An Act to define and determine the title to lands held by Aboriginal Natives.
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THE difficulties and obstacles attendant on the acquisition of Native lands by Europeans having been fully entered into in the previous pages of this pamphlet, it may be expedient to here state succinctly the defects in previous legislation on, and proceedings relating to, the Native Land question, which it is proposed to remedy, and, if possible, remove by the provisions of the Draft Act now submitted for consideration, viz.:--
1st. --The peripatetic nature of the sittings of the Native Land Courts, caused by the Judges not being appointed to and permanently stationed in defined districts.
2nd. --The consequent ignorance of the Judges and Assessors of the natural features of the country, and the particular class of title prevailing in any district.
3rd. --The enormous expenses of executing surveys, caused by two or three surveys being made by contending parties for the same block.
4th. --The sittings of the Native Land Courts being frequently fixed to be held at long distances from the land the subject of investigation, thereby debarring large numbers of elderly claimants, and infirm people, from attending thereat; also entailing enormous expense and loss of time by taking the active members of a tribe away from their homes.
5th. --The method of procedure of the Native Land Court being so greatly assimilated to the practice of the Supreme and other English Courts of Law within the Colony, which is not understood or appreciated by large numbers of Natives, and the necessity of adopting such a course of proceedings as will be more in accordance with the Maori ideas of dealing with their land questions.
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6th. --The frauds practised on large numbers of Natives (frequently on the majority) interested in lands, the title whereof had been investigated by the Native Lands Court, by the limited number of persons whose names were inserted in Certificates of Title and other instruments made by order of the Native Land Court.
7th. --The enormous expense of procuring the signatures of hundreds of Native owners (scattered all over the country) to conveyances and leases of single blocks of land.
8th. --The doubts as to the validity of the titles of Europeans through the conflicting legislation on Native land questions.
9th. --The unsatisfactory state of outstanding and incomplete purchases and leases.
10th. --The stagnation in all Native land transactions through the provisions of recent enactments, seriously affecting the position of the vendors, lessors, purchasers, and lessees of the same, and the consequent prevention of the investment of capital in that direction.
11th. --The extreme unpopularity of the "Native Land Administration Act, 1886," and the unwillingness of the Natives to bring their lands under its operation.
12th. --The urgent necessity for speedily ascertaining and determining the titles to Native Lands throughout the North Island, by which the necessity for special legislation on Native matters could be dispensed with, and the expense of the Native Minister's Department could be saved.
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AN ACT to define and determine the title to lands held by Aboriginal Natives under Maori Usage and Custom, and to make provision for regulating the sale and other disposition of Native Lands, and for validating and settling incomplete titles thereto.
WHEREAS considerable discontent and dissatisfaction at present exists among the Aboriginal Natives of New Zealand with respect to the laws governing the sale and other dispositions of their lands; and it is expedient that their Proprietary Rights to and over all lands held by them according to Maori Usage and Custom, should be speedily ascertained, determined, finally settled, and clothed with a legal title, assimilated as nearly as possible to European ownership under the statutes in operation within the Colony. And it is further highly desirable that steps should be taken without delay for securing permanently, and irrevocably to the Maori Race ample Reserves of such lands for their use, maintenance, and benefit, and that provision shall be made for granting titles thereto. And whereas Agreements have from time to time been made between Europeans and Maoris for the sale and lease, or other disposition of Native Lands, and numerous Deeds of Conveyance and demise have been commenced and partly executed, and it is desirable for the well-being of both races of Her Majesty's subjects in the Colony of New Zealand, and for the encouragement of settlement and progress, that these incomplete and outstanding purchases and leases should be completed, and finally and legally settled with as little delay as possible. And whereas numerous disputes and expensive suits at law have arisen through defects in, and doubts as to the meaning and intent of, several of the statutes relating to Native Lands, and to dealings therewith, and doubts have arisen as to the validity of certain instruments of title intended and supposed to have been made in accordance with such enactments, and it is expedient that such disputes, lawsuits, and doubts should be removed and for ever set at rest, and that all acts done in good faith between the parties thereto should be set right, validated and confirmed:
BE IT ENACTED by the General Assembly of New Zealand in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--
1. The Short Title of this Act is "The New Zealand Native Land Titles Settlement and Determination Act, 1887."
2. "The Native Land Court Act, 1886," "The Native Land Administration Act, 1886," and "The Native Equitable Owners' Act, 1886," together with the Acts named in Schedule 1 hereto are hereby repealed.
3. In this Act, if not inconsistent with the context, --
"Chief Commissioner" means the person appointed to be Chief Commissioner and General Registrar of Native Land Titles under this Act.
"Commissioner" means a person appointed to be a Commissioner and District Registrar of Native Title for a district under this Act.
"Crown Grant" means a Crown Grant made under this Act, and includes a Certificate of Title under "The Land Transfer Act."
"Certificate of Title" means a Certificate of Title issued under this Act, and includes Certificates of Title made by the Native Land Court.
"Court" means a Commissioners' Court held under this Act.
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"District" means a Native Land District constituted under this Act.
"District Register of Title" means a book or books kept in the office of a Commissioner, wherein all matters pertaining to Native Lands within a district are recorded.
"District Reference Map " means a map of each district compiled by the Surveyor General, and certified by him.
"District Surveyor" means the officer in charge of surveys in a district.
"Disposable Land" means land the title whereof has been determined under this Act and is available for sale or lease.
"General Register of Titles" means a book or books kept in the office of the Chief Commissioner, in which titles relating to all districts constituted under this Act are recorded.
"General Reference Map" means a map of the North Island of New Zealand showing each district constituted under this Act, compiled by the Surveyor General and certified by him.
"Hapu Boundary" means the boundary of lands held by a "hapu" (sept) of a tribe, within a Tribal boundary.
"Hereditaments" means lands held under a Crown Grant.
"Memorial of Ownership" means a Memorial of Ownership made by the Native Land Court.
"Native" means an aboriginal Native of New Zealand, and includes half-castes, and all descendants of half-castes whether by Maoris or Europeans.
"Native Land" means land held by Natives under Maori Usage or Custom.
"Non-seller" means a person dissenting to an incomplete sale of "Titled Lands."
"Non-lessor" means a person dissenting to an incomplete lease of "Titled Lands."
"Notice" means a notice published within a District only, in any way a Commissioner may deem fit to give publicity to the same.
"Owner" means the person the title of whom to any land has been ascertained and registered under this Act, or of any person found to be an owner by any repealed Act relating to Native land.
"Order" means an order made by a Commissioner under this Act, and includes an order made by the Native Land Court.
"Parcel of land" means a piece of land partitioned under this Act within any "hapu" holding.
"Partition Order" means any order for a partition of land made by a Commissioner.
"Person" means a person, whether Native or otherwise.
"Published" shall mean a notice published by a Commissioner in the New Zealand Gazette, the Maori Kahiti, and one local newspaper (if any is published) in a district.
"Registration" means registration in the General or District Register of Titles.
"Reserved Land" means a parcel of land owned by a "hapu" and set apart for their permanent use, maintenance, and benefit.
"Native Reserve" means any land heretofore reserved for Native purposes, and which the Governor may order to be administered under this Act, and includes lands reserved under "The West Coast Settlements Reserves Act, 1881," and the Amendments thereto.
"Succession Order" means an order made under this Act for a person to succeed to the "real estate" of a deceased person.
"Survey" means a survey ordered by a Commissioner.
"Sealed" means sealed with the seal of office.
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"Titled Laud" means land belonging to Natives, the title whereof has been adjudicated on by the Native Land Court, or any other legally constituted tribunal having jurisdiction over any Native land, and applies to all such lands, whether held under an Order, a Certificate of Title, a Memorial of Ownership, or a Crown Grant, or any other instrument of title made under any Native Land Act repealed, and shall include land the title whereof may hereafter be determined under this Act.
"Tribal Boundary" means the external boundary of the lands owned by any tribe, or the boundary line dividing the lands of two or more tribes from that of another.
"Trustees" means Trustees elected by a "hapu" under this Act.
"Will" means a will made by a Native in accordance with this Act.
The Governor may make districts
4. The Governor may, by Order in Council, divide the North Island of New Zealand into districts to be styled "Native Land Districts," giving a distinctive name to every such district, and may at any time, as he may think fit, alter the boundaries of, or abolish any such district. In fixing the limits of such districts, in all cases where known tribal boundaries exist, these shall be adopted; in cases where tribal boundaries are not clearly defined, then the division line of districts to follow some natural feature of the country such as a river, or a range of hills, but in no case shall a straight line from one given point to another be allowed except where an actual survey line has been defined on the ground.
The Governor may appoint a Chief Commissioner and General Registrar of Titles
5. The Governor may from time to time appoint such person as he may think fit, to be a Chief Commissioner and General Registrar of Native Land Titles under this Act, and may from time to time, as he may think fit, remove such officer.
The Governor may appoint Commissioners and District Registrars
6. The Governor may from time to time appoint such persons as he may think fit to be Commissioners and District Registrars of Native Land Title, and may from time to time, as he may think fit, remove any or all of such officers. The Governor shall, on making any such appointment, specify the district within which the person so appointed shall exercise the powers vested in him under this Act.
The Governor may appoint Deputies
7. The Governor may also, during the absence or illness of the Chief, or other Commissioner, appoint a deputy Commissioner who shall, during the Governor's pleasure, have and exercise all the powers vested in a Chief, or other Commissioner, under this Act.
The Governor may appoint District Surveyors
8. The Governor may from time to time appoint such person as he may think fit to be a District Surveyor for any district constituted under this Act, and from time to time, as he may think fit, remove such District Surveyor.
The Governor may appoint other officers
9. The Governor may from time to time appoint such persons as he may think fit to be Assistant Surveyors, Clerks, Maori Interpreters, (the latter to be duly Licensed under this Act as hereinafter provided), or such other officers as may appear to him to be necessary for effectually carrying out the provisions of this Act, and from time to time, as he may think fit, to remove any or all of such persons.
Judges and ex-Judges of the Native Land Court eligible for appointment
10. Provided that the person now holding the office of Chief Judge of the Native Land Court, shall be eligible for appointment as Chief Commissioner, and any person now holding the office of Judge of the Native Land Court, or any retired Judge thereof, who shall be willing to accept office under this Act, shall be eligible for appointment as a Commissioner. If it is found that there are not sufficient persons, who now hold or have heretofore held office as Judges of the Native Land Court, to provide a Commissioner for each district constituted under this Act, the Governor from time to time, from among fit and proper persons, skilled in the Maori language and conversant with
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Native Land tenure according to Maori Usage and Custom, appoint such person or persons as he may think fit to be a Commissioner or Commissioners under this Act, and in like manner may fill up any appointment rendered vacant, by the death, retirement, or removal of any Chief or other Commissioner.
Seal of office to be provided
11. The Minister for Lands shall furnish the Chief Commissioner with a seal of office and every Commissioner with a similar seal, but showing thereon the District for which it is issued.
The Governor may appoint Court for district
12. The Governor shall constitute a Court for each district, which shall be presided over by the Commissioner of the district, with power, when necessary, to sit with the Chief, or any other Commissioner or Commissioners, as hereinafter provided.
DUTIES OF CHIEF COMMISSIONER.
Chief Commissioner to have control of Native Land Titles Department
13. The person holding the office of Chief Commissioner and General Registrar of Native Land Titles shall have control of the "Native Land Titles Department" throughout the Colony of New Zealand.
General Register of Titles to be kept by Chief Commissioner
14. The Chief Commissioner shall keep in his office a book or books to be named "The General Register of Native Titles," in which shall be entered all Certificates of Title or orders made by any Commissioner appointed under this Act, also copies of any orders or Certificates of Title or Memorials of Ownership heretofore made by the Native Land Court, where the land or any part thereof the subject of such instrument has not been dealt with by sale or lease. The title relating to each District constituted under this Act shall be kept separate from that of any other District. There shall also be entered in a separate book, to be named the "Record of Native Grants," a duplicate of all Crown Grants prepared for the Governor's signature, and. when so signed, if any alterations or amendments have been made in any Grant, such alterations or amendments shall be inscribed in such duplicate.
Preparation of Crown Grants
15. The Chief Commissioner, on the receipt from any Commissioner of a Certificate of Title made under this Act, as hereinafter provided, shall forthwith prepare or cause to be prepared (except in the case of a certificate granted to a hapu under section 37 of this Act) a Crown grant in triplicate for the land the subject of such Certificate: One of such to be signed by the Governor, which shall be delivered to the owners mentioned therein; one copy to be deposited in the Registry of Deeds Office in the Provincial District within which the land comprised in such grant is situated; and the third to be transmitted to the Minister of Lands for the time being, for record in his Department. Provided also where Crown Grants are incomplete or have not been prepared in respect of any Order, Certificate of Title, or Memorial of Ownership heretofore made by the Native Land Court, it shall be lawful for the Chief Commissioner to cause the same to be completed or prepared in the manner above provided.
General Reference Map to be provided, also District Reference Maps, etc.
16. The Surveyor-General shall, immediately after the coming into operation of this Act, prepare or cause to be prepared, on a large scale, a Map of the North Island of New Zealand, to be known as the '* General Reference Map, " on which shall be shown all Districts constituted under this Act. Provided also that any Tribal boundary or boundaries which shall from time to time be fixed and determined by any Commissioner, as hereinafter provided, shall be entered thereon by some duly authorised surveyor. Hapu boundaries, when so fixed and determined, shall also be entered on such " General Reference Map " in like manner as above enacted.
The Surveyor-General shall in like manner prepare, on a large scale, a Map of each Provincial District in the Middle Island, to be
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known as the "Middle Island Reference Map," showing thereon all lands held by Natives under Crown Grant, or reserved for the use, maintenance, or benefit of Natives, within each such Provincial District. This shall be lodged in the Office of the Chief Commissioner.
The Surveyor-General shall in like manner prepare, or cause to be prepared, on a large scale, in duplicate, maps to be known by the name of "District Reference Maps" of each district constituted under this Act, and two certified copies thereof. One of such duplicate maps shall be filed of record in the Office of the Chief Commissioner, and the other shall be filed in the Office of the Commissioner of the District to which it relates. The copies thereof hereinbefore mentioned shall be used as office and working plans by the Chief and District Surveyor.
Every such "District Reference Map" shall contain the information and particulars following, viz.:--
(a.) The position of all natural features which have been ascertained and fixed within any district, such as mountains, ranges of hills, rivers, streams, lakes, and forests; also any known villages or settlements now occupied, or burial grounds now used by Natives, or any ancient settlements, fortifications, or burial grounds therein situate.
(b.) Such map shall show accurately all major and minor trigonometrical stations which have been established within each district, and the bearings and distances between the same; also where any surveyed Crown or other lands adjoin or abut on any "Native Land," the bearings and distances of all survey lines forming the boundary or boundaries thereof.
(c.) All Crown Lands which have bean sold, leased, or otherwise disposed of. Provided that only the external boundaries thereof require to be shown on such map.
(d.) Crown Lands remaining unsold or unappropriated for any purposes. If it shall be deemed expedient for Public information and reference in any district, the Surveyor General may, in his discretion, indicate on such map the allotments or sections into which this class of land has been laid off or divided.
(e.) "Titled Lands" the title whereof has been ascertained and determined by the Native Land Court, or other tribunal.
(f.) "Titled Lands" which have been alienated by the owners by sale, lease, or otherwise, to persons other than the Government.
(g.) "Titled Lands" held by the owners, and not alienated to any person.
(h.) " Native Lands " held by Natives under Maori Usage and Custom, the title whereof has not been investigated, ascertained, and determined.
Such District Reference Maps shall be certified to as being correct, and shall be signed by the Surveyor General personally.
Additions to be made to General and District Reference Maps
17. The Chief Commissioner shall from time to time cause to be added to such General and District Reference Maps, such additional matters as shall be transmitted to him by any Commissioner, as hereinafter provided, and shall place on such map his certificate of such entry therein.
District Reference Map to be admissable in evidence
18. Any District Reference Map so prepared, certified, and filed in the office of the Chief, or any Commissioner shall be admissable in evidence in any proceedings under this Act, or in any Court of Law within the Colony of Now Zealand, and anything contained therein
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so far as it refers to the matter under adjudication, or to any issue to be tried, shall be deemed to be conclusive evidence therein, and shall not be called into question.
Chief Commissioner may assist Commissioner in difficult cases
19. The Chief Commissioner may, in difficult or disputed cases, on the application of any Commissioner, proceed to any district to aid and assist such Commissioner in determining the question at issue or in dispute.
Regulations to be made
20. The Chief Commissioner may from time to time frame Rules and Regulations for the general conduct of business in his own department. And in like manner, at a meeting of Commissioners to be convened by him for that purpose, shall, with their assistance, frame Rules and Regulations for the general conduct of business in all the Districts constituted under this Act. Provided that no such Rules or Regulations shall come into operation until the assent of the Governor in Council shall have been first obtained thereto. Such Rules and Regulations may from time to time be annulled, altered, or amended, in such manner as may appear to be necessary.
Register of Titles to be kept by Chief Commissioner
21. The Commissioner shall keep in his office a book or books to be styled the "General Register of Titles," in which shall be entered all matters affecting Native Title within the district to which it relates. And copies of all Orders, Certificates, and Certificates of Title, as from time to time made by a Commissioner, shall be inscribed therein.
DUTIES OF COMMISSIONERS AND DISTRICT REGISTRARS OF NATIVE TITLE WITH RESPECT TO " TITLED LANDS. "
Commissioner to publish a notice respecting incomplete purchases and leases
22. Every Commissioner appointed to any district under this Act, shall forthwith issue a notice in English and Maori, which shall be published in the New Zealand Gazette and the Maori Kahiti and in one local newspaper (if any) in circulation within any Native Land District, calling upon all persons who have outstanding or incomplete transactions for the sale or lease of any land with any owners within such district, to forward the particulars of their claims to him within three months from the date of such notice.
Commissioner to appoint a day for hearing applications respecting incomplete transactions
23. As soon as may be convenient after the expiration of the above period of three months, the Commissioner shall, by notice to be published in the manner aforesaid, appoint a day (not less than one month from the date of such notice) for hearing and determining the justice and validity of such claims, when, if satisfied that any such transaction is bona fide and fair to all the parties concerned, he shall issue a Certificate under seal to that effect to the applicant; which Certificate shall show on the face thereof the number of sellers or lessors, and the number of non-sellers or non-lessors, giving the name of each person respectively. Such Certificate shall be given to the applicant, and a copy thereof shall be inscribed in the District Register of Title, and the General Register of Titles.
Proceedings when a Commissioner refuses to make a certificate
24. If on such hearing, as aforesaid, the Commissioner shall refuse to make a Certificate in respect of any claim, he shall make an order to that effect, and, if requested, shall give to the claimant his reasons therefor in writing, and shall forward copies of the evidence given in the case, and the reason of such refusal to the Chief Commissioner and to the Minister for Lands for their information. The Minister for Lands may, if he shall deem fit, on an application in that behalf being made to him by the claimant, order the case to be re-heard before the Chief Commissioner and the Commissioner for the District within which it originated. If on such re-hearing the claimant shall be found to be entitled to a Certificate, it shall be issued to him and dealt with as provided for in the next previous sections. If on a re-hearing the claimant shall be found not to be entitled to receive a Certificate, an order to that effect shall be made and shall be signed
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by the Chief Commissioner, and the Commissioner for the District, the orders so made, whether by the Commissioner in the first instance or by the Chief Commissioner and the Commissioner as above enacted, shall be final and conclusive, and the legality thereof shall not be called in question in any Court of Law in the Colony of New Zealand. Any applicant for a Certificate may appear before the Commissioner by counsel or agent. A copy of any such order shall be inscribed in the District Register of Titles and the General Register of Titles.
Effect of certificate
25. Any certificate so made and sealed, as far as the interests which have been acquired by purchase or lease are concerned, and not otherwise, shall have the effect of a Certificate made by a Trust Commissioner appointed under "The Native Land Frauds Prevention Act, 1881," and it shall also confer on the person named therein the right to complete the purchase or lease of the land the subject of such Certificate, and to acquire any outstanding interests therein, during a period of three years from the date thereof. And such Certificate, during the time it shall be in force, shall effectually bar the right of any person whomsoever, other than the first purchaser or lessee, from dealing with the land comprised in such Certificate. Unless it shall in the meanwhile be cancelled by the holder thereof applying for and obtaining a Partition Order under this Act, in which case the lands awarded to the non-sellers or non-lessors shall be classed as "Disposable Lands," and be open for dealing with in manner hereinafter provided
Certificate may be transferred
26. Such Certificate may, by permission of the Commissioner, be transferred by the holder thereof to any other person; but a copy of such transfer must be inscribed in the District Register of Title.
Partition maybe made if required, etc.
27. At the time when a Commissioner shall order a Certificate to issue to an applicant to enable him to continue his purchase or lease, it shall be lawful for such person to then apply to the Commissioner to partition the interests which have been acquired by him from those of the non-sellers or non-lessors. Whereupon the Commissioner shall direct the applicant to endeavour to make an arrangement with the owners for the partition of the land in question, and shall fix a day for the further hearing of the matter. On the day so fixed, if the Commissioner is satisfied that all the parties concerned have agreed to a partition of the land the subject of the claim, he shall then proceed in the manner prescribed in the next following section. Failing any such arrangement the Commissioner may, if convenient and all the parties are present, proceed to hear the case forthwith, but, if otherwise, he shall appoint a day for hearing the claim of the applicant, of which a notice of at least one month shall be published as hereinbefore provided. On the day so fixed the Commissioner shall sit in open Court and proceed to hear and determine the case in the manner hereinafter provided in Section 35, for hearing cases of disputed Tribal boundaries inside districts.
On arrangement being made in respect of an incomplete purchase
28. On an arrangement being arrived at between the parties in the matter of any incomplete purchase, for the partition of the interests acquired by the purchaser from those retained by non-sellers, the Commissioner having satisfied himself that such agreement is fair and is understood by the parties thereto, shall forthwith cancel the original muniment of title and shall make two Partition Orders, one in favour of the purchaser, and the other in favour of the non-sellers, for the respective parcels of land as arranged between them, and a Certificate of Title shall be issued for each of such parcels of land in lieu of such orders, on the production to the Commissioner of a proper survey map thereof, prepared in -the manner hereinafter prescribed for the making of surveys. Such sub-divisional survey shall be made at the expense of the purchaser.
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The Certificates of Title, when completed, shall be transmitted to the Chief Commissioner, and a copy thereof shall be inscribed in the District Register of Title, together with a copy of the Partition Order.
In an arrangement being made in respect of an incomplete lease
29. On an arrangement being arrived at between the parties in the matter of any incomplete lease, for the partition of the interests held by the lessee from those of the owners dissenting to such lease, the Commissioner, having satisfied himself that such agreement is fair and is understood by the parties thereto, shall forthwith cancel the original muniment of title and shall make two Partition Orders, one in favour of the lessors, and one in favour of the non-lessors, for the respective parcels of land as arranged between them; and a Certificate of Title shall be issued for each of such parcels of land in lieu of such orders, on the production to the Commissioner of a proper survey map thereof, prepared in the manner hereinafter prescribed for the making of surveys. Such sub-divisional survey shall be made at the joint cost of the lessors and the lessee. The lessee may, at the time of the making of the Partition Orders aforesaid, make application to the Commissioner for a Leasing Order for the parcel of land allotted to the lessors; the Commissioner shall thereupon order that a Leasing Order shall issue for the parcel of land to which it refers. The effect of such Leasing Order shall be to confirm the original lease over the land forming the subject of such order; and the rent reserved by such lease shall be diminished in proportion to the area of the parcel of land which has been cut off from the original lease; or if the lessors and the lessee shall elect to dispense with a Leasing Order, and make a new lease for such rent and for such term as may be agreed on between them, it shall be competent for them to do so. Such new lease shall be executed in the presence of the Commissioner, and shall be attested and sealed by him.
Copies of such Partition Orders, Certificates of Title, and Leasing Orders, or of the new lease, if made in lieu of the Leasing Order, shall be inscribed in the District Register of Title, and the Certificate of Title made for each of the parcels of land shall be transmitted to the Chief Commissioner.
Holder of a Certificate may at any time apply for a partition
30. The holder of any certificate ordered or issued in respect of any incomplete purchase, in accordance with the provisions hereinbefore made, may at any time during the three years within which the same is in operation, or at any time thereafter, make application to the Commissioner for a partition of the land the subject of such certificate. And the application for such partition shall be heard and a Partition Order made in the manner previously sot forth in sections 27, 28, and 29 hereof.
REGARDING NATIVE LANDS.
Arranging tribal boundaries
31. Immediately after taking charge of the District allotted to him, the Commissioner shall arrange with the Commissioners of the adjoining Districts for the laying off and defining of any Tribal boundary dividing their Districts, or which may be near to the boundary of such districts, as proclaimed by the Governor under this Act. Notice of the times when the respective boundaries of adjoining Districts will be arranged shall be published for at least one month before the convening of a meeting of the Tribes interested therein. On the day so fixed the tribes interested in the boundary which shall have been agreed on to be first dealt with, shall meet at the place named in the notice, which shall be as convenient to the boundary as circumstances will admit. The question shall be publicly discussed in the presence of the two Commissioners concerned therein. If the tribes disagree as to the boundary or boundaries, each Commissioner shall cause the tribes belonging to his District to select seven of the experienced and elder men of each such tribe who, with the two Commissioners, shall proceed, accompanied by the District Surveyors of each
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District, to personally inspect the disputed boundary on the ground. The District Surveyors shall note such portions of the boundary or division line which are mutually agreed on as being correct, and where such line is disputed he shall note the position of the portion disputed. On completion of the inspection of the first boundary, the next shall be taken in the same order as published in the notice and dealt with in a similar manner to the first boundary, and so on until all the sides bounded by other districts shall have been so inspected and noted. The District Surveyors of the adjoining Districts, and of the District the boundaries of which are the subject of settlement, shall forthwith proceed to cut, define, mark, a ad accurately survey the boundary claimed by each of the parties; if more than two lines have been claimed at any of the places so disputed, then such other lines shall be similarly dealt with. On the completion of the survey maps of the the same the Commissioners concerned therein shall fix the day or days on which the claim of each of the parties shall be heard.
Hearing in case of disputed boundary
32. On the day so appointed for hearing, the two Commissioners concerned in the first portion of the boundary shall point out on the Survey Map to the tribes interested therein the position of the lines agreed on, and of those disputed, and shall give the disputants three days to endeavour to amicably arrange the questions at issue. During the adjournment, the Commissioners of the respective districts affected thereby shall in like manner deal with all the other portions of the boundary. On the day appointed, the Natives interested having assembled, they shall be asked if they have come to any arrangement with respect to the matters in dispute. If a settlement has been arrived at by mutual consent the Commissioners shall give effect thereto, and shall make an order defining the boundary accordingly, which order, when so made, shall be irrevocable.
If any such disputed boundary cannot be fixed by mutual arrangements, a Court shall be formed consisting of the whole of the Commissioners then present, who, after taking all evidence brought before them, shall give such judgment as to them, or the majority of them, shall seem just and fair to all parties. If any case is very difficult to decide, the Commissioners may, if they think fit, during the course of the hearing or before the delivery of the judgment, but not afterwards, suggest a basis for a settlement of the matters in dispute, and may adjourn the case for such time as they may deem proper, to allow the Natives interested therein to consider their suggestions. On such suggestions being adopted, or any arrangement being made, or if the judgment of the Court shall be given, it shall make an order defining the boundary in accordance with such arrangement or judgment, which shall be signed by all the Commissioners present at the Court, which order, when so made shall be irrevocable. The District Surveyors shall forthwith proceed to survey the boundaries in accordance with such orders. On completion of the survey map, as hereinafter provided, the District Surveyors shall enter the whole of the boundaries on the District Reference Maps of their respective districts affected thereby, and on the working plans in their custody, and the Commissioners shall transmit to the Chief Commissioner accurate certified copies of such surveys for the purpose of defining the same and having them entered in the General Reference Map.
The Governor may alter boundaries of districts in conformity with tribal boundaries
33. On the completion of the external tribal boundaries of any district, the Chief Commissioner may recommend that the limits of such district, as fixed by the first proclamation by the Governor, shall be altered and amended, by substituting in lieu thereof the tribal boundaries as ordered by the Commissioners' Court. The Governor may if he shall deem fit, by Order in Council, make such alterations and amendments. Notwithstanding such alterations and amend-
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ments in the boundaries of any district it shall not be necessary to alter the appointment, or re-appoint the person holding the office of Commissioner therein.
Commissioners to compile lists of all persons in each hapu
34. On completion of the external boundaries of his district, the Commissioner shall with all convenient speed proceed to form a list showing the names of all the persons residing therein (men, women, and children), and the divisions thereof into tribes, hapus, and families within hapus. And shall make himself acquainted with the settlements occupied by each tribe, and of each hapu of a tribe, and shall make a preliminary inspection of the boundaries claimed by each.
Commissioner to arrange boundaries between tribes occupying his district
35. The Commissioner having thus obtained sufficient information for his guidance, shall forthwith make and publish a notice fixing days (not less than one month from the date of such notice), setting forth the times and places where the meetings of the several tribes within his district shall be held, commencing on one side of the district and extending to the boundary opposite thereto. On the tribes interested in any internal sub-division of a district meeting at the place appointed by such notice, the Commissioner shall proceed in like manner as is set forth in sections 31 and 32 respecting external tribal boundaries. In cases of dispute necessitating a hearing, the Commissioner of the district shall sit alone in open Court and take evidence and give judgment therein. Provided that in any very difficult question he may adjourn the meeting thereof, and request the Chief Commissioner to appoint two other Commissioners to sit with him and adjudicate thereon. On delivery of their judgment, the Commissioners shall make an order defining such tribal boundary, which order shall be irrevocable. On completion of the necessary surveys a Certificate of Title shall then be issued to such tribe by name, which shall be registered in manner hereinbefore provided. The same procedure shall be adopted in the cases of all the tribes residing within the district, until the whole of the boundaries have been arranged.
Commissioner to fix hapu boundaries
36. Having finally completed all the tribal boundaries within his district, the Commissioner shall in like manner proceed to deal with the lands of the several hapus of the tribes residing therein. These subdivisions shall be dealt with as hereinbefore prescribed by sections 31, 32, and 35 hereof.
Certificates of title to be issued to hapus
37. After hearing and determining the questions relating to the boundaries of the lands held by the several hapus within his District, the Commissioner shall next cancel the Certificates of Title which had been made for the several tribes within the District, and on completion of the survey of the lands allotted to each hapu, as hereinafter provided, he shall issue a Certificate of Title for the lands held by each of such hapus. In every such certificate shall be set forth the name of the hapu, and the names of all the persons composing it, grouped in their respective families. Such Certificate shall be registered in the manner hereinbefore provided, and a copy thereof shall be transmitted to the Chief Commissioner for entry in the General Register of Titles only, but no Crown Grant shall be prepared or issued in respect of such Certificate.
Hapu lands to be divided into "reserved lands," and "disposable lands"
38. After the granting of the several Certificates to the hapus within the district, the Commissioner shall next proceed with the District Surveyor to the settlements of each hapu, and with the consent of the whole, or a majority of the adult members thereof, shall divide the lands of such hapu into two classes: One to be styled "Reserved Lands," which term includes all lands to be set apart for the permanent use, maintenance, and benefit of the people of such hapu; the second class to be styled "Disposable Lands," which term includes all the lands which it is considered to be desirable to alienate by sale
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or lease. On these being finally arranged, the District Surveyor shall forthwith survey the several parcels, and on proper maps thereof being completed, copies thereof shall be drawn on the Working Plan, District Reference Map, and the General Reference Map.
Certificates of Title to be issued for hapu reserved lands when surveyed
39. On completion of the survey as aforesaid of the lands so reserved for any hapu, the Commissioner shall next proceed to prepare and issue Certificates of Title for the several parcels of land so set aside, which Certificates shall have written within them the names of the hapu, and the names of all the persons composing it, grouped in their respective families; and such Certificate shall contain a proviso that the whole of the lands comprised therein shall be inalienable by sale, lease, or otherwise. Such Certificate shall be registered in the District Register of Title, and a copy thereof shall be transmitted to the Chief Commissioner, who shall prepare a Crown Grant, containing all the names appearing in the Certificate and in the same order of families, for the signature of the Governor; such grant shall contain a proviso making the land the subject thereof inalienable by sale, lease, or otherwise.
Certificates of Title to issue for disposable lands
40. The boundaries of the parcel or parcels of lands to be available for sale or lease having been surveyed, the Commissioner shall ascertain whether the adult members of the hapu desire to have any subdivisions made thereof, or whether they prefer one certificate for the whole in an undivided block, or for each block. Certificates of Title may then be made for each block or blocks as so arranged. If a partition is required, the Commissioner, with the District Surveyor and the owners, shall go on to the land and arrange the position and boundaries of each parcel which is to be partitioned and when such partition is effected, then a Certificate of Title shall be made for each of the several parcels so partitioned. If there is no application to the contrary, the whole of the names of the persons comprising the hapu shall be entered in the certificate in manner hereinbefore provided, or if an application is made to the Commissioner to insert the names of certain persons only in any of the certificates for such parcels in accordance with any arrangement arrived at between the owners, and if he shall be satisfied that the arrangement is fair to all the parties interested he shall give effect thereto, and issue the certificate accordingly. Such certificates shall bear on the face of them a proviso that the lands the subject of such certificates are alienable by sale and lease only, and are not disposable in any manner other than that which is hereinafter provided. At the time of making any Certificate of Title for any Disposable Land, the Commissioner shall ascertain if any of the owners are minors, or under other disability, in which case two Trustees shall be forthwith appointed for each case, the names of whom shall be entered in the District Register of Title.
Trustees to be appointed
41. In any case where the owners named in the Certificate of Title to be made for any parcel of "Disposable Land" shall exceed seven in number, the Commissioner, at a meeting to be specially convened for that purpose, shall call on the owners (male and female) then present to nominate seven adult male owners from among those to whom any parcel of land has been allotted to act as Trustees in respect of the land comprised in such certificate. If the number nominated, shall not exceed seven, the Commissioner shall then declare the persons so nominated to be duly elected. If the number nominated shall exceed seven, the Commissioner shall then publicly fix a day for taking a Poll of the adult owners and of ono of the persons in each case who have been appointed to be Trustees for any person under disability. The Commissioner shall preside at the Poll, which shall be open from the hour of 9 a. m. to 5 p. m. The polling shall be by ballot, and the Commissioner shall declare the seven persons having the largest number of votes respectively to be duly elected. No female, or any person who
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has been convicted of any infamous crime shall be eligible for election as a Trustee, or any person who is infirm, imbecile, or of unsound mind. No minor shall vote at any election or be eligible for the office of Trustee.
After election of Trustees Certificate of Title to be issued
42. After such Trustees shall have been elected the Commissioner shall issue Certificates of Title for such disposable lands, in accordance with the arrangements made, as provided in section 40 hereof, and in addition to the proviso therein contained, which is to be inserted in the certificate in respect of alienability, there shall be entered therein that the land comprised in such certificate is to be held in Trust by the Trustees (naming them) for themselves and the persons who have been found entitled and named in the certificate, under the arrangements provided in the said section 40, with the power to dispose of the same by absolute sale or by lease only, and to execute conveyances and leases of the same, subject to the provisions hereinafter contained respecting the sale and lease of disposable lands.
Such Certificates when completed shall be entered on record in the District Register of Titles, and a copy thereof shall be transmitted to the Chief Commissioner, who shall prepare a Crown Grant for the Governor's signature, on which shall be shown the names of all the owners of the parcel of land the subject of such Grant, as set forth in the Certificate, together with the Trust thereby created and the names of the Trustees who have been elected, also the other provisions as enacted by section 40 hereof.
Election of fresh Trustee on vacancy occurring
43. In case of a vacancy arising through the resignation or death of any Trustee, the Commissioner shall convene a meeting of the owners of the lands affected thereby, and shall cause a Successor to be elected in the manner hereinbefore provided in section 41 hereof.
Powers of Trustees
44. The Trustees so appointed shall have all the powers and the same rights and liabilities as are now conferred by law on Trustees of Estates, excepting as hereinafter provided, and that all moneys payable under any sale or lease of land shall be paid to the Commissioner in the first instance, and be by him lodged to the credit of a public account to be styled the "Native Land Fund Account," such money to be drawn by cheque only, as it may from time to time be required, as hereinafter provided.
Persons may arrange with the Trustees for the purchase or lease of disposable land
45. If any person desires to purchase or lease any lands vested in such Trustees, he may enter into arrangements with them for the sale or lease thereof. But it shall not be lawful for any Trustee to enter into any arrangement for the mortgage of any disposable land, or for any person to pay any sum of money by way of mortgage on any land held by such Trustees, and any money so paid shall be forfeited to the person to whom it may have been advanced or paid, and shall not be recoverable back by the person paying the same. The Trustees shall thereupon convene a meeting of the adult owners of the land the subject of such negotiations, and shall ascertain if the whole of them assent to the proposed sale or lease. They shall then signify their assent by signing a document in the form A in Schedule 2 hereunto annexed, which document shall have two columns in it for signatures, one for the names of the assenting, and the other for those of the dissenting parties.
The Trustees may thereupon request the District Surveyor to survey the land the subject of such negotiation, and on their exhibiting to him the document of assent, he may proceed to make a survey of the same. If there are any dissentients to any such proposed sale or lease, they shall sign their names in the column set apart for that purpose, and no survey of such land shall be made until the matter has been referred to the Commissioner for his decision thereon. The Commissioner shall forthwith convene a meeting of both the assenters and dissenters; and he may partition an area equivalent to the shares or interests of the dissenters to the sale or lease for them, and an area
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equal to the shares or interests of the assenters, from within the block vested in the Trustees, and shall issue new Certificates for each of such parcels, copies of which shall be entered in the District Register of Title and forwarded to the Chief Commissioner. The Trustees may then proceed with their negotiations and the survey of the parcel of land to be sold or leased; and the dissenters may likewise cause a survey to be made of the parcel of land allotted to them.
Interests to be deemed to be equal, unless contrary proved
46. For the purposes of this Act, unless a special partition shall have been made thereof, with the assent of the family to which an owner belongs, there shall be no assumption of individual rights or ownership to land, and the right, shares, and interests of each family composing a hapu shall be deemed to be equal, unless valid reason to the contrary shall be shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioner, who may then sit in Court to ascertain, define, and determine the extent of such larger right, share, and interest. All minors or persons under disability shall be represented in Court by their Trustees.
Execution of a conveyance by Trustees
47. When the survey has been made of any parcel of land which has been so arranged to be sold, the Trustees and the purchaser shall appear before the Commissioner, and they shall duly execute the conveyance in his presence. The purchaser shall then pay over to the Commissioner the full price set forth in the conveyance as the consideration for the land, and the Commissioner shall then direct the purchaser to pay all duties leviable under "The Stamp Act, 1882, Amendment Act, 1885." On the return of the conveyance to the Commissioner, duly stamped, that officer shall then certify that the transaction was just and fair, and the deed was duly executed in his presence, to which he shall sign his name and affix his seal of office. A copy of the conveyance shall then be inscribed in the District Register of Title and the General Register of Titles. Any conveyance so executed and registered shall be entitled to registration in any Deeds Registry Office, and if the purchaser or his heirs or assigns shall so desire, a Land Transfer Certificate may be granted therefor
Execution of a lease
48. A lease of any parcel of land which has been so arranged for shall be executed in the same manner as provided for the execution of conveyances in the next previous section, and shall be stamped and registered in like manner as therein provided for conveyances in fee simple. When completed the lease shall be given to the lessee, and the duplicate thereof shall be held by the Trustees. The rents, as they from time to time become due, shall be payable to the Commissioner, and his receipt to the lessee for such payment shall be a full discharge and acquittance of all demands in that behalf.
DISPOSITION OF MONEYS.
Moneys received by Commissioner to be paid to an official account
49. All moneys accruing under the provisions of this Act from sales or leases of disposable lands or otherwise shall be paid to the Commissioner, who shall day by day, or at such times as rules may prescribe, pay the same into such bank as the Governor directs, to the credit of an official account of the Commissioner therein, to be called the "Native Land Fund Account."
Money to be drawn by cheque only
50. Such account shall be operated on only by cheque, signed by the Commissioner, or in such manner as rules may prescribe.
Money to be deemed public moneys
51. Such moneys shall be deemed to be public moneys within the meaning of " The Public Revenues Act, 1878" and the Acts amending the same, and all the provisions of the said Acts in relation to public money and persons dealing therewith, except as otherwise provided by this Act, shall apply to moneys accruing under this Act, and to persons dealing with the same.
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Accounts to be kept by Commissioner
52. The Commissioner shall keep full accounts of the receipts and payments of such moneys in such form as the Controller and Auditor-General directs, and shall show therein separately the receipts and payments in respect of each parcel of disposable land dealt with under this Act, and shall, at the end of every month, send to the Audit Office a copy or abstract of such accounts in such form as the Controller and Auditor-General directs.
Payment of moneys to owners, etc.
53. Moneys received by the Commissioner as purchase money or rent in respect of each parcel of disposable land, shall, so soon as convenient, be paid to the owners in the manner following:--
(a.) On the payment to the Commissioner of the proceeds of any sale or lease, he shall hand to the Trustees a document in the form B in Schedule 2 hereto, which shall contain, in the first column, the names of each family having a claim to a share of such money, and a second column ruled for the entry of money, and a third column for the signatures of the persons entitled to receive such moneys. The Trustees shall forthwith proceed to convene a meeting of all the families interested in the division of such money, and shall submit a scheme of sub-division to them. If this is agreed to, the families so agreeing shall have the amount payable to each placed opposite their respective names, and shall signify their assent thereto by signing their names in the third column, and in the case of there being any dissentients they shall sign their names in a fourth column; such document, when completed, shall be given by the Trustees to the Commissioner who shall fix a day for the payment of the money, if all have agreed to the division thereof, or to hear and determine the matter in dispute between the families entitled to receive such money. On the question being finally arranged, the Commissioner shall enter in the fifth column the amount of money payable to each family, and in the sixth column shall take the receipts of the members of each family for the amount paid to them. If any dispute shall then occur between the members of any family as to their individual shares in such money, the Commissioner shall forthwith divide the money equally among them. An arrangement once made for the division of rents shall be irrevocable during the continuance of the lease under which they accrue.
(b.) There shall be deducted from all purchase money so payable to the owners under this Act a sum equal to ten pounds per centum, and which shall be paid to Her Majesty towards the costs of surveys, and other necessary expenses for giving effect to this Act.
(c.) There shall be deducted from all rents so payable to the owners under this Act the sum of five pounds per centum on the capitalised value of any lease thereunder. For the purpose of capitalising the value of the rent so payable, every lease made under this Act shall, whether it be for a shorter or a longer term, be deemed to be a lease for twenty-one years, and the value thereof, when capitalised, shall be the present value of an annuity or annuities of the same annual amount as the rent or rents, and payable for the same periods. Rent, for the purposes of this Act, being deemed to be payable yearly, and at the end of the year, and interest being calculated at the rate of five pounds per centum per annum. On the expiration of the first term for which any lease shall have been made, no further deductions from the rents payable to the owners
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shall be made on behalf of the Crown on any renewal of such lease, or any further demise of the lands comprised in the original lease.
Moneys deducted to be paid to Consolidated Fund
54. The Commissioner shall pay all moneys so deducted into the Public Account to the credit of the Consolidated Fund.
Moneys belonging to persons under disability, how disposed of
55. Moneys accruing to owners, and other Natives having estate in disposable land, respectively, under disability, may be apportioned by the Commissioner, with the assistance of the Trustees of such persons under disability: firstly, to provide necessary clothing and maintenance for the cestue que trust; secondly, for the investment of the balance of such moneys in Government, or such other securities as may be agreed on between the Commissioner and the Trustees in every such case.
Moneys retained to be invested
56. Moneys retained by the Commissioner by reason of his being unable to distribute them to the persons entitled thereto, shall be, without delay, invested by him in Government securities until they can be distributed, together with all interest accrued in respect thereof.
At request of owner money may be invested
57. The whole or any portion of the proceeds of any disposable land dealt with under this Act, payable to the owners, may, upon a request made to the Commissioner in writing by any owner or owners of any such disposable land, be invested by him to the best advantage for the benefit of the owner or owners signing such request, in such proportion as may be determined on, or the share of proceeds accruing to any owner may at his request be expended in the purchase of an annuity for such owner, or the Commissioner may, at the request in writing of any owner or owners, deal with his or their share or shares of the proceeds of any disposable land as may be otherwise desired by such owner.
Investments to be approved by Controller and Auditor General
58. All moneys authorized to be invested by the Commissioner shall be invested in such manner as the Controller and Auditor-General may approve generally, or specially in any particular case, and shall be invested in the joint names of the said Commissioner and Controller.
Commissioner to furnish annual report
59. The Commissioner, on the thirty-first day of March in every year, shall furnish to the Minister of Lands a report giving a full statement and account showing as to each parcel of disposable land all dealings had therewith, and all moneys received and disposed of by him under this Act in relation to such disposable land.
Copy to be laid before Parliament
60. A copy of such report shall be laid before each House of the General Assembly, as soon as may be after its receipt by the Minister.
Respecting lands subject of certificate under section 17, Act of 1867
61. Any land the subject of a Certificate of Title, made under the seventeenth section of "The Native Land Act, 1867," or under a Crown Grant issued in lieu of such certificate, where it still remains the property of Natives, and is not subject to any agreement of sale, or to a current lease, may be dealt with in the manner following.
Other names may be added to certificate or grant on the application of owner
62. If any owner (or owners) of any such land shall be desirous of giving out of his share thereof any interest therein, to any person or persons who he maybe of opinion were excluded owing to only ten names being permitted to be entered in such certificate, as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for him to apply to the Commissioner for a Partition Order in respect of such land. The Commissioner shall proceed as hereinbefore provided to make a partition of such lands, and shall cancel the original muniment of title, and shall issue a Certificate of Title under this Act for each of the parcels into which the original block of land shall have been divided, and shall enter therein the name of the person mentioned in the original certificate or grant, together with such further names as may be agreed on between the parties to be inserted therein. The new certificate or certificates so made shall be
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entered in the District Register of Title and in the General Register of Titles, and shall have the same force and effect as the original muniment of title. Such land so dealt with shall thereupon become disposable land under this Act, and may be dealt with accordingly.
Leased lands may be similarly dealt with
63. Any such land now the subject of a lease may, on the expiration of the term of such lease, if not renewed, be dealt with in the manner prescribed in the previous section.
To remove doubts as to validity of certain conveyances and leases heretofore made
64. Doubts having arisen as to the validity of certain conveyances and leases and documents purporting to be agreements for sales or leases heretofore made of lands, held by Certificate of Title under the seventeenth section of "The Native Land Act, 1867," and by Memorial of Ownership under the provisions of "The Native Land Act, 1873," because some of such conveyances, leases, and agreements were not executed by, or assented to, by all the persons holding interests therein as provided by the above recited Acts. It shall be lawful for the person claiming under such conveyances, or leases, or agreements, to submit the same to the Commissioner within three months from the passing of this Act, who shall make inquiries similar to those which a Trust Commissioner under "The Native Land Frauds Prevention Act" is empowered to make. If, on such inquiry, the Commissioner shall be satisfied of the bona fides of the transactions, and of the sufficiency of the consideration or rent set forth in such instruments of title, he shall thereupon endorse a certificate on such conveyance, or lease, or agreement, that he has made the necessary inquiries under this Act, and is satisfied with the result thereof, and shall sign his name and affix his seal thereto, whereupon the purchaser or lessee shall be at liberty to register such deeds in any office for the registry of deeds or land transfers.
On Commissioner refusing to certify further action may be taken
65. If a Commissioner shall refuse to grant a certificate for any such land the same proceedings may be taken as provided in section 24 hereof with respect to incomplete titles.
Respecting removal of restrictions
66. Where any Crown Grant which has been issued for any land the Title whereof was derived through the Native Lands Court, or through any other duly constituted tribunal authorised to deal with Native or Confiscated Lands, is subject to any restriction on alienation by sale or lease, the owner, or any of the owners thereof, may apply to the Commissioner to have such restriction removed. Whereupon the Commissioner shall make inquiry into the circumstances of the case. If he considers that it would be expedient, and for the benefit of the owners to remove such restriction, he shall transmit the application, together with his recommendation thereon, to the Chief Commissioner for his approval. On such approval being made, the application shall be forwarded to the Minister for Lands, who, if he shall deem fit, may recommend the Governor to remove the restriction. On the removal of any such restriction, the land forming the subject thereof shall become disposable land under this Act. If the Commissioner shall object to recommend the removal of the restriction, or if the Chief Commissioner shall disapprove of it, the application shall be dismissed.
Providing for arrangements made before the passing of the "Native Land Laws Amendment Act, 1883."
67. And whereas, before the passing of "The Native Land Laws Amendment Act, 1883," persons other than Natives had entered into agreements in good faith for the purchase and lease of lands claimed by Natives, the title whereof had not been investigated, ascertained, and determined by the Native Land Court, and such persons, in pursuance of such agreements entered upon, occupied and improved the lands comprised therein. It shall be lawful for such persons having been in occupation before the above mentioned Act of 1883 came into operation, and being still in peaceable possession thereof, to make application to the Commissioner to enquire into the circumstances of the case, and if the Natives interested in such land desire to confirm
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the original agreement, and right to occupy the same, the Commissioner shall forward all the particulars of such case to the Chief Commissioner. The Chief Commissioner (although such dealings and occupation are not valid in law) may, if he deems the claim to be an equitable one, direct the Commissioner to allow the occupier to complete his title whensoever the land so occupied shall become disposable land under this Act.
GOVERNMENT EIGHTS AND DEALINGS WITH LAND.
Manner of dealing with incomplete Government purchases and leases
68. In case of any outstanding and incomplete purchase or lease of Titled Land heretofore made by or on behalf of the Government, it shall be lawful for any Government Native Land Purchase Agent, to apply to the Commissioner in the manner hereinbefore provided for dealing with outstanding and incomplete purchases or leases, made by private persons, and the Commissioner shall then proceed to ascertain and determine the same in the manner provided for in sections 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, and 30 hereof.
Future proceeding to be similar those of private persons
69. The Government shall not hereafter enter into any dealings for Native Lands, and shall not acquire any other land whatsoever, in any manner different to that prescribed for dealings therewith by persons other than the Crown.
Lands required for roads
70. Lines of road surveyed by any District Surveyor through or over any "reserved" or "disposable land" which may be required now or hereafter, shall be vested in the Crown, but in return for the cession of such lands for public roads by the Native owners, free of charge, no highway or other rates shall be levied on any reserved land
Lands may be take for public purposes
71. If it shall appear to the Governor to be desirable that any land should be reserved for railways, or for any other public purposes (other than ordinary public roads) within any district, whether such land be classed as Reserved Land or as Disposable Land, it shall be lawful for the Governor to take the same under the provisions of "The Public Works Act," and the amount of compensation to be given to the owners shall be ascertained, determined, and paid in the manner prescribed in the last-mentioned Act.
The Governor may order Native Reserves to be dealt with under this Act
72. The Governor may order that any Native Reserve heretofore made within the Colony of New Zealand, under any repealed Ordinance or Act, or under "The West Coast Settlements Reserves Act, 1881," may be dealt with under this Act, instead of by the Public Trustee, and the Commissioner appointed to administer the same shall have all the powers held by the Public Trustee in that behalf.
SUCCESSION AND WILLS.
Succession to land of deceased intestate owner
73. In case any Native has died, or shall die, entitled to any estate, share, or interest in any Native land, or Titled land, whether held under Native usage or custom, or in severalty, or as tenant in common or joint tenant, without having made any valid disposition thereof by will, the Commissioner, on the application of any Native claiming to be interested therein, shall inquire and ascertain who ought to succeed to such estate, share, or interest in such Native or Titled lands.
Hearing of application
74. The Commissioner shall, by notice, to be published as hereinbefore provided, appoint a time and place for the hearing of such application.
Inquiries to be made by Commissioner
75. If, on any such hearing, any document purporting to be a will is produced, the Commissioner shall, after proof of death, make the inquiries following:--
(a.) Whether at the time of executing such document the devisor was in a fit state, mentally or bodily, to make such will?
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(b.) Whether the document was duly attested by two disinterested persons, having no interest directly or indirectly in the real estate thereby intended to be devised?
(c.) Whether the real estate has been devised out of the right line of descent, according to Maori Usage and Custom, and if there are any children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren of the deceased person living?
Will invalid in certain cases
76. After the passing of this Act, no document purporting to be a will or devise of the real estate of any Native shall be valid unless
(a.) Properly attested by two disinterested persons having no interest directly or indirectly in the estate thereby devised, such witnesses to be, where possible, of the European race. (If necessary, the Commissioner may summon the attesting persons to prove the execution of the document.)
(b.) Which devises any real estate out of, or away from the direct lineal descendants (that is to say living children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren) of the devisor, who, according to Maori usage and custom, are the proper persons to succeed to such real estate.
(c.) Where the person, on executing such will, shall be proved to the satisfaction of the Commissioner to have been in an unfit state, mentally or bodily, to understand the purport thereof.
(d.) With the above exceptions, a Native may devise his real estate to any person whomsoever he may deem fit.
Person other than a Native to pay a duty on bequest under will
77. In the case of any devise of real estate to a person other than a Native (as the term Native is defined in the interpretation section hereof), the Commissioner having made the inquiries as hereinbefore directed, shall order that the person so found to be entitled under the will shall pay to Her Majesty the Queen a duty of ten pounds per centum of the value of the estate so devised to him or her, and such other stamp duty as may be imposed on any will under the provisions of the Stamp Act for the time being in force within the Colony.
Manner in which decision to be made
78. After making the inquiries hereinbefore required to be made, the Commissioner shall decide thereon.
(a.) In respect of Native Land (where no valid will has been produced), in accordance with Native usage and custom.
(b.) In respect of Titled Land (where no valid will has been produced), in accordance with the law of New Zealand (where it does not conflict with the provisions of this Act), as nearly as it can be reconciled with Native usage and custom.
(c.) In respect of a devise under a will where not repugnant to the provisions of this Act, to the person or persons entitled to succeed under the will, and in the best manner calculated to give effect thereto.
Commissioner to make Succession Order
79. The Commissioner thereupon shall make an order, in duplicate, called a Succession Order, which shall be signed by him and sealed in favour of the person or persons found to be entitled to succeed to such Native Land or Titled land, and shall set forth therein the death, and if proved the date of the death of the owner, a description of the land, and the name and place of abode, and occupation of the person or persons entitled to succeed. If any person found to be entitled to succeed to any share or interest shall be a minor or other person under disability, the Commissioner shall order the estate of such minor or other person under disability to vest in Trustees then to be appointed. The age of such minor, as nearly as it can be ascertained, shall be entered in such Succession Order. A
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Succession Order shall be given to each of the persons mentioned therein as Successors, and the duplicate thereof shall be filed of record in the office of the Chief Commissioner, and a copy thereof shall be inscribed in the District and General Register of Titles.
Effect of Succession Order
80. The Succession Order so made shall have the same force and effect in favour of the successor as the instrument (if any) under which the deceased Native owner was entitled had in his favour at the time of his decease, and as regards land held under Crown Grant shall be entitled to registration under the Land Transfer Act, or the Deeds Registration Act, in like manner as a valid will.
Providing for succession in cases of joint tenancy
81. Whensoever any Native claims to succeed to the estate, share, or interest of any deceased person (which is not the subject of any valid will), who shall have died possessed of any estate held under "The East Coast Native Land Act, 1868," and "The East Coast District Land Titles Validation Act, 1871," or any certificate or Crown Grant made under the authority thereof or any other Act referring to Native lands in which the estate created thereby is one of "joint tenancy" and not of "tenancy in common." For the purpose of this Act and notwithstanding any Act now in force, or the making of any such certificate or Crown Grant under the authority thereof, all Native owners of such lands (where the fee simple thereof has not been disposed of by conveyance) shall, after the passing of this Act, be, and be deemed to be, "tenants in common," and shall be entitled to succeed to any real estate as such; and a Succession Order shall be issued to such person or persons as hereinbefore provided, and such order shall show on the face thereof that it was made for land the subject of a title in "joint tenancy."
Re-hearing of Succession Claims
82. If any person shall feel himself aggrieved by any decision of a Commissioner in any matter of succession, he may apply to the Chief Commissioner for a re-hearing thereof, which shall be dealt with in the manner prescribed herein in section 24 in cases of incomplete title. A decision on a re-hearing shall be final and conclusive.
DUTIES OF DISTRICT SURVEYORS.
District Surveyor to be answerable for surveys
83. Every person holding an appointment as a District Surveyor, shall have charge of all surveys within the district for which he has been appointed, and shall be answerable for the proper execution thereof. And he shall, from time to time, make such surveys as the Commissioner may direct.
Roads and lands for public works to be laid off
84. The District Surveyor shall, from time to time, lay off within the District such lines of Road as may appear to him to be necessary either for present or future requirements. And he is further required, to ascertain approximately the position and area of any lands which may hereafter be taken for railways or other purposes within the meaning of "The Public Works Act."
Maps to be approved by Surveyor General's Department
85. All maps of surveys made within any district, shall be transmitted to the Surveyor General's department for inspection and approval.
Approved Maps to be entered on Official Maps
86. On the return of any such map to the District Surveyor, and it having been approved, he shall thereupon draw the same on the Working Plan of the District, and on the District Reference Map, and shall forward a copy of such entry to the Chief Commissioner for insertion in the maps kept in his department.
Surveys to be executed in accordance with Regulations
87. All surveys made under this Act shall be done in compliance with Rules and Regulations to be from time to time prescribed by the Surveyor General.
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INTERPRETERS AND NATIVE LAND AGENTS.
Interpreter's Licenses cancelled
88. Any license heretofore issued to any person under the Acts hereby repealed, authorising him to act as an interpreter of the Maori language, is hereby revoked and cancelled.
Chief Commissioner to examine applicant for Interpreter's Licenses, etc.
89. Any person desirous of obtaining a license authorising him to act as a Maori Interpreter, or as Maori Interpreter and Land Agent, shall make application in that behalf to the Chief Commissioner. It shall be the duty of such Chief Commissioner to forthwith inquire into the character of the applicant, and to personally examine him as to his knowledge of both the English and Moari languages, and his ability to translate and re-translate the same in writing; also whether he sufficiently understands the legal effect of any instrument of title which he may be called upon to interpret or translate.
Chief Commissioner may recommend the Governor to issue a License
90. If on completion of such inquiry, the Chief Commissioner shall be satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person, and is competent to act as a Maori Interpreter, or as a Maori Interpreter and Land Agent, he may recommend the Governor to issue a license under his hand authorising such person to act in either one or both of such capacities, in accordance with the recommendation of the Chief Commissioner. The Chief Commissioner may, if he shall deem fit, decline to make any recommendation to the Governor on any application.
Effect of License
91. On such license being signed by the Governor and delivered to the applicant, the holder thereof shall be entitled to act as a Maori Interpreter, in the Supreme, or any other Court of Law within the Colony of New Zealand, or in any Court established under this Act. And any document written in the English language and requisite for any process of lawr, or any Bill of Exchange or Promissory Note, shall be invalid, and null and void if not translated in the Maori language and written on or annexed to such document by a duly licensed interpreter, and thereon shall also be endorsed a certificate signed by such interpreter as to the correctness of such translation.
(a.) Any person licensed as a Maori Interpreter and Land Agent shall be authorised to negotiate for a proposed sale or lease of any Disposable or Titled land as between the Trustees appointed under this Act, and any person other than a Native.
(b.) A Maori Interpreter, not being the holder of a license to act as a Land Agent, shall not enter into any negotiation respecting Titled or Disposable lands, or he shall be liable to the penalty hereinafter imposed on persons acting without a license.
Fees on issue of License
92. Every Maori Interpreter shall pay to the Chief Commissioner or Commissioner, on the delivery of his license, a fee of two pounds, and every person licensed as a Maori Interpreter and Land Agent a fee of ten pounds. Such fees shall be used towards defraying the expenses of compiling and publishing any dictionary of the Maori language, or any history of the Maori race which shall hereafter be made under the authority of the Government.
Interpreters and Land Agents may be suspended or removed
93. The Governor may, at his discretion, suspend or remove any Maori Interpreter or Maori Interpreter and Land Agent appointed or acting under this Act A Commissioner may suspend any such Interpreter, or Interpreter and Land Agent, but shall forthwith report such suspension to the Governor, with the reason therefor.
94. Any person acting as a Maori Interpreter, or as a Maori Interpreter and Land Agent, who shall act during the suspension of his license by any Commissioner as aforesaid, and until the Governor shall have renewed such suspension, shall be liable to a penalty of not less than one pound or more than ten pounds, to be recovered in a summary way as hereinafter provided.
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(a.) Any person acting as, or pretending to be, a Licensed Interpreter, or a Licensed Interpreter and Land Agent under this Act, and who is not the holder of a license duly empowering him in that behalf, shall be liable to a penalty of not less than ten pounds or more than one hundred pounds, to be recovered in a summary way as hereinafter provided.
(b.) Any person licensed as a Maori Interpreter, or as a Maori Interpreter and Land Agent, who shall deal or negotiate for any sale or lease of any Native Land (as the same is defined in the Interpretation section of this Act), shall, on conviction thereof, forfeit his license, and shall thereafter be for ever incapable of holding a license, and shall be liable to a penalty of not less than twenty pounds or more than one hundred pounds, to be recovered in a summary way before any Resident Magistrate or any two Justices of the Peace.
Chief Commissioner to furnish lists of Licensed Interpreters
95. All licenses issued to any persons as above provided, shall be recorded in the office of the Chief Commissioner, who, in addition to the Gazette notice of such appointment, shall furnish to every Commissioner appointed under this Act, and to the Judges of the Supreme Court, District Judges, and Resident Magistrates throughout the Colony, a correct list of the names of all persons licensed to act as Maori Interpreters under this Act, and from time to time to alter and correct such list. And no Judicial Officer or Commissioner shall allow any person to act before him as an interpreter in any matter affecting Natives, unless he is satisfied that such interpreter is the holder of a license empowering him so to act.
The Governor may make rules to give effect to Act
96. The Governor may from time to time make such rules as he may think fit for the better enabling this Act to be given effect to, and for regulating the procedure of persons engaged under it, and such rules from time to time revoke or alter.
Rules to have same effect as if part of Act
97. Such rules and altered rules, when gazetted, shall have like effect as if the matter thereof had been enacted herein.
The Governor may make temporary provision for matters not provided for herein
98. The Governor may from time to time, by Order in Council, make temporary provision for anything not provided for in this Act, and which may appear to him to be necessary for carrying into effect the provisions thereof. Provided that ail such Orders in Council so made, shall, at the next Session of Parliament after the making thereof, be laid before each House of the General Assembly within fourteen days subsequent to the meeting thereof. And if the same shall be approved by Parliament, shall be incorporated with, and read, as if forming a part of this Act.
The Governor may order a Commissioner to have jurisdiction in certain cases
99. As to any matter or question which may arise in relation to any Titled or Native Land or the title thereto, or in relation to any improvement thereon, over which no jurisdiction is given heretofore, but as to which it may be convenient that such jurisdiction should be possessed by a Commissioner, the Governor in Council may by order declare that any such matter or question which shall be specified in such order, shall be within the jurisdiction of a Commissioner, and thereupon each Commissioner, in his Court, shall have full jurisdiction and power to decide and make such order as he may deem fit, and which decision or order shall be valid and binding in law.
The Governor may advance moneys to Commissioner
100. The Governor may from time to time, out of moneys appropriated by the General Assembly, advance to a Commissioner such moneys as the Governor may deem necessary for use by him in executing his duties under this Act, and all moneys received by such Commissioner, and payable by him into the Public Account, shall be credited to the advances hereby authorised.
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Salaries to be voted by General Assembly
101. Such salaries shall be paid to the several persons appointed or employed under this Act, as shall be from time to time appropriated for the purpose by the General Assembly.
Commissioner forbidden to negotiate for land
102. No person holding office as a Commissioner shall, on behalf of himself or any private person, or of the Government, engage in any negotiation for the purchase, lease, or acquisition of land or any interest therein, and any Commissioner acting in contravention of this section shall be deprived of his office, and be liable in addition to a fine of not less than twenty pounds or more than one hundred pounds, to be recovered in a summary way.
Deeds not made under Act invalid
103. Save as made under, or authorized by, this Act, every deed or writing from and after the coming into operation of this Act, signed and intended to affect Titled Land or Native Land other than subleases, assignments, or assurances of existing leases or mortgages, shall be illegal.
Dealings with any Native or disposable land forbidden except made under this Act
104. Save as provided by this Act no person shall hereafter, by himself or his agent, purchase or acquire, or contract or agree to purchase or acquire from any owner (except as between one Native owner and another Native owner) any land whether the same is "disposable land" or "Native land" or any estate or interest therein.
Penalty for unauthorised dealings with disposable lands
105. Any person dealing with any "disposable land," unless in the manner authorised by this Act, shall be liable to a penalty of not less than twenty pounds or more than one hundred pounds, to be recovered in a summary way.
Penalty for dealing with any Native land
106. Any person dealing with any "Native Land" shall be liable to a penalty of not less than twenty pounds or more than two hundred pounds, or in default of payment, imprisonment for any term not less than one month or more than six months, and any estate in land the subject of any such prohibited dealing, which shall become vested in any such person by reason of any such dealing, shall be forfeited to the Crown.
"The Government Native Land Purchase Act, 1877."
"The Government Native Land Purchase Act Amendment Act, 1878."
"The Native Land Frauds Prevention Act, 1881."
" The Native Committees Act, 1883."
" The Tauranga District Lands Act, 1867."
"The Tauranga District Lands Act, 1868."
"The Poverty Bay Land Titles Act, 1874."
"The East Coast Native Lands Act, 1868."
"The East Coast District Land Titles Validation Act, 1871."
"The Gisborne Courts' Proceedings Validation Act, 1883."
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SCHEDULE II. --FORM A.