August 29th. 1853.
My dear McLean,
I have delayed writing to you for some time, partly because my negotiations with the Natives were in such a state of unsettledness (to use a new word) but ehiefly because I knew that previous to your leaving the South your movements must naturally be so / erratic that the chances were that after chasing you all over the country the letter might never reach you after all. Now however as your approach this way must be very near at hand I send this to Whanganui in the hopes of its meeting you there. I have a great deal to tell you and must go back some time. When your first letter came saying you were going that day to pay the absentees for Pukahu I lost no time in spreading the news. Raniera burst out into a terrible rage and he and I had a furious quarrel, which I thought wd. put a stop to the affair for some time at least. This was on the Saturday the day I received your letter and I had called a meeting for Wednesday --- notwithstanding the row the meeting assembled and Raniera came in. We talked the subject over, R. still very sulky, when suddenly his brother Matui jumped up and called out for the money to be paid to him and he would hoist me on his back and carry me over the boundary. I suppose it had all been rehearsed beforehand for this turned the scale at once and I obtained a general assent to the sale, Raniera coming in, begging pardon and shaking
hands. (Puni's tamariki only held out as they do still.) They then became very clamorous for a payment and Flight Halse and I having consulted we thought £500 was not too much for the additional piece as the £700 for the inland had already been approved and on offering it to the Natives they at length accepted. The offer was to pay for the whole block as one (as you had done in Wellington) £1200 in 3 annual instalments of £400 each. They refused the instalment system and demanded all at once and after a long argument which lastedaltogether a week we had to give in, explaining however that the share for Puni's party and for all who made a difficulty about reserves would be held back. It would take too long here to explain all the reasons which induced me to assent to these things especially without a previous authority, but I have prepared a report for the Governor explaining it all --- I may as well say here that the chief reasons were --- 1. The great want of land and seeing good settlers daily leaving the place. 2. The fact of this being the first coming round of Raniera and many other noted pakees. 3. The fact of a payt. of £400 having already been made in Wellington on account of the block. These are the chief putakes of the reasons which induced me to take the course I did and when I consider that many passengers per "Sir E. Paget" who shipped for Taranaki, remained in Auckland simply from having the "Herald" placed in their hands and a further that upwards of 20 per "Creswell" (wh. arrived here direct from London last week) who had not shipped for Taranaki were induced to remain (in addition to 30 who had)
simply on the strength of the new purchase --- I am satisfied with the result; and though I know I have exceeded my instructions and feel that I deserve and shall most probably receive a "rowing" for it --- still I know I have done present good and that more is in prospect. To return to the subject --- after discussing the point day and night for some time it was decided to divide the money thus:
For Poharama and the Moturoa Natives ---£200 x
For the Town ---200 x
For Waiwakaiho --- (i.e. residents on the land) 250
For the Hua (i.e. all north of the boundary) ---400 x
For Manahi and party, including Moturoa, Matahiwi, Watarauhi, Piripi Puhau and several other loose ones ---80 x
For Hura, Ngarongomate â?¦ Co. ---50 x
Balance in my hands ---20
Those marked thus (x) are paid --- the Waiwakaiho money (£500 of which is for Puni's people) is held over until the reserves are settled about which they are excessively greedy and Hone Ropiha worst of all. I have much to say to you on this subject. I will now tell you the boundary as it may be useful to you. It begins at Pukahu, corner of Cooke's fence (called Orongokaroro) follows fence across Devon line, by te Iwi here kakokako into Mangaone stream behind Raroti, follows the Mangaone stream behind Raroti, follows the Mangaone, passing Upokotanaki (Horopapera's place) and arrives at the junction of the Mangoraka stream running from inland, goes
goes up sd. stream till it comes near to Umu te kai and then it goes in a straight line to a point called Mangapapa being the eastermost point of the last year's survey line. This takes in more land than the Wellington boundary. I have traversed from Orongo karoro to te Iwi herekokako and flown Mangaone to the junction with Mangonaha --- but no regular survey has taken place for two or 3 reasons which I have no room to explain here. Now about Puni's party. They are obstinate as mules, and Henare declares he will hold all the land between Mangaone and the sea, including te Kete Iwi (to which only is his claim admitted) a piece altogether of I should think about 500 acres more or less of magnificent land. I have not had an opportunity yet of "having it out" with him --- so I merely tell you of his modest demand at present. The reserve question is giving me more trouble that any thing else. I am in the midst of it now --- but I need not bother you with it here as I have lots more to say.
I think I have told you as much as is now necessary about the Waiwakaiho Block. Now for the new subject. On Saturday they came to offer me Taranaki, that is all the land from Piki Pari up to the top of the Mountain, as far as their claims go --- they seem to draw a line between Ngatiawa and Ngatiruanui, beginning from the peak of the mountain and running down the gradual slope in an easterly direction --- and another line also beginning at the peak and running down the
the gradual slope in an easterly direction --- and another line also beginning at the peak and running down the ridge of the westerly spur called Pou a kai. This skech is a hasty resemblance of a drawing made by Matui and Poharama (who are good friends now), by which you will see that the new piece takes up about 1/3 of the whole area of the mountain and its spurs. The boundary will run up Waiwakaiho nui to its source at Panitahi thence to the top of the mountain, thence down again along the ridge of Pouaki till it meets a continuation of the Omata boundary line, produced on in that direction for the purpose. The great thing in this offer is of course the whaka noa for Taranaki. They have they say now for the first time given Taranaki to the pakeha, and certainly though the soil is of little or no use that they have offered still it appears to me that the sale of the Mountain is the key to the breaking up of the tikanga pakeke and the acquisition of the whole district.
They have come in this morning to discuss a question I put to them the other day, proposing to divide the land from Pukahu to Mangati fairly between Pakeha and Maori and no reserves in one block nor any pakeha land in the to ther. Tahana tells me they have agreed to it and it only remains to settle the boundaries but I cannot of course say for certain how that may be till I have gone into the matter. They are
poring over the map now whilst I am writing. Tahana however hints that the Taranaki question, opened on Saturday, must first be settled. Of course we cannot make a payment on that account till Sir. G. Grey comes so that how to fight it off will be the difficulty. If you are likely to be detained at Whanganui, drop me a line as I am most anxious to see you and Sir G. Grey before you reach this, and would ride down the coast to meet you. I cannot say more now as it is post hour.
Most sincerely yours,
G. S. Cooper.
P.S. The de Moles have sold off their traps and are staying in my house awaiting an opportunity of going home.