Object #1001234 from MS-Papers-0032-0018

3 pages written 25 Feb 1865 by George Sisson Cooper in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean

From: Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0018 (58 digitised items). Paper about McLean taking several notable Maori including Wi Taki Ngatata and Matene Te Whiwhi to Turanga (1865), to determine the Maori attitude towards the Paimarire religion.

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

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English (ATL)

COPY. Napier.
February 25th. 1865.


My dear McLean,

I hope you won't be terrified at the sight of such an awful bundle of papers as I am sending you; but read them all honestly through, and you will be as sorry to learn as I am to tell you, that the Pai Marire has been brought here,- and worst of all, by Hapuku. I need not enter into particulars here, as it is all detailed in the enclosed copy of my Despatch to the Native Minister; and the Maori correspondence which accompanies it.

It is a most lamentable thing to see the Province left, by the removal of the Troops and reduction of the C.D.F., in such a position that we have quietly to look on while those ruffians; whose undisquised object is to drive us all into the sea; and parading through our midst and propagating their vile superstition under our very noses. I am afraid the Pa Whakairo people will be rather lukewarm; and Tareha's estrangement is a most unlucky affair for us just at present. I must try and effect a reconciliation before the Meeting takes place; or I fear he may not attend it. Hapuku's account of himself is a miserable subterfuge. It is well known that he sent for these people. Paul Rerepu tells me that he was present; and heard him send Te Kapa to see the Atua Hau Haus; and if he was a God sent of God, to bring him here. As to his saying the flag is nothing,- that is absurd; it is called Potatau, and another

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English (ATL)

which P. Toki has at Petane,- but which is now flying at the Hauhe, is called Maui. The political significance of these is too obvious to require any comment.

Of course the Government will be in an awful rage, and I shall get into almighty disgrace for pointing out our weakness: but I don't care a rush. I'll tell truth to shame the Devil, in spite of any minority. We are exposed to invasion; we are the very spot where it would suit them best to kick up a row; we are insufficiently garrisoned, with Militia undrilled; and in short, utterly weak and defenceless; and therefore most invitingly at the mercy,- with our flocks and herds,- of anybody who chooses to come and attack us. These things being unquestionably true, I have said them in spite of the odium that I know will be the result at Headquarters. Of course our paternal Government will take not the slightest notice of us; or possibly withdraw the few soldiers left, and disband the ghost of the C.D.F. as a reward. I hope, however, that if you are able to attend to business, (as I sincerely trust, for your own sake, you are by this time), you will make a strong representation to Wellington on the subject, if you do not feel equal to coming back yourself.

I saw Rhodes this morning, and persuaded him to make a representation as to the weakness of the Province, in case of the threatened invasion.

These brutes have invented the most extraordinary things to allure proselytes. If a faithful disciple goes to a store and spends money, he will find the exact sum in his box (put there by the Atua) on his return

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English (ATL)

home. They can Karakia wild cattle out of the bush, and catch them in the open; with many other absurdities, which it would weary you to read, and me to write here. Some of them say that the great Te Ua is to come with the next batch, and bring his Pakeha dried heads with him, through which he converses with his Atua. He will be, on his pilgrimage round the Island,- the result of which is to be that on a certain day, all the Pakehas are to wake up in the morning and find themselves corpses,- all but one for each Kainga, to be selected by the Atua, and left alive to be kept as Mokais.

And now for a word about yourself. I do sincerely trust that your trip has done you good, and that we shall soon see you among us again, stronger and better than ever. Except this Hau Hau affair there has been nothing of importance since you left. Locke starts for the Wairoa on Monday. Paul Rerepu is bellowing for arms, in a terrible funk about the Pai Marire. I suppose he should have a dozen old muskets. I gave him a flag today, to his intense joy. Douglas has gone for a trip to Taupo and Rotomahana, under the protecting wing of Hohepa of Oruanui,- rather an unlucky time for him to be away.

I will now say good-night, as it is late, and I am tired writing. Hoping soon to see you back in restored health, and with kind regards from Mrs. Cooper,

I remain,
Yours very sincerely, (Signed)
G.S. Cooper.

English (ATL)

COPY. Napier.
February 25th. 1865.


My dear McLean,

I hope you won't be terrified at the sight of such an awful bundle of papers as I am sending you; but read them all honestly through, and you will be as sorry to learn as I am to tell you, that the Pai Marire has been brought here,- and worst of all, by Hapuku. I need not enter into particulars here, as it is all detailed in the enclosed copy of my Despatch to the Native Minister; and the Maori correspondence which accompanies it.

It is a most lamentable thing to see the Province left, by the removal of the Troops and reduction of the C.D.F., in such a position that we have quietly to look on while those ruffians; whose undisquised object is to drive us all into the sea; and parading through our midst and propagating their vile superstition under our very noses. I am afraid the Pa Whakairo people will be rather lukewarm; and Tareha's estrangement is a most unlucky affair for us just at present. I must try and effect a reconciliation before the Meeting takes place; or I fear he may not attend it. Hapuku's account of himself is a miserable subterfuge. It is well known that he sent for these people. Paul Rerepu tells me that he was present; and heard him send Te Kapa to see the Atua Hau Haus; and if he was a God sent of God, to bring him here. As to his saying the flag is nothing,- that is absurd; it is called Potatau, and another which P. Toki has at Petane,- but which is now flying at the Hauhe, is called Maui. The political significance of these is too obvious to require any comment.

Of course the Government will be in an awful rage, and I shall get into almighty disgrace for pointing out our weakness: but I don't care a rush. I'll tell truth to shame the Devil, in spite of any minority. We are exposed to invasion; we are the very spot where it would suit them best to kick up a row; we are insufficiently garrisoned, with Militia undrilled; and in short, utterly weak and defenceless; and therefore most invitingly at the mercy,- with our flocks and herds,- of anybody who chooses to come and attack us. These things being unquestionably true, I have said them in spite of the odium that I know will be the result at Headquarters. Of course our paternal Government will take not the slightest notice of us; or possibly withdraw the few soldiers left, and disband the ghost of the C.D.F. as a reward. I hope, however, that if you are able to attend to business, (as I sincerely trust, for your own sake, you are by this time), you will make a strong representation to Wellington on the subject, if you do not feel equal to coming back yourself.

I saw Rhodes this morning, and persuaded him to make a representation as to the weakness of the Province, in case of the threatened invasion.

These brutes have invented the most extraordinary things to allure proselytes. If a faithful disciple goes to a store and spends money, he will find the exact sum in his box (put there by the Atua) on his return home. They can Karakia wild cattle out of the bush, and catch them in the open; with many other absurdities, which it would weary you to read, and me to write here. Some of them say that the great Te Ua is to come with the next batch, and bring his Pakeha dried heads with him, through which he converses with his Atua. He will be, on his pilgrimage round the Island,- the result of which is to be that on a certain day, all the Pakehas are to wake up in the morning and find themselves corpses,- all but one for each Kainga, to be selected by the Atua, and left alive to be kept as Mokais.

And now for a word about yourself. I do sincerely trust that your trip has done you good, and that we shall soon see you among us again, stronger and better than ever. Except this Hau Hau affair there has been nothing of importance since you left. Locke starts for the Wairoa on Monday. Paul Rerepu is bellowing for arms, in a terrible funk about the Pai Marire. I suppose he should have a dozen old muskets. I gave him a flag today, to his intense joy. Douglas has gone for a trip to Taupo and Rotomahana, under the protecting wing of Hohepa of Oruanui,- rather an unlucky time for him to be away.

I will now say good-night, as it is late, and I am tired writing. Hoping soon to see you back in restored health, and with kind regards from Mrs. Cooper,

I remain,
Yours very sincerely, (Signed)
G.S. Cooper.

Part of:
Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0018 (58 digitised items)
Series 7 Official papers, Reference Number Series 7 Official papers (3737 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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