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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

1875. New Zealand. Land Purchases, Middle Island

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New Zealand.

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.

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No. 1.
Mr. Alex. Mackay to the Under Secretary, Native Department.


Native Reserves Office, Nelson, 23rd April, 1875.

I have the honor to furnish herewith a continuation of my report of the 1st October, 1873, on the subject of land purchased from the Natives in the northern portion of the South Island, together with a map to illustrate the purchases herein dealt with, to which is added a Schedule of the lands purchased, the name of the ceding tribe, the date of purchase, and the extent of land reserved for Native purposes within the several blocks.

As my previous report dealt only with the land acquired to the north of the boundaries of Kemp's purchase, the present one will therefore commence with that block.

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F.—Kemp's Purchase.

The Ngaitahu or Kemp's deed, on which this purchase is based, was executed at Akaroa on the 12th June, 1848, and comprises all the tract of country bounded towards the North by a line drawn from Kaiapoi on the east to Cape Foulwind on the west; and on the East and West by the ocean; and on the South by a line drawn from the Nuggets beyond the Molyneux on the East to Milford Haven on the West Coast, exclusive of Banks Peninsula, supposed then to have been sold to the French, and a block of 400,000 acres in the Province of Otago, purchased in 1844 for the New Edinburgh settlement.

The aggregate area of the block included within the above-named boundaries exceeds 20,000,000 acres. The price paid was £2,000, and land to the extent of 6,359 acres was set apart for the Natives shortly after the sale.

In satisfaction of the conditions of the deed, "that the Governor should set apart other reserves when the land was surveyed," the Native Land Court in 1868, while engaged in investigating the claims of the Natives to reserves within the purchase, ordered that, in addition to the lands originally reserved, other lands should be set apart for the Natives in fulfilment of that engagement; and that the reservations under the phrase "Mahinga kai"—food-producing places—should also be observed. In compliance with the award of the Court, land to the extent of 4,793 acres 2 roods and 24 perches was accordingly set apart, in final extinguishment of all claims.

Besides the reserves originally made, and those made by the Native Land Court, the General and Provincial Governments had set apart, at various times for the Natives, land to the extent of 1,174 acres 2 roods and 16 perches, in augmentation of the quantity held by them. These quantities, together with 5,937 acres 1 rood and 16 perches, reserved, in 1860, on the West Coast for the benefit of the resident Natives, makes a total of 18,264 acres 2 roods and 16 perches set apart for Native purposes within the boundaries of Kemp's purchase.

In addition to the reserves to be made for the Natives, Mr. Mantell, the officer who was charged with the completion of the purchase, was instructed by Lieut.-Governor Eyre to inform the sellers that the purchase money was not the only or principal consideration for the cession of their land; but schools would be established for the instruction of themselves and their children, as well as hospitals for the treatment of their sick, besides officers who would be appointed to watch over their interests.

The only written record of these promises is to be found in the correspondence between Mr. Mantell and the Secretary of State, in 1856, in which he states "That by promise of more valuable recompense in schools, in hospitals for their sick, and in constant solicitude for their welfare and general protection on the part of the Imperial Government, he procured the cession of large tracts of country for small cash payments."

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A glance at the map accompanying this report will show that the territory included in Kemp's purchase includes over two-thirds of the whole area acquired from the Natives in the North and Stewart's Island, the total quantity ceded being 37,774,160 acres, minus the land reserved for the Natives and 51,000 acres excepted from sale, exclusive of D'Urville Island and Ruapuke; and the aggregate amount paid was ?27,417 15s., out of which only £2,000 was given for the acquisition of the aforesaid territory.

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G.—Port Cooper Purchase.

As a large portion of Banks Peninsula, irrespective of the French claim, was in the hands of the Natives in 1849, it became necessary, in order to secure Port Cooper as a harbour for the Canterbury settlement, to make arrangements to acquire the land from them for that purpose; and Mr. Mantell was deputed by the Governmant to effect the purchase. This led to the acquisition of the above-named block in August, 1849, for the sum of £200, and a reservation of 859 acres for the Natives.

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H.—Port Levy Purchase.

This purchase was effected in September, 1849, for the sum of £300, and the reservation of 1,361 acres for the resident Natives. The country included in the sale comprised all the tract of land to the eastward of the Port Cooper Block, and a line following the main range of the Peninsula, from Waikakahi at Lake Waihora to Pohutupa or Flea Bay, to the eastward of Akaroa Harbour. An attempt was also made to obtain the cession of the remainder of the Native claims to the Peninsula, without effect, owing to the determined opposition of the owners, who were actuated by the idea that the agent of the French Company, who had formerly purchased a portion of the country in the neighbourhood of Akaroa, would return and make them an enormous payment for their unsold land.

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I.—Hamilton's Purchase.

This purchase included all the unsettled claims on Banks Peninsula which the Natives refused to settle in 1849. The terms ultimately agreed on were the payment of a money consideration of £150, afterwards increased to £200, and the reservation of 1,200 acres, in three blocks of 400 acres each, for the use and occupation of the Native owners; the question being finally and satisfactorily settled by Mr. J. W. Hamilton, in December, 1856.

The total amount paid to the Natives for their claims to Banks Peninsula computes £700; but, in addition to this, they also had received from the Nanto-Bordelaise Company, in 1838, goods to the value of £234, for a block of land in the neighbourhood of Akaroa.

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J.—Otakou (Otago) Purchase.

On the 31st July, 1844, the New Zealand Company, through the intervention of an officer appointed by the Colonial Government, acquired a block of 400,000 acres at Otago for £2,400, as a site for the New Edinburgh settlement, comprising all the tracts of country bounded by a range of hills to the north of Otago Harbour, and extending as far south as Tokata Point near the Nuggets; the Maungaatua and Kaihiku ranges being the western boundary. Three exceptions were made within the Block for the Natives, viz.,—At Otago Heads, Taieri, and Te Karoro, containing in the aggregate land to the extent of 9,615 acres; one acre was also reserved for them at Pukekura, within the block reserved by the Company as a site for a lighthouse. Independent of the general reserves thus made, it was evidently intended at the time to select special Native reserves, as contemplated in the scheme of the other New Zealand Company's settlements; on which point Mr. Symonds, the officer who conducted the purchase, in his report dated 2nd September, 1844, writes as follows:—"I pursued the course, as regards Native reserves, from the firm conviction that the system heretofore adopted in other purchases of large tracts was beyond the comprehension of the aborigines; and, at the suggestion of Colonel Wakefield, I left the further choice of reserves, namely the tenth part of all land sold by the New Zealand Company, to be decided by His Excellency the Governor, without making any express stipulation with the Natives on the subject."

According to the agreement entered into between the New Zealand Company and the Otago Association in 1847, the New Edinburgh settlement was to comprise 144,600 acres, a tenth of which would represent 14,460 acres. The term of purchase, however, between the Company and the Association precluded the possibility of any portion of the block of 144,600 acres being set apart as Native reserves; but the Natives were nevertheless to have land reserved for them within the block to the extent named; and ample evidence can be obtained, by a perusal of the Parliamentary papers and New Zealand Company's reports of that date, of the intention to make such reserves.

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K.—Murihiku Purchase.

The tract of country comprised within this block included all the southern part of the South Island to the south of Kemp's and Symonds's purchases. The negotiations for the purchase were completed on the 17th August, 1853, for the sum of £2,600, after considerable difficulty, occasioned by the increased demands of the Natives, caused by the district being partly occupied by squatters, who had been endeavouring to allure the Natives with the offer of high rents not to sell their land to Government. The importance, therefore, of putting an end to this illegal state of affairs rendered the immediate acquisition of the country an object of paramount necessity.

Reserves for the Natives were made at the following places within the boundaries of the purchase. viz. Tuturau Omaui, One, Aparima, Oraka, Kawakaputaputa, and Onetota.

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L.—Stewart's Island.

This island was acquired from the Natives on the 29th June, 1864, for the sum of £6,000 paid as follows:— ?2,000 down; ?2,000 to be held by the Government at 8 per cent, the interest to be paid annually to certain Natives; and the remaining £2,000 to be expended in the purchase of lands in the Southland Province, as an endowment for educational and other Native purposes.

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Plan of Land Purchases in South and Steward Islands. Enclosure in Report from Mr. A. Mackay.

Plan of Land Purchases in South and Steward Islands. Enclosure in Report from Mr. A. Mackay.

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A block of excellent land in the Hokonui District, comprising 2,000 acres, has been obtained in satisfaction of the aforesaid condition. This property has been let to a tenant for twenty-one years, at £100 per annum, the proceeds to be devoted to educational purposes for the benefit of the Natives residing in the neighbourhood of Foveaux Strait.

In fulfilment of the conditions of sale, reserves, containing an aggregate area of 935 acres, were made for the Natives, supplemented by a number of the adjacent islands for bird-catching purposes.

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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.

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Kaikoura Purchase.

North of the River Wai-au-ua, and extending as far north as the Wairau Bluff, there still remained an unsettled claim to be disposed of in favour of the section of the Ngaitahu Tribe residing at Kaikoura, who had been overlooked in the payments made to the northern tribes in 1847 and subsequently.

The block claimed extended from the Hurunui to Cape Campbell seawards, and from the coast back to Lake Sumner and the sources of the Rivers Wai-au-ua, Clarence, and Wairau, the north-western boundary being the White Bluff, containing an aggregate of 2,500,000 acres.

The Natives at first demanded £5,000 for their claims, but ultimately consented to accept £300 and sufficient reserves for their use and occupation.

The question was finally settled in March, 1859, for the last-named sum and reserves to the extent of 5,565 acres.

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Arahura Purchase.

In 1856, when the claims of the northern tribes were finally settled to land in the South Island, the claims of a small remnant of the Ngaitahu Tribe, residing beyond the western ranges, remained unsettled, owing to the difficulty of communicating with that part of the country.

These people had not participated either in the distribution of the money paid to the Ngaitahu Tribe for the country included in Kemp's purchase.

The claims of these people were investigated in 1859-60, and a final settlement effected in May of latter year by a payment of £300 and a reserve of land of 10,024 acres, of which 6,724 were set apart for individual occupation, and 3,500 acres to produce a fund for education and eleemosynary purposes, for the benefit of the resident Natives.

The settlement of this question and the subsequent purchase of Stewart's Island finally disposed of all the land claims in the South, excepting those arising out of the unfulfilled promises of schools and hospitals and other advantages.

The only lands to the south of Cook Strait over which the Native title has not been extinguished exclusive of reserves, are the islands of Ruapuke, in Foveaux Strait, Rangitoto or D'Urville's Island in Cook Strait a block of land at Wakapuaka to the north of Nelson, and one at West Whanganui.

The total quantity of land reserved for Native purposes in the South and Stewart's Islands exclusive of the block of 44,000 acres at West Whanganui, which does not come under the category of reserves, amounts to 75,544 acres 2 roods and 14 perches.

Trusting that the brief sketch of the several purchases dealt with in the foregoing report with its accompanying map, may prove useful for future reference,

                                                I have, &c.,

                                                      Alexander Mackay,

The Under Secretary, Native Department, Wellington.
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