Letter from W. Halse,
to D. McLean Esq. J.P.
dated 11th. November 1852.
11th. November 1852.
My dear McLean,
Thanks for the saddle-bags and havesack per "Shepherdess".
You will have heard from Cooper, of all land matters. Evident improvement seems to be taking place since the natives received reports from the South, of your Meetings with the absentees. Our excursion Worth was not so successful as anticipated. The natives were very hospitable; and, as is natural to them, better behaved than our own. But the Kaka was in opposition, chiefly, I was told, because Ta Kerei had apparently been singled out by you in your previous negotiations. Part may be attributed to a desire to exercise his own importance in the division of spoil; as I hear, and indeed have found that it is not unusual to establish a claim in this way. One and all were disappointed in not seeing "Makarini"; and live in hope. Old Waitara takes his sale question greatly to heart; and I would almost wish, for his sake, to see it come to pass. His anxiety is to have Europeans around him, at all risks; and to see a town on Awakino, near Maniaroa, his own place, near the beach.
We canoed up both races to the boundaries. The land, as everyone knows, is rugged; with ample valleys and flats,- for this and the next generation; which is all we need care for,- if for that. It is for the other advantages we require it. I think a letter from you, on their proposal, and referring to their previous offers, and to all the conditions they must agree to, if they really desire to have Europeans amongst them, would do good. The Missionary, Mr. Schnackenberg is most zealous in the cause. All he does is from conviction. They are very kind to us at the Station. Indeed one is much struck with the contrast of all around, after visiting Heretoa; Missionary hospitality bearing the only resemblance. Taonui has made an offer of land about Urinui. His letter came to me through the N. ---(?) Office, and I passed it on to Cooper.
The back Block here offered by Raniera, Matiu, and others; which you anticipated would fall in after those little pecuniary advances to Karira, and Poharama, (each by himself) has done so. It is 15000 acres, which Carrington has surveyed very nicely and expeditiously; at the same time fixing the Mountain, which now takes its place on the New Plymouth - horrid word - Taranaki plan. The natives ask £5 an acre, as children would; and will take less; and they say you over-reached them in all previous
bargains. Tis a pity they will not see their interests, and pass over everything, leaving the Government to make, for them, the most ample provision. I fancy it will come to that; unless some may tell them it is all gold beneath; in which case they will hold on to the land. In any case we shall look for you and a posse of absentees in the Summer, according to promise. (Your's and the Governor's would hardly have the preference of one another.) This we have already talked over in the silent halls of Whaupu; and if you can but command the means, much good may be done without depriving Cooper of laurels.
Old Huia and Paora have gone; and Taumata is about to follow. Do not forget my very particular friend Waka, in these vacancies among the paid assessors; for his poverty can only be equalled by his pride, and repugnnce to beg. He received a letter from you the other day; and came here with a scribe; and after a long silence said, "He pukapuka" (mind you he would not ask for it.) I have had him daguerreotyped by Mr. Insley, in the mounted style, as a mark of my regard for his uniform friendship for the palefaces, and for myself in particular. Applications from others followed as of course; and were refused in honour of the canoe. By the bye, my name sake Hare, is very bad, from that unlucky kick. Do write him a soothing
and encouraging letter. His address is where we left him. The stupid owl would keep his knee up; so when vse returned from Patea, he could not bend his leg. He is an awful croaker. His wife is with him.
"The Taranaki Herald" has changed Editors; with what result cannot be foretold at present. It is said to be in the hands of the Constitutional Association party; who are going at a blind reform of everything. The Editor is a Mr. Pheney, I believe; some connection of the Law publisher of that name; and a man of liberal education, but out of his place. The style of his writing, whoever may be the Editor, I like. Mr. Crompton, being Conservative, was got rid of; and so ---(?) lost his influence in the paper. You must all have relished the Magistrate's notice, both for composition and matter. Flight, (perfectly green in Official knowledge) committed the great folly of convening, by circular, as Resident Magistrate, a Meeting of Magistrates; and got 4 to act with him in a matter that had occasioned no stir beyond the precints of the Police Office. Luckily for all parties, the change in the paper happened at the time, and saved them from the consequences of an ill-judged and perfectly unwarrantable attack on the press; in which "The Herald" would have had the co-operation of every paper in the country.
Dr. Wilson tells me the letter in yesterday's paper, signed K. is Sam King's. It may be mere surmise.
The Doctor, who has just come in, wishes me to state that he is using every effort to obtain your money from Gudgeon.
I am informed the Mail is to be made up; so good-bye,- in haste.
(Signed) W. Halse.
D. McLean Esq. J.P.
per the "Shepherdess".