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.

No. 4. — James Mackay, Assistant Native Secretary, to the Chief Land Purchase Commissioner

No. 4.
James Mackay, Assistant Native Secretary, to the Chief Land Purchase Commissioner.

Christchurch, April 19, 1859.


I have the honour to report to you, for the information of His Excellency the Governor, that the Ngaitahu, of Kaikoura and Kaiapoi, have surrendered to the Crown the whole of their lands northward of the River Hurunui, for the sum of £300.

The block ceded contains about two millions and a half of acres (2,500,000 acres), and extends from the River Hurunui to Cape Campbell seawards, and from the Coast back to Lake Sumner or Hokakura, and the sources of the Rivers Waiau-ua, Waiautoa, and Wairau, the North-westerly boundary being Pari nui o whiti (the White or Wairau Bluffs).

I am aware that the country lying between the Rivers Hurunui and Waiau-ua has been purchased by Mr. Hamilton from the Kaiapoi Natives, and it may almost appear to you that I have overlapped a previous purchase, but I found in conducting the negotiations with the Kaikoura Natives for the cession of their claims, that some of them denied having received compensation for their title to land there, and disputed the right of the Kaiapoi Natives as sole owners of that district to dispose of it; and also that a claim was advanced by a Native named Arama Karaka, on behalf of himself and Matiaha, of Moeraki, to land there; this claim was admitted by the Kaikoura and Kaiapoi Natives to be a just one, and for these reasons I considered it prudent to include the whole of the land to the northward of the Hurunui in the Deed of Sale, which was executed by the Kaikoura and Kaiapoi Natives on the 29th of March, 1859, and which I do myself the honor to enclose.

I have incurred the responsibility of paying the sum of £300 for extinguishing the whole of the Native title and claims to this block, this being £100 more than the amount I considered to be placed at my disposal for effecting the above object; but I have done so for the following reasons, which I hope will be considered sufficiently good to warrant the extra expenditure, viz.:—

1.That the Natives refused to take the sum of £150 (the sum I was instructed to pay them); and on my offering them £200 (which sum I considered I was justified in tendering, as £400 had been placed at my disposal for completing the Arahura and Kaikoura questions, to be apportioned by me in such a manner as I might deem most desirable for carrying out the duties assigned to me), they would not surrender the whole of their lands, wishing to retain the portion intervening the Rivers Kahutara and Tutai-putu-putu, containing Some 100,000 acres, and which is rented from the Government by Messrs. Fyffe, Keene, and Tinline, for sheep runs, and part of which has also been purchased by them from the Crown.
2.That on my refusal to pay £200, unless the whole of the land was surrendered to the Crown, the Natives threatened to eject the settlers from the above-mentioned block.
3.That I considered if the question was much longer delayed it would probably cost a larger amount to arrange it satisfactorily.
4.That the European settlers did not feel themselves secure unless the purchase was completed, the Natives having, in various ways, annoyed them by driving the sheep off the runs, preventing the settlers cutting timber, and from erecting buildings on their runs, and on several occasions, threatening that if they were not paid for the land, they would turn them off.
5.That although I did not think much of the threats of the Natives about ejecting the European residents, still they might be very troublesome, and should they turn any of them off land which had been purchased from the Crown, the person ejected would have strong claims to compensation, from the Government for selling him land, over which the Native title had not been properly extinguished; and the sum of £100 would be but a small item in comparison with the loss, which would be sustained by the Government in such a case, not to speak of the probable expense of making, page 36 a future arrangement with the Natives, as in the case of Pirika and Caldwell at Tukurua, Massacre Bay.
6.That the Natives were not willing to defer the payment until I could write to Auckland for instructions, assigning as a reason that they already been deceived by the Government, and ought to have been paid long before.
7.That on my taxing the Chief Kaikoura (Whakatau) with breach of faith, in now asking £10,000 for land which he had formerly agreed to sell for £150, he repudiated having done so, merely stating that he had expressed his willingness to dispose of it, but had not mentioned the price. That although I produced a copy of Mr. Hamilton's report, the whole of them steadfastly denied haying ever offered the whole of the land for £150.

That the Natives were thoroughly acquainted with the value of the land they Were selling, instancing the payment of £7800 to Government by Mr. Robinson for a small piece of the block now offered for sale by them, and several others of the same nature.

9 That I felt assured it would be impossible to get them to surrender their claims for less than £300, as I could not advance any more arguments against them than I had done, and although they admitted that I had controverted every argument made by them, they obstinately persisted in refusing to take £200.

10.That it was not without considerable difficulty that I managed to get them to consent to receive even £300, and I had to make a false start to Port Lyttelton before they could be brought to assent to it.

The reserves laid off in the Kaikoura district, consist of 4,800 acres between the Rivers Parangarau and Hapuka, 100 acres of forest land at Pukaka; about 22½ acres at Kaikoura Pah, 12½ acres at Opokihi, and 3 acres 1 rood at South Bay, Kaikoura, 56 acres on the North bank of the River Kahutara, about 20 acres at Te Kiekie, 12 acres at Waiarakiki, 6 acres at Omihi, 84 acres at the River Oaro, 10 of which are situated on the south, and. 74 on the north bank of it, and about 450 acres at Mikonui, amounting altogether to about 5,566; this quantity of land may appear large, but it is of the most useless and worthless description, (especially the block of 4,800 acres), and the total value of it cannot be estimated at more than £450 or £500, in fact it is questionable from the nature of the reserves whether they will be found more than barely sufficient for the wants of the Native population, and for the increase of their horses and cattle, of which they now possess considerable numbers, one of the best proofs of which is that they have applied to me to be allowed to purchase land from the Government, to the extent of about 400 acres within the block just ceded by them to the Crown.

The whole of the above reserves have been laid off and definitely marked by me, as I found it impossible to procure the services of a Surveyor as they were all employed in surveying sheep-runs in the Amuri district, and could not be placed at my disposal, as a great deal of the land was to be put up at the May sale; I had therefore no alternative but either to lay off the reserves myself, or leave them undefined. Although the duty thus imposed on me caused considerable delay, and will probably prevent my completing the Arahura question this season, I considered it expedient to leave the whole question on a complete and secure basis, and took upon myself the responsibility of the survey. I am afraid it has not been done in as scientific a manner as by a practical Surveyor, still I do not think that any question can possibly arise hereafter as to the locality or extent of the reserves; as I invariably took care to have at least one natural boundary, or more if possible, so as to unalterably fix the position.

I have the honour to enclose the original plans of the reserves, (copies of which I have transmitted to the Commissioner of Crown Lands, Nelson, and the Kaikoura Natives).

Should any further information be required, or any difficulty arise as to the proceedings at Kaikoura, I shall be able to furnish the minutes of the whole of my proceedings in the above question.

I have, &c.,

James Mackay, Junr.
Assistant Native Secretary.

The Chief Land Purchase Commissioner, Auckland.