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Proceedings of of the Kohimarama Conference, Comprising Nos. 13 to 18 of the "Maori Messenger."

Wednesday, 25th July, 1860

Wednesday, 25th July, 1860.

The Native Secretary announced the receipt of a Message from His Excellency the Governor. He did not intend to interrupt the present discussion, but would simply read the Message and would enter into an explanation of it when the subject now under consideration had been disposed of. He then proceeded to read—

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(Message No. 4.)
Thomas Gore Browne, Governor.

The Governor has instructed the Native Secretary to explain, to the Chiefs assembled at Kohimarama, the nature of mixed juries, and he desires to know their views and wishes when they have well considered the subject.

Government House, July 24th, 1860.

Tamihana Te Rauparaha, (Ngatitoa.) Otaki:—This is what I have to say respecting the message of the Governor, on the subject of juries, which has just been read. It is right that some intelligent Chiefs should take part in the administration of justice, and in the investigation of cases of murder where pakehas and maories are concerned. Ngapuhi has already complied with the Law. They gave up a murderer to be hung. Then in the case of the Ngatiwhakaue woman who was mudered the law took its course. Therefore I say the law has been acknowledged by some of the tribes—for instance Ngapuhi and Ngatiwhakaue; but I cannot answer for the tribes who are living in the interior. There is a case amongst us of a murderer, named Pitama, who killed the son of Brown; this case has not been settled. Oar old father Rangihaeata opposed (The surrender of the culprit). He said that if this man was given up to the pakeha the power (mana) of New Zealand would be lost. This is our offence. I am not to blame personally. I make proposals but the old men oppose them. For this reason I say it is well that Maories should take part in the institution now spoken of.

I have now something to say in condemnation of the conduct of my son, Te Rangitake. I refer to his taking Te Teira's land and thereby causing the present war. When he was at Kapiti I understood the conduct of Te Rangitake. During Te Rangihaeata's disturbances with the pakehas at the [unclear: Hutt] (Wellington), he requested the cooperation of Te Rangitake but he (Te Rangitake) did not consent. It was the returned slaves from Waikato who instructed him in evil. That land belonged to Te Teira. He inherited it from his ancestors. When they resided at Kapiti no boundaries were fixed. The pakehas came, bringing the Gospel and Peace. The result was that the slaves were liberated. It was only when he returned to Waitara that Te Teira became acquainted with the boundaries (possessions) of his ancestors. The case is similar to ours. The lands of our ancestors are at Kawhia and Maungatautari. There are probably boundary lines, but I don't know them; perhaps the old men remember them. It was a deserted land. It was not left as the pakehas leave their lands, the title deeds being in the possession of their children. The statement that Te Teira is a man of inferior rank is true, for when they resided at Waikanae others were considered the chiefs, namely Rere-tawhangawhanga, Toheroa, Te Awe and others. Te Raru, the father of Te Teira, had no voice page 24 (as a chief); but when he got back to Waitara, to the land of his ancestors, then he spoke with authority as to the possessions of his forefathers. Therefore I say that Te Teira's conduct is straightforward, but William King's is wrong. William King tries to maintain his land-holding influence (mana-pupuri-whenua), the "mana" of New Zealand, but perhaps one reason is jealousy of the pakeha. I have land at Rotorua by virtue of my mother, but perhaps her relations who occupy it would not admit my claim. Nevertheless it is true that the land is mine. Now, if I should ask the old men to point out the boundaries (of this land) they would probably say that they had forgotten them. Perhaps this is the case with Te Teira and Wiremu Kingi. Te Teira (declares that he) knows the boundaries of his ancestors. One thing I must remark on, namely the extent of this piece (of land)—500 acres. No single individual ever cultivales so large a plantation as that; however, that may include the claims of Ropoama and others, and this may account for its extent. We know very well that according to our customs, might is right. Our maori plan is seizure. Let us enquire into these matters. Kapiti, for instance, was taken. The-chieftainship of that belongs to me. According to maori custom, when a man prevails in a struggle he claims it (the land). Now let us approve of the course pursued by Te Teira. He sold (the land) under the light of day. He gave a parawai as a covering for this land. William King did not take it away so as to repudiate Te Teira's claim to the land. Should I come forward and offer land for sale, perhaps some relative of mine would say you have no land. In that case, if I had strength I would carry my purpose. We, the maories, have no fixed rules. Consider this case: the land now belonging to Ngatitoa was taken by them from the original occupants; they gave a portion of it to Ngatiraukawa, and another portion to the Ngatiawa—to the tribes who were always kindling fires (or residing) on that land.

I highly admire the Ngatiraukawa because they have adopted so many of the pakeha customs. Do not curtail the extent of Their lands. Let industrious people have plenty of room for their fires; their church (at Otaki) is a noble building. There is no church in New Zealand to compare with it. It was built by maories. The interior is adorned with maori carvings; the exterior is of planks. Therefore, I say let them have large reserves. But let those natives who are favorable to the Maori King be sent back to Maungatautari.

I have now a word to say respecting the Native Ministers. Let portions of land be sel apart for their maintenance, lest the maories should have continually to be making collections. The Ministers here do not now get any support from England. Wheat and cattle and other property is now plentiful (amongst Ihe Maories). I propose that a pakeha and a maori be appointed to direct the management, and to take charge of the proceeds of such lands (so set apart).

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I have now to speak on another subject. I forgot to say something (when speaking on Monday last,) respecting a Maori hostelry at Wellington. A sum of 500l. was set apart for that purpose. Dr. Featherston and Mr. Fox opposed, saying that a house such as that at Waipapa should not be erected, lest it should become a house of ill-fame. They proposed that a good house should be provided for the accommodation of the chiefs only, not for the common people; and that each chief should have a room to himself. I partly agree with Dr. Featherston's proposal, but I submit it to the Conference whether his plan should be adopted, or whether a portion should not be allotted to the common men.

I have another word to say. Let us, the Chiefs of this Conference, urge the Governor to establish a school for our boys and girls, that they may receive instruction, whereby the maori race may. prosper and be equal. to the pakeha; that the girls may be well educated and allowed to marry such maori husbands as they may choose; so that a generation may arise to uphold the maori name.

Now about the roads: I desire to see our roads bear comparison with those of the pakeha. I made an appeal to the natives (of Otaki) and received from them, in some cases sixpence, in others one shilling, and in some half-a-crown. The pakehas subscribed sometimes a pound, sometimes ten shillings. The funds that we thus collected amounted to thirty pounds. It was taken to the Superintendent and he added another thirty pounds. I tell you this circumstance to shew that the pakehas are willing to assist the natives in their undertakings.

I am ashamed for the evils and the follies of the Maori. Don't let us suppose that we shall be able to vanquish the pakeha. Let us consider the respectability (power) of the pakeha. Their island is a small one, similar in size to New Zealand, but they are a great and powerful nation. They owe their power to Christianity. We shall never be able to contend with the pakeha. If we continue to provoke the pakeha we shall be exterminated and our lands will go into other hands. We shall become slaves. If you had been to England you would be able to appreciate her good (institutions). The ministers also are laboring for our benefit and are instructing us. Do not let us question the character of the pakeha nation. The pakehas do not wish to degrade us. They do not wish to trample on the "mana" of the maori people. Do not advocate the separation of the blackskins from the white-skins: but rather unite them, that both (races) may prosper.

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Mete Kingi, (Ngapoutama,) Whanganui:—I rise to reply to the statement made in this Conference that the hand of Wanganui has been stained with blood. I now speak on this subject because of the Message of the Governor which Mr. McLean has just read. I approve of that proposed measure. If it had been a proposition to rent land, I should not have spoken, because I have no land. What Tamihana has said, respecting the intelligence displayed by the Ngapuhi in giving up Maketu to be hung, is correct. Now, listen Chiefs of the Conterence, my intelligence is not very great. When one of our people was shot (at Whanganui) by a European boy, we went and demanded the lad. The Pakehas replied "It will not be right to give him up to you, because he is a child; he meant no harm,—it was an accident. Had he been older it might be considered murder. We gave it up. Some lads were coming from the interior, and heard the cries of the man who was shot. They went in search of Pakehas in the bush and killed some. Hoani Hipango and ourselves went in pursuit of the natives. We apprehended them and gave them up to the Pakehas to be hung.

Mr. McLean, this is a proof of our intelligence: When the tribe to whom those lads who were hung belonged heard of this, they commenced a war. Let me tell you of my intelligence. When a person is killed in play, it is not considered (murder). When a man who has been in the company of two others is found drowned, that case ought to be investigated. But in a case of deliberate murder, it is right that Pakehas and Maories should be associated in the trial of the case. Mr. McLean, is this jury of twelve to consist of Maories only?—[Mr. McLean replied, "Of Maories and Pakehas; but tomorrow I will enter into an explanation of the Governor's Message.]

Wiremu Tamihana Te Neke, (Ngatiawa), Waikanae:—With reference to Mr. McLean's speech of yesterday, wherein he said that the Governor had no desire for war, but that the Maori provoked him to engage in it, I reply, that would be correct if William King had gone into the town to kill Pakehas; whereas, on the other hand, it was you (the Pakehas) who desired war, inasmuch as Mr. McLean went with his chain and with his soldiers, and commenced burning William king's pas, and occupying Waitara. Enough on that subject.

Now a word about taranaki. Taranaki has been proclaimed a fighting ground. Mr. McLean has spoken of the murders of the Ngatiruanui and Taranaki. I reply that, according to Maori custom, those men were fair prey. This is a reply to Mr. McLean's statement.

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Hohepa Tamaihengia, (Ngatitoa,) Porirua:—Listen this Conference! Wairau was the first cause of evil. I went to retain my lands. When (Capt.) Wakefield and Mr. Thompson saw this, they intended to do us harm by taking both us and our land. We thought it would not be just to take both us and our land. It appeared to me that the right course was to spend three days in the investigation of the matter; and then we might decide upon giving up one part of Wairau. Mr. Thompson thought differently and was for seizing the Natives. Evil commenced here. Mr. Thompson gave the order to fire upon us, and they fired, and one of the Natives fell. This provoked us; we fired upon the Pakehas and killed ten of them. his secured our land to us. Governor FitzRoy arrived and made a fair arrangement about the payment for the land. The subject of Taranaki was discussed according to the words of the Natives contained in that Bible (Blue-book). Waitara had long since been given up. I did not hear anything of a certain tribe, viz., Ngatikura. In my opinion Teira's piece of land is his own, and he has a right to sell it to the Governor. I condemn William King.

When Governor Grey arrived, he demanded the place where the Pakehas were slain at Wairau. We consented to this. When the Pakehas were slain by Te Rangihaeata at Heretaunga (Hutt), Heretaunga was given up as payment. At Whanganui, when Pakehas were slain there, one side of Whanganui was given up as payment for the slain. Now I ask that I may be allowed to go to Waitara to see Wiremu Kingi, that I may speak to him face to face (mouth to mouth), that I may tell him to put a stop to his doings. My speech is ended.

Pirikawau, (Ngatitoa,) Auckland:—Chiefs of the Conference, I agree with the proposition of Hohepa which we have just heard. It is correct. Listen you, I am interested in these three tribes, viz., Ngatitoa, Ngatiraukawa, and Ngatiawa. Let Hohepa go and recommend William King to give up his work. Enough.

Tamihana Te Rauparaha, (Ngatitoa,) Otaki:—Chiefs of the Conference, Hohepa's proposition is a good one, that we should go and speak to Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake. He will listen to us. But there is one difficulty in the way—the part that Waikato has taken in the war. We will urge him to give up the Governor's land, which has been purchased with the Queen's money. It is for you. Chiefs of the Conference, to consider this proposition.

Mohi Te Ahi-a-te-Ngu, (Waikato,) Pukaki:—Friends, Chiefs of the Conference, salutations page 28 to you! Mr. McLean, I greet you! I am from Waikato, or rather from Manukau—within the boundaries of the Government. Formerly, Christianity arrived, and I embraced it at once. Subsequently the Governor and the Bishop arrived. The Treaty of Waitangi was entered into. Waikato was not there when the Treaty was entered into, but Ngapuhi only. It was not long before Ngapuhi turned and broke that covenant—that is to say, Pakehas were killed by them. That Treaty is not now in force, for it has been made void. Governor Hobson and the Bishop were driven out of the Bay of Islands. Waikato saw this: they received them and settled them at amaki. I sold my land at amaki to you in return for iron pots, pipes, blankets, and tobacco. This was my fault. Now let me point out your fault. he Queen sent the Governor here to protect the Natives of this Island. The Queen said that there should be one law for the Maori and the Pakeha. I sold my lands; but you keep the laws, and do not allow me to share in them. ere is another of your faults. I desired to rent my land at the Wharau. You said "No." You only enjoy the law.

I sold Pukekohe and pointed out the boundary lines. [unclear: The] lines were clear. You sent a surveyor. He passed over those boundary lines and fixed others. When I saw that the boundaries were wrong I spoke to you, to the [unclear: officers] of the Governor. You said, "Perhaps the Natives have changed the boundaries." This grievance is between you and me. It was not till the Bishop had urged it upon the Governor that Pukekohe was given up; but Mr. McLean still holds part of it.

This setting up of a King was not a project of mine, nor of any part of Waikato. It originated with Turoa, Moananui, and Te Heuheu. It was agreed to by Hoani Papita and Tamihana, and Potatau was selected as King.

It originated with the tribes in the South. Afterwards the people of Waikato invited Potatau, saying, "Come to Waikato and be a father for the Nation." Potatau did not approve of this King project. Potatau went to the Governor and said to him, "Friend, I am urged by the people to return to Waikato." The Governor answered, "It is right: go and suppress any evil that may arise among the people." We conveyed him (Potatau) into Waikato. (The Rev. Mr.) Burrows went with us. When we arrived there the people of Waikato assembled. Our father, Katipa, stood up, and, addressing Potatau, said, "Will you be father to us?" Potatau answered, "Yes." The question was put twice and received from Potatau the same answer. After this Tamihana Tarapipipi addressed Potatau thus—"O Potatau, wilt thou be King!" Potatau made no reply.

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After our return Potatau was taken to Rangiaowhia, and was again urged by the people (to become King). After long persuasion he consented. The (Waikato) people to the northward call him Father; those to the southward call him King.

I have no lands. I parted with my lands whilst I was in ignorance. After you had acquired all my lands you laughed at me for my folly. You say, respecting this King, that it is wrong. This is your second attempt to put me back into my folly. You wish to replace the burden on my shoulders. Why don't you likewise withhold Christianity, the law, and love. You are willing that I should enjoy them. When you heard the name of King you disapproved. This is the first time you have granted us this (privilege), the Conference.

Here, Mr. McLean, is an instance of your acting aright. Taupohi was the name of the land disputed between ourselves and Ngatiwhatua. We were near mischief; but you withheld the money and would not allow either of us to have it. You did right here. If you had followed the same course with reference to Te Rangitake and Te Teira then there would have been no fighting. I have nothing more to say.

Meeting adjourned to 26th instant.