Object #1012576 from MS-Papers-0032-0228

6 pages written 21 Jan 1863 by George Sisson Cooper in Waipukurau to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - George Sisson Cooper, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0228 (108 digitised items). 105 letters written from Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington. Contains correspondence between McLean and Cooper with regard to the purchase of Maori land in Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa in particular, and various complaints and issues that arose from the purchases; also contains information and discussions about the spread of the Pai Marire and Ringatu religions (again, with a particular focus on Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa), and about general Maori affairs. Includes draft letters from McLean to Cooper; letters from George's wife Ellen C Cooper, 1863-1872, and from Sarah Cooper (undated).

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

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Page 1 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

Waipukurau,
Jany. 21st, 1863.


My dear McLean,

As you are going up to Auckland, you will of course have some conversation with the Ministry and the Governor, and as your voice is always heard with attention on Native affairs, a few words from you about the administration of justice here would I am sure be most beneficial, and more likely to effect a change than reams of foolscap, and yards of red tape.

The fact is that Laws, Magistrates and Assessors are very well in their way, but all are useless, or nearly so, without an efficient body of Police

Page 2 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

to carry decisions into effect - and that is what is most wanted here. The Provincial authorities with their limited revenue cannot be expected to keep up so large a body of Police as is needed; they do very well in allowing two for this District. But they cannot and ought not to have any thing to do with a Maori Police, and without that a Resident Magistrate in a Maori District is little better than a cipher. I have been looking forward hopefully for a long time, to the formation of the body of Police that was talked of last session, and I trust that a few words from you will get something done on the subject.

Page 3 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)


Then as to Assessors, they are also very necessary, but not so much so as the Police. I should recommend the appointment of young rising Chiefs, in preference to the old men, who I do not think would be offended at being passed over, if the matter were properly explained to them. For instance I don't think Apiata or Ropiha would be offended if Nopera and Paul were made assessors. Paraone is a man whom I would appoint, but I should be disposed to associate Herui Waiparera with him. The names I should recommend are Henare Koura, Paora Ropiha, Nopera, Hiri Nia Nia, Paraone Hakihaki and Hemi Waiparera, for my District. The expense would not be very great, as I know that some and probably the majority, of these men would decline pay.

Page 4 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)


I would prefer however having no Assessors at all appointed until something were done about Police.

Some time ago Col.Russell gave me instructions to refuse to issue any summons against a Native. This has, as I foresaw it would, produced a great deal of dissatisfaction, but I have obeyed the order without remonstrance, because I felt that having no police I should always have difficulty in executing any judgments I might give against Maoris.

I need not say anything on the subject of the danger attending the making exceptional laws for Maori Districts where the races are so mixed up as they are here, for our views on this subject are identical. Mine will

Page 5 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

be found officially expressed in Auckland.

For my own part, I have nothing to complain of in my office, nor (when the new Commissioner is appointed) shall I have anything to desire. Except that the longpromised instructions as to the respective duties of Civil Commissr. and Rest.Magte. might be issued as soon as possible, and that something should be done, as above indicated, about Assessors and Police.

Hoping we may soon see you again to assume your new duties as Superintendent,

I remain, My dear McLean,
Very sincerely yours,
E. S. Cooper.

English (ATL)

Waipukurau,
Jany. 21st, 1863.


My dear McLean,

As you are going up to Auckland, you will of course have some conversation with the Ministry and the Governor, and as your voice is always heard with attention on Native affairs, a few words from you about the administration of justice here would I am sure be most beneficial, and more likely to effect a change than reams of foolscap, and yards of red tape.

The fact is that Laws, Magistrates and Assessors are very well in their way, but all are useless, or nearly so, without an efficient body of Police to carry decisions into effect - and that is what is most wanted here. The Provincial authorities with their limited revenue cannot be expected to keep up so large a body of Police as is needed; they do very well in allowing two for this District. But they cannot and ought not to have any thing to do with a Maori Police, and without that a Resident Magistrate in a Maori District is little better than a cipher. I have been looking forward hopefully for a long time, to the formation of the body of Police that was talked of last session, and I trust that a few words from you will get something done on the subject.

Then as to Assessors, they are also very necessary, but not so much so as the Police. I should recommend the appointment of young rising Chiefs, in preference to the old men, who I do not think would be offended at being passed over, if the matter were properly explained to them. For instance I don't think Apiata or Ropiha would be offended if Nopera and Paul were made assessors. Paraone is a man whom I would appoint, but I should be disposed to associate Herui Waiparera with him. The names I should recommend are Henare Koura, Paora Ropiha, Nopera, Hiri Nia Nia, Paraone Hakihaki and Hemi Waiparera, for my District. The expense would not be very great, as I know that some and probably the majority, of these men would decline pay.

I would prefer however having no Assessors at all appointed until something were done about Police.

Some time ago Col.Russell gave me instructions to refuse to issue any summons against a Native. This has, as I foresaw it would, produced a great deal of dissatisfaction, but I have obeyed the order without remonstrance, because I felt that having no police I should always have difficulty in executing any judgments I might give against Maoris.

I need not say anything on the subject of the danger attending the making exceptional laws for Maori Districts where the races are so mixed up as they are here, for our views on this subject are identical. Mine will be found officially expressed in Auckland.

For my own part, I have nothing to complain of in my office, nor (when the new Commissioner is appointed) shall I have anything to desire. Except that the longpromised instructions as to the respective duties of Civil Commissr. and Rest.Magte. might be issued as soon as possible, and that something should be done, as above indicated, about Assessors and Police.

Hoping we may soon see you again to assume your new duties as Superintendent,

I remain, My dear McLean,
Very sincerely yours,
E. S. Cooper.

Part of:
Inward letters - George Sisson Cooper, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0228 (108 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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