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Reports of the Native Affairs Committee, 1877.

Report on Petition of Tapa te Whata and Others (No. 1)

Report on Petition of Tapa te Whata and Others (No. 1).

Petitioners state that, although they reside on the West Coast of this Island, they nevertheless had claims to land in the Waikato, which was confiscated by reason of the rebellion of the Waikato Natives. They allege that they were not concerned in fighting against the Queen, but that they have had no opportunity of proving their claims, inasmuch as they knew nothing of the sitting of the Compensation Court until after it was over.

I have the honor to report that—

The Committee is of opinion that the allegation in the petition, that the petitioners had no notice of the sitting of the Compensation Court, is correct.

The Committee is not in a position to offer any opinion as to whether the petitioners have any real claims to the lands to which their petition refers, but considers that petitioners are entitled to have an opportunity afforded them of bringing forward their claims.

It will most likely be found that a great deal of the lands affected by the petition have been alienated to other persons, and that it would be impossible to give petitioners possession of such portions as should be found to belong to them. The Committee would recommend, however, that inquiry should be made through the Native Land Court, or other competent tribunal, to ascertain the nature and extent of the claims of the petitioners, and that it should be left to the Government to determine in what manner such claims as they may be able to establish shall be satisfied.

John Bryce,

17th August, 1877.