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

No. 5. — Mr. Alexander Mackay to the Native Secretary

No. 5.
Mr. Alexander Mackay to the Native Secretary.

Nelson, 23rd July, 1866.


I have the honor to request that I may be instructed as to which will be the best mode of procedure to adopt with a view to invest the Natives of Motupipi, Golden Bay, with the legal possession of three sections of land situated in that locality, and numbered respectively Nos. 5, 6, and 160 on the plan of the said district. The aforesaid sections have been recently purchased by the Government from the Trustees of the Nelson College, in order that the land contained therein should be given up to the aforesaid Natives in fulfilment of a promise made to them personally, in February, 1863, by Mr. Bell, the then Native Minister. A question has however arisen as to the proper mode of investing the Natives with the legal possession of the land in question: as to whether the land ought to be conveyed first by the College Governors to the Crown as the nominal purchaser, and for the Crown then to convey the land to a trustee for the benefit of the Natives entitled to share in it, or whether, in order to facilitate matters and save unnecessary expense, the legal estate could, with the sanction of the Crown, be conveyed by the College Governors direct to the Natives. It is presumed, if this course is sanctioned, that one deed would suffice, provided the whole transaction was set forth in it.

Mr. Poynter, the Solicitor to the College Governors, declines to convey the aforesaid land otherwise than to the Crown, excepting under special instructions from His Excellency's Government. I would therefore, under the circumstances of the case, beg respectfully to request that I should be instructed how to proceed in the matter.

I have, &c.,

Alexander Mackay, Native Commissioner.

The Native Secretary, Wellington.