Memorandum by Mr. James Mackay, Junr., to the Hon. the Native Minister, relative to the Native Reserves at Motupipi, in the Province of Nelson.
It appears that this question has been outstanding since the days of the New Zealand Company, and it is highly desirable to arrange it as soon as possible.
The Natives object to taking the reserve as laid out on the map of the district of Takaka. This reserve was surveyed under the direction of the Assistant Native Secretary on the 14th January last.
The Native version of the affair is as follows:—They were in occupation of sections 5, 6, 7, and 164, in the district of Takaka, in Captain Wakefield's time. Mr. Ligar came to arrange the question. He told them if they would abandon their cultivations on section 164 on the east bank of the River Motupipi, and remove to the western bank, they should have sections 5 and 6, and portions of sections 4 and 7, reserved for their use. In consequence of this arrangement they abandoned their cultivations on section 164, and removed to the west bank of the River Motupipi.
With reference to the truth of this statement, they have no documents to show in support of it; they however assert that Mr. Ligar promised to forward these to them from Nelson. Mr. James Lovell, a respectable settler at Motupipi, recollects Mr. Ligar's visit, and states that the Natives abandoned section 164 immediately after it. Lovell is well acquainted with the Maori language, and he states that he was informed by them at the time of the arrangements entered into between them and Mr. Ligar. Mr. Sinclair, when Resident Magistrate at Nelson, endeavoured to arrange this question, but did not succeed, owing to the opposition of the Natives.
The reserve, as at present shown on the plan, is of a most peculiar shape, and would require a vast amount of fencing to encompass it. It includes within its boundaries portions of sections 4, 5, and 6. The remaining portions of sections 4 and 7 have been granted to Thomas Wills, and of sections 5 and 6 have been granted to the Trustees of Nelson College.
It is now proposed to exchange section 9 for the Native land at Motueka, and to give it up to the Natives at Motupipi as part compensation for the lands which have been granted to Thomas Wills and page 336the Trustees of Nelson College respectively. It is also recommended that the Trustees of Nelson College should be requested to exchange those parts of section 5 which are granted to them for land elsewhere, with a view that section 5 may be given up to the Natives. It will be impossible to alter the boundaries of the Native Reserve on sections 4 and 7, as these have been granted to Thomas Wills.
If the Trustees of Nelson College will not exchange the land on sections 5 and 6 for land elsewhere, I would then recommend that the boundaries of the reserve should remain as laid out on the ground, and section 9 should be given up to them.
Section 160 was reserved by Mr. McLean for Rawiri Watino and his people, in ignorance that it had been granted to the Trustees of Nelson College. It must, however, be observed that Rawiri Watino was in occupation of lands on this section long previous to the grant to the Trustees of Nelson College.
I made a proposal to the Governors of Nelson College to give up section 160 to the Crown, and take an equivalent quantity of land elsewhere. They readily consented to do so, or to let the section to the Commissioners of Native Reserves at Nelson. His Honor the Superintendent is quite willing to give land to the College Governors instead of section 160. The Commissioners of Native Reserves prefer paying a yearly rental to the College Governors for section 160 to exchanging it for other land.
It is, however, recommended that immediate steps should be taken to confirm Mr. McLean's award, and to put Rawiri Watino and his people in possession of section 160.
James Mackay, Junr., Assistant Native Secretary.21st February, 1863.