Object #1011175 from MS-Papers-0032-0636
8 pages written 1 Nov 1863 by John Wilkinson to Sir Donald McLean
From: Inward letters - Surnames, Why - Wil, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0636 (55 digitised items).
Correspondents:M Whytlaw, Auckland, 1863 (1 letter); J T Wickstead, Taranaki & Wanganui, 1844-1858 (30 letters); Robert Wilkin, Christchurch, 1864 & 1873 (2 letters); John Wilkinson, Wellington, Nelson, Taranaki & Napier, 1863-1876 (15 letters); Richard Wilkinson, Mohaka, 1869 (2 letters)); W Wilkinson, Thames, 1876 (1 letter); Aldred E Williams, Onehunga, 1874 (1 letter)
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
Novr. 1 1863
My dear McLean,
In ''Nelson Examiner'' of Novr. is a report of the ceremony of presentation of watches etc. to those noble Maoris of Wakapuaka, who lead by a New Zealand ''Grace Darling'' saved the lives of passengers on board the unfortunate Delaware - would it not have a good effect to publish a report of these proceedings in ''Te Waka a Maori''? There is an article today in the Examiner on the subject. That is a masterly paper of Domett's on the plan of colonising the N. Island and practicable I think if the Home Government will back it up and guarantee the loan, saving the Colony 2 pr. Ct. in the charge for Interest which may be applied as a sinking fund. I was very glad to observe in a recent Wellington Advertiser an admission that Sir/George Grey was the author of the plan of operations; altho I expect Domett has amplified them considerably. Napier should derive some additional importance when the trunk road is completed from Auckland, as a half way house between latter and Wellington. When you have a 1/4 an hour to spare I should be glad of a line from you in reference to following:-
Has the ground been broken up, agreeable to promise of Superintendent round Government Buildings and suitable Trees planted? To see the care and judgment displayed on these by no means unimportant matters in Nelson makes me blush for the absence of any interest of
the kind hither shown in Napier.
Odd Fellows and Masonic grants of land - if I were you, I would, if you or the Executive have not the powers already obtain some kind of control over the designs of the buildings these bodies intend to erect - for the same expense something not quite so barn and store like as most Napier buildings might be contrived. They owe something in return for the liberality of the Council in granting the land.
Lock up &c. Is this or any other building on the reserve below my place and where?
Is the land chosen for the Masons and where? Future grants of lands on reserves.
I would venture to suggest caution in parting with any more reserved land, keeping in view the future of Napier. The Nelson Govt. are at this moment advertising for a site in a central position for a new post office not possessing a suitable one of their own.
Pray dont give up any of this - I hope to see the Napier citizens some day, if I live, reading a book under an acacia or Ngaio there, or bringing their wives and children to a ''Flower and French show'' or Fancy Fair with a good band playing - May these times soon come!
I can easily foresee now, that this pit of Old Munns may in a few years become expedient - the road proposed
thro our province would I presume cut thro the centre of the plains. If not carried straight from Munns end of Napier over the water a divergence I presume might easily be accomplished from Clive Road and then join the Hyderabad road on a dead level round to the terminus (perhaps of a tram road similar to Nelson one) on the Spit, but until the more direct communication into the inland districts is accomplished I conceive, it would be a wanton waste of public money to continue the road beyond Munns - unless perhaps the owners of land came forward liberally to meet the Govt. in making it as far as Onepooto - always keeping in mind the extension of it to business part of Spt.
Are we any further as regards dealing with these lands?
These ought to be stopped altogether if possible excepting the connection and cooperation with Genl. Govt. in new settlement scheme.
I observed advt. for tenders. Will you be able to effect it at a reasonable rate - our security ought to be as good for. £60,000 as the Auckland Govt. for £500,000 which was taken up by N. Z. Ek. at I think 6 per ct.
I have a letter from Wilson dated 11th Novr. written at Wellington on his way down to Otago - he says he
hopes to take his Sisters back with him and in one sense hopes our stay here may be protracted I should certainly wish to accommodate him as far as possible but it's no use my fixing the length of my sorjourn here till I hear for certain from him, how long his Sisters are likely to remain in Napier - perhaps I may have a line from him from Otago he did not give me his address there - I presume you must have moved into Smiths before this - If there is no one in my house I hope the gates were secured before Wilson left - a horse getting into the place might spoil my young plants which have cost me a good deal, but I have no doubt you and Wilson together have arranged so that the plan will go on all right in his absence. I sent a nice little collection of young trees etc. by Skeet with directions for Henderson to make a little nursery of them in some shady place which I dare say he has done. The grass in paddock you were kind enough to say you would treat as you thought best but I'm afraid if sheep were put in they would be getting out into garden and doing irreparable damage amongst the plants.
You are quite right about the difficulty of satisfying a small community in comparison with a large populace and particularly a community composed of such elements as that of Hawkes Bay. I suppose the only way if you feel that you're doing what is best for the country is not to be thin-skinned and pursue the even tenor of your
way - I think if no flagrant errors are committed the present regime must continue to have the confidence of those who have no stake in the country. Bovsfield will be a bore in the Council on acct. of his deafness but I dont think he will commit himself there in the way that he does in his precious newspapers - I hope however he will not get in.
I should think Carter altho not so well acquainted with the country as Tiffen, would at any rate inspire confidence in the people that the post of Commissioners was in the hands of an honorable conscientious man. I think myself it was most fortunate in the position things were, he consented to act and Weber I should say has hardly an enemy - the saving by the new arrangement would of course depend somewhat on the amt. required for paymaster of roads. John Rochfort had heard that a Mr. Fraser of Wellington was going to take Tiffin's place as Chief surveyor.
I am much amused with the effusions of the scribes of the ''mighty-fallen'' which have appeared lately in Hawkes Bay Herald - writers I expect of about the same importance as the ''10 Tailors of Tooley St'' who were ready to undertake the Government of British Empire.
I observe a letter in ''Nelson Colonist'' and Canterbury ''Press'' from a Napier militiaman - Why he should publish his grievance in these papers I dont know it certainly looks as if there were some strange mismanagement in the apportionment of pay of officers and privates. Why latter should receive no pay when off duty and the officers should
get theirs I cannot conceive - it's curious logic Judge Johnson is here - he seems to have made acquaintance with my engravings and to have concluded hence that I have some taste for art, a subject on which we had a ''korero''. Miss Miss Bye is stopping with J. C. Richmond's family - Can I say anything to her for you? She does not seem to despise the advantages of attractiveness in externals common to her sex: - hers, in a jaunty hat fronted with flowers, a light blue mantle, and pair of ''follow-me-lads'' Have you any idea when council will meet again? If I am to remain speaker I shall exact a little more decent accommodation for that officers use on his throne.
Yours very sincerely,
Inward letters - Surnames, Why - Wil, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0636 (55 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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