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Reports of the Native Affairs Committee, 1882.

No. 69 of 1882.—Petition of Ema Maitai, Wi Terure, Porikapa Toto, and Peta Toto

No. 69 of 1882.—Petition of Ema Maitai, Wi Terure, Porikapa Toto, and Peta Toto.

Petitioners state that they are included in a memorial of ownership of Waingaromia No. 2, ordered in 1877, and confirmed at a rehearing in 1880; that some of the owners, about January, 1877, and previous to the order of the Court, signed a deed of sale to Robert Cooper; that Judge Rogan made an order that the said lands should be held as freehold by Robert Cooper; that petitioners never signed the said deed nor sold their interest to Cooper, and believe that others also did not sell, and that they know several in the memorial of ownership were infants. They are informed that the purchase money was not fully paid; and that spirits formed a large part of the consideration. They allege also that the deed was not brought before a Trust Commissioner; and that, Parliament having last year passed an Act to validate the signature of Judge Rogan, petitioners find themselves unable to get redress. Petitioners pray that no Crown grant be issued to Robert Cooper, and that relief be given to them.

I am directed to report as follows:—

That this case came before the Committee, and was reported upon on the 18th October, 1878, upon the petition of Robert Cooper, the Committee then recommending a rehearing of the case. Early in 1879 the rehearing was ordered. This rehearing was before Judge Halse, in April, 1880, when the original decision of Judge Rogan was confirmed. Of the four petitioners three were in the memorial of ownership—namely, Ema Maitai, Peta Toto, and Wi Terure (the latter under the name of Wi Turehu). Judge Rogan ordered the Crown grant to be given to Robert Cooper. The three names referred to are in the deed of transfer to Cooper; and finally the Government issued a Crown grant, in January, 1882, in favour of Cooper, in accordance with the recommendation of the Court. From the above facts it seems to the Committee that Government gave ample time for all parties concerned to apply for legal redress; nor can it think that the petitioners have established a claim for special consideration, when it is considered they joined in the sale. The name of Porikapa Toto does not appear in either the memoral of ownership or the deed of sale. The Committee has no recommendation to make.

23rd June, 1882.