Object #1007016 from MS-Papers-0032-0484

7 pages written 18 Nov 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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Page 1 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

Napier
Novr. 18th, 1870


My dear McLean

The Telegraph keeps you so thoroughly acquainted with what I am doing that there is not a great deal to write about except on matters not desirable to Telegraph -

I wrote you pretty fully last time about Mangateretere but I am not quite sure that I advised you rightly respecting what I consider your position in that matter. I had just seen Hart about it and perhaps sided with his view more than I do in further consideration. Hart's opinion is that you should get out of it and sacrifice everything - he seemed surprised when I said at least you shd. keep the tenth you had bought as some return for your outlay - On thinking it well over I make out the position as follows. There is three years rent owing or £1350. You will no doubt have to pay that, as if assignment be made to Williams and A. McLean they could not pay and you could not escape from that liability.

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English (ATL)

So far then you will have to pay £1350 and you have a tenth of the Block worth say £500 to £700 - In addition to this however you have found the money for all the improvements and at the same time your sheep and stock have had the chief use of the farm - It is difficult to estimate what that has been worth but clearly you have to pay £1350 for it. On thinking it over it has struck me as quite possible that a party might be found ready to take over the whole thing and in consideration of the improvements (for which you have paid) relieve you of the claim for rent and perhaps also allow Mr.Williams something for his labor during the three years - or it is possible he might find some one with money ready to go in with him -Sutton even might be inclined to deal and give a release for the Rent due to parties he represents - At any rate I consider you ought to get out of the concern on better times than Hart thinks, or than I thought before I gave the matter full consideration. When I hear your notions about the affair after you have seen this, I will see what can be done. In any settlement such as I recommend you would have to give up Tareha's share but then I think you ought to get out without losson the whole concern -

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English (ATL)

I am very vexed at Instructions that have been given Weber about the line through the Bush - upsetting all I had been authorised to do - and displaying as I think lamentable ignorance of the country - such as I cannot conceive in a practical man after a casual enquiry - However I am very little astonished and feel certain the Public Works Department will go on making messes until you get a practical Minister at the head of it - Gisborne is an admirable Colonial Secretary but as little competent for the Public Works as any one you could have found - I find from letters from southern men that this is the general opinion - and also there is considerable dissatisfaction that Govt. have not sent for able Engineers from America and England - There was a distinct pledge to the House that that wd. be done and it will be well to act upon it - However what I am vexed at is, that Weber is instructed to explore Lines that are impracticable - One on the east side of Puketoi range - the other between Manawatu river and Puketoi - the first is simply ridiculous - the country to the east of Puketoi is as broken as any country in N.Zealand

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English (ATL)

and moreover such a line wd. necessarily leave all the good part of the seventy mile Bush, which according to our theory is to pay for the Railroad - It would also necessitate crossing over Puketoi range to effect a junction with the West Coast Manawatu line - For the life of me I cannot conceive how such a notion could get into anybody's head - I know the country well and have looked over it many a time - The second proposal of a line on the West side of the Puketoi range is much less silly - But a line there would pass through a much more broken and hilly country and would not open anything like as fine a district whilst there is no object in going there. So much for the lines - The next part of the instructions I strongly object to is - that Weber is directed to lay out the line not with a view to its being used for a Railway line but only as a road the words used are "only to a small extent" and as gradients of 1 in 13 are named a very indifferent road too - Now my opinion is that if these instructions are to be acted on it is better to postpone all work in the 70 mile Bush until the Assembly has settled the guestion of the Railway - for to fell a line of road through that forrest for some 35 miles (which is about the distance to the Gorge of Rua Tanewha) and as soon as that was done to arrange for a Railway and have to fell another 35 miles seems to me

Page 5 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

a most silly proceeding, and important as I think the West Coast road to be I wd. much rather see the whole thing stopped than carried out in such a style - I was taking great interest in the work and have spared no trouble in connection with it and am awfully vexed at this termination of it. I conclude similar instructions have been sent to Stewart. I should not think Fox would approve of them any more than I do. The cost of opening the road on a line that wd. eventually be useful as a Railway would not over the level part of the Bush be much in excess of an ordinary road and the money wd. all be well spent - In the Gorge of course the difference of cost wd. be considerable. Do please have the matter remedied I have told Weber to go on surveying the Line through Tamaki until the whole question has been further considered - I shd. like Fox to know about it -

The Taupo Roads are going on all right and as I telegraphed you this afternoon I have sent Mr.Bold to lay off the line on this side of Rotorua - The Ngati Whaka-ue and Tuhourangi applied for employment

Page 6 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

and as I know there is no difficulty about that part of the line I thought it best to start the work at once. We shall now be working from both ends towards Niho o te kiore where there is a piece of about five miles where the ownership is disputed by Ngatiraukawa - I believe we shall have them at work at the middle before the ends are finished - Can you not start the Tauranga road. It would be a grand thing to get the line completed through to Tauranga from Taupo -

The Poverty Bay roads I shall set going if I go in the Luna on her next trip - it will depend on chances of return I could not go unless I can see my way to getting back. I only propose to employ Bousfield to lay out the Mahia to Murenui road and the Reinga road - for the first I wd. give him abt. £50 for laying out and overlooking and something a little more for the other -For the Ngatiporou roads which you wish taken in hand I must make enquiries and see what wants doing I believe in a back line joining Poverty Bay to Opotiki as very important politically. The Ngatiporou roads wd. of course be only coast lines and the main object wd. be the employment of the people

Page 7 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

on something else besides fighting - and a very wise step it seems to me -

The Post through to Tauranga will be started by the 12th of next month. It will leave here every other Monday at noon and be at Tauranga on the Saturday evening - Return mail will leave Tauranga on Monday the 19th Decr. and arrive here on the following Saturday and so on - The whole cost will be £276 a year - Napier to Taupo £126 - Taupo to Tauranga £150 - There were 21 tenders for this end of the line and a number for the other. The Constabulary officers grumble that fortnightly post is not sufficient I should think it ample for all their requirements - The Post now carried by them from Napier to Taupo costs £800 a year at a very low estimate -

The season here still keeps most beautiful the Plains are covered with feed which is rotting by thousands of tons the stock being quite insufficient to keep it down - I must close it is very late -


Yours very truly
J. D. Ormond

I have sent copy my letter to Gisborne re Blackett's instructions. J.D. O.

English (ATL)

Napier
Novr. 18th, 1870


My dear McLean

The Telegraph keeps you so thoroughly acquainted with what I am doing that there is not a great deal to write about except on matters not desirable to Telegraph -

I wrote you pretty fully last time about Mangateretere but I am not quite sure that I advised you rightly respecting what I consider your position in that matter. I had just seen Hart about it and perhaps sided with his view more than I do in further consideration. Hart's opinion is that you should get out of it and sacrifice everything - he seemed surprised when I said at least you shd. keep the tenth you had bought as some return for your outlay - On thinking it well over I make out the position as follows. There is three years rent owing or £1350. You will no doubt have to pay that, as if assignment be made to Williams and A. McLean they could not pay and you could not escape from that liability. So far then you will have to pay £1350 and you have a tenth of the Block worth say £500 to £700 - In addition to this however you have found the money for all the improvements and at the same time your sheep and stock have had the chief use of the farm - It is difficult to estimate what that has been worth but clearly you have to pay £1350 for it. On thinking it over it has struck me as quite possible that a party might be found ready to take over the whole thing and in consideration of the improvements (for which you have paid) relieve you of the claim for rent and perhaps also allow Mr.Williams something for his labor during the three years - or it is possible he might find some one with money ready to go in with him -Sutton even might be inclined to deal and give a release for the Rent due to parties he represents - At any rate I consider you ought to get out of the concern on better times than Hart thinks, or than I thought before I gave the matter full consideration. When I hear your notions about the affair after you have seen this, I will see what can be done. In any settlement such as I recommend you would have to give up Tareha's share but then I think you ought to get out without losson the whole concern - I am very vexed at Instructions that have been given Weber about the line through the Bush - upsetting all I had been authorised to do - and displaying as I think lamentable ignorance of the country - such as I cannot conceive in a practical man after a casual enquiry - However I am very little astonished and feel certain the Public Works Department will go on making messes until you get a practical Minister at the head of it - Gisborne is an admirable Colonial Secretary but as little competent for the Public Works as any one you could have found - I find from letters from southern men that this is the general opinion - and also there is considerable dissatisfaction that Govt. have not sent for able Engineers from America and England - There was a distinct pledge to the House that that wd. be done and it will be well to act upon it - However what I am vexed at is, that Weber is instructed to explore Lines that are impracticable - One on the east side of Puketoi range - the other between Manawatu river and Puketoi - the first is simply ridiculous - the country to the east of Puketoi is as broken as any country in N.Zealand and moreover such a line wd. necessarily leave all the good part of the seventy mile Bush, which according to our theory is to pay for the Railroad - It would also necessitate crossing over Puketoi range to effect a junction with the West Coast Manawatu line - For the life of me I cannot conceive how such a notion could get into anybody's head - I know the country well and have looked over it many a time - The second proposal of a line on the West side of the Puketoi range is much less silly - But a line there would pass through a much more broken and hilly country and would not open anything like as fine a district whilst there is no object in going there. So much for the lines - The next part of the instructions I strongly object to is - that Weber is directed to lay out the line not with a view to its being used for a Railway line but only as a road the words used are "only to a small extent" and as gradients of 1 in 13 are named a very indifferent road too - Now my opinion is that if these instructions are to be acted on it is better to postpone all work in the 70 mile Bush until the Assembly has settled the guestion of the Railway - for to fell a line of road through that forrest for some 35 miles (which is about the distance to the Gorge of Rua Tanewha) and as soon as that was done to arrange for a Railway and have to fell another 35 miles seems to me a most silly proceeding, and important as I think the West Coast road to be I wd. much rather see the whole thing stopped than carried out in such a style - I was taking great interest in the work and have spared no trouble in connection with it and am awfully vexed at this termination of it. I conclude similar instructions have been sent to Stewart. I should not think Fox would approve of them any more than I do. The cost of opening the road on a line that wd. eventually be useful as a Railway would not over the level part of the Bush be much in excess of an ordinary road and the money wd. all be well spent - In the Gorge of course the difference of cost wd. be considerable. Do please have the matter remedied I have told Weber to go on surveying the Line through Tamaki until the whole question has been further considered - I shd. like Fox to know about it -

The Taupo Roads are going on all right and as I telegraphed you this afternoon I have sent Mr.Bold to lay off the line on this side of Rotorua - The Ngati Whaka-ue and Tuhourangi applied for employment and as I know there is no difficulty about that part of the line I thought it best to start the work at once. We shall now be working from both ends towards Niho o te kiore where there is a piece of about five miles where the ownership is disputed by Ngatiraukawa - I believe we shall have them at work at the middle before the ends are finished - Can you not start the Tauranga road. It would be a grand thing to get the line completed through to Tauranga from Taupo -

The Poverty Bay roads I shall set going if I go in the Luna on her next trip - it will depend on chances of return I could not go unless I can see my way to getting back. I only propose to employ Bousfield to lay out the Mahia to Murenui road and the Reinga road - for the first I wd. give him abt. £50 for laying out and overlooking and something a little more for the other -For the Ngatiporou roads which you wish taken in hand I must make enquiries and see what wants doing I believe in a back line joining Poverty Bay to Opotiki as very important politically. The Ngatiporou roads wd. of course be only coast lines and the main object wd. be the employment of the people on something else besides fighting - and a very wise step it seems to me -

The Post through to Tauranga will be started by the 12th of next month. It will leave here every other Monday at noon and be at Tauranga on the Saturday evening - Return mail will leave Tauranga on Monday the 19th Decr. and arrive here on the following Saturday and so on - The whole cost will be £276 a year - Napier to Taupo £126 - Taupo to Tauranga £150 - There were 21 tenders for this end of the line and a number for the other. The Constabulary officers grumble that fortnightly post is not sufficient I should think it ample for all their requirements - The Post now carried by them from Napier to Taupo costs £800 a year at a very low estimate -

The season here still keeps most beautiful the Plains are covered with feed which is rotting by thousands of tons the stock being quite insufficient to keep it down - I must close it is very late -


Yours very truly
J. D. Ormond

I have sent copy my letter to Gisborne re Blackett's instructions. 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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