The Hon. the Colonial Secretary to His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor.
In answer to your Excellency's letter directing me to furnish you with a written report respecting the land in dispute between the Natives of Port Nicholson and the New Zealand Land Company, I have the honour to inform your Excellency that the chief Moturoa stated to me that he had not sold his land to the Company; that he had neither signed their deed of conveyance nor received any part of the payment given to the other chiefs. Moturoa possesses a considerable part of the land, both at Pipitea and Te Aro (or Taranaki), on which the Company's town has been laid out.
Te Aro Pa.
The Natives who reside at Pa Taranaki complained to me shortly after my arrival that the Company's surveyors were placing marks on their land: they said they had not sold it, and would not give it up; that the land belonged to them, and not to Wharepouri and Te Puni and the chiefs who had sold their land to the Company. At the same time they stated that a case of muskets and some blankets had been given them by the chiefs, and also some blankets by Colonel Wakefield, for permission to allow the surveyors' points to remain unmolested.
When the selection of town-acre sections commenced, the Natives, having heard reports that they were to be dispossessed of their lands and driven to the mountains, again came to me, and amongst others Te Puni, Wairarapa, and Pourotu. On my inquiring whether the lands claimed by Moturoa and the Natives of Pa Taranaki belonged to Wharepouri and themselves, they replied that they did not. I then asked them whether they had sold the lands claimed by those chiefs to Colonel Wakefield. Te Puni answered, "Yes. How could I help it, when I saw so many muskets and blankets before me?"
The chiefs of Pa Taranaki invariably maintained that they had not sold their land, and persisted in disputing the Company's claim to it; and the dispute was not arranged until I entered into the agreement which I had the honour to forward your Excellency from Port Nicholson.
I have. &c.,Willoughby Shortland
His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor.