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Reports of the Native Affairs Committee, 1895

No. 180.—Petition of Piripi Te Maari and 5 Others

No. 180.—Petition of Piripi Te Maari and 5 Others.

Petitioners pray that their grievances in connection with the Wairarapa Lakes may be inquired into, and relief granted.

Your Committee have to report that in 1893 the same question was considered by the Native Affairs Committee, and the following report was made to the House—namely, "That the whole question dealt with in the petition was reported on by a Royal Commission in 1890. (Vide Vol. II., Appendices, Sess. II., 1891, G.–4.) It is clear that the Natives have been wronged, and the only question is whether the local bodies interested or the Government should compensate them. The Committee is of opinion that it should be done by the Government, as the land was sold to the settlers, and provision made in the Public Works Act which enabled the local body to open a channel from the lake to the sea, and thus the proprietary rights of the Natives were interfered with. The Committee recommend that the Government should at once try to arrange the matter, either by purchasing the rights of the Natives or by compensating them for any injury done."

Your Committee regret that no attention has been paid to the recommendation of the Committee of 1893, and the Committee would again most urgently recommend that the undoubted grievances under which the Natives labour should be redressed.

The Committee may add that it has been represented to them that the Government are seeking to make a claim against the lake for surveying not undertaken at the request of the Natives, and threaten to sell the rights of the lake for such survey. The Committee hope that it is not the intention of the Government to take such steps.

8th October, 1895.