April 3rd. 1854.
My dear McLean,
I am very glad to learn from your letter that you approve of what has been done about the Waiongana business. Since I wrote I have not done anything to stir up the mud, thinking it better to leave them a little to themselves. The consequence is that I have no news to send you by this Post, except that the hearts of the pakeke are gradually softening, and on the return of Aperahama's party none of the magnificent threats were carried into effect, and the general opinion amongst the natives is that they will soon be of one mind. All agree that Whiteley's word is noa and that Mahau is only seeeking a decent excuse for coming round. In the meantime I take every opportunity of giving them a piece of good advice, which I find is much more graciously listened to, and seems to produce more effect than was the case a few months ago. I find that I have led you into a mistake as to the size of this block, by sending only a part of the plan. If you look at it again you will see that it only shows the part lying between the rivers, and a portion of the continuation inland, sufficient to show the average breadth: but it goes right in to the parirau of the mountain, and is estimated to contain from 8 to 10,000 acres. So the price will not be so very extravagant if they will accept it --- but I suspect they will try for more.
I am glad you have succeeded in obtaining Takerei's
land for so reasonable a price. I must explain about the £2,000, for what they told you Is both right and wrong. When I was there in Oct. 1852, I told Takerei that I would not accept the piece he offered (and which you have now bought) on any terms --- but if he would extend the boundary to Mangaharakeke, then I would ask the Governor to let him have £2,000 in four instalments, the 1st. to himself, 2nd. to Ngatirarua in Nelson, 3rd. to himself, and last to be divided by him and myself amongst such claimants as might turn up including Ngatiawa. He said he could not accept this offer, as the people inland opposed it, and I left him on the understanding that I would not accept his land as offered, but that the decision should rest with the Governor who eventually refused it. But I never said a word about £2000 for the land you have bought.
Hone Ropiha has been with me this mornihg about this affair, and he was much vexed when he heard that nothing had been reserved for the claimants hereabouts. He said I must write to you to divide the £30 for Ngatirarua into halves and give him one £15 for his tamariki, and that in all new purchases he must have his share. I told him I had nothing to do in the matter and must fefer him to Takerei.
Skipper on his return brought me a message from Wetini saying that he was desirous to sell the land between Mokau and Mohakatino. By Hone Ropiha's advice I wrote to accept the offer, sending at the same time to Rogan to ask him to see Wetini and find out all particulars as to opposition
if any, inland, boundary, extent of the Block, etc. etc. I said at the same time that I did not know whether you had instructed him to negotiate; hut if you had, I would of course hand over this affair to him, and help him with the Natives hereabouts --- but I asked him at all events to give me the information that I might know what to tell enquirers in this part. I think if that block can be obtained it will be a good thing, partly because it lies within the N.P. boundary, and also because it breaks into a valuable and desirahle district.
W. Carrington's prospects are daily improving. He called here the other day and said the only really obstinate man was Parenga. He is now going for a trip to the Southward to let the leaven work by itself for a while, whilst he ascertains the sentiments of the Southrons. He seems as far as I can learn to be working well.
Old Mohi's business begins to look like making a break at Warea. I have explained it fully to Carington that he may make what he can of it if he sees a chance whilst in that direction. Nepe of Huirangi, has been down at Warea and has been fool enough to take a gun, £4 and some pounamu ornaments in payment. I have told him that he was very wrong to take these things --- that if the woman had been sent back and the goods as payment with her; then it would have been for Mohi to say whether he would accept them or not. But that either the woman or the land must come to town. The affair
has made a great stir, and the Patukai are regularly frightened, knowing Moses to be in the right. The goods are to be sent hack immediately.
The survey of the Hua Block is progressing well. Carrington has finished the reserves and is now engaged in laying down the main lines of road, after which the lands to be purchased by the Natives will be marked off.
I have prepared part of the draft of a memorandum respecting the Department, but cannot finish it in time for this post. I will send it and the accounts by the following mail, by which but little time will be lost as you are not very likely to reach Auckland before that time.
Remember me very kindly to the Whiteleys and Mitfords, also to McKeller and Russell.
My mother and sister send their kind regards. The old man sends his faithful duty and affectibn, but is too busy (lazy) to write.
Always faithfully yours,
G. S. Cooper.
Will you be kind enough to send the enclosed letter by first opportunity.