Middle Island Native Land Question (Report on.), By Mr. Commissioner Mackay
Kemp's or the Ngaitahu Purchase, as it is also known by, was effected close upon forty years ago. The deed was executed at Akaroa, Banks Peninsula, on the 12th June, 1848, and comprises all that tract of country bounded towards the north by a line drawn from Kaiapoi on the east to Cape Foulwind on the west; on the east and west by the ocean; and on the south by a line drawn from the Nuggets, beyond the Molyneux River, on the East to Milford Haven on the West Coast. The aggregate area of the block included within the above-named boundaries exceeds 20,000,000 acres. The price paid was £2,000, and land to the extent of 6,359 acres was set apart as reserves for the Natives shortly after the sale.
After describing the boundaries, the deed of sale contains the following conditions (according to the English version) as regards the reservations to be made for the Natives, viz.: "Our places of residence and our cultivations are to be reserved for us and our children after us, and it shall be for the Governor hereafter to set apart an additional portion for us when the land is surveyed by the surveyors."
The Natives contend, and this view was upheld in the Native Land Court in 1868, that the phrase "mahinga kai," used in the Maori copy of the deed has a much wider interpretation than the translation into English gives it. It was held in the Court that this phrase would include, besides cultivations, pipi-grounds, eel-weirs, and fisheries, excluding merely hunting-grounds and similar things, which were never made property in the sense of appropriation by labour. The Maori view of the phrase is that it includes, besides their cultivations, the right of fishing, catching birds and rats, procuring berries and fern-root, over any portion of the lands within the block. Under this interpretation they would be entitled to roam at will over the whole country—a state of affairs that could not have been contemplated.
In 1844, at the time the New Zealand Company's purchases were under consideration, it was resolved that the reservations as regards the pas and cultivations should be understood to mean as page 3follows: That the pa should be considered to be the ground that is fenced around the Native houses, including the ground in cultivation or occupation around the adjoining houses without the fence, and that the nature and meaning of the word "cultivations" were to be understood to apply to those tracts of country which were in use by the Natives for vegetable productions, or which have been so used by them since the establishment of the colony.
It would seem by a dispatch dated the 25th March, 1848, from Governor Grey to Earl Grey, having reference to a visit of the former to the Middle Island, and also to the tenor of the directions given to Lieut. -Governor Eyre respecting the purchase of the territory comprised within the Ngaitahu Block, that the settlement of the Native claims was intended to be made on the following terms, viz.: That ample reserves for the present and reasonable future wants should be set apart for the claimants and their descendants, and registered as reserves for that purpose; and, after the boundaries of the reserves had been marked out, then the right of the Natives to the whole of the remainder of the block should be purchased.
Similar instructions were given to Mr. Kemp, the officer who was charged with the duty of acquiring the land, as will be seen by the following extract from the letter of instructions to him dated the 25th April, 1848 : "The object of your mission is the extinguishment of any title which may, upon inquiry, be found to be vested in the Natives to the tract of country lying between the district purchased from the Ngaitahu Tribe and that purchased by the New Zealand Company at Otago. In entering upon the arrangements necessary to effect this object, it will be your duty to reserve to the Natives ample portions of land for their present and prospective wants; and then, after the boundaries of these reserves have been marked, to purchase from the Natives their right to the whole of the remainder of their claims to land in the Middle Island.
A perusal of the correspondence on the subject will show that the details of the purchase were carried out at variance with the original intentions, and that, instead of the reserves for the Natives being marked off as was contemplated, and then the remainder of the district purchased, the money was paid in the first place, and the reserves left to be determined at a future time;—a plan which placed the Natives entirely in the hands of the Government as to the quantity of land to be set apart;—a position that was taken advantage of to circumscribe the area of land allotted to them to the narrowest limits, as will be seen from extracts taken from the evidence given by the Hon. Mr. Mantell before the Native Land Court in April and May, 1868, at the investigation of the ownership of the Native reserves set apart in Kemp's Purchase.
Before quoting the extracts alluded to, it is necessary to premise that, in consequence of Mr. Kemp not defining the reserves to be set apart for the Natives, the Government were necessitated to depute Mr. Mantell to take up Mr. Kemp's unexecuted work. Mr. Mantell, after explaining his action generally to the Court in regard to the setting-apart of reserves for the Natives in the Ngaitahu Block, stated, inter alia, "In marking out these reserves I was obliged, in some cases, to give way in order to effect an arrangement. I yielded to the Natives as to locality, but brought them down as to the quantity of land the reserves should contain. My impression is that the Government never intended to complete the reserves in accordance with the clause in Mr. Kemp's deed. The price paid to the Natives was not to be taken as the consideration for the land; they were to consider the value of the reserves given to them, and the promise that the Government would erect schools and hospitals for the sick, and appoint officers to look after their interests. Although strenuous exertions have been made, these promises have not been carried out by preceding Governments. These promises were not in the deed… I believed at the time, and reported to that effect, that the reserves were sufficient for the present and future wants of the Natives, but now I believe them to be insufficient… I think now the reserves ought to have been larger. I have come to this conclusion because the Native sources of food are lessened… At that time my estimate was Colonel McCleverty's, whom I consulted. The idea was to allow enough to furnish bare subsistence by their own labour…. I have not said that I thought the reserves sufficient to satisfy the honour of the Crown, but, according to Colonel McCleverty's opinion, sufficient to live upon…. My rule, in calculating what quantity of land I would give the Natives, was that I allowed ten acres to each man, woman, and child…. In making the allowance I tried to allow as little as the Natives would agree to take. The reserves I then made were intended for present wants. I left it to be determined at some future time what allowance should be made to them…. I was instructed verbally by Lieut.-Governor Eyre to make certain promises to the Natives of what the Government intended to do for them in addition to paying for the land. I made this representation, and found it had great weight in inducing the Natives to come under the deed, but these promises have not yet been fulfilled. Was also instructed in writing only to mark out reserves around and including pas, residences, or cultivations to the extent that may be necessary for the resident Natives, but to inform them that the Crown will hereafter mark out for them such additional reserves as may be considered necessary for their future wants. I took refuge under this promise with the Natives. The reserves may be looked on as the result of a struggle, in which I got the land reduced as much as possible. I used to tell the people that if they were dissatisfied they must appeal to the Governor; and in one case (Waikouaiti) this was done and they got an immediate increase."
With regard to the reservation of all weirs and fisheries, Mr. Mantell stated before the Court that he gave the Natives to understand in 1848 that they could use their eel-weirs so long as the Government did not require them for purposes of general settlement.
Sufficient evidence has been adduced in the foregoing extracts to show that the Natives, instead of being consulted in respect of the land they desired to retain, were coerced into accepting as little as they could be induced to receive.
The following extract from a despatch from Governor Grey to Earl Grey, dated the 20th March, 1849, will show that the Natives were not consulted either relative to the purchase-money paid for their land. After adverting to the tenor of a letter addressed to Lieut.-Governor Eyre by page 4the New Zealand Company's principal agent relative to the payment for the acquisition of the Ngaitahu Block now under review as well as pointing out the inconvenience experienced by the local Government through the existing arrangements with the company in regard to the land fund, His Excellency concludes, "I should mention to your Lordship regarding this tract of territory which the New Zealand Company, through their agent, contend should have been taken from the Natives without their consent, that its area comprehends several millions of acres, and that the sum to be paid for the purchase of any rights which the Natives might have over any portion of this territory, except the small reserves kept for their use, was only £2,000… To act upon the principle that where the Natives are so weak that they cannot defend their lands the Government should assert what the New Zealand Company now represent as the rights of the Crown, and forcibly take the Natives' land from them, and again to refrain from asserting the so-termed rights of the Crown when the Natives are so strong that they could protect themselves, would certainly acquire for the Government the contempt as well as the distrust of the whole Native population; and that especially when, as in the present case, the Natives made no factious opposition to the occupation of their lands, but cheerfully yielded all their rights for that sum which, without consulting their wishes, the Government had fixed as a just amount."
The extent of land ultimately reserved for the Natives in 1848 was 6,359 acres, a quantity that can hardly be considered to come within the meaning of ample reserves for the present and future wants of a population of 637 individuals, the number of Natives then to be provided for within the block. The Governor was empowered under the terms of the deed of purchase to set apart additional lands for the Natives when the country was surveyed; but even that condition was only partially fulfilled in 1868, a period of twenty years after the date of the engagement. The Natives were under the impression that under the terms of the deed they were entitled to the use of all their "mahinga kai" (food-producing places); but they found, as the country got occupied by the Europeans, they became gradually restricted to narrower limits, until they no longer possessed the freedom adapted to their mode of life. Every year as the settlement of the country progressed the privilege of roaming in any direction they pleased in search of food-supplies became more limited. Their means of obtaining subsistence in this way was also lessened through the settlers destroying, for pastime or other purposes, the birds which constituted their food, or, for purposes of improvement, draining the swamps, lagoons, and watercourses from which they obtained their supplies of fish. Their ordinary subsistence failing them through these causes, and lacking the energy or ability of supplementing their means of livelihood by labour, they led a life of misery and semi-starvation on the few acres set apart for them.
The following extract from a despatch dated the 7th April, 1847, from Governor Grey to Earl Grey indicates the injustice that was perpetrated on the Ngaitahu owners of Kemp's Block, through being deprived of their former mode of subsistence without any equivalent being given them when setting apart their reserves. His Excellency points out that "The Natives do not support themselves solely by cultivation, but from fern-root, from fishing, from eel ponds (weirs), from catching birds, from hunting wild pigs, for which they require extensive runs, and by such like pursuits. To deprive them of their wild lands, and to limit them to lands for the purpose of cultivation, is, in fact, to cut off from them some of the most important means of subsistence. As they cannot be readily and abruptly forced into becoming a solely agricultural people, such an attempt would be unjust, and it must for the present fail, because the Natives would not submit to it. Indeed, they could not do so, for they are not yet to a sufficient extent provided even with the most simple agricultural implements, nor have they been instructed in the use of them.
The same question is dealt with in a letter from Earl Grey to the Wesleyan Missionary Committee, dated the 13th April, 1848. After referring the Committee to the dispatches to Governor Grey relative to the question then under discussion touching the stipulations contained in the Treaty of Waitangi respecting the proprietary rights of the Natives, his Lordship, in alluding to the manner in which the question would have been dealt with had the treaty never been concluded, observes that it would have been the duty of the Governor, as the Crown representative, to take care that the Native inhabitants of New Zealand were secured in the enjoyment of an ample extent of land to meet all their real wants.
In taking measures for this purpose their habits would have been considered, and, though it certainly would not have been held that the cultivation and appropration of tracts of land capable of supporting a large population must be forborne because an inconsiderable number of Natives had been accustomed to derive some part of their subsistence from hunting and fishing on them on the other hand the settlement of such lands would not have been allowed to deprive the Natives even of these resources without providing for them in some other vay, advantages fully equal to those they might lose.
In acquiring the land from the Natives in the Middle Island the instructions issued by the Imperial Government appear to have been entirely disregarded. In the instructions from the Colonial Office to Governor Hobson in 1839 he was enjoined as follows: "All dealings with the aborigines for their lands must be conducted on the same principles of sincerity, justice, and good faith as must govern your transactions with them for the recognition of Her Majesty's sovereignty in the Islands. Nor is this all: they must not be permitted to enter into any contracts in which they might be the ignorant and unintentional authors of injuries to themselves. You will not, for example, purchase from them any territory the retention of which by them would be essential or highly conducive to their own comfort, safety, or subsistence. The acquisition of land by the Crown must be confined to such districts as the Natives can alienate without distress or inconvenience to themselves. To secure the observance of this will be one of the first duties of their official protector."
"There are other duties owing to the aborigines of New Zealand which may be all comprised in the comprehensive expression of promoting their civilisation, understanding by that term whatever relates to the religious, intellectual, and social advancement of mankind."page 5
In furtherance of this object, and for the purpose of providing the necessary funds, Governor Hobson was instructed, under date the 28th February, 1841, as follows: "As often as any sale shall hereafter be effected in the colony, of lands acquired by purchase from the aborigines there must be carried to the credit of the Protector of Aborigines a sum amounting to no less than 15 nor more than 20 per cent, of the purchase-money, which sum will constitute a fund for defraying the charge of the Protector's establishment, and for defraying all other charges, on the recommendation of the Protector, the Governor and the Executive Council may have authorised for promoting the health, civilisation, education, and spiritual care of the Natives."
It may possibly be urged that these instructions could not have been given effect to in the Middle Island after the acquisition of the land in 1848, in consequence of the existing arrangements with the New Zealand Company, as detailed in the 10th and 11th Vict., c. 112, which placed the control of the land fund in the hands of the company. Practically, however, the matter was not very largely affected by this position of affairs, as the company did not exercise any right of ownership over the bulk of the territory comprised in Kemp's Block, its operations being confined to the disposal to the Canterbury Association of a block of land comprising 2,500,000 acres, extending from Double Corner to the mouth of the River Ashburton.
Under the original agreement with the company of 1840 the Government had the power to make reservations of lands within the company's settlements for the benefit of the Natives, in pursuance with the company's engagements to that effect—i.e., to reserve for the purpose one-tenth of all lands to be granted to the company under the terms of the aforesaid agreement, the Government reserving to themselves, in respect of all other lands, to make such arrangements as to them, shall seem just and expedient for the benefit of the Natives.
It is very questionable, however, whether this power remained in the Crown in regard to lands vested in the company after the passing of the 10th and 11th Vict., as that Act vested all the demesne land of the Crown in the Province of New Munster, and all the estate and right of Her Majesty therein, or power and authority over the same or any part thereof, absolutely and entirely in the New Zealand Company, subject, of course, to any existing rights of the Natives at the time the land became the property of the Crown; but the Government could not claim, on behalf of the Natives, to set apart a tenth of the land without there was an express stipulation to that effect in the deed of cession.
In the dispatch of the 14th August, 1839, the Marqius of Normanby, after pointing out to Governor Hobson the course that would have to be adopted to determine the land claims that then existed, gives the following instructions regarding the acquisition of land from the Natives: "It will be your duty to obtain, by fair and equal contracts with the Natives, the cession to the Crown of such waste land as may be progressively required for the occupation of settlers resorting to New Zealand. All such contracts should be made by yourself through the intervention of an officer expressly appointed to watch over the interests of the aborigines as their protector. The re-sales of the first purchase that may be made will provide the funds necessary for future acquisitions and beyond the original investment of a comparatively small sum of money no other resource will be necessary for this purpose. I thus assume that the price to be paid to the Natives by the local Government will bear an exceedingly small proportion to the price for which the same laud will be resold by the Government to the settlers. Nor is there any real injustice in this inequality. To the Natives or their chiefs much of the land of the country is of no actual use, and in their hands it possesses scarcely any exchangeable value. Much of it must long remain useless, even in the hands of the British Government also; but its value in exchange will be first created and then progressively increased by the introduction of capital and of settlers from this country. In the benefit of that increase the Natives themselves will gradually participate."
Earl Grey, in his letter to the Wesleyan Missionary Committee, dated the 13th April, 1848, also expresses the same views regarding the acquisition of wilderness land for a nominal consideration. His Lordship observes: " Nor would there have been any injustice in taking advantage of the exclusive right of purchase vested in the Crown to obtain land on such terms from the Natives. The object of the Crown in acquiring the land being to turn it to the best account for the whole community, the price to be paid for it to the Natives would properly have been measured not by the value the lands they sold were capable of acquiring in the hands of civilised men, but by the amount of benefit they had themselves previously derived from that which they surrendered. It is hardly necessary to observe that, so estimated, the value of unoccupied lands would have been next to nothing."
The most important consideration that arises in the colonisation of a country inhabited by an aboriginal race like the Maoris is how to give them an equivalent for the lands they surrender, as a payment in perishable articles cannot be considered a fair equivalent for a possession so valuable as the soil. The most equitable mode of payment, and one that could have been easily effected at the time when the purchases were made from the Natives in the southern provinces of the Middle Island, would have been to have appropriated a certain proportion of the land ceded by them as a provision for their advancement in the scale of social and political existence. This system would have been the means of securing to them a property continually increasing in value, as well as practically conferring on them the advantages it was anticipated they would receive through the occupation of their former territory by the European community.
It was to guard the Natives against the common failing of all aboriginal races—want of forethought, and to secure them from the dangers to which colonisation exposed them if denuded of all landed property, that the New Zealand Company invented their plan of Native reserves, as these were possessions that could not be squandered away, but as time glided on their value would progressively increase, and, in place of a barren possession which they parted with, the Natives would receive in return a property of considerable worth. By way of recompense for the moment, as well as in deference to public opinion, the company paid the Natives what was deemed, accord-page 6ing to received notions, to be a sufficient price, but they considered the real worth of the land purchased from them to be the reserves set apart for their maintenance, and for schools, hospitals, and other useful establishments.
In the instructions issued by the company to Colonel Wakefield, its principal agent, who was intrusted with the purchase of land for the company in New Zealand, the following principles were laid down relative to its acquisition from the Natives : "But in one respect you will not fail to establish a very important difference between the purchases of the company and those which have hitherto been made by every class of buyers. Wilderness land, it is true, is worth nothing to its Native owners, or worth nothing more than the trifle they can obtain for it. We are not therefore to make much account of the utter inadequacy of the purchase-money according to English notions of the value of land. The land is really of no value, and can become valuable only by means of a great outlay of capital in emigration and settlement. But at the same time it may be doubted whether the Native owners have ever been entirely aware of the consequences that would result from such cessions as have already been made of the whole of the lands of a tribe. Justice demands not merely that these consequences should be as far as possible explained to them, but that the superior intelligence of the buyers should also be exerted to guard them against the evils which, after all, they may not be capable of anticipating. The danger to which they are exposed, and, they cannot well foresee, is that of finding themselves entirely without landed property, and therefore without consideration in the midst of a society where, through emigration and settlement, land has become a valuable property. Absolutely they would suffer little or nothing from having parted with land which they do not use and cannot exchange, but relatively they would suffer a great deal, inasmuch as their social position would be very inferior to that of the race who had settled amongst them and given value to their now worthless property. If the advantage of the Natives alone were consulted it would be better perhaps that they should remain for ever uncivilised. This consideration appears never to have occurred to any of those who have hitherto purchased land from the Natives of New Zealand. It was first suggested by the New Zealand Association of 1837, and it has great weight with the present Company. In accordance with a plan of which the association of 1837 was desirous that a legislative enactment should extend to every purchase of land from the Natives, as well past as future, you will take care to mention in every contract for land that a proportion of the territory ceded, equal to 'one-tenth' of the whole, will be reserved by the Company and held in trust by them for the future benefit of the chief families of the tribe, and you will readily explain that after English emigration and settlement a tenth of the land will be far more valuable than the whole was before."
The same subject is again alluded to in a letter addressed by Mr. Somes, a director of the New Zealand company, to the Colonial Office in March, 1841. "The company has never pretended that any sum paid by it to the Natives on the execution of an agreement for the purchase of land was an adequate consideration for the property ceded. Such payments the company has always deemed unfit to be called by the name of purchase-money." The real consideration, which in every case the Company held out to the Natives in its acquisition of territory from them, was a precise engagement "to reserve for the benefit of the Native proprietors such a proportion of the lands ceded as would become far more valuable than the whole, whenever the remainder should be regularly colonised by an outlay of the company's capital and the settlement of emigrants from this country."
The above extracts, relative to the principle of purchase to be observed in the acquisition of land from the Natives, contain abundant and clear evidence as to the views then held both by the Imperial Government and the New Zealand Company. The views held by the Imperial Government were that land in its original state was only worth a nominal price, but that the real advantage to be conferred on the Natives for the cession of any portion of their territory they desired to alienate was the enhancement in value of the then remaining lands by the introduction of capital and labor, as well as the reservation of an ample extent of land to meet all their real wants, inclusive of the necessary provision requisite to compensate them for the loss of the privileges they had previously enjoyed in hunting and fishing at will over their wilderness lands. The promotion of works of public utility, in opening up the country for settlement, and the advancement of the social and moral welfare of the Natives, was also considered a further requital for the surrender of land possessing scarcely any exchangeable value. The New Zealand Company held similar views respecting the value of land in its wild state. The money paid was not considered an adequate recompense for the cession of the land acquired. The real worth given was the reservation of a tenth of the land ceded as a perpetual possession for the Native owners. This was a property that could not be squandered away at the moment, but must continuously and immensely increase for the benefit of themselves and their children.
A perusal of the facts already narrated will furnish ample evidence that the fundamental-principles laid down were not adhered to in acquiring land in the Middle Island, neither in the reservation of sufficient land for Native purposes, nor in compensating the Native owners for the loss of a large share of their means of subsistence through depriving them of their hunting and fishing rights.
It surely could not be considered that the enhancement in value of the few thousand acres reserved for the vendors of Kemp's Block by the introduction of capital and labour into the colony, or the small payment of £2,000 for the cession of over twenty million acres, was a sufficient recompense for so valuable a territory, even if measured by the amount of benefit the original owners had derived from it. The enhancement in value originally contemplated as a sufficient recompense and inducement for the cession by the Natives of some of their surplus land did not refer to the increased value of a few reserves of limited extent, but to the enhanced value through the settlement of the colony of other lands remaining in their possession. The Natives in the southern provinces of the Middle Island were unfortunately not in a position to be benefited by this increased page 7value, as the whole of their possessions had been alienated before the advent of capital and labour consequently greater care should have been observed for the protection of their welfare at a time when it would have been easier of accomplishment, by setting apart not only a sufficiency of land for their use and occupation, but also for the purpose of raising an independent fund to be devoted to objects connected with their general welfare, advancement, and improvement. Reserves of this kind would have afforded the means of promoting the objects that were held out to them as an inducement for parting with their lands, as well as provided the Government, with independent funds for the purpose.
Owing to the non-appointment of an official protector for the Natives in the south, as was promised them at the cession of their land, these people have suffered a serious loss, for, had any person been clothed with the necessary authority to look after their welfare in the early days a great deal of the irreparable neglect they have suffered from the non-fulfilment of the promises made them at the cession of their lands would probably not have occurred.
Representations were made in 1856 by Mr. Mantell to the Imperial Government touching the non-fulfilment of the promises he had been the medium of making to the Ngaitahu Tribe at the cession of their territory to the Crown. These promises Mr. Mantell pointed out had never been fulfilled, and asked for the intervention of the Imperial Government in favour of the Natives, since the Colonial Government had failed to realise the promises he had been authorised to make. The Secretary of State however declined to intermeddle with the matter without previous reference to the New Zealand Government, and Mr. Mantell, finding that no reparation could be obtained for the Natives, resigned the whole of the offices held by him in the colony.
Attention was again drawn to the question by Sir William Fox when Colonial Secretary, in a memorandum written by him in November, 1864, on the condition of the Ngaitahu Tribe and the pledges given to them on the extinction of their title to lands in the southern provinces, from which the following extracts are made: "Till the month of November, 1863, the Imperial Government reserved to itself the management and control of Native affairs, and the whole responsibility for their administration. At that date the colony accepted such responsibility in the terms of the Duke of Newcastle's despatch of April, 1863, and took upon itself the obligations of the Imperial Government towards the Natives. The Colonial Secretary, who took office at that period, lost no time in despatching to the Middle Island an experienced and able officer of the Native Department, Mr. Henry Clarke, with special instructions to inquire into the condition of the Natives in the Otago Province, and to ascertain what pledges had been made to them on the sale of their land to the Government many years ago, and how far these pledges had been fulfilled. The Colonial Secretary had previously had his attention directed to the subject, but had never been able to get specific information upon it. So soon, however, as the Colonial Secretary assumed this function of administering Native affairs he felt that he was bound to take immediate steps towards redeeming the unfulfilled pledges given on behalf of the Imperial Government so many years before, and which had been allowed to remain so long a dead letter."
After detailing the steps that would have been taken had his Ministry not then resigned, and expressing a hope that action would be taken at an early date to redeem the unfulfilled pledges of the Imperial Government referred to, the Colonial Secretary points out that the first duty of the Commissioner to be appointed should be "to devise and recommend the specific plans by means of which the Government should advance the civilisation and social progress of the Ngaitahu in the manner in which the representative of the Imperial Government contracted with them that it should be done when they bought and took possession of that portion of the Middle Island which now forms the Provinces of Otago and Canterbury. Considering the great length of time during which faith has failed to be kept with the Natives, they are entitled to a very large amount of arrears, and the Government should propose to the Assembly no niggard vote for the purpose. Since the pledges were given a whole generation has gone to seed without receiving the benefit of that culture which was promised. No reparation can be made now for this neglect, but it should be remembered when action is taken, and it should prevent any murmur at the appropriation of what might under other circumstances appear too large an appropriation of the public money to a small remnant of a tribe which once owned three-fourths of the Middle Island. A question for the Legislature arises in connection with the subject in a financial point of view. The Commissioner who extinguished the Native title on the part of the Imperial Government to greater part of the districts referred to has stated that the pledges given were the main consideration for the sale of the land. It seems only just that the recipients of the land should bear the burden of the fulfilment of the pledges for which it was sold, and that, either by legislation or otherwise, the cost of carrying out the plans referred to ought to be made a charge on the provinces which have been formed out of Ngaitahu territory."
In 1865 Mr. Hunter Browne was appointed to administer Native affairs in the southern provinces, but, although various recommendations were made by him as to the best mode of carrying out the non-fulfilled pledges of the Government, nothing of any importance was effected.
The first systematic attempt to establish schools in the southern provinces was made in 1867. Prior to that the Natives were chiefly indebted to the early missionaries and to private efforts for the education received. In 1870 there were only three schools in operation in the Middle Island: one at Otago Heads, established in January, 1869; one at Ruapuke, opened in 1868; and another at Riverton, in Southland. There had been a school at Kaiapoi, but it was burnt down in the summer of 1870, and the want of sufficient funds had prevented it from being rebuilt. It was established there, in the first place, in 1863, by the Christchurch Maori Mission, but was not opened before 1866 owing to want of funds. It was meant and understood at the time that the promises were made to the Natives re the establishment of schools and hospitals that special provisions would be made with all reasonable diligence for the establishment of these institutions, and not that they would have to wait until the requirements of the European community rendered them necessary.page 8
In 1865 medical officers were appointed at all the principal settlements. Prior to that date no effective arrangements had been made to provide the Natives with medical aid.
It will be seen by the foregoing statements that seventeen years had elapsed before medical aid was provided or an officer specially appointed to administer Native affairs in the South, and that nineteen years after the date of the purchase the first systematic attempt was made to establish schools.
The amount spent for medical aid from 1867 to the 31st March, 1882, the date up to which a statement of expenditure was prepared for the information of the Native Affairs Committee, was £2 559 18s. 8d., and for education, until the passing of "The Education Act, 1887," inclusive of cost of buildings and Inspector's salary, was £8,586 19s. 10d. The aforesaid items represent the expenditure for these purposes throughout the southern provinces.
Under the terms of the deed pertaining to this purchase the Governor is required to set apart additional land for the Natives on the country being surveyed. No action was taken to fulfill this condition until May, 1868, excepting in the case of the Waikouaiti Reserve, increased by an addition of 594 acres, made by Sir George Grey in 1853, on the personal application of the Natives. An appeal of a similar kind, made by the Moeraki Natives in 1849, met with a negative reply.
In 1868 the question came before the Native Land Court on an order of reference made under the 83rd section of " The Native Lands Act, 1865. "The Court ordered that additional lands should be set apart in extinguishment of all claims or demands under the deed. The following reserves were accordingly made for occupation purposes : In Canterbury 2,830 acres, and in Otago 2,100 acres, computing 4,930 acres in all. The Court also directed that the reservation in the deed under the phrase " mahinga kai " should also be observed, which was fulfilled by setting apart 212 acres for fishery easements in Canterbury, and 112 acres 3 roods 20 perches in Otago.
The fishery easements have for the most part been rendered comparatively worthless through the acclimatisation societies' stocking many of the streams and lakes with imported fish. These fish are protected by special legislation, consequently the Natives are debarred from using nets for catching the whitebait in season, nor can they catch eels or other native fish in these streams for fear of transgrossing the law.
Another source of injury done to their fisheries is the drainage of the country. In olden times, before the advent of the Europeans and the settlement of the country, they were at liberty to go at will in search of food, but now, should they chance to go fishing or bird-catching in any locality where they have no reserve, they are frequently ordered off by the settlers. All this is very harassing to a people who not long since owned the whole of the territory now occupied by another race, and it is not surprising that discontent prevails at the altered condition of affairs and the want of precaution observed at the outset by their civilised guardians, who could alone foresee the consequent result of colonisation on their former customs and habits of life, to have either secured them these privileges, or else provided them with additional lands as compensation for depriving them of some of the most important means of subsistence.
Another kind of food they have been deprived of is the root of the it called "kauru." This was a very nutritious food, and was obtained by baking the roots in a Native oven, in which state it contains a large quantity of saccharine matter. Its preparation in places where the tree abounded gave employment to a large number of persons during the months of December, January, and February, it being used as an article of barter, in exchange for other kinds of food, and also for clothing.
The general sentiment of the Maoris in olden times with respect to their territorial possessions is not generally understood : it was not "earth-hunger," but "earth-love." They felt keenly the parting with their rights over the land of their ancestors, when the soil, with all its memories and the dignity conferred by its possession, had passed over to the stranger, and in its place they had acquired only perishable goods, or money, which was speedily dissipated.
The Natives in the South Island had not realised in former times that their country was about to be occupied by a civilised race in such numbers as would place them in comparative insignificance, or deprive them of the privileges they formerly enjoyed; hence a reason why the superior intelligence of their guardians should have been exercised to protect them against the consequences that would result from being left comparatively landless, and debarred of their former advantages in a country formerly their own.
The following particulars will show what has been done for the Ngaitahu Tribe by way of fulfilling the original engagement with them that they should have ample reserves for their present and future wants, and that the Governor would set apart additional lands for them on the country being surveyed: The average acreage per individual set apart in Kemp's Purchase in 1848 was under ten acres; but the census taken at the time did not include the whole of the people for whom provision ought to have been made. This was caused by the stupidity and obstinacy of the Natives to furnish the necessary information. This kind of stupidity even prevails at the present time in some localities, great difficulty being experienced in collecting particulars of this kind, through the supposition that it is needed for some ulterior purpose. The awards made by the Native Land Court in 1868, together with the additional area set apart by the Government for Native purposes, brought up the average to nearly twenty acres per individual for the residents at the settlements within the block. Since the Court sat in 1868, 3,024 acres have been set aside for the Kaiapoi Natives as compensation for land appropriated to others, inclusive also of 200 acres given as compensation for the inferior character of some of the former awards. Notwithstanding the increase made at Kaiapoi, the general average adapted to the last census is still under twenty acres per individual. A general average is not, however, reliable as an indication of the sufficiency or non-sufficiency of the quantity needed to provide every one with a fair quantity of land; as, for instance, the acreage at the several settlements apportioned over the resident population ranges from five acres and a half per individual in some places to thirty-seven acres in others. At places also where the average is high per individual there are many persons who are without land.page 9
The actual position of the matter cannot be finally determined as regards the individual acreage until the whole of the Court - work is completed, and the records of acreage allotted individually are made up for each settlement. A very large proportion of the additional land awarded in 1868 and subsequently, is of very inferior character, being very far below the original reserves in the quality of the soil; and this is one of the chief difficulties to be contended within selecting land for any of the objects under contemplation.
In the report submitted by the Commissioners appointed in 1879 to deal with the Middle Island question, allusion is made to the system of tenths in connection with Kemp's Block as having been intended as the proportion to be set apart for the Natives within the aforesaid block This view of the matter, I beg to submit, is a misconception, caused probably by the fact that one of the contracting parties named in the deed of June, 1848, is the agent of the New Zealand Company the inference being that it was a purchase effected by the company, whereas, as a matter of fact no authority existed to enter into a contract of the kind until the Crown's right of pre-emption had been waived; but even then a legal title would not have been obtained without such purchase had been confirmed by a Crown grant, as the Governor had no authority to grant a waiver of preemption. The agreement, therefore, between the Native vendors and Colonel Wakefield, the company's agent, did not create any title in the purchaser, and had no force to operate as a conveyance of the land therein to the person and in the manner therein expressed.
At the time of the execution of the Ngaitahu deed "The Native Land Claims Ordinance, 1841," and the 13th chapter of the Royal Instructions of 1846 were in full operation. The ordinance of 1841 enacted, inter alia, that the sale and absolute right of pre-emption from the aboriginal inhabitants of New Zealand vested in, and could only be exercised by, " Her Majesty, her heirs and successors." All titles to land, however, obtained either mediately or immediately from chiefs or individuals of the aboriginal tribes, unless allowed by the Crown, were declared absolutely null and void. Under another clause the Governor was authorised to appoint Commissioners to hear, examine, and report on claims to grants of land in virtue of titles acquired from the Natives.
The 13th chapter of the Royal Instructions of 1846 contains the following provision relative to the acquisition of land by private individuals from the Natives : "The conveyance or agreement for the conveyance of any of the lands of or belonging to any of the aboriginal natives in common as tribes or communities, whether in perpetuity or for any definite period, whether absolutely or conditionally, whether in property or by way of lease or occupancy, which may be henceforth made, shall not be of any validity or effect unless the same be so made to, or entered into with, us, our heirs and successors."
It will be seen that the principle of the then existing law was that private individuals could not acquire land from the Natives, and if any attempt was made, as was done in the case of the purchase of Kemp's Block, it would operate as an extinguishment of the Native title, and vest the estate in the Crown. Any informality that formerly existed in connection with the Ngaitahu deed has been cured by clause 2 of "The Ngaitahu Reference Validation Act, 1868."
By another Act of Parliament, passed in the tenth and eleventh year of Her Majesty's reign, it was enacted, inter alia, that the several provisions contained in the 13th chapter of the Instructions of 1846 should be suspended within the Province of New Munster (the Middle Island) until the 5th day of July, 1850, and for such further period as should be directed by Parliament, and that during the suspension of the said Instructions all the demesne land of the Crown in the said province, and all the estate and right of Her Majesty therein, shall be absolutely vested in the New Zealand Company, in trust, to sell and otherwise dispose of the same. It was under this Act that the New Zealand Company obtained the necessary authority to carry on colonising operations in the Middle Island within the Ngaitahu territory, and not under Kemp's deed; consequently this block did not come within what was then known as the company's scheme of settlement, or within the scope or meaning of the 13th clause of the agreement of 1840 between the Imperial Government and the company. If the position of the question is correctly stated, it follows that the stipulation in regard to reserves in Kemp's Block was between the Government and the Natives, an arrangement with which the company had no concern.
In the report of 1879, previously alluded to, the Commissioners state that it is a task beyond their power to estimate the damage sustained by the Natives from the nonfulfilment of the promises made them at the cession of their lands; but as the duty has devolved on me to recommend the quantity of land to be awarded them as compensation for the nonfulfilment of any of the terms or stipulations contained in the deeds of purchase, or of any promises made in connection therewith, it behaves me to address myself to the task, however difficult of accomplishment it may seem, or however impossible it may prove to achieve a satisfactory result.
As many of the conditions on which the land was ceded are impossible of calculation, it is necessary to adopt a basis of operation that will render it possible to determine, if the question had been treated in a practical manner at the outset, the remuneration either in money or land that should have formed the consideration for the cession of so valuable an estate at the time it was purchased. I propose, therefore, as no other formula exists upon which to base a calculation, to adopt an acreage basis, and for that purpose I have procured the most reliable information obtainable from the general and local Survey Departments as to the condition of the country at the time it was purchased, together with a classification of the areas comprised within the territory acquired. The land has been classified for the purpose into three classes—good, medium, and inferior.
Before entering upon the consideration of the main question as regards the quantity of land to be recommended, I would beg to submit the two following examples as bearing on the question of quantity—one of which was a statutory provision for the setting apart of Native reserves, and is contained in clause 24 of "The Native Land Act, 1873," as follows: "Provided always that no land reserved for the support and maintenance of the Natives, as also for the endowments for their benefit, shall be considered a sufficiency for such purposes unless the reserve so made for these page 10objects added together shall be equal to an aggregate amount of not less than fifty acres per head for every Native man, woman, and child, resident in the district." This was merely a direction to the District Officer to see that sufficient land was reserved for Native purposes, and had no reference to the cession of lands The other example occurred in 1860. In that year Governor Gore Browne caused to be set apart for the Natives residing on the west coast of the Middle Island land to the extent of 10,000 acres for a population not exceeding a hundred persons, being at the rate of 100 acres per individual. (Vide dispatch dated Auckland, 22nd February, 1860, from Governor Gore Browne to His Grace the Duke of Newcastle.)
Of the quantity so set apart, 6,000 acres was intended for individual allotment, and 4,000 acres for the purpose of providing funds for the advancement of the Natives.
Some of these reserves, especially the one situated at Greymouth, have become exceedingly valuable through the occupation of the country by the Europeans, thereby fulfilling the condition of affairs that was anticipated would ensue, and which was looked on as the ultimate reward to the Natives for parting with their territory for a nominal sum. The Natives of the Bast Coast who formerly owned the Ngaitahu Block, with the exception of a few persons, are not interested in the West Coast reserves; consequently the advantages derived therefrom cannot be reckoned in their favour as a set-off against anything they may be entitled to.
An opinion is current in the minds of many persons that the Natives in the southern provinces of the Middle Island own land enough—more than sufficient for their wants, or that they can make a beneficial use of; consequently they have no further claim for consideration. This is a peculiar theory, and one that would not find favour with members of the European race under similar circumstances; but why it should be specially applied to the Natives it is difficult to understand. The obligations of the Government on account of the unfulfilled terms of purchase in which the southern Natives are concerned have been before Parliament on several occasions, and their right to consideration admitted. The last time the question was reported on by the Native Affairs Committee was in August, 1882. The Committee, after commenting on the various allegations contained in the petition, and describing the action taken in regard to medical aid and to promote education, conclude with the following recommendation: "The Committee thinks that it would be comparatively easy for the Government to ascertain how much the due carrying-out of these engagements would cost, and recommends that this should be done. This having been ascertained, the value ought to be given to the Natives in inalienable reserves, in such a manner as would insure against want in old age and sickness. Legislation will, no doubt, be required to carry out the recommendation in the foregoing paragraph, but, in view of arriving at a permanent and equitable settlement, the Committee considers that some trouble should be taken and the needful sacrifice made. The Committee recommends this report to the earnest attention of the Government."
With all deference to the report of the Committee, I would submit that a misconception exists with regard to schools and medical attendance having been supplied in the past, but especially as regards education, as the schools now in operation in the South Island were conducted (before the Education Act of 1877) under the general scheme of education that obtained in the colony under "The Native Schools Act, 1867," and cannot be considered as special institutions in fulfilment of the original promise, as the Natives would have gained the advantages derivable therefrom even if they had received a more advanced price for their land. The amount spent for medical aid in the southern provinces up to the 31st March, 1882, a period of nearly thirty-four years since the date of the first purchase, and twenty-nine years since the date of the second, only amounted to £2.559 18s. 8d.
Amongst other recommendations made by the Commissioners in their report under the Commission issued in 1879 for the settlement of the several outstanding questions in respect of the terms and conditions entered into between the Government and the Native vendors on the cession of these lands to the Crown, the following suggestions appear: "We propose that an account should be opened as between the Government and the Ngaitahu: that on one side should be entered the eleventh part of the proceeds of all lands sold by the Government within those two blocks (Otakou and Ngaitahu Blocks). On the other side of the account should be entered, first, the present value of all reserves which have been made, and are now in the possession of the Maoris, within those blocks; second, the total expenditure by the Government for the benefit of the Ngaitahu or other tribes interested in the land, including all payments on account of lands within the boundaries of the Ngaitahu and Otakou Blocks made subsequently to those referred to in the deeds of cession as the money-consideration."
With reference to the aforesaid proposals, I would observe that, as regards the eleventh part of the proceeds in respect of the Ngaitahu Block, it has already been explained that the Commissioners were under a misconception in supposing that the New Zealand Company's system of tenths extended to this purchase. And as regards the other part of the proposition relative to the proposed account to be opened between the Government and the Natives, I do not recommend that this course should be adopted, for the following reasons: Firstly, the present value of the reserves in the possession of the Natives cannot fairly be taken into account in the matter. It is a mere fallacy to point to the increased value of these lands as something they have gained by the settlement of the country such increase confers no commensurate benefit on them, as the following illustration will show. In 1860 the Native reserves in the Province of Canterbury, comprising 7,000 acres were estimated to be worth £67,000 The population at that date numbered five hundred, the average area per individual would therefore be fourteen acres. If these reserves at that date, when it was practicable to obtain land of equal quality in other localities at £2 per acre, had been exchanged for Crown land worth £67,000 at the upset price, the Native owners would have acquired an estate of 33 500 acre and each individual would have increased his area by fifty-three acres. This would have been putting the enhancement of their lands to a practical use; but, as the Natives can neither sell nor exchange these reserves, the increased value of their lands is about as serviceable to them as a bag page 11of gold would be to a person cast away on a desert island. Position value, as matters are circumstanced is of no practical benefit to the Natives, as it matters not whether their property is worth £1 or £20 per acre; the only true value is the inherent qualities of the soil; the unearned increment confers no equivalent advantage. Secondly, the expenditure by the Government for the benefit of the Ngaitahu should not be reckoned either. In the first place, it is not large when divided over the number of years that have elapsed since the purchases were first effected; and, secondly, the Natives are fully entitled to anything they have received when the grievous delay they have been subjected to in waiting for a final fulfilment of the terms and conditions of the several contracts is taken into consideration—a delay it is impossible to adequately compensate them for as regards the setting-apart of lands, as there is no comparison between the quality and general advantage of the land then obtainable with the class of country now available for selection.
Another point also that should not be lost sight of in dealing with the question is that, if the benefits conferred by the Government are to be reckoned against the Natives, it would only be equitable on the other side to allow them a percentage addition on whatever they may be entitled to as compensation for the delay; and, if this were done, it would probably be found that they would be considerably the gainers. The best course, I consider, is to abandon the suggestion made by the Commissioners, and let the Government expenditure and any advantages the Natives may have derived from the enhancement of the value of their reserves go against anything they may be entitled to on the other side by way of compensation for delay.
|Hospitals and contributions to hospitals||310||10||0|
|Cost of buildings||3,147||5||6|
|Books and furniture||630||10||2|
|Salaries of officers—|
|Resident Magistrate and Interpreter, Southland and Dunedin||1,556||3||0|
|Interpreter, Canterbury District||2,344||13||4|
|Food and clothing for aged and needy||1,236||13||0|
The aforesaid amount forms the main expenditure for Native purposes in Canterbury and Otago, as very little was expended in that way prior to 1867. Had a sufficiency of land been set apart as a permanent estate to provide moneys for these purposes a great deal of the present difficulty would have been obviated, and the Native proprietors would have been placed in a position of security and independence in place of the one they now occupy.
Adopting the hypothesis that the value of land in its wilderness state was only a nominal one, the next question to determine is, what was the received opinion as to the meaning of the term— i.e., what was considered in the early days of the colony to be a—" nominal consideration," and the only plan whereby this point can be ascertained is to take the land-purchase records as a basis, and find out the prices given in the North Island for the acquisition of Native territory about the date of the Middle Island purchases. There does not appear to have been much land purchased prior to 1847. In April of that year a block of land at Porirua, near Wellington, comprising 68,896 acres, was purchased from the Natives for £2,000. This payment averaged over 6d. an acre, and 11,550 acres were reserved for the resident Natives. The right of the Ngatitoa Tribe was also purchased to an extensive block in the Middle Island, approximating 3,000,000 acres, for £3,000, and 117,248 acres were reserved for Native purposes. In 1848 the Wanganui Block, comprising 89,600 acres, was purchased for £1,000. This sale included the land set apart, for the Natives, estimated to compute 5,450 acres. This would make the cost per acre about 2¾d. The area of productive land within the block was only estimated at 44,800 acres. In May, 1849, the Rangitikei-Turakina Block, containing an approximate area of 225,000 acres, was acquired for £2,500. This included 2,900 acres reserved for the Natives. The cost per acre would therefore represent about 2¾d. per acre. In addition to this, 31,000 acres was secured to the vendors as a permanent reserve. In 1866 the adjacent block to the south of the Rangitikei River, containing 220,000 acres, was purchased for £25,000, and 24,000 acres were reserved for the resident Natives. This last instance is a practical illustration of the enhanced value given to Native lands by the settlement of the country.
By a return of land purchases effected between the 1st July, 1856, and the 31st March, 1858, the extent of land acquired in the North Island between those dates aggregates 771,673 acres, for which £24,870 was paid, about 7½d. per acre. Of this quantity, 369,673 acres were situated to the page 12north of Auckland, and 402,000 acres in Hawke's Bay. By a return made to an order of the House of Representatives in 1861 (E.-10), the average price: paid by Government for land in the North Island appears to exceed 6d. an acre. In 1849 the Government endeavoured to negotiate the purchase of over a million of acres in the Wairarapa for £1,000. The Native owners demanded £16,000, but this was considered excessive, and the attempt was abandoned.
Land-purchase operations were not resumed again in the district until 1853. From that year up to the 30th June, 1860, the Natives alienated about 957 864 acres to the Crown, receiving during that period about £38,642 for the area sold. Reserves to the extent of 20,234 acres had been made for their use out of the alienated lands, and 187,856 acres remained in their hands at their absolute disposal. In addition to this they were entitled to receive 5 per cent, on the re-sale after deducting cost of surveys on 387,000 acres. This is another instance where the price of the land in its wild state had been enhanced by the settlement of the country.
It has already been pointed out that the Natives in the southern province of the Middle Island never had the opportunity of benefiting in this way, as it was deemed advisable for colonisation purposes to acquire all their wilderness land from them at one time; and for this reason greater consideration to protect their welfare should have been shown by reserving a sufficiency of land for all purposes, both for their use and occupation, as well as for endowments to promote their social advancement.
The total area included within the boundaries of Kemp's Purchase, according to recent computation, inclusive of Banks Peninsula, which, although excluded in 1848, was treated subsequently as if it had formed part of the block, amounts to 20,128,000 acres, and has been classified to contain the under-mentioned areas of good, medium, and inferior land at the time it was purchased. The classification has been determined according to position, value, and accessibility in 1848. The first class comprises the country that was fairly accessible at that date. The second, the interior of the country available for pastoral purposes, and accessible to travellers on foot and horseback. The third, the rugged and mountainous country, inclusive of the West Coast, then a terra incognita, in which state it remained until opened up by the gold discoveries about 1863. The area of the first class is estimated at 2,864,000 acres, the second class at 8,064,000 acres, and the third class at 9,200,000. Assuming that 3d. an acre was the nominal consideration value of the first class in 1848, 1½d an acre for the second, and Id. for the third, the total value would amount to £124,533; and, treating this as a landed estate to be handed over to the vendors, the minimum price of waste lands in the possession of the Crown at that time being £1 per acre, it would represent 124,533 acres. Of this, the parties interested have received up to the present time 19,312 acres, leaving a balance of 105,221 acres to be appropriated to their use.
Of this quantity I would recommend that 100,000 acres be set apart as an endowment to-provide for purposes in connection with the promotion of their welfare, but, as the residue will be inadequate to make sufficient provision for the extent of land requisite for their use and occupation, I therefore beg to recommend that an additional quantity to the extent of 25,479 acres be added for the purpose of increasing the individual acreage to fifty acres each for all who are entitled to be provided for within the block. This will require a total acreage of 130,700 acres to be appropriated for the purpose.
As evidence that the quantity recommended is not unreasonable when all the circumstances in connection with the purchase are fully considered, had the original intention been given effect to at the time in a liberal manner—i.e., to set apart ample reserves for the present and future wants of the Natives in the fullest sense of the term, as well as to make the only secure provision by an endowment in land for the purpose of promoting the social and physical welfare of the Natives-land to the extent of 150 acres per individual would probably not have been deemed excessive as a just remuneration for ceding a vast estate for a trifling payment. The persons for whom the reserves were made in 1848 numbered 637, but there were others who were interested in the block for whom provision should have been made who were not included in the census partly through the folly of the Natives in not furnishing the necessary information, as well as through their not fully realising the importance the non-fulfilment of this duty would have on their future welfare There were Natives absent in the North Island at the time, others living on Banks Peninsula as well as at the settlements at Otago, Taieri, and Molyneux, who were interested in the block, and should have had land reserved for them either at the time or afterwards, had their requirements • been made known. Besides the Natives residing at Port Levy, who were included in the Kaiapoi census, there were about a hundred and fifty others on the Peninsula entitled to consideration; it was known also that a number were omitted in the census taken at the several settlements It is not unreasonable, therefore, to assume that the number to be provided for, had a full enumeration been made, would have computed one thousand. An allotment of 150 acres each for this number would make a total of 150,000 acres for all purposes, 50,000 acres of which should have been allocated for their use and occupation, and 100,000 acres for an endowment for the purposes before enumerated.
If this had been done the vendors would have had no cause to complain that their interests had been overlooked. Assuming it cannot be gainsayed that 150,000 acres would have been a fair quantity to have set apart to meet all the requirements of the Natives if the aggregate area alreadv reserved is deducted, the balance will represent within a few acres the quantity, viz, 130 700 acres now recommended to be appropriated for the purpose with a view to finally settle the question.
There is another phase of the matter that should not be overlooked in dealing with the question, and that is the difficulty of now securing lands of the same quality that was available for selected in former year at the time the territory was ceded by the Natives; and this alone should be a sufficient reason why a more extensive area should be set apart than perhaps might have been deemed necessary at that date. These remarks apply more particularly to the endowment for the production of a fund for Native purposes, as it would have been possible then to page 13have selected lands which by reason of some peculiar advantage of position, would be sure to be in demand for permanent occupation for rental purposes.
The save any inconvenience that might arise or the possibility of impeding the settlement of the country if large blocks of land were diverted to other uses, I would suggest that the setting apart of a sufficiency of land for the objects alluded to need not disturb existing arrangements but that the estate when appropriated should be allowed to remain under the control of the Commissioner of Crown Lands to be disposed of either by sale or lease, as circumstances might require the only distinction being that the proceeds should be placed to a separate account and in the case of sales being effected, that the amount realised should be invested and finally expended for the purchase of lands in more eligible localities than it would be possible to select at the present time, with the view to ultimately acquire properties in such situations as would produce the largest pccuniary return for the advantage of the Natives in promoting their general welfare.
Assuming that it has been incontrovertibly proved in the foregoing narrative of particulars that the Native owners of Kemp s Block were inadequately paid for the territory ceded by them that the terms of the deed as regards the reservation of their mahinga kai (food-producing places) and the setting-apart of additional lands have not been equitably fulfilled, or the promises that were looked on as the main consideration for the cession of the land have never been carried out excepting in a manner that cannot affect the general question, I venture to express a hope that the recommendation made by me may be treated in a generous spirit.
I have been unable, owing to the manifold duties that have devolved on me for some time past in connection with the settlement of the ownership of the reserves now owned by the Natives in the South Island to carry out the direction contained in the Commission issued to me in regard to fixing the locality of the land to be selected in satisfaction of the Native claims, but this is a part of the work that could be disposed of by the Survey Department with greater facility than is at my disposal, and I beg respectfully to recommend that this department be asked to undertake the duty.
In concluding my report on the purchase herein dealt with, I beg to inform your Excellency that the majority of the Natives concerned are willing and anxious to accept a grant of land in satisfaction of their claims.