Object #1004080 from MS-Papers-0032-0315

8 pages written 12 Oct 1857 by Henry Halse to Sir Donald McLean in Auckland Region

From: Inward letters - Henry Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0315 (45 digitised items). 45 letters written from New Plymouth. Includes copy of a letter from Te Waka, 1857

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

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English (ATL)

Monday 12th. October 57.


My dear Sir,

The meeting alluded to in my last duly took place, but, the unlooked for circumstances of the Natives coming armed, promised at one period to be rather stormy through the opposition of Mahau to the line crossing the river Waiongana. We had enough to do to pacify these easily excited people and but for the opportune aid of heavy rains which dispersed them for about an hour it is hard to say what would have been the result. However as many of them as could cram in assembled at Mr. Parrvis' temporary office. When they were decisively told that unless the line was allowed to cross Waiongana and on to the Wakangeregere, the negotiation would not be proceeded with, the very men (Mahoetahi) who had so strenuously objected, gave in their consent one after another and the line was almost unanimously agreed upon further inland than Wakangerengere, to a place called Waipuku, and the meeting broke up at about 10 p.m.

On the following morning it was resumed at the Kawau pa, owing to the absence of some Natives the previous night. An outline of the boundaries having been marked in the ground and explained by Mr. Purvis, business at once commenced and proceeded satisfactorily until Warihi, of Pukatapu, brother to Tamati Waka, rashly ran forward and struck the inland boundary At Whakangerengere with his tomahawk in the presence of some connections of the Ngatiruanui tribe, who regarded that foolish act as a tohu mate and in an instant the pa was in a ferment. Quiet however was after some little time restored and business proceeded, resulting in the boundary as named by Katatori being walked over by a considerable majority of the claimants. This meeting terminated at 5 p.m. and was much more satisfactory than we had expected. The extension however of the boundary to Waipuku was prudently declined by Mr. Purvis when he ascertained that it more properly belonged to Ngatiruanui. A working party of 10, selected by the Natives themselves, was agreed upon to cut the line as far as Waiongana, and weather permitting to commence work this day. It is now 6 o'clock and I am expecting to see Purvis every minute but as the barometers are falling it is doubtful whether he will start.

Te Ngahuru came into Town last Saty, and told me that the Ngatiruanui Natives at Wareu, to witness the Kai ngarura ceremony, are furious against Katatori for turning to the English, and have threatened to proceed to the Wakangerengere so soon as the ceremony is over, and oppose the working party. Opposition from them had previously been provided against, and no intention at present exists to go up the Wakangerengere, but simply to stick it on the map which will answer the purpose quite as well and avoid all possibility of a collision.

Katatori continues firm and declares that the whole country shall be sold so soon as the present block is finally settled with. The head is broken and the body must follow said Kohete, of Mahoetahi, perhaps the greatest claimant about Wakangerengere, and Wi puku nui was present to hear the declaration "Kua inate a Wiremu Kingi" say the best informed of our Natives.

I underwent a smart dressing from Katatori the last time I went to his pa for having offered Ihaia £200. He insisted that it was utu for Ikamoana and would produce trouble amongst them, for which I should be held responsible. He added that Purvis would not give Ihaia a single copper and that was one reason why he was so pleased with him. I told Katatori that it was true about the offer of £200 to Ihaia, not as payment for the Ikamoana, but simply a koanga kautanga on the part of some of the principal settlers, if he would destroy the pa and go to Waitara. Katatori however would not admit that we would give money for nothing, so I quoted the present of plate to Capt. King, shewing that it was an English custom and added who knows but that the like will be some day done for yourself. This saved me. The fellow laughed, and I came away promising to visit him again as soon as possible.

On Tuesday evening last I was requested by Mr. St. George to see the Native prisoner Pene with him, who was groaning in his cell and to an inexperienced person, very bad. No sickness, however, could be discovered, neither could I induce the lad to speak. His companion Wetiriki stated he had placed Pene's hair comb against his bread, not knowing that he was a sacred lad, and that the bread was afterwards eaten by Pene, and had caused the mate kikokiko to overtake him. The next morning (Wednesday) Dr. Wilson, visited Pene, and likewise failed to discover any sickness whatever, but as he would not speak, eat or drink at least in our presence, it was considered advisable to send him to the hospital. Poihipi, of Waiiti, on behalf of Rauiri, of Mokau, objected to Pene being taken there and demanded his immediate release, stating that if he died with him, no notice would be taken of it. This was of course refused and Pene was taken in a cart to the Hospital.

On Friday a consultation took place amongst some of the Magistrates when it was decided that Pene should remain in Hospital until the Colonial Surgeon reported him sufficiently well to be brought back to prison. I went to Katere and communicated this decision to the Mokau natives, when Wetere, son of Te kerei, and Rauiri took the matter up in native fashion, particularly the latter, who held out a threat that the iwi would come up and take both prisoners by force in spite of stone walls or barracks. But as I have told Mr. Schnackenberg, giving particulars of this nuku of Pene's, in my opinion the Chief will be very pouri with Rauiri if made acquainted with his threat.

On Sat. morning Dr. Wilson said that as Pene refused all sustenance from him, it was useless to keep him longer in Hospital, and that he intended to recommend his removal, at the same time stating that as all the functions were regular, there could be little doubt that the whole affair was simply put up to obtain his freedom. And as the woman in charge of Pene was placed on full rations, it is not doubted that Pene was secretly supplied with a portion. This however matters little as Pene was allowed, on Dr. Wilson's recommendation, to leave the Hospital on Saturday evening on Paki's promise to be security for his return to prison when well. I omitted to say that the Mokau natives (6 or 7) arrived here last Monday but I was unable to attend to them until Wednesday.

Purvis has just been here and is now off to the Hinia, if the weather is no worse on his arrival there and the natives are willing to begin cutting the line, the work will be proceeded with as far as the Mangaraka this day. I have placed Kariru under Purvis' orders, thinking he was the best of the two for this particular duty.

I must apologise for omitting to write officially about Ikamoana and can only account for it through having inbibed to a certain extent the feelings of our natives in in reference to it --- a disinclination to handle a hot cinder. The best course to pursue is that now being adopted by yourself, and we endeavour to give effect to that policy. Leave the land alone and all will be right, touch it by enquiry and clear as the water may be, It istantly clouds and becomes as muddy as the district of swamps.

I remain, My dear Sir,
Faithfully yours,
H. Halse.
To:- McLean Esq.
Auckland

Part of:
Inward letters - Henry Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0315 (45 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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