Object #1020858 from MS-Papers-0032-0142

15 pages written 7 Jan 1858 by Alexander Alexander in Ahuriri to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - A Alexander, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0142 (22 digitised items). 21 letters written to Donald McLean by Alexander Alexander, 1850-1865 from: Ahuriri, Ohuarau, Mangatarata, Napier & Rotowhenua

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

Download a at

Page 1 of 15. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

Ahuriri

7 Jany. 1859



My dear Mr. McLean,

Yesterday I wrote you officially in answer to yours of 20th Nov. I have nothing here to say in reference to it except to repeat my wish that you will get some one else to take any further management that may be necessary in carrying out any farther improvements that may be required to make a good bridle path to Taupo ---

If Tiffen will allow a Surveyor to go with me in the beginning

Page 2 of 15. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

of Feby. he will (the Surveyor) I suppose report to the Govt. what sum in his opinion will be required to carry on the road to Taupo in the same way in wh. it has been hitherto carried on and whether there has been much or any unnecessary expenditure in the works already completed. There can be no doubt the natives have worked with great energy and perhaps have done a great deal more than if they had been superintended by a European. You knowing the nature of the country between this and the Taupo plains will admit

Page 3 of 15. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

that great advantages will accrue both to this place and Auckland by its having been made easily available to person on horseback, but more than this it will have a great moral effect amongst the natives. Nikora who has been the principal man in the whole affair deserves the thanks of the Govt. His influence has had considerable weight with the Haroto natives. Rangihiroa appears now quite a different man. Of course he has always been told by me that he has been the mighty lever by wh.

Page 4 of 15. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

these improvements have been effected. Perhaps a few words about Kipa are necessary. He is no doubt disappointed at his pet road having been abandoned, but I think he has now resigned himself to his fate. It was he and no other who accompanied me when I went to see what improvements would be required in their district. I pointed out to him the portions wh. I would require to be improved and took him on with me to Tarawera where Nikora's party was at work --- pointed out to him the defects in their work and requested him particularly to avoid similar ones under his management.

Page 5 of 15. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

This he faithfully promised to do and we returned to Haroto. There I found that considerable discontent existed amongst the natives on account of Kipa's having proposed to me a line of road wh. they would rather not have carried out I replied that I had seen both lines and that it appeared to me there was little difference between them and that it was for themselves to decide wh. shd. be the one. It was not decided when I left wh. they would adopt but at all events Kipa through misrepresenting what I told him or rather telling

Page 6 of 15. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

them what I did not say, got the whole Tribe to adopt his view. They commenced immediately to work to the number of some 50 or 60 and in two or three weeks the mischief was done. A Bill of upwards of £300 was handed to me in a short time and you may rest assured it astonished me a good deal and I proceeded immediately to see what they had been about. But I was much more astonished to find that all this money had been expended when £50 might have sufficed. In fact Kipa had made a carriage drive

Page 7 of 15. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

up to his whare. In asking him what he meant by so far departing from my instructions he replied that "the Makarini told me to make a very good road and as he supplies the money he knows best what sort of a road should be made". The rest is explained in my official letter. He should get £25 for work done on this side of Mohaka. The Natives have such a mania just now for road making that I believe they might be got to work without any pay at

Page 8 of 15. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

all. I have had to keep open house for them ever since these roads commenced and I am glad at the prospect of soon getting rid of this affliction ---

We are all agog here about politics. The great question just now is who is to be Superintendent. At first Tiffen and Cooper had given out quiet hints that they would have no objection to act. A murmur arose and their aspiring hopes were nipped in the bud. Then came Capt. Newman on the carpet --- this gave cause for a little reflection. You were mentioned --- no chance of your coming --- for the present at least. While matters

Page 9 of 15. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

were in this state I received a letter from Mr. Domett about his land Run and Sheep. In a P.S. he asks "who is likely to be your Superintendent I hear Tiffen and Cooper's names mentioned I dont think they are fit men and surely better can be got. I do not state this because I have any particular wish for the office myself altho I shd. have no objection to act if the Council thought proper to elect me".

I do not suppose Domett wrote this in the belief that I would mention it to any one but having done so to two or three of his friends the news spread with wonderful rapidity --- forth comes a letter from Tom Fitzgerald or as Domett

Page 10 of 15. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

calls him "Silky Tom" under the name of "Veritas" and a more unblushing and violent attack on an able, good and conscientious man I do not believe ever appeared in print. The rejoinder under the name of Publicola was both just and severe. Ever since both parties in the Newmanites and Domettites have been thrashing each other unmercifully. The only men of any note who oppose Domett are Tiffen, Cooper Russell and Rhodes I have omitted Tom and a precious crew they are. The fact of the matter is I believe these gentlemen know that Mr. Domett knows them --- Tiffen has considerable official influence --- Cooper todays the Rev. Sam. Williams. Russell is disliked by every body. Rhodes is considered

English (ATL)

Ahuriri

7 Jany. 1859



My dear Mr. McLean,

Yesterday I wrote you officially in answer to yours of 20th Nov. I have nothing here to say in reference to it except to repeat my wish that you will get some one else to take any further management that may be necessary in carrying out any farther improvements that may be required to make a good bridle path to Taupo ---

If Tiffen will allow a Surveyor to go with me in the beginning of Feby. he will (the Surveyor) I suppose report to the Govt. what sum in his opinion will be required to carry on the road to Taupo in the same way in wh. it has been hitherto carried on and whether there has been much or any unnecessary expenditure in the works already completed. There can be no doubt the natives have worked with great energy and perhaps have done a great deal more than if they had been superintended by a European. You knowing the nature of the country between this and the Taupo plains will admit that great advantages will accrue both to this place and Auckland by its having been made easily available to person on horseback, but more than this it will have a great moral effect amongst the natives. Nikora who has been the principal man in the whole affair deserves the thanks of the Govt. His influence has had considerable weight with the Haroto natives. Rangihiroa appears now quite a different man. Of course he has always been told by me that he has been the mighty lever by wh. these improvements have been effected. Perhaps a few words about Kipa are necessary. He is no doubt disappointed at his pet road having been abandoned, but I think he has now resigned himself to his fate. It was he and no other who accompanied me when I went to see what improvements would be required in their district. I pointed out to him the portions wh. I would require to be improved and took him on with me to Tarawera where Nikora's party was at work --- pointed out to him the defects in their work and requested him particularly to avoid similar ones under his management. This he faithfully promised to do and we returned to Haroto. There I found that considerable discontent existed amongst the natives on account of Kipa's having proposed to me a line of road wh. they would rather not have carried out I replied that I had seen both lines and that it appeared to me there was little difference between them and that it was for themselves to decide wh. shd. be the one. It was not decided when I left wh. they would adopt but at all events Kipa through misrepresenting what I told him or rather telling them what I did not say, got the whole Tribe to adopt his view. They commenced immediately to work to the number of some 50 or 60 and in two or three weeks the mischief was done. A Bill of upwards of £300 was handed to me in a short time and you may rest assured it astonished me a good deal and I proceeded immediately to see what they had been about. But I was much more astonished to find that all this money had been expended when £50 might have sufficed. In fact Kipa had made a carriage drive up to his whare. In asking him what he meant by so far departing from my instructions he replied that "the Makarini told me to make a very good road and as he supplies the money he knows best what sort of a road should be made". The rest is explained in my official letter. He should get £25 for work done on this side of Mohaka. The Natives have such a mania just now for road making that I believe they might be got to work without any pay at all. I have had to keep open house for them ever since these roads commenced and I am glad at the prospect of soon getting rid of this affliction ---

We are all agog here about politics. The great question just now is who is to be Superintendent. At first Tiffen and Cooper had given out quiet hints that they would have no objection to act. A murmur arose and their aspiring hopes were nipped in the bud. Then came Capt. Newman on the carpet --- this gave cause for a little reflection. You were mentioned --- no chance of your coming --- for the present at least. While matters were in this state I received a letter from Mr. Domett about his land Run and Sheep. In a P.S. he asks "who is likely to be your Superintendent I hear Tiffen and Cooper's names mentioned I dont think they are fit men and surely better can be got. I do not state this because I have any particular wish for the office myself altho I shd. have no objection to act if the Council thought proper to elect me".

I do not suppose Domett wrote this in the belief that I would mention it to any one but having done so to two or three of his friends the news spread with wonderful rapidity --- forth comes a letter from Tom Fitzgerald or as Domett calls him "Silky Tom" under the name of "Veritas" and a more unblushing and violent attack on an able, good and conscientious man I do not believe ever appeared in print. The rejoinder under the name of Publicola was both just and severe. Ever since both parties in the Newmanites and Domettites have been thrashing each other unmercifully. The only men of any note who oppose Domett are Tiffen, Cooper Russell and Rhodes I have omitted Tom and a precious crew they are. The fact of the matter is I believe these gentlemen know that Mr. Domett knows them --- Tiffen has considerable official influence --- Cooper todays the Rev. Sam. Williams. Russell is disliked by every body. Rhodes is considered a donkey and Tom a scheming jesuit. Forgive me if any of these gentlemen is your particular friend and bear in mind that I speak more from common report than from any certain knowledge of my own. Mr. Domett has numerous admirers here and I believe if the election rested with the Electors 4/5ths would be on side ---

I have heard that all the gentlemen above named are candidates for election to the Provincial Council. Very few of Domett's friends are so and it is just possible that for this reason alone we may lose the only man amongst the electors who except yourself is fit to launch the experimental ship without risk of getting into or near the breakers. It will be very hard if the very fellows who did everything in their power to oppose separation shd. acquire powers they are not entitled to. There is however so strong a feeling in favor of Domett amongst the Electors generally that there is good hope of his being returned. Mr. Domett can have no other wish for comg. here than to be of use to the district and to be near his Run.

Your Brother is busy shearing with the prospect of a good clip. The weather at present is wet and of course unfavorable. I am in the midst of harvest with the fair prospect of being ruined if the weather does not clear up. The Natives are all very quiet busy preparing kai against the expected arrival of the Natives from Waikato. Believe me


Yours very faithfully
Alex. Alexander

I had almost forgot to mention that I have lately had two letters from Grindell in both of wh. he expresses a strong wish to return to Ahuriri and asks me to write to you to try and get him an appointment here. You know whether he is an efficient Servant or not and if he is so I can only say that if it is consistent with the public service and agreeable to your own wishes to procure an appointment for him here you will very much oblige me by doing so. There can be no doubt that he is a faithful Servant to his employers whoever they may be.

Part of:
Inward letters - A Alexander, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0142 (22 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)

Usage: You can search, browse, print and download items from this website for research and personal study. You are welcome to reproduce the above image(s) on your blog or another website, but please maintain the integrity of the image (i.e. don't crop, recolour or overprint it), reproduce the image's caption information and link back to here (http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=1020858). If you would like to use the above image(s) in a different way (e.g. in a print publication), or use the transcription or translation, permission must be obtained. More information about copyright and usage can be found on the Copyright and Usage page of the NLNZ web site.

External Links:
View Full Descriptive Record in TAPUHI

Leave a comment

This function is coming soon.

Latest comments