Taranaki. New Plymouth.
15th. October 1849.
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter No. 49/785 of the 10th. ultimo, respecting the Northern boundary of the Rangitikei purchase, being left open, desiring me to report on the subject; and conveying His Excellency the Lieut, Governor's instructions as to the definite marking out upon the ground, of this boundary; and the general course to be pursued in adjusting boundaries of purchases, where the interests of rival tribes may be concerned.
The only boundary in the Rangitikei purchase, which is not in any way marked upon the ground, is the interior boundary between the Rangitikei and Turakina rivers; but it is fully understood that the whole right of the Ngatiapa tribe of Rangitikei, however far inland extending, has been extinguished, as expressed in the following clause, from a translation from the original Deed of Sale:-
The boundaries of the land, which we now entirely and for ever give up, are these - The River of Rangitikei on one side, and the sea on one side, and the river of Turakina on
one side, going inland as far as our interior claims extend."
I considered, when negotiating with the natives that I should be acting more fully in accordance with that portion of the first clause of your instructions of the 12th. December last, which has reference to boundaries; if I did not suggest any particular inland boundary, - the words of those instructions which I will here quote; -to save you the trouble of reference are:-
"When the boundaries of these claims upon the coast are marked, the Reserves will be ascertained and defined; then the whole claim, however far inland extending, having in every case been purchased, the mere requisition of the Reserves will be the requisition of the entire native claims, without attempting to define the exact inland extent; instead of suggesting, in the first place, as the boundary of the desired purchase, any great Range of mountains, or other natural feature of the country."
Anticipating, however, that some difficulties might hereafter arise, if the inland boundary was not actually marked upon the ground, I arranged with the
Ngatiapa tribe, that they should accompany me in a body during the summer months to the interior, to point out the exact inland termination to their claims, some of which extend as far as Otara, a settlement at present inhabited by a migrative band of Taupo natives, whose claims or right to reside there is disputed by the Ngatiapas; who also object to their receiving any payment for land to which they have not a hereditary or legitimate right.
The largest claimant in that direction is an old Chief of the Ngatiapa, named Hori te Rangiro; who promises to settle and keep possession, for the Europeans, of the interior land disposed of by him to the Government.
The inland boundary of that part of the purchase situated on the North bank of the Wangaehu, was visited by Mr. Park and myself; and the direction of the boundary on to the Wanganui block pointed out to us by the natives.
In conclusion, therefore, I have to observe that in pursuance of the directions conveyed in your letter of the 10th, ultiimo. I shall take the earliest opportunity at my disposal to have an interior boundary line between the Rangitikei and Turakina rivers accurately laid down and decided.
I have the honour etc.,
The Colonial Secretary