Object #1019589 from MS-Papers-0032-0484

6 pages written 8 Nov 1870 by John Davies Ormond in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0484 (67 digitised items). 65 letters written from Napier. Includes copy of letter from Te Poihipi Tukairangi, Pahautea Kaingaroa (in Maori), 14 May 1870; letter from Te Moananui to Hamana Tiakiwai, Napier, 3 Apr 1870.Also letter from Ormond to Daniel Pollen; Ormond to Lieut Col James Fraser, 3 Dec 1869; Lieut Col James Fraser to Capt Reuner, 4 Dec 1869.

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

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Page 1 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

COPY. Napier.
November 8th. 1870.


My dear McLean,

Ropata is here; and goes on in the "Luna" to see you. He seems very much depressed, and I hear, has lost a good deal of influence with his people,-mainly through advocating the lump sum payment system. He has nothing very new about Te Kooti; who is believed to be at Te Wera; which is only three days' march from Poverty Bay. It seems Ngatiporou are living in constant dread of a visit from Te Kooti; and that his presence in the back country is keeping the whole East Coast, near the East Cape, in a state of uncertainty. I think Ropata, with a party of - say 100 men - guided by some of Te Kooti's runangas, would have every prospect of catching him. If done, it should be arranged as secretly as possible; and so far as I can judge, the Expedition should start in from Poverty Bay, not from the other side of East Cape. If you go from Whakatane, or anywhere near there, the Whakatohea will undoubtedly inform Te Kooti; and then the chance of surprise is gone. I hope you will settle to have one more try to catch the scoundrel; and am sure the sooner it is done the better. Report from all sides says he is on the move somewhere. I hope it is not too late.

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English (ATL)


You will hear of Nepia Tohitihi and others surrendering. I am not aware whether any of those people are notorious murderers. If they are, the worst of them should be done something with. I am told that the Whakatohea and others grumble at these criminals remaining at large; whilst some of their people, who have only fought against us, are kept in gaol. A judicious selection of some of the worst characters, and punishing them, would have a good effect with both Europeans and natives,.

I have seen Hart about Mangateretere; and think it is best for you to assign to Williams and McLean.

You will be a heavy loser by the transaction; but I see nothing but probable loss in the future. You are liable for the rent due, viz.,- £1350, and will have to pay it; as neither of the parties you propose to assign to have any means. You will retain, of course, the one share you have purchased from Tareha; and which must, by Law, be one tenth of the whole Block. The position of the matter is unaltered from what it was when I last wrote. Sutton has purchased the interest of all the Grantees, except Karaitiana's and Tareha's. He and others have filed a claim against Karauria's interest; and I believe Native Land Court is debarred from appointing a successor to Karauria until the debts due by him are liquidated.

Karaitiana declines

Page 3 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

to sell at any price. Sutton has offered him £1200 for his interest; but he says he will not sell, and shall petition the Assembly to have the Law so altered that he may individualise his claim. No doubt if this is done - and it probably will - he will establish a claim to a good part of the Block. Altogether Mr. Sutton's position is by no means an enviable one; and so far as your interest is concerned, I think you are better out of it; for, at the rent, I do not see that anything can be made of the lease. As to your paying for the grazing of your stock during the past three years, I think you will have to pay the rent without any doubt; and it is a question whether you have received any further value than you will have to pay. I shall be glad to help you in any way I can in this matter. It strikes me that Mr. Williams may very likely raise a claim for labour, and in looking after your stock. In the event of your making the assignment prepared by Mr. Hart, the best plan will be to refer to Arbitration any claim of that kind which may arise.

I see Vogel and Gillies have been having a battle royal at Auckland; and are likely to be returned as Members for Auckland City, East and West, respectively. I am greatly amused at their feud. It is so exactly what I knew would take place,

Page 4 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

that I am only more satisfied it was quite absurd attempting to make terms with Gillies. If Vogel would only go to the Middle Island as Resident Minister for six months, he would become as complete an anti-Superintendent man as there possibly could be found.

I have started Weber at the survey of the line through the Seventy-Mile Bush; and called for Tenders for cutting the line. With good fortune, I hope to start the work in earnest by Christmas. Weber will meet Stewart at the Gorge when Gisborne advises me Stewart is ready; and Weber wishes him to come through the Bush to Ruatanewha to have his opinion on that part of the line.

Locke and Bold are starting the Roads from Taupo towards Tauranga. The Niho-o-te-kire road is no doubt the line. The Waikato can be bridged there with 25 ft. span; and the whole line is described as very easy, and as opening some good country. I do not expect Ngatiraukawa to do much yet at road work; and when I give you Locke's over sanguine expectations, I make myself the allowance I know you are sure to. I incline to think, however, there will be no opposition to carrying the road right through to Rotorua; and the Rotorua natives are already pressing for work between the Lake and Niho-o-te-kire.

Page 5 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

There is time enough to move on with this after a bit. I want the works now started to bear fruit a short time, before going further.

The Orakeikorako-Kaiteriria road is valuable, passing completely through Arawa country, and beyond the influence of Ngatiraukawa. It gives employment to Ngatitaha and others; and will, I think, prove £500 well expended.

Taupo road from Napier is also going ahead; and if I can only drive the Constabulary a little, I hope we shall shew considerable results.

Thank you for your telegraphic information about the time for our Elections. The month of January will suit very well. You might tell Gisborne so, if you have a chance.

I conclude you will be with Fox at Manawatu.

Please remember me to him; and say I am very glad to be pushing on the West Coast road. Unless stopped, I will get this side fit for Cobb's Coach, before the Winter comes.

Most likely I shall go up in the "Luna" (when she comes back on the 16th.) to Poverty Bay;

Page 6 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

and start the road works you have agreed to there. That poor devil, Bousfield, begs most humbly for employment; and unless you have strong objections, I will give him a trifle for looking after the roads from Poverty Bay. It will be a real charity; and moreover he will do that work as well as anyone else who is to be got. Burton could not leave his station and Flax Mill just now for Poverty Bay work. I understand the "Luna" must go on from Poverty Bay to Auckland; but most likely Read's new steamer will be down here in a few days more; and I can return here in her. I have been very busy of late; and must try and get away from the office. I feel as if I needed a change. I shall be disappointed if you do not arrange for Ropata to look up Mr. Te Kooti; and if you do, pray insist on the utmost secrecy. I will take no inkling goes from here; and I am satisfied a well selected force, moving in from Poverty Bay, would have every chance of success.


I must close, Yours very truly,
(Signed) J.D. Ormond.

P.S. Tylee goes by the "Luna" to see Fox for something. I want him to get the place here that man Hail is in. Gisborne could arrange it, if Fox asked him.

English (ATL)

COPY. Napier.
November 8th. 1870.


My dear McLean,

Ropata is here; and goes on in the "Luna" to see you. He seems very much depressed, and I hear, has lost a good deal of influence with his people,-mainly through advocating the lump sum payment system. He has nothing very new about Te Kooti; who is believed to be at Te Wera; which is only three days' march from Poverty Bay. It seems Ngatiporou are living in constant dread of a visit from Te Kooti; and that his presence in the back country is keeping the whole East Coast, near the East Cape, in a state of uncertainty. I think Ropata, with a party of - say 100 men - guided by some of Te Kooti's runangas, would have every prospect of catching him. If done, it should be arranged as secretly as possible; and so far as I can judge, the Expedition should start in from Poverty Bay, not from the other side of East Cape. If you go from Whakatane, or anywhere near there, the Whakatohea will undoubtedly inform Te Kooti; and then the chance of surprise is gone. I hope you will settle to have one more try to catch the scoundrel; and am sure the sooner it is done the better. Report from all sides says he is on the move somewhere. I hope it is not too late.

You will hear of Nepia Tohitihi and others surrendering. I am not aware whether any of those people are notorious murderers. If they are, the worst of them should be done something with. I am told that the Whakatohea and others grumble at these criminals remaining at large; whilst some of their people, who have only fought against us, are kept in gaol. A judicious selection of some of the worst characters, and punishing them, would have a good effect with both Europeans and natives,.

I have seen Hart about Mangateretere; and think it is best for you to assign to Williams and McLean.

You will be a heavy loser by the transaction; but I see nothing but probable loss in the future. You are liable for the rent due, viz.,- £1350, and will have to pay it; as neither of the parties you propose to assign to have any means. You will retain, of course, the one share you have purchased from Tareha; and which must, by Law, be one tenth of the whole Block. The position of the matter is unaltered from what it was when I last wrote. Sutton has purchased the interest of all the Grantees, except Karaitiana's and Tareha's. He and others have filed a claim against Karauria's interest; and I believe Native Land Court is debarred from appointing a successor to Karauria until the debts due by him are liquidated.

Karaitiana declines to sell at any price. Sutton has offered him £1200 for his interest; but he says he will not sell, and shall petition the Assembly to have the Law so altered that he may individualise his claim. No doubt if this is done - and it probably will - he will establish a claim to a good part of the Block. Altogether Mr. Sutton's position is by no means an enviable one; and so far as your interest is concerned, I think you are better out of it; for, at the rent, I do not see that anything can be made of the lease. As to your paying for the grazing of your stock during the past three years, I think you will have to pay the rent without any doubt; and it is a question whether you have received any further value than you will have to pay. I shall be glad to help you in any way I can in this matter. It strikes me that Mr. Williams may very likely raise a claim for labour, and in looking after your stock. In the event of your making the assignment prepared by Mr. Hart, the best plan will be to refer to Arbitration any claim of that kind which may arise.

I see Vogel and Gillies have been having a battle royal at Auckland; and are likely to be returned as Members for Auckland City, East and West, respectively. I am greatly amused at their feud. It is so exactly what I knew would take place, that I am only more satisfied it was quite absurd attempting to make terms with Gillies. If Vogel would only go to the Middle Island as Resident Minister for six months, he would become as complete an anti-Superintendent man as there possibly could be found.

I have started Weber at the survey of the line through the Seventy-Mile Bush; and called for Tenders for cutting the line. With good fortune, I hope to start the work in earnest by Christmas. Weber will meet Stewart at the Gorge when Gisborne advises me Stewart is ready; and Weber wishes him to come through the Bush to Ruatanewha to have his opinion on that part of the line.

Locke and Bold are starting the Roads from Taupo towards Tauranga. The Niho-o-te-kire road is no doubt the line. The Waikato can be bridged there with 25 ft. span; and the whole line is described as very easy, and as opening some good country. I do not expect Ngatiraukawa to do much yet at road work; and when I give you Locke's over sanguine expectations, I make myself the allowance I know you are sure to. I incline to think, however, there will be no opposition to carrying the road right through to Rotorua; and the Rotorua natives are already pressing for work between the Lake and Niho-o-te-kire. There is time enough to move on with this after a bit. I want the works now started to bear fruit a short time, before going further.

The Orakeikorako-Kaiteriria road is valuable, passing completely through Arawa country, and beyond the influence of Ngatiraukawa. It gives employment to Ngatitaha and others; and will, I think, prove £500 well expended.

Taupo road from Napier is also going ahead; and if I can only drive the Constabulary a little, I hope we shall shew considerable results.

Thank you for your telegraphic information about the time for our Elections. The month of January will suit very well. You might tell Gisborne so, if you have a chance.

I conclude you will be with Fox at Manawatu.

Please remember me to him; and say I am very glad to be pushing on the West Coast road. Unless stopped, I will get this side fit for Cobb's Coach, before the Winter comes.

Most likely I shall go up in the "Luna" (when she comes back on the 16th.) to Poverty Bay; and start the road works you have agreed to there. That poor devil, Bousfield, begs most humbly for employment; and unless you have strong objections, I will give him a trifle for looking after the roads from Poverty Bay. It will be a real charity; and moreover he will do that work as well as anyone else who is to be got. Burton could not leave his station and Flax Mill just now for Poverty Bay work. I understand the "Luna" must go on from Poverty Bay to Auckland; but most likely Read's new steamer will be down here in a few days more; and I can return here in her. I have been very busy of late; and must try and get away from the office. I feel as if I needed a change. I shall be disappointed if you do not arrange for Ropata to look up Mr. Te Kooti; and if you do, pray insist on the utmost secrecy. I will take no inkling goes from here; and I am satisfied a well selected force, moving in from Poverty Bay, would have every chance of success.


I must close, Yours very truly,
(Signed) J.D. Ormond.

P.S. Tylee goes by the "Luna" to see Fox for something. I want him to get the place here that man Hail is in. Gisborne could arrange it, if Fox asked him.

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0484 (67 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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