The Maori King Movement in New Zealand
When a Maori king was first talked of, the idea was laughed at by both Maori and pakeha. Few believed it would ever become a fact. Men acquainted with native history, and knowing the enmity that existed between various tribes in consequence of former wars and frequent reprisals, said: “Those old feuds will effectually prevent any extensive union taking place.” And those who knew anything of native character said: “The pride of the Maori chiefs will never allow them to submit to the dictation of a chief of another tribe, nor will their love of independence permit them to become the subjects of a Maori king.” Despite of all predictions that it would end in smoke or turn out “mahi tamariki” (child's play), the movement has gradually advanced. The advocates and promoters of the scheme were instant in season and out of season, carrying their flag to distant tribes, inviting them to accept it and join the league. Tomo denied, at the great meeting the other day, that they had done so, and wished it to be understood that the tribes who had joined them had done so unsolicited; but Hetaraka, of Waingaroa, confronted him and reminded him that they had sent invitations to Waingaroa again and again, and in fact had sent their flag and their emissaries far and wide to collect subjects.—(See his speech, p. 51.)
Land squabbles between different tribas or between subdivisions of the same tribe often presented a good opening for recommending the scheme and for obtaining adherents. Such occasions were carefully watched and sedulously improved. When any dispute arose, a party of king's men were sent to tender their kind offices as mediators, and having effected a reconciliation between the contending parties they generally wound up their mission by proposing a union with their league. They said: “Disputes will never end under the present system of holding our land, nor can there be any security against ‘hoko tahae’ (elandestine sales) until all the land is placed under the control of one runanga; we never have been able to manage these things, and never shall be on the old system, therefore join us and hand over your land to the league: then the cause of your quarrels will be removed, your land will be secured for your children, and peace will reign among the tribes.” This view of the subject took with many parties, and drew many into the scheme.
A meeting was held at Waiuku in March last, which was attended by the Waikato and Manukau tribes, and resulted in the issue of the following proclamation by Potatau, which was printed and circulated among the natives:—page 28
“Waiuku, 15th March, 1860.
“The Proclamation of Potatau to all the tribes residing East, West, North, South, and in the interior.
“On the 14th day of March, at 7 o'clock in the evening, Potatau spoke to the people and to the chiefs.
“This is Potatau's request that he spake:—‘Hold fast Christianity,—hold fast love,—hold fast law: what is the worth or advantage of all other work? Christianity is not a wealth we have purchased;—it is wealth that has been freely given to us, and wealth for which we have made no adequate return.
“‘Maories, your former god was Uenuku the man eater. You have a different God now, the great God of Heaven: therefore let war cease in New Zealand among both Maories and Pakehas.
“‘Let all the evils that may arise, great and small, be judged by the law. Here we rest till the Evil Spirit comes to spoil our work.”’
This meeting appears to have had the effect of diminishing the opposition of the Lower Waikato tribes to this movement, and, in fact, of inducing many to join it who had hitherto stood aloof.
During 1859 two or three deputations visited the South and left the Maori King's flags at Taranaki, and with the Ngatiruanui. It is said that William King, Te Rangitake, refused to receive the flag or to join the movement, but in the Autumn of the present year a deputation from the Ngatiawa and Ngatiruanui tribes visited Waikato, entrusted with the important duty of presenting the allegiance of those tribes to the Maori King, and of handing over their lands to the league of which he is the recognised head.
The deputation consisted of about sixty picked men, chiefly young men. They arrived at Ngaruawabia on the 10th of April, accompanied by Ngatimaniapoto from Kawhia, Rangiaohia and Upper Waipa. They marched up to the flag staff, three abreast, wearing favors to distinguish the respective tribes.
On reaching the flagstaff one stepped forward, and with a clear distinct voice said, “Honour all men, love the brotherhood; Fear God; Honour the King;” then turning to the train he said “Honour the King:” all responded by uncovering and kneeling. The leader of the Ngatiruanui then read from a memorandum book an address beginning, “O King, live for ever: thou art bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh; thou art a saviour for us, our wives, our children,” &c., &c., and went on to pledge their allegiance. The leader of the Ngatiawa then read a similar address: “Honour the King” was again demanded, and a low salaam, and a general cry of hear, hear, hear, was the response. A native Teacher then stepped page 29 out of the ranks and gave out a verse of the Maori Hymn beginning “Ka mahue i Ihipa,” &c. “We have left Egypt the place of bondage, we seek another land, a land of rest,” &c. The verse was sung, then prayer was offered for God's blessing on their King and on the people. This ended, they retired, facing toward the royal presence, then wheeled round and marched off to the place appointed for korero.
During the visit of this deputation to Waikato the Taranaki war broke out, the murders were committed by the tribes to which these men belonged, the battle of Waireka was fought and several principal Chiefs of those tribes, near relatives of these men, fell on the field. This intelligence gave a more serious aspect to affairs, and gave a warlike tone to their deliberations.
As there is such frequent reference to the Taranaki war in the speeches delivered at the Meetings held in connection with this King movement it may be necessary to notice its origin. When His Excellency the Governor visited New Plymouth in March 1859, a block of land situated on the south bank of Waitara was offered for sale by a Chief named “Teira,” supported by his friends who were joint claimants. The Governor accepted the offer, provided that the ownership of the land was undisputed, and Teira laid at His Excellency's feet a Parawai (a Taranaki Mat) as a symbol that the offer was accepted. William King was present, but did not take away the Mat, as he should have done according to Native custom if he wished to deny Teira's right to sell the land, nor did he condescend to assert in a becoming manner any claims on his own behalf, but in an insulting and defiant tone arose and left the room saying, “I will not permit the Sale of Waitara to the pakeha. Waitara is in my hands, I will not give it up; Ekore, Ekore, Ekore. (i.e. I will not, I will not, I will not) I have spoken.”
Eight months elapsed between the first offer and the final acceptance of the land, during which period every opportunity was given to adverse claimants to prefer and establish their right. On the 29th November, 1859, the District Commissioner called a public meeting of both Natives and Europeans to witness the payment of the first instalment of the purchase money; King and his people were present. A document was read setting forth the boundaries of the block, and also a declaration on the behalf of the Governor, that if any man could prove his claim to any piece of land within the boundary described, such claim would be respected, and the claimant might hold or sell as he thought fit. No such claim was put forward. The question was put to King by the Commissioner, “Does the land belong to Teira and party?” He answered “Yes, but I will not let them sell it.”page 30
The case being so clear, the transaction was ratified. To this course the Governor was bound by his own engagement. In his address to the natives at New Plymouth he had pledged himself to two principles: First, “That he would buy no land, the ownership of which was matter of dispute.” Second, “That he would allow no man to interfere or prevent the sale of any land by the rightful proprietor thereof.” The customary survey of boundaries was therefore ordered, the surveyors commenced their work, and King sent his women to take up their chains and prevent the survey being carried on. What then was to be done? Either this resistance must be submitted to, or means must be taken to protect the surveyors in their work. A military force was therefore ordered to the ground for the latter purpose. William King then offered armed resistance, and built a pa on the land in declaration of his determination to oppose the survey of it by the Government. On him therefore must rest the onus of the war.
The difficulty has been complicated by the atrocious murders that were committed by the Southern tribes on five defenceless settlers. Though King denies having been in any way accessory to that foul deed, yet it must be obvious that it was connected with the war which he had commenced, and was prompted by the spirit of the land league of which he was a leading member. Those tribes were on their way to assist him, and were meditating the destruction of the European settlement, when they came into contact with the troops, met with the retribution they merited, and were prevented from carrying out their diabolical plans. They could have no pretext whatever for taking up arms except their connection with the land league. They are obviously fighting for the principles of that league.
Nor can the Waikatos find any other reason for interfering in the quarrel. If they take up arms in William King's defence it cannot be on the ground of injustice done to King or to themselves. In reference to Waitara, they well know that King's “mana” was all taken away when they conquered his tribe, and that the land was then lost to him. They also know that Potatau received a sum of money from the Government in 1842 in extinction of the claims of Waikato as the conquerors of that land. King's mana was gone, and they who had taken it away sold it to the Queen. On what plea, then, can Waikato support him in his unjust attempts to prevent the sale of Teira's property? If they enter into this war, it can only be because they are resolved on carrying out the principles of an unlawful confederation, or because they desire a casus belli. The party who have gone to page 31 King's assistance are most probably influenced by the latter motive, but the main body of the Waikato tribes are not disposed to commit themselves to such a course.
The following Speeches were delivered during the visit of the Taranaki deputation at Ngaruawahia:-
Tapihana, (Ngatihikairo,) said: I begin not with the events of to-day. I go to the words with which Potatau set out:—Te Whakapono, te Aroha, te Ture (Religion, Love, Law). 1st. Religion. This is your work, Pakehas and men of religion, walk in the ways of God, and pray for peace upon all men. Our 3rd motto is Law. This is our work, let us take care of this and work it out. If, Governor go on to a piece of land I shall follow his steps; if he open roads I shall be there; if he shed blood I shall be there as well as he. I seek life for the people. I say save the land, and the paths for your children. Our 2nd motto is Love. Our forefathers lost this by their wars, we seek to restore it, These are the mottoes for all the world. I mourn for the blood of Te Rangitake.* My blood is the blood of Te Rangitake. I shall go and seek Rangitake and Kukutai at once. I am but one, but I shall go. If I fall it will be good, never mind that.
Karaha Tomo te Whakapo, from Rangiaohia: You are right, those are our mottoes. Let there be no evil of any kind, no war among the Pakeha, and no war among the Maories. But let us build our Pa, let us complete it. Let it be quite finished. I do not consider it completed yet. Leave the other things, the war at Taranaki for the Evil Spirit to carry on. Twice he has turned upon us, and twice we have forgiven. Let us abide by our three mottoes, and wait to see if he will be strong and persevere. Our Pa stands broken, listen William, Takarei, Wetini, listen, I consider that our pa for our wives and children is not yet complete, let us finish it, dig the trenches, throw up the breast-work and bind the fences. Look at his (the Pakeha's) work in other lands, never too late, never behind time (alluding to the prompt movements and careful preparations of the Europeans)—therefore I say quickly build our Pa.
Tapihana replied: What pa is that you are building? we have built our pa, and it is broken down and stained with blood. The wealth we had collected into our bag is scattered, it is thrown out into the fern, who shall gather it up again? (alluding to the men who had fallen at Taranaki.)
Tomo Whakapo replied: You may say that our pa is finished, but I do not. As for our blood Christianity had stopped its flow, but we ourselves opened the wound, (alluding to Maori quarrels.) I shall not hastily see the correctness of your proposal; should I consent now we shall all be ruined at once. The Governor has been to Taranaki and has returned to “Whangaihau” (i.e., to sing and exult over the slain): my thought is “How often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive?”
Wiremu Hikairo: We have two things to think of, our king and our blood. I am in pain. My foot is pierced either with a fern or wood. It is said that the king is to protect us. I want to see it. I have not seen it yet. What has he done for me? You are clearing your own paths and spreading your own mat, talking about Whakapono, but I am cold, a door has been opened to let in the wind, and it has blown directly upon me. You think you are providing a covering, but there is an opening made in it.
Tomo replied again: I do not condemn what you say, but I cannot see the wisdom or utility of it. If I could I should instantly consent and say our work is complete, but I consider our pa at present unfinished. Come, let us finish what we are now at.
Wiremu Hikairo replied: You, Tomo, are holding us back, you are hiding the thing. Your words may be correct, but what shall I do? Son, our intention will be carried out, whoever may oppose, but you are alone in your unbelief.A Waikato: Think not that I am grieved or dark because of the doings of my friend the Governor. It is only what they (the pakehas) have done elsewhere. They page 32 have conquered and taken other islands, and they come to do the same with New Zealand. Let not the Pakeha bring war to this land, let him return to his own lands and fight there. How often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Let him cease here and all will be well. He did not attack me in front openly, he came on me unawares behind, but I am not dark about it, it is all good (this was ironical).
Paetai, of Kihikihi: Great is the truth of your words my son Tomo, be strong to maintain yours. These are my thoughts for your question “How often, &c.” I will answer it—
Sin the 1st. Te Rangihaeata (Wairau)
Sin the 2nd. Hone Heke
Sin the 3rd. Whanganui (the war there)
Sin the 4th. Auckland, the Waikato native that was murdered
Sin the 5th. Tauranga
Sin the 6th. To Rangitake.
The Pakeha committed all these; if we had sinned as often we should have been punished long ago. Be strong. Tapihana, for what cause do you propose to take your gun to Taranaki? is it not because the Governor has made war? Murder is talked of, but it was not murder, it was only a thing joined or added to the war already begun (he apiti). Tell me was it murder? No, he apiti (loudly replied the Ngatimaniapoto), according to the law of Christianity it was murder, but according to the Governor's it was “he uru whakaara” i.e., a part of the battle which Governor had begun.
Te Wetini. (Ngatihua): There was a time when I was strong toward the Governor, for when I was thirsty he gave me? drink, or naked he clothed me; now they have taken away the water and the garments. What can be the thoughts of the men that have done this? What? Potatau is a pakeha, let us do nothing else, let Potatau be our work at present.
Ta Karei (of Kawhia): Talk away: this is the pa, this is the house for us. We thought there had been a union of the black skin and the white one, but the white was only white outside, it was black inside; the black was black only outside, it was white inside. They put forth the strait law and praised it, but blood has been shed, not by the black skin, but by the white; they have gone to shed blood, and have trodden underfoot the law that was right. Friends, the blood of the black skin has been shed, has it not? (The Ngatimaniapoto responded, “Ae”).
Wiremu Te Ake (Ngatihikairo): We see our error, New Zealand. The fathers came first with the word, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” I was sitting under their wings when the first Governor came. He said, here am I—I have come to see you. We asked, have you come to take our land? He said, No. After this we went to Remuera to attend the great feast and about 300 of us met at Government House. We said to Governor, We do not intend to part with our land. He replied, You may go and keep your place: hold it fast for yourselves: then he returned. After this we began to see the intentions of our fathers (the Missionaries) and the Government, and the result is, that blood is flowing. You (Waikato) have shewn us one thing, shew us the other. What can we do, they have strangled the child, they have pursued us along our path. It is the Governor that has committed the wrong. Is it not? (Again Ngatimaniapoto shouted “Ae;” the question repeated, the same reply given).
Te Kihirini—Te Kanawa: The work is not mine. I have done none at all. Listen to me, Pirongin (a mountain) is great, and Taupiri is great. My blood has been blackened at Taranaki before, and if it is to be blackened again let it be at Taupiri (meaning, Don't let us go away to fight, but wait till we are called to defend our own land).
Wiremu Hikairo: What go you mean? If the house be standing it is with the roof but partially covered, and all broken below; come let us repair the place that is broken.
Hari (Ngatimaniapoto of Kawhia): We were made one by Christianity. Our union commenced when we heard the name of Christ—but I am looking at what page 33 Tapihana said—it is right. Yours is blood that was shed in one day not in two days—and my word is to Tapihana, Let us arise and go. The Ministers who reside with the pakehas have not been strong to exhort their people against war. They have removed my pillow from under me. When Missionaries came first they had two ploughs, one for heaven and one for earth; the one for heaven was keeping going before our eyes, the other was kept out of sight they did not inform us, (meaning Missionaries were but pioneers who came to prepare the way for taking their land).
Te Tamuhuia (Waikato): If I lift my heels I shall have no strength in my knees. I am not dark, if I desire to go, I shall go without speaking of it. I mourn for the people (Taranaki); formerly we were divided by the wars of our fathers, now we are one, therefore I mourn for them.
Hoani Papita (Rangiaohia): I do not see the wisdom of this talk. The zeal of Tapihana is the one thing, that is wrong; it is boast or bounce of his, and he has brought it to us, but his proposal falls to the ground. Rather let us keep to our point and not be drawn aside (the King movement); don't let us be divided: if we consent to Tapihana, we shall be all wrong, don't let our talk go after William King, let us keep to our point. This will do at present, let our talk end for this day.
[The Natives of the Ngatimaniapoto tribe were no doubt encouraged to make these revolutionary proposals and to use the strong language contained in their speeches, by the speeches of two Waikato Chiefs, Te Wetini and Karamoa, who spoke the preceding day, when the Ngatiruanui and Ngatiawa presented their allegiance to Potatau.]
Wetini said: Welcome strangers. Come to us and bring the raupo and thatch that is to finish our house. This is the completion of our work (alluding to the fact of those distant tribes now joining formally the King party). Come, he said, the work is now finished. The house that God hath joined and made one is split, it is broken to pieces (referring to the collision between the Natives and Europeans at Taranaki); “Take my love to Kukutai,” (a Chief that was killed at Waireka).
Karamoa followed in a similar strain, saying, Welcome, come and see me, I am pained, I have received a wound. Alas for me! my affliction is great. I have talked about land till I am weary, now I sit in grief, my very vitals move, I shake like the leaves of the weeping fern tree for my children. Come you and tell us of death. You have come from the scenes of death. Bring your grief to us, pour out your sorrow, Come to Waikato to the house we have built, let us hear all about it, our ears are listening to the intelligence of death.
He recited a Native waiata, expressive of his feeling—
Kokirikiri ai te ao kapura
E rere mai ra kei te moana
Kiko nei an, mihi atu ai
Tangi atu ai ki aku tamariki
Ehara i te tangata
Ko te whata toto, o te ngakau motuhia
Putunga mahara i a au, e, i.
The clouds are coming up from the sea (for the soldiers),
I am here, sympathizing with and weeping for my children;
Am I not a man?
The very fountain of blood in the heart will burst
With the depth of my feeling within me.
This Meeting was mainly composed of the Kawhia and Rangiaohia people, (Ngatimaniapoto,) a part of the tribe that advocates extreme measures, and forms the war party. Hence the revolutionary character of their speeches. Potatau peremptorily forbad them to go armed to Taranaki, but they page 34 disregarded the prohibition, took arms, on pretence of conducting the Taranaki deputation (whom they also armed) back to their homes, but really with the intention of joining King in the war, declaring they should not return till they planted the Maori Flag on the Waitara land. The result of their expedition has not yet transpired. It is but just to record the honourable course pursued by them in the case of Mr. Parris. He met the party at Pukekohi in order to conduct the Taranaki men safely through the war district, and these men wickedly conceived a plot to take his life. But the Ngatimaniapoto divulged their treachery, took Mr. Parris under their protection, formed a guard around him, and conducted him safely beyond the point of danger, when they knelt down, engaged in prayer, and commending him to the care of Divine Providence, sent him on. Their conduct presents a striking contrast to that of the Taranaki men, who could so coolly conceive the idea of butchering one who had periled his own life to protect theirs.
The great meeting of the Waikato tribes, which was intended fully to establish the Maori Kingdom, was held at Ngaruawahia in the month of May of the present year. Great preparations were made, and expectations entertained of a very large and influential gathering. But the meeting was not so large as it was expected to be. It was principally composed of the tribes of lower Waikato, Manukau, Waipa, Rangiaohia, Matamata, and Taupo, with Representatives from Waingaroa, Aotea, Kawhia, Mokau, Tauranga, and Auckland, in all about 3000 souls, about 1400 males and 1600 women and children.
The Native Secretary Donald McLean, Esq., the Superintendent of Auckland J. Williamson, Esq., Mr. Rogan of the Native Land Purchase Department, Mr. Smallfield, of the “New-Zealander,” Mr. Armitage, Bishop Selwyn, and Rev. Messrs. Morgan, Buddle, Wallis, Reid, Garavel, and several other Europeans were present during the meeting.
On the 18th May, the Superintendent, by appointment, had an interview with Potatau in the presence of several chiefs, when he directed his attention to the present disturbed state of the country, to its causes and its remedy. His Honor wished Potatau to understand that he did not come to him as a representative of the General Government, but as the representative of the settlers, and feeling mnch concerned on account of the disturbed state of the native mind, he had sought page 35 this opportunity to assure him that the wish of the Europeans throughout the country is that the same peaceful relations and friendly feelings that have so long existed between the races may be still maintained and perpetuated. He also reminded Potatau of the great advantages the natives had realized from colonization, and the rapid progress they had made in those things which so materially contribute to their comfort and happiness as a people. He said he was very sorry to hear of the proceedings that had taken place lately amongst some of the tribes; and that he could see no good reason for the jealousies and suspicions that appeared to be entertained. Good-will toward the Maories had always been shewn by the Queen, by her Governors, and by her loyal people; the Queen's Government had been established with the consent of the natives, and ever since that time the Maori's rights and privileges were as carefully protected as those of the white man; the markets had been as free and open to them for the sale of their produce as to the Europeans, and when they wished to buy they were charged no more than the white man had to pay; the Courts of Justice were as accessible to them as to the pakeha, and in order that they might have confidence in the impartial administration of the laws, some of their own picked men had been appointed by the Governors to sit on the same bench with the Queen's Magistrates to try cases in which natives were concerned; Maoris had gone away from home to distant countries, and they had there enjoyed the protection of the Queen's flag when they were likely to suffer injury from foreigners; so long as they remained under the shadow of that flag they were safe, but the flag they proposed to set up could afford them no protection, and if they were so foolish as to persist in erecting it, they would most certainly bring evil upon themselves, and much confusion would follow. He expressed a hope that nothing would be permitted to destroy the good that was going on in the country.
Potatau listened attentively, occasionally indicating his approval by saying “korero tonu,” (talk on—it is all true). He referred to the three principles on which they had set out, and declared his intention to abide by them; but, he said, “the people have added a fourth and a fifth, and may add more.”
Karaka Tomo interposed and began to speak of the wars that had taken place between the Government and the Maories, in a strain that betrayed a wish to cast reflections on the Go- page 36 vernment as the aggressors, when Potatau stopped him, saying, “The Maories only were to blame for the whole.”
Takarei Te Rau took part in the conversation, and said “the first thing to be done is to get peace restored.” He was told that the Governor had done all he could do to prevent the war, and now he would expect William King to ask for peace.
On the 21st, the tribes that had arrived announced, by a volley of musketry, their intention of visiting the king. Ngatihaua, with William Thompson at their head, came first. They numbered 150 men, all armed. They saluted the flag, and Wetini addressed the King thus, “O King! live for ever; thy Kingdom, thy mana, live for ever.” “Honour the King,” he said to the people: they all uncovered, made a low bow, and then retired.
The Ngatihinatu, Ngatihapakura, and Ngatimaniapoto came next, about 70 in all, 50 being armed. Hohepa, from Tauranga, gave the address, which was very revolting. “King, live for ever. Thou art not a man but a spirit. Thou didst not spring from earth but came down from heaven. Thou art a god. Thou art like Melchizedek, without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life.”
The two parties then met at the encampment of Ngatihaua, to deliberate the question of peace or war; and to lay their plans for the great meeting.
The following korero (conversation) ensued:—
Tarei (Ngatimaniapoto): While men lived (i.e. before the war broke out), we could talk about plans. Now we have nothing to say (i.e. our course is clearly indicated). They say, I have transgressed (referring to his friends who have gone to the war). I have done no wrong. Pakehas are deceitful above all things. Our Ministers are negligent, I was asleep and they permitted me to sleep on (i.e. they did not warn). Now let us arise. Had we arisen in the beginning I should not have been here to talk.
Pairoroko: One word. Life for all. But let us wait for the sharp swords that are coming from Waikato. Let not the elders speak words that direct the way to evil; leave them inside, do not speak them out here. Words that incite to good accept them while they are being delivered. Let there be sincerity, but wait for Waikato, or the talk will be one-sided.
Porokoru of Kihikihi: “I have erred (referring to his people who plundered the stores at Rangiaohia), but then I erred from love. My word was pledged to my relatives, they are my blood, our blood is one. Hold fast New Zealand. Hold it. O Epiha (his friend absent at Taranaki). I salute thee, my son, who art gone south. Abide there, rest there. Let no memento be sent here, it would delile this place. We cast thee off” (a stroke of irony at those who condemned the expedition while at heart they approved its objects).
Puora Te Huatahi: You call New Zealand to rise. Are you placing it on a right foundation? Is it a foundation of truth? Loose her bonds and she will page 37 stand firm. Do not serve her with cye service as menpleasers. How shall New Zealand be preserved? Not by war, but by the patience of her people. Let your patience be like Job's. Be a friend, an imitator of Job (meaning don't he tempted to take up arms). You say you intend to hold New Zealand and its mana. I say it will not be retained by going to war. But we are like Jews who, after they had received the Gospel, returned to the law of their fathers. We are looking toward the customs of our ancesors.
Patara: Fear not man, but do what is right. Never mind the sin of those who have gone, put that in your garments out of sight. Patience! It is our patience that has kept us quiet so long. But for patience we should not have held out to this day.
Eruere: Sleep there, young man, upon the bed you have made of new customs, but lay up in the storchouse that human thigh or the dogs will consume it. (A cannibal figure for the land).
Huiuara: I came here in my darkness. I came to Waikato at the call of the bell. Let us seek a refuge from the flerce dogs that fly upon us to tear us.
Tomo: Let us quietly search out the origin of this war. If the land be Taylor's, let him have it. Welini says let us sympathise with W. King; let us hold the land. Thompson says, let us enquire into it, and see whether it is King's, and if partly Taylor's and partly King's divide it. The end of all is let us look to God. Wetini has opened this path to preserve our land.
Wetini: Send a letter to the Governor and request him to accompany William Thompson to Tarnaki to investigate the matter What disturbs me is, that the Governor did not send as his first army the Magistrates and Missionaries; but he sent the army of destruction that made Taranaki a battle field. His thought was not the right one. We must not consent to Thompson going there. Let us have our house built. I am an advocate for going; I do not say to fight. In fact, we have gone so far as our thoughts are concerned.
Tomo: We are preparing for the arrival of Waikato. Waikato has not yet seen us. Let us not be divided. Leave it to the decision of Waikato; though we are the majority, yet if our words be swallowed up by theirs, so let it be.
Henari: We are not divided. Let not our leaders go astray. The evil that has been done is traccable to our leaders.
Tomo: We are all leaders in turn. We sent messengers to Tapihana and Epiha and Waitere to detain them, but they would not be detained. If the Governor says Wm King must be destroyed, and the flag must come down, and the roads must be opened, I say No, no.
Tumuhuia: Two sticks had been planted, one for the flagstaff and one for Taranaki. Tomo had thrown down the latter, indicating that it was not to be entertained. Tumuhia restored it, and said, “if this be cast away, let the other come done also”: meaning our flag and our league bind us to support W. King, and if we do not, let us cast away this our flag.
William Thompson: I am disturbed by the letter received from Wm. King. I wish to understand the case, but do not see it. They (the Europeans) have forsaken the right way, they have become deranged like the King of Babylon who was turned into the forest. But let us not take up arms in an unrighteous cause. Ahab coveted Naboth's vineyard, and because Naboth would not give up the inheritance of his fathers Ahab was greatly disturbed. Jezebel his wife saw his trouble and said, I will give it thee. She brought Naboth to death by faisehood, and took it, but God avenged the deed. I do not forget some of the Kings of Judah who engaged in unrightcous war, how they perished in their sin. Therefore I hesitate, and say let us see our way. Wm, King says the land is his; Taylor says it his. I say let us find out the owner. Do not make haste lest we make a mistake. I do not condemn the Governor for I not informed. As for the Queen she is the minister of God, and the minister of God is not supposed to do wrong. If wrong be done it is the fault of the Executive (te Kaihapai). I also remember the words of Paul, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, for there is no power page 38 but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God.” I do not say, let us find out that the Governor is right, that I may join him: nor am I idle or unwilling to go to war if necessary, but let me have a just cause. I have heard, but I have not seen. Do you ask what shall be done if my proposition be accepted to go and investigate? If the Governor say that this (the Maori King), is the cause of tho war, I see through it. If be say that it is the land, I see through that also. But I do not speak it, that is a matter not to be spoken here, it is a hidden word that is to be kept in the heart. We intend to keep our land, and if the Govonor come to take another piece after this, then we shall have war.
Hoani Papita, of Ranginohia: When Tamati went to see the Governor, the Governor told him he would hand over Waitara to Te Wherowhero. When Takarei visited the Governor he said that he must have Waitara, and that the murderers must be given up. But Maories will not consent to these demands. I do not condemn Tapihana (the leader of the Kawhia party, gone to Taranaki). And if the Governor demand the land, or the murderers, I say no, I shall keep my own. If he say Ngairnanui shall be destroyed, and we consent, then he will do the same in other places, and land after land will go, but if he take another step, then we rise.
Wetini: I took away the stick that represented the Queen, because they took up arms after Christianity had been accepted and professed. I want to know whether the Governor paid his money before this movement of ours; if not, then I say what has been joined together cannot be put asunder. I had scarcely lighted my lamp and set it up before war was declared against us.
Kaperiera: I accompanied Wi Tako on his return from Waikato. I wanted to have an explanation about the Parawai (the mat that Teira presented to the Governor). We intended to see W. King, but on reaching Waitara we heard that war had commeneed, that pakehas had been killed, so Tako would not visit King. We saw Ihaia and Teira. Teira asked—For what purpose have you come? We replied—To enquire about the mat and to take the truth back to Waikato. He said—The piece is small, the greater portion of Waitara is King's; mine is in the centre Then came the news that Waikato was about to attack Auckland. I went to King and said—I have come to enquire about the mat. He replied—” The report is correct. I looked on in silcnce.” I said—” That was your error, you ought to have taken it away.” “I did not,” he replied, “I simply threw a word at the Governor, and said to him ‘I will not give you my land; I did not take up the mat, but I spake my word. The pakeha wants our land, but this war is about your Maori king. Dont listen to the pakeha, but bring your flag to Waitara. Go back and clear them out; send them all back to England.”’
Parokoru: I agree with Wetini and Thompson. Our three principles have been trodden down. Christianity is dead. The weight of the burden will fall on Hoani and myself. We shall have the consequences of the war expedition to meet. It cannot be helped. Hoani's words are correct.
Paora: Don't think us unwilling to take our share of the burden, only let us see that it is right.
Katene: I have some questions to ask. The Governor and W. King have been at war some time, and blood has been shed. Now, should you find that King is wrong, and that he persists in his wrong, what shall we do? One replied, “Take Waitara ourselves.” If Governor demand the murderers, shall we give them up? If it were but the beginning and no war had taken place, we might see our way; but it is dark.
Patara: If W. King be wrong, we shall say, Give to the Governor the land he has bought, but don't give up the men. If the Governor be wrong, then let the land return to Rangitake. Let us not get our fingers bitten at that place. About the murders: that murder was committed is not clear to me. It was “uru maranga”— (carrying on war begun); therefore I will not give up those men. The Governor came first; if those deaths had been first and war after, I should say surrender them.
Heta (Ngatihaua): Make haste to hold the land—though it was Teira's, hold it.page 39
Kohura (Tawhiki): Ihaia is the murderer. Yet he is the Governor's friend. Ihain's conduct was not displcasing to the Governor—he did not look on Ihaia's work as murder, and we do not call such things murder here.
Katene: We all know, and the Pakchas all knew, that our King was elected and the kingdom set up when they bought the land. What I want to know now is, what we shall do if we find that William King is wrong, and that he persist in his wrong.
Timoti: We have heard all that can be said on both sides, and now I say, leave that piece of land as an Aceldama, a field of blood—leave it.
Wetini laid down several branches of manuka to represent the places that had received Christianity. Moving them all he said, See, they are all disturbed; the doings of the Governor has made them creep. I do not call the work at Taranaki murder. It was the Governor's work, not the work of this land. I call the death of* Hemi a murder, and the death of the woman† was murder: the Pakeha has been guilty of murder. If I invite a Pakcha to see me on pretence of showing him kindness and then when he is in my power kill him, I call that murder. Now when they attack us, either above or below, we shall not forbear.
Te Raihi: Leave it all alone. Why should we take it up? Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind, and do what he likes with his own land. If he choose to sell let him sell. If he wish to hold let him hold his own.
On the 24th of May, the Oraki, Manukau and Lower Waikato Natives arrived. They had pulled within three miles the day before, but according to Native etiquette would not enter Ngaruawahia in the evening, they therefore encamped by the river side. At early morning a discharge of musketry announced their approach. The settlement was all excitement, the men drawn up in front of Potatau's house, in in the old style of Maori warfare, firing at intervals, and flanked by nearly 200 women, dressed in European clothing, having their heads decked with feathers, waiting to sing the song of welcome.
About 11 o'clock a flotilla of about 15 war canoes rounded a point of the Waikato that opens the Settlement, and slowly approached. The canoes decorated, the flags flying (not the Union Jack as at former Meetings but the Maori flag) the men dressed in gay attire, some with spear in hand chanting a Maori canoe chant and beating time for the paddles, presented altogether an interesting picture, as they floated on the waters of the noble Waikato, under the wooded mountains which cast their shade over the scene. As they approached a Maori ngeri was heard issuing from the canoes, chanted by many voices, and expressive of their determination to hold their land.
Ka Ngapu te whenua
Ka haere nga tangata Kihea?
Purutia tawhia, Ki aita.
* A native who met his death by a blow from a European.
† A native woman murdered by Marsden, who was executed for the deed.
Like creepting thing
The Land is moving,
When gone, where shall man
Find a dwelling?
Hold it fast
Retain it firmly
In thy grasp
And bid it stay.
The army on shore responded by another ngeri, signifying the Maori flag shall hold it.
E Tama, te uaua E
E Tama te Maroro E
Na hoki ra, te tohea, te uaua na,
I taku ringa e mau ana, e tu na
E tu nei to aroaro o l'arutannihi
E tu nei
Son, here is sinew,
Son, here is strength,
Hence this strife.
The weapon's held
Within my hand.
There you stand
And here am I.
In presence of Parutanail.†
The women chanted the usual welcome, and Potatau stood on the hill saluting his friends thus, “Come my fathers, come my brothers, come on the waters over which your ancestors pulled their canoes. Come on the Waikato. Welcome, welcome!
The visitors landed amid the wildest demonstrations of joy, and the parties joined in a war dance, in which men and women vied with each other in expressions of savage delight.
* A legendary person.
† A legendary person.
After indulging in this second demonstration they sat down for a korero, and the following speeches were delivered.
Iraia saluted the Waikatos—Welcome, welcome.
Wharepu: Call us; call us; bind the cord; make it fast; bind the tribes together; make fast the cords; hold them tight that the union be firm; it is not of yesterday, it is from time immemorial.
Tuhikitia: Come to us (mihi mai); drag out our canoe; paddle it hither; swim to us, (kau mai).
Patara and *Hori te Waru—Welcome (Haere mai).
Ruihuna: Call to us, call to us, Te Taniwha below; call to us, we float towards you; we are not of to day, Waikato is of old (o tua iho o era ra).
Te Paraone (Ngatipo): Call us, call us to land; let us see the finish—this is the finish.
“Ka ngapu te whenua,” &c., as before.
Hone Papita: Come and fetch me; cut me, tear me in pieces for the sin I have committed against thee, O Waikato taniwa rau (with hundred Chiefs).
Tomo followed in the same strain, concluding by saying,—Ma te pakeha e toro mai. (Let the pakeha first lift his hand to us.)
Wetini (Ngatihaua): We have been divided into parties, lived in enmity; now we are again united, but the land is gone, it is in bondage; the Governor has disturbed it.
†Te Kereihe: Your work will advance; we help it forward. Taupiri we caluto thee. This is the canoe—the canoe for us. We come to support you; you shall live by us. You rise; by us you shall advance (referring to the Maori Kingdom).
Wiremu Te Rahurahu: Come up hither; descend to us; bring to me the living water; come to truth—come in uprightness; come directly to truth.
Horomona (a blind man), opposed the war party by chanting the following song:—
The wind blows keenly,
Its blast has sorely piereed me.
The stars are hidden from me;
And I tremble like the birds
That flutter, when dark clouds
* Dead since the meeting.page 42 Fly across their path.
† Dead since the meeting.
Who has created this night of sorrow
That now o'erspreads the land?
Who is he, that conceived
This thought of war?
Why does he not return
By the same plebeian path
That brought him here,
Nor dare to tread on sacred ground?
From the councils of the great ones
Has thou come
To break our long repose?
Whither would'st thou lead us?
End now thy strife
And leave us pure,
That we may rest in peace.
Who is the evil spirit
That prompts to war?
Bid him keep at distance,
Lest maddened by his wiles
We fall into the snare of Rongo,
The man who came to fetch us,
Withdraw thy stretched-out hand,
Return it to thy bosom undefiled—
Pollute it not.
Tamati (Ngatipo) and Piripi Nanuia: Each uttered a few words of compliment in the usual style
Te Tutere (Ngatihaua): Listen! Ascend, come up to us. We prayed to God, and asked him to send Potatau back to Waikato, and our prayers brought him back.
Te Munu: It is not right to leave it (the flag staff) on the ground; let us unite and rear it.
The korero was interrupted at this point by two men presenting a dish to make a collection for the King, at which many took umbrage, arose, and departed, and the meeting dispersed.
In the afternoon they met again, in a more quiet and subdued manner, and resumed the korero.
Heta commenced with a few words of salutation.
Porokoru: Waikato, come to us; although we are little among the tribes our fame travels (referring to the new movement), the Maori customs had separated us into units, but this unites us again.
Reweti (Ngatiwhatua): Call us; unito us; be strong; we swim to you. If your intentions and plans are straight I shall laugh (be pleased), if they turn out crooked I shall not; but I am in the whare-here-here (house of bondage); and therefore, have nothing to say.
Te Heu Heu (Taupo): Come up here; ascend to us; give us living water; I was dying; the water that was given to me was bad; now I live, for I have obtained living water (referring to the new thing); come, join us in this work; if the land die, (i.e., if it be alienated) the power of man will perish with it.
Hone Kingi: Here we come to you, to that which is right; be strong to work it out.
Lo this is the fortress!page 43
And the sentinel keeps watch;
Vines from the forest bind its spars,
And I am safe within. Oh! oh!
Iraia Ngatihoroki: Here is the work for us; come to it all you men who know how to make canoes; this is the pa; this is the sentinel; we have forsaken the customs of our ancestors; sleep on Tamaki; sleep on all the places; let not your rest be broken, we have no evil intentions.
Ihaka (of Pukaki): Here am I; I was here yesterday; I am here to-day to work at that which is good; evils have befallen me; I have gone wrong; you talk of your goodness, where is your goodness? If you ascend to that which is good all will be right; break up the house that stands before us; don't turn upon me to strike me, that is what I call good; my fathers don't strike me Europeans, with whom he identified himself); let me strike the first blow (i.e. let Europeans strike first). Though I have been distant and unseen by you, I have been acquainted with your proceedings. He kuri patete tenei ekore o mutu (this is a dog that barks often and does not end—meaning the Europeans). My fathers, work at it, work at it.
Ruihana: Look here, you talk of being good, your good is like this (holding out his hand and presenting the palm) there is good there to-day, tomorrow it is turned to evil (turning the palm of his hand downward); talk about goodness, kindness, love! But my korero will not please you; I say let this good be more than talk; let it be real; let it be confirmed; take it into your breasts, and button it up in your shirts close up to the throat; if good prevail over the present evil, I shall be saved in these times of trouble; then I shall believe it is good you mean; but if not where is our goodness; if good be seen then I shall be able to worship God in peace the rest of my days. Onenuku was once my God; I have forsaken him and Christ is now my God.
Wiremu Te Ipu: Work away my friends, I also will work with you. Let your work be one; let it be in accordance with Christian law. The Maori talk to which we have listened for so many days is no good; let your energy be given to that which accords with Christian precepts.
Te Tutere: Work! pursue the path that leads you to that which is good. This is the house—New Zealand rise (for the flagstaff), if thou art left on the ground, the people decline, New Zealand is lost.
Ruhana: Clear the paths, let there be light (meaning speak out that we may understand your movements); as for the flagstaff that will go up. What of that? The stick is nothing; it is the things that are beneath it; bring them out; throw your plans down before us that we may see what they are like.
Hori Rakaupango spoke angrily to Wiremu Te Ipu. Guns have first been given to us, and afterwards we are exhorted to be good. Has he not given us cause (i. e. Europeans)? We have done no wrong this time, if any, it was in ignorance. You are talking about peace, nothing but peace. Let us not be mocked. I am not going to talk deecitfully about being good, when I have already done wrong.
Ruhana: I must persevere in asking you to clear the way. What is the utility of that stick? It is what is inside we want to see. What does it mean? What is it to accomplish?
Paora: The object for which I came here and left my wife and children at home is the thing that lies on the ground. This is the object for which I came up from Waikato (referring to the flagstaff).
Iraia: I am weary with replying to objections from the other side. I have been toiling at it, for years; perhaps they (the Waikatos) have more light upon the subject, but I do not know what they mean.
Pakaroa: I did not come here to talk about anything but one. Come, now, let us be united; the sea is troubled, but though agitated now, our union will put it to rest. Come and find rest on your ocean, though stormy, come and see it. I did not invite you here to obstruct my plans, or to put down my work.
Apihai Te Taua: Though I am but little, of no name or note, I do not intend to join you or take up your plans. Where will it end? in what place will it finally rest? If I could see what is meant. I should return enlightened. My desire is to maintain unity, christianity, friendship, truth, and peace.page 44
Kiwi (an old chief of the Tainui tribe): I am a bird from the ocean. I am surrounded by the Pakehas. I am their friend; they are my friends. I intend to remain their friend. He then sought to draw out the intentions of the war party by the following song:—
The dwellers on the hills and in the vales
Keep faithful watch toward the coast;
The dwellers on the shores washed by the tides
Guard closely every pathway from the laud.
Like those who suddenly aroused,
We start amazed, and watch
With long and anxious looks
To find a clear untortuous course.
Hush, Tu!* we bid thee sleep.
Rongo,† awake! command the rivers;
Withhold them not, my son,
But bid them flow to ocean bed,
Straight as a tree, that boughless, shoots on high;
Then men will say, How noble!
When Rongo marks the path,
And leads the way.
Te Wetini (Ngtihaua): “My remarks are in reply to those of Te Tnua.” (Planting three sticks in the ground, he pointed to the first, and said) “This represents the Queen, the middle one God, the third the mana of New Zealand;” taking a piece of flax he tied them together, iutimating they were once united; breking the flux, he remarked: “the love has been cut, the union exists no longer, the Governor has severed it.” (Throwing down the stick that represented the Queen), “that, he said, we have thrown away, now only God and the Maories remain. You (Ngatiwatua) have nothing to say. Rewiti spoke truth yesterday. You are in the house of bondage, but I am determined to maintain my mana (sovereignty or power); therefore I turn my back on pakehas and my face to Taranaki, my mana rests on that land, and I go to defend it.”
Paul (of Oraki): Turn your face again this way and look on the man you have so much admired (meaning pakehas); have you just now discovered a new and better way? Don't cast me behind you; I am the man who can teach you what is good and right; here it is.—love both races, both the white skin and the black skin; be kind and loving to all. I will set up the stick you have thrown away (stepping forward and re-crecting it). The wrong has been done by the Maori—my brother. I do not think the blame belongs to the pakeha.
William Naylor, Te Awaiataia, arose (after Morning prayer) and addressed Broughton, Maioha as the congregation was dispersing:—‘Brother,” he said, “I did not come here to be mocked; I am here by your invitation; I came because I was sent for; and now I am told that if I speak to the Runanga a woman will reply to me; what is my fault that I am to be insulted? I do not intend to allow myself to be thus treated; I therefore resolved on returning home this morning, but Thompson has been to detain me; at his request I have consented to remain; but I do not intend to be put to shame.”
Broughton replied. You are correct; who has witnessed your wrong doing? when did you depart from your consistency? you have maintained it throughout; you chose your course, you have kept it, with you there has been no twisting about; no to and fro; you stand on your own ground.
William Naylor added: “I have one word more; the work you are engaged in is treachery towards my brother” (Potatau): then turned away and retired without waiting any further reply. This was a strong expression, but it was intended to shew the party how strongly he felt on the subject, and to be a protest against their proceedings.
* God of War.
† Father of the Kumera.
Te Ao-o-te-rangi said: The truth my brother—kindness to the Pakeha; be like I am, my friend, let it be friendship and kindness; I have no disquiet about our relative, our grand-child, that was killed in Auckland (meaning Hemi who was killed in Chancery-street in 1854); let the waters of the Waikato flow gently on till they reach the sea; let there be no ripple on the stream; let it find its way to the ocean undisturbed; as for Taranaki, its troubles are its own; they have arisen from its own acts; you are no stranger to such things, that you should be drawn aside; the thing that is right for you is truth and kindness; be kind, my brother, maintain your friendship with the Pakeha; the Pakeha has done no wrong; the wrong has been committed by the Maori; be like me, my brother, be like me.
Wetere and Apihai followed in the same strain.
The great Runanga having met again,—
Wharepu began: Let us love both Pakeha and Maori; let this be the rule for all, from Upper Waikato to the sea gates. This is the work to talk about and to do; we have had enough of other things in days gone by.
Raihi (Ngatihaua) put down three sticks, drawing a piece of flax round them, one to represent the Governor, one the Divine Being, and a third the Pakeha, then asked the question, Who has cut the cord and severed the union?
Te Wetini took down the stick that Raihi had erected to represent the Governor, and set up another, then drew a circle round the whole: Now, he said, the first is the mana of the Queen, this gave us law. The second, is the Divine Being who sent the word and is the origin of the law. He has become the enemy of the first, and the keeper of the third. The third is the mana of New Zealand. Here is a fourth, this is Taranaki. Governor has been there and done wrong. He has cut the thread that bound us and severed the union. The Queen and her mana is cast off. God and the Maories remain united. Governor ought to have gone and enquired into the conduct of Te Rangitake, then returned, consulted Potatau and formed a committee of Missionaries, Magistrates and Chiefs to enquire into the matter and if they found that Rangitake is wrong, settle the matter by giving the land to the Governor. But he went to Taranaki and let out all his wrath at once. Therefore, I say, only God and Potatau remain in the union. Let the Governor cease to purchase, if he persist we shall have difficulties. A word about Te Rewiti's remarks, who said, “I am in the house of bondage.” I know it. What then? I am not discouraged, or weak, because you cannot join me. I turn my face away from you because you look in the opposite direction. I look towards Taranaki because Governor has done wrong; he cut the cord, and now the Maori may fight against God, because of the acts of the Pakeha, for if you come behind to pluck my hair I shall then turn round in self-defence.
Raihi: By his talk you hear that Governor has done wrong, but don't be hasty; look at it, investigate, until the wrong is made quite clear, or becomes quite dark (i.e. proved unfounded).
Te Karira: If this talk be good let all the world hear and believe it. This is my thought for Waikato. If the water be dammed at the river's mouth the stream will return and overflow the banks; therefore, I say, dam it up till it becomes a great lake.
Tamati Ngapora: Enough of this kind of talk. We began at Paetai and all the talk there was of peaco, we determined that peace along should be our theme. The question arises, Peace with whom? The answer is, With all; of both families, with the Pakeha in every place. Let this word be fulfilled. Lift it up and I shall rejoice. If evil arise in any place appoint a committee to go and put it down. If it come from the Pakeha let this be the plan, that our motto “Peace” may be seen to be true. We have done wrong (referring to the expedition to Taranaki) but let page 46 us not censure those who have erred, or cond emn them, when they turn, let us bring them back to the right way. Let all agree to my proposal, let us cast guns, powder, ball, hatchets, and all such weapons into the great sea, and henceforth let all disputes be settled by arbitration.
Luther: I agree with Tamiti who has just spoken; I do so because my day of judgment is near. I am a man of no importance, I am but a dog. Yet I approve of the three principles, Christianity, Love, and Law. I advocate love to both Pakeha and Maories The best thing this great assembly can do is to unite and erect a Temple for the worship of God.
Wm. Thompson (Tarapipipi): I have been the cause of the trouble. But we are like the birds. Birds do not cry out unless there be an enemy in sight, except indeed in the morning and evening. At day-break their song is heard; and at the twilight again, but not in the day time unless some bird of prey appears. They sit quietly in the branches of the trees and make no noise until they see the great bird, the hawk, that comes to destroy them, then all, cry out; great birds and small there is a general cry, (meaning we were quiet, and should have remained so, had not a great bird disturbed us and arroused our fears). I am about now to speak ill of our Ministers. The word of God lies clear and plain. The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has not where to lay his head Have our Ministers spoken truly? I am grumbling, but it is the darkness of my heart that causes me to do so. “Seck not things of earth,” this word cannot be true. “Lay not up treasures on earth,” are these words true or not? These are my words to our Ministers; their eyes have looked to earth. They brought the word first then turned to purchase land.* Let these my words be laid up in a storehouse for our Ministers. Here is our territory, this is ours (pointing to the circle made by Wetini). Let us retain this. Let not the Pakeha cross to us. Let not the Maori cross to the Pakeha. I say, let both labour for things of eternity. If the Pakeha works only for earth I must do the same. But, I say, not for earth only, but for Heaven too. I have no desire for war. What then shall we say to the Governor? It is for him to shew us the way. Let him come to us in peace. Why should he be angry with us? What is the cause? If we had looked only to earth he might have had cause for his wrath. I love the Governor and shall not loose the cord that binds us; if loosed, he shall loose it. I love him in Christian bonds. Cease to censure the Governor. If all the Chiefs will agree to the proposals of Tamati I do, and let the Governor agree also. While he holds his weapons we hold ours. He holds his to detend himself, and I hold mine for the same purpose.
Te Oriori: The way to have peace is to love the Governor and to love the land. Don't go and sell land clandestinely, this is important advice. The Governor has plenty of arms but we have only half a supply. The Governor has done no wrong—the wrong has been done by ourselves, we have offered the land for sale. This is the gun that has caused the trouble; throw this away and we shall have peace.
Wm. Thompson (Tarapipipi). Let the subject be taken up and settled by the Chiefs. Let all questions be disposed of now we are assembled together. Shall we go to Governor, or shall we join Rangitake? Let us search out the merits of the case, that if we die we may die in a righteous cause. Let us find out who is wrong, if the Governor, then let us tell him to go. But let us not join in that which is wrong lest, like Israel of old, we fall into error and die for it. My desire is to investigate the matter, and if the Chiefs are convinced that the Governor has done wrong, then all unite in telling him to stand aside.
Te Waka (Ngatimahanga): If the Governor has done wrong, then I assent to the proposal to ask for his removal, but if it turn out that all the evil has arisen from this movement of yours, how then? Do you see the boundary line that Wetini has drawn to divide the Maories from the Pakeha? I shall remove it (taking a piece of fern and rubbing out the line that had been drawn in the sand).page 47
* Thompton evidently thinks that the Gospel opened the way for colonization and the sale of land. He could not mean that the Missionaries generally have been land purchasers, for many of them have never bought an acre of land from native proprietors.
Te Karamoa: I understand Waka's meaning, but I leave the subject for the present. My thoughts are dark about this matter. I shall speak on the subject of peace, which has been so much urged upon us. Who is it that has disturbed the peace? The Governor has refused to listen to the million, but any ill looking scrofulons old man, any slave that would go and offer land for sale could obtain his ear, he will listen to those who will sell their land.
Heta (of Mangere): It may be all right, but I have a word about this serofulous old slave. Who is he of whom you speak? Your wrong doing has been published abroad; the bad news has reached us, therefore, I approve of Waka's proposal to destroy the boundaries you have drawn.
Te Ao-a-te-rangi: I have no name. Yet I will stand up. Look here, this is mine (holding a food-basket (kono) in his hand, which he buried in the earth, and continued) this is for Hemi (his son who was killed in Auckland by a blow from a European). I have received no satisfaction for the death of my boy. The Government is my debtor to this day. Listen Ngatihaua and Ngatimaniapoto and all the tribes, listen. Let your patience be equal to mine. When I transgress you may follow my example. The Governor has done us no wrong. The wrong done has been done by ourselves, I have done it. I shall maintain friendship with the Pakeha, because I am within the pakeha's fence.
Paora: You have referred to the death of Hemi, and I could refer to Heta who was shot at the other day by the sailor at Waikato. In reference to the reports that reached us about an ambuscade waiting to cut off the Ngatiruanui, that was the Kiri Kumera's proposal to the Governor. I do not wish to seek utu for Hemi's death. As for Te Rangitake, he is my brother, but I shall tell him to fight his own battles. You advocate peace, and talk about being good, what kind of goodness shall it be? Let it not be that of the Pharisee, all pretence. Let us seek peace. If the Governor spit upon us twice, thrice, then we may have cause to move.
Tamati (Ngapora): Do I understand that what you mean about being good is, that you will not go to Taranaki? Some have gone, and they are blamed and censured; but do not let us be severe with them, when they return let us lead them back to the right way. Hold fast, be decided, don't move from this determination.
Wm. Thompson (Tarapipipi): I dont understand your thoughts. Don't let us spend time about those who have gone to Taranaki, but decide what we mean about peace and goodness. This is it, to search out the cause of the war, and when we have found it put this matter for ever to sleep—if we simply look at it with our eyes we shall see nothing. It is quite right to talk of friendship with the pakehas, let us be kind to the pakehas. But there are dangers. All pakehas do not behave well. We have those residing amongst us that often quarrel with our people, and treat them ill, the danger is that in some of their squabbles the Maori may in his passion injure the pakeha, then we shall be brought into collision with the Government. Therefore I say the pakehas had better all go away from our land and live within the Queen's territory. In reference to the stores that have been plundered at Kawhia and Rangiohia, I am not sure that any robbery was committed. It was more probably a collusion between the pakehas and the Maories.
Te Kereihe put his arms round the three sticks that Wetini had planted in token of his determination to maintain the union, and said you may be ashamed of the connection. I am not, for what I embrace is not wealth, that I have obtained by theft, but riches that have legitimately come to my hand, and therefore I say peace, nothing but peace. The signs of the heavens I do not understand.
Te Karira (from Aotea): We are only a few slaves that are left at Aotea, and therefore we are not represented at this meeting. I simply ask a question. “Is it decided that nobody shall go to Taranaki?” Reply from one of the meeting, “Who has any intention of going to Taranaki to be mocked by the pakeha?”
Te Moni: Is it peace and goodness you are talking about? If I were a baptized man I should not think of doing evil, look at baptismal vows, what do they imply? Will you forsake the works of the devil and the world, and all Maori customs? Many have assented, have taken these vows, and afterwards turned to evil. Look page 48 at the pakehas. They are baptized but they have not forsaken evil. Two things induced us to elect a king,—first that he might preserve our land, second that he might protect and defend us.
Tamati (Ngapori): I don't approve of any boundaries, and I do not consent to cast off the men who have gone to Taranaki. They are Ngatimaniapotos who have gone. They are halfeastes, they came from Taranaki, and they have gone to see their friends. As for Waikato some of you have desired to go but now the matter is settled. We have heard that the intention is abandoned. Leave those who are gone, don't go after them, but when they return bring them over to our views, and pursuade them to unite with us in keeping peace; and as for Wm. King let us drag him over too.
Apairama: I belong to the people you censure. Shall we boast of our strength because of our guns, or rather shall we not beast of our union? The reason why the expedition has gone to Taranaki is that our flag is there. The land is full of flags.
Ruihana: Europeans your acts must be weighed, make haste go to the Governor, get all the information he can give, and let us balance. As things are it is sometimes day, sometimes night, good and bad alternate, nothing is settled.
William Naylor (Te Awaitaia): To Waikato I say I am here by your request, your letter brought me to this meeting. To Ruihana, I say, what is all that to me? I address myself to Thompson. You say that you are understood, but I do not comprehend your movements. If they turn out right all will be well. My word is this, that is your way, this is mine. You intend to take up that ground, I shall remain on this. I do not say to these chiefs this shall be mind (i.e., this new movement). I am the ill looking scrofulous old man you speak of. Ihaia of whom you have spoken was my slave, I reared him, and when I became christian returned him to his home. Say not that our present troubles have originated at Taranaki, that were false. Say not that the pakehas have caused them, that were false. I ask you to assent to this, according to my thoughts the peace of Waikato should be preserved in Waikato—let there be no hankering after Taranaki, what is Taranaki to us now that we have embraced the gospel? Thompson hear my word, while I tell you where you have gone wrong. You are casting your net over both land and men. This is your error, cease to act thus. End your attempts to enclose the land in your net, and end your attempts to throw it over men. Let your sayings and doings be straight. What can you do? Do you not see how Potatau clings to the pakehas? He will not unloose his hold. The basket of Te Ao-o-te-rangi, let that remain in its grave, let it not be named. Thompson do not get into trouble, lest you draw me into trouble also. Be admonished, take warning, lest we should turn aside into the old path that has been so long whakatupued (forsaken, not trodden) meaning the path of war.
Ruihana: We are all tapu (sacred) by christianity, we ought to love all for God made all, fishes, birds, and men. But why did our first parents sin and lead us all astray, who was the first murderer? Was not he who turned upon his brother? Is it not the same now? But the question is settled, let it not be disturbed—we have all seen and heard,” (meaning the question of another expedition to Taranaki.)
Hoani Kingi: I hold to Potatau's declaration, that Christianity, Love, and Law shall be our foundation. I believe also in his proclamation, “Aua te aha, aua te aha”—let there be no evil done on any account whatever. But Tapihana has made all fly, (i.e., a leader in the party gone to Taranaki has disregarded all that has been said.)
Te Henheu (of Taupo): My opinion agrees with Ruihana's. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” I say let the gospel be fulfilled. Let Thompson and William Te Awaitaia, and McLean go to Rangitake, and settle the quarrel, then we shall sleep in peace. When peace is restored let us preserve it until the Governor breaks it.
Raihi (Ngatihaua): I am one of the ill-looking scrofulous men who have been referred to, for I maintain that every man has a right to do what he likes with his own land, why should another interfere with mine? This is what I understand to page 49 be good, let each men dispose of his own land as he pleases. Let this be tha law then we shall have peace.
Jacab of Wangaroa: That is right. Mine is the district that ieaches from Wangaroa to Waipa. I am contented to be called a “serofulous.” I shall do as Raihi recommends, then you will fall upon me for I am the only tribe that at present proposes to sell land. So be it.
Tura, a Ngapuhi: Here am I, a Ngapuhi. Ngapuhi has led the way in good things, we sent them on to you. Though Ngapuhi is now a poor man, yet the Governor has nourished us. But I know not how to speak to thee, thou art a Taniwha (a sea God) a thief, O Ngatihaua (Thompson's tribe). Waikato workout thy plans, I shall not accept them, for the Queen hangs upon my neck (alluding to the native ornament Heitiki worn suspended round the neck). If you had consulted Ngapuhi at the commencement of your movement we might have joined you but now we are embracing the Qeeen, and do not intend to be separated from her. I am the representaive of Tamati Waka, I came from him to this meeting. As for our land we have said to it go away. Te Heuheu, your proposals will not be approved nor your plans succeed.
Tamati Ngapora: I wish my proposals to be disposed of. “Rangitake give me that piece of land that has caused the war.” “Give me that piece that has been purchased and paid for by the Governor.”
Patene (Ngatimaniapoto) replied, representing W. King, “I shall not give it up.”
Tamati: Give it to me.
Patene: “I am under some mistake.” He then planted a stick in the ground to represent Potatau and Waitara and said, “this is Potatau my manastands there; after my mana rested on the land the scrofulous man arose, offered it for sale and the Governor accepted the offer.”
Tamati: That is Potatau, is it? and this land has been handed over to Potatan, has it? Then it is mine, I represent Potatau here and I give this land to the Governor. (Tamati was instructed by Potatau to adopt this plan.)
Patene: For what reason do you give that land to the Governor?
Tamati: That peace may be restored and our trouble cease.
Matutaira (Ngatimahanga): He drew a circle around him on the sand, and standing in the centre he said, This piece is mine. Leave me in possession of my own. If I fly to land that is not my own, then patu (strike) me. Hear all ye chiefs this piece is mine, let none of you come to take mine, I shall do what I like with my own, and no man shall prevent me.
Iraia: Spread your piece underneath you. Let it be as a mat to rest upon. But if sales continue then all will soon be gone. The head is consumed, the shoulders are gone, what remains? Then Europeans give us guns. You would give us nothing but gospel; give us guns and powder and lead, distribute them through the land. (Meaning if land sales continue a general war will be the consequence.)
Tamati (Ngapaoa): To Heuhea will you give that piece of land to me? (meaning Waitara.)
Patene: If I give up that, another piece will be purchased by and bye How then?
Tamati: Leave that to me, am I not your father?
Patene: I do not consent for this reason, that if I should, the same thing will occur again and again.
Tamati: Shall I consider you as the father?
Patene: All that I have done is this. I have received letters from all quarters handing over land to me. I have not gone and taken unauthorized possession of any man's land. I have coveted no man's property, nor said hand over to me the lands of any tribe. When requested to accept land by letters which have come to me, I have done so, and on this ground I claim a right over those lands, and call them mine.
Paora, Te Wata, I have come hero my relatives to assert and maintain our mana. Chiefs have come and slaves have come too because the white man is page 50 eating up their land. The word that has been quoted from the Gospel is all right: “Go ye into all the world, &c.,” if they had been content with that, but after that came soldiers, and then the enslaving of men.
Thompson (Tarapipipi): Just as the Governor has prohibited the sale of ardent spirits and guns, so I prohibit the sale of land. Is there any objection to purchase the land in dispute at Waitara? How many hundred pounds will be required to pay for it? But say not that this land is the only cause of the war. Why does not the Governor speak out and fully declare all the reasons for his wrath? If ho is angry about our kingdom and intend to put it down by force of arms let him say so, that we may understand our position. What about “To Kiri Kumera?” (Ihaia one of the loyal chiefs of Taranaki.) The Governor has formed an alliance with him, if so I shall be able to justify the “uru maranga” (the murders committed on the defenceless Europeans at Taranaki). His allusion is to the murder of Katatore by Ihaia's party.
William Naylor (Te Awaitaia): Don't speak of that king (greatest) of murderers. Katatore was the king of murderers. Did he not murder Rawiri and his friends? Was not that the murder, the greatest act of treachery? Was it not the beginning and the cause of all that followed? If we had nothing to dispose of but the land question it would be easy. We can see daylight through this—but there are the murders. Talk not of “uru maranga,” that would have been true according to our former customs, but according to our present custom (our christianity) it is not true.
Rev. T. Burddle: Do you wish to justify those murders by your former customs, by calling them a “uru maranga?” What are we to Understand by this? That you have returned to heathenism? You have renounced Maori customs and embraced Christianity. You profess to be guided by Christian laws. Now, you appeal to Maori law in justification of acts which Christianity denounces as foul murders. Therefore I ask have you renounced Christianity and gone back to Maorism? We regard those acts as murder in the sight of God and man. If my children are peacefully playing or working in the field, and a person or persons take a tomahawk and cut them to pieces is it not murder? What sin had those children committed that they should be thus brutally murdered? But your own principles condemn you. Have you not adopted those principles to form the basis of your new kingdom? Do you not constantly put these forth as your principles of action? Let me ask you by which of those three can you justify the acts of the Taranaki people? By the first, which is Christianity? No; Christian law says it was murder. By the second. Love? No. Love denonnces it as murder. By the third, Law? No, all law both of God and man declares it foul murder, and deals with it as such. Cease to talk about “uru maranga,” and let those wicked acts receive their merited retribution.
Tumuhuia: I am willing to allow that according to your (European laws) those acts are regarded as murders, but according to Maori law they were but “uru maranga.” In reference to the land I approve of the proposal to refund the money that Governor has paid for the purchase.
Te Oriori addressed Tamati: You say you are the father. We have given our land and our mana to you, and we expect you to protect it, but not to give it away.
Hopa: Proposals are made by Tamati. Look at them, they point the way to peace. Why should any of you be disturb, by Tamati's proposals, they are correct. If you go to Taranaki to join W. King no peace will come out of that. If you think well to send a deputation to investigate the matter, good, go in peace, and when you are satisfied that the land was Taylor's leave it to his disposal.
Ruihana: Yes, let us go, Pakeha and Maori, if the land be Taylor's all will be easy, but if we find that it is King's in whole or in part how then? (“Divide it” was the reply from the crowd.) Let us go also to the Governor and have it settled, talking here will not settle it. The Governor ought to have informed us before he went to Taranaki, but he went first and informed us after. Here are two kinds of food, some cooked, some uncooked, (i.e., we have two plans before us.) I page 51 maintain that there is only one path open to us, let us walk in this; the other is closed up, it is decided we do not go to fight, but let us go to restore peace.
Hamiora Ngaropi (Wesleyan Native Minister): A word about those children that were killed, what was their sin? I sympathise with the pakeha: five hundred men slain in the battle field would not make the pakehas feel so dark as five brutally murdered on the road like those at Taranaki. Do not call it “uru maranga,” it was murder. If you can justify such acts then I say such conduct is the road back to your teeth. Your teeth lie just behind, (i.e., if you return to one native custon it is the road back to cannibalism.) If you can justify murder by reference to Maori law, you can justify cannibalism on the same ground.
Tomo Whakapo: I am thinking of the argument between Tamati and Patene. One says he is the father, the other says no, he is the father. I agree with Tamati, he is the father of us all of men and land. (i.e., he represents Potatau). This is our plan, we say to all who join this league, give us your land, and give us your person. Our first object is to make fast the land, our second to place our mana over it for ourselves. Men have heard in all parts of the island, and have brought their land and themselves too, and said here is our land and our blood, hold them fast. When they have come and stood in my presence with these words I have consented. I did not go to them, they have come to me. I did not call to them, they came unasked, and our flag has been carried far and wide, it has been planted first in one place then another; it has gone to Taranaki, and that land has been handed to us.
Hopa: Did Taylor come to you and bring his piece and hand it over to you. I do not know that he did so?
Hetaraha, of Whaingaroa: Tomo's statement is not true. Tomo, do you ask whom you have invited to join your league? I reply, you invited and pressed us to join it. You sent to us saying, here is a king for New Zealand. You sent your flags all over the Island, with invitations to the tribes to join you. You found one man quietly at his cultivations, another at his work not thinking of any such movement, and displaying your flag you said, come and join us; to this people give us your land, to that man hand over your piece to us. Why then do you challenge us and say whose land or body have we sought? Have you not gone through the country with your Hakis (flags)?
Te Malenga (Ngatimasiapoto): Let me have a covering for my head (i.e., Europeaus to give me clothing.) Let us cense to twist about, when we know we are wrong, rather let us do right. My Eurpean friends who live on my land shall not leave I do not intend to part with them.
Moses, (of Pukaki): I have nothing to say. The discussion is finished. The motive that induced me to come here from the presence of the Governor was to advocate rightcousness, truth, peace, and kindness. The first meeting of this kind that I attended Potatau delivered his sentiments in favor of Christianity, and exhorted us to build churches. After this we brought him to this place, and his second deliverance was like the first. His third was at Waiuku, there he proclaimed Christianity, love, and law, as the mottoes for all. We received it. And there he proclaimed. “Don't do this and don't do that, let no evil be done amongst us.” Then I say, don't go to Taranaki to fight, nor to the pakehas. I heard of disputes at Kaipara about land, and I carried these principles to Tirarau and Pakeha who were on the verge of a battle-field, and effected a reconciliation. You have long been engaged in such work; I mean in promoting peace and good will, let this continue, let us love our friends both Maori and pakeha.
Paera (of Orakei): I perceive that you are very eager to pick out the errors of the Governor, but I have not discovered his error. You say that you have not seen wrong on the part of Te Rangitake. I have seen his wrong doing. Letters have reached you that convict him of wrong. Yet you say you have not seen it. I repeat I have seen it, and I believe there is not a chief in Waikato that is not convinced that Te Rangitako is wrong. I have seen Wi Tako's letter addressed to you all, and that letter set my mind at rest on the subject. You have all seen that letter, and it statements should settle the question. Addressing himself par page 52 ticularly to W. Thompson he said, I have heard of your zeal in this work, and now I see it, what is it? You have nothing to say, the sharp edge of your sayings is this day broken off. I came expecting to hear the wisdom of Solomon, but I hear it not. The edge of your work is broken. Tamati has said he is father, that may apply to the land, but to nothing further. You speak of mann, what is the mana? Where is the mana? There is no such thing as putting mana on the land, and therefore he is wrong I came to see the work you are doing, not to oppose you, but to see for myself. I thought it might be good, but it will not do for me. You have set up a king without authority, and this is the source of all our present troubles. (Signs of disapprobation.) Ah you would silence all who do not agree with your plans.
William Barton (Wesleyan Native Minister); Karakarika, I approve of Tamati's proposals to cast all weapons of war into the sea. And I approve of Ruihana's proposal that the Turanuki affair be thoroughly sitted, that New Zealand again be light. But I disapprove of the proposals of many other chiefs who have addressed this meeting. Chiefs of the people be strong henceforth to lead us plebeians in the way of righteousness. I am not sure that you will. Moses has quoted the words of Potatau, lift them up, they are good, let evil be kept out of sight. Remember how apt we are to learn evil, how short a time it requires, one minute will teach much, but it requires a long time to learn a little good. Ruihana, there is another difficulty to be settled. I refer to Whaingaroa. A portion of it has been sold to the Governor; a part of the payment has been made and the money is all gone and now some refuse to complete the purchase. I say complete the purchase, give up the land, and end that difficulty.* Do not listen to those chiefs who would lead you astray. Listen to their words and you fall at once into the abyss. Follow them and the land is lost. Cease to speak evil of the pakeha. Tomo loosen our bonds. Kings men, seek peace, if Wetini persist and go to Taranaki, let us remain at Waikato. If we go to Taranaki who can tell what will follow? Who can say that good will come out of that?
Heta Ngatihaa (the young man who made the flags that were sent to Taranaki): Press your words Ruihana send a deputation to Taranaki, let us know when that land was paid for. Before our mana reached it or after. If our mana was first then we do not let it go, but support Rangitake in his right. This shall decide his claim. The money second, the mana, first, we hold it fast.
Taati (of Rangiaohia): If we go to Taranaki let it be by making arrangements with the Governor. If he is disposed for peace we shall have courage to go Let all be settled. If there are hands for which deposits have been received from the Government let them be handed over. If we have land we wish to keep, the matter is in our own hands we can retain them.
Raihi: The words of Heta may be all right if Taylor approve, but if he bus not consented that his land be given to Potatau what then?
John Fisher: I have been sifung the thoughts of our chiefs all this day, and I say let the matter be settled. Shall we not make a complete finish of it? Let it be ended in peacel. If we settle it prudently we shall taste no bitterness.
Horomona: I agree with Waka, his thoughts and mine are one. We say let us build a house for the three. (i.e., for Pakeha, God and Maori.)
Kaperiera repeated what he had said at a former meeting. See page 38.
Ihaha: of Pukaki enquired: Did W. King speak to you? Yes.
Ihaka: What did he say? He said he did not take away the mat, but called out that he would not part with his land.
Ihaka: When was the land bought? After the flag was upon it.
* He refers to a block of land offered for sale by Potatau some time ago for which he received a deposit from the Government. His right to sell is disputed by some of the owners, and the transaction remains unsettled.
The Sabbath was devoted to Religious Services. It was pleasing to mark the outward decorum with which the Lord's day was observed. The services were held in the open air in different parts of the encampment. Bishop Selwyn, Revs. J. Morgan, J. Wallis. T. Buddle, A. Reid, and six Native Ministers taking part in ministering the word of life to the several congregations. The Rev. Mr. Garavel officiated with the Roman Catholic natives.
In the afternoon, by request, Bishop Selwyn conducted a service for the Europeans.
Monday, May 28th.
The Morning was occupied in collecting and distributing a large quantity of flour. The following is a translation of the statistics of the feast, supplied by Hohana, Assistant Secretary in State Affairs at Ngaruawhia.
“In the year 1860, on the 24th of the days of May, the great assembly of the Waikato tribes has met at Ngaruawahia. The number of the males present were 1400. The number of women and children 1600, in all 3000. These are under the actual numbers, we could not count correctly where numbers are so great.
“Food distributed to the strangers as follows:—
Potatoes, 2000 baskets
Flour, 31 tons and 8 bags
Fresh Eels, 580
Bags of Sugar, 9
Baskets of small Fish dried, 16
Pumpkins and Vegetable Marrow, without number
Chest of Tea, 1.”
A moderate price allowed for the marketable articles in the above list, would give over a thousand pounds sterling—yet the quantity was by no means large considering the number of individuals on the ground. The supplies were obtained in contributions from the various tribes, each presenting its portion according to numbers and ability, many giving away their very subsistence. The probability is, that hunger, and cold, and nakedness will have to be endured by many of the women and children throughout the remainder of the winter, in consequence of this feast having consumed the produce that would have both fed and clothed them. Native feasts are generally attended with great waste and followed by great want.page 54
After the distribution of the food, the men re-assembled in Runanga for further deliberation, the meeting was opened by,
Tekorehu stating that a message had been sent by Potatau to the effect that he is favourable to the plan of leasing land to Europeans, and wishful that the Europeans who are now squatting on native lands should remain on those lands.
Paora: I consider we finished our talking on Saturday, and have nothing now to discuss. We have only now to rear our flag. The finishing stroke is the flag staff, which you have dragged from the forest to the place it is to occupy. Tomo, I am for finishing what you have begun.
Ti Oriri: Ruihana's proposal is not yet disposed of—viz., that we send a deputation to investigate the dispute between Taylor and Te Rangitake. One part of it is decided, viz., that some of us go to the Governor, but the other is yet open. I intend to attend the meeting that has been summoned by the Governor that I may learn his intentions. But the Maori side of the question lies open still, let that be settled.
Ruihana: True, one side is disposed of but the other is like this kete, (taking a native basket in his hand, holding it up and asking, what does this kete contain?) There is something inside, and a dog is biting away outside wanting to get at the food it contains. He does not know what it is whether it is eel, or fish, or pork, but he bites his way through and finds it is only a bit of tern root. We are just like this dog, here we are bitting away outside the kete, I want to get inside, to see what it contains, whether fish, or eel, or dung. I want to know who is right and who is wrong, whether the wrong is Governor's or Te Rangitake's and what all this agitation is about. Perhaps when the basket is open it contains nothing after all. But let us see, and if Governor be right, all is plain it is soon disposed of. But if Rangitake be right what then? Why the burden will fall upon the Queen, and upon our Ministers. I appeal to you Ministers, and Queen's men, and pakehas all, I say you go the Governor, and let Thompson go to Taranaki and see what this basket contains. We pray to God and say God be mereciful to me a sinner, but we pray in vain while this state of things continues. Your words Mr. Buddle, and the words of all our Ministers are right, on this subject—and therefore I say let us have this disturbance brought to an end.
Te Heaheu: The designs of the pakeha will not be abandoned. Do you think that God is with the Ministers? Let Mr. Morgan go away and become a soldier. If he persevere we shall be scratching each other.* Let the mails be sent by sea, there is room enough there and plenty of steam. The winds too are fair at sea, but on land we have frequent eddies. Our great work is to establish our king. This is my work. And that too is mine, the leasing of our land. This is for me and those who live in the interior of the country. We have no markets for our produce. You live by the water side and can convey your produce to town. But I cannot, I have no means of obtaining a shilling by my produce, not one penny comes near to me. I must therefore depend on my land and turn it to account by leasing. When I see a pigeon in the branches I fire and it falls. You have witnessed the wrath of the pakeha, I have not. You have more reason than I have to support this movement. If he wishes to put his mark on the land by roads, I say no, let him mark the land he has got. Let him send his mails and make roads in his own territory but not in ours. Let us have none of his authority or commands here. Don't let him call the Maori to bring him firewood, or to do his work. I do not say leave the flag staff on the ground, but I do say let the mails be sent back, I wished to return the mail from Rangiohia, but John Baptist prevented me. Do not permit the pakeha to trample us under his feet. Let him take his mana† back to England. Let us not part with our mana, no, never.
* Mr. M. having taken an active part in opening a road to Ahuriri through the Taupo Distric has incurred the displeasure of the King purty.page 55
† The Queen's Sovereignty.
Ruihana: I do not approve of the remarks of Te Heuheu, they are not straight, they look in another direction. Leave all that out of the discussion, answer my arguments. Let your replies be direct. Whatever is said on either side let it be correct.
Tuhikihia: Your word is correct, I take up what you have said. I shall go to town and see Governor. About the roads and mails, let them go by sea. That is the better way, they will go right over this land. In reference to leasing land, I am in doubt, I shall break down that proposal. It will not do.
Te Oriori: Your proposal Ruihana is accepted. The roads referred to by Heuheu, and the money to be paid for clearing is also disposed of; the Bishop has settled that question. Now let love be shewn to both black and white in the conveyance of mails. The mails are an advantage to both. If roads are opened, let us open them, let not Government money be accepted as payment. I shall open roads through my own land. I am doing so, not by the Governor's request, but by my own desire. You Heuheu may take your own way I shall take mine; if I like to open roads, I shall do so. In the matter of leasing I am a wrong doer. I invited the pakeha to come and rent my land.* But the Governor's mana is not there. There is no mana there but my own. I wish to support Love, and Law, and Christianity. This is my love to allow my land to be leased. But then it is entangled ground, and I shall have opposition in reference to it.
Katipa (of Waiuku): Your path is light Ti Oriori Do that which is right and we shall have light. I thought you had only one thing to dispose of, viz., the flag staff. “Te rua tena o l'otaka” (the pit into which you are whirling), Keep to this, don't look towards Taranaki; though you may think you can find a cause. Be not deceived, an object at a distance may look like a “pounamu” (greenstone) to the eye, but the heart may find it is not a pounamu. To Heuheu, Hoani, Hori, all look here (breaking a stick in two and holding a piece in each hand to represent the Pakeha and the Maori), Which will you have? (then taking both in one hand, he said), I shall have both. My one hand shall hold the two. Therefore, I say, keep to the flagstaff alone, it is the “Rua o Potaka.”
Tumuhuia: I am confused about those two sticks, one is rotten. That is evident to us now. Moreover no man can serve two masters. One is a hard master, and commands harshly, who will obey him? The other speaks kindly, and we prefer the man that is gentle and kind. On the question of roads, Te Heuheu is perfectly right. The sea is wide enough and open to all, and moreover shortens distance. There you can cut off the corners, but the land is covered with swamps and hills and more difficult to travel. In reference to leasing land I see great difficulties. The land may belong to two or more individuals, and when the rent day comes they will squabble over the shillings. The Pakeha and Maori may live together very peaceably in fine weather, but when foul weather sets in they may not love each other so well. It is easy enough to be kind to the pakeha on a fine day, (i.e., when he is pliable and easy.) but when the weather changes how then? we shall quarrel and difficulties will arise, therefore let us have no land lensing
Iraia: Come Katipa and join us. This is the Pa. Here is the sentinel that keeps watch. Come and see for yourself. On the subject of leasing land I am quite satisfied, I have tried it, we let out cattle runs, but it won't do. No more leasing for me after this. Not at all. Not at all. If you Porokoru persist in land lensing we shall soon have a war. If you persist others will follow your example. This is the path that leads to danger. Let it be abandoned. Leave every other question and send up your flag. I am returning home.Ruihana: You have fled again. You have left the main question. You have gone to mails and roads and lands. I say give me two postmen, let one go on this side (to Auckland), another to that side (to Taranaki). Let their loins be girt with truth. Let McLean be one, and a Maori the other, and let them bring us the result of their enquiries. If both sides be light, thank you Sir, (i.e., I shall rejoice)page 56 but if not what shall we do? Our trouble will be heavy. I want to see my way through this quarrel and to have peace restored, that I may be able to take off my cap and look up to heaven, and pray to God and say in sincerity, God be merciful to me.
* He has leased some cattle rnus,
Te Wetini: I wish to reply to one question. If the Governor's money was laid down for the land at Waitara before it came under our law then he is right. But if it was paid for after the land was handed to us, I do not say what we shall do, that we keep in our pockets, I open not my month on that subject, but I can see the depth and height, the length and breadth of that. I lean on our flag; on the whip (a long streamer they hoist, which they call the whip). The wrong committed on the Queen's side, it is for Queen to adjust. The bond of union has been cut, and God and the Maories only now remain in the union. If the land was purchased after it became ours, then I shall shew my love to Rangitake. (Here he recited a native tangi, see p. 17, of Sir George Grey's collection).
“Tera in te tai o Ngamotu”
By Ngamotu's shores there lives
A friend from whom I'm severed.
The clouds that fly above me
Sweep o'er the sea girt isle
Where thou in solitude art left,
To bid me not forget thee.
From distant tribes I brought thee
To a land stripped of its glory.
And no longer peopled by the brave.
From distant lands I sigh,
And mourn they people's fate.
Flow tides! fast flow! rise high
To sweep away the Tapu
And bear me on your waters
To the distant shore.
But though I come not
A bird from hence has reached thee,
Unbidden by me, it fled
To gather to the house of refuge
The tribe of Maturiki.
Te Whareporutu defend thee,
And the tribes of Ti Awa
Conduct thee through the floods.
My love ends here,
I must lay it in the grave,
Oh! Ah! Oh!
—This is my reply to Tamati. Let me see the Governor's good and I shall be reconciled.
Thus Te Wetini expressed his sympathy for Rangitake, poured out his desires to take him help, and, when he felt th tide so strong against him, yielded to the opposition and gav up his project.
Kereopa (of Waingaroa): I am not going to feed on talk like this. This talk is like what we heard on Saturday. I thought you were all advocates for peace. I was glad to hear one elder say, let us go and investigate the matter. I approve of Katipa's two sticks, but if McLean's case be not clear, that may separate the two. page 57 Tumuhuia does not like two masters (signs of disapprobation). The speaker was interrupted when he said, let my remarks, which are fair, be met by words as fair.
Te Wharepu: Let us keep to one subject and bring what has been said to one point.
Karaka Te Taniwha: Just so—unite your words. Let me have one about roads. Let the mails go through the land, but let them travel by our Maori roads. Let no new roads be opened. If we send away our pakehas who will work our mills?
Ruihana: Cease to confuse the subject. You can settle your leases and other trifles among yourselves; let us have the great subject set at rest.
Te Atua (Ngatipo): It cannot be made right by the money. The money was not paid before the land was under our mana. The money on that land is the mana that rests upon it.
Kopara (Ngatihinatu): All subjects are disposed of but one. The question is, was the flag first or the money first? If the land was paid for, before the flag reached it, Governor is right—if not, then the matter cannot rest where it is. If the mana and flag went before we must contend for our land. Our flags have been sent in reply to the applications that come to us. Letters have reached us from many places, saying, give me a flag as protection for my land. And I have sent the flag of King Potatau; I have sent it it to Taranaki, Wi Tako, Hapuka, the men of Heretaunga, Rangitake, and others, have come or sent, saying, Give me a flag. We have replied, Here it is. And now it is planted along the Island to Wairarapa. Don't say, I invited those tribes to come for it. No, they came of their own will to seek protection for their land against the white man's encroachment. Let us have patience till our friends who have gone to Taranaki shall return, then we shall know the merits of the case. When we know how matters stand we shall form a second expedition. They may be here to-morrow.
D. McLean, Esq., enquired, “When did that thing of which you speak reach Wairarapa? Wairarapa is mine, it has been sold to the Queen, and is in the hands of Europeans. The men that took the flag to Wairarapa are worthless characters, over head in debt. They have no further claim or right to dispose of that land. This is a trick of yours, in order to obtain adherents. You make false statements, and say that men have joined your movement, who have not done so. You have been unjustly censuring the Governor about Waitara. I promised to give you a history of the case, I will now do so; I am well acquainted with it; I know all about it from the beginning. When Europeans first went to Taranaki, they found the remnant of the tribes you had conquered. To Rangitake was not there. He had left the land and never expected to return to it. The men you seared sold it to us, they said give us pakehas and we will give them land. You also (Waikato) sold it to us in all its boundaries; therefore I say that land has been fully ceded and given into our hands in open day light. You (Waikato) gave it to us openly, and how can you repudiate your own act? An act performed by your great chiefs Potatau and Kate. They asked for payment because their friends had fallen there; we gave it to them, and they ceded to Governor Hobson all their claim. After this Ngatimaniapoto and William Naylor released their slaves and sent them to re-occupy the land from whence they had dragged them. But Rangitake was at the South and never thought about returning to Waitara. It was Te Whero Whero who invited him back; Taonui, Hikaka added his word, and Rangitake returned. When the people had returned each man sold his own land, without reference to Rangitake. You wish to know how the matter stands between Rangitake and Taylor. I will tell you. When the former thought of returning to Waitara he sent to Taylor and said let us return to Waitara, you take one side, I will take the other. Waikato gives us permission to return. Rangitake wished to occupy the north bank to protect himself against Waikato, and was prohibited by Sir George Grey from settling on the south side; but he built a pa on the south bank by permission of Taylor's father, and soon after his return began to fight about the land. Men were killed in battle, some were murdered in cool blood. Then two families (hapus) said we will sell our land at Waitara, and page 58 they offered it for sale, but the Land Commissioner was not in haste about it, he let it stand. Then the Governor went to Waitara and land was offered. One got up and said I desire to sell my piece, another got up and said I wish to sell mine. I do not want to sell what is another's but my own. I (McLean) replied, we cannot purchase those small pieces. Then Taylor said to Wm. King, Listen, I am about to offer mine. Governor here is mine, but the Governor did not speak. Taylor said again, give me your word Governor, McLean will not you and the Governor consent to mine? Wm. King sat there all the time and heard. When Taylor had urged it once, twice, thrice, four times, the Governor said, if it be an undisputed claim I accept it. Then Taylor laid down his parawai (mat), but Wm. King did not take it away, he only called out and said, Waitara shall not go, and went away. But we did not take it at once. You say we were hasty, but we were not. Eight months passed over before the bargain was closed. We enquired of all the people, and could not find any rightful claimants but Taylor and his friends. We said if Wm. King has a piece in this block, we won't have it; we will leave it outside. Do not say then that the Governor made haste to buy it, he took time enough to investigate the claim. You have said that one man sold the land, but that is wrong, there were seventy persons consenting to the sale. After this I went South and visited the middle Island. I saw Ropoama Te Ore of Arapaoa. I said to him Waitara is offered for sale, he asked by whom? I enquired of him “Is it King's?” He said, “No, his land is on the other side of Waitara, that piece is mine, let me have the money for that.” I replied, “No, I am not at present clear about the ownership. Let it be settled, give the payment to me he said again. I do not understand it yet, I said, but give me the names of the real owners. You have then unjustly accused the Governor. He has done no wrong, the land was offered to him, he would not consent at once, he took time to obtain information on the character of Taylor's claim, he had said he would buy no land the ‘ownership of which was disputed, neither would he allow any man who wished to sell his own land be prevented by another. He has kept his word. Whose land has he taken? whose rights has he violated? But you have allowed yourselves to be deceived by false statements. You have charged the Governor with making baste to go to war, but had you waited to hear and understand the subject you would not have done so. The Governor has no wish for war, and would not take up arms but in a just cause, and then not till all other means had failed.
To this address the meeting listened with great attention, but as the evening was advancing, Te Heuheu arose and interrupted Mr. McLean saying “ka po,” (it is night). The probability is that he saw how the remarks were telling on Waikato, and Mr. McLean broke off, promising to finish the next day. Many of the Waikato Chiefs were heard to say, “Ka tika te korero o Makarini, ka nui te Marama.”—The speech of Mr. McLean was quite straight, great was its light. Potatau also corroborated the statements he had made, and was displeased that Te Heuheu should have interrupted him. Several of the chiefs expressed their displeasure, and Ngatihaua offered to light large fires that he might have an opportunity to complete his statement that night, as they intended to leave early next morning. It was, however, arranged that he should finish next day.
On the 29th, the natives were all busy preparing to erect the Flag-staff, and Ruihana tried in vain to obtain a meeting to give Mr. McLean an opportunity of finish- page 59 ing his address. Mr. McLean waited till noon, but there were no signs of a gathering. He then told the natives he understood their motives in delaying to assemble, and having given them a reasonable time he should wait no longer. He struck his tent and departed.
On leaving, Mr. McLean called, in company with the Superintendent, to say good bye to Potatau, who shook hands with them in the most friendly manner, saying,—
“Go return home. My word to you is I mean no evil. I mean no wrong. It is not me, for the black skin to speak to you to the white skin. It is for you for the white skin to teach me. I am black, but though the skin is black outside, the inside my heart is white. Farewell! Go in peace to your home. Farewell!”
“Farewell, Potatau, replied Mr. McLean, your thoughts are good. It is well they should continue to be so. It is the people who are leading you astray. Farewell!”
On the 31st the Flag-staff was dragged to its place and planted, amidst further wild demonstrations of Maori exultation. The war dance was again exhibited, a new Flag hoisted, and a volley of musketry fired as a salute. Honana (Under Secretary) stood on the cross-trees and addressed the assembly. He said “The top of this Flag-staff signifies the King, the centre is for the Chiefs, these four ropes represent the tribes, cast, west, north, and south. The name of this Flag-staff is Pane—(Potatau's ancestor).
Potatau briefly addressed the meeting, he said—
“It is good that the flag should be erected at the foot of Taupiri. My Fathers finish this work. The work of former days we have forsaken. Let us cleave to the good work we have begun. Should the flag be dishonoured by these people (the upper Waikato) you (lower Waikato) must uphold it. The principle is now established—support it. I do not say support me. Should the Pakehas come and kill me, never mind, let it be so, do not avenge my death.”
After this address the tribes dispersed and the meeting ended.
The principal subjects discussed and settled at this meeting were four.
First—The Taranaki War. The war party, comprising a portion of the Ngatihaua, Ngatimaniapoto, and Waikato, manifested a good deal of pertinacity in maintaining their views, and no feeble resolution to take up arms in defence of W. King. It was obviously with them not a contest for the land but for the principles of their league. They felt themselves committed to W. King and in honour bound to help him. They were made to yield however by the influence of an overwhelming majority. The general voice was against them. The influence of the principal chiefs was thrown into the opposite page 60 scale. The chiefs evidently felt that to take up arms in defence of W. King would be to declare war against the pake has generally, and the Waikatos especially are not disposed to do that; they say peace, peace, until the pakehas declare war, so that though some may go to W. King's assistance, every man that does so will go on his own responsibility, and without the sanction of the King party, as did the Ngatima-niapoto, already gone to Taranaki.
Second—The Land Question. To prevent further alienation of Native lands is the great object of the league, and on this point the kingites carry with them the sympathies of the majority. There are doubtless many who would prefer the liberty to sell when they please, and some of them had courage enough to declare their sentiments, but the Maori feels a strong attachment to the land of his forefathers, he will weep when it passes away from him. Nor does he require much argument to induce him to enter a league which proposes to render such a calamity an impossibility. We need not wonder that there should be a large majority in favour of such a proposition.
Connected with the land subject is that of Leasing, against which there was a decided opinion expressed, which led to positive prohibition.
Third—The Subject of Roads. This is also a land question. The idea, that when a road is opened the land becomes the Queen's, and that roads lead to the alienation of the territory along the line, has taken fast hold of the Native mind, and also the belief that roads open the way for soldiers and big guns; therefore they decide that none shall be open through the King's territory.
Fourth—The Flag-staff. On this subject there was no public discussion. The lower Waikatos came to the meeting fully resolved to hoist the new flag. This was quite contrary to general expectation; a great change must have taken place in their views since the meeting of 1858. It is certain they are not prepared to carry out all that was intended by the first flag-staff erected by the ultra-kingites; perhaps they wished to get that out of the way and hoist a flag themselves which should represent more moderate views, and which they could support. Thompson and his tribe left before the new flag-staff was erected. It was said that he did not wish to be present, that he considered he had hoisted one flag, and it was not necessary to hoist another.page 61
The erection of this new flag-staff is considered as the complete establishment of the Maori kingdom. So that contrary to many predictions and despite a good deal of “pooh pooh!” this movement has advanced till it has become a fact. Its progress has been slow and quiet, but sure. Its promoters have worked steadily at their object, regardless of toil or expense. They have been advised, cautioned, reasoned with, ridiculed, laughed at, and told again and again that the movement must fail, but they have kept their end in view and sought by every means at command to accomplish it. This is characteristic of the Maori, who, when he has set his mind on a thing, does not easily relinquish the hope of possessing it, though he meet with many discouragements; nor does he shrink from toil or trouble to obtain the object of his desire. In this instance the people have been true to their own character. The various tribes have given of their produce, their labour, and their money to support this movement. The contributions of several tribes were paid at the meeting—the Ngatihaua contributing above £130. Persuaded that a Printing Press would advance it they have contributed several hundred pounds for the support of a Printing establishment. A Press has been obtained for them.
When told that they are not acquainted with the art of government, they acknowledge it, and coolly ask, “How long were your ancestors in acquiring it? Did they understand it all at once? We also shall gain wisdom by experience: no doubt we shall make mistakes, but then we can correct them as we go along.”
The movement now numbers amongst its adherents the following tribes:—The tribes of the Manukau and Lower Waikato, except the Waiuku people; divisions of the tribes of the interior, at Waipa, Otawhao, Rangiaohia, Maungoatautou, Taupo, and Mata-Mata; divisions of the tribes on the East Coast—at Tauranga, Ahuriri, Opotiki, and Heretaunga: divisions of the tribes on the West Coast—at Kawhia and Taranaki, along the Coast to Wanganui;—so that the leaders seem to be surprised at their own progress, and congratulate themselves with the most evident signs of pleasure on the success of their project. It is very probable that many of its adherents have joined it merely as a land league, without pledging themselves to all its objects, or acknowledging Potatau as a King. The tribes north of Auckland, the tribes on the Thames, and those at Waingaroa and Aotea, are not page 62 only unconnected with it, but decidedly oppose it, and publicly express their determination to remain subjects of the British Crown.