May 3rd. 1872.
Referring to the murder of the late Mr. Richard Todd, at Mt. Pirongia, I have the honor to report that on March 1st. 1871, I laid a sworn information at Alexandra (before Mr. Searancke, R.M. of the district in which the above crime was committed), charging the following aboriginal natives with the murder in question, viz.,- Pato, Ngaru, Hori, Rangatira or Taua, and Tipene Nukuhenua.
I also laid a second information against the said five men, charging them with having at the same time and place, shot and wounded the half-caste, Napera, with intent to kill and murder.
Upon these two sworn informations, I applied for and obtained two warrants which are now filed with other warrants in my office; so that as soon as the circumstances of the Colony permit of the alleged murderers being arrested, or the King natives are induced to give them up to justice, I shall be in a position to at once produce the necessary legal documents to justify their apprehension; and from the evidence that I should be able to subsequently bring forward, I entertain very
little doubt that I should be able to secure their conviction upon one, if not both charges.
The Chief of the hapu to which all, or most, of these men belong, is, as you are aware, Sir, Whitiora, (also called, I am informed, Wiremu Kumeti,) of Hauturu; but although probably thoroughly cognisant of what was about to take place, it has not been ascertained that he was actually present at the murder.
Pato, (who is described to me as having a lame leg, and a distorted or drawn-up face), is alleged to be the Maori who first shot Mr. Todd; but the last on the list (Tipene) is believed to have arranged all the details, and to have been the instigator and prime mover in the whole affair. He is said to be the better known as Tipene Karukowhatu, and was formerly a native teacher in connection with the Taupari Mission Station.
The following is a list of the principal witnesses who would be required by the Crown, in the event of a prosecution in these cases; the three first of whom are now living at Aotea, near Kawhia, viz.,-
Ngapera (half-caste), now living with the Ngatitainga.
Rutu, widow of Te Tarete, late native Assessor at Aotea.
Himiona, son of Watene Te Taku.
Wm. Peacock, a young man employed on the late Mr.
Todd's survey party.
Constable Wm. Bond, A.C. stationed at Alexandra, he being the first member of the Constabulary who saw the body after the murder.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient servant,
J. Bell Thomson.
The Hon. D. McLean,
Minister for Defence.
and Native Affairs.