The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79
Native Land Purchases
Native Land Purchases.
The earliest land purchases in this district took place about 1852-3, when Mr D. McLean came over from Mauawatu, and was met with offers of land from the chiefs. Some of these had Learned at the Mahia the advantages of having Europeans resident among them, and there is an interesting letter from the lighting chief Ha- page 45 puku to Sir George Grey their Governor on this subject which is worth quoting. Hapuku writes:—This is from your loving friend, who has agreed to give Mr McLean the Sand for you, that you, the Governor, may have the land and send me Europeans as soon as possible, at the same time with the payment that we may have respectable European gentleman. I am annoyed with the low Europeans of this place. Let the people come direct from England—new Europeans to live on our lands at Pawitikura. Let it be a large, very large town for me." ("Herald." June 20th, 1868.)
For some time the natives freely sold, hut soon began to realise that they would do better by leasing. The Waikato confederacy had some influence in persuading the natives not to sell, and ultimately the "Native Land Purchase Ordinance" was passed to prevent persons dealing with natives direct. It "'as defended as necessary if the land purchase system, which after all was essential to the development of the colony, was to be carried on successfully. It would seem that the labour and difficulty attending the work of purchase were really very great, and the natives would have been no better off had they received ten times as much for their land.