Object #1023086 from MS-Papers-0032-0635

5 pages written 24 Oct 1867 by Sir George Stoddart Whitmore in Rissington to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - G S Whitmore, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0635 (105 digitised items). 103 letters written from Hawke's Bay and London, 1862-1869 & undated. Includes letter to Miss McLean written from Wellington by T F? Whitmore, undated; sketch map of area from just north of the Mohaka River south to Whitmore's run (undated). Piece-level inventory of letters accessioned pre-1969.

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

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English (ATL)

24 October, 1867

My dear McLean,

I have just returned from the Interior and the question of the road I have gone into rather closely. The present dray road (all except leading to Pena Pena being splendid) goes to Waipuna - or rather is made up to the Stockade. Thence there are 2 lines - one through the Puketitiri bush and over the Hukanui, not very desperate lines - the other by the Kiwi ridge to Mr. Halletts and hence to Pakatutu. This latter is only about 2 miles longer and needs comparatively little making. It is really best without making except where it crosses a creek and a bank needs cutting down, and along the hill above Barnes's i.e. (Halletts) where a cutting is necessary. This line is nearly level and towards it the Settlers will contribute, they tell me, £200.

At Pakatutu there is now (since the flood) a really excellent ford. This ford is the only one in the river where the stones are mere shingle above Pakatutu there is one ascent marked out partly by Weber I think or Gill. A line slightly deviating from this would make the incline easy and the cutting light. Once on the height there need be no more water crossed and the range (watershed) separating the streams of the Ripia and Mohaka can be followed to Taupo.

Kiriwera has walked from Pahatutu ford of the Mohaka in one day and back the next. This I had on the authority of old Mr. Dyson - of Te Whetu now dead - and of all that hapu as well as himself -

If a man (even a notorious walker like Kiriwera) can walk the distance, part of which is for six miles through pieces of bush, it can hardly exceed 30 miles.

If Taupo is only 30 miles from Pakatutu it is clearly much nearer, say 20 miles nearer at least, to go that way than by the Runanga gorge, by which line £10,000 would never make a practicable dray track. Of course I wish this latter was possible because it wd. lead straight then to my Maori Run at Runanga. The Pahatutu line has been reported by Gill (or Ellman) to be the best and shortest as well as by Weber, but the best line from Pahatutu by the Watershed range has never been pointed out till now by the Maoris. There are 3 tracks and this is the one which they rarely used as it did not cross the rivers on which their settlements were.

I conceive the right plan now to be to hire a European who understands work and understands Maori. Once the line is satisfactorily marked off by Paora Hapi and this European (I will if you like go to see it do and show it to Weber when complete) get permission to set Maoris to work upon it. If you do this at regular rates, and on a bargain that niggers who fail to do a fair days work are only to have part of a days pay - I think for a very few hundred pounds you might have Cobbs coach running to Taupo in 3 months - all except from Puketapu to my house -This favoured piece of country may be made accessible I believe if Weber can buy the line through W. Smiths land - But as regards the road £130 won't do it Im afraid. Of course I don't represent the District and therefore never agitated for the special road to my house. I thought £130 a ridiculous amount - but small as it is something can be done with it for dry weather use, and once open I am sure there will be a general cry about it for the advantage of making this small bit to the Province will be so obvious, that it will over-balance the manifest justice of keeping one individual who has contributed heavily to the public funds, out of any kind of access to his home.

I conceive you to have asked me to see to the line beyond where it is made. This I have done, and satisfied myself that for a very small sum, within your means if you take the offer of the settlers inland, you can have Cobbs coach running to Taupo before autumn from my station - It can also run to Puketapu and people must just ride from that to Peha Peha.

Believe me
Very sincerely yours
G. S. Whitmore

Part of:
Inward letters - G S Whitmore, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0635 (105 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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