Object #1008497 from MS-Papers-0032-0608

6 pages written 7 Jul 1869 by Arthur Tuke in New Plymouth District to Colonel William Moule

From: Inward letters - Arthur Tuke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0608 (11 digitised items). Letters written from Chatham islands, Turanganui, Napier, Wairoa and Taranaki, 1866-1874. Includes piece-level inventory

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

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English (ATL)

N. Plymouth

July 7th. 1869

Dear Col. Moule,

Very many thanks for your kind note. I forward fresh report in proper form and on final remarks - minus the paragraph about Barracks. Both Crapp and myself are tolerable well acquainted with the Bush about Waiti and are quite agreed that to attempt to get Timber there would be an utter waste of time and money. Trees might be found in deep gullies at intervals of from one to 3 miles and in the densest Bush imgginable only transversable on the ridges to footmen and not that without great labor in cutting tracks. They are building a small Hospital at Waiti and the contractor by good luck found a tree some 1 1/2 mile off and had it sawn.

It took all available men of ours, and the Bushrangers to get the planks out of the gully passing them from one to the other, the sides of the gully being half perpendicular.

This small building has now been in hand some 3 months and only the bottom plates are laid. The Timber being all green will not be fit to use for months more whereas if seasoned timber had been floated up about 3 weeks or less would have finished the whole thing. I merely mention this as an instance. There are a number of old Commissariat Buildings here the Timber from which would go a long way but they were refused. I should really be extremely glad of counsel and advice in the following matter, as regards my duty in regard to Natives.

At Waiti by my orders a strict look out, and register of all natives passing is kept for the information of Government if required and to let me know who are in the district etc. Lately a case has occurred lately when a native arrived, confessedly one of poor Gascoignes murderers, and it is since said the man who tomahawked Richards and another. Had I liberty to follow my own inclination I should make short work of him but as it is, of course, even to make him prisoner is out of the question for fear of implicating the Government and perhaps creating a war.

Are these mens offences condoned? Is Tito Kowaru pardoned? There was a reward for him, and I can assure you that on his visit here I was asked by a man very much inclined to do it, whether he would get the reward if he shot him. I was obliged to say I thought not, that he probably had obtained leave to come in.

I really think in my position and with the responsibility attached, I ought ot be informed in some way what to do. If these people are pardoned it seems to me it ought to be made generally known and there is a strong feeling about it here, where people have suffered much.

I am sure you will excuse my bothering you about this but it is really becoming a serious matter. At Mokau the natives are really no more friendly than ever and though their travelling about doesnt affect me as they are welcome to give all the information they can, it seems hard that a man the murderer of people who have left many friends in the district and who would if they had a chance take summary justice on him, should be allowed to ''beard us in our very den.''

Do not fear my discretion in the matter but if you could ascertain the real wishes of the Government in this respect it would be conferring a great boon on outpost officers.

Very sincerely yours,
Arthur Tuke.
Crapp a capital officer.

Part of:
Inward letters - Arthur Tuke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0608 (11 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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