Object #1027231 from MS-Papers-0032-0512
4 pages written 15 Apr 1873 by Edward Henry Power in Thames
From: Inward letters - Surnames, Power, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0512 (28 digitised items).
Correspondents: Edward Henry Power, Otago, Christchurch & Thames, 1862-1876 (27 letters); Rev Henry Power, Lancashire, 1861 (father of E H Power).
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
April 15th. 1873
My dear Sir,
I have no doubt you have heard before this of the meeting of miners and others held in Grahamstown in re "opeining of Ohinemuri" the meeting was called by Charles Featherstone Mitchell and a miner named Leaberg. It appears that Te Hira's relative Hopihana - you know the little man he was staying in Auckland just before His Excelly. Sir George Bowen's departure from N.Z. - it is a fact that Hopihana has received sundry pounds and given permits to miners to prospect in Ohinemuri. You will receive a report of the meeting by first mail for south. Now do you not think that it would be far better for the Government to appoint some one to watch their interest as well as that of the natives and to be gazetted and recognised openly as the proper medium through which all matters appertaining to the future or present should pass rather than to allow matters to get into so much difficulty as actually occurred and is at Hauraki. I can assure you there is very much more dissatisfaction amongst the Natives at Hauraki than you are aware of and I can say of my own knowledge that the complaints they reiterate to their Ohinemuri friends has been one of the means of retarding the settlement of the pakehas in that district, they the
Ohinemuri owners) naturally are afraid lest similar troubles should come upon them. When the Hauraki gold field was handed over to Govt. the natives put implicit faith in the officers that the agreement with them would be followed out in its integrity, but what do they now find simply that the sole control is in the hands of Govt. that the agreement is evaded because the Govt. do not care to watch the interests of natives in every particular considering no doubt that the natives themselves should do so and therefore what is everybody's business is nobody's business and the natives are considerable losers thereby; they say that they not understanding the manners and customs of Europeans are unable to detect any impositions they may subjected to; that they require some one to act as their friend and protector, as an instance, a certain sum of money is mentioned to them as having been collected for a particular quarter, say £1000 or £2006 they are unable to satisfy themselves that this amount is correct therefore they are compelled to consider it so they want some one to act as their auditor is such a case. Hohepa Paraone, Hoterene Taupari and others have asked me to act for them they are also anxious to get the "Runanga" to decide upon who they will choose to act as their general agent and mediator as between the Government and Europeans
with whom they have to deal, they told me their great trouble was to get a man of understanding, honest and one which is respected by the Europeans generally and which the Government would recognise they expressed their satisfaction when I informed them I was willing to undertake such duties as indicated by them if you would allow me and put me in that position. Not mind you to interfere with Mr. Puckey in the slightest degree, but to take orders from them and act in their place when ever necessary. I have no hesitation in saying they have lost hundreds of pounds for the want of such an one, they would I believe pay the salary out of miner's rights but that would be for the runanga to decide. If you would take upon yourself the responsibility of appointing me in such a capacity I am sure from what I have heard them say it would give great satisfaction to them and get them out of many annoyances they are now subjected to as also loss of money - they have great faith in all that you do or say they look upon you as the scource from whence all good must spring, though they do not thoroughly comprehend the divided authority of the Gold fields with the Superintendent they ask why does not Mr. McLean as our Head see that the various residents on the Gold field pay for living thereon as well as many other pertinent questions which are difficult to answer as matters stand at present in fact you get some blame (in the natives eyes) for the sins of the provincial
authorities which of course you do not deserve.
Now you can do this for me easily I would not ask you if I were not confident I am fit to carry out anything I undertake. I have had more experience than many who are in high positions for instance Mr. Lowther Broad R.M. of Nelson was my servant as a Gold Broker in the goldfields in Otago, he holds 17 appointments while I have a small salary and have been rather overlooked by the Govt. I have had a financial education in Banks which is always invaluable to the Government in whatever department the officer is working, I am also a Native Interpreter so why do not the Government remember me. Several appointments have been made which I would be suited for but I still wait patiently. I am an old Government officer of good family and education and always have taken a lead in any of the towns I have been stationed. I thank you very much for your constant friendship to me but I must inform you that I do not consider the salary I am now drawing is full payment for my capabilities. You said I was well paid but I want to be fully employed and fully paid by the Government. I have again written to the Government in re J.P. ship I intend to have my rights even if I should wait until I get returned as a member of some constituency I should and do wish to represent a Goldfield and hope to do so before I die - say the Thames. I am
constantly picking up information and daily gaining experience to that end and purpose. My favourite topics are Maories, Mining and Education. I think a few years will prove that the Legislature will be forced to pay particular attention to these subjects. I am afraid I have spun out this letter so long that you will not take the trouble to read it I hope it will command my attention and the reading of it not be lost time to you. I could make it double the length correspondence being one of my weaknesses but I must conclude hoping to have a few lines from you and that you are in good health and spirits,
My dear Sir,
Yours very sincerely,
Edw. Hy. Power
Inward letters - Surnames, Power, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0512 (28 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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