Object #1023801 from MS-Papers-0032-0442

4 pages written 18 Dec 1872 by William Gilbert Mair in Alexandra to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - William Gilbert Mair, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0442 (23 digitised items). 21 letters written from Opotiki, Tauranga, Whakatane, Luna (Ship), Alexandra, Te Awamutu, Rotorua & WellingtonIncludes piece-level inventory (excluding 1969 acquisitions)

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

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English (ATL)


Decem. 18th 1872

My Dear Mr McLean

I should like - if there is no objection - to be informed whether yourself or the Governor have received formal invitations from Manuwhiri or Tawhiao to the January meeting. Any natives will tell you that you are both expected, but when I ask if you have been formally invited they do not know. Clarke and Ngaiterangi have received invitations, but it turns out that they were written by Pirirakau who like many more outsiders would wish us to think them more important than they really are. I am sorry that I cannot speak with some certainty as to the topics for discussion, but I am certain that the masses do not know, nor even many of the chiefs, Whittora may tell me something on his return from Kawhia, I have just arranged with Rikia to go there for the purpose of picking up information, he attaches very little importance to anything that Tapihana may say and Aihipene informs me that Tawhiao was well scolded by his sisters for having allowed people to think that Tapihana was his mouth-peice, I do not think that Mackay said anything out of the way about the Confiscated Lands, he took great pains to explain Mr Staffords programme and proposed to include all the Country West of the Waipa and Waikato down to Putataka and along the Coast in the territory left to Tawhiao, I think that the Kings party are ripe for a proposal of the kind, but I think that Mr Mackay went a little too far. I hear that Te Wheoro's people have struck work on the railway works near Mercer, if as I have heard they were to get only £6 per chain it is not to be wondered at.

If labour is scarce and it would be thought desirable I do not think that there would be any difficulty -in getting two or three hundred Awawa, Ngatipukeko and Ngatiawa to come up and work at the railway, you will I daresay remember how before the war the former tribe used to come to Auckland in bodies to harvest the potato crop!

I hope to be fit for work by Xmass, I am My dear Mr McLean
Yours very truly
W. G. Mair

Since writing the above Whitiora has been here having returned from Kawhia where he has been catching and taming cattle he has brought a number over and tells me that he intends to move to the neighbourhood of Pekanui and commence cattle rearing with a stock of 50 or 60 head.

He saw Tawhiao while at Kawhia and heard his version of his meeting with Mr Mackay, he said that he would not treat with Mackay or any one but the "whakamutunga o nga ki"! and also that Mackay proposed that the Governor should rule in his own country, Tawhiao in his and that they should rule jointly in the country between, i.e. from Mangatawhiri to the boundary wherever that might be.

W. G. M. 20.12.72

Part of:
Inward letters - William Gilbert Mair, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0442 (23 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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