Land was 'sold, not stolen'

In the Whanganui Chronicle, December 29, we see Harry Haitana's claim that "the Government of the time had literally stolen" Mangapapa and a claim that "... the land was never put up for sale".

To a casual reader it would appear the land was taken without payment by an earlier Government, but a simple search reveals Harry's grave allegation and claim to be wrong.

To quote from August 11, 1879, MA-MLP 1, 1899/20 78. Wynard and Purchas, Solicitors, to Native Land Purchase Commissioner, Auckland, 30 January 1895, MA-MLP 1:


"On 11 March 1893 Wiremu Kauika wrote to the Native Minister (Cadman), offering to sell Mangapapa 1C1 and 1C2 Blocks (Wanganui) to the Crown. Mangapapa 1C had been through the Maori Land Court, and there were 49 names in the original title," Kauika wrote.

"I advertised it in the newspaper a short time for leasing purposes but now they (the owners) wish me to sell it hence this letter to you. That land is in the midst of European land, the road runs right through it, there are cattle and sheep on it, if there had been only 4000 acres in the block, Europeans would have bought it but as it is they cannot legally do. It is good land suitable for the growth of grass."

The requested purchase took place, although not at the price Kauika originally sought. I do not know the accepted (note: accepted) price, but then, as it is today, sellers asked for top prices.

For example, in 1912, the Crown was offered a block of Māori freehold land in Kaiwaka for £97.132, which today, allowing for inflation, would exceed $16 billion.

The facts are clear. The 49 owners asked the Crown to buy Mangapapa, the Crown and the owners agreed a purchase price, the Crown paid the agreed price and Mangapapa was sold. Not stolen.

These types of falsehoods, if repeated often enough, can eventually be touted as fact and, accordingly, must be challenged whenever they are made.

V W BALLANCE, Westmere
Retail advice

If you retailers were smart retailers, you would not need to have a New Year sale.


Reduce your prices through the year and look after your customers, and I am sure your gross profit margin will be up. Or do a Boxing Day sale before Christmas Day and - bingo - you will need security guards on your door.

Don't be greedy, guys. People will look after you if you look after them.

GARY STEWART, Foxton Beach
Don't 'sit on fence'

I thank you for your response to my question as to whether the Chronicle has an editorial position on the issue of abortion.

While I appreciate that the Chronicle wishes to appear unbiased and neutral about an emotive topic, the deliberate killing of a human being should not be an issue to be sitting on the fence about.

The Chronicle has strongly weighed in about such issues as gun ownership in the United States and mass shootings because of the deaths of innocent people, mostly young. Yet here we have young people, the epitome of innocence, having their lives deliberately ended at an average of 36 per day in New Zealand (2017 figures).

That they are alive and a distinct and unique human being is incontrovertible scientific fact. That their lives and rights are not being protected is also incontrovertible fact.

All the arguments and word games about the issue don't change that.

K A BENFELL, Gonville
Hospital thanks

I was unlucky enough to cut my foot very badly on Christmas morning and ended up in accident and emergency at the hospital.

To all the nurses and the doctor who looked after me, a big thank you.

They give up their time for us and the care was first-class.

SHEILA SEAL, Whanganui
'False' account

Potanga Neilson (Letters; January 3) says that a Confederation of United Tribes was established in 1808, and then in 1816 formed courts to enforce laws based on tikanga Māori.

That story comes from a false account that has been debunked in several articles in the Māori News website. There we learn that this Ko Huiarau, the cult that claims to be the Māori Parliament 1808-1947, is complete nonsense.

During the period that this cult claims that law was formed and enforced, the country was actually in a state of complete anarchy. Tribes were at war, not joining in any such confederation.

In the one five-year period, 1820-1825, one in eight of the Māori population died in the inter-tribal wars; the toll in the 40 years 1800-1840 was at least 43,600. Their confederation was nowhere to be seen.

Neilson should stop spreading made-up stories, and we should all recognise the great good done to Māori after northern chiefs recognised the failure of their well-documented effort to set up a Confederation of the United Tribes in 1835 and whole-heartedly supported the handing of sovereignty to Britain by signing the Treaty of Waitangi.