Object #1007540 from MS-Papers-0032-0046

4 pages written 1 May 1872 by an unknown author in Auckland Region to Auckland Region

From: Minister of Colonial Defence - Administration of colonial defence, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0046 (32 digitised items). No Item Description

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

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English (ATL)


1st May 1872

The Hon. The Defence Minister.

The charges preferred in the papers referred to are three in number.

I take them from Mr. Middlemas's letter dated 16th January 1872 in preference to those upon the face of the proceedings which do not appear to me quite correctly stated.

1st Charge.

Major Noakes is charged with Putting on pay a man named John Collins - returning him as doing duty at Hawera - and certifying in the acquittance Rolls that he was so employed, - whereas he never did an hours duty at Hawera, but during all the time he was on pay, was simply Major Noake's Dairyman and general servant in Patea.


Collins the man in question says "I was not present at Hawera during said three months (May to August) I was in the town of Carlisle - I was on Military pay for doing work for him (Major Noakes) - I cleaned Major Noakes boots, cut wood, and milked his cows morning and evening".

This evidence is not called in question by Major Noakes although the Acquittance Rolls for May and June 1871 shew Collins as being at Hawera, and Major Noakes certifies that "the persons named in those Rolls were employed in the situation and during the periods specified opposite to the name of each respectively".

Collins appears it is true to have been also employed in putting up a fence round a paddock occupied by Major Noakes (and which I infer was Government property) but notwithstanding this I think the charge must be considered as proved.

2nd Charge.

That being appointed to apportion the advance made by Government to the Patea Settlers for losses sustained during the War, he recommended himself for an advance of Three hundred pounds estimating his loss at £1000 - whereas it was some time after the war was over before he owned either as Freeholder of Leaseholder a single acre in the Patea District.

As Mr. Middlemas doesnot offer any evidence in support of this charge beyond Major Noakes's original application in which Major Noakes asserts (and repeats in his evidence) that he was at the time of application possessed of property in the Patea District, which Mr. Middlemas does not by cross examination or in any other way attempt to controvert, I think that this charge as it stands must be considered as disproved. But I do not consider that the circumstances stated in his evidence by Major Noakes justified his application. 3rd Charge.

That at the time of the Meeting at Parakia Major Noake ordered the A. C. Force at Waihi to work on Sundays until the Block-house was perfectly defensible, but at the same time kept a portion of the Force employed cutting posts and rails for his private property at Kakaramea and had them carted there by the Government dray. Evidence.

There is no evidence to shew that Major Noake had any fencing cut for his own private use - He admits that he borrowed some small quantity of that cut for Government purposes, which he returned, and that he drayed it by the Government Dray, which I infer would otherwise have returned empty. Opinion.

The gravamen of this charge appears to be without foundation, and I consider it therefore disproved - but the borrowing by a public officer of Government property under his charge - returning it at his own discretion, and taking a receipt for it 12 months after the transaction (as shewn by the accompanying papers) is certainly an irregular proceeding.

The perusal of these papers conveys the feeling that there has been a serious dereliction from duty on the part of Major Noakes and a very vindictive feeling towards him on the part of some of his subordinate officers -

I think it very desirable that the Returns stated to have been ordered by Colonel Harrington (shewing the actual employment of every man on pay) should be insisted upon and carefully verified from time to time.

H. R. Russell. Auckland
1st May 1872

Part of:
Minister of Colonial Defence - Administration of colonial defence, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0046 (32 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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