animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".
proclamation by the pigs who control the government in the novel Animal Farm,
by George Orwell. The sentence is a comment on the hypocrisy of governments that
proclaim the absolute equality of their citizens, but give power and privileges
to a small elite' (see The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, 3rd Edition,
Dispossessed farmers, Allan & Susan Titford and
family of Northland, New Zealand. When the government, in collusion with the Waitangi
Tribunal, stole their farm off them using falsified history and dirty tricks,
they fought back against all odds. Despite the fact that the Titfords' were ultimately
able to prove, beyond any doubt, the longstanding historical integrity and legitimacy
of their farm title, Attorney General, Margaret Wilson, made the unjust, politically
motivated decision to hand their farm over to Te Roroa iwi claimants.
June 2001 Paramount Chief of Nga-Puhi, Graham Rankin, appealed to the Minister
of Treaty Claims, the Hon. Margaret Wilson, to help the Titford family. As a learned
Elder, who was very conversant with the history and genealogical lineages of Northern
New Zealand, he knew that the Titford's had been unlawfully dispossessed of their
farm at Maunganui Bluff, Northland. The following is his letter to the Hon. Margaret
16 Rankin St, Kaikohe.
June 4th 2001.
Minister of Treaty Claims,
The Hon Margaret Wilson.
Eighteen months ago I met a man of good Bohemian stock. I have met him
several times later, a young man with a terrible bile in his belly, and rightfully
No living person should suffer the pain of he and his wife and children,
at the hands of Government and Associates, Ministers in particular. From the time
the Te Roroa claim took effect, I asked, "could this be the land of our fathers".
In my view, how could Te Awha Parore and Tiopira own so much land, when
Maori, at some time in our history had communistic laws? The Chief only apportions
a small parcel of land for family requirements, no more, no less. The land belonged
to the Tribe not the chief.
Te Roroa people are only squatters, living
on the edge of Waipoua Forest. They don't even know what they are!! Ngatiwhatua
or Ngapuhi. Like the Israelites, driven out of the Bay of Islands to Whangaroa,
then fled with Hongi Hika in chase to Waipoua.
My Ngaitu people were
the earlier settlers, our Tupuna, Chief Kohuru of the funerary chests at Kohekohe.
I am angry that the chests were never returned to Kohekohe, but interred in a
simple ceremony at Waimamaku without permission.
I have read the Te
Roroa report, also attended the findings at Waikara Marae, men and women in their
finery, Ministers, Members of the Tribunal, others in country apparel, gumboots,
oilskins, horses, tractors and dogs, out for a great day. The big tops, a large
dining area, all at the expense of the Government of the day.
the seal had set, this 15th day of May 1990, the great philosophers found there
was a grave mistake. Accordingly, a prompt change to the Act was pushed through
by Parliament, "land that was owned by private ownership should not be challenged".
The work of the claim was shoddy, unclean and destructive in the eyes of our New
My question Minister, the land can never be given to
Maori, sitting as a "crown jewel" when it should be returned to Allan
I asked Titford to bring me copies, various deeds, Court
minutes, successions before writing. I am satisfied what I have witnessed, by
the sequence of events, from the time the Crown purchased Maunganui lands from
Te Awha Parore in successions, or lease, is compatible with the standard within
the law of our country.
Also let it be known to the Tribunal and yourself,
in permanent storage, Turnbull Library had "an epitome" of official
documents, relative to native offers and land purchases in the North Island of
New Zealand. A very useful follow up guide for claims. Compiled and edited by
N. Hansen Turton. There is a large section contained about Maunganui lands.
Enclosed, is exhaustive research provided by Titford. Maps and Deeds can
be supplied if required. I am a devoted protector of my Maori Peoples interests
if a case is fair and accurate, same goes for Pakeha people.
reiterate, this must be the saddest case I have come upon. Bad research coupled
by greed and inefficiency. Please have the Tribunal sight this letter. Be guided
by extra care in the future.
Tena Koe Hoi ano
Rankin, Ngapuhi elder.
Regards to our great Prime Minister.
Rankin, who knew he did not have long to live when he wrote this appeal for justice
to the Hon. Margaret Wilson, wished to leave an indelible impression of support
for the Titfords. He, therefore, requested that Allan Titford be a pallbearer
at his funeral, such that all would know that Graham Rankin's call for justice
extended beyond the grave.
A picture of Allan & Sue Titford, with their new born
baby, superimposed over a picture of their burnt down home. This was the second
house on their farm they were to lose to arsonist/ terrorists. They were harassed
and terrorised for five years, before being driven off their legally titled, Northland
property by government and activist bullies.
Where does one even
begin when trying to make an account of the terror tactics that this innocent
couple was subjected to by government rent-a-pricks and iwi goon-squads. There
is so much detail to cover and such a huge story to tell.
Beyond the daily
intimidation, verbal abuse, destruction of machinery, threats, assaults and beatings
endured, shots fired at Allan or being run off the road, was the unforgivable
treachery coming from cowardly, turn a bind eye government employees or officials,
whose sworn duty it was to guarantee the Titford's both legal and physical protection.
In the end almost everyone let them down and every mechanism of government seems
to have been marshaled against them. Public opinion was manipulated and swayed
by a one-sided media to rob the Titfords of any sympathy and support they would
have naturally received had the real truth been known.
deliberately withheld significant documents pertinent to their case. Old letters,
reports, diaries, land title deeds, survey maps, etc., were suddenly "lost"
or temporarily misplaced and unavailable. Government hired historians fudged the
true facts of history to stack the deck against the Titfords. Hokianga historian,
Joan Leaf, who was called upon to give evidence on their behalf before the Waitangi
Tribunal, was forbidden to speak or make her submissions on they day. All of the
weight of government was, ultimately, brought into play to crush the Titfords
for having the temerity and audacity to answer back and stand their ground. Battle
weary, forcibly stripped of their assets under duress and bereft of any options
to carry the fight further, they finally went to Australia to lick their wounds.
for the New Zealand government, Allan and Susan found further important documents
there, relative to their case and while in exile, began accumulating compelling
evidence. Records of the 19th century were done in duplicate and often triplicate,
with copies going to both New South Wales, Australia and, oftimes, to Archives
in Britain. The Titfords made an intensive study, in earnest, and came to realize
the size of the deliberately engineered deception they'd been subjected to. They
later returned to New Zealand and continued to amass documents from private collections,
auctions, libraries or sourced them through individuals "in the know"
who were in a position to tell them where important items, embarrassing to the
government's or Waitangi Tribunal's untenable position, were stashed and secreted
Some intriguing and colourful encounters took place. One day a Maori
lady appeared on Allan and Susan's doorstep and handed over a box-load of important
historical documents, helpful to their case. Support for the Titfords crossed
over racial boundaries and, as time went on, many people, regardless of ethnic
differences or supposed allegiances, rallied to help fellow New Zealanders in
their fight for justice.
If Susan Titford's (nee Cochrane) family had of
wished to do so, they could have brought tremendous pressure to bear, solely on
the basis of Susan's direct ancestral, royal Maori lineage to Western Nga-Puhi
chief Patuone and, by consequence, Tamati Waka Néné. Susan was also
directly related to the Northern Nga-Kuri, Te Rarawa chief Ru, whose daughter
had married early settler Dennis Browne Cochrane in the 1830's. U.S Consul, James
Reddy Clendon's second wife, Jane Takotawi Cochrane (daughter of Dennis Browne
Cochrane and Princess Takotawi Te Whata), was a cousin to supreme Maori chief,
Tamati Waka Néné, considered by many as the Maori father of the
Treaty and head of Western Nga-Puhi, along with his brother Eruera Patuone.
1938 Internal Affairs publication names Tamati Waka Néné as the
father of the Treaty of Waitangi. He is so named in yet another publication listing
the 15 most prominent founding fathers of New Zealand.
On another occasion,
an individual who recognized Allan approached him on an Auckland street. The gentleman
(Steve) told Allan how he had formerly worked for the Lands and Survey Department
at the height of the Titford case and media circus. He recalled how he received
orders from Sam Brown, Director of Lands and, simultaneously, a blood relative
of the Te Roroa claimant Ned Nathan, to remove a large file pertaining to the
Titford deeds, titles and history of surveying events at Maunganui Bluff. Steve
was ordered to send this entire 1870's file to the head of the Maori Land Court,
Tom Parore, who was one of the Te Roroa claimants, with a vested interest
in the Titford case outcome.
Steve, in his capacity as an employee of Lands
and Survey knew that this request was, technically, illegal and that the
file was destined to get conveniently "lost". He therefore made
two photocopies before shipping off the originals. One of these 30-plus page photocopies
got bumped while sitting atop a filing cabinet and disappeared down the back between
the cabinet and the wall. Steve simply left it there, as the process of getting
the cabinet away from the wall for retrieval of the file required major surgery.
The other copy was stashed away elsewhere "out of sight and out of mind"
for safekeeping to guarantee its preservation and availability as a public document.
After meeting Allan on the street many years later, Steve accompanied him to the
Lands and Survey Office (now called Land Information New Zealand or LINZ), where
he talked with his former colleagues still employed there. A crow bar was found,
wooden trim, encasing the cabinet, removed from the wall and the heavy filing
cabinet dragged out. Sure enough the tumbled file was still lying down the back
and Allan took a copy of this extremely significant information, whereas Lands
and Survey retained the older photocopy and put this historic public information
back into the system.
The original documents sent, under orders of Sam
Brown to Tom Parore, predictably, disappeared without trace and are
now unobtainable. In a strange twist of fate, however, Allan had been able to
get parts of this file in April 1987. He had gone to the Land Court in Whangarei
to acquire a copy of his land title and ended up having a clash with Tom Parore,
who'd said he was 'going to use his influence and contacts in Government to
get Titford's land'. In the ensuing exchange, Tom Parore, who had been going
through the Maunganui Bluff file with his colleague Mr. Green when Allan arrived,
stormed out of the room in an irritated state to go and have a cup of tea. During
his absence Allan went quickly through the file on Parore's desk and, using the
machine adjacent, photocopied as much of the file as he could before Tom Parore
Thankfully, there is often more than one copy of important documents
languishing in remote or obscure repositories of the public service and the Titfords,
like relentless burrowing moles, eventually found most of the really important
In their 1998 book, Robbery by Deceit, they show the
original deed of sale from 1876, between Chiefs Parore Te Awha and Tiopira Kinaki
to the Crown. The original of this document, photocopied by Allan in April 1987,
was last in the possession of Tom Parore, but is now alleged to be missing. The
original, dated the 8th of February 1876, is signed by Henry Tacy Kemp on behalf
of the government and by the vendors Parore Te Awha and Tiopira Kinaki.
Although Allan Titford managed to get this photocopy of
the original 1876 sale agreement while at Tom Parore's Whangarei office of the
Land Court in April 1987, it was alleged to be missing by
the time evidence was being presented before the Waitangi Tribunal. The
original deed gave the boundaries of the purchase and an accompanying plan marked,
in red, all that the Crown purchased. In 1876, two judges from the Native Land
Court, Henry Alfred Home Munroe and John Jermyn Symonds, as well as a Government
Interpreter, Henry Tacy Kemp, along with the Purchasing Officer, James W. Preece,
were present to witness the sale procedure and wrote commentary onto the original
deed of sale.
Month's prior to the deed being signed and before Memorial
Title was granted the judges gave their decision that the sale could proceed.
Te Roroa, supported by Ngati Whatua, protested against the decision and against
Parore Te Awha. On the 2nd of February 1876 a voluntary agreement was negotiated
between all contending parties and on the following morning the judges endorsed
the agreement, now acceptable to all, with Memorial Title granted to 3 blocks.
These were Waipoua 1, Waipoua 2 (Te Roroa's reserve) and Maunganui.
4th of February Te Roroa sold their entire interest in Waipoua 1 and the entire
Maunganui block to the Crown, which blocks they had already contracted for sale
to the Crown 18-months earlier. Negotiations then started between the Crown and
Parore Te Awha (considered to be Nga-Puhi at this juncture) and on the 8th of
February he sold his entire interest in both blocks, on the condition that he
get a 250 acre reserve at the Kaiiwi Lakes granted, which he wished to call Taharoa
One month after the sale to the Crown was completed, Tiopira Kinaki
became jealous when he found out that Parore Te Awha had negotiated a higher price
for his holdings and also gotten himself a reserve. This led to the 1876 "alleged
improper sale" inquiry before Magistrate R.C. Bristow. After a full review
of the sale Tiopira Kinaki accepted that he'd been fairly dealt with and that
he'd received a just price for his holdings. The results coming from this inquiry
were upheld by Parliament.
On the 7th of September 1876 all of the lands
that had come before the court for sale by the Maori owners to the Crown were
subjected to an official gazette notice. The entire sale had been carefully considered,
well publicized and monitored throughout. All pre-sale or after-sale disputes
had been amicably resolved, with agreements reached between all vendors and the
Crown. The carefully undertaken surveys and associated documentation clearly showed
all of the boundary markers or gave descriptions of what the Crown was purchasing.
An earlier idea, of some owners, to set aside reserves named Manawhetai and Whangaiarki
had been superseded and had come to naught when, after deliberation with other
owners or consultation and discussion with the Crown, they sold, outright, all
interests in the Maunganui block or exchanged those interests for another reserve
One hundred years later, there were always too many vested interests
at play within the government departments for the Titfords to get justice. Ned
Nathan, who headed the Te Roroa claim, was a former member and Chairman
of the Waitangi Tribunal, along with his friend Graham Latimer. Sam Brown
(Director of Lands) and Tom Parore (Head of the Maori Land Court) were
advising government that there was substance to the claim, when they themselves
were either claimants or closely connected, as family members and blood kin.
Sam Brown was a close friend of M.P. Peter Tapsell (Bay of Plenty Maori)
who was Minister of Lands, Minister of Police and Minister in charge of Valuations.
Strangely enough, the integrity of the Titford's land titles were illegitimately
nullified, the police left them without protection and in constant danger and
their land valuation was deliberately lowered by the government in order to break
them. How coincidental it is that each of these crippling impositions was launched
from jurisdictions that came within the portfolios of M.P Peter Tapsell. Robert
Parore, Tom Parore's cousin, was the one who declared a wahi-tapu on the Titford
property, calling it a sacred site in order to devalue it.
individuals, highly placed in government, who the Titfords were obliged to deal
with to get justice and document resources helpful to their case, were blood relatives
or close friends of the primary claimant, Ned Nathan.
The plan of the alleged
reserves, submitted into Tribunal evidence, had a line
added to it that did not appear on the original, in order to make it
look like it tied into a Crown triangulation survey. The claimants, Tribunal and
Government now allege that Frank Smith made the survey, when in fact it
was made by Barnard and Stephens. They allege that the signature on the
plan is F.S. Smith, when in fact it was a notation put on the plan
in the hand of Mr. Allen who was, back in 1875, Deputy Inspector of Surveys.
volumes devoted to official correspondence, housed at the National Archives and
containing, amongst many other items, letters relating to Percy Smith's survey
at Maunganui Bluff, have pages torn out of them at critical
places. Despite constantly coming across such disheartening indications
of the claimants tampering with documents or making unhelpful items conveniently
disappear from the public records, the Titford's have still managed to accrue
more-than-enough evidence to prove their case ten times over.
documented history and a very healthy dose of righteous indignation, Allan and
Susan Titford have demanded their day in court. Attorney General, Margaret Wilson
has utilised every ploy available to make sure that dreadful day never arrives
for the government and Waitangi Tribunal. Although the Titfords have sent her
reams of documented "facts" that
are beyond dispute, the Hon. Margaret Wilson's response and justification for
adhering to her determined, bloody-minded, course of action is based solely on
"suppositions or assumptions" devoid
of any proven facts.
The Titford's case is a perfect example of the way
the corrupt Waitangi Tribunal system works to advantage only one group in New
Zealand society. Non-Maori are disallowed the right to defend themselves or make
any submissions, should the Tribunal wish to disavow and ignore their evidence,
which prerogative and preferred option they generally adhere to. Only Maori claimants
are, unreservedly, allowed the privilege of presenting a claim, no matter how
ridiculous. The testimony of a kaumatua normally goes unchallenged, as to cross-examine
an elder would be considered an affront to mana and dignity.
thorough investigation of all claims lodged before the tribunal and close analysis
of the pseudo-history interpretations presented to justify claims would, undoubtedly,
show huge omissions and radically twisted history being presented, reminiscent
of the case concocted against the Titfords.
From, formerly, being
rather ordinary farming folk, concerned with the mundane nuts & bolts running
of their rural business, Allan and Susan have, of necessity, been transformed
into very well-informed, streetwise New Zealanders, with no illusions about the
depth of corruption in our present political system. They've experienced, first
hand, the brunt and conniving reality of what the Waitangi Tribunal actually does
to innocent people or how it caters to liars and fraudsters. It is doubtful that
anyone knows Northland history in more depth than this couple. They can recount
details of every battle of consequence and the significant conquests, by ancient
Maori tribes, leading to ownership of territories and the marking of tribal boundaries.
here for a full account of how the Titford's were isolated, then left
unprotected, vulnerable and at the mercy of government, Waitangi Tribunal or Te