Object #1008036 from MS-Papers-0032-0033
6 pages written 11 Mar 1871 by Sir Donald McLean
From: Native Minister - Meetings with Waikato chiefs and final pacification of the King Country, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0033 (49 digitised items). No Item Description
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March 11th. 1871.
For the Honourable the Premier, and Ministers at Wellington.
Subsequent to the date of my Confidential Memo, of the 4th. inst., I have had an interview with the Ngatinianiapoto Chief, Rewi.
A section of the Ngatinianiapoto Chiefs, with whom I had been in regular communication since my visitt to the Waikato in November 1869, came to Alexandra on hearing of my arrival there; and expressed a desire that I should go on to Te Kangamutu, and hold a conference with Tawhiao, Manuhiri, and Rewi. I declined to do so, as the murders and other wrongs committed since my last interview would not justify me in visiting them until the perpetrators were given up.
As far as Rewi himself was concerned, he had kept faith with me, and had urged the Waikatos to give up the murderers. I therefore agreed to see him, if he would meet me without much delay. No time was lost; as, on the receipt of the message, Rewi mounted his horse at once, and rode down with only one attendant.
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He arrived at Kopua, about 6 miles from Alexandra, on the 4th. On Monday, the 6th. I had a long interview with him. By this time he had been followed by the greater number of the influential Chiefs of his tribe. It is unnecessary to enter upon the details of the several discussions which took place. A general outline will answer present requirements.
I found Rewi reasonable and frank in his demeanour. He expressed his anxiety to be at peace with the Europeans; but did not feel himself quite justified in breaking with the King Party altogether. There was no doubt, however, of his sincerity, when he deprecated the action of that part of the Waikatos who still adhered to the King.
I was in hopes that I would have entered with Rewi into some arrangements for the future, as far as concerned the Ngatinianiapoto; and I endeavoured to bring him to an understanding on the subject.
He evidently was desirous of coming to terms; but he shrank from too hastily committing himself, until he could obtain the entire concurrence of his own
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tribe, as well as of Tawhiao.
There is no doubt that he feels that the different tribes are gradually seceding from the national movement, in which he has taken such a prominent part; and that he is aware that any further resistance will jeopardize his position.
The fact of his having come to meet me is looked upon by the Waikatos, as an irreparable blow; insomuch as he has undoubtedly the largest following, some 600 men, of any Chief professedly owing allegiance to the King.
Besides the good effect which this meeting has had on the natives, it has also reassured the Waikato settlers; and I anticipate that with judicious management and care, the alliance of Rewi can be effectually secured; and that thus a powerful supporter would be detached from the King party, and the powers of the latter for mischief, much diminished.
During my interview, I could gather that Rewi was fully conscious that the Government was gaining a very considerable ascendant over the different tribes in the Island; and that prolonged isolation on his part, not to say
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enmity, was not calculated to add to his own popularity, or advancement.
Whatever may be the motives which actuated him, it is clearly the duty of the Government to use every effort to secure his co-operation. The ice is now broken; and if proper caution be observed, I do not think it will be a difficult matter to gain him over to our side.
I would be disposed to treat him liberally; and to confer upon him some authority, within his own district, whenever he openly declares his withdrawal from the Waikatos, and the section of natives antagonistic to Europeans.
The firm resistance on the part of Poihipi to any interference from Rewi, in obstruction to road and telegraph works in Taupo, the withdrawal of a large secttion of the Ngatiraukawa from HauHauism, and the King Party, and the surrender of the Urewera, are all unmistakeable signs to Rewi of the hopelessness of his adherence to a faction of which he is still looked upon as a nominal head.
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Matene te Whiwhi afforded me great assistance in my interview with Rewi. On my departure from Kopua, I left Matene behind for a night; and he and Rewi took this opportunity of discussing matters. Rewi expressed himself most anxious for peace, and strongly condemned the actions of Tapihana, who was reported in the Pirongia ranges, on the look-out for Europeans. It seems Tawhiao has sent the latter orders to desist from his intentions. Whether this order will be obeyed remains to be seen.
Before visiting the Waikato, I took the precaution of coming to an arrangement with the formerly restleas, and secretly surrendered Urewera, in the Bay of Plenty; deeming it necessary that this tribe, so notorious for its hostility to Europeans, should be settled, and placed under the surveillance of reliable Chiefs.
Previously to this, Mr. Ormond, the General Government Agent at Napier, had coae to an understanding with two of their principal Chiefs; who, in consequence, were with their followers, placed under the charge of Tareha,
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the late Member for the Eastern Maori Electoral District. Mr. Ormond's indefatlgable zeal in this matter, has achieved results of the greatest importance to the interests of the Colony.
During my visit to the Bay of Plenty, I had the opportunity of visiting, and conferring with the different tribes who occupy it; of removing certain causes of quarrels among them, arising out of land disputes; and of rectifying a few grievances, which had been cropping up.
I next made it my business to visit the Ngapuhi tribe; who expressed themselves much gratified at my arrival among them; and who, through their Chiefs, condemned the action of that section of the Waikatos, who refuse to surrender the murderers of Mr. Todd.
. March 11th. 1871
Native Minister - Meetings with Waikato chiefs and final pacification of the King Country, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0033 (49 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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