Object #1000126 from MS-Papers-0032-0001
From: Protector of Aborigines - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0001 (21 digitised items). Memos and correspondence with George Clarke, the Chief Protector of Aborigines, including draft reports by McLean on his meetings with Maori relating to disputes and negotiations over land.Also includes translation of a letter (1844) from Te Wherowhero to the Taranaki chiefs urging them not to follow Te Rauparaha's example of confrontation refering to the Wairau conflict (1839) and notes of a meeting between Ngamotu Maori and McLean, 27 Sep 1844.
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30 Nov. 1844.
As previous to this date you will no doubt be informed of the arrangements that has been entered into by Governor Fitzroy relative to the settlement of the land question at this District, I will in the meantime simply confine myself to a statement of what has occurred since his departure from here a report of which would only appear in an unfinished state till I have the lands reserved for the natives staked out and His Excellency's arrangements brought to a conclusion. On the 26th. inst. being the day after the Governor left here I obtained the signatures of the greater number of Ngamotu natives to the deed of transfer for the block of land containing about 3,300 acres purchased from them a copy of which deed is forwarded by this mail.
It may be here necessary to observe that the Natives of Ngamotu had a quarrel with the Puketapu tribe who had been waiting to receive a share of the goods to be distributed for the payment of the land to which the latter tribe had no right. The former tribe also quarrelled with the native chief Moturoa from Port Nicholson who had formerly been a Resident here and owner of some land and received with great jealousy by the said tribe he being a chief of some standing and respected by the Europeans. No dangerous consequences have however ensued.
After this had taken place the natives agreed that the goods intended for them should be divided into equal lots for each Hapu or family - they were accordingly divided into 21 shares which the natives were very quietly removing each his portion when an old woman had cunningly secreted some of the property attached to a distinct family and caused many of the others a deal of dissatisfaction and there was a general scrap for everything within reach. Not confining themselves to what had been divided in the store they immediately started fastening upon the young
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cattle the strongest party getting the greater number much to the dissatisfaction and annoyance of the weaker and more unsuccessful ones. The scrambling scene was a cause of great amusement to some of the lookers on as many of the calves were stronger than their eager captors who were dragged about most unmercifully some being immersed in the river others rolling in the dust the whole scene had much of the appearance of an irregular cattle fair. From this and the general character of the natives I was apprehensive some would not receive a fair share of payment they were entitled to to guard against which I reserved the money to meet the wants of such as suffered from the
capriciousness of their relatives. The money has not yet been divided but I intend to have a general meeting of the natives and tell them it is the intention to give the money to those who have not received a fair share of goods.
The natives are generally satisfied with the assistance and fairness of the whole transaction any blame that is attached is among themselves.
I am very busily engaged in settling their little differences which are always brought before me for arbitration also getting their reserves pointed out to them within the purchase.
I have to visit the settlements of Te Hua and Mangaraka to arrange about cattle trespasses on native cultivations and I intend to take with the assistance of the Police Magistrates such decisive steps as will stop future complaints of that nature as they are of daily occurrence and a deal of my time is taken up in settling them. These annoyances have been the primary cause of having to move settlers from Mangaoraka and it is not improbable if the cattle were removed or the cultivated lands fenced in which the natives offer to do if the Europeans will assist in carrying the fencing with their drays but many of the settlers would be allowed to remain there, There is a good deal of dissatisfaction as yet among the natives about the cattle having been taken by
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the stronger parties altho' not in many instances the greatest claimants but I expect this will be met in a great measure by having the money on hand to pay such parties altho I must have the consent of the whole tribe to the measure in case of some being dissatisfied before the money is distributed. Having encroached on the Postman's time for the last three minutes I must conclude and believe me
George Clarke Esq.
My dear Sir,
The above is a copy very hastily taken of your letter to Mr. Clarke which you kindly permitted me to peruse. I have also to thank you for your more recent communications which I need not say are to me very interesting and I shall ever be happy to hear of your progress with those poor deluded and infatuated people they need our pity and our prayers and to a philanthropic mind the pleasure of attempting to assist them in these critical times is ample rewaid. You and their Missionary have been successful in preventing war and bloodshed among them and when the present excitement has subsided you will no doubt be otherwise very beneficial to them both temporally and spiritually. May the Lord give you grace to be faithful to your charge and crown your labours with large success is the prayer of
P.S. I send this by some natives who are emigrating to the south.
Protector of Aborigines - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0001 (21 digitised items)
Series 7 Official papers, Reference Number Series 7 Official papers (3737 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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