Object #1008121 from MS-Papers-0032-0314

6 pages written 3 Nov 1856 by Henry Halse in New Plymouth District to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Henry Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0314 (32 digitised items). 33 letters written from New Plymouth. Includes copy of letter in Maori from Hakopa [?], Taumata Pa, 1856

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

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English (ATL)

New Plymouth
Nov. 3, 1856

My dear Sir,

On Saturday last between 5 and 4 p.m. I received a summons from the Speaker to appear before a special committee of the Provincial Council this day at one o'clock to give evidence and to produce any documents in my possession with respect to alienations of land made without the authority of law. Great efforts have been made by a few bad spirits, readily aided by a smart kai ruri whenua, to scrape together cases of the above description with a view to your discomfiture. The Kawau pa which shuts up Currie Street and more than half of Gill Street is loudly complained of, the onus of which is attempted to be thrown upon you and my brother because he happened to be a witness and Comr. of Crown Lands. It is perfectly well known that the pa in question was given to the natives by Mr. Wicksteed, the then Company's Agent in exchange for their pa in Brougham Street and could not be withdrawn. With regard to Gill Street, at least that portion of it not included in the reserve, I am still endeavouring to get it thrown open and have every hope of success if not interfered with.

I mentioned to you in a private mote by the steamer that it was rumoured amongst natives that W. Kingi was at last in favor of selling Waitara the circumstance was soon known to some Europeans who must meddle with everything and eager enquiries were accordingly made at Waitara, sufficient to cause the natives to demur and probably abandon the intention if it really existed.

On Friday last, Heni, wife of W. Kingi, of Waitara, escorted by a party of 20 natives, visited Ihaia te Kirikumara at the Ikamoana. After the usual tangi and a good dinner, they were capital friends, talked of their respective deeds of valour during the last 2 years and returned to Waitara. This step is regarded as a genuine peace making by the natives and owes its origin to Hone's bold visit to the pa of Katatore, mentioned in a previous letter to you. In a short time I expect to see W. Kingi in Town and to hear of other visits to the Kaipakopako previous to a general settlement of this tedious and harassing business. I am aware that I stand alone in this opinion and not without diffidence against the judgment of so experienced a person as Mr. Whiteley, a short time however will prove whether I am right or wrong and in case of the former I trust the laurel will be awarded to the right person - Hone Ropiha. My only anxiety is, as to what arrangements the natives will come to about the land and even that is removed to a certain extent under an impression that divisions will be made to be retained or sold as the owners think proper. Should such an arrangement be made the sale of one block will be extended to another until the whole of it falls into the hands of Govt.

I am expecting Hone Ropiha and Henere Puni in this morng. to see if anything definite can be done with the land disputed in the Waiwakaiho Block. I believe a little firmness would induce Henere to accept the offer already made to him by your direction, which is really a most liberal and valuable one. The appointment was made on Saty. with Hone Ropiha previous to the receipt of the Summons from the Speaker of the P. Council.

Several of our settlers left in the steamer for Auckland and more talk of following - one little purchase of land however will more than fill the vacancies occasioned by the bad times.

Hoping you are well, believe me Faithfully yours
H. Halse
To:- McLean Esq.

P. S. Hone true to his promise went to Katere yesterday and had a long korero with Henere Puni and his people about the land in dispute without however any satisfactory result. Henere remains as before as stubborn as an ass, declares with all native pride and bombast that the land seaward of the Devon Road was not freely given to him by the Kawana, but extracted from the Kawana to soften his pakeketanga. Henere goes further and actually talks of fencing in the inland side of the Devon Road under the conviction that he will be allowed to do so by the Governor. Now comes the question. Does Henere need the curb? I think there can be no doubt about it, and the sooner it is applied the better. I will therefore suggest that a letter be written to him to this effect that unless he at once accepts the offer of land made to him for himself and his people iz. 300 acres seaward of the Devon Road and 50 acres to be selected near Whakatanaki (where he is cultivating) the above quantity will be reduced. Hone Ropiha, no mean authority in these matters approves of such a course, and adds that so long as Henere is suffered to act with impunity so long shall we have trouble with him and the natives here generally. I am convinced that we may look in vain for further acquisitions of land unless Henere is brought to his senses and I know that his prolonged opposition is a matter of wonder to the natives generally from whom he could not get any support if support were wanted. It is the precedent I fear as natives are apt to take advantage of it.

My brother is not able to write by this post as intended, he gave his evidence in Chilman's case last week and satisfied some of the committee of the rottenness of the claim. I would however recommend that copies of documentary evidence be applied for in case the brother in law suppresses portions to suit his purpose.

I enclose a letter in original from Hone Utuhia which is very gratifying, and I intend to look up a party of volunteers who understand the work of moving a house and hope to have the road in question open before this letter reaches its destination.

A party of natives headed by Karipa proceeded this morng. to the Paraiti pa, to cry over Pumipi's shadow previous to his dissolution - his end is so near that the party fired several rounds as they approached the pa - This is another important step towards a general peace making, at least so it appears to me.

Pray remember me to Rogan and excuse haste


We expect the steamer about Saty.next with Col. Wynyard on his annual inspection.

Part of:
Inward letters - Henry Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0314 (32 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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