12 February 1866
My dear Sir,
I have thought much about the confiscation of Turanga, and have arrived at the conclusion that the better way will be to take the whole block and give back such portions as may be deemed advisable to the friendly Natives under Crown grants. The Bishop of Waiapu and late Mr. Commissioner Clarke both agree with me in my views on this subject and I doubt not Mr. Williams has written to you on the subject. The method advocated would get rid of the numerous conflicting claims which as you too well know will be legion. Moreover many of the Natives would I am satisfied prefer this course. They are tired so I have been often told of the interminable disputes about land disputes that they themselves cannot properly fathom, how then can we expect to arrive at other than an arbitrary decision? Further it would convince wavering tribes that they could not have their periodical fits of outbreak without receiving severe punishment in (in my idea) their only really vulnerable point i.e. by loss of land. Moreover as we will know this sort of punishment is quite in accordance with their own old established usages in proof of which we need but enquire from the natives themselves,
when we shall find there is scarcely a tribe in the New Zealand Islands, who hold the true possessions of their forefathers. You will pardon my presumption in bringing these matters before you, who are much better advised on Native affairs than myself.
I propose returning to Turanga by Tawera which vessel is daily expected. As I suppose we shall be obliged to go via Napier, I shall in all probability have the pleasure of meeting you. In the meatime with sincere respect believe me
Donald McLean Esquire
Inward letters - John Williams Harris, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0327 (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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