Object #1001992 from MS-Papers-0032-0565

3 pages written 5 Aug 1859 by William Nicholas Searancke in Rangitikei District to Sir Donald McLean in Napier City

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)


5th. August 1859

Dear Sir,

I have been in doubt so long of your whereabouts expecting to hear of or from you, that I have not written since I left Wellington to inform you of the progress of matters generally in this District.

I paid a visit to Waikanae (as I informed you) but after a weeks work trying to carry out the Survey the only practical way of bringing the matter to an issue finding that a large number of Natives headed by Wi Tamehana were still violently opposing the sale and also Eruini te Tupe coming forward and saying that as the sale if carried out would breed disputes, etc. etc. among them and that he (consequently) would therefore rather withdraw his offer of sale, I determined to relinquish an affair which I feared would lead to Bloodshed and therefore left it coming on to Otaki I found that the Horo dispute had assumed a more complicated appearance, several other tribes having taken a part in it, I thought it better to leave them to work out their own wishes and not take any part in it beyond recommending them to talk over the matter quietly and peaceably. I then came on to Manawatu and saw Stewart start the Survey of the Awa hou block, old Wereta still holds out and will not sell at any price - while here (on Friday last) the Rev. Mr. Hadfield passed on his way to Moutoa on the Monday following (the 1st. inst.) Mr. Hadfield (a large number of Natives being present) again mentioned to the Natives about the Land for Mission purposes. Nepia, Te Kingi and Te Wata, chief of the Ngatikauwatas, supported him and mentioned Wakaari as the land they would give him for missionary purposes.

I came on to Rangitikei on, the Monday on my way to see te Heriwanu and on my return last night from Raukawa I found that Mr. Hadfield in company with the Ngatiraukawas (only) had been over the land and marked out the boundaries by putting up Poles. I found the Ngatiapa's very much excited and indignant at the idea of the Ngatiraukawas assuming the right of giving the land away without reference to them and determined to oppose it, however I have this morning been trying to induce them to join me with the Ngatiraukawas in giving up this piece of land to the Mission and I believe successfully. All the Ngatiapas and Ngatiraukawas are here and I have hopes that they will mutually give way; Major Durie going back to Wanganui this afternoon prevents my giving you the results of the Meeting.

I have seen the Hiriwanu and told them the acreage of the land about 200.000 acres and as you instructed me made him an offer per acre, after a very long discription of 6d. per acre the whole amount of the Block including Swamps, Rivers and Hills is 240.000 acres and I believe that on your arrival here if he is informed by you that you consider the sum suffieient that it will be accepted, but so long as the Natives think that by referring to you or any other officer that they can get an increase of price for their land, no district officer will be able to deal with them.

Hoping to hear from you soon I am Dr. Sir,
Yours very sincerely,
Will N. Searancke.
D. McLean, Esq., Napier.
I enclose you Stewart's Report on the Hiriwanui's block of Land.

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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