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

Mr. Parris to the Hon. J. C. Richmond

Mr. Parris to the Hon. J. C. Richmond.

Reserves for Friendly Natives and Returned Rebels. New Plymouth, 11th June, 1867.


I have the honour to forward herewith the returns called for in the Under-Secretary's letters dated 16th May and 21st November, Nos. 208–2 and 218–2, so far as the matters referred to have been settled up to the present time. In addition to the schedule which gives the totals, I have appended thereto a detailed account of the reserves made for returning rebels, but of course His Excellency's Government is aware that a great many more reserves will have to be made in every district, as has already been contemplated.

In the Ngatiawa coast, Waitara South and Oakura Blocks, that is, from the White Cliffs (the northern extremity of the confiscated territory) to Hangatahua, in the Taranaki District, and also in the Ngatiruanui coast from Patea to Waingongoro, so much of the available land by the seaboard has been taken up for the military-settlement scheme that there is not sufficient to satisfy the awards to loyal Natives within the same lines; but there is a great deal of very fine country inland of those lines, as soon as it can be made available, which is a work of time, and cannot be reckoned upon as available at the present time.

The block of land between Waitotara and Whenuakura is computed to contain over 50,000 acres of very superior land within eight miles from the beach: of this about 22,000 acres will be required for military settlers not yet located, and for awards to loyal Natives; the remainder will be at the disposal of the Government, and would, I have no doubt, realize from £1 10s: to £2 an acre, if put into the market judiciously. The block between Whenuakura and Patea is computed to contain 12,000 acres of available land within the same distance from the beach; and, after, laying out the township on the south side of Patea, it is proposed to reserve the remainder for awards of the Court to loyal Natives and for returning rebels.

From Waingongoro to Hangatahua, a seaboard of fifty miles, there is a district of very fine land, and no military settlers' settlements. In this, district 62,500 acres have been awarded to loyal Natives These it is proposed to concentrate as much as possible within the block between Hangatahua and Waiweranui set apart for that purpose, and for the Ngawahunga returning rebels (none having been reserved for that purpose north of Hangatahua), and within the block set apart for the chiefs, William King Matakatea, and the late Arama Karaka and their followers, between Moutote and Taungatara. Upon this block it is also proposed to concentrate as many as possible of the rebels, thereby leaving a block between Moutote and Kapoaiaia; and another block between Taungatara and Kaupokonui, altogether about twenty miles of a seaboard with its proportion of back land to confiscated line, nearly free, to be disposed of by the Government. From Kaupokonui to Waingongoro, about eight miles across by the seaboard there is the finest block of land in the whole district, estimated at, over 30,000, acres. Out of this a reserve has to be made for the Ngaruahine section of the Ngatiruanui Tribe.

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The estimated total area of land confiscated in the Province of Taranaki, including, I presume, the Patea, Waitotara Block, and the block inland of the Whanganui Settlement, is 1,144,300 acres. From this must be deducted 291,852 acres for mountain and swampy land, as per estimate, leaving 852,448 acres of the so-called available land, of which there has already been used for military settlers, loyal and rebel Natives, as per schedule, 272,243½ acres, leaving 580,204½ acres. From this quantity a further reduction will have to be made for returning rebels, and reserves for absentees, and the quantity abandoned south of the Waitotara River.

In the present state of the whole question it is impossible for me to furnish exact information, for the only part of the confiscated territory which has ever been surveyed is that where the military settlers' settlements are, and an approximation as regards any other part would be very imperfect data to base a calculation upon.

I have, &c,

R. Parris,
Civil Commissioner.

The Hon. J. C. Richmond.