Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Reports of the Native Affairs Committee, 1889.

[No. 257, 1889. —Petition of Mehaka Tokopounamu and 86 Others.]

No. 257, 1889. —Petition of Mehaka Tokopounamu and 86 Others.

Petitioners state that they belong to Te Patuheuheu, a section of the Urewera Tribe; that they are the owners of a block of land called Waiohau No. 1, containing by admeasurement 14,464 acres; that the said block was awarded to them (some 145 in number) by the Native Land Court; that in their list of owners they had, partly out of consideration, admitted a small section of the Ngatimanawa under Harehare; that shortly after H. K. Burt, practising as a licensed interpreter and general land agent in the Bay of Plenty district, entered into negotiations with the Natives for the purchase of the said land; that contemporary with himself was another purchaser of the same block, a Mr. Preece, who also was a licensed interpreter; that, possibly in consequence of this competition, the purchases made by the said parties were of a very loose and reckless character, no observance being paid to the conditions and formalities necessary in such matters, and prescribed by law; that in many cases the consideration-money paid was inadequate, in some cases it was not paid at all, and in others it consisted of stores and firearms; and that many of the signatures were obtained page 5without any attesting officer being present. The said block came before the Native Land Court at Te Taheke for subdivision; but the petitioners allege that they received no notice whatever of the sitting, and consequently did not attend; that, although, as they have since heard, the Court was adjourned from Te Taheke to Rotorua, they deny receiving any notice of that sitting; that subsequently they have been informed, which information is borne out by the Court papers, that Harehare and two others of the Ngatimanawa were present at the Rotorua Court; that they arranged with H. R. Burt as to the procedure to be adopted, and forthwith appeared before the Court as representing the desires and wishes of the whole of the owners who were absent; they falsely stated to the Court that a voluntary arrangement had been arrived at, and that a division shown on the plan produced should be given effect to; that thereupon the Court awarded subdivision B of Waiohau No. 1 to only two persons—viz., Peraniko Pani and Hira te Mumuhu, the said award containing 7,000 acres, the half of the whole block, and representing only forty-three interests, which had been purchased by H. R. Burt; it also included their present cultivations, wahi tapu, and permanent settlement, which they have occupied for the last eighteen years. The petitioners, having set forth all the chief particulars in their case, pray that strict and searching inquiry may be made into the matter, and immediate relief afforded them.

I am directed to report as follows: That the Committee, after hearing the evidence of Mehaka Tokopounamu and Korowhiti, carefully perusing papers submitted to the Committee by H. R. Burt, and after looking over the minutes of the proceedings of the Native Land Court, have come to the conclusion that, in the main, the allegations made by the petitioners are correct, and a great injustice has been inflicted upon them, although they do not altogether hold the petitioners blameless in the matter. In recommending the Government to institute a strict inquiry into the case of the petitioners, with a view of taking such remedial measures as will place them in the position of getting their rights, the Committee would draw special attention to the reckless, illegal, and loose manner in which the purchases referred to in the petition were made, and would quote the following paragraph in the minutes above mentioned to show the want of security there is in Native Land Courts for the proper representation of the Native owners, and how the Court is frequently, though unwittingly, made the channel through which nefarious transactions are legalised: "I hand into the Court a schedule showing the names of the fifty-four sellers, also a list of eleven of those [whose signatures have not been legally attested, and to whom balances are yet due. In respect of the forty-three first named the purchase is legally complete.] (Mr. Harry Burt explained to the Court the nature of the two lists above referred to as defined in the words above given and bracketed.) I also put in a schedule of the two representative names, which we desire to have specified in the order for No. 1b, viz., Peraniko Ahuriri, Hira te Mumuhu. Schedule, as above, published, and objectors challenged. Harehare (brother of Peraniko) rose to state that there was no opposition."

21st August, 1889.

No. 257, 1889. —Pukapuka-inoi a Mehaka Tokopounamu me etahi atu e 86.

E Ki ana nga kai-pitihana no Te Patuheuheu ratou he hapu no te Urewera a no raton tetahi poraka whenua e mohiotia ana ki te ingoa o Wai-hau Nama 1, ko te rahi i te ruritanga 14, 464 eka a i whakataua taua poraka e te Kooti Whenua Maori ki nga tangata kotahi rau e wha tekau ma rima o ratou. A i whakaurua e ratou i runga i te aroha tetahi hapu iti o Ngatimanawa ko Harehare to ratou tino tangata. A i muri tata iho ka tahuri a H. R. Paati kaiwhakamaori kaiwhahakahaere whenua o te Pei o Pereti ki te hoko i taua whenua, e hoko ana ia mana ake. A ko te Pirihi kaiwhakamaori ano hoki tetahi kaihoko o taua poraka, a na ta raua whakatete pea i rere ke ni te ahua o ta raua hoko, kihai hoki raua i hoko i runga i nga tikanga me nga ritenga hoko whenua e whakaaturia nei e te ture, a he maha nga tangata kihai i rite nga moni mo a ratou hea, a kei etahi kihai rawa tetahi kapa i riro mai, a kei etahi he mea utu ki te toonga ki to pu, a he maha nga ingoa kihai i hainatia ki te aroaro o tetahi apiha i whakaturia mo tera mahi. I tukua taua poraka whenua kia whakawakia e te Kooti Whenua Maori i te Taheke erangi e ki ana nga kai-pitihana kihai rawa i tae mai tetahi panui kia ratou hei whakaatu i te nohoanga o te Kooti no reira kohore ratou i tae atu ki te Kooti. Na ahakoe to ratou rongo i muri iho i te hikitanga o te Kooti i te Taheke ki Rotorua e mea ana ratou kihai tetahi panui i tae mai kia ratou hei whakaatu i te nohoanga o taua Kooti. No muri iho ka rongo ratou a e whakaaetia ana e nga pukapuka o te Kooti aua korero a ratou (ara) nga korero nei i toe ano a Harehare me etahi tokorua o Ngatimanawa ki te Kooti i Rotorua a whakaritea ana e ratou ko Paati te huarahi whakahaere mo taua keehi, a haere tonu atu ratou ki te aroaro o te Kooti whakahaere ai ano e whakahaere ana ratou i nga hiahia o te iwi katoa e ngaro atu ra. I korero teka atu ratou ki te Kooti; i mea kua oti noa ake te whakahaere taua keehi a me whakamana e te Kooti te wehewehenga i runga i te mapi i tukuna ki to Kooti. Heoi whakataua ake e te Kooti te wehenga B o Waiohau No. 1 ki nga tangata e rua anake (ara) kia Peraniko Pani me Hira te Mumuhu a riro ake i a H. R. Paati te hawhe o taua poraka e 7,000 eka a meinga ana ko te hea tera a nga tangata e 43 anake me te uru atu ano hoki nga ngakinga a nga kai-pitihana me nga wahi tapu me o ratou kainga i noho ai ratou i roto i nga tau 18 kua pahure ake nei. Heoi i te mea kua whakaaturia katoatia nga tino take o tenei keehi e nga kai-pitihana, e inoi ana ratou kia tukua tetahi tino whiriwhiringa mo tenei keehi me te tuku i tetahi ora ki a ratou.

Kua whakahaua ahau kia ki penei: I muri iho o te whakarongonga a te Komiti ki nga korero a Mehaka Tokopounamu me te Korowhiti, i muri iho hoki i te whiriwhiringa i nga korero i roto i nga pukapuka i tukua ki te Komiti e H. R. Paati, i muri iho ano hoki i te tirotirohanga i nga mahi whakahaere a te Kooti, kua whakaoro te Komiti e tika ana to nuinga o nga korero i korerotia e nga kai-pitihana a kua tau tetahi mate nui ki runga i a ratou. Otira kahore te Komiti e mea kihai i puta tetahi he i nga kai-pitihana. A i runga i te mea e tonoa ana te Kawanatanga e te Komiti kia tino whiriwhiria taua keehi kia ahei ai te whakahaere i tetahi tikanga e tau ai te tika ki nga kai-pitihana, ka tono ano hoki te Komiti kia ata tirohia te rereke me nga pokanga ketanga i waho page 6o te Ture mo runga i te hoko o taua whenua e whakahuatia nei e nga kai-pitihana i roto i ta ratou Pitihana. A ka whakauru atu ano hoki matou i etahi kupu i konei he whakaatu i te huarahi kore i roto i te Kooti Whenua Maori hei whakahaere tika i nga take a nga Maori whai take ki nga whenua me te waiho i te Kooti i etahi wa maha, i runga ano ia i te kore mohio o te Kooti hei huarahi whakamana i nga take teka a te hunga mahi hianga. I peneitia hoki te mahi o tenei keehi me nga korero e mau ake i raro nei (ara). "Na ka tukua atu e ahau te rarangi ingoa o nga tangata hoko e 54, me te rarangi ingoa o nga tangata te kau matahi kihai nei o ratou ingoa i tuhituhia tikatia a e tika ana kia hoatu te toenga o a ratou moni. Akuanei ko te hunga 43 i whakahuatia ra i te tuatahi kua tino whakamana ta ratou hoko." I whakamarama ano a Paati ki te Kooti i te tikanga o nga rarangi ingoa e rua kua whakahuatia ake i runga ake nei. Ka tukua ano hoki e ahau te rarangi ingoa o nga kaiwhakahaere tokorua e hiahia ana hoki matou kia uru aua tangata tokorua ki roto i te ota o te Kooti mo te Nama 1b ara a Peraniko Ahuriri, Hira te Mumuhu. Heoi ka waiho tonu taua rarangi ingoa i tuhia ra me te karanga mehemea tera tetahi tangata whakahe ka whakatika ake ko Harehare tuakana a Peraniko ka mea kahore he tangata e whakahe ana.

21 o Akuhata, 1889.