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Land purchases, Middle Island : in continuation of paper G. 6, 1874, presented 29th July, 1874 : presented to both Houses of the General Assembly by command of His Excellency

Hamilton's Purchase, North of Kaiapoi

[i roto i te reo Māori]

Hamilton's Purchase, North of Kaiapoi.

As far back as the year 1848, the members of the Ngaitahu Tribe, residing in the northern portion of the Canterbury Province, claimed compensation for land to the north of Kaiapoi, which they asserted had been wrongfully sold by the Ngatitoa Tribe to the Government in 1847. The tract of country for which compensation was claimed contained about 1,140,000 acres, extending from the original settlement of Kaiapoi, the northern boundary of Kemp's purchase of 1848, to the Wai-au-ua, a distance of about fifty miles north and south along the coast-line, and from the coast back to the sources of the Ashley (Rakahauri), the Hurunui, and the Wai-au-ua, to the dividing ranges of the East and West Coasts. Of the extent claimed, about 480,000 acres were situated in the Nelson Province, and the remaining 660,000 acres in the Canterbury Province. The Natives demanded in payment either a sum of £500, or £150 and certain large reserves, urging, as a reason for the latter, that they wanted room for their increasing stock. The question was finally settled in February, 1857, by Mr. Hamilton, so far as the Kaiapoi claimants were concerned, by a payment to them of £500, it being found advisable to pay the larger sum in preference to giving the smaller with the reserves asked for, which, under existing circumstances, it was not considered expedient to grant, from the various European interests it would involve.

In addition to the sum of £500 paid to the Kaiapoi Natives for their claims, Matiaha Teramorehu, of Moeraki, was paid £200 in 1867, in compensation for his interest in a large extent of country within the boundaries of the aforesaid block. This payment augmented the sum previously paid for unsatisfied claims to the north of Kaiapoi to £700.

Reference to the plan will show that the country dealt with in this negotiation included land formerly ceded within the boundaries of Kemp's purchase. This was not attributable, however, to any intention on the part of the Natives to sell the land twice over, but proceeded entirely from the want of authentic information at that time of the exact position of the northern boundary of the territory previously ceded.