Object #1009437 from MS-Papers-0032-0319

4 pages written 10 Dec 1857 by William Halse in New Plymouth District to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - William Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0319 (28 digitised items). 28 letters addressed from New Plymouth & Taranaki

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

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English (ATL)

New Plymouth,
10 Decr., 1857


My dear McLean,

I told you that I would write to Cooke about the Chilman and itana business. I have just received his reply, and although the affair is long since concluded and probably out of your mind, yet as I promised to let you know the result I now copy it.

"You ask me what my impression about Witana's section is - of course I can have but one opinion namely that Chilman waited until I had left in order either to do Witana out of that land or get compensation for what he never deserved. He is a rascal as all the world knows I should think, and is supported by Tom King who ought to know better, but whose moral sense has been blunted by contact with his brother in law. I am certain that chilman never would have pressed his attempt at doing the natives unless he had been assured of my being quiet in England. It is so likely that I should have taken the trouble of spending £50 or £60 in draining that swamp, making a bank and hedge, and trying to induce the natives to lay it down in grass for the benefit of Mr.Chilman. You may be very

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English (ATL)

certain that I never had the slightest idea of any claim that Mr.Chilman now says he had on the land. The benefit I derived from the land was getting the use of the grass for one of my horses, for old Nga pehi's cow and calf and pony. The fact is that Chilman was brought up under Wicksteed, and we know that says everything - he is a sharp practitioner, look at his nose, it does stick out a trifle, though not a ad fellow if he is watched and kept at arm's length, but he will do you if you can".

We are all much gratified with the news of steam communication for New Zealand. If you want anything there is nothing like going to head quarters for it. The Colony is deeply indented to Mr. Sewell for this as well as the loan, for certainly we might not have had either but for his going home.

Everything is dull just now. Tis said the niggers are asking a few thousands more for the new block, and that Katatore is as avariciously disposed as any of them in the matter. Until the other day I have never cast eyes on him, and hope never to do so again. He and

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English (ATL)

I encountered each other rounding a corner in the town. He was rolling drunk and in charge of 2 natives who were dragging him homewards. Still the fellow recognized me, but before my name was well out of his mouth he was away. Drunkenness is a very growing vice with the natives, and I believe cannot be checked. The landlord and the native availing themselves of the many loopholes for escaping the law. Parris has mounted Katatore's flag staff at his house (Prout's lately occupied by Norris who has removed to his own place at the beach) - no ornament I assure you, though perhaps less out of place, if possible, than at the Land Office (Wharepa) where poor Rawiri, Taitera Paora and others were sunning themselves the day before they were murdered.

I find by a letter which the Colonial Treasurer has written to Mr.O. Carrington that he has been applying for payment of an account for survey and expenses at the Hua, and moreover has got it. The Government offices are strangely strict and loose at times. Mr.O. Carrington was at the time he performed this service the Government Surveyor

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English (ATL)

and if entitled to remuneration over and above his salary I fancy I should have been asked to certify to the correctness of the account - at least this is my notion of office routine, otherwise where's the check?

I was glad to hear from Rogan of his land purchasing in the north. You could not have a better man in your department and perhaps have not his equal in caution and efficiency. We hear nothing on the contrary of Parris' doings. Like the mole he may be working unseen, though I shrewdly suspect not. The natives, especially at Waitara, are on his books which may account for their offering land to him, throwing dust in his eyes I fear there as well as in other places, What I have said is nothing against his fitness which I think he has shewn by tackling Katatore in the first instance. The natives hereabouts openly express their dislike and contempt for us, and who cognizant of our treatment of them since FitzRoy of unhappy memory set foot in the country can wonder at it. Many are Sepoys at heart, and would turn on us with a slight pretext. Our only hope is in buying their land and occupying it wherever they may offer it, lessening the disproportion of races and enabling us to govern them as we are governed.


Yours very truly
W. Halse

English (ATL)

New Plymouth,
10 Decr., 1857


My dear McLean,

I told you that I would write to Cooke about the Chilman and itana business. I have just received his reply, and although the affair is long since concluded and probably out of your mind, yet as I promised to let you know the result I now copy it.

"You ask me what my impression about Witana's section is - of course I can have but one opinion namely that Chilman waited until I had left in order either to do Witana out of that land or get compensation for what he never deserved. He is a rascal as all the world knows I should think, and is supported by Tom King who ought to know better, but whose moral sense has been blunted by contact with his brother in law. I am certain that chilman never would have pressed his attempt at doing the natives unless he had been assured of my being quiet in England. It is so likely that I should have taken the trouble of spending £50 or £60 in draining that swamp, making a bank and hedge, and trying to induce the natives to lay it down in grass for the benefit of Mr.Chilman. You may be very certain that I never had the slightest idea of any claim that Mr.Chilman now says he had on the land. The benefit I derived from the land was getting the use of the grass for one of my horses, for old Nga pehi's cow and calf and pony. The fact is that Chilman was brought up under Wicksteed, and we know that says everything - he is a sharp practitioner, look at his nose, it does stick out a trifle, though not a ad fellow if he is watched and kept at arm's length, but he will do you if you can".

We are all much gratified with the news of steam communication for New Zealand. If you want anything there is nothing like going to head quarters for it. The Colony is deeply indented to Mr. Sewell for this as well as the loan, for certainly we might not have had either but for his going home.

Everything is dull just now. Tis said the niggers are asking a few thousands more for the new block, and that Katatore is as avariciously disposed as any of them in the matter. Until the other day I have never cast eyes on him, and hope never to do so again. He and I encountered each other rounding a corner in the town. He was rolling drunk and in charge of 2 natives who were dragging him homewards. Still the fellow recognized me, but before my name was well out of his mouth he was away. Drunkenness is a very growing vice with the natives, and I believe cannot be checked. The landlord and the native availing themselves of the many loopholes for escaping the law. Parris has mounted Katatore's flag staff at his house (Prout's lately occupied by Norris who has removed to his own place at the beach) - no ornament I assure you, though perhaps less out of place, if possible, than at the Land Office (Wharepa) where poor Rawiri, Taitera Paora and others were sunning themselves the day before they were murdered.

I find by a letter which the Colonial Treasurer has written to Mr.O. Carrington that he has been applying for payment of an account for survey and expenses at the Hua, and moreover has got it. The Government offices are strangely strict and loose at times. Mr.O. Carrington was at the time he performed this service the Government Surveyor and if entitled to remuneration over and above his salary I fancy I should have been asked to certify to the correctness of the account - at least this is my notion of office routine, otherwise where's the check?

I was glad to hear from Rogan of his land purchasing in the north. You could not have a better man in your department and perhaps have not his equal in caution and efficiency. We hear nothing on the contrary of Parris' doings. Like the mole he may be working unseen, though I shrewdly suspect not. The natives, especially at Waitara, are on his books which may account for their offering land to him, throwing dust in his eyes I fear there as well as in other places, What I have said is nothing against his fitness which I think he has shewn by tackling Katatore in the first instance. The natives hereabouts openly express their dislike and contempt for us, and who cognizant of our treatment of them since FitzRoy of unhappy memory set foot in the country can wonder at it. Many are Sepoys at heart, and would turn on us with a slight pretext. Our only hope is in buying their land and occupying it wherever they may offer it, lessening the disproportion of races and enabling us to govern them as we are governed.


Yours very truly
W. Halse

Part of:
Inward letters - William Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0319 (28 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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