Object #1003506 from MS-Papers-0032-0640

3 pages written 3 Aug 1868 by Bishop William Williams in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean in Wellington

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)

August 3, 1868

My dear Mr. McLean

I venture to trouble you with a few remarks upon the present state of affairs on the East Coast. I am glad to hear that the expedition against the Hauhau prisoners is recalled. When I first heard of their arrival, I was inland, and on my return to Napier Col. Whitmore was just gone. I explained to Mr. Rhodes that the position occupied by the prisoners was one, which presented every facility for their getting away, and that, if such was their intention, there was no possibility of stopping them without an overwhelming force. The idea of Captn. Westrupls force of 30 men being able to do this, by taking up a position upon their probable road, was a great mistake. His men were not picked veterans, who would hold their ground. He had a few tried men with him, but many were persons who hardly knew how to load their rifles. We have had experience enough in times past, as to what the natives can do when on equal terms, but here they far outnumbered our men.

Again the proposal to follow up these natives into the Ruatahuna country is one of serious difficulty. It is a very broken country, through which it is not possible to carry supplies which can last many days. Colonel Whitmore is I doubt not a brave man, and he has talked long ago of his willingness to undertake to clear the whole district, if he had 100 men. But granting that he made his way to Ruatahuna, and established himself there what would be the result. The natives would dodge about first in one direction and then in another, and he would not be able to follow them. The results of Major St. Johns operations at Opotiki appear to have been of this character. He has made several raids which have the effect of keeping up the irritation but we are no nearer to the solution of the difficulty.

I expressed to you my opinion more than twelve months ago, which was to this effect, that if it be necessary to strike a blow upon Ruatahuna, in consequence of a perseverance by the natives in their hostile attacks in different directions, it must be done by a simultaneous movement from Whakatane and Opotiki, or rather Te Waimana which is at the back of Ohiwa and Taupo onthe one side, and from Te Reinga and Titiokura on the other.

The Government ought also to be informed that while many tribes of friendly natives have done as good service, there are signs of dissatisfaction shewing themselves in many quarters. Morgan's people have had much to say about the arrangements pressed by Captain Biggs at Waiapu, the confiscation of land, by which a quantity of that belonging to the Government natives was to be included in the block. You recollect also the feeling shewn by Morgan and Wi Haronga about the proposal to take Makauri. It is well it was abandoned, for old Puatene Potiti's son who was interested there has rendered effective support to Captain Westrupp.

Promises alsd were made to the natives of remuneration which have not been fulfilled and now Hotene and his people having arrived at Turanganui, say they will not move further unless there is a clear understanding about pay.

The effect of the countenance given by you to Morgan and Hotene in 1865 was to decide many natives in our favor, who otherwise would have been doubtful. Upon the same principle it seems necessary that the natives who are staunch, either at poverty Bay or Wairoa, should feel that they will be supported and protected, and for this purpose there should be a moderate force kept up both at Poverty Bay and at Wairoa, which will also have a powerful influence upon the doubtful natives whose sympathies must be more or less with the Hauhaus. If the prisoners have got over to Ruatahuna, they will I fancy be quiet for a time, but we may expect that they will renew their attacks asthe season advances, in consequence of the ineffectual attempt to check their progress.

Believe me to remain
Most faithfully yours
William Waiapu
Donald McLean Esqr. Wellington

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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