I have the honor to inform you of the return of Hetaraka Nero and Hemi Matine from the great Native King meeting at Peria. The following is their report:—
We arrived at Peria on the 21st instant. On the 24th business commenced.
Tamehana—The tribes are not, as I expected them to be, universally represented, therefore I shall only discuss the lesser matters—the two roads. The Governor prohibits munitions of war, lest they should be used against him. Both roads are fatal matters to us. I say do not allow them? How is it to be? Divide yourselves so that you may be counted. (Nearly the whole of the assemblage voted against the roads.)
A man belonging to Te Awa o te Atua asked if Maories had any claims to Te Ia, and was answered "no" by Waikato. This man said that Naylor's being a black skin's road, he had nothing to do with it, but the Governor's road should not pass. (East Coast Natives of the same opinion.)
Karaitiana (Ngatikahungunu) advised that the mails should be allowed to go as usual, and that travellers, Queen Natives, and ministers should be allowed to travel as usual: all which was in opposition to the Runanga law. A small portion of the auditory agreed.
∗Matine—I came over because I thought the weather had cleared up. Is this your fine weather?
Tamehana—I sent for you out of friendship, that you might hear for yourselves. You have heard. Do not insist on your road. (Tamehana here asked for the assent of the people to his wishes, and obtained it unanimously.)
∗Hetaraka—I will have my "mana" as well as you have yours.
∗Mohi Te Rongomau—We did not come here to make laws, but to listen. You shall not have the say about the road.
A Ngatiwhakane man—The "mana" of the road would devour my "mana." There are many Rotorua chiefs, but I have stopped that road. Stop this also.
∗Matine—If you are strong, do so.
Last speaker—If you carry on your road, I shall go there.
∗Then do so at once.
Matine's observations—I knew from Tamehana's first speech that he had a sword in his mouth. I think them determined to resist if we insist on the road. Tamehana told me, in a private conversation, that we and Tamati Waka's people were the only Queen Natives. All the others would soon join him. He said that we might make a bridle road, but nothing more, and that the Governor had prohibited munitions of war, and therefore he would not allow his munitions (bush, ravines, &c.) to be touched. ∗Hetaraka said to Tamehana, You stand up for your "mana," and I for mine! You shall not interfere with the road. If you were a Queen man with us vou might have something to say. When we return home we shall hold a Council, and send page 19the result of that Council to you, after the Governor has been made acquainted with it. The road will not be stopped.
The asterisks denote the speakers of Naylor's party.
I have, &c.,
HY. J. Falwasser,
Clerk and Interpreter.
To Major R. H. McGregor, R.M.,Raglan.