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Reports of the Native Affairs Committee, 1877.

Report on Petition of Aropeta Haeretuterangi and Others

Report on Petition of Aropeta Haeretuterangi and Others.

The petitioners state that, in 1873, at Wanganui, the Native Lands Court awarded a block of land known as Murimotu, containing about 46,353 acres, to the petitioners and other Native applicants; that they (the petitioners) have since discovered that several Natives have been erroneously included amongst the applicants, although having no real interest in the block; that they who were so wrongly included are now anxious to sell the land in one block, but the petitioners desire to promote settlement, and to dispose of the land in small blocks; and that, unless the error complained of is remedied, the matter will remain a source of discontent to all the real owners.

The petitioners therefore pray that a rehearing of the claims to the whole block may be granted by the Native Lands Court.

I am directed to report as follows:—

From the evidence taken before the Committee it does not appear to be clearly established that some names have been wrongly included in the list of owners. The official papers show clearly that no absolute judgment has yet been given by the Native Lands Court. All that the Court has done appears to be that it has determined who are the persons who, according to Native custom, are entitled to have their names entered as owners of the block in the records of the Native Lands Court. Before the judgment of the Court can be finally given it will be necessary to determine the names of ten persons for insertion in the certificate of title. Several attempts appear to have been made since 1873 to do this, but without success, in consequence of differences among the Native owners. It will be impossible, even if considered necessary, to comply with the prayer of the petitioners until such time as the final judgment of the Court has been given.

John Bryce,

17th October, 1877.