Letter from W. Halse,
to Donald McLean,
dated 22nd. July 1854.
22nd. July 1854.
My dear McLean,
I send you a Gazette of Saturday last; where you will see the Hua purchase announced for selection, --- excluding a Public Reserve of 60 acres or so, on the Devon line, proposed by the Superintendent. There are about 750 acres to give out, between the boundaries, at present decided on by the natives. The Superintendent agreed with us as to the propriety of giving out this land, without waiting for the remainder of the Block. It prevents Natives' claims to it and enables Government to place so much land (small as the quantity is), in the hands of the settlers. The Superintendent took with him to Auckland, a tracing of the Hua Block, between the river and the sea; so you will fully understand the state of matters which, on the whole, are satisfactory. I believe that Cooper has made the best possible arrangement practicable, as regards the open country. You have been told that W. Hulke endeavoured to induce the natives to take the whole
of the fern land, but was foiled by Cooper's appeal to Raniera's Chieftianship, which induced him to abide by his word to share the open land with the Europeans.
Will you send down authority for paying Rogan for Mokau services? I ask it because I have paid him £50 on account, nearly £30 for native labour; which I cannot charge. I am that amount deficient.
Schnackenberg is in town. His natives, including Rawiri (Achilles) are in my stable, which has been removed to land between Whare-pu and my brother's shed. They are in great dread of the measles, which have attacked the Waitara, Waiongana, but not fatally.
Touching Mokau, I hope you will take advantage of our Superintendent's presence in Auckland, and get the Northern boundary of this province extended to take in present, and any future purchases in Mokau direction. Kawhia would be a reasonable boundary, being our Northern point, and frequently our Port in stormy weather. The present Meeting of Superintendents would be a most excellent time for bringing this question forward, on behalf of a settlement 14 years old, yet possessing only 60,000 acres. We are not entitled to it, and can only ask it as a favour, owing to our very straitened circumstances. So bear this in mind for us; and concert measures at once with Brown, for accomplishing
a grant for Taranaki, without loss or cost to the Auckland Province.
There was a Meeting convened for last evening, (but I have not heard any particulars) connected with the Wynyard National. I am greatly puzzled as to my course. Bell recommended me to join. Still, my feelings are against doing so, being an Official. I observe W. Kemp's name in the Managing list; and fancy the measure has your concurrence. Will you advise me? I do not want to belong to any party, and can only wish to act right in this, as in other matters. Ritchie has just come in, and reports that the meeting was confined to the subscribers to the advertisement in Wednesday's "Herald"; and at present has occasioned little interest in this place.
By this time I hope that our "begging letters" have been favourably received. I intended, by this post, sending a requisition for firewood, which has risen from 4/- to 8/- the load. Throughout, I have found the office from my own stock; which, in principle, is unnecessary and expensive. The "Camilla" will sail to-day for Melbourne, with produce. Our Winter is superlatively fine, --- like our Summer. Remember me to Brown.
Yours very truly
To:- Donald McLean.