Object #1013115 from MS-Papers-0032-0003
From: Native Land Purchase Commissioner - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0003 (57 digitised items). Contains papers dealing with the purchase of Maori land; in particular, there are official papers about `Old Land Claims' (ie pre Treaty of Waitangi); there is also extensive correspondence about the purchase of land in the Rangitikei area from Ngati Apa, and a related dispute about ownership between Ngati Apa and Ngati Raukawa; there is also a letter from Henry Tiffin outlining the concerns of Wairarapa Maori about an invasion by Ngati Toa Also includes translation of a letter by the Ngati Toa outlining the boundaries of land ceded to the Crown in 1847.
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Donald McLean's Report on the purchase of the Rangitikei, dated 21st. May 1849.
COPY, from:- New Munster Gazette, p. 82. No. 16.
21st. May 1849
I have the honor to report to you, for the information of His Excellency, the Lieut. Governor, that the arrangements with the Ngatiapa tribe, for the purchase of the district of land, situated between the Rangitikei river and the Wanganui Block, were satisfactorily concluded on the 16th. inst.,
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The Ngatiapa having arrived at Wanganui, I held a Meeting with them on the 15th. inst., at the Military Parade ground, which was attended by the Officers of the 65th. Regt., also by Capt. Campbell and Dr. Rees, Justices of the Peace; Robert Park, Esq., New Zealand Company's Surveyor; and several of the European settlers; besides Native Chiefs from different tribes, who were invited to attend.
When all were assembled, I briefly informed the claimants that I was glad to see them coming forward so promtly to conclude the negotiations respecting the transfer of their land; and requested them to make any statement they wished on the subject,
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before signing the Deed of Sale; that all who favoured us with their presence might understand the object of our Meetings, and the favourable disposition or otherwise, by which they were influenced, in disposing of their land to the Government.
The principal Chiefs and claimants responded to this request, by declaring in most emphatic terms, that it was their firm and mature resolution, to part with their lands to the Government; and that they anxiously desired to participate in the various advantages they would derive from the settlement of a numerous European population amongst them.
The Deed of Sale was then read over; the natives fully assenting to the boundaries, and other conditions therein specified, excepting two, - named Reihana,
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and Ngawaka; who, although agreeing to the general provisions of the Deed, requested, before attaching their signatures, to retain some large Reserves they had previously applied for, as communicated in my letter of the 10th. April; but which, from their extent, and position, I could not
grant. I therefore gave these natives to understand that as ample Reserves were already provided for them, I could not now allow of those unnecessary ones, after my explicit determination to the contrary.
George King, the Chief of Putikiwaranui, in addressing the Ngatiapa, remonstrated against such untimely applications being made for Reserves; when, to his knowledge, the district had been entirely surrendered to the Government
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at the previous Meetings, and public deliberations of their tribe. After a short discussion among the natives, I again read over the boundaries of the purchase, to which the whole of the claimants unanimously assented. Reihana and Ngawaka, coming forward amongst the first, to sign the Deed, remarking as they did so, to some few around them (who objected to their making such demands), that they merely wished to exact as much land as they could before holding the pen; which act, they very properly regarded as signifying their irretrievable consent to the final transfer of their land.
On the 16th. the whole of the men, women and children of the Ngatiapa tribe, with the Officers and gentlemen who attended yesterday, made their appearance
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at an early hour, on the parade ground, where a tent with other conveniences were provided by Lieut. Smith, of the Royal Artillery, and the Officers of the 65th.
The natives, having ranged themselves in the order in which they should be paid, I diverted their attention, especially those who were not present on the previous day, to the Deed of Sale, which was read over by Mr. Ronaldson, a young man connected with the Rev. Mr. Taylor's establishment; who afterwards assisted in writing on the Deed, the names of those natives who were only able to make their marks.
The signing being finished, Abrahan Tipae, the Chief of Wangaehu, reminded the Ngatiapa of the necessity of adhering to the engagements now
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entered into, of looking up to the Governors of the Island as their guardians; and to the Europeans as their friends; to all of whom they were now more closely united by the Deed to which they attached their names. He then addressed the people of the Wangaehu, Turakina, and Rangitikei rivers, separately, enquiring whether they fully comprehended the nature of the agreement they had concluded; and whether they were quite resolved to abide by the favourable promises publicly declared by them at this Meeting. To which they all replied in their usual way of expressing their consent, - "Ai." Abraham continued by stating that if any of them should hereafter disturb the present amicable arrangement, or interfere with the land they had ceded, that he should,
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himself, be the first to bring such offenders to justice.
Paora Turangapito, the principal Chief of Turakina, and leading warrior of the Ngatiapa, next addressed his followers to the effect, that the alteration of the lands of their fore-fathers and ancestors was a great event, and one in which he was glad to take part before his death; a circumstance likely soon to take place, as he was labouring under severe disease. But he trusted his survivors would carefully observe and fulfil their present important engagements. One or two laments over their country, were recited by this Chief, the whole tribe joining in the chorus.
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Parea of Waitotara; Mawae, and different other Chiefs, who were seated near me, remarked that it was quite unnecessary for them to address or advise the Ngatiapa on the present occasion, as the Tangis or laments for their land, which they had just repeated, were the best possible evidence of their favourable disposition towards the Europeans, and of their fixed determination to part with their land.
The first instalment of One thousand pounds was then divided in eighty-six equal proportions of ten pounds to each Hapu, or sub-division of a tribe; and the remaining fourteen bags of ten pounds each, were
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handed to the following Chiefs, - Kingi Hori and Humia of Rangitikei; 6 bags, - Paora Turangapiti
of Turakina; 4 bags,- Aperahama Tipae of Wangaehu, 4 bags; making in all, One thousand pounds, in one hundred bags of ten pounds each. The enclosed schedule marked A, exhibits the name of the Hapus and natives to whom the money was delivered.
After the payment of the money, the natives quietly dispersed to their encampment, on the South side of the river; and on the following morning they were seen in busy groups, passing from shop to shop, more eagerly disposing of their cash than they appeared, the previous day, to obtain it.
Upwards of eight hundred pounds
Native Land Purchase Commissioner - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0003 (57 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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