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Reports of the Native Affairs Committee, 1880.

No. 160 of Session II., 1879.—Petition of Te Oti Pita Mutu and 25 Others

No. 160 of Session II., 1879.—Petition of Te Oti Pita Mutu and 25 Others.

Petitioners state that in 1868 they were awarded by the Native Land Court certain reserves as fishing ground; that they held possession of these reserves, and received from the fisheries on the lagoons called Ohuapounamu, Torotoroa, and Waimaiaia their main sustenance; that the Europeans in the neighbourhood in the year 1876 drained the lakes and thus destroyed the fisheries, to the very great loss of the owners; they further state that a reserve of 10 acres was allotted to them at the mouth of the Rakahuri, but the land is subject to floods, and is of such bad quality that it is almost useless. They ask that the quantity be increased to 20 acres, and say that there is a piece of unsold land adjoining the reserve which would suit them. They pray for early consideration and redress.

I am directed to report as follows:—

That, in reference to the Lakes Ohuapounamu, Torotoroa, and Waimaiaia, the Committee recommend that so much of the reclaimed land as lies between the Maori land and the water (the line of the latter to be clearly defined) should be Crown-granted to the Natives in compensation for the loss they have suffered by the drainage; and that, in regard to the extension of the area of the reserve at the mouth of the Ashley River, Government should be recommended to consider the matter.

23rd August, 1880.