Object #1003097 from MS-Papers-0032-0276
From: Inward letters - Josiah Flight, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0276 (45 digitised items). 43 letters addressed from Mangoraka, Te Ika Moana, Resident Magistrate's Office, New Plymouth, Henui, 1846-1872, and undated. Also letter from A D Flight, 6 Mar [187-], New Plymouth to Sir Donald McLean; letter from Josiah Flight to Thomas Kelly, 22 Jul 1870 re Cape Egmont Flax CompanyAlso poem addressed to `My dear Donald McLean' entitled `No Land' (on verso) written by Josiah Flight
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19th. April 1857.
My dear Sir,
I felt very glad to receive yours of the first as it proved that your friendly communications were not yet quite overlaid by official correspondence, which I feel quite aware with your other multifarious duties prevent your indulging as often as you would like in epistolary chit chat with your friends. The Native, question becomes more and more pressing on the attention of those who feel any anxiety for their welfare; and with them for the good of this Colony. I believe that all are now pretty well agreed that it would be beneficial to the Natives for them to dispose of their land to the Government; and the question to be solved is How can they be induced to do so? About this various opinions exist. I will venture to offer some suggestions which may perhaps be stale or wild, or in many ways objectionable; yet may possibly call up in your mind some latent ideas that may enable you to strike out the means of progression towards the desired end. I am rightly informed the two principal sections of dissentients are the Ngatiruanui and the Taupo Anti Land Sale Leagues; the former influencing the South, the latter the North, of this Island, and most likely to some extent uniting to prevent the further alienation of land. Placed as these two bodies of New Zealanders are at a distance from European settlements they cannot so readily feel the beneficial effects of Europeans coming amongst them, and though where they visit our settlements they see how much improved the condition of those Maoris who live near us is, yet they do not see that
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they might obtain like benefits were they to sell their lands. Hence a jealous feeling prompts them to exert whatever influence they have in preventing those who have begun to feel the good resulting from the residence of Europeans amongst them from more fully benefitting by such residence, from selling the remainder of their lands. To this must be added the mischievous advice of some meddling Europeans not to sell; and some ill defined notions they hold on the power they possess as proprietors of a certain extent of country. The very circumstance however that they were obliged to unite as a League to prevent the sale of lands would go to show that they felt themselves weak on the subject. Individually I believe there are few amongst the Natives who will not admit that the arguments we use to shew them that it would be for their good to sell the land are right and proper; and can only reply by referring to their connexion with the League. In our immediate neigh-bourhood this is giving way --- Ihaia and Nicorema's party is a considerable one. Ihia has grown in importance within the last three years inasmuch as many of the natives look on him as a leader of equal and with some of greater consideration than Katatori. I believe those who unite with Ihia have much larger landed possessions than those who are Katatori's adherents; but the latter relies on the Ngatiruanuis for assistance. I should like to see some persons sent among the latter who without being known to be servants of the Government would visit them as traders or in any character by which they could not be suspected; and mixing amongst them might take any opportunities that presented themselves of pointing out the folly of the Natives in so uselessly holding their lands. You have mentioned Stockman's name in your letter very favourably but not more so than I think it deserves. He is doing what he can but his circumstances are embarrassed and I know that he cannot afford to give up the time he wishes to give to these matters. If two or three such as him could be found to send amongst the Taupos and Ngatiruanuis might they not do much good? Roads might produce much good were they carried through the lands of these dissentients, so
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that they might be brought into more intimate connexion with ourselves. A distribution of tracts in the Maori language on the subject especially if written by some Chiefs of distinction would perhaps effect some good. In short where the strongest opposition exists, there, it appears to me, should every means be brought to bear to undermine these injurious predjudices which so oppose themselves to the well being of the Natives, care being taken that no influence of the Government be allowed to appear in their use. With regard to the present position of affairs in this neighbourhood I think it deserves the gravest consideration whether, taking into account that a large and influential party of Hatives have declared themselves wishful to sell land, that a further number appear to be wavering; and the opposing party fairly put down in argument; also bearing in mind that some (Watatiri amongst them) of those who have expressed their desire to sell were for a long time adverse to it; the Government should not now entertain their offer and thereby give encouragement to those who are now lifting their heads in opposition to the League, Halse tells me that some of Ihaia's party have declared that should the Government return an unfavourable answer they will proceed to attack Katatori in his pah, thereby I presume to show that peace between them is not to be obtained without a sale of land. It has been strongly impressed on my mind for some time past that Katatori has been made too much of; and that good may be done by encouraging as far as possible the opposition to him. Is there any way of raising up amongst the Natives a League to oppose the present League thereby fighting it with its own weapons --- last week another rescue of cattle from the pound at the Bell lock took place. It appears that Northcroft found on his land 16 horses which he drove to the Pound; his land is not fenced, he therefore claimed no damages; by the Ordinance the fees are fixed at one shilling per head, but the poundkeeper misinterpreting a proclamation of the Superintendent whereby he empowered the poundkeeper to receive two and sixpence per head for the damages to which any one was liable for allowing his cattle to wander in, roads
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or public places claimed that amount from the Maories, they refused to pay this, but offered one shilling and sixpence being sixpence per head above the sum the poundkeeper was authorized to receive; as this was refused they proceeded to remove some of the bars and let their horses out. No complaint or information was made to me as R.M. but at the request of the Superintendent Halse went down and arranged the matter. Mr. Cutfield came to me yesterday and having sent for Mr. Halse we determined sending for the Natives to meet us at the Court House on Tuesday next for the purpose of explaining to them that such means as they used were improper and that in such cases they should apply through Mr. Halse to the Magistrate for redress. In the course of conversation Cutfield expressed his anxious wish that the Natives should be better in formed as to the nature of our laws and for this purpose he thought a person should be employed to translate them for publication in the Maori language as well as by continually conversing with them explain their nature and requirements. Such an individual if judiciously selected might indirectly do a great deal of good in many other ways amongst them. Cutlfield is very well intentioned. I hope he will not be misled; at present I think he is all right. The Elections are over and with the substitution of Greenwood for East the same parties have been returned. No opposition. You mention Stockman's name in connection with Government pay. That would completely destroy his usefulness, If it were possible to give H. Halse the command of some two or three hundred pounds, as secret service money, out of which he might present Stockman with an amount which would enable him to give up more of his time, such an arrangement might be made without knowledge of the Natives. You know the value of having wherewith to make timely presents to the Natives and had Halse the command of money I feel quite assured he would not abusd it. I have heard but very little more about our friend Turton's affair, but that little gives another coat of Blacking to the affair. It is now reported that no further proceedings are to take place unless Mr. Turton wished it, and that Mr. Turton after being appointed by the Conference to Kawhia is by some subordinate power to
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be shipped off to some Australian Station because I presume the worthy brethren having failed in making out a case will give him an opportunity of re-establishing his character, which be it borne in mind if damaged at all, has been so by them. Oh! the matchless Jesuitry of such proceedings. Verily it is not to be wondered at that half a million of Members and attendants have left their communion in England if this be a fair example of their proceedings. Surely their system smacks so much of worldly policy policy that it must tumble to pieces and come to naught. I cannot help telling friend Whiteley that I wonder he does not come out from a amongst them, but he answers, Well, have patience. We are again agitating the question of turning the Iron sand to account. Public Meetings have been held and a Committee appointed to collect subscriptions of either 5/- or 10/- or 20/- each person for the purpose of offering a reward to any person or persons who shall first satisfactorily prove to umpires that they have and can continuously and profitably run it into cast or maleable merchantable iron. Dr. Wilson fancies that the working of it will stir up the cupidity of the Maories and prevent their selling any more land. I have had the matter under discussion with Mr. Whiteley and Mr. Rimmerschneider and they both state it as their opinion that it will have no such effect and as actions speak louder than words they have both placed their names to the subscription list. I suppose you have heard that I am become a "Total Abstinence" man; and as brother Jonathan says I guess you know why --- Ritchie is now going on well. God grant him strength to maintain his resolution and to adhere to the pledge he had taken. He is an excellent man of business and is getting into a
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capital practice. What a pity it will be should he drown all those prospects. Dont you envy my position on the bench with such a bright constellation of J.P.'s moving in my orbit? I assure you that they leave me very much alone in my glory, seldom looking in to see that I do my work as I should. T. King, Esq. J.P. made his first appearance on the bench last Thursday and I fancy he had enough of it. There were two cases heard that day, one occupying upwards of five and the other two hours. The poor little man looked half starved. There were more cases to be heard but he did not make his appearance the next day. And now my dear Sir I will conclude by assuring you that if out of the abundance of chaff you can find a grain of wheat in this rambling letter I shall feel abundantly satisfied; and if not, you will feel assured that my feeling is still as warm as ever in its wish for the best welfare of our aborigines and that the end for which you have so long and earnestly laboured and which I trust you will leave to see attained may be speedily brought about, a consummation which will
endear your name to all well wishers to the race which is now so fast passing away. May I live to congratulate you on the day when the last purchase shall have been made from the Natives of their lands; for then and not till then shall we be able to fraternize completely with them as British subjects. Mrs. Flight and the children request me to present their very kind remembrances.
Believe me my dear sir to remain,
Yours very faithfully,
D. Mclean Esq.Auckland
P.S. Major Lloyd's name does not appear in the Commission of the Peace; could not he be made a magistrate for the Colony, as a mark of respect? I heve that many of our Natives feel themselves slighted by the Taupos as the latter did not invite them to their meeting. This may make some waver and decide others in placing themselves in opposition to the League.
Inward letters - Josiah Flight, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0276 (45 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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