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A Compendium of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs in the South Island. Volume Two.

No. 31. — Memorandum by D. McLean, Esq., on Mr. Hamilton's Report of February 5th, 1857

No. 31.
Memorandum by D. McLean, Esq., on Mr. Hamilton's Report of February 5th, 1857.

March 30th, 1857.

Referring to Mr. Hamilton's report of the 5th ult. it appears that he has extinguished the claims of the Port Levy, Rapaki, and Kaiapoi tribes over an area of 1,140,000 acres of land in the Canterbury and Nelson Provinces for a consideration of £200.

The Natives demanded a sum of £500, or £150 and certain large reserves; Mr. Hamilton did not accede to the proposal of making large reserves, inasmuch as the land demanded by the Natives was of great value; and he proposed, at the request of the Natives, to submit their claim to the favourable consideration of His Excellency the Governor, for a further payment of £300 to which he considers them justly entitled; and strongly urges and requests that at least £200, should be paid to them. Mr. Hamilton and the Natives concerned, rely on His Excellency's generous consideration of this case, and I can see no other alternative but that of paying the £200 recommended by Mr. Hamilton in addition to the £200 already paid, leaving the question of the further sum of £100 open to future consideration, to be invested (if approved by the Government) in something for the permanent benefit of these Natives; to whom it must be conceded that great injustice has been done from the fact that their claims were not earlier enquired into and recognized.

I submit, therefore, that an authority should be sent to Mr. Hamilton for the payment by him of £50, in excess of the £150 already authorized for this service; and that he should have a further authority to pay the Natives a sum of £200 in consequence of their relinquishment of all their claims, including the large reserve which they demanded, and which it would be most inconvenient to grant, from the various European interests it would involve.