Info 1d, Corrrespondance Origins of Nelson site
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|Nelson Examiner, 2nd May 1846|
To the Editor of the Nelson Examiner.
A controversy having appeared in your pages of late, relative to the circumstances under which the present site of the town of Nelson was discovered, although the matter in dispute appears to he of very little importance one way or the other, I beg leave to hand you, as an officer of the preliminary expedition and in constant communication at the time with the late Captain Wakefield, the following plain statement of the facts attending our proceedings in Blind Bay, on arriving there to found the settlement.
In doing this I have no possible motive to serve but the desire that the plain, unvarnished truth should appear, there being in fact nothing that need be concealed to serve any party, and nothing that can in the slightest degree reflect upon Captain Wakefield in his conduct of the duties of the expedition. Captain Hobson having refused the New Zealand Company's Agent permission to found the Nelson colony anywere in the Middle Island beyond the tract over which they had assumed a right to purchase from the natives, Blind Bay was decided upon in Wellington as the " ne plus ultra" for that purpose. Such, at least, was my impression, as there was no other spot then known likely to be equally available. On this point I well recollect Captain Wakefield's own words at the time, that it was " Hobson's choice " (alluding to the old adage and identity of names), he apparently having no control over the matter, except by going to the neighbourhood of Auckland.
The expedition anchored in Astrolabe roadstead on the 9th of October, 1841, and on the same day Captain Wakefield, Mr. Tuckett, and myself landed at Kaiteratera, being accompanied by Mr. Moore, now resident at Motueka, who sailed with us from Wellington as our pilot or guide, he having previously been acquainted with the Bay, and, from the information concerning it which he imparted to Colonel Wakefield, was probably the means of our being sent there. Kaiteratera was not first discovered by us, but had been visited several times by Mr. Moore, who guided us thither, and who thought that, in the absence of a larger harbour, it might serve as a place for vessels to land their cargoes, there being good anchorage ground on most of the space between it and Astrolabe Roadstead.
Kaiteratera is only capable of containing two or three small vessels; and although Mr. Moore had been in repeated communication with the natives, he had never learnt that there was any better anchorage in the Bay, connected with any available site for a town. Walking across the hill to "the old pa," which was then the residence of nearly all the Motueka natives, we held a horero with them through our interpreter (Brooks), and, amongst other matters, questioned them very closely as to whether there was any other place near the bottom of the Bay where large ships could lie safe. Their answers were all in the negative ; and we found afterwards that their motive for concealing their knowledge of the present Nelson Haven from us was to keep the settlement in their own immediate neighbourhood. After viewing the Riwaka valley we returned to the ships, where arrangements were forthwith made for despatching various parties into the interior, Captain Wakefield reserving to himself the task of examining the coast line, although with little expectation of finding any other harbour, from the information he had received from the natives.
On the following day, Captain Wakefield, with the Messrs. Tytler, Mr. Moore, and myself, sailed in one of the Company's boats, visiting consecutively the mouths of the Motueka, Moutere, and Wairaea rivers. On the 12th, after viewing the western mouth of the Waimea, we ran on to look at the eastern one, but, the tide having ebbed, we were convinced, from the appearance of the shoals and fiats, that no harbour was there. On that day we sailed within two or three miles of the Boulder Bank that encloses Nelson Haven ; the peculiar confirmation of the range of coast at that place not justifying the remotest idea that any body of water could be within, or affording the least clue to the existence of any opening or entrance from the sea, the whole distance from the Waimea islands to the bluff near Wakapuaka. Accordingly, having no provisions on board for passing another night, even if he had thought it necessary or desirable, Captain Wakefield decided on returning to the ships, which we reached soon after dark, but certainly not with the impression among any of us that we had performed our duty in a "slovenly manner," more especially as the natives had positively denied the existence of any harbour in. that quarter. Our ignorance of the native character had not then prepared us for the belief that they had so early abandoned one of the assumed attributes of savage simplicity as to utter so deliberate an untruth, on a plain point of local knowledge, to serve a purpose which we could scarcely admit could have occupied their minds. From the peculiar appearance of the shore at Nelson Haven and the concealed position of its entrance, I have often thought on approaching it in a boat, that persons may sail within a stone's throw of the Boulder Bank, and return without having the slightest idea of an expanse of water within. So strikingly, was this fact exemplified before it was discovered, that, when the Company's boat was despatched a fortnight afterwards to re explore that portion of the Bay, on some vague hints let fall by some natives that they went in that direction to fish for snappers, which are found in moderately deep water, the party under the direction of Mr. Brown and Mr. Moore actually came close upon the bank, and having searched about for a considerable time for an opening, were doubtful of landing, as there was a heavy surf rolling at the time, and had all but concluded to return, giving up the search as pointless, and the idea of a harbour as comerical; All this while they had a native on board, undertaken to show them the fishing grounds, but, when come to the point, he equivocateoand refused to do so, rearing the other natives would be angry with him. They did at length land on the bank, and, walking up the slope to the top of it, discovered the harbour, within ; after which the Maori consented to pilot them through the entrance. On the day after our return from our fruitless attempt to find a better harbour and site for a town, I was specially directed by Captain Wakefield, during the absence of the Chief Surveyor, to conduct a survey of Kaiteratera, and ascertain the practicability of connecting it, as the assumed port, by road communication with the bulk of the town, which it was presumed would be laid out in the Riwaka valley. Although I was aware that Captain Wakefield was by no means' satisfied with the site, yet my own decided impression was, from repeated conversations I had with him on the subject, that it was his intention to have adopted it, on his conviction then that there was no better in the Bay. If such had not been the case, I cant feit imagine that he would have allowed me to proceed with the survey for two or three weeks before I was recalled. Under no circumstances can I believe that the failure in finding a better harbour and site for a town would have induced Captain Wakefield to abandon Blind Bay ; such a contingency, I imagine, would only have been dependent on not finding a sufficient bulk of available agricultural country to the best of his belief. The exploring parties returned from the interior in about a fortnight, with favourable accounts of the land but the bulk of it lying at so great a distance from the supposed town, and so difficult of access on account of the rivers to be crossed, Captain Wakefield thought it desirabie to despatch the party, as before alluded to, to find the fishing ground hinted at by the natives, which resulted in the discovery of Nelson Haven. Having examined its capabilities, Captain Wakefield decided on its adoption as the site of the town in about three weeks from the time of our arrival in the Bay. These are the simple facts with reference to the proceedings of the Nelson expedition in exploring for the site of the town ; and as my object will be served, on the present occasion, in placing them before the public, I have no intention to draw any further conclusions thereon, but leave your readers to form their own opinions on the subject.
I am, sir, yours, &c, Riwaka, April 20. Samuel Stephens.
To the Editor of the Nelson Examiner.
A discussion having arisen respecting the manner in which the present harbour of Nelson was discovered, and the intention of Captain Wakefield had no such discovery been made, I beg to mention a few facts which will throw light on both points. What I may state shall be of my own personal knowledge, and not grounded on hearsay evidence. After the arrival of the preliminary vessels in Astrolabe Roads, and the return of the boats from an unsuccessful attempt to discover a better harbour and site for a town than Kaiteratera, Captain Wakefield gave me orders, I think on Thursday, the 21st of October, to get one of the Deal boats and crew on board the Arrow brig (we were then on board the Whitby) by the following Sunday, to be ready to start with him for Port Cooper, to arrange for having the Nelson settlement there. This expedition was never undertaken, because Paramatta came over from Wakapuaka in the meantime, and gave Captain Wakefield a description of the present Nelson harbour. I was then despatched to find the entrance, which he had also described, and had in the boat, besides the crew, Mr. Brown, of the surveying staff, and Mr. Moore, now of Motueka. As the weather was unfavourable, we only reached the White Bluffs the first night, where the party landed. The next morning we made sail, the wind blowing from the S.E., and made the northern extremity of the Boulder Bank. As there was a heavy surf on the bank we did not attempt to land, but determined to run along shore to where the hills again approached the sea, as my- instructions from Captain Wakefield were, to find the harbour if possible, land Mr. Brown in the wood, which now forms part of the town, and which we had before seen at a distance, and return immediately with the boat.
On seeing the rock, subsequently named after the Arrow, I immediately identified it, as it agreed so closely with the description given to Captain Wakefield by the Maories, and at once felt assured that the entrance to the harbour was there. The tide was about one-quarter flood, and we allowed the boat to drift into the harbour, on the south side of the rock, Mr. Moore taking a cast of the lead, which was driven under the boat by the strength of the tide, so that we got no soundings. We ran up the harbour and landed near the spot where Mr. Tod's house stands on Auckland Point. After refreshing ourselves, and getting from Mr. Brown a sketch of the harbour, which he estimated to cover 2,000 acres, we left that gentleman end Mr. Moore, as directed, and returned to the ship the same evening. The captains of the Arrow and Will Watch were on board the Whitby, having dined there that day, and I related what we had discovered in the hearing of the captains of all the vessels. I found the Arrow ready for sea/ unmoored, and her sails bent ; and I feel certain that Captain Wakefield would have proceeded in her immediately to Port Cooper had my report not led him to visit this place. He then determined to remain in Blind Bay, and fixed on this as the harbour and site for the town.
I remain, &c, James S. Cross, ' April 29. Pilot of Nelson.
|Nelson Examiner, 23rd May 1846|
To the Editor of the Nelson Examiner.
My dear Sir
What importance attaches to the question in controversy touching the commencement of the town site of Nelson at Kaiteriteri I cannot imagine, other than that the Truth, when denied or evaded, should always be made clear and dominant. I trust it is in the love of Truth that you have been engaged in contradictions.
The site for the town of Nelson at Kaiteriteri, as the landing-place from vessels, and extending along shore in the direction of the Riwaka pa as far as necessary to afford the requisite number of sections, was deliberately chosen by the Company's Agent, after previously examining with me the west entrance to the Moutere, the channel along shore opposite to the Great Wood between the Moutere and Motueka rivers, and the entrance to the Riwaka stream, and undoubtedly it was the best site of the four then examined, because the only one which afforded a deep water landing place independent of the tide. The survey of this site was commenced by Mr. Stephens, under the Agent's instructions : it was as truly commenced with an intention to its completion with the utmost practicable rapidity as if it had been carried on to completion.
I objected to forming the town site in such a district, not because that site was unfit for a town, but because such a district would not maintain any town, much less afford the quantity of available land required for the settlement. I protested against the commencement of the survey there. I requested to be allowed to explore for a suitable district and site ; and then at the least that I might be allowed to examine Massacre Bay and report to him before commencing the survey of the town at Kaiteriteri.
We had already heard that there was coal and good land on the shores of Massacre Bay. I was prohibited from going there, and directed to proceed to examine the Moutere valley, and Mr. Stephens was at the same time directed by the Agent to land with assistants and labourers, and commence the execution of a town site survey. When the town site Survey was commenced, that day three parties started professedly to examine the country. A number of youug men let loose from irksome confinement on shipboard were divided into two parties : the one lot was sent out with a Mr. Heaphy, the other with a Mr. Moore. These persons, Heaphy and Moore, were furnished at Wellington, in furtherance of the determination of the most influential parties there that we should be located at Blind Bay. Mr. Moore, already acquainted with the district, was to conduct us there and show it; and Mr. Heaphy, an experienced and approved describer of the acquisitions of the Company in New Zealand, was to describe this also.
One of these went up the Riwaka valley, the other up the Motueka. Accompanied by Mr. Budge and by natives, I went up the Moutere valley, headed it, discovered the Waimea plain, and returned on the south side of the Moutere valley, to the Great Wood, Motueka, and to the Riwaka valley.
I reported to the Agent that I had seen only 6,000 acres of good land; to which he replied that each of the other parties had been perfectly successful in discovering abundance of good land, sufficient for the settlement. These parties had represented their journeys to have extended into the interior a very considerable distance ; the route of one, illustrated by a sketch* with a scale of miles appended, showed a journey of forty or fifty miles forward : this was illustrated with artistical drawings. Now, with the exception of a few sections at the head of the Riwaka valley, and also a few on the Motueka river above its first eastern bend, I saw in my journey all the land which has been there subsequently surveyed. Consequently I saw all that the others described, Or else it remains uusurveyed and undiscovered !
Again I protested against the survey of the town site at Kaiteriteri, with the knowledge of only 6,000 acres of good land to append to it. The answer at the Agent to me was, referring to the other reports which were so satisfactory to him, " You are not likely to find good land unless you are disposed to do so. It is my duty and not yours to select the district and site ; and whether your opinion or theirs respecting it be correct, we shall stay here, for it is Hobson's choice." He then proposed to go and examine the Waimea, where there was more land, and see if that was good. Heaphy was sent with me, the Agent misfMStir^ ime then.
Meanwhile Mr. Stephens continued to execute the survey of the town site at Kaiteriter Mr. Moore, accompanied by one of my assistant surveyors, crossed the Bay, and they, or rat v our excellent pilot Cross, discovered the Wakit harbour. I entered the west mouth of the Waime river. When I returned from this journey to the Wainter. I reported to the Agent that there was far more land available for 50-acre sections in the Waimea than at the Motueka and Riwaka.
I believe that I estimated the quantity at 60,000 acres, of which I stated that the quality varied frequently, the surface being alternately swampy, stony, or dry loam, apparently good land. I do not know what report Heaphy made : his opinion, of course, was ; lot interesting to me : but I know that He was a subject of common remark, that what I estimated at sixty thousand, was actually, on his authority, nearer six hundred thousand acres.
Messrs. Moore and Brown having, on their return, reported favourably of the Wakatu as a port, and of the land adjacent as a district, the survey of the town site at Kaiteriteri was subsequently stopped, not because the present port was discovered, but because a better district was discoved, easy of access from as good a port. It was asserted at Wellington with equal hardihood of the Motueka as of Port Cooper (where some wished to have placed us), that it was a very good place for us. Each place had there its partisans, and I give them credit for equal concern for our interests. We might have gone to any unoccupied district: the Government displeaiun might have hung over us as it has to this day, but they would not have arrested even the Company' servants ; and, had we selected a suitable district we should have founded a prosperous settlement, and the Government at home would have appreciated the importance of our success, and its influence on the extension of colonisation. Further, we had exactly the same plea on which to settle either at the Motueka, Massacre Bay, or Port Underwood ; but the two latter were too good for Nelson, and were consequently retained for the extension of the " first and principal settlement." But it was a most miserable imposture to pretend that we had any authority independent of the Local Government to form a settlement anywhere The investigations of the Government Land Commissioner have followed us here, and would equally and only have followed our steps wherever we might have formed the settlement. We should not anywhere have remained longer without a title than we have already here.
We ought particularly to have examined the Thames, the Wairau and Port Underwood, Port Cooper and Otakou. The latter was the only district of which, previous to leaving England, I had information, which represented it to be preferable to any other in New Zealand. In refusing to examine these and other parts of New Zealand, the terms of purchase were violated by the Companey Agents, entailing to this time, and for years yet to come, on its victims, the resident proprietors and emigrants, protracted distress and bitter disappointment. But some persons say, why should the colonists of Wellington have wished that the Nelson settlement should be placed in circumstances unfavourable to its progress ? They wrere for the most part as much land dealers and speculators as the Land Company, and more impatent to effect sales, because they were less wealthy. They regarded the announcement of a third settlement as an injury to their interests, especially, as the pretensions of the scheme put forth even %tore allurements than their own. Had the Nelson settlement obtained the lasting advantage of a good district, no more capital or capitalists' would have been introduced into the first and principal settlement, and their ridiculous yet at that time confident expectations of its becoming the seat of Government would have been for ever extinguished. Then, in addition to these motives, I have the evidence of their positive declarations to me to that effect, on my arrival there in the Will Watch in 1841,
whilst now, in 1846, they jusitify such sentiments and the importance and necessity of such procedure. As to the records of official motives or actions referred to by Dr. Macshi me, they are very unsatisfactory, too often mere forms, at any rate a record of political acts and motives. For instance, when I was appointed by the Directors of the Company to be surveyor and engineer to the Nelson settlement, in conferring the appointment in presence of the Board and the Agent, the Chairman, or Governor, as he was styled, addressed me to this effect :
"It is not so much to superintend or execute the details jf a survey that we confer on you, in full confidence, this appointment, but the most important duty which will devolve on you is to assist our Ajent with your judgment in selecting the best rerc aining site in New Zealand for a settlement, for which object you will visit each place which may be : recommended to you by our Principal Agent, aikd none of them appear to you to be good enough, you will then proceed to explore New Zealand for a better." I believed him to be sincere in what he said, and I still believe it. The next day I met by appointment one of the executive Directors, I !. G. Wakefield, when he observed to me, " that Mr. Somes, in his address, had Jaid great stress oi i the importance of our selectingsthe best site foi the settlement, also that I appeared to be particularly interested in that object ; therefore, that I should not be disappointed, he thought it better to inform me that there was reason to believe that we should find, on our arrival at Wellington, that the Principal Agent had already chosen the site." , I would then have resigned my appointment, but for fear of the imputation of fickleness, vrheh I saw that the most grave and formal instructions of the Company were thus set aside and nullified by other and secret instructions. Since , tttst morning I have never felt any confidence in the management of the New Zealand Company : but I did not then anticipate the extent of the ruin which snch political actions and motives would involve us in. I was still sanguine, until I arrived' at Blind Bay, that we should be allowed to obtain a good district, though it might not be the best. From that day to this the childish settlers l have been deluded by clever declaimers to fancy themselves injured by the Local Government : thus the foundation of their actual sufferings has *v;>]," i their attention, and they have neglected tc Claim that compensation, to which they are so entitled. What I have written I believe to be the Truth. on all that is asserted, and in the impression which it conveys. ' *- ' Yours very truly
Frederick Tuckett. Nelson, 1st of 5 May 1846.
To the Editor of the Nelson Examiner.
I enclose two letters addressed to the Proprietors of the Settlement, and a Report illustrating one of them. I should feel obliged if you give them publicity through the medium of the Nelson Examiner.
I am very truly yours, Fkederick Tuckett. .. Nelson, May 13, 1846.
To the Proprietors and Agents of Land in the Settlement of Nelson.
Gentlemen From recent discussions which have been made public respecting the affairs of this settlement, and the causes of its progressive decline, it appears to me that erroneous opinions have been hastily formed, particularly by individuals who have recently arrived, for want of correct and sufficient information respecting the acts and opinions of those individuals who were intrusted with the local management of its affairs.
With respect to the capabilities of this district, I always entertained the opinion that it would be impossible to obtain in this district more suitable land than was requisite to complete the 50-acre sections alone, of which very little could be obtained round the town, and that the rural sections must be obtained elsewhere, having other shipping ports. As I often expressed such opinion officially and individually, I think that it was well known, though not well received, but rejected and treated with indifference. In support of my assertion, I produce my First Report on Lands in Blind Bay, delivered to the Company's Agent at Astrolabe Hoads, whilst the town site was being surveyed at Kaiteriteri. It was my wish also to produce my Second Report on lands in this district, also written and delivered at Astrolabe Roads, on my return from my second journey, in which I explored the Waimea, and inland in a course of S.S.W. and S.W., to a distance of about 28 miles from the coast ; but I cannot find or procure a copy of it ; I have only found my original rough notes, from which it was written. But I feel confident that, on reading my first report, you will credit my assertion, that I did not in the second omit to describe the actual quality of the land, and ihat you will acknowledge that I was not one of those "who concurred" in the opinion that the requirements of the scheme could be fulfilled, and that the Company were not kept in ignorance of the facts from any neglect of mine, as their surveyor, to furnish their Agent with the requisite particulars. You will observe that my first and second reports have passed unnoticed. Heaphy's descriptions of the district were preferred to them. , My Third Report, being on lands at Massacre 15 ay, is the first which obtained notice. I extract from the Seventh Report of the New Zealand Company : ' " A despatch from the Principal Agent, dated 15th September, 1842, contains an interesting report from Mr. Tuckett, chief surveyor at Nelson, with an estimate of the land available for rural sections.
In the Waimea District . Moutura [Moutere] do. Motueka do. Coal Bay
. 30,000 . 20,000 . 20,000 . 55,360, 125,360 . 39,640
Leaving to be selected elsewhere 165,000
And from a more recent report, dated 12th December, 1842, it appears that an extensive grassy district has been found in the valley of the Wairoa [ Wairau], which will probably be made available for the 39,640 acres of rural land before unprovided."
The lands in the Waimea district, estimated at 50,000 acres, commence above M'Rae's station, extending south towards the Wairau Pass and Lake Country, and south-west to the Motueka grass valley: their quality was described in my second report. But I do not believe that there was at that time (15th September, 1842) an agent or proprietor in the settlement who did not know that in my opinion the bulk of these lands intended for rural sections were exceedingly poor and unfit for any purpose but that of affording a scanty subsistence to cattle and sheep.
This estimate of the localities and quantities of rural lands was made just previous to the discovery t f the pass to the Wairau, and after some of the poorest land in the settlement, that west of the Waimea, had been subdivided into 50-acre and rural sections, for want of other and better.
If you search the files of the Nelson Examiner, f believe you will find that I was continually urged to accelerate the surveys, and that no one at that period troubled himself much about the quality of the land: you only complained of the dilatory survey, and amused yourselves, or suffered yourselves to be amused, by idle declamation and disgraceful invective against the Government of Captain Hobson. Qualities of Governors and Governments, not of lands, were then the engrossing theme of one of the principal landagents; and many persons were so fascinated by the fictitious and ephemeral prosperity which seemed to result from high prices a lid profits, that they had no inclination to look i' Jrward, much less to listen to discouraging statev wnti. It was my duty to the Company and to you to c secule the surveys with all possible rapidity, and I could only survey what was visible ; and I hod ojuly to select between what was worth little, but a :cessible, and what was worthless and inaccessible, that difference constituting in this district available land.
It was only at a later period, when Mr. Patchett learnt that the Company's Agent was averse to nnnexing the Wairau to this settlement, that he called your attention to the quality of land, and the importance of obtaining better. A meeting was convened at the house of Mr. Sclanders (the proceedings were, I believe, reported in the Nelson Examiner). I well remember how feebly he was supported and how cordially he was opposed on that occasion, and how entirely his objections were overruled ; and I do not hesitate to assert that he would never have made those objections and that tardy protest, had I not, as a proprietor of land and an agent for others, frequently urged him to do so.
When the acting Governor (Mr. Shortland) visited this settlement, it was on my representation of the bad quality of much of the land already surveyed, and of the worse quality of the adjacent lands, that he consented to liberate the Company from here taking the land in the proportions prescribed by the Home Government ; and with his sanction for this alteration of the blocks, the whole or two-thirds of the 70,000 acres of my estimate for rural lands in the Waimea, Moutere, and Motueka districts were to have been excepted from the survey of rural sections, and to be supplied/by substituting land in the Wairau plain and valleys, which I had at that time examined, and where I expected to obtain nearly the required quantity of better land. When prohibited from proceeding with the survey of the Wairau, having still a survey to execute, I reverted to the original districts which would have been surveyed had not the pass to the Wairau been discovered. To this day there are no other lands to offer you, and until you can be empowered by the Government to annex the Wairau you must remain without your rural lands. The settlement of Nelson, therefore, yet remains unformed ; and to possess only the minor portion is little better than an entire loss to you, a loss not merely of the price paid for the land and interest, but an utter loss of time in years of exertion and of expenditure here.
With respect to the succeeding business of the proprietors and agents, and the next in importance to the selection of a suitable district the selection of surveyed sections, as I am greatly interested in your opinions on this subject, I hope I may, without impropriety, briefly state some of the circumstances and considerations by which I was both guided and restricted in my choices, and also how it happened that I had to fulfil this onerous and responsible duty.
For the sake of illustration, take the block of land occupied by Messrs. Kelling, in the Waimea East. It contains seven sections. The Messrs. Kelling state that they have only one good section. In respect of these seven sections, if my opinion had been asked, without referring to the results of the actual cultivation of adjacent sections , and neither remembering their numbers nor the orders of choice, I think I should have stated confidently that three of them were good land (for anything that I know, five of them may be consecutive orders of choice). Almost all the upper sections on the east boundary of that survey had a prodigious growth of tall and dense fern ; it was difficult to force a track through it : and certainly in selecting lands I always preferred that which had a great natural growth on it to that which had little or nothing ; the one would grow some sort of crop. And further, I always preferred flax land to any fern land.
Then as regards the influence of locality, particularly proximity to the town ; it appeared to me to be my official duty to act under the "scheme of the settlement," as if I believed it to be no delusion, hut a thing devised by wise men, to be fulfilled by honourable men ; that if it was wise and necessary to provide a town site of 1,100 acres, it must be for the sake of a vast population that were to occupy it. It will be clear to you that whenever the scheme is proved in practice to be admirable, that this vast town will be occupied, and also that these suburban sections must become of a considerable value, irrespective of the quality of the land. I could not well act for the Company in respect of selections as if I thought it all a delusion, and the very expression of such a sentiment would have been considered by you at least as premature.
Thus, in whatever degree I had departed from the principle of the scheme, I should have exposed myself to censure : and this occurred. The late Mr. Dudley Sinclair, on his second visit to this settlement, requested of the Company's Agent that he might be allowed to appoint an agent to select for his relative, the Hon. Mr. Tollemache, on the ground that he did not approve of my selections, which, exhibited an almost exclusive regard to the quality of land, irrespective of its speculative and higher value in respect of situation and proximity to the town. Still I did allow myself a little latitude, avoiding to choose any bad land, because it was near the town or a road or a river, for any proprietor of an early choice of whom I had heard as an intending colonist, simply lest he should be dependent on his purchase, and ruined by occupying it. It was therefore with great regret that I learnt subsequently that sections Nos. 43, 12, and 4, were claimed by the proprietors in person, as Mr. Thorpe, Mr. Rowe, and Mr. Beit.
or in my agreement. It was subsequently made the subject of a special despatch from the Board to the resident Agent, in which they very properly dwell on the importance of the duties of this most responsible office being ably and honourably acquitted. They instructed the Agent to intrust it to a competent person, but they did not allude to me, it was left open.
The resident Agent then enclosed this communication from the Board, and appointed me to act. It would have cost the Company more than a thousand pounds if they had employed a land valuer. I was already overtasked. For the first year and a half I worked weekly, mind and body, to exhaustion, and could not always get through my work in six days of the week. It is true that this new duty did not add greatly to my physical exertion, but what was far worse, it greatly increased my anxieties for the issue. I made my selections, not only with a desire to act judiciously and honourably, but with an ambition to^excel my competitors, and, if I had been paid for its performance, I should not have taken more pains. The Company have awarded me in a minute of the Committee of Management, confirmed by the Court of Directors of the New Zealand Company, dated 26th July, 1843, their approbation of these services. But the Committee of Management do not recoiw^their sense of my conduct in endeavouring to prevent the failure of the settlement of Nelson, by faithfully describing the unfitness of the district, and by requesting to be allowed to examine other parts of New Zealand, in order to obtain a suitable site. I would hope that they arc ignorant of the circumstances, for certainly it was in the discharge of that duty, if of any, that I merited their approval.
Frederick Tuckett. 12th of 5 May, 1846.
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