Object #1021548 from MS-Papers-0032-0565

5 pages written 20 Jan 1860 by William Nicholas Searancke to Sir Donald McLean in Wellington

From: Inward letters - W N Searancke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0565 (58 digitised items). 60 letters written from Waiuku, Ahuriri, Waipa, Auckland, Awhitu, Wellington, Masterton, Wairarapa, Otaki, Manawatu, Tuaranganui, Te Purupuru, Greytown, Rangitikei, Waikato, Whangarei, Ngaruawhaia. Includes piece-level inventory (1969 accessions not added). Contains letters from Searancke to McLean with regard to the purchase of Maori land in the lower North Island in the 1850s and 1860s, in Wairarapa, Horowhenua and Manawatu; the letters also contain information about disputes that arose from the sales among Maori and between Maori and the Government; there is also information about the disposition of Maori, and their attitudes towards the King Movement, in these areas during the New Zealand wars of the early 1860s There are also some letters about Searancke's work in the Waikato district as a resident magistrate, with information about his observations of the Kingitanga

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

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English (ATL)


20th Jany. 1860

My dear Sir,

Troubles here are like Mushrooms in a field springing up on every side. Old Rawiri is as obstinate as ever and is strongly supported by the Kings party or Runanga of whom Manihera is now the head, there is a good deal of excitement generally in the valley not on Rawiri's account but a general discontent against the Govt. superinduced in a great measure by their poverty and their debts, as if the Govt. were responsible for them, He had a large meeting for two days runnning at Greytown about Rawiri's affairs but the results were there either they demand that the Torohanga should be left for Rawiri or Motupiri the name mentioned in the Deed should be given up to him (this includes Vennelly House and paddocks and cultivations) or else the choice of a section of 100 acres at Tauherenikau and £1000 compensations, of course I could not consent to either and I am sorry to say that the meeting broke up with a very bad feeling as I was particular in pointing out that Rawiri must leave the Torohanga the land having been sold by the Govt. to Europeans I purpose on next Tuesday going with Gillies to see Rawiri and also to see if I can succeed in purchasing the land on which he is now settled in this case the difficulty will be removed to a certain extent.

I purchased for £100 the small strip of land lying between the Ahearuhe Block and the Ruamahanga adjoining to Northwoods Homestead of which Mr. Buck and Dr. Featherston spoke to you. I have also agreed for the complete extinction of the native title over Korakonui and Tupapukurua for the sum of £500. I did my best in this case, it is a very old dispute as you know and the Deeds are not clear on the matter. I have therefore thought it most judicious at once without reference to settle it as troubles are only too plentiful. Mr. Moore is in possession and is purchasing of the P. Govt. some portion of this very land it has been given up to them as Govt. Land under these circumstances I have taken it on myself to settle on these terms a payment of £500 and are reserved for Piripi which I purpose having surveyed next week.

Wenerei and te Tahana are now making a claim on Smiths homestead Land sold by Te Wereta and Ngairo and judging by the Deed completely settled and paid for this claim is on the Waiuniora adjoining to the Upokongaruru block. Fraser is still at work at the head of the Valley, as I decline making any purchase there without everything both as regards boundaries and claim is clear. I came up with Fitzherbert and Park last week the former to certify to the 5/- Land and the latter to survey it. I have got Knowles at work surveying the Reserves bye the bye there is a fearful disturbance between the Ngaihitau Natives and Ngatuere about the Hurunuiorangi Reserve, I only stopped the row by consenting to call a meeting on the spot next Monday to enquire into the different claims and then and there try and get it settled. I very much fear that will be a disturbance if not on this occasion on some other of the disputes in this valley. I would again urge on you that some person commissioned to act as a Resident Magistrate in the District should be appointed, as the responsibility is rather too much for any one person under the present circumstances this point I wish to impress on you at once, as I am fairly worried Trusting that this will find you fully restored to health.

I am Dr. Sir,
very truly yours,
Will N. Searancke

Part of:
Inward letters - W N Searancke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0565 (58 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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