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Reports of the Native Affairs Committee, 1877.

Report on Petition of Hare Hongi Hika and Others

Report on Petition of Hare Hongi Hika and Others.

The petitioners urge—

1. That the Counties Act should be translated into Maori.
2. That each separate person in a Crown grant should receive a separate rate account.
3. That land over which the Native title has not been extinguished should not be subject to be rated, and—
4. That large areas should not have to pay high rates.

The petitioners also think County Councils should give one month's grace after sending in rate accounts. And are further of opinion that dogs should only be taxed in towns and not in the country districts. And that the Council should also decide as to Steps which ought to be taken in respect of aged women, indigent persons, and orphans.

I am directed to report as follows:—

1. That the request of the petitioners for the translation of the Counties Act into Maori is reasonable and should be complied with.
2. That as the Committee understand the position of the existing law, Native lands not through the Court, or through the Court and still in the occupation of the aboriginal owners, are not liable to be rated without the consent of such owners. Therefore it does not appear to be necessary to entertain the second and third requests made in the petition. The Committee are glad to hear that the Native population in the Northern Counties are paying rates of their own accord.
3. That, as the rate is levied by valuation, allowance is made for lands not farmed or beneficially occupied, as asked for in paragraph 4.
4. The Committee do not think it is necessary to make any alteration in the law in relation to dog-licenses, so as to exempt bush settlements from its operation.
5. The Committee recommend that requests in paragraphs 6 and 7 of the petition, dealing respectively with the question of giving one month's grace to pay rates, and with the question of charitable aid, to the consideration of the Government, to be dealt with if thought desirable in the Counties Act Amendment Bill.

John Sheehan,

25th September, 1877.