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Life in Early Poverty Bay

High-Handed Action of Coast Natives

High-Handed Action of Coast Natives.

The following alarming statement was handed to the “Hawke's Bay Herald” by the master of the Tawera on May 30, 1863:—

“The schooner Tawera, anchored off Kawakawa on the 12th inst. It was blowing hard from the south and we could not communicate with the shore.

“Next day a boat came out and we asked if we could get any water from the river. Being told that we could we sent a boat ashore with two casks to be filled.

“After they had been filled, and the boat had left, the Natives came to me and demanded one shilling per cask, threatening that if I didn't pay to take a boat as payment when she next came ashore. This demand I paid.

“On the 14th they went to the store of Messrs. Peachey and Collier and said that, if the magistrate, Mr. Baker, should come round that side of the Cape they would make him pay £100; if he should come by the inland route, the sum would be £200.

“They were determined, they said, to drive him away, as he was trying to buy over all the Natives to his side. Their next talk was that I should make it known to the masters of all vessels that if they wanted wood or water anywhere off the coast they should pay for the same or else they would take a boat for payment.

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“They next informed Messrs. Peachey and Collier that they should pay for the grass and water which their horses and cows had used, also for the water drunk by their ducks and fowls. This being refused, they intimated their intention of there and then taking away four horses the property of the firm and two belonging to Mr. Parsons left there to be shipped by the ‘Sea Breeze’ and of coming back for the cows and poultry.

“The Natives will not allow the Europeans to dig an inch of ground anywhere.”