Object #1016957 from MS-Papers-0032-0565

8 pages written 10 Nov 1860 by William Nicholas Searancke in Wellington to Sir Donald McLean in Auckland Region

From: Inward letters - W N Searancke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0565 (58 digitised items). 60 letters written from Waiuku, Ahuriri, Waipa, Auckland, Awhitu, Wellington, Masterton, Wairarapa, Otaki, Manawatu, Tuaranganui, Te Purupuru, Greytown, Rangitikei, Waikato, Whangarei, Ngaruawhaia. Includes piece-level inventory (1969 accessions not added). Contains letters from Searancke to McLean with regard to the purchase of Maori land in the lower North Island in the 1850s and 1860s, in Wairarapa, Horowhenua and Manawatu; the letters also contain information about disputes that arose from the sales among Maori and between Maori and the Government; there is also information about the disposition of Maori, and their attitudes towards the King Movement, in these areas during the New Zealand wars of the early 1860s There are also some letters about Searancke's work in the Waikato district as a resident magistrate, with information about his observations of the Kingitanga

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

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English (ATL)

10th Novr. 1860


My dear Sir,

I have to acknowledge and thank you for your fav of the 3rd instant, it has considerably enlightened me, I have I confess been very much annoyed at the remarks made both personal and on the Department lately I believe without a shadow of truth it certainly was most unfortunate that thro the extremely stormy and we weather prevailing in June July and August, Neither Surveyors nor I could do anything except office work and thus gave the Superintendant an opportunity of seeing us every day and saying what he well knew to be an untruth that we were idling our time away. He seems most strangely to forget that thro the good and accurate surveys that I have since my appointment here had made that the G. L. Commr. has been enabled at once to sell from my plans without putting the Provincial Govt. to delay, expence or trouble in making surveys in fact in justice to myself and officers employed under me (and I will candidly acknowledge their extreme efficiency and assistance as Surveyors) the Pro.Govt. have not actually had to send a single surveyor into the Field since my arrival except to correct old Surveys in the neighbourhood of Wellington and to mark off 5/- land and this point I beg you will note, I challenge a comparison of work between the N. L. P. Surveyors and the pro Surveyors, our expences are trifling in comparison in proportion to our work and I have no fear but that the day will come when our services will be better acknowledged. I may also privately inform you that it is my intention to send Stewart back to Auckland so soon as he has completed the survey of Reserves on which he is now engaged probably in three weeks or a month to report himself to you and only this morning His Honor notwithstanding his opinion expressed of us the Dept. has determined to offer (whichever Surveyors services I dispense with) him immediate employment under the Pro. Govt but I do sincerely trust that you will be able to avail yourself of his services at Auckland or elsewhere, at least for some time as I should not like to be placed in an antagonistice position to him. I saw Mr. Weld for a minute this morning and made an appointment with him for Monday, the result of the Interview I will communicate to you if time and steam will allow of it. I have no remark at present to make of the Gentlemen framed to form a commission, but will assist them with all the information in my power it certainly is not very complimentary to me that a commission should be necessary but I have done my best and the farther the inquiry is carried out the more shall I be absolved from blame, I do not fear inquiry I never have shirked responsibility or tried to avoid discussion on any difficult questions further than in some instances to postpone them lest they should lead to ill feelings or local disturbance the Natives in the Wairarapa most particularly have dyring the last twelve months been trying most assiduously to bring forward all their complaints but I being too well aware of their tenderness have on the other hand done my best to soothe them down until at least a more favourable time. The natives are unaware that the present time when the Govt. have their hands full of their troubles is only too good an opportunity to press on them their complaints and I shall strongly impress on Mr. Weld the utter inutility of the Commission except certain arrangements are in the first place made with the Natives some security must be obtained from the Natives that they will abide by the decision of the Commission or else any inquiry made will be worse than a mockery and I will also remark that if I hear that any more underhanded inquiries are made respecting me by anyone, among the Natives I shall at once decline to give them any assistance inas much the more any paltry complaints are listened to the more numerous will they become I am as I informed you before not afraid to resign and then stand a public inquiry, but as a Govt. officer I certainly will not allow it, you may rely upon my doing my duty as far as lies in my power to yourself and the Govt. I have many kindnesses to thank you for and am willing to be guided by you in all things except personal attacks. I confess I have felt keenly the remarks made on me for I do not think that I have deserved these remarks made too in a place where I have no means of answering them and no particular friend or relation to defend me.

I note your remarks respecting my return to Waikato I shall be too happy if I can be of any service to the Governor there, my knowledge both of the country and the Natives might be of some advantage and you may depend upon my responding at any time whenever my services are required there. I certainly should (so far as I can see at present the Commission not having sat) like very much to complete the old negociations now pending in the Wairarapa, it is but an act of justice to allow me to try, as I have now nearly got them all surveyed and only awaiting the sanction of His Excellency to proceed with their completion I I stated no time further completion because at present my hands are tied but I believe that I might this summer complete them all, on this subject I have written officially.

I return from Wairarapa on Friday evening (yesterday) and this morning has brought us back all our truth loving Representatives their reception is very cool and I am convinced that their reelection is very, very doubtful and if in some cases it does take place, will only proceed from want of men to oppose them, personally among the people here I have met with much sympathy on account of the remarks made by his Honor I think his personalities have not improved his position.

I perfectly agree with you in your last remark our position and influence is very much lowered and weakened by the remarks made in the House the Natives down here are perfectly aware of His Honor's remarks on myself papers are carefully translated to them and in fact my only wish is now by a steady attention to the completion of present pending business in Wairarapa to at least show them (the Natives) that whatever Dr. F. may say that his remarks are not all law.

Novr. 13th. since commencing the above I have surreptitiously obtained a letter from the Ahuriri chiefs to certain natives at Otaki the tone intention and animus is so unmistakeable that notwithstanding the rascality involved in opening another man's letter I have done so and forwarded to you a copy I forward it as a private letter and I trust if it is in your opinion prejudicial to me that you will not take advantage of it. It shows that what I always stated as my opinion is not far from correct, they are all ready mentally for rebellion tho' not quite ripe yet of course my views and ideas on this matter I keep to myself, hoping that the storm will blow over fearing also that a word of doubt on my part would only hasten on a panic. I have seen Mr. Weld and I perfectly agree with you he is a most perfect gentleman of quiet, mild and conciliatory views, he proceeds to Wairarapa on Thursday to see the Manihera and try and settle the great bugbear Rawiri's case. I also return there the same day to be near him in case he is in want of information or assistance he will see the Manihera at Bidwells and I have drawn up a note of the whole case for his guidance, I saw Mr. Strang yesterday and can assure you that he looks as jolly and stout as ever, Gillies of Otaraia has been informed against by Te Manihera for selling guns, the case was postponed last Thursday by Mr. Wardell but is to come on again on Friday next the 16th I shall let you know the result, I fear it will be unfavourable to him, everything here is awfully dull. I could not have imagined it could have been so bad, Mr. Weld has proposed to me to go into the 5 per cents question, I shall only be too glad to do so. I am very much pleased with him he is essentially a great acquisition to the Govt. The natives are apparently quiet but I have no faith in them, the excitement will only cease with the war I should only be too well pleased if the war can be confined to Taranaki, but I doubt its possibility. You will oblige me by forwarding to me your views on the copy of Heretaunga's Native letter also whether it is to be official or not.

Your's very sincerely, in haste,
Will N. Searancke
D. McLean Esquire AUCKLAND

Part of:
Inward letters - W N Searancke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0565 (58 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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