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

Otakou, Omate, January 12, 1868

Otakou, Omate, January 12, 1868.

Alexander Mackay,

Friend, salutations to you. "We are all unanimous with regard to your talk about the schoolmaster, the whole of the meeting of Otakou is agreeable to this proposition, and we are all very desirous to have a schoolmaster to instruct our children to read and write the English language in accordance with the provisions of the new Act, and we are also unanimous that a piece of land shall be set aside for the schoolmaster. There is a piece of land that was set apart sometime ago for several purposes, for a church, for a school, and for a burial ground; the extent of this ground at Omate is 10 acres, this land has been reserved for a long time for this purpose. We are all unanimous also to contribute a portion of the money required for a schoolmaster.

This is another thought of ours concerning this matter of the school, and that is the money. We suppose that if only a small piece of land is given for the school, we shall have to give a larger proportion of money for the erection of a school, but if we give a large piece of land, we shall not be required to contribute a large amount. This is our thought on the subject, that we should build the schoolhouse, and that the home for the schoolmaster should be built by the Government. This is the thought of the whole meeting of Otago. This is another word that was forgotten to be included in the above, but to our view it is a very important one, and that is with regard to the land to be given to the school. Supposing the work of the school ceases at some future time, what then becomes of the land, does it revert to those it originally belonged to, or no? This is a matter for you to make clear. We are all agreeable to give a piece of land for a school, but if the work of the school ceases the land must come back to those who gave it. If it is to be made over to the school without any restrictions, we will not agree to give it. Do you understand the number of acres we agree to give is five, if the conditions upon which the land is to be given to the school are satisfactory.

This is all from your loving friends,

The Meeting of Otakou Heads.