Object #1013115 from MS-Papers-0032-0003

15 pages written 21 May 1849 by Sir Donald McLean in Wanganui to Wellington

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.

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

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English (ATL)


Donald McLean's Report on the purchase of the Rangitikei, dated 21st. May 1849.

COPY, from:- New Munster Gazette, p. 82. No. 16.

COPY
Wanganui
21st. May 1849


Sir,

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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English (ATL)


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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English (ATL)

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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English (ATL)

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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English (ATL)

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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English (ATL)

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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English (ATL)

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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English (ATL)

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.

Aperahama

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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

English (ATL)


Donald McLean's Report on the purchase of the Rangitikei, dated 21st. May 1849.

COPY, from:- New Munster Gazette, p. 82. No. 16.

COPY
Wanganui
21st. May 1849


Sir,

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.,

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, 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, 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 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 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 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, 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.

Aperahama 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 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 of the whole amount has already been expended by them, in the purchase of thirty horses, agricultural implements, a variety of different articles, including clothing, - of which they very much needed a supply.

The Deed of Sale, with its translation, is herewith forwarded, in which it will be perceived the terms of payment are inserted, as authorised in your letter of the 25th. ult., that is, that the total purchase money should be two thousand five hundred pounds. One thousand pounds of the said amount to be immediately paid in three subsequent equal annual instalments, falling due on the 15th. day of May in each year.

Attached to the Deed, there is a plan, showing the probable extent of the purchase, and the position of the Native Reserves. A more accurate map will be furnished when Mr. Parke has completed a contemplated survey of the Interior of the Rangitikei river.

From the desire of the natives to possess the whole of the land between the Turakina and Wangaehu rivers, I considered it advisable to acquiesce in their wishes, as the place is peculiarly adapted, from its well defined natural boundaries, for a Reserve; and, from its extent, will also render it a sufficient and desirable situation for the eventual settlement of the whole tribe. There are already several villages, and native cultivations on this Reserve and the Chief of Turakina informs me that in the course of a few years, he will dispose of the Turakina Reserve of eight hundred acres, as he intends, at my suggestion, to make immediate preparations to settle between the rivers.

The right of eel-fishing, in such places as may not be drained by European settlers; the village and cultivations including sixteen hundred acres of land at Parewanui; Kawana Hakeki's burial ground; fifty acres near some fishing lagoons, (coloured red on the map); the right of cultivation till March, eighteen hundred and fifty-two, on some spots of land, opposite the Awahou, and a similar right for a period of three years, on two places on the North bank of the Wangaehu, - comprehend the whole of the Native Reserves within the purchase, and specified in the Deed of Sale; which further provides that the Government have a right of constructing a public road or roads through all the Native Reserves.

Mr. Park, whose experience as a surveyor rendered him most efficient in discharging his duties, is at present engaged in making maps for the natives; which, with copies of the Deed, I shall leave with the Chiefs as records of reference, in which the arrangements now concluded, are detailed.

The Ngatiapa are as yet a rude uncultivated race, whose improvement as a tribe has hitherto been much neglected. Consequently settlers have some little difficulties to contend with, in their first intercourse with them. But the cession of their country, increasing knowledge, and ameliorated circumstances, will soon bring about a perfectly amicable understanding.

I am glad to observe that many of the Chiefs in this neighbourhood congratulate the Government on the successful termination of the present purchase, notwithstanding the opposition evinced by various tribes, when the negotiations were first undertaken.

I have the honor to remain


Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant (Signed)
Donald McLean.
Inspector of Police. To:- The Honble. The Colonial Secretary Wellington.

Part of:
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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