Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Southern Districts of New Zealand

“Auckland, 18th March, 1844

page 284


“In reporting to you on the claims to land in the Middle Island and Stewart's Island, which were brought before Commissioner Godfrey, I have the honour to refer you to the enclosed tables,* to some plans drawn by Tuhawaiki, and to a sketch of the line of coast from Foveaux's Straits to Kaiapoi, which will place before you in a concise form various information regarding their position, extent, &c.

“All the lands referred to in the tables, with exception of a small portion, claim 70 b, are situate south of Taumutu, and the rights of the European purchasers are acknowledged; the sales having been made by the admitted proprietors—the descendants of Ngatimamoe.

“Other natives who now reside on some of these lands were invited to settle there by the chiefs

* This enclosure is omitted.

Vide page 81.

Vide Map fronting the title page.

page 285 of Ngatimamoe, when a general movement to the southward took place during the wars with Te Rauparaha. They do not, however, from residence, pretend to any right to sell, but merely to occupy and cultivate; and many are now beginning to return to their former localities about Hakaroa and Kaiapoi.

“I have arranged separately those claims which are small or moderate in extent, and those which are excessive.

“With regard to the first, I believe that titles may be granted by the government immediately, and to their full extent, without any injustice following to their aboriginal proprietors.

“With regard to the second, it will be necessary first to reserve for the natives those portions which are now occupied by them, and a sufficiency of the adjacent land for their future operations. From the remainder, the claimants may be permitted to select the number of acres allotted to them by the Government.

“For information respecting the claim of the French Company, I have the honour to refer you to my letter of the 14th instant, enclosing a copy of notes* which I wrote by desire of Governor Fitz Roy, for the information of Mr. J. J. Symonds, whom His Excellency had appointed to negotiate the purchase of land, at Otakou.

* Vide infra p. 288, enclosure referred to.

page 286 You will observe that a very inconsiderable portion of the land claimed by the French Company is allowed by the natives to have been sold absolutely. But it is admitted that an understanding existed, that any part of the district, which they—the native sellers—did not require for themselves, should be sold to the French Company, on the return of their vessel from France with property, the nature of which appears to have been specified in a paper drawn up on the occasion.

“Tuhawaiki, however, and other chiefs of influence, who have undoubted claims to the land, were not parties to this act; and about the same time, as stated by him, made proposals at Port Jackson to sell Hakaroa to Sir George Gipps. On that occasion they received presents of money from Governor Gipps, and were desired to return on the following day to complete the negotiation; but this was prevented by the intrigues of some land speculators, by whose contrivance they were kept out of the way, till an opportunity offered of sending them back to New Zealand.

“Tuhawaiki makes no opposition to the sale of those portions of land sold to the French Company as specified in the enclosure above referred to; for they do not include land over which he has a particular right. But it will be necessary that he and the other ‘pirigna’ or persons allied by birth to the former or present occupants page 287 of the district, be parties to any future more extensive sale.

“The Company have not confined their sales within those lands, their title to which is acknowledged; but have, on the contrary, extended them over the more eligible sites adjacent to the harbour of Hakaroa. Some of the places thus sold are in the occupation of natives, and will not be readily yielded to Europeans. Others have been taken possession of on the promise of future payments, and have been improved, often at much expense.

“But the postponement, from time to time, to fulfil these promises, has rendered the natives distrustful and impatient; and, since the affair at Wairau, they have even begun to hold out threats to the settlers that, unless the land be paid for speedily, they will no longer allow them to live on it.

“It therefore appears necessary, to secure the peace of the district, that the Government interfere to adjust a settlement of this matter, which will become more perplexed by delay.

“Should the French Company be permitted to purchase any part of Bank's Peninsula, in order to fulfil their engagements with their settlers—the presence of a Protector of Aborigines will be required to see that it is clearly understood and defined, what lands are to be sold, and what page 288 reserved; and to take care that all persons having just claims to the lands offered for sale be parties to the contract.

“It is needless for me to observe that, without this precaution, injustice must result to many of the native proprietors, and consequent insecurity of property to the settlers.

“Of the remaining claims in the Southern Islands, advertized for investigation by Commissioner Godfrey, the claimants of which did not appear before him, I am able to state that some would be admitted in part by the natives. But far the greater number, I am persuaded, have scarce the shadow of a title.

“As, however, my instructions bore reference only to such claims as came under the notice of the Commissioner, I confined my inquiries more particularly to them.

“I have the honour to be, &c.,

Edward Shortland.”

To the Chief Protector of the Aborigines, etc., etc., etc.