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Life in Early Poverty Bay

Natives Sell Town Proper to Crown

Natives Sell Town Proper to Crown.

It was, indeed, not until after the Massacre in 1868 that Sir Donald McLean succeeded in breaking-up, in large measure, the system of Maori landlordism in this district. Then it was that the Government decided upon confiscating a lot of the lands held by the Native rebels. According to Colonel Porter he met the chiefs in conference at Gisborne and told them that, as they had ignored former warnings, he was going to treat them according to their own custom. He was the conqueror and would confiscate portions of their lands as “utu-rau-patu,” literally, “spoils to the victors.” Sir Donald, in a memorable address, proceeded:—

“I won't take all your land but each tribe must cede me part of its country, and I want a plece now for the establishment of a town on the river bank—part of your possession of Wai-o-hiharore (Water of the Mushroom).”

After a lengthy korero the Rongowhakaata tribe agreed to cede the Patutahi block as their part of the payment for their misdeeds. The Te Aitanga Mahaki tribe ceded the Ormond block. Then arrangements were made with Riperata Kahutia, mother of Lady Carroll, and other Native chiefs and chieftainesses to sell to the Crown what became officially known as Turanganui No. 2, extending up the left bank of the Turanganui as far as the junction of the Waimata and the Taruheru rivers, and thence up the Taraheru almost to Lytton road, then striking towards the Waikanae swamp and east along the Waikanae (Mullet Stream), the purchase money amounting to £2000.