

“The Company have not confined their sales within those lands, their title to which is acknowledged; but have, on the contrary, extended them over the more eligible sites adjacent to the harbour of Hakaroa. Some of the places thus sold are in the occupation of natives, and will not be readily yielded to Europeans. Others have been taken possession of on the promise of future payments, and have been improved, often at much expense.

“But the postponement, from time to time, to fulfil these promises, has rendered the natives distrustful and impatient; and, since the affair at Wairau, they have even begun to hold out threats to the settlers that, unless the land be paid for speedily, they will no longer allow them to live on it.

“It therefore appears necessary, to secure the peace of the district, that the Government interfere to adjust a settlement of this matter, which will become more perplexed by delay.

“Should the French Company be permitted to purchase any part of Bank's Peninsula, in order to fulfil their engagements with their settlers—the presence of a Protector of Aborigines will be required to see that it is clearly understood and defined, what lands are to be sold, and what page 288 reserved; and to take care that all persons having just claims to the lands offered for sale be parties to the contract.

“It is needless for me to observe that, without this precaution, injustice must result to many of the native proprietors, and consequent insecurity of property to the settlers.

“Of the remaining claims in the Southern Islands, advertized for investigation by Commissioner Godfrey, the claimants of which did not appear before him, I am able to state that some would be admitted in part by the natives. But far the greater number, I am persuaded, have scarce the shadow of a title.

“As, however, my instructions bore reference only to such claims as came under the notice of the Commissioner, I confined my inquiries more particularly to them.

“I have the honour to be, &c.,

Edward Shortland.”

To the Chief Protector of the Aborigines, etc., etc., etc.

Enclosure Referred To.

[The former part of this enclosure, having reference to the history of the Southern Tribes, is omitted, its substance being contained in the foregoing pages.]

Subjoined is a list of chiefs and others principally interested in land at Bank's Peninsula. I page 289 have distinguished two classes of claims; viz., those of persons “i a ratou te turuturu o te kaika,” or who have an especial right to the place—and those of “Nga Piringa,” or persons allied to the former.

Places. Nga tangata i a ratou te turuturu o te kainga.(First Class Claimants.) Nga Piringa.(Second Class Claimants.)
Hakaroa. Te Ruaparae Taiaroa and Karetai
Hakaroa (his son) Tamakeke
Tuauau Tiakikai
Pahuiti Te Rehe
Parure Piuraki or Tikao
Mautai Iwikau
Patuki, Tuhawaiki
Kahupatiki, &c.
Wakaoroi or Pigeon Bay. Ka Tata Iwikau
Te Puehu Tikao
Manunuiakarae Taiaroa
Te Kaihaoe Tuhawaiki
Patuki, &c.
Kokourarata or Port Levy.&Wakaraupo or Port Cooper. Te Kauamo Iwikau
Ka Tata Tikao
Te Puehu Taiaroa
Manunuiakarae Tuhawaiki
Taunuiraki Patuki
Nohomutu Pokene
Koroko, &c.
page 290

“The lands, the purchase of which the natives of these places acknowledge to have been completed, are as follows:—

A small spot, at Hakaroa, surrounding his house to Mr. Rhodes.

About 500 acres to the French Company, at Hakaroa.

A bay called Ka Kongutungutu, at Wakaoroi.

A bay called Kaihope, at Kokourarata.

A bay called Te Pohue, at Wakaraupo.

“At the same time they consider that they have entered into a compact with the French Company to sell a further indefinite quantity of land.

“The French Company have laid claim to the whole of the Peninsula; and have sold land at Hakaroa not included in their acknowledged purchase from the natives, who have naturally shown dissatisfaction, when the settler has attempted to take possession, and in some cases have resisted.

Precautions to be adopted in Purchasing Lands from Natives.—Before completing any purchase of land from natives, it appears to be essential to obtain first the native name of every place within the district proposed to be purchased, with the names of the persons who have individual rights in each place—“i a ratou te turuturu o te kaigna”—the general rights of principal chiefs and others being more easily dealt with. page 291 For, whereas several may have a joint right to those parts, which have never been resided on, or made “tapu” to any particular person, individuals and families will be found to have a peculiar claim to those parts, which are in occupation of, or have at any former time been in possession of, or made “tapu” to, an ancestor.

“The next step should be to desire the natives to decide what places they wish to sell, and what to reserve for themselves. For it will seldom happen that they will readily part with a large district without reservation—unless it be wholly unsuited to their methods of cultivation—and even then there would probably be some favourite eel-fisheries, to them of great moment, with which they would not part.

“I have honour to be, &c.,

“Edward Shortland.”

To J. J. Symonds, Esq. etc., etc., etc.