Object #1000924 from MS-Papers-0032-0565

7 pages written 9 Jul 1858 by William Nicholas Searancke in Wellington to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - W N Searancke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0565 (58 digitised items). 60 letters written from Waiuku, Ahuriri, Waipa, Auckland, Awhitu, Wellington, Masterton, Wairarapa, Otaki, Manawatu, Tuaranganui, Te Purupuru, Greytown, Rangitikei, Waikato, Whangarei, Ngaruawhaia. Includes piece-level inventory (1969 accessions not added). Contains letters from Searancke to McLean with regard to the purchase of Maori land in the lower North Island in the 1850s and 1860s, in Wairarapa, Horowhenua and Manawatu; the letters also contain information about disputes that arose from the sales among Maori and between Maori and the Government; there is also information about the disposition of Maori, and their attitudes towards the King Movement, in these areas during the New Zealand wars of the early 1860s There are also some letters about Searancke's work in the Waikato district as a resident magistrate, with information about his observations of the Kingitanga

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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English (ATL)

9th. July 1858.

Dear Sir,

The Steamer "White Swan" came into harbour this morning bringing me a whole budget of letters and papers but none so welcome as your two favours of the 15th. and 28 ult. I congratulate you on your success at the north also at the cessation of that underhanded opposition which with the help of Music and Singing threatened so ominously for the N. L. P. D. at one time.

The Manihera's claim to any farther payment on Taratahi, I have always steadily resisted, your letter to him will I think shut him up on that claim.

You have not mentioned any thing about the £400 still due on the Moroa or Tauherenikau Block (according to the Blue book) and I have no receipts for the last two instalments of £200 each yet the Manihera confidently asserts that the whole of the money due on that Land is paid, I cannot understand it for I am sure that the money is still due --- however I do not intend reopening the claim or allowing it to be reopened by him without some further information from you.

I have not heard what sort of Weather you may have had largely in Auckland, here I can assure you that for the last two months it has been dreadful, almost a constant rain, during the last month I have not been able to do much having been very unwell from being constantly wet and worried, I shall be compelled to adopt a different method with these Wairarapa Natives. I have tried in a quiet way to do business with them but find them most atrocious schemers, they are all so much in debt and so completely at their wits end to get money. I am now starting for the Manawatu District and trust to be able to make some purchases in that district I saw Matene from Otaki last Monday and he tells me that Parakaia and several others of the great opponents of the sale when we were there are now of a different opinion and are now trying to make old Taratoa change his ideas and consent to the sale. I do not propose to personally make the slightest attempt to buy but shall quietly listen to all they have to say and if they offer to do business shall then puch all I can; I propose to buy one small block if offered for sale at Manawatu but after that is completed all or none. I have sent Grindell thro the 70 mile Bush to Manawatu to pick up all the Information in his power and meet me there this month, you will see that I have written respecting him to you, I propose that he should be Clerk to Commr. Native Reserves Act, but St. Hill who I spoke to about it again yesterday is of opinion that Mr. G.'s respectability is of rather a dubious caste, this I should say he has only lately found out, has been I think predjudiced by others. If you approve of my ideas on this head, you will oblige me by writing to Strang about, I fancy Buller wants to keep an opposition interpreter out of the Field.

I propose spending two months and perhaps more in the Manawatu District and 70 mile Bush and hope during that time to be able to effect something, I will take means to hand all letters forwarded to me with as little delay as possible.

Cooper sent me a very polite note requiring me to take the census of the Wairarapa District. This I have with a great deal of trouble succeeded in doing and shall forward them by next Mail to Auckland.

I have seen old Morrison lately he tells me, in fact I knew it without being told that the Natives are behaving badly to him having completely covered the run of which he holds a lease from them with their own Cattle and Horses. I have however succeeded in buying a small piece of Land about 600 to 700 Acres at Waimeioru as a Homestead for him and when the Natives get a leetle more reasonable will bring up all the rest of the land around but Natives unfortunately now value the Land according to their debts and not according to either its extent or quality.

I do not know what to do with Geo. Smith who you approved of as a Surveyor in this District he is either or rather both very lazy and ignorant of his profession. I was in hopes for some time it was laziness, but I have good cause to believe now that he is quite incompetent and not fit to be trusted as a Surveyor I shall not I assure you recommend any more of the Wellington Gentlemen as Surveyors they are all a parcel of spies of the reigning power here. I will therefore without any further official correspondence leave t in your hands to do what you can and send me one or two more surveyors I would not recommend for high Salaries as I am confident that for at least for five months out of every twelve out of doors work is out of the question, appoint who you will but let them be young men and active, no more old men if possible. Kempthrone never so much as asked my opinion but for some time previous to my letter to him had expressed his determination to proceed to Auckland. Married men with large families are not the right stamp for out of doors Surveyors. I proposed to him before he left to carry on the Surveys in the Wairarapa but to this de demurred saying that important private business demanded his presence in Auckland etc. etc. If you have not got the men in Auckland I could find some here but shall not recommend any more G. Smiths. I do not believe in these Provincial Govt. crawlers the 10 to 4 men.

I shall pay Levin £20 immediately that I have any money but considering that I have not received one shilling of salary for now three months and have had to make several advances to Grindell and others besides those of which I have sent you the Accounts really had it not been for a small home remittance I should have been completely ruined as it is I am within an ace of it and shall really feel most thankful if you would with as little delay as possible get an authority for the payment of all my back salary to be made to me here also the necessary authority for Messrs. Grindell and Smith's pay. I have however if that is not in your power written to Baker and sent him an authority to receive it and transmit it to me and will only request that my salary may be for the future made to me here if my appointment here is only temporary I can then fully understand the reason of my salary being made payable in Auckland. I do however put the utmost confidence in you to oblige me by seeing this little matter made straight.

I will send you by return of Steamer an estimate of the Surveying strength likely to be required during the ensuing year. You will excuse this long rodomontade but really I am quite delighted again to hear some news of your Auckland doings

And am My dear Sir,
very truly yours,
Will N. Searancke.
D. McLean Esq.

Part of:
Inward letters - W N Searancke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0565 (58 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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