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

Grant, Motueka

Grant, Motueka.

No. 1 (N.M. 5, p. 78, area 660 acres).—This consisted of Native reserves as did the other lands, except one block of Government land, consisting of about, I think, 250 acres. A school had been established in Motueka by the Commissioners of Native Reserves, which was placed under my management before the grants were issued. Some time after the school had been established Sir George Grey came over to Motueka. I told him what we were doing there. He said that he would make some grants of land to support the school. About a week or two afterwards the official notice arrived of the grants having been made. As far as I know, Sir George Grey went himself to the Land Office, and decided upon the selection of the reserves. Some of the reserves were under lease to Europeans, and the others were in possession and occupation of the Natives themselves. Among the latter was the single block of 660 acres recorded as above. I cannot say what was the exact amount of rent received at the time. I believe Mr. Ronaldson has the account, or, if not, Mr. Sutcliffe. The amount was, I think, between £150 and £160. The 660 acre block of land was fenced in, or partly, and put in crop, under my superintendence. Accounts of proceeds and expenditure were regularly kept. 1 was applied to [gap — reason: damage]o superintend the school merely. The management of the land was placed in the hands of Trustees, viz., Major Richmond, Dr. Greenwood, and Archdeacon Paul. When the grant was made, the Bishop of New Zealand was on the point of leaving for England, and he appointed these gentlemen his attorneys. No change was made in the conditions of the leases then extant until the Bishop of Nelson (Dr. Hobhouse) arrived. Then Mr. Barnicoat made a valuation of the land, and fresh leases on longer terms were granted, the old leases having nearly run out. The new terms were for 21 years, and a higher rent was agreed upon. I think it was all let except about 20 or 25 acres. I think the rental now amounts to about £350 a year, and I believe it was the same when I left. The copy of the form of lease can be obtained at Motueka. Most of it is very good land; all perfectly level; some a little stony, and some near the beach (but not much) swampy—probably about 50 or 60 acres. The rents were regularly paid; there were, of course, a few temporary defaulters, but I am not aware of any permanent ones. The 660 acres were never under lease, but farmed by Mr. Sutcliffe for the benefit of the Trust. The school of which I spoke was in abeyance for about three or four years—from about 1857 to 1860. The exact dates can be obtained at Motueka. All the children at the school were Maoris. The latter part of the time the children boarded at the school—both boys and girls. I should say that the total number of both was from 25 to 30; but these details can be furnished in Motueka by Mr Sutcliffe. The three requirements of the grant—(1) religious education, (2) industrial training, and (3) instruction in the English language—were regularly carried out. The school was open for Church of England Natives only, and the children were brought up in the doctrines of the Church of England. I consider the grant was denominational, and the school accordingly was so too. The industrial training consisted of household work, sewing, cooking, and keeping the house clean for the girls; and farming for the boys. This instruction was successful. Before the school was opened none of the Natives were in the habit of ploughing; when I left, the use of the plough was general. One of the girls educated there was Julia Martin, of Wakapuaka, who behaved so well in saving persons from the wreck of the "Delaware," in 1864. Her house was, and is, as far as I know, kept like a European's. She was under the training of a Mrs. Homan, who had charge of the girls' school at Motueka. The English language was regularly taught in the school by Mr. Sutcliffe. Some of the boys could speak English tolerably, and some of the girls. They were taught to write in English. During the time that I had the superintendence of the school, a grant of money was made by the Government annually in aid thereof, varying from £200 to £250. Sometimes a special grant was made. Hearing from authentic sources that all money grants for Native schools were about to be given up, I felt certain that the school could not be carried on, as the Natives had never been in the habit of paying anything for the instruction or board of their children, although they occasionally sent some potatoes. I accordingly gave it up, sending the children home. I never heard of any complaints from the parents at the school being given up. The school had always been page 292carried on in a building rented from Captain Blundell. A new and large school building was erected out of part of the rents and part of the Government money grant. It was commenced after I left. There were consequently, in my opinion, not sufficient funds for carrying on the school. The building was completed, and the school, nevertheless, opened again. The Trustees, after having received, I think, one grant of £300, had then to depend upon the rents received. At the time Bishop Hobhouse came out, the Trustees, or attorneys, resigned their trust to him. The Bishop appointed a new master, a Mr. Harris. I then went home. Mr. Harris continued for I think about two years, and then resigned. Then there was no school for I should say two or three years, until Bishop Suter arrived. He appointed the Rev. Mr. Ronaldson to take charge of it. I know nothing about the school since, except that I hear it is held every day. Archdeacon Paul was of opinion, at the time I gave it up, that the best thing would be to establish an English school, i.e., a school for both races, conducted like an English school, in order that the Natives might reap the benefit of European example. I felt sure that this would not succeed, first, from the lack of funds above alluded to; and, secondly, from the difficulty of getting the two races to work together. It struck me when up at Auckland, that the Bishop's school for both races (St. John's College) had not succeeded. Latterly it was given up also. This was an institution for both races, mixed, and was carried on entirely as an English school. I think the great difficulty in educating the Natives is the fickleness of the race, and the want of perception on the part of the parents of the benefits of education. The children like it, perhaps, for a few months, and then get a kind of aroha, or home sickness. If the children could be taken away from their parents something might be done, but the Natives are particularly jealous of their freedom of action in this as in other matters. You may go on working for years, and after all find you have a rope of sand. There is no coherence or continuity in the effect produced. I have heard of some complaints on the part of the Natives who had, or had assumed, the ownership of some of the lands granted to the Bishop—a man now at the Wairau (I forget his name), related to Te Iti. This man says he was a joint owner in the Wakarewa, block included in the grant. He has constantly appealed to me for compensation. I have always referred him to the Governor. I also referred him to Mr. Mackay, to whom I think he has written. I never went into his case, but advised him if he had a grievance to lay it before the Governor. There was also a woman named Ramari (Damaris), since called Mrs. Selwyn, or "Herewini," having married a Native of that name. She is living at Motueka now, in good health. She was a lunatic some years, and about land. I feel sure it was about the Riwaka land. I believe it was land included in these grants—lots 73 and 74 at Riwaka, where she used to live. When I left for England, she was in the lunatic asylum at Nelson. When I returned, after an absence of two years, I found her there still, but, in my opinion, quite recovered. The Natives were, however, averse to her being set at large. I then recommended that she should be sent over to her friends at Motupipi, and to which they agreed. She went over there, got married, and has returned to Motueka.