1849 - Arrangements for the Adjustment of Questions relating to Land in Wellington - [Text] p 1-18

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  1849 - Arrangements for the Adjustment of Questions relating to Land in Wellington - [Text] p 1-18
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&c., &c.

- No. 1. -


Wellington, 9th August, 1848.
No. 60/48


IN reference to the subject of the payment made to the Wanganui Natives, noticed in my letter to you of the 7th June last, I have now the satisfaction of forwarding to you for submission to the Court of Directors the accompanying Copies of further Correspondence on the subject, between His Excellency Lieutenant-Governor Eyre and myself, together with a Copy of the Deed of Sale which was signed by Two Hundred and Seven Individuals.

The Crown Grant of the Block of Land will be shortly prepared for execution by the Governor-in-Chief; and I have commissioned Mr. Ashton St. Hill, who is now at Wanganui, to treat with some Applicants who are desirous to purchase some portions of Land in the Town of Petre. The security of the District is so well assured by the presence of a Garrison Force and the satisfactory settlement made by Mr. M'Lean, that there is every prospect of its merits again attracting to it a considerable Population.

I have the honor to be, &c.,
Principal Agent.

P.S. --Mr. Wills's Report of the Proceedings is also enclosed.

The Secretary of the New Zealand Company,
&c., &c., &c.

(The Enclosures in the foregoing Despatch are omitted on account of their great length.)

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- No. 2 -


Downing-street, 30th January, 1849.


I AM directed by Earl Grey to transmit to you, for the information of the Directors of the New Zealand Company, the enclosed copy of a despatch from Governor Sir George Grey, bearing date the 7th of October last, reporting the satisfactory arrangement, through his medium, of the differences between the Company and their Settlers at Wellington; the adjustment of the like differences at Nelson; and the prospect of an equally satisfactory adjustment at Taranaki. I also enclose, by Lord Grey's direction, a copy of the reply which His Lordship has returned to that despatch, and I am directed to express His Lordship's sense of the spirit of fairness in which the Company have met the claims of the Settlers, and have thus brought about the satisfactory arrangement which has now been effected of that embarrassing question.

I have the honor to be, &c.
T. C. Harington, Esq.,
&c., &c., &c.

- No. 3. -


Government House, Auckland, 7th October, 1848.


I HAVE had the honor of receiving Your Lordship's despatches, Nos. 19 and 20, of the 23rd and 31st of March last, in which, for the purpose of putting an end to all reasonable causes of dissension in the Colony, Your Lordship requested me to undertake the functions of an arbitrator between the New Zealand Company and their Settlers: to enable me to fulfil which functions the Company placed at my command, under certain limitations, the whole of their landed property in this Colony; stipulating, however, that any award made should in every case be in land, and not

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in money; and that the entire arrangement should be effected exclusively by myself without the intervention of any other person whatever.

The experience I have had in the adjustment of similar grounds of difference convinced me that I ought to exercise the greatest caution in undertaking the functions which Your Lordship requested me to assume, or that I should otherwise seriously embarrass myself as Governor, and perhaps altogether destroy my utility as the administrator of the Government of this country; or, in other words, I feared that in attempting to fulfil the subordinate duties of arbitrator, I might incapacitate myself from exercising the higher duties of Governor, and thus that until I could have been relieved, I might have inflicted a greater injury upon the Colony than I could have gained an advantage for it.

I have, indeed, repeatedly found in practice that nothing is more hurtful to the Government than the Governor being compelled to arbitrate in such cases.

Each claimant too frequently forms exaggerated expectations of the amount of remuneration he is entitled to, and the Governor in coming to a decision has no rule of law to guide him; moreover, his decision, and the grounds on which he justifies it, cannot be given in an open court; the disappointed claimant, to whom the reasons of the Governor are rarely satisfactory, thus conceives himself injured from some political or personal motive; his friends espouse his cause, and do their utmost to influence the public; and a party, animated by a more than ordinary spirit of bitterness and hostility, is soon created against the Governor, whom he will find it almost impossible to conciliate.

Whilst, however, for these reasons, I felt that I could not with propriety assume the functions of an arbitrator in the precise manner that was proposed by the New Zealand Company, I still so fully coincided in Your Lordship's views of the advantages which would result from a complete settlement of the dissensions existing between the Company and their Settlers, that I determined to exert myself to the utmost to attain if practicable so desirable an object, by acting as mediator between the parties, and by doing my utmost to bring about a satisfactory arrangement between them.

Upon my stating to Colonel Wakefield the determination at which I had arrived, I fortunately found in him a most zealous co-operator; and upon

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my addressing to him a letter, a copy of which I have the honor to enclose, detailing the steps I proposed to take for the attainment of the desired objects, I received from him a reply, in which he stated his perfect satisfaction with the course I intended to adopt, and his sincere desire to aid as far as lay in his power in carrying it out.

I subsequently had an interview with a large number of the Company's Settlers, and found that they evinced every desire to conclude an amicable and immediate arrangement with the New Zealand Company.

The two parties having been thus brought together, Colonel Wakefield lost no time in concluding an arrangement, the details of which are stated in the accompanying Memorandum dated the 16th of September last.

With this arrangement the Settlers expressed their entire and unanimous satisfaction, at the same time returning their united thanks to Colonel Wakefield for the amicable spirit in which he had entered upon their negociations, for the candid manner in which he had acted throughout them, and for the earnest desire he had evinced to bring them to a satisfactory conclusion.

The whole arrangement had thus with the exception of some unimportant details been completed, in so far as Wellington was concerned, with the exception of the signing of the Memorandum by Colonel Wakefield, when that Gentleman was unfortunately seized with a sudden and severe illness, and expired upon the 19th of September.

I apprehend that the lamented death of Colonel Wakefield will not interfere with the completion of the arrangement I have above reported, but I may perhaps here be permitted to say, that it will inflict a very serious blow upon this Colony.

During the last three years I have been in constant communication with Colonel Wakefield upon a great variety of subjects connected with the interests of New Zealand, and have found not only that he possessed abilities of a very high order, but that his whole attention and thoughts were directed to the single subject of the advancement of the interests of this country. I should also be very ungrateful did I omit to mention that he has in every instance afforded me the most cordial and valuable assistance in the adjustment of those numerous difficult questions which formerly so much retarded the prosperity of the Southern Province, so that his unfortunate death will prove a very serious loss to me.

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It only remains for me to add, in reference to the other Settlements of the Company, that I found their differences with their Settlers at Nelson had been in point of fact adjusted, and that there appeared no reason for my interference in the affairs of that Settlement.

Nothing further therefore remains to be done, but to adjust the questions which still remain open at Taranaki; and although these questions involve some peculiar difficulties, and will therefore require more time for their adjustment, I have no doubt that they will be as satisfactorily disposed of as those which have been adjusted at Wellington.

I have the honor to be, &c.
The Right Hon. Earl Grey,
&c., &c., &c.

- No. 4. -


Colonial Secretary's Office, Wellington, 4th September 1848.


HIS Excellency the Governor-in-Chief having had under his consideration the correspondence which passed between the Colonial Department and the New Zealand Company between the 17th December 1847 and the 29th February 1848 inclusive, and having considered the various subjects raised in that correspondence, understands it to be the sincere desire of the New Zealand Company to exist in cordial harmony with all its Settlers, and to recognise all claims against them on the part of their land-purchasers (even those resting on moral obligations) in a spirit of justice and liberality.

For these purposes they propose to leave certain cases to the decision of the Governor of New Zealand, stipulating however that the entire arrangement should be effected by him without the intervention of any person whatever.

The various demands upon the time and attention of the Governor, and his unacquaintance with many subjects a knowledge of which would be indispensable to the proper performance of the duties it is proposed to devolve upon him, preclude him from undertaking these duties in person.

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His Excellency however feels so strongly the advantages which would result to the Government, the Colony, the New Zealand Company, and its Settlers, from an adjustment of the various questions now open, that he is prepared without delay to appoint persons to carry into effect the proposed arrangements in so far as they relate to the following extract from the New Zealand Company's letter to Lord Grey of the 17th December 1847.

"The questions involved may be considered as consisting of two classes, viz.--

"1st. Those between the Company and the purchasers of its land.

"2nd. Those between the Company and Her Majesty's Government.

"First, with regard to the Company and the purchasers of its land.

"Each of such purchasers, or his legal representative, is entitled to obtain--

(1.) Beneficial occupation of the full quantity of land that he purchased;

(2.) The particular piece of land, if practicable, which was originally allotted to his purchase;

(3.) If such appropriation be not practicable, then a just equivalent in land elsewhere;

(4.) An instrument conveying to him, absolutely, the fee simple of his land;

Or, in other words, actual possession of his land, with a legal title to it."

To meet the cases comprised in the foregoing definitions, the Governor would be prepared to appoint some person to assess immediately the value of those portions of land originally allotted to purchasers, of which they have not yet been put in possession, with a view to their obtaining a fair equivalent in land elsewhere, the Company having stipulated that the award in each case shall be in land, and not in money.

Generally, also, His Excellency is prepared to afford all the facilities that can be properly given for the adjustment of claims under the foregoing heads.

The Governor has, however, been led to understand that other claims upon the part of the land-purchasers exist against the Company in addition

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to those named, and that the final and satisfactory disposal of these would conduce greatly to the advantage both of the New Zealand Company and its Settlers.

Until His Excellency is aware of the nature and extent of such claims, it would be impossible for him, on the part of the Government, to undertake to interfere in any way with their adjustment.

But as the whole tone of the correspondence between the Government and the Company is such as to convince him that the Company is sincerely desirous that these questions should be satisfactorily and speedily settled His Excellency would be glad to see the claimants and yourself either separately or together, for the purpose of ascertaining the practicability of an agreement between the Company and its claimants with respect to the basis of any arrangement of such a nature as will enable the Government to assist in carrying it satisfactorily into effect.

It is also obvious in reference to claims of the first class alluded to, that the Government, possessing no powers which would justify its absolute and imperative interference, can only give its assistance in those cases which the parties interested mutually consent to leave to its decision.

I have the honor to be, &c.
Colonial Secretary.
Col. W. Wakefield, J.P.,
&c., &c., &c.

- No. 5. -


Wellington, 4th September 1848.


I HAVE the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this day's date, in which you acquaint me with the course that His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief intends to adopt in reference to the questions existing between the New Zealand Company and its land-purchasers, which the Company proposed to refer to His Excellency's arbitrament.

I beg that you will express to His Excellency my perfect satisfaction with that course, and my sincere desire to aid as far as lies in my power, in carrying it out. I have at the same time to offer my best acknowledg-

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ments to His Excellency for having consented to assist in bringing the matters in question to an early and satisfactory conclusion.

I have the honor to be, &c.
Principal Agent of the New Zealand Company.
The Hon. the Colonial Secretary,
&c., &c., &c.

- No. 6. -


Wellington, 24th September 1848.


I BEG leave to enclose for your Excellency's information, the copy of a Memorandum of Arrangement which was proposed to have been executed between the New Zealand Company and the purchasers of land from it, resident in this Settlement, had not the illness and lamented decease of Colonel Wakefield prevented his signature being attached to it.

In compliance with your Excellency's wish, I have annexed a certificate to the effect that the Memorandum is in accordance with the terms and spirit of the arrangement which was finally settled between the late Principal Agent and the Deputation of landowners in my presence, and which was submitted to your Excellency by Colonel Wakefield and the Deputation on the 12th instant.

I take this opportunity of representing to your Excellency that as the land to be appropriated under this arrangement will be granted gratuitously by the Company, it appears right that the Company should be relieved from any obligation to contribute funds in respect of it for emigration or other purposes. In a similar case, where a quantity of land was awarded by arbitration to one of the Company's purchasers in satisfaction of his claim, Earl Grey agreed that it should not be called upon to provide the proportion of 10s. per acre for emigration, which it had long ago engaged itself to Her Majesty's Government to expend in respect of all the land it should dispose of.

I have the honor to be, &c.
His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief,
&c., &c., &c.

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(Enclosure 1 in No. 6.)


I hereby certify that the Memorandum of Arrangement, of which a copy is hereto annexed (being the one proposed to be executed between the New Zealand Company and the holders of the Company's land-orders, resident in the First and Principal Settlement), is entirely in accordance with the terms and spirit of the arrangement settled between the late Colonel William Wakefield and the Deputation of resident landowners in my presence on the 11th September 1848, and communicated to His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief by Colonel Wakefield and the Deputation on the 12th September.

Wellington, September 24th 1848. . . . F. D. BELL.

(Enclosure 2 in No. 6.)

The Resident Wellington Landowners to Colonel Wakefield.

Wellington, 16th September 1848.


THE arrangements for amicably adjusting the questions which have been for some time pending between the New Zealand Company and its land-purchasers resident in the First and Principal Settlement being now happily concluded, we deem it right to express our entire and unanimous satisfaction with them.

Cordially reciprocating as we do the wish of the Company to exist in harmony with all its Settlers, and recognising in this final arrangement the fulfilment of its pledge to deal with its purchasers in a spirit of justice and liberality, we beg to assure you of the sincere pleasure with which we shall see all past differences forgotten, and renew on our part those feelings of mutual confidence and good-will that formerly united us with the Company.

Looking as we also do with anxious hope to the large efforts it is now engaged in for founding other Settlements around us--we the first pioneers of British Colonisation in New Zealand, desire you to convey to the Directors the promise of our hearty support and co-operation in carrying out the work which we commenced under their auspices.

We would further beg you personally to accept our united thanks for

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the amicable spirit in which you entered upon the recent negociations, for the candid and straightforward manner in which you acted throughout them, and for the earnest desire you manifested to bring them to their present satisfactory conclusion.

We have the honor to be, &c.

(Here follow the Signatures.)

(Enclosure 3 in No. G.)

MEMORANDUM of an Arrangement entered into the 16th day of September 1848, between the New Zealand Company and the Resident Purchasers and Holders of Land-Orders from and under it.

It being understood that it is the sincere desire of the Company to exist in cordial harmony with its Settlers, and to recognise all claims against it on the part of the resident land-purchasers in a spirit of justice and liberality, and the resident land-purchasers being as sincerely desirous that all differences between them and the Company should be adjusted, and mutual confidence and good feeling restored, convinced that the prosperity of the Colony will be better advanced by the co-operation and harmony of all parties interested therein:--

It is agreed, subject to the sanction of the Governor-in-Chief, as follows:--

That all resident holders of land-orders shall be at liberty to throw up or abandon such sections as have heretofore been chosen in respect of such land-orders, and reselect other land in lieu thereof out of the districts hereinafter mentioned.

That the value of each land-order (including any in respect of which land shall not have been already selected, and also any in respect of which sections already chosen may be abandoned, and also any the sections chosen in respect whereof have been or may be reserved by the Crown,) is to be considered as assessed at the value or equivalent of One Hundred Acres; excepting however, the land-orders in respect whereof sections have been chosen in either of the districts of Porirua or Wellington, and which sections or some part of which may have been or may be reserved by the Crown; --such land-orders shall be considered special cases, and assessed separately. The

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object of this arrangement being to act upon one general principle, without regard to the various degrees of interest existing among the holders of land-orders, it is understood and declared that the foregoing clause and assessment shall include every case or claim (save as before excepted), and preclude any individual holder of a land-order, whose land in any other district than Porirua and Wellington has been or may be reserved by the Crown, from bringing forward a claim to have his land or interest made a special case or separately assessed.

That for the purpose of enabling the resident holders of land-orders to select other land for that abandoned, and for compensation in addition thereto, the Company will at its own expense provide and survey such districts situate anywhere from Wellington, along the coast as far as the Mowhanau River, (and more especially the Manawatu and Rangatiki) as can be acquired from the Natives within a reasonable time; and should the Company not be able to acquire a sufficient quantity of land for the aforesaid purposes within the above-mentioned limits, then it will, at the like expense and without delay, provide and survey such a block of land, in such other district or districts as will be acceptable to the majority of the holders of land-orders; the Wairarapa and Ruamahunga and Hawke's Bay districts, Otago, and a tract of land around Port Cooper being excepted in consideration of the attempts now making by the Company in England to found other considerable Settlements, the formation of which will be of public importance and benefit.

It is understood that Nelson and Taranaki are also excepted.

That the arrangement now entered into shall extend to holders of land-orders who were actual residents in the Colony, but have left, intending to return, whenever such land-order-holders shall return. If, however, in the mean while, they may consider that they have a claim as previous residents, they are not to be precluded from bringing the same before the Company in England.

That all such holders of land-orders as shall be declared entitled to compensation as provided in the next clause, shall be entitled to select out of all the districts of the First and Principal Settlement of the Company and such other districts as may be provided for the purpose, under this arrangement, One Hundred and Fifty Acres (additional and as compensation) in respect of each land-order held by them respectively; and shall receive

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from the Company, as soon as possible after the signing hereof, land-scrip, or orders declaring their authority to make such selection.

That the resident holders of land-orders shall decide among themselves either at a General Meeting, or in a Committee to be appointed at a General Meeting (the decision of a majority in each case being binding) what parties shall be entitled to compensation with reference to, --

First. --Original purchasers, who still hold their land-orders;

Second. --Purchasers who bought unexecuted land-orders, or in other words, became owners previous to selection;

Third. --Purchasers of land at the market value, subsequent to selection, either here or in England;

Fourth. --Purchasers who have had beneficial possession or occupation of any land;

Fifth. --Purchasers who have already made beneficial exchanges.

Sixth. --Original or derivative purchasers, who have only recently sold their land-orders or selections.

That all selections, whether for land abandoned or land in compensation, shall be made in every district to be provided and surveyed for that purpose, within Six Months after the survey of the district shall be completed; and in the present districts of the Company available for the purposes of this arrangement, within Six Months after the parties entitled thereto shall, by public notice or advertisement in the Wellington newspapers, be required to make their selection therein.

It is understood that, inasmuch as the Company enter into this arrangement with a view to an amicable adjustment of all differences, and restoration of a mutual cordial understanding between it and the resident land-purchasers, nothing herein is to be construed as an acknowledgment or obligatory on its part to treat separately with any individual holder of a land-order or land-orders, who shall not concur in this arrangement.

Lastly, that in case any question doubt or difference shall arise, upon any point matter or thing in this arrangement, or the construction of any clause herein, or of the spirit or true intent and meaning of this arrangement, such question doubt or difference, if it shall relate to any point matter or interest concerning the holders of land-orders themselves, or upon which by this arrangement they are to decide, shall be determined

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by a Committee of Reference, to be appointed by the holders of land-orders solely, if to any point or matter or interest concerning the holders of land-orders and the Company, then, by Isaac Earl Featherstone on the part of the holders of land-orders, and ----- of ----- on the part of the Company, and such Third Person as the Governor-in Chief may appoint, the decision of any two of them to be conclusive and final; as witness the hands of the said parties:--

Edward Daniell.
Ridgways Hickson, and Co
Charles Sharp.
Thomas Northwood.
Robert Stokes.
Kenneth Bethune.
R. J. Deighton.
Richard Baker.
George Hunter.
A. Hornbrook.
Robert Park.
James Blyth.
A. de B. Brandon.
W. B. Rhodes.
Robert R. Strang.
Nathaniel Sutherland.
William Swainson, F. R. S.
William Fitzherbert.
I. E. Featherstone.
John Howard Wallace.
Robert Waitt.
John Dorset.
William Dorset.
George Moore.
Samuel Revans. per N. Levin.
W. M. Smith. per N. Levin.
James Parker.
A. W. Shand.
Abraham Hort, Senior.
William Bushell.
Henry W. Petre.
F. Logan.
R. Barton.
John Cameron, per Angus Cameron.
Thomas F. Drake.
Edward Catchpool.
Francis Brady.
Robert Glasgow.
D. S. Durie.
George Compton.
Henry St. Hill.
Frederick A. Weld.
C. Clifford, per Frederick A. Weld.
James Boddington.
H. S. Harrison.
Kenneth Mathieson.

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- No. 7. -


Downing Street, 27th January 1849.


I HAVE received your despatch, No. 83, of the 7th of October last, in which you report the successful result of your mediation between the Chief Agent of the New Zealand Company and their Settlers at Wellington, the adjustment of the differences between the Company and their Settlers at Nelson, and the prospect of an equally satisfactory arrangement at Taranaki.

When I suggested that you should undertake the office of arbitrator between the Company and their Settlers, I was not unmindful of the difficulties which inevitably attended such an undertaking; but I, at the same time, was influenced by a firm conviction, that the judgment and ability with which you would apply yourself to the task would suffice to save you from any serious embarrassment, if not to lead you to a completely successful result.

I have now the pleasure of expressing my entire approbation of the manner in which you have conducted this difficult and delicate undertaking, and of the arrangement which you have effected at the Chief Settlement of the Company. I cannot but regard the result as highly satisfactory, and as calculated to contribute materially to the prosperity of the Colony.

I have received with sincere concern the intelligence of the sudden death of Lieutenant-Colonel Wakefield, whose services on this occasion are entitled to so much commendation. The ample testimony which you have borne to the talents and the merits of that Officer, serves to confirm the conviction that his loss will be severely felt, not only by the Company, but by the Public generally in New Zealand.

I have the honor to be, &c.,
Governor Sir George Grey, K. C. B.,
&c, &c., &c.

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