Object #1020855 from MS-Papers-0032-0310

4 pages written 14 Oct 1871 by Arthur William Follett Halcombe in Cambridge to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Surnames, Hal, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0310 (9 digitised items). Correspondents: John Hall of Napier, 1871-1874 (4 letters); A F Halcombe, Wellington, Cambridge & Feilding, 1870-1876, and undated (4 letters). Includes letter from Jean Halstab?, written from Brighton, Australia, 1874 regarding her brother in New Zealand (1 letter)

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

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Page 1 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

Private Cambridge

Saturday, Octr. 14, 1871



My dear Mr. McLean

As I shall probably have no more rapid means of communicating with you than via Auckland from here, I send the enclosed acct, of my last few days work by wh. you will see that the grass has little chance of growing under my horses feet.

By the time I return to Tauranga I shall be in possession of sufficient information to give you an ad interim report on the Tauranga Harbor blocks, as I shall have penetrated the country in every direction, and if you would wish for such a report before the Assembly closes and will telegraph to me at

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English (ATL)

Tauranga, I will sand it by the first opportunity. I am much pleased with the Tauranga Lands, there is a large extent of good land - rolling fern country beautifully watered.

The whole difficulties of locomotion lie between Aongatate and Tauranga. From Aongatate to Kauri point, wh. is the most available landing place at the Katikati end of the harbor, you can gallop the whole distance - but to go round the bay to the Kati kati head overland is a frightful undertaking. The only way for a horseman at present is right across the bay at low water - over a swampy flat of about 3 miles - impossible for a permanent road except by forming a

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English (ATL)

causeway and bridging the two channels wh. take the inland drainage of the bay out to sea.

I am glad to see that Mackay has got the natives to consent to the telegraph line being erected through Ohinemuri. But that Katikati route is a great mistake if the other could be got, for I am convinced that a passable dray road could be made via Aroha, wh. would avoid all the difficulties of the Katikati route.

At the Maori pa at the Waihou I found Te Kooti's exgeneral - I forget his name, but he was very friendly and none of the natives appeared to be surprized to see us.

If we get through easily to Tauranga on Monday, you will have an alter

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English (ATL)

native line for mails and telegrams wh will be far more certain via Cambridge and by that route, and much more speedy than by the Ohinemuri - Katikati line, which cannot be travelled if the tide or wind prevent the passage from Katikati to the Island and from the Island to Tauranga.

To understand my letter, you should obtain a map of Heale's trigonometrical survey of this country and one shewing the proposed telegraph line via Katikati - and for the more particular information respecting the Tauranga harbor blocks, a reference to the Crown Lands office plan wh. was copied for me will be useful.


I shall hope to hear from you at Tauranga and remain Yrs. very truly
A. F. Halcombe

English (ATL)

Private Cambridge

Saturday, Octr. 14, 1871



My dear Mr. McLean

As I shall probably have no more rapid means of communicating with you than via Auckland from here, I send the enclosed acct, of my last few days work by wh. you will see that the grass has little chance of growing under my horses feet.

By the time I return to Tauranga I shall be in possession of sufficient information to give you an ad interim report on the Tauranga Harbor blocks, as I shall have penetrated the country in every direction, and if you would wish for such a report before the Assembly closes and will telegraph to me at Tauranga, I will sand it by the first opportunity. I am much pleased with the Tauranga Lands, there is a large extent of good land - rolling fern country beautifully watered.

The whole difficulties of locomotion lie between Aongatate and Tauranga. From Aongatate to Kauri point, wh. is the most available landing place at the Katikati end of the harbor, you can gallop the whole distance - but to go round the bay to the Kati kati head overland is a frightful undertaking. The only way for a horseman at present is right across the bay at low water - over a swampy flat of about 3 miles - impossible for a permanent road except by forming a causeway and bridging the two channels wh. take the inland drainage of the bay out to sea.

I am glad to see that Mackay has got the natives to consent to the telegraph line being erected through Ohinemuri. But that Katikati route is a great mistake if the other could be got, for I am convinced that a passable dray road could be made via Aroha, wh. would avoid all the difficulties of the Katikati route.

At the Maori pa at the Waihou I found Te Kooti's exgeneral - I forget his name, but he was very friendly and none of the natives appeared to be surprized to see us.

If we get through easily to Tauranga on Monday, you will have an alternative line for mails and telegrams wh will be far more certain via Cambridge and by that route, and much more speedy than by the Ohinemuri - Katikati line, which cannot be travelled if the tide or wind prevent the passage from Katikati to the Island and from the Island to Tauranga.

To understand my letter, you should obtain a map of Heale's trigonometrical survey of this country and one shewing the proposed telegraph line via Katikati - and for the more particular information respecting the Tauranga harbor blocks, a reference to the Crown Lands office plan wh. was copied for me will be useful.


I shall hope to hear from you at Tauranga and remain Yrs. very truly
A. F. Halcombe

Part of:
Inward letters - Surnames, Hal, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0310 (9 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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