Object #1002779 from MS-Papers-0032-0023
From: Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0023 (100 digitised items). No Item Description
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January 28th. 1869.
I have the honor to report, for your information, that, in consequence of continual rumours reaching here, of the presence of strolling parties of armed Hau Haus in the neighbourhood, and the non-receipt of any instructions from the Government on the subject, I strongly advised Capt. Spiller to make a reconnaisance in the direction of Waikare Moana, for the purpose of settling the question, as to the truth or otherwise, of these stories. Accodringly a Volunteer Force of 18 of the Wairoa settlers, some few men of the armed Constabulary, and about 15 natives, all armed and mounted, started from the township under Capt. Spiller, accompanied by Lieut. Finlayson, M.V., Mr. Preece, and myself. Reached Mr. F. Goulet's station on Sunday evening; found him unmolested, and engaged in shearing. Fires, however, had been seen by them in the Ranges.
On Monday we moved on to Tukurangi, passing through the hills; and reached Manga Mauku, where we found
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immense quantities of potatoes, and abundant evidence of the presence of natives. Here we were joined by a party of Tamihana's people, who came to carry off
the crops. After resting for a while, we moved on the tracks of the enemy; and shortly came upon freshly built huts and break-winds, - sufficient to accomodate a large party. Some 10 individuals were here seen making away with all speed, across the gullies. Notwithstanding a heavy rain falling, we pushed on to the entrance of the bush leading to the Kiwi, having visited the Waihi settlement at Whekenui, en route. Found there also abundant crops, and evidence of recent occupation; fires being still burning, and potatoes freshly out, etc.,
It was 6 p.m. when we reached the entrance to the bush, and finding it rifle-pitted, and the pits filled with fern newly out, men's foot-tracks in great numbers spreading in every direction, we did not deem it prudent to venture forward that evening; our Force consisting of only 27 Europeans and 3 natives. We returned, therefore, to Waihi valley, and camped at the side of a fern hill. The next morning we left our horses and advanced on foot upon the settlement, which was
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found to be abandoned, - apparently at an early hour in the morning.
The enemy had evidently watched our advance and retreat, as the horse tracks of the previous evening were entirely obliterated for a quarter of a mile beyond the rifle pits, by fresh foot-prints.
We determined upon remaining that day at Te Kiwi; having, after consultation with Tamihana on the subject, permitted the native woman, Tuku, wife of John Gemmel, to go forward with a letter, in order, if possible, to recover her child, and her father, Potihi; who were known to be with Hori te Rangi's party. Gemmel accompanied her to the summit of the ridge (leading to the Lake), along which we shortly after traced them, until they were lost in a multitude of tracks, clearly showing that they had either been accompanied, or followed, by a considerable number of persons.
The majority of the natives left us here, to return to Tukurangi, Hapimana, at our wish, remained, with some 15 men; and we determined to remain through the night, to give Gemmell a chance of returning.
With so small a force, and the natives unwilling to proceed, we did not consider it safe to proceed actually to the Lake, to which we
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had approached within a distance of four miles.
At Te Kiwi we found a very great extent of oultivation, shewing that a large number of persons must have been industriously employed for a great length of time. We found here a letter from Te Whiro, to the dwellers at Te Kiwi, dated from Kati Kati Kareao, - a settlement on the Waihori Range, asking for potatoes to be given to some persons going to the Lake. This Te Whiro was one of the late Chatham Island prisoners. This letter adds another link to the chain of evidence which implicates those people in the proceedings of Te Kooti. We left Te Kiwi, nothing having been seen or heard of Gemmell, or wife, at half past 4 a.m. on Wednesday; and reached Clyde by 3 p.m. passing through by way of the Waihau Valley.
Under the circumstances I consider it absolutely necessary that the Officer in Command here, should have at his disposal, a sufficient force to enable him to undertake an Expedition at a moment's notice, as it is perfectly clear that the large supplies of food in possession of the enemy would enable him to concentrate a large force within a comparatively easy
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distance of either Clyde or Turanga, with perfect case and safety; and nothing but the greatest vigilance will save either of these places from the re-enactment of deeds already perpetrated in Turanga.
I have the honor, etc., etc., (Signed)
Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0023 (100 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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