Object #1025606 from MS-Papers-0032-0486

5 pages written 4 Feb 1874 by John Davies Ormond in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0486 (119 digitised items). 112 letters written from Wairoa, Wellington, Napier, 1873-1876. Includes letter from D M Luckie to Ormond, Nov 1875; Ormond to Fox, Mar 1876; Carlyon to Ormond.

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

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English (ATL)


February 4th 1874

My dear McLean

I enjoyed my visit to the country very much and am much better for the change as also are the children. It was very hot all the time we were away and the country is very dry and burnt up, especially about Waipukerau -- Rua Tanewha etc. -- on the Ahuriri plains altho' dry there is plenty of green feed but rain is wanted badly. We had a shower on Sunday but nothing to do any good. I found all quiet here and things much as usual. There is however a great deal of grumbling at the want of progress with the Railway works. As far as I can judge the Paki Paki section which ought to have been finished according to Contract by the end of Novr. will not be open for another twelve months at the rate the work is progressing -- Since my return I have been besieged by complaints and enquiries and of course I can make no satisfactory answer. I have written to Richardson about it and hope he will push things on -- The tramway from Waipukerau to the Bush I pushed the survey of on as quickly as possible after my return from the Assembly and sent Plans and everything complete, but up to now nothing more has been done but Richardson promises Tenders shall be called for shortly -- I can assure you between ourselves that from what I see the Public works wd. be better and more cheaply carried out by the Provinces than by the Col. Govt. and I am becoming a convert to that view -- It is not easy in a letter to set forth reasons but the more I see of the management by the Wellington office the more apparent are the mistakes and additional cost of the works. Of course I only say this to you -- Vogel wanted me to meet him at Wellington to go into the question of settlement of Immigrants upon land -- but on my return here I find so much to do that I cannot possibly leave at present. I see by the papers that old Bathgate has gone to Wellington with his family so I suppose he cannot be got rid of. It is a pity for men like him and O'Rorke are a heavy drag upon any Govt.

The District Court here is causing great commotion just now. Little Weston is so full of the dignity of his Court that he has Criminal Sittings every 14 days -- this entails summoning 42 jurors who are brought to Town from all the surrounding districts. When they attend there is generally nothing to do, and I can leave you to gather the public indignation. It is no doubt a very serious and unnecessary tax upon the community and must be stopped. I will see Weston abt. it and see if he can alter the the sittings from fortnightly to once in three months -- if not I will telegraph abt. it and you will understand from what I have written what is wanted -- It is a pity that office was created. I believe it is entirely unnecessary and entails a cost of certainly £1000 a year -- Will you get the building the Waipawa Court House sanctioned -- it has been waiting a long time and the people inland are impatient abt. it. Plans -- cost and everything are I believe prepared -- K. McLean has been to me as requested by you about Tareha's demand for £1000 additional for Patutahi -- So far as I can gather from the enquiries I have been able to make -- It is an extra £1000 that old Tareha wants -- I believe Renata knows abt. it but I do not think either Karaitiana or Henare Tomoana do -- I will have enquiry made -- The Russells are keeping very quiet but are as spiteful and ready to do mischief as ever I shd. have got Henare Matua's assent to the completion of the 70 Mile Bush purchase the other day but for P.Russell's interference. Of course he did not appear nor could I prove it altho' I know it. P.Russell goes home next month I hear and it is said that H.R. will really go in May -- if they both would go it wd. be a great riddance. Little Whitmore is reported to have gone south to purchase big McLean's Run and gave out here ready money Robinson was with him in it -

Land is still rising here and there are several Southerners looking out for investments - the sale of Foster's (Munn's) old place for £15,000 is the best sale that has been made here - The run will not carry more than 4,000 sheep -

The last lot of Immigrants arrived here on Monday were landed late and were nearly all engaged by Tuesday mid-day were they all go to I dont know - Fox is on his way here thro' the 70 Mile Bush. He goes from here to Taupo and the Lakes I shall do what I can to assist his journey - give him an orderly etc. When does the Governor intend to come here - he told me about March please let me know as the people wd. like to receive him properly altho' of course they cd. not afford to treat him as big places like Otago and Canterbury have done. Subscriptions are being got up for the reception of the Prize Firing Representatives - I must now close.

Yours very truly
J.D. Ormond

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0486 (119 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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