Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 3 (July 1, 1933)

Maning's Purchase of Onoke

Maning's Purchase of Onoke.

It was necessary to become more than a mere squatter on the harbourside or the riverhead, so in 1839 Maning became the owner, by trade-purchase, of a block of some 200 acres of land at Onoke, on the south side of Hokianga Harbour, between the present township of Rawene and the Heads. His was a different bargain from some of the early-days land deals in which the white man got much the best of it. Maning paid fairly and squarely for his little baronial estate; the sellers received very good value.

In Auckland some years ago I was lent, among documents left by Maning in the hands of certain old friends, the original deed of the Onoke land purchase, a document not previously published. This deed has historical value; and it is testimony to the fairness of the bargain that the Land Claims Commission which sat in 1840 to consider native land purchases before the Treaty of Waitangi, fully confirmed Maning in his purchase. The deed reads as follows:—

“September 3rd, 1839.

“This is to let all men know that we the undersigned New Zealand Chiefs have sold to Frederick Edward Maning his heirs and assigns for ever a Tract of land part of which is known by the name of Onoke, and situated on the River Hokianga and on the eastward by the river of Wirinake [Whirinaki] as far as the creek called Ohaukura, the inland boundary being formed by a straight line running from the mouth of that creek to the center between two hills one of which is called Te Porotutu and the other Rahirahi and from thence continuing its direction till it comes to the river Hokianga.

“And we the undersigned Chiefs being the true and only owners of the above described land do hereby acknowledge to have received full payment for the same from Frederick Edward Maning without any reservation whatever of any part of the land contained in the above whatever of any part of the land contained in the above mentioned boundaries down to low water mark or of any of its productions whether vegetable or mineral.

“We do also bind ourselves to give peaceable possession of the above mentioned land to Frederick Edward Maning his heirs or assigns and to defend Frederick Edward Maning his heirs and assigns in the same.”

The chiefs who signed the deed—mostly with an X—included Kaitoke, Keha, Kaipu, Tuteauru, Mohau, Nuku, Te Tahua, Tapuru, Kiripapa, Huru, Tahae-tini, Puaro, Motu, Hiku, and Te Haringa. Three did not make a cross but inscribed a part of their scroll tattoo-marks; these were Kaitoke, Kiripapa, and Tahae-tini (“Many Thefts!”).

This is Maning's list of trade items, with their values, given to the chiefs in exchange for the land:

Goods Paid for Land at Onoke.

220 lbs Tobacco £22 0 0
15 pairs Blankets @ 20/- 15 0 0
14 shirts @ 2/6 1 15 0
10 Muskets at 20/- 10 0 0
2 Fouling pieces 6 0 0
1 Fouling piece 4
1.50 lb keg powder 3 5 0
2.50 lb kegs powder 10 0 0
6 spades @ 5/- 1 10 0
Cash 4 0 0
1 Fancy Musket 2 10 0
£80 10 0
25 per cent profits on above goods 20 2 6
Total £100 12 6
page 27

The spelling, “fouling pieces,” was perhaps an unconsciously accurate description. But all things considered, the young trader did not price his goods extravagantly at all. The prices set down would have been considered excessively cheap by many Maori Coast merchants of those days.