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

Mr. Commissioner McLean to the Commissioner of Crown Lands

Mr. Commissioner McLean to the Commissioner of Crown Lands.

Land Commissioner's Office, Wellington 15th December, 1854.


I have the honor to inform you that I have taken advantage of the arrival here and at Porirua of the principal chiefs from the Middle Island, including Wiremu Te Kanae and his followers from Wairau, Taiaroa the principal aboriginal chief of the Island, Pukekohatu, and several others, to effect a final arrangement with them, as well as with all the chiefs on this Island, for their several claims to the Middle Island, for which the first instalment was paid before Sir George Grey left here in August, 1853.

I should have preferred carrying out this arrangement (as previously intended) at Nelson, after the surveys of the Native Reserves were further progressed; but, after due reflection, I found that it would be impossible for me to get such a collection of influential chiefs together at Nelson as have assembled here. Taking also into consideration the urgent necessity for hastening an adjustment of the question, so as to throw the land open for colonization, I have, on the assurance of the chiefs that they will, as soon as their reserves are marked off, give peaceable possession of the whole of that portion of the Island, paid them a sum of £2,000, as acknowledged in a deed receipt, the translation of which is herewith furnished for your information.

I am aware that, although the chiefs from the Middle Island have fully entered into this arrangement, there will be some questions to settle with a few minor tribes residing at Wakapuaka, Queen Charlotte Sound, and other portions of the Island; but these, I feel satisfied, can be duly adjusted by the principal chiefs to this arrangement, who have undertaken to accompany me, when my duties here will admit of my going over to Nelson, to settle with their respective tribes and followers resident at the Middle Island.

Wiremu Te Kanae will facilitate the surveys of the necessary reserves for the Natives at the Hoiere and Kaituna Districts whenever Mr. Brunner is prepared to proceed with the surveys in that neighbourhood.

His Honor the Superintendent mentioned to me (when last at Nelson) that he was anxious to obtain a portion of a Native Reserve at the Wairau in exchange for other land, as the place alluded to would be very desirable as a site for a ferry.

I have spoken to Kanae on this subject, who agrees to give up any portion of a reserve that may be requisite for the above purpose.

Pokekohatu, or Te Tana, from Motueka, has received £200 as his share out of the £2,000 recently paid to the Natives. In addition to this sum, he is to receive, for himself and his tribe, a further sum of £400, which, with another sum of £100 for the people of Wakapuaka, he has agreed to accept; and, in the meantime, he intends to deposit with you, until he and his tribe are finally settled with, the sum of £200, which has been paid to him out of this instalment.

I find that it would be impossible to effect a final and amicable adjustment of the land comprised within this purchase, which may be estimated at eight millions of acres, for the sum originally stipulated in the deed of sale, more especially as so many more Natives from different tribes (including those tribes who claim by right of conquest, as well as the remnants of those who originally owned the country,) are resident in that portion of the Middle Island than in any other part of it; and, as no arrangement with them could be binding without the full concurrence and sanction of the principal conquering chiefs resident on this Island. I think you will agree with me that the best course was finally to dispose of the latter claims, when such a favourable opportunity for doing so, in connection with the chiefs of the Middle Island, presented itself.

I have, &c.,

Donald McLean,
Land Commissioner.

The Commissioner of Crown Lands, Nelson.

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