Letter from H.T. Kemp
to Donald McLean Esq.
dated 8th. February 1857.
Bay of Islands
8th. February 1857.
My dear McLean,
I received your kind favor of the 31st. inst., for which accept my thanks; as also for the readiness with which the funds are being supplied.
We are getting on tolerably well here. One thing has given me a good deal of thought; and that is the system of survey prior to payments. It is not impossible that in some instances the natives might change their minds, after a survey has been completed. I mean, of course, with regard to the price already agreed upon, and perhaps even approved by the Government and yourself; and in that case, if not finally concluded under the first terms agreed upon, the Government would be the loser by the entire amount of the cost of the survey. I am anxious to avoid this, if possible. I propose, for the future, staking the Blocks off; and obtaining as nearly as one can, (if a surveyor is within reach, so much the better) the area of the Block, and
then coming to terms. I think it would be a saving to the Government, and a plan in which there would be no risk involved. I think I should be inclined to adopt this course in preference to waiting until a survey is finally completed. It would, in fact, be a sort of preliminary survey, and would endeavour to make it answer every purpose the Government may require.
By this opportunity I forward a separate Official in reference to a Block known as Nawhe. On this subject I must tell you I feel great interest. I am more than anxious that it should succeed, because it is a difficult and difficult one. Over and above that, - it is admitted to be the Garden of the Bay. People think that the whole of it would realise from £2 to £5 per acre; and supposing an inland township laid off, very much more.
I have asked for £2,000. I shall rely upon your getting it for me, and forwarding it to the Sub-Treasury.
If I cannot finally conclude, at the expiration of three months from the time it reaches the Treasury here, then I think it may be returned to you, or disposed of in some other way. The people here would be delighted if it could be got. The amount seems large, when compared with the average, but the
number of influential claimants is so large that anything less would dwindle to nothing. I shall depend upon your kind offices in this case. The point is to have the money at hand, and then to seize the favourable opportunity.
Thanks for sending the Native Newspaper. I hope to send a few lines in it. In the meantime, the marriage of Hariata - Heke's widow - to Adam Clarke, of Waima, which has just taken place, might be inserted.
We have also lost several natives lately, supposed to have died from eating honey, extracted from poisonous herbs or shrubs peculiar to this country.
Clarke is surveying for me, just now. How long he will be able to continue, I cannot say, as he has private work, and does not appear to be in good health. I have also written to White, in reference to the other surveys; and hope to be able to forward complete ones before the Summer is over.
Donald McLean Esq.