Story: Land ownership
This deed is for one of a number of land purchases whaler John Guard made from Māori in the Marlborough Sounds. Guard established one of New Zealand’s first shore-based whaling stations at Te Awaiti in 1829, but in the 1830s he moved his operations to Kākāpō Bay, and this deed presumably covered land in that area. There were many such transactions in 1839 as settlers feared that their opportunity to purchase land would be lost when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. It is not clear whether the local chief ‘Ta White’ (possibly Te Whiti) understood the agreement to mean an absolute loss of all rights to the land in question.
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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
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