Object #1008055 from MS-Papers-0032-0123

8 pages written 12 Oct 1846 by Sir Donald McLean in New Plymouth District

From: Papers relating to provincial affairs - Taranaki. Inspector of police, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0123 (71 digitised items). No Item Description

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

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English (ATL)

Copy. Taranaki New Plymouth,

October 12, 1846.



Dear Sir,

I received your letter you so kindly took the trouble of writing from your encampment near Porirua by ''Te Waka'' who with Ngatata and several natives arrived here from Wellington by the Govt. Brig on Friday last. In such an isolated part of the Island it is at all times interesting to receive letters especially when giving authentic details of proceedings in

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English (ATL)

time of war when such active measures are pursued against the insurgent tribes by our country people and allies. The capture of the old Rauparaha with other determined measures adopted at the south has not been lost on the natives here, who are now beginning to premise that indiscreet conduct will not be tolerated and that their most prudent course will be to observe a milder demeanour to their forbearing friends the pakehas by whom alone the people of this district have been advanced

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English (ATL)

to a state of freedom and independence that they otherways never would have attained.

The most troublesome tribe in our vicinity are the ''Puketapus'' who I believe are notorious for their wrecklessness wherever they are met with those of Ngamotu all of whom I presume you know fully better than I do, are much more tractable and friendly from them the small spot of land we at present occupy was purchased and there has been little or no trouble with the numerous claimants to it since

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the time of its transfer it may be said that it would not be worth while disputing such a small kail garden but such has been frequently the case on much smaller pieces where there have been numerous conflicting claims. I observe that the rights of property amongst the Ngatiawas is very different from the northern tribes of the Island. The divisions among the former are so full of minuteness and detail that to effect extensive purchases of land is both difficult and complicated in the extreme.

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English (ATL)

I believe your trouble in the south have originated from some misunderstanding with Mokau respecting the portion of payment he relies on having for his lands or did it arise as some allege from more extended ideas of patriotism towards this country by declaring he would not submit to British Authority on any terms or conditions whatever. When visiting Taupo nearly two years ago the intelligent old chief Heuheu gave me at that time considerable information respecting Mokau's intentions; the mode of warfare he would adopt and the treacherous means he would use for the gradual destruction of the settlers, which to our regret he has been to some extent enabled to perform, however, it is some satisfaction that his savage boasting cannot now have the weight it at that time had, in consequence of our sad reverses at the Bay.

Still there is little doubt but he had disseminated the seeds of evil and discord towards us amongst many of his country people but especially amongst those whom he has deluded to lead a precarious life along

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English (ATL)

with him in his mountain recesses where it is not likely that Puahia's expedition will turn out successful in his apprehension.

There has been a rumour that Rangi expressed a wish to possess himself of the Waitotara Pa, this side of Wanganui, which if he could effect would not display bad generalship, as by doing so he would strengthen his claims for support from the interior tribes who have a deadly animosity to the natives of that village since the chief ''Touteha'' of Taupo and his followers were destroyed there. Whether or not this report may have any foundation will in all probability be better known to you from being so much amongst the natives and at the active scene of operations and as it would be bordering on our territories should esteem it as a favour your giving me any information respecting his policy and intentions, as well as other subjects connected with the natives that

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English (ATL)

may occur to you, for which I shall be glad to give you in return any similar intelligence from this quarter.


I remain, etc. (Sigd.)
Don. McLean.

P.S. A report has just reached me that the Mokau tribe are greatly enraged at Pauparaha's capture and are making preparations to revenge it if possible, for the truth of this I cannot answer but I trust they may not pay us a visit in our present defenceless state tho' I dare say with a little fair play we should give them some thing even now for their pains if they do come. D. McL.

English (ATL)

Copy. Taranaki New Plymouth,

October 12, 1846.



Dear Sir,

I received your letter you so kindly took the trouble of writing from your encampment near Porirua by ''Te Waka'' who with Ngatata and several natives arrived here from Wellington by the Govt. Brig on Friday last. In such an isolated part of the Island it is at all times interesting to receive letters especially when giving authentic details of proceedings in time of war when such active measures are pursued against the insurgent tribes by our country people and allies. The capture of the old Rauparaha with other determined measures adopted at the south has not been lost on the natives here, who are now beginning to premise that indiscreet conduct will not be tolerated and that their most prudent course will be to observe a milder demeanour to their forbearing friends the pakehas by whom alone the people of this district have been advanced to a state of freedom and independence that they otherways never would have attained.

The most troublesome tribe in our vicinity are the ''Puketapus'' who I believe are notorious for their wrecklessness wherever they are met with those of Ngamotu all of whom I presume you know fully better than I do, are much more tractable and friendly from them the small spot of land we at present occupy was purchased and there has been little or no trouble with the numerous claimants to it since the time of its transfer it may be said that it would not be worth while disputing such a small kail garden but such has been frequently the case on much smaller pieces where there have been numerous conflicting claims. I observe that the rights of property amongst the Ngatiawas is very different from the northern tribes of the Island. The divisions among the former are so full of minuteness and detail that to effect extensive purchases of land is both difficult and complicated in the extreme. I believe your trouble in the south have originated from some misunderstanding with Mokau respecting the portion of payment he relies on having for his lands or did it arise as some allege from more extended ideas of patriotism towards this country by declaring he would not submit to British Authority on any terms or conditions whatever. When visiting Taupo nearly two years ago the intelligent old chief Heuheu gave me at that time considerable information respecting Mokau's intentions; the mode of warfare he would adopt and the treacherous means he would use for the gradual destruction of the settlers, which to our regret he has been to some extent enabled to perform, however, it is some satisfaction that his savage boasting cannot now have the weight it at that time had, in consequence of our sad reverses at the Bay.

Still there is little doubt but he had disseminated the seeds of evil and discord towards us amongst many of his country people but especially amongst those whom he has deluded to lead a precarious life along with him in his mountain recesses where it is not likely that Puahia's expedition will turn out successful in his apprehension.

There has been a rumour that Rangi expressed a wish to possess himself of the Waitotara Pa, this side of Wanganui, which if he could effect would not display bad generalship, as by doing so he would strengthen his claims for support from the interior tribes who have a deadly animosity to the natives of that village since the chief ''Touteha'' of Taupo and his followers were destroyed there. Whether or not this report may have any foundation will in all probability be better known to you from being so much amongst the natives and at the active scene of operations and as it would be bordering on our territories should esteem it as a favour your giving me any information respecting his policy and intentions, as well as other subjects connected with the natives that may occur to you, for which I shall be glad to give you in return any similar intelligence from this quarter.


I remain, etc. (Sigd.)
Don. McLean.

P.S. A report has just reached me that the Mokau tribe are greatly enraged at Pauparaha's capture and are making preparations to revenge it if possible, for the truth of this I cannot answer but I trust they may not pay us a visit in our present defenceless state tho' I dare say with a little fair play we should give them some thing even now for their pains if they do come. D. McL.

Part of:
Papers relating to provincial affairs - Taranaki. Inspector of police, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0123 (71 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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