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

No. 1. — Mr. James Mackay, Junr., to the Native Secretary, Wellington

No. 1.
Mr. James Mackay, Junr., to the Native Secretary, Wellington.

Assistant Native Secretary's Office,

Collingwood, 12th August, 1862.


The question as to the position of the northern boundary of the lands held by the Ngatitama at Wakapuaka having been long pending, and the Provincial Government of Nelson being desirous of surveying some land in that neighbourhood, I deemed it expedient, when at Nelson in June last, to arrange it.

I accordingly proceeded to the pa at Wakapuaka, and on the 27th and 28th days of June had interviews with the chiefs Wiremu Katene Te Manu, of the Ngatitama, and Maka Tarapiko, of the Ngatikoata, and other Natives interested in the matter. On the 28th it was arranged that the River Wangamoa, from its source to the sea, should form the northern boundary of the Wakapuaka lands, and that a reserve of 100 acres at Wangamoa, intended for the Ngatikoata (the position of which had not been defined), should be included within the' Ngatitama boundary, but should be marked off' for the Ngatikoata.

In order to more clearly understand the case, it may be considered necessary to make the following remarks on it, and on my proceedings.

In 1856 the Ngatikoata ceded to the Crown all their claims to lands as far as Maunganui, a place a short distance south of Wangamoa. The Ngatitama and their chief Wiremu Katene Te Manu refused to acknowledge the right of the Ngatikoata to sell any land south of the River Wangamoa. Mr. McLean also found it impossible to purchase any lands from the section of the Ngatitama residing at Wakapuaka. On investigating the case, and inquiring from Maka Tarapiko why himself and the other Ngatikoata had sold the land as far as Maunganui, he answered that the lands between O Mokau, north of the River Wangamoa, and Maunganui, south of Wangamoa, belonged to both the Ngatikoata and Ngatitama Tribes, and for many years previous to Mr. McLean's purchase both tribes had disputed about the boundary. He considered that the Ngatikoata had not the sole right to dispose of the land as far as Maunganui. If both tribes had joined in doing so, it would have been valid.

The chief Wiremu Katene Te Manu, on his part, expressed his determination to have the River Wangamoa as the boundary of the lands held by himself and his tribe, and would not admit the right of the Ngatikoata to sell any land south of that river. He also demanded that the reserve of 100 acres, intended for the Ngatikoata, should be laid off on the northern bank of it.

Finding that the Ngatikoata could not prove a clear title to any of the land south of Wangamoa, I then proposed that the River Wangamoa should be the northern boundary of the Wakapuaka lands, provided the reserve of 100 acres for the Ngatikoata was laid out on the south side instead of on the north. After much argument and numerous refusals on the part of both Wiremu Katene Te Manu and Maka Tarapiko, this was agreed to; and whenever the reserve of 100 acres is surveyed, both tribes will attach their names to the plan of the boundaries.

The other boundaries of the Wakapuaka Reserve are well known, and have been arranged for many years past.

Hoping that the steps taken to conclude this long outstanding dispute will meet with the approval of His Excellency the Administrator of the Government,

I have, &c.,

James Mackay, Junr., Assistant Native Secretary.

The Native Secretary, Wellington.