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Tongariro and Ruapehu National Park (correspondence relative to a gift of portion of)



Tapuaeharuru, Taupo, 23rd September, 1887.


Greeting. This is to inform you that my people and I have spent several days in talking over with Mr. Lewis the subject of making Tongariro a national park, because we regard it as a matter of great importance, and, besides, the minds of some of my people were not clear on the subject.

A division of that land has been made by the Native Land Court, and the same Court has awarded the tops of the mountains Tongariro and Ruapehu to me alone, because I am the person to whom the following proverb applies: "Tongariro, the mountain; Taupo, the sea (lake), Ngatituwharetoa, the tribe; Te Heuheu, the man."

Friend, I have signed the deed laid before me by Mr. Lewis for the purpose of confirming the gift of that land as a national park, in accordance with the wish of the Government, and to fulfil my word spoken to you at Rotorua. I have, however, two words to make known to you—First: My father, Te Heuheu Tukino, who was overwhelmed at Te Rapa, is laid on that mountain, and it is my wish that he be removed to some other place. He was, as you know, a chief of very high rank, and it is right that the Government should erect a tomb for him, because both my people and I are unable to do so. Your friend Mr. Lewis has agreed to this word of mine, subject to your approval. The second word is, that I am an old man, and the affairs of my people are conducted by my only son, Tureiti te Heuheu Tukino: it is my wish that he be authorised, that is to say, that his name be inserted in the National Park Act; that is, that he be the trustee appointed to succeed me after my death. Mr. Lewis has also agreed to this word of mine, subject to your approval.

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These are my requests to the Government on my signing the deed giving Tongariro and Ruapehu to the Government as a national park for the use of both the Natives and Europeans. That is all.

From your friend,

Te Heuheu Tukino.

The Hon. Mr. Ballance, Native Minister, Wellington.