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A compendium of official documents relative to native affairs in the South Island, Volume One.

Major Richmond to Sir George Grey

Major Richmond to Sir George Grey.

Superintendent's Office, Nelson, 26th June, 1849.


On my arrival at Waitohi, where, as instructed by your Excellency, I proceeded, in company with the Resident Agent of the New Zealand Company, I found the Natives so thoroughly conversant with the conditions attached to the sale of that district, and the arrangements entered into by your Excellency, that I had no difficulty in carrying them out to their entire satisfaction, as well as with the cordial concurrence of the Company's Agent.

In certifying to the points required by your Excellency's Minute, a copy of which is herewith enclosed, I have the honor to report as follows:—

1.That I personally inspected the several gardens and cultivations of the Natives in the Waitohi, which measure 89 acres; to which the Company's Agent and myself agree, that 6 should be added for any small unmeasured patches there may be, making a total of 95 acres.
2.The reserve allotted in Waikawa Bay contains 280 acres of level land, of which about 200 are available for cultivation, and in addition, as will be seen by the accompanying tracing, a large tract of forest and waste land. The boundaries are well defined, being the summit of the hills on either side, till they descend to the water at the capes which form the Bay of Waikawa, and the back or inland boundary is the ridge of the first rising ground from the beach; and as this is the principal one, dividing, as it does, the European from the Native land, it had been further marked off by stakes. The enclosed documents, signed by every Native there at Waitohi, and the census I caused to be taken at the time, will convey to your Excellency the satisfaction of the Natives at the sufficiency of the reserve, and how ample it is for their future operations and wants.
3.The site of the village was selected by the chief Ropoama on behalf of the rest of the Natives, and a more eligible one could not have been taken: it is situated in the centre of the Bay, at the junction of a stream that flows through the centre of the reserve with the waters of the Sound, distant about two miles by land and a mile further by water, from the site which has been fixed upon for the town at Waitohi.

The Resident Agent of the Company purposes to lay out 20 acres for the village at this spot, and immediately adjacent 95 acres, equivalent to what the Natives resign at Waitohi, for their cultivations.

Every precaution that suggested itself has been taken to prevent future dispute or misunderstanding, and from the manner in which the whole of the resident Natives expressed their satisfaction at the arrangements, I do not apprehend any interruption of the good feeling that now exists, or that anything will occur to retard the progress of the town at Waitohi, which as a shipping port to the Wairau will materially add to the value and increase the prosperity of a district so important to the Nelson Settlement.

I considered it right to reserve for a public landing-place a small portion of level land abutting on the deepest water in Waikawa Bay, as well as the right of reserving a road through the Native Reserve to Waitohi, both of which were cheerfully acceded to by the Natives, and are delineated on the plan.

page 266

Having learnt from His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor that Mr. FitzGerald's services could not be dispensed with at Wellington, the Company's Agent directed his surveyors to lay out the line of road from Waitohi to the Wairau, a tracing of which is herewith enclosed.

From personal knowledge of the Tua Marina Pass, I consider it a judicious line that Messrs. Ward and Coulter have adopted, and they appear to have arrived at a fair approximation of the expense, as 15 percent for incidental expenses is considered rather underrated, where the work is at such a distance; and as I believe there will be a greater extent than three miles that will require metalling, the whole expense cannot be estimated under £3,000.

When your Excellency issues instructions for the carrying out of this work, it will meet with every aid from the Natives, as everywhere I touched at in Queen Charlotte's Sound, during my late visit to Waitohi, and also at the Pa Mahikipaua, on the Pelorus, they were earnest in their inquiries as to the time the road was to be commenced, and in their desire to be employed upon it.

I have, &.,
M. Richmond,

His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief.