Rose Wood, Pangbourne
24 March 1869
His Honor D. McLean Esqr.
Hawke's Bay Napier.
By the advice of Sir Geo. Grey I venture to address you as one of those best able to aid me in initiating a movement which seems to me capable of becoming of great importance to the Northern Island. The encouraging accounts of the working of the Native Lands Courts, in throwing open to colonization a great extent of eligible territory in the native Districts, seem to suggest to those in this country desirous of becoming Colonists corresponding efforts to avail themselves of the means thus presented to them of founding for themselves and children homes and properties in the fertile lands now for the first time rendered - accessible to the mutual advantage of both races the Natives and the Colonists.
I have for some time meditated a scheme by which
I believe - if great care be taken in selecting the members of such a small community as I contemplate - the main objections of different classes to become Colonists might be obviated, and great advantages secured to those of every class concerned in it. Of course peace and security must first be firmly established: but the native Lands Courts and other institutions which will necessarily follow in their train, seem to give good promise of soon effecting that desirable end - I need not trouble you with details of my plan further than to state that it contemplates the settlement together of a few families of Gentry, with carefully selected labourers and artizans as a distinct community, with a chaplain to act as Pastor, holding a good extent of freehold and leasehold land together as a common property, and working it by aid of the best mechanical appliances.
For such a design the first requisite is of course an eligible tract of land, part to be purchased at a reasonable price, a larger extent to be rented say for 20 years with a right of purchase over the whole or parts at a fixed price, and adapted for sheep and cattle - It must have easy communication with a place of
of shipment so that heavy machinery for instance could be conveyed to it, and furnished with wood, water and if possible within reach of coal - If it included a likely site for a Township it wd. fof course be more valuable. It is in this respect that your knowledge of the country to be procured from Native owners would be of so much use to me in bringing my plans before those likely to join in them -
If I could have the refusal of some eligible properties secured to me for a year, clear of any possible adverse claim, I should have great confidence in being able, within that period, to find those who would join in purchasing leasing etc. one of them. When once such a plan of Settlement was found to work successfully it would doubtless be extensively followed, by which the Northern Island would be greatly benefited - My designs are very limited - I should not contemplate in the first instance the outlay of above £4000 (four thousand) in freehold land, and to rent some 60,000 (sixty thousand) acres at the rate paid for sheep runs with the right of purchase at a fixed price - I should wish to have a detailed plan of any such property, marking
its character in different parts, whether hilly, swampy, bush, open plain etc., with the chief water courses etc. - and as plans of all lands brought into the lands Courts must be furnished, I presume a tracing from such plans could be made at trifling cost - To procure such a tracing and a description by some competent judge of the value of land, of the several features of the site I would go to an expense of not exceeding £10 (ten pounds).
I feel that I am taking a great liberty in addressing you being a perfect stranger, but the prosperity of the country is so intimately connected with the immigration of eligible Colonists, such as I propose to attract by my arrangements, that one who has shewn the interest in the Colony which you have will I am sure, as far as may be in your power, afford me all the information of this kind, with the general price of eligible land to buy or rent which is at your disposal. How would land be at Tauranga, or where the dreadful massacres occurred?
I am not acquainted with the land regulations of your Province, or whether these apply to land in native Districts, and whether any assistance under them
can be obtained by those going out as I propose - The particulars of local and provincial rates and taxes would also be requisite to be known. The pecuniary condition of the Colony is certainly for the present not inviting, but would become meteorally lightened were peace and security well established and the native lands go become extensively occupied as I propose.
I presume my Brother, the Hon. H.J. Tancred of Canterbury is known to you at least by name - My eldest son is also now there -
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Yours very faithfully
P.S. I may add that as it is essential to the harmonious working to gether of such a small community that there should be no waste of power in education, or religious teaching, thro' irreconcilable diversities of faith, it would consist of members of the Church of England.