Object #1013501 from MS-Papers-0032-0319
From: Inward letters - William Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0319 (28 digitised items). 28 letters addressed from New Plymouth & Taranaki
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28th. September 1857
My dear McLean,
It is, I fear, an invincible habit with me to allow correspondence to fall into arrears. At this time I fear I must be in disfavour with several I would not intentionally offend. Your letter is a spur to a better practice, - perhaps only for the time being, judging from the past. We are all delighted to see Rogan after his wanderings and long absence. Travelling has opened his eyes to the littleness of Taranaki, and he has no desire to live here again. I read in the papers of your successful foray in the Ahuriri; but nothing so good as Rogan's description of you as the Big Dog walking off with the bone, whilst the natives were fighting. Some fine day you may be doing a similar feat here, for though the natives are not fighting, they agree none the better about the land. Hereabouts they are mostly on the turn, therefore Parris appointment was opportune. The readiness with which his application for the means to enable him to close with "Devil's brat Katatore, as Cooke terms him,- was met, has given much satisfaction, as I need not tell you; though unluckily the amount (£3000) has transpired; and land which I understand Parris hoped to get for £2000 may cost the full sum. For this 'tis said we are indebted to Norris, who received it in the way of reply from Col. Wynyard, to whom he communicated Katatore's offer. Too great caution cannot well be observed
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in disclosing figures where natives are concerned; who naturally expect to get the whole of the funds that may be sent for a particular purpose. It is one of our great stumbling blocks to colonisation that we have to pay so dearly for land in particular situations. Parris will not part with more money than circumstances may compel; but it must very much hamper his best plans to know that Norris' indiscretion may cost £1000. For the future it would really be desirable to confine amounts to the native offices, and should satisfy even official curiosity to state that money for land purchase was forthcoming, without mentioning figures. I think in Parris you will have a careful officer. I may say this, because I was no advocate for his appointment. I had not forgotten his ----(?) leanings to Katatore in his bloody career. Apart from this, he will do. May his end be like his beginning. Katatore is politically caged (?), and in addition to his own offer, a fine tract of open country between Waingona and Waitara can be purchased, if the means can be found. Parris hopes to manage Ihaia and Katatore without offending either. So you see he has his work carved out. Is there any prospect of our getting the Mokau? If so, the present is a highly favourable opportunity of a diversion in that direction. The land there is of little account compared with this; and a comparatively small sum might command a good Block there; but I am writing in ignorance of the feelings of the natives there. Fox, when last here, told me he believed the General Assembly would have given us this side of Kawhia; but Mr. C. Brown asked far too much, and
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lost all for the time. Are you in correspondence with Turton? I write to him occasionally, - I need not say irregularly, I hear from him much in the same fashion. He invariably writes in low spirits. I should rejoice to see the Government take him in hand, - in your Department, for instance. An able man he would undeniably prove in every respect. Then should we thus have corrected the hasty and erroneous judment formed of him at Head quarters, for his conduct here on behalf of the settlement; and as he has been badly used by the Mission, he is free to follow any employment that might offer. Watt has private intimation from Auckland of 5 out of the 7 Ordinances sent up, being disallowed. This, you will say, does not say much for the Provincial Attorney, seeing that the objections are nearly all legal. Well! the work was none of my seeking; and Cutty took me for better or for worse, at his own particular request. This work of law-making is quite new to me; and there would be no novices if no mistakes. We were congratulating ourselves on having got through a pretty good amount of business during Cutfield's first session; but much has been labour in vain. Who cares? Not I. My office is not a political one; and while the other men are fighting their way in the Council, I am out of sight in the office, as the working member; and as such might be continued on perhaps, if I so pleased, in the case of the others retirement. As Cutfield is, in every respect the opposite of his predecessor, we get on very pleasantly. The "Henry" is in this morning, from Auckland via Nelson. I hear the accounts from Aorere are still improving; that they may continue so has always been my hope, A few years of
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success will people the country, and make it of some importance at last. I can-not tell you anything new of our own auriferous prospects. Gold is really believed to have been found in
Fishleigh's suburban section 30; and on the strength of it, Cutfield offered his £100 manifesto on the subject. I am inclined to think there is plenty of gold here, and that New Zealand is a gold country; but we can do nothing without properly conducted explorations. The "Pinafore" has not yet turned up. A gun was heard at sea last night. What on earth will General Devon do in Taranaki? He never can have set foot in so small a place; and then again, his son's place at Tatara, I wouldn't be his son for the meeting. A live General in Taranaki! Who can-visit him? We shall strew the road--way with our coats, and help him over mud and puddles. I hope he will take his son away, and leave by the first opportunity, - the "Pinafore", for instance. Why, Major Murray, and all the Officers, will feel like privates in the great man's presence; and as for the soldiers them--selves, they'll look at him with open mouths, and for-get the salute. Captain King and Mr. Tighe are here, and apparently making a holt of it before the "Pinafore" comes in. Imlay has been for some months at Wanganui, superintending some improvements to his property. Good is also there, and his family are to follow. I do not know what Greenwood will do without their society. The Carringtons have taken Barret's place at Moturoa for a
short term from Honeyfield; and they will remove there shortly. Hetley has been dead some months. Mrs. Ritchie has got a second child within a wonderfully short time. Ritchie's name is great in the land, and he wears a moustache which is a mighty improvement.
I haven't another thought, so farewell, yours sincerely (Signed)
To:-Donald McLean Esq.
Inward letters - William Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0319 (28 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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