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Reports of the Native Affairs Committee, 1877.

Report on Petition of Ihaia Tainui

Report on Petition of Ihaia Tainui.

Petitioner prays that the titles of himself and hapu to reserves in the South Island may be individualized. He alleges that under existing circumstances individual owners cannot devise their share by will on account of their inability to set forth in legal terms the piece of land to which they are entitled. The petitioner also objects to the Governor assuming the management of the reserves and the rents accruing from them, alleging that the Natives understood that the arrangement was only to last for a term of twenty-one years. And he further asserts that the administration of the rents is objectionable. Petitioner urges various objections to the Native Reserves Act of 1876, and particularly that it was drawn by Mr. Alexander Mackay. He concludes by praying that his people may be compensated for land taken for railway purposes.

I am directed to report as follows:—

That the Native Affairs Committee of last session inquired very fully into the merits of this case, and reported thereon as follows:—

"That in the opinion of the Committee the petitioners in this case do not appear to have any good ground for complaint, and that the reserve in question seems to be fairly and judiciously administered on behalf of the Natives concerned.

"The Committee is further of opinion that the law which enables the Governor to sell such reserves should be amended, so as to provide that no such sale should be effected without a special Act of the Legislature in such cases."

No additional evidence having been submitted, the Committee have nothing to add to the report above quoted, except to recommend that the petition be referred to the Government for consideration.

John Bryce,

November 19, 1877.