Object #1006142 from MS-Papers-0032-0484

8 pages written 25 Sep 1870 by John Davies Ormond in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0484 (67 digitised items). 65 letters written from Napier. Includes copy of letter from Te Poihipi Tukairangi, Pahautea Kaingaroa (in Maori), 14 May 1870; letter from Te Moananui to Hamana Tiakiwai, Napier, 3 Apr 1870.Also letter from Ormond to Daniel Pollen; Ormond to Lieut Col James Fraser, 3 Dec 1869; Lieut Col James Fraser to Capt Reuner, 4 Dec 1869.

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

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English (ATL)

Napier,
September 25 - 1870


My dear McLean,

The Lord Ashley is expected in the morning so I will get ready so much of my letter to you. About the Elections I think both our Seats are safe and I do not believe anyone will attempt opposition. There is no necessity for any address from you until the dissolution - then you may as well send a short address if you are not able to come. Meantime I am seeing the people here and keeping things right. From your last letter I judge there is no certainty of your getting here for a few weeks as you expected. I have had several talks with Kinross about your Run matters and he told me he was communicating with you by Telegraph thereupon. I don't think he has done much. Master Karaitiana is at the bottom of all the trouble in the various blocks in which he has his name. Respecting Mangateretere it is regularly in Chancery. The Court could not subdivide it as it had been dealt with If the Court could, Karaitiana, who is the only

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English (ATL)

one of the Grantees who has not disposed of his interest would have brought evidence to show that nearly the whole concern belonged to him and so wd. have nicely sold Sutton. As it is however the case stands exactly as it did. Karaitiana protests against any of the back rent being paid and Sutton who holds authority from seven of the Grantees wants the money. They talk of taking it to the Supreme Court. In the case of Karauria, Rogan conditionally appointed his daughter to succeed buut reserved appointing her until he had referred to the Chief Judge - whether the sale of Tareha's interest did not bar the appointment of any successor. As Tareha in disposing of his share sold also one nineth of what was before Karauria's one tenth. At any rate nothing can be done and it will he best for you to tell Tareha to let you know whenever the girl is officially appointed as Sutton and others are sure to be down upon her as soon as she is - I think Sutton is sulky about the matter but his position is a very ticklish one and by no means safe. He and others do not like the Native Fraud Act a bit - an amusing thing in connection with that Act is - that

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English (ATL)

Wilson and the Russells (Henry and Purvis) claim the Bill as theirs - old Wilson the other day before me actually said it was their Bill.

Rogan did his Court business here very well I think, He is a long way the best of the Judges and I gather he and Fenton do not get on over well. Now a word or two about myself. Of course under the Disqualification Act I cease to draw any allowance when this Parliament is dissolved and I don't know how I can afford to go on without. I find on looking at my town account which I have kept entirely separate that there is a Balance of nearly £100 to credit on the past year - in other words that I have drawn from official sources. £100 more than expenses here. Against that of course there as all one's losses at the station and all the rest of it.

Last year's station account shewed me about £1,000 to the bad in the year and as I have before kept everything square this is of course the result of not looking after my business - the fact is a big concern like mine takes a great deal of management and losses must occur when it is not looked after. Of course if I go on working here I must expect to add the amount I have drawn from the Gen. Govt to my next year's account - that is. It will

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English (ATL)

cost me about £600 for the year to live in Napier and give my time to the Public. I am very loth to think of giving up the direction of things at a time like this when so much of our future depends upon how our affairs are managed and moreover if Road works and so on has to go on, on a large scale, I should enjoy directing it. But on the other hand I cant afford to get more in debt and between the two difficulties I dont see my way. However I will think it well over before I do anything and will hang on to the work as long as I can. One thing I am sure of and that is, Govt. would find that without an Agent here one Minister's time would be pretty well occupied with the work I do. I see what you tell me of my having been talked of in Cabinet in connection with the office of Minister of Public Works and will tell you candidly what I think about it. In the first place your Govt. has lost ground very much and every endeavour should be made to strengthen your position before next session, and with that view a Middle Island man of some weight shd. if possible be got. I dont know any one from the South now in the House who is fit for it, except John Hall, and he you could not get. Another reason why I shd. not do is I shd. not be palateable to the superintendents and again

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English (ATL)

I dont think I should get on with Vogel. Certainly I could not have put up with what you and Fox did last session and I am sure you both made a great mistake in allowing him to take so complete a lead as he did. It has done Fox more harm than you and placed him in quite a wrong position. I say all this without having the least feeling against Vogel - quite the contrary. I like Vogel much - but I don't think I could work with him. With the experience I have of Fox's extreme consideration for others. I cannot understand Vogel having had the bad taste to push himself in front of such a man. I cannot tell you half the nasty things that are said but it is unquestionable that all New Zealand looks on Vogel as the Govt. and so so far as I can judge it will operate very materially against you, however it is not a pleasant subject only it is best both you and Fox should know what is said. I see Gisborne is to do the work of the Public Works Depart. for a time. I think Fox would have done it much better. Gisborne has no experience at all in the practical work of the Depart: and cannot for that reason administrate it well. I feel quite sure you will have a regular row in the Cabinet when the Commissioners come back. I had a letter by the last mail from Levin who is constantly with Featherstone and Bell and I gather Vogel is their bete noir. I was very much astonished

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English (ATL)

at Moorehouse's appointment to the Registry Office and I cannot congratulate you upon it. If he is at all like what he is said to be, the new Act will have a poor chance under his administration. Really it is a good job your Govt. started strong or you could not stand many such mistakes as this.

Now let me see if I have any local news. The Daily paper is going on and will come out before long. Wood is fearfully jealous of it and very much afraid too. It will do him a great deal of harm as Sutton, Kennedy and others interested in the new Paper will of course give it their advertisements. The new paper is supposed to start with us but I scarcely expect two papers in so small a place as this can continue on the same side. Whitmore assured Wood that the whole thing was my contrivance to get rid of the Times and Whitmore's Articles and I am not quite sure Wood doesn't believe it. We are having a very wet spring and during the last week we have had very cold weather which has checked the growth of everything. My time has been fully taken up lately with native matters in connection with the seventy mile bush purchase. I am afraid Locke is not a good hand - he tries all he knows but he does not know how to work out his object. He is very good to quiet a case but when it comes to settling a difficult case or getting a result he is not up to it.

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English (ATL)

He never seems to get the correct measure of the Natives. In this Bush purchase case he thought it was all done and when difficulties were raised he was for dropping the whole thing at once. I dont know how we shall get on with it. We left off yesterday with Karaitiana proposing they should all return to their homes as we would not accept their terms. Kariatiana demands about £23,000 for what they offer which is about 200,000 acres. Our offer is about half that. I hear that sweep Purvis Russell advised the Natives to stick out for a long price as the Govt. were obliged - he told them - to buy and must give whatever they asked. What I regret is that the Block is so cut up. It is that makes it so difficult to deal with it. Locke says he could get it through the Court in no other way - at any rate this way has caused all the trouble. Another unsatisfactory point is the leaving out that Block at the head of the Wairarapa. I believe now the natives did that on purpose - in fact Karaitiana admitted as much to me. Of course the talk about the Railway has increased the difficulty of dealing for the land. Karaitiana and those who take his view think if they can keep back the land, the Railway will still be made and they reap the benefit. Another party the old Maori section are dis-inclined to sell

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English (ATL)

because they dread the Railway going there at all. Altogether it is by no means an easy purchase but I shall keep at it and do what I can as it is really a matter of great interest to all of us. From a Telegram of yours of yesterday I saw a Nelson surveyor was talked of for the survey of a line through the Bush. I am sending a long Road report down by this Mail and propose in it I shd. employ some one fromhere to do this end. Weber is I fancy doing very badly and would be glad of a job and he wd. be a very good man for exploring such a country. It will take a great deal of work to get the best line and will occupy a considerable time. The Nelson man might do the part on the West side of the Range and also the piece from Wairarapa to where the lines join in the Bush. Help to get this end for Weber please. He is a worthy fellow and very staunch to you. I have had lots to do since I returned and have large arrears to work up both Gen. Govt. and Provincial when I get it under a bit I want to see the different roads and have them put in order for the summer. I must now close for tonight. Always,


Yours very truly,
J. D. Ormond
Please tell Fox what I have said about Disqualification and also about Vogel. This R. M. must be moved - the man is simply a fool. They have taken no House yet and have given us a reason that He is constantly expecting to be moved to a Judgeship. Please ask Gisborne to promote his protegee as soon as possible. Perhaps the Chatham Islands might suit him. J. D. O.

English (ATL)

Napier,
September 25 - 1870


My dear McLean,

The Lord Ashley is expected in the morning so I will get ready so much of my letter to you. About the Elections I think both our Seats are safe and I do not believe anyone will attempt opposition. There is no necessity for any address from you until the dissolution - then you may as well send a short address if you are not able to come. Meantime I am seeing the people here and keeping things right. From your last letter I judge there is no certainty of your getting here for a few weeks as you expected. I have had several talks with Kinross about your Run matters and he told me he was communicating with you by Telegraph thereupon. I don't think he has done much. Master Karaitiana is at the bottom of all the trouble in the various blocks in which he has his name. Respecting Mangateretere it is regularly in Chancery. The Court could not subdivide it as it had been dealt with If the Court could, Karaitiana, who is the only one of the Grantees who has not disposed of his interest would have brought evidence to show that nearly the whole concern belonged to him and so wd. have nicely sold Sutton. As it is however the case stands exactly as it did. Karaitiana protests against any of the back rent being paid and Sutton who holds authority from seven of the Grantees wants the money. They talk of taking it to the Supreme Court. In the case of Karauria, Rogan conditionally appointed his daughter to succeed buut reserved appointing her until he had referred to the Chief Judge - whether the sale of Tareha's interest did not bar the appointment of any successor. As Tareha in disposing of his share sold also one nineth of what was before Karauria's one tenth. At any rate nothing can be done and it will he best for you to tell Tareha to let you know whenever the girl is officially appointed as Sutton and others are sure to be down upon her as soon as she is - I think Sutton is sulky about the matter but his position is a very ticklish one and by no means safe. He and others do not like the Native Fraud Act a bit - an amusing thing in connection with that Act is - that Wilson and the Russells (Henry and Purvis) claim the Bill as theirs - old Wilson the other day before me actually said it was their Bill.

Rogan did his Court business here very well I think, He is a long way the best of the Judges and I gather he and Fenton do not get on over well. Now a word or two about myself. Of course under the Disqualification Act I cease to draw any allowance when this Parliament is dissolved and I don't know how I can afford to go on without. I find on looking at my town account which I have kept entirely separate that there is a Balance of nearly £100 to credit on the past year - in other words that I have drawn from official sources. £100 more than expenses here. Against that of course there as all one's losses at the station and all the rest of it.

Last year's station account shewed me about £1,000 to the bad in the year and as I have before kept everything square this is of course the result of not looking after my business - the fact is a big concern like mine takes a great deal of management and losses must occur when it is not looked after. Of course if I go on working here I must expect to add the amount I have drawn from the Gen. Govt to my next year's account - that is. It will cost me about £600 for the year to live in Napier and give my time to the Public. I am very loth to think of giving up the direction of things at a time like this when so much of our future depends upon how our affairs are managed and moreover if Road works and so on has to go on, on a large scale, I should enjoy directing it. But on the other hand I cant afford to get more in debt and between the two difficulties I dont see my way. However I will think it well over before I do anything and will hang on to the work as long as I can. One thing I am sure of and that is, Govt. would find that without an Agent here one Minister's time would be pretty well occupied with the work I do. I see what you tell me of my having been talked of in Cabinet in connection with the office of Minister of Public Works and will tell you candidly what I think about it. In the first place your Govt. has lost ground very much and every endeavour should be made to strengthen your position before next session, and with that view a Middle Island man of some weight shd. if possible be got. I dont know any one from the South now in the House who is fit for it, except John Hall, and he you could not get. Another reason why I shd. not do is I shd. not be palateable to the superintendents and again I dont think I should get on with Vogel. Certainly I could not have put up with what you and Fox did last session and I am sure you both made a great mistake in allowing him to take so complete a lead as he did. It has done Fox more harm than you and placed him in quite a wrong position. I say all this without having the least feeling against Vogel - quite the contrary. I like Vogel much - but I don't think I could work with him. With the experience I have of Fox's extreme consideration for others. I cannot understand Vogel having had the bad taste to push himself in front of such a man. I cannot tell you half the nasty things that are said but it is unquestionable that all New Zealand looks on Vogel as the Govt. and so so far as I can judge it will operate very materially against you, however it is not a pleasant subject only it is best both you and Fox should know what is said. I see Gisborne is to do the work of the Public Works Depart. for a time. I think Fox would have done it much better. Gisborne has no experience at all in the practical work of the Depart: and cannot for that reason administrate it well. I feel quite sure you will have a regular row in the Cabinet when the Commissioners come back. I had a letter by the last mail from Levin who is constantly with Featherstone and Bell and I gather Vogel is their bete noir. I was very much astonished at Moorehouse's appointment to the Registry Office and I cannot congratulate you upon it. If he is at all like what he is said to be, the new Act will have a poor chance under his administration. Really it is a good job your Govt. started strong or you could not stand many such mistakes as this.

Now let me see if I have any local news. The Daily paper is going on and will come out before long. Wood is fearfully jealous of it and very much afraid too. It will do him a great deal of harm as Sutton, Kennedy and others interested in the new Paper will of course give it their advertisements. The new paper is supposed to start with us but I scarcely expect two papers in so small a place as this can continue on the same side. Whitmore assured Wood that the whole thing was my contrivance to get rid of the Times and Whitmore's Articles and I am not quite sure Wood doesn't believe it. We are having a very wet spring and during the last week we have had very cold weather which has checked the growth of everything. My time has been fully taken up lately with native matters in connection with the seventy mile bush purchase. I am afraid Locke is not a good hand - he tries all he knows but he does not know how to work out his object. He is very good to quiet a case but when it comes to settling a difficult case or getting a result he is not up to it. He never seems to get the correct measure of the Natives. In this Bush purchase case he thought it was all done and when difficulties were raised he was for dropping the whole thing at once. I dont know how we shall get on with it. We left off yesterday with Karaitiana proposing they should all return to their homes as we would not accept their terms. Kariatiana demands about £23,000 for what they offer which is about 200,000 acres. Our offer is about half that. I hear that sweep Purvis Russell advised the Natives to stick out for a long price as the Govt. were obliged - he told them - to buy and must give whatever they asked. What I regret is that the Block is so cut up. It is that makes it so difficult to deal with it. Locke says he could get it through the Court in no other way - at any rate this way has caused all the trouble. Another unsatisfactory point is the leaving out that Block at the head of the Wairarapa. I believe now the natives did that on purpose - in fact Karaitiana admitted as much to me. Of course the talk about the Railway has increased the difficulty of dealing for the land. Karaitiana and those who take his view think if they can keep back the land, the Railway will still be made and they reap the benefit. Another party the old Maori section are dis-inclined to sell because they dread the Railway going there at all. Altogether it is by no means an easy purchase but I shall keep at it and do what I can as it is really a matter of great interest to all of us. From a Telegram of yours of yesterday I saw a Nelson surveyor was talked of for the survey of a line through the Bush. I am sending a long Road report down by this Mail and propose in it I shd. employ some one fromhere to do this end. Weber is I fancy doing very badly and would be glad of a job and he wd. be a very good man for exploring such a country. It will take a great deal of work to get the best line and will occupy a considerable time. The Nelson man might do the part on the West side of the Range and also the piece from Wairarapa to where the lines join in the Bush. Help to get this end for Weber please. He is a worthy fellow and very staunch to you. I have had lots to do since I returned and have large arrears to work up both Gen. Govt. and Provincial when I get it under a bit I want to see the different roads and have them put in order for the summer. I must now close for tonight. Always,


Yours very truly,
J. D. Ormond
Please tell Fox what I have said about Disqualification and also about Vogel. This R. M. must be moved - the man is simply a fool. They have taken no House yet and have given us a reason that He is constantly expecting to be moved to a Judgeship. Please ask Gisborne to promote his protegee as soon as possible. Perhaps the Chatham Islands might suit him. J. D. O.

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0484 (67 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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