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Pioneering Reminiscences of Old Wairoa

The Tribe in Council

The Tribe in Council.

As time rolled on the Hauhau movement progressed, many small actions took place in the Poverty Bay area, then Te Kooti was, quite unjustly, deported to the Chatham Islands and there he planned the programme he afterwards tried to carry out—namely, to drive the Pakehas into the sea, and obtain possession of the lands of the Maori people and set up himself as Maori King. His escape from exile and his landing again page 195in New Zealand intensified the unrest. The men of Wairoa, white as well as brown, sought unsuccessfully to stay his progress. This angered the would-be sovereign of Te Aotearoa—for Te Kooti never would use the words "New Zealand"—and a meeting was held at Te Reinga. This was attended largely, and one of those present was Rakiroa, who had not long before been supplied with arms and ammunition for his own defence, only to be used later against us. At this meeting the question was decided that Poverty Bay should be attacked first, as having offered the greatest affront to the escapee, Wairoa being reserved for a later day. Wairoa's chief offence was that her men had fought with those of Napier against Te Kooti at Makaretu. Other engagements had been fought including Ngatapa; after this Te Kooti got into the back-ranges from where dislodgement was a difficult task, but from where he could descend upon almost any of the settlers' hamlets on the East Coast.