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Life in Early Poverty Bay

Courage and Grit

Courage and Grit.

Not a great deal is to-day accessible with reference to the early trials of Mr. Williams and his family. Their perseverance, however, was well rewarded. Now and again they had the company of a visiting clergyman from some other district. Mr. Williams wielded a powerful influence amongst the Natives, who were not disposed to molest them, admiring, as they did, their courage and grit. The Natives, indeed, displayed an intuitive respect for justice and self-sacrifice. And thus it came about that Mr. Williams and those associated with them won the esteem and the confidence of the Natives. On account of its isolated position the European population did not grow rapidly and thus it came about that the whalers and the traders, and afterwards some settlers made up the bulk of the white residents hereabouts till the beginning of the sixties. In due course, Native churches sprang up in this portion of the Dominion, and close to Gisborne the most notable was the old Maori Church on Kaiti. The mission station was established at Waerenga-a-hika. Then came the Hau Hau rebellion and the forced abandonment of the mission quarters in 1868.