Object #1004454 from MS-Papers-0032-0019

7 pages

From: Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0019 (56 digitised items). No Item Description

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

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English (ATL)

Oct. 9 1866


I regret to have to report to you that since my return from Wellington, the position assumed by the body of armed Hau Haus who have been for some time encamped a few miles from Napier has become such as to require serious preparations to be made for the security of life and property in the Province. When in Wellington about the 1st. 2nd. of Oct. Iacquainted you that there was then an armed body of men numbering about 100 at a place called petane distant 8 miles from Napier Town and that a larger body of Natives were encamped at the Pohui a wooded position 16 miles in the rear of Petane. These people were all Hau Haus and as I informed you they were reported by Colonel Whitmore and other settlers to be committing depredations on the property of these persons in whose neighbourhood they had taken up their quarters. On my return to this place I found the position of affairs very much as I had reported them to the Govt. The resident Natives at once came to me and confessed their conviction that the Hau Haus had come to right and that in their opinion they were supported by the disaffected people in the Taupo Country and Waikato. From them and from the friendly Natives on the East Coast I recd. information of projected movements by the Hau Haus which went to establish the fact that a plan was organised under which a general movement of the disafected Natives was to take place shortly and that this place, if feasible was to be the point of attack, but if not then an attempt was to be made to attack Wairoa and Poverty Bay. This place however was to be preferred as it offered larger. inducements in the shape of plunder and food than in the case of the other places proposed to be attacked. On Thursday last the Oct. the party of Hau Haus who had been at Petane moved from that place and marched to a Pah called OmarvNui which is situated in the Meanee river and is in the centre of the settled agricultural district adjoining Napier town and known as the Meanee. On the approach of the Hau Hau, the native owners and residents of Omara Nui vacated their Pah and took refuge in the Pah Wakairo, the head quarters of our Resident Natives and which is situated about a mile from Omara Nui. The Hau Haus at first numbered about one hundred armed men and they have since been re-enforced by another party of forty. But they have considerable re-enforcements at the Pohui and Titiokura, the exact number of which I am unable to obtain a reliable account of, but which probably number another 150 men. In addition to these forces, the general opinion of the resident natives, and my own impression agrees with theirs, is that so soon as the struggle commences, they will be largely re-enforced by Ngatimaniapoto and Ureweras. The Hau Haus on the Meanee are headed by Kingita, Paora Toki and Panapa, three natives of known bad character and the reserve at Titiokura by Rangi hiroa and Anaru Matete both of whom are known as among the most disaffected Natives in the Country. I enclose copies of different letters which I have written to these Natives, and the replies they have sent to the same, also copies of letter which have been addressed to me by the Resident Natives on the subject. From these letters you will gather that I have urged them to explain their motives in coming into the District and desired them to return to their own homes, and that their replies are anything but satisfactory. Mr. Hamlin the Govt. interpreter who was the bearer of my last letter to them describes them to be in a sulky and badly disposed state and he states that they told him their future conduct whether for good or evil would depend upon the directions their Hau Hau god might give them. In the meantime they are living upon the food of our friendly Natives which they obtained in the Omara Nui Pah, are taking up their seed potatos and eating them and are killing the cattle of the setters in their neighbourhood and eating them. Under these circumstances I have deemed it right to make the best preparation in my power for the safety and security the District and have taken the following measures for that purpose. It must be remembered that a large and straggling population exists outside the locality in which the Hau Haus are now encamped and that any movement on our part without due precautions being taken for the safety or removal of these settlers would bring about most disastrous results. The steps which I have taken and which I now beg to report on are as follows. I have called out the Militia and Volunteers and am causing them to meet daily in order that if required they may be at once available.

Major Miller of the 12th. Regt. has kindly offered under the circumstances to march to Napier 30 out of the 45 men who occupy the Stockade at Waipawa-Mate the object in bringing these men down is to secure an efficient guard for the Magazines and Barracks, Town of Napier, the Magazines having been especially named by the Hau Haus as one of the chief objects of their expedition.

I have ordered Major Frazer in to Napier with the Military Settlers under his command now stationed at the Wairoa, his force will probably number about 45 men.

I have called upon the Chief Ihaaka Whaunga of Table Cape and Kopu of the Wairoa to come down with such forces as they can muster and I have arranged with a steamer accidentally here to proceed this afternoon to the Wairoa and Table Cape to convey these forces to Napier - they will probably arrive tomorrow. In addition to these forces there are the resident Natives who are eager and willing to carry out any instructions that may be given them and who number probably about 200 men altho' few of them have ever seen any service and are badly armed while the enemy is reported to have arms of the best description. It will be seen that by tomorrow night, if these measures are successful, a force will be collected with which I trust to be able to deal conclusively with the intruding Hau Haus which I trust may be done without bloodshed, for able as I shall then be to surround them with an infinitely superior force, I trust to obtain their submission and by that means to absolutely crush out the danger which at present menaces the District.

The expense involved in these preparations will be small and I trust will be considered slight as compared with the results which will be obtained is an attempt such as the present is decisively met and at once successfully settled.

Trusting that the measures I have had to report will meet the approval of the Govr. and regretting the necessity which has in my opinion rendered the necessary.

Part of:
Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0019 (56 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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