Object #1021762 from MS-Papers-0032-0008
From: Native Land Purchase Commissioner - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0008 (63 digitised items). No Item Description
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15th. November 1867
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Colonel Haultain's no. 580 of the 28th. ulto. relative to the settlement of questions arising out of Land claims on the East Coast in which reference is made to certain interviews I had with Mr. Richmond on the subject, with a request that I should assist in arranging these questions.
In any interviews I have had with Mr. Richmond no allusion was made to my visiting the East Coast and however anxious I might feel to assist the Government I did not consider that I should be again expected to visit the Coast
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in any official capacity, the administration of the District having been withdrawn from my control shortly after the rebellion was suppressed and the chief difficulties in settling that part of the Island removed.
A long period of time has since elapsed, endless complications have arisen, the Natives have hadnumerous and conflicting versions of the intentions of the Government and they have become so bewildered by the different views expressed that it has nowbecome almost if not altogether an impossibility to effect any arrangement of claims on a satisfactory basis.
In briefly adverting to some of these difficulties I would refer to the
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example set by Mr. Whitaker of causing
dealings to be entered into with Rebel Natives for the cession of the Poverty Bay oil springs and other places and this too during the time he was Superintendent of Auckland and Agent for the General Government.
The recognition of Rebel claims by a person holding such a high position led to similar dealings of the most irregular description involving breaches of faith with the Friendly Natives whose confidence became much weakened by the treatment they experienced after the valuable services rendered by them to the Country, while the assurance of these recently in rebellion became greatly increased.
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The various interests that have grown up within the last two years in the shape of purchases of land and leases of runs on which improvements have been made must necessarily interfere to prevent any equitable adjustment of outstanding claims.
The decision of the Committee of the House of Representatives which precluded the Settlers of the East Coast from expecting compensation for their losses while similar claims in other parts of the Island have been fully recognised has occasioned fresh difficulties by inducing some of those settlers to appeal direct to the Natives for compensation in land for such losses. In fact the whole of the East Coast question which could have been at one time so easily settled
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on terms highly advantageous to the interests of the Colony and in full accordance with the expressed desire and wishes of the Natives can only now be regarded as an entangled web which cannot be easily unravelled, and very different indeed from the aspect of affairs before the administration of the East Coast thrust upon me during the troubled and difficult period of hostilities, was taken from my hands when order had been restored, the insurgents humbled, and the justice of the principles embodied in the Outlying District Police Act 1865 recognised by those important tribes of the East Coast who desired the pacification of their District and appreciated the efforts of the Govt. to restore peace acknowledging
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for the first time in the history of our dealings with the Natives, that the expense connected with the suppression of rebellion should be borne out of the lands of the insurgents.
It is obvious that much cannot now be achieved on the East Coast, but it does appear to be of importance in the interests of peace that some settlement should be effected and although I cannot now promise to effect much by visiting the East Coast I shall still be willing to do so in the interests of the Colony. If the Govt. will indicate what they propose to do in the matter and place a steamer
Native Land Purchase Commissioner - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0008 (63 digitised items)
Series 7 Official papers, Reference Number Series 7 Official papers (3737 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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