Object #1016087 from MS-Papers-0032-0482

9 pages written 19 Dec 1867 by John Davies Ormond in Wallingford to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0482 (74 digitised items). 72 letters written from Wallingford, Wellington & Napier, 1866-1868Includes piece-level inventory.

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

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English (ATL)


Decr. 19th, 1867

My dear McLean,

I have yours of the 17th written after your return from the Run. First about the office matters you touch upon. I see the natives are offering Tamaki I should advise the buying it if you can get it on anything like reasonable terms. The natives except for sale all the leased land so it is just the Bush they offer for sale. Some day or other settlement will progress from the Wairarapa and Manawatu and fill up all that country which a trifle will secure now - I see you advanced Paora Ropiha £10 on his offer to sell the Eparaima Bush. Today he tells me he has sold the Bush at £1 an acre and that when he is paid (after the land is thro' the Court) he will repay the £10 advance - Now for the Papakura mess - what a confounded troublesome business that is. I have a letter from Weber telling me about it and he tells me in that that he has made out a valuation, and shewn it to the Lessees. It appears to me that that upsets all idea of arbitration altogether. As I understand arbitration it is something which two outside people, who represent the parties interested, decide. In this case, if we adopt Weber valuation, we dont arbitrate - we compound our agreement with the lessees-.I say at once that as far as I am concerned I advise most strongly against any such course and more particularly as I can see that under the present proposa we (Govt.) should lose a large sum of money on the transaction. According to my ideas the valuations are preposterously low and the Govt. in offering the land to the lessees at such rates will be simply making a present to the present lease holders of so many thousand pounds. Besies it is most unfair to the rest of the community that such should be done as it is done at their expense. My opinion is that the valuation list should be burnt and the Govt. at once say that it has been made on mistaken ideas and will not be adhered to - That the terms of agreement betwee the Govr. and the Lessees must be complied with and that arbitration in the usual manner is the only way we are prepared to deal with the question. We should most deservedly meet with severe censure from all sides if we allow the province to ffer loss in this matter of the Papakura leases - I am sorry for Weber because he always acts for what he believes to be best, but in this case we cannot allow ourselves to be put in the position we should be in if we compounded our agreement with the lessees in place of carrying out the terms we agreed on and which were arbitration. After having given public utterance to his opinions as to the value of the Blocks I shd. say Weber has made it out a the question for him to be an arbitrator. If I were appointed to act as arbitrator between you and someone else and said beforehand that my opinion was 'so and so' I should clearly be unfit, from the expression of my opinion to act as an arbitrator. What a nuisance that Papakura business has been from the beginning. Whitmore's theory of 'Govt. copyholds' is a mistake.

That finishes all the business part of your letter that wants answer. I see you are sorting your wool this year. I have done so for many years now and find the benefit of it. Another thing which I am told we ought to do is, to have our bales marked distinctly. Hoggett combing -Wether Fleece etc. whatever the character of the wool is, and distinguishing the same thoroughly - If it is not done we are at the mercy of the London wool sorter who classes twenty bales often, by the sight of one - Nairn writesme from England that this is one of the mistakes we make - Pat Phillip and other Colonies take care to have their bales properly and legibly labelled - the hint is worth attending to - I am busy preparing for my shearing - getting sheep in from the Manawatu country for it and so on. Today my docking is over - I have had a very fair lambing 80 per cent which comes to 8,000 lambs as nearly ascan be. I have also had a capital crop of grass seed and have nearly finished, saving it - I think I have got 1200 Bushels of good seed which ought to do something in the way of improvement. Really the work seems to grow every year there is more and more to do, at this season of the year I work like a horse keeping things going and using my labor profitably.

Thanks for what you write me about Patea and that you brother Alexr. will go with me. Will delaying going till the middle of January be risking anything if you think it will be safe to leave going till then, it wd. suit me better a good deal than now - when I have my shearing before me. Still I shd. not like to throw away the chance if you thought delay wd. do that - I do not myself think that the delay wd. do much harm but will wait and hear what you think. Do I understand from you that Renata and the Patea resident natives are at loggerheads - I shd. hope not, for I foresee in such case no end of trouble, if they are on terms - how would it do for Renata to go in with your brother and I, or to send some one of his people with us. What I mean is that when once it is known that you and I have taken any steps towards securing Runs there, there will be a regular rush for it and I should like if possible when I go in with your brother to be in a position to treat for country which your brother and I could define and get boundaries of etc. in brief my notion is to get all as ready as possible beforehand and then go to work really at it, and make a conclusion if possible. In the meantime I say nothing to any one. You might sound Renata as to whether he will go in or not. Before going in I should come down and see you, you could tell me exactly what you want done for yourself and your friends and the figure we shd. like to go to, and I could then do my best with your brother to work it out on the ground. I see what Hector says of the country and it is just what I have heard from other who know it. There is no doubt that the country is first class and the snow is not I think to be feared, certainly not for dry Sheep which wd. be the best to send there at first - Fancy that little beggar Whitmore going in there he is not a dangerous adversary though - his Maori and his manner would not be in his favor with natives. I have written a long scrawl and must close. Mrs. Ormond is all right again thank you; her throat was bad for a day or two but she is well again now. Always

Yours very truly
J.D. Ormond
I enclose an official opinion on the Papakura lease guestion. I beleve after consideration that my opinion as there expressed is the solution of the difficulty and right. J.D.O. P.S. I forgot to tell you I have had letters from our Country Members supporters asking me when the promise made as to the spending of the £7000 on Roads out of the Loan is to be carried out I made them the promise as you know, on our account, and by that means stopped a good deal of trouble - We must keep faith with them whatever else falls thro'. They say the promise was the money was to spent within six months and they see no proof of it - Stir Weber up and let the contracts be given out -

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0482 (74 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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