Object #1021111 from MS-Papers-0032-0484

8 pages written 30 Sep 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 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

Napier

September 30th - 1870



My dear McLean,

Your letter by the Rangatira reached me this morning and as she returns in the morning I must write you tonight altho' I have not a great deal new to write about. The European news received today is startling but at the same time it gives hope that the war cannot last much longer. Not that I believe this will be the end of it - A nation like the French however humbled they may be now will never be satisfied until they have revenged it. Poor Louis Napoleon he has done great things for France and one cannot but pity him - no doubt though his Sun has set. There is no mention of wool in the Telegrams so that probably there is at any rate no further fall. Now I will reply to what there is needing answer in your letter. With respect to Taupo natives and employing them on Road Works, I see no reason for raising any question

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English (ATL)

about the King or King party. The people who are coming in are those who were with Te Kooti at Tuhua and who appear now to be starving. I receive them as people who have given up rebellion and want peace. I thought it however a good chance to start the road from Taupo to Rotorua as it is most likely the Ngatihau will willingly assent to their Hau-Hau bretheren making the road - when they might have objected to Poihipis people. However we shall see I shall not press the matter at all only if it is open it will be well to go on with that work. I shall send Locke up directly to see about it. About the 70 Mile Bush purchase I could have concluded for about 100,000 acres the other day but I thought it better to wait a little and get more especially as the portions they wished to reserve from sales were in important positions. The Natives have now gone out to Pakowai but I will expect they will return. I offered £12,000 for about £200,000 and that is as much as we ought to give. Haraitiana is the one who holds

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English (ATL)

back but as you say he will come in in time. I had not pressed them since I saw they were hanging back I know enough of them now to be aware that does no good. What about the Wairarapa end of the Bush I have written officially that some one will have to attend the Native Land Court and watch the proceedings. I do not know who you have to send but the case will require management and tact. The Rangitane are the applicants to put the land through (there are 200,000 acres and much of it very good) and they name an old Chief of theirs called Nekira as the principal owner - he lives somewhere in the Bush between Manawatu and Wairarapa - Of these Rangitane, Pete and Hoani Maihana are the two to depend on and the great object shd. be to pass the whole through in one Block not have it subdivided. I cannot learn much about the ownership of any Wairarapa Natives, although I expect they do come in there, and may give trouble, as they seen in a sulky state, if any of them are interested it will be old Ritimona. Please take care the matter is properly attended to as any mess of it wd. seriously interfere with our Railway plans. Locke cannot

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English (ATL)

be spared to go to Masterton for the time such a matter would take. About the Survey of the line from this side I do not wish to start it until I have arranged with the Natives - then as I wrote you I wish to employ Weber if he will like it. I expect he will be only too glad for I am sorry to hear his Mill is doing no good.

About Wi Hapi's visit I expect Renata to come and see me in a day or two and I shall ask him about Hapi's visit. Like you I am not pleased with that letter Ropata stopped getting through this district without its being reported. I know however that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction among the natives about their lands and can quite understand their being sulky and believe they are so. With regard to communication with Ngatiporou I quite agree it is most desirable and think it can best be done by Steamer - there is no overland mail at present altho' that wd. also be of considerable service. Read and Watt have a Steamer coming for the East Coast trade and when she is ready I will see what arrangements I can make - for about £500 a year we ought to get communication kept up this side the East Cape. I do not expect however any steamer wd. for that sum trade to the Bay of Plenty as there is no connection between the places and no trade. That however is pretty well done from Auckland.

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English (ATL)


As to Henare Potae I do not think there is any thing in what you have heard. Henare's main grievance is his people's claim for services in the old campaign. What about those old Claims on the East coast. Is the £2,000 voted available to satisfy them.

I see Wellington is begging again for Colonial funds to pay her Provincial way with. I hope you will not give it, depend upon it it will be a strong point against you next session if you do. What excuse can possibly he given for not having brought the case before the Assembly. If Emigration goes on at present rate from Auckland you will have Her coming begging again soon, for money to pay her way with. You see if I am not right in my calculations as to tendency of Public feeling on this colonial and Provincial question. I feel certain that next Session will see my views adopted and the powers of Prov: Govt. defined and their Legislative powers limited. Either that or one Province in each Island. I am sure it is coming to one or the other and I wish the first rather than the last, altho I am not prepared to say the last is not the most likely. One thing I am certain of the Colony will not continue to tax for the wants of the Provincial Governments

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English (ATL)

I see what you say about myself and the desire of Ministers to meet the case of the Disqualification Act in some way - but I would not do that. I do not consider I could properly do so and should lay myself open to criticism and attack if I did. And however much I may desire to retain the direction of things here for our common good I value my position in the House a great deal too much to do anything which could give the smallest ground for just observation. What I propose to do is to go on with the work as long as I feel justified in doing so and to do as much in that time as I can to forward the objects we have in view, but if I feel the drain too heavy on me I must act accordingly. There is no other proper course open to me.

About Rochfort R. M. O'Rorke saw me about him and I told him how matters stood. He was to have seen me again about it before leaving but did not. I told him I knew nothing of the man's short-comings and was very sorry about it but at the same time I told him of the universal dissatisfaction and that there was great trouble in keeping it down. I promised to telegraph to

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English (ATL)

Gisborne asking him to keep the Registrar's Office in Auckland open and I think the best thing is to send Rochfort there. He cannot very well air his vagaries there - he would have regularroutine work and might perhaps be able to do it. Certainly he will have to be moved from here or the public inconvenience will be so great that a regular row will be made about it. The man is the laughing stock of the place. I made it my business after seeing O'Rorke to ask a number of business people quietly about Rochfort and what I universally heard was that they would take no cases to any court presided over by him that (as was generally said) they wd. as soon toos for it as take a case before him. The fact is the man is an ass and it is a great pity he was ever sent here. I told you about the announcement that the reason they did not take a House was the uncertainty how soon he might be called to the Bench. This and other absurdities are the jokes of the place. Just tell Gisborne he must get him shifted and the sooner the better.

I am glad to see you will manage to get old Carter something for the Native Fraud Act Commissionership

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English (ATL)

it will be a responsible and unpleasant office and a small remuneration for it is reasonable. He lives in Napier now and finds it as much as he can do to make both ends meet. I have written officially about the Interpreters under the N. Land Court and am glad to see you are preparing to act in it. - it wants taking in hand badly. You telegraph me today that Purvis Russell wants to be made an Interpreter this wd. be very undesirable but not easy to refuse. If however you adopt rules such as I propose it wd. not suit him to be at the service of any one willing to pay his fee and you could scarcely make an exception in his or any other case. He is thoroughly in with the Wilson-Whitmore lot and I hear speaks as nastily as any of them of you. Whenever I see him he is gracious in the extreme and the next I hear of him is some bitterly hostile remark. They are a bad breed and not worth bothering with. I have seen something of Watt who was kind of drifting into their lot and I think he is all right. He does not like the Finance scheme but otherwise he is friendly enough. He has and is getting more and more influence here, the influence of money. We are having a moist spring so far and not much warm weather yet altho I believe the country looks beautiful. I want to get into the country and see after Roads etc. but there is a fearful lot of work to do in the office before I can get away. I must close.

Always,
yours very truly,
J. D. Ormond

English (ATL)

Napier

September 30th - 1870



My dear McLean,

Your letter by the Rangatira reached me this morning and as she returns in the morning I must write you tonight altho' I have not a great deal new to write about. The European news received today is startling but at the same time it gives hope that the war cannot last much longer. Not that I believe this will be the end of it - A nation like the French however humbled they may be now will never be satisfied until they have revenged it. Poor Louis Napoleon he has done great things for France and one cannot but pity him - no doubt though his Sun has set. There is no mention of wool in the Telegrams so that probably there is at any rate no further fall. Now I will reply to what there is needing answer in your letter. With respect to Taupo natives and employing them on Road Works, I see no reason for raising any question about the King or King party. The people who are coming in are those who were with Te Kooti at Tuhua and who appear now to be starving. I receive them as people who have given up rebellion and want peace. I thought it however a good chance to start the road from Taupo to Rotorua as it is most likely the Ngatihau will willingly assent to their Hau-Hau bretheren making the road - when they might have objected to Poihipis people. However we shall see I shall not press the matter at all only if it is open it will be well to go on with that work. I shall send Locke up directly to see about it. About the 70 Mile Bush purchase I could have concluded for about 100,000 acres the other day but I thought it better to wait a little and get more especially as the portions they wished to reserve from sales were in important positions. The Natives have now gone out to Pakowai but I will expect they will return. I offered £12,000 for about £200,000 and that is as much as we ought to give. Haraitiana is the one who holds back but as you say he will come in in time. I had not pressed them since I saw they were hanging back I know enough of them now to be aware that does no good. What about the Wairarapa end of the Bush I have written officially that some one will have to attend the Native Land Court and watch the proceedings. I do not know who you have to send but the case will require management and tact. The Rangitane are the applicants to put the land through (there are 200,000 acres and much of it very good) and they name an old Chief of theirs called Nekira as the principal owner - he lives somewhere in the Bush between Manawatu and Wairarapa - Of these Rangitane, Pete and Hoani Maihana are the two to depend on and the great object shd. be to pass the whole through in one Block not have it subdivided. I cannot learn much about the ownership of any Wairarapa Natives, although I expect they do come in there, and may give trouble, as they seen in a sulky state, if any of them are interested it will be old Ritimona. Please take care the matter is properly attended to as any mess of it wd. seriously interfere with our Railway plans. Locke cannot be spared to go to Masterton for the time such a matter would take. About the Survey of the line from this side I do not wish to start it until I have arranged with the Natives - then as I wrote you I wish to employ Weber if he will like it. I expect he will be only too glad for I am sorry to hear his Mill is doing no good.

About Wi Hapi's visit I expect Renata to come and see me in a day or two and I shall ask him about Hapi's visit. Like you I am not pleased with that letter Ropata stopped getting through this district without its being reported. I know however that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction among the natives about their lands and can quite understand their being sulky and believe they are so. With regard to communication with Ngatiporou I quite agree it is most desirable and think it can best be done by Steamer - there is no overland mail at present altho' that wd. also be of considerable service. Read and Watt have a Steamer coming for the East Coast trade and when she is ready I will see what arrangements I can make - for about £500 a year we ought to get communication kept up this side the East Cape. I do not expect however any steamer wd. for that sum trade to the Bay of Plenty as there is no connection between the places and no trade. That however is pretty well done from Auckland.

As to Henare Potae I do not think there is any thing in what you have heard. Henare's main grievance is his people's claim for services in the old campaign. What about those old Claims on the East coast. Is the £2,000 voted available to satisfy them.

I see Wellington is begging again for Colonial funds to pay her Provincial way with. I hope you will not give it, depend upon it it will be a strong point against you next session if you do. What excuse can possibly he given for not having brought the case before the Assembly. If Emigration goes on at present rate from Auckland you will have Her coming begging again soon, for money to pay her way with. You see if I am not right in my calculations as to tendency of Public feeling on this colonial and Provincial question. I feel certain that next Session will see my views adopted and the powers of Prov: Govt. defined and their Legislative powers limited. Either that or one Province in each Island. I am sure it is coming to one or the other and I wish the first rather than the last, altho I am not prepared to say the last is not the most likely. One thing I am certain of the Colony will not continue to tax for the wants of the Provincial Governments I see what you say about myself and the desire of Ministers to meet the case of the Disqualification Act in some way - but I would not do that. I do not consider I could properly do so and should lay myself open to criticism and attack if I did. And however much I may desire to retain the direction of things here for our common good I value my position in the House a great deal too much to do anything which could give the smallest ground for just observation. What I propose to do is to go on with the work as long as I feel justified in doing so and to do as much in that time as I can to forward the objects we have in view, but if I feel the drain too heavy on me I must act accordingly. There is no other proper course open to me.

About Rochfort R. M. O'Rorke saw me about him and I told him how matters stood. He was to have seen me again about it before leaving but did not. I told him I knew nothing of the man's short-comings and was very sorry about it but at the same time I told him of the universal dissatisfaction and that there was great trouble in keeping it down. I promised to telegraph to Gisborne asking him to keep the Registrar's Office in Auckland open and I think the best thing is to send Rochfort there. He cannot very well air his vagaries there - he would have regularroutine work and might perhaps be able to do it. Certainly he will have to be moved from here or the public inconvenience will be so great that a regular row will be made about it. The man is the laughing stock of the place. I made it my business after seeing O'Rorke to ask a number of business people quietly about Rochfort and what I universally heard was that they would take no cases to any court presided over by him that (as was generally said) they wd. as soon toos for it as take a case before him. The fact is the man is an ass and it is a great pity he was ever sent here. I told you about the announcement that the reason they did not take a House was the uncertainty how soon he might be called to the Bench. This and other absurdities are the jokes of the place. Just tell Gisborne he must get him shifted and the sooner the better.

I am glad to see you will manage to get old Carter something for the Native Fraud Act Commissionership it will be a responsible and unpleasant office and a small remuneration for it is reasonable. He lives in Napier now and finds it as much as he can do to make both ends meet. I have written officially about the Interpreters under the N. Land Court and am glad to see you are preparing to act in it. - it wants taking in hand badly. You telegraph me today that Purvis Russell wants to be made an Interpreter this wd. be very undesirable but not easy to refuse. If however you adopt rules such as I propose it wd. not suit him to be at the service of any one willing to pay his fee and you could scarcely make an exception in his or any other case. He is thoroughly in with the Wilson-Whitmore lot and I hear speaks as nastily as any of them of you. Whenever I see him he is gracious in the extreme and the next I hear of him is some bitterly hostile remark. They are a bad breed and not worth bothering with. I have seen something of Watt who was kind of drifting into their lot and I think he is all right. He does not like the Finance scheme but otherwise he is friendly enough. He has and is getting more and more influence here, the influence of money. We are having a moist spring so far and not much warm weather yet altho I believe the country looks beautiful. I want to get into the country and see after Roads etc. but there is a fearful lot of work to do in the office before I can get away. I must close.

Always,
yours very truly,
J. D. Ormond

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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