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An Epitome of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs and Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand

No. 31. — Copy of a Despatch from Lieutenant-Governor Grey to Lord Stanley

No. 31.
Copy of a Despatch from Lieutenant-Governor Grey to Lord Stanley.

Bay of Islands.—Position of our Native Allies.

My Lord,—

Government House, Auckland, 11th September, 1845.

In the various despatches I shall have occasion to, address to your Lordship upon the subject of the line of policy I may adopt for the settlement of the disturbances at present, existing in the northern part of this Island, I shall have frequently occasion to allude to the Native tribes which are here termed "Native allies," and your Lordship will find that my proceedings will be influenced by the desire of securing the interests of these tribes. I think it necessary, therefore, to state briefly to your Lordship who these Natives are, and what is the nature of our relations with them.

In January, 1845, before the flagstaff was, for the second time, cut down at Kororareka, and again previously to the attack in March on that settlement, the tribes who are under the control of the chiefs Walker, Macquarie, Moses, Noble, and Rewa interfered, by remonstrance and otherwise, to prevent Heke and his adherents from adopting the course they intended to pursue. Walker in particular, and other friendly chiefs, offered at the time to some of the authorities their services for the suppression of the then threatened disturbances, but they were not accepted.

Subsequently to the destruction of Kororareka in March, 1845, when Heke, emboldened by his successes, was threatening to commit further depredations in the North, and to march upon Auckland, which was in a very unprotected state, Walker, Macquarie, and other chiefs rose, and created a diversion in favour of the Europeans by falling on Heke's rear:—their first skirmish, which took place early in April, when they were completely successful, having driven him from the field. They had other skirmishes with him previously to the arrival of the troops at the scene of operations; and page 39in every instance were successful, thus not only creating a diversion in favour of the Europeans, but greatly diminishing Heke's influence by injuring his reputation as a commander. They also, by their own influence, detached many of Heke's and Kawiti's followers from them. When our troops reached the scene of operations in the month of May last, these friendly chiefs joined themwith their followers, and they have ever since remained in active co-operation with them They had at one time nine hundred men in the fields and the average number of their followers under arms may be stated at from three to four hundred men; but they were unable to keep a large number in the field for want of supplies.

These friendly chiefs have never hitherto received pay, rations, arms, or ammunition for themselves or their followers, and have received no remuneration, except some presents of rice, flour, and sugar, and occasional supplies of ammunition. Since the commencement of hostilities they have lost about twenty-five men killed, and have had about seventy-five men wounded, some of them very severely. Their loyalty and active attachment to the British cause have drawn down upon them the hatred of the rebels and their friends and no doubt can be entertained that, if their interests are not carefully considered before hostilities are allowed to cease, they will be placed in a position of great danger. Your Lordship may, however rely upon my not neglecting fully to provide for the future safety of these chiefs, who have established such strong claims upon the consideration of Her Majesty's Government.

I have, &c.,

G. Grey.

The Right Hon. Lord Stanley, &c.