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An Epitome of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs and Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand

Management of Classes

Management of Classes.

Class No. 1, Town. — The remaining original town-acre reserves, after deducting Colonel McCleverty's awards, and the acres granted by Sir George Grey as hospital and college endowments, are managed by the Commissioner for the time being. For proceeds of these reserves see tabular return.

Class No 1, Country.—The same remarks apply. (See tabular return.)

Class No. 2, Town.—(Colonel McCleverty's allocation.)—These reserves are let by the Natives independently of the Commissioner, in accordance with the opinion and instructions of the Attorney-General (Whitaker), given to the late Commissioner. They are held by Te Aro, Pipitea, Waiwhetu, Ngatitama (Ohariu), and Tiakiwai Natives, under registered deeds made by Colonel McCleverty on behalf of the Governor. I have no means of ascertaining the amount of income derived. (See Return No. 2.)

Class No. 2, Country.—(See Remarks No. 2, Town.) In many cases I have been unable to ascertain the annual rental received by the Natives. As I have already stated, they are let independently of the Commissioner. So far as the information given to me by the lessees and the Natives goes, I can account for £558 10s. received by them annually as rent for country lands, but this is probably £200 or £300 below the actual rentals.

Before proceeding to Class No. 3, I must briefly mention that certain original town-acre reserves were, in 1851 and 1853, conveyed by His Excellency Sir George Grey to certain trustees as an endowment for the hospital and a proposed grammar school. As I have already made a separate report on one of these cases, it is not necessary that I should further allude to them.

Class No. 3 are those reserves made by Natives on the sale of a block of land. Over such reserves the Native title has not been extinguished, and they cannot be legally dealt with unless brought under clause 14 of Act of 1856, i.e., the Native assent to the land being under the Act. The Native Land Purchase Ordinance of 1847 prohibited the renting of such lands. Mr. Searancke, Land Purchase Commissioner, was the first officer appointed in this province to obtain assent under that Act. I am not aware that Mr. Searancke acted in any case. In 1863 a case occurred of certain Natives (holding title under Colonel McCleverty's deeds) wishing to sell a portion of a reserve. (See Hunter's papers.) Mr. Searancke having left the province, I was appointed to succeed him in that office. It is with great pleasure I am able to inform you that (as per Return No. 3) the sum of £200 per annum is now legally received by me as rent for such reserves, and paid over to the Natives of Porirua, &c., being for a small portion only of their valuable lands, payments being made on or about the proper rent-days. I should much wish to see the assent system more generally carried out, and never miss an opportunity of urging its adoption. It insures their, receipt of the rents, as the Commissioner can sue or re-enter, and put a stop to the old system of advances, or the rent being paid by £2 now, a blanket on account, and so on, without any system of regularity.