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NZ land purchase deeds may fetch stg15,000

NZ land purchase deeds may fetch stg15,000

Four historic New Zealand land purchase deeds dating back to 1852 are expected to fetch up to stg15,000 at Christie’s auction in London on September 25.

The official heritage documents include the sale to Maori of the southern tip of New Zealand (Milford South and much of Southland) for stg2600. That Murihiku purchase deed covers over seven million acres of land excluding 4875 acres of Maori reserve land.

``The sale has been subject to some criticism for the insufficient protection of Maori rights, the comparatively small purchase price and the inadequacy of the reserves,’’ Sothebys said.

Another landmark purchase document to go under the hammer is the deed for Rakiura (Stewart Island).

Rakiura, now most a national park, was the last major land purchase from Maori which was bought for stg6000.

For this sum the whole of Rakiura was purchased excepting nine Maori reserves amounting to 935 acres and a separate reserve for ‘half castes’.

``Controversy relating to this sale has focused on the fate of the outlying Titi Islands, of which only 21 were reserved for Maori,’’ Sothebys said.

The September 24 and 25 auction also includes a James Cook voyage Journal by Cook’s natural history draughtsman date 1784 and includes numerous drawings and maps of NZ and portraits of native chiefs. The journal is expected to make up to stg5000.

A striking 1841 lithograph showing part of Lambton Harbour in Port Nicholson is likely to make stg800.

The sketch shows Wellington harbour foreshore up to where Lambton Quay sits today.

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