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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 73




My Dear Studholme,—Re Owhaoko: As I am anxious to be strictly accurate in my statement of facts, I mention here those to which you can speak, and shall be glad to have this note returned with a line from you upon it, verifying its contents so far as you are concerned.

In the month of July, 1880, you informed me that you had seen Mr. Fenton re the advertised rehearing of Owhaoko, and that he had advised you to come to terms with the applicants, with a view to withdrawal; further, that he had suggested the possibility of all the signatures to the application having been written by one person (as is customary with the Maoris), in which case he would recognise the same authority for withdrawing the application. You then instructed mo to do what was necessary to protect your interests as lessee. In consequence of what you had told I sent to Mr. Dickey the telegram of the 26th July, mentioned in Sir Robert Stout's memorandum. I also went to the Native Office and obtained a facsimile of the application, from which it was perfectly clear that all the signatures (except perhaps Topia's) were in the handwriting of Hohepa Tamamutu, of which fact I informed you at the time. In the following October I went to Taupo, accompanied by your agent, Mr. R. T, Warren, and on my return to Napier brought with me a document signed by Topia and Hohepa, withdrawing the application for rehearing, without your having to make any payment to the Natives, or to enter into any compromise in relation to the case. Some time afterwards you paid my professional fee for this business, without making it a charge against your Native landlords, or endeavouring to recover it from Renata and Topia.

—I have, &c.,

W. L. Buller.