Object #1006353 from MS-Papers-0032-0230
From: Inward letters - Surnames, Cor, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0230 (10 digitised items). Correspondents include:J G Corbett, Napier, Auckland & Wellington, undated (3 letters); A D Corfield, Hawke's Bay & Auckland, 1864-1871 (6 letters)
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My dear Sir,
I returned from the Runanga district last night; whither I had been to ascertain the truth of certain rumours in circulation in Napier.
I found Paul Hapi evidently uneasy at the aspect of affairs, but professing loyalty, and great hatred of the Hau Haus. He related to me all the events affecting the Taupo district, since February last; and latterly the reperts that had reached him through Wirihana, of the intentions of the Uriwera,
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who have declared their intention of going into the Taupo country. I remained at Runanga one day, the 16th. in order to be present at a Meeting of Wirihana and Paul Hapi, to discuss the advisability of Wirihana's going to the Uriweras, to prevent their going to Taupo. Wirihana did not come to Runanga, which Paul said augured bedly for the peace of the district; as it was known a letter had passed up the previous day from the Uriweras to Wirihana.
Paul is very anxious to return the Government arms he has at present, and to have rifles served out instead. He expressed contempt for the Hau Haus; and said if they came in numbers would all help him. He also told me the only men he could rely on were his oww, 41 in number. Poihipi, Hohepa Tawamutu, Ihakara, Rewiti te Kume, and their men, - those who had taken the Oath of Allegiance since the last fighting, were not te be depended on; and if the Hau Haus met with any suecess, a great number of waverers would join thm.
Wirihana has seen heard to say recently that if the Pakehas attempted to make
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a road to the Bay of Plenty, they must all rise to oppose it, and fight it out en the plain.
I also heard from Fred Sullivan, (half caste), various sayinga of the naties, all having the same tendeney, and pointing to an attack on the settlers and their stock at Taupo.
Now Sir, assuming the intentions of the Hau Haus to rise and attack Taupo, to be true, - could it not be turned greatly to our advantage?
The Taupo country is the Key of the Island. From it the Uriwera can be taken in rear, and it
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commands Waikato. A comparatively small sum would open a dray track from the Bay of Plenty; and instead of working inwards from the coast. through almost impenetrable forest, we should have the advantage of an open country, and taking the enemy in rear. By making it the battlefield,
comparatively little harm would be done to settlers, compared with harving to defend the more settled districts, it would be cheaper, besides striking at the core.
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To take up the position I have briefly mentioned, no half measures would ensure success, no paltry penuriousness. To send a small white force would only provoke. About 500 Europeans, with the Arawas, should, if properly officered, and led, make the Northern Island ours before the Summer is over.
The mail is about closing. Believe me to-remain
sincereoly yours (Signed)
J. G. Corbett.
Inward letters - Surnames, Cor, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0230 (10 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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