Object #1021279 from MS-Papers-0032-0486

8 pages written 8 Oct 1873 by John Davies Ormond in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0486 (119 digitised items). 112 letters written from Wairoa, Wellington, Napier, 1873-1876. Includes letter from D M Luckie to Ormond, Nov 1875; Ormond to Fox, Mar 1876; Carlyon to Ormond.

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

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English (ATL)

October 8th. 1873.

My dear McLean,

I have only time to write a hasty note. We arrived here yesterday just in time to get the Immigrants landed and housed before dark. By ten o'clock this morning every soul of them was gone and numbers of employees from the country who came in to get people arrived only to hear that they were all gone. The labour question is really serious I don't believe there is any district in the Colony suffering so much for want of labour as this. Certainly no district in the North Island - and I am really anxious as I believe the ordinary pursuits of the people of the Province will be seriously injured. We are far worse off than we were last year when there was not half the work there is this. Last year we had 500 people landed in October and nearly as many more before the end of Decr. This year all that will arrive up to the end of Decr. are the people just got rid of - 280 by the Hooding(?). The next lot cannot arrive before January and the lots that are expected will nothing near meet requirements of settlers without taking into account Public Works. Do please get urgent instructions sent to Featherstone to increase the number of Immigrants to be sent to Hawkes Bay and to send them quickly. Another thing is they ought to come direct in the case of the Immigrants just arrived every effort was made at Wellington to prejudice them against this place with the hope of detaining them there and they did succeed in stopping a few of the single men. Today the Immigrants who came express their joy at coming here and exchanging the winds and storms of Wellington for the glorious genial spring weather we are having. Seriously the contrast between here and Wellington is wonderful. About Native feeling here I am sorry to hear that it is anything but satisfactory. Renata and the others who came back recently from Wellington are giving shamefully untrue accounts of what has taken place during the Session. Letters are being sent off in every direction to Taupo, Poverty Bay, Bay of Plenty, everywhere where they have connections, telling the Natives not to sell land to the Govt. and saying that all the laws passed by the assembly have for their aim getting hold of the lands of the natives for the Govt. - that Govt. is going to deduct money for surveys - land courts, etc, and give the owners what little balance may be left. The Native Reserves Act is described in a similarly exaggerated way and that Timber Floating Bill is also twisted for their purposes. They further say that the Native Councils Bill was never intended by you to be passed and was only put forward to get your land taking measures secured. That is briefly and roughly what I gather to be the present temper and sentiments of the Natives here and it is fully shared by the Wairoa and Poverty Bay people. Russell and Sheehan are of course at the bottom of a good deal of this and the natives say Sheehan is coming here in a month to remain. Locke who was returned two days ago from Taupo and Patea called at Renata's Pah and saw Renata. He tells me the bitterness of his tone is most intense and that Renata said to him that the Natives feeling they had nothing to expect from the Govt. or the Europeans of New Zealand were going to appeal to the Queen and that Henry Russell and Sheehan are to prepare cases against the Europeans (you and I were especially mentioned) and take them home and press them there. I take it this means that Russell and Sheehan are urging them to appeal to the Privy Council and that H. Russell is to take charge of the cases. The Natives say Sheehan is to go too. I suppose if this is true it will entail considerable trouble and expense upon all they act against. The Natives on their side are to raise money for the purpose and it is now under consideration what lands shall be sold to do it. I don't know what we can do to check this very unsatisfactory state of things - probably the best thing we can do is to keep quiet and let time do its work. I fear it is quite certain the repudiation movement is not done with and probably will not be as long as it is actively fomented by the European scoundrels who are at the bottom of it. I have given you an account of the Native feeling as far as I am able to ascertain it as I know you are anxious to hear.

Respecting Land purchasing Locke tells me the South Taupo Natives and the Wanganuis are willing to deal with the Govt. for large Blocks both at Tokanu and also at Rangipo, Karioi and Patea. He Mitchell and Davis have just returned here through Patea and being detained there held several meetings with the Natives. There is bitter feeling between the Wanganuis who are acting with Ngatituwharetoa and the resident Patea Natives who are supported by Renata and Topia. The latter it seems is not acting with the Wanganuis as might have been expected but acts under Renata. Locke says he told him that he could do nothing until Renata had decided. A survey that was going on under Renatas orders was stopped by the Wanganui and Taupo people and Renata now says he will go up and carry it on in spite of them. The European negotiators for whom Moorehouse is acting are in a great fix amidst these scrambes and disputes among the Natives. Locke describes Kaeioi and some of the Upper Wanganui country as first rate land and of large extent. I believe some of the Native owners are applying to have that district reserved for the operation of the Native land court. Douglas will be able to tell you about your brother Alexander I hear he is much the same. The mail is closing so I must end. Always

Yours very truly,
J.D. Ormond.

Do not forget to urge upon Vogel to give instructions for free passages. Also the sooner he announces in the Colony that Immigrants may be nominated for free passages the better. J.D.O.

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0486 (119 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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