May 25th. 1872.
I have heard that Major Keepa contemplated going to Auckland to see you. If so no doubt he will be giving you his views relative to the Land Purchasing negotiations on the West Coast, and also the Horowhenua question. I have therefore taken the liberty of sending you a few remarks on the subject. Major Keepa still seems, from what I hear, to cling to the idea of another native gathering at Horowhenua, to settle the question, before referring it to the Land Court.
The Ngatiraukawa object to any further meeting of the natives as useless, saying nothing came of the last one; and Te Rangirurupuni, and Te Muaupoko say the natives only eat their food and did nothing. They seem to approve of the question being sent to the Court without any further gathering of
I do not know whether a copy of my last report has been sent to you from the Public Works Department; but several copies were made. Therein I have given an account of my introduction to all the "hapus" of the surveyor sent by His Honour, the Superintendent. I visited all the "hapus", also Te Muaupoko; and after much talk (with Te Muaupoko in particular) all agreed to allow the surveyor to work; and each party agreed to allow the other to point out their respective boundaries to him, without interference.
I explained clearly to all of them that the survey was only to prepare a map so as to enable the Court to decide upon the various boundaries and claims; and that no boundary would be fixed permanently by the mere surveying of the land. This they now all understand; and claims have been sent by all of them to the Court. One from Te Keepa, Kawana Hunia, Rangitane, has been sent in, putting forward a general claim to the whole district from Manawatu to Kukatanaki, South of Otaki, as a tribal claim. No claim, however, has as yet been sent in by Te Muaupoko, for the particular portion at Horowhenua, which they occupy. They promised to do so when they had had time to consult with
some of their friends (Hunia and others, I presume); but they have not yet done so. I fear, through the influence of Te Keepa and Hunia, they will interfere with the surveyor, when he reaches that point. He commenced his work at Wainui and Waikanae, and is working Northwards. I had a meeting with Wi Parata and others at Waikanae, and saw Wi Pako at Otaki. They have all agreed to put the whole of their land through the Court; and both Tamihana, Te Rauparaha, and Ngatiawa have agreed not to interfere with the survey, and to allow the Court to decide their differences.
If you would be good enough to explain to Te Keepa that the land must be surveyed before his application can be adjudicated on, and that they, Ngatiraukawas, on their part, have agreed, it would no doubt restrain him from interfering. It would be well if he would write to Te Muaupoko to let the survey go on. Te Rauparaha told him at Te Whanganui meeting that he had no objection to his surveying (i.e. pointing out his boundary) where he chose, that he intended to leave the Court to settle everything. You will see this in "Waka Maori" of May 22nd.; which I presume, goes by this mail to you.
It is very desirable that Te Keepa should not interfere with the survey himself, and that he should also direct Te Muaupoko not to do so. I feel very anxious about it. Perhaps I may be allowed to suggest that a letter from you to him would have a good effect. He should direct Te Muaupoko to send in an application with respect to the particular portion which they occupy.
Hoani Maihana has been to Wellington, and has just returned to Manawatu. He has promised to be at Horowhenua when the surveyor commences work there, to do what he can to keep things right.
He and I had an interview with the Minister of Public Works; and he has promised to do all in his power to induce Peeti and Huru to agree to the sale of a portion of the 62,000 acre block in the 70 mile bush. He has declared himself in favour of selling a portion.
I have the honour to be,
Yours most respectfully,