August 1st. 1851.
In reply to your letter of the 14th. ultimo, calling for a report on the conduct of the Waitara natives on the occasion of the schooner "Diana" proceeding here for repairs, and requiring my impression, of the effect on the natives of Captain Stoke's visit to investigate the charges brought against him by the master of the "Diana", I beg to state that the schooner having sustained injuries in crossing Mokau bar, left New Plymouth on the 4th. of February for Waitara, where she missed the entrance and eventually grounded on the south bank of the river. She was afterwards got off by a boat's crew from town, and run on shore higher up the river, when her anchor was carried out to the adjoining bank. The natives soon interfered by taking up the anchor and placing it on board. They expected the schooner would drift into the river and let go her anchor there, but she had already settled down in the wind in shallow water, where she remained motionless from injuries suffered at Mokau, and on entering Waitara. An arrangement was afterwards made, by which, on payment of 400 sticks of negrohead, the master was allowed to repair his vessel.
The occasional presence of a vessel of war has, I think, a beneficial effect on the natives of the district, although the visit of Captain Stokes in the "Acheron" has not apparently altered the views of Wiremu Kingi, and the natives generally of Waitara. They will allow free entry to vessels anchoring in the river, but maintain a right to exact payment whenever they are run aground there for repairs.
I have the honour to be
Your most obedient servant
D. McLean Esq. J.P.
Inspector of Police.
Papers relating to provincial affairs - Taranaki. Inspector of Police, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0126 (39 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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