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Notes on Sir William Martin's Pamphlet Entitled the Taranaki Question

Page 3

Page 3.

"To make a sale thoroughly valid both chief and people."…………

"So that in each particular purchase"…………

No doubt there was a necessity to ascertain this. But according to what principles was it to be ascertained?

The whole pamphlet is written to produce the impression that Wiremu Kingi was the Chief whose consent was needed in the Waitara purchase: but no proof whatever is offered of it. It is absolutely certain that the various sections of the Ngatiawa do not recognise him as the Chief of the whole tribe; it is extremely doubtful whether he would anywhere be recognised as anything more than the principal man of the Manukorihi hapu. But since it has been an acknowledged usage among the Ngatiawa that their separate families had separate rights of alienation, the principle on which the enquiry was to be made was not, whether according to some fanciful general rules of Native tenure laid down by Europeans the sellers of the Waitara block were to obtain the consent of Wiremu Kingi or any other Chief, but whether according to the usage in force among the Ngatiawa people themselves, the sellers were such a "community" as had a right to dispose of the laud they were in possession of at the time of the sale.