The Land Court In Matakaoa

By Gail H. Dallimore

A Thesis submitted in Partial Fulfilment of The Requirements
For The Degree of Master of Arts in Social Anthropology

University of Auckland,


This thesis explores the interaction between Maori and Pakeha in the cross-cultural translation of the concept of land.

It focuses on the title investigations of ownership of land by the Maori Land Court on one part of the country - the Matakaoa district of the East Coast (Te Tai Rawhiti). The Land Court investigation of Matakaoa land was however, a culmination of the negotiative process that had occurred between local Maori people and the European settlers (which included the Government) for fifty years.

My account begins with the first exchanges between Maori and Pakeha in the Matakaoa district and proceeds to the last of the major Land Court investigations of title to Matakaoa land.

The Maori view of this negotiative process is in focus.


List of Maps
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: A General Setting For Matakaoa Land Negotiation
Chapter 3: The Matakaoa Experience 1769-1875
Chapter 4: The Land Investigations Of Title To Matakaoa Land 1875-1909
Chapter 5: A Discussion


Map  Page
The East Coast - Te Tai Rawhiti  31
Matakaoa and DistrictMap not available101-103


'Na taku rourou, na tou rourou, ka ora ai te manuhiri' (My small basket and your small basket will feed the visitors)

- Together we shall overcome all difficulties

In the preparation of this work I have received much valuable guidance and assistance. In particular, I would like to mention the old people whose trials and triumphs have emerged from the Land Court Minute Books; the staffs of the Auckland Institute and Museum Library, Auckland University Library and Gisborne Museum and Art Gallery; the staff of the Maori Studies and Social Anthropology department at Auckland University; and friends firstly at Matakaoa - Bob and Vivienne McConnell, Len and Pani Tihore, Murray and Sheridan Palmer, Kingi and Rose Houkamau, Mrs Kohere, and the pupils of Te Araroa district high school, who have taken me under their wing; and secondly in Auckland - Jane McRae, Anne Salmond, Whare Kerr, Merimeri Penfold, Takarangi King, Barbara White, and Margaret Mutu-Grigg who have constantly provided the encouragement and inspiration to finish this work. My thanks also to two supportive typists - Angela Restall and Liz McRae. Last, but most importantly I owe a debt of gratitude to my family - Mother, Father, and daughter Toshi.

Kia ora koutou katoa


Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington   ATL
Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives   AJHR
Auckland Institute Museum and Library   AIL
Auckland Public Library   APL
Auckland University   AU
British Parliamentary Papers   B.P.P.
Canterbury University   CU
Gisborne Museum and Arts Gallery   GMA
Manuscript   MS
Minute Books   M.B.
New Zealand Journal of History   N.Z.J.H.
Old Land Claims File (National Archives)   O.L.C.
Victoria University   VU



The aim of this thesis is to explore the interface between Maori and Pakeha at the point where the two cultures have been most frequently and intimately involved: the possession and transference of rights to land. The cross-cultural translation of the concept of land is in focus. In a colonial situation, some of the conflict stems from different cultural perceptions of the same topic or events, while other conflict evolves from the dominant group's efforts to force change (Spicer, E. 1981:xiv). In New Zealand conflict between Maori and Pakeha has turned on different perceptions of land rights and land use, and on European efforts to take Maori land into their possession. Yet it is too simple to suggest that in such a colonial situation there are only two sets of views to consider. Neither colonial Pakeha nor colonial Maori society were perfectly homogeneous (cf. Balandier, G. on African society 1965). Among the settlers there were mercantile and missionary investments, on the Maori side there was great diversity of tribal, sub-tribal, and factional interests, and in Britain emigration enthusiasts waged an active campaign against the humanitarians' concern with 'native' rights. Given such complexity of interests and interpretations on the national level I have chosen to concentrate on one area. Careful investigation of one part of the country soon reveals that the divergence of interests and interpretations at the local level is also extremely complex. Missionary, settler, Government, and sub-tribal affiliations juxtapose one another at almost every locus of interaction.

To date there have been several historical accounts of New Zealand land [p2] legislation and its effect on the Maori people (Coleman, P. 1947; McKinney, J. 1939; Parsonson, A. 1978; Sorrenson, K. 1955; Ward, A. 1958; Webb, E. 1942). Apart from Kawharu's (1963) excellent account there has been very little written specifically on Maori land tenure, or about the arena - the Maori Land Court - in which this tenure was explicated (the notable exceptions being Parsonson's work on Waikato Land Court proceedings, and Sorrenson's account of the effects of land purchase, and therefore the Land Court, on the Maori people). For the most part these accounts center on national level policy, although particular cases are used in illustration. For this reason conclusions tend to present a pan-Maori response to land legislation. In 1843 Brodie, a witness before the British Parliamentary Select Committee on land tenure in New Zealand, commented that 'the customs [of the Maori] varied from district to district' (British Parliamentary Papers 1843). In 1860 McLean said, concerning land: 'The Natives have no fixed rule. The custom varies in different districts' (In Evidence at the Bar of the House of Representatives cited in AJHR 1890 G-l:2), and Archdeacon Hadfield made it quite explicit that his remarks on the 'Native tenure of land' applied only to his experience of the practices of Southern tribes (ibid:9). Land legislation to foster the transference of Maori land to Pakeha ownership ignored these variations, but it seems to me, nevertheless, that Maori people dealt with this legislation in their own areas, in distinctive ways which drew on their own tribal and sub-tribal experience.

This research concentrates on the way that the people of one area - the Matakaoa district of the East Coast - dealt with Government-presented options concerning land. The principal arena in which this interchange took place was the Land Court. However by the time the first Land Court was held on the East Coast - at Waipiro Bay in 1875 - fifty years of land dealings between Matakaoa people and Europeans had already transpired, and during this time both cultures had formed ideas about one another and their [p3] respective relationships to the land. For this reason my account of the Matakaoa district treats the Land Court as one more situation in an everchanging local experience of negotiations over land. Yet the Land Court is significant as the setting in which the cross-cultural translation of land rights became most explicit and the practical effects of land use, local economy, traditional knowledge, 'immutable' ownership, tribal, sub-tribal, and family politics were irrevocably circumscribed for future generations. The principal function of the Land Court was 'to investigate the titles of land held according to Maori custom' (Royal Commission 1980:15). For this purpose the legislation ironically adopted the year 1840 - the year when British sovereignty was extended over New Zealand - as the date by which ownership of Maori land was fixed:

'it cannot be admitted that the establishment of European Government in the Colony improved native titles or reinstated persons on land, which they voluntarily had abandoned prior to that time'

(Judge Mackay, A. Hauanu Judgment, Waiapu M.B. 7B:215)

and yet:

'a claim based solely on the ground of modern occupation [l840?], without reference to "take" of olden times cannot be admitted' (ibid).

For the purposes of this research I have concentrated on title investigations in Matakaoa, from 1875-1909 (a time slot in which most of the Matakaoa land was investigated), as a means to understanding how the Matakaoa people's notions of land and its ownership were actively adapted in the face of European acquisition and concepts of ownership, and within the framework established in the Land Court.

The Area

The Matakaoa district [1] lies in the easternmost part of the North Island of New Zealand, and stretches from Cape Runaway to East Cape (see map). It covers some 189,000 acres (Land Utilisation Survey - Gisborne 1964:67) and is bounded inland by the Raukumara Ranges, on the west and east by the Whangaparaoa and Waiapu rivers, and on the north by the sea. The land is predominantly steep and bush-covered (82%) giving way inland to fertile river valleys, and on the coast to flat frost-free cliff tops about three acres wide. In the eighteen-fifties wheat and maize were grown here - Cape Runaway to Matakaoa Point; Horoera to East Cape - and exported to Auckland. Inland valleys are often very cold in winter and on occasions Pukeamaru Mountain (see map) is topped with snow. The shore, a mixture of rocky inlets and sandy alcoves, provides a suitable habitat for several species of shell fish - kina, paaua, puupuu, etc, and the sea abounds with fish, including deep-water species. Today over 60% of the land is under Maori control and the primary industry is sheep-farming. There are seven small settlements from Cape Runaway to East Cape each with its own school, hall or marae, and cluster of houses. There are only four shops in the district: two general stores - one at Hicks Bay and one at Te Araroa - a fish and chip shop, and a dairy. At the township of Te Araroa is the local district high school, Ministry of Works depot, resident policeman, doctor, and district nurse, the old picture theatre - Hovell's Hall - formerly used for dances and Land Court sessions, the Salvation Army Hall, St. Stephens Anglican Church, pensioner flats, HINERUPE marae, hotel, garage, and air strip.

In 1974 our family and several other families shifted to the Matakaoa district, and I was offered a part time position at the local district high school. My interest in the district and in the history stems from that time. Oliver's book Challenge and Response had recently been published and his sympathies were with the King Movement supporters in his description of the 1865 warfare in the Waiapu-Matakaoa district (see Chapter 3). There were two descendants of the Government-side 'loyalist' Chiefs on the school staff, and many lively discussions to justify the loyalist Chiefs' stance, ensued. It [p5] was at this time I first heard that the Chief Mokena Kohere had received no land whatever from the Land Court. Meetings with Government officials to discuss land related topics were sometimes held at the high school while I was teaching there. Tuition stopped, and almost everyone (or so it seemed to me as I crowded into the room) from the surrounding district came. Since that time I have heard that several other prominent people in the district 'missed out in the Land Court' and it has been suggested that some of the key figures in the Land Court 'cheated so many people' and 'wormed their way into blocks' where they had no right. On the other hand it has been suggested that the Land Court ensured the preservation of the traditions of the people (Ngata, A. in Sutherland, I. 1940:134). Provided one worked on the right lines it was possible to find: 'the clues of much of the inner history, in poems, traditions, in the Native Land Court records, and in the minds of the old people' (Ngata, A. Address to the Tai-Rawhiti Association 1932:7). Following this advice I began to read East Coast Land Court Minute Books, concentrating on accounts of places I knew reasonably well on the physical landscape, and exploits of ancestors who were named in songs we performed at Rerekohu School, at Te Araroa. I listed all the blocks in the Matakaoa area from the cadastral maps of the district and proceeded chronologically through the Minute Books trying to find the relevant title investigations. Having read a number of cases in which the claimants frequently referred to survey maps in their evidence before the Court - such comments as at 10 there was a paa called ___________, at B we cultivated, at 20 we gathered tutu, at F a named ancestor erected a raahui, etc, I consulted the original survey maps in the District Lands and Survey office at Gisborne. On each map is a dated minute made by the Judge of the Land Court every time the map is produced in Court. Not only is this a quick way to find the title investigation of land (if using microfilm), but it is also possible by looking at these notes to find out whether there [p6] were appeals against the original judgment.

After reading several cases a pattern concerning the traditions began to emerge. Adjoining blocks overlapped one another in historical content. I therefore tried to read the title investigations in spatial clusters, disregarding the period when that particular block was investigated by the Land Court. At that time I concentrated on the traditional material. When claimants referred to events in their own lifetime or to meetings held by Chiefs they were incidental to my purpose as without sufficient background knowledge they were almost incomprehensible to me. Fellow students I spoke to about the operation of the Land Court seemed to view it rather differently from my interpretation of what was going on in the Court through the pages of the Waiapu Minute Books. At first I thought perhaps it was a regional difference - the Land Court had investigated claims much earlier in their districts - but I became sufficiently concerned about the disjunction between their interpretations and mine, to decide that it was necessary to become conversant with the legislative background to the Land Court. Since all New Zealand land legislation stems from the Treaty of Waitangi and the Judges appeared to award ownership (see page 3) in terms of the Treaty of Waitangi, although Matakaoa claimants never mentioned it directly in Court [2] I thought it important to know who had signed it from the East Coast, and under what circumstances.

At the same time I tried to build up a picture of what was happening in the Matakaoa district both prior to the Land Court and while the Court was in operation. The early exchanges with missionaries are well-documented but from 1840 onwards the documented evidence is widely dispersed [3] . I consulted government reports on the district which gave particularly useful commentaries on crop cultivation, local attitudes to Government land policy, events of local significance, local political affiliations, etc. To supplement this material I turned to newspapers in the Maori language; working through [p7] them chronologically searching for the names of Chiefs, Matakaoa place-names, or the names of claimants in the Land Court. During this search I found speeches made by Matakaoa Chiefs in 1860 explicating their relationship to the Queen of England - this was really a turning point. After feverishly combing every copy of Te Karere Maori and Te Waka Maori for comments from or accounts of Waiapu people I came across a report of the Chief Iharaira Te Houkamau's Hui at Wharekahika in 1874 (see Chapter 3), and suddenly the accounts of meetings by claimants in the Court were significant. Even more important was that the statements made at this meeting about the Queen of England and her relationship to the Maori people were basically the same as the statements made by other Matakaoa Chiefs in 1860.

It was at that time I went back to the Land Court Minute Books and found that my orientation to the material had shifted. I was no longer reading them for traditional material, but to try to see the temporal parameters in which the traditions were recounted. By temporal parameters I not only mean the 'style' in which the Land Court was conducted, that is the legislation under which the land was investigated and the roles adopted by claimants and Judges, but also the whole gamut of land-related interchange that took place between Maori and Pakeha on the East Coast prior to the Land Court and while the Land Court was in operation.

Outline of Contents

Land dealings in Matakaoa can only be understood as part of the general interaction between Maori and Pakeha in the colonisation of New Zealand; and yet the interaction between Maori people and Pakeha on the East Coast was to some extent unique. The Native Lands Court in Matakaoa must be considered within this context of a dialectic between general and local level politics. One of the major difficulties in presentation has been to provide sufficient general political background on policies concerning land, and Maori and Pakeha relations, to allow the reader to bridge this dialectic. Although thorough [p8] knowledge of general Government policy precedes an understanding of the constraints placed upon local politics, such discussions often eclipse the intention of this research, which is to consider Maori and Pakeha interaction over Matakaoa land. For this reason I have presented the general context of land-related policy in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 moves into the Matakaoa experience before the first Land Court sitting in 1875. An experience shared by the claimants in Court. Chapter 4 looks at the four Land Court sessions in which the title to Matakaoa land was ascertained. Finally, Chapter 5 is a discussion of the main themes and findings which emerge from this research.


Chapter 1

[1] Matakaoa is also referred to as the Northern Waiapu, or even more frequently as the Waiapu district in this text.

[2] Claimants were, I think, referring to the relationship between the Queen of England and the Maori people when they named meetings held by Chiefs, but at that time these implications were not apparent to me.

[3] For the purposes of this research I searched the collections of several individuals who were associated with the Native Department - Smith, T.H. Papers, McLean, D. Papers - as well as newspapers, and Government reports.


1. The Treaty of Waitangi - Precedents Set by Busby's Confederation, The Signing at Waitangi, Aftermath of the Treaty;
2. The Treaty of Kohimaarama
- The Conference at Kohimaarama, The Land Wars, The 'Land-Taking' Court, Peaceful Mediation of Disputes a Necessity.

1. The Treaty of Waitangi

Precedents Set by Busby's Confederation
In the Bay of Islands, from 1831 onwards missionaries had lobbied the British Government to take responsibility for New Zealand (Resolutions of 1831, Church Missionary Society Letter Book 1820-1841), but it was not until the New Zealand Company attempted to found an independent state, and the French prepared to claim New Zealand, that Britain activated her interest in this part of the world (Clarke, G. 1903:36-39).

In 1835 Busby, the British Resident of New Zealand, concerned about French influence on the ‘simple-minded Native’, requested British settlers to use their influence to imbue the ‘Chiefs and people with a spirit of resistance to the landing of a person [Baron de Thierry] on their shores who comes with the avowed intention of usurping a sovereignty over them’ (Address to his Countrymen, 10th October 1835 cited in The Treaty of Waitangi facsimile 1877:3). According to Busby, foreign invasion was so imminent that he called a meeting of all the Northern Chiefs. At this meeting the Chiefs signed a Declaration of Independence, and from this time the Northern people of New Zealand were referred to as ‘The United Tribes of New Zealand’ (ibid:3-4).

Busby's statements set a number of precedents which are restated in the Treaty, and ensuing land legislation. When it is also considered that Busby framed the wording of the Treaty, because the newly-arrived Governor Hobson was ill (Busby 1860:3-4), and that he was also instrumental in getting the Treaty signed - calling the Chiefs singly by name from his own private list, beginning with Hoani Heke, the most favourable towards the Treaty (Colenso, W. 1890 reprint 1971:32) - his role becomes more significant. His 'disinterested and unbiased advice' (cited in Busby 1860:3) was of considerable use to Hobson 'in reconciling the minds of the natives' (ibid) and Europeans to the prospect of British rule.

While Britain had, by this time, gained considerable experience of cultures at variance with her own, her policy towards them had generally been one of subjugation. Busby, in this tradition, assumed that people different in physical appearance and customary practices were unable to manage their own affairs except by force: 'It is doubtful whether the New Zealander, until he witnessed the exercise of authority under the British Government, possessed any idea corresponding to our minds by the word "authority" ' (1860:5). He sent the Declaration to England with an appeal, on behalf of the 'United Chiefs', for the King to act as 'the parent of their infant State' (facsimile 1877:4). While the request suggests a willingness on the part of the Chiefs to accept Busby's interpretation of the situation (foreign invasion, 'simple-minded Native'), it must also be remembered that Busby presented to them the concept of a benign King (probably similar in many respects to the missionary-taught concept of God) without which such a request is most unlikely to have gained their support. Critics have suggested that Busby was not a good Maori scholar and rarely left his place of residence (Clarke, G. 1861 reprinted 1923:2); he was therefore in no position to comment on Maori culture let alone interpret their desires to the British Government. The difference between Busby's construction of Maori mental capacities and their actual competence is clearly demonstrated by the following Maori statement:

"The land will remain forever to produce food, and after you have cut down the old trees to build houses, the saplings will continue growing, and in after years will become larger trees; while the payment I ask for will soon come to an end. The blankets will wear out, the axes will be broken after cutting down a few trees, and the iron pots will be cracked by the heat of the fire"

Te Waharoa to Rev. A. Brown cited in Caselberg, J. 1975:29).

While Busby certainly puts forward the idea that this Declaration was representative of all the tribes of New Zealand, it must be made clear that only the Northern Chiefs signed it, and there is no evidence to suggest that its authority extended beyond Northland. Busby, convinced that no law and no authority existed in New Zealand prior to the arrival of the Pakeha (1860:7) - 'their only law was that of the strong arm' (ibid:5), also proposed that annual meetings of the 'United Chiefs' be held in the North to institute law. Although no further meetings were in fact held, Busby thus created the semblance of a unified political body - ‘The United Tribes of New Zealand’, [1] an entity conforming to British notions of Government, rather than to Maori concepts, where there was no unified chiefly authority over man or land, and within each tribe there were many sub-divisions, each under their own chiefs (Ngata, Sir A. 1922 MS307:2). Britain was thereby placed at a political advantage, and a single meeting with the Chiefs of the so-called Confederation was sufficient to initiate the annexation of New Zealand through the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

When one considers Busby's role as a 'cultural translator' who, as an 'intermediary' helped to manage the interpretations (cf. Cohen, A. and Comaroff, J. 1976:87-107) each culture had of the other at that period, then some of the complexities surrounding the signing of the Treaty at Waitangi can be appreciated. To the Maori people Busby presented the image of a benevolent monarch; to the British Government, a united Maori people requesting guidance to achieve a British (rather than French!) way of life. Busby's intercultural management of meaning, that is his translation of each culture to the other was only the beginning in this process of mutual interpretation, for many 'cultural translators' from both Maori and Pakeha cultures were to follow. This account focuses upon the intercultural dialogue between Maori groups and Pakeha as it emerged from 1840 through to about 1875.

The Signing at Waitangi

Hobson was appointed Governor-designate and sent to New Zealand in 1840 with instructions from Stephen, the British 'permanent Undersecretary', who had drafted the 'Great Bill for the Emancipation of Slaves' (Wilson, E. 1936:53). The spirit of the Treaty was aimed at preventing injustice to the Maori, although Hawtrey noted at the time, 'the only consequence of establishing the same rights and the same obligations for both will be to destroy the weaker in a show of justice' (1837 cited in Ward, A. 1973:34).

Both Busby and the missionary Marsden had written to England about the high interest shown by the Northern Maori people in the english modes of settling disputes. Combined with Busby's appeals, alleged to be on behalf of the United Chiefs, for protection and guidance it is probable that nineteenth century British humanitarians believed that the Treaty and subsequent British rule was exactly what the Maori people wanted.

Hobson arrived in the Bay of Islands in January 1840, and immediately invited all the Northern Chiefs to gather at Waitangi to discuss the Treaty. As he was the representative of the Queen, such a request would have been honoured and probably viewed by the Chiefs as acknowledgement of their mana (power and authority). However Hobson, as a stranger and guest, may have been expected to receive a welcome from the Chiefs (tangata whenua - hosts), to present his koha - gift, and then to take part in discussions for several days at least, before any question of a treaty could be settled. In the unusual situation which arose, the guest became the host and convener of a meeting without the resources to support such a large-scale operation, and yet continued to proffer gifts. Roles for both sides became confused, and cultural misunderstandings arose. Hobson's gifts have been described as bribes to encourage the signing of the Treaty, and certainly all Chiefs who signed at Waitangi received two blankets and a quantity of tobacco (Colenso, W. 1890:95). However it is also important to consider such gifts within the context of Busby's 'benevolent monarch', and Maori protocol concerning the host-guest relationship.

On the fifth of February 1840, the first day of the deliberations at Waitangi, the sun shone auspiciously. Northern Chiefs from other settlements, some from as far South as Auckland, and locals from the Bay of Islands, both Maori and Pakeha, crowded into the marquee to listen to Hobson and the speeches for and against the Treaty. It had been arranged for the Treaty to be signed two days later, but the gathering was so large, and there was so little food that the missionaries suggested the second meeting should be held the next day. Many of the Chiefs must have been concerned at the lack of hospitality shown by the British, who appeared unaware of their obligation to provide food and accommodation as hosts in a Maori situation. Some may have been convinced a slight was intended. A gathering of such magnitude, especially of such high-ranking persons, would normally have entailed several months collection and preparation of food (compare Iharaira Te Houkamau's hui at Wharekahika in 1874, page 89). By the second day of the meeting most of the Chiefs from any distance had left since no food or accommodation had been offered, and the others had to wait several hours for the Governor to arrive.

As notification for the meeting had been given for the third day Hobson would not permit any discussion of the Treaty, but he did accept signatures. Colenso interrupted the proceedings to ask the Governor whether he believed the 'Natives' understood the Treaty which they were signing, as he had 'spoken to some chiefs concerning it, who had no idea whatever as to the purport of the treaty' (1890:32-33). The Chiefs were asked to sign but no-one moved, then Busby called upon Chiefs by name to sign and in this way even those most opposed came forward, although their names were at the end of Busby's list. When Busby called the Chiefs singly by name it is not known whether he realised the full import of his actions in a Maori context. Given the background of reluctance on the part of Maori people to mention their own name and the belief that by giving one's name to something it creates life and power for that thing and makes the name given even greater (Johansen, P. 1954:124), Busby's invocation of the Chiefs' names put some of their life-force into the Treaty thereby imbuing it with power, and made it difficult for them not to sign the Treaty or give their consent to it without denying their own mana (power, prestige, authority). If the situation had been under Maori control the debate may have continued for several days until some form of consensus had been reached. The speed with which the situation had passed from the Chiefs' control may have left many of them confused and distressed, although Colenso's account of the Treaty proceedings does not include any speeches to this effect.

There has been some debate over whether the Chiefs who signed the Treaty understood what it was they ceded to the Queen. Certainly from the speeches recorded at Waitangi and in signing ceremonies at other areas, their main concern was with loss of land and the means of retaining their remaining estates. Their speeches vary principally in the tactics proposed: some call on the Governor to stay so that 'our lands may remain with us - that those fellows and creatures who sneak about, sticking to rocks and gullies may not have it all' (Tamati Pukututu of Te Uri-o-Te-Hawato in Colenso, W. 1890:21-22), others forecast their own downfall:

'No Governor for me - for us Native men. We, we only are the chiefs, rulers. We will not be ruled over. What! Thou a foreigner, up and I down! Thou high, and I, Tareha, the great chief of the Ngapuhi tribes, low! No, no; never, never' (Tareha of Ngatirehia ibid:24),

and call on the governor to leave:

'Go back, go back, there is no place here for the Governor'(Kawiti of Ngatihine ibid:22).

Some of the speeches suggest Maori people's relationship with the land:

'It is from the earth we obtain all things. The land is our father, [2] the land is our chieftainship; we will not give it up', (Te Aperahama Taonui ibid:48)

and indicate that a Governor concerned for the welfare of the people would be acceptable; without land this welfare could not exist (ibid:49).

Hobson's statements at Hokianga during the signing of the Treaty there, suggest he believed the Maori people were ceding something more substantial than a shadow. During a long debate against the Treaty Hobson accused a Chief of using introduced (English) concepts. When the Chief admitted this, a Paheka was asked to explain:

He (the Pakeha) replied that he conscientiously believed that the Natives would be degraded under our influence, and that therefore he had advised them to resist, admitting at the same time the laws of England were requisite to restrain and protect British subjects, but to British subjects alone should they be applicable. I asked him if he was aware that English laws could only be exercised on English soil' (Treaty facsimile 1877:8).

Hobson's adversary sat down. Whether this was seen as a demonstration of Hobson's mana, or the interpreter failed to explicate the concept of English soil sufficiently is not known, however following Hobson's statement 'if you listen to such counsel and oppose me, you will be stripped of all your land by a worthless class of British subjects' (ibid:9), the debate turned in favour of signing the Treaty.

By signing the Treaty, the Maori Chiefs, both within the Confederation, and those independent of it, ceded 'all rights and powers of sovereignty which they possessed over their respective territories' to the Queen of England. In return the Queen:

'confirmed and guaranteed to the chiefs and tribes of New Zealand the full, exclusive and undisputed possession of their lands and estates, forests, fisheries, and other properties which they might collectively or individually possess, so long as it was their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession' (cited in Colenso, W. 1890:39-40)

with the Crown having the sole right of purchase. The third clause 'extended to the Natives of New Zealand her (the Queen's) protection and imparted to them all the rights and privileges of British subjects' (ibid).

Missionaries collected signatures for the Treaty from Maori Chiefs throughout the North Island. In expectation of the Treaty being signed Hobson proclaimed British sovereignty over the whole of New Zealand in May 1840; over the North Island by virtue of the Treaty, and over the South Island on the grounds of discovery (Orange, C. 1980:62-63).

Aftermath of the Treaty

In 1842 Governor Hobson died and Fitzroy was appointed his successor. In 1844 Fitzroy issued a proclamation in both Maori and English which waived the Crown's right of pre-emption in certain areas, except for paa, burying-grounds, and land required by the 'Natives' for their own use 'however desirous the owners may now be to part with them' (New Zealand Gazette 10th October 1844:139; Te Karere o Niu Tireni 1st April 1844:18). This decision appears to favour Maori aspirations to sell their land on an open market and thereby receive maximum profit from the sale. Fitzroy's attitude is still protective but less restrictive; this is the first indication in Government publications that responsibility for land rested with both Maori and European cultures.

Land Commissions were established to investigate all land purchased prior to the Treaty of Waitangi. By advertisement they notified all interested parties to attend hearings with their witnesses and original deeds and documents - with translations if in Maori (New Zealand Gazette 27th January 1844:31). Claimants were also requested to pay a fee of £5 prior to the investigation of any claim or opposition to it (ibid). A grant was not recommended by the Commissioners unless the claimant, or his representative, appeared before the Commission during the gazetted period (ibid). Following a recommendation by the Commissioners a Crown grant to land was issued by the Governor.

Claims were heard amid great social upheaval. In the Bay of Islands Chiefs vowed never to submit themselves to similar investigation (Commissioner Godfrey, E. to the Colonial Secretary 16th February 1843) and in some instances, haka (war chant with actions) were performed in Court with loaded rifles (Brodie, W. evidence before a Select Committee British Parliamentary Papers 1844:30). While the Government attempted to blame Maori repudiation of sales for the unrest, the Land Commissioners found fault with European buyers - they could scarcely recall 'a single investigation in which the testimony given to us by the natives was not deserving of the most entire credibility' (Commissioners Godfrey, E. and Richmond, M. to the Colonial Secretary 4th May 1843 in B.P.P. 1844).

Tensions between the Governor and Pakeha 'land grabbers' (the New Zealand Company) intensified. In 1845 Governor Fitzroy reversed Land Commissioner Spain's recommendation to award extensive tracts of land to the New Zealand Company. Powerful backers of this Company lobbied the British Parliament against Fitzroy, and the 'sacking of Kororareka' provided the opportunity for his dismissal.

He was succeeded by Grey, who on his arrival immediately restored the Crown's right of pre-emption. Extensive tracts of land awarded to Europeans under Fitzroy were confiscated and retained by the Crown (Busby, J. MS46 folder 13 n.d.:8).

In England changes were also taking place - the Secretary of State, Lord Stanley, had been replaced. Stanley's policy upheld the guarantees of the Treaty against a determined attempt by the New Zealand Company, and their allies in the British Parliament to thwart them (Report of Select Committee, B.P.P. Appendix 2 1844:556). While lawyers viewed the Treaty as 'a praiseworthy device for amusing and pacifying savages' (ibid), Stanley refused to admit 'that any person, or any Government acting in the name of Her Majesty, can contract a legal, moral, or honourable obligation to despoil others of their lawful and equitable rights' (ibid).

Stanley also allowed 'native' custom to prevail where their dealings were with one another (compare the suggested Maori interpretation of the Treaty), and within the bounds of 'the universal laws of morality' (Despatch 21st June 1843 in New Zealand Gazette 17th September 1845:115).

His successor, Earl Grey, viewed the New Zealand question rather differently. Contrary to reports suggesting that there was no waste land in New Zealand, Earl Grey instructed Governor Grey to proclaim all unoccupied 'native' land the property of the Crown (Despatch 23rd December 1846 in B.P.P. 1847 No.43:64). Enraged missionaries, who had encouraged the Chiefs to sign the Treaty, protested that such policy directly contravened the Treaty, as:

'the entire country is divided among the several Tribes, - the boundaries of every property being accurately defined, - and that the proprietorship is so vested in each Tribe, according to well-understood Native usage, that all families and individuals of the Tribe have a beneficial interest therein .....' Correspondence between the Wesleyan Missionary Committee and Earl Grey 1848:10).

Grey reacted by accusing the protestors of misinterpreting the instructions, and sent letters to Earl Grey cushioning Bishop Selwyn's outraged comments (B.P.P. 1847 No.43:81). Pressure from prominent settlers and fear of widespread Maori retribution delayed Grey's implementation of these instructions and, for that period at least, they were seen as impractical and rescinded. Nevertheless the seeds of distrust had been sown.

In 1852, when the British Government allowed New Zealand self-government the country was split into six provinces, each with its own parliament to run local affairs, including the purchase of land. A seventh parliament, the House of Representatives, administered national affairs. Governor Grey appointed land purchase Commissioners to buy land in advance of settler demand. They were so effective that a league was formed amongst the tribes of 'Cook Strait' to resist further land alienation (Richmond, G. to Richmond, T. 27th August 1855).

In response to the spread of Maori resistance the Government set up two Commissions of Inquiry. The first was intended to find the best means of settling outstanding land claims, products of the conflicting policies adopted by Governors Fitzroy and Grey. The second was to enquire into and report on the state of 'Native' Affairs (Martin, Sir W. 1860:5; McLean, P. 1886:12).

The 'Outstanding Land Claims' Commission found that many of the cases had been re-opened with the appointment of new Commissioners; they therefore recommended the appointment of a Court of Commissioners with power to declare its decisions final and irrevocable (Votes and Proceedings Vol. 2 1856:4-11). These recommendations were put into practice in the 1856 Land Claims Settlement Act (see Bell's Commission at Turanga in 1859).

The other Commission, in an attempt to collate the best information, interviewed thirty-four persons 'well-acquainted' with the 'Natives'; only nine of whom were 'Natives'. They found that:

'each Native has a right in common with the whole tribe over the disposal of the land of the tribe, and has an individual right to such portions as he, or his parents may have regularly used for cultivations, for dwellings, for gathering edible berries, for snaring birds and rats, or as pig runs' (Report to Governor Gore Brown, Sessional Papers 1856).

Generally there is no such thing as an individual claim, clear and independent of the tribal right [and] even chiefs who may exercise an influence at the disposal of land, have only an individual claim like the rest of the people to particular portions …... There is no part of the country which is not claimed by some party or other' (ibid)

and in early land transactions the Maori

'intended only to convey a title similar to that which they as individuals hold themselves - the right to occupancy' (ibid).

Despite the emphasis given to tribal 'ownership' and tribal differences in this report, in 1859 Governor Gore Brown allowed the direct land purchase party to buy from individuals. He claimed that this practice was supported by Maori custom in general: 'The right to sell land belonging to themselves, without interference on the part of the Chiefs (not having a claim to share in it) is fully admitted by Maori custom' (Despatch 29th March 1859 cited in Martin, Sir W. 1860:25). While it is difficult to ascertain the source for his claim it perhaps indicates the political lobbying power of the direct purchase party in the parliaments of New Zealand and Britain. Other Governors had been removed for acting in the interests of Maori people and slowing the progress of colonisation. The newspapers saw the 'new policy' as 'a great step forward - a deliverance of the oppressed - the suppression of a sort of feudal tyranny' (cited in Martin, Sir W. 1860:25). Large tracts of land, often 'sold by stealth' (Williams, W. to the Governor 5th June 1861 AJHR E-3G:4), were obtained under the new regulations and settler-oriented provincial governments hoped that such a policy would be everywhere 'steadily and zealously adhered to' (Hawkes Bay Provincial Council Resolution 20th March 1860).

A land dispute between sellers and non-sellers flared up in Taranaki. The Government moved its troops in to support the sale, and full-scale warfare broke out.


2. The Treaty of Kohimaarama - The Conference at Kohimaarama

In 1860 Governor Gore Brown invited Maori Chiefs throughout New Zealand, to attend a conference at Kohimaarama near Auckland (Te Karere Maori 10th July 1860). Some of the invited Chiefs could not attend as King Potatau had died just before the conference (ibid). There was also wide-spread influenza and a small pox epidemic in Auckland (ibid). Any one of these would have provided sufficient justification for postponing the conference in a Maori setting; together such inauspicious circumstances would have cancelled it. Influenza also affected many of the Chiefs at the conference, some of whom declared that:

'na te mate i whakararuraru nga korero a te Kawana' - sickness interfered with [our understanding of] the Governor's address
(Wi Pahuru and Wikiriwhi Matehenoa letter to the Governor 17th July 1860, ibid 30th November 1860:50).

The fact that the conference was held, despite McLean's [3] awareness of Maori attitudes, is indicative of the crisis reached in Maori and Pakeha relations under Governor Gore Brown.

All the Chiefs were requested to write down their views concerning loyalty to the Queen and the quarrel in Taranaki - described by the Governor as the 'wholly indefensible' behaviour of Te Rangitake [4] and the Maori King Movement, and the 'justifiable' response made by himself (ibid 3rd August 1860:6-7). While the disregard for Maori attitudes concerning omens displays insensitivity, the request by the Governor for written statements from Chiefs trained in oratory (which involved complete recall of the points made by other speakers) suggests that the conference favoured European skills. Governor Gore Brown, with his inability to converse in Maori, was in no position to display mana in a Maori setting, and it is not surprising [p23] that some attempts were made to construct a European setting for this conference. What is problematic is that this also defined an unfamiliar setting for the Chiefs (compare the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi).

The Governor was interested in discussing the Treaty of Waitangi and ways of simplifying the ownership of land. He wanted to define tribal boundaries and secure individual titles to land, 'with a view of removing many of the difficulties …… surrounding Native title' (ibid:11). The 1856 Native Affairs Commission found that individual rights to land did not exist independently of tribal rights, and that difficulties in tenure only arose when land was transferred from Maori to European ownership. The Governor's preoccupation with settler rather than Maori interests [5] must have alarmed some Chiefs, especially those who were adamantly opposed to selling their land.

The Land Wars

In spite of the Conference at Kohimaarama the dispute at Taranaki grew and spread first to the Waikato, and then to the Bay of Plenty. Various authorities suggested that a number of issues had contributed to the original Taranaki dispute. Firstly, there were no settled rules or principles guiding the alienation of land, as it was claimed customs varied between districts. Secondly, no principles as to what constituted a title had been set out. It follows that decisions were made by individual Commissioners who were (or were not) familiar with land ownership customs of the tribe under investigation (Hadfield, O. and McLean, D. AJHR 1861 E-l:6, 20). Governor Gore Brown on the recommendation of the Chief Justice, Sir William Martin (1860:6), suggested that a tribunal be established to determine any questions of difference relating to land between the Crown and the 'Natives' or between the 'Natives' themselves (AJHR E-11 1862), but this suggestion came too late. As Governor Gore Brown's efforts proved ineffectual he was recalled to Britain and Sir George Grey was reappointed.


Soon after his arrival Grey granted legal recognition to the ruunanga - a form of Maori self-government which operated in most districts. Under this system the country was divided into districts each with its own Resident Magistrate and Principal 'Native' Assessor. A single district was composed of five or six groups, known as 'Hundreds' each with its own 'Native' Assessor, Warden and two or three Karere (messengers). All of these positions received payment from the Government: a Principal Assessor received £50-0-0 per annum, a 'Hundred' Assessor £40-0-0, and a warden £24-0-0 (AJHR 1863 E-4:40-41).

The 'Land-taking' Court

A tribunal similar to Sir William Martin's proposal was established by the 1862 Native Lands Act. This Act removed the Crown's right of pre-emptive land purchase, but allowed the Chiefs in each ruunanga district, under the chairmanship of a European magistrate, to investigate titles to 'native' land and to award subsequent owners with Certificates of Title (cf. the Papatipu Block Committees and the Land Boards set up under the 1900 Maori Lands Administration Act see page 168). The disturbances in the colony, prolonged by the 1863 New Zealand Settlements Act nullified the peaceful intentions of this Act (Sorrenson, K. 1955:22), and little, if any, land was investigated under it (Smith, N. 1942:7). Under the 1863 New Zealand Settlements Act land could be investigated by the Land Court without the owner's consent and confiscated from Maori owners deemed to have taken part in the 'rebellion' against the Government. The Act also granted power to local authorities to lay out towns to encourage the settlement of 'rebellious areas' by military personnel. This Act was brought into operation as a temporary measure through the strong recommendations of Governor Grey, but it never received the Queen's consent (Preece to the Governor 27th March 1868, AJHR 1868 A-16:2).

In 1865 a further Native Lands Act was passed, which repealed the [25] 1862 Native Land Act and constituted the Native Land Court. Like the 1862 Act it's intention was to promote settlement by 'simplifying' Maori land tenure (that is made it conform to British concepts of individualised tenure) through its reduction to fixed rules (McKinney, J. 1939:31). The Court consisted of a Chief Judge and other Judges, together with Native Assessors who were appointed by the Governor. Its function was to ascertain ownership of particular pieces of land according to Maori custom, and to issue no more than ten of such owners with a Certificate of Title to each block. On the basis of this award the Crown issued a Grant, and the 'individualised' Maori tenure made land accessible for purchase by Europeans. While the ten recorded owners were understood to hold the land in trust for the rest of the owners, the Court and/or the Crown Grant issued by the Governor failed to record this caveat (ibid:32), and vast tracts of land were misappropriated. By this Act decisions were no longer made by local Chiefs, as in the 1862 Native Lands Act, but by Judges in consultation [6] with two Native Assessors. No judgment could be given, theoretically at least, unless all three concurred (McLean, P. 1886:40). Their decisions were restricted to evidence produced in Court, although White had suggested in 1859, that both sides would make out their respective cases so clearly 'it would take a Judge and jury possessed of more than human attainments to decide the ownership of land' (Lecture at the Mechanics' Institute, given in 1861 cited in AJHR 1890 G-l:13); there was no appeal against fraud. Former problems of land policy had not been overcome. There were still no principles outlining what constituted a title, and Judges continued to apply their own criteria irrespective of possible tribal differences.

In 1867 Parliament passed an Act which allowed Court records to show all the names of persons or tribes interested in a block of land, although the Certificates of Title continued to name no more than ten persons. These ten could lease the land and keep all the proceeds if they felt like it, but [p26] the land could no longer be alienated, as under the 1865 Native Lands Act, without subdivision into ten owner blocks. This subdivision could occur only with the consent of all, or a majority, of the owners (Coleman, P. 1949:24). Trustees could no longer alienate the shares of minors for more than twenty one year leases without the consent of the Governor-in-Council. The Court was allowed to use evidence from previous cases in which the persons were the same as in the case under investigation (McLean, P. 1886:49), but the number of Native Assessors was reduced to one (ibid:41). Land could not be investigated by the Court unless it had been advertised in Te Kahiti (the Maori version of the New Zealand Gazette) one month before the hearing (Judge Manning Gisborne M.B.I). In 1869 an Amendment Act was passed which prohibited the sale, lease, or mortgage of land by less than a majority of the owners (McLean, P. 1886:52).

There was little relief from misconduct in land sales until the Native Lands Frauds Prevention Act was passed in 1870. This Act appointed Trust Commissioners to investigate all alienations of Native land and ensure that sufficient land remained to support Maori people; purchases were not made in consideration of liquor, arms, or ammunition, and transactions were not contrary to equity or good conscience (Native Lands Act 1909 - preamble:xxii). Provided titles were investigated by the Native Lands Court prior to land purchase, and these purchases were validated by the Trust Commissioners, as required by law, the system worked; however in practice both Government purchasers and private speculators advanced money on land prior to Court investigations (Captain Porter to the Under Secretary of the Native Department 5th June 1876, AJHR 1876 G-5:9), and in some cases land continued to be ‘sold by stealth’, often in towns distant from the land and its owners, by individuals proclaiming (exclusive) rights of ownership (Pukeamaru Block Waiapu M.B.6:228; Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B.11:197-8).


Peaceful Mediation of Disputes a Necessity

In 1871 McLean, the Native Minister, appointed Colonel Haultain to form a Commission to investigate the working of the Native Lands Acts. Maori opinion suggested that the greatest grievance lay in the admission of only ten names in a Crown Grant, with the power by each one of these to alienate land in direct contravention of the law (1867 Amendment Act) as interpreted by the Native Land Court Judges (Karaitiana Takamoana - East Coast Parliamentary Representative 29th July 1871 in AJHR 1871 A-2A:40; Te Wananga reporting Parliamentary Debates by Sheehan 1875:323).

In 1872 McLean introduced the Native Councils Bill which gave power to local ruunanga to investigate and determine disputed boundaries; these decisions were then to be ratified by the Land Court. Although Maori people from Opotiki to Gisborne strongly approved this measure (Brabant, H. Resident Magistrate at Opotiki AJHR 1873 G-l:10-13; Campbell AJHR 1873 G-l:13), a settler-oriented Government was not prepared to allow control of such a valuable asset - the land - to pass to Maori people (Ward, A. 1973:247).

Another Commission was appointed in 1873 to inquire into widescale land alienation in Hawke's Bay. Although this Commission convened for an insufficient period to hear all the evidence (AJHR 1873 J-6 and J-7 Petitions), many of its recommendations were included in the 1873 Native Lands Act. This Act consolidated the 1867 Amendment Act, and overcame the injustices of the 1865 Native Lands Act, whereby ten or fewer individuals were named on the Certificate of Title. The Court was required, after ascertaining ownership, to issue a Memorial of Ownership, on which a description of the land was given, and a list of the names and proportionate shares of every individual within the tribe or hapuu found to be entitled (Sorrenson, K. 1955:128-9). No contract, agreement, lease, sale, or mortgage was valid without the consent of every recorded owner (Smith, N. 1942:14). Land under a Memorial of Ownership could not be alienated until a Crown Grant [p28] was issued, which required subdivision by the Land Court into blocks with no more than ten owners (McLean, P. 1886:52-53). To ensure sufficient land existed for Maori people Native Reserves were established, and proclaimed inalienable without the consent of the Governor (Native Lands Act 1909 - preamble:xxii). Any document relative to land alienation had to be explained by an interpreter and endorsed by a statement of its contents in the Maori language (ibid). Private surveys were stopped (AJHR 1874 H-11). The presence of a 'Native' Assessor was reduced to the discretion of individual Judges, and their concurrence in judgments was no longer required (McLean, P. 1886:41). This Act also suggested that preliminary inquiries should be made by Judges to ascertain whether an application for a hearing represented the wishes of the owners. District Officers were appointed to make preliminary investigations into land titles; their findings were sent to the Chief Judge (Mackay, J. 1887:9). Claimants could request the Governor to grant one rehearing provided sufficient reason was shown, and the application was made within six months of the original judgment (Te Waka Maori 15th October 1873).

The 1873 Act was printed in both English and Maori (ibid) and further publications of Te Waka Maori carried an explanation of the Act, and articles on 'making your will' by 'a legal gentleman' (ibid 21st January 1874:17; ibid 7th April 1874:82). For the first time since its establishment, the newspaper appeared column for column in English and Maori, rather than just Maori. Letters sent to McLean from Maori people throughout the country - thanking him for the 'new Act ... which will enable their children to inherit their property', were published in Te Waka Maori along with the explanations of the Act (ibid 21st January 1874:16-17). By demonstrating that such approval for the Act existed, McLean was probably hoping to generate further Maori support.

On the Government level the Act was declared 'utterly unworkable' [p29] (Mackay, J. 1887:11) and a meeting of Land Court Judges persuaded the Government to compromise, and the Land Court continued to work under the old system - sales, leases, and subdivisions were made without the assent of all the owners (Coleman, P. 1949:118). The 1873 Act however added a new twist - speculators finding it impossible to secure the assent of all owners began to deal with individuals and their proportionate shares, as defined by the Memorial of Ownership. These shares were purchased, cut out, by obtaining a partition order from the Court, and declared freehold (Sorrenson, K. 1955:149). These practices were legalised by an Amendment Act in 1874. The Judges' preliminary inquiries were never put into effect (Mackay, J. 1887:9), and District Officers' investigations were reduced to ascertaining whether claims could be heard without disturbing the peace (ibid:9). McLean's intention to halt wholesale land alienation and settle land disputes was thwarted by the Land Court Judges' failure to implement the safeguards defined in the Act.



Chapter 2

[1] 'Ko te wakaminenga o nga Hapu o Nu Tireni' - the caused to be assembled sub-tribes of New Zealand, a smaller and more probable grouping than that conveyed in the translation to the King of England.

[2] Only the English version is available, but the word was probably matua - elder or parent, which is not necessarily indicative of the male gender.

[3] Donald McLean was the convener and principal Government interpreter for the conference

[4] Te Rangitake was better known as Wi Kingi.

[5] My discussion of the East Coast Chiefs' interpretation of the Treaty suggests that the Governor was responsible for a proper balance in all human affairs between Maori and Pakeha, therefore Governor Gore Brown's support of settler over Maori interests would have been difficult to understand.

[6] Of the cases heard under this Act (none on the East Coast) consultation was primarily at the discretion of individual Judges.

Chapter 3. THE MATAKAOA EXPERIENCE 1769-1875

I. The Treaty of Waitangi - Early Exchanges, The Signing on the East Coast, An Interpretation of the Treaty, Utilisation of Land and Sea at Matakaoa, Aftermath of the Treaty;

II. The Treaty of Kohimaarama - The Conference at Kohimaarama, The Land Wars, The 'Land-Taking' Court, Peaceful Mediation of Disputes a Necessity;

III. The Tribal Policy Meetings - 1874 Hui at Wharekahika, 1875 Hui at Horoera - Raahui proclaimed.

I. The Treaty of Waitangi

"The Chief function of the Court is to ascertain who were the owners of the land at the time of the advent of the British Government in 1840, and the persons to whom these rights have now descended, and for that purpose the state of the native tenure at that time must be taken as the basis of operation as it cannot be admitted that the establishment of European Government in the colony improved native titles ..." (Judge MacKay, A. Hauanu judgment, Waiapu M.B. 7B:215)

Early Exchanges

The first interchanges between the Matakaoa people and Europeans were probably indirect. In October 1769 Captain Cook, after anchoring at Turanganui (now known as Gisborne) and Anaura Bay (near Tolaga Bay), sailed past and named East Cape. Although no fortified paa were sighted 'the country appeared to be well inhabited and full of plantations and look'd well, low near the shore and hilly inland' (Cook, J. Journal edited by Beaglehole, J. 1955:539). When Cook passed Whangaparaoa canoes set off, but then retreated, so Cook named the promontory Cape Runaway.

In 1806 the brig Venus kidnapped some Northland Maori women, among them was a sister and a niece of the Ngaa Puhi Chief Te Morenga, and a [p33] relative of Hongi Hika (Locke, E. Te Maori Vol. 1 No.5:54-55). Rumours drifted northwards that these women had been put on shore on the East Coast, and local people had killed and eaten them (ibid). As soon as Ngaa Puhi had sufficient muskets they set out for the East Coast to seek revenge. The traditional weapons wielded by Ngaati Porou were no match against the Ngaa Puhi muskets:

"When the fire of the "white man's arms" was opened upon them they fell almost to a man. No compassion was shown by the cruel enemy either to old age, women or children. The whole settlement [of Te Kawakawa] [1] was swept away and the skulls of the unhappy sufferers are still lying on a heap at the foot of the mountain [Whetumatarau], covered with scrub ..." Kissling's Report for the Year 1844 Hicks Bay CN/M 15:329).

In all, three raids were made and some two thousand prisoners taken (Williams, W.L. n.d:4).[2]

Eleven Ngaati Porou, among them Rukuata [3] and Taumatakura, [4] were taken to the Bay of Islands by the Master of a whaler against their wills, and set ashore there, as ‘prey to their enemies the Ngapuhi’ (Williams, W. Journal typescript Volume 3:339). They were captured by the Ngaa Puhi people, but the missionaries intervened and tried to return them to the East Coast on board the schooner Active. A storm turned them back and the liberated Ngaati Porou were given instruction at Paihia mission station for eight months. In December 1833 they set off again on board the missionary schooner Fortitude, this time they were successful (ibid; Te Irimana Houturangi in Te Karere Maori 31st July 1860:29). When they arrived at Hicks Bay on the 8th January 1834, the Ngaati Porou on board pointed out recent battle sites between themselves and Ngaa Puhi to the missionaries:[5] 'That hill (they said) was inhabited by a tribe which was cut off by Hongi, and that, pointing to another, was the site of a pa, which was cut off by Pomare' (Williams, W. Journal ibid). Two canoes set off from the Bay [p34] and so that the people in the canoes would not be alarmed, Williams sent everyone below except the two Chiefs: ‘our chief from the East Coast recognised two of his own brothers [and soon joy] gave place to copious floods of tears which to the New Zealander is always the most sincere token of affection’ (ibid:354).

As the missionaries landed, three hundred people appeared from behind the bushes to welcome them: ‘They are the wildest set I have yet seen in the land, and gathered round us to see a sight which was entirely new to them ... they were exceedingly civil and did not attempt to press upon us’ (ibid:354). Although the local people were preparing to go to war with their enemies who lived to the West (Whanau-a-Apanui?), they said: 'Give us missionaries to instruct us and we will leave off our wars. We like what you tell us but when you are gone we shall have no-one to teach us' (ibid:354). As they travelled southward the missionaries met further parties on their way to join the fighting expedition. An old man in one canoe stood up and said: 'Here is Rukuata, here is so and so, here are the missionaries, turn back and hear what they have to say' (Williams, W. Journal:355). At the first paa at Waiapu they found a large well-fortified village, mustering - the local people claimed - some five hundred and sixty fighting men. They were told that many of the inhabitants were at cultivations but nevertheless Williams still preached to about five hundred men, women, and children. They found that the old men who practiced 'all the priestcraft that is exercised in the land' were particularly 'ready to listen to any new thing which may be told them' (ibid:366).

Neither Yates nor Williams refer in their journals to extensive crop cultivation, which would suggest trade, at Matakaoa in 1834. There is no direct evidence of trade (and therefore interchange between Maori and Pakeha) at Matakaoa before 1840, although accounts of flax-trading practices in more southern Ngaati Porou districts, such as at Uawa (Tolaga Bay), clearly [p35] show that this industry was well-established on the East Coast by 1835 (Barnett Burns pamphlet 1844; Polack, J. 1838 Vol 2). Certainly by 1840 wheat was grown and traded at Waiapu (Fedarb, J. Diary 1840), and in 1843 the missionary Kissling found 'a party preparing flax, having their Testaments and Prayer Books by their side' at Whangaparaoa (Letter to Bishop Selwyn 4th February 1843, Selwyn Papers - typescript MS 273 Vol 6: 90) .

In 1838 Williams, accompanied by Stack, Colenso, and Mathews, returned to Hicks Bay; they were given 'a hearty welcome' by about two hundred and forty people at a small village near the Awatere River - see map (Williams, W. Vol 4:483). A few months later William Williams and his brother Henry brought Maori catechists to become resident instructors. In 1839 William Williams made another visit to this district, this time accompanied by Richard Taylor. They spent one night at Hekawa (see map) and were given 'a basket of beautifully cooked potatoes' to eat (Taylor, R. Diary 1838-1844:84). They also found that many of the local people could both read and write (ibid:85-86) and a man from Cape Runaway - 'a place which has never yet been visited' - had a 'good knowledge of the leading truths of the gospel' (Williams, W. Vol 4:497). On their arrival at Rangitukia they found a chapel had been built, and that several more were being constructed further up the Waiapu Valley (ibid:497-9). The journals suggest that there were several coastal settlements from Onepoto (the Southern-side of Hicks Bay) to East Cape, with concentrations of people at Hekawa paa and Rangitukia (see map). In the Waiapu Valley however, there appeared to be an even higher population - six paa, two inland and four coastal, although Taylor noted that one of the paa was completely deserted (1838-1844:122). There were also very large tracts of land under cultivation - 'quite free of weeds' (Taylor, R.:89-91). The principal crop was maize, although taro, potato, kuumara, and gourds were also being grown. Near [p36] Whakawhitira (a paa inland from Rangitukia) ten acres of maize were being grown (ibid:87). As they travelled through the Waiapu Valley they passed a valley filled with flax: 'a handful of which was tied on the top of a pole to show that it was private property and was not to be cut' (ibid).

In 1840 William Williams shifted from the Bay of Islands to establish a mission station at Poverty Bay. Under the guidance of 'native teachers' experimentation with 'new ways', including Christianity, blossomed at Waiapu. On William Williams quarterly visits to Whakawhitira paa at Waiapu, he commonly preached to a congregation of over three thousand local people.

The Signing on the East Coast

Directly following the signing of the Treaty at Waitangi, Captain Rhodes arrived at Turanganui (Gisborne) with the intention of buying a large block of land there. At the meeting which followed his arrival, it was reported that Europeans in Cook Strait were buying the whole country from the 'natives' (Williams, W. Journal 8-10th February 1840). One or two Europeans present were 'much irritated' by the missionary William Williams' suggestion that the Turanga people should sell their land to him so that the Church Missionary Society could keep it 'in trust for [them] ..., and their children for ever' (ibid; Williams, J. Journal 10th February 1840). While there is no record of the Maori people's reaction to this proposal, the Chiefs at Turanga supported his view against selling land (Williams, W. Journal ibid).

In April 1840 a draft of the Treaty (see page 138) was sent by Hobson for the approval and signatures of the Chiefs between East Cape and Ahuriri, and William Williams traversed the Coast holding meetings, explaining the Treaty, and collecting signatures. In May 1840 he wrote: 'I am happy to inform you that the leading men in this Bay have signed the Treaty and I have no doubt but that all the rest will follow their example' (Letter to Shortland, W. cited in Porter, F. (ed) 1974:113). Two weeks later he went [p37] to the Waiapu-Rangitukia area (Williams, W. Diary 25th May 1840). In all ten Waiapu Chiefs signed (see page 38), but there were some significant omissions, namely Iharaira Te Houkamau, the Chief of Te Whanau-a-Tuwhakairiora, and his close relation Te Kani-a-Takirau, whom Ngaati Porou claimed held the mana for the East Coast (Kohere, R. 1949:9). Williams certainly discussed what he referred to as 'spiritual matters' with Iharaira Te Houkamau, and they may well have also been discussing the Treaty, although there is no further reference to it in Williams' journal.

While it has been suggested that Maori understanding of the Treaty was limited (Orange, C. 1980: 73-74), it appears more likely to me that Maori and Pakeha understanding of the Treaty was very different. The Maori version of the Treaty focuses on the protective qualities of the Queen. In the first article the Queen is given 'te Kawanatanga katoa o o ratou wenua' - all the Governorship of their (the Chiefs') lands. In article three 'Ka tiakina e te Kuini o Ingarani nga tangata maori katoa o Nu Tireni' - all the Maori people of New Zealand will be 'protected' by the Queen of England. Kaawanatanga [6] as a derived noun (Biggs, B. 1969:81) of the transliteration of Governor (Williams, H. 1975 Appendix) conveys the meaning of Governorship and hence Government. Tiakina is the passive form of tiaki which means (1) to guard or keep, and (2) to watch for, or wait for (ibid:414). Together these words convey the concept of guardianship.

According to Best, the Maori believed that when the world was set in order super-normal beings were appointed guardians of the different realms of the earth, heavens, and oceans: 'to watch over everything ... and prevent all quarrels, and interferences, injustice and wrongdoing of any nature' (1924, reprint 1976:106-7). Their task was not confined to man and involved keeping each thing within its own proper activities and to preserve peace and prosperity in all spheres (ibid:107).

Photo of Te Tiriti o Waitangi signed by Ngaa Rangatira o Te Tai Rawhiti

The discussion by the Chiefs both at Waitangi and at other signing [p39] ceremonies, including the East Coast, were not recorded. In 1860 at the Conference held at Kohimaarama the Treaty was however discussed in some detail. In the first of a series of publications about the Conference, the newspaper, Te Karere Maori, declared:

'We have given you a true and faithful account of the sayings of your Chiefs ... ; reported their speeches at full length in order to guard against misrepresentation ... [and] submitted our Reports day by day to the respective speakers ... '’ (1st September 1860:2).

The East Coast Chiefs' speeches at Kohimaarama emphasised the Queen's protective role. Wiremu Pahuru and Wikiriwhi Matehenoa (both of Wharekahika) addressed the Governor as 'to matou kaitiaki, to matou atawhai' - our protector, our benefactor (Letter to Governor Gore Brown 17th July 1860 in Te Karere Maori 30th November 1860:50), while Te Irimana Houturangi (of Wharekahika) greeted him as the person sent by the Queen:

'hei tiaki i enei iwi e rua e noho nei i tenei whenua o Nu Tireni

- to protect the two races [tribes] dwelling in this country of New Zealand' (16th July 1860 ibid:47)

In Wikiriwhi Matehenoa's speech of welcome to the Governor he noted that:

'Ko te tuatahi tenei, ko te Whakapono. Ka ngaki au i tena ka oti. Noho ana ahau i runga i te Ture, manaki ana au i runga i te Ture ...

The first thing is Belief (Christianity). I cultivated that absolutely. I am living under the Law, I am showing respect under the Law' (Te Karere Maori 14th July 1860:31)

Te Irimana Houturangi distinguished between the two sorts of protection provided by the Queen:

'Tae rawa mai koe kua huihui e te ringaringa kaha o te Atua enei iwi e rua kia kotahi ...

- When you arrived these two people had been gathered as one by the mighty hand of God' (Letter 16th July 1860 in Te Karere Maori 30th November 1860:48)


Then the Queen sent a Governor to provide for the physical (human) aspect of the Maori people:

'me tu ano koe i tetahi taha o enei iwi e rua, ko te Wairua Tapu o te Atua ki tetahi taha, tiaki ai, ko te hoa riri i tetahi taha. Ko Hatana te hoa riri i tau taha e tiaki nei, ko nga iwi ke . . .

- you [the Governor] stand as a guardian on the one side of these two races and the Holy Spirit of God on the other. The enemy also on one side is Satan, and the enemy which you have to guard us against is the foreigner ...' (ibid)

Fourteen years later Iharaira Te Houkamau opened the Wharekahika Hui (see page 89) with:

'Ko te tuarua tenei o nga putanga mai o te aroha o te Kuini ki nga iwi Maori; tuatahi o tona aroha, ko te Rongo Pai a te Atua. Tuarua, ko te Ture kua homai e ia hei oranga mo tatou ... Kaore hoki he take hei whakaheanga ma tatou i aua ture e rua

- The Queen's love is sent twice to the Maori people; her first love is the Word of God. The second is the Law which has been given by her to secure safety and well-being for us all ... There is no reason why we should not obey both these laws (human and divine)' Te Waka Maori 17th November 1874:281)

These statements suggest that for the East Coast Chiefs at least, the Queen, through the Treaty, took on a very special and sacred obligation to the Maori people.


Expressed diagrammatically the relationship hints that for the East Coast people, the Queen mediated between the spiritual and physical worlds. There is some evidence to suggest that certain people could act as mauri or mediums (Shortland, E. 1856:99). Mauri serve as abiding places for spirit gods under whose protection certain things such as trees, paa, communities of people, land, etc. were placed:

'Ko taua mauri hei reo ki nga atua, ko nga atua
hei whakapumau, ara nga atua maori o mua

- that mauri (medium) acts as a voice to the spirit
beings (atua) who control all things'
(Ngaati Porou informant in Best, E. 1949:8)

The Queen appears to work through the missionaries and the Governor (as mauri to 'protect' the spiritual and physical sides of interaction between the two peoples.

There is some evidence to suggest that the rangatira (nobility) class was hierarchial - Te Kani-a-Takirau was claimed by Ngaati Porou to hold the mana for the East Coast, and in 1885 the Chief Wi Pewhairangi of Waiapu stated that 'There were two great chiefs of Ngatiporou - Te Hokamo, who is dead, and Tamanui Tera, who is the great surviving chief ... whenever he speaks he speaks the wish of the whole tribe' (AJHR 1885 G-1:74). The meaning assigned to the terms Ariki - first born of a notable family, Chief, Priest, Leader (Williams, H. 1975:15) - and rangatira - Chief, Master or Mistress, person of nobility (ibid:323), suggest that Ariki were supreme rangatira on a tribal level (Johansen, P. 1954:179), and that they could be concerned with both the spiritual and the physical. Rangatira, on the other hand were leaders on the hapuu (sub-tribal) level, but there is no indication whether their influence extended beyond the physical world. Mahuta, R. 1973:12) has suggested that there are tribal guardians (Kaitiaki) and it is tempting to suggest that the Ariki of the tribe filled this role, in much the same way as the Queen of England was the Kaitiaki over 'nga iwi e rua'; while rangatira, like the Governor (the rangatira of the Pakeha in New Zealand), were mainly concerned with 'protecting' (tiaki) their people from foreign 'nga iwi ke' attack. Tohunga, which means expert, wizard or priest (ibid:431), like the missionaries were concerned with the spiritual world.[7]

The evidence is suggestive that the Queen, the missionaries, and the Governor were fitted into a pre-existing scheme of interpretation, but it is difficult to assess the role missionaries played in this interpretation. Missionaries were responsible for the translation of the Treaty into Maori, as well as its explanation to the Maori people.

To sum up, the Treaty acknowledged the Queen as the Guardian (Kaitiaki) of the 'new world' where interactions were between Maori and Pakeha, and {p43] where new enemies both spiritual and physical had to be reckoned with. I suggest that the sovereignty given by the Chiefs to the Queen of England was their collective responsibility (tiaki) for the well-being (the preservation of order) of that 'new world'. In contrast to this the term sovereignty for nineteenth century European jurists implied the acquisition and exercise of territorial rights (Ngata, Sir A. in Sutherland, I. 1940:111-2; Orange, C. 1979:21).

Given these suggested differences between Maori and European ways of perceiving the Treaty of Waitangi it is not surprising that even today much controversy surrounds it - calls are made for its boycott, others for its ratification. As a document signed by five hundred high-ranking Chiefs it contains more mana (authority, power, prestige, influence) than any other document in New Zealand: ‘it will not be right to let it be kept in any place where food is cooked, or where there are pots or kettles, because there are so many chiefs’ names in it; it is a very sacred piece of paper’ (‘an old Ngapuhi Chief’ cited in Caselberg, J. 1975:60).

Utilisation of Land and Sea at Matakaoa

This discussion touches briefly on some apparent differences between Maori and European perceptions of land and sea. It suggests how these differences influenced concepts of ownership and has therefore by implication influence on the investigations of ownership by the Land Court.

At the time of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi the European concept of land centred upon conspicuous utilisation, that is the alteration of landscape by clearing, cultivation, etc. Visible use suggested occupancy and by implication right of occupancy and therefore ownership. Four years after the Treaty guaranteed the Maori people 'full, exclusive and undisputed possession of their lands and estates, forests, fisheries, and other properties ... so long as it was their wish' (cited in Colenso, W. 1890:39-40) there were moves in Britain by a Select Committee to take Maori [p44] land for the Crown (see Kissling, G.A. Report of Hicks Bay for the Half-year ending July 1st 1845, CN/M 15:497). In 1846 a despatch was sent to the Governor 'to proclaim all native land, from which benefit is not derived, in terms of actual occupation and improvement, the property of the Crown' (Earl Grey, the Secretary of State to Governor Grey 23rd December 1846).

At East Cape, when the missionary Stack tried to make a road from the mission station to the Church at Rangitukia - 'almost six minutes walk': 'a number of baptised Natives opposed [him] most angrily ... because it would take up some more of their land which at the time lay wild and uncultivated' (Report to C.M.S. 17th December 1844). He also wrote:

'The favour of our cattle running upon the Natives waste land in this neighbourhood is regarded by them as a great compliment though it has been plainly stated, that for the grass that they eat the principal of the increase are expected to be given to the Lords of the soil [that is, the owners]' (ibid).

These quotations suggest a difference in Maori and European ways of perceiving land. Although the Church and settlers frustrated this attempt at land seizure by making submissions to the Governor and powerful lobbyists in the British Parliament, [8] bush-covered land continued to be viewed as 'waste land'. While Stack paid for Kahika trees with casks of powder and blankets (Paora Haenga, Te Angaanga Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:321), Charles Baker (another missionary) told his Maori congregation at Rangitukia that he (Baker):

'should not pay anything ... It had been our [the missionaries] habit to do so formerly but that now the Society expected at least co-operation ... it would be out of the question to pay for timber that cost the Natives nothing and would otherwise rot ... ' (MS 22 Notes for Journal 31st March 1855).

The owners of some suitable trees refused unless payment was given and did [p45] not relent until the Chief Mokena Kohere[9] refused to proceed with the building of St. John's Church, claiming that 'a Church without a minister was of no use' (ibid).

Accounts given by Maori claimants in the Land Court emphasise land use as a basis for rightful claims. Claimants for inland blocks often demonstrated their use of land and therefore ownership in a European context, by listing 'all the signs of occupation' (Wi Ropata, Ahirau Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:93): paa, dwelling sites,[10] sites of named houses; particular trees used for, or gifted for canoes, and in the Church building of the eighteen-fifties;[11] leases of land and the sale of trees to Pakeha for shipping spars, boat building, and fence posts; named cultivation sites of potatoes and kuumara, named sites where foodstuffs were collected from the bush - tawa, karaka, taawhara,[12] fern root, etc. and raahui erected to protect the 'crop' (cf. Taylor's account of the pole protecting the flax - see page 36); sites where food was prepared - flour ground, umu - earth ovens, and hinau berries and corn steeped in water;[13] as well as named eel, rat, and kaakaa-catching sites. By 1874 Waiapu people, namely Mokena Kohere, Mohi Turei, Henare Turangi, and Hori Karaka were advertising timber for sale (Paanui in Te Waka Maori 10th March). It was not until moves were made by the Matakaoa people to negotiate timber leases with the Government in the eighteen-nineties (at the same time the Hicks Bay people applied to have a township surveyed at Hicks Bay), probably to get money to develop the farming industry, that bush lands on the East Coast were fully appreciated by Europeans as productive units; even then only a small part of it was utilised. Nonetheless whenever pressure for land for European settlement was high the cry of waste land was renewed. In the preamble to the 1893 Native Land Purchase Bill several million acres of 'Native land' were described as 'lying idle' while, as Wiremu Komene pointed out to Seddon, ten million acres of Crown land remained unused (Proceedings [p46] of Meetings between Seddon and Natives 1894:31). The 1905 and 1909 Native Lands Acts both established a procedure whereby non-productive land, that is land not visibly utilised, came under the control of Land Boards (see page 168) with full powers to lease, mortgage, and even alienate land without the consent of Maori (judged by the Land Court) owners.

Raahui or reservations from use were placed by Chiefs over forested areas to preserve food resources. In 1874 Iharaira Te Houkamau set aside his own raahui when he ‘directed birds to be got from Potaka and Oweka to supply meeting held to celebrate the presentation of [the] Flag after the war [1874 Hui at Wharekahika]’ (Te Hati Houkamau, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:174).

Evidence of visible land use was more commonly given in later Court hearings. The investigations by the Court were to determine ownership of land and I think it is therefore probable that the evidence was tailored to fit notions of ownership which had succeeded in former cases. In the first Court hearing (1875 - Matakaoa Block) there was no reference to cultivation only the statement 'we are now in possession' (Te Hati Houkamau, Gisborne M.B. 2:125). The next sessions (1884-1886) involved detailed accounts of the crops grown and associated trade

'we cultivated ... and five boat loads of potatoes were taken from this place out to Awanui' (Paora Haenga, Pukeamaru Block, Waiapu M.B. 6:229)
'A cart and two barrelled guns were obtained for wheat grown at Karakatuwhero' (Neho Kapuka, Tututohora Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:360).

The later Court sittings (1894-1915) give even more detail. Lists of maara[14] and their owners are named:

Hotamariki ... belonged to my tipuna Matarangi down to me.

Whakawhiu ... belonged to Hohepa Karapaina under the same right as I have stated ...


Te Araroa ... belonged to Rongotukiwaho. He lived and worked on it'
(Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:1-2).

Trading practices were also recounted:

'The whole of the land this side of Orutua was sown with wheat, namely maara's Mokonui and Taumata ... the wheat was spent buying horses - were named after ancestors ... owners of horses (mare and stallion) [were] Hakopa te Ari, Te Warihi (my father), Te Kemara Rangituaroa, Ruamaro, Te Keepa Rongotukiwaho, and Hohepa te Tamakitekaha - mare "Te Ihiko", stallion "Kopuni" - foals called "Tuwhakairiora", "Hinemaru", "Hinewa", "Rerewa" ... The people of these parts were in the habit of purchasing schooners. Wheat was collected at Horoera to purchase a schooner. Mokena directed the purchase of the vessel. Everyone came to Horoera to plant wheat ... ship called "Mereana" after daughter of Te Mokena ... ship became property of Horoera people, the sailors were people of Horoera and the captain was son of Te Kemara Rangituroa' (ibid:8-9).

While maara such as Mokonui and Taumata fit readily into the European concept of cultivations, other maara, such as Te Hou, a principal fern root ground where tutu was also collected in ancient times (ibid:6), do not. It does suggest however, that bush-covered areas, coined waste land by Europeans, were viewed by Maori as producing food in much the same way as areas of more conspicuous use.

Reports of Matakaoa by European travellers, missionaries and Government officials dwell on visible land use. In 1769 Captain Cook noted that the East Cape area was 'full of plantations laid out in regular inclosures divided by fences, look'd like inclosures in England ... in general the country appeared with more fertility than we had seen before' (Cook, J. Journal 31st October in Beaglehole, E. (ed):539) thus linking fertility with conspicuous land use. Similarly in 1840 an early traveller to Wharekahika (Hicks Bay) praised the extensive hill cultivation of maize (cited in Best, E. 1925:118) and Fedarb, the trader who collected signatures for the Treaty from Opotiki to Cape Runaway, gave more details about sighting trade vessels and receiving ‘a quantity of maize from [p48] Mr Bristow’ at Waiapu (Diary MS 375:7), than the Treaty. As the cultivation of crops for trade increased, the conspicuous utilisation of land also expanded. From a European perspective the increased clearing for cultivation implied occupancy and therefore ownership. However, from a Maori perspective conspicuous occupation did not necessarily mean ownership:

'I [my ancestors] made cultivations at Whakawhitira during my stay there during the fighting, but I don't have a claim there' (Ropata Wahawaha, Aorangiwai Block Waiapu M.B.1:397)

'I can't claim land through simply living on it if I have no right to it' (Neho Kapuka, Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:265).

Boundaries and traditions were given in Court to demonstrate familiarity and knowledge of the land. Boundaries were given in early Court sittings (1875) by producing a surveyor's map and naming the guide (someone of sufficient mana to be beyond reproach). Although the map of the Matakaoa Block (ML 33) stops at the sea coast it is difficult to assess whether this is by Maori directive or European convention; certainly Te Hati Houkamau suggested that Porter and Pitt (who leased Matakaoa from Iharaira Te Houkamau in 1874) arranged the boundaries:

'The real boundary goes along Wharekahika [River] ... In these days the boundaries were not definite or certain - it is only in these days that boundaries have been fixed' (Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:218-20).

fixed boundaries were new by implication fixed blocks of land, as investigated and awarded by the Land Court, were also new (see discussion in Chapters 4 and 5).


Boundaries in the 1884-1886 Court sessions continued to be delineated by maps, although several witnesses claimed they could not understand them. To demonstrate knowledge of boundaries they instead described their role in conducting the survey party.

The later Court sittings (1894-1915) for the most part involved coastal blocks. Boundaries were defined in Court by maps, but for the first time some claimants supplemented these, or defined smaller areas within the larger block being investigated, by reciting ancestral boundaries. These boundaries are always recorded as running along the sea coast:

'RUAWAIPU's boundary is from the Whangaparaoa, along the Raukumara which is inside the boundary, along Tangihanga portion which is excluded, thence along Whakaangiangi boundary, then along Maraehara Stream to mouth of Waiapu River, thence back along the coastline' (Waiheke Tureia, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:134).

Traditions recounted in Court named landmarks and related events (often encapsulated in the name) associated with them - when Tamakoro and others came to avenge their brother Pungawerewere's death:

'They went to Otawhao [South of the Awatere River] ... they killed a man there called Tuteuruao ... thinking he was of Ngaoho. It is said they cooked him. The place is called Te Umuotuteuruao' (Manahi Parapara, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41-49).

As with land, and more especially bush-covered land, Maori and European perceptions of waterways - sea, lakes, rivers and streams, differ. European accounts generally ignored waterways unless right of use was disputed - in the early eighteen-forties a coastal whaling vessel put into Te Kawakawa (now known as Te Araroa) for a supply of water: ‘The Natives demanded payment for the water; when the Captain refused the people seized [his casks] ... and took them away' (Kissling, G.A. Report to C.M.S., Hicks Bay 1844). This incident clearly shows that for Europeans waterways are [p50] viewed as a resource open to all-comers; unlike bush-covered 'waste' land however, the sea cannot be owned below the high water mark (Northey, J. (ed) 1980:456). Under the same riparian rights the non-tidal part of rivers and streams are owned by the owner of the bank beside the river up to the middle of the stream (ibid:459).

In 1858 the whaling station near Te Araroa was abandoned as the local Maori people 'could not see what right the Pakehas had to kill whales swimming in their waters' [my emphasis] (Baker, W. cited in Oliver, W. and Thomson, J. 1971:74). Although there is little evidence given in the Land Court about waterways, since ownership of land and not sea was being investigated, the contention that Maori people 'owned' the sea is supported. As previously noted when boundaries of coastal blocks were recited in Court the coastline was given as the boundary. Nevertheless lists of maara included eel fishing grounds (Waiheke Tureia, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:105) and raahui were placed over land and sea alike:

'Iharaira set up a 'rahui' at mouth of stream to prevent people netting kahawai, and infringing
old Native customs' (Te Hati Houkamau, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:171

'No fishing canoes [were allowed] to places between Whakatiri and Potikirua ... without permission ... only when war canoes passed that the tapus were not recognised' (ibid:217)

There is some indication of a correspondence between harvesting land and sea resources - crops grown on inland blocks were supplied to local Maori whalers who in turn 'when whales were caught and sold ... gave some of the money ... to us' (Paora Haenga, Pukeamaru Block, Waiapu M.B. 6:230). When traditions which include fishing grounds were recounted, they were named and events associated with them related in the same way as landmarks:


'The principal fishing ground [at Matakaoa] was called Kaiaho - name also of a fish found there. According to tradition fish was a pet fish. The fish and fishing-ground belonged to Te Aitanga-a-Tuiti' (Manahi Parapara, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41:44).

Mussel rocks in the sea were also named and owned -

'Otuarapoki [at] J the mussel rock in the sea belongs to you'

(Karaitiana Pakura, Pohautea Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:349), however Neho Kopuka makes the point that 'shell-fish rocks were apportioned but there was no division of the fishing grounds' (Tututohora Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:363). What appears to be emerging from this discussion is that family groups (smaller than hapuu) 'owned' shell fish rocks in much the same way as kuumara cultivations, while fishing grounds were 'owned' by larger groups - Te Aitanga-a-Tuiti in our example which included several hapuu. In contrast the European concept of ownership through use revolved around the individual, and land.

The Maori traditions echo a view of 'ownership' of both land and sea. Although boundaries are given as the coastline and fishing places are referred to, in one case, as outside the block (Karaitiana Pakura, Pohautea Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:354), this may have been a deliberate attempt to keep the sea outside the jurisdiction of the Land Court. It is more probable however, that this was an adaptation of the Maori view to accommodate European notions of land use in order to prove ownership of land in Court.

Aftermath of the Treaty

The Treaty of Waitangi gave the Crown exclusive right of land purchase in New Zealand. For this reason all land which passed from Maori control, even gifts, became the property of the Crown; it was then over to the Crown to sell the land or transfer its rights to the recipient of the land gift. All land acquired prior to the signing of the Treaty was subject to investigation by Land Claims Commissioners, who gave public notification of [p52] hearings in the New Zealand Gazette. Under Governor Fitzroy a newspaper in the Maori language had been established by the Government. Te Karere o Niu Tireni was principally used for proclamations by the Governor to the Maori people, although some letters to the Governor from Maori Chiefs, residents of Northland and Auckland, were also published. The Land Claims Commissions were advertised only in the English newspaper which suggests that these investigations were primarily for Europeans with little consideration of Maori opposition, in fact, theoretically at least since news of the hearing could be transmitted orally, land could be brought before the Commissioners without the knowledge of Maori owners. The Commissioners were solely responsible for the protection of Maori interests, but as employees of a European Government (which had no Maori representation) in which many of the land claimants were politically powerful, their protection had obvious limitations.

In 1842 Land Commissioner Godfrey advised that two claims to land near the East Cape would be investigated at Tauranga. Neither of the claims were investigated and while there is no indication in the Old Land Claims File (held at National Archives) why this was so, it is likely that the Commissioners (Godfrey and Richmond - see page 18) were kept so busy with Northland claims that they never arrived at Tauranga. Two years later a further advertisement was given, this time they were investigated.

The first claim considered was Captain William Stewart's five hundred acres at East Cape, known as 'Warika Hika'. Although the boundaries were not given the block was alleged to have been bought by the claimant in 1825 from the Chiefs 'Takaioki, To Toerangi and Purahaki'. A quantity of merchandise of unstated value was given to the Chiefs, who in turn gave a 'native' ornament as proof of the sale (New Zealand Gazette 27th January 1844:33).

The second claim was more substantial - Frederick Whitaker claimed two thousand acres at East Cape; bounded on the north-east by the sea and on all [p53] other sides by land owned by 'natives'. Thomas Bateman was alleged to have purchased the block for merchandise worth £100 sterling from the Chiefs 'Katakekapu and Katekititiriki' in 1839 (ibid:32). In an explanatory letter to the Commissioner, Whitaker stated that:

'neither the precise date of the conveyance nor the particular articles given as the consideration can be stated in consequence of the writing recording the original having been lost when the schooner, Trent, the property of Captn Thos Bateman was driven on shore in Coromandel Harbour' (29th August 1844 in O.L.C. 510).

Both claims were dismissed as claimants failed to produce further evidence, or to appear before the Commission (O.L.C. 963 and O.L.C. 510).

The earliest effective land transaction between Maori and European took place in 1843 at Hicks Bay (Te Araroa):

'the Chief Hou ka mou offered to give [the Church Missionary Society] a piece of his land,[15] which closely adjoined the Pa of Kawakawa about five minutes walk from the Chapel. On the following day, a paper was drawn up in which that land is formally transferred to Her Majesty, and after its having been repeatedly read in the audience of the people, the Chief Hou ka mou signed the Document, and the principal men of the Pa witnessed his signature ... ' (Kissling, Rev. G.A. letter to Bishop Selwyn, 4th February 1843, MS 273 Vol 6:91).

The transaction illustrates that although a Chief could initiate and negotiate land proceedings for the welfare of his people, the final consent rested with public sanction. The Commissions of Inquiry held in 1856, 1871, and 1891 (see Chapter 2 pages 20, 27 and Chapter 4 pages 145, 146) have all focused upon the Chief's power to veto sale or gift of land, but this transaction suggests that negotiations were often initiated by Chiefs, however on the East Coast at least, the ultimate decision rested with the people - a reciprocal balance of power.

The deed of transfer for this block (pages 54 and 55) suggests that the missionary Kissling or a trader under his direction wrote it.

The Deed of Transfer of Te Aroaro

E te KAWANA o NU TIRANI e noho ana kei Aukarana kia rongo

mai i taku pukapuka e tuhituhi atu nei ahau ki a koe.

Tenei taku wahi wenua ki Warekahika ka tuku atu ahau
aianei ki a koe e te KAWANA ma KUINI WIKITORIA kia whakahokia
Pihopa no Niu Tireni me nga Pihopa i muri tonu
mai e koe kia te Kihiringi i tuhia pakehatia tona ingoa
mai o te Hahi o Ingarani ake tonu atu.
The Revd. George Adam Kissling, manama te Komiti o te
Hahi Mihingere hui huinga i Ingarangi ma te hoa minita hoki
o te Hahi o Ingarangi e noho ai ki te Kawakawa i muri i a te
a mua tonu atu Kihiringi

Tenei te ritenga o taku wahi wenua ko te Aroaro tana
ingoa - naku pu ake ano na te Hou-ka-mau ko toku ingoa,
kei te tini o te pakeha ko te Kiwi, e rangatira ahau no te
wanau o Tuwakairiora. Ko te ritenga o te Aroaro. Kei te
tahu Marangai e wa rau pea o nga putu. Ko te roa o te taha
kei te Tonga e iwa rau pea o nga putu - Ko te roa kei te
taha o te Tuawenua e rua rau e wa te kau o nga putu - Ko
te roa o te taha kei te Hauauru e waru rau a nga putu. -
Ko te rohe o te taha Tuawenua ko Pukemanuka - Ko te rohe o
te taha Tonga ko Kohukohupaua. Ko te rohe kei te taha
Hauauru ko te Upoko - Ko te rohe kei te taha o Marangai
ko te moana nui i huaina nei e te pakeha Ikihipei (Hick's


E te KAWANA o NU TIRANI ka tuku a utu korerotia atu te
Aroaro e ahau kia korua ko KUINI WIKITORIA kia wakahokia mai

e keo ki a te Kihiringi mana, ma te Komiti e te Huihuinga o
te Hahi o Ingarangi ma te Minita o te Hahi o Ingarangi e noho
ai ki te Kawakawa i muri i a te Kihiringi me nga Minita i muri
tonu mai o te Hahi o Ingarangi ake tonu atu. Ekore e ahei
te wakahokia mai ki ahau, ki aku tamariki, ki aku wanaunga
amua tonu atu.

Ko te tohu tenei o taku tukunga utu koretanga wenua
kia korua ko KUINI WIKITORIA koia tenei ko taku ingoa ka
tuhituhi atu nei ahau ki tenei pukapuka i te Aroaro o etahu
o aku hoa rangatira ke te Kawakawa i tenei ra ko tahi te kau
ma witu o te marama Hanuere, i te tau kotahi mano, e waru
rau, e iwa te kau ma toru o nga tau o to tatou Ariki.


Na matou i kite i te tuhituhinga o te
Hou-ka-mau - ki tenei pukapuka.

Te ra ao E Rangatira no te wanau te Uru wahi Kamira Paratene
E Rangatira no te wanau o Rerekohu. Mani Pani. E Rangatira
no te wanau o Ineawe. Hone Timo. E Rangatira no Ngapuhi.

Selwyn Papers MS273 'corrected' typescript Vol 6:93-4). [16]


The deed emphasises that the land was gifted - 'te utu kore' (no payment) and should be transferred by the Crown - 'te Kawana o Nu Tireni Korua ko Kuini Wikitoria' to the Bishop of the Church of England. The area is measured in feet - 'Kei te Marangai e wa rau pea o nga putu' (about four hundred feet East), while the boundaries are given as single compass sightings from surrounding land. From the alterations on the document there appears to have been some difficulty in defining precise boundaries, which again hints (cf. page 48) that fixed boundaries were a new, introduced concept. The name Te Aroaro which means face or front (Williams, H. 1975:16) probably indicates its location on the sea coast (near the present day township of
Te Araroa), but it may also symbolise a face or turning towards the 'new world' or Christianity. The effects of the Ngaa Puhi musket raids on local attitudes to the Church, and the first contact between William Williams and the East Coast people in 1834, when he returned Rukuata (see page 34), must not be underestimated. The gift of land to the Church ensured the presence of a mission station which brought peace. In 1844 an adultery dispute between two groups resident at Te Kawakawa escalated into a declaration of war. Details of the dispute include that in recompense for 'breaking the 7th Commandment' the offender's pigs were killed and part of his tribe's plantations were also destroyed. According to recipients of this action the recompense extracted was excessive, so they responded by firing ‘a volley of guns towards the house of the Chief’ and ‘very active preparations were made by both parties for hostile attack and defence’ (Kissling, Report for the Year 1845, Hicks Bay, CN/M 15:329). Kissling invited the principal fighting men of each side to meet to discuss their grievances in front of his own house:

'to describe the fierceness with which they eyed each other is next to impossible, suffice it to say my faith almost forsook me, my heart trembled for the consequences of having brought these hostile parties into so close a contact' (ibid:501).


He gave an address on the evil effects of war, and then both parties addressed one another 'dwelling at some length on the points they considered themselves aggrieved' (ibid:501). Kissling, believing this course was likely to inflame the situation, interfered saying:

'"What is the good of your long talk, arise and make peace! As moved by the touch of a secret spring, they all jumped upon their legs, gave each other the hand, rubbed noses together and exclaimed, "it is finished!" ' (ibid)

although the Chief and ‘leading warrior’ of the other side kept apart. Kissling took the latter to the Chief; they rubbed noses and though Kissling observed a few unfriendly feelings, the dispute was effectively settled.

Although the warfare between Hoani Heke and Governor Fitzroy at Kororareka did not directly involve the Waiapu people there was 'painful suspense and anxiety' at Te Kawakawa (ibid:496). Some of the residents there, were closely related to the people of the Bay of Islands (ibid). Rumour from the North suggested to the Te Kawakawa residents at least, that the British Government intended to take the land of 'innocent and guilty alike' for the Crown (cf. Earl Grey's 1846 despatch advising Governor Grey to proclaim all ‘waste land’ the property of the Crown). For this reason the Te Kawakawa people sent messengers in search of further information and consultations with neighbouring tribes were held to decide the line of policy to be adopted (ibid). The missionaries' attempts to conduct a census of the Maori population in 1845 were treated with suspicion (ibid:500) and Kissling's trip to Auckland early in 1846 for medication, was rumoured to be a ruse to fetch soldiers to take Maori land (Stack, J. Report, 25th July 1846, CN/M 16:456), although the Te Kawakawa people claimed that 'no-one shall come in Mr Kissling's place if he is not sent back' (Stack, J. to the C.M.S. letter 14th July 1846, CN/M 16:457).[17]

In 1851 McLean (or Te Makarini as he was known to the Maori people), the Government's Chief Land Purchase Commissioner, went to Poverty Bay (McKay, J. 1949:177) determined to procure land for settlement before it became too expensive (Memo, 15th June 1854 in Official Correspondence 1883:50). Four years later he called a meeting of 'natives' to discuss land purchase on the East Coast. Some one hundred Maori people arrived on horseback, dressed in European attire (Te Karere Maori 1st February 1855). Unfortunately little else was recorded but the Government newspaper's report was probably being used to illustrate the East Coast people's acceptance and rapid assimilation to a European way of life. From a Maori viewpoint the horses and European attire were also a statement, probably concerning their competence to operate in the Pakeha world, and their equivalent status with Europeans. McLean's subsequent report to the Governor noted that:

'several extensive tracts could possibly be purchased in the Eastern District if there was
an officer to negotiate with the Natives, and others to carry out surveys ... '
(21st April 1856 in Official Correspondence 1883:54).

In 1859 Commissioner Dillon Bell travelled to Turanga (Gisborne) to investigate claims under the 1856 Land Claims Settlement Act. Governor Fitzroy had refused to waive the Crown's pre-emptive right of purchase in this area therefore all land in Turanga was under 'native' title except for a small piece sold to the Resident Magistrate and the site of Bishop Williams' Industrial School. Several meetings were held by the local Maori people where it was discussed whether to appear before Bell 'lest by doing so they should compromise the position they had assumed towards the settlers' (Memo Bell, F.D. 24th February 1860, AJHR 1862 E-1:5). A principal seller confessed to having wrongfully sold land and it was resolved by the meeting to repossess all such land (ibid). On Bell's arrival in Turanga the Maori people applied to have all land that had been bought without the sanction of [p59] the Government 'investigated', but Bell stated that he did not possess the required authority (ibid). The Maori people then declared their intention to repossess the land and when Bell objected in lieu of the improvements made by settlers, he was asked to assess their value. For fear their own witnesses would repudiate the sales, the settlers refused to bring forward their land claims. As a result claims were partially investigated or postponed (Turton 1883:640; 643-5) and Bell concluded that there was 'no prospect of making a settlement' (Memo, Bell, F.D. ibid:6).

Bell's account suggests a difference between Maori and European perceptions of land sales. For Maori people the concept of tika which means 'natural' or within the proper order of things (Johansen, P. 1954:172) is at stake. It will be recalled that my discussion of the Treaty of Waitangi touched on the concept of Kaitiaki, who preserve the natural order of things and keep them within their proper sphere. This implies that everything, of whatever kind, has its own nature. When it manifests that nature, patterns itself upon its own nature, and follows its proper course then it is tika, it is 'correct' (Johansen, P. 1954:172-6). Should the 'natural' or 'correct' (tika) order of things be disrupted the Kaitiaki ensured that balance was restored. Combined with this the missionaries had taught that repentance and confession of wrongdoing brought about complete absolution. The application to ‘ínvestigate’ land sales, which took place contrary to Government law (by the Treaty of Waitangi the Crown had pre-emptive right of land purchase), must be considered within this frame of reference. In a sense the repudiation of wrongfully conducted land sales was an affirmation of the Law which united the two peoples (Maori and Pakeha) in the physical realm (see page 41). This sphere was watched over, cared for (tiaki) by the Governor. Bell as the representative of the Governor was asked to 'correct', restore the natural order between the two peoples.

From a European perspective the repudiation of land sales implied an [p60] attempt at fraud. Bell, as an employee of a Government interested in extending European settlement, was expected to confirm settler claims and issue grants to land.

When the Maori people realised that Bell intended to uphold the land sales they withdrew their co-operation - refused to allow surveys (without which Bell could not issue grants to land) and the Commissioner became ineffectual. The survey pegs may have been interpreted by the Turanga people as raahui posts, which warn people against trespassing in the case of tapu (sacred restriction), or for temporary protection of fruit, birds, fish, etc. (Williams, H. 1975:321). A raahui is a statement that land or resources under its influence are controlled by the individual who erected it, which is similar in many respects to the European concepts associated with survey pegs, titles to land, and ownership. The difference lies in that, according to Best, for Maori people raahui gained their efficacy from the gods and anyone setting them aside ran the risk of spiritual repercussions (1954:25-26), whereas for Europeans, repercussions of trespass operated on the physical level only.

In the introductory chapter I suggested that a common ground of interpretation is necessary for peaceable, intelligible interaction between cultures. In this situation the disjunction between the two cultures' interpretations of one another's actions was so marked that no exchange could properly take place. As was previously suggested, Old Land Claims Commissions were held principally for Europeans with little consideration of Maori opposition. In their proceedings the Commissioners alone were responsible for the protection of Maori interests. Bell may have been expected to act as 'cultural arbiter' but his lack of understanding of the Maori view of the situation, probably exacerbated by his inability to speak Maori, clearly made this impossible.

II The Treaty of Kohimaarama

'our old people used to point to the hills as being our land, these cultivations were used at the time of the meeting at Kohimarama'
(Paora Haenga, Pukeamaru Block, Waiapu M.B. 6:229)

The Conference at Kohimaarama

The three East Coast Chiefs who attended the Kohimaarama Conference were Te Irimana Houturangi, Wi Pahuru, and Wikiriwhi Matehenoa, all of Wharekahika. Te Irimana Houturangi opened his address to the Governor with a proverb - 'he korero tipua' which referred to the isolation of his district:

'"Ko tahi kainga toku whenua, ko Waimahuru te ingoa". E kore nga tangata o taua whenua e
rongo i te korero: no tenei tau i te korerotia nga korero ki nga kainga katoa, kia wha, kia rima
tau, ka tahi ano nga tangata o taua kainga ka rongo; no te mea ko te huarahi kei te taha ki utu, ko tetahi kei te moana, hoea ai na te waka
- "There is a place in my district called Waimahuru". The natives of that place never hear any news. News which is heard in all the settlements this year will not reach that place for the next four or five years. The reason is this: the high road passes the village a long way inland; the other way is by sea in canoes ... '
(in Te Karere Maori 31st July 1860:29).

After obliquely emphasising his own (and his district's) inexperience in the Pakeha world:

'Ko te Pakeha kua tae noa mai kei nga whenua katoa ... kahore e rongona ki taua whenua ...
Long after the Pakeha arrived at most native districts ... my district was still uninformed' (ibid:29)

he complimented the Governor for his invitation:

'Na tana karangatanga i nga rangatira kia haere mai ki te whakarongo i ana korero, ka tahi ano matou ka haere mai: ka kite i a te Kawana, ka rongo hoki i ana korero
- It is his invitation to the Chiefs to come and listen [p62] to his words which has brought us here, and now we have seen him and heard him speak' (ibid:29). [18]

Later in the Conference, following a fiery speech by another Chief concerning the Taranaki dispute, Te Irimana Houturangi emphasised the peace and prosperity brought to his area by the Governor and the missionaries (ibid 3rd August 1860:6). He spoke against warfare and pointed out that well-being, life, perhaps even the continuance of the Maori people - 'oranga mo o koutou tinana' was more readily gained by producing food from the land:

'He tini nga rakau e karohia ana; kotahi ano rakau e kore e taea te karo - werohia ki te
whenua kotahi mano kete i te tau; ka werohia ano, e rua mano kete i te tau kotahi

- There are many weapons that may be warded off, but there is one that cannot. Pierce the soil
with it, and it produces one thousand kits (of food) in one year. Pierce the land again, and it
produces two thousand kits (of food)' (ibid:6).

This was in fact, exactly what Ngaati Porou of Wharekahika were doing in this period:

By 1847 one fourteen ton schooner, the Diana, was registered under the names of Kiwi and Tame,[19] two Ngaati Porou of Wharekahika (New Zealand Gazette, 26th August 1847). In 1849 a Hicks Bay trader told William Williams that 'no less than £l,200 worth of property passed into the hands of the natives from him alone in the purchase of wheat and maize' (Journal 27th July 1849). It is therefore clear that traditional Maori expertise in cultivation and navigation were being turned to advantage. The people of Matakaoa were quick to realise that trade goods were just as readily obtained for produce as by the sale of land. By 1852 the monthly shipping returns show that trade was flourishing. Produce from both the land and sea (whale products) were exported from the East Coast to Auckland:


A Return of all Vessels entered INWARDS at the Port of Auckland

Date of Entry Vessel No. of Tons Master No. of Men Whence
February 1852Antelope 35 Sturleyi 4 East Coast 52 casks sperm oil 20 tons N.Z. caught
 Mendlesham35Read 3East Cape600 bushels maize N.Z.
 Mary Anne20Davis 5East Coast6 tons onions, N.Z.
 Antelope 35 Sturleyi 4 East Coast75 casks, 25 tons sperm oil, 3 cwt.Ambergris
 Ira16Waddy2Poverty Bay100 bushels wheat,2 tons onions N.Z.
 Mary Anne 20 Mo-Kena5East Cape6 tons onions N.Z.
March 1852Louisa25Hautanga20East Cape200 baskets onions,20 baskets wheat
 Julia36Bristow4East Coast100 bushels wheat,400 bushels maize, N.Z.and sundries
 Mendlesham20Atkins4East Coast500 bushels wheat,100 bushels maize,N.Z.and sundries
 Antelope35Sturley4East Coast18 tons sperm oil, 200 bushels wheat, 7 cases apples,N.Z. etc.
 William20 Godden2East Cape500 bushels wheat, 2 tons onions, 3 casks pork
 Ben Lomond 35 Campbell 3 East Cape 600 bushels wheat, 40 bushels corn, 2½ tons potatoes, ½ ton onions, 2½ tons fish
 Rose Ann 24 Ryan 3 East Coast 5 casks pork, 600 bushels wheat, 400 bushels maize, 1 keg lard, N.Z.
 Mary Anne[20] 20 Mo-Kena 5 Russell 2 horses, 10 hives of bees, N.Z
April 1852 Sarah Jane 17 Paora 2 East Cape 500 bushels wheat
 East Cape 18 Rihana 3 East Cape 500 bushels wheat
 Ira 16 Waddy 2 Poverty Bay 300 bushels wheat, 50 bushels maize, 1½ tons pork, N.Z.
May 1852 Louisa 23 Hautonga 6 East Cape 400 bushels wheat N.Z.
 Water Witch 10 Jones 2 East Coast 150 bushels maize N.Z.
 Mendlesham 35 Atkins 3 East Coast 600 bushels wheat,100 bushels maize N.Z
 Antelope 35 Sturley 4 East Coast 900 bushels wheat, 4 tons sperm oil, N.Z
 Ophelia 25 Simpkins 3 East Coast 750 bushels wheat, 1 box curiosities N.Z.
(New Ulster Government Gazette 1852:60, 84 and 98).


The Maori masters on this Shipping Return were Chiefs - Mokena Kohere, Hautonga Porourangi, Paora (of Turanganui? Williams, W. Journal 25th April 1854) and Rihana (Te Rei Huna?). Their control of the entire operation allowed maximum benefit for the Waiapu people in economic profit as well as mana for their respective hapuu. Most of the other masters were resident traders - Atkins, Bristow, and Waddy. The control of East Coast trade by 'locals' probably indicates dissatisfaction with earlier (1840's) trading practices on the East Coast. In 1845 the missionary, Kissling, condemned the high prices charged by 'Coast vessels' - blankets costing 5/6 in England cost 16/- on the East Coast and flour selling for £10 per ton in Auckland cost £22 per ton on the East Coast (Letter to C.M.S. 3rd March). Communications between European settlement and Hicks Bay were 'so rare that six months may elapse before an opportunity occurs' (ibid); so the Chief, Iharaira Te Houkamau[21] settled at Wharekahika 'on account of the frequency of vessels going to that place under adverse winds' (Kissling, G.A. Report to C.M.S. for Year 1844).

Relations between proprietors of coasting vessels and the East Cape people deteriorated. In 1855 an attempt was made by the people of Rangitukia to seize some of Atkins [22] trade-goods in payment for a promissory note issued several years earlier by a passing trader for wheat (Baker, C. Notes for Journal MS 22).

At the end of the month-long Conference at Kohimaarama a number of resolutions were passed concerning Taranaki, but as confusion arose during the voting, Chiefs were asked to give their consent by signature (compare the Treaty of Waitangi). None of the East Cape Chiefs appear to have signed this document, however their views were expressed in the letters required by the Governor at the opening of the Conference.

After spelling out the Maori view of the relationship between the Maori people and the Queen of England (see pages 37-43) and reminding the[p65] Governor of the impossibility of returning to the old ways (Te Irimana Houturangi to Governor Gore Brown, 16th July 1860 in Te Karere Maori 30th November 1860:48), Te Irimana Houturangi chided the Governor for his actions at Taranaki

'Kahore ano nga iwi ke i tae noa mai ki te whakamate i enei iwi e rua, ko raua ano e ngangau nei kia raua ano i te aroaro o nga kaitiaki; rite toru ki toku ahua o mua kahore nei oku kaitiaki ...
Kihai nei i riro ma nga iwi ke e whakamate, riro tonu mau e whakamate. He aha te painga o au korero ka kitea nei hoki tou tututanga ki te tangata, ki te whenua?

- No foreigner has come to destroy these two races, but they are found quarrelling between themselves, even in the presence of their protectors. It is precisely the same as in the days of old, when I had no guardian ...

It was not left for the foreigner to destroy them, but you took upon yourself to do it. What is the good of your talking while it is seen that you are quarrelling both about the people and the land?' (ibid:48).

He suggested that the difficulty between the two peoples was the direct result of the wrong purchasing of land - 'he hoko he i te whenua' (ibid), and called on the Governor to 'properly' (tika) conduct his care-taking (tiaki) of the two peoples - 'kia tika to tiaki i nga iwi e rua me tau whakahaere tikanga ki nga tangata' (ibid), and his purchase of land (ibid). After lamenting the inevitability of war, given that the Taranaki land dispute involved (Ariki) Chiefs - Te Rangitake and the Governor - and not lesser Chiefs, and there was therefore little hope of mediation without bloodshed, the East Coast Chiefs shifted to matters of more immediate concern to themselves: The Chiefs Wi Pahuru and Wikiriwhi te Matehenoa stated that:

'nga Pakeha o to matou kainga kia kipitia te moni mo a matou kai
- the European traders of our district keep back the money for our produce ... '(Letter to Governor Gore Brown 17th July 1860 in Te Karere Maori 30th November 1860:51)


and Te Irimana Houturangi requested the Governor to make regulations for trade between Maori and Pakeha on the East Coast as:

'Ko te moni e tukua mai ana e aua Pakeha nei utu mo a matou kai, ko te hanga kakahu pirau e rukea ake nei i te taone nei, na ratou pea i hamu i ketuketu i roto i nga akahanga waewae o te hanga tini kaumatua Pakeha e noho nei i te taone ...
- The only money which those Pakehas give us for our produce is the rotten clothes which are rejected in town; apparently what they have picked up out of the rubbish trodden on by the feet of all the Pakeha merchants in town ... '(Letter to Governor Gore Brown, 16th July 1860 ibid:49).

Throughout the texts and anecdotes cited from this conference, including those used in the discussion of the Treaty of Waitangi, the 'protective' (tiaki) role of the Governor - the representative or mauri of the Queen for the physical well-being of the two peoples, was emphasised. My discussion of tika (see page 59) suggested that when the 'natural' (tika) order of things was disrupted, then the kaitiaki responsible for the welfare of that realm, would restore the balance. The East Coast Chiefs in their statements at Kohimaarama were calling on the Governor to do just that. However the Governor, who was supposed to be 'protecting' the two races from foreigners - 'nga iwi ke' (see page 41) was himself involved in the land dispute. The growing seriousness of the difficulties, Te Irimana Houturangi suggested, resulted from this involvement (16th July 1860 letter:49). There appears to be an ethical premise that trouble follows 'incorrect' behaviour, and although the correlation (that is, the occurrence of the words within the same sentence) between the words kino (or hara) and mate is low, they suggest that mate - misfortune, death follows from kino/hara - wrongdoing, sin. The texts also suggest that the converse ora -well-being, life follows from tika - correct, proper, or natural behaviour.

For the Chiefs, the Treaty of Kohimaarama (like the Treaty of Waitangi), confirmed their mana - in 1879 Ngaati Porou claimed their right to run their [p67] own affairs was confirmed by it (Gudgeon, W. AJHR G-l:6). For the Governor, and therefore the Government, the conference probably confirmed British rule. The differences in interpretation must have been obvious to McLean, who was accustomed to operating in both worlds, and as Orange, C. (1980:76-77) has suggested, his careful manipulation of the language would have encouraged the Chiefs to continue in their belief in a 'protective' (tiaki) and benevolent Monarch.

The Land Wars

It will be recalled that despite the Kohimaarama Conference the confrontation at Taranaki grew and spread to the East Coast. As in 1845 (after the 'sacking' of Kororareka), rumour was rife that the Government intended to seize the land of tribes who had remained peaceful to offset the war in Taranaki (Te Manuhiri Tuarangi 1st March 1861:5). For this reason, when the East Coast people were asked by Wiremu Kingi te Rangitake for assistance at Taranaki, they replied that 'it was necessary for them to remain at home and take care of their own land' (Wardell, H.S. Report 20th September 1861 in AJHR 1862 E-7:31). As a result of the conflict Gore Brown was recalled to Britain and Sir George Grey was reappointed.

Soon after Grey's arrival, he defined ruunanga districts by proclamation throughout the North Island. Among other local issues, each ruunanga was to register all land in its district, and settle all land disputes (Te Karere Maori 16th December 1861:8). In 1862 the Waiapu Ruunanga district, stretching from Te Kaha to Hikurangi was proclaimed, and William Baker was sent to become its first Resident Magistrate (ibid 12th January 1862:19). Mokena Kohere [23] was appointed the principal Assessor for this district, and smaller groups - 'Hundreds' each with its own Assessor and Warden were also established. In all, there were three ruunanga 'hundreds' in the Matakaoa district - at Wharekahika with Iharaira Te Houkamau as the Assessor, at Te Kawakawa with Wikiriwhi Mateha (Matehenoa)[p68] as the Assessor, and at Rangitukia with Mokena Kohere as the Assessor (AJHR 1863 E-4:40-41). Given that every one of these Assessors were leading Chiefs of the Matakaoa district, 'Grey's ruunanga system' merely reinforced an existent scheme of Maori self-government.

On his arrival, Baker emphasised the two sets of duty of mankind - ‘that towards God and that towards man’ (Journal MS 22 3rd December 1861). As the son of the former Rangitukia missionary (1854-57), Charles Baker, his appointment was a restatement of the two sorts of protection - spiritual and physical - provided by the Queen (see pages 38-41), and not
surprisingly he was greeted with great eagerness by the Maori people 'to live under the shadow of the Queen' (Baker, W. Report 3rd January 1862 in AJHR 1862 E-9:4). They treated anything which appeared to affect their land however, with extreme suspicion, and frequently stated that 'they would rather die than part with any of their territory' (ibid:5). It follows that Baker's negotiations to buy land for the Magistrate's residence at Rangitukia, although initiated by the people, were conducted with the greatest caution (ibid). In spite of this, one party, who declared themselves supporters of the King Movement, asserted that the payment made to Assessors was 'bait' intended to ensure the sale or surrender of land (Baker, W. Report 17th February 1862 ibid:7). Feelings ran so high that Bishop Williams, a man highly respected by Ngaati Porou, had to intervene. In the same month, Te Mokena rebuked Matutaera's[24] assertion that all Maori people wanted him for their King (letters to Waikato enclosed in Baker's Report 25th March 1862 in AJHR 1863 E-4:44), and a small party of Ngaati Porou marched to a 'Native hakari' (feast) under a King flag. Many vehement speeches, expressing indignation at Matutaera's presumption ('whakahihi') in assuming greater powers and rank than the grandchildren of Hinematioro and Te Rangitemoana,[25] were made, and it was seriously considered whether to set up Henare Potae (a direct descendant of Hinematioro) as a [p69] rival King (Baker, W. Report 3rd June 1862 ibid:49).

By November 1862 tension between 'Kingites' and 'Kuupapa' on the Coast was mounting. In most historical accounts it has been assumed that kuupapa referred to Government supporters or 'friendlies'. The term kuupapa means (1) lying flat, (2) stooping, (3) going stealthily, (4)
remaining quiet or being passive, (5) being neutral (Williams, H. 1975:157). Williams noted that the people of Waiapu 'call[ed] themselves always "kupapa" as being partisans of neither side' (W.L. 2nd February 1864 in AJHR 1864 E-3:22) and to begin with some Matakaoa groups were literally neutral rather than pro-Government. It was Baker's reports which first suggested a Government side in opposition to the King Movement. Anxious to find support for his position (like the Land Commissioners, cf. Bell at Turanga in 1859, Resident Magistrates probably had little chance of carrying out their duties without the assistance of local Chiefs), he probably interpreted the zeal given by one party to 'baiting' King Movement supporters,[26] combined with their lack of protest (or silence) against the Government, as confirmation and therefore support of Government policies. In a Maori context silence more often means disagreement. A more likely interpretation is that factions developed, probably between previous antagonists, and in the delicate situation that developed, the Chiefs were anxious not to compromise their position with the Government (Williams, W.L. ibid), and Baker was not criticised.

Significantly the cultivation of introduced crops was abandoned, and great quantities of storable foodstuffs, such as taro and kuumara were planted (Baker, W. to McLean, D. 10th November 1862, McLean Papers MS 32, folder 149), probably in preparation for war. Aware of the mounting dissension in Ngaati Porou, and concerned by the possibility of the Government seeking recompense by land confiscation, as in Taranaki, for the 'Kohuru' - murder of Pakeha, Te Mokena asked the Governor to remove [p70] all Pakeha (his tribe) from the East Coast (letter 9th June 1863 in Te Karere Maori 28th September 1863:6-7). In August 1863, a party of Ngaati Porou returned from the Waikato with 'exaggerated accounts' of Pakeha losses and an invitation to join Waikato in driving away the Pakeha (Mohi Turei to Bishop Williams, 1st February 1864 in AJHR 1864 E-3:20). Although rumours concerning the Queen's intention to confiscate all 'native' land grew (ibid), and the King Movement gained support on the East Coast, at East Cape the ruunanga restated their loyalty to the Queen: 'belief in God for the inside and the laws of the Queen for the outside' (letter 12th October 1863 ibid:8). The Maori version is not available but the words roto (inside) and waho (outside) were probably used. Again we see the differentiation between the two 'sides' of people - spiritual (inside) and physical (outside) which were important in the interpretation suggested earlier of the Queen as the Kaitiaki of the two tribes (Maori and Pakeha).

On the surface these declarations of loyalty to the Queen suggest that Ngaati Porou Chiefs supported all Government policy, but consideration of the Chiefs' comments at Kohimaarama clearly shows that dealings with Europeans over local trade and over land (at Taranaki) were not acceptable. Given the confiscations of land carried out in other districts under the 1863 New Zealand Settlements Act, these declarations may well have been tactics adopted to safeguard Ngaati Porou territory from confiscation. Neutrality posed no threat to either side - Government or King Movement, and at the same time it kept open their possible role as mediators. In March 1864 an attempt was made to do just that: a party of Ngaati Porou Chiefs went to Auckland to try to persuade the Governor to make peace ('hohou rongo') (Clark, E. to Smith, T. Smith Papers MS 283, folder 11), but by November their territory was proclaimed 'a district which had supplied combatants on the rebel side' (Heaphy, C. Map AJHR 1864 E-9) and [p71] therefore subject to confiscation.

Three months later Patara [27] and Kereopa, exponents of the 'new religion', Paimarire, travelled through the Eastern districts of the North Island to rally support for the King. When they arrived at Opotiki, the missionary, Volkner, was proclaimed 'a spy' and put to death. In a sense this accusation was true, as Government officials and missionaries, including Volkner, wrote regular reports to the Native Department about the activities (especially of King adherents) in their districts (correspondence in Smith, T.H. Papers MS 283). As soon as the news of Volkner's death reached Wharekahika, the Ruunanga wrote to the people of Turanga (including Bishop Williams), disclaiming all involvement in the killing:

'ka nui to matou rihariha ki tenei mahi ... taka marie ki konei, ki te wa o te maramatanga, katahi ka pokanoa tenei mahi ...

- great is our disgust at this deed ... there is peace and understanding here, then suddenly this appears ... '

(Iharaira Te Houkamau, Te Irimana Tirohia 16th March 1865, Te Waka Maori o Ahuriri 1st April 1865:5-6).

In June 1865 McLean and Bishop Williams went to Tuparoa to acquire first-hand knowledge of the situation. After waiting there for 'some hours', Henare Potae, Mohi Turei, and Raniera Kawhia arrived from an inland paa where they had been holding a meeting (McLean, D. Diary 1865 Octavo Sequence Box V McLean Papers MS 32). They told McLean that 'a portion of their tribes [had] ... gone to apprehend Patara', then Henare Potae referred to his being on the 'Government side', and Mohi Turei suggested that 'white and black should unite to put down the evils of this part of the island' (ibid). After the meeting, the Bishop and McLean left by steamer for Napier (ibid).

Meanwhile, Patara's party (the Hauhau) had successfully forced the [p72] 'Government side' into retreat.[28] Impressed, the majority of the Waiapu people joined the King Movement, while the others sought shelter in Iharaira Te Houkamau's paa (Makeronia) at Matakaoa, and Mokena Kohere's paa (Te Hatepe) at Rangitukia.

The conflict divided families and communities. At Rangitukia, a father assisted the Hauhau, while his daughter and grandchildren sheltered in Te Hatepe (McConnell, R. 1980:98-99). At Horoera, preparations were made to resist the Government, and the Chief, Hakopa te Ari, said that 'if Te Mokena himself came, he would spill blood there' (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:10). Nevertheless some of his people sided with Te Mokena (ibid). The same claimant stated that 'later in the war [his] "papa" ... left the Government side and went to Waikato with the "opes" from N'porou to see the Maori King' (ibid). In another family, the Chief Arapeta Haenga supported the Queen, while his son Paora fought for the King (Kohere, R. 1949:51).

At Hicks Bay a Hauhau attack on Makeronia paa was successfully repulsed, but at Waiapu there were several Hauhau victories (ibid:53-57).[29] Mohi Turei and Mokena Kohere wrote to the Government requesting arms and reinforcements, and McLean assured them of his support (Letter 41 to Mokena 1st July 1865; Letter 42 to Mohi Turei 1st July 1865 in qMS McLean, D. Letter Book, Official Papers MS 32). Two weeks later McLean arrived at Waiapu with rifles and ammunition (Diary, July 1865 Octavo Sequence Box V McLean Papers MS 32). After consultation with Te Mokena and Mohi Turei on board his 'man-of-war', the Eclipse, he went to Hicks Bay to deliver arms to Te Houkamau, who 'spoke very well against the Hauhau' (ibid). While he was there the St. Kilda, a Government supply vessel which had been used to ship soldiers from Taranaki to the Bay of Plenty, arrived from Opotiki with reinforcements. They set off immediately for Waiapu, amid cheering by the Hicks Bay people (ibid). At Waiapu McLean assisted from the Eclipse [p73] by firing rounds of shell at enemy paa. When the 'Government side' heard that Patara had gone for Hauhau reinforcements, McLean set off in the St. Kilda to intercept him, but he was too late (ibid). The following week, McLean left for Napier on the St. Kilda (ibid).

For McLean this was the beginning of a close relationship (politic for both groups) with the Waiapu Chiefs - Mokena Kohere, Ropata Wahawaha, Henare Potae, Mohi Turei, and Iharaira Te Houkamau (Correspondence in qMS McLean, D. Letter Book, Official Papers MS 32), which lasted even beyond his own lifetime.[30] After every major victory Te Makarini (McLean) wrote each of the Chiefs letters of encouragement and congratulations. When food was scarce he sent gifts of food - '2 tana paraoa (flour), 1 tana pihikete (biscuits), and ½ tana huka (sugar)' (to Te Houkamau 8th September 1865, Letter 58 ibid). In December 1865, on the first of his annual visits to Waiapu, he presented each of the Chiefs with a Queen's flag (McLean, Diary 1865). McLean was proficient in the Maori language and experienced in land matters. For this reason, he was often called on by the Chiefs, during his visits, to settle disputes (ibid; Te Waka Maori 8th January 1872:3; AJHR 1874 G-l:4). On his visits to other parts of the country and even Australia, he was accompanied by Ropata Wahawaha or Mokena Kohere (Te Waka Maori). Throughout his lifetime, whenever large hui (meetings) were held at Waiapu, as at Mataahu in 1872 (see page 89), he was present, or sent contributions of food (ibid). It appears that he upheld the Waiapu Chiefs restriction against land confiscation in the face of Government policy (see page 77 for Te Mokena's direction to the Crown Agent of Poverty Bay, Captain Biggs). In 1872 (if not earlier) Te Makarini was given cloaks and a greenstone mere - 'te tahaa kohatu' by the Waiapu people (Mohi Turei Report 29th October 1872 in Te Waka Maori 30th October 1872:144) to symbolise that their relationship to one another would endure forever.

Johansen (1954:177-84) suggests that the characteristics associated [p74] with rangatira (Chief; of noble birth) were kindness, magnanimity in gifts and providing food, ability to settle disputes, visit other tribes and receive guests, honour external obligations including promises and agreements, fine carriage, and reserved speech. While it is difficult to assess whether McLean possessed the last two characteristics, the brief sketch of the relationship between Te Makarini and the Waiapu Chiefs clearly shows that Te Makarini behaved, and was therefore probably received, as a rangatira of the Pakeha people.

On the second of August 1865 the combined forces of Maori and Pakeha successfully stormed Pakairomiromi (see map) - the Hauhau stronghold, and those that escaped fled to Pukemaire (see map). This battle was described by eye-witness informants of Reweti Kohere (grandson of Te Mokena) as ‘one of the bloodiest ... fought in the whole of the Maori war’ (1949:55).[31] In October 1865 Pukemaire was attacked. Under cover of darkness the paa was evacuated, and the Hauhau made their way, in family groups, to Hungahunga-toroa (see map), a stronghold near Te Araroa (ibid:56). While entrenched there, the Hauhau's 'Government side' relations smuggled food and ammunition to them at night (personal communication McConnell, R.)

Following the fight, the local Hauhau survivors were taken to Te Hatepe. After swearing an oath of allegiance to the Queen, Te Mokena allowed them all to return to their homes, that is, all except the Horoera people whose land he intended to take as restitution for Hakopa te Ari's threat 'to spill blood there [even] if Te Mokena himself came' (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:10). When Te Houkamau and Te Wikiriwhi objected, Mokena decided to refer the matter to Te Makarini (Sir Donald McLean) (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:10-11). McLean arrived at Awanui by steamer, in December 1865, and after listening to Te Wikiriwhi and Mokena's views, he wrote to Te Houkamau for his opinion (Letter 71 Letter Book, ibid). It was decided to give the Horoera people permission to return [p75] home, but Te Mokena shifted with them, and stayed there for several years (Te Harawira Huriwai ibid:12). At Wharekahika, Te Houkamau collected all the Hauhau arms and allowed the people to return to their homes (Letter 71 ibid). 'After Hauhau trouble, the scarcity of food was very great, and people went everywhere searching for food' (Manahi Parapara, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41:120).

As has been described, the King supporters and the 'Government side' were closely related, suggesting that a most complicated political situation had developed. It is possible that Waiapu people 'hedged their bets' to ensure they were successful, whichever side won. On the surface such a tactic belittles the cost in bloodshed, but when it is also considered that land was at stake, it is not improbable. Only people can produce new generations but for them to grow to produce the next generation, and the next, the land must be there to nourish their growth. In this way Papatuanuku (the Earth mother) is the elder or parent of mankind - 'Ko te Papatuanuku te matua o te tangata'.

As well as this, some of the lines drawn in the conflict, which I believe were re-drawn in the investigations of title by the Land Court, hints at old enmities, perhaps tracing back to the migrations, conquests, and subsequent intermarriages of the PAIKEA[32] people of Whangara, and the RUAWAIPU[33] people of the Northern Waiapu. I am suggesting here that there were two main types of descent in the Northern Waiapu - one in which the people held mana over land, and the other in which they had mana over people:

'The wives of Tuterangiwhiu [the son of the famed Ngaati Porou warrior, Tuwhakairiora] would have mana from his rank, but the mana over the land came from the wives' (Piriniha te Rito, Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:250-1).

While marriages were arranged to ensure both rights, the shifting politics of the area through generations, meant that in some families there were [p76] concentrations of mana over people, and in others, mana over land. Many of the 'Government side' Chiefs were closely related (Kohere, R. 1949:9), and it is likely that the Hauhau Chiefs were also. The Hauhau and 'Government' Chiefs were related to one another through the practice of Chiefs marrying a woman from each main type of descent - mana tangata, mana whenua ('papatipu'). Brothers of these matches often married women on their mother's side, although at the naming ceremony of one ancestor he was referred to as 'Hui kai, hui tangata, hui whenua' - literally gathering food, people, and land to show that the mana of these types of descent converged on him. What I am suggesting is that the King Movement may have been viewed by the 'papatipu' or mana whenua groups as an opportunity to overthrow the mana tangata groups; while the mana tangata people, who had signed the Treaty of Waitangi, may have supported the Government to maintain their own position.

Whatever the reasons, the loyalist position established during these wars was carried advantageously into the arena of land negotiations. In 1866 Ropata Wahawaha and Te Mokena told McLean that 'the land boundary of the "friendly natives", as separated from the Hauhaus, commences at Tawiti on Te Tuparoa,[34] (McLean, D. Notes 1866 Octavo Sequence Box V, McLean Papers MS 32). This area remained outside Government jurisdiction (although several attempts were made to confiscate it) until the 1874 Wharekahika Hui (see page 89) decided to invite the Land Court to investigate Waiapu land. When the Court opened it did so under Ropata Wahawaha's control (see page 111). In some investigations of title, Judges were required to assess land ownership from evidence given by claimants who had fought beside them in the war.

The 'Land-Taking' Court

The 'Government side' Chiefs allowed most of the Hauhau Ngaati Porou to return to their homes,[35] although:[p77]

'the chiefs and leaders were sent as prisoners to Napier. Those from here were Hakopa Tureia,
Hemi Marumarupo, Aperapama te Kuri, Wi Wanoa, Hakopa Hunahuna - and those from Waiapu were my own father and Warihi Nepuka, Hira Kauhau and many others - perhaps 40 or 50 ... At Napier a further selection was made and Te Kooti, Hone Pohe, and others were sent to Chatham's and remainder were returned' (Hirai te Ngahue, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:116).

Sir George Grey and Sir Donald McLean promised the East Coast people that their land would be 'preserved' for their use for their assistance 'in crushing the rebellion' (Petitions from East Coast Natives, AJHR 1868 A-16:11; McLean, D. Diary 1866 Octavo Sequence Box V ibid). Ngaati Porou therefore leased land and applied to have their titles investigated by the Lands Court, set up under the 1865 Native Lands Act. When the Government realised their unwillingness to sell land, it endeavoured to find some reason by which it could be taken (Petition 1868 ibid). Biggs, the Crown Agent for Poverty Bay, demanded that a portion of Ngaati Porou territory be confiscated. A piece of land was offered by the Chiefs:

'it was a very large piece leaving a piece for ourselves much small as compared with the other,
the greater portion of which piece belonged to ourselves, the Government Natives. But we gave our consent only because we were wearied at his [Biggs] constantly teasing us, and because of the many intimidating words the Government used towards us'
(Petition to the General Assembly of New Zealand from the people of Poverty Bay, AJHR 1867, F-l:10)

but it was rejected by Biggs as too small (ibid). Boundaries for a larger portion, which included all the area from the Southern end of Hicks Bay to Reporua, were in fact defined by Biggs in 1866, but when he arrived to arrange the survey, Te Mokena instructed him to leave the district (Kohere, R. 1949:59). He then offered Te Mokena money 'but Te Mokena would not take the Government money - that saved the land of the whole district' (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:84).

Biggs, convinced that the Native Land Court would 'never work as it is [p78] at present' (to McLean 3rd May 1866, McLean Papers MS 32, folder 162), attempted to circumvent it by giving Crown grants to the Maori people (ibid), and his agents continued to press East Coast people for their land:

'we should have been unaware of the existence of a Government in this country had it not been for the fact of their (officers) making monthly visits to this place for the purpose of teasing us into >making our land over to them without any recompense'
(Petition to the Governor from East Coast Natives, AJHR 1868, A-16:5)

When the East Coast people told Biggs that 'it must be left for the Land Court to give us relief; ... he replied he would bring the land-taking Court' (Petition to the General Assembly from the people of Poverty Bay 1867, ibid).

To settle the land so that leases could be negotiated with Pakeha, Ngaati Porou applied to have their land investigated by the Native Lands Court in 1866, but found that the land had to be surveyed first. Then unexpectedly, they received notification of a Court hearing for September, but the Court did not sit - 'nor did any notice at that time reach us to the effect that the land was gone' (ibid). Another Court hearing was notified for the next month, but again it did not sit. 'This time however, they heard that the land had been taken'[36] (ibid). Hoping to get relief through the law (Te Ture which united the Maori and Pakeha tribes on the physical plane - see page 41), they applied again for a Native Lands Court hearing (ibid).

In 1867 six hundred Maori people (from all parts of the Coast between East Cape and Wairoa) gathered at Turanganui to attend a Court hearing under the 1865 Native Lands Act, and the 1866 East Coast Titles Investigation Act.[37] This Act, passed apparently with McLean's approval (to Stafford 17th January 1866, Letter Book Official Papers MS 32; Notes 1866 Octavo Sequence Box V, McLean Papers MS 32), allowed land to be investigated without the consent of owners, with the purpose of granting title to loyal [p79] Maori, and declaring lands belonging to persons who had engaged in rebellion, to be the property of the Crown. When Captain Biggs, the Crown Agent, arrived he applied for an adjournment based on a clerical error that existed in the 1866 Act, and asked for more time 'to collate information against the rebels' (Judge Munro to Judge Fenton, 25th July 1867 in AJHR 1867 A-10D:4). Biggs was probably stalling to ascertain Government policy on East Coast land; only five months earlier he had written to McLean:

'I wish you would be good enough to let me know what you promised to either Europeans or Maoris in reference to land remunerations for fighting on our side as the government instruct me to see carried out anything which you have promised ... '
(18th February 1867, McLean Papers MS 32, folder 162).

As this was the third adjournment made the people were:

'very much disappointed, as they were exceedingly anxious to have their titles investigated, and the question of land to be taken on account of the rebellion definitely settled' (Judge Munro to Judge Fenton 25th July 1867, ibid).

Judge Munro told the press, the Southern Cross, that:

'the action taken by the Government in regard to the sitting of the Court on the East Coast would tend very much to destroy the confidence of the Natives in the Court'
('extract' in AJHR A-10D:6)

and awarded costs to the Maori people present. He also told them that this was not the Land-taking Compensation Court; it was the Court set up under the Native Lands Act to determine land ownership, and to preserve those who had not engaged in 'rebellion', from the loss of land (ibid:7). This criticism of Government conduct almost resulted in Munro's dismissal. Richmond, the Native Minister, ordered Munro to pay the awarded costs himself, and also accused him of 'highly objectionable', 'highly indecent', and 'disloyal' behaviour in a gentleman of his position (Richmond, J.C. to [p80] Munro, H. 24th August 1867, ibid:7). While Judges, theoretically at least were supposed to represent independent arbiters, this incident clearly demonstrates that as employees of the Government they were not expected to act against its interests.

Munro was told by the Maori people that they 'exonerated the Court from all blame' and looked 'forward to having their claims investigate', although they hoped that 'there would be no unnecessary delay, as a number of Europeans were prepared to negotiate with them for the lease of their surplus lands as soon as their titles are complete' (Judge Munro to Judge Fenton 25th July 1867, ibid:5).

It appears that the Northern Waiapu Chiefs (Te Mokena Kohere) were determined that no land, including Hauhau land should be taken (AJHR 1867 A-10D,5:4). This is understandable when the closeness of some of the kin ties between 'rebels' and 'loyalists' is recognised (see page 72). The impossibility of separating ‘rebel’ from 'loyalist' land would have been appreciated by the Chiefs, who were probably not prepared (or in a position) to divulge their close relationship with rebels to the Government. The Maori people's 'cultural mediators' (Chiefs) were more likely to stress the differences between themselves and the Hauhau, to strengthen their position for negotiating on equal terms with the European Government, and thereby to safeguard their land. With the completion of the fighting, and the swearing of allegiance to the Queen, the Hauhau Ngaati Porou once again came under the jurisdiction of 'loyalist' Chiefs, who had an obligation to care for (tiaki) their interests. In former times, when inter-tribal warfare occurred, internal differences were held in abeyance until the external threat was disposed of. In a similar way Ngaati Porou presented a united front to deal with the Pakeha tribe's (that is, the Government) attempts to seize land.

When the Court adjourned a meeting of all the East Coast people was [p81] held, and it was decided to petition the Government for relief. Their petition, which outlined the promises made by Governor Grey and Sir Donald McLean in 1865, to 'preserve' their land for their own use, and the attempts made by the Crown Agent, Biggs, to confiscate it, was taken to Wellington by Te Mokena (Judge Munro to Judge Fenton 25th July 1867, ibid).

In March 1868 another Court was held at Turanganui under Judge Manning. Captain Biggs applied for the hearing of all land from Lottin Point to Lake Waikaremoana, under the 1867 East Coast Titles Investigation Amendment Act. The Judge ruled against this, firstly because it had not been advertised (Gisborne M.B. 1:1 cf. 1867 Native Lands Amendment Act page 25) and secondly because the Court had no authority to investigate land without the owners' consent unless the cases were referred to it by the Governor (ibid). This ruling suggests that the Governor above all others was expected by the Government to act in the best interests of the Maori people. What is problematic is that while the Treaty of Waitangi guaranteed to the Maori people 'the full, exclusive and undisputed possession of their land ... so long as it was their wish ... ' (Colenso, W. 1890:39), Judge Manning's ruling implied that the Governor exercised control over this land. From the Wharekahika Chiefs' speeches made in 1860, they expected the Governor to make the two people equivalent or united through the Law, not to usurp the Chiefs' mana over their own land.

Frustrated by the Court in his attempt to secure East Coast land for settlement (Government policy), Captain Biggs pressed the Government to have the district investigated under the 1863 New Zealand Settlements Act (see page 24) as 'the natives are quite determined not to give up any land and say if the Court takes it they will not agree ... ' (Biggs to McLean 14th March 1868, McLean Papers MS 32, folder 162).

Meanwhile in Court, most of the claims called for investigation were dismissed by the non-appearance of claimants, caused according to Preece - [p82] the Maori people's agent, by their lack of confidence in the Court investigating titles under the provisions of the East Coast Titles
Investigation Act and Amendment Act (Gisborne M.B. 1:102). A small cluster of blocks near Tolaga Bay were put through the Court by the loyalist Chief Karauria Pahuru (who succeeded Te Kani-a-Takirau), but the only Northern Waiapu block called was Horoera. As no survey had been made, and the principal witness did not appear 'Horowera' was dismissed (ibid:31).

During the winter months of 1868 further ruunanga were held to discuss land policy (Letter from the Waiapu Ruunanga in Te Waka Maori o Ahuriri 13th August 1868:40), and another three petitions, representing 'the unanimous opinion of everyone on the Coast'[38] (Preece, J. to the Governor 25th April 1868 in AJHR 1868 A-16:l), were sent to the Governor. While Government land confiscations hung in the balance, Te Kooti was reported to be having 'an unsettling effect on the people' (Biggs to McLean, D. 13th October 1868, McLean Papers MS 32). The Crown Agent suggested that 'the safest and cheapest plan to keep these people quiet would be to give some land to Ngatiporo in Poverty Bay' (ibid). As a result, he stated, most of the Ngaati Porou grievances would be removed, their occupation of Poverty Bay encouraged, and their assistance secured should further trouble break out (ibid). One month later several families, among them Captain Biggs, and 'Government side' Maori, were killed by Te Kooti's party. Although concerned for the welfare of their own women and children (letters from the Chiefs Hotene Porourangi and Henare Potae in AJHR 1869 A-10:25-26), Ngaati Porou sent reinforcements to the Government troops at Turanga and Wairoa (McLean, D. to Richmond, J. 18th November in AJHR 1869 A-10:26). The Government interpreted this as 'unswerving loyalty' to the Queen, yet three months later it threatened Ngaati Porou that 'if they did not [fight at Taranaki] ... their guns would be taken from them' (Karaitiana Takamoana, [p83]Eastern Maori Representative in the General Assembly, to the Government, 23rd March 1869 in AJHR 1869). Faced with the prospect of an armed Te Kooti, who had sworn vengeance on the 'loyalist' Ngaati Porou, there was no choice. This time the elder sons of the Chiefs, namely Te Hatiwira Houkamau and Paratene Ngata (adopted by Ropata Wahawaha) led the contingent. From this time on the Government ceased its attempts at Hauhau land confiscation in the Ngaati Porou territory (AJHR 1873 C-4B:6). Perhaps, the settlers whose lives were saved by Ngaati Porou would have publicly deplored Government-pressed sales of Ngaati Porou land.

In June 1869 the Poverty Bay Land Commission, under the Judges Rogan and Munro, began to investigate outstanding land claims (to complete Bell's 1859 Land Commission, see page 58) and Maori people's title to land (Captain Porter, Diary 29th June 1869). As all land had to be surveyed before investigation and as only the land near Gisborne had been surveyed, these were the cases heard by the Court (Munro, H. Notes of Native Land Court Proceedings June 1869 MS 366, folder 7); nevertheless Waiapu people were probably present in Court. The number of military officials present to confirm the claimants loyalty to the Crown, probably gave the Court the appearance of an 'armed camp'. The proceedings were quite literally dominated by European officials - when lists of owners were read, the Resident Magistrate was consulted, and any name objected to by him was deleted (ibid). It is likely that the Judges' chances (there were no Native Assessors) of acting as 'protectors' (kaitiaki) of the (human) interaction between Maori and Pakeha, or even as 'independent arbiters', were remote. Where Maori claimants titles to land were investigated, they were not disputed, however when sales between Maori and Europeans were involved, the claims were challenged and several witnesses from each side gave evidence. Land sales between Europeans and Maori were in every case confirmed in favour of the Europeans, although Maori claimants admitted [p83]that they had no right to sell the land: 'I was jealous of having been left out in arrangement of the Bishop's and sold land [to Captain Rhodes] which was not mine' (Matenga Tamaioria, Karaua Block, ibid:55).

Up to this time the East Coast people had managed to keep their land from the Court by refusing to co-operate, except on their own terms (1859 and 1868). As in 1859 (see page 58 ff), the Judges, as representatives of the Governor, were expected by the Maori people to restore the 'natural' (tika) order between the two peoples - Maori and Pakeha, and it is likely that the two Judges, both experienced land transactors and fluent Maori speakers, were aware of these expectations.[39] However, given the context - this was the first Court after Te Kooti's 'massacre', a role favouring Maori interests was impossible for Government employees (cf. Munro's reprimand in 1867, page 79). From the Maori side, the appearance in Court may well have been a declaration of loyalty to the Queen (or a reaffirmation of her role as the kaitiaki for transactions between Maori and Pakeha) principally designed to prevent land confiscation.

In 1870 a Land Court was held at Turanga under Judge Rogan. This time several blocks of land from the Uawa (Tolaga Bay) area were investigated and made inalienable by lease or sale from the Maori people. While inalienability clauses held the land in trust for the Maori people, owners had no authority to determine who would inherit their rights to the land when they died. The contrast between the 1869 Commission and this Court is striking, although the same Judge was presiding. While the Judge continued to hear 'outstanding land claims', his major concern was with the investigation of Maori title to land. No longer was he expected to adjudicate on the 'loyalty' of the claimants, and his adoption of a mediatory role was consistent with the set of Maori expectations I have proposed. When the Waiapu block 'Kaitua' was called, Mohi Turei told the Court that the Waiapu Chiefs did not want their land investigated [p85] at the present, as they were raruraru (troubled, busy) (Gisborne M.B. 1:107). While this probably referred to food shortages (AJHR 1872 F-3:12) it may also have referred to land disputes. It was then discussed in Court whether the Land Court should be allowed to investigate land near East Cape, and Judge Rogan intimated that he was prepared to wait on their decision (ibid). In another case, when a dispute between the Chief and his people arose over whether to make land inalienable, Rogan tactfully reminded the Chief:

'that many pieces of land has passed through former Courts without having been made inalienable and the consequence was that most of them had gone into the hands of the Pakeha, and told him that they [the people in Court] had paid a great deal of attention to what he had said about having no restriction placed on the Grant ... Rogan thought it best, although he was the "kaumatua" to listen to the majority in this manner, and the lands would be made inalienable' (Gisborne M.B. 1:115-6)

Peaceful Mediation of Disputes a Necessity

Potential warfare existed on the East Coast for nearly a decade - although no actual fighting took place after 1869 (Williams, W.L. n.d.:72). People lived in fortified paa for safety and food was very scarce (Campbell, Resident Magistrate's Report, AJHR 1872 F-3:12; AJHR 1873 G-l:13). As soon as peace seemed imminent Government agents began negotiations for East Coast land (Russell, AJHR 1872 F-3A:13). The number of disputes between Waiapu people over land ownership rose dramatically (Campbell, AJHR 1872, 1873 and 1874), and in some cases were so intense they threatened to destroy the newly-won peace. By 1874 land disputes and alcohol were viewed as the major causes of grievance at Waiapu:

'tetahi haurangi hei whakamate i a tatou ... Ka haurangi ano te tangata i tena rama, a te rama whenua
- this intoxication will destroy us ... people become intoxicated by these land questions as well as by rum' (Hutana Taru 5th May 1874 in Te Waka Maori 16th June 1874:154);


'He mate kei te waipiro, he mate hoki kei te whenua; ko te tino mea kaha rawa o raua e tino mate rawa ai te tangata, he whenua
- There is grief and trouble in alcohol, and there is also grief and trouble in land; but that which is most fraught with danger and death to man is the land'

(Paratene Ngata 8th August 1874 in Te Waka Maori 8th September:229).

One dispute, over the Aruhemokopuna Block, began when land reserved for a school was fenced in and planted with potatoes (Hakaraia Mauheni,[40] Aruhemokopuna Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:68). One of the boundaries was disputed and the land was ploughed up - 'in fact to take possession of it' (ibid). The next year Wiremu Keiha's sheep were eaten by Paora Haenga's pigs on this land, so Keiha's people killed the pigs. Then Paora Haenga occupied 'our kumara pits and killed our stock running on this land and took possession of the land ... through ploughing' (ibid:69), so Wiremu Keiha's people 'killed [shot] someone ... on this land' (ibid), and both parties occupied fortified paa near the disputed land[41] (ibid; see also Te Waka Maori 8th January 1872:2).

In an attempt to restore peace and prosperity, like that achieved in the 1840-1860 period when all Ngaati Porou land was golden with wheat - 'Ura tonu te whenua katoa i te witi' (Paratene Ngata cited in Kohere, R. 1949:27-28), the Chiefs intervened: ‘but for [them] ... both sides (in land disputes) would have proceeded to open warfare, and ... slaughtered each another’ (ibid in Te Waka Maori 8th September 1874:229). Iharaira Te Houkamau had already used his personal influence to settle land disputes 'as far South as Waiapu and as far North as the Whanau-a-Apanui/Ngaitai boundary, near Torere' (AJHR 1874 G-l:5). On the Aruhemokopuna Block, he settled the dispute by placing the land under restriction (Waiapu M.B. 11:69), and Ropata Wahawaha sent Wiremu Keiha to the coast 'to avoid the dispute being carried to extremes' (Hakaraia Mauheni ibid). On McLean's arrival at [p87] Waiapu (during his annual visits), he was also asked to arbitrate disputes. In the Aruhemokopuna dispute Te Makarini (McLean) expressed great sorrow that such a situation could occur when he was trying to raise Ngaati Porou as an example to other tribes (Te Waka Maori 8th January 1873:3). In fact he was suggesting to the disputants that their behaviour was weakening the mana of the whole of the Ngaati Porou tribe. Not surprisingly, after airing their grievances, both parties agreed to finish the matter. A discussion was held by all the people and it was decided that all the people who had rights to the land could live on it (ibid:3).

Six months later Campbell reported that the role of the Government as arbiter 'is daily becoming stronger' (AJHR 1873 G-l:13), and in his opinion opposition to the Land Court only came from those whose rights of ownership 'amounted to little or nothing' (AJHR 1874 G-2C:2).

Between 1840 when the Chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi and gave (so I have suggested) to the Queen of England part of their collective responsibility for keeping (tiaki) the world in balance - that part between Maori and Pakeha - and the end of the war in 1872, there appear to have been few disputes over land between local Matakaoa people. From this time on, pressure for Waiapu land for European settlement steadily increased. The evidence given in the Land Court (Waiapu Minute Books) suggests former Maori land 'ownership' was fluid within tribal boundaries, with some people leading a nomadic lifestyle ('iwi haere'), and others more settled, but occupying different areas for a short time every one or two years to utilise food resources - fishing, fern root, etc. It appears that different groups utilised these same areas either at different times or the same time provided ties of relationship (probably through intermarriage) were sufficiently close to ensure peaceful co-existence. Given that ownership of land was awarded by the Native Land Court (which local people must have realised would inevitably investigate their land) on proof of occupation [p88] (which the war had disrupted for almost a decade), and that judgment implied fixed tenure (European concepts of land ownership), Maori people attempted to occupy all the land (and there is nothing to suggest that these were clearly defined blocks, as investigated by the Land Court) in which they had interests (formerly utilised). The decision made by the Chiefs in 1872 (see page 87) that all the people who had rights to the land could live ('noho' - stay) on it’ supports this contention. As Maori people attempted to move their fluid system (to protect their rights to land) to coincide and operate within the confines of a fixed one (promoted by the dominant culture), clashes between 'legitimate' occupiers occurred.

In 1873 a new Land Act was passed which McLean guaranteed would 'remedy all', and stop land of 'a questionable nature' being brought before the Court (AJHR 1874 G-l:4). The East Coast response to the new law was favourable: 'The new laws which you have given us are just what the Maori's of this country require' (Wiremu Kingi Te Waka Maori 27th January 1874:24-25); 'the Native Land Act of 1873 gives great satisfaction' (Thomas Fox, East Coast ibid 24th March 1874:70), and 'removes most of the objections' of local (Maori) people to the Land Court (Campbell, AJHR 1874 G-2C:2). With the 'checks put upon promiscuous dealing with Native lands' by the 1873 Act, the East Coast District Officer suggested that the prohibition on passing Waiapu land through the Land Court be lifted (AJHR 1874 G-2:19). This reservation was placed over the land in 1866 by Mokena Kohere and Ropata Wahawaha in consultation with McLean (see page 76). However it remained for the 1874 meeting at Wharekahika to decide Ngaati Porou land policy.


III. Tribal Policy Meetings

'[At the Wharekahika Hui] Te Mokena said to Wi [Wanoa] and Wiki Matauru, his tamarikis "Keep the land as a playground for yourselves and your tamarikis" meaning Marangairoa No.1'

(Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:15).

1874 Hui at Wharekahika

In October 1874 Te Houkamau's meeting at Makeronia, Wharekahika opened with a prayer, a volley of guns fired by 'thirty hand-picked men', and the raising of the Queen's flag. Its purpose was to honour the Queen's flag (ibid), and as Iharaira Te Houkamau put it 'hei marena i a tatou i nga iwi katoa - to be a marriage ceremony [a means of unification] for all the tribes' under the Queen (Te Waka Maori 17th November 1874:285). For this Hui large quantities of food were prepared for well over a year beforehand. Extra crops were cultivated at Hicks Bay, birds were caught and preserved at Waiapu, and fish was conveyed from Te Kaha (Campbell, AJHR 1874 G-2C:3). Two large houses and a fifty foot flagstaff were erected especially for the occasion (Te Waka Maori 8th September 1874:1).

In 1872 a meeting of a similar size had been held at Mataahu, Waiapu under the authority of Ropata Wahawaha. These meetings were held to restore the unity of the Ngaati Porou tribe which had been so severely divided by the 1860 warfare (Mohi Turei, Te Waka Maori 17th November 1874:284).

At this meeting Ngaati Porou discussed land policy: Tamati Kakano suggested that 'he rongoa te Kooti mo te whenua - the Court is the medicine for the land' (Te Waka Maori 1st December 1874:295), Pera te Kuri said 'Me haere mai te Kooti hei whakapai i nga wahi e takoto raruraru ana - Let the Court come to settle the blocks which are in dispute' (ibid), and Mohi Turei pointed out that:

'Kaore i te taenga mai o te Kooti te mate ai, engari
i naianei ano i te mea e ngaro atu ana te Kooti. [p90] Kaore i penei nga take riri o mua a nga tupuna i mau ai koutou ki te pu, a me aha e pai ai ki te kore e Kootitia? ... Ko nga tangata e kore ana e whakaae ki te Kooti, kaore ona take ki te whenua ... otira me Kooti ano, kei ora ana te toenga o nga kaumatua, kia riro ma tetahi tangata i waenganui i a taua e whiriwhiri o taua take ki runga i o taua piihi.
- It is not when we get the Court that we shall suffer, but now, in the absence of a Court. The grounds of aggravation in the time of our fathers, which induced you (i.e. Ngatiporou) to take up arms, were not so great as those which exist now; and how can these difficulties be satisfactorily arranged if not by the investigation of the Court? ... The men who object to the Court are men who have no claim to the land ... it is necessary that there should be an investigation of title whilst the residue of old men yet remains so that a third party from amongst ourselves may be able to show forth both your claims and mine to our land.' (Te Waka Maori 1st December 1874:296).

After a good deal of discussion it was resolved to open the Land Court at Waiapu to investigate claims to the oil springs (at Te Puia) and land in the district.

The Hui also appointed Captain Porter to the post of Land Commissioner - to make purchases and arrangements with those willing to lease land. Although the Government had appointed Wilson to this position, Ngaati Porou unanimously favoured Porter as he had 'grown up amongst them' (Herewini Tamahori, ibid:228), and his 'worth was known to all the people' (Tamati Kakano, ibid:286). Other matters resolved by the meeting included the representation of Ngaati Porou in Parliament by Henare Potae[42] , the erection of a Magistrate's Court and gaol, the sale of diseased sheep at Waiapu ('scabby sheep' were prevalent an the East Coast at this time AJHR 30th May 1874 G-2:19), and most importantly for the unity of Ngaati Porou, the rejection of interference by other tribes in Ngaati Porou affairs (Te Waka Maori 1st December 1874:297).

It is interesting to note the difference in the Maori and European perceptions of the function of the Land Court. The Court was clearly viewed [p91] by both as the place to settle disputes, however for the European, as expressed by Campbell the Resident Magistrate of Waiapu (AJHR 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875), the role of the Judge was to listen to evidence, decide ownership, and thereby to settle the dispute. For the Maori, from Mohi Turei's statement, the Court provided a forum in which a third party made up of Ngaati Porou kaumaatua (elders), probably in conjunction with the Judge (cf. McLean and the Chiefs' settlement of disputes, see page 87), mediated between the disputants, and through their knowledge, encouraged discussion leading to conciliation. Another speaker Tamati Tautuhi felt the need for an outsider, someone not involved or related to the disputants, to assist in the settlement:

'Kaore ra he tangata matou o ratou hei whiriwhiri,
ko nga tangata anake nana i whakapuaki enei tikanga.
- There are none among the people, possessing the requisite knowledge, besides those who opened up this question (i.e. interested parties).'
(Te Waka Maori 1st December 1874:297).

This is closer to the European view of the Land Court Judge than Mohi Turei's interpretation, Tamati Tautuhi does not appear to realise however, that the Land Court Judge will have absolute power in awarding ownership. Given that Ngaati Porou experience of land dispute settlement where Europeans were involved was for the most part limited to Te Makarini and Judge Rogan (see pages 85 and 87), who were both fluent speakers of Maori, well-versed in land matters, and of kaumaatua status because of their age, it is not surprising that at this time the 'protective' (tiaki) aspects of the Land Court were emphasised, and the Court was viewed as a path to peace and prosperity.

1875 Hui at Horoera - Raahui proclaimed

As soon as Te Houkamau's meeting was finished, negotiations were made by Iharaira Te Houkamau with Captain Porter for the lease of the Matakaoa [p92] Block. When surveyed the boundaries were laid out to accommodate Porter and Pitt's wishes (Te Hatiwira Houkamau, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:218). Negotiations were also made for other blocks, namely Pukeamaru, Raukumara, and Tututohora. To ensure the maximum co-operation of local Maori people, Porter discontinued the payment of 'earnest money', that is, advances on land prior to the Court investigations (cf. 1873 Native Lands Act), and instead deducted the survey cost from the overall payment for the land (Porter, AJHR 1876 G-5:9-10).

Iharaira Te Houkamau died in January 1875 (Te Waka Maori 23rd February 1875:48). One month after his tangi (funeral) Te Mokena Kohere held a meeting at Te Pakihi, where it was resolved to reserve the land from the Awatere River to the Maraehara Stream from sale (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:15). Nonetheless the resolution of the 1874 Hui was put into effect by Ropata Wahawaha who went to Turanga to apply for a Court sitting at Waiapu (Gisborne M.B. 1:277). Two weeks later Wikiriwhi Te Matauru[43] and Mokena Kohere held another meeting at Horoera to discuss the new rules[44] ('nga ritenga hou') made in the Waiapu district (Te Wananga 26th April 1875 Vol 1-2:77). The meeting opened with an address by Wikiriwhi te Matauru:

'Kua nui haere nei nga Reti ki roto o Waiapu, kua nui haere nga piihi e ruritia ana, kua ruritia nei te moni ki te papa tonu o te awa o Waiapu, kua whatoro nei te ringa o Ngati Porou ki te tango i te moni o Mangawaru. Ko Hikurangi Huka anake e tirohia atu ra, e ma mai ra, ko te moni ia kua pau te kai kua horomia rawatia, po: te puku nui rawa. Koia maua ko taku matua i mahara ai ka mate tatou a Ngati Porou.
- the leasing at Waiapu and the blocks that are surveyed are increasing, and the money is poured on the bed of river of Waiapu, and the hands of Ngati Porou has stretched out, and received the money for Mangawaru, it is only Hikurangi snow that can be seen, white, the money is consumed, and swallowed in their bellys. It is so, I and my uncle [elder?] thinks that we Ngatiporou will be mate.' (Te Wananga ibid). [p93]

Next Wikiriwhi confirmed the Pakihi decision for permanent land:

'Kaua te Hoko e uru ki roto, me te Reti. Engari hei whenua tuturu tenei mo tatou.
- No buying or leasing should enter on it. But [this land] will be a permanent land for ourselves.'

Te Hatiwira Houkamau agreed and outlined the area from Potikirua to Te Koau 'kia rinitia hei whenua tuturu mo tatou' - to be permanent land for ourselves (ibid:78). Rutene Hoenoa followed suit with the area from the Awatere River to the Karakatuwhero River, and Hemi Tawhena also agreed to join the area from the Karakatuwhero River to Te Koau to the permanent land (ibid). Then Mokena said:

'E kore ranei tenei Whenua e pakaia i te Hoko;
i te Reti ranei? Ka ki te Hui Katoa, Kahore.
Ka ki ano ra, ka pumau tenei Whenua hei Whenua
mo koutou, me a koutou tamariki

- will this Land not be broken by sale or lease, the whole meeting said, No. He also said, this Land is fixed to be a permanent Land for you and your children.'(ibid:78).

He also suggested that one or two kaitiaki or Pouherenga (Trustees) be appointed. Any person wishing to lease or buy land will apply to the Trustees, who will notify the chiefs and the tribe, and a meeting will be held to discuss the application (ibid). The resolutions of this meeting were signed [45] and sent to the newspaper for publication 'so that the Government will hear, and ... the Pakeha who desires to lease or buy land, [as well as] ... the whole tribe of Ngatiporou ... and so that the tribes of the Ika-nui-a-Maui Tikitiki a Taranga [the North Island] will see.' (ibid:77).

A third meeting was held at Maruhou by Hamahona and the same persons (Hamahona Puha, Wikiriwhi te Matauru, Wi Wanoa, and Anaru te Kahaki) were again selected as guardians (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:15).[p94]

Just as the Queen of England had her role as the Kaitiaki for the interchange between Maori and Pakeha confirmed by the Treaty of Waitangi, the role of these 'Pouherenga' (Trustees) was confirmed by the Horoera proclamation. Their role appears to be to safeguard the 'Whenua here' (ibid:79) - fixed land, to ensure that the 'correct' (tika) procedure (that is, the procedure agreed upon by all the people at the meeting) in land negotiations was followed. In practice this meant that land negotiations could no longer proceed 'by stealth', that is, without the consent of all the people, as in the negotiations for Pukeamaru, Raukumara, and Tututohora (Piriniha te Rito Waiapu M.B. 6:228; Hatiwira Houkamau Waiapu M.B. 11:197; Mita Hane Waiapu M.B. 42:14).

'The last meeting held in regard to the reservation of land was held at Waiapu, at Te Rahui ... perhaps 1883 or 1884 or thereabouts' (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block Waiapu M.B. 39:16). The resolutions of this meeting were taken to Wellington by Te Kahaki and presented to Ropata, who was a member of the Upper House (ibid):

'The position he held ["for this district at that time"] was as that of a Governor. The people knew that if Ropata supported the petition effect would be given to it, because Ropata was a friend of the Government party.' (ibid)

Following the published proclamation (in Te Wananga) all negotiations for land in the Matakaoa (Northern Waiapu) area ceased, and Matakaoa land remained outside the jurisdiction of the Land Court for over a decade. The success of the Matakaoa people’s proclamation was in part due to their support of the Government during the wars, in part to their relationship with McLean, and the willingness of his men, namely Captain Porter and Mr Locke, the Poverty Bay District officer, to follow Ngaati Porou directives. In practical terms however, with all the Waiapu titles to investigate, the Native Land Court had more than enough work to do on the East Coast.


In this chapter I have briefly outlined the experience of Maori and European interchange that Ngaati Porou carried into the Land Court. This has been done firstly, because evidence given in the Land Court, in both form and content, is given in terms of this shared experience, and secondly, because the kaitiaki frame of reference, which was reiterated by Ngaati Porou throughout this period, was I believe, applied to the Land Court. This scheme through the Treaty of Waitangi, and the Treaty of Kohimaarama, confirmed the Queen’s role as the Kaitiaki responsible for both the spiritual and human well-being of interchanges between Maori and Europeans. First she sent the Word of God - 'te Rongo Pai a te Atua' with the missionaries to unite or make equal - 'kia kotahi' the two peoples - 'nga iwi e rua'. Then she sent the Governor with the Law - ‘Te Ture’ to unite, or make equivalent the human side of the two peoples (see page 41). The Governor (or the Government) appointed representatives - Commissioners, Resident Magistrates, Members of the Legislative Council, Land Court Judges, Crown Agents, etc. to guard (tiaki) that everything in the interaction between the two cultures was in its 'proper' (tika) order.

What undermines this scheme is the difference between the Governor and the Government. From 1840 until 1852 (New Zealand Constitution Act) the Governor was the Law, from this time policy was increasingly decided by settler-elected national and provincial governments. The Governor continues to be appointed by the Queen, therefore he retains the guardianship of the human side of the interaction between the two people (Maori and Pakeha). The Government on the other hand, which holds the power to effect policy aims principally to satisfy its settler (or today Pakeha-dominated) electorates.


Chapter 3

[1] Te Kawakawa is now known as Te Araroa - 'the long path', and according to some it was named after the narrow hedged path which led to the missionary's dwelling (personal communication).

[2] This figure would have also included captives from other districts - Thames, Bay of Plenty, and Hawke's Bay.

[3] Rukuata was the younger brother of Te Irimana Houturangi, a Chief who attended the Kohimaarama Conference in 1860.

[4] Taumatakura was claimed to have introduced Christianity to the East Coast. In a battle against Whanau-a-Apanui tribe he carried the Bible through a hail of bullets completely unscathed.

[5] Both William Williams and William Yates were fluent speakers of Maori.

[6] I have not found this term used in any of the East Coast Maori texts.

[7] There is some indication of partnership between rangatira and tohunga - during the 1865 warfare on the East Coast. Mokena Kohere and the ‘Native teacher’ (of religion), Mohi Turei were constantly together, as were Te Houkamau and the Reverend Rota Waitoa.

[8] ‘before the New Zealanders concede the right and title of their lands to the British Crown without an adequate remuneration, they will rather lose their liberty, if not their lives: and surely the British Government will not for a rich or paltry gain enslave or extirpate a high spirited race in New Zealand when only ten or twelve years ago ... they paid twenty million pounds sterling to emancipate the Negro slaves in the West Indies,'
(Kissling, G.A. Report for Half-Year ending lst July 1845, CN/M 15:497).

[9] The Chief of Ngaati Hokopu, a sub-tribe of Ngaati Porou, at Rangitukia. His brother Kakatarau signed the Treaty of Waitangi. Mokena Kohere was instrumental in creating the 'whenua tuturu' - permanent land of Matakaoa in 1875 (see page 92) which literally saved the land from sale.

[10] From the number of these sites it appears to me that they were occupied temporarily, although this is not directly stated in the Land Court evidence which was tailored to show permanent occupation.

[11] A large feast was held to commemorate the erection of the main post for St. John's Church at Rangitukia on the 27th December 1854:

Rawiri Rangikatia performed the ceremony of depositing a bottle containing coins and a paper and erecting the post. Many assisting him. I read over a copy of the paper contained in the bottle which read as follows "This main post of the Church of God was erected by Rawiri Rangikatea Chief of Waiapu, Rev. Charles Baker Minister, Pita Whakangaua Teacher, Nikorima Tamarerekau the Chief Builder. The name of the Church is St. John on the 27th day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty four."
(Baker, C. Notes for Journal 27th December 1854 MS22).

After the post was erected a hymn was sung, and psalm 122 was read by Rev. Rota Waitoa. The ceremony concluded with gun fire, then 500 to 600 people sat down to a feast (ibid). Similar ceremonies were held throughout the Matakaoa district, and by 1857 Churches were built at Te Kawakawa, Te Horo, and Tuparoa (Baker, C. Notes for Journal 1854 - 1857 MS22).

[12] Taawhara are the edible bracts surrounding the kiekie fruit (Crowe, A. 198:32).

[13] Some foodstuffs were steeped in water to encourage fermentation. Kaanga pirau - 'rotten corn' produced by this process is well-known for its pungent smell.

[14] A maara is a plot of ground under cultivation (Williams, H. 1975:180).

[15] 'an area of 8 acres' (Bishop Selwyn to the Colonial Secretary, 10th May 1843 MS273 Vol 6:95).

[16] Only the typescript is available.

[17] In 1846 Stack suffered from a mental breakdown and was sent back to England. Kissling only returned to Te Kawakawa to collect his household goods as his doctor advised him to reside near medical expertise (in 1843 Kissling was 67). Reay was sent to Rangitukia in 1847 but after only one year there, he died.

The mission effort at Matakaoa was therefore sustained by resident 'native teachers', supplemented by visits from William Williams and Charles Baker until Rota Waitoa, the first Maori to be ordained, became the resident missionary in 1853. In 1854 Charles Baker shifted to reside at Rangitukia.

[1] From this time Te Irimana Houturangi referred to himself as Te Irimana Tirohia (the one seen) in all correspondence to the Governor (compare Te Waka Maori o Ahuriri 1st April 1865:6).

[19] Kiwi is the name Europeans gave to Iharaira Te Houkamau, the Chief of Whanau-a-Tuwhakairiora [Deed of Transfer] of Te Aroaro to the [p98] C.M.S. in Selwyn, G.A. Papers MS273 Vol 6). Tame may refer to Tame Atkena an early trader on the East Coast, although the New Zealand Gazette stated that the registered owners were Ngaati Porou.

[20] Compare Te Harawira Huriwai’s evidence quoted on page 47. Wheat was grown at Horoera under the direction of Mokena, to purchase a ship which they called Mereana (Mary Anne). Two horses (a mare and a stallion) were also purchased.

[21] See Footnote 14.

[22] Tom Atkins (Tame Atkena see footnote 14) a resident trader at Te Awanui from 1843 (AJHR 1863 E-16:8-9).

[23] See footnote 9.

[24] Matutaera later became known as King Tawhiao.

[25] Ancestors in whom the best lines of Ngaati Porou converged.

[26] 'Them seem to take mischievous delight in teasing the opposition party, taunting them with the want of means to carry out their plans, and not least of all caricaturing the presumption of Matutaera in assuming to reign over "Nga mokopuna a Hinematioro."'

(Baker, W. to McLean, D. 10th November 1862, McLean Papers MS32, folder 149).

[27] Patara or Butler was the second-ranking Pai Marire leader (Oliver, W. and Thomson, J. 1971:91).

[28] The Chiefs Henare Nihoniho and Makoare were killed in this fight (Kohere, R. 1949:53).

[29] While wounded, a nephew of Mokena Kohere was captured by the Hauhau and ‘cruelly cut to pieces’ (Diary July 1865, Octavo Sequence Box V, McLean Papers MS32).

[30] When McLean died Ropata Wahawaha and Henare Potae went to his grave at Napier. This waiata was sung:

Makarini i konei -
Na wai koe i hoake
Hei whaka matatu
Te au moa iho te moe
Tutoko tonu au Ko Matariki te rite.
Na te aroha ra

Nana i ata toro ake -
He korou ka tu
Ki roto Nepia
Te mariri noa te
Rangi o te aroha, i'

(Henare Potae 21st February 1877 in Te Waka Maori 13th March 1877:68)

The Waiapu Chiefs also sent letters of condolence and advice to McLean’s son (Te Waka Maori ibid:67-68). When several Parliamentary attacks were made on McLean's character, after his death, the Ngaati Porou Chiefs rose to his defence through letters to Te Waka Maori.

[31] According to McLean (Notes 24th May 1866 Octavo Sequence Box V, McLean Papers MS32) 500 people were killed in the East Coast fighting, and 87 of them died in this battle (Kohere, R. 1949:55).

[32] PAIKEA was the great ancestor of the East Coast who migrated from Hawaiki on the back of a sea monster (Nepia Pohuhu, AJHR 1880 G-8:14).

[33] RUAWAIPU was an ancestress from TOI whose descendants occupied the Northern Waiapu before the arrival of the HOROUTA canoe (Ngata, Sir A. 1944 Lecture 2:3-4).

[34] This boundary, which appears to have been recognised by McLean, at least before 1873 (see page 76), excluded the whole of the Northern Waiapu from confiscation.

[35] According to Reweti Kohere the Hauhau Ngaati Porou were 'unconditionally pardoned' by Mokena Kohere (1949:59).

[36] There is no evidence to suggest how they were notified that their land was taken, but probably by published proclamation of the 1866 and 1867 East Coast Titles Investigation Act and Amendment Acts.

[37] In response to the Ngaati Porou effort on behalf of the Government against the Hauhau in 1865 Governor Grey suspended the power of the 1863 New Zealand Settlements Act from the East Coast. For this reason special legislation had to be passed to separate 'rebels' from their land. In 1866 the East Coast Titles Investigation Act was passed - like the 1863 Act it did not receive the Queen’s assent (Preece to the Governor 27th March 1868, AJHR 1868 A-16:2). A clerical error in the 1866 Act made the 1867 Amendment Act necessary, however it was never put into operation as the 1868 hostilities on the East Coast precluded the holding of Land Court investigations.

[38] 'with the exception of Henare Potae who refused to sign it ... as ... he had written to the Government for the loan of some money, and ... feared if they saw his name ... he would not get it' (Preece, J. to the Governor 25th April 1868, AJHR 1868 A-16:6).

[39] They were both 'McLean's men', and it will be recalled that McLean was sufficiently conversant with Maori interpretation of the Queen to foster the Chiefs' belief in a 'protective' (tiaki) and benevolent Monarch at the Kohimaarama Conference in 1860.

[40] Wiremu Keiha's (son?), certainly his close associate.

[41] When this land was investigated by the Land Court Wiremu Keiha and Paora Haenga were on the same side.

[42] In 1872 during a visit to Wellington an argument between Mokena Kohere and Karaitiana Takamoana (the East Coast Parliamentary [p100] representative) sprang up concerning McLean's motives -

E ki ana koe (a Karaitiana) na te mea he reo
Maori a Te Makarini i riro ai nga whenua a nga
Maori! Ata! Ko te whenua e korero na koe na te
Kawanatanga o Te Tapeta ano i tango i mua atu!'

- You (Karaitiana) say that because McLean speaks Maori the lands of the Maori people have been taken! Be careful! The land will speak before you and the Government of Russell (?) take possession of it.

(Mohi Turei Te Waka Maori 8th January 1873:4).

For this reason Ngaati Porou felt they needed their own representative in Parliament (ibid).

[43] Wikiriwhi te Matauru (Matehenoa) attended the conference at Kohimaarama in 1860.

[44] This refers to the lifting of the 1866 prohibition on land sales (cf. Locke page 88, and the Resolutions of the 1874 Hui at Wharekahika).

[45] The resolutions were signed by:

Wikiriwhi te Matauru  Henare Kaiwai
Mokena Kohere  Perahama Kuri
Wiremu Wanoa  Naera Tarawa
Irimana Houturangi  Paora Pokaia
Wi Pahuru  Epiniha te Awhikakatiu
Hatiwira Houkamau  Te Teira Rangiaia
Muera Rangipurua  Pehimana Horua
Rutene Hoenoa  Te Hatiwira te Kuhu
Hemi Tawhena  Hamapira Kakatarau
Hone Mokena  Hoani Matauru
Wiremu Keiha  Tiopira Rorirori
Hoani Ngatai  Hotene Tuanui
Anaru Kahaki  Hare Taua
Te Wananga 26th April 1875:78-79).

[p101-103 - Map of Matakoa and District - not available]



I. The First Period 1875 - 86 (i) By Invitation: Judge Rogan’s Court of 1875; (ii) ‘Let that Court be Stopped Absolutely’: Judge Mackay and Judge Wilson’s Court of 1885 - 6.

II. The Second Period 1894 - 1909 (i) The First Sitting at Te Araroa: Judge Gudgeon’s Court of 1894; (ii) The Second Sitting at Te Araroa: Judge Sim’s Court of 1908 - 9.

From the previous chapter the reader has some understanding of the national-provincial and the Maori-European context in which the Maori Land Court at Matakaoa was established. While the Court proceedings are presented separately in this account they should be regarded as a continuation of the ‘negotiative’[1] process between Maori and European over land in this area.

In brief, the Native Lands Acts from 1865 to 1909 expanded the role of the Land Court. The 1865 Act had set up the Land Court to investigate the titles to land held under Maori customary practice. However by 1909 the Land Court was also expected to list and ascertain the proportionate shares of all owners, determine successions to personal estates, investigate the partitioning of land, render land inalienable or remove any such restrictions, inquire into the bona fides of any European purchaser and ensure sufficient land remained for the support of owners before land was registered as transferred, settle disputes between owners over the administration of their land.[2]

This account is concerned primarily with the investigations of title to land in the Matakaoa district of the East Coast (Te Tai Rawhiti). The Court sessions fall into two groupings: those sittings held outside of Matakaoa [3] which correspond to early investigations (1875 - 86), and those held in Matakaoa itself, which correspond to the late sessions (1894 - 1909). The majority of the title investigations to Matakaoa land were conducted in four sessions spaced roughly ten years apart. During each of the ten year intervals both the land legislation and the role of the Land Court (Judge) changed:

If the attention of the Court or Judges is called to what has occurred on the same point in a previous Court they will say they are not guided by other Judges but by their own experience. There is no uniformity of practice in the Native Land Court.’

Colonel Porter of Land Court proceedings held on the East Coast in evidence 1891 Commission into Native Tenure AJHR 1891 G-1:12).[4]

I have therefore chosen to describe each of these Court sessions separately. On one level the sessions were distinct, but on another level they were continuous. The evidence given in each succeeding Court session clearly shows that claimants watched the Judge closely to see what material he based his judgments on. In the next session this material was stressed as ‘proof’ of ownership by the local people in Court: In 1894 judgments hinged on the boundaries and names included in the gazetted application[5] for investigation of title - in the next session, 1908, claimants produced these applications as Court exhibits to ‘prove’ land ownership.


I. The First Period 1875 - 1886

The earliest investigations of land in the Matakaoa district involved inland blocks under investigation for purchase or lease by Captain (later Colonel) Porter[6] on behalf of the Crown. In general the official personnel of these investigations included a Land Court Judge, a ‘Native’ Assessor from another tribal district, an interpreter, a clerk, and a District Officer or Government Agent. The Court sessions held at Waiapu - Waipiro, Waiomatatini, and Port Awanui - were crowded. As many local people as could fit into the Church in 1875; the schoolhouse in 1885-6, or could listen to Court [p106] proceedings from outside, were present. Large groups of local people seldom attended Court sessions held further away, such as at Opotiki or Uawa; instead they appointed local individuals to represent their interests in Court. Once a case had been advertised for investigation by the Court it was the responsibility of all the other parties interested in the land to be present (irrespective of the distance the Court session was held from the block of land) in Court to defend their claims. Near the front were the key figures of the Court - the leading speakers of each party, the Chiefs or sons of Chiefs, and the old people; each party with its ‘kaiwhakahaere’ (conductor) and witnesses. Proceedings were conducted in Maori. The Court often opened with ‘great pomp’ and ceremony - ‘all being dressed in mats with feathers in the hair’ and speeches of welcome (Judge Mair, W.G. Diary 21st August 1883). A list of ‘New claims’ was read, and it was decided between the Judge and the leading persons present which, and in what order the claims were to be investigated. The brevity of the 1875 investigations - one to four pages of recorded evidence including a list of owners’ names, with a single claimant standing to relate his or her right to land through descent and occupation on behalf of his or her hapuu - clearly shows (and accounts of this are given in the evidence) that any disputes between opposing interests had been sorted out at meetings before-hand. In 1885-6 however, differences were not as effectively compromised at pre-Court meetings, and titles to land were contested in Court by one or more parties. By this session, from their experience of the Court investigations of Waiapu land, in which many of them shared interests, the Matakaoa people knew that unless their interests were stated in Court (rather than compromised at pre-Court meetings and then disregarded in Court), they lost their land. Court decisions were irrevocable [7] and land ownership was fixed for ever. The party recognised by the Court as the claimant (rather than the counter-claimant) was able to present their evidence and cross-examine after all the [p107] other parties had completed their case. Claimants were also generally awarded ownership, although Judge Rogan stated that the counter-claimants’ case was the most important to consider (AJHR 1877 G-5:37). The first party to apply for a hearing was commonly declared the claimant, and a situation developed in which ‘owners’ competed with one another to have their land investigated. The party declared the counter-claimant opened their case by giving evidence ‘in Chief’, that is each witness proceeded with their account without interruption, except for prompting by their own kaiwhakahaere, then they were cross-examined by the conductors of the other parties. At any time during these cross-examinations the Judge or the Assessor could ask for points of clarification. In the contested cases requests were often made by one party for an inspection of the Block under investigation. Most of these requests were granted and the Judge, the Assessor, and a party of claimants from each side went to the Block to examine the marks of occupation. In some instances this involved a distance of about thirty miles on horseback and the Court had to adjourn for three to four days (Judge Mair, W. Diary 11th December 1884). After all the evidence had been given by each party, the Court adjourned to prepare the judgment. During these early sessions the judgments were generally confirmations of the decisions reached by parties outside the Court (Matakaoa Block 1875), however where ownership was contested (1885-6) the judgments were prepared by the Judge and Assessor (the contribution made by Assessors varied according to the Judge in charge) overnight. In most cases the judgments were read aloud in Court in Maori, or both English and Maori (Judge Gudgeon, Waiapu M.B. 14).[8] After the lists of ‘owners’ had been read in Court and the few objections, as to the inclusion or exclusion of certain names, settled, the Judge ordered a ‘Memorial of Ownership’ (1873 Act) or ‘Certificate of Title’ (1880 Native Lands Court Act see page 119).


(i) By Invitation: Judge Rogan’s Court of 1875

It does not appear to me that I can settle this matter. I will therefore adjourn the Court for a short time, and if you will discuss the matter outside you will do much better.’

Judge Rogan of his Land Court procedure in evidence Commission of Native Tenure AJHR 1891 G-1:59).


In 1874 at the Wharekahika Hui held by Iharaira Te Houkamau, Ngaati Porou decided to invite the Native Land Court to Waiapu to investigate land. After Iharaira Te Houkamau’s death in January 1875, meetings were held by Wikiriwhi Matauru and Mokena Kohere which resulted in the placing of a raahui (proclamation prohibiting the sale or lease of Matakaoa land) over the Matakaoa district to safeguard the land for the people and their children (Te Wananga 26th April 1875:7; Porter AJHR 1875 C-4:3; Te Harawira Huriwai Waiapu M.B. 39:15). Nevertheless Ropata Wahawaha put the 1874 decision into effect and applied to have the Court come to Waiapu. The first case to be gazetted for investigation by the Land Court at Waipiro (Waiapu) in 1875 was the Matakaoa Block. This block had been leased in 1874 by Iharaira Te Houkamau to Captain Porter. According to the Waiapu Resident Magistrate’s report, 1875 was the first year since the outbreak of war in 1865, that food was plentiful (Campbell AJHR 1875 G-1:15). Given the staging required for Land Court sessions, which like the Wharekahika Hui were well-attended, and that all those present had to be fed by the local people (see page 89), this was important.

As the first block to be heard by the Waiapu Court, the Matakaoa Block was a test-case. Like all blocks investigated by the Court, the Matakaoa Block had to be surveyed prior to the Court’s investigation of title. According to several claimants during the investigation of an adjoining block in 1908, - the Wharekahika Block - the survey of Matakaoa had been incorrect: ‘the original survey was made to take in the best portions of [p109] the land for Matakaoa the portion leased’ (Waiheke Turera, Waiapu M.B.40:141), although no objections had been raised when the survey was conducted in 1874 under the guidance of Wi Pahuru,[9] a leading ‘kaumaatua’ of Wharekahika. In May 1875, one week before the Court was due to open at the small coastal settlement of Waipiro, local Maori people held a meeting at Wharekahika to settle the take for the Matakaoa Block (Manahi Parapara, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B.41:120). The term take refers to the (1) root or stump, (2) base of a hill etc, (3) cause or reason, (4) means, (5) origin or beginning, (6) post in the palisading of a paa, (7) subject of an argument, (8) incantation or charm, (9) Chief, head of a hapuu or iwi (William, H. 1975:370). When this term is considered in conjunction with whakapapa which were given in Court to support claims to land, and that whakapapa is ‘the process of laying one thing upon another’ (Ngata, Sir A. 1944 Raurunui-a-Toi Lecture 1:6), in the way the flax plant characteristically grows - two ‘nurse or parent’ leaves give rise to two new leaves, which in turn become ‘nurse or parent’ leaves, which give rise to two more new leaves, and on through succeeding generations - then the several meanings of take converge. If one visualises the foundation ancestors as the outside leaves with the next and succeeding generations emerging from them in orderly progression, then the take of land are the foundation or outside leaves (or ancestors) from whom the people, and therefore their claims to land emerge. Interest in the Land Court was high and all those who attended the take meeting at Wharekahika, went to the Court at Waipiro (Manahi Parapara, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B.41:120).

The Court opened at Waipiro on the 17th May 1875 in a building formerly used as a church. Given that the Queen as the Kaitiaki between Maori and Pakeha first united the spiritual side of the two people through the Word of God, and then united their human side by the Law, the choice of a church as a Courtroom was significant; it combined both spiritual [p110] and physical laws.

The Waipiro Court sat under the 1873 Native Lands Act and the 1874 Amendment Act and was presided over by Judge Rogan and Assessor Hone Peti. Rogan, a former surveyor, Land Purchase Commissioner, and Resident Magistrate at Kaipara, had held several Court sessions at Turanga and Uawa in 1870 (see pages 84-85), apparently much to the satisfaction of the people there:

Te taenga mai nei a Te Rokena ratou ko ona hoa Ateha, katahi ahau ka kite me te mea nei ano ko te ra ka rere ake i te rua, ka tata te awatea
- When Mr Rogan and his Assessors arrived here, it was to me as if the sun had risen from his bed and the light of day approached.’

Wi Pere in Te Waka Maori 2nd November 1875: 262-3).[10]

Hone Peti was of Ngaa Puhi, from the Bay of Islands. His tribe had almost decimated Ngaati Porou through one-sided musket warfare in the eighteen-twenties (see page 33), but since that time some links of marriage had been created between the two tribes. In almost every Waiapu Court session the Assessors were from Ngaa Puhi. Originally the Assessors appointed to the Land Court were Chiefs who had remained employed by the Government in the Ruunanga system (see page 24). Their function under that system was to settle all matters concerning their own people. Their new office extended their influence to other tribes but only in matters concerning land. While there is some evidence that differences in tribal practices (and therefore probably customs relating to land ownership) were appreciated by Government policy-makers, it was superseded by the problem of finding disinterested parties to settle land ownership.

It is difficult to ascertain which Chiefs were present in the Court on this occasion (and which were not) other than those recorded as giving evidence, however because Ngaati Porou’s opposition to the introduction of Government land purchase policy to their territory was relatively strong (Porter, AJHR 1875 C-4:3), any matter concerning land and Government was certain to have ensured a high attendance.


The Court Proceedings

After the list of claims for the Court session had been read, Major Ropata Wahawaha[11] requested an adjournment for one day as ‘the claimants to several blocks of land set down for investigation, had not yet arrived’ (Gisborne M.B. 2:123). As no objection was made, the Court assented and adjourned. The next day Major Ropata requested that several of the cases gazetted for this Court be adjourned to a future sitting; the application was granted (ibid). The first case called was Matakaoa, a block of 3,049 acres. Te Hatiwira Houkamau,[12] the eldest son of Iharaira Te Houkamau, stood to represent his people, and after being sworn[13] in he began:

I live at Matakaoa, the name of my tribe is - Whanau a TuWhakairiora, sub tribe of Ngatiporou, I know the land shewn on the map before the Court. The survey was ordered by my father Iharaira Houkamau, the boundaries were pointed out by Wi Pahuru, there was no dispute, I have a claim to this land and come from thence to prefer it - I was sent by the owners. We claim through right of conquest. The cause of quarrel which caused the fight ending in our obtaining possession of the land claimed, was one of our people was thrown over a cliff and killed - None of the original owners remain, they are exterminated. It is nine generations ago since we obtained the land - We are now in possession.

I put in a list of owners together with myself - The names of the Ancestors from whom we inherit the land are

Hukarere, and ) Brother
Makahuri ) (Brother)

The owners are

firstly descendants of Hukarere

Hatiwira Houkamau
Petera Houkamau
Wingara Houkamau
Iritana Houkamau
Henare Potae
Mohi Kahua
Renata Pouwaka
Watene Tawa
Mereraiha Hinetukua
Ripeka Paia
Irimana Houturangi
Hamaima Ketehinau
Watene Parakau
Hona Hautonga
Te Keepa Matoeohanga
Matiu Rumaki
Te Kooti Te Kaka
Katene Ngatoko
Wi Pahuru
Riria Puahau
Heni Pawhatai
Te Wikiriwhi Matauru
Te muera Te Muru
Manahi Parapara
Hiria Te Oriki
Hera Rumaki
Te Rana Waitaiki
Heni Torori
Ripeka Hinewekuweku
Potene Tuhiwai
Heni Kahiwa      and at page 167 -

Objectors challenged.

None appeared

I apply that judgment in this case may be deferred till Thursday ……

MATAKAOA (cont)     20 May, 1875

brought forward from page 126

Mita Kapaawai
Arapera Totoro
Rawinia Katae
Ripeka Matauru
Hoani Matauru
Renata Tihore
Mere Tiraiwi
Hare Kopa Kopa
Katerina Ratenga
Mere Karaka Tiratapu
Piniha Rangahau
Mihaka Tieke
Ruiha Tieke
Hoterena Tunuaruhe
Makere Pahuru
Rupene Tieke
Te Whara
Hamiora Taitua
Iharaira Kaeha
Maraea Kaeha
Te Kapa
Wiremu Potae
Keriana Potae
Wi Takeke
Mereana Kawa Kawa
Harete Houkamau
Pita Houkamau
Pepi Tahuna
Hana Mahikino     63 names

Memorial of Ownership ordered
for Matakaoa 3049 acres

Hearing £2)
Mem of 0 1)      £3-0-0

Hatiwira applied that the following persons be
appointed Receiver of Rent for

Matakaoa”     Hatiwira Houkamau
                         Wi Pahuru
                         Irimana Houturangi
                         Te muera Rangipurua
                         Te Keepa Tieke
                         Wikiriwhi Matauru[14]

Approved - ’

Gisborne M.B. 2:124-6; 167).

A Discussion

If one considers the Maori Land Court as the arena in which Maori cultural ties with the land were translated into European concepts of ownership, although in the name of ‘native customary title to land’ - which was difficult to define even by 1861 as native land customs varied between districts (AJHR 1861 E-1:6, 20) - then it is necessary to focus on the two culture’s interpretations of the same situation. In many respects the two interpretations must have coincided sufficiently for the Court to proceed. Waiapu people had gained some familiarity with Court procedure through Grey’s Ruunanga system (a reinforcement of their existing experimentation with Pakeha law), the Resident Magistrate’s Court at Waiapu (which was run by the Chiefs in much the same way Ropata Wahawaha conducted the Maori Land Court), and accounts, if not first hand experience (cf. Mohi Turei’s appearance in Court at Uawa in 1870 see page 85), of the Land Court sittings at Turanganui and Uawa. However beyond these procedural [p114] understandings are ‘taken for granted’ aspects of culture which have greater significance when attempts are being made to translate a key concern - land ownership - from one culture into another. These considerations may have resulted in cross-cultural misinterpretation, sometimes unconscious, which may have affected the conclusions reached by the Court.

The lack of opposition in Court to the evidence and list of owners clearly demonstrated the justness of the claim in European cultural terms - ‘silence gives consent’, but more than one culture was operating in the Court and it was possible that Maori opposition would have been expressed differently - perhaps by non-attendance at the Court. When a meeting was convened by Hohepa Karapaina for instance, around 1894, to discuss the history of Wharekahika, one of the Chiefs did not attend. Another Chief would not allow the discussion to proceed without him; a letter was sent but the Chief continued in his refusal to attend, claiming it ‘was a bastard meeting’ (Manahi Parapara, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41:124). In 1885 Wi Ropata told the Court that ‘Many of his [Tuwhakataukai] descendants don’t approve of Mere Katene’s line, which is the reason they have not come before the Court’ (Ahirau Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:157). Some claimants in later cases suggested that many of those in Court during the Matakaoa investigation were intoxicated (ibid:120) but such statements are difficult to assess. There is no indication in the Minute Books that there was any disturbance in Court, although six months earlier Rogan had adjourned his Court at Gisborne ‘in consequence of the confusion and uproar caused by the Natives during the hearing of the evidence of ----------’ (Motu Block, Gisborne M.B. 1:261), and it is possible that such statements were used to destroy the credibility of the opposing claimant’s evidence. Rogan’s experience in land issues and Hone Peti’s assistance would have overcome some cultural differences, but their unfamiliarity in 1875 with the Waiapu people, and [p115] their legal position which prevented the discussion of Court issues outside the Court (Rogan AJHR 1877 G-5:37; Hone Peti ibid:40) meant that opposition could have existed outside the Courtroom without their being aware of it. While such ‘unexpressed opposition’ in European terms was unlikely for the Matakaoa investigation, there appears to have been some local criticism (from Waiapu residents whose rights to Matakaoa had been overlooked?) of Te Hatiwira Houkamau’s evidence. Four months after the judgment was delivered by Rogan, Te Hatiwira Houkamau wrote to Te Waka Maori (although the letter was not published) and received the following reply:

If this case [Matakaoa] should again be heard by the Court, that will be the proper time and place for all parties to go into the question of ancestry. In the meantime, what is said by opposing claimants, out of Court, will have no effect.’
(Te Waka Maori 21st September 1875).

Until Maori people were sufficiently familiar with Court proceedings, which assumed that people with ‘legitimate’ claims would attend to press their interests even against the word of their Chiefs should their rights be disregarded, the situation was fraught with possible cultural misinterpretation.

From the Minute Books there is no indication that the evidence took the form of whaikoorero (formal speech given on a marae or in similar situations) with an opening tauparapara and greeting, a kaupapa - the main body of the speech, and a whakamutunga - closing waiata (chant) (Mahuta, R. 1973). However speeches of welcome made to the Court on the first day of any hearing were not recorded, although occasionally a list of who spoke is given in the Minute Books. When the Court closed ‘the usual valedictory speeches were made by the Natives and replied to by the Court’ (Waiapu M.B 43:295) but again they were not recorded. In some investigations waiata and haka were given in Court as evidence but never recorded. Even today people seldom speak publicly in a Maori situation without some preface of [p116] greeting. It is therefore quite likely that Te Hatiwira Houkamau’s evidence was prefaced by a formal opening that was not recorded and that his evidence represents the kaupapa of his speech.

Although Te Hatiwira had succeeded his father as the Chief, he was relatively young (30-40 years) in Maori terms to be speaking with authority on a matter of tribal importance. Outside of the Court high-ranking elders of Wharekahika such as Te Irimana Houturangi and Wi Pahuru would probably have spoken before him. It is not clear whether these kaumaatua attended the Land Court, certainly Mokena Kohere never did (Kohere, R. 1949:38), instead his interests were represented by his son Tuhaka Mokena. While Mokena Kohere’s grandson attributes his non-attendance to indifference (ibid) it is also possible that he was not prepared to submit his mana to a Pakeha institution. The older Chiefs may well have seen their position as similar to that of the Judge and Assessor (cf. pages 85-87) - certainly Te Irimana Houturangi had seen the Chiefs’ and Governor’s roles as similar in 1860, and Te Makarini (McLean) settled a dispute with the Chiefs’ assistance in 1872, and if this was so, the Chiefs’ participation in Court proceedings except as decision-makers was most unlikely. In order to meet the rapid changes taking place selected individuals of the next generation were primed to represent their people’s interests in a Pakeha world; these individuals often became the kaiwhakahaere - conductors of Maori Land Court cases. What is interesting is that many of those selected were not the eldest sons of the Chiefly lines,[15] but rather the second sons, and it is possible at least for that generation that the mana Maori held aloof from Pakeha jurisdiction. It was not until the following generation that the ability to operate both Maori and Pakeha cultural worlds could be found in single individuals, rather than in a family group.

The Nature of the Evidence

Te Hatiwira began his evidence by placing himself spatially (from [p117] Matakaoa) and by descent (of Whanau-a-Tuwhakairiora, and therefore descended from Tuwhakairiora) on the landscape appropriate to this claim. Having established his father’s mana to order the survey of Matakaoa without opposition (and thereby his own mana), he went on to demonstrate his people’s support (willingness to have him represent their claims) and established his right to speak. He briefly demonstrated his knowledge of the history of the land, claiming by conquest - ‘None of the original owners remain, they are exterminated’, continuous occupation - ‘nine generations’, and descent - he named the two ancestors from whom the land was inherited. Te Hatiwira Houkamau’s evidence was brief because at this time pre-Court meetings were held to discuss conflicting take and all disputes were settled, often by compromise, outside the Court. In this way a united front - traditionally adopted - could be presented to the outsider, in this case, the Judge. A careful inspection of the list of ‘owners’ reveals several people who lived in the Matakaoa district, but not at Hicks Bay (Mere Karaka, Hona Hautonga, Wikiriwhi Matauru ... ), and others who lived outside the Matakaoa district (Henare Potae and Porter’s wife Herewaka), all of whom were close kin of the Wharekahika people. While judgments appear to emphasise occupation as a criterion of ownership the Matakaoa list suggests that for the Maori people in Court in 1875 ‘potential occupancy’, that is the right to occupy land by descent and therefore through kin ties was at least as important as actual occupation (cf. page 48). In a sense the list of ‘owners’ is a reaffirmation of kin ties and the land from which they grew (or the ancestor from whom they ascend), the physical embodiment of their relationship to one another. All the main names of the area appear to be included and if these Chiefs represent the interests of their people, then the number of ‘owners’ may be much greater than indicated by the list.


As the year following this Court sitting was free from ‘land disputes of importance’ (Campbell AJHR 1876 G-1:29), it is probable the Court session [p118] was viewed by both Maori and European as successful. For many Pakeha the Court was viewed ‘as an instrument for acquiring lands for the Government’ (Locke, AJHR 1877 G-5:5), for others ‘the prestige of the Court should be maintained as an unprejudiced tribunal’ (ibid). In some sense the former quotation is appropriate since the land - the Matakaoa Block - that passed through the 1875 Waipiro Court was in fact, leased, however Rogan and Peti’s Court appears to have been conducted along lines similar to Iharaira Te Houkamau’s mediation of disputes, and McLean and the Chiefs’ settlement of the dispute between Wiremu Keiha and Paora Haenga in 1872 (see pages 86-87) where mana remained in Maori hands. In 1876 Tuta Nihoniho of Ngaati Porou wrote of Rogan:

[he] is a fair and impartial Judge; he gives every man a fair hearing each one can advance his claims freely, and whoever has right (tika) on his side is right, and whoever has wrong (he) is wrong’.
(Te Waka Maori 8th August 1876:2).

Certainly Rogan and Peti’s judgments[16] confirmed decisions made outside the Court, or in the case of dispute they tried to mediate between the two parties to enable them to work out their own compromise. The role played by the Land Court in 1875 at Waipiro fits well within the expectations of the Kaitiaki frame of reference, namely that the Governor (or Government) appointed Europeans and Maori (Judges and Assessors) to ensure (tiaki) that land disputes were settled, that is to see that the ‘proper’ (tika) order - peace and harmony, was maintained (see page 66).

Campbell, the Resident Magistrate of Waiapu, noted that although little land had passed through the Court, the first sitting ‘had the good effect of removing the prejudices which many of the Natives were previously possessed’ (AJHR 1875 G-1:15). Despite settler lobbying urging the Government to take ‘more effective steps for getting hold of the Ngatiporou country’ (Taranaki Budget cited in Maori in Te Wananga 16th April 1875:62) - a comment unlikely to inspire Ngaati Porou confidence in European intentions - [p119] land purchase of the East Coast proceeded cautiously:

it is not my intention to solicit the cession of lands, but to explain the equitable wishes of the Government upon the subject, and so let the Natives themselves offer blocks.’
(Porter, Land Commissioner appointed by Ngaati Porou at Wharekahika in 1874, AJHR 1875 C 4:3).

In October 1875 Major Ropata Wahawaha went to Gisborne to arrange a further Land Court sitting at Waiapu (Te Wananga 6th November 1875:335).

(ii) ‘Let that Court be Stopped Absolutely’: Judge Mackay and Judge Wilson’s Court of 1885-6.

'The Court refused to grant the applications [that all cases before the Court be withdrawn] made and stated that summonses would be issued to compel those of applicants who refused to attend to appear before the Court when the cases were called.’
(Judge Mackay, A. 16th March 1885, Waiapu M.B. 7B:222).


Between 1875 and 1885 Ngaati Porou continued to operate politically along tribal lines (see Resolutions made at Wharekahika in 1874 page 90). In 1880 they sent men to support the Government against Te Whiti at Parihaka (Henare Pereto (Bristow), Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 43:307), but they were also involved in the Kotahitanga Movement[17] (which later became known as the Maori Parliament) at this time. The old regime - McLean’s Native Department, which had proved so effective in protecting Ngaati Porou land from alienation between 1865 and 1875, had been superseded. The Native Department’s budget had been greatly reduced and the Land Court moved under the control of the Department of Justice. Under the 1880 Native Lands Court Act Court procedure was brought into line with the Courts of Justice: Prima facie cases were stated, conductors or lawyers were expected to appear on behalf of clients, each witness was required to present fresh evidence, Judges were trained solicitors ‘The Chief Judge says he must have lawyers’ (Wilson, J. 1884:8), and the Judge’s power was extended to include the using of law [p120] enforcement - summonses, fines, imprisonment, etc. - on people who were, in the opinion of the Judge, disruptive (even wasting the Court’s time) to Court procedure. Several Land Court Judges (among them Rogan) had retired and been replaced by solicitors - trained in law but not in native customary law (ibid:7).

Local county councils had been established and in their fervour to become financially independent, the pressure for land for European settlement intensified. Cook County Council, whose boundaries extended from Cape Runaway to Paritu (Mackay, J. 1949:397), urged the Government to hold Land Court sittings (to the Native Department, 10th December 1878, Letter Book I:246) and to lift the inalienability clauses from native lands: ‘such a restriction ... [was] an insuperable barrier to the settlement of large areas of land within the County’ (12th October 1880 ibid:529). Between 1876 and 1880 the Court was held at Waiomatatini for one month per year; usually in March or April when food was plentiful. Waiomatatini is a full day’s ride on horseback from Matakaoa, provided the Waiapu River is fordable. In response to the Council’s pressure for land the length and frequency of Waiapu Land Court sessions were increased so that more titles to land were investigated, and more land became potentially available for purchase. Land purchases, by Government agents and European settlers, could only be finalised after the Land Court had investigated the title and awarded ownership. On the other hand, one Land Court Judge contended, following Judge Young’s death from exposure after visiting the Waiapu, that ‘Waiomatatini was not ... a fit place to send a Court to in the winter’ (Wilson, J.A. 1884:33).

Several requests were sent to the Cook Council from Waiapu people for the extension and improvement of roading in their district (Piniha Ratapu, Hirini Ahunuku, Apirana Toko ara na matou katoa 19th October 1877; Pene Waipapa and others of Waiapu 14th November 1881; Henderson, E. of Matakaoa [p121] 2nd November 1882 and 10th August 1884; Paora Taihaaki 14th April 1884; Whitmore, G. 19th February 1885 etc.) and tenders for the road maintenance contract were submitted (McClutchy, H. 1881 Letter Book I No. 484, No. 622; Major Ropata October 1880; Brooking, J. letter of confirmation by Council 4th April 1881). To facilitate such schemes the Council applied to have the area proclaimed a ‘Native Rating District’ and although the Tax Department assured the Council that any outstanding rates on ‘Native’ lands would be paid by the Colonial Treasurer (letter 25th March 1884), the Council pressed ‘native owners’ of land within five miles of the bridle track for payment. In response the owners obstructed surveys of new tracks and in some cases, fences were erected across existing roads (Letter 147 12th October 1882: Maraea Morris vs Cook County Council several letters 1884). Even though clarification of all laws affecting native lands had been promised (Rate Collector’s Office to Ruka Aratapu 12th November 1880), the first the Waiapu people heard of this new rating law was the Council’s advertisement in Te Kahiti Maori (Henare Potae to Cook County Council 20th May 1884). Major Ropata, Henare Potae and others claimed that:

te utu penei a te Kawanatanga mo nga whenua Kotahi pauna mo te Eka, te kau Hereni mo te Eka.
Ina hoki ko te utu a te Kawanatanga e hoko nei i nga whenua kia matou 1/6, 2/-, 3/-. Ka mutu nga moni e puta ana kia matou o matou whenua e hokoa ana e te Kawanatanga.
Kaore matou e whakaae ki tenei utu Reiti. He taimaha rawa
(20 May 1884)

- the Government’s charge for land is one pound per acre, ten shillings per acre.
Since the Government’s payment to us for land is 1/6, 2/-, 3/-. That is all the money given to us when our land is bought by the Government.
We do not agree to this rate payment. It is too much.’

The Tax Department, to which the Council forwarded their letter, thought it impossible that Maori-owned land was over-valued: ‘the quotation of from 1/6 to 3/- per acre can only refer to sales made very long since’ (Letter to Cook County Council 4th June 1884). Yet in 1877 Major Porter [p122]had negotiated the purchase of the Tututohora Block for 2/- per acre (Piniha te Rito, Tututohora Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:344) and in 1882 Aorangi Maunga Block at Waiapu for 2/5 per acre (AJHR 1883 G-6).

In the Northern Waiapu, relatively secure from Government land purchase under the proclaimed raahui of 1875 (see page 93), and buffered from the Cook County Council’s drive for ‘progress’ (European settlement and ownership of land) by the more accessible Waiapu, Native Committees flourished. These Committees for extensions of the ruunanga system given legal recognition by Governor Grey in 1861 (see page 24), were revitalised under the 1883 Native Committees Act. Under this Act Committees of local people were able, with Government approval, to settle land disputes (Brooking, J. AJHR 1883 G-1A:7)[18] . Some years before this Act was passed, Waiapu people had told the Resident Magistrate that their authority to run their own affairs had been confirmed by the Treaty of Kohimaarama (Gudgeon, W. AJHR 1879 G-l:6). Local people preferred the fines imposed by their own Committees to those of the Resident Magistrate because, as they told the Resident Magistrate ‘[the fines] were kept in the district and did not go to the Government’ (ibid). Local Committee Chairman, Anaru Kahaki, stopped European policemen from crossing the boundary at Waiotautu (ibid), the southern boundary named in the 1875 Raahui, but personally assured Gudgeon, the Resident Magistrate, that every one of his magisterial decisions would be carried out. In one incident, which involved a breach of the Arms Act, the Northern Waiapu people not only handed over the guns but also proceeded to Auckland to give evidence for the prosecution, ‘the Greatest Chief of Ngatiporou, Te Hati Houkamau’ (Gudgeon, W. AJHR 1880 G-4:11) was arrested on a warrant and imprisoned for two months ‘without the slightest opposition by his people’ (ibid)[19]

Despite Government legislation which ratified the Native Committees and the offer of blocks of land for lease at Te Kawakawa and Te Kautuku [p123] (Gudgeon AJHR 1879 G-1:6), surveys outside these two areas were obstructed and trig stations pulled down (Gudgeon AJHR 1880 G-4:11):

‘it was thro’ Te Mokena that Anaru went and pulled down trig stations. Anaru te Kahaki, Hori Wanoa, my young brother and Henare Paringatai were all caught and sent to prison.’
Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:79).

Local feeling at this time oscillated between uniting against the sale or lease of land, as proclaimed under the 1875 Raahui, and the pursuit of individual hapuu interests. Hapuu were quick to realise that a most effective way of settling old scores was to begin negotiations with Government agents for the sale of their opponent’s land (cf. Ngata, Sir A. 1940:101); in this way former enmities were revived. The attempt by some local groups to survey the land under the Raahui was also a direct attack on the mana of the Chiefs involved in the proclamation. This challenge had to be actively repulsed for the Chiefs to maintain their mana. Titles of ownership for land could not be issued without a deposited plan, therefore land was generally not investigated by the Court until it had been surveyed. In some instances cases proceeded on sketch plans produced in Court (Waiapu M.B. 1:205), but adjudged owners had to wait for survey maps for their title to be confirmed.

Porter, the Government Land Purchase Officer, deducted the survey costs from the payment for the land to ensure it could be investigated by the Court (AJHR 1876 G-5:9-10). He claimed this overcame the problem of ‘earnest money’ - advances of Government funds on land prior to the ascertainment of ownership by the Court, nevertheless several claimants refer to Government advances on land:

‘£200 [was] paid at Uawa for this land by the Government.’

Te Hati Haukamau, Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:197).

‘The Government ... spent money in advances for purchase of these lands. That is why they were [p124] surveyed.’
(ibid, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:48).

Sensitivity to surveys probably began with the bitter experience of the Government surveying land for confiscation after the Hauhau troubles. When a survey party arrived at Wharekahika Iharaira Te Houkamau sent his son, Te Hatiwira, and Hare Kopakopa to oppose them:

‘I stood in front of the theodolite and asked reason for survey. Winter [the surveyor] replied that the object was to ascertain Hauhaus of Wharekahika. I replied that the only Hauhaus in Wharekahika were guns, ammunitions and provisions placed there by the Government in Makeronia [a paa on the Matakaoa Block] ... Winter said in that case he would go back and tell the Government. Winter then went away and survey there was stopped.’
(Te Hati Houkamau, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:179-80).

According to Porter ‘the spirit of opposition’ to the surveys of Tututohora, Pukeamaru, Raukumara, and other blocks was ‘stirred up by the Napier Natives’ (AJHR 1877 G-7:13). It is not clear whether he meant by example - in the 1870’s some of the Hawke’s Bay Maori people repudiated former land sales - or by direct contact - Karaitiana Takamoana from Hawkes Bay may have been to the Matakaoa district to campaign for the Eastern electorate, or advocates of the ‘Repudiation Movement’ may have been travelling throughout New Zealand to encourage other tribes to repudiate land sales in their own districts. According to Mita Hane blocks of Matakaoa land were ‘sold secretly’ in Gisborne (Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:14), and Te Hatiwira Houkamau said that ‘negotiations for the sale [of Ahomatariki] took place [at Tolaga Bay] unknown to the tribe’ (Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:197). According to Gudgeon the first many owners knew of sale or negotiation for sale of their lands was the entry of surveyors onto their land (AJHR 1880 G-4:11):

‘we did not hear of it [the sale of the Pukerangiora Block to the Government] until the sale was made ... [p125] and a surveyor sent.’
(Hirini Kohi, Pukerangiora Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:345).

When the Government surveyor (Winter?) and his guide came to Raohaopoto (a site on the boundary) an ‘ope nui’ of all the women of Tuwhakairiora was there (Hakaraia Mauheni, Pariwhero Block, Waiapu M.B. 25:15).

‘[their Chief] Te Kahurangi said we have come to stop your survey. I [Hakaraia Mauheni] told [her] ... we will not listen to you for I have come to survey my land ... she said that land is not yours ... I said ... my survey will go to the Court room ... then Te Kahurangi said you will be interfered with. I replied very good I die on my land ... So we went guns on back and slashes [slashers] in hand to the survey ... [the next day] all of Tuwhakairiora mustered whether they had a right or not and danced the war dance here ... By this time Ropata [Wahawaha] had heard what was going on and feared lest someone should be killed.’

and suggested that the survey be stopped. Then ‘the Government urged the land should be surveyed to pay for their money’ (ibid) and the survey began and was again met by an ‘ope’. They ‘told me if you persist we shall have trouble ... from that date Pukerangiora survey was only a small one’ (ibid:16-17; Gudgeon, W. Resident Magistrate of Waiapu AJHR 1879 G-1:6; AJHR 1880 G-4:10). Although Te Hati Houkamau sent Mere Katene and others to stop the survey of the Omaika Block (Mere Katene Ahirau Block Waiapu M.B. 10:151), the survey at Ahomatariki was allowed to proceed:

‘Great indignation ensued when the money was produced by ------- to the tribe and it was determined to send it back but he Te Hati persuaded the people not to act precipitately, and eventually it was decided to return the money seeing that ------- was a man of great note among them and they did not wish to stultify him with the Government on account of the receipt of the money. We all agreed if the money had been returned the survey would not have been made.’
(Te Hati Houkamau, Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:198).

By 1883 changes in ‘the organised opposition to surveys’ in the [p126] Northern Waiapu were beginning to take place (Brooking, J. AJHR G-IA:7-8). People appeared to want their land surveyed so that it would pass through the Court: ‘The reason I consented to it being included in the survey was that I might get it through the Court’ (Piriniha te Rito, Pukeamaru Block, Waiapu M.B. 6:228). Brooking attributed this change in attitude to jealousies arising over ownership and grievances caused by the decisions of the Native Committees (AJHR 1883 G-1A:8), but is more likely that since some sales and leases were being negotiated before ownership was confirmed by the Land Court, one strategy to make sure that owners were not overlooked, was to pass the land through the Court[20] . For some people opposed to the Land Court, there was still a considerable difference between the Land Court investigations of ownership and the sale or even lease of land. During a meeting to discuss Government negotiations for the purchase of 2000 acres at Wharekahika:

‘Te Irimana [Houturangi] said he did not wish Wharekahika put thro’ the Court in his lifetime, but that the money was greater than the Court as the money meant the land was to be parted with altogether.’
(Te Hati Houkamau, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:185).

Several applications for investigations of Matakaoa land were made and although these included coastal portions, when the Court began to investigate Matakaoa land in 1884, it confined its attention to land under negotiation for sale or lease to the Government. On the one hand the Court’s procedure reflects vested Government interests, but on the other hand the strategies to retain land on the local level make it difficult to know how much influence the Chiefs had on Porter’s expenditure on surveys and therefore indirectly on the cases heard by the Court.

The Court Proceedings

The blocks investigated in this session were: Ahirau, Pukerangiora, Pohautea, Aruhemokopuna, Tututohora, Ahomatariki (Raukumara), Oruataiaha, [p127] Pt. Ngatarewa, and Whakaangiangi (Waiapu M.B. 10-12).

With the influx of solicitor Judges, such as Mackay, Brookfield, O’Brien, Symonds, etc., the Court room was becoming more like a Court of Law and less a forum for discussion and compromise under Maori control (cf. Ropata Wahawaha’s 1875 Court at Waipiro), with disputes mediated by Judges and Assessors. A preference for written rather than oral proof was beginning to emerge, although as one witness demonstrated in Court, he could write other people’s names on the application for investigations (Rehearing of Puketauhinu, Judge Mair’s Notebooks MS A 31:138). For the first time contradictions in evidence found the Judge ruling that:

‘the witness has so often contradicted his own statements the Court cannot believe one word he says: and will therefore have to cancel all his evidence as not being reliable.’
(Judge Brookfield, Pukeamaru Block, Waiapu M.B. 6:240).

In one incident, after a Chief had unsuccessfully objected to one of the names on the list of owners read in Court, the Judge ordered that ‘Constable Stagpoole be instructed to take an action for perjury against ------- [the Chief]’ (ibid:312). The Judge’s decision was based on the fact that two witnesses (both close relations of the person named on the list) countered the objection (cf. footnote 20). In a Maori situation, or in the 1875 Land Court at Waipiri, the difference in age and rank between the Chief and the two witnesses would have meant the Chief’s objection was upheld, but in a Court which had been shifted towards the principles of European law by the 1880 Native Land Court Act, the word of every man was equal and the Chief was overruled and charged with perjury.

It was during this period that the investigation of ownership of land by the Maori Land Court began in earnest on the East Coast. Claimants’ attendance was mandatory as only those in Court were awarded ownership (AJHR 1886 G-9:14:

‘It has been proved over and over that if an owner absents himself, trusting to his tribe to protect his interest, he stands a very poor chance of getting his fair share of land.’
(Booth, J., Resident Magistrate Poverty Bay, AJHR 1884 G-1:17).

Despite this, some of the Matakaoa people, including the Chief Mokena Kohere, continued to stay aloof from the Land Court:

‘This chief did not get a single acre ... his descendants ... lost their lands where once their forbears flourished, they lost their three cemeteries and the ashes of their sires.’
(Kohere, R. 1949:100).

Other Matakaoa people probably lost their rights to land in the same way. Only those listed on the original title of ownership could apply for a rehearing (ibid). In this way the cost in time (absence from home and cultivations, children’s education, etc.) and money (food, grazing, etc.) was high; often so high that litigants who were awarded ownership were obliged to sell their land to offset their expenses (see page 152).

When the first protracted sittings opened in the school house at Waiomatatini in 1885, ‘several Natives ... addressed the Court on the subject of fees stating that if the fees were demanded at once they should be obliged to withdraw their cases now before the Court as they had no money.’ (Waiapu M.B. 7B:2). Judge Mackay stated that he would refer the matter to the Chief Judge but in the meantime ‘the fee of one pound would have to be paid in each application’ (ibid:14). As a result a number of claimants wanted to withdraw their applications altogether, but the Court would only allow three month’s adjournment (ibid). To break the mounting tension between the local people and Judge Mackay, an elder applied to have land, which Ngaati Porou wished to hand over to the Government for school purposes, investigated (Eruera Kawhia ibid). Then a European stood up and said he wanted the succession claims on behalf of his children to proceed. Eight claims were heard and a fee of £14-14-0 paid. When the local people saw [p129] the amount a European had to pay (they would have expected the Judge to show compassion towards his fellow tribesman), they renewed their applications for dismissals and adjournments of their own cases with some urgency (Wi Pewhairangi, address to Native Minister, Ballance AJHR 1885 G-1:74). While the first application by Te Hati Houkamau succeeded (the case was dismissed), several applications later, with claimants stating that they had ‘no money to pay the heavy fees demanded by the Government’ (Hana te Rore, Waiapu M.B. 7B:28), the Judge refused to allow anything more than a month’s adjournment on ‘new claims’. That afternoon ‘no applications were brought before the Court’ (that is, no local people attended the Court). Sir George Whitmore, respected British campaigner and resident of Waiapu, spoke to the Judge on behalf of Ngaati Porou, saying that he wished the fees lessened, but the presiding Judge stated that it was not in his power to make any reduction (Wi Pewhairangi AJHR 1885 G-1:74). Whitmore then set off for Auckland and succeeded in getting the Chief Judge to reduce the charges to five shillings for each application (ibid). In the meantime a meeting was held at Waiapu and it was decided that Ngaati Porou should travel to Whakato (near Gisborne) to lay their grievances before the Native Minister (ibid). One man however disagreed and then Ngati Porou became undecided: ‘they thought that if some of them came here [to Whakato], some of the people would proceed with the business [Land Court investigations of title] during their absence’ (Wi Pewhairangi ibid: cf. page 128). For the next four days the Court opened but no applicants attended (Waiapu M.B. 7B:30-33). On the fifth day five succession claims were settled and an application for an adjournment - ‘to allow people interested to get in their crops of oats which are now ripe’ (Hotene Porourangi ibid:34) - was granted. The next day the Court opened but again no claims were brought before it (ibid). Finally, nine days after the dispute over fees and claim dismissals the Court stated that:

‘authority had been received from the Chief Judge that fees might be reduced at the discretion of the Judge presiding ... no charge would be made for stating the case or for short cross-examinations [in title investigations, that is ‘new claims’].

The Court also encouraged the claimants to form a Committee to assist the Court in coming to a ‘just conclusion’, and agreed to hear succession claims to give claimants in ‘new claims’ an opportunity to arrange their cases (ibid). The Committee suggested by the Court was probably to encourage the local people to settle their disputes outside the Court - just as pre-Court meetings already discussed the take to be set up in Court - rather than to investigate the title to land (cf. 1900 Maori Lands Administration Act page 168). The Court was delayed for a further three days while the Waipiro Church was opened, then it began the title investigation of Hauanu Block[21] .

Meanwhile a small party of Waiapu people, including Tamanui Te Ra - ‘the man of highest rank amongst Ngaati Porou; he is the head of their tribe, and whenever he speaks he speaks the wish of the whole tribe’[22] (Wi Pewhairangi AJHR 1885 G-1:74) - travelled to Whakato to meet Ballance, the Native Minister. They welcomed him ‘in remembrance of Sir Donald McLean, who has shown love to the Native people; come to us in the same spirit’ (Tamati te Rangituawaru ibid:66), and apologised for the small number of Ngaati Porou present - ‘it is on account of the Government work, the Land Court, that there are no people to welcome you today’ (Hirini te Kani ibid). At this time the Waikato people had become so aggrieved with the New Zealand Government over the land confiscations resulting from the 1860’s warfare, that they had gone to England to petition the Queen for her assistance. The Queen had referred the petitioners back to the New Zealand Government. For this reason King Movement supporters began to travel throughout the country to encourage other tribes to withdraw their land from the Land Court[23] . Since land could not be purchased for European settlement (even under the 1863 New Zealand Settlements Act - see page 24) until the title of it had [p131] been ascertained by the Court, the King Movement supporters hoped that by stopping the flow of land for settlement throughout the country that they would force the Government to consider and rectify the Maori people’s grievances over land confiscations. The pan-tribal movement was becoming effective and to counteract it, Ballance, who had recently been appointed the Native Minister, also journeyed around the country, holding meetings to discuss the Maori people’s grievances, and thereby giving some visible semblance of empathy with their cause. In fact his motivation may well have stemmed from the pressure for land from settler electorates. Ballance assured those present that there was no need for the Maori people to go to England for rights and justice as it:

‘is the policy of the present Government to consult you, to listen to your grievances and to try to remove them, to assist and strengthen you in the possession of your lands, and to see that, when you part with your lands, you do it in the light of day’ (ibid:67).

Encouraged, Wi Pewhairangi requested the immediate adjournment of the Court at Waiomatatini as ‘the Native claimants have no money to pay the Court fees; ... let it be postponed until Native land laws are amended and … Native Committees for the various blocks have been appointed or elected’ (ibid:67). Although trouble arises in Court,

‘we know that certain people are entitled to certain blocks of land; but owing to the action of the Court, these people’s claims are not upheld, and they lose their land. There are some people who are well known to be owners of land, but, owing to their ignorance and incapability of conducting their case in the Court, their land passes into the hands of people who are better educated or who know how to conduct their claims better’[24] (ibid).

The Chief Tamanui Te Ra added,

‘I came here to support the request for an adjournment of that Court ... Let that Court [p132] be stopped absolutely ... We want you to go to Waiapu now, otherwise the Court will go on’ (ibid).

The speakers that followed - Wi Pere, Ruka Aratapu, Raniera te Heuheu, and others - all supported the request for an adjournment of the Land Court at Waiapu, but Ballance contended that he had previously received several applications for a Land Court at Waiapu, and remained unconvinced:

‘Is this the wish of the majority of the people? I have heard that some of the most important chiefs living there ... are in favour of this Court ... I have no power to adjourn the Court. That power rests with the people who have cases before the Court[25] , and with the Chief Judge’ (ibid:72).

Just after the deputation returned to Waiapu, Hori Ropiha[26] , a messenger from the Maori King arrived, and two weeks later Te Hatiwira Houkamau requested an adjourment of the Land Court so that Ropiha’s proposal ‘to withdraw all their cases from the Court’ could be discussed. After such a meeting Te Hati stated Ngaati Porou ‘would be in a position to state whether they would go on with their cases or not’ (Waiapu M.B. 7B:220). The Judge ‘saw no cause for an adjournment as whatever they might do would not alter or affect the intention of the Court to proceed with the hearing of the cases before it’ (ibid). Piniha te Rito supported Te Hati’s application and added that ‘they would take advantage of the meeting ... to arrange disputes between the parties interested in Tututohora in order to facilitate the work of the Court (ibid). The Judge somewhat placated replied that ‘an adjournment for that purpose was a different thing altogether’ (ibid). The next day Te Hati stated that:

‘the meeting ... had ... decided that all cases before the Court should be withdrawn ... he himself was not influenced by anything that Hori Ropiha had said but he could not oppose the wishes of the whole people ... Paratene Ngata and others who had taken the most active part in bringing about this decision ... ought to have been present ... it appeared that they had made [p133] him the mouthpiece and then deserted him’ (ibid:221).

The Judge refused to allow the cases to be withdrawn. Hone Paerata, Wi Pewhairangi, and others then said that ‘if their applications [for withdrawal] were not granted they would return home and not attend Court again this session’ (ibid:222). In that case, the Court announced ‘summonses would be issued to compel those of applicants who refused to attend to appear before the Court when the cases were called’ (ibid). In an attempt to retrieve and capitalise on the situation Paora Haenga and Tuta Nihoniho both requested the Court to proceed with their cases (ibid). After a long discussion it was decided to investigate Pohautea Block, but the next day it was adjourned as one of the claimants contended that he had Church business to attend to (ibid). Judge Mackay persisted in his investigation of ‘new claims’ for another seven months. While it is difficult to assess how much compulsion was required to force this land through the Court most of the judgments given in this session had to be reheard. The judgment delivered by Mackay at this time for the Waipiro Block resulted in three rehearings and two petitions to Parliament[27] . During the summer (September - March) the Court was adjourned. When it opened again in ‘the old schoolhouse’ at Waiomatatini claimants immediately asked for a reduction of the Court fees. This time Judge Mackay, although convinced that any reduction would have the effect of prolonging proceedings and was therefore inadvisable, stated that the Court ‘would make the fees as light as possible’ (Waiapu M.B. 10:36-39). His role however, as legal administrator, as described in the previous session, continued. When the Ahirau Block was being investigated the Judge reminded claimants that:

‘under the Act [1880 Native Lands Court Act] it had power to impose penalties on persons bringing forward frivolous and vexatious claims to the detriment of the bona fide claimants of the land; and could make an order for costs in such cases which if not paid, [p134] the offender, could be brought before the ordinary Court of Justice for punishment and intimated that in future this power would be exercised by this Court under such circumstances’ (ibid:159).

Claimants in later Court sessions contended that ‘everything was confused in the days when the land was first put through’ (Paora Haenga, Omaewa Block, Waiapu M.B. 13:208); ‘it was a very peculiar Court’ (Te Hatiwira Houkamau - of the Whakaangiangi investigation - Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:147); ‘there was great amount of wrangling going on’ (Alfred Banks ibid:193) during the 1885-6 Court sessions[28] . In the investigation of the subdivision of the Omaewa Block Judge Mackay arranged that instead of having counter-claimants everyone should have the opportunity of examining the claimant - Paora Haenga (ibid), however the case was adjourned so that a case of Major Porter’s could be heard, and all the parties did not get an opportunity to examine the claimant (ibid:194). Judge Mackay encouraged the parties to settle the matter themselves outside the Court, but they could not (Paora Haenga, Omaewa Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:38). Meanwhile a piece of paper was handed to Judge Mackay with subdivisions on it which gave each party a share of ‘good and bad land’ and a sea frontage - ‘I thought the division fair and upheld it (Hakaraia Mauheni ibid Waiapu M.B. 13:204). However the other party contended that the subdivision was incorrect - ‘it was just the opposite’ (Hemi Tapeka ibid:190), so the Court adjourned the case (Alfred Banks, Waiapu M.B. 13:192). Then the Native Minister arrived at Waiapu (cf. page 140), ‘to learn [the Waiapu people’s] requests and grievances and to receive their opinions on the proposed New Bill[29] to be presented to Parliament ... regarding the disposition of Native lands’ (Waiapu M.B. 10:182). At the first Court session after the meeting with the Minister, Judge Mackay announced his departure for Wellington on ‘Parliamentary work’ (ibid:183). The case was brought before Judge Wilson[30] , but before the evidence was completed ‘a gale of wind came and nearly blew [p135] the Courthouse down’[31] (Alfred Banks, Waiapu M.B. 13:192). Judge Wilson suggested that the interested parties should discuss the matter and come to some agreement. Then the Court adjourned to Awanui and the subdivision put forward in Judge Mackay’s court was awarded. When claimants tried to point out that the two blocks had been awarded to the wrong parties - No. 1 block should have gone to the descendants of Ikapohe, and No. 2 block should have gone to the descendants of Te Wai, Judge Wilson said: ‘That is for me to decide’ (ibid). The court session adjourned after the lists of names were handed in but before the ‘Certificate of Title’ (1880 Native Land Court Act) was awarded. In 1889 the case was brought before Judge Scammell, who after hearing the evidence, reversed the former judgment in accordance with the wishes of both parties (Waiapu M.B. 13:215).

Judge Wilson’s judgments compromised opposing claimants by dividing the block between them, although claimants had opened their cases with: ‘I claim the land exclusively and deny the right of Hakaraia. My hapu is Whanauataueaeru. My claim is from ancestry and occupation’ (Te Raana Waitaiki, Pukerangiora Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:316). This practice appears to have been successful in that few, if any applications were made for a rehearing after Wilson’s Court; it may however have undermined traditional ‘ownership’. His rulings were also pedantic: Two days after the judgment of Pukerangiora, a block embroiled in long-standing disputes and whose survey was stopped by an armed party in 1879 (see page 125), the Judge demanded that the lists be handed in within two days (Waiapu M.B. 10:366).

Like Mackay his concern was with efficiency. After informing Mohi Turei, in the investigation of the Pohautea Block, that his witness must not repeat evidence given by former witnesses (ibid Pohautea; 368), Judge Wilson refused to allow Karaitiana Pakura to call further witnesses, as on the conclusion of his cross-examination he had declined to do so. When Karaitiana suggested that the Court had misunderstood him, Judge Wilson [p136] said in that case he should have objected when the next claimant’s case was taken: ‘because the Natives here know well the way of the Court and are accustomed to them and that if the precedent was allowed the cases would be protracted indefinitely’ (ibid:368).

The Nature of the Evidence

The evidence given in this 1885-6 Court session demonstrates right of ownership in three main ways; negotiations with the Government for land sales, the conducting or disruption of survey parties, and land use. This evidence is supplemented by traditional histories of the land. When claimants open their case they state their ancestral right to the land, which is also a statement of their right to speak in regard to the land under investigation. Which of the three main topics are chosen to prove right of land ownership varies between claimants.

After each Court session the amount of land ‘finally acquired by the Government’ rose (AJHR Government Land Purchase Returns), which suggests that the function of the Land Court was to make land available for settlement. Local opinion at Matakaoa over land sales was divided. Claimants in this, and later sessions, suggest that land was sold ‘secretly’ in Gisborne (see page 124):

‘When I was at Whanganui the land was sold to the Government. I came back in 1876 on 2nd July. I landed at Uawa. I had been back about ⅓ year when Major Porter came on his way to te Kawakawa to survey this land - Some agreed to the survey Hati among the number, others objected. I spoke to Major Porter and asked him to raise the price or he would get no return for the money paid - he said if the land is not surveyed I want the money paid, refunded. I said I would pay back the £13, received by my matuas - Major Porter wanted the whole returned: the matter dropped’
(Piniha te Rito, Tututohora Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:344).

The money from these sales was divided at meetings; ‘I believe each hapu received money on account of the several pieces owned respectively [on the [p137] block]’ (Maraea Kaku, Tututohora Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:357). The sales of blocks to Government were cited in Court as proof of their ownership, and during the investigation of the Pukerangiora Block a document of the sale was produced as evidence (Waiapu M.B. 10:339). The impression given from the evidence is that negotiations with the Government were often entered into, to substantiate the claim to particular blocks of land in the Court. In the Pukerangiora judgment however, the land was awarded to the party who had not negotiated with the Government. As the £55 advanced by the Government on the land had gone to the wrong party a request was made for a refund. When Judge Wilson found that it could not be refunded, he ordered that the money ‘be made good out of other lands held by ... the Tuwhakairiora tribe’ (Waiapu M.B. 10:156). Both men and women negotiated land sales with the Government:

‘I know that Kokomuka was sold to the Government by Kiriona but it was a separate transaction to the sale of Ahomatariki’
(Paora Taihaaki, Aruhemokopuna Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:242);

‘Ripeka sold these two pieces to the government’
(Popata Pariohe, Tututohora Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:364).

Land was kept from sale by placing it under the care of Hamiona (Puha?, a respected Matakaoa kaumaatua) who was appointed a kaitiaki (trustee) under the 1875 proclamation (Te Hati Houkamau, Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:264). Another strategy employed to stop land sales was to disrupt the survey. Women were first sent to stop the survey to signify peaceful resistance to the sale, as in the Omaika and Pukerangiora blocks[32] . ‘Owners’ were invited to discuss their grievances and settle their disputes before Native Committees, but when this failed to halt the survey, men were sent to fight if necessary for their rights to the land[33] . These disputes were often carried unresolved into the Land Court.

In this Court session detailed accounts of conducting survey parties around the boundaries were given, rather than a recital of boundaries, to [p138] demonstrate a right to the land. For the first time people identified as ‘pu korero’ - Himiona Turi, Kireona, Wi Tamatama - who possessed the knowledge of the history of the land, appeared in the Land Court as witnesses. In the Ahirau investigation the same ‘pu korero’ gave evidence for both parties (Waiapu M.B. 10). They were the advisors of the tribe - ‘they pointed out the boundaries of the part given and returned’ (Rihipeti Tawhena, Ahirau Block, ibid:160). The surveys were however, often conducted by the Chiefs: ‘I pointed out the boundaries at the survey in 1880. I remember when the survey was made. Te Rei conducted it’ (Himiona Turi, Ahirau Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:176). There is some evidence to suggest that tribal history was imparted on request before the Land Court came to the Waiapu district: ‘I remember when the Court first came here the old men had begun to recount the history of the land before then’ (Pita Rooki, Ahirau Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:165). When this knowledge contradicted the boundaries set down in the survey map on which the Land Court fixed the title of ownership, ‘owners’ of both adjoining land and the block under investigation, objected. In the Ahirau case, which was retained by Maori owners after the title investigation, a gift of land which had been recently returned by one group was included in the survey, and it was contended that:

‘the old people of us have included the part marked A in the survey of Ahirau in order that we may be defrauded of it and that they may alone be included in it as owners’
(Pita Rooki ibid:164).

Interestingly the Judges also used the ‘pu korero’ to confirm whakapapa in Court (Puketauhinu succession Waiapu M.B. 10:269). Following the survey the land was taken before the Court so that the ownership could be fixed and the sale completed.

The evidence given by claimants concerning occupation suggests that there were links between the Matakaoa and Waiapu districts: ‘They are in the habit of going backwards and forwards between Waiapu and there [Te Araroa]’ [p139](Neho Kopuka, Tututohora, Waiapu M.B. 11:359). Other claimants also suggest that residence patterns were flexible:

‘Wh-a-Tapuhi, Te Hinekehu and others came there on our invitation to assist us put gravel on the taro bed’
(Mere Karaka, Aruhemokopuna Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:157).

When it is remembered that these accounts were given to show right to land both by authority over it, and occupation, it is difficult to assess the amount of movement over the landscape, but certainly it appears more flexible than the European concept of fixed residence. Given that Judge Mackay based his judgments on occupation and that several of the blocks investigated in this session were inland blocks, only seasonally occupied to utilise forest products, the disjunction between the concept of fixed and flexible occupation becomes vitally important. Judge Mackay certainly recognised the flexible nature of Maori residence patterns over several generations, but refused to allow it:

‘If such a principle was sanctioned the whole of the tribal lands would become one vast estate in which the whole of the members of each hapu would become joint owners’
(Hauanu judgments, Waiapu M.B. 7B:216).

It is not clear however, whether he officially recognised the seasonal ebb and flow of residence. Claimants quickly adjusted cases to include evidence of occupation. In bush covered areas they gave details of collecting food from named trees, and named rat and bird-catching sites: ‘those are all the signs of occupation I know’ (Wi Ropata, Ahirau Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:93).

Judge Mackay appeared to give detailed judgments based principally on proof of recent occupation:

‘even if the counter claimants ever had any right, which appears very doubtful, if the true history of this early tenure of this land could be ascertained, then it has become to use a Native expression kua mataotao noa atu [grown completely cold] and can not be revived’
(Hauanu judgment, Waiapu M.B. 7B:217).


In contrast Judge Wilson’s judgments were based on ‘ringa kaha’ - the strong arm. For him the most important evidence demonstrated the ability to hold land:

‘The Court does not consider that the descendants of Tamakoro were at any time in a position to dispute the claim of Te Aotaihi to the land under adjudication and dismisses their counterclaim accordingly.’
(Ahomatariki judgment, Waiapu M.B. 11:300-1).

There is some evidence to suggest that claimants shifted their cases to fit the Judges’ criteria but the changes are more readily seen during the next Court session.

The traditional histories given in this Court session are more detailed than those of 1875, but they are not the bulk of the evidence, which is restricted for the most part to events within the lifetime of the claimant. The traditional histories focus on gifts and conquests, and give the impression of an ever-changing or at least negotiable landscape of ‘ownership’ within ancestral boundaries. In the Aruhemokopuna judgment as:

‘neither of the tribes [hapuu?] are unanimous as to where the boundary is and error exists in the minds of some putting forth claims as to the side they belong to: such persons being closely connected with both sides’
(Waiapu M.B. 11:203)

the Judge drew a straight line through the block and awarded one side to the descendants of Huaanga and the other side to the descendants of Hinepare (ibid:232). When lists for this block were being prepared difficulties arose when people who were entitled to that part of the block not yet dealt with claimed to be included in the list (Hone Mokena ibid:233; Hori Mahua:302). Evidence given in Court clearly shows that boundaries were moved in traditional accounts to settle disputes (Paora Haenga, Waiapu M.B. 11:2), and that land was divided to settle disputes, even in the lifetime of the people in Court: ‘When Te Rei [Huna] and I got back he divided the hill - the south side to Kautaharua, and the north to [p141] Aowharua’ (Himiona Turi, Ahirau Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:171).

Claimants also referred to a continuous ebb and flow of people across the landscape:

‘The descendants of Te Aotarewa did not live exclusively at Waiapu but also at Kawakawa’
(Neho Kapuka, Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:260);

‘Te Manu Koau came from Hawai they belonged to Whanau apanui. They were refugees - they were attacked by the people here on their arrival and the remnant were the people who worked on the land’
(Hoani Ngatai, Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:276);

‘The second fight of Tuwhakairiora was to Whakaumaro at Matakaoa on account of Mohiraia. Ngaitumoana were defeated and driven to Otanga - ’
(Te Hati Houkamau, Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:284).

This suggests that occupation and ‘ownership’ of land was a flexible on-going process. It also hints that the blocks surveyed and put through the Court were, because of their static quality, artificial constructs. The evidence on occupation however suggests that smaller groups, perhaps at the hapuu level, were closely associated, at least during the lifetime of the people in Court, with specific areas within ancestral lands. ‘I believe each hapuu received money on account of the several pieces owned respectively in the block’ (Maraea Kaku, Tututohora Block, Waiapu M.B 11:357). In the Ahirau case Himiona Turi states that ‘I have told you that it [the land] was not divided but I referred to parts only’ (Waiapu M.B 10:172). What appears to be emerging is a notion of ownership similar to Neho Kopuka’s statement concerning the sea - ‘shell-fish rocks were apportioned but there was no division of the fishing grounds (Tututohora Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:363). What I am suggesting is that land, like fishing grounds, was ‘owned’ or held in trust by large groups, which included several hapuu, and was not divided within the ancestral boundaries, while maara (cultivations) like mussel rocks, that is parts of the ancestral lands, were apportioned and closely associated with smaller groups (hapuu). [p142] The ‘ownership’ of these smaller areas was negotiable with other hapuu (cf. pages 50-51).

Government land purchase compounded the already complex situation where fluid and negotiative rights to land were being moulded to fit fixed notions of tenure, crystallised in perpetuity first by the survey and then by the award of title by the Land Court.

The traditional material in this session also hints at the existence of two types of mana - mana whenua (mana over land) and mana tangata (mana over people). I suggested (in Chapter 3) that during the 1860’s Land Wars, affiliations with the King Movement or the Government may have, in some instances, followed mana whenua and mana tangata lines. Traditions suggest that the person who received food from the land held the mana over that land (Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:199). Claimants in the 1885-6 Court session certainly differentiate between mana tangata (mana over people) and mana whenua (mana over land):

‘The mana of Tuwhakairiora did not affect the ownership of the land, it existed only over the people’
(Keeti te Ahurangi, Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:217);

‘The children of Hinerupe derived mana from their father Hukarere over the people as well as from their mother over the land’
(Piniha te Rito, ibid:250).

Coincident with the escalation of local difficulties the Land Court became judicial in character. Solicitor Judges concerned with efficiency expected each witness to produce fresh evidence relevant to the claimant’s case, as in a Court of Law; in this way the Judge was expected to discern the ‘truth’ (cf. John White’s comment on page 25). There was more than one culture operating in the Land Court and for Maori people ‘truth’ was established by consensus of opinion. For this reason witnesses were required by local criteria to go over the same evidence to demonstrate that their [p143]evidence was in fact common knowledge - ‘The whole of Ngatiporou know of the history I have given’ (Wi Ropata, Ahirau Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:93). Faced with criticisms of the cost of protracted sittings both on the claimants and as barriers to European settlement, Judges saw these tactics as the very cause of the trouble (see page 133). Under the judicial process (legislation by the 1880 Native Land Court Act) charges could be laid against people judged to be deliberately wasting the Court’s time (see page 134) and summonses could be issued to ensure the Court attendance of claimants so that the investigation of their land could proceed even without their consent (see page 133). The role of the Land Court as mediator between the Maori and Pakeha cultural worlds, guiding the translation of land ownership from one culture to another, had become distorted and dictatorial (cf. 1875 Waiapu Court). In the Matakaoa district however, the ‘whenua tuturu’ remained outside the jurisdiction of the Land Court and the united reservation against sale or lease without tribal consent protected these lands from negotiation by Government.



II The Second Period 1894-1909

The Matakaoa land investigated in this period was the land reserved from sale or lease by the 1875 Matakaoa Chiefs’ proclamation of ‘whenua tuturu’. Even today (1982), much of this land is retained by local people. Meetings to settle the take to be set up in Court had become less effective, and disputes were taken into the Court. For this reason the number of parties contesting ownership increased dramatically. In these sessions the evidence for each block often took more than four months to relate, even though the Court sat seven hours per day, six days a week, and filled some three-four, three hundred and fifty page minute books. In 1894 applications for land title investigations were recognised by Judge Gudgeon as proof of ownership. By 1908 several applications for the investigation of each block that was not yet investigated, had been lodged; these were submitted to Judge Sim, in the 1908 session, as proof of ownership (cf. Hohepa Karapaina, Waiapu M.B. 41:190).

At the commencement of each ‘new claim’ during this period, with so many applicants, claimants were required by the Judge to briefly declare their claim; and after ‘considerable discussion’ in which the people in the Court had an opportunity to set up claims or join parties, and parties with interests in common were encouraged to amalgamate their claims, the Judge decided the order in which the claims were to be heard. Proficient operators of Court procedure made a profession of conducting Land Court cases - in one instance Paratene Ngata of Waiapu appeared as a conductor in Thames in 1897 (Judge Mair, W. Diary, November 1897). Their payment was often an interest in the land under investigation. With the cases so hotly contested, judgments often took three-four days to prepare, and some hours to read aloud in Court (ibid 3rd-6th July 1888). After judgments were given, disputes over the allocation of the control of lists, the lists of owners, and the share allotment, commonly broke out in Court. In cases where [p145] objections could not be compromised, litigants had to give further evidence and the matter was decided by the Judge. The inability of local people to settle or compromise disputes outside the Court was probably not in their best interests, since it gave the Judge considerable power, not only over Court proceedings, but because land was at stake, also over the Matakaoa district.

(i) The First Sitting at Te Araroa: Judge Gudgeon’s Court of 1894

‘In this case the time of the Court and the money of the real owners of the land has been shamefully wasted by cases set up on behalf of ancestors who in the opinion of the Court have never had right or title to the land and who in some instances have never existed ... It does not appear to the Court that the owners of this land have any clear idea as to how they became possessed of it’
(Judge Gudgeon, Pakihikura judgment, Waiapu M.B. 24:245).


In 1886 legislation was passed which restored the Crown’s pre-emptive right of purchase. Under this Act a system of Boards with Maori majorities was to be set up to administer the disposal of land (Sorrenson, K. 1965:44). For two years no land passed from Maori to European ownership. Reportedly because of the combined Maori and European protest (cf. Martin, R. 1965:46) - the Maori people because control of their remaining estates had gone to the Crown, and Europeans because land was no longer being made available for settlement - the 1886 Act was repealed. In 1888 the direct purchase of shares from individuals, which could be partitioned out by the Land Court from large estates, was resumed. The 1888 Act also empowered the Governor-in-Council, on the application of a majority of ‘Native’ owners, to remove any restriction against alienation on the title or Crown grant of any ‘Native’ land. In 1890, MacKay (the former Waiapu Land Court Judge) was instructed by the Native Minister, to compile the opinions of various authorities on Native tenure. In 1891 a Commission was established to [p146] inquire into Native Land Law. The Conmissioners - Rees, MacKay, and James Carroll (Timi Kara) - roundly condemned the legislation which had, since the establishment of the Land Court, promoted the direct purchase of land from individual owners. The ensuing legislation first sought to validate the titles to land awarded by the Land Court, and then purchased by Europeans (1892 Validation Court Act and 1893 Validation of Titles Act). In 1894 the Native Lands Administration Act made all ‘Native’ land awarded title by the Land Court automatically freehold and subject to tax when leased to Europeans (preamble 1909 Native Land Act; Native Meetings at Wellington 1896). All Maori land to which the title had been ascertained by the Court, was also liable for rates - the non-payment of which, with the consent of the Native Minister, could result in loss of land, either by sale or lease (ibid). The 1894 Native Lands Court Act extended the function of the Land Court to:

(a) Investigate title and determine ownership;

(b) Partition land determine relative interests;

(c) Give effect to exchanges of land between natives and the Crown;

(d) Determine successions;

(e) Grant probate and letters of administration;

(f) Render land inalienable and vary or remove any such restrictions;

(g) Determine claims based on alienations made by natives and all questions arising from conflicting claimants;

(h) Confirm alienations;

(i) Restrain any person from injuring land subject to a Court application;

(j) Determine whether land shown on a certificate of title was held in trust for natives not on the title.
(Royal Commission of Inquiry 1980:15-16).

This legislation clearly shows that the Government was increasingly committed to alienating Maori land to Europeans and to the Crown.

At Waiapu people were becoming increasingly involved in pan-tribal movements, such as Kotahitanga, later known as the Maori Parliament, as their distrust and suspicion of Government policies affecting their land grew. In 1887 Mokena Kohere resigned from his seat on the Legislative Council, to which he had been appointed in 1872 (Kohere, R. 1949:40), and [p147] when a building was erected at Waiomatatini to be used specifically for the Land Court, he threatened to burn it down (ibid:38). The Waiapu people were also becoming involved in sheep-farming, grass-seed production, timber leases to Pakeha and Government, as well as growing vast quantities of maize, corn, wheat, and other crops. Unlike the 1850’s when these practices were under the control of individual Chiefs, operations at this time were controlled by ‘Native Committees’ made up of the leading members of hapuu (while the point I am trying to make is slightly overstated, I believe there was some shift in power). Co-operative stores, which generally held liquor licences, were dotted throughout the Matakaoa district - at Awanui (near Lottin Point), Mamaku (near the Matakaoa Block), Punaruku, Te Araroa, Horoera, Rangitukia, among other places. It was common practice for the eldest sons of the leading families of each hapuu to be involved in the running of these stores: Hone Mokena, Mokena Kohere’s son ran the store at Te Araroa; Paratene Ngata, the protegee of Ropata Wahawaha had stores at Awanui, Mamaku, and Rangitukia (Waiapu M.B. 40-43; Te Waka Maori). The fact that Chiefs’ sons were running these stores clearly suggests that where it was possible, Matakaoa people operated in keeping with traditional principles (cf. 1850 wheat growing, page 63).

In 1890 the Waiapu County Council was established from resident European settlers. Its first meeting was held at Port Awanui in the Resident Magistrate’s Courthouse. From that time all meetings were held at Tuparoa (Waiapu County Council Minute Book 1890-1902). Their records suggest that their greatest concern (and expenditure) was with roading. By 1891 they were trying to get a telephone line to connect Hicks Bay to the rest of The Coast (ibid:15), and writing to the Native Minister with a request for Judge Gudgeon’s Land Court to come to the district and stay there ‘until such times as arrears of work have been got through’ (ibid 22nd October 1891). [p148] They also discussed the possibility of the Government buying land at Hicks Bay (ibid:91), and some weeks later Colonel Porter negotiated with the Hicks Bay people for the site of a township there (Te Hatiwira Houkamau, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:183). The surveyor however, found that the land was too swampy, and the town was relocated at Te Araroa (ibid). The Government also negotiated to buy 2,000 acres there to set up a port, but because local opinion was divided over the sale, the £500 was refunded and negotiations ceased (ibid:185). In Matakaoa this was common practice, money on land put one party in debt socially to the other, but once the money had been returned the social balance between the two parties was restored, and the negotiation for the land ceased.

There were no Land Court sittings on the East Coast in the years immediately following the 1886 Native Lands Administration Act, which by restoring the Crown’s pre-emptive right of purchase effectively halted the transference of land from Maori to European. This also suggests that the Land Court was principally designed to make land available for purchase, since land could have been investigated on behalf of Maori owners without contravening the 1886 Act. At Matakaoa, people appeared to follow one of three options: There were advocates of the Land Court such as Paratene Ngata who encouraged people to put their land through the Court, by advancing Government money on it - when Paratene Ngata, as Captain Porter’s assistant, purchased a portion of Wharekahika for £50 from Manahi Parapara the money was taken to the Chiefs Te Irimana Houturangi and Hone Hautonga. ‘They were angry with me and said, “You have children why did you do this?” ’. Paratene became anxious about his money, so Te Irimana and Hone refunded it. ‘Paratene said there was no harm done as none of the money was expended and the whole amount refunded to him’ (Manahi Parapara, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41:67). Their strategy may have been to ensure that the land was investigated before all the old people, who could act as mediators, died [p149] (cf. Mohi Turei 1874 Wharekahika Hui). Others, such as Te Irimana Houturangi, were adamant that they did not want the land investigated by the Court in their lifetime (Te Hati Houkamau, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:185), and settled disputes through ‘Native’ Committees. Still others, according to Te Harawira Huriwai during the investigation of the Horoera Block, such as Himiona Apanui, opposed these Committees (Waiapu M.B. 39:96).

Most of the blocks investigated by the 1894 Land Court had been surveyed in time for investigation by the 1885-6 Court session; when the Matakaoa district was in the grip of severe boundary disputes (see pages 123-125). Although meetings were held to appoint survey guides and arrange boundaries, surveyed boundaries tended to overlap adjoining land. Objections were made during the survey as soon as people realised what was going on, but the minute books are full of references which suggest that the inland boundaries agreed upon by the meetings were altered either by the guide:

‘[The survey guides] put in a mark at Pohautakataka in order that the Kairuri [surveyor] might note the mark on his plan as a division between Mautotara and Rerepuhitai. The European who said this told me in front of the public home his name is Charley one of the survey party. I think he said it was 36½ chains from the mark to Mangakiokio Stream. I said probably [the guide’s] mark is not correct for where he went with me to take Arthur Brooking [for a timber lease] on to the land. Herewini Tamahori asked Te Katene the boundary between the two Blocks and Te Katene replied before witnesses and I and Hohepa Puni were angry at his reply and we said you have taken half Mautotara in. That is not the stone and Herewini admitted we were right … the surveyor replied I can only go by the mark of the Katene’
(Manahi Parapara, Mautotara Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:142-3);

or by the surveyor:

‘I left where the line got to the Orangimarama trig station and in my absence the surveyor carried the line straight to the S’West’
(Te Watene Korau, ibid:137).


The upshot was that unsettled boundary disputes were taken into the Land Court and investigations were protracted by becoming embroiled in survey disputes that could not be settled outside the Courtroom.

Meetings of hapuu were held to decide the take (ancestor see page 109) to set up before the Block Committee and the Land Court:

‘In Hinerupe whare Te Hati at a big meeting stood up to ask the takes to these Blocks. I stood up and said Tautahi to te Rauawa - Katene backed me up. In Mautotara I set up Te Kurawhakamauata and Te Katene admitted it. Then Te Hati asked about Rerepuhitai and I replied to Rangiteekehua and te Popata stood up and said te Kura was the tipuna - Makere Muruwhariki said Alas in her disgust … and said I am not in that land though I own Mautotara ... that stopped Popata’
(Manahi Parapara, Mautotara Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:144).

It was also decided at one of these meetings to fix the conquest of Uetaha and others as the ‘right “take” ’ since they were only conquering their own land: ‘Formerly the cases were set up under the “papatipu” right’ (Popata Pariohe, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 43:225). However it is difficult to assess how unanimous this decision was, that is whether it was made by both mana whenua (‘papatipu’) and mana tangata lines as those who refused to have their rights to land investigated may well have kept aloof from such meetings to express their disapproval (cf. page 75). Just as boundary disputes were taken unresolved into the Land Court, so too were the disputes over take.

This was also a period of revival and awareness of tradition. At pre-Court meetings the most eloquent of each hapuu spoke at length about their particular knowledge of the history of the land, to try to persuade the people of the merits of their take. However when one considers the divisions between hapuu over rights to land - ‘[only] when Tokata was investigated that any interference over these portions took place ... we have nothing to do with Manahi seeing his main idea is to shut others out’ (Keeti te Ahurangi, Wharekahika Block (of the Tokata boundary), Waiapu [p151] M.B. 40:60;77) - which destroyed the delicate balance built up over generations and the finality of the judgment made by the Land Court, it was probably also a period of great sorrow.

In 1888 the Land Court opened at Awanui for two days under the Resident Magistrate to hear and dispose of succession claims. One year later the Land Court re-opened at Waiomatatini for two months under Judge Scannell. No ‘new claims’ were investigated, although several subdivisions and allocations of shares of blocks heard by the 1885-6 Court session were completed. Judge Scannell and the Assessor interrupted the cross-examination of witnesses to ask points of clarification, however, they were very skilful in effecting compromise between opposing parties (Whakaangiangi Subdivision, Waiapu M.B. 13:161). Most of the land investigated by Judge Scannell was placed under restriction against alienation (cf. Judge Rogan in 1870 see page 85). In 1889 at the Waipiro Appellate Court Sir George Whitmore claimed that Judge Scannell’s restriction was injuring his lease-hold. The applicant’s lawyer also claimed that Judge Scannell omitted to follow the 1888 Amendment Act which allowed absolute restrictions placed over land provided the Land Court inquired into the sufficiency of land held by the owners. The application to lift Judge Scannell’s restriction was granted as Judges Barton and Von Sturmer decided the 1888 Act was unworkable:

‘The rehearing Judges of the Native Land Court cannot be expected to close their Court and occupy themselves in making active enquiries all over the country respecting the other lands (if any) owned by these 173 Natives and respecting the restrictions (if any) imposed upon such other lands’
(Waiapu M.B. 13:273).

The Court Proceedings

The Matakaoa Blocks investigated in this session include Maraehara, Mautotara, Pakihikura, Tokata, Pariwhero, Papatarata, Taumata-o-Manu, and [p152] Hauturu (Waiapu M.B. 14-15; 24-25). In 1891 Judge Gudgeon opened a two year continuous session at Waiomatatini. During the 1860’s warfare Gudgeon, with his knowledge of the Maori language, was placed with a Native contingent on the West Coast, first under Colonel McDonnell, and then later under Colonel Whitmore (who later settled at Tuparoa). He accompanied Ropata Wahawaha and Porter in their pursuit of Te Kooti through the Urewera country (Gudgeon, T. 1887:353-5). At the end of the war he was appointed the Resident Magistrate at Waiapu (1879-80). In 1879 he blamed the crop failure on the ‘utter laziness’ of the people, but was aware, and recorded that the old Maori people attributed it to their readoption of Christianity (AJHR 1879 G-l:6). When the Native Minister, Bryce, ordered the arrest of Te Whiti and Tohu at Parihaka, Gudgeon was called to command his former Native contingent there. A Ngaati Porou contingent which included Henare Pereto, Waiheke Tureia, Manahi Parapara(?), who later became important in the Land Court, was also at Parihaka, but it is not clear whether this was the contingent commanded by Gudgeon.

At the commencement of this session the Judge promised applicants that he would adjourn the Court to other East Coast settlements as soon as the Court’s work at Waiomatatini was completed. Although only one Matakaoa block was investigated by this Court, residents of Matakaoa, or more correctly joint residents of Matakaoa and Waiapu (see discussion on movement page 181) shifted to the Waiapu to look after their interests in Waiapu land brought before the Court. In accordance with the Maori custom of hospitality the local people were obliged to find food for these visitors (cf. Kohere, R. 1951:48)[34] . The number of people at these Court sessions and the length of their stay stretched local resources to the limit, and during the sitting several applications were made to shift the Court because of food shortages. The attendance at these sessions is probably quite comparable to the month-long 1874 Hui at Wharekahika for which food was prepared for well over a year (see page 89).


This time the Court was held at Waiomatatini in the Government Courthouse (which Mokena Kohere had threatened to burn down) instead of the schoolhouse. In the 1885-6 Court session at Waiomatatini the children’s schooling was suspended for two years while the Court was conducted in the schoolhouse. The description of Te Araroa during the first Land Court there in 1894, suggests that schooling was disrupted even when the building was not directly involved (Booth, AJHR 1896 E-2:6). There is some evidence that children were taken to Block Committees to listen to the history of the land (Harawira Huriwai, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:91) and it is probable they were taken to the Land Court for the same reason, although the school inspector suggests that the parents were so involved with the Land Court that their children’s education was neglected (Booth, AJHR 1896 E-2:6).

The Court opened proceedings by granting a survey, liens against the Aruhemokopuna Block which owners wished to retain. Paratene Ngata claimed the surveyor had agreed to survey the block for £7 and had received £3 so far, nevertheless the Judge awarded the surveyor costs in full of £52 (Waiapu M.B. 13:340). The Court arranged to hear succession claims on Saturdays and to spend the rest of the time investigating ‘new claims’.

Each ‘new claim’ commenced by claimants briefly outlining their right or take to the land. The claimant’s case was fixed as last, but the order in which the counter-claimants cases were heard was negotiable. The Judge arranged the order, and although the criteria used are not clear, it is probable that from his experience as the Resident Magistrate of Waiapu, he was aware of the rank and the links between some of the people in Court. On a marae the best speaker may either open proceedings or speak last to counter or sum up the points made by other speakers. In the Land Court the most advantageous position after that of the claimant, was at the end of the counter-claimants; at this stage in proceedings most of the [p154] evidence had been given and a case could be conducted to counteract that evidence. In most of the cases heard in the 1894 Court Manahi Parapara[35] was given this position.

By the time the Court shifted to Te Araroa in 1894 (after a six months adjournment), most of the cases involved six or seven claims, often each to separate portions of the surveyed block. Some of the claimants intimated that their land was in fact part of an adjoining block which had been mistakenly (others contended deliberately) included in the survey.

In every investigation conductors represented the interests of their clients. In the Mautotara investigation Mereana Waipauhu opened her own case but relied on a conductor to cross-examine the witnesses of opponents. Certain other women also set up claims to land but to my knowledge there is no instance of women conducting cross-examinations in Court. The role played by these women - at meetings to settle take (see page 149), negotiating with the Government over land purchases - ‘Ripeka [Pare mamaku] sold these two pieces to the Government’ (Popata Pariohe, Tututohara Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:364), conducting survey parties (Ahirau Block, Waiapu M.B.10), and in Court - Keeti te Ahurangi set up claims to Tokata in 1894 and 1908; Mere Katene set up a claim to Ahirau in 1886; Mereana Waipauhu set up a claim to Mautotara in 1894; Mere Karaka appeared as the principal witness in Pohautea; Hana Te Rore requested the reduction of Court fees in Judge MacKay's 1885 Court and was a principal witness in Pakihikura[36] - is comparable to the role of male 'puukoorero' (see page 138). When their extensive knowledge of traditional history, whakapapa, and boundaries was not given personally, they were cited by male claimants as the authorities from whom the knowledge was derived:

‘'Kuramaoa has many descendants, Makere Kuru whaiti is a leader and a learned woman and she does not know that Kuramaoa owns te Rauawa [Block]. Wi Takere, another pukorero, he does not claim te Rauawa'
(Manahi Parapara, Mautotara Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:149).


These women were descended from some of the most aristocratic lines in Ngaati Porou and for this reason they held the mana to speak (cf. Apirana Mahuika's Thesis 1973).

The evidence during this Court session was primarily confined to events that happened in the lifetime of the claimants. Most of the blocks were unoccupied and inland, and rights of ownership were expressed through detailed accounts of timber leases to Europeans, and the conduct of surveys:

‘'Haig came [and] asked for Rata and Karere trees, he was taken to Wharekahika - took £1 per tree - ratas sold by the ton - land of Punaruku was handed over to him for timber - gave 15 pounds ... After this we leased this land to McDonald ... McDonald only worked the timber £12 was received by me for this ... Winter surveyed this land of te Wh-a-Hineawe long ago and there was no trouble over that survey. The F.B. [Surveyor's Field Book] was lost so Winter told us, so no plan was ever made of the land'
(Manahi Parapara, Tokata Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:274-5).

To further demonstrate occupation, claimants pointed out sites on the map in Court: 'on ridge of Oruataiaka was an "ara tawhito" [ancient path] it belonged to Mahakireonui' (Hori Akuhata, Taumata-o-Manu Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:361); listed who was buried on the land: 'Mahaki and Manu are buried here in the Pa. Tamahanga is buried here and Paheke a son of Taku are all
buried in Pa' (Rihipeti Parengatai, Taumata-o-Manu Block, ibid:368); admitted for the first time in Court, to being King Movement supporters during the 1865 confrontation: 'While I lived on this land totara trees were cut to make a whare for the King. Whare was called Maruangaanga: Te Hutana owned it' (Mereana Waipauhu, Mautotara Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:125).

The amount of traditional material given in Court as evidence, varied between claimants. For the first time traditional accounts include spiritual matters: 'Te Atuataheke is near a tapu [?] it is said that Kauwhakatuakina used to go there to his tuahu before war. Tuiti's atua was at Wahirere just outside the Block' (Manahi Parapara, Tokata Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:292), and cannibalism, although the latter appeared to be [p155] given to undermine the claimant's case, as she was a descendant of the ancestor who ate birds, rats, and men. Tactically it was important to undermine the credibility of opponents in Court, especially in the 1894 Court session because judgments were so often based on the credibility of witnesses.

Written evidence was also cited intermittently and it appears that once evidence including whakapapa had been given in Court and not disproved or challenged, then the Court was bound to accept it (Tapatu Waiapu M.B. 44:163). This legal practice assumed that with sufficient inquiry a single version of the facts would emerge, a concept which may not be cross-culturally applicable.[37] When the Judge found the evidence 'contradictory and unsatisfactory to an extent that we have not experienced in any previous case here or elsewhere' (Maraehara judgment, Waiapu M.B. 15:104) he accepted former decisions by Block Committees (Maraehara judgment), letters by ‘Government side’ Chiefs: 'this letter is really a certificate in favour of that hapu' (Omaika judgment, Waiapu M.B. 25:273A:2), and early applications for the investigation of the land under investigation (Tokata Judgment, Waiapu M.B. 24:388) as the basis for his award of ownership.

When the conductors, who were often closely related to the people whom they represented, had completed their cross-examination of a witness, the witness's own conductor was allowed to re cross-examine. The Judge also cross-examined each witness and occasionally recalled them to give further evidence, however there is no indication that the Assessor did more than translate the judgments into Maori - they were read in Court in both English and Maori. Judgments in former Court sessions were often brief confirmations of decisions made at pre-Court meetings (Rogan's 1875 Court), or compromises between opposing claims (Wilson's 1886 Court); in only one instance was the evidence reviewed as ‘unusually conflicting and ...[p157] contradictory’ (Judge Wilson, Pohautea, Waiapu M.B. 11:9) and then only in a general way. In contrast Judge Gudgeon couched his detailed decisions, often spanning some ten-twelve pages,[38] in terms of:

'this claim is the most impudent attempt to obtain land to which they have never had a shadow of Right'
(Pakihikura Judgment, Waiapu M.B. 24:249-50);

'this most annoying case ... the evidence of which is contradictory in the extreme, the tales cannot be reconciled ... there is no proof as to whom this land really belonged'
(Tokata Judgment, Waiapu M.B. 24:377; 387-8),

and personal attacks on claimants:

'the Court already said that Hare Paihia knows nothing about this land'
(Pariwhero Judgment, Waiapu M.B. 25:84),

'it is quite clear that Te Hati [Houkamau] knows nothing about the case'
(Tokata judgment, Waiapu M.B. 24:386),

'Watene Korau] can hardly expect the Court to believe that he was taught [of his rights to land] by his father who died about 1870 for Te Watene was certainly not more than 12 years of age at the time'[39]
(Mautotara judgment, Waiapu M.B. 24:188).

As in 1886 when Judge Wilson was impelled to shift his Court as a 'malignant' fever was prevalent at Waiomatatini (Waiapu M.B. 11:232), a severe outbreak of influenza, which reached epidemic level at Te Araroa in 1895 (Booth, AJHR 1896 E-2:6), caused the Court's adjournment to Awanui. Clearly even where Land Court sessions were held near the land under investigation, the disruption to everyday life was substantial. Not only directly through disputes over surveyed boundaries, contested take in Court and during meetings both before and after the Court, but also indirectly in terms of getting people to shift near the Court so that they could attend protracted sessions, depleting food resources near the Court, taking time away from the cultivation of crops and sheep-farming, disrupting [p158] children's schooling and causing population decline - disease quickly reached epidemic level in the crowded conditions.

In September 1895 an 'unusually large number of the N'Porou' assembled in the Courthouse at Awanui (Waiapu M.B. 26:174). Paratene Ngata said that they had:

'resolved not to put the papatipu lands [‘whenua tuturu’] thro’ the Court as the Government thro’ their land purchase officers are taking their very homes from under them - and even buying their graveyards'

Although Ngaati Porou had sent a petition to the Government and under the 'Native Lands Acquisition Bill' land on which they were living was protected from sale they felt that once the land had passed through the Court the Government would begin to buy it from them (ibid:175). They also objected to the new Land Bill, which restored the Crown's pre-emptive right of purchase as it 'leaves the whole mana [price-fixing] in the hands of the Government ... we have to take what is offered to us' (ibid). Judge Gudgeon telegrammed the Government on behalf of Ngaati Porou but a week later he received notification that the Government was 'not disposed'
to curtailing land purchase in the area (copy of Telegram read in Court, Waiapu M.B. 26:184). Paratene Ngata then asked that all the papatipu cases be adjourned indefinitely and the Court granted his request (cf. Judge MacKay's reaction to the withdrawal of cases from the Court in 1886, see page 133). Two weeks later the Court adjourned from the Waiapu district and did not return until 1901; the papatipu cases were not investigated until 1908.


From the contentions over surveys recounted in the 1885-6 Court I suggested that land, like fishing-grounds was commonly-owned or held in trust by large groups composed of several hapuu, perhaps the descendants of [p159] the children of one ancestor. The area within these ancestral boundaries was not divided, although certain parts of it could be closely associated with a particular hapuu for one, two, sometimes several generations. The fact that there was not a single case set up by claimants which corresponded to the surveyed blocks under investigation by the 1894 Court, supports this interpretation.[40]

Traditional accounts of the blocks investigated by this Court session suggest that inland areas of the Matakaoa district were regularly but sporadically occupied while people from several groups seasonally collected and utilised forest resources, mostly food - vegetable foodstuffs, birds and rats, but also timber for canoes, toetoe for insulating houses, flax for clothing, etc. This practice was disrupted by the 1860 warfare although some claimants tried to show ‘permanent occupation’ by claiming allegiance to the King Movement which occupied inland fortified paa (see page 74). After the war food was very scarce and 'people went everywhere searching for food' (Manahi Parapara, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41:120). People were brought from Waiapu to work these blocks in 1865 (Hoani Huriwai, Mautotara Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:102) and in this sense permanently occupied the land for the next decade. Both claimants and counter claimants emphatically declared that during this period there was no trouble on the land: ‘only since we remained off it that disturbances arose and I knew nothing what caused the interference’ (Keeti te Ahurangi, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:59). In 1885 when the survey of these blocks almost escalated into pitched battles (see pages 124-5) the occupation of these blocks either for the growing or collection of food was suspended by the Chiefs (the 'Native' Committees?) until the Court ascertained ownership.[41] By 1894, when the Court finally investigated these blocks (see section II of this chapter for the reason for the delay), Land Court claimants were aware of the importance of demonstrating to the Judge their right of ownership through occupation; the sporadic occupation of the blocks however, [p160] made this difficult. For this reason claimants both at pre-Court meetings and in the Court recounted and in a sense reactivated the disputes over the surveyed boundaries. All the cases investigated in the 1894 Court session revolved around the contention that adjoining blocks were included in the survey: ‘In my opinion a good deal of Hukarere and Makahuri's land was wrongly included in Tokata ... Now they are striving to take away another portion’ (Manahi Parapara, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:227); or that parts of the block were not included: 'part of land which belongs to Tamateakui has been left out of the survey - viz. sea coast' (Keeti te Ahurangi, Tokata Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:296); or that the block under investigation ‘is not a distinct piece of itself’ (Eruera te Rore, Mautotara Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:106).

According to one claimant there were no boundaries between united families (Himiona Apanui, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:213) which suggests that one means of settling disputes may have been to create a boundary or strip of 'no man's land' between opposing parties. The
disturbance or interference with boundaries signified war-like intent:

'The Whakaumu that Hinepare had opened Mohi prevailed upon Tamati, of the other side, to
close - Both sides wished to fight it out and leave the Whakaumu open, by this means fighting
was averted'
(Hemi Tawhena, Aruhemokopuna Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:137).

The umu of different people were frequently named by claimants in Court as sites on boundaries:

'his body was cooked on the boundary line. It was decided by ——— that body should be kept and cooked at the boundary line to define the boundary and the place was thereafter called Te Umu o paraoa'
(Keeti te Ahurangi - of the Tokata-Wharekahika Boundary, Waiapu M.B. 40:62).

If, as I have contended, these strips of land were created to maintain a balance of peace between potential rivals and disturbance of them signified war then perhaps, even the guiding of a survey party along them was viewed [p161] as a serious attempt to revive the former dispute.

Certainly in some blocks boundaries were deliberately manipulated: 'I gave the boundaries there, because I was annoyed with Wha-Kahu and wished to defeat them' (Manahi Parapara - of the Tokata Block - Waiapu M.B. 40:100) but this was not always the case. In some investigations claimants' statements appear to directly contradict one another:

'There is no boundary between Pakihikura and Orangimarama [a subdivision of Mautotara]'
(Eru te Rore, Mautotara Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:107);

'the ridge is the true boundary between Pakihikura and Mautotara'
(Watene Korau, ibid:140),

but this is difficult to assess since claimants and counter claimants contended that the Mautotara Block was composed of three parts, and the survey party was guided around the outside boundaries of each of these parts by different individuals:

'Noa guided the survey and Hori Mahue but I don't know at what point he took up the work ... don't know if Katene Ngatoko was guide over the South side of Orangimarama line'
(Mereana Waipauhu, ibid:133).

It is clear from the Court evidence that certain people were commonly acknowledged as experts over the question of boundaries (as well as history and whakapapa) and that each group (family or hapuu) had its own expert in this field. The knowledge of these experts however, did not always concur: 'I consider the boundaries explained by Manahi Parapara are wrong each of us know our own history' (Tuhaka Mokena, Totara Block, Waiapu M.B. 25:211).

The divisions between local people over boundaries appears to me to signify much wider issues, namely the Maori and European cultural perceptions of land ownership and truth. Since the aim of this thesis is to explore Maori and European notions of land ownership through the [p162] description of the setting in which the Maori genre was translated into the European form, I shall confine my comments on this occasion to the issue of truth. For the European truth conveys the quality of being in agreement with a standard, a rule, facts, reality (Collins 1980:808). A single, correct and perhaps fixed version. For the Maori tika means ‘correct’, things following their natural or proper order (see page 159). ‘He tikanga, he pononga’ is an expression of emphatic assent, approval, or affirmation (Williams, H. 1975:291). This suggests that like the European notion of truth agreement is necessary but for the Maori the agreement is between people rather than with a fixed standard or rule. Tika appears to be a social conception of truth and different versions of traditions can exist simultaneously in different groups.

Speeches given at hui to decide the title to land[42] have much in common with speeches made at other hui (funerals, weddings, tribal meetings) held on the marae. In both situations the history, the whakapapa and even the boundaries relating to the district are recited to make however, very different points. In the later hui the speechmakers usually utilise their knowledge to link and thereby unite the people present; in the former hui the differences between the people are stressed. The versions of each hapuu are brought into direct conflict and it is clear that land litigation divided the community even more decisively than the 1860 warfare:

'Rota Huna and I were great friends, matuas told Rota the history and Rota told it to me. At time of hearing of Papatarata, Rota and I were not good friends. We fell out because he claimed 1000 shares for himself in Pukeamaru’
Popata Pariohe, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 43:196);

'The cause of disturbance was quite strange and I said why did they not mention it in time of our
elders. The disputes were trivial. [Only] when Tokata was investigated that any interferences over these portions took place'
(Keeti te Ahurangi, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:59-60).


Descendants with kin-ties as close as one parent or grand-parent in common frequently opposed one another over take, before Block Committees, and in the Land Court, although in most cases the successful litigant included these kin in the list of owners - ‘not ... thro' right but out of
aroha’ (Waiheke Tureia, Whakararanui Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:234).

In the 1894 and 1908 Court sessions people also set up claims to single cultivations on the block under investigation. They completely denied a right to any other part of the block. These pockets of land within areas utilised by members of another hapuu have generally been gifted in payment for some activity such as avenging a death, building a canoe, ravishing a woman; as a marriage or betrothal gift, even simply out of 'aroha': ‘Tamateakui gave Te Aopare[43] some of maaras on her land and Te Aopare did the same so they could live together’ (Keeti te Ahurangi, Tokata Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:297). This practice combined with the shifting fortunes of the mana of hapuu hints at the flexibility of rights to land even within one or two generations.

From this discussion and given the particular nature of the history of hapuu, it is small wonder that disputes arose when attempts were made to construct (draw on a map and thereby permanently fix) single lines from boundaries that were traditionally recited as points on the landscape which could be recast to fit the ancestral right being evoked. What I am suggesting is that not only was the 'ownership' of land under constant review, but the ancestral boundaries even between larger groups (cf. page 141) were negotiable and therefore capable of change just as a river, which was often used as a boundary, may change its course.

The Nature of the Evidence

The claimants in the 1894 Court session began each investigation by naming the portion of the block they claimed (during this session there was not a single claim that corresponded to the whole of the surveyed block [p164] under investigation), and the ancestor from whom their right to the land derived. While this set out their case in Court, it also demonstrated their right to speak. The Judge then arranged the order of the cases. Claimants began their evidence by reciting the boundaries of their claim, or the whakapapa from whom their ancestral right to the land was derived; some claimants recited both. Again this was a statement of their right to speak, and at the same time proof of ownership to the land. From the evidence given in Court knowledge of the history of the land, at least in terms of boundaries, was quite particular. When blocks were surveyed people were entrusted with guiding the survey party part of the way along the boundary:

'Q. Was not Tutere Mautoko selected by meeting at Te Rahui to conduct survey from Kopuarehua to Arohatatawa, Anaru te Kahaki from Kopuarehua to Pohatakataka, Hoani Mokopuna from Pohatakataka to Waipapa, Hori Wanoa from Waipapa to Wairau, and Hamahona from Wairau to Waiwhero, and Hori Wanoa again from Te Arohatatawa to Waiwhero?'
(Te Harawira Huriwai cross-examined by Tuhaka Kohere, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:78).

Knowledge of boundaries was therefore an integral part of the evidence given in Court to prove rights to the land under investigation. Similarly the recitation of detailed traditions and whakapapa suggested knowledge of the land, and if it is accepted, as I believe it was by the Judges, that this knowledge was only reposited in those with rights to the land, then this type of evidence becomes proof of ownership. In the Pakihikura Investigation Hare Paihia read a waiata from a piece of paper in Court. Judge Gudgeon accepted this as proof of ownership: 'in spite of the evidence which is all against the claim of Hare Paihia he might nevertheless be entitled to a share in the land' (Judge Gudgeon, Pakihikura judgment, Waiapu M.B. 24:250). What is problematic in the Judge's interpretation of this scheme of 'particular' knowledge, is that claimants also suggest, in their evidence before the Court, that this knowledge (or aspects of it) was [p165] available on request: ‘I remember when the Court first came here the old men had begun to recount the history of the land before then’ (Pita Rooki, Ahirau Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:165). Iles (1981:278) says that in 1897, Land Court claimants at Tokomaru Bay also implied that information about the history of the land was freely available. However by 1908 Paratene Ngata, during the title investigation of the Wharekahika Block, stated:

'The old people were suspicious of the young ones and would not disclose the history. They were suspicious of Tiwana who came from a lawyer's office, and also of Apirana whom I had sent'
(Waiapu M.B. 42:107).

What this suggests is that the Land Court was affecting the transmittal of knowledge to the next generation. Knowledge was traditionally accorded a place of importance in Maori society, but now, in the Land Court, this knowledge had become a weapon to wield for power over land. This is not to suggest that orators did not also employ this knowledge on the marae to upstage their opponents. The difference is that the outcome of the attack in the Land Court was irrevocable. Defeat on the marae, and even in war, always carried with it the possibility of redress on some future occasion; in the Land Court defeat was permanent, the land was lost forever. There is also evidence to suggest that the evidence given by claimants in Court was quickly adapted to meet the local people's interpretation of the criteria used by the Judge. After two judgments were delivered that appeared to favour the claimants who had included a high proportion of traditional history in their cases, the amount of traditional material cited in the 1894 Court session increased.

The methods used to validate this traditional knowledge were principally that it was old and from traditional sources - 'the tradition of it has been handed down' (Ahirau Block, Waiapu M.B. 10:171), widely accepted - 'ancient story and widely known' (Te Harawira Huriwai, Horoera [p166] Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:58), and ‘the boundary of gift by Te Aopare running along Karakatuwhero is very widely known’ (Himiona Apanui, Tapata Block, Waiapu M.B. 43:132), and most importantly was told to the claimant by recognised authorities (recognised by both the local people and the Judge): ‘My tipuna Tamatama, a “pukorero” told me the history of this land’ (ibid).

As outlined in the Court proceedings, Judge Gudgeon’s decisions appear to have been based on the credibility of witnesses. External means, such as written documents, applications for land investigations, etc. were used by the Judge to decide ownership in several of the cases. Whether such faith in the written word was entirely justified is debatable - in 1885, during the rehearing of the Puketauhinu Block, a witness was brought before the Court by Paratene Ngata, the conductor for the Ngaati Porou claimants, to demonstrate his ability at forging signatures (Judge Mair’s Notebook on the Opotiki Court proceedings MS A-31).

There is also some evidence to suggest that mana lines of land and people were important in this Court session: ‘Hukarere had mana whenua as well as mana tangata’ (Manahi Parapara, Tokata Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:278). Popata Pariohe also described a meeting in 1894 at which it was decided to drop the papatipu (mana whenua) take - land line in favour of the conquest:

'many of them wished to drop the conquest, as Uetaha and others were only conquering their own land. It was only in 1894 that the conquest was fixed as the right “take” ... Formerly the cases were set up under the “papatipu right” ’
(Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 43:224).

The remarks made in Court by claimants suggest that two lines of mana were operating in the Matakaoa district. Marriages were arranged to incorporate these two lines: ‘This land from here up to Matakaoa was all one take but Rerekohu had married the woman of this land’ (Manahi Parapara, Tokata Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:271). Several of the claims in the Land Court appear to revolve around the concept of rights over land (mana whenua) and rights [p167] over people (mana tangata), but it is not until the 1908-9 Court session that this concept is more explicitly stated by claimants.

(ii) The Second Sitting at Te Araroa: Judge Sim’s Court of 1908

'If any considerable body of people considered that a claim set up was too narrow, the Court would probably allow them to set up a separate case but it would not allow every individual to do so. These would be the principles on which the Court would base its arrangement of the cases but it would not make any rigid rule. It would deal with every case on its merits, and if sufficient cause were shown for setting up a separate case it would be allowed, even if not in accord with principles just enunciated.

The Court would proceed on the course that it had followed at previous sittings, that is not to shut out any person who showed any right to appear’
(Judge Sim, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:14).


In 1898 Prime Minister Seddon and Native Minister James Carroll travelled throughout the country meeting Maori people, listening to their grievances, and proposing solutions. In 1900 the first of a series of Acts were passed which vitally affected the Maori people and their land.

The 1900 Maori Counils Act reinforced and extended pre-existing committees at Waiapu into local Maori councils to administer local affairs. Their recorded activities show that they were especially concerned with health (Gisborne Times 26th March 1902:2; AJHR 1903 G-1:3-4). The country was divided into tribal districts - the Horouta District for the East Coast - each with its own council comprised of representatives from each of the ‘Village Committees’ (cf. 1862 Ruunanga system).

During this period several cases of typhoid fever were reported on the East Coast (Gisborne Times 22nd May 1901:2), as well as epidemics of measles and influenza (AJHR 1896 E-2:6; AJHR 1898 E-2:8; Gisborne Times 27th April 1903:3). In 1901 Dr Davis established an East Coast practice and six months [p168] later Dr Lisle was appointed the District Health officer for the Waiapu County (Gisborne Times 5th February 1901:2; 18th September 1901:3). In 1903 attempts were made to vaccinate all children on ‘The Coast’ (ibid 17th September 1903:2) and in the same year the first Waiapu hospital was opened.

In 1902 some fifteen to sixteen hundred Maori people attended a Hui at Waiomatatini to discuss the ‘Kotahitanga o te Tiriti’, that is the Maori Parliament, and the Maori Councils (Te Pipiwharauroa 20th March 1902). According to the Native Minister, James Carroll, unanimous support for both the Maori Councils and the Land Councils (see page 169) was expressed at this meeting (Gisborne Times 3rd April 1902:3). Williams (1977:114) contends that these Councils overstepped the powers given to them, and on the East Coast several hapuu withdrew their support because, according to Apirana Ngata, they had been ‘led astray by agitators’. This was nothing new, my research of the Matakaoa district shows that local opinion was and probably always will be mixed, and ‘Village Committees’ or at least Committees on the hapuu level continued to exist with or without government legislation.

The period from 1886 to 1894 saw the beginning of large scale sheep-farming at Waiapu. The years that followed, consolidated this as the primary industry in the Ngaati Porou district. Maize, corn, barley, and wheat continued to be cropped successfully but dairy-herding, pig-raising, poultry and bee keeping, fruit tree cropping, grape and hop growing, and vegetable cultivation - cabbages, carrots, turnips, peas - were suggested as viable alternatives (Paratene Ngata, Te Pipiwharauroa August 1910). During the summer months when hundreds of Ngaati Porou travelled to Poverty Bay to work in the rye-grass industry (Kohere, R. 1951:47), women and children virtually kept the Ngaati Porou farms afloat (McConnell, R. 1980). In 1899 Apirana Ngata estimated that over 3,000 acres of Ngaati Porou land had passed to the Crown since 1893. The three types of land retained by [p169] Maori people were blocks leased to Pakeha, on which Maori people gained skills to work the land - clearing bush, fencing, shearing sheep, sowing pasture, etc; land awarded to Maori owners by the Court; and papatipu land, most of which had been surveyed (He Kupu Whakamarama September 1899:7-8). In the early years of the new century special land meetings were held throughout the Waiapu area (Gisborne Times 14th July 1902:3) and every attempt was made by Apirana Ngata to encourage the visible utilisation of all land still under Maori control (cf. 1905 Native Lands Act and the Stout-Ngata Land Commission 1907-9 re: land unsuitable for Native occupation, see page 169). in 1903 a branch of the New Zealand Farmers Union was founded at Tuparoa (ibid 16th July:3) and by 1920 the Waiapu district was so prosperous that a further County Council - the Matakaoa County Council - was formed with headquarters at Te Araroa.

In 1900 the Maori Lands Administration Act empowered the Maori Land Councils set up under the 1900 Maori Councils Act to alienate and administer Maori land (Introduction to the 1909 Native Lands Act xxiii). Each Council consisted of one European president (a Judge of the Native Land Court), two or three appointed members (one of whom was to be Maori), and two or three Maori members elected from the land district of the Council (McRae, J. 1981:65). Although their jurisdiction overlapped that of the Native Land Court their activities were not directly concerned with the investigation of titles to land. Under this Act Maori claimants of papatipu blocks were empowered to elect a committee of five to nine members to investigate the title to land. Their decision however had to be ratified first by the Land Council and then by the Land Court. Any objections to the Comittees’ decisions were heard by the Land Council and if they could not be resolved were referred to the Land Court (ibid:66).

In the 1905 Maori Lands Settlement Act these Land Councils were renamed Land Boards. They were given extensive powers to lease or mortgage land on [p170] behalf of Maori owners, but without their consent, provided the Native Minister declared the land unsuitable for Native occupation. The criteria used for this decision is uncertain, however Ngaati Porou attempts to visibly utilise all their land in farming and cropping suggests it was probably the familiar cry of 'idle land' (cf. Earl Grey's 1846 Despatch page 19). This jurisdiction was also extended to all Maori land, including 'papatipu' blocks, for which rates were payable, but remained unpaid[44] (Introduction to the 1909 Native Lands Act). In 1906 this power was further extended to all Maori land infested with noxious weeds (ibid), and in 1907 land reported as not required for Maori occupation by the Stout-Ngata Commission,[45] could be disposed of by the Land Boards - half by sale and the other half by lease for a period not exceeding fifty years (ibid).

The Maori Land Council on the East Coast was presided over by Judge Barton. He was assisted by John Townley, Edward Joyce, and Heta te Kani from Uawa (He Kupu Whakamarama, January 1902:5). In 1902 Barton resigned (Gisborne Times 26th June 1902:2) and Colonel Porter,[46] the former Government Land Purchase Commissioner appointed by Ngaati Porou at the 1874 Wharekahika Hui, was appointed president. When the Land Councils became Land Boards, Porter retained his position. Although the Matakaoa Committees set up under the 1883 Native Committees Act were empowered to act under the 1900 legislation, and titles to papatipu blocks were investigated by Committees, since the 1908-9 Land Court investigations are packed with references to evidence given before these Committees, neither the Land Council nor the Land Board conferred title to a single acre of Matakaoa land. I can only assume from the divisive take set up in the Land Court in 1908 that this was because the objections brought before the Land Board were unable to be resolved.


The Court Proceedings

The blocks investigated by this Court include Marangairoa No. 2, Marangairoa 1A (Whakararanui), Marangairoa 1B (Horoera), Wharekahika, and Tapatu Waitangirua. These blocks were surveyed just prior to the 1894 Court session. Reports of surveys frequently disrupted, trig stations overturned, theodolites confiscated, trees felled around the survey party as it was observing, as well as threats to shoot Maoris pointing out boundaries (Wheeler cited in Jourdain, W. 1925:221) clearly suggest that local feeling over the passage of the ‘whenua tuturu’ (created by the 1875 proclamation) through the Court was strongly divided.

When the Land Court opened at Tuparoa in February 1908 Judge Sim, the former Registrar of the Maori Land Boards (established under the 1900 Maori Lands Administration Act), granted the local people’s request to adjourn the Court to Te Araroa, as several large blocks were to be investigated there (Waiapu M.B. 36:1). He added that the Court ‘would do everything to assist the Natives and facilitate the business’ (ibid).

The Court was held in Hovell’s Hall. Most of the litigants from former sessions were present. Their speeches of welcome, although not recorded in entirety, suggest that several of the claimants viewed the Land Court more favourably than their own Papatipu Block Committees established by the 1900 Act (see McRae, J. 1981 for an account of the effectiveness of these Committees in Tai Tokerau):

'I am the person who objected to Papatipu Block Committee and I did not appear before them. I instructed my people not to set up a case, and they did not set up a case’
(Waiheke Tureia, Waiapu M.B. 6:5);

'I have no liking for a Native Committee. Leave matters to be settled by the Native Land Court’
(Whaaka Tamariki, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 43:355).

The Court suggested that to ‘save both the Natives and itself time and [p172] trouble’ the recorded minutes of the Papatipu Block Committee’s investigations of title would be made available. It was however, possible for anyone to set up a case to the land whether they had appeared before the Conunittee or not. Then a discussion arose over the order in which the cases should be investigated. Several litigants stated that the elders had decided at a meeting that the Marangairoa No. 2 Block should be taken first; almost as many urged that Tapatu and Wharekahika - ‘fresh food’ - should be investigated first. The Judge said that since Marangairoa No. 2 had been investigated first by the Papatipu Committee, and ‘it seemed to be the wish of the elders and people that Marangairoa No. 2 should be first’ (ibid:3), then that case would open the session. Judge Sim requested all parties to lodge a whakapapa with the Court before going on with their case.

At pre-Court meetings the combined knowledge about the particular ancestors of those present was appraised. If the accounts proved to be too fragmentary, both in terms of content and narrowness (leaving out some of those present at the meeting), then another ancestor was put forward:

'If I could have given a clear whakapapa from Te Mingi I would have not abandoned that name. We tried very hard to establish a whakapapa but failed. Attempts are often made to establish names on the land as ancestors and when the attempt fails, the case very often falls’
(Hare Kopa Kopa, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:10).

Each case opened with a debate over the order in which claims to the block were to be heard by the Judge. Each party was required to briefly state their claim, and people in Court with interests in the block, who had not yet applied for an investigation, were given the opportunity to join their claim to others, or to set up claims of their own. So many claims were set up at the beginning of the Wharekahika investigation that Judge Sim, having looked over the cases, suggested that many of the take overlapped, and requested claimants ‘possessing common take’ to unite, as it was ‘not in [p173] the interests of either the Natives nor the Court that a case should be split into several divisions’ (Waiapu M.B. 40:13). To foster the amalgamation of claims the Court adjourned for the afternoon, and it was not until the next morning that the order of the cases was finally decided. Some of the parties claimed several different portions of the block, and set up different take to each portion. Others set up more than one take over the whole block:

'I am also claiming to a certain portion of the block under Te Hukarere - I have another source of right to portion of block called Hiwihiwi thro’ conquest by Tarerekoau. The ancestor I claim under is Rangituatini. That is a portion of Pariwhero block which has already been dealt with by the Court, but this portion was left out. As to claim by Heni Morete and Henare Peti, I dispute their right. It was a gift for tattooing my ancestor and I dispute the gift as to certain portions’
(Waiheke Tureia, Marangairoa No. 2, Waiapu M.B. 36:7),

and still other parties, as in the 1894 Court session, claimed single maara (cultivations) on the block under investigation:

'I do not wish to set up a separate case at present, but if my rights are neglected I will apply to Court for leave to set up a case at a later stage of proceedings. My claim is only a small portion called Rongoatupaia - that is name of maara
(Manihera Waititi, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:19).

In the 1894 Court session boundaries were given only by some claimants; in 1908 several claimants opened their cases by giving the boundaries of the portion they claimed. In every case where the block adjoined the sea, the coastline was given as the boundary. There were few accounts given in this session about surveys (cf. the 1885-6 and 1894 Court sessions), although negotiations with the Government for timber leases, the port and township at Hicks Bay, etc. were elaborated. More information was given about the King Movement and its effect on the area, than in any other session. The two claimants who particularly emphasised this material both fought on the ‘Government side’, on the East Coast and in Taranaki, in their youth. As both claimants occupied the land under investigation during the period of [p174] warfare, their accounts illustrated both their loyalty to the Government and occupation. Descriptions of the tribal meetings (1872 Mataahu, 1874 Wharekahika, 1875 Horoera and Pakihi) were also given, although it is not clear whether these were viewed as significantly by the Judge as the local people. There were also a number of references to cannibalism and spiritual practices:

'When Rangi paturi was killed at Tokakuku, Te Whatu cut a portion off the body, and took it to the Kainga of Kirikiri where it was cooked and given to Tamaitioterangi who ate of it. After that, she took her meals in the daytime’
(Popata Pariohe, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:172);

'Te Aratangata was bewitched and died at Waitekaha. Parua did the bewitching. His body was brought back. The people slept at Wharauma. Parua bewitched a water jar. Titirohia woke up, drank from jar, and died’
(Himiona Apanui, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:121).

As in 1894, claimants were generally represented by kaiwhakahaere (conductors), most of whom were part of the ‘educated’ (in Pakeha schools), up and coming generation. The older Chiefs often conducted their own cases. By this Court session most of the parties were well versed in Land Court tactical procedure. Several claimants when confronted by contradictions in their evidence, either from former Court sessions or before Block Connittees, pleaded inexperience during that time: ‘I was inexperienced in Court work when I said Tamakoro’s land was between Tauranga-Kautuku and Kopuapounamu’ (Himiona Apanui, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:132).

The 1908-9 Court procedure included many of the characteristics of former sittings. The focus of evidence however, shifted markedly from survey dispute to traditional histories and occupation. Most of the blocks investigated in this session are coastal, and during the 1840’s and 1850’s, when Ngaati Porou experimented so successfully with introduced crops, this was the land on which they were grown. Occupation and cultivation of the land was demonstrated by naming maara on the land. Crops such as kuumara, [p175] and taro appeared to have been the special concerns of family groups, while karaka, fern root, etc. were harvested from the same site by several groups. In this Court session claimants referred to the cultivation of mussel rocks[47] : ‘[we] set up a rahui so that we might cultivate. The rahui referred to is that over the kukus mussels’ (Keeti te Ahurangi, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:63), and the harvesting of named fishing grounds. Like maara on the land mussel rocks were ‘owned’ by family groups, while fishing grounds were not divided, but held in joint ownership by several hapuu:

'Te Kupenga is a cultivation there, Oparara is a hapuka fishing ground, Raorakou a hapuka fishing ground, Kopuakoura, another fishing ground, Makorokoro a moki fishing ground, Kahuitara, another moki fishing ground, Te Nikau, a fishing ground, Te Roherohe another fishing ground. Te Araaka, hapuka fishing ground. All these belonged to my tipunas, Whakarae and his “uri” ’.
(Waiheke Tureia, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:107-8).

In former Court sessions kaiwhakahaere (conductors) were prevented from giving evidence under the rules of judicial practice, their function being to present the case and cross-examine. In Judge Sim’s Court however, they were permitted to supplement their witnesses’ evidence, provided the information could not be supplied by any other witness in their case (Waiapu M.B. 42:129). The questioning of witnesses by kaiwhakahaere was for the first time recorded in the minute books. Some of the kaiwhakahaere favoured the use of evidence from former Court sessions - Papatipu Block Committee Minute Books, Appellate Court Minute Books, and Native Land Court Minute Books - to cross-examine their opponent’s witnesses:

'Paihia may have given whakapapa tracing Arero from Kopuni in Whakaangiangi case


Te Aoitaihi
Te Arero = Hapaikawa
Te Akitu

App. No.3

A. I am not clear about that. That that may be correct, but Hare Paihia did not tell me. I still say I do not know about Te Arero’s descent.
- I admit I gave that whakapapa in Whakaangiangi case (M.B. No.12 p.127) but it was given to me by Hare Paihia. If it is wrong then it was Hare Paihia’s fault. I was only the conductor’

Te Hati Houkamau cross-examined by Waiheke Tureia, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:156).

The Court accepted the validity of both traditions and whakapapa provided they had been recited undisputed in former Court sessions:

'According to Popata’s whakapapa in Tututohora case (MB 11 p.64) Karamea must have three parents. That shows that Popata’s whakapapas require scrutiny and I ask the Court to enquire into them’
(Waiheke Tureia, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 44:162).

Popata in reply says no objection to whakapapa made in Court at that time, when first gave whakapapas in Court in Tapatu case ... He said he was inexperienced in the Tututohora Case he should have stated ...

In Papatarata case many people were put in under “aroha” and not under the ancestors. Popata Pariohe said that the Court might perhaps take a wrong view, if he did not call a witness as to the whakapapa.

The Court said that as Popata had given the wh’papas and they had not been disproved the Court was bound to accept them’
(Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:162-3).

In the 1908 Court session there was a shift to using written rather than oral debates. By 1908 family traditions, formerly handed down in oral form, had been recorded in books. Members of families faced with objections to their account of traditions or whakapapa by counter claimants, produced these books in Court to validate their evidence:

'Waiheke Tureia produced ancient book showing that Tutokotaua was child of Te Auiti’
(Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 44:239);

I cannot say of my own knowledge, but I have a book with it in. I can produce if necessary’
(Hori Mahue, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:37).


These books were also used at pre-Court meetings:

'At first meetings at your house I pointed out my “take” to you. The people of the case had previously arranged at Wharekahika that Tahania was to be the “take” for the whole block. That was to be our joint “take”.

I admit I gave you whakapapa shewing descent of Te Mingi from Kairoro and my descent from Te Mingi, but I said wait till I get my book so that matter can be cleared up. I admit I never brought my book to you. Finding there was doubt about the whakapapa I did not give it to the Court’
(Hare Kopakopa, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:12).

Gazetted applications for Court hearings[48] , which had been pivotal in the 1894 Court judgments, were also produced, either to contradict boundaries given in 1908, or to show by their early date, the justness of the litigant’s claim to ownership (Hohepa Karapaina, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41:190).

In Judge MacKay’s Court there was no record that conductors summed up their evidence. In Judge Gudgeon’s Court claimants sometimes read a prepared statement aloud in Court at the end of their case, but appeared reluctant to address the Court (Waiapu M.B. 14:312). In 1908 the claimants of each case addressed the Court at length. During the final summing up in the Horoera investigation, the Court sat late into the night for two days before the speeches (of eleven claimants) were completed (Waiapu M.B. 39:171-2).

In Judge Sim’s Court of 1908 the Assessor, Haaka Tautuhi, (of Waikato?) played an active role. He conducted most of the Court’s cross-examination of witnesses. The only other Court in which the Judge and Assessor appeared to equally share responsibility for the Court was in Judge Rogan’s 1875 Court. Like Gudgeon, Sim and Tautuhi’s judgments spanned some ten-twelve pages. In every case the land was made inalienable except by way of lease. When Henare Ahuriri, the conductor of Wi Arapata’s claim to Wharekahika, asked the Court to take the cripple, Henare Koronga’s evidence by Commission, the Court said that:

'it would leave the case open, for the purpose of getting the evidence from Henare Koronga. If Henare could be brought here, well and good, if not the Court would consider the advisability of going itself to Wharekahika to get Henare Koronga’s evidence’
(Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:48).

Sim and Tautuhi’s judgments appear to be based principally on occupation:

'in many of the cases brought before this Court it looks as if the claimants being certain of the occupation of a particular ancestor, built up a take to account for the occupation.

Owing to the weakness of all the “takes” the Court is compelled to base its decision primarily on occupation’
(Whakararanui judgment, Waiapu M.B. 39:184).

When the Marangairoa No. 2 judgment was read, Waiheke Tureia suggested that the Court had merely followed the Block Committee’s decision. However the Judge contended that both he and the Assessor:

'had taken a great deal of time and pains to go carefully through all the evidence, and had come to an absolutely independent conclusion. That it had agreed with the Committee Report in a great many points was simply because the weight of evidence was in that direction’
(Waiapu M.B. 36:296).

As will be recalled from the 1885-6 session negotiations were made with the Court to lower the cost of investigations. Where land was sold or leased to the Government money was advanced for the survey or its cost subtracted from the total payment for the block. Where land was retained by owners, as in 1894, survey liens (Aruhemokopuna Block) were charged against the land, which meant that the land had to be sold or leased to meet costs. However where land such as the papatipu blocks, that is the ‘whenua tuturu’ were surveyed and later investigated by the Court some other means of raising money had to be found. The cost to set up cases in Court in 1875, at least for the Matakaoa Block, was £2-0-0 for the hearing and £1-0-0 for the Memorial of Ownership (Gisborne M.B. 2:167); in 1885-6 costs were briefly nothing, and then £1-0-0 per witness, 2/- for swearing [p179] in, and £l-0-0 for a Certificate of Title - for the Aruhemokopuna Block this amounted to £15-0-0 for the hearing and £4-0-0 for the Order of Ownership (Waiapu M.B. 11:131); in 1894 the cost was £1-2-0 per day per witness, £1-0-0 per day per cross-examination, plus £1-0-0 for an Order of Ownership - in the Mautotara Block the Judge awarded four separate pieces at £1-0-0 each (Waiapu M.B. 24:358); in 1908 the costs for witnesses and cross-examinations remained approximately the same, but with several cases set up in Court for every block, each with two or three witnesses, the overall cost of the Court proceedings increased dramatically. Subscriptions were collected to meet the costs of the survey and the Court, and from the number of disputes in Court over omissions in the ownership lists, it is clear that support for the people in Court, in subscriptions or by supplying them with food, was necessary to ensure a place in the lists of ownership:

'some of the people did not assist in advancing the case, and those who bore the burden think they should assist’
(H.T. Paipa, Marangairoa No. 2, Waiapu M.B. 39:50);

'The Court said that there was no doubt that people who had not assisted the case should get slightly smaller shares’
(Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 43:218).

In some cases even this was not enough:

'Outside the court, [he] admitted our right, and said he would urge it before the Court. We paid him money to assist in putting the case before the Court. We have stayed here on the strength of (his) word, and now he is allowing us no shares’
> (Hemi Whakarara, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 44:90-91).

Included in the Judge’s decision was the number of shares to be allocated to each descendant group of the ancestor awarded ownership. People were appointed by locals to be in charge of these lists. Claimants who had been unsuccessful in the first round of litigation were frequently found to be in control of at least one list, apparently in conjunction with their former opponents. The take set up in the investigation of title (the first [p180] round) may have been divisive, but people had more than one line of descent. In the second round (ascertainment of lists of owners) different lines of descent, which linked opponents, were evoked. Meetings were convened outside the Court, generally at HINERUPE marae, to decide the names to include in the list of owners and the allocation of shares. With people going directly from the Court to these ‘list’ discussions, the amount of time spent on land matters was considerable. By 1908 disputes over the allocation of shares was common practice. Litigants took these disputes into the Court to be settled by the Judge, and further evidence of traditional histories and whakapapa were recounted of shares to be allocated to each descendant group of the ancestor awarded ownership. People were appointed by locals to be in charge of these lists. Claimants who had been unsuccessful in the first round of litigation were frequently found to be in control of one list, apparently in conjunction with their former opponent. Meetings were convened outside the Court, generally at HINERUPE marae, to decide the names to include in the list and the allocation of shares. By 1908 disputes over the allocation of shares was common practice. Litigants took these disputes into the Court to be settled by the Judge, and further evidence of traditional histories and whakapapa were recounted during these investigations. Claimants stated that people were included in the lists of ownership for several reasons:

'Some descendants of Te Aowharura have been admitted into lands of other children of Hinerupe - but there are various ways of getting in - money, aroha, and intermarriages’
(Waiheke Tureia, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 43:99);

'In Papatarata case many people were put in under “aroha” and not under the ancestors’
(Popata Pariohe, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 44:162).

This suggests that even within the fixed tenure created by the Land Court people found a little room to manoeuvre.


The Nature of the Evidence

The methods employed to validate evidence in this Court session are both Maori and Pakeha. Meetings, and the decisions of elders are still used to justify or validate evidence in Court, but so are written documents. More than in any other Court session, evidence that had been acceptable to earlier Courts was produced as ‘proof’ to demonstrate ownership of land. This proof was also used to undermine the credibility of witnesses. While there appear to be few accounts of survey disputes, at least in comparison to the evidence given in the 1885-6 Court session, I suggest that this is because the disputes have shifted to become open challenges of traditional histories and whakapapa. Written, and by implication fixed, accounts are being used as the weapons in this challenge.

In the evidence given before the Court during this session claimants refer persistently to their own movement across the landscape:

'Those persons lived here and at Waiapu. They went backwards and forwards, but their permanent residence was here’
(Himiona Apanui, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:122);

'Our occupation was intermittent, first at Okarae, then Wharekahika and so on. It was so with Hare Reweti and the others they would stay at Okarae [near Lottin Point] for a time, then go to Whangaparaoa and so on’
(Hare Kopakopa, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41:371);

'my section would live with the Hunaara people and then go away’
(Keeti te Ahurangi, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:244);

'Wharepa [an ancestor] lived sometimes at Wharekahika and sometimes at Waiapu - don’t know where Uenuku born, but Uenuku’s children were born in Waiapu and then came here, while Paia still living.

Te Aowhakama and his wife Te Aotaihi (of Kopuni) were here [Te Kawakawa] after they had been at Horoera’
(Te Keepa Patahuri, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41:264).

This suggests that not only in the lifetime of the people in Court but even [p182] in pre-contact times there was an ebb and flow of people across the landscape. Harawira Huriwai stated the people shifted their residence out of ‘good feeling’ and their relationship with others (Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:27). He also pointed out that some of the people who have rights to the Horoera Block live at Waiapu, some at Kawakawa, some up Awatere River, and that they are called Wha Tuterangiwhiu, Wha Kopuni, Wha Hunaara, Wha Kahuteiro (Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:94). Another claimant, Popata Pariohe claimed that hapuu names were dependent on residence: ‘When they lived on this side of Takanga they were known as Wha Te Aopare. At Takanga they were known as Wha Tuwhakairioraiti’ (Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 43:186); while Henare Koronga suggests that even take to land could shift: ‘No permanent “take’s” there. Those I had were ancient ones which I do not now recognise’ (Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:311). Therefore it appears that not only was occupation fluid, but also rights to land and the name one evoked to claim these rights.

In the evidence given before the Court in this session, claimants for the first time refer to rights to land growing cold, apparently in response to the Land Court:

'I would not have objected to the others. Their rights to land were still warm but owing to their having set up cases, I am strong against them. I treated them leniently in Papatarata case’

Popata Pariohe, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 43:180).

There is also some indication that shortly before Land Court sessions commenced, groups of claimants travelled to blocks firstly, to familiarise themselves with the land and the sites of occupation, and secondly, to warm up their rights to the land:

'Perhaps you have come to try and make your right warm. The days are coming when Wharekahika will be put thro’ the Court and you will then be setting up cases. I will not prevent that but now I object to your staying here’
(Whaaka Tamariki, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41:328).


People also began to occupy all their rights to land for limited periods to ensure their residence patterns fitted the criteria used by the Court in awarding title to land: ‘he knew that residence would save the land so he went back to Waiapu’ (Hana te Rore, Pakihikura Block, Waiapu M.B 24:185).

Evidence given in this session also suggests that ownership was, prior to the awards of title made by the Land Court, quite flexible. People were placed on land: ‘Anaru’s occupation at Horoera was not ancestral, it was Te Mokena who placed both Anaru and Karepa on the land’ (Te Hatawira Houkamau, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:144); and maara (cultivations) were gifted in exchange for avenging death, tattooing, building canoes, etc. There is some indication that boundaries were fixed to settle disputes in former times (Manahi Parapara, Tokata Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:266), however a number of groups could live on the same land at different times (Paora Taihaaki, Ahomatariki Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:230). Local Matakaoa people referred to the land in terms of a named ancestor rather than a block throughout their cases. In 1879 a boundary between the two tribes Whanau-a-Apanui and Ngaati Porou was fixed (Hohepa Karapaina, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 41:223).

Another theme which emerges from all the judgments delivered in this Court session is that the blocks were occupied by what Judge Sim termed ‘papatipu people’:

'When the land changed ownership either by conquest or occupation the ‘papatipu people’ remained in occupation, and the two lines intermarried’
(Whakararanui judgment, Waiapu M.B. 39:182; cf. Horoera judgment, ibid:191).

Claimants in this Court session persistently distinguish between two lines of descent, mana whenua (authority over land) or papatipu and mana tangata (authority over people):

'a rangatira has mana over the people only or sometimes over both people and land ... During his lifetime Te Houkamau Iharaira Te Houkamau had mana over the land at Wharekahika and over the people too. As to the land sometimes his [p184] brothers had greater “mana” than he ... The parents gave land to the female children’
(Waiheke Tureia, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:107; 149).

The claims to the block investigated in this session revolve around the two rights to land. Even claimants whose take was reliant on mana tangata admit: ‘Tuwhakairiora had no land rights his right was his descent from Porourangi and his ringakaha’ (Te Hati Houkamau, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:134), this claimant also suggested however that the ‘papatipu is not a reliable “take” ’ (Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 40:23). Another claimant pointed out to the Court that the ringakaha (mana tangata) over papatipu (mana whenua) had been accepted by former Court sessions (Popata Pariohe, Tapatu Block, Waiapu M.B. 43:183). The relationship between the two lines:

'I don’t admit or deny the cases before the Court - they all come under mine. The mana belonged to Tuwhakairiora, and those who got their rights got it from him’
(Te Hati Houkamau, Horoera Block, Waiapu M.B. 39:152)

hints that a balance between the two lines existed.

The early Court sessions (1885-6) awarded ownership of land primarily to mana tangata lines - conquests of land and people. In 1908 the judgments based principally on occupation (which as I have suggested was in a constant state of flux) favoured the papatipu or mana whenua line. judgment in favour of either line denies the fact that these two lines had co-existed (peacefully?) for several generations.

A Discussion

The evidence given in this session suggests a constant ebb and flow of people across the landscape. An almost equally fluid potential ownership of land, and that land and sea were both ‘owned’; smaller portions - maara of mussels and vegetable foodstuffs were the special concerns of family groups (hapuu?), while fishing grounds and bush reserves were ‘owned’ jointly and utilised jointly by several groups (hapuu) linked by descent [p185] from a common ancestor.

In the 1875 Court local people claimed whole blocks under a tribal name; the boundaries were defined by the surveyor’s map and no whakapapa was given, and only the briefest of tribal history. In 1885-6 whole blocks as defined by the surveyor’s map were again claimed, and only one hapuu (not tribal) name was given: ‘I live at Te Kawakawa. My hapu is Te Whanau-a-Hinerupe of Te Whanau-a-Tuwhakairiora tribe’ (Piniha te Rito, Aruhemokopuna Block, Waiapu M.B. 11:243). This session was the first in which whakapapa appeared in the evidence, and it will be recalled the Matakaoa district was fraught with survey disputes. The two Judges began to apportion titles to land between groups (e.g. Aruhemokopuna judgment, Waiapu M.B. 11). In 1894 claimants went into Court and claimed only portions of the surveyed land: ‘I know the land Pakihikura - claim only part of this land’ (Manahi Parapara, Pakihikura Block, Waiapu M.B. 24:150). For the first time claimants gave brief boundaries, and more than one hapuu name to the land. In 1908 the claims to portions even include single maara on the land under investigation. Boundaries and whakapapa were given in every claim. For the first time however in Court whakapapa was disputed. This suggests that local people in their evidence in Court attempted to accommodate European concepts of ownership to fit their own. Not only was occupation, fixed ownership, and land rather than sea ownership stressed, but the way people set up their claims to the land in the Land Court was also tailored to fit the individual Land Court Judges criteria of ownership.



Chapter 4

[1] By negotiative I include the whole gamut of interaction from co-operation and adjustment through to protest and warfare.

[2] In 1900 this role was handed to the Maori Land Councils under the Maori Land Administration Act.

[3] Court sessions were held at Opotiki (about eighty miles north of Te Araroa), Waipiro, Waiomatatini, Port Awanui (about thirty miles south of Te Araroa), and Uawa (about eighty miles south of Te Araroa) from 1875 to 1886.

[4] Of four cases heard before the Appellate Court at Waipiro in 1895, only one former judgment was left unaltered (Judge Mair, W.G. Diary 21st January-26th March MS-A31).

[5] Local people applied to have their land (surveyed blocks) investigated by the Court. These applications were gazetted in Te Kahiti along with the date of the Court investigation of title to notify all interested (those with claims) parties.

[6] Porter, who fought alongside the Government-side leader Ropata Wahawaha (see footnote 11) in 1868 at Ngatapa, and pursued Te Kooti through the Urewera country in 1870-2, married a close relation of the Chief Henare Potae of Tokomaru Bay. He was very close to Ropata Wahawaha - published a book on Ropata’s life - almost like a son. In 1874 at the Wharekahika Hui of Iharaira Te Houkamau, he was appointed by Ngaati Porou (in preference to Wilson who already had been appointed by the Government) as the Government Land Commissioner for the Waiapu. The Chief Herewini Tamahori claimed Porter had ‘grown up amongst them’ and Tamati Kakano said his ‘worth was known to all the people’ (Te Waka Maori, Wharekahika Hui Report lst December 1874:286-8).

[7] Only people whose names were included in the list of awarded owners could apply for a rehearing, and then it was over to the discretion of the Chief Judge (1873 Native Lands Act).

[8] In at least one case the judgment, which took two days to read, was given solely in English in Court (Judge Mair, W. Diary 12th March 1900 of Judge MacKay).

[9] One of the Wharekahika Chiefs who attended the conference at Kohimaarama in 1860 (see page 61).

[10] cf. Judges of 1885-1886, 1894 and 1908.


[11] Ropata Wahawaha was a key figure in land negotiations between Ngaati Porou and Government. In 1865, during the fighting between the Hauhau and the Government at Waiapu, Ropata Wahawaha distinguished himself as one of the Ngaati Porou leaders who fought on the Government-side. In 1868 he led the Ngaati Porou contingent against Te Kooti at Ngatapa (inland from Gisborne), and from 1870-2 he, accompanied by Porter (see footnote 6), pursued Te Kooti through the Urewera country. In 1878 he was presented with a Sword of Honour and appointed to the Legislative Council. He died at Gisborne in 1897 and was buried with full military honours at Waiomatatini (MacKay, J. 1949:297).

[12] Te Hatiwira Houkamau distinguished himself in leading, with Paratene Ngata, a contingent of Ngaati Porou to Taranaki in 1867. As the eldest son of the Ariki Iharaira Te Houkamau he became, on his father’s death, the Chief of Te Whanau-a-Tuwhakairiora. Like his father, he actively negotiated with Government to bring peace between the two peoples - Maori and Pakeha. He was a key figure in all the Land Court sessions held on the East Coast.

[13] ‘When in Court, to support that claim, I always swore to the truth on your Bible. I rubbed my nose well on it, and then I traced my descent ... ’ (Kowhia Ngutu Kaka in McDonnell n.d.:495).

[14] These rent receivers were closely related high-ranking elders (or Chiefs) from Wharekahika (Hicks Bay).

[15] Mana generally descends through Chiefly lines by primogeniture. Mokena Kohere’s eldest son, Hone Mokena only appears in the Court minute books as an advisor or mediator, never as a witness or a claimant, although his name is included in ownership lists (1885-1886 Court sittings). He never appears to be in a position to be judged or his authority questioned, in fact Judge MacKay and Judge Wilson asked his advice. Another son of Mokena Kohere, Tuhaka Mokena conducted several cases.

[16] Rogan and his Assessors appear to have worked closely together: ‘The judgment given had been agreed upon between me and the Assessor ... ’ (Rogan, AJHR 1877 G-5:39); ‘The judgment of Waingaromia No. 2 was mostly mine ... ’ (Hone Peti, ibid:40).


‘Preparations are being made at Waiapu for a large meeting, to be held shortly, to celebrate the opening of a carved house built for a chief called Anaru te Kahaki ... Invitations have been sent by Ngatiporou to people of other districts to attend this meeting. The business will not be confined to local matters, but questions affecting the Maori race generally will be discussed. The meeting, I believe, has reference to a movement instituted by Ngapuhi, bearing on the Treaty of Waitangi’
Brooking, J. AJHR 1883 G-1A:8).


[18] Cf.

‘Tuta Nihoniho, the well-known Ngati-Porou chief, had committed a breach of the law and, on a visit to Gisborne, he was arrested. In those early days, for a chief to be arrested was, from a Maori point of view, unthinkable. My grandfather [Mokena Kohere] happened to be in Gisborne at the time and, in dismay, the Maoris told him what had happened. He summed up the situation and agreed that it was a disgrace that a relative of his and a fellow tribesman should be arrested and imprisoned. He hastened to meet the policeman and his charge, then he grabbed Tuta’s hand and pulled him from the officer. The officer remonstrated and told Mokena that Tuta had broken the law. The chief then clapped his forehead with his hand and said, “I am the law”. The officer wisely said nothing’
Kohere, R. 1951:133-4).

[19] For a comprehensive account of these Committees see Jane McRae’s 1981 thesis - Participation: Native Committees (1883) and Papatupu Block Committees (1900) in Tai Tokerau.

[20] Under the 1874 Land Amendment Act a majority of shareholders were required to sign their agreement for sale, lease, or mortgage of their land. The 1878 Amendment Act, the Native Land Court Act of 1880, the 1883 Amendment Act, and the 1886 Native Land Administration Act, all reinforced the intention of the 1874 Amendment Act. It was possible to circumvent these restrictions (except for the 1886 Act) by lodging an application for a partition with the Land Court.

[20] A block south of the Waiapu River and therefore outside the Matakaoa district.

[22] He continued: ‘There were two great chiefs of Ngatiporou - Te Hokamo, who is dead, and Tamanui Tera, who is the great surviving chief’ (Wi Pewhairangi, AJHR 1885 G-1:74).

[23] Cf. the spread of the Paimarire religion and the Hauhau Movement in the 1860’s.

[24] During the Ngamoe title investigation the kuia Tuihana Tawhiri wanted to set up a claim in her own right. Tuta Nihoniho informed the Court that she was his senior relation. When the Court asked her why she disclaimed connection with her own tribe, ‘she explained that she had lost one of her cases by her first cousin’s mismanagement of it’. The Court would not allow her to set up a separate case (Waiapu M.B. 11:86).

[25] Cf. page 133.

[26] Hori Ropiha accompanied King Tawhiao to England to request the Queen to fulfill the promises of the Treaty of Waitangi in regard to the large land confiscations suffered by Waikato after the 1860 warfare.


[27] A descendant of one of the claimants in this case has written a thesis relating the history of this block. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the Waipiro investigation by the Land Court (Te Awarau, W.M. 1927).

[28] Claimants in the Land Court never referred to any other Court sessions in this way.

[29] This Bill later became the 1886 Equitable Owners Act. Under the 1873 Native Lands Act, all shares to land had to be decided by the adjudged owners and confirmed by the Land Court. Court sessions were often involved in disputes over share allocation. This Act, by awarding equal rights, that is equal shares to all owners tried to overcome this problem, but at the same time it meant that people with more than one line of descent to the land (and therefore more than one right to the land) were disadvantaged, and high-born people - rangatira lines - were made equivalent, in terms of shares received, to ‘slaves’.


Ko tena te Wirihana, he pakeke - he pukeko no Opotiki
- That one, Wilson is a hard (obstinate, difficult, stiff) man - a water hen from Opotiki’
(Te Waka Maori 17th November 1874:287).

He was rejected as the Government Land Commissioner for the Ngaati Porou district in favour of Porter (ibid).

[31] The reason for shifting the Court to Awanui given in the Minute Book was ‘that a fever of a malignant form had appeared at Waiomatatini’ (Waiapu M.B. 11:232).

[32] In all but one case of survey dispute cited during the title investigations by the 1885-6 Court, Government land purchase was involved.

[33] When Te Hati Houkamau and Hare Kopakopa were sent by Iharaira Te Houkamau to stop the European confiscation survey of Wharekahika (see page 124) the intent of menace may well have been the same.

[34] Harris made the same point in 1891 before the Native Lands Commission at Turanganui (AJHR 1891 G-1).

[35] Manahi Parapara and Te Hatiwira Houkamau shared the same mother, a woman of high-rank, Ripeka Te Paremamaku. She was married to Iharaira Te Houkamau until the missionary Rota Waitoa told Te Houkamau that to be a Christian he must have only one wife. She remarried and Manahi was one of the offspring of this union. Manahi Parapara, like so many Matakaoa people of his generation, appears to have been part of the Ngaati Porou contingent sent to Taranaki in 1867. From 1894, he became one of the key figures in the Land Court of Matakaoa.


[36] Ripeka Te Paremamaku, Mere Katene’s sister and the mother of Manahi Parapara and Te Hatiwira Houkamau appears to have kept aloof from the Land Court (cf. Mokena Kohere page 116).

[37] In the cross-examination of Mereana Waipauhu in the investigation of the Mautotara Block Renata Tihore recited a whakapapa and asked her whether it was true, she replied ‘all the people you mention belong here but don’t know if they have a right’ (Waiapu M.B. 24:135).

[38] Contention in this Court was less than in 1908, yet the 1908 judgments were much shorter. The length of judgment reflects, I believe, the style in which Judge Gudgeon conducted his Court.

[39] By the age of seven Eruera Kawhia Stirling had been taught important aspects of history, whakapapa and boundaries of the big blocks around Raukokore (Stirling/Salmon 1976:154).

[40] Judge Gudgeon also suggested:

Hinerupe [an ancestress] did not divide her lands among her descendants, but left it to them in common and this being the case it results that all those of her descendants who continued to reside here had an undoubted right to the lands of this ancestor a right that in the opinion of the Court was never disputed until recently’
(Omaika judgment, Waiapu M.B. 25:237A:2).


‘If there had been no agreement [over the Whangaparaoa/Wharekahika boundary] the dispute would have been decided by the Court’
(Paratene Ngata, Wharekahika Block, Waiapu M.B. 42:128).

[42] This includes meetings to decide the take, Block Committees and the Land Court and meetings to decide the lists of names to be attached to the title.

[43] These two women were sisters and famed ancestors of the Matakaoa district.

[44] Under the 1904 Native Lands Rating Act rates were payable on all Maori land previously investigated and awarded title by the Native Land Court (Introduction to the 1909 Native Lands Act).

[45] Stout-Ngata Land Commission sat from 1907 to 1908.

Their purpose was not to provide new means of opening up Maori land, but to designate which land should be dealt with by each of the existing means - meet Maori owners on their own ground, and decide on the spot what areas are required for their use and what they are willing to have opened for settlement’
(Williams, J. 1977:128).

[46] Porter had recently returned from active duty - leading the East Coast Hussar to the Boer War.


'Now not far from the Taumata area there are 3 rocks - mussel rocks, belonging to the family - like Makarita's family and granny Peti's, etc. Makarita was the diver member of the family and she took charge of these rocks. All down the family line these rocks have been known as 'specials' for the family only. If an outsider ventured on to the rocks he or she was looking for trouble as these rocks were guarded by 'Mutu' a stingray with no sword, hence the name 'Mutu''
(Ereti Collier in McConnell, R. 1980:86).

[48] See footnote 5.

A gazetted application for a Court hearing

15      Katene, Ngatoko, Manahi Parapara
Keeti te Ahurangi, Popata Matera (8-3)
   Tokata.. .. ..          Timata i Mangarau, Puhitoroa Tokotaa, Te Kauanga,
Te Iringa o Manuka, Horahora Ngarehu, ka ahu whaka waho, Te Mapou, Moanui, ka ahu
whaka runga te Waiparuparu Taumataiti, Oruakarahea,
Te Karaka, Pukemanuka, Pohatu a Tamapikotahi,
ka heke ki Wairenga, reretonu i te raina
o Pukeamaru, Te Reretitaha, Te Reretotara,
whakaeke ki Nikuroa, Te Rakato Omarutaha Rua
a Kairahui, Taiporutu, Urukawakawa, taputu ki
Karakatuhero, ka ahu whaka waho Te Mahia
Tainga o te Riaki, Opure, Te Rongookino Manukaraina,
Te Mako, Te Rimu, riini ano ki Mangarau.
(Te Kahiti o Niu Tirani 7 Tihema, 1893).


In this thesis I have explored the setting in which the cross-cultural translation of the concept of land principally occurred. By concentrating on one part of the country - the Matakaoa district of the East Coast - I have tried to point up the complexities of action and of interpretation between Maori and Pakeha at the local level. The divergent interests of hapuu in the Matakaoa district during the period considered (1840-1909), as well as the strategies adopted to prevent the alienation of land makes even a local level investigation extremely difficult, therefore the themes which I discuss below from my research are tentative rather than definitive.

The first theme is the Queen’s relationship to the Maori people of the East Coast. From the Matakaoa Chiefs’ statements at Kohimaarama, and at Iharaira Te Houkamau’s Wharekahika Hui, the Queen was given collectively by the Chiefs of New Zealand, part of the responsibility both spiritual and physical for guarding, keeping, watching over (tiaki) the balance of the world. To guard against the ‘new’ enemies she appointed missionaries who brought The Word of God to unite or make equivalent the two peoples on the spiritual plane, and the Governor (and those appointed by the Government such as Land Commissioners, Resident Magistrates, and Land Court Judges) who brought the Law to unite or make equivalent, the two peoples on the physical plane. This responsibility only extends to the interaction between Maori and Pakeha, the tahaa Pakeha (Pakeha side), and means that the tahaa Maori (Maori side) remains under the Maori Chiefs’ authority.


The second theme which emerges from the Land Court material is the flexibility of use, occupation, and apparent ownership of land by Maori people prior to the investigation of title by the Land Court. These three aspects appear to have been in the Matakaoa district at least in a constant state of flux:

Traditionally tribes would ensure that all portions of tribal territory were visted and used with sufficient frequency to maintain proprietary rights’
(Munn 1981:17).

Waaka (1982) also indirectly infers that in Whakarewarewa the people occupied the land intermittently. This suggests that my findings in relation to the Matakaoa district may be more widely applicable.

From the evidence given by claimants in the Court it also appears that the concepts of land use and ownership are extended to the sea. So that raahui (reserves) are set up over both land and sea, maara of mussels and kuumara are similarly the special concerns of family groups, and bush land and fishing grounds were similarly jointly-owned and jointly utilised (probably not at the same time although this would depend on the links - kin ties - between the several groups) by larger (tribal?) groups - several hapuu.

The third theme which emerges from the evidence given in the Land Court is the existence of two lines of descent - mana whenua (power over land) and mana tangata (power over people). Broughton (1979) suggests a similar differentiation between the people of the land, and those that arrived on the AOTEA canoe. He also suggests that the genealogies that linked these two lines were especially constructed for the Maori Land Court (ibid:121). The Matakaoa material suggests that titles to land were awarded in the first Land Court sessions to mana tangata groups when the criterion used by the Judges was conquest - ‘ringakaha’. The later Land [194] Court sessions (1908) awarded titles of land ownership principally on the criterion of occupation; in these sessions therefore, the judgments favour the mana whenua lines.



Ariki     - high Chief
Aruhe     - fern root
Haka     - war chant, with actions
Haakari     - feast
Hapuu     - sub-tribe
Hara     - sin, offence
Hui     - gathering, meeting
Iwi     - tribe
Iwi kee     - foreigner
Kai     - food
Kaitiaki     - guardian
Kaakaa     - native parrot
Kahiti     - Gazette, Maori language version of the New Zealand Gazette
Karaka     - a tree with edible berries - Corynocarpus laevigata
Karere     - messenger
Kaumatua     - elder
Kaupapa     - main body of the speech
Kawana     - Governor
Kawanatanga     - Governorship, Government
Kiekie     - a climbing plant with edible fruit, used for special kits - Freycinetia banksii
Kina     - sea egg
Kino     - bad, wrongdoing
Koha     - gift
Kuia     - old lady
Kuumara     - sweet potato
Kuupapa     - neutral, lying flat
Maara     - cultivation
Mana     - spiritual power, authority
Mana tangata     - authority over people
Mana whenua     - authority over land
Marae     - ceremonial meeting-place
Mate    - downfall, sickness, death
Matua     - elder
Mauri     - life-force
Mokopuna     - grandchild
Niu Tireni     - New Zealand
Nui     - big
Ope     - group, party of people
Ora     - life, well-being
Paa     - fortified site
Pakeha     - European
Paanui     - advertisement, public notification
Papatipu     - lit. ‘growing earth’; ancestral rights to land
Paaua     - shellfish, haliotis
Pouherenga     - fastening post
Puukoorero     - mouth piece of knowledge
Puupuu     - shellfish, cats-eye
Raahui     - Reserve
Rangatira     - Chief
Raruraru     - troubled, busy
Ruunanga     - council
Take     - interest, cause
Tamariki     - child
Tangata whenua     - hosts
Tapu     - sacred restriction, sacred
Tauparapara     - formal opening of a speech
Taawhara     - edible bracts surrounding the kiekie fruit
Tiaki     - guard, watch over
Tika     - correct, proper or natural order
Toetoe     - sedge used traditionally to insulate houses - Arunda kakao
Tutu     - a shrub, Cororia arborea, which bears berries from which the juice is prepared for drinking
Waiata     - chant, song
Whaikoorero     - oration, speech
Whakamutunga     - formal closing of a speech
Whakapapa     - genealogy
Whakatauki     - proverbial saying
Whenua here     - permanent land
Whenua tuuturu     - permanent land


Primary Sources


Official Records

Cook County Council Records (held in Gisborne)

       1. Inwards letters 1877-1887

       2. Letter Books I and II 1877-1890 (GMA)

Lands and Survey District Office Gisborne

       1. Original Survey Maps - ML (Maori Land)

       2. Surveyor’s Field Notebooks

Maori Land Court

       1. Gisborne Minute Books 1-2 (microfilm AU)

       2. Waiapu Minute Books 1-43 (microfilm AU and National Archives)

McLean, D. qMS Official Papers MS32 Letter Books Outwards (ATL)

Munro, Judge Notes on Proceedings of the Poverty Bay Commission, 1869 (AIL)

Old Land Claims File (National Archives)

Waiapu County Council Minute Books 1890-1905 (held at Te Puia Springs)

Unofficial Records

1. Journals and Diaries:

Baker, C. Notes for Journal 1853-7 MS22 (AIL)

Fedarb, J. Diary 1839-52 (APL)

McLean, D. Diary and Notes Octavo Sequence qMS Papers MS32 1865-6 (ATL)

Mair, Judge W. Diary and Papers MS-A31 (AU)

Porter, Captain T. Diary 1869 (GMA)

Taylor, R. Diary and Journal 1838 typescript (AIL)

Williams, J. Journal 1840 (AIL)

Williams, W. Journal 1834-49 typescript (AIL)

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Church Missionary Society Letter Book, Inwards, London 1820-41 (held in Auckland Anglican Diocese Archives)

Reports from missionaries CN/M Volumes 15 and 16 (microfilm AU)

Smith, T.H. Papers MS283 Inwards Letters 1859-82 (AIL)

Selwyn, G.A. Papers MS273 typescript (AIL)

3. Manuscripts:

The Treaty of Waitangi: an Explanation by A. Ngata - MS Papers 307 typescript Maori Purposes Fund Board (ATL)


1. Official Publications

Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives

British Parliamentary Papers

Hawkes Bay Provincial Council Proceedings

Te Kahiti o Niu Tireni

New Ulster Gazette

New Zealand Gazette

New Zealand Statutes

Sessional Papers

Votes and Proceedings

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The Gisborne Times

Te Karere o Niu Tireni

He Kupu Whakamarama

Te Manuhiri Tuarangi

Te Pipiwharauroa

Te Waka Maori

Te Waka Maori o Ahuriri

Te Wananga

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A Brief Narrative of a New Zealand Chief, being The Remarkable History of Barnet Burns An English Sailor 1844 (in Life in Early Poverty Bay, Gisborne 1927).

Address to His Countrymen 10th October, 1832 by Busby, J. (AIL)

Address to the Tai Rawhiti Association, 1932 by Sir A.T. Ngata (AIL)

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1983 Gail H. Dallimore