Nos. 61 and 62.—Petitions of Wepiha Apanui and 206 Others, and Rewiri Paera and 23 Others.
Petitioners pray that an Act may be passed under which the confiscated lands in the Bay of Plenty may be rendered of more service to them, by setting aside the original grants, and fresh ones issued, placing all the owners on an equality.
I am directed to report as follows: That petitioners have undoubtedly a grievance, and a very grave one; but, as it has been pointed out by the Chief Judge Macdonald, clause 41 of "The Native Land Court Act, 1886," is thought to provide the desired remedy. The Committee therefore recommends that the petitioners take advantage of the clause referred to for the purpose of bringing the lands complained of under the adjudication of the Native Land Court, so that the present tenure may be altered and fresh grants issued to all the owners thereof; also, that the Government afford every facility to the petitioners in getting their cases brought before the Land Court; or, if it is found to be necessary, pass such legislation as will satisfy the prayer of the petitioners.