Letter from W. Halse
to Donald McLean,
dated 12th, July 1854
12th, July 1854.
My dear McLean,
I have now returned (3 p.m.) from the presentation of plate to Captain King, which came off very indifferently, at Clark's room, this day. The company was not unanimous; the speeches were poor and vapid; and, at times, verging on politics. Flight, as Chairman, drank Brown as the "Representative of Royalty"; whilst the latter pledged to "our Representatives in Auckland" to a very lukewarm company. The plate, instead of consisting of a simple salver, which might catch people's eyes on a sideboard, is in four pleces; and the whole affair was a failure from bad management and tact.
The "Gazelle" put an end to our misapprehensions, by arriving after a 22 days' passage. From Henry we learnt that he will probably be stationed here, in your Department, and from Cooper I hear that you have bidden him prepare for removal. The "Nelson" came in on Monday, and Ball and I talked, --- over
past, present and future, at Wharepu, --- over a glass of wine, as was our habit, when you gladdened our hearts. He says you are likely to be here shortly. He sailed same evening, South. Mrs. Deck came on shore, in care of Cooper, who had gone off, and was taken off under the same protection. I hear that the late Captain of the Brig, has been metamorphosed into a Sergeant at Arms. One of the results of the "Nelson's" coming in, is that C. Brown will start to-morrow for Auckland, to join the conclave of Superintendents. This is the occasion of a special mail being dispatched to-day; or at least, made up.
The Hua Block, thank goodness, is really to be handed over to me, and I have arranged with the Superintendent (with the exception of a Public Reserve of 50 acres) to announce it in this week's Gazette, for selection by Company's claimants. Cooper is down there with Rogan to-day, on native business, which will account for his not writing; as to-day's mail is not known to him. I see the land to be handed over contains 6 or 700 acres, but it is open country; and the giving it out will put an end to the many questions delay engenders. The rest of the Block will be given over after the natives shall have made their selections in the forest. I am not aware of anything now bearing on
the land, except that I believe that to Rogan's management, the state of the Hua Block may be attributed. The survey has been executed in a very satisfactory manner, and the natives treated on proper principles. Rogan tells me of eveything that transpires, and I am sure that you would approve of all he does. I fancy the Superintendent is piqued that Rogan declined his terms; but apart from this, I feel persuaded that in native business, and appreciation of the management of the natives, his services cannot well be over-rated. And I do not say this to urge any claim he may have made, or proposal; because it is apart from both.
As to W. Carrington, I do not know what to say. My feeling is that as he possesses, in my idea, no weight with the natives, that nothing can reasonably be expected from him; bearing in mind, his "Moari tendences", we can hardly expect much from him, when natives tell him, as they did at the recent meetings, that until now he had urged them to hold on to their lands; which he admitted.
Well, old Whare-pu has been under the work-man's hands for some time; and the two front offices are now, as regards foundation, --- thoroughly repaired, except shingling and painting completed. I can
defy you now, and your mass of natives on a wet day. Spurdle next commences at the back, and will complete the job off and on, for the next five months. Robinson approves or condemns on behalf of the Government; and, to the present, is quite satisfied with the work.
The "Camilla" just arrived from Twofold Bay, with sheep. She brings from Sydney some Company's surveying instruments. I sent them for repairs, so the Office is set up.
My brother's wife desires me to thank you kindly for removing Henry. This is her home, and her people are here, so you will appreciate rightly her feelings. I have given Master John "Nimble"; and he asks to have her in the parlour, child-like. Shanks is out at grass; and Velox, heavy in foal. Apropos of horses, Bell tells me my salary is to be raised; in which case I shall take in one of these animals, and in other ways add to my comfort, if possible.
To: Donald McLean.