Object #1011930 from MS-Papers-0032-0485
From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0485 (75 digitised items). 72 letters written from Auckland and Napier, 1871-1872
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March 18th 1871
My dear McLean -
I have not a great deal of news f you this mail which goes by the 'Napier'. She got ashore at the Wairoa and knocked some of her copper off and has to go to Auckland to get it put right. I have this day arranged for a six months service to Poverty Bay calling at Wairoa for which she is to get £250. Fox arranged this with other Ministers and gave me authority to conclude - I duly received your several letters of 8th and 11th by the Star and Ashley. First about the private matters referred to - I see nothing better than for you to re-assign the mortgage of the Mangateretere lease, of course retaining the rights in the Block you have acquired through Tareha's share. When you come down this can be done - Maddock I cannot retain as he is employed by the other side - I do not understand the Law proceedings in the matter - The other day I heard the case could not come on
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until May - now Maddock tells me that pleadings are being made today on your behalf in Wellington before the Judge in Chambers and that on those pleas being made a future time will be fixed for the case being heard - that means I take it in May - and this now going on is a preliminary proceeding. About the Akitio sheep the price offered for 600 viz. 4/- is better than is generally going and you should take it if you want to sell. I have
a report of the state of the Coast flocks and find there is very little the matter as yet with Featherstones and that his sheep are being dipped - So there is hope he may get quit of scab before it spreads to your flock -
We are having a most extraordinary season there is no end to the rain which is much in excess of what is required and doing mischief - Feed everywhere is of course abundant and it seems as if we were going back to the seasons of former years before drought was known in Hawkes Bay.
I have been very busy since receipt of your letters and had no time to look through the Manawatu correspondence but I will try and do so shortly and
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write you what I think. I consider his attack on you quite unjustifiable. Fox writes me that he and all your colleagues refused to entertain Featherstons claim, but seems to think Kemp went beyond your Instructions in what he did - That I know nothing of but it is likely enough, the work of men in responsible positions in this country is difficult on acct. of the wretched tools they have to work with - they cannot most of them ever carry out definite instructions - It is this that makes work so hard to the Heads of Departments. I have sent you officially all my news of Ropata's doings I tried hard to stop Ngatiporou coming down to Wakroa but it was no good they could not do without their drunk but I hope it is over and they off again - they were to leave Wairoa on the 16th - Ropata has made a mess in his promise to Ngatihuri "that men of crimes willingly surrendering shd. be safe" I wonder Kooti himself does not take advantage of it - I am afraid Ngatihuri are playing a false game and deceiving Ropata I heard last night from Clarke that they were, and I believe it from other evidence.
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The rest of the Urewera are I think to be depended on Whenuanui tells me Ngatihuri were always troublesome people and he says if they continue so we must deal with them or they will involve the Tribe again - He is a fine old Chief, manly and true I think - Old Paerau is an old scoundrel and evidently holds a very inferior place to the other - If Ropata fails in getting hold of Kooti then I shall see what I can do through the Urewera if I could give the time I shd. like much to attend their proposed meeting at Ruatahuna - Whenuanui, Paerau and people start for their own places at once on a change of the weather.
I see what you say about your meeting with Rewi I fear it will take a good deal to make him separate from King Tawhiao - He and his tribe are jealous of the Waikatos but they hate us more - He is still the prime mover in every effort to check our advance through the country but I am in hopes he fears to move lest he shd. lose his lands - Old Poihipi telegraphed yesterday that he had word of several
armed parties moving about between Titiraupenga and Waikato but he could
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not find out what they were doing. There is no other news from Taupo or Waikato. Old Maihi is back at Patetere but I have not heard anything from him yet - There is great jealousy between the Taupo natives and the Ngatiraukawa - Talking of Taupo can you not find a better man for the command than Roberts - He is a good honest fellow and brave as a lion but he is quite useless in his present position and hant as much brains as a Tom-cat - He is no use to me at all and to trust him with any native work would be to make a mess of it - I find Cumming at Wairoa useful - He can do what he is told anddo it quietly and seems to get on well with the Natives - Where these officers can be trusted they are very useful - Most of them are too stuck-up with their military notions - Young Pitt at Poverty Bay is a nice young fellow and in good hands wd. make a good officer- he is rather young to be where he is, too much temptation among
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Maori women etc. Our Provincial elections are nearly over and we shall have a very fair Council on the whole - The Province is doing well and will have a considerable surplus at end of the year - In addition to that we have a big lump sum to be refunded for interest paid in excess your liability on the Wellington debt - some £14,000 or £15,000 for which Hawkes Bay may thank me -
The militia drill is giving great dissatisfaction - In the country districts there is not one single officer who can teach his men anything - the people have in many cases to travel long distances to parade ground and then do nothing and go home again - It is a sad loss of time and very trying to the people. There ought to be some limit to the distance men shd. be called on to go to drill that is the great difficulty of the country districts at Napier - Meanee - Olive etc. it is all easy enough - I wonder the people put up with it - they are constant in the complaints to me - I must close. Always
Yours very sincerely
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0485 (75 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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