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Further Papers Relative to Native Affairs


page 4


[ko te tohutoro i roto i te reo Māori]

6th February, 1861.

Karaitiana, Tareha, and Renata, did not design, in the first place, to lease lands to the Europeans but the trespassing of the cattle and sheep belonging to Europeans brought it on. They (the Natives) required payment for these sheep and cattle grazing on their lands; and when they found that, in consequence of the law, they would not be allowed to receive payment, they said, Well, then, the stock must go off. It was their desire that their claims for past years should be satisfied; and, when this was done, it would be right and proper that the Council and the Natives should meet together, and arrange a law which would be satisfactory to all parties. After they (the Natives) received such payment, they would better be able to say what would be the effect of leasing their lands to the Europeans. (Implying that this step might have consequences they could not now forsee.) They believed the Ordinance to be wrong, incorrect. The grass for which they asked payment belonged to themselves, not to the Europeans. It was impossible to keep the cattle and sheep off their lands so long as these were unfenced; the cattle would trespass, and they (the Natives) should receive payment. If not, they would have to turn them off, although they did not wish to do so. The Europeans might consider the Native Land Purchase Ordinance a proper law, but they (the Native,) consider it unfair and unjust —intended to force them to sell their lands. But still they would be perfectly willing to submit to it were it not that immense numbers of sheep and cattle belonging to Europeans compelled them to seek for payment. They were now willing that their land should be used by sheep or cattle if the owner was willing to pay for the grazing of the same. The lands which could be so occupied he would describe:—From Napier to Ngaruroro river; following the course of Ngaruroro to the Waitahora stream; following the course of the Waitahora to Awanui; and thence, a line to the land occupied by Te Hapuku. The Waitahora was the lower boundary, and the line to Hapuku's land the upper. The land on the other side of the Ngaruroro and Waitahora was partly occupied by Natives, and partly by Europeans, and would probably have to come under a different arrangement. If the Europeans were willing to pay, they (the natives) would be satisfied; it was good. If they did not pay, it was good also, (meaning that the responsibility then rested with the white man), but that evil would flow from it. This was all the witness as commissioned to say from Tareha, Karaitiana, and Renata; the amount of payment and other details would have to be a matter of arrangement with the parties themselves. It was their wish that an answer should be returned from the Council with their opinions on the matter. If the Council said that they must have further time for consideration, then he had something else to say.

[ko te tohutoro i roto i te reo Māori]

To the Council.

Our love be with you. We salute you, the Council, in the love of our (common) Parent. At length is found a method of uniting our common interests; that is, of the inhabitants of this place. There is no other first cause of evil than that of land alone. Let the dark places (or sources of evil) amongst us be cleared up. Our consultations o this matter are ended, and this is the ending, namely:—that you Pakehas give us writings (Crown titles) to separate us from the contentions between us. If we come to a fair and mutual understanding in this Council on this one day, let it be made known to our friends who are suffering from the like evils, (that is to other tribes of the Island). Friends,—This will indeed be a healthy state of things. Two satisfactory results will arise from it. First, the writings (or Crown titles); and, second, the grass will have been thrown open by our bringing it (the grass) out from the hiding place where it is lying (alluding to the Native Land Purchase Ordinance). If our consultation be the means of getting (this thing) granted to us, is good: let it also be the same in all other places. Let the power of our words, and the safety (and prosperity) arising out of them be known to every man. This which we have fixed upon will be a means of settling difficulties (or contentions) here. And if any others see this—Pakeha or Maori— who are now living in a state of dissension and disagreement, let them follow our example, and let their ills be cured as ours.

Friends,—We have spoken of this good thing on one day (only), but let its beneficial influence extend over many days and years; let it be continued every day of our lives, and anything if occur to prevent its operation, let us together rectify it. This is a precautionary measure on our part for the benefit of all (of both races here).

If there be any other thing (law) of yours unrevealed (bearing on this question) you can shew it to us at a future period. That fault will not be ours. If you speak to us on this subject let all be said, leave nothing behind. We shall then indeed be safe (or rescued) fromthis source of danger and trouble. And as we have found a means of getting out of these difficulties, let also the men of other lands (or districts) enjoy the same advantages. Let our words on this matter be printed, so that they may be seen by two faces, heard by two ears, and adopted by two races.