Object #1011863 from MS-Papers-0032-0015

5 pages to Sir William Martin

From: Native affairs - Waitara, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0015 (38 digitised items). Contains official correspondence regarding the competing Waitara claims of Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake and Te Teira Manuka, and the Taranaki war.Also includes a written series of questions for Archdeacon Octavius Hadfield regarding his knowledge of Te Rangitake to further ascertain the validity of his claim, with reponse from Hadfield.

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

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English (ATL)

Remarks on a Pamphlet by Sir William Martin
, on The Taranaki Question.



The arguments addressed by Sir William Martin, in support of the view which is taken by him of the Waitara purchase, appear to rest upon assumptions which the facts of the case do not warrant.

It is assumed:-

That the various sub-tribes, or hapus, of the Ngatiawa compose but one community holding their lands in common, and that William King is the Chief of that community.

That the course taken by the Government was independent of any special circumstance connected with Taranaki or the Ngatiawa tribe.

To assume that the whole of the Ngatiawa tribe formed but one community under one Chief holding their territory at Taranaki in common, is to ignore the actual state of things; and to take up a position which has never been held by the Ngatiawa themselves in their transactions with the Government for the sale of land. In previous transactions, the sub-tribes or hapus have been dealt with, and no general consent of the whole tribe, or of any Chief not immediately

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English (ATL)

interested in the land under negotiation has been sought or deemed necessary by either party.

In the case of the Waitara purchase, the common tribes, which were represented by Teira and others, claimed the ownership and right of disposal of the land, were treated with after careful investigation of title. The sellers claimed both ownership and right of alienation. The former was admitted by William King; even the latter can hardly be said to have been questioned by him as a matter of right. As a Chief, his influence, to some extent, might control the decisions of any section of his tribe, on any question affecting the tribe; while speaking, the sentiments of his tribe, his word would be law; but beyond that personal influence to away the minds of the people, no right as Chief would be conceded to him, in respect of lands not belonging to his own hapu or family.

It is said on behalf of William King that he asserted the tribal right, as distinguished from the mere proprietory one, which he admitted to least to the parties selling. His right to interfere was ignored by the parties interested, independently of whom it could have no existence. It is clear that William King was not asserting a right, but was merely endeavouring to carry a point. His language to Mr. Harris, on the occasion of the payment of the £100 to the sellers, is unmistakable. He does not say the tribe does not consent, - but - ''I will not let them (the owners) sell it.'' When urged to state his reason for opposing, he says, - ''I do not wish the land to be disturbed,''; and ''if you do (give the pay) I will take the land, and cultivate it myself.''

The case was simply this, - William King was an influential Chief. He owned a portion of the Waitara district; but he wished

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English (ATL)

to prevent Europeans from acquiring a footing in it; and so long as the majority of the proprietors in the various hapus agreed with him on the question of retaining the land, he was in a position to say that no land at Waitara should be sold. When two of the hapus altered their views, he was fain to coerce them; and could, if necessary, be aided by other tribes in a struggle to maintain anti-land-selling principles, which had become popular. He committed himself to a determined opposition, and assumed a defiant attitude towards the Government. Whatever case may be made out for William King by his European friends, on the score of his rights as a Chief, and assertion of tribal title, it is observed that no such rights are claimed for him by his Maori allies; and if they existed, it is likely that they would not be put forward most prominently by the Waikato king party. If the view set forth by Sir William Martin were the true one, or the one taken by the natives themselves, should he hear of any hesitancy on the part of the Waikato land-sellers, in pronouncing judgment between King and Teira's party? The speeches at the Ngaruwahia Meeting in May 1860, (E. No. 1 p.p.41, show the native view of the question.) The intelligent Ngatitawa Chief, William Thompson, could be supposed to be ignorant of William King's position as a Chief of the Ngatiawa; but he makes the question of the war to depend upon the issue.

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English (ATL)


It was to save the rights of individuals that Capt. FitzRoy set aside Spain's award. He allowed in all their entirety the claims of those of the Ngatiawas who were not parties etc. William King was a party. He does not say he recognises a resumption of tribal title by the Ngatiawas, but claims, if individuals. The transaction, as regarded to tribes, was held to be incomplete, not a mere nullity. The tribal right could not be set up against alienation of territory, after the acts of the Chiefs and tribe of the Ngatiawa. It is certain that at the time when Col. Wakefield attempted to negotiate the purchase of the district, that the Ngatiawa saw no prospect of resuming their ancient possessions, except by means of the Europeans.

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English (ATL)


COPY. (undated.)

The Treaty of Waitangi is quoted in supporting Mr. King's claim. It is agreed that the rights of the tribe, and of himself as its Chief, were learned by that Treaty. But it will scarcely be urged that the Treaty could affect any rights beyond that which actually existed at the time the treaty was made. It cannot be fairly interpreted as guaranteeing rights or claims subsequently acquired or assumed.

What then, was the nature of the Ngatiawa claim to the territory formerly possessed by them? Had it been affected by the Waikato conquest? That it had been so affected is evident. When the payment made by the New Zealand Company to the residents (Ngatiawas), a portion was sent to the Waikato Chiefs.

It is scarcely necessary to adduce proofs proof that the Waikato claimed the Taranaki district. There can be no doubt, when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, that their claim was recognised, and not extinguished by the Government. Moreover it is known that Wm. King did not return until he was invited to do so by Patotu.

English (ATL)

Remarks on a Pamphlet by Sir William Martin
, on The Taranaki Question.



The arguments addressed by Sir William Martin, in support of the view which is taken by him of the Waitara purchase, appear to rest upon assumptions which the facts of the case do not warrant.

It is assumed:-

That the various sub-tribes, or hapus, of the Ngatiawa compose but one community holding their lands in common, and that William King is the Chief of that community.

That the course taken by the Government was independent of any special circumstance connected with Taranaki or the Ngatiawa tribe.

To assume that the whole of the Ngatiawa tribe formed but one community under one Chief holding their territory at Taranaki in common, is to ignore the actual state of things; and to take up a position which has never been held by the Ngatiawa themselves in their transactions with the Government for the sale of land. In previous transactions, the sub-tribes or hapus have been dealt with, and no general consent of the whole tribe, or of any Chief not immediately interested in the land under negotiation has been sought or deemed necessary by either party.

In the case of the Waitara purchase, the common tribes, which were represented by Teira and others, claimed the ownership and right of disposal of the land, were treated with after careful investigation of title. The sellers claimed both ownership and right of alienation. The former was admitted by William King; even the latter can hardly be said to have been questioned by him as a matter of right. As a Chief, his influence, to some extent, might control the decisions of any section of his tribe, on any question affecting the tribe; while speaking, the sentiments of his tribe, his word would be law; but beyond that personal influence to away the minds of the people, no right as Chief would be conceded to him, in respect of lands not belonging to his own hapu or family.

It is said on behalf of William King that he asserted the tribal right, as distinguished from the mere proprietory one, which he admitted to least to the parties selling. His right to interfere was ignored by the parties interested, independently of whom it could have no existence. It is clear that William King was not asserting a right, but was merely endeavouring to carry a point. His language to Mr. Harris, on the occasion of the payment of the £100 to the sellers, is unmistakable. He does not say the tribe does not consent, - but - ''I will not let them (the owners) sell it.'' When urged to state his reason for opposing, he says, - ''I do not wish the land to be disturbed,''; and ''if you do (give the pay) I will take the land, and cultivate it myself.''

The case was simply this, - William King was an influential Chief. He owned a portion of the Waitara district; but he wished to prevent Europeans from acquiring a footing in it; and so long as the majority of the proprietors in the various hapus agreed with him on the question of retaining the land, he was in a position to say that no land at Waitara should be sold. When two of the hapus altered their views, he was fain to coerce them; and could, if necessary, be aided by other tribes in a struggle to maintain anti-land-selling principles, which had become popular. He committed himself to a determined opposition, and assumed a defiant attitude towards the Government. Whatever case may be made out for William King by his European friends, on the score of his rights as a Chief, and assertion of tribal title, it is observed that no such rights are claimed for him by his Maori allies; and if they existed, it is likely that they would not be put forward most prominently by the Waikato king party. If the view set forth by Sir William Martin were the true one, or the one taken by the natives themselves, should he hear of any hesitancy on the part of the Waikato land-sellers, in pronouncing judgment between King and Teira's party? The speeches at the Ngaruwahia Meeting in May 1860, (E. No. 1 p.p.41, show the native view of the question.) The intelligent Ngatitawa Chief, William Thompson, could be supposed to be ignorant of William King's position as a Chief of the Ngatiawa; but he makes the question of the war to depend upon the issue.

It was to save the rights of individuals that Capt. FitzRoy set aside Spain's award. He allowed in all their entirety the claims of those of the Ngatiawas who were not parties etc. William King was a party. He does not say he recognises a resumption of tribal title by the Ngatiawas, but claims, if individuals. The transaction, as regarded to tribes, was held to be incomplete, not a mere nullity. The tribal right could not be set up against alienation of territory, after the acts of the Chiefs and tribe of the Ngatiawa. It is certain that at the time when Col. Wakefield attempted to negotiate the purchase of the district, that the Ngatiawa saw no prospect of resuming their ancient possessions, except by means of the Europeans.

COPY. (undated.)

The Treaty of Waitangi is quoted in supporting Mr. King's claim. It is agreed that the rights of the tribe, and of himself as its Chief, were learned by that Treaty. But it will scarcely be urged that the Treaty could affect any rights beyond that which actually existed at the time the treaty was made. It cannot be fairly interpreted as guaranteeing rights or claims subsequently acquired or assumed.

What then, was the nature of the Ngatiawa claim to the territory formerly possessed by them? Had it been affected by the Waikato conquest? That it had been so affected is evident. When the payment made by the New Zealand Company to the residents (Ngatiawas), a portion was sent to the Waikato Chiefs.

It is scarcely necessary to adduce proofs proof that the Waikato claimed the Taranaki district. There can be no doubt, when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, that their claim was recognised, and not extinguished by the Government. Moreover it is known that Wm. King did not return until he was invited to do so by Patotu.

Part of:
Native affairs - Waitara, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0015 (38 digitised items)
Series 7 Official papers, Reference Number Series 7 Official papers (3737 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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