Object #1003459 from MS-Papers-0032-0273

4 pages written 5 Sep 1861 by Michael Fitzgerald in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Michael Fitzgerald, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0273 (57 digitised items). 57 letters written from Napier (Melford Cottage), Wairoa, Mahia, 1854-1864. Includes Fitzgerald's diary entries, 27 Sep-30 Nov 1859

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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English (ATL)

Melford Cottage
Napier 5th. September 1861


My dear Sir,

At your request I beg to offer a few remarks on the surveys connected with the Native Land Purchase Dept. which however occur to me more as a present requirement than a new system.

It should be the duty of the chief Surveyor - appointed by His Excellency - to superintend all marks, to keep a correct record of Plans and Field books, duly indexed, with the fullest information, relative to the names of the Surveyors and Commissioner, under whom each work might be executed, as well as the names of the Natives who actually went on the ground and pointed out the boundaries, the chiefs who went also, or who consented to others performing that duty.

To be appointed by the General Government and required to pass an examination by the Chief Surveyor as to their fitness as surveyors and their general knowledge of Native Customs regarding land sales.

In no case whatever should Reserves be defined except by actual survey, not sketch, and the Surveyors eught not to leave the ground until each part of the boundary was marked by those Natives authorised to do so, in the performance of this duty the officer should not interfere with the Natives so as to prevent their placing, with their own hands, the Boundary where described by the Deed. After survey a rough copy, or tracing of the Reserve should be furnished and explained to the Native owners.

With regard to the Boundaries of large blocks sketch survey may be used the Surveyor with the Natives going over the external Boundaries - whether it was necessary for the purpose of survey measurement or not, he ought to visit every point - and to note the names described in the Deed.

With regard to the employment of any Surveyor, who may be engaged by the Provincial Government, or in private practice, who may happen to be in the locality where land is acquired from the Natives, I am of opinion that it is a great error. All surveys should be made on some general principle under a chief Surveyor.

After many years experience in New Zealand and connection with the Natives and Survey, I am satisfied that the want of proper surveys, more particularly of Reserves, during, or as soon after as possible, the time of sale, and also the want of due explanation of the Plan when completed on the ground and before the officers of the Government left each locality, will always be one of the greatest sources of almost endless disputes and unessary expense to the Public Service. I am Sir,


Yours very truly,
M. Fitzgerald.

Part of:
Inward letters - Michael Fitzgerald, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0273 (57 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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