Object #1007737 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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November 28th. 1868 9 p.m.
Mr. Hamlin has decided on returning to Napier, and I take this opportunity of sending a few lines by him. On the receipt of your Despatch, I was so pushed to find a messenger, that had not Mr. George Burton very kindly volunteered, I might not have been able to have forwarded it, I have requested Mr. Hamlin to ask the Mohaka natives to send a few men here. I must state distinctly that I consider there has been a total neglect of providing many things, and making many arrangements of vital importance to the successful prosecution of the Wairoa Expedition; that it has been impossible to take any steps to satisfy these deficiences, owing to the extreme impractibility of the Officer Commanding. Supplies could, I judge, be more easily forwarded from Turanga than from Wairoa to the present front; but, as from the reason just stated, the Wairoa Contingent was delayed two days more than necessary; and the chance of cutting off the enemy, materially lessened thereby. I consider that it is a great oversight not to be prepared to supply the Force from the Wairoa also, - inasmuch as should they (the enemy) be driven back, and make good their retreat to Puketapu, it will be necessary regularly to besiege their pa. A native here, who knows Puketapu, tells me that the supply of water there falls in summer altogether; an argument in favour of the opposition that they may have selected another spot for making their final stand. In any case, the operations promise to last much beyond the time allotted, - 10 days from the start. Uncertain as we are as to the existence or not of migratory bands, it would be folly to risk sending ammunition or stores without proper escort. I have made every enquiry as to the present position occupied by the enemy; and I conclude that both statements forwarded by you are mainly correct. The uangaroa, - its source, rather - being close to the head of the Wharekopae stream, which trends to the South and West. Mr. Burton will place his valuable knowledge of localities at the service of the Expedition. If properly and systematically followed up, there is no doubt that we shall make an end of Te Kooti soon.
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I beg to suggest that it will involve far less expense to keep the present force up to its work, and properly and continuously supplied, than to allow it to return with its work half accomplished, and leaving the necessity for its re-organisation immediately afterwards.
The total want of any regular means of communication with the Front is a very fatal and stupid blunder; for the existence of which there is no excuse; the expense that would be entailed being nothing in comparison to its utility. Mr. Hamlin was indefatigable in his exertions to get the Force started, and succeeded beyond any hopes; the opposing influence threatening to destroy all his efforts. It is almost impossible to state succinctly every suggestion one would wish to make on these subjects; but it is clearly necessary that some independent power is needed to enable me to keep the Native Department in satisfactory working order. I have no doubt that Mr. Hamlin will give you abundant information on the subjects to which I have alluded.
So far as the Military business goes here, it appears very satisfactory and correct. I have no desire to have anything to do with it in any shape whatever. I speak purely of native matters.
I beg pardon for writing so much more than I at first intended. I trust, however, that you will not think my remarks wholly irrelevant.
I beg to remain, dear Sir, Your obedient servant (Signed)
To:- His Honor D. McLean Esq.
November 30th. 1868.
Hamlin altered his mind at the eleventh hour, and started to Mohaka at 5 p.m. this day. Some 60 Mohaka natives arrived. They report that they have been to Putere; that old Taumata Toha's relative has returned, saying that the section of Uriwera under Paerau will remain quiet unless molested; that the Urewera with Te Kooti are from Maunga Powhatu, and don't exceed 70 men.
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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