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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 71

IV.—Mini Kerekere's Case

IV.—Mini Kerekere's Case.

This is the same Mini Kerekere whose sale in No. 1 block we have refused to certify for validation.

But there is an important difference in the facts concerning the sale in No. 1 and the sale in this No. 7 block (made on 10th September. 1884). In No. I the estate was at the time of sale vested in Peka Kerekere, his father, but in this No. 7 the estate at the time of sale was vested in Mini himself. Therefore his deed of sale in this block, though a voidable contract, conveyed an estate. This difference in the facts reduces the point, to the question, "Whether Mini has or has not since his majority acquiesced in that conveyance?" In the No. 1 block the father was the owner, and Objected to Mini's side. He was the trustee in whom the estate was then vested, and he was by law required to protect the estate. But with respect to this share in No. 3 block, it was not vested in him, and he had no duty and no right with respect to it. Why he did not get himself appointed as trustee for this share, as well as for the share in block 1, was not explained to the Court, but it is open to the supposition that Mini, being a a married man his father may have purposely left this share within his control that by the sale of it he might be able to raise money for family needs. It must he borne in mind that the Maoris allow unconta action by their children at a much ea age than Europeans do. According Maori custom a a young man of 19 years and especially one who was pursuing separate family life, would he allowed take his place as a man and manage his affairs. The colonial law has adopted the Maori the European standard of 21 years but this has probably been done merely bring him in line with the European. Court is of course bound by the laws stands, but we ought nevertheless to into account the Maori habits and c when considering the contracts made by minor at an age and under circumstances which Maori custom would recognise right to act as a responsible person.

We think, therefore, that the fact of share being left unprotected by the fi Peka Kerekere when he carefully placed other share beyond the reach of the mine coupled with Mini's own statement that himself has never objected to any of sales, and with all his conduct since eogy of age, requires the Court to treat this as having been acquiesced in by Mini. K Maories must know that if they intenj object to a transaction of sale they ought in the meantime to stand silently by Mini Kerekere did. In this instance, thought Mini lived close by Mr Tiffen he never, c plained to him or repudiated the transaction during the seven years that have el since he came of age.