Story: Otago region
The Otago block was bought by the New Zealand Company in 1844, during a brief period when the Crown waived its monopoly over land purchases. Important Ngāi Tahu leaders – notably Tūhawaiki, Taiaroa and Karetai – signed the deed. The signatures of New Zealand Company surveyor Frederick Tuckett and Crown Protector of Aborigines George Clarke are at left.
The official translation of the deed reads:
Know all men by this Document that we the chiefs and people of Ngai Tahu in New Zealand whose names are signed below consent on this thirty-first day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-four to give up sell and abandon completely to Wiremu Wekepiri (William Wakefield) the chief agent of the New Zealand Company in London on behalf of the directors of that company all our claims and title in the lands in these boundaries the names of the lands are Otakou and Kaikarae and Taieri and Mataau and the Karoro; concerning the boundaries the northern boundary starts at Purehurehu thence along the sea side to Otakou heads to Otupa then along the sea side to Poatiri then beside the open ocean from Poatiri to Tokata then the southern boundary follows the summit of the ridge of Taukoho to Pohueroa – from there along the summit of the ridge of Kaihiku and crosses to the other side of Mataau, from there along the summit of the ridge of Maungaatua, the summit of Wakaari, the summit of Mihiwaka, the ridge of Otuwarerau and on to the coast at Purehurehu – also we give up all our islands of Kamautaurua, Rakiriri, Okaihe, Moturata, Paparoa, Matoketoke, Hakinikini and Aonui. Notice also the pieces of land that we have cut off for ourselves and our children, one piece of land is on the other side of Otakou named Omate the boundary begins at Moepuku – crosses over to Poatiri – from there along the coast to Waiwakaheke then crosses to Pukekura then by the shore to Moepuku – then a certain piece of land at Pukekura perhaps an acre with the boundaries marked by poles then a certain piece of land at Taieri the boundary starts at Onumia the boundary going straight to Maitapapa with the Taieri river as the other boundary – then a certain piece at the Karoro of which the Karoro is the southern boundary and the ocean is the eastern boundary the northern boundary includes the local settlement and goes inland about one mile and these cut-off places we will not sell or let to any person whatever unless the Governor of New Zealand agrees to it. As payment for the land first specified we have received two thousand four hundred pounds which we have taken hold of on this day in the presence of these witnesses.
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Source: Harry C. Evison, The Ngai Tahu deeds: a window on New Zealand history. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2006, p. 54.