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Life in Early Poverty Bay

“I Do Not Feel Safe Here.”

“I Do Not Feel Safe Here.”

He (Mr Robb, senr.) went home, however, far from satisfied. On the morning of the Massacre, Mr. Robb was lucky to escape with his wife and family to Gisborne. At the time, he was living at Newstead, Makaraka, and, as they fled along the narrow track through the thick scrub, fearing that Hauhaus would emerge at any moment and destroy them, they could hear the rebels' guns going off and see the reflections in the sky from the burning homes at Matawhero. When at last they reached Gisborne and had placed his loved ones in safety no one could understand how relieved he was. Messrs. Dodd and Peppard who had Repongaere, but resided near Waeren-ga-a-hika Crossing, were, he had been told, planting potatoes when they fell out with a Native who said, in the heat of his passion: “You may plant the potatoes, but you will never eat them.” As far as he could gather, they were the first victims of the raid. Thus the Native's words came true. Captain Read went out to his place at Matawhero the night before the Massacre. When bed-time came, he said: “I do not feel safe here; I will return to Gisborne.” His luck was in. There were others who had their fears, but would not show them. The authorities must have had something in their minds when they placed Lieut. Gascoigne and others in the Te Arai Valley to keep watch.