Object #1022996 from MS-Papers-0032-0171
3 pages written 3 Jun 1872 by Herbert William Brabant in Opotiki to Sir Donald McLean in Auckland Region
From: Inward letters - H W Brabant, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0171 (21 digitised items).
17 letters written from Opotiki, Raglan & Tauranga, 1870-1876. Includes letter in Maori from Tutekauahau [?], 11 Sep 1874 written from Maungapowhatu (with translation).
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
June 3rd. 1872.
My dear Sir,
In accordance with your wish that I should write to you privately on all matters concarning the natives, I beg to inform you that I returned last week from a visit to the natives living down the coast, at Torere, Maraenui, Omaio, Te Kaha etc. I was very much pleased with the bearing of and sentiments expressed by the natives and was much struck by their apparent wealth and prosperity as compared with those resident in Waikato, Raglan etc.
I am sorry to find that the crops all along the coast have been to some extent a failure, the potato crop being a very poor one, while the corn was almost entirely destroyed by a gale of wind; on the other hand however the kumera crop, on which the natives on this coast to a great extent depend, is admitted everywhere to have been a very good one.
The natives everywhere are very anxious for road-work. William King's people have already taken a contract for works on the road near Torere and are only waiting for tools to begin. The Kaha natives particularly requested me to urge on the Government their wish to be employed in this way. I may observe that the road between Maraenui and Te Kaha is a very bad bush track almost impassable in
in bad weather and I should be extremely glad if the Government are able to continue the road works to the last named settlement.
Natives from all parts of the coast intend going to Major Ropata's "Hui" next month. In some way or other the report has got amongst them that the "Luna" is to be sent to take them down to it and I was asked everywhere if this were true. Wi Kingi and others expressed an opinion that it would unduly exalt one tribe over the other if the Govt. were to send the steamer to take natives to Ropata's meeting. T told the natives that I had no information on the subject but thought the report improbable.
Te Tanana is building his large Runanga house at Maraenui, and expects to have it finished this month.
I hope to be able to establish all the native schools, and hope you will be able to instruct me that the Government will pay the teachers salary for the first year or two. I do not think that if the natives subscribe to the building they could also, at once contribute their share of the salary. I found some opposition to the establishment of schools -I believe the chief Te Mokina who has lately visited the district, urged the natives not to consent to them. His idea is that they should try to get clergymen amongst them, who he thinks could be got for nothing and would also
act as school teachers as they used to formerly.
Tamaikowha and others have gone to a Hui at Ruatahuna, I am told the subject for discussion is the confiscated land question.
Yours very respectfully,
Herbert W. Brabant.
The Hon. Donald McLean,
Inward letters - H W Brabant, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0171 (21 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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