Object #1011198 from MS-Papers-0032-0484

8 pages written 18 Oct 1870 by John Davies Ormond in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0484 (67 digitised items). 65 letters written from Napier. Includes copy of letter from Te Poihipi Tukairangi, Pahautea Kaingaroa (in Maori), 14 May 1870; letter from Te Moananui to Hamana Tiakiwai, Napier, 3 Apr 1870.Also letter from Ormond to Daniel Pollen; Ormond to Lieut Col James Fraser, 3 Dec 1869; Lieut Col James Fraser to Capt Reuner, 4 Dec 1869.

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

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Page 1 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

COPY. Napier
18th. October 1870.


My dear McLean,

I have not a great deal to write about this mail. The Telegraph is so convenient for com-munieating, that nearly everything is sent in that way. I have told you what I am trying to arrange at Taupo; and if successful in making agreements to open a dray line from Taupo to Waiteririra, a very little work on the other side will give a dray road through to Maketu; and so another great step will be gained in the dealing with any future native difficulty. I hope you are pushing on the road from Tauranga to Rotorua, as that is the line, as communioating with a good Port.

I shall be glad to get a reply to my official Road Report from Gisborne. What I want is to be told how much can be spared for each of the differ-ent works I have reported on; especially I want to know what will be available this

Page 2 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

season for works on the road from Taupo to Napier, and the road from Rua Tanewha to Manawatu. Both these works are important, and if I knew what amount could be spared, I would at once parcel it out with the Engineer's advice; and the works could then proceed accordingly. What I mean is that if I knew the sum available for the Taupo road, I could at once say what was most important, and make the most of the money in generally improving the line. Please discuss this matter with Gisborne, and let me know as soon as you can.

Another thing that wants to be seen to is the condition of the Constabulary. They are doing absolu-tely nothing, and have done nothing ever since they have been in the district . I have urged, Over and over again, that they should be set to work; but no-thing is ever done. Some time ago I wanted to move a part of the Force from Opepe to a part of the line where they could work at road works; and desisted on being told that they were busy making paddocks. I enquired

Page 3 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

the other day what paddocks had been made, and hear two, - one of about nine aeres, and another, smaller; and this is the work of a Force nearly 100 strong, in about four months. Two ordinary fencers would have done more. The idle conditions of the Force is table-talk in this Province, and I am very dissatisfied with it, as I am blamed; whereas, if I had my way, I would soon have the men usefully employ-ed. What is wanted is a re-distribution of the force, and placing them where work has to be done. Then, if weekly returns, such as I suggested lately, officially, were required, showing the occupation of each man every day, we should have some chance of getting some--thing out of them, At any rate, if I am let try, I guarantee I will soon alter the present reign of idleness, which is making the men thoroughly useless. They are fattening like hogs in a sty at the present time, and there will be great trouble I know, in getting any work out of them at first.

There is nothing fresh to tell you about Manawatu Bush. Karatiana has not yet heard from Rangitane, but he always talks of the Bush as sold; so I conclude it will be settled one of these days.

Page 4 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

If Pete and Huru, who are, with Nekira, the principal people, - are gone back to the West Coast, I think it would be a good plan to get them to Wellington, and see if the Wairarapa end of the Bush could not be bought without taking it through the Native Land Court. I thought it would have been better to have taken that course with this and, but on referring it to Wellington, the opinion of the Attorney General was against it. I am satisfied if the purchase has been made without the Court that we should have bought the whole Bush without trouble, and for half what we shall now have to pay for it. I quite think it worth while seeing if the piece of country at the Wairarapa end cannot be bought without going through the Court; and no doubt if a beginning were made, the rest of the Bush would follow. Locke thinks Rangitane will come back directly, and finish the sale of the Rua Tanewha end. I am not so sure, and think Karaitiana is too much for Looke altogether. Karaitiana is stick-ing out for a big price, and he fully believes he will get it. (Since I wrote the above, Karaitiana has been in. He says Bush is sold, and the Rangitane are only gone back to communicate with their people before concluding.) I hear he is doing the same in the case of your Maori Run Lands; and that he is likely to be troublesome. Be generally now lets all the other grantees sell, and them he says he is the real owner,

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

and demands about as much as all the others have got; and it is difficult to deal with him.

I faney your private matters want your at-tention badly. About Mangateretere everything is in statu quo. Sutton has paid heavily for what he has got; and Master Karaitiana declines to do anything, and so hangs up the whole affair.

Karaitaiana was talking to me the other day about sub-division of Native Lands, and I referred to Mangateretere, - when he said, - "that big-bellied man (meaning Sutton) is entirely in my hands. I am playing with him like a eat plays with a mouse." At any rate there is no possibility of doing anything in that matter at present. Looke tells me Wilson is now working with Sutton in that business, and with a view of injuring you. He told Looke he had the satisfaction of knowing he had assisted to sweet you in that matter, and meant to do a great deal more yet. I never heard anything like the vicious hostility of that man, and the clique he works with. Time seems to make no difference; if anything, it makes

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

them more bitter; and they would give anything to have a go at you in op-posing your election, if they saw a shadow of a chanee. But I don't think they will dare. I am not sure you will not do as well to stay away until the Elections are over. If you come for the Elections you will have a lot of awkward questions put you, and have a good deal of Election filth to wade through.

How have you fared with your wool sales? I hear some greasy from here, belonging to Watt, sold at 5d. Rhodes only averaged a little over 1/- for washed; and everyone out in the early sales has suffered terribly. Really things are in a bad way for all our Run-hold-ers. You don't meet one who does not admit to have gone heavily to the bad during the past year. Where it is going to end, it is difficult to see.

I telegraphed you this morning about Roads. I wish you would consult with Gisborne, and find how much can be spared for Taupo Road, and Seventy-Mile Bush-Road. For the Taupo Road, I made the estimate as low as possible. It will take all that to make the road fairly good, but it will

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

be a very fine road indeed, if I get that amount, and the Constabulary labour. I don't write officially about the useless state of the Constabulary, because I don't eare to do so; but they really require working up, and if you tell me to do it, I shall very soon make a change, or ask for other Officers, as I know the whole diffi-culty lies there.

In the case of the Seventy-Mile Bush, I see no objection to felling the Bush and forming a road on the line that is to be laid out for a rail-road. If we get no rail-road, at least we shall have a road; and I should like to be told how much will be avail-able for it, so that I may arrange to start work so soon as Weber gets the line laid out. He is busy with the survey of the lines from here to Takapan, and is working away at it. It is necessary to have trial lines of the different routes before making the actual survey; and that is what he is now doing.

My opinion is the line from Napier Spit to Paki Paki will be too costly, and that the line must go to Waitangi, and thenee to Paki Paki, Weber says the difference in cost would be near £40,000, and that the line by Waitangi and Pakowhai will be very easy and cheap.

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

With regard to the lines from Paki Paki to Rua Tanewha, I am satisfied the line will be the Te Aute. It will be far the cheapest, and it goes through the heart of the country; and it would take the traffic of all the other distriots. A line by Maraekakaho would take no traffic at all, and it goes through they very outskirts of the Province, and opens no good land. You will not be badly off with the line by Te Aute. There would be a Station at Paki Paki, - only 7 or 8 miles from your property. Weber says the gradients from Aorangi to Rua Tanewha would be far heavier than the other line; and Roohfort agrees with him. However, we shall see when the trial lines are finished. I have, as usual, written a long letter to you, although at starting I did not see what I had to say. The season here is beautiful, and the grass and growth of everything, wonderful, It makes me begrudge spending my time in this precious office. The "Ashley" is expected presently, and goes on at once, so I shall post this letter going home.


Always yours very sincerely (Signed)
J.D. Ormond.

English (ATL)

COPY. Napier
18th. October 1870.


My dear McLean,

I have not a great deal to write about this mail. The Telegraph is so convenient for com-munieating, that nearly everything is sent in that way. I have told you what I am trying to arrange at Taupo; and if successful in making agreements to open a dray line from Taupo to Waiteririra, a very little work on the other side will give a dray road through to Maketu; and so another great step will be gained in the dealing with any future native difficulty. I hope you are pushing on the road from Tauranga to Rotorua, as that is the line, as communioating with a good Port.

I shall be glad to get a reply to my official Road Report from Gisborne. What I want is to be told how much can be spared for each of the differ-ent works I have reported on; especially I want to know what will be available this season for works on the road from Taupo to Napier, and the road from Rua Tanewha to Manawatu. Both these works are important, and if I knew what amount could be spared, I would at once parcel it out with the Engineer's advice; and the works could then proceed accordingly. What I mean is that if I knew the sum available for the Taupo road, I could at once say what was most important, and make the most of the money in generally improving the line. Please discuss this matter with Gisborne, and let me know as soon as you can.

Another thing that wants to be seen to is the condition of the Constabulary. They are doing absolu-tely nothing, and have done nothing ever since they have been in the district . I have urged, Over and over again, that they should be set to work; but no-thing is ever done. Some time ago I wanted to move a part of the Force from Opepe to a part of the line where they could work at road works; and desisted on being told that they were busy making paddocks. I enquired the other day what paddocks had been made, and hear two, - one of about nine aeres, and another, smaller; and this is the work of a Force nearly 100 strong, in about four months. Two ordinary fencers would have done more. The idle conditions of the Force is table-talk in this Province, and I am very dissatisfied with it, as I am blamed; whereas, if I had my way, I would soon have the men usefully employ-ed. What is wanted is a re-distribution of the force, and placing them where work has to be done. Then, if weekly returns, such as I suggested lately, officially, were required, showing the occupation of each man every day, we should have some chance of getting some--thing out of them, At any rate, if I am let try, I guarantee I will soon alter the present reign of idleness, which is making the men thoroughly useless. They are fattening like hogs in a sty at the present time, and there will be great trouble I know, in getting any work out of them at first.

There is nothing fresh to tell you about Manawatu Bush. Karatiana has not yet heard from Rangitane, but he always talks of the Bush as sold; so I conclude it will be settled one of these days. If Pete and Huru, who are, with Nekira, the principal people, - are gone back to the West Coast, I think it would be a good plan to get them to Wellington, and see if the Wairarapa end of the Bush could not be bought without taking it through the Native Land Court. I thought it would have been better to have taken that course with this and, but on referring it to Wellington, the opinion of the Attorney General was against it. I am satisfied if the purchase has been made without the Court that we should have bought the whole Bush without trouble, and for half what we shall now have to pay for it. I quite think it worth while seeing if the piece of country at the Wairarapa end cannot be bought without going through the Court; and no doubt if a beginning were made, the rest of the Bush would follow. Locke thinks Rangitane will come back directly, and finish the sale of the Rua Tanewha end. I am not so sure, and think Karaitiana is too much for Looke altogether. Karaitiana is stick-ing out for a big price, and he fully believes he will get it. (Since I wrote the above, Karaitiana has been in. He says Bush is sold, and the Rangitane are only gone back to communicate with their people before concluding.) I hear he is doing the same in the case of your Maori Run Lands; and that he is likely to be troublesome. Be generally now lets all the other grantees sell, and them he says he is the real owner, and demands about as much as all the others have got; and it is difficult to deal with him.

I faney your private matters want your at-tention badly. About Mangateretere everything is in statu quo. Sutton has paid heavily for what he has got; and Master Karaitiana declines to do anything, and so hangs up the whole affair.

Karaitaiana was talking to me the other day about sub-division of Native Lands, and I referred to Mangateretere, - when he said, - "that big-bellied man (meaning Sutton) is entirely in my hands. I am playing with him like a eat plays with a mouse." At any rate there is no possibility of doing anything in that matter at present. Looke tells me Wilson is now working with Sutton in that business, and with a view of injuring you. He told Looke he had the satisfaction of knowing he had assisted to sweet you in that matter, and meant to do a great deal more yet. I never heard anything like the vicious hostility of that man, and the clique he works with. Time seems to make no difference; if anything, it makes them more bitter; and they would give anything to have a go at you in op-posing your election, if they saw a shadow of a chanee. But I don't think they will dare. I am not sure you will not do as well to stay away until the Elections are over. If you come for the Elections you will have a lot of awkward questions put you, and have a good deal of Election filth to wade through.

How have you fared with your wool sales? I hear some greasy from here, belonging to Watt, sold at 5d. Rhodes only averaged a little over 1/- for washed; and everyone out in the early sales has suffered terribly. Really things are in a bad way for all our Run-hold-ers. You don't meet one who does not admit to have gone heavily to the bad during the past year. Where it is going to end, it is difficult to see.

I telegraphed you this morning about Roads. I wish you would consult with Gisborne, and find how much can be spared for Taupo Road, and Seventy-Mile Bush-Road. For the Taupo Road, I made the estimate as low as possible. It will take all that to make the road fairly good, but it will be a very fine road indeed, if I get that amount, and the Constabulary labour. I don't write officially about the useless state of the Constabulary, because I don't eare to do so; but they really require working up, and if you tell me to do it, I shall very soon make a change, or ask for other Officers, as I know the whole diffi-culty lies there.

In the case of the Seventy-Mile Bush, I see no objection to felling the Bush and forming a road on the line that is to be laid out for a rail-road. If we get no rail-road, at least we shall have a road; and I should like to be told how much will be avail-able for it, so that I may arrange to start work so soon as Weber gets the line laid out. He is busy with the survey of the lines from here to Takapan, and is working away at it. It is necessary to have trial lines of the different routes before making the actual survey; and that is what he is now doing.

My opinion is the line from Napier Spit to Paki Paki will be too costly, and that the line must go to Waitangi, and thenee to Paki Paki, Weber says the difference in cost would be near £40,000, and that the line by Waitangi and Pakowhai will be very easy and cheap. With regard to the lines from Paki Paki to Rua Tanewha, I am satisfied the line will be the Te Aute. It will be far the cheapest, and it goes through the heart of the country; and it would take the traffic of all the other distriots. A line by Maraekakaho would take no traffic at all, and it goes through they very outskirts of the Province, and opens no good land. You will not be badly off with the line by Te Aute. There would be a Station at Paki Paki, - only 7 or 8 miles from your property. Weber says the gradients from Aorangi to Rua Tanewha would be far heavier than the other line; and Roohfort agrees with him. However, we shall see when the trial lines are finished. I have, as usual, written a long letter to you, although at starting I did not see what I had to say. The season here is beautiful, and the grass and growth of everything, wonderful, It makes me begrudge spending my time in this precious office. The "Ashley" is expected presently, and goes on at once, so I shall post this letter going home.


Always yours very sincerely (Signed)
J.D. Ormond.

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0484 (67 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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