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Early Wellington

Native Population, Etc

Native Population, Etc.

The following native statistical returns are taken from Mr. H. Tracey Kemp's report, signed by A. Domett, Esq., Colonial Secretary, published by authority by His Excellency's Command in the “N.Z. Government Gazette” (Province of New Munster), Vol. III., No. 16, Wellington, August 21st, 1850, and kindly lent to the writer by Sir Robert Stout, K.C.M.G.

Report No. 1., Port Nicholson District. (Including the Town of Wellington.)

1st Settlement.—“Ohariu”: About six miles from Wellington; native population, 119.

2nd Settlement.—“Ohaua”: About six miles south of Ohariu; native population, 5.

3rd Settlement.—“Oterengo”: About five miles from Ohaua; native population, 19.

4th Settlement.—“Waiariki”: About fifteen miles from Wellington; native population, 44.

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5th Settlement.—“Te Aro” (Town of Wellington): Equally divided between two sub-divisions of the Ngatiruanui and Taranaki natives, who are also connected with the Ngatiawas. Every encouragement was given to the resident natives to improve their dwellings, and a village laid out by a Government Surveyor to ensure regularity in the construction of their houses and paths, but as it seems that Te Aro has always been and is now held as a temporary residence for visitors from the interior, Taranaki and the country north of Whanganui, there is little hope of so desirable a change taking place. At present the huts with scarcely an exception, are in a state of dilapidation, and the general state of the natives far from being healthy. The flax is again engaging their attention, and a small quantity has already been prepared for exportation.

Fig. 47—Te Rauparaha (the N.Z. Napoleon), died 1849.

Fig. 47—Te Rauparaha (the N.Z. Napoleon), died 1849.

Fig. 48—Hon. Wi Tako Ngatata, M.L.C. died 1887.

Fig. 48—Hon. Wi Tako Ngatata, M.L.C. died 1887.

6th Settlement.—“Kumutoto”: Only one clay hut now remains of the old Kumutoto Settlement, within the Town of Wellington. The principal chief, E. Tako (Wi Tako), has substituted a good weatherboarded house, which is now occupied by the Police, and is rented by the Government for the sum of £30 per annum. In consequence of this E. Tako, with the other members of his tribe, are removing to Ngauranga, which he intends making his permanent abode. Kumutoto is a reserve, and to this is added a considerable portion of land on the hills immediately adjoining. This he is anxious to exchange for land on the Hutt, where the whole of his cultivations now are. He is thought a good deal of among his own countrymen. The population is 14.

7th Settlement.—“Pipitea”: Within the Town of Wellington. Is a reserve with a fair share of plantation page 156 ground immediately in the rear of the Pa, which is also a reserve. At Pipitea there are several weatherboarded houses, the property of the natives, principally in the occupation of the Europeans, at very fair rents. There is also a neat little weatherboarded church in the course of erection to which the natives have contributed a portion of the material, but the huts and the Pa itself are much out of repair. Several of the natives belonging to Pipitea are collecting material on the Hutt for the purpose of rebuilding their huts and constructing one good substantial fence round the Pa. They are all Ngatiawa natives, and their cultivations are principally on the Hutt. Last year they collected a considerable quantity of the mutton birds for exportation, and a small quantity will also be brought into the market this year. The mortality in the Pipitea Pa within the last two or three years has been very great. Total native population, 96.

8th Settlement.—“Tiakiwai Pa”: Only a few huts remain, which are used temporarily by visitors coming to town from Ohariu and the other settlements on the coast and Cook's Strait.

9th Settlement.—“Kaiwhara.” (Kaiwharawhara): In the outskirt of the Town of Wellington, belongs to the tribe called Ngatitamas, who are distinct from the Ngatiawas. They originally came from Poutama, north of Taranaki, and were the first who commenced to drive out the Ngatika-huhunus, who formerly inhabited the Port Nicholson District. They have intermarried with the Whanganuis, and, with the Ohariu natives, and form a party of themselves. Their Pa is a reserve, and a section on the hill adjoining was recently purchased for them by the Government, but they have this year confined their cultivations to the Hutt, upon lands rented from settlers there. The Pa is in a damp situation, being nearly surrounded with water, is small, unhealthy and out of order. The natives would gladly exchange it for a piece of land of equal value a little higher up. They sell a considerable quantity of firewood and are frequently employed by Europeans at daily wages. Total native population, 44.

10th Settlement.—“Ngauranga”: Distant about two miles from Wellington, on the Hutt road, was the residence of the celebrated chief Wharepori (Wharepouri). It is now inhabited by a few of his followers. The fences of the Pa are down, but the huts are in tolerably good order. The natives here and at Pitone have always been on the most intimate terms of friendship, and they look even now to E. Puni as the representative of their deceased parent Wharepori. They intermix very much with each other, and are allowed by E. Pune (Te Puni) to cultivate upon his land at the Hutt. They have also inter-married, but the population does not seem to be on the increase. They rear and sell a small quantity of poultry; and procure firewood and fish for the market. Native population 34.

11th Settlement.—“Pitone” (Pito-one): Situated about seven miles from Wellington, is the largest and best fortified within the District of Wellington, is a reserve, with sections at the Hutt attached. Their cultivations of kumara and maize look well, and the residents, in point of comfort and wealth, are better off than any of the Port Nicholson natives. E. Puni was one of the last who left Taranaki for Cook's Straits. His principal reason for visiting Kapiti was to procure fire-arms, after “Pukerangiora” had been taken by the Waikato's, he and his party having driven off the Waikato's prior to their leaving—his return to Taranaki was prolonged page 157 by the wars into which he became involved with the Ngatikahuhunus, and the Colonists, arriving shortly afterwards, he determined to remain.

Te Puni contemplates a visit to Taranaki this summer for the purpose of escorting their old and venerable chief, “Rauakitua,” who, it appears, was contemporary with the late “Te Rauparaha” and shared with him in several engagements—this old man will have many followers, and the expedition is likely to be very interesting.

They propose to visit Rangihaeata and all the old Pas between Whanganui and Waitara, the scenes of many bloody conflicts, in which both these old men took very active parts.

The natives of Pitone have again commenced the cleaning of flax.… Total native population, 136.

12th Settlement.—“Waiwhetu”: Pa is situated at the confluence of the two principal rivers of that name; is on a Reserve to which is appointed one of the best sections on the Hutt, lately purchased for them by the Government. The natives of Waiwhetu have diminished within the last five or six years, to a very inconsiderable number, and since the murder of their principal chief, shortly after the arrival of the first immigrants, by a party of the Ngatikahuhunus, they have dispersed, and some have joined the natives of Pipitea. The Pa and huts are in bad order, being greatly exposed to the wind and sand drift; the Natives are hardly ever free from disease. They are anxious to shift the Pa if the proprietor of the adjoining section would be willing to make an exchange for that part of it which lies nearest the river and is sheltered from the cold south-west winds by high land on either side. As a ship building yard, the site of the present Pa would, I am told, be very valuable, both on account of the depth of water and from its proximity to the timber on the Hutt. Total native population, 48.

The natives of Wellington have no cultivations to speak of on the lands in the outskirts of the town—all have hired land from settlers upon the Hutt. The quantity of land newly cleared by the natives on the Waiwhetu Rivers, within the last two or three years is large, and the whole of the crops promise a plentiful harvest.

The native population within the District of Wellington fluctuates very much. Many of their friends come in from Taranaki on long visits and generally return accompanied by some of their relatives. Some of those at the villages on the coast will in all probability join William King, in the course of the ensuing year, and make a final move to their native place.


H. Tracy Kemp

Native Secretary.
Fig. 48a.—From a photo of the original by E. T. Robson. A native bowl, or “kumete,” used by the natives of Pito-one for crushing corn, prior to the advent of the settlers in 1839. The original is in the possession of Mary Te Puni.

Fig. 48a.—From a photo of the original by E. T. Robson. A native bowl, or “kumete,” used by the natives of Pito-one for crushing corn, prior to the advent of the settlers in 1839. The original is in the possession of Mary Te Puni.

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Native Population etc. District of Port Nicholson Wellington, 15th June, 1850  H. Tracy Kemp (N.Z. Gov. Gaz. 21/8/1850)
SETTLEMENTS Male Adults Female Adults Male Children Female Children Total Population Churches of England Wesleyan Roman Catholic Total of all Kinds Married English Custom Married Native Custom Can read and write Can read only Churches or Chapels Weather Board Houses Huts Horses Cattle Sheep Wheat, Acres Maize, Acres Potatoes, Acres Kumaras, Acres Other G. Produce War Canoes Hand Mills Tame Pigs Boats Goats Daily Scholars Bee Hives Half Castes Water Mills Flax prepared—Tons Carts Vessels—Tons Rents Received
Ohariu 60 36 12 11 119 47 47 5 23 32 6 1 39 3 15 4 ¼ 14 ¼ ¼ 7 1 9 12
Ohaua 1 4 5 3 3 1 2 15 ½ 1 7
Oterango 9 6 2 2 19 10 10 1 5 4 1 1 12 1 1 1 4 ¼ 1 7
Waiariki 23 17 1 3 44 32 32 4 13 14 1 1 15 8 3 3 7 6 3 9 3
Te Aro 104 62 7 13 186 78 106 184 7 48 49 13 2 36 20 4 26 ¼ ½ 7 11 1 ½ 2
Kumutoto 6 6 2 14 11 1 3 4 1 1 1 4 2 3 ¾ 11 30
Pipitea 43 29 15 9 96 51 44 95 4 21 35 7 1 5 12 14 4 5 11 5 1 9 8 2 65
Tiakiwai vide Ohariu and Kaiwara (Kaiwharawhara)
Kaiwara 22 15 3 4 44 19 2 21 1 11 11 1 1 13 6 6 9 3 6 3 ¾ 1 7
Ngauranga 13 10 6 5 34 21 11 32 7 13 1 18 5 8 3 6 ¼ 2
Pito-one 57 40 16 23 136 107 29 1 137 1 34 48 6 1 3 35 20 19 20 2 4 11 5 8 13 20 2 ¼ 4 35 24
Waiwetu 21 16 5 6 48 23 20 43 13 10 2 2 9 7 2 1 3 6 ½ ¾ 7 8 4 6
  Total 359 241 67 78 745 391 223 1 604 24 179 220 39 11 9 204 85 66 20 27½ 22½ 95 15 9 41 2 91 3 0 32 0 3 0 ¾ 8 35 137
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