May dear Sir,
I write to tell you all is quiet here.
Katipa and his people had a meeting on the 24 inst. in the house at present occupied by them as it was too hot to remain outside; their professions were unexceptionable, and if what they stated be true, viz., that Waikato had promised not to tread on old Katipa's back, there need be no apprenension about the settlers of Waikuku. My opinion however is that the sympathy of these natives and that of Lower Waikato generally, is with the insurgents at Taranaki, the essential difference between the war and neutral party consisting in this, that the one foolishly imagines it to be their interest to fight agst. the Pakeha, whereas the other konw it is their interest to be united with the Pakeha. It is unquestionably a matter of profound regret, that after years of unprecedented kindness and forbearance towards this peculiar people, we should have railed -- almost entirely -- in gaining their confidence, and at last in self defence obliged to have recourse to hard knocks which punish all alike but which I hope be continued until these deludedmen are brought to their senses. At present they distrust us more than ever, and so long as questioable characters are allowed
to live amongst them, and poison their minds against the Government, we shall have more or less trouble so long as the race lasts. Whether it would be desirable or practicable to enforce the provisions of the Nat. Land Purchase Ordinance throughout the Northern Island or in particular districts, such as the Waikato, I must leave the authorities to decide.
Katipa says the Governor promised to build him a house here, I know nothing of such a promise, it will therefore be for you to consider whether Katipa's wish shall be complied with -- perhaps it would be a wise precaution to build him a small wooden house on the Reserve opposite his present quarters and so perhaps save the Government heavy loss in the event of accident by fire which would sweep the adjoining buildings and occasion a precious hubbub.
I find the natives here have hit upon Hori Tauroa, son of the late Wiremu Ngawharu, for an Assessor to assist old Katipa who is getting somewhat infirm, if you consider it right to recommend such an appointment, I hope you will do so, inasmuch as I am entirely dependant upon natives in carrying out my duties. Pray bear this in mind as I may just notice that from what I have already witnessed in the waipiro line, I may have occasion to ask you to support an official
application to His Honor the Superintendent for the location of one or two constables here, as I think I shall be able to state distinctly that without such aid a Magistrate is powerless as against Europeans who frequent the public house -- a position no man should be in and one which, I think, it would be difficult to defend.
A party of Ngatihaua's, with 10 canoes of wheat, arrived at the Awaroa last Saturday, and in this village the following Monday. Some of them were decidedly sulky and appeared ready for mischief, checked no doubt by the presence of the Waiuku guard seated on the grass immediately in front of their quarters, and commanding Mr. Shepherd's store which was full of the illclad and uncouth looking visitors. Although many knew me at Arikirua and Maungatautari, not a hand was extended, consequently I played my part accordingly, and in the course of the day, several came up in the usual manner and asked when I intended to go up the country again.
Te Ao te Rangi is expected here en route to Auckland to see you and the Governor. He may ask to be placed on rations -- in that case it is just as well you should know their potatoes are coming on so fast that the people of Waiuku are enabled to buy them.
The total amount incurred for provisioning Katipa and his people up to the present time -- including rent for
house -- is £50. I think it will be advisable to continue issuing rations for a short time longer, until something turns up to our advantage, and even then discontinued on a kind of sliding scale. I have, at Katipas request, arranged with Mr. Shepherd to supply Ao te Rangi with a little flour and sugar on his arrival, and hope you will not object to this expense which is included in the £50. Waata Kukutai applied for supplies when here, but as I thought it rather too much, I shelved the application by referring him to you.
The native postman from Auckland to Raglan arrived here last evening. He told me that a 'troop ship' arrived in the Auckland harbour during the night of Sunday last; and that the 'Victoria' returned from Taranaki yesterday, with the news of a battle between H.M. troops and the rebels at Waitara in which the latter were defeated with heavy loss. Is this true?
To:- McLean Esq.
Katipa has not said a word about the old raupo house used for a chapel, recently destroyed by fire -- from what I know of the case, I think it would be difficult to fix it upon Mr. Constable or indeed any other person -- in a case of were natives have suffered a loss, would it not be as well to pay them out of some general fund?
5 1/2 p.m. O.M. in. I have seen the New Zealander of this days date. H.H.