Object #1014132 from MS-Papers-0032-0158

4 pages written 10 Jan 1848 by Sir Francis Dillon Bell in New Plymouth District to New Plymouth District

From: Inward letters - Francis Dillon Bell, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0158 (46 digitised items). Contains correspondence between McLean and F D Bell, and Bell and William Fox; the correspondence covers the purchase of Maori land (especially at Wairarapa), fighting in the New Zealand Wars, politics (including information about the formation of Governments in the 1870s), and personal matters. 47 letters written from Taranaki, Wellington, London, Shag Valley, Wanganui, Dunedin, Melbourne, 1847-1853

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

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English (ATL)


This letter received by Capt. King on the evening of the 12th and referred to me 13th.
New Plymouth
January 10th 1848


Sir,

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this day's date forwarding a map of two blocks of land lately acquired from the Taranaki and Ngamotu natives and placing that land at my disposal subject to such reservations for the natives, and for Government as are shewn on the map and to an arrangement by which about seventy acres in the Taranaki purchase are to be retained by the Natives for a period of two years from the 2nd Septr. last. To this latter arrangement I make no objection, because it follows a precedent, however unfortunate, adopted in other cases nor have I any objection to the reserves made for Government of the sites of Te Ngahoro and Omata Pah's. But the reserves marked out for the natives in both Blocks are essentially different from those which I have been previously made acquainted with: and I will not hazard the full expression of my surprise at these alterations, and at my being now for the first time informed of them, I allude to the reserve of two sections belonging to absentee Proprietors in the Block of 10,000 acres and to the reserve marked public in the block of 12000 acres.

With reference to the first

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English (ATL)

mentioned Reserve, I beg to remind you that it was not untill the 11th October 1847 that the purchase was completed and the Deed signed on the 14 of that month I wrote to M.McLean for information as to the transfer of the Block to the New Zealand Company, and on the same day that Gentleman replied acquainting me that the reserves made for the natives were coloured pink on the Government map of the Block on the next day namely 15 Octr. a meeting of purchasers for selection took place and Mr.McLean lent me the Government map shewing these reserves which in your presence was submitted to the Purchasers, upon that plan the two sections in question were not marked as reserved for the Natives to the best of my recollection they were not marked in the Deed which I witnessed - and I certainly did not then or since either directly or indirectly receive the slightest notice of any intention to reserve them, the single allusion to these sections which has passed between the Government and

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English (ATL)

myself, is contained in a letter from Mr.McLean dated 13th Septr. last where the following words occur "The reserves and cultivations will be more distinctly shown on a map with which you will shortly be furnished, and on which you will perceive that there are two sections chosen by absentees intersecting the Waiwakaiho reserve, the selection of which I should wish you to postpone untill I am instructed by His Excellency as to the disposal of them, I did not think it necessary to notice this at the time, because it was obvious that I could not postpone the selection of land which had been already chosen and also because there was no intimation of any intention to reserve them for the natives, But that letter was written a month before the purchase was concluded.

I was never furnished with the map therein alluded to and Mr.McLeans letter of the 14th October when the purchase was concluded contained no allusion whatever to these sections, I therefore protest against their being now at the last moment excepted from the Block, nor can I see the slightest ground for such a reserve being made.

Though nominally the purchase comprises 9800 acres there is not one half of that extent as you are aware available for cultivation yet

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English (ATL)

there were already 1050 acres of the best land reserved for the natives when they signed the Deed. A proportion I believe vastly in excess of every other native reserve made by Government in the Southern Province. To add to such an extent 100 acres of land already the property of parties in England I cannot on the part of the Company agree to, especially when I am suddenly informed of it, contrary to all that has occurred previously.

But I conceive I have equal reason to complain of the piece of land marked Public Native Reserve comprising 370 acres in the 12000 acre Block.

I believe I am correct in stating that the natives from whom Mr. McLean acquired the land, agreed to sell the whole without any reserve for their use. I am certain this reserve was not made or marked out when the purchase was completed and they signed the Deed, which I witnessed, and not only did I receive no intimation untill seeing the plan you sent me to day of such a reserve being intended:- You yourself in a conversation with me not very long ago informed me that the only reserves would be some small ones required for Govt. purposes that there were to be none for the natives.

Under these circumstances I beg to protest against the insertion of this reserve.


I have (Signed)
F.D.Bell
Resident Agent Capt.H.King R. N.
Resident Magistrate New Plymouth

English (ATL)


This letter received by Capt. King on the evening of the 12th and referred to me 13th.
New Plymouth
January 10th 1848


Sir,

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this day's date forwarding a map of two blocks of land lately acquired from the Taranaki and Ngamotu natives and placing that land at my disposal subject to such reservations for the natives, and for Government as are shewn on the map and to an arrangement by which about seventy acres in the Taranaki purchase are to be retained by the Natives for a period of two years from the 2nd Septr. last. To this latter arrangement I make no objection, because it follows a precedent, however unfortunate, adopted in other cases nor have I any objection to the reserves made for Government of the sites of Te Ngahoro and Omata Pah's. But the reserves marked out for the natives in both Blocks are essentially different from those which I have been previously made acquainted with: and I will not hazard the full expression of my surprise at these alterations, and at my being now for the first time informed of them, I allude to the reserve of two sections belonging to absentee Proprietors in the Block of 10,000 acres and to the reserve marked public in the block of 12000 acres.

With reference to the first mentioned Reserve, I beg to remind you that it was not untill the 11th October 1847 that the purchase was completed and the Deed signed on the 14 of that month I wrote to M.McLean for information as to the transfer of the Block to the New Zealand Company, and on the same day that Gentleman replied acquainting me that the reserves made for the natives were coloured pink on the Government map of the Block on the next day namely 15 Octr. a meeting of purchasers for selection took place and Mr.McLean lent me the Government map shewing these reserves which in your presence was submitted to the Purchasers, upon that plan the two sections in question were not marked as reserved for the Natives to the best of my recollection they were not marked in the Deed which I witnessed - and I certainly did not then or since either directly or indirectly receive the slightest notice of any intention to reserve them, the single allusion to these sections which has passed between the Government and myself, is contained in a letter from Mr.McLean dated 13th Septr. last where the following words occur "The reserves and cultivations will be more distinctly shown on a map with which you will shortly be furnished, and on which you will perceive that there are two sections chosen by absentees intersecting the Waiwakaiho reserve, the selection of which I should wish you to postpone untill I am instructed by His Excellency as to the disposal of them, I did not think it necessary to notice this at the time, because it was obvious that I could not postpone the selection of land which had been already chosen and also because there was no intimation of any intention to reserve them for the natives, But that letter was written a month before the purchase was concluded.

I was never furnished with the map therein alluded to and Mr.McLeans letter of the 14th October when the purchase was concluded contained no allusion whatever to these sections, I therefore protest against their being now at the last moment excepted from the Block, nor can I see the slightest ground for such a reserve being made.

Though nominally the purchase comprises 9800 acres there is not one half of that extent as you are aware available for cultivation yet there were already 1050 acres of the best land reserved for the natives when they signed the Deed. A proportion I believe vastly in excess of every other native reserve made by Government in the Southern Province. To add to such an extent 100 acres of land already the property of parties in England I cannot on the part of the Company agree to, especially when I am suddenly informed of it, contrary to all that has occurred previously.

But I conceive I have equal reason to complain of the piece of land marked Public Native Reserve comprising 370 acres in the 12000 acre Block.

I believe I am correct in stating that the natives from whom Mr. McLean acquired the land, agreed to sell the whole without any reserve for their use. I am certain this reserve was not made or marked out when the purchase was completed and they signed the Deed, which I witnessed, and not only did I receive no intimation untill seeing the plan you sent me to day of such a reserve being intended:- You yourself in a conversation with me not very long ago informed me that the only reserves would be some small ones required for Govt. purposes that there were to be none for the natives.

Under these circumstances I beg to protest against the insertion of this reserve.


I have (Signed)
F.D.Bell
Resident Agent Capt.H.King R. N.
Resident Magistrate New Plymouth

Part of:
Inward letters - Francis Dillon Bell, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0158 (46 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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