KOURAWHERO - AHUROA LAND PURCHASE

The following article is about the purchase of the Kourawhero - Ahuroa land from the Maori.
It was sourced from the archive department of Warkworth Museum (author not stated).


22 June 1854

Of course if the keen research student could afford time to dig deep enough he could find most of the correspondence and documents relating to the early purchase of Maori land. In this case the task has been made relatively easy. Mr. Henry Brown, who's father farmed the Pakiri Block at Te Arai when the family moved there in 1861, had carefully preserved copies of old correspondence which in 1931 he passed on to the late H B Moore of Warkworth. Mr. Moore had further copies typed out and pasted into his cuttings-book now in the possession of his son Mr. S A Moore of Pulham Rd, Warkworth.

One excerpt headed 'Hot Springs, Mahurangi', ended dated 3 June 1854 is of special interest. The writer John Grant Johnson, Sub-commissioner for the Purchase of Native Lands in a letter to Donald McLeen, Commissioner for the Purchase of Native lands concludes by saying, “I have been disposed to recommend a liberal price for these two blocks (Wainui – Ed) with a view to incite the owners of the land behind Mahurangi knows as “Kaipara Flats” to bring the negotiations which are being carried on with him to a favourable conclusion.”

The negotiations to which he refers must have proceeded smoothly for on the twenty-second of the same month in 1854 the purchase documents were signed. There was an inevitable lag between purchase by the Crown and sales to settlers. Surveys had to be completed and availability of access was important. In those early days the sea was the main “roadway' for the settlers, and settlement followed along the coast, and began naturally enough along the sea-coast of the Mahurangi Purchase. On Felton Mathew's advice this purchase was made in 1841; but because of the priority accorded land sales in the vicinity of the young capital, the first Matakana sale did not take place until March 1853. Mahurangi's fist sale came in November 1853 and Omaha's came in 1855. Mangawhai had its first sales in July 1858 and Pakiri in April 1859. Ahuroa followed in June 1859 and Kourawhero in January 1860. (Apart from Mangawhai which attracted settlers as a port, albeit a bar-port for the northern parts of our area, Kourawhero and Ahuroa were the first districts outside the Mahurangi Purchase lands to be settled. Then came Arai in 1860 handicapped by an open roadstead, Oruawharo and Wharehine Special settlements 1862, Puhoi Special Settlement in 1863, Hoteo and Komokoriki in 1864 and Tauhoa including the Chalmerston Special Settlement in 1867.)

The Purchase:

Kourawhero and Ahuroa, 22 June, 1854, 13,800 acres at 1200 pounds. Deed no. 201 F

This deed conveying land written at Mahurangi this twenty-second (22) day of June in the year of Our Lord One thousand eight hundred and fifty-four (1854) is a paper by us the chiefs and freemen of Te Kawerau tribe whose names are hereunto affixed written on behalf of ourselves and relations and our descendants after us; we hereby agree to sell a certain portion of our land to the Queen of England to the Kings or Queens who may succeed her for ever. And in consideration of our consent to sell a certain portion of our land Victoria the Queen of England agrees to pay us the sum of One thousand two hundred pounds (1200). Nine hundred pounds (900) of these monies we have his day received from Mr. Johnson. Three hundred pounds (300) more will be paid to us on the first day of January 1855. Twenty pounds of these monies are to be returned by Te Kiri to Mr. Johnson for forty acres (40) for a sacred place which is not included in this sale of land. (Te Kiri's home was at Pa-Kiri – Ed).

The Boundaries of the Land:

Commencing at a termination for the boundary of our land at Puhoi thence directly along the cleared survey line over against Onehunga thence along the ridge to the west side of Onehunga where it leaves the ridge and descends to the hole which has been dug on the hill and thence descending it crosses the river Kaitoto thence to Paekarui thence in an easterly direction and along the ridge till it reaches the base of the conical hill Te Tohetohi-o-rei whence turns in a southerly direction and runs to the boundary of the first Mahurangi purchase and on to the place where the boundaries commenced. We have given up all our interest in this portion of land which descended to us from our ancestors with its rivers, lakes water cultivations cliffs stones and all thereunto appertaining above or below the surface which we now unreservedly give up to Victoria the Queen of England to the kings or Queens who may succeed her forever. In testimony hereof we hereunto affix our names and marks. And in testimony of the consent of the Queen of England to this Deed Mr. Johnson one of the New Zealand land Commissioners hereunto affixes his name.

Witness JG Johnson Sub-Commissioner  
(sd) Ngaki Sd. Tuihana x his mark
  TEE paea x his mark
  Arama Karaka x his mark
  Maunga Tauhoro x his mark
  Hemara ch Huia x his mark
  Te Kiri-Kai-paraoa x his mark
  Te Nore x his mark
  Piriparone x his mark
  Wiremu Karaka Apo x his mark
  Miriama x his mark
  Haupapa x his mark
  Hone Waiti x his mark
  Katarine Rahui x his mark
  Pani x his mark
  Te Rawhiti x his mark
  Paraha x his mark
  Hiria x his mark
  Koro x his mark
  Hore Kingi Maukino x his mark

A True Copy of Original Deed and translation
H Hanson Turton
Wellington
March 18th 1875

Tohi-tohi-o-rei is the Maori name for the well-known “Dome”.

Arama Karaka (Adam Clarke) was a well-known chief of Ngatiwhatua with strong “mana” amongst the people of the Uriohau hapu who inhabited what is now western Rodney and southern Otamatea. His name appears time and again on these agreements.

Hemara Te Huia This name was almost certainly on European's attempt to put down on paper the name of "Puhoi's best friend”, Te Hemara Tauhia.

Te Kiri-Tai-Paraoa could be none the less than Te Kiri, of Pa-Kiri, a Ngapuhi descendant of the northern tribe which established itself along this east coast and on the eastern islands.

Katarine Rahui would be Rahui Te Kiri, daughter of Kiri above.

“The Chiefs and Freemen of Te Kawerau” Te Kawerau was another name for Te Kiri, as chief of Ngatiwai was himself a Ngaphui. He was accorded a good deal of deference over a wide area and had to have his say in all these local dealings