18 Feb. 1861.
My dear Sir,
I left for Raglan on the 5th. inst. and whilst riding rather sharply over the hard beach to save the tide at Waikato Heads, my horse shyed at the surf, and threw me with such violence as to deprive me for a time of all consciousness. Assisted by Mr. Shepherd, I again mounted, and was glad to reach Maraetai where I remained two days from inability to travel. On Friday the 8th. finding my self somewhat better, I left Maraetai, and got to Raglan at noon on the following day.
Wiremu nera was absent at Waipa to see Hamiora, a native minister, for the purpose of persuading him to continue in that district, which he had talked of leaving in consequence of the natives there having failed in their promise to support him. I waited three days for Nera, whose return was so uncertain that I decided on leaving, and came back here yesterday after-noon, after a detention of a day and a half by stormy weather at the Waikato river. I found matters quiet at Raglan. Some of the settlers expressed uneasiness at the return of so many of the Northern insurgents now scattered in all directions who may at any time be guilty of aggression. Two reasons are given for their return.
1. Want of ammunition.
2. Having had enough of war.
That their recent losses have caused them to respect our troops, there cannot I think be a doubt, and should fresh men take their places it will be in ignorance of our power which they will quickly learn, and will be as ready to retire from as those who preceded them.
Towards the latter end of January, the chief Takerei, of Waipa, went to Aotea, for what purpose I have not yet ascertained, but can only guess, seeing that several defections followed his visit.
Tohu the Baptist, has, I am told by natives, recently written to Hetaraka and Waikato inviting them to take part in the war. Tikapa, of Ngatipari, and Kerehopa, of Tainui (Whaingaroa) have declared their intention to do so, and Wiremu Nera has used and will continue to use, the whole weight of his influence to prevent them. Ao te Rangi will act in consort with Nera, perhaps the two together may succeed. Te Rangi is of opinion that in the event of Tikapa going to Taranaki, nearly all Waikato will follow. I am afraid they are a bad set, worse indeed than our open enemies - as a body they grieve over our successes, exalt over our disasters, and listen with intense gratification to the accounts of the brutal treatment our wounded soldiers underwent at, Puketakauere. All this indicates hatred which no conciliation can remove. I was glad to
hear from Ao te Rangi that an application of his to Government for a supply of arms had been refused. He would have me believe that all his guns, ammunition etc. Were concentrated in one house, and when that house was burnt, destroyed. I have no desire to do te Rangi an injustice, nor do I say he is not friendly, but I venture to say that a trivial occurrence would see him armed without aid from the Government.
Between Waikato and Raglan preparations are in progress for the reception of Wiremu Kumeti who was reported killed. The accounts are very conflicting, some say he is dead, others say he is alive, and chuckle over it, not forgetting to stigmatise the Govt. with falsehood. They refer to Porokoru and turn a deaf ear to all explanation. The joy with which the first news of his safety was received by natives on the West coast, shows on what good terms they are with the insurgents, and the wisdom in not somplying with such applications as that recently made by Ao te Rangi.
Katipa left this village on the 15th. inst. and is now staying at his Kainga on the banks of the creek - still sick. He is annoyed with the idea of Ahipene Kaihau being appointed an Assessor which he heard of during my absence at Raglan, and has directed that a letter be written to the Governor on the subject with a view to the appointment of his own man, Hori Tauroa, and between ourselves, I see nothing for it but
compliance, as otherwise I shall be unable to work native cases. Nativesknow that Hori has been selected by the ''iwi'', and he takes care to remind them of that fact when occasion requires.
I send Mr. Shepherd's account by next Wednesdays mail, as the £100 authorised for Katipa ma is all but expended. Latterly rations have only been issued to Katipa, but in spite of every care other natives frequently consume them. I feel that it will be necessary to continue supplying him with little comforts while he lasts, and therefore hope you will resommend a further sum, say £10, to be expended upon him if needed.
I hope thereis no truth/in the native report about Ngapuhi and that that tribe will abstain from a useless collision with the Govt.
To:--D. McLean Esq.
20th. Wednesday. A native from Mangere overland reports that TamatiNgaporo left yesterday by water for this place, and may be looked for this afternoon. He is said to be on his way to Waikato for the purpose of trying to bring about a peace.