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

No. 1. — Memorandum on the Kaiapoi Purchase, and subsequent sub-division of the Reserve

No. 1.
Memorandum on the Kaiapoi Purchase, and subsequent sub-division of the Reserve.

The papers referring to this purchase, and the subsequent arrangements as to reserves, may be divided into three periods —

1.The first period is the year 1848, when the purchase was made.
2.The second period comprises the papers relating to the partial sub-division of the reserve by Mr. Buller, from the years 1858-1863.
3.The third period brings the question down to the present time from the date of Mr. Mantell's page 94last taking office, when he gave directions, which hare never yet been carried out, for bringing the whole matter to a conclusion.
I.The first papers of which I am aware on the subject, are His Excellency Sir George Grey's despatches to Earl Grey, in 1848 (see Parliamentary Papers. July, 1849). From these it appears that Mr. H. T. Kemp was sent to effect the purchase of the block lying between the Ngatitoa block and that purchased by the New Zealand Company at Otago.

Lieutenant-Governor Eyre's despatch to Sir George Grey, of 5th July, 1848, gives the history of Mr. Kemp's proceedings, of which it is sufficient to state that he was never absent from H.M.S. Fly three nights during the whole cruise; that he did not carry out his instructions as to laying out and clearly defining reserves; that he paid the whole of the first instalment of the purchase money to two individuals without even the knowledge of many of those interested; and lastly, that the deed of sale was drawn in an illegal form. This last defect has never been remedied.

Mr. Mantell was instructed to take up Mr. Kemp's unexecuted work and his report of 30th January, 1849, gives the account of what he did to define the reserves at Kaiapoi and elsewhere. A number of the Kaiapoi Natives then resided at Port Levy, but had no claim over it, as they were only living there by sufferance (they had even to purchase their burial-place there). On the strength of their having no claim to Port Levy, ample reserves were made at Kaiapoi for their number at that time (an average of 11 acres to each individual). (See Mr. Mantell's memorandum, enclosure to letter of 24th January, 1850, p. 11, C. No. 3).

Many of the Kaiapoi Natives were also temporarily resident at Moeraki at this time, with no claim over the land at that place. The number of adult natives, of both sexes and all sizes, having a claim at Moeraki, was 87—(see return appended to Mr. Mantell's report)—and a reserve of 500 acres (5½ acres each) was made there. These, and the Port Levy and Murihiku Natives, were considered in making the Kaiapoi reserve its present size.

Mr. Mantell states in a minute on Mr. Bell's memorandum of 19th November, 1862:—

"In making the Tuahiwi reserve so large, I consider I had allowed 1000 acres for the Moerakis, described to me as 100 in number. But when I was afterwards compelled by their refusal at the time to move to give them a reserve at Moeraki of 500 acres, I regarded their claim on Tuahiwi as proportionately reduced. The residents were not only aware of the right in 1848, but insisted upon it and knew that nearly half the reserve was for Moeraki at the time of the survey."

I draw attention to this because it has been alleged by the Kaiapoi Natives that they have a claim on the reserves at Moeraki, and Port Levy, which is not the case.

The Kaiapoi Natives have I believe had additions to their numbers since 1848, from various quarters, and in terms of the deed as well as on other grounds, they would seem to have a strong claim on the Government for a further provision of land. This claim however is on the Government, not on the reserves set apart for other branches of the Ngaitahu. I submit that any admission of a common right to participate in special sub-tribal reserves would lead to considerable confusion. The recent decision of the Government as to the Port Levy reserve recognises this principle. I may here mention that it was an express stipulation in respect of the West Coast reserves, that the Natives on the eastern side of the range had no claim upon them. The remaining papers attached refer to other purchases in the Middle Island, principally to Mr. Hamilton's purchase which was rendered necessary by the fact that the Ngatitoa had no right to sell as they did the country between the Wai-au-ua, and Kaiapoi, and Mr. Kemp's deed only purported to take Kaiapoi as the northern boundary of his purchase (see deed, which is ambiguous).

I attach copy of the deed as published in the Appendix Journal of House of Representatives, 1858.

II.The next important document, in relation to the Kaiapoi reserve, is Mr. Buller's report of 1st March, 1862, on the partition and individualization of the Kaiapoi reserve, which is attached.

Mr. Mantell's memorandum of the 20th October, 1862, includes a letter from Mr. Buller, of 29th October, 1861, which shows that Mr. Buller had nearly concluded his work of sub-division before he had consulted the reports of Mr. Mantell on the subject of these reserves.

This memorandum, with Mr. Bell's memorandum upon it, and minutes attached, appear very clearly to lay down the rights of the Moeraki Natives.

It is noteworthy that no comparison appears to have been made by Mr. Bell or Mr Buller of Mr. Mantell's tabular return of population, reserves, &c., p. 8, C. No. 3, appendix 1858, with his letter and returns, C. No. 3, p. 11. from which it appears that unless 500 acres were given to the Moeraki Natives at Kaiapoi they would not have the average amount per head of 11 acres.

Mr. Bell's memorandum of 9th November, 1862, elicits very decided statements from Mr. Mantell on the Moeraki claim, and suggests a solution of the difficulty by purchasing the rights of the Moeraki Natives with the proceeds of a reserve, which is on an entirely different fooling from the other reserve for the Ngaitahu, and is of a general character; since that date the rents from that reserve (the Princess-street reserve) have amounted to upwards of £6,000, and could this sum be available, the course proposed would seem very desirable.

There are a large number of letters bearing on this question, but the above documents with Mr. Buller's notes on Mr. Bell's memorandum, give the position of the case to the date of Mr. Mantell's taking office, in 1864.

III.Mr. Mantell's letter of April 8th, 1865, and his subsequent letter of May 1st, 1865, to Mr. Hunter Brown give his instructions as to the further settlement of the sub-division. A map is attached.

Since these instruction were given, Mr. Tancred has been appointed Commissioner of Native Reserves with special reference to the Kaiapci Natives.

One hundred and eleven grants have been forwarded to him for distribution in accordance with Mr. Buller's sub-division. A few of these have been retained till some questions of succession have been determined. A delay has arisen in the issue of further grants pending the settlement of the Moeraki page 95question, and I believe it is the intention of Mr. Richmond to send an officer of the Native department to conclude the sub-division of the reserve.

Wm. Rolleston,
Under Secretary Native Department.

February 2nd, 1867.