Proceedings of of the Kohimarama Conference, Comprising Nos. 13 to 18 of the "Maori Messenger."
Thursday, August 9th, 1860
Thursday, August 9th, 1860.
The Native Secretary: My friends, Chiefs of the Conference! I have a few words to say to you. I have conferred with the Governor as to when this runanga shall be brought to a close. His Excellency has recommended to the General Assembly, now sitting in Auckland, that another Conference like the present should be convened next year. Your petition also on that subject has been laid before the House The question will probably be discussed to-morrow.
The Governor is anxious that the result should be communicated to you before you separate. I cannot, therefore, state positively when our session will be over, but I think it likely that Saturday will be the last day.
It is, perhaps, your desire to speak again to-day on the subject treated of by the Ngatitoa Chiefs yesterday. If so, speak on. Let me, however, say a few words to you. Many of you have expressed a strong wish that Te Rangitake's war should be brought to a close. You have offered to go and see him, and exhort him to sue for peace. My opinion is that any efforts of this kind from without will have little avail with William King. The desire for peace must emanate from the people themselves who are engaged in the war. Other tribes may have clear views, but what will that avail if the fighting tribes are bent on mischief? Nevertheless, the Governor will not put any hindrance in the way of those who may resolve to see William King, and to talk to him of peace.page 30
[The Native Secretary concluded with some observations in reply to the speeches of Mohi and Te Rira Porutu.]
Tamihana Te Rauparaha, (Ngatitoa,) Otaki: There are two matters on which I am now thinking. One is the urgent request to go to Taranaki; the other is (the proposal) to return home. But let these questions be governed by the will of the majority: let the minority be considered in the wrong. Our relation with the Ngatiawa is not of recent dale. What I say is, that this war has now increased, and we had better return to our homes. Let them (Te Rangitake and the Governor) go on till they are satisfied, and then perhaps they will become easy with each other. If this had been the commencement of the war, then our course would be clear; but as it is, they have been committing murders, and killing treacherously. But let us consider this. Presently, if we should go to Taranaki, the people will ridicule us and say, "They have been paid to come here.' Still I have affection for William King. Now, if be should decide on returning to Waikanae, and abandoning that place (Taranaki,) it is good. But let us return to our homes and carefully consider this subject. Let us find out some proper words in reference to this question. Let us also remember that they are a people who understand fighting: inasmuch as they make peace, and rub noses, and they turn again and commit murders. Let us decide on some plan in reference to Tara naki. If you prevail, and there is a majority on your side, then be it according to your proposal: our opposition will at once cease.
As to the Natives who are finding fault with Mr. McLean about the land, (I say) there are faults with the Maories them selves. Because I know the affairs of our place. One source of the troubles of our Kainga was the sale to (Col.) Wakefield in the early times. Formerly, when the Maories were in ignorance, they bartered the land for a cannon—only one. It was Captain - (who gave it). That pakeha then said that all Wairau bad been paid for with this cannon. When Wakefield came to Port Jackson, the Captain's wife sold this page 31 land to him, and received large payment for it. This was the source of the troubles at Wairau. Afterwards Heretaunga was sold to Governor FitzRoy, for four hundred pounds,—two hundred pounds of which was given to Te Rangihaeata, and the remainder to Te Rauparaha. Te Rangihaeata expended his share in the purchase of a vessel which afterwards foundered in Porirua harbour. After this Te Rangihaeata returned to this land and attempted to retain it, but he was repulsed by the Pakehas and the Maories, and having fled to the mountains, the ocean was again calm (i.e. peace was established) (These) our elders are now dead.
I have not seen anything wrong in Mr. McLean's manner of purchasing our lands. It is the Natives themselves who cause the difficulties. For it is he (Mr. McLean.) alone who settles all the difficult questions For this reason the Maories have said, "Let him be a Governor, because his proceedings with the Maories are very clear." It is jealousy which has caused some Maories to find fault with Mr. McLean, and with the Pakehas also. Wi Tako also is finding fault with the Pakehas without reason. It was he who gave the land to the Pakehasat Wellington. The portion of land in the town which remained to him, and is called Kumutoto, is leased by him to the Pakehas, and he receives a large rental for it. Having wasted his goods in giving feasts to the people, he has become impoverished, and on this account be turns round and speaks ill of the Pakehas. He has asserted that the Pakehas have taken away some of the lands belonging to the Natives. He has said this to some of the Maories, in order to induce them to imitate him in speaking ill of the Pakehas.
Hemi Matini, (Ngatimahanga,) Whaingaroa: I rejoice on account of Mr. McLean's word. According to my view, there is nothing wrong in the Governor. In the days of Noah there was no repentance. In the days of Lot and Abraham there was no repentance in Sodom and Gomorrah. In the days also of Moses and Aaron there was no repentance. These were the punishments of God in former times on those who were evil. While the children of Israel were sojourning in Egypt the Lord afflicted the Egyptians, even up to the time of the departure of the Israelites. When they pursued the Israelites to the Red Sea. God visited them in great anger. That was the punishment for their wickedness. The laws that were laid down for the Pakehas were ten in number. These were accompanied by page 32 the promise," I will shew mercy to thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments." The laws are, Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, &c. My speech is now clear. If you are grieved, remember that the Governor is punishing the sins. Here is a man of Ngapuhi sitting here who having committed a sin has repented of it. In my opinion this is the punishment of God that the people may be brought to repentance. It is right that the Governor should punish our sins. Do not suppose that we can gain anything good (by the war at Taranaki). No: rather let the Governor's land be given up, and let the murderers also be surrendered: then only will there be peace.
Hetaraka Nero, (Ngatimahanga,) Whaingaroa: My words refer to Te Teira and William King. Mr. McLean and the Governor were staying at that place (Taranaki). When the land was offered for sale, Mr. McLean investigated the title according to the custom of land purchase. The nature of Te Teira's claim induced the Governor to side with him; then william king was grieved, evil sprang up in his heart, and he declared war with the Governor. Subsequently there was murder, and the evil then assumed a more serious aspect. I shall now speak of Waikato. The Waikato (people) set up a Maori king. The object of this was to hold the land. When Te Rangitake heard that his own idea was being carried out, his heart rejoiced. I am speaking ill of Waikato and Wiremu Kingi. I say, that evil will increase. In these times my ears have heard indistinctly that those tribes have been acting treacherously, and the opinion (respecting them) cannot be concealed. This Island is filled with the evils of the Maories. I am willing that you should go and carry goodness to that place. These are the good things—peace and goodwill. But there is no atonement for these offences against the Government.
Te Waaka Te Ruki, (Ngatimahanga,) Whaingaroa:—Mr. McLean, I had supposed that Pukekohe had been fairly restored to us by the Governor. I am residing on this land. I had supposed that this land had been fairly returned to Mohi. What faith is to be put in that land? In the time of Governor Fitzroy that land was returned to us. On our return together from Waikato I pointed out my lands to you, even to the mouth of the Waikato river. We went to Ngatitipa, because this tribe had fought for the land, and the Waikato Chiefs were dead.page 33
I asked the Ngatitipa to give up the Whakaupoko. Ruihana consented. All Ngatitipa consented, and the land was then ceded to you That land was taken, men's lives were saved, and there was no fighting.
Te Manihera Matangi, (Ngatiawa,) Wellington:—I propose to follow the words of Tamihana. I am listening aright to the words which Mr. McLean has just spoken. If those words are from the Governor they are very sweet to my ears. We shall assent to these words because they have come to us in the name of the Governor. But there is one thing which will prevent onr saying anything on this subject, namely, the death of Waikato people at Taranaki. This will prevent our saying a word about the proposal respecting William King. If Waikato was not concerned, then we could arrange the affairs for William King, and the words would go right. But let Te Awaitaia make some proposal about the loss of Waikato, then our words may go right. If the Governor should have a plan for avenging the murders at Taranaki he will be left to carry it out. When he has finished with Taranaki, then I will go there, because the dead are mine. Paora Kukutai, who has been killed, was a relative of mine. I shall speak about the dead because they are mine. If we should go now and attempt to make peace our words would not be listened to; nor should we see our friend William King. He will be alone in the house speaking his words: we shall not be able to enter.
Parakaia Tararoa, (Tuhourangi,)Tarawera: I shall not speak the same words as the rest of us. They have a law, and we have a law. I say this because of the words of Ngatitoa. Hohepa has proposed our going to Taranaki to Te Rangitake. I am willing that you should go and convey (to him) the words of this meeting. If it had been two months (hence) then all the Chiefs of the Conference would go there.
Now I shall speak about my land. My land has not yet sent forth the steam of its breath. When a man opens his mouth the breath ascends to the nostrils, but the breath (or vapour) of my land has not yet found its way into the ocean. It was the money that caused I the difficulty about our road. The people say that the spades, the hatchets, the pick-axes, and the axes were (given) in payment for the land. They say, the land will be gone; for this reason our minds are enquiring; and we look to you (Mr. McLean) to explain it to us.page 34
The Native Secretary: I have a word to say to those who talk of visiting Taranaki. It is not likely that the Governor would restrain any one, inasmuch as he permitted Hohepa to go to Taranaki some time since. I am thinking of the proposal of Waikato to go there. Waikato went, but the matter was not settled. Perhaps any further efforts would be equally unavailing. The means of putting an end to this evil rests rather with the tribes of the place.
This is my word in reply to Parakaia. It was on account of the road alone that the money was paid. It was not announced as payment for the land. It was given as com-pensation for the sweat and labour of the Natives who worked on this road. That compensation money has nothing to do with the land.
Hemi Parai, (Ngatiawa,) Wellington: Ye the Runanga, listen! This is what I have to say to you. I intend it as a question. With the Governor and Mr. McLean are their own thoughts. As to the proposal of Hohepa, is it to be swallowed by this Assembly of Chiefs—by Ngatiwhakaue, by Wiremu Te Awaitaia, and by Ngapuhi? I have nothing more to say.
Rapihana Te Otaota, (Ngatitoa,) Porirua:—Listen, ye Chiefs of this Conference. I have no words to bring up from either side, because the paths of goodness and the Queen's authority have been made clear. Therefore I say let the proposal of Hohepa respecting William King be carried out; for at this time he is suffering from famine—he has neither food nor water. The clear food he has allowed to pass away from him, and the clear water he has allowed to pass away: the only food he has now is white clay, and the only drink he has now is muddy water. For this reason I say, let peace be offered to Wiremu Kingi, that the command of the Scriptures may be fulfilled—" If thine enemy hunger, feed him: if he thirst give him drink." The food to be supplied to him is goodness, and the drink is peace. We are expressing our desire that some good words be carried to William King, because he is under a law and we are under a law. He has heard the law and we too have heard the law. These tribes, Ngatitoa and Ngatiraukawa, came here in order to seek the preservation of life. Therefore I say, let these two tribes be conveyed into the presence of Wiremu Kingi. If he should not give his consent, then the matter is his own. If he should consent, then it will be well.page 35
Wiremu Tamihana, (Ngatiawa), Waikanae: Tamihana (Te Rauparaha) and I agree in our views. Your reference to the descendants of Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata is right. I have only one word to say. I shall not be willing to land when we get to Taranaki; rather let us return to our homes, and carefully consider the matter, and then if our elders approve of it, we will go there. Nevertheless, Hohepa, whether you land there, or whether we return to our homes, we will be unanimous in this matter.
Matene Te Whiwhi, (Ngatitoa,) Otaki:—I approve of both suggestions. This will be the right plan. When we get to Taranaki, let a letter be sent to William King. If he does not yield, then let us proceed on our way home. When we arrive at the South let us assemble the tril es who reside there,—Ngatiawa, Ngatitoa, and Ngatiraukawa,—and if we should be able to decide on some plan then let us return to Taranaki. If not, that is enough.
Arama Karaka, (Te Uriohau,) Kaipara:—Mr. McLean has said that there are two roots. My thoughts are dwelling on that. I shall also keep my attention to the Taranaki question. I shall give utterance to my thoughts that you may hear them. The Gospel weighed on the minds of men and the light of day shone forth. Te Rangihaeata said, Let there be night, and it was night. Ngapuhi did the like. By carrying the Gospel to the dark places, light sprang up. In this instance William King is sitting in darkness: let him be brought into the light. Listen yon!—Mr. McLean and Mr. Smith. The land belonged to Te Teira and William King. Te Teira parted with his portion. William King saw this, and he thought that his half was not left to him. I say, let William King's half be made good to him. If the Conference should go to Taranaki, and say to William King "Give up the land to the Governor, and you shall have one half of the payment," and he should refuse, then the Governor is right and he| (William King) is wrong. This is a suggestion of my own: it is not an opinion emanating from the Conference.
Tahana Turoa, (Patutokotoko,) Whanganui:—I am pleased with what you? (the Chiefs) have said. It is right that we should consider this matter of Te Rangitake, in order that we may understand it.
Paora Tuhaere, (Ngatiwhatua,) Orakei:—I shall speak in reply to TeManihera's words. In my view it is right that we should carry page 36 words of peace (to Te Rangitake). I am clear (or satisfied) respecting Waikato. Will you not consent that letters be written to the Chiefs of Waikato asking their acquiescence in our plans? In my opinion they would consent.
HoromonaToremi,(Ngatiraukawa,)Otaki: -Mr. McLean, Matene is right in saying that there should be two attempts—the one proposed by Tamihana, and the one proposed by Hohepa. I agree with Hohepa about going to Waitara. I do not approve of going home first and then returning. The Ngatiawa speak falsely in saying that when they get to Kapiti they will return. How was it that they did not go there after the death of Rawiri Waiaua and of Katatore? These tribes did not come up (to Taranaki) at that time; in like manner, they will not return to Waitara to establish peace there. And now, Mr. McLean, (I tell you) I shall not come back.
Perenara, (Tuhourangi,) Tarawera:—This is my word. We understand this war. Peace will not be estbalisbed; but let us not consider that. Tamihana has proposed that they should return to the South, and decide upon the question of going to Waitara. I reply to that: that opinion emanates from themselves—it is not the opinion of the Conference. Again, how was it that whilst they were there they did not look into the matter? I say, let the decision be unanimous. When we go forth with these words of peace, let it be known that they are the words of the whole Conference. The word of the Conference will carry authority with it, because it will be communicated to Te Rangitake. If he should be defiant, what will that avail, when the words for peace have become established leaving him no alternative? He will by and bye consent to that same proposal of peace Ngahuruhuru, (Ngatiwhakaue,) Rotorua—We shall return to our homes and attend to this matter (the establishment of peace), that is to say when this runanga of all runangas, assembled by the Governor, has closed; and we shall take the result to Te Rangitake and then there will be an end (to the fighting) Then indeed word will be returned to the Governor that the war, as far as the Maori side is concerned, is at an end; and the land will be given up as payment for the slain on the Pakeha side. This is all I have to say.
Meeting adjourned to 10th instant.