Object #1001542 from MS-Papers-0032-0030
From: Native Minister - Administration of native affairs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0030 (32 digitised items). Includes a letter in Maori with translation for an article in Waka Maori newspaper
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General Government Offices.
21st. April 1870.
Your attention was called, just before starting on Tuesday Last, to the news received from Opotiki, to the effect that Te Kooti, with about 20 followers, was hiding in the Waikawera Gorge; and that steps were being taken to follow up, and capture him. Since then the following has appeared in the ''Southern Cross.''
(copy newspaper cutting):--
''It is said that one of the objects of the Chief Ropata's expedition, which the last news from the East Coast showed was about to be commenced, was to get the remainder of the Ngaitikoatu tribe out of the country between Poverty Bay and Wairoa; and that Ropata expected to accomplish this without the firing of a shot. He was to take with him a carefully picked force of Ngatiporou; and he intended to make a keen search for the whereabouts of Te Kooti. It was supposed that the force would not be out more than ten days.'' --------------
Akuhata Makena, Pineha Manutuaha, Ranapia Makena, Te Kepa, Te Wharau, and Aihepepene, have written to you to say they are anxious that their land at Te Aroha should be proclaimed a Gold-field. They say there are plenty of quartz reefs.
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They also assert that Ohinemuri
is opened; and that they are willing to lead the Pakehas there. They wish to hear from you. Their letters will, no doubt, be forwarded to you through the Native Office.
Mongonui, from Bay of Islands, and two or three other Chiefs, with six or seven followers, are in Town on private business.
Hone Pamipi and son, Te Rapihana, who was pointed out to you by Wi Puka Puka, as a relative of Tawhiao's, Karamoa Takirau, the only one who remained on board the Hulk, when the prisoners escaped from Hau Hau, are also in town, and will await your return.
Aihipene Kaihau, with about 40 Hau Haus, are staying at the Hostlery in Mechanic's Bay. They came down for the purpose of exhuming the bones of Ihaka Koanui, a relative of their's; but found that Paul had removed them some time previously.
Mr. Brown has promised to acquaint me with any news he may learn from these Natives;
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which, if of any importance, I will communicate to you.
The ''Oppositionists'' now say that you and Ropata have saved the Ministry; and that if they could only get you to work with Stafford, they would turn out Mr. Fox, Mr. Vogel, and others. They say that you and Ropata have done the work; that McDonnell was an utter failure.
In to-day's ''Cross'' there are extracts from the ''Lyttleton Times'', which I append. Public Opinion in Canterbury is decidedly with the Ministry, whatever may have been the conduct of some of their representatives. With a General Election staring them in the face, Messrs. Rolleston and Stevens will be very careful how they act during the next Session.
I learn from my friends in Christchurch that Moorhouse is likely to be elected Superintendent.
No tidings, as yet, have been received, of the ''Sturt''. Mr. Vogel proceeds to the Thames to-morrow (Friday) morning, and takes me with him. He has just this moment told me to get ready to accompany
(Newspaper cutting referred to, in above letter):-
''The Assembly is convened for despatch of business on the 14th. of June. Judging from the following, which appears in the ''Lyttleton Times'' of the 11th. inst. there will be a strong opposition offered to the Govern- -ment:-
'If rumour speaks the truth, the leader of the Opposition is at this moment engaged in re-organising the broken ranks of his supporters, to be ready for the opening of the campaign. No one would think of blaming Mr. Stafford for this. As leader of the Opposition, the task of recruiting his forces forms an important part of his duty. Nor do we deprecate for an instant the existence of parties in the Legislature. A wise and able Government is sure to be the better for a vigorous and able Opposition. The opposing force of keen intellects in the legislative arena rarely fails to eventuate in good to the community at large. To a certain extent, therefore, we wish Mr. Stafford success in his recruiting expedition. We should be sorry to see any Government left sole masters of the field. On the other hand, it would be contrary to the best interests of the colony, for the Opposition to be too strong at the present moment. Rapid and continuous changes of Ministry are hurtful to all countries, but especially to those engaged in the difficult task of governing a comparatively powerful native race. For this reason alone a change of Government at the present moment would be a real calamity to New Zealand. '
'' Our contemporary goes on to point out in what respect a change of Government would, at this juncture, ''prove most detrimental to the interests of the Middle Island. '' This is based principally on the native policy of the Government. The Lyttleton Times says:-
'It is quite certain that if Mr. Stafford had remained in office, and had been permitted to carry on the process of subjugating the native race by force of arms, a heavy war loan must have been raised before the present time, and the taxation of the country been largely increased. The advent of the present Ministry effected an immediate change in the war expenditure. From forty-five thousand a month, it has dropped to fifteen thousand, and still further reductions are promised. And this immense saving has been made concurrently with a marked improvement in our relations with the native race. The King Party, once upon the point of taking up arms, now exhibit a comparatively cordial disposition; while our declared enemies roam about the country in search of hiding places. By adopting the advice of the best authorities in the Imperial army, and making free use of native auxiliaries, the neck of the rebellion has been completely broken, and Te Kooti humbled to the dust. And the secret of uniting efficiency with economy seems at last to have been found in the use of native allies upon the principle of ''no cure no pay''. The state of the North Island at the present moment exhibits a re-markable contrast when compared with that of a year ago. Then all was alarm and confusion. Now all is comparative peace and quietness. Then, no one could say how soon the flames of war might devastate the whole island. Now, Te Kooti is a hopeless fugitive, at the head of a score of followers, and the greater part of the island reposes in a state of assured confidence. And all this, it must be remembered, has been brought about concurrently with a reduction of expenditure at the rate of three hundred thousand a year.'
''The Lyttleton Times then goes on to discuss the attitude which the Canterbury members are likely to assume. It says;-
'The people are not always properly represented in Parliament. The system of parties has its drawbacks as well as its advantages. Among the former may be mentioned a tendency on the part of members to overlook the major interests of their constituents in favour of minor considerations. At the present moment, Canterbury members are to be found who give in their allegiance to Mr. Stafford, because he represents the anti- provincial party, forgetful or careless apparently that this or any other minor political question ought not to weigh for an instant against the far greater consideration of the native question. One vote may turn the scale, and upset the present Ministry. Do the people wish to go back to the ''conquest of peace'' policy at a cost of half a million a year and fresh taxes? If not, they must come to an understanding with their representatives. The time is short, and the crisis is urgent. The votes of Mr. Stafford and Mr. Stevens last session cost the Canterbury farmers sixty-five thousand pounds in the lost duty upon grain. Another vote or two may cost the people of this island two or three millions if the present native policy is reversed by the installation of the war party. The best and only way to stop the mischief is for the constituencies to express their views with decision and promptitude, and call upon their representatives to carry them out, or resign.
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