Object #1022680 from MS-Papers-0032-0227

7 pages written 30 Mar 1857 by George Sisson Cooper in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - George Sisson Cooper, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0227 (70 digitised items). 67 letters written from Taranaki, Hawke's Bay and Wellington. Contains correspondence between McLean and Cooper with regard to the purchase of Maori land in Taranaki, Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa; the correspondence also contains information and discussions about general Maori affairs in these areas, and about personal matters. Includes two letters from Mclean to Cooper, 24 Mar & 1 May 1854

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

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English (ATL)


March 30th. 1857.

My dear McLean,

Since I last wrote matters have assumed a more tranquil appearance, though the Natives still continue very much excited.

I have lately returned from an expedition with Moananui, Tareha and Co. which originally was undertaken for the purpose of pointing out their lands included in Hapuku's sales, but ended in a survey of the Ngatarawa country and the North end of the Ruataniwha, and in pointing out the boundaries of a Block in addition to the Mata, and running nearly up to Ngawhakatatara. These are all first rate lands, especially Ngatarawa which takes in the backs of the hills behind Poukawa and cuts into a part of the Raukawa Bush, and the piece in addition to the Mata Block is, besides being good land, especially valuable from being the line of road commonly called the Middle line and from being so near the Port.

I am afraid it will be some time before these lands can be bought as they are offered by Moananui and his people whose interference is resented by te Hapuku as an usurpation of his special work. There is no disguising the fact that the fish has robbed his enemies to an enormous extent, and how they have submitted to it so long is a wonder to me.

When we were going out on this expedition I tried to get Hapuku to accompany us, but without avail --- the fact is I believe he was ashamed. When he refused the others immediately made up their minds that some sinister design was in contemplation and would not stir without their arms. I opposed this at first and was very near refusing to go altogether. But I saw it was the only means of satisfying them, and went accordingly.

The prices they demand are high in comparison to what has been generally paid, but not to what the land would fetch, and I think that if we want to make extensive purchases and increase the population of the country rapidly, the purse strings must be opened a little wider. In fact there are but two courses open --- one to suspend purchases and starve the Natives into compliance with out terms, the other to increase the price (within reasonable limits) and buy up as fast as possible.

Fox and Fitzherbert are here and the Supt. is expected daily. I have explained the state of affairs to them and shall do so to Featherston when he comes.

I do hope you will let me have the £2500 for Porangahau, the land is well worth the money, which would settle 9 people at a cost of less than £300 each. Half the purchase money would come back at once in buying homesteads etc.

There have been such rows about Aorangi and Otaranga that I have not yet paid the money. I shall have to do it through Hapuku in the end and save what I can for the other people.

I hope I shall be authorized to treat with Hiriwanu and his people as I have requested in my official letter. I am quite sure they will not treat for the Bush on any other terms, and if I find I am right, I shall ascertain what they will take for their claims and report from Wellington. I hear the Provincial Govt. have been told by Mr. Cooke that Manawatu can be purchased, but I know too well that reliance can be placed on intelligence given by pakeha Maoris. The three F's are to accompany me over the Manawatu route, which will give them an opportunity of seeing for themselves the real state of the case and the difficulties to be encountered in purchasing the Bush.

The Cape Kidnapper Block last instalment is paid, and I have heard no more nonsense about taking back the land etc. But something was said the other day about returning the Okawa £400 which I stopped at once.

While on this subject I may say that the Poverty Bay people have completely given up all their ideas about Ahuriri.

I send you letters from the Natives. Hapuku's I have not seen but I hear it is full of abuse of myself and Moana. He has been threatening to "pana" me, and has no doubt mentioned it in his letter. When he sees Ligar arriving to supersede me he will think it is in consequence of his letter and will bounce accordingly. Moana's letter is very mild --- I wrote it from his dictation, as you will see. Every word is his own.

I have written you a separate letter about other matters.

Yours faithfully
G. S. Cooper.

Part of:
Inward letters - George Sisson Cooper, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0227 (70 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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