Object #1002704 from MS-Papers-0032-0640

4 pages written 17 Aug 1866 by Bishop William Williams in Paihia

From: Inward letters - Bishop William Williams, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0640 (66 digitised items). 62 letters written from Turanga, Pahia, Auckland, Te Aute, Napier, Gisborne, Tauranga, Bay of Islands, Waerengahika (including list of buildings destroyed), Oropaoanui (Awapawanui), 1855-1876 and undated.Includes piece-level inventory of letters accessioned pre-1969

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

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English (ATL)

Paihia, Bay of Islands
August 17, 1866


My dear Sir,

As I find from a letter I have received from Turanga that the Defence force is being removed from thence, having been reduced to 36 with the probability of further reduction, I take the liberty of making a statement, which I am enabled to do from local knowledge, and which you are at liberty to make what use of you please, short of putting in print.

1. The most inaccessible part of the whole island is Ruatahuna. It is difficult to get at, and when there you find yourself in a most broken country densely wooded. The hostile natives have therefore widely chosen this locality astheir place of rendezvous.

2. It is a most convenient point, from which a small force can make a most successful raid upon Opotiki and Whakatane on one side, and upon Poverty Bay and Wairoa on the other. Waiapu is too far off for them to do mischief there.

3. It seems necessary therefore that if any of these localities are to be occupied by English settlements, the numerical strength of them should be sufficiently great to remove the temptation for an attack.

At Opotiki it appears that a part of the Waikato military settlers are to be placed.

At Wairoa too there is a large body of settlers collecting, who have the support of natives decidedly friendly.

Poverty Bay is almost defenceless, and the great mover of trouble, at this time, Anaru Matete, is at Ruatahuna, and Poverty Bay is the very place he would aim at. If there should be a compact body of men there, say one hundred military settlers to whom was given land at the usual rate of 50 acres for each man, there would then be no danger either there or at Wairoa of any further disturbance, which if precaution is not taken, may possibly break out at any time.

I enclose a sketch of the country, shewing the points of approach from Ruatahuna. Ruatoke is the beginning of the district, being the outlet towards Whakatane. Maungapohatu is at the back of Ohiwa and very inaccessible. The dotted line from Opotiki to Poverty Bay represents the direction of the valley down which the road passes. The other two lines shew the two road by which the Natives travel from Ruatahuna.

I remain, My dear Sir
Most truly yours
William Waiapu
Donald Maclean Esqr.

Part of:
Inward letters - Bishop William Williams, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0640 (66 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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