No. 130 (1898), 131 (1898), 300 (1898), and 475 (1899).—Petitions of Pera Kati and 151 Others; Te Area and 129 Others; Ngatete Karaea and Another; Hemi Kuti and Another.
Petitioners pray for the return of certain lands which were given to the Church of England on the strength of promises made by the representatives of that body to establish schools, &c., for the benefit of the Maoris, which promises have never been fulfilled.
I am directed to report that, in the opinion of this Committee, the petitioners have a just grievance, for it appears certain that the conditions under which the land was given have never been carried into effect. The Committee recommend that the Government should introduce legislation for the purpose of setting aside the Crown grants issued in favour of the Lord Bishop of New Zealand, and of declaring the land "papatupu," or Native land, and restoring the same to the Native donors, or their successors, along with all the rents accrued thereon.