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Correspondence Relative to the Manawatu Block



Manawatu, 14th April, 1866.

To the Assembly,—

That is the word expressing our intention to hold fast to the land which was publicly spoken to Dr. Featherston. First: This side of Rangitikei I kept back from the hand of Governor Grey and Mr. McLean, that is to say from Ngatiapa, and I surrendered the other side to that Governor. After that Governor Browne urged (upon us to sell) Rangitikei and Manawatu. I agreed to sell Te Awahou and Te Ahuoturanga; the desires of these tribes were accomplished (in respect of the sale of those lands) to this Governor and that Governor, the desire to sell land to the Queen has ceased. This is my heart's core that you are striving to obtain. "We do not like to give up this small piece to you," that was the constant word of Ngatiraukawa to Dr. Featherston on the 5th of April. The third word was to the effect that the Land Court alone could solve the difficulty attending this land. This is what we are waiting for.

On the 14th of April Dr. Featherston made answer to us. His words were clear to the four tribes. His attaching blame to us was a new word. There are eight hundred of Whanganui, there are two hundred of Ngatiapa, Rangitane and Muaupoko are one hundred; but you O Ngatiraukawa are a half— a small portion. Another word of Dr. Featherston's was—"We went together with these tribes to fight against the rebel tribes upon the authority of the Queen: they have consented to the sale. I have agreed to their (proposal). This land is in my hand." Now we objected to his word: "Your doing is simply taking our land by force. The eight hundred of Whanganui are not present at this meeting. You utter your mysterious words (kupu taurangi) to intimidate us." He replied: "That is all. It is done. I will give the money to the sellers." We answered: "It is wrong. I will hold on to my own land for ever. I will not take your money." This was always the word of all the people.

(Here follow the signatures.)