Object #1007877 from MS-Papers-0032-0012

4 pages written 30 Apr 1860 by Sir Donald McLean in Raglan

From: Secretary, Native Department - War in Taranaki and Waikato and King Movement, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0012 (33 digitised items). Includes papers on Maori intelligence gathering for the Crown and a letter in between Maori discussing preparation for conflict

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

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English (ATL)

Raglan

30 April 1860.



Sir,

I have held a meeting with Wm. Nero and his followers on the 27th. inst. The meeting was attended by representatives of Nero's principal adherents from Waipa Pirongia Aotea Whaingaroa and the coast line towards the Waikato heads, about 200 in number,

Wm, Nero made an excellent speech exhorting his people to live under the great fountain of good that never failed viz. religion which was from above and to descended to earth to adhere to the Queens govt. and to the Governor as her representative, not to be led away by any of the evils that surrounded them, that Potatau was good in his own intention but was made a tool of for other people's designs.

With regard to the Europeans he had asked them here, and whatever others should he and his people

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English (ATL)

would take care of them.

About 30 Natives spoke at the meeting which occupied the greater part of the day the sentiments expressed were so similar to Neros that I need not here advert to them as I a sending a detailed account for insertion in the Maori Messenger.

Before the meeting closed I spoke at some length to the Natives informing that the Europeans were his great property that the Governor openely agreed under the shining sun to let them occupy the land he conveyed to the Queen, it was therefore his duty to befriend them, some had turned their backs on the Europeans, the Governor would not be alarmed if they should all do so, as it was certain they would soon discover their mistake and come back to the fountain from which they derived their most durable prosperity. I glanced at the former lawless state of the Island, at the folly of a few small tribes contending with the inhabitants of a great nation using some figurative expression such as the drying up of the smaller streams of the country by the summers aun and the absorption of others by the great ocean that never dried up or ceased

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English (ATL)

its rolling, that mist was now hanging over Taranaki mountain sufficient to damp good and bad who went near it, that the Governor was quite able to manage his own quarrels there and neither required or solicited interference by friends of foes in that quarter, that the assembled tribes should sit still in peace and look after themselves the Europeans and their own district.

I should add that a half brother of Neros from Waipa made an excellent speech advising the people tollive under the Queens Govt. this man has hoisted the Queens flag at Waipa and defied any of the adverse party to touch it or cut it down at which they have been very much incensed.

Urgent and repeated solicitations have been made to Nero and his people by all but Potatau himself to abandon the Queens govt. and join the King party. Potatau has on the contrary urged him not to abandon the Queen or the Governor.

It seems that Potatau although so well supported feels rather uncomfortable in his present

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English (ATL)

dubious position and it is not improbable he may soon desire to relinquish it.

Whatever course the old chief may deem is the most wise to pursue there is no concealing the fact that his Kingship forms a basis for disaffection whihc he is unable to restrain, religion is being superseded by superstitious usuages, the Europeans regarded as foreign intruders, and omens of evil predicted by old tohungas or priests one of whom has lately assured the people that he had seen in a dream the sea dried up, the interpretation of which was that the Europeans would be expelled from the Island.

English (ATL)

Raglan

30 April 1860.



Sir,

I have held a meeting with Wm. Nero and his followers on the 27th. inst. The meeting was attended by representatives of Nero's principal adherents from Waipa Pirongia Aotea Whaingaroa and the coast line towards the Waikato heads, about 200 in number,

Wm, Nero made an excellent speech exhorting his people to live under the great fountain of good that never failed viz. religion which was from above and to descended to earth to adhere to the Queens govt. and to the Governor as her representative, not to be led away by any of the evils that surrounded them, that Potatau was good in his own intention but was made a tool of for other people's designs.

With regard to the Europeans he had asked them here, and whatever others should he and his people would take care of them.

About 30 Natives spoke at the meeting which occupied the greater part of the day the sentiments expressed were so similar to Neros that I need not here advert to them as I a sending a detailed account for insertion in the Maori Messenger.

Before the meeting closed I spoke at some length to the Natives informing that the Europeans were his great property that the Governor openely agreed under the shining sun to let them occupy the land he conveyed to the Queen, it was therefore his duty to befriend them, some had turned their backs on the Europeans, the Governor would not be alarmed if they should all do so, as it was certain they would soon discover their mistake and come back to the fountain from which they derived their most durable prosperity. I glanced at the former lawless state of the Island, at the folly of a few small tribes contending with the inhabitants of a great nation using some figurative expression such as the drying up of the smaller streams of the country by the summers aun and the absorption of others by the great ocean that never dried up or ceased its rolling, that mist was now hanging over Taranaki mountain sufficient to damp good and bad who went near it, that the Governor was quite able to manage his own quarrels there and neither required or solicited interference by friends of foes in that quarter, that the assembled tribes should sit still in peace and look after themselves the Europeans and their own district.

I should add that a half brother of Neros from Waipa made an excellent speech advising the people tollive under the Queens Govt. this man has hoisted the Queens flag at Waipa and defied any of the adverse party to touch it or cut it down at which they have been very much incensed.

Urgent and repeated solicitations have been made to Nero and his people by all but Potatau himself to abandon the Queens govt. and join the King party. Potatau has on the contrary urged him not to abandon the Queen or the Governor.

It seems that Potatau although so well supported feels rather uncomfortable in his present dubious position and it is not improbable he may soon desire to relinquish it.

Whatever course the old chief may deem is the most wise to pursue there is no concealing the fact that his Kingship forms a basis for disaffection whihc he is unable to restrain, religion is being superseded by superstitious usuages, the Europeans regarded as foreign intruders, and omens of evil predicted by old tohungas or priests one of whom has lately assured the people that he had seen in a dream the sea dried up, the interpretation of which was that the Europeans would be expelled from the Island.

Part of:
Secretary, Native Department - War in Taranaki and Waikato and King Movement, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0012 (33 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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