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Life in Early Poverty Bay

What If Te Kooti Had Attacked Gisborne?

What If Te Kooti Had Attacked Gisborne?

Mr. Harris went on to say that an impossible task was set Lieut. Gascoigne and a few men to protect such a large extent of rough country and give warning to such a large number of settlers. It was well-known that Te Kooti had his spies in and about Gisborne. Wherever Lieut. Gascoigne placed his men their position would be known to Te Kooti. In 1898 Mr. Harris slept on the place where Te Kooti camped five nights before he instituted the Massacre It was on a ridge above the Ruakituri river. There wree still a number of Natives living in that locality who could shed new light on the awful event. He knew that the late John Ferguson and others had thought that the then Government, that of Stafford, had been lax. If the State papers of that day could be brought from their pigeon-holes it would show who was really responsible for the protection of the settlers. After the Massacre it was said that Major Biggs had to get the sanction of the Government even to allow the settlers to build a redoubt and go into it. Joe Alexander hao told him that when he got into Gisborne the authorities had no arms to give him. It was hard to say what might or might not have happened if Te Kooti had also attacked Gisborne. A few of the followers of Te Kooti were still to be seen occasionally on the streets of Gisborne and the old incident was buried.