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The Southern Districts of New Zealand



page 282 page 283

I.—Genealogical Table

Shewing The Relationship Of Some Of The Chiefs Of The Tribe Ngatitoa.

II.—Report On Land Claims.

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.

Enclosure Referred To.

[The former part of this enclosure, having reference to the history of the Southern Tribes, is omitted, its substance being contained in the foregoing pages.]

Subjoined is a list of chiefs and others principally interested in land at Bank's Peninsula. I page 289 have distinguished two classes of claims; viz., those of persons “i a ratou te turuturu o te kaika,” or who have an especial right to the place—and those of “Nga Piringa,” or persons allied to the former.

Places. Nga tangata i a ratou te turuturu o te kainga.(First Class Claimants.) Nga Piringa.(Second Class Claimants.)
Hakaroa. Te Ruaparae Taiaroa and Karetai
Hakaroa (his son) Tamakeke
Tuauau Tiakikai
Pahuiti Te Rehe
Parure Piuraki or Tikao
Mautai Iwikau
Patuki, Tuhawaiki
Kahupatiki, &c.
Wakaoroi or Pigeon Bay. Ka Tata Iwikau
Te Puehu Tikao
Manunuiakarae Taiaroa
Te Kaihaoe Tuhawaiki
Patuki, &c.
Kokourarata or Port Levy.&Wakaraupo or Port Cooper. Te Kauamo Iwikau
Ka Tata Tikao
Te Puehu Taiaroa
Manunuiakarae Tuhawaiki
Taunuiraki Patuki
Nohomutu Pokene
Koroko, &c.
page 290

“The lands, the purchase of which the natives of these places acknowledge to have been completed, are as follows:—

A small spot, at Hakaroa, surrounding his house to Mr. Rhodes.

About 500 acres to the French Company, at Hakaroa.

A bay called Ka Kongutungutu, at Wakaoroi.

A bay called Kaihope, at Kokourarata.

A bay called Te Pohue, at Wakaraupo.

“At the same time they consider that they have entered into a compact with the French Company to sell a further indefinite quantity of land.

“The French Company have laid claim to the whole of the Peninsula; and have sold land at Hakaroa not included in their acknowledged purchase from the natives, who have naturally shown dissatisfaction, when the settler has attempted to take possession, and in some cases have resisted.

Precautions to be adopted in Purchasing Lands from Natives.—Before completing any purchase of land from natives, it appears to be essential to obtain first the native name of every place within the district proposed to be purchased, with the names of the persons who have individual rights in each place—“i a ratou te turuturu o te kaigna”—the general rights of principal chiefs and others being more easily dealt with. page 291 For, whereas several may have a joint right to those parts, which have never been resided on, or made “tapu” to any particular person, individuals and families will be found to have a peculiar claim to those parts, which are in occupation of, or have at any former time been in possession of, or made “tapu” to, an ancestor.

“The next step should be to desire the natives to decide what places they wish to sell, and what to reserve for themselves. For it will seldom happen that they will readily part with a large district without reservation—unless it be wholly unsuited to their methods of cultivation—and even then there would probably be some favourite eel-fisheries, to them of great moment, with which they would not part.

“I have honour to be, &c.,

“Edward Shortland.”

To J. J. Symonds, Esq. etc., etc., etc.

page 292

III.—Natural Religion Of The New Zealander.

The ancient religion of the New Zealander taught him that anything, if placed in contact with a sacred object, acquired the sacred nature of that object; and that it was his first duty to guard whatever had been thus rendered sacred by contact from being eaten, or used for the purposes of cooking or eating.

The greatest injury one man could inflict on another being to eat him, it was a natural idea that to eat anything which had become sacred by contact would be offensive to the person whose sacredness it had acquired; and—as every New Zealand gentleman, in former times, was more or less sacred, and his head and back-bone especially so—to carry a basket of food on his back would have been to render it unlawful for any one but himself to eat of it.

So sensitive, indeed, were they on this point, that the dish of food destined for a person of the sacred class was carried to a little distance from his house, and from the spot where he and his friends usually reclined, and there set on the ground, in order that he might eat his meal by page 293 himself; and, as no one else dared to eat of what he left, if any food remained it was preserved for his future use in a small safe or roofed box, which formed a conspicuous object stuck on top of a pole, in a particular part of the court yard surrounding the family dwellings.

In conformity with their singular religious belief, although murder might, in many cases, be a meritorious act, it was a heinous crime for a sacred person to leave his comb or his blanket in a cooking house, or to suffer another person to use a drinking cup after it had been rendered sacred by touching his lips. For this reason a chief—unless a Christain—never drinks from a cup, but holds up his two hands close to his lips, in order that water may be poured into them, and thence run into his mouth; and if he wants a light for his pipe, burning embers must be brought to him, for his pipe is sacred from having been so often in contact with his mouth, and transmits sacredness to the live coal; so that, if a particle of sacred cinder were to be replaced on the common fire, it would render that fire sacred, and by consequence no longer serviceable for cooking food.

For similar reasons, a slave or other person not sacred would not enter a “wahi tapu” or sacred place, without having first stripped off his clothes; for the clothes having become sacred the instant they entered the precincts of the “wahi tapu,” page 294 would ever after be useless to him in the ordinary business of his life, since they would be liable to be brought frequently into contact with food intended for the use of the family.

In short, the most marked peculiarities in the social habits of this people can be traced to the influence of the same pervading principle, that food which has once touched a sacred object becomes itself sacred, and therefore must not be eaten except by the sacred object. For this law was not a mere idle belief, but was enforced by dread of their “atua.” The “atua” or spirits of their ancestors who had died—such being, indeed, the only sort of divinities supposed to take an interest in human affairs—were believed to be very jealous of any neglect of the duties enjoined by their religion, and seldom to fail to take speedy vengeance on a delinquent by sending some infant spirit, or a “kahukahu,” to enter into his body, there to feed on a vital part till sufficient punishment or death had been inflicted.

Infant spirits, as has been mentioned (page 31), were considered very deadly, because they had not had time to acquire any attachment to their living relatives: a “kahukahu,” representing as it were the mere germ* of a human being, was held in page 295 still greater awe, in proof of which the following stanza may be cited:—

“Ko te kahukahu piri-tara-whare.
Kei te wakaheke au i aku toto,
Wai tuhi-rae mo nga tohunga.
Nana ka ngau kino, ka mate rawa.”

It is the “kahukahu” sticking fast in the wall of the house.
I am making my blood run down,
Instead of water to smear the brow of the “tohunga.”
Should he (the “kahukahu”) gnaw spitefully, it will be certain death.

It is somewhat strange that the “atua” was not supposed to seek redress directly from the person who ate the food to which sacredness had been imparted—and who, as one would imagine, should naturally have been looked on as the principal offender—but from his own living relative, whose duty it was to prevent the occurrence of such an indignity. Hence we cease to wonder that a chief should have been moved to anger even to kill a slave, who through carelessness caused him to offend the dreaded spirits, by such an act as that of leaving any article of his dress within the limits of the family cook-house; although, while ignorant of the peculiarity of the New Zealander's superstitious belief, we must have regarded his doing so as wanton barbarity.

From what has been said, it will readily be understood why carrying food on his back was a page 296 labour in which a New Zealand gentleman could take no part before he embraced Christianity. Then if, as was often the case, he had not thrown aside all dread of the “atua” of his tribe—for though a Christian he still believed in the reality of their existence—he had faith that they were but inferior spirits, who had no power to harm a believer in Christ.

In relation to the subject under consideration, it may be here stated that the “atua” of one tribe are not believed to meddle with the members of another tribe; and that, when a person was taken prisoner, his connexion with his own tribe was severed, and its “atua” ceased to care for him. Hence, as a captive had no dread of offending the “atua” of his own or of his adopted tribe by cooking or by carrying food on his back, every sort of work having to do with cooking was performed by this class of persons, aided by those females of the tribe, who were not supposed to be regarded with peculiar interest by the “atua,” and were therefore unworthy to be ranked among the sacred.

Slavery was, in New Zealand, a necessary consequence of the superstitious belief of its inhabitants. The captive was, however, in some respects more free than his master: he entered into conversation with him fearlessly, he fed well, was not expected to overwork himself, and seldom cared to return to his own tribe—which circumstance in page 297 itself is a satisfactory proof of his being generally well treated: and if eventually he obtained a wife from the females of his adopted tribe, his children inherited their mother's position, and became objects of care to the spirits of her ancestors. Any one, therefore, would be led into error, were he to form an idea of the condition of this class of persons from a knowledge of what slavery has been generally, or is now, in other countries.

* Verbum “kahukahu” quid valeat, in hoc loco apertius exponere minimè decet.

IV.—Ko Te Mea I Kai-Kino Ai Te Tangata Maori.

Na Kai i timata—Ko Tutunui, he tohora. Titiro ana nga tamahine a Tinirau, ko Kai ka patua: na Tinirau i patu, kai rawa. Muri iho ko Tuhuruhuru ka patua hei utu mo Kai: ka ea te mate o Kai. Ka utua e Wakatau; ka mate ko Mangopare, ko Mangawaho. Na—titiro ana a Wakatau, ka tahuna te whare o Te Tiniomanono. Ka tahi ka tupu mai ki nga uri: katahi ka kaigna te tangata. No te whitinga mai, o Tainui, o Te Arawa, o Te Mataatua, ki tenei motu ka timata ai te kai-tangata.— Na Hoturoa tenei korero.

page 298

V.—Captain Cook's Method Of Making Spruce Beer.

“We at first made our beer of a decoction of the spruce leaves; but, finding that this alone made it too astringent, we afterwards mixed with it an equal quantity of the tea plant (a name it obtained in my former voyage, from our using it as a tea then, as we also did now), which partly destroyed the astringency of the other, and made the beer exceedingly palatable, and esteemed by every one on board. We brewed it in the same manner as spruce beer, and the process is as follows. First make a strong decoction of the small branches of the spruce and tea-plants, by boiling them three or four hours, or until the bark will strip with ease from the branches; then take them out of the copper, and put in the proper quantity of molasses, ten gallons of which is sufficient to make a ton, or two hundred and forty gallons of beer. Let this mixture just boil; then put it into casks, and to it add an equal quantity of cold water, more or less according to the strength of the decoction, or your taste. When the whole is milk-warm, put in a little grounds of beer, or yeast if you have it, or page 299 anything else that will cause fermentation, and in a few days the beer will be fit to drink.

“Any one who is in the least acquainted with spruce pines will find the tree which I have distinguished by that name. There are three sorts of it: that which has the smallest leaves and deepest colour is the sort we brewed with, but doubtless all three might safely serve that purpose.”—Cook's Second Voyage towards the South Pole, 4th edit. vol i. pp. 99 and 101.

[The three sorts here referred to were probably the Rimu, the Kahikatea, and the Mai or Matai, which are different species of Dacryds.]

page 300

VI.—Statistics Of Whaling Stations South Of Banks's Peninsula.

Names of Places. Owners or Superintendents. Year. Boats employed Fish caught. Oil in Tons. Bone.
Rakituma or Preservation —Williams 1829 3 ? 120 5 or 5½ per cent. on the quantity of oil.
1830 4 ? 143
1831 4 ? 152
1832 4 ? 115
1833 4 ? 156
J. Jones & W. Palmer 1834 3 ? 114
1835 4 46 176
1836 5 45 170
Aparima or Jacob's River J. Jones 1839 ? ? 80
1840 ? ? 101
1841 ? ? 60*
1842 ? ? 40
1843 ? ? 50
Omaui or New River Joss and Williams 1838 ? ? 120
2nd Fishery, Browne and Carter
Awarua or Bluff Harbour J. Jones 1838 2 ? 53
1839 2 ? 80
1840 2 ? 65
1841 2 ? 60
1842 3 ? 67
1843 5 ? 60
Mataura or Totoi's Chaseland & James Brown 1835 ? 11 ?§
1836 ? ? 30
Waikawa —Groce (Sydney) 1838 ? ? 50
J. Jones 1839 ? ? 40
1840 ? ?

* Two sperm whales also were caught this year.

These two fisheries were abandoned after this season; the Lynx, a vessel of 500 tons, with a full cargo of oil, having been wrecked in going out of the harbour.

Ten tons may be added to each year's produce for tonguers' oil.

§ The eleven whales were caught in seventeen days. The oil was lost, there being no casks at the station.

page 301
Names of Places. Owners or Superintendents. Year. Boats employed Fish caught. Oils in Tons. Bone.
Tautuku Wm. Palmer 1839 ? 11 74 5 or 5½ per cent. of the quantity of oil.
1840 ? 11 72
1841 ? 11 53
1842 ? 9 36
1843 ? 2 10
Matau or Molyneux Wm. Palmer 1838 ? 5 25
Taiari —Weller 1839 ? ? 70
1840 ? 3 15
1841 ? 2 8
Otakou G. and E. Weller 1833* 4 Calculated from the average, 5½ tones of oil to a whale. 128
1834 8 310
1835 12 260
1836 12 210
Otakou and Purakaunui 1837 12 272
Otakou and Purakaunui 1838 2 213
Otakou alone 1839 12 65§
J. Hoare 1840 2 14§
1841 2 10§
Waikouaiti Wright and Long 1837 ? ? ?
J. Jones 1838 ? 41 145
1839 ? ? 125
1840 ? ? 104
1841 ? 9 40
1842 ? 4 11
J. Jones and others 1843 ? 5 23
Onekakara near Moeraki J. Hughes 1837 ? 23 88
1838 ? 27 119
1839 ? 25 108
1840 ? 19 55
1841 ? 9 54
1842 ? 2 9
1843 ? 1

* An equal number of natives and Europeans were employed for the first four years. Latterly only half as many of the former.

The American ship Columbus also caught 200 tons oil in the harbour this year.

To this quantity must be added the oil procured by the vessels—four or five in number—who fished in the harbour this year.

§ During these three years nearly an equal quantity of oil was taken by the shipping which entered the harbour, as by the shore parties. The number of Europeans employed on the establishment from 1838 to 1840 inclusive, averaged 75 to 80 men. During the years 1841, 1842, and 1843, nineteen sail of vessels entered the harbour, principally French.

§ During these three years nearly an equal quantity of oil was taken by the shipping which entered the harbour, as by the shore parties. The number of Europeans employed on the establishment from 1838 to 1840 inclusive, averaged 75 to 80 men. During the years 1841, 1842, and 1843, nineteen sail of vessels entered the harbour, principally French.

§ During these three years nearly an equal quantity of oil was taken by the shipping which entered the harbour, as by the shore parties. The number of Europeans employed on the establishment from 1838 to 1840 inclusive, averaged 75 to 80 men. During the years 1841, 1842, and 1843, nineteen sail of vessels entered the harbour, principally French.

page 302

VII.—Copy Of A Letter To Commodore Berard.


Dear Sir,

“I send you, as well as I am able, the information you desired respecting the natives principally interested in this place (Hakaroa). But I am aware that my present knowledge on this subject is but imperfect, and I must therefore caution you not to rely on it otherwise than as a foundation for further inquiry.

“The principal persons residing at Hakaroa, who have a right in the land, I believe are—Te Ruaparae, Hakaroa, Tuauau, Mautai, Parure, and others, all of the family Katiruahikihiki.

“Besides these residents, a great number of chiefs have acknowledged claims on this part of the island. Among such are—
  • Tuhawaiki residents at Ruapuke
  • Patuki residents at Ruapuke
  • Kahupatiki residents at Ruapuke
  • Taiaroa and Karetai residents at Otakou
  • Te Morehu and others residents at Moeraki
  • Te Rehe and family residents at Taumutupage 303
  • Tiakikai and others residents at Wai-a-te-rua-ti
  • Tikao and others residents at Hakaroa
  • Iwikau residents at Port Levy
Iwikau does not directly claim a right in Hakaroa, his country being Kaiapoi: but, from having resided at Port Levy and from being the chief person of the natives residing there, his consent would be necessary to any sale of land made by the other natives of this district.

“It must be understood that, whereas a great number of persons have a joint claim to those parts which have never been resided on, individuals and families have a peculiar claim to those parts, which are in the occupation, or have at any time been in the possession of an ancestor.

“I mention this that you may perceive how complex a matter it is to traffic with natives for their land, so as to prevent future disputes; and how, consequently, former European purchasers, from having an imperfect knowledge of the language and customs of this people, have fallen into error.

“The form of any Deed of Sale appears to be of little importance provided it is written in the native language, and in simple terms, so as to be easily understood; but it is essential to embody in it the name of every native place, taking care to have the signature of its acknowledged claimants attached to the Deed.

page 304

“Enclosed is a simple form of conveyance. Should I return to this place, I shall always be happy to give you any information in my power on the subject.

“Permit me to remain, &c.,

Edward Shortland.

To Commodore Berard, etc. etc. etc.