Object #1004097 from MS-Papers-0032-0236

4 pages written 10 Aug 1863 by Edward Spencer Curling to Sir Donald McLean in Napier City

From: Inward letters - E S Curling, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0236 (21 digitised items). 22 letters and memo written from Te Kopanga, Te Aute, Ahuriri, & near Patangata, 1857-1866. Includes letter from McLean to Curling, Jun 1859.

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

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English (ATL)

10th, August 1863.


My dear MacLean,

I am much obliged by your letter of last week and duly observe the contents. The account you give of the Natives of Ahuriri looks favourable. Still I think the measures you have adopted are quite prudent and judicious in all respects, and I should think that the public must admit this, because the Natives will see we are not unprepared for danger should they arise, and there is nothing so bad as being unprepared.

I have several times thought of Domett, and that it was probable he was not duly supported in his views, the Governor always reflecting so much about home opinions, and wanting to diplomatize where action was preferable, or needed. The Govt. is anxious to stand well with the Imperial Government, who seem to me to be unaware of the actual situation of the case in this Colony. So it was with China when we took Canton, or rather did not take it - receiving Ransom and making a treaty. The result was another Chinese War and the taking of Peking, all incurred for want of strong measures at first, and teaching the Chinese that they had to deal with a powerful Nation.

Religious and moral views were in the first case acted upon - not applicable - and so it has been in this Colony.

I hear that Bell has resigned - who I assume differs from the Govt. and Domett also.

I am glad to think we have you here as Supdt. tho I am aware your duties are arduous and responsible. The press at times adds to our difficulties. I think the Defence Corps a most valuable aid, if any out-break took place here - the loss and damage would be from mounted Natives who would ride over the Country in gangs. They would cause the principal losses.

I have written to Whitmore an official note accepting the appointment in the Militia. But inland they seem to be bent on volunteering. So I was told yesterday.

You allude to the Natives making a claim here. They are doing so, and I enclose a memorandum. I think you should if circumstances allow take some notice of it by sending Lock to shew them their line as laid off. Their present conduct seems bouncible. I mean that of Renata, Maika and Tomati, who are really the promoters of this affair, and most troublesome Natives at all times.

Perhaps you are not in a postiion to take notice of any breach in the law, their doings amount to this by now. I hear they are not on terms with Hapuku - who formerly aided their claim.

Seeing the high rents given by Europeans their aim seems to be to make another attempt to get land sold.

Years ago they all used to tell me - to look out for their Bush - that no Europeans cut in it saying the open land is Yours - and that the Bush Reserve only was theirs.

But I wont trouble you - the turning out their Bullocks and horses etc. - is simply geeling their way - and awaiting events. It is for me only to give such facts as I have. They are a mile from the Lake. I have as yet said nothing beyond that named in the enclosure. Their scheme for Nation to come and survey etc. should be observed. This intention I am privately informed of.


Yours most sincerely,
E.S. Curling.

Please excuse my scrawling Memoranda which I write out that you may form some notion of the case.

During the Winter I have unpaid supplied several of the Patangata Maories with flour, Sugar and Clothes. I have thought it best not to interfere with them by going near in order in these times to avoid any altercation.

But several of my sheep are killed by their dogs, which they bring and do not look after. While writing this James Collins, drayman has called and tells me he had bought and paid for trees outside the Bush which I have requested him not to touch.

When you think proper, and in such way also, it might be well if Mr. Lock shewed them his lines, as these matters are rather for Govt. than the individual, and it may check their proceedings.

Their plan of operations has been much talked over among themselves. But they did not apply to you as Tomati said they should do. Be assured I have no wish in these times to give you any additional mental occupation, or to make to you any unnecessary reports. If general Cameron is successful it will produce a good effect in this Province.
To:-- Donald MacLean,
Esquire, Superintendent, to Napier

Part of:
Inward letters - E S Curling, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0236 (21 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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