Object #1006125 from MS-Papers-0032-0004

4 pages written 17 Sep 1853 by Sir Donald McLean in Wairarapa to Sir George Grey

From: Native Land Purchase Commissioner - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0004 (36 digitised items). Contains letters to and from McLean with regard to the business of purchasing of Maori land in Taranaki, Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa and elsewhere; also contains details of various purchases and related business

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

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Page 1 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

Wairarapa

17th Sept.1853



My dear Sir George,

I am glad to be able to state that after a very obstinate resistance on the part of Ngatueri and his followers I have at last succeeded in getting a very fair block of land about 40,000 acres on the west side of the valley to the north of Burlings extending up to Waingaawa the river at Mr.Donalds Station.

I am informed by several persons who have travelled over this part of the district that it is of fair average quality with the rest of Wairarapa that some of the slopes under the Tararua range are very fertile, there is abundance of wood and water convenient, and it has the advantage of proximity to the new line of road.

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English (ATL)


I certainly think it would be as good as any site in this neighbourhood for the small farming community if they are still as eager as they have expressed themselves about carrying out their undertaking.

I do not myself consider under the present prospectus that such a scheme can prove remunerative in this locality, to its founders, as it would require famine prices to pay for taking agricultural produce to market from Wairarapa, still with certain alterations a plan might be devised that would prove successful by combining stock keeping and farming, and certainly every project that aims at removing population from the towns to the country should meet with favorable consideration I am therefore glad on that account alone that it will be in your Excellency's power to offer to a most interesting portion of the community a block of land with a prospect of more being added to it on which they can commence their operations.

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English (ATL)


The great extent of this purchase which comprises altogether about 150,000 acres is situated beyond the Tararua range towards the West Coast above Waikanae.

The price of the whole is £2000, a first instalment of £1000 now and the remaining £1000 to be paid in five yearly instalments of £200 each besides the 5 per cent which shall be inserted in this and future Deeds with the additional provisions alluded to in your Excellency's note of the 11th Inst.

It has been a matter of some difficulty to get the natives to sell this land at all, but still greater to get it at this price but Manihere and the chiefs who have already disposed of their land helped me very much.

I told the chiefs that I even considered this price a great deal too high, that the Governor might object to it, and if such were the case that they must give an additional block of land which they agree to do sooner than I should be subject to blame for giving too much.

The natives are certainly much pleased at having some vexatious questions of long standing

Page 4 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

between themselves and the settlers adjusted and I believe that the greatest difficulties in connexion with this purchase may now be considered as fairly conquered.

Capt.Smith and Mr.Tullys home stations comprising about 800 acres on which with paddocks and improvements there has been an expenditure of £1000 has been secured for £100.

Owing to the flood on the Tauwharenikau the messengers from Wellington did not arrive until late yesterday evening when I was at Capt.Smiths settling with the natives for that place. The instructions from Wellington enable me now to ensure Capt.Smiths services on the same terms as lessrs.Park and Fitzgerald, and this will greatly facilitate the surveys. I shall always esteem it as an act of great condescension and kindness on the part of Your Excellency to have proposed my health as you have done at a public dinner at Wellington it is one of those circumstances that I may have occasion to look back to in future years with infinite satisfaction.

I remain, My dear Sir George,
Yours very faithfully,
Donald McLean
His Excellency Sir George Grey K.C.B.

English (ATL)

Wairarapa

17th Sept.1853



My dear Sir George,

I am glad to be able to state that after a very obstinate resistance on the part of Ngatueri and his followers I have at last succeeded in getting a very fair block of land about 40,000 acres on the west side of the valley to the north of Burlings extending up to Waingaawa the river at Mr.Donalds Station.

I am informed by several persons who have travelled over this part of the district that it is of fair average quality with the rest of Wairarapa that some of the slopes under the Tararua range are very fertile, there is abundance of wood and water convenient, and it has the advantage of proximity to the new line of road.

I certainly think it would be as good as any site in this neighbourhood for the small farming community if they are still as eager as they have expressed themselves about carrying out their undertaking.

I do not myself consider under the present prospectus that such a scheme can prove remunerative in this locality, to its founders, as it would require famine prices to pay for taking agricultural produce to market from Wairarapa, still with certain alterations a plan might be devised that would prove successful by combining stock keeping and farming, and certainly every project that aims at removing population from the towns to the country should meet with favorable consideration I am therefore glad on that account alone that it will be in your Excellency's power to offer to a most interesting portion of the community a block of land with a prospect of more being added to it on which they can commence their operations.

The great extent of this purchase which comprises altogether about 150,000 acres is situated beyond the Tararua range towards the West Coast above Waikanae.

The price of the whole is £2000, a first instalment of £1000 now and the remaining £1000 to be paid in five yearly instalments of £200 each besides the 5 per cent which shall be inserted in this and future Deeds with the additional provisions alluded to in your Excellency's note of the 11th Inst.

It has been a matter of some difficulty to get the natives to sell this land at all, but still greater to get it at this price but Manihere and the chiefs who have already disposed of their land helped me very much.

I told the chiefs that I even considered this price a great deal too high, that the Governor might object to it, and if such were the case that they must give an additional block of land which they agree to do sooner than I should be subject to blame for giving too much.

The natives are certainly much pleased at having some vexatious questions of long standing between themselves and the settlers adjusted and I believe that the greatest difficulties in connexion with this purchase may now be considered as fairly conquered.

Capt.Smith and Mr.Tullys home stations comprising about 800 acres on which with paddocks and improvements there has been an expenditure of £1000 has been secured for £100.

Owing to the flood on the Tauwharenikau the messengers from Wellington did not arrive until late yesterday evening when I was at Capt.Smiths settling with the natives for that place. The instructions from Wellington enable me now to ensure Capt.Smiths services on the same terms as lessrs.Park and Fitzgerald, and this will greatly facilitate the surveys. I shall always esteem it as an act of great condescension and kindness on the part of Your Excellency to have proposed my health as you have done at a public dinner at Wellington it is one of those circumstances that I may have occasion to look back to in future years with infinite satisfaction.

I remain, My dear Sir George,
Yours very faithfully,
Donald McLean
His Excellency Sir George Grey K.C.B.

Part of:
Native Land Purchase Commissioner - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0004 (36 digitised items)
Series 7 Official papers, Reference Number Series 7 Official papers (3737 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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