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Reports of the Native Affairs Committee, 1877.

Report on Petition of Hoterini Taipari and 73 Others

Report on Petition of Hoterini Taipari and 73 Others.

Petitioners state that they are the persons who signed an agreement with the Government under which certain lands in the District of Hauraki were opened as a gold field. That under such agreement the fees to be derived from miners' rights, &c., were to be paid to the petitioners, but that this has been done very irregularly, the payments being now three-quarters of a year in arrear. The petitioners are desirous of having the books and vouchers in connection with those fees properly inspected by a skilled accountant appointed by themselves, but that hitherto they have not been allowed the opportunity; they also complain that they are defrauded of money by reason of persons exercising the rights of miners without payment.

I am directed to report as follows:—

That this petition is similar in effect to one from the same petitioners reported on by the Native Affairs Committee of last session. The recommendation made last session that facilities should be afforded for the inspection of the accounts, as desired by the petitioners, appears to have been indorsed by the Government; and Mr. Puckey, the Government Agent at the Thames, was instructed accordingly. Your Committee believe that the statements of the present petition, that applications have been made to Mr. Puckey for an inspection of his accounts and refused by him, are made in error, and that if formal application be made no difficulty will be found in obtaining access to the accounts. The Committee can therefore only reaffirm the recommendation of last session, that full facilities should be given the petitioners for an inspection of the accounts in connection with miners' and other fees in which they are interested, whether those accounts are in the office of Mr. Puckey or any other officer of the Government.

John Bryce,

14th August, 1877.