2nd. July 1850.
Honi Ropiha is willing to purchase a portion of section 184, on the banks of the Waimakaiho, as accompanying tracing, between the Mangere road and dotted line, if he can get it. It happens to belong to an absentee, Dr. Aubyn, who has no intention to sell. I have therefore recommended Honi to make another selection; and so the matter at present stands.
The natives who were on Captain Bulkely's section, had no intention to cultivate; merely asked for time to remove their crops, although nine months had already been allowed for that purpose. Still, allowance should be made for their tenacious ideas about land; especially on yielding it up to strangers for ever. In this instance they appear to have been very reasonable.
I hope there may be no more trouble in getting them to abandon old paths, which now run through private sections, very much to the annoyance of proprietors; particularly as pigs, dogs, and I must now add, horses and cows, from an inseparable part of a New Zealander's escort, which at particular seasons, will undoubtedly
occasion considerable damage, and give rise to interminable trouble. Now that the Crown Grant is here, settlers will become very touchy about their rights; and so the right of road will be, I apprehend, the next question for arrangement.
The late Mr. Harris was found in this way. Two natives, Pame Watene, and Paora, had a desire for a day's fishing in th sea; and in dragging in an old canoe over the sand for that purpose, it cracked, which caused them to alter their intention; and, in taking the broken canoe up the river, the body was seen by Pame, lying at the bottom of the river in 3 feet of water. Out of the number of natives who had made rigorous search, it was singular that the reward should have fallen to one who had never given himself any trouble in the matter. I was in the habit of having the beach examined every morning early, from Moturoa to the wreck on the northern side of the Henui, which would have succeeded, but for that incidental circumstance, as the body must have floated in about 24 hours more. You may therefore imagine that I was not well pleased at the find, wishing all along that the honour might devolve upon the Police.
The presence of an English ship soon turned public attention in another direction, and poor Harris
is forgotten! Home news, new faces, and blue noses, caused by a smart gale of wind from the South East, strong enough to blow away any lingering remembrances of the past, if any remained, from the general topic of conversation; and the usual bustle on such occasions now prevails. I hear more passengers will remain with us than was expected.
July 3rd. Weather moderating, and promises to be fine by way of payment for the rough past.
The removal of the gate on the Omata road is likely to be the source of trouble, in admitting horses and cattle belonging to Moturoa natives, to the European cultivations in the neighbourhood of the Town. Hence the indiscreet shooting, mentioned in my Report, the result of which remains to be seen.
There is a scheme on foot to get the Cattle Trespass Ordinance put in force against the natives here, a step much better let alone, as it would only tend to our disadvantage. I do not, however, suppose it will pass into Law; and with due dference to the talented originator, I venture to differ with him on its soundness as being premature and useless, except for the purpose of exposing our weakness.
4th. 5th. 6th. 7th. Fine weather for the "Poietiers"
now under weigh for Nelson. She has left 15 of her passengers with us; and it is said more are coming in the April and June ships.
I have not yet succeeded in getting the English potatoes for Mr. Snachenberg, the "Poietiers" having been out of that edible for some time. I will get the best kind here, and furnish them as you desire.
The "Governor Grey" came up just now from Wanganui, and will proceed to Wellington, I believe, tomorrow.
Richard Cook, I am sorry to say, lost two fingers from his right hand, while cheerfully engaged assisting the crew of the "Poietiers" in getting under weigh. He was perfectly sober when the accident occurred, but from the intensity of the pain, brandy was afterwards given to him rather freely, and the poor fellow became almost insensible. I have given these particulars with a view to counteract any false reports that might reach you in reference to this unfortunate accident.
8th. Monday. "William and Jane" from Mokau. Her destination is Manukao. I am thinking about the potatoes. The overland carriage would be too expensive. Therefore I suppose I must await the next chance.
The Colonial Hospital has been painted, and the new entree is in progress of completion, very much to the Doctor's satisfaction.
As far as I know, all your friends here are well.
Yours very sincerely
D. McLean Esq.