Object #1019501 from MS-Papers-0032-0218

4 pages written 7 Sep 1871 by Henry Tacy Clarke in Auckland Region to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Henry Tacy Clarke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0218 (56 digitised items). 50 letters written from Tauranga, Maketu, Auckland and Waimate, 1871-1876

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

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English (ATL)

Confidential. Auckland.
Sept. 7th. 1871,


My dear Mr. McLean,

I am anxiously looking for an opportunity of returning to Tauranga. Mair has also been here from Waikato we have consulted together regarding the Tauranga land cases we heard and the decisions in every case are to my mind satisfactory. I wished to see him before he went to Te Kuiti and the delays by Te Wheoro and party have given me an opportunity of doing so and of talking over the matter. I have impressed him with the fact that his chief duty is to see and hear. Any question he may be asked he can reply to only in a general way so as not to compromise the Government in any way. The natives were rather anxious that I should go too but I told Mair that it was out of the question. I think the meeting will be a failure. The friendlies are very lukewarm

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English (ATL)

and none of the Raglan natives are going.

I have had twice since my return to Auckland to go into some other matters of importance. White's Waiuku report is before Pollen. He says that it shall go by this mail. I have written a memo upon it which I hope you will approve. It is highly important that the matter should be settled. Aehipene and Honi Tauroa agree with Mr. Whites propositions and it is high time that the tutuas should be released from the "tender mercies" of their Rangatiras which to say the least of them are cruel. Grants must be cancelled.

I have been looking over Sir W. Martins Nativ L.C. Bill - take it as a whole I cordially agree with it. One or two sections I should like to see altered and one or two made a little stronger. I object to the clause where the Court is directed to supervise the selling of land by Auction. But I do consider it is one of the great duties of the court to see that all intended land transactions of whatever kind should be examined and inquired into. A simple translation of a

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English (ATL)

deed is not sufficient. A native should be questioned as to his knowledge and understanding of the subject and this should be done by the Judge and not by his interpreter. I have no faith in them. In this matter I speak from experience and I know that it will work satsifactorily and will give natives great satisfaction.

I have got hold of Mr. Fentons bill a last and I do not like it one bit. It is complicated. It is written in such English that it is hard to understand (quite a contrast to Sir W. Martins in that respect). It gives the Court such tremendous powers all of which centre in the Chief Judge and another bad feature in it is the mixing up of the Natives Reserves. I know quite well that Fenton looks upon the Native Department as an obstruction - but it has saved him from some serious disturbances. In the Arawa case you only stepped in just in time much mischief had been done and the consequences will yet be felt for many a day. I would rather see the present act as it is than see the Bill proposed pass in its present shape.

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English (ATL)


About Bay of Plenty District. Would you as soon as you have a little leisure think of Opotiki. We want an R.M. there very much. The natives I judge from the numerous letters I receive want looking after. Brabant is the man for them - Mair says he is a nice fellow and would just suit. He is possessed of common sense and is not likely to be excited so as to weaken his judgment.

Old Marshall is here. He has been served with a writ from Supreme Court to show cause why a certain conveyance should not be declared void. He and his old Maori woman have met and Marshall will transfer the land to trustees for hers and for the childrens benefit. I have talked over the matter with Marshall and after his explanation and the production of his will I do not think he was actuated by other than honorable motives (Pollen does not think with me). But I must add that he went a very odd way to work. The old woman has been in the hands of sharpers and if the land were transferred to her absolutely it would be very soon out of her hands.

I shall be glad to get back to Tauranga. If you have time I shall be glad to hear from you, but suit your own convenience. In great haste.


Very faithfully yours,
Hy. T. Clarke.

English (ATL)

Confidential. Auckland.
Sept. 7th. 1871,


My dear Mr. McLean,

I am anxiously looking for an opportunity of returning to Tauranga. Mair has also been here from Waikato we have consulted together regarding the Tauranga land cases we heard and the decisions in every case are to my mind satisfactory. I wished to see him before he went to Te Kuiti and the delays by Te Wheoro and party have given me an opportunity of doing so and of talking over the matter. I have impressed him with the fact that his chief duty is to see and hear. Any question he may be asked he can reply to only in a general way so as not to compromise the Government in any way. The natives were rather anxious that I should go too but I told Mair that it was out of the question. I think the meeting will be a failure. The friendlies are very lukewarm and none of the Raglan natives are going.

I have had twice since my return to Auckland to go into some other matters of importance. White's Waiuku report is before Pollen. He says that it shall go by this mail. I have written a memo upon it which I hope you will approve. It is highly important that the matter should be settled. Aehipene and Honi Tauroa agree with Mr. Whites propositions and it is high time that the tutuas should be released from the "tender mercies" of their Rangatiras which to say the least of them are cruel. Grants must be cancelled.

I have been looking over Sir W. Martins Nativ L.C. Bill - take it as a whole I cordially agree with it. One or two sections I should like to see altered and one or two made a little stronger. I object to the clause where the Court is directed to supervise the selling of land by Auction. But I do consider it is one of the great duties of the court to see that all intended land transactions of whatever kind should be examined and inquired into. A simple translation of a deed is not sufficient. A native should be questioned as to his knowledge and understanding of the subject and this should be done by the Judge and not by his interpreter. I have no faith in them. In this matter I speak from experience and I know that it will work satsifactorily and will give natives great satisfaction.

I have got hold of Mr. Fentons bill a last and I do not like it one bit. It is complicated. It is written in such English that it is hard to understand (quite a contrast to Sir W. Martins in that respect). It gives the Court such tremendous powers all of which centre in the Chief Judge and another bad feature in it is the mixing up of the Natives Reserves. I know quite well that Fenton looks upon the Native Department as an obstruction - but it has saved him from some serious disturbances. In the Arawa case you only stepped in just in time much mischief had been done and the consequences will yet be felt for many a day. I would rather see the present act as it is than see the Bill proposed pass in its present shape.

About Bay of Plenty District. Would you as soon as you have a little leisure think of Opotiki. We want an R.M. there very much. The natives I judge from the numerous letters I receive want looking after. Brabant is the man for them - Mair says he is a nice fellow and would just suit. He is possessed of common sense and is not likely to be excited so as to weaken his judgment.

Old Marshall is here. He has been served with a writ from Supreme Court to show cause why a certain conveyance should not be declared void. He and his old Maori woman have met and Marshall will transfer the land to trustees for hers and for the childrens benefit. I have talked over the matter with Marshall and after his explanation and the production of his will I do not think he was actuated by other than honorable motives (Pollen does not think with me). But I must add that he went a very odd way to work. The old woman has been in the hands of sharpers and if the land were transferred to her absolutely it would be very soon out of her hands.

I shall be glad to get back to Tauranga. If you have time I shall be glad to hear from you, but suit your own convenience. In great haste.


Very faithfully yours,
Hy. T. Clarke.

Part of:
Inward letters - Henry Tacy Clarke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0218 (56 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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