June 12th. 1854.
My dear McLean,
You will see from my official letter that Rogan is at work on the Hua Block, though at what, at first sight, appears a terrible cost. In reality however I must do him the justice to say that he works in proportion to his salary and is ripping up the block in gallant style. You will see also that I have reported my engagement of him for approval, and I hope I shall soon have instructions on the point. I have also shown the reasons why the survey of this Block has been delayed, to elicit which was, I suppose, the reason of your having officially mentioned the "considerable discontent" it had caused --- for of course you knew enough by your own experience of what Taranaki grumbling is, to attach any importance to, or belief in it. You are now armed with an official report wherewith to reply to any complaint that may come from the Members of the Assembly. If we could only get a fortnight's fine weather, the work might be completed, the land advertised and the discontent turned into some other channel for a vent. Since ast wrote I have had two or three battles with the Natives --- firstly I have succeeded in carrying out to some extent the principle of parallel lines to regulate the Native and European selections, so that the Maoris will not have more than 2/3rds. of the best land --- 2ndly, I have
established a sort of transfer of scrip system for the £1000 by which individuals sell as much of their share of the £1000 as they can spare, to others who were omitted in the first division, at a small premium --- for instance Hore Paramera's representative shad no share of the £1000 and had I not hit upon this expedient they would have given trouble about that section opposite Cooke's. However Taituha's nephew, Aperahama, bought £25 of scrip from Tahana for £30 cash, which gives him the right to select the section he wants. I have had great difficulty with some of the Natives who have offered money. They seem to think that they could buy and select as much land as they chose to pay for, however I have been very firm, and they at length understand that those who have no share in the 51000 must wait till the Company's land orders are satisfied and that they can then come in and purchase in regular course. Haeana is very troublesome about the money he paid to you, he fancied he could select a particular piece of land, and was very angry when I explained how the matter stood --- he is still urging the point. However I have partly arranged for the purchase of £20 worth of scrip from Matui for him, and I think he will be satisfied with that. I am happy to say that I have completely got rid of Mr. Hulke. The piece o£ land he wanted is to be reserved for the pakehas. They
are not entirely agreed about the subdivision of the £1000, it has given me more trouble than you can well conceive, for they wil not keep to anything. I have written the lists over dozens of times, and I suppose they will have to be written dozens more before it is all settled. However these disputes will not delay the settling of the Block, as the selections will be made in large allotments of 50 or 100 acres each.
Rogan has been a good deal blamed for the course he has taken in sticking out for 21/- a day, but I must acknowledge that I think him quite right, the work is extremely hard and he labours indefatigably at it, the weather is excrable and the employment confessedly temporary --- he knows well enough he is only employed on emergency, and kicked off as soon as the emergency passes over. Besides that, considering the salaries that are paid elsewhere, I don't see that his terms are so very exorbitant, especially as he speaks Maori well, is a successful negotiator of land, a trustworthy officer and a skilled surveyor. I hope neither Col. Wynyard nor yourself will take offence at what he has done, as he is really worth the money. I should like to see his services secured permanently, but I don't think less than £300 a year could do that. However he tells me he has written, or is writing, to you upon the subject so I need not say any more. C.B. is excessively indignant, chiefly
at Rogan's impudence in holding out for a higher salary than his own, and will of course, as is his nature, do his utmost to injure him at headquarters. Neither His Honor nor Halse would venture to take him on at 21/- a day but they saw no objection to my undertaking the responsibility, which I accordingly did at once.
I have had no end of trouble with a man named Hopataia who is on a section rented by Chilman on this side of Waiwakaiho --- he says he had your permission to stay there, and his repeated promises to remove have been as often broken as made. Chilman is very savage about it, for which I am exceedingly sorry but can't help it. If I had a Regt. of soldiers at my command I might turn Hopa off, vi et armis as it is, I can't and Mr. Chilman (who took the lease with his eyes open) must just be the sufferer.
Affairs are for the present quiet at Tataraimaka. I was there lately but find the threats have not nor are likely to be carried out. Mataiha, the man wounded by compensation young Bayly, is well and was this morning paid £5/for his injury.
I send you up those old accounts of Peter Hoskin's which were returned with queries by Knight, and which you may remember advising me to retain till he should arrive in the Brig. Now that he is certain not to come I send them to you in hopes that you will be able to make His Excellency
and the Auditer General in some degree acquainted with the position of affairs in Taranaki, whereof they are at present in a state of pitiable ignorance. I have appended a sheet of paper to the accounts, containing the best answers I can give to Knight's enquiries. I hope you will get these long standing accounts approved, and also something done about the Assessors whose pay is now 9 months in arrears.
You say in one of your late letters that you hope Crown grants are being made out for Rawiri's reserve at Waitaha and for the sections bought by natives in the Town. No grants have yet been made for anyone. Should a translation be affixed to grants in favour of a Maori? or should the original be in the Maori language? or will the English grant do equally well with a distinctly drawn plan in the margin? I wish you would also tell me on what form Rawiri's grant should be made as he neither bought his land by auction nor under the regulations. I think he had better buy it now at 10/- per acre and have a regular grant in made for it otherwise it is merely a reserve in which he will have no more than a life interest. Still a form must be devised for such grants to meet cases at Waiwakaiho. Would it not be a good plan, in cases where reserves were made to single individuals, to make the land revert to the Crown on their death, when their children might purchase it, if so disposed at 10/- per acre.
I have how told you everything of any importance so I will close this letter with kind regards from my mother and sister.
Ever faithfully your
G. S. Cooper.