The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 24
The Visit of the Hon. Dr. Pollen to the Katikati Settlement
The Visit of the Hon. Dr. Pollen to the Katikati Settlement.
"The Hon. Dr. Pollen arrived here on Tuesday night, in the Government boat, from Tauranga. He was accompanied by Captain Turner, the district Resident Engineer. On arriving at the head of the Waitara River, bonfires were started on the property of Mr. Fitzgibbon, jun., C. E., which were speedily followed by similar demonstrations of welcome on the properties of Mr. Latimer, Mr. H. Fletcher, and others, thereby illuminating his entire progress up the River to his arrival at the Witara Pioneer Store, which has been so successfully started by the enterprising proprietors, Messrs. Shepperd and Wylie. Dr. Pollen was received on landing by Mr. Robert Hunter, who drove him in his tax cart to his residence, where Mr. George Vesey Stewart and a few of the principal settlers had been invited to meet him. On the following morning a large and influential deputation of the settlers presented him with an address, from which I make the following extracts :—'We are a prosperous, contented, and united community. Our anxiety is to confer similar benefits, which we enjoy, upon our relatives, friends, and countrymen. With this view a proposition has been made by us to the present Government, through our leader, Mr. Stewart, for the extension of the block by 10,000 acres, which, we were rejoiced to find, had met with the favourable consideration of the Hon. the Premier. We, however, regret that the terms proposed by the Waste Lands Board in Auckland will totally preclude our taking action in the matter, thereby frustrating the friendly intentions of the present Ministry towards us. Steps having been taken to open up a road communication between this district and the Hauraki gold-fields, we trust that shortly we may enjoy increased postal facilities and an additional ready market for our agricultural produce, to our mutual benefit: We have the pleasure to inform you that since our arrival upon the block, the most friendly relations exist between the natives and ourselves.'"
"Dr. Pollen thanked the deputation for the warm and cordial welcome that he had received. As a general rule he was opposed to special settlements, as he found that they did not generally come up to the expectations that were formed; but the Katikati special settlement was certainly an exception to the general rule, and he formed his opinions not only from the appearance of the settlers themselves, the substantial and comfortable houses and homesteads that he had seen, but from the earnest and unanimous expressions of contentment and satisfaction conveyed to him by the large and influential deputation that he had the pleasure of meeting."