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

No. 39. — Mr. Surveyor Fitzgerald to Mr. Commissioner McLean

No. 39.
Mr. Surveyor Fitzgerald to Mr. Commissioner McLean.

Poverty Bay.—Respecting Reserve at Turanganui River, &c. Turanganui, 12th October, 1853.


With reference to the verbal instructions received from you on the 14th September, I do myself the honour to acquaint you, for the information of His Excellency the Governor, that the fieldwork of the Turanganui River Reserve, extending about four miles and a half, has been completed, out of which I have marked ten acres for A. Bowen, the blacksmith. A plan of this reserve will be sent to you, as well as a copy for Captain Smith, on my return to Wellington. I send a hand-sketch of the reserves at Hume's to that gentleman, which has been marked out by me.

From the delay which a surveyor receives from the Natives, and the want of confidence which they sometimes show with reference to survey lines and blocks which do not form boundaries, I deemed it necessary to have a brand made of the letters NR, and to cause blocks with this brand on them to be placed (facing the letters towards the reserves) wherever the boundary was not well defined by natural features. This seems to have given satisfaction. The Natives are thus enabled to understand that these blocks are the only oneswhich denote their boundaries, and regard the others for the purpose of surveying alone. It has occurred to me that, when the Government cannot spare an officer to survey reserves at the time of purchase, an equal good might be done in giving satisfaction to the Natives by having them simply marked out in this manner.

The Native chief Tamehana Hiko, who accompanied me by your directions, gave me great assistance, and readily and cheerfully joined with my desire to have boundaries made straight where practicable, instead of the crooked shapes they frequently assume. I have, however, in all cases of this sort taken care to add to, if anything, rather than take from their reserves.

I have, &c.,

W. Fitzgerald,
Surveyor in Charge.

D. McLean, Esq., Land Commissioner.