Lore and history of the South Island Maori
The Westland Land Purchase
The Westland Land Purchase
The late James Cowan unearthed from old forgotten documents an offer made on March 15th, 1857, by the Maoris of Westland to sell their lands to the Crown for the sum of £2,500. The boundaries of the area were given as follows; from West Whanganui to Milford Sound (Pipiotahi), being from Pipiotahi inland to the mountains, Tioripatea (Haast Pass), Tara o Tama, Kaimata, Mariua, Matakitaki, Te Ikahapuku, Te Rotoroa, Whangapeka, Aoraki (Mount Arthur), Onetoki, Rangiora (Snowy Range between Takaka and Aoere), Whakamarama Range, Te Hapua (six miles south of West Whanganui). The Maoris making the offer were Tarapuhi, Wi Pita Paturi, Makarini Toni, Inia Pikiwara, Po Arama Hota and Hakiaha. In 1860, James Mackay Jr., assistant Native Secretary, was deputed to make the purchase. He was given £400 in golden sovereigns to make the deal, but with his Scottish care of "silver returned with £100 in his pocket. Nevertheless he allowed the Maoris a generous allowance in the way of Native Reserves, and this has been of greater benefit to the natives than the extra £100 would have been.
The Native Reserve in the borough of Greymouth being a good monetary proposition, James Mackay Jr., dealt with 110 sellers, the area acquired for the £300 being 7½ million acres. When Mackay went overland from Nelson, his Maori companions were Tamati Pirimona Marino, Hori Rorama and Puaha Te Rangi. In Westland he was assisted in making the traverse surveys by Kerei and Kinehe Te Kao of Mahitahi. Puaha Te Rangi, who belonged to the Ngatihapa Tribe, prevailed on Mackay to make a reserve for his folk at Kawatiri (Buller). The chiefs Hakiaha and Hoeti evinced considerable jealousy towards Tarapuhi, Taetae and Wereta Tainui. Taetae belonged to Poherua. The Poutini Ngai Tahu insisted on the old canoe landing and burial ground at the mouth of the Mawhera (Grey) being made a Native Reserve.
Official copies of the purchase can be seen at the library of the Lands and Survey Department, Christchurch. The Maoris who attached their names to the Deed were: Kinihi, Kerei, Kawiri, Mohuruhuru, Pako, Weremu, Parata, Puaha Te Rangi, Tarapuhi te kaukihi, Mere te Aowangi, Wereta Tainui, Hakiaha, Taona, Purua, Makarinui Tohi, Arapata page 196Horau and Rewai Kaihi. Witness were J. Mackay, J. Burnett, S. M. Mackley, Tamati Pirimona and Hori Te Kirama. The Deed was signed on May 21st, 1860.
Witness to the distribution of the £300 purchase money were: J. Mackay, S. M. Mackley, J. Burnett, Tamati Pirimona, Hori Te Kerama, Tarapuhi, Wereta Tainui, Hakiaha Taona, Makarina Tohi, Arapata Horau, Kiwai, Kaihi, Kinihi te kau, Kerei, Kawiri, Moko huruhuru, and Puaha Te Rangi.
The total area of the 47 reserves, Class A (General Reserves) amounted to 6,724 acres. Class B (Social Reserves) 3,500 acres. Class C (Revenue) 2,000 acres. The reserves are located at the following places:—Arawhata, Waitoto, Paringa, Heretaniwha, Mahitahi, Makawhio, Manakaiau, Ohinetamatea, Wehanga, Omoreoha, Waikohai, Koamaru, Okarita, Waitangi, Whataroa, Poherua, Hokitika, Kaniere, Taramakau, Waimea, Pakihi, Aarahura, Mawhera. Kaiata, Kotuku whaka oho, Kararohi, Kawatiri, Watarakau, Oweka, North Kawatiri, Orowaiti, Karamea, Waimangaroha, Mokirinui and Kakapoai and Totara.