Saturday 26 December 1857
My dear Sir,
On Saturday the 19th instant Matena Yupoki was locked up for drunkenness and assaulting Hera, wife of Ihaia, of Waiwakaiho. I attended court on the following Monday in this case, but none of the natives appeared against Matena for the assault, he was therefore fined for being drunk. In the evening Hera, and old Meri Paria, mother of W. Ropiha, went to the Puia and were beaten, the latter badly, by Tupoki. As soon as I heard of this, I went down and found Meri Paria very feeble and much shaken, but neither she nor Hera would bring a charge against Tupoki, because the assault was committed at their own place and not on pakeha ground. I ascertained that a great deal of jealousy and ill feeling existed between Tupoki and W. Ropiha about the Puia.
On Thursday Poharama and W. Ropiha came to the office, when the latter said that the only way in which the dispute could be settled, would be by starting Tupoki to Katere and selling the Puia to Government. I told him that in the absence of a complaint agst Tupoki for the assault, I could only recommend a meeting of Assessors and such other natives as he and Tupoki might wish to be present, and suggested this day for the purpose.
W. Ropiha came to the office with Hori, of Ikamoana, expecting to meet Poharama but as he had not arrived, they moved on to Moturoa, previously telling me of their intention to settle this matter in accordance with their customs.
On Monday early I am to see Hone Ropiha on this subject.
W. Kingi, of Waitara, had a meeting of his natives last Thursday relative to the Maori King proposal. It was decided not to encourage it in any way. It was hardly likely they would do otherwise considering that Waikato first overran the country, and then sold it over their heads to Captain Hobson.
On Thursday evening last the premises of a labourer, named Climo, residing at Tataraimaka, were entered by 8 or 9 Hauranga natives, led by Tiaki, formerly of the Police, and a gun, a plough and a bullock chain taken under the following circumstances. On the previous Tuesday, Climo and 3 others, shot one of the wild cattle, on land owned by Hauranga natives, part of te beast was found by the natives and they at once proceeded to the house of Climo, and charged him with having killed it, which he at once admitted. I told them they had done wrong in going upon native lands and shooting cattle there, and if the cattle did not belong to the natives,
Mr. W. King was most likely the rightful owner. They replied that they understood the cattle were considered wild and liable to be shot by any person who chose to go after them a mere excuse as I told them. I am going to Hauranga on Monday, unless detained by Hone Ropiha, and hope to recover the property.
To:- McLean Esq.