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"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".

'A 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, 2002).

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.

In 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 Wilson.

Graham Rankin,
16 Rankin St, Kaikohe.
June 4th 2001.

Minister of Treaty Claims,
The Hon Margaret Wilson.

Tena koe,

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 so.

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.

Before 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 Zealand Society.

My question Minister, the land can never be given to Maori, sitting as a "crown jewel" when it should be returned to Allan Titford, now.

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.

I must 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

Signed, Graham Rankin, Ngapuhi elder.

Regards to our great Prime Minister.

Graham 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.

Government departments 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.

Unfortunately 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 away.

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.

A 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 returned.

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 ones.

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.

On the 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 reserve.

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 at Waipoua.

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.

Several influential 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.

Huge 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.

Armed with 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.

A 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.

Read 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 Roroa thugs.



The Allan and Susan Titford story

Timeline of Northland History

Letters and Records of Wi Pou Land Sale

History of Te Roroa



Allan and Susan Titford vs The Waitangi Tribunal