Object #1007213 from MS-Papers-0032-0024
From: Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Correspondence, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0024 (106 digitised items). No Item Description
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December 2nd. 1868.
I have the honor to report that the ''Ahuriri'' (supposed to be) appeared off the mouth of the river at half past four this morning. I procured a boat's crew and endeavoured to board her, but unsuccessfully; partly to the bad service of the boat, and partly owing to the heavy sea running. She must have had news for this place, as our first messenger, Rewi, returned about 2 p.m. via the Coast, bringing pencil notes from Mr. Burton, and from Mr. Preece; also the enclosed from Mr. Hamlin, and several notes for natives here. The purport of them all is to the same effect, advising us of the hitherto unsuccessful nature of the operations against the enemy; the loss, by us, of a valuable supply of ammunition; and the failure of our Wairoa Contingent to get in rear of the enemy's position. Mr. Preece reports also that Pera Tipoki, son of Tuatini, lurks in our neighbourhood. This corresponds with the reports of my scouts (natives).
The Mohaka natives, in number 62 men and ten women, are in receipt of pay from Nov. 4th,. the ten women drawing full rations with the men.
The Nuhaka people applied for assistance, in food, to-day, as per letter this day received. Major Lambert directed me to serve them with 500 lbs. of flour, and 2 bags of sugar.
The number of Mohaka people brought here, exceeds my wish by one half; and moreover, weakens Mohaka itself far more than
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is at all compatible with safety, at this juncture. The permission of the Government to place 50 men, according to letter dated Nov. 30th., from your Honor to self, on pay for Garrison duties, is exceeded very considerably, and in a way which by no means meets my approval. When I applied for a retention of a portion of the Mohaka people, Major Lambert refused. They are now all retained, whilst a number of men who have done their work faithfully for the past fortnight, are not in receipt of any pay at all. I am extremely desirous of not creating any jealousies amongst the several tribes; and I believed that the unemployment of the women I suggested, duly selected, would have decidedly beneficial effects; that they would be a much more easily dealt with force; one which would supply useful information of the feelings of the several tribes; and one which might be depended on, if required, to act at any moment against any particular division of the Wairoa natives, and one over which the Government
would have more especially complete control and influence from the very fact if its members not all belonging to the same people.
Tamihana, Tona, and others, have applied for mounted men to be kept running between Te Wairoa and Turanga, as a means of communication with the North.
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Major Lambert has refused this to you; which is, in effect, a recognition of the principal laid down by myself, in my former letter on the subject. The 50 men referred to by me, ought to do this service, as well as the Garrison and other duties.
I do not consider the disposition evinced by many of the natives here, by any means satisfactory. They very evidently regard themselves as masters of the situation.
The natives who are employed and regularly drilled, in conjunction with the Colonial Forces, make excellent soldiers; and I am certain that nothing is wanted but proper management, to increase the number almost indefinitely.
Two native lads will be leaving here with letters for Turanga to-morrow.
I will again call attention to the fact that if Puketapu is to be assailed, it must be from here. Admitting the Turanga news to be true as to the position of Te Kooti, - Puketapu might be taken by a prompt movement of a small force from this. Fraser's men, and 100 natives, would effect it; and could then fall on the rear of the enemy, to some purpose. No native force alone will venture up the Gorge of the Ruakituri.
Requesting your Honor's attention to be drawn to the subjects I have adverted to,
I beg to remain, Sir, Your most obedient servant, (Signed)
To:- His Honor D. McLean Esq.
Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Correspondence, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0024 (106 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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