Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

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

Monday, December 13

Monday, December 13.

Grant, Motueka.

Dr. Greenwood, having been duly sworn, states: My name is John Danforth Greenwood. I am acquainted with the lands in question. One particular estate, called Wakarewa, consisting of six 50 acre sections, or 300 acres, of which, I should think about, 30 or 40 acres were under cultivation by the Natives, who, by their mode of agriculture had nearly exhausted it, was situated immediately under the wood. Te Iti, Metene, Nga-Piko, and others, had land there. They all agreed to give up this land to the Bishop, as I understood. I do not know how much was granted by Sir George Grey, but I believe the rents amounted to £130 or £150 a year for a long time. The rents gradually increased as the fern land was got under cultivation. A school there was under the Rev. Mr. Tudor's care, and he also received certain sums out of a grant made by the Legislative Council for the various religious denominations. Bishop Selwyn then made a new arrangement, asking Archdeacon Paul, Major Richmond, and myself to undertake the general superintendence of the Trust. It was determined to take a block of land and endeavour to get the Natives to work it in concert, under an agricultural instructor, a Mr. Blackborough. The school having been hitherto carried on in very small and inconvenient buildings, it was determined to erect a building on the ground much nearer to the Native cultivations. This was done. The school had been previously carried on in a building close to Mr. Tudor's residence, rented with it from Captain Blundell, and appropriated for that purpose by Mr. Tudor. When Mr. Tudor left, these buildings were no longer available. The new building absorbed about two years' rents. The agricultural instruction went on under Mr. Blackborough—money being expended upon agricultural implements, until, as I understood, the Natives became dissatisfied at a portion of the proceeds of the cultivation being appropriated to the benefit of the Trust, considering themselves entitled to the whole produce. All grants in aid having ceased from the Northern Board for some time, the rents were not more than sufficient to pay the agricultural superintendent, and the school remained in abeyance until Bishop Hobhouse came out. He then appointed first a Mr. Harris from his knowledge of Maori, and afterwards Mr. John Greenwood, who continued in charge until Bishop Suter's arrival, when he resigned. After a short time the Rev. Mr. Ronaldson was appointed, who has charge of it still. During the whole of Bishop Hobhouse's time there was no attempt to carry on a boarding school. There might have been three or four pupils boarding while Mr. Tudor had charge, but there never was any convenience for boarding many scholars until the new building was put up;—but even this was never completed according to the original design, from the discontinuance of the giants in aid. The part completed only supplied a residence for the master, and a temporary school-room in a lean-to at the back. I think as much has been done as could have page 293been done with the means at our disposal, as it is only very lately, if even now, that the funds were sufficient to pay a master. In order to carry out the trust, it appeared to the Trustees that the first thing was to have the requisite buildings for boarding the children. The money of the Trust was for some years partly expended in improving the property by fencing, &c. The whole 800 acres was fenced in with post and rail. Whilst we were building, all grants in aid were stopped, and we could do no more, the rents not being sufficient to carry out the design of the building. The Natives at Motueka have considerably decreased since the Europeans settled there, as everywhere else. They have taken to drinking very much of late years, but what effect it has had upon the school I do not know, as I ceased to be a Trustee some time before Bishop Hobhouse's arrival, and I have left the district for the last five or six years. I think, generally, respecting the education of the Natives, much less depends upon general organization than upon the personal qualifications of the individual engaged in it, such as zeal and devotion to the object, and adaptation to the work.