Object #1001146 from MS-Papers-0032-0559

4 pages written 28 Dec 1869 by John Henry Herbert St John in Whakatane to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Surnames, St John, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0559 (77 digitised items). Correspondents:Felice St John, Auckland & Melbourne, 4 undated letters (ca 1876); Col J H H St John, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Poverty Bay, Nelson and Napier, 1869-1875 & undated (69 letters, including some from other correspondents)

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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English (ATL)

COPY. Whakatane

28th. December 1869.

My dear McLean,

I must first thank you for your kindness in interesting yourself about me as you have done, all which I have learnt from Mrs. St. John. I need scarcely tell you that I gladly welcome any idea of being able to have my family with me.

At last I have the tools, but they are a shocking lot. You know how natives look at a spade in a store before they buy. They have actually been chaffing me about these. I've had to send in a requisition for an additional supply, as they will go into pieces before being long handled.

I have had some bother with the natives. Ngatiawa and Ngatipukeko have a quarrel; and this tribal row impeded me very much. However, by dint of talk, I had a final korero last night. Their argument was chiefly that Government had authorised Wiremu Kingi of Porere to make roads, with a daily rate of 3/-; and they considered my prices much too low. Now I have based my estimate on such grounds that if they work at all as they ought, each man will get about his 3/- a day. However, it ended by their being all satisfied, after Wepiha Apamu (Ngatiawa - who is now Chief - old Apanui having resigned in his favour) getting up and saying he would take up the work. So we agreed that they should all set to, on Monday.

At present they have given Gascoigne two days' work to get withes for the palisades of his redoubt.

I find that Wepiha (Ngatiawa) has gradually taken all the ''mana'' of the place. Hohaia, the Assessor, is nowhere, although he is a Ngatipukeko, who are the strongest hapu.

Wiremu Kingi was up yesterday, and told me he had it on authentic grounds that Te Kooti had left his people for a time at Taupo, and was now at Maractai, up the Waioweka, which is declared a ''whenuapai'' as far as regards Opotiki. Wi got this from some Whakatohea women. How far it is correct, it is of course, impossible to say. However, I know that Te Hura (the Chief up here) has no intention of fighting; so if Te Kooti is there, his band may break up. I certainly doubt the statement. I informed Frazer. I suppose we shall see you here soon after the New Year. With all the compliments of the season,

Believe me, yours truly (Signed)
J.H.H. St. John.

Part of:
Inward letters - Surnames, St John, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0559 (77 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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