8 Decr. 1856.
My dear Sir,
Another step towards peace making has been made by a small party of W. Kingi's natives, amongst them his brother Enoka, first visiting the Hua, then the Waiwakaiho and lastly the Kawau natives on Friday and Saturday last with the customary salutations. The little party will return to the Kaipakopako this morning, thence to Waitara. What the next step will be I cannot at present say.
Last Monday a Mr. Hollis came to my office and complained of having been ill used by some Ikamoana natives in a dispute about some work undertaken by them and improperly completed. I went to his place at the Bell Block the next morning and looked over the 12 acres of fern land which the natives had agreed to cut, turn and root up the tutu stumps or 9/-. per acre. The agreement was in English and found no fault whatever with the work, with the exception of a few small heaps of dry fern which any person could have burnt in a few minutes and a few tutu stumps that had evidently escaped the natives as they escaped me until pointed out by Mr. Hollis. I then went to the Ikamoana pa and succeeded in getting the natives to return and root up the remaining tutu stumps, upon which Mr. Hollis expressed himself satisfied.
Mr. Hollis had however another complaint against
some native for shooting a pig of his, but I could not that day trace the native but shall do so the first opportunity. It appears there is no doubt but that Mr. Hollis has been in the habit of suffering his pigs to run at large for a considerable time greatly to the annoyance of his European and Native neighbours and when told by the latter to keep his pigs up, the answer has been (so natives say) there is no food for them.
The Maori Messenger has not yet been delivered. I am very glad to hear the news about Potama, it is undermining the opposition slowly but surely nevertheless. Te Ngahuru told me last Friday that he had heard something about opening the gates of Kaiiwi, Waitaha and Okurukuru to be disposed of as the immediate claimants may think proper. He added that there is to be a gathering at Ngatiruanui next January, so if there should be any truth in this rumour I am likely to hear of it.
At the request of the Under Secretary I have reported on a Memorial from Mr. J.B. White praying for the remission of a fine under the provisions of the Native Land Purchase Ordinance. I wrote to Arapata, of Huirangi, seeking information upon that part of Mr. White's Memorial, in which he states that "after making an exchange for one large beast, which he took away with him, did, at the request of the native chief (at Huirangi) leave the remainder of his cattle to graze under their care until further exchanges could be made", but I have not yet received a written answer from him. He denies
the statement and his people likewise which I knew before I wrote, merely wishing to have the denial in writing. Old retiring natives like Arapata have no great love for writing and deem a verbal message quite sufficient, therefore I must be satisfied.
In my report I stated that "from the numerous complaints however that have been made to me by the Huirangi, Waitara and other natives against Mr. White for persisting in running cattle upon their lands, I feel satisfied that the Native chief of Huirangi, of whom Arapata is the principal, did not authorise Mr. White to leave his cattle on their lands so much have these and other natives been harassed by Mr. White that I have been apprehensive for his safety and have frequently warned him of the danger and trouble he was likely to bring upon himself."
"The principal cause of complaint against Mr. White is that, he uses Native cattle as decoys to enable him to take up his cattle and afterwards turns them adrift upon strange runs when no longer required by him, some of these the natives cannot afterwards find and have been disposed to hold Mr. White responsible, since the cattle never of themselves wander from their own runs."
"The unsettled state of the natives has confined them very much to their pas for the last 2 years and has prevented them on several occasions from supplying sufficient
evidence against Mr. White to enable their complaints to be brought by them in the Resdt. Magistrate's Court."
Mr. White is an old offender and has caused an immensity of trouble during the last 2 years, and I can assure you it has not been an easy matter to dissuade injured natives from taking advantage of him when entirely in their power. Many native beasts are missing and strong suspicion attaches to Mr. White, in which I participate to the fullest extent, but legal proof is wanting and thus are we disarmed. A charge of cattle stealing even now hangs over Mr. White, the owner of the beast is Mr. Vickers, now in Auckland, but the absence of legal proof will likely step in and save him from the punishment many conscientiously believe he merits.
Thinking you might be referred to I have copied the above extracts and otherwise given you my opinion of Mr. J.B. White.
To:- McLean Esq.