9 Decr., 1854.
My dear McLean,
By this overland Mail I send you copies of Three official letters, which I thought you would like to see as soon as you could. I am not aware of any thing very important to say to you, excepting that we find our hands quite full. Capt.Russell has been going on with his surveys, but I dont think he has reported any as complete to the Surveyor General. Mr. Whites services have been required by the Govt. from time to time, in pointing out and settling boundaries of some of their old purchases. The Waiuku business is progressing nicely. And I think a very little more money will be required to settle it entirely. Some little difference has arisen among the natives themselves about the division of the money and propose selling one or two of the Reserves which I have not encouraged, and have simply deferred the matter until your return. Katipa has applied for £50 more, leaving £400 which I think I shall advance to the old savage. They have bought John Hibbs' Canoe for £460 I paid old Wherowhero a visit the other day upon Major Nugent's recommendation prior to entering upon the Orakei business. Since then I have been on the ground, with a Surveyor and the block is estimated at 550 acres.
Today I offered the Natives £1100 for it which they forthwith declined --- perhaps they may yet come round --- they
said that they had asked you £5000. I told Kene that I would pay the whole of the money down at once. This wd. be at the rate of about 45/s per acre. It is said that the block would realize £30,000. I am afraid of prejudicing other purchases or I would have offered £1500, as it is I think, if the Natives would propose that sum or something like it, and the Govt. would approve, it might I think be safely paid as the land is so near to the Town. 2 or 3 days will tell how they feel disposed. We have had lots of Interviews from Natives at a distance but with claims of a very doubtful nature, and I have therefore been very cautious in dealing with them. Tarapipi of Matamata has been here Waharoa's son, who is not disposed to sell. Pororua, a nephew of Hongi Hika, has come down expressly about Mr. White's purchase at Oruru. The Colonel has stopped the survey in consequence.
The Report of the Select Committee is not yet made public. Every body is now impressed with the belief that a very strong Staff is required of suitable men, and they are moreover anxious for it. I believe the Province would spare no expense as far as they are concerned. The people look upon the present Staff as weak and ineffective --- unable to grapple with the work. We quite agree with them. I am not as yet aware of the precise system the Provincial Council intend recommending for future purchases in the Province.
We have had miserable weather here --- Rain, Rain --- is now raining Much against the Hay Crops.
I send you a copy of a Despatch in reply to yours
as to the Form of drawing up Deeds --- It is a curious production. This makes 4 Despatches --- Johnson is going on, but how to forward the money I know not should the Govt. approve of his arrangements, which I think is a little doubtful. I think the Govt. wish purchases to be made unconditionally --- a party of the Tawera tribe living near Wangarei have applied thro Johnson to purchase 400 acres at 10/- Crown Grant.
I dont think of any more at present. McInnes is well.
Kind regards to Strang, Rusell Cooper and your little son.
I don't expect you this time in the Steamer, and therefore shall continue to send by opportunities as they offer.
H. T. Kemp.
D. McLean, Esqr.
P. S. Mr. Tinline has returned from Mapaere Bay and I am sorry to say has not succeeded in overcoming the most difficult questions. I have not received his report yet but in conversing with him he states that he is quite clear the tribe that is most urgent (the Ngatitama) was not settled
with after Mr. Spains award, it is however rather a difficult question now as they are most exorbitant in their demands and any sum they receive greater than what was then paid to the other Tribes will cause jealousy, the Natives belonging to the Ngatitama Tribe are over here to see McLean about some claim they have at Taranaki and in settling this claim an opportunity may be afforded of arranging about the Mapuere Bay question. H. R.
From Major Richmond to Col. Browne,
Recd, 21 Decr.
Inward letters - H T Kemp, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0368 (47 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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