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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 30

[No. 551]

[No. 551]

"Native Office," "Wellington,

"The Chairman Public Petitions Committee,

"House of Representatives.


In accordance with your letter of the 14th instant, No. 46/82 which has been referred to me, I beg to furnish the following report upon the petition of Mr. J. A. Wilson, late Judge Native Land Court and Royal Commissioner under the Tauranga District Lands Acts.

"Generally I believe the statements made by the Petitioner as to the services rendered by him in various capacities to be correct.

"As an officer of the Native Department, Mr. Wilson, who is a gentleman of great ability and considerable knowledge and experience in Native matters, always manifested zeal combined with unusual industry and capacity for work. So far as my experience goes, he invariably rendered willing and valuable assistance in any matter referred to him during his period of service, although since his retirement this Department has been much inconvenienced by his tacit refusal to give up to his successor as Royal Commissioner minute books and other documents relating to the Commission, though repeatedly asked by letter to do so.

"In the latter part of 1880 the Native Land Court was transferred from the Native Department to the Justice Department, and it was during this period that Mr. Wilson ceased to hold office as Judge. His appointment, with those of the other Judges, lapsed in consequence of the passing of the Native Land Act of 1880, and he was not appointed under the new Act. I am unable to offer any report as to the reason he was not appointed.

"As Commissioner of Tauranga District Lands, Mr. Wilson was in the Native Department; but there was no salary attached to that appointment, which had always been held in conjunction with other offices.

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"When Mr. Wilson ceased to be Judge, it rendered fresh arrangements necessary for continuing the Commission, and it was the intention of the Government that the Native Land Court should be enabled by legislation to deal with the remainder of the lands. Mr Wilson was written to accordingly, by direction of the Native Minister. He was at the same time requested to forward the formal resignation of his commission, and to hand over the records and public property in his charge to Mr Brabant, who had previously held the appointment of Commissioner, and who still performs the duties, without salary, in conjunction with his offices of Resident Magistrate and Native Agent, Tauranga.

"Mr. Wilson in due course forwarded his resignation, but has sent in no claim for the compensation for loss of office, to which he is entitled.

"I forward herewith a copy of the letter, addressed to Mr. Wilson, dispensing with his services as Royal Commissioner.

"I have the honour to be, Sir,

"Your most obedient servant,


"T. W. Lewis,