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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 71

II.—Panopa Waihopi's Case

II.—Panopa Waihopi's Case.

The question in this case was (1) whether Panopa was paid the consideration, £14S, set out in a conveyance from him to his brother-in-law. Dan Jones; and (2), if not paid, then whether under the circumstances related he ought to be not bound by the alleged sale to his brother-in-law, and by the subsequent sale by his brother-in-law with his assent for £45. The Court believes that the alleged consideration to Panopa from his brother-in-law of £48 was colourable, and intended merely to enable Jones, who lived with the Maoris, to sell the share as agent for Panopa at a higher price than could otherwise have been obtained for it. Jones pur ports to have bought from Panopa for £148; then Jones re-sold to McPhail for £45, Panopa being a party to that resale. Afterwards McPhail sold to Tiffen for £60. Now Panopa's own evidence reveals the dishonesty of his present conduct and how impudent is his endeavor to get back the land by avoiding the sale to Jone3, his brother-in-law. Before Jones completed his re-sale to McPhail, Panopa was required to attend at the office of Mr Finn, solicitor for McPhail, and satisfy Mr Finn that the sale to Jones was a bona fide sale. Panopa did so. Panopa also went before Mr Price, the Trust Commissioner, and swore-and signed the following statement:—" The price I sold for is £148. I received all the money with the exception of £20. I received £128 in cash, and the balance I now receive from Mr Jones, making in full £148—one cheque £10, one cheque £5, and five notes." Panopa now boldly declares in this Court that all this very circumstantial statement on oath before Mr Commissioner Price was "false."—"I did say before the Commissioner I had received the whole £148, but it was only to please the Commissioner," and he further declares that what he said before the Commissioner had been arranged outside the Commissioner's Court between him and his brother-in-law, and then he tells us that what he actually received from his brother-in-law, Dan Jones, was only £10 and two-horses.

Upon these facts Panopa's law point was that the 5th section of the Validation Act requires it to be shown that "each Native owner has received the purchase money to which he was entitled or other amount agreed upon" and that it had never been paid to him. The Court believes that Panopa never did get the £148, but that he got all the money ho was entitled to receive, and we think that Panopa, having been a party to the resale to Mr McPhail for £45, and having sworn that he received the whole £148, is now estopped from denying that he did so receive it, and that whether he received that £148, or only £10 and two horses, he is equally bound by his sale to Jones, and by Jones' resale with his assent, and must stand by both sale and resale. We will therefore certify that this transaction ought to be validated.