Petition of Te Rangiwhakaewa and Others, in the Province of Hawke's Bay, relative to the Purchase of the Seventy-Mile Bush
Friends, these are the persons who were excluded by the Court from Tamaki, and the same persons object to the action of the Court and to the survey. They have all asked for a resurvey; and when that is completed, then let the matter be adjudicated upon by the Court. Such a course as is here indicated would be clear to us.
Now, with regard to the purchase of Tamaki, we submit for your consideration our reasons for finding fault with it, and for saying the Government of Hawke's Bay know how to bewitch Maori fashion.
On the day on which Tamaki was purchased by the Government of Hawke's Bay, they did not send us any notification. Ormond and Locke went on with their work, and paid money to the sellers. They gave us no information whatever; although they saw us in Napier, they did not address us and inform us. The matter of the purchase extended over eight mouths, and (during that time) those persons did not know us. Had this purchase been like one of the old purchases, not conducted under any special Act, we could have understood it then; but as matters are at present, there is a law in existence affecting the land and the people. The authority of that law extends both to the land and the people. We therefore are of opinion, that the proceeding of the Government of Hawke's Bay are wrong as regards this land, Tamaki—indeed as regards the whole of Hawke's Bay. We therefore inform you of these proceedings, so that you may see how this Government acts,—the Maoris being ignorant, and you the Europeans being possessed of much knowledge. It is therefore thought fit that you should be asked to see if some relief cannot be afforded to us in regard to the grievance of which we complain—it is a great grievance, a bad grievance, and a frightful grievance.
Friends, the great people of the Government at Wellington in Parliament assembled. We have come to a decision upon this matter, and we desire that you should know our thoughts.
Tamaki should be withdrawn from the Court and from the sale, in order that the difficulties respecting our land may be cleared away. Do not let the evil designs of the Government of Hawke's Bay regarding our lands be carried out, but let the benefits of the law be extended to the Maoris, who are under the authority of Queen Victoria of England and of the Governor.
The above is the decision we have arrived at in our Maori Committee, and it has also been arrived at by us the persons interested in the land. The decision of the Maori Committee is not a piece of interference on their part. We submitted the matter to them, and we approve of their proceedings, because they act according to law.
Friends, this trouble will not end. We shall continue to ask you to allow our lands to be withdrawn from the action of the law.
The names of the writers of this letter are given above.