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Important Judgments: Delivered in the Compensation Court and Native Land Court. 1866–1879.

Native Land Court. [Horowhenua]

page 136

Native Land Court. [Horowhenua]

Foxton, Manawatu, April, 5th 1873.

John Rogan, Esq., Judge; T. H. Smith, Esq., judge; Hemi Tautari, Assessor.


This is an application made by Ngatiraukawa claimants for a certificate of title to that portion of the Manawatu Kukutauaki Block, which was excepted from the previous order of the lease made in their favour, excluding only the portion admitted to belong to the Muaupoko tribe

The application is opposed by the Muaupoko, who claim the whole of the excepted portion as owned by their ancestors, and still owned and occupied by them.

The claimants have brought forward evidence, and have sought to prove such an occupation of the land, the subject of inquiry, as would amount to a dispossession of the Muaupoko.

We are unanimously of opinion that the claimants have failed to make out their case, and the judgment of the Court is accordingly in. favor of the counter claimants.

The claimants appear to rely principally on the residence of Te Whatanui at Horowhenua, and there can be no doubt that at the time when the chief took up his abode there, the Muaupoko were glad to avail themselves of the protection of a powerful Ngatiraukawa chief against Te Rauparaha, whose enmity they had incurred.

It would appear that Te Whatanui took the Muaupoko under his protection, and that he was looked up to as their chief, but it does not appear that the surrender of their land by the Muaupoko was ever stipulated for as the price of that protection, or that it followed as a consequence of the relations which subsisted between that tribe and Te Whatanui.

We find that the Muaupoko was in possession of the land at Horowhenua when Te Whatanui went there, that they still occupy these lands, and that they have never been dispossessed of them.

We find, further, that Te Whatanui acquired by gift from Muaupoko a portion of land at Raumatangi, and we consider that this claim at Horowhenua will be fairly and substantially recognized by marking off a block of 100 acres at that place, for which a certificate of title may be ordered in favour of his representatives.