Reference Number: MS-1207. Object #1001245
Contains diary entries in which McLean describes his travels from Hawkes Bay to Poverty Bay seeking land to buy, and carrying out some of his magistrate duties. European and Maori settlements and meetings are described, including descriptions of Turanganui (present day Gisborne) and Wairoa areas, an old Maori women who remembered the visit of James Cook, the first magistrate's court sitting in the district, and descriptions of land that he was interested in purchasing.
30 pages to Sir Donald McLean.
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Thursday 13th. February 1851.
Started at 5 a.m. with Mr. W.B. Baker, Junr. for Turanganui; where I met an old deformed woman, shrunk up from age; who had seen Capt. Cook. She was named Hine Kapu. She gave an account of a native, named Rakau, having been killed by Cook's party; and another wounded. At the time she describes herself to have been 16 years old. She is quite clear in intellect, and retentive in memory, describing minutely every small circumstance connected with Capt. Cook's visit. Mr. Dunlop, nephew of the Terrineat, the great dry salter at Glasgow,
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is a sensible well read man; who has spent some years in a German University, and travelled a good deal. His ideas of the manner in which the natives should be treated are very good, and indicate a superior intellect.
The natives at Turanganui appear very civil, and better conducted than at the Wainui, Mr. Harris'.
A McGregor, a young man from Coromandel harbour, who owns and commands a schooner, the ''Dauntless'', gives me a deal of information, respecting Puhatta Taniwha, and other Chiefs connected with that district.
McGregor seems an active, industrious Highlander. He and his brother have erected a saw-mill at ''Kikowakarere'', a wide bay, where there are several European sawyers and carpenters living, with Paora, the Chief.
Bought a saddle for Kani, £4. Flora McLean,£1, by McGregor.
Friday 14th. February 1851.
Rawiri, the Chief, came in from his plantations, and had a long conversation with me on various subjects, especially as to thefts, and other crimes. He seems a sensible, well-behaved man, nearly related to Te Kani Otakirau, the greatest Chief on this coast; who has also made his appearance, with his train of followers.
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He seems anxious for a Korero; and I shall remain here, and spend the day with him. He seems to know that New Zealand is a small insignificant Island, compared to the other possessions of the British Crown, some of which, including America, he ennumerated. He said he was glad to have seen me; that he always was fond of Europeans; and poor whalers, and others destitute of means, ever found a refuge in his house, and clothes, and food, when they were in want. I told him that his attention to all Europeans was generous and good, and should not be forgotten by the Government; that the object of my wishing to see him was to explain the nature of the arrangements I had to carry out with the natives of Ahuriri, and Wairarapa; that they had all come in one canoe; that he was the steersman, and that he would naturally feel anxious to know how the foremost crew acted. I then explained to him the views of the Government, respecting the land question; which pleased him much.
He said that Turanga had too many Chiefs; and that their talk was childish; that they required time to consider what they were doing; and when
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all were agreed, he should then consider the purchase a good one; that Ahuriri and Wairarapa should be purchased first; then that this quarter would follow; but that some of the natives were very bad; stole form the Europeans, and made no reparation for their offenses. He seems a cheerful, clever, shrewd man; greatly admired and idolized by his followers.
I told him I should like to have a horse to go back with, like his black one.
He said, - "That you shall!", and brought up the animal, saddle, bridle, and all; which he carefully, and with some degree of graceful action, placed before me.
I asked whether, if I returned him a mare, that would be sufficient remuneration for the animal.
He said, "Yes."
In the evening I bought a new saddle and bridle from Smith; who had not sufficient money to pay for the horse; but I said he would give Kani £10 in cash and goods at a cheap rate, for the balance.
I told Kani of this, and that I valued his horse at £30; although I am informed by good judges, £25 is quite value. Still, in purchasing from a Chief, I should rather, when left to myself, give him every advantage in making the bargain.
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Saturday 17th. February 1851.
In the morning Kani made a nice speech, before bidding good-bye; advising me how to act with the Turanga natives, and to take time in settling, or assenting to all their offers.
I gave him some wine and beer for his journey, presented him with a new saddle, which I bought by a cheque on Bethune & Hunter, for £4, in return for his extreme kindness to Europeans, and as a token of the Queen's and Governor's regard for him, and not as a private gift from myself. He took the saddle, told me to take my own time in paying him for the horse; said that his gifts went for years all over the Islands, without being returned; and that he preferred my sending him £20 from Wellington, instead of being paid by Smith, as I offered; or receiving a mare, which, he remarked, might be lost or injured on the way; that he had plenty of horses, and did not require more.
Rawiri made a good speech also; and is well-reported of, by Mr. Dunlop. I requested him to write to the Government, respecting any future differences arising between them and the Europeans. I also made him act nominally as Assessor in one or
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two cases, such as Brown's, for a pig sold to him by the natives; and especially for work done by natives for him last harvest, 12/-; which cases are settled; and the natives advised how to act in future.
Examined the Heads of the Turanga, and find a good entrance for crafts of 20 and 40 tons, or even 100, - if one or two rocks in the entrance were blasted. They are a soft, clayey substance, shelving off in long sheaths, East and West, and good marl, or soft clay substance, with blue soil, and rich loam on the tertiary formation.
The hill above the harbour commands a good view of the surrounding country, - rivers, plains, forests, cultivations, peach, groves, wheat fields, etc.
Called at Smith's, Harvey's, and Mr. Harris'; where I had a large Meeting of natives. Met a Mr. Purvis there.
Sunday 16th. February 1851.
In the afternoon dined with Mrs. Grace; and attended Church in the afternoon. Drank tea at the Mission Station; and came to tent, where I had a Korero with the natives till 11 p.m.
Monday 19th. February 1851.
Called on the Catholic Priest, and had a conversation with Te Wata, the Chief who attends his service, and who, with Kautia, is favourable to the sale of land.
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Messenger arrived at 8 p.m., with despatches from Wellington, stating that proceedings at Ahuriri were approved by Sir George Grey; and announcing the arrival of two surveyors.
Spent the evening at Mr. Rich's.
Tuesday 18th. February 1851.
Accompanied by Mr. Harris, Rich, and I went out to see a flat of land extending in a Northerly direction from Turanga, at Wairengahika. A body of natives were assembled to discuss the sale of their land. Some objected, till Te Kani Otakirau and his cousin Rawiri were agreed. Others favoured the sale; and Kautia, a man of great influence, is endeavouring to unite the natives to favour a sale, and have a large body of Europeans.
I have now a good idea of the general character of the country; which is certainly a fine, although rather limited, district.
Mr. Smith gives the yearly export, by himself, from Turanga, at:-
5000 bush. wheat.
20 tons salt pork.
3000 bush maize.
2 tons bacon and hams.
10 tons onions.
Simson gives his return at:-
2102 bush wheat.
4,5 tons pork.
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200 bush maize
8 tons potatoes.
Halbert:- 2000 bush wheat 20 bush maize. 2 tons pork. 8 tons potatoes. Mr. Harris, European produce:-
1400 bush wheat 1 ton pork
400 bush wheat 80 bush barley
Live Stock, Turanga Bay. Mr. Harris:-
43 head horned cattle. 4 horses.
Uren:- 19 horned cattle.
Espie:- 20 horned cattle. 1 horse.
Norcros:- 8 head
33 head cattle. 2 horses.
50 head cattle. 2 horses.
20 head cattle. 8 horses.
Cooper:- 3 head cattle.
Simson:- 9 head cattle. 1 horse.
Halbert:- 5 head cattle.
Morris:- 2 horses.
Native Cattle and horses, on the North side Waipaoa:-
28 horses including Makaraka to Turanganui.
25 horned cattle.
Diary, Reference Number MS-1207 (1 digitised items)
Series 5 Diaries and notebooks, Reference Number Series 5 Diaries and notebooks (100 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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