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

Turanganui and Turakirae

Turanganui and Turakirae.

These two blocks are clubbed together because upon them, in common, certain advances had been made—sets-off in the account of the 5-per-cents—payable to the Natives of the Lower Valley.

The accumulation of "koha" on these blocks to 30th September, 1873, together with £77 10s., proceeds of sale of machinery, amounted to £856 16s. 7¼d., against which there were sets-off as follows: Payments to Raniera, £78; ditto for purchase of mill and dressing-machine, £300; ditto by Mr. Kemp, £450: total, £828. Balance, £28 10s. 7¼d.

There was also a charge of £150 against Turanganui in the early accounts, but not in the more recent. The sum had been given to Raniera, and used by him in paying his debts without the tribe deriving benefit therefrom. There was considerable opposition to any advance for this mill being charged as against "koha." The mill, they said, had never been of service to the people; it had lain in Bethune and Hunter's store, they averred, until liable to £40 as a charge for storage, and was sold at a price below its proper value. The Upper Valley Natives maintained that Raniera had appropriated the proceeds on the eventual sale of the machinery. It was, however, no business of theirs, and I repressed the interference; they were, moreover, wrong. The mill it appeared had been sold in Wellington to the Hon. H. Russell, M.L.C., and Mr. John Russell was in possession of the sum of £77 10s., the net proceeds.

In respect to the Turakirae Block, Manihera and Wi Kingi claimed "koha" for Taita, Mangaroa, page 7and Pakuratahi, stating that the purchase extended over those lands, and even to the source of a stream falling to the West Coast. They produced Mr. J. McKenzie, who stated that at a meeting in 1853, at Turanganui, he heard Sir George Grey tell the selling Natives that the 5-per-cents should extend over those lands. I resisted this, stating that, although their claim to certain land at the Upper Hutt, previously bought of Ngatitama and Ngatiawa, might have been extinguished by the purchases and payments made in 1853, yet it could never have been intended that 5-per-cents could be paid for the Hutt, which, had been sold by the New Zealand Company long previously. On obtaining a copy of the deed from Wellington, it was found that they were in error, the Rimutaka Range being the boundary.