Object #1025322 from MS-Papers-0032-0227

6 pages written 18 Jul 1859 by an unknown author in Napier City

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)

Memorandum COPY Napier

July 18th. 1859


I have to request that you will bring under the notice of His Excellency's Government, the circumstance that in my recent visit to Wanganui, I found that the natives interested in the Reserves in that District, object to the Deed of Cession of their Reserves to the Crown for the purposes of the N.R. Act 1856; upon the ground that the form of the Deed contains no provision assuring to the Natives and their heirs, the proprietorship of the land, or its reversion to them at the expiry of the lease; or giving them a right to the whole or any part of the rents and profits under the lease, when Reserves are let by the Commissioners (?) to Europeans.

It is very important that the purposes for which the lands are proposed to be ceded to the Crown, should be clearly and intelligibly expressed in full in the body of the Deed; as it is impossible to explain clearly to a native the meaning of ''subject to the provisions and for the ends intents and purposes of the N.Z. F.R. Act lease''; and so long as any part of a Deed for the surrender of land is other than most clearly intellibible, for natives can be induced to sign it.

In its present shape, all that a native could understand from the Deed, is that by signing it he surrenders absolutely to the Crown, without any consideration, a piece of land which is now his undisputed property.

There are two classes of N.R. - one consisting of the Reserves set apart by the New Zealand Company in the Provinces of Wellington and Nelson, as apart of their colonization scheme; with a view to the progressive advantage to the natives; and of which a few only have been given into their occupation. The other class consists chiefly of interspersed lands among Blocks sold to the Government, and over which the Native title has not been extinguished; and a few of the Company's Reserves in Wellington and Nelson, which have been given over to the natives.

You will be good enough to confer with the Government on this subject, with a view to obtaining such an alteration in the proposed form of Deed of Cession by the Natives, of Reserves under the N.R. Act 1856, as will remove the difficulties now experienced by them in executing such Deeds; as, without such alteration, the Act must remain inoperative.

In translating the Deed into Maori, the greatest caution must be used as to the terms employed; so as to render them clearly intelligible to the natives.

I feel it the more necessary to bring this matter under the immediate notice of the Government, as the question of N.R. has already given rise to a good deal of discussion and agitation in the minds of the natives, in some of the Southern Provinces.

I shall feel obliged by having the draft of an intelligible form of Deed forwarded to me, as early as possible, addressed to Wellington or Wanganui.

(unsigned draft)

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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