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Sir Donald Maclean

How To Deal With the Hauhaus

How To Deal With the Hauhaus

The antagonism between the races after the defeat of Waikato, and in the anxious period on the frontiers produced some curious proposals. In 1869, a settler who had seen some hard service in his day, wrote to the Native and Defence Minister with reference to the King Country: “If the English Government is not going to help us, I think it is quite time that our Government adopted some other means of clearing the country of Hauhaus, i.e., give ten pounds per head for all Hauhau heads and supply the parties that undertake to bring them in with arms and provisions. Before six months had gone we would not be troubled with a single Hauhau. Say 2,000 Hauhaus (men)–it would be only the small sum, for all expenses, of £30,000.”

This cheerful optimist was John W. Thorp, of Opukeko, Ohinemuri. Possibly he had heard of the head-hunting in Taranaki earlier in the year when a reward was actually paid out to some of the Government Maoris for heads of Titokowaru's men, and at least two white scouts—Tom Adamson and Donald Sutherland, later the lone pioneer of Milford Sound—shared in the rewards.

Later on in the Seventies the fiery Judge Maning put forward a somewhat similar suggestion. He thought all the Hauhaus should be declared outlaws and an “open season” should be declared for killing them; this he described as an excellent sporting notion. The border settlers did not go quite so far. They knew the “sport” would not be all on the pakeha side.