Volume 4: The Crown, The Treaty and the Hauraki Tribes 1800-1885

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Chapter 3: Extension of Government control over gold field lands, 1865-1870: page 151  (40 pages)
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Chapter III: Extension of Government Control Over Gold Field Lands, 1865–1870

mined Karaka block, and with land to the east and south already unlocked to prospectors, Riwai seems to have realised the hopeless nature of his resistance to the opening of Otunui. Mackay merely states, 'he completed an arrangement with the Ngati Maru tribe, and my old opponent Riwai, to allow mining over Otunui Block'.37 A few days earlier (on 13 December) Ngati Maru had consented to the lease of their lands at Manaia, but the boundary being disputed by Tawera, the area could not be opened for general mining. Mackay was unable to settle the matter and in February 1868 turned his attention to Hikutaia which had been made a matter of priority for the Government, by discovery of gold in the district:

I went to Hikutaia, and visited Herewini to Rangai, and the Hauhaus of Ngatimaru residing there, with a view to inducing them to arrange the dispute about the boundary between their lands and those of the Ngatiwhanaunga Tribe, as it had become a matter of importance, owing to the discovery of gold at Te Puriri. I however found them civil but very obstinate about their claims; they would neither agree to any adjustment of the dispute, nor land gold mining on any land claimed by them.38

Finding no agreement possible, McLean opened the field as far south as Omahu Stream, which was 'undisputed country'. In 1868 this area was designated as Puriri Block and included in Te Mamaku no. 2 agreement of 9 March 1868.39

It was here, at the Omahu Stream, that Te Hira, Tukukino, and their followers attempted to hold an aukati, beyond which Hauraki would retain full autonomy over their lands. In April 1868 Mackay reported that he had visited Ohinemuri in an attempt 'to prevent the Hauhau Natives from handing their lands and those of the friendly Natives over to the so-called Maori King', but had 'found it quite impossible to do anything towards the cession of the Ohinemuri district owing to the opposition of Te Hira's party'.40 This group, dubbed 'ultra-Hauhaus' by Mackay, included Hohepa Te Rauhihi and Mere Kuru and were drawn largely from the Keriwera hapu of Ngati Tamatera. It will be seen in later discussion that their ability to withhold those lands from the Government's control was rapidly undermined by the operation of the land court, unremitting Government pressure to effect some sort of opening, and increasing insistence that right-holders agree to the alienation not just of mineral rights but of the complete freehold of lands.41

The Terms of Thames Gold Field Cession, 1868

In negotiating the immediate opening of the Thames field, Mackay turned his attention next to arranging the 'residence and cultivation reserves' which, in the course of earlier negotiations, he had agreed would be closed to mining: 'at Puriri Warahoe, Parawai, and Kakaramata, for the Ngatimaru and Ngatiwhanaunga Tribes, and at Waiaonui, Te Mata, Kerita, and Matariki, for the Ngatitamatera'.42 Once the reserves had been agreed,

37 Report by Mackay on Thames Gold Fields, 27 July 1869. AJHR, 1869, A-17, p. 7. Doc. 59, p. 1365.

38 Ibid.Doc. 59, p. 1365.

39 Turton, Maori Deeds, no. 359, pp. 466–470. Doc. 53, pp. 1317–1322.

40 Report by Mackay relative to the Thames Gold Field, 27 July 1869. AJHR, 1869 A–17, p. 8. Doc. 59, p. 1366.

41 See further discussion, pp. 215–217, 232–240

42 Report by Mackay on Thames Gold Fields, 27 July 1869. AJHR, 1869, A-17, p. 8. Doc. 59, p. 1366.