Object #1017680 from MS-Papers-0032-0003

3 pages written 6 Sep 1849 by Edward John Eyre to Alfred Domett

From: Native Land Purchase Commissioner - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0003 (57 digitised items). Contains papers dealing with the purchase of Maori land; in particular, there are official papers about `Old Land Claims' (ie pre Treaty of Waitangi); there is also extensive correspondence about the purchase of land in the Rangitikei area from Ngati Apa, and a related dispute about ownership between Ngati Apa and Ngati Raukawa; there is also a letter from Henry Tiffin outlining the concerns of Wairarapa Maori about an invasion by Ngati Toa Also includes translation of a letter by the Ngati Toa outlining the boundaries of land ceded to the Crown in 1847.

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

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English (ATL)

Memo. from G. Eyre, the Lieut. Governor, to Mr. Domett, dated 6th. September 1849 to write Mr. McLean, relative to the boundary line of the Rangitikei purchase. COPY.
Mr. Domett,

Write to Mr. McLean, informing him that the N.Z. Company's Principal Agent has called my attention to the circumstance of the Northern boundary of the Rangitikei purchase being left open; and states that he understands this may give rise to some repudiation on the part of the Natives. Request Mr. McLean to report upon this point; and inform him if the boundary is not definitely decided upon, seen and understood by the natives, and marked in some way upon the ground, - the sooner this

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English (ATL)

is done, the better. In making purchases of this kind from the natives, when conflicting claims of rival tribes exist, the prudent course will always be to define exactly the limits of the country which the selling tribe are clearly admitted to have a right to dispose of; and to purchase this tract of country, and the rights of the natives, beyond its limits, if they have any such, real or supposed; the latter, of course, cannot be defined; but there the Government would not appropriate lands beyond the limits of the portion actually marked out, as known and agreed to beyond dispute; until after the interest of the adjoining tribes should in a similar manner have been satisfied by some future purchase. I cannot too strongly impress upon Mr. McLean, therefore, that in all purchases it is essential that however far supposed rights acquired in such purchases are supposed to extend, - some distinct and definite boundary must be acknowledged by the natives, and be marked on the ground, as the limits of the land absolutely purchased;

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English (ATL)

and to which the right of the selling parties is undisputed; and this limit or boundary should exist on every side of the purchase, either in the natural features of the country, or in Surveyor's lines.

(Signed)
G. Eyre.
6th. September 1849.


This letter had better be sent up to Mr. McLean by the Overland Mail on Monday the 10th. inst., directed to Whanganui, but given loose to the postman carrying the mail, that he may leave it for Mr. McLean, on the line of road, if that Officer has returned to Manawatu, which is probable.

English (ATL)

Memo. from G. Eyre, the Lieut. Governor, to Mr. Domett, dated 6th. September 1849 to write Mr. McLean, relative to the boundary line of the Rangitikei purchase. COPY.
Mr. Domett,

Write to Mr. McLean, informing him that the N.Z. Company's Principal Agent has called my attention to the circumstance of the Northern boundary of the Rangitikei purchase being left open; and states that he understands this may give rise to some repudiation on the part of the Natives. Request Mr. McLean to report upon this point; and inform him if the boundary is not definitely decided upon, seen and understood by the natives, and marked in some way upon the ground, - the sooner this is done, the better. In making purchases of this kind from the natives, when conflicting claims of rival tribes exist, the prudent course will always be to define exactly the limits of the country which the selling tribe are clearly admitted to have a right to dispose of; and to purchase this tract of country, and the rights of the natives, beyond its limits, if they have any such, real or supposed; the latter, of course, cannot be defined; but there the Government would not appropriate lands beyond the limits of the portion actually marked out, as known and agreed to beyond dispute; until after the interest of the adjoining tribes should in a similar manner have been satisfied by some future purchase. I cannot too strongly impress upon Mr. McLean, therefore, that in all purchases it is essential that however far supposed rights acquired in such purchases are supposed to extend, - some distinct and definite boundary must be acknowledged by the natives, and be marked on the ground, as the limits of the land absolutely purchased; and to which the right of the selling parties is undisputed; and this limit or boundary should exist on every side of the purchase, either in the natural features of the country, or in Surveyor's lines.

(Signed)
G. Eyre.
6th. September 1849.


This letter had better be sent up to Mr. McLean by the Overland Mail on Monday the 10th. inst., directed to Whanganui, but given loose to the postman carrying the mail, that he may leave it for Mr. McLean, on the line of road, if that Officer has returned to Manawatu, which is probable.

Part of:
Native Land Purchase Commissioner - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0003 (57 digitised items)
Series 7 Official papers, Reference Number Series 7 Official papers (3737 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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