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

Copy of Report from Mr. Alexander Mackay, Native Commissioner, to the Hon. the Native Minister

Copy of Report from Mr. Alexander Mackay, Native Commissioner, to the Hon. the Native Minister.

Dunedin, February 7th, 1868.


In pursuance of the instructions conveyed in your letter of 22nd November, 1867, I have now the honour to report as follows:—That, from the 2nd to the 12th December, I was occupied in visiting the Native settlements at Port Levi, Akaroa, Wairewa, Rapaki, and Te Taumut[gap — reason: damaged], at the mouth of Lake Ellesmere, and explaining to the residents of each the purpose of the recent Acts of the Legislature; and also advising them as to the proper mode in every case of filling in and forwarding the necessary forms of application, to have their title to the Native reserves determined by the Native Land Court.

The Natives of these settlements seem to be favourably inclined towards "The Native Representation Act," and have promised to hold meetings to discuss the subject. I impressed upon all the necessity of unanimity in their proceedings, if they were desirous of electing a member from amongst the Natives of the Southern Provinces, as, by acting in concert with each other, they would be saved the expense and trouble of attending at the polling places on the election day.

Opinion seems to be divided among the Natives resident at the Peninsula as to the best place for holding the election; some suggested Kaiapoi, as they could have the benefit of Mr. Stack's assistance and advice, while, on the other hand, the residents at Wairewa and Taumutu suggested Akaroa as the most convenient place for them. It seems very desirable that the convenience of these people should be consulted as much as possible, so as to prevent their being put to any unnecessary expense in going a greater distance from their homes than is absolutely unavoidable. Bearing this in mind, I would, therefore, suggest that the polling place for the residents at Rapaki and Port Levy should be at Lyttelton. Dr. Donald, the Resident Magistrate, or the Returning Officer, might be requested to undertake the necessary duties there, and I would beg to name Te Koti, of Rapaki, as a suitable Native to assist in the proceedings. It will, however, be necessary, I fancy, to provide an Interpreter for the Returning Officer, in case that officer is not acquainted with the language. A polling place for the page 144Natives of Te Taumutu, Wairewa, Wainui and Onuku, might be appointed at Akaroa as being the most convenient. Mr. Watson, R.M., or the Returning Officer there, might be requested to undertake the necessary duties, and Tamati Tikao would be a suitable Native to co-operate with him. As a general rule, I would suggest that the Returning Officers in the neighbourhood of the several polling places should be requested to manage the election, as fewer irregularities would be likely to occur than if persons who have had no previous experience with the duties should be employed.

With respect to the establishment of schools under "The Native Schools Act, 1867, the majority of the children are at Wairewa, or Little River, which, therefore, would be the most convenient place for the erection of a school, as the children from the settlements of Akaroa and Te Taumutu, in the Lake Ellesmere district, could be sent there: this would give an average number of 20 to 30 children to this school, if their parents chose to comply with the conditions of the Act.

The Wairewa Natives are especially desious to have a school established there, and stated their willingness to contribute their share of the expense. I suggested to them the advisability of holding a meeting to concert measures for the purpose, and, when they arrived at a satisfactory conclusion, to send in a memorial to the Colonial Secretary, as provided by the Act. There is no Local School there as yet. Mr. Stack has suggested to the Natives the propriety of their sending the whole of their children from the Peninsula to the school at kaiapoi, and it would be very desirable if one head school could be established for the Province, but I am afraid that could never be carried into effect, as the Natives have a great objection to send their children to a distance, and would, in preference to doing so, allow them to grow up in ignorance. The Natives of Rapaki and Port Levy have, however, consented to end their children to the school at Kaiapoi.

I am inclined to think that the proposal to admit Native children into the Local Schools, is open to objection, as it will be found, as a rule, that the European parents will object to allowing their children to associate with Native children on account of their filthy habits, and their being afflicted in most instances with an incurable itch. The experiment might, however, be fairly tried, and, if found not suitable, could be abandoned, and the other system adopted instead.

On the 20th December, I visited the Native settlement at Arowhenua (Timaru), but, a large number of the principal men being absent, I had to defer the general meeting until the next day. After discussing various matters with the Natives who were present, I walked over the reserve in company with some of them to look at the northern boundary, which they asserted did not agree with the line originally laid down by Mr. Mantell; that, subsequently, it had been re-surveyed by Mr. Hewlings, of Timaru, under their direction, with which they were perfectly satisfied, but it was during a more recent survey of the adjoining land the error had been made.

Considering that the matter had better be settled, if possible, while I was on the spot, I promised them that, if I had time, I would bring Mr. Hewlings out to re-survey the boundaries, if they would pay the necessary expense, which they agreed to do.

The Natives own a very valuable property here, and one that might be made to produce a great deal more than they raise from it, or are ever likely to do under the present system. It is wholly unfeuced, with the exception of a very small portion, and appears to be a common for all the stock in the neighbourhood to graze upon. They have not even paddocks to keep their few horses in, but[gap — reason: damaged]re to keep them tethered to prevent them from straying. It is very unfortunate that these people are so indifferent to their own intereats; they might be very much better off if they would only exert themselves. As a rule they own some of the best land in the country, but they seem to have no idea how to use it to the best advantage.

The settlement hero consists of about 15 huts of all shapes and sizes, and in the usual Maori condition. There is a very neat little Maori Church which forms a great contrast to the delapidated huts scattered about its vicinity. This building was erected by contributions of money and labour from the inhabitants, supplemented by a grant of £50 from the General Government.

The Natives, with the exception of a few of the younger men, who were engaged shearing, having all assembled on the following day, 21st December, we held a meeting to discuss the various objects of my mission to them. They seemed favourably disposed towards "The Representation Act," but not so to "The Native Schools Act," giving as a reason their inability to contribute regularly to the maintenance of a school for the education of their children. I pointed out to them that they might easily place themselves in a better position if they would only make a more profitable use of their land; but they appeared to be quite opposed to the proposed system of education. They stated that if the Government would undertake the sole responsibility they would consent to send their children; but if the maintenance of the school was at all dependent on their contributions they would rather not have anything to do with it.

Amongst other things alluded to by them was what they termed the Wakamutunga o Niu Tireni, the final arrangement for New Zealand, mentioned by Mr. Mantell while completing Mr. Kemp's purchase. I asked them what they imagined was meant by this. They said they imagined it to mean a final payment of money for their land. I explained to them that the meaning of the expression was the consideration of their future welfare by the Government—in the care of their sick, the education of their children, and the establishment of schools and hospitals. To this they answered that they had never taken this view of the subject, but had always supposed it to be a final payment of money. They had heard, while Mr. Mantell was in England, that the meaning of this term was the same as explained by me, but they never clearly understood it.

On the 23rd December, I walked out to see the reserve at Waimataitai, the position of which has been well chosen, as is the case, in fact, with the whole of their property. It is situated on the outskirts of the township of Timaru, and will ultimately acquire commercial value as the town increases. The water-hole named Pounui-a-hine, the right of fetching water from which was guaranteed to the Natives by Mr. Mantell, is entirely dried up. This is not of any particular consequence, as the Natives do not make any use of the reserve.

page 145

During the day, I called on Mr. Hewlings respecting the Native reserves in the district, and arranged with him to go out the next day to Arowhenua to lay off the boundary line in dispute there. I spoke to him also about undertaking the duties of Returning Officer, under "The Native Representation Act," but he declined to do so, as it would interfere with his other duties; moreover, he did not wish to undertake the office.

On 24th December, Mr. Hewlings accompanied me to Arowhenua, to survey the disputed boundary. After some little delay in searching for old marks, we got started with the work, and all went smoothly enough until we came to set off the line laying East and West; there the Natives made a stand, and attempted to interfere with us, asserting that our survey was to the south of Mr. Mantell's original boundary, but, after a small show of opposition, they allowed us to proceed, and we shortly proved, by finding several of Mr. Hewlings old marks, that the Natives were entirely at fault as to the position of the original boundaries, and the line we were following eventually led us right upon the peg put in by Mr. Hewlings, when he previously surveyed the reserve under the direction of Tarawhata. The Natives were at last unwillingly convinced that no alteration had been made in the boundary. Tarawhata appears to have caused the mistake, and misled the others with respect to its actual position. This question appears to have been a matter of dispute for several years past, but it may be now considered as definitely settled.

On the 25th December, I left Timaru for Waimatemate, reaching the pah there in the afternoon, when I arranged with the Natives for a meeting with them on the following day (Thursday).

The Natives appear to be better off at this settlement in point of house accommodation, than at Arowhenua. The pah consists of ten houses, chiefly constructed of wood, one of which, belonging to Horomona Pohio, is very comfortable. They also possess a very neat little Church built by the joint contributions of the Natives, supplemented by a grant of £50 from the Government.

On the next morning, 26th December, J. found, in addition to the residents of the Waimatemate reserve, those of the Tauhinu and Punaomaru reserves (Waitaki), also assembled at the pah. After explaining to them the object of my visit, we discussed the merits of the various subjects I laid before them. They explained themselves favourably inclined to "The Representation Act," but seemed to think that its object would be frustrated by the general inability of the Natives to concert measures among themselves for the election of a member. With respect to "The Native Schools Act," it did not find much favour with them, for the same reasons as adduced by the Natives of Arowhenua, and with a greater show of reasons, in my opinion, as the reserve here is very limited in extent, and poor in character. It only contains forty acres; the inhabitants number about seventy-six of all ages, including the few who have an interest in the Tauhinu and Punaomaru reserves, who seem to reside almost permanently here.

Before leaving the pah in the evening, I arranged to start for the Hakataramea on the next day, 27th December, via the Waitaki.

On the 28th December, I proceeded up the Waitaki to Hakataramea, distant about thirty miles, to select the land for the reserve originally promised to Te Warekorari, passing through the Tauhinu reserve on the way, which has been recently surveyed by the Provincial Government, and an additional ten acres added beyond the original acreage, which gives it twenty-three acres instead of thirteen, originally made by Mr. Mantell. With this addition, however, it is a very unsuitable place for Natives, and it would be much to their advantage if they could get land elsewhere, in exchange for it.

Further up the Waitaki, I passed the Punaomaru Reserve, situated on the opposite bank, but the river being flooded I was prevented from crossing over to see it.

This reserve appears to be entirely abandoned and might as well be sold,—for all the service it is to the Natives in its present position—and the proceeds invested in land elsewhere, if practicable. Probably some of the settlers in the neighbourhood might be inclined to purchase it.

On reaching the Hakataramea, and looking over the land for a site for the reserve, I found that, with the exception of about 50 acres of very light land in the immediate vicinity of Warekorari's old Pah, the remainder of the available portion of the flat was occupied, partly under pre-emptive right, and partly under freehold. I accordingly went to look at the land on the east bank of the river, with a view to select the site there if possible, but found it to be of a very indifferent character, and quite unsuited for Native occupation. The main river is making great encroachments on this side, and will, sooner or later, convert the whole of the flat land into a river bed. There is no other land in this locality whereon to select the reserve, as, with the exception of the flat before mentioned, which is very unsuitable, even if it been open for selection, the whole of the surrounding country is steep hillside; so that under the circumstances, and taking all things into consideration, one of which is that, supposing it was possible to select a sufficient quantity of good land in that locality for the reserve, it is very improbable the Natives would ever locate themselves upon it. I would, therefore, recommend that land to an equal extent in area to the reserve originally decided on at Hakataramea, should be selected for Wharekorari's representatives elsewhere.

For this reason, and to make myself acquainted with the position of the land best suited for the purpose, I proceeded on 30th December, while waiting for the coach to Oamaru, to a place called by the Natives Waikawa, the site of an old pah, laying a few miles to the south of the River Waiho, at the mouth of which Horomono Pohio was anxious to acquire a small block of land. There are several hundred acres of very fine land at Waikawa, very well suited for Native occupation. There are also several large lagoons in the neighborhood, from which they could procure eels. They could also get a moderate supply of drift wood from the beach for fuel. The land in question is situated within the boundaries of a run held by a Mr. Buckley, but until I make further enquiries, I cannot say whether it is open for selection or no; however, if it should prove so, and i hope it may, I would recommend that land to the extent of 300 acres should be selected here for the following objects, viz: —150 acres in lieu of the Hakataramea reserve, 100 acres to provide additional land for the residents at Waimatemate, and 50 acres in lieu of the Tauhinu reserve (To Kapa's pah, Waitaki). which I would propose should be abandoned as being unsuitable, under present circumstances, for Native occupation.

page 146

My reason for recommending an extension of acreage in exchanging the Tauhinn reserve is that its present size is too limited.

The Natives would be very pleased if land could be acquired for them at Waikawa. I did not, however, hold out any hopes to them, knowing there might be several obstacles in the way of acquiring it; but still, if it is found to be in any way practicable, I would urgently recommend the desirability of securing land for them in that quarter.*

On the 3lst December, I left Oamaru for Moeraki, and reached the pah there about 9 a.m. The Natives were all on the spot awaiting my arrival, as they had been advised of my coming by a letter written to Matiaha during the previous week. I was therefore en[gap — reason: damaged] to commence proceedings at once. I opened the business with the Kaiapoi question, and explained to them what had been done there by me relative to their claim. During a rather lengthy discussion on the subject, I informed them that, as certain of their numbers had already received land there, the acreage allotted to them would have to be taken into consideration, and deducted from the 500 acres originally allotted to the Moerakis. This they admitted was perfectly fair, and, on calling over the names of the Allottees on the various lots alluded to in my report of the 30th November, Matiaha and the other Moerakis present assented to ten. This gives an acreage of 168 acres, including the block awarded to Matiaha, and would leave an area of 332 acres still due to them. The matter was then further discussed, and clearly explained, when they all, without a dissentient voice, expressed themselves to be perfectly satisfied. With respect to the settlement of their title to this land, I recommended them to subdivide it into several blocks, and then to send in an application to the Native Land Court, to which they assented. While on the subject I put the question to them whether they would have any objection, provided land could be obtained for them in the neighbourhood of Moeraki, or elsewhere, to part with the land at Kaiapoi to the Government. They expressed themselves favourable to this proposal, and would accept land in the vicinity of Moeraki, if procurable, in lieu of the land at Kaiapoi; in fact they would much prefer this arrangement, if practicable, as the land adjoining, or in the neighbourhood of their present property, would be more useful to them than the land at Kaiapot.

"The Representation Act" was favourably received by them, but not so "The Native Schools Act." The latter was objected to on the grounds that, as a community, they were not in a position to contribute regularly to the maintenance of a school. They, moreover, stated that they considered they were entitled to receive the entire aid of Government in this matter, as Mr. Mantell had held out hopes to them at the time he was completing Mr. Kemp's purchase, and also at subsequent periods, that the Government would provide for the future education of their children, and, in corroboration of this statement, Matiaha produced letters received from Mr. Mantell, while in England, in which he states that he was then endeavouring to prevail on the Secretary of State to do them justice, and enable him to substantiate the promises he had made to them.

With respect to providing the residents of Moeraki with a more permanent supply of water, there are several very good wooden buildings there that could be utilized for the purpose, if provided with guttering and tanks, without going to the expense of building a shed expressly for the purpose. There are four buildings, including the church, of the following dimensions:—

1 33 feet x 15 feet
1 28 " x 14 "
1 30 " x 14 "
Church 24 " x 14 "

These buildings, if provided with a sufficient number of tanks—say two to each—would go a considerable way towards relieving them from the inconvenience they now labour under for the want of water within a reasonable distance of their dwellings. The water-hole they are desirous of acquiring is in the hands of the Provincial Government of Otago, and I am in correspondence with the latter on the subject; but on this matter I propose addressing you a separate letter, as soon as I can learn the requisite particulars regarding it, and also the probable cost of tanks, &c., to provide a supply of rain water.

The Natives at Moeraki possess a very valuable property, from the nature of its soil as well as its position. A portion of the reserve is open land, and the remainder covered with a light bush easy to clear, but, as is usual with them, they make a very bad use of it; the bulk of the land is quite unfenced, and open to every one's cattle and horses to stray on. It would require about 150 chains of fencing to enclose it within a ring-fence, and it would not take long to do so if they would set about it, as a good deal of the material might be procured on the ground.

I took the opportunity, when they complained to me about the cattle and horses of the Europeans trespassing on their lands, and the annoyance they were continually subjected to in having their own animals impounded, to point out to them the advisability of their making some arrangement among themselves with a view to erect a fence all round their property, so as to secure to themselves the full benefit to be derived from their land, and proposed to them that they should adopt one of two courses by which it might be done:—

(1). They should ascertain the cost, and arrange with some of the younger men to erect the fence, the elders who were incapable of assisting to find a substitute; or (2), that they should ascertain their page 147numbers, and allot to each a particular portion of the work. I am afraid, however, it will be a long time before they undertake it. It is a great pity they are so regardless of their own interest.

On the 2nd January, 1868, I left Moeraki for Waikouaiti and reached there the same afternoon, but, on arriving at the pah, I found that a large proportion of the inhabitants were absent shearing at the neighbouring sheep-stations.

Haereroa and a few of the principal men were, however, left behind, so I arranged with them to hold a meeting on the following day, with as many of their numbers as they could collect.

The Natives at this settlement appear to be very comfortably off. The Kai[gap — reason: damaged]ga consists of 25 houses, and a very neat little church; 14 of their buildings including the church, are of wood, and possess a very neat appearance as they stand dotted here and there on the side of the hill about the centre of the reserve. They have also a greater breadth of land under cultivation, as compared with the other settlements I have visited. I noticed also a good many horses and cattle and a few sheep grazing about belonging to them. Unfortunately, however, through their usual indifference, the bulk of their property is wholly unfenced.

The result of the meeting here was very similar to that already reported on with respect to Moeraki and the other settlements couth of Christehurch.

They expressed themselves favourable to "The Representation Act." but objected to the conditions of "The Native Schools Act," which required them to contribute towards the education of their children. The number of children belonging to the five settlements south of Christchurch, may be estimated at 104, and are located as follows:—

Arowhenua 20
waimate 18
Moeraki 76
Waikowaiti 34
Purakaunui 8
Total 10[gap — reason: damaged]

Some of this number are merely infauts yet, but the larger portion are old enough to attend school.

It occurs to me that, if once schools were established in the various districts, one difficulty might be overcome, and it is one that to the Native mind appears an insurmountable obstacle, and that is, supposing the parents were not always in a position to pay their share of the head money in cash, they might be allowed to give an equivalent in produce. The main thing in the first place is, to get the schools fairly established, and allow such a sum to each out of the Government subsidy, as would suffice to keep it in existence until they severally gained importance. The original intention might then be gradually adopted, as it may be reasonably expected that, in course of time, some Natives would be found willing to contribute their share for the education of their children. Unfortunately, as a rule, the Maoris are not endowed with such love as to make them work for their children, or look forward to helping them on in life.

I did not visit the Purakaunui settlement, as nearly the whole of the inhabitants, with the exception of a few women and children, were away shearing.

I have, with the consent of the Natives, filled in forms of application to the Native Land Court for the whole of the reserves to the north of Dunedin, and have taken a Census of the inhabitants at each place I visited.

On the 19th January, I proceeded to visit the Native settlement at Otago Heads, but owing to the late hour when I reached there, I was not able to hold the meeting until the following day. On Saturday, the 11th January, the Natives having all assembled, we proceeded to business. "The Native Representation Act," and "The Native School Act," were explained to and discussed by them. The first named Act was very well received, but the latter was not so at first. The reason they gave was, that there had been so many attempts to establish schools among them without any particular success, that they had almost lost heart in the matter. They were very desirous that their children should receive instruction, but they had been disappointed so often that they had given up the matter in despair. First, one officer of the Government would come to ask their consent to the matter, and they would agree, but nothing came of it, and again others came on a similar errand which would end in nothing being done, and now that I had come on the same object, what guarantee would I offer them that my mission would have any better result than the former ones? Mr. Baker had resided among them a short time and taught their children, and they were very desirous that he should remain among them for the purpose, but in course of time he was taken away and no one had been appointed to take his place. I explained to them that by the present plan the success or failure of the system was very much in their own hands, that their best course would be to hold a meeting amongst themselves to ascertain their views as a body on the subject, also, if possible, whether they would be able to provide a proportion of the means required annually for the maintenance of a school, and let me know the result, to which they agreed.

On the 13th January, I again held a shore meeting with these Natives, to ascertain the result of their deliberations concerning the school. They all appeared unanimous in favour of giving the new system a trial, but intimated at the same time that they considered they were entitled to receive a portion set apart for schools out of the Stewart's Island purchase I told them that I was under the impression that the Government were of opinion that the interest money accruing from that source should be spent on schools in the Southland Province, to which they demurred, and said they considered they had an equal right to consideration in the matter; that they were originally co-proprietors of the soil with the Natives of the south, that they had all participated in the proceeds and their names were to the Deeds of Cession, and that if the whole of the purchase money had been paid at the time, it would have been equally divided between them and the people of Murihiku.

There seemed certainly some justice in what they said respecting this money. The only question page 148that remained to be decided was, whether they had an equal right to share in the proceeds with Te One Topi Patuki, and the descendants of Kihau; however, I promised them I would refer the matter to Government for consideration.

We then had a discussion about the land they had originally set apart for a church, a school-house and a burial-ground, and I pointed out to them that the spot they had selected for the purpose, was very unsuitable in many respects for a school.

The most serious objection was, that it was unapproachable in wet weather, and that I thought it would be advisable for them to choose another and a more central spot, and one that would be available in all weathers. They ultimately decided to offer a block of five acres near to where the present beacons stand, which is a very good spot and well suited for the purpose.

The settlement at the Heads consists of about 30 houses of all shapes and character, scattered about in various parts of the reserve. I was certainly rather disappointed with the appearance of the place, as I had expected to find a model settlement. They have a very neat church, the best that I have seen at any of the settlements I have visited; it was erected at a cost of £150, of which the Government paid one-third. There is also a very comfortable house in which the late Mr. Remenschneider lived, which would serve as a residence for a schoolmaster, until required for a Minister.

The church and manse are built upon the reserve of ten acres set apart for the purpose, during the life time of the late Taiaroa. The dwelling house was erected in the first place for Mr. Baker, I believe, at the joint expense of the Government and the Natives. It might be made to answer the purpose of a school and schoolmaster's residence, but I do not think the Natives would be very favourably inclined to this, as they appear to be desirous of keeping it as a residence for a Minister in the event of their securing the services of one. They have expressed themselves willing to erect a house suitable for a school, if the Government will build a house for the master.

The Natives are possessed of a few sheep and some cattle and horses. There are a good many cattle running on the reserve, the property of a few Europeans who are squatting on it by permission of the Natives, to whom they pay a small rental. None of the reserve is leased through the Commissioner. The Provincial Government pay the Natives a small rent for a piece of land required by them near the pilot station, for a landing place for boats, and there is an agreement between the Government and the Natives for the lease of some land at £20 per annum, required for the site of a lighthouse at Cape Saunders.

The reserve at the Heads is well wooded, and contains a large proportion of fine agricultural land It is much to be regretted that the Natives make so little use of it; they have a very small portion under cultivation, not a tithe of what they require to keep them provided with food. The poverty of the people is entirely attributable to their own indolence and apathy. They have plenty of land of good quality, and might live in comparative comfort if they would only exert themselves. They do not appear, from all I could learn, to be as much addicted to drunkenness as formerly, so that, in a measure, their unsatisfactory condition is the result of laziness. The population numbers 66 adults, and 32 children.

On Thursday, the 16th January, I visited the Natives at the Taieri, and explained the object of the "The Native Representation Act" and "The Native Schools Act," both of which were favourably received by them, especially the latter. They seemed to be exceedingly desirous that their children should be educated. There are a number of very nice children in this settlement, chiefly half-castes, and the parents expressed themselves willing to assist in any way that lay in their power to further the establishment of a school in the district, either in sawing timber for the building, or rendering any assistance that was requisite. The Natives have consented to set apart ten acres of land for the purpose. There is no local school within four miles of the settlement in any direction.

There are a number of settlers in the district who would be very glad to render some assistance in furtherance of this object, in order to secure a school for their children in the neighbourhood. If a mixed school could be established it would confer a great boon upon the community, both European and Native, and it would also be the means of inducing a competent person to undertake the duties, as it would secure a better attendance than if confined to the Maoris alone.

The Native population of the Taieri numbers 20 adults and 20 children; there are also about 18 half-caste children who are living with their parents at a distance from the pah, this would give a total of 38 children. Some of them are too young to be sent to school, and in some cases where there are several in one family, the parents could not afford to send them all.

The settlement here consists of some eight or ten dilapidated huts situated on the banks of the Taieri river, at the northern end of the reserve. The Natives have only a few acres under cultivation on the banks of the river. The flat portion of the reserve contains about 20 or 30 acres, and that appears to be the whole capable of cultivation in this locality. The remainder consists of steep hillsides, and broken ground, only adapted for grazing, and a portion of it is held under agreement by Mr. J. H. Harris for this purpose.

After the meeting was over, I went with two of the Natives to select a piece of land for a school site. There are only two spots which would suit the purpose, one under the foot of the hill about the centre of the reserve, and the other at the north-east corner. The first is, I fancy, the best position, being the most central, although there is very little level ground, not more than sufficient perhaps for the site of a school. There is some level land on the opposite side of the road which would do for a garden for the Master, if the Natives would consent to give it for that purpose.

There is one point the Natives are very desirous to have clearly explained before they finally make over their land for school purposes, that is, if from any cause the school ceases, what is to be done with the land? They have no objection to make it over to the school, provided the latter be kept open, but, if it ceases to exist, then they say the land should be given back to them.

I explained to them that the Act stipulated that the land should be made over for ever for school page 149purposes, and that the cessation of the school was not contemplated by the Act, but, as they desired an explanation, I would refer the matter to Government for elucidation.

I enclose four letters. Nos. 1 and 2 are from the residents at Otago Heads and Taieri, respectively, conveying their assent to the conditions of "The Native Schools Act"; No 3 from H. Kerei Taiaroa and other Natives, enquiring the intentions of Government with respect to the disposition of the interest accruing from that portion of the Stewart's Island purchase money set apart to make provision for schools; No. 4 from Kerei Taiaroa, respecting his father's claim to share in lands set apart in the territory to Mr. Kemp. Copies of the three first letters are her[gap — reason: damaged] subjoined.

* Since the above was written, land, to the extent of 150 acres, has been purchased by the direction of the General Government at Waikawa, on the 16th April, 1861, for £300, to supplement the Native reserves at Waimatemate and Tauhinu; and a farther quantity of 150 acres was also chosen there in lieu of the same quantity at Hakataramea. The claim to this section was heard before the Native Land Court at its sitting at Christchurch, in May, 1868, and a certificate of title ordered in favour of Rawiri te Maire, and the other surviving relations of Te Wharekorari.—Alexander Mackay, Native Commissioner.

The Provincial Government of Otago have since consented to proclaim the water-hole a public reserve for the use of both Europeans and Natives resident in the neighbbourhood.

The Natives of Moeraki were also subsequently provided with the necessary tanks and fittings at a cost of £56.