Object #1013418 from MS-Papers-0032-0005

28 pages

From: Native Land Purchase Commissioner - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0005 (27 digitised items). Includes handwritten receipts relating to land blocks in Wairarapa, Heretaunga and Taranaki and also includes a Maori letter from Te Hapuku to McLean and the Governor regarding a disagreement between himself, Renata Kawepo and Karaitiana Takamoana.

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

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English (ATL)

Report of the Chief Commissioner Mr. McLean's Visit to Ahuriri and the Wairarapa and Wellington.
Dec. - 1857.



The Chief Commissioner Mr. McLean and party left Auckland Dec. 23rd for Napier where they arrived on the 27th The dispute between Moananui and te Hapuku was still unsettled and collisions between their adherents were constantly occurring. Mr. Commissioner Cooper the Rev. S. Williams and many

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of the most influential settlers had been using their utmost endeavours to induce te Hapuku to put an end to the war by retiring from the disputed territory at Wakatu but had been unsuccessful in their attempt as he considered his honor involved in the question. Mr. McLean however found that te Hapuku would be disposed under the circumstances to listen to terms so long as they were proposed by Government

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and not by his enemies. After several interviews on the subject the result of Mr. McLean's mediation was a promise on te Hapuku's part that he would evacuate his pa with the least possible delay, Moana-nui and his party on their side engaging not to disturb or annoy him while occupied in removing his stock baggage and other goods. For this purpose however a ces

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sation of hostilities during nineteen clear days commencing Tuesday the 4th January was all te Moana-nui was willing to concede though he was subsequently induced by Mr. McLean to allow a further extension of the time.

The urgency of the case and the great importance, both from motives of humanity and policy of enabling te Hapuku to depart within the specified time appeared

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to Mr. McLean to justify him in giving that chief on the part of the Government at whose instance he was leaving every aid in removing his goods and the rivers being too low for loaded canoes to ascend them any distance and te Hapuku being but badly provided with means of cartage, arrangements were entered into by Mr. McLean for engaging drays from some of the

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neighbouring settlers for te Hapuku's use. At the same time Mr, Tiffen the chief District Surveyor was requested on the part of the Provincial Government to forward the same object by giving directions to the road-party to have the side cuttings on the Te Aute road improved, so as to render them passable for carts as far as Poukawa, from the

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Pakipaki to which point goods could be carried by canoes. Mr. Tiffen was likewise requested to detach a few men from the road party to assist the natives in removing their property from Wakatu to the Pakipaki.

Mr. McLean although anxious to proceed into the interior in order to bring to a conclusion several outstanding negociations for the purchase of land was

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obliged to yield to the wishes of the Natives on both sides who seemed to consider his presence near the scene of dispute as the only security for the fulfillment of the agreement entered into between the contending parties.

On the 11th of January one hundred (100) natives from the Wairoa accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Hamlin arrived at the port. They had left home with the intention

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of mediating between the contending parties. Being related to both sides in an equal degree they considered that their mediation might be of great avail in bringing matters to a peaceful termination and relying on this they had come down unarmed with the exception of some half dozen muskets amongst the whole number.

The principal chief Kopu had an interview with Mr. McLean on the

English (ATL)

Report of the Chief Commissioner Mr. McLean's Visit to Ahuriri and the Wairarapa and Wellington.
Dec. - 1857.



The Chief Commissioner Mr. McLean and party left Auckland Dec. 23rd for Napier where they arrived on the 27th The dispute between Moananui and te Hapuku was still unsettled and collisions between their adherents were constantly occurring. Mr. Commissioner Cooper the Rev. S. Williams and many of the most influential settlers had been using their utmost endeavours to induce te Hapuku to put an end to the war by retiring from the disputed territory at Wakatu but had been unsuccessful in their attempt as he considered his honor involved in the question. Mr. McLean however found that te Hapuku would be disposed under the circumstances to listen to terms so long as they were proposed by Government and not by his enemies. After several interviews on the subject the result of Mr. McLean's mediation was a promise on te Hapuku's part that he would evacuate his pa with the least possible delay, Moana-nui and his party on their side engaging not to disturb or annoy him while occupied in removing his stock baggage and other goods. For this purpose however a cessation of hostilities during nineteen clear days commencing Tuesday the 4th January was all te Moana-nui was willing to concede though he was subsequently induced by Mr. McLean to allow a further extension of the time.

The urgency of the case and the great importance, both from motives of humanity and policy of enabling te Hapuku to depart within the specified time appeared to Mr. McLean to justify him in giving that chief on the part of the Government at whose instance he was leaving every aid in removing his goods and the rivers being too low for loaded canoes to ascend them any distance and te Hapuku being but badly provided with means of cartage, arrangements were entered into by Mr. McLean for engaging drays from some of the neighbouring settlers for te Hapuku's use. At the same time Mr, Tiffen the chief District Surveyor was requested on the part of the Provincial Government to forward the same object by giving directions to the road-party to have the side cuttings on the Te Aute road improved, so as to render them passable for carts as far as Poukawa, from the Pakipaki to which point goods could be carried by canoes. Mr. Tiffen was likewise requested to detach a few men from the road party to assist the natives in removing their property from Wakatu to the Pakipaki.

Mr. McLean although anxious to proceed into the interior in order to bring to a conclusion several outstanding negociations for the purchase of land was obliged to yield to the wishes of the Natives on both sides who seemed to consider his presence near the scene of dispute as the only security for the fulfillment of the agreement entered into between the contending parties.

On the 11th of January one hundred (100) natives from the Wairoa accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Hamlin arrived at the port. They had left home with the intention of mediating between the contending parties. Being related to both sides in an equal degree they considered that their mediation might be of great avail in bringing matters to a peaceful termination and relying on this they had come down unarmed with the exception of some half dozen muskets amongst the whole number.

The principal chief Kopu had an interview with Mr. McLean on the morning of his arrival in which he explained the pacific object of his visit after which he left for te Hapuku's pa where he remained for two days and on the following Thursday proceeded to visit Moana-nui's party. On the same day the 11th January the newly appointed District Commissioner Mr. Serancke departed for the Wairarapa and Wellington taking with him letters introducing him to the principal chiefs in that District Mr. Serancke was likewise to proceed to Wellington in order to procure the deeds and plans belonging to his District.

any. 26

On the 26th January Te Rangihiora an old chief residing near the inland part of the Ahuriri Block through which the Taupo road passes arrived at the port for the purpose of holding an interview with Mr. McLean on the subject of the said road and his alledged claims on the Ahuriri Block. Several discussions took place and during their progress the Native Chief Te Pohipi who had been one of the most active supporters of the Overland mail arrived and took part in the discussions. Te Rangihiora laid claims to payment on account of the Ahuriri Block which Mr. McLean refused to entertain as it would be reopening a matter which had been finally disposed of by the sale and transfer of the land in question. Te Moananui however and his tribes to whom the said payment had been made after some little discussion on the subject admitted te Rangihiora's claim but alleged their own want of means as a reason for not making the required payment at the same time engaging to do so as soon as by any further sale of land they should be in possession of the means. Mr. McLean however refused to make any further payments to the Ahuriri chiefs until the Hapuku's removal to the interior should have been effected: but on the strength of their recognition of Te Rangihiora's claim for compensation offerred to advance on their account a sum of fifty pounds to that chief conditionally on his relinquishing his claim. The old chief declined to execute a deed to that effect but his brothers Kingitona and Kipa signed a receipt for the amount. The money however they left in Mr. McLean's hands as they were unwilling to accept it until they had conferred with the Taupo and other tribes who had promised to aid them in forcibly recovering the land.

In consequence of their negociations and of the recognition of te Rangihiora's claim that chief consented to withdraw his opposition to the formation of the Overland mail through Taupo, a work of the utmost importance to the Colony in general and in which a most excellent commencement had been made by the Chief Nikora and other natives under the superintendence of Mr. Alexander and Mr. McLean even succeeded subsequently in inducing that chief's brothers to undertake the formation of part of the road themselves. For this purpose a sum of fifty pounds (£50) was advanced to enable them to proceed with the works which were to be carried on subject to the Superintendence of Mr. Alexander and an application was made to Government to authorise a further expenditure on the same work for a sum of five hundred pounds.

About the same time a large party of Wairarapa and Manawatu Natives amongst whom was the native chief Raniera arrived in the District for the purpose of preventing by their mediation any further effusion of blood. They proposed remaining until te Hapuku should be ready to leave. It being found impossible for te Hapuku to improve the road and remove his food and baggage within the previously specified time of nineteen (19) days a further extension of the armistice was agreed to by te Moana-nui. The natives who had arrived from the Wairoa as a mediating party, finding that there was now every probability of an amicable termination to the feud had left for their own homes on the 20th January accompanied by the Rev. James Hamlin.



On the 7th February the first detachment of a body of troops to be stationed in the Ahuriri District arrived in the Barque Eastfield under the Command of Lieut. Col. Wyatt of the 65th Regt., and were encamped temporarily in the valley of Onepoto in the Island of Scinde.

From this time till the end of the month Mr. McLean was detained at the port by the necessity of waiting Hapuku's removal could be effected.

On the 3rd March the preparations of te Hapuku's removal had so far progressed that Mr. McLean was able to commence his journey into the interior and proceeded to Pakowhai the pah of the Chief Pouhara an ally of te Hapuku who had fallen in one of the late skirmishes. His body had been exhumed and carried away by te Hapuku preparatory to his own departure, and that chief was now busily engaged in removing his own goods from his pa on the opposite side of the river at Wakatu. On the evening of the 4th having at last removed all his property the pa was burnt by his people and the next morning accompanied by Messrs. McLean, Cooper and party he proceeded to Pakepake.

Mr. McLean ving seen te Hapuku and his tribe settled in their new homes proceeded to Porangahau negociations for the purchase of which block had been long pending. This tract of land comprising about 130,000 acres of fine undulating country interspersed with ranges of hills the whole well adapted for pastoral purposes had been applied for in runs by intending sheep-farmers and great anxiety was felt by them that the land should be purchased from the Natives and its occupation by Europeans legalised. Mr. McLean succeeded in bringing these negociations to a satisfactory conclusion and on the 10th March three thousand pounds were paid by Mr. Cooper and the land conveyed by deed to the Government. On the following day the purchase of a similar block at Tautane was likewise effected. Five Hundred pounds had been previously advanced on account of this block then computed to contain 70,000 acres. A further extension of the boundaries was now agreed to by the natives, raising the acreage of the block to 140,000 and a thousand pounds paid so as finally to complete the purchase. This block of land was transferred by deed on the 11th March and Mr. Bousfield received instructions to mark out the boundaries of the Native Reserves which had been agreed upon in the final negociations.

From Tautane Mr. McLean proceeded by Castlepoint to the upper Wairarapa where a meeting of the Natives took place at their settlement near Masterton. Offers of further sales of land were made and the question of accurately defining and marking off the Native Reserves in that District discussed. Mr. Serancke received instructions to examine and settle their different questions on his return from the Manawatu, whither Mr. McLean was anxious to proceed with as little delay as possible in order to initiate negociations for the purchase of several large blocks which the natives expressed their willingness to sell in that district. On the 17th March Mr. McLean arrived in the Hutt and the next morning reached Wellington.

Part of:
Native Land Purchase Commissioner - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0005 (27 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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