Object #1013203 from MS-Papers-0032-0581

4 pages written 15 Aug 1859 by Thomas Henry Smith in Auckland Region to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Thomas Henry Smith, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0581 (69 digitised items). Letters written from Auckland, Maketu, on board SS Egmont off Napier; on board SS Lord Ashley off Napier, 1856-1872. Includes piece-level inventory, 1856-1866 (excludes letters from 1969 accession)

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

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English (ATL)


August 15th 1859

My dear McLean,

I must get a few lines ready for the Steamer which leaves to morrow and which will I suppose find you in Wellington. Somehow we have 'lost the sun' of you but I doubt not we shall not be long without news of you - Great men like yourself cannot long hide themselves long - I hope you arrived in Wellington in time to reassure the panic stricken Wairarapa settlers who were reported to have come into town in consequence of menaces and over bearing conduct of the natives in the valley - Last accounts received here speak of forebodings of ill impending Native war etc. etc. but there are wheels within wheels and I cannot say I am much alarmed, nor do I think these reports have greatly disturbed His Excellency's mind. We are however anxious for the next news from the South.

By the 'Lord Worsley' I sent you a memo recommending Cooper's being sent to the Middle Island, so that you might act upon it or not as circumstances required. From what we have since heard from you I suppose the arrangement would not be carried out and am now sending H.E. instructions to despatch Mr. Buller junr. on the service the Governor is very anxious that some one should go as soon as possible - You will be able to give full instructions, knowing much better than we do here what is required.

Fenton is not yet back but is probably in or near Waikato by this time. The Governor is urgent to have a magistrate sent there - the Appt. has been offered to Howard Hutton and declined by him - Armitage has been named by Mr. Morgan and some of the natives have proposed his appt. - Not likely to take place and not desirable. We are writing to day to H.Halse to hold himself prepared for a change of location - the Appointment of Circuit Magistrate is to be offered to him - it is considered that Parris will be sufficient at New Plymouth - I cannot say I much like removing Halse from his present position but it cannot be doubted that the Waikato is an important position and we want a good officer for it.

Aug. 16th.

I forgot to mention in connection with the proposed arrangement for sending young Buller to Canterbury that Ebenezer Baker will probably take his place in Wellington - and Pirikauwau, whom White would be glad to get rid of, may do for Turanga. White is to do the work of Circuit Magistrate for the new district in the North and to be relieved from his duties as Collector of Customs. His salary to be £325 - as now - £150 to be charged on the Civil list - John White is back from Hokianga and reports success though the areas by survey are always under the mark - many not turning out one half the extent supposed. Rogan is at Pakiri settling for the Waikeriawera which I dare say you will soon see in the Gazette. He has also had new offers of land at Kaipara - The Ngaere has been offered again by the proprietors and Rogan is for concluding the negotiations -

We are really very much inconvenienced by the absence of the accountant of the Dept. A young chief from the Wairoa, with whom I believe you have had land purchasing transactions while in the South - Kopuparapara I believe, by name applied here for some £40 which he says he deposited with you last year - he wants the money to arrange for the purchase of a vessel which Mc.Farlane is selling him he produces no receipt for the money and no one here knows anything about the money - the accounts are not accessible and we can do nothing - If Friend has the accounts with him I wish you would get him to send us a memo. of moneys held by us for natives - it is very unsatisfactory to tell natives that you do not know whether you have their money or not - The Opotiki Mill is a similar case.

With reference to the deed of cession under the Nat.Reserves Act - I think there is likely to be some difficulty The deed requires to be so worded as to apply both to reserves ceded for the purpose being administered by the Commrs. and also to native lands ceded for the purpose of being granted to trustees for religious and charitable purposes - I should think the object viz. intelligibility, would be attained by writing on the deee, in cases when the land is ceded in order to be administered by the Commrs, words to the effect that the land is surrendered for that purpose and quoting the 6th clause of the Act - which provides that such lands may be managed and disposed by Commrs. appointed by the Governor in such manners as they may think fit with a view to the benefit of the Aboriginal inhabitants interested therein. My own idea is that the Nat. Res. Act is unsuited for the purpose of dealing with any but the first class of reserves over which native title has been extinguished and the Natives (not unnaturally) will hesitate to surrender their lands to be disposed of by any set of Commrs. unless they may have some voice in the matter, which at present the law does not give them - they are entirely in the hands of the Commrs. and the Governor - and though safe enough in such hands the native character is as you know suspicious - indeed I doubt whether it is qutte the thing to induce them to surrender their reserves upon such terms - could not the lands be managed without cession to the Crown, and this be required only when it is intended to individualize title or to sell or exchange with the consent of the proprietors.

Sewells native land scheme has been discussed between the Gov. and his Ministers, the latter pronounce against it, right but not practicable say they. They are to prepare a bill themselves - if not already done - My objection to Sewells scheme is that it joins the two questions of Acquisition of land and its settlement - I say you must acquire it when you can and how you can and deal with the proprietors of each portion separately - but the territory acquired need not be settled until of sufficient extent and included within proper bounds - What is your opinion of the scheme - But the mail is closing -

Believe me
Yours faithfully
Thos.H. Smith
I saw Mr. Kingdon yesterday he tells me Douglas is well.

Part of:
Inward letters - Thomas Henry Smith, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0581 (69 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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