Object #1004011 from MS-Papers-0032-0217

8 pages written 26 Jul 1869 by Henry Tacy Clarke in Tauranga to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Henry Tacy Clarke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0217 (61 digitised items). 59 letters written from Tauranga, Maketu, Auckland & Waimate, 1861-1870. Includes letter to Hare Reweti (Charles Davis) from Manuhiri with explanatory note on verso from Louis Hetet, 1870.

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

Download alow-resolution PDF or high-resolution PDF

Page 1 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

Private Tauranga

July 26th 1869



My dear Mr McLean

I was glad to get your short note by Col. Harington and congratulate myself that we are working together once more -

I do not think the Government can lay the sin to my door of not keeping it fully informed of all that passes in these districts. I am only afraid lest I should make myself a bore by continually obtruding my opinion whether desired or not. Some how I have assumed the privilege accorded to most old public servants that of stating in some shape or other what I believe to be right. And after all you will allow from your own experience that officers in native Districts have to deal more with facts than with policies as enumerated in the General Assembly, and are expected to shape our ends accordingly - I trust your Government will find, as all previous Governments have found me, thoroughly loyal and prepared to carry out to thebest of my ability all your desires

Page 2 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)


You need not trouble yourself much about that section of the Ngatiwhakane (Arawas) who have been attempting to patch up a peace with the Ngatiraukawa - the negotiations have been entirely broken off at the desire it is said of the latter tribe - I admit is has been the source of much anxiety to me as has arisen I fear from the following cause.

The Arawa as a body have for some time watched with some concern the withdrawal of the Imperial Troops. They have said ''Here is a position we have placed ourselves in - we have stuck to you pakehas in your time of need - we have made ourselves obnoxious to the surrounding tribes - we stink in the nostrils of the King party, and now the Troops are being removed - After all we have done and suffered are you going to abandon us? are we being betrayed?'' This is the substance of their complaint and from all appearances not altogether groundless. The idea has occurred to me that emenating as these peace negotiations have done from the more timid whether they have not been dictated by a feeling of fear and a desire to make as they believe the best bargain for themselves. I do hate to hear people say ''Ah! you will have to fight the Arawas yet'' - It is ungenerous and quite

Page 3 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

uncalled for. If we have to fight them it will be our own fault. They are also accused of being mercenary - and why should they not be? What of our own countrymen, are they moved by any other than mercenary motives, and can we expect the half civilised Maori to abrogate all national sympathy, fight for us from disinterested motives and be above the influence of the ''immortal dollar'' - the idea to me seems quite absurd. Much also has been said about the Arawa and their intractability in the field - I do admit that they are troublesome but I also know that they can be managed - I make bold to say that two campaigns under Col. Whitmore would change them from active friends into passive enemies, a more injudicious man (I speak from my own knowledge) to place over natives could not be found in the Colony. A man who cannot command himself is not a fit person to command others.

To render the services of the Arawa more efficient it strikes me as the best plan to enroll them as regular militia. Four companies or Divisions of 70 men (rank and file) could easily be made up - to be officered by Europeans as they will not work under their own officers (I speak of the Arawa) the officers (European) would

Page 4 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

be quite sufficient. The non-commissioned officers could be made up from themselves - The Ngatipikiao could raise one division - the Ngatirenukukopako and Ngatikereru another. The Ngatiwhakane a third, and the Tuhourangi and Rangitihi a fourth, they should be partially drilled so as to bring them under some kind of control - in this manner a good force of 300 fine active men could be raised for active service leaving a sufficient number at home to look after their kaingas. The way in which natives have been raised has been so hurried that no sort of organization could be attempted.

I have a great idea too of opening up the country by roads, and as a matter of good policy it has appeared to me that these roads should when practicable taken through centres of native population. The sum of £1000 has been authorized to make the road between Maketu and Taupo - that is to say as far as the money will go. I want to keep the Arawa employed - it will keep them out of much mischief.

I have received your official of 22nd Inst. by the ''Wellington'' which called in last night.

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

I am glad to have your authority to act according to the best of my judgment - You may rely upon me, that where an expenditure of money is involved I will be as economical as I well can - Previously to the arrival of your letter Harington had arranged with me to send 50 men of the A.C. under a judicious officer to Whakatane, but I must as you direct go there to see the natives and ascertain what can be done to help them - poor fellows they deserve every consideration. Unfortunately I cannot travel as I used to do once - the malady for which I had to undergo a surgical operation a few months ago prevents my riding much, and my old wound is very troublesome at times - in fact that Ruatahuna expedition pretty well did me up. It was my intention to ask the Government to move me to Auckland to replace Mackay as almost all the travelling in his district is by water - but I suppose it is too late now as I understand Puckey has been appointed.

You have enclosed to me two letters one to

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

Hori Tupaea and the other to the Arawa - the latter I have had copied and will send a copy each to the four principal tribes of the Arawa - this is necessary as they are surprisingly jealous of each other - With regard to old Hori Tupaea I wish you to know that he has not now even the semblance of authority over the Ngaiterangi - he is neglected and despised - Chefly his own fault for without exception he is the most cantankerous and cross-grained old fellow to his own people I ever met. I would therefore suggest that another letter be written to the Ngaiterangi bearing your own signature - the Chiefs to be named ought to be Enoka, Hohepa, Wi Parera, Hamiora Tu and Te Kaka. These men are the representatives of the Ngaiterangi - I will keep the letter you have sent until the letter I have suggested arrives - I am afraid of causing offence to those who I know are our staunch friends. I very much fear Hori Tupaea cannot be classed with them. He is a decided hauhau.

I do not know whether it would be out of place to bring under your notice your native officers in this District. I think you know something of Major Mair - he is a good officer and

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

his judgment may be relied on. Dr. Nesbitt is unfortunately dependent upon an Interpreter to convey the more difficult communications to the Natives, he is much liked by the Arawa on account of his medical skill. Gilbert Mair brother of Major Mair is with me and is Interpreter and translator in my office. He saves me a great deal of anxiety, as he now that I cannot travel much does almost all that for me - he is blest with a strong constitution and his endurance is wonderful. Mr. Gill is clerk but almost all his time is taken up with my Paymasters Accounts and the work of the Rest. Magistrates Court a more hardworking and painstaking man there is not in the Government service.

Col. Harington and myself have always worked well together, and I do not think that you will ever find that we shall clash - If he ever does differ from me in opinion I satisfy myself by placing my ideas before him in writing and there it ends.

I read with considerable interest the debates in the ''House'' as reported in the ''Hansard''. I am quite astonished sometimes at the ignorance

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

of some of the members - and shocked at the deliberate romances perpetrated by others. I felt very much inclined to take notice of some remarks which fell from Mr. Greighton when he states that a boat full of natives was fired into by the military settlers. No such occurrence ever took place in Tauranga - there was one instance where a boat full of Europeans was fired on by the natives. Mr. Greighton only placed ''the cart before the horse''.

I am very sorry to say that we are in a most trying state of suspense - Te Kooti and old Hakaraia ''the wicked old man'' as Col. Greer used to call him are putting their heads together and have avowed their intention of attacking this place. Our Militia muster all told about 130, and we have about 400 women and children - and a great source of anxiety these latter - of weakness too. When shall we have peace!! I am afraid I have tired you.

Believe me, My dear Mr. McLean
Yours faithfully
Hy. T. Clarke

English (ATL)

Private Tauranga

July 26th 1869



My dear Mr McLean

I was glad to get your short note by Col. Harington and congratulate myself that we are working together once more -

I do not think the Government can lay the sin to my door of not keeping it fully informed of all that passes in these districts. I am only afraid lest I should make myself a bore by continually obtruding my opinion whether desired or not. Some how I have assumed the privilege accorded to most old public servants that of stating in some shape or other what I believe to be right. And after all you will allow from your own experience that officers in native Districts have to deal more with facts than with policies as enumerated in the General Assembly, and are expected to shape our ends accordingly - I trust your Government will find, as all previous Governments have found me, thoroughly loyal and prepared to carry out to thebest of my ability all your desires

You need not trouble yourself much about that section of the Ngatiwhakane (Arawas) who have been attempting to patch up a peace with the Ngatiraukawa - the negotiations have been entirely broken off at the desire it is said of the latter tribe - I admit is has been the source of much anxiety to me as has arisen I fear from the following cause.

The Arawa as a body have for some time watched with some concern the withdrawal of the Imperial Troops. They have said ''Here is a position we have placed ourselves in - we have stuck to you pakehas in your time of need - we have made ourselves obnoxious to the surrounding tribes - we stink in the nostrils of the King party, and now the Troops are being removed - After all we have done and suffered are you going to abandon us? are we being betrayed?'' This is the substance of their complaint and from all appearances not altogether groundless. The idea has occurred to me that emenating as these peace negotiations have done from the more timid whether they have not been dictated by a feeling of fear and a desire to make as they believe the best bargain for themselves. I do hate to hear people say ''Ah! you will have to fight the Arawas yet'' - It is ungenerous and quite uncalled for. If we have to fight them it will be our own fault. They are also accused of being mercenary - and why should they not be? What of our own countrymen, are they moved by any other than mercenary motives, and can we expect the half civilised Maori to abrogate all national sympathy, fight for us from disinterested motives and be above the influence of the ''immortal dollar'' - the idea to me seems quite absurd. Much also has been said about the Arawa and their intractability in the field - I do admit that they are troublesome but I also know that they can be managed - I make bold to say that two campaigns under Col. Whitmore would change them from active friends into passive enemies, a more injudicious man (I speak from my own knowledge) to place over natives could not be found in the Colony. A man who cannot command himself is not a fit person to command others.

To render the services of the Arawa more efficient it strikes me as the best plan to enroll them as regular militia. Four companies or Divisions of 70 men (rank and file) could easily be made up - to be officered by Europeans as they will not work under their own officers (I speak of the Arawa) the officers (European) would be quite sufficient. The non-commissioned officers could be made up from themselves - The Ngatipikiao could raise one division - the Ngatirenukukopako and Ngatikereru another. The Ngatiwhakane a third, and the Tuhourangi and Rangitihi a fourth, they should be partially drilled so as to bring them under some kind of control - in this manner a good force of 300 fine active men could be raised for active service leaving a sufficient number at home to look after their kaingas. The way in which natives have been raised has been so hurried that no sort of organization could be attempted.

I have a great idea too of opening up the country by roads, and as a matter of good policy it has appeared to me that these roads should when practicable taken through centres of native population. The sum of £1000 has been authorized to make the road between Maketu and Taupo - that is to say as far as the money will go. I want to keep the Arawa employed - it will keep them out of much mischief.

I have received your official of 22nd Inst. by the ''Wellington'' which called in last night. I am glad to have your authority to act according to the best of my judgment - You may rely upon me, that where an expenditure of money is involved I will be as economical as I well can - Previously to the arrival of your letter Harington had arranged with me to send 50 men of the A.C. under a judicious officer to Whakatane, but I must as you direct go there to see the natives and ascertain what can be done to help them - poor fellows they deserve every consideration. Unfortunately I cannot travel as I used to do once - the malady for which I had to undergo a surgical operation a few months ago prevents my riding much, and my old wound is very troublesome at times - in fact that Ruatahuna expedition pretty well did me up. It was my intention to ask the Government to move me to Auckland to replace Mackay as almost all the travelling in his district is by water - but I suppose it is too late now as I understand Puckey has been appointed.

You have enclosed to me two letters one to Hori Tupaea and the other to the Arawa - the latter I have had copied and will send a copy each to the four principal tribes of the Arawa - this is necessary as they are surprisingly jealous of each other - With regard to old Hori Tupaea I wish you to know that he has not now even the semblance of authority over the Ngaiterangi - he is neglected and despised - Chefly his own fault for without exception he is the most cantankerous and cross-grained old fellow to his own people I ever met. I would therefore suggest that another letter be written to the Ngaiterangi bearing your own signature - the Chiefs to be named ought to be Enoka, Hohepa, Wi Parera, Hamiora Tu and Te Kaka. These men are the representatives of the Ngaiterangi - I will keep the letter you have sent until the letter I have suggested arrives - I am afraid of causing offence to those who I know are our staunch friends. I very much fear Hori Tupaea cannot be classed with them. He is a decided hauhau.

I do not know whether it would be out of place to bring under your notice your native officers in this District. I think you know something of Major Mair - he is a good officer and his judgment may be relied on. Dr. Nesbitt is unfortunately dependent upon an Interpreter to convey the more difficult communications to the Natives, he is much liked by the Arawa on account of his medical skill. Gilbert Mair brother of Major Mair is with me and is Interpreter and translator in my office. He saves me a great deal of anxiety, as he now that I cannot travel much does almost all that for me - he is blest with a strong constitution and his endurance is wonderful. Mr. Gill is clerk but almost all his time is taken up with my Paymasters Accounts and the work of the Rest. Magistrates Court a more hardworking and painstaking man there is not in the Government service.

Col. Harington and myself have always worked well together, and I do not think that you will ever find that we shall clash - If he ever does differ from me in opinion I satisfy myself by placing my ideas before him in writing and there it ends.

I read with considerable interest the debates in the ''House'' as reported in the ''Hansard''. I am quite astonished sometimes at the ignorance of some of the members - and shocked at the deliberate romances perpetrated by others. I felt very much inclined to take notice of some remarks which fell from Mr. Greighton when he states that a boat full of natives was fired into by the military settlers. No such occurrence ever took place in Tauranga - there was one instance where a boat full of Europeans was fired on by the natives. Mr. Greighton only placed ''the cart before the horse''.

I am very sorry to say that we are in a most trying state of suspense - Te Kooti and old Hakaraia ''the wicked old man'' as Col. Greer used to call him are putting their heads together and have avowed their intention of attacking this place. Our Militia muster all told about 130, and we have about 400 women and children - and a great source of anxiety these latter - of weakness too. When shall we have peace!! I am afraid I have tired you.

Believe me, My dear Mr. McLean
Yours faithfully
Hy. T. Clarke

Part of:
Inward letters - Henry Tacy Clarke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0217 (61 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)

Usage: You can search, browse, print and download items from this website for research and personal study. You are welcome to reproduce the above image(s) on your blog or another website, but please maintain the integrity of the image (i.e. don't crop, recolour or overprint it), reproduce the image's caption information and link back to here (http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=1004011). If you would like to use the above image(s) in a different way (e.g. in a print publication), or use the transcription or translation, permission must be obtained. More information about copyright and usage can be found on the Copyright and Usage page of the NLNZ web site.

External Links:
View Full Descriptive Record in TAPUHI

Leave a comment

This function is coming soon.

Latest comments