New Zealand Land Purchases
Four documents, official transcripts of deeds relating to the Murihiku Purchase and the Rakiura (Stewart Island) Purchase, comprising:
'Deed of Purchase of the Murihiku Block', Dunedin, 17 August 1853, in English, the agreement of the chiefs to the price, the delineation of the boundaries and the specification of the Maori reserves, together with acknowledgements of the first (1853) and second (1854) payments; including a full-page MAP OF THE PURCHASE after Charles H. Kettle, Government Surveyor, entitled 'Sketch map of the southern extremity of the Middle Island of New Zealand', in pen and ink and three colours, the 'Native Reserves' coloured yellow and listed, altogether title, map and seven pages, folio, of text; endorsed on title 'Superintendent's office Southland 1864'; an apparently Maori name ('?Taia') is inserted or signed in pencil after the text of the main agreement;
Deed of purchase of Rakiura (Stewart Island), n.p., 29 June 1864, two copies, the first in Maori, the second in English, agreeing to a sale of the whole island except for certain specified reserves, and acknowledging the initial payment, the signatories listed; the Maori version including a sketch map of Rakiura, 205 x 120mm, in pen and ink and three colours, Maori reserves coloured in yellow and numbered with reference to the main text; altogether seven pages, folio; each copy certified as 'a correct copy of the original' and signed by Henry T. Clarke (representative of Queen Victoria in the sale) and Theophilus Heal J.P. (chief surveyor of Southland), and each endorsed 'Received 9th July 1864 W.F. Tarlton Provincial Treasurer';
Document signed by John Topi, Executor of Henaru Paitu deceased, Dunedin, 7 April 1877, an acknowledgement of the payment of £64, being a 'one fifth share of interest on Two thousand Pounds part purchase money of Stewarts Island', one page, folio.
Land purchases in New Zealand were conducted under the terms of the pivotal Treaty of Waitangi, 6 February 1840, under which the British Crown promised to protect Maori interests, and was given right of pre-emption on all land sales.
The Murihiku purchase was conducted by Walter Mantell, the newly appointed commissioner of Crown lands in Dunedin: after a series of discussions, and a ten-week journey to visit Maori settlements in the area, negotiations were concluded for the purchase of over seven million acres of land, comprising the southern tip of South Island, with the reservation of 4875 acres in seven reserves; the eventual price was £2,600. Charles Kettle was commissioned in February 1852 to survey the reserves. The sale has been subject to some criticism for the insufficient protection of Maori rights, the comparatively small purchase price, and the inadequacy of the reserves.
Rakiura (Stewart Island) was the last major land purchase from the Maori: the purchase officer for the Crown, Henry Tacy Clarke, is described as unusual in the reports of the Waitangi tribunal, in that 'he appears to have taken particular care to protect the interests of [the Maori]'. The purchase was for £6,000, of which a third was paid immediately, a third invested for certain named beneficiaries (the receipt in this lot relates to this portion) and the remaining third set aside as an educational endowment. For this sum the whole of Rakiura was purchased, excepting nine reserves amounting to 935 acres, and a separate reserve for 'half-castes'. Controversy relating to this sale has focused on the fate of the outlying Titi Islands, of which only 21 were reserved for Maori. (4)