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

Enclosure 3 in No. 31. — The Assistant Native Secretary, Dunedin, to Mr. H. T. Clarke

Enclosure 3 in No. 31.
The Assistant Native Secretary, Dunedin, to Mr. H. T. Clarke.

Dunedin, 21st April, 1864.


In returning to you the documents accompanying your letter of the 4th instant, requesting me to furnish you with any information upon the present condition of the Maori Missionary Society of Otago, and particularly with reference to an application made to the Government in 1862 for pecuniary assistance in carrying out the objects of the Society, I have the honor to intimate to you that in communicating with Mr. Fennant, the Secretary to the Society, I was informed that some time since the gentleman acting as Native missionary at Otakou Heads dissolved all connection with the Society, and that, owing to that occurrence, together with other adverse circumstances, he (Mr. Fennant) considered the Society to be virtually defunct, and consequently no funds were required.

With reference to the concluding paragraph of your letter, requesting information as to certain reserves made in Dunedin for the benefit of the Natives, I beg to inform you that it is only as regards one reserve that any funds are derivable, and the state of which is as follows:—It is situated in one of the best business positions in Dunedin, and fully occupied with buildings, amongst which is the Chief Police Station. The Provincial Government have set up a claim to it, on the ground that at the time page 126the land in question was appropriated as a Native Reserve, Sir George Grey, the then Governor-in-Chief was not empowered to grant it for that purpose, and the question is still pending. The Hon. Mr. Reader Wood, however, on the subject being brought under his notice during his visit here two years since, gave instructions to the Commissioner of Crown Lands to receive all rents accruing from the reserve in question (the tenants being merely yearly), and to pay the amount into a bank to a separate account, there to remain until the final settlement of the question as to whether the reserve is to be regarded as appropriated for the especial benefit of the Natives or is one of the ordinary reserves administered by the Superintendent.

I find on inquiry at the Land Office that the sum of £5,000 has accrued on account of this reserve; it would therefore be very desirable that the question of right should be speedily settled.

I have, &c.,

A. Chetham Strode, Assistant Native Secretary.

Henry T. Clarke, Esq., R.M., Invercargill.