Meeting at Te Awahou Pa, Rangitikei
Thursday, 15th. March 1849
Godfrey Thomas, Esq., Auditor, General Southern Province; Major Durie, Resident Magistrate, Waikanae; J. Ormond. Esq., Private Secretary to His Excellency, the Lieut. Governor; Donald McLean, Esq., and Mr. Chamberlain.
Native Chiefs of Ngatiraukawa tribe, - Taratoa, Kingi Hori te Puke; Te Ahu Karamu Paora; Poho Tirana; Te Ahu Ahu Kingi, Roraoa.
Younger Chiefs, - Tamihana te Rauparaha; Matine te Whiwhi Watanui; Hakariah (teacher) te Werumotu Kihaoah; Ihakara; and about one hundred men, comprising the most influential members of tribes.
Matiu te Rongomaiwiti te Upokoiri, Chief. Wanganui Chiefs invited by Mr. McLean.
George King te Anana; Aperhama Parea; and of their own consent, Honi Wiremu Hipango, Aperhama Ruke; Kawana Pai Pai; Nikorima; Pumipi, and Taniora, of Kawia.
Ngatiapa Tribe; -
Kingi Hori te Hanea; Kawana Hunia; Aperhama Tipae; Te Whaitere, and about two hundred men, women,
First speaker, - Kawana Hunia.
"With you, Ngatiraukawas, are all the words. We have little to say. By too much talk I may break faith with Taratoa, respecting our words spoken together in the house at night."
Hamuera Hgatiapa, -
"This is a marriage by me to the Europeans, of my land; and I ask Mr. McLean if he will agree to my doing so."
Te Huru Huru Aperahama, -
"All the words we have spoken is that we shall keep this side of Rangitikei, up to Taupo."
Same words as previous speaker, - "This side of Rangitikei up to Taupo."
E Mohi, Ngatiapa, -
"All my word is that I want to sell my land."
Te Whaitere, Ngatiapa, -
"We have married our lands to the Europeans, and entirely given our greatest property to the European."
Kingi te Ahu Ahu, Otaki, -
"It is well for the Europeans to have the North side of Rangitikei. This side of the river is for ourselves." Followed by a piece of poetry, in which the Ngatiraukawas joined, -
"Ka, apu te wenua Ka haere,
Ka haere ngatangata Kei hea.
Era ai moke purutia Tawai
Ki aita aite ita ita."
"When the land goes
Where are the people to live, or go to?
Ngatiraukawas, let us hold it fast,
Let us hold it fast."
Te Tewi Ngatiraukawa, -
Alluded to Kawana Hokeke's death, lamenting the same, and referring to his having saved him in time of war.
Kawana Hunia, -
In reference to their old wars, and his father's friendly treatment of Te Rauparaha, when he came to Waitotara, having sent on a body of natives to meet him there. "The Ngatiapas have been kind and hospitable long enough to natives without gratitude, or any return being made to us."
This young man, in a very spirited speech, enumerated some of Rauparaha's treacherous acts, when
the Ngatiapa relied on his sincerity, having made peace, and afterwards, from a theft of a canoe at Manawatu, by the Rangitane's, attacked and destroyed several of them. "Ratanui was also welcomed by us when he came here from the Interior; and it was in our power to attack him advantageously."
Kingi Hori, Otaki.
"If you sell the land, I will take possession of it from the Europeans; that is, after you receive payment for it, not before."
Matene Ngatiapa, -
"I give up my land; Taratoa, the land I spoke of to you, some time ago. All of it I give up to the Queen."
Te Wunu Wangaehu, -
"Welcome, welcome, you are all the Governor's people; and we are all the Governor's people and the Queen's. I commenced to sell land to the Europeans. My land I give up all of it to the Queen. All our claims are given up to the Governor. You yourselves encouraged Europeans first to come among us. We also want Europeans to come among us, to feed their cattle and sheep near to us. The sale of our land has been a subject of correspondence for the last three years."
Kingi Otaki, -
"Talk mouth to mouth, talk about your land, our joint land; have your say, and we shall have our say. Say, our voice is to sell the land on the opposite side, (North) of the Rangitikei river. We are now crowded on both sides. Wanganui, North of us, is sold to the Europeans. Port Nicholson, South, and Porirua. Now this is Rangitikei. You may sell this to the Europeans, but Mr. McLean, do not let the Europeans come on this (South) side."
Heremiah Turakina, -
"Welcome, welcome, the Ngatiraukawas. All I have to say, is, that I give up all my land to the Europeans; every part of it."
Te Wharewiti Mohi, -
"If you sell the land on this side of the river, it will cause disturbances;" and recited a piece of poetry, in which they all joined in the chorus, indicative of their determination to hold the land on the South bank of the river.
An old Chief of the Ngatiapa, said, - "Let us have short talk. "Ngatiapa, do you all agree to sell your land, and give it into Mr. McLean's hand?" They
all replied "Yes", most unanimously.
Te Tewi, - a Ngatiraukawa Chief, spoke violently against the sale of land to the Europeans, saying, - "Look at the Wairarapa, - a few foolish people of that place offered to sell their land; but on consideration afterwards, they would not sell for any amount."
Kiao E Peni, Ngatiapa, -
"Christianity has made us one people. Welcome, welcome. I have been in slavery. Christianity has released me, I did not first introduce Europeans. You yourselves set the example."
Pakau te Porana, -
"Ngatiraukawas, do you all agree to sell the North side of Rangitikei to Mr. McLean?"
General reply, - "Ai" or "yes."
Ropata Ngatiapa, -
"Ngatiapa, do you all agree to give your land to the Queen?" "Ae" "and to the Governor, also" "Ae."
Panapa, Ngatiapa Chief, - who separated from his tribe, and joined Rangihaeata, -
"I will not give up my land. No. No. I love my land too much to give it up. Your place is England. That is the place of the Pakehas. You have no right here."
Kawana Paipai, Wanganui, -
"I have nothing to say about the land. I have come here as a visitor to hear the talk. It is an old custom, my friends, to meet together. It was a custom of ours before the Europeans came. Ngapuhi first sold their land. We are now all being taught to follow their example. The Ngapuhis also commenced fighting. The Ngapuhi first sold their land."
E Mohi te Whareiti, -
"It is good to speak openly in daylight, that the Pakeha or European may hear with both ears what is said. Our talk, and the Ngatiapa."
Let us retain some of our land for fire-wood. What are we to have for ourselves if we give it all to the Europeans? Rangitoto is my Tiki Tiki and great place." (Tiki means a greenstone ornament worn round the neck. Tiki Tiki is a knot hair on the crown of the head.
Kingi te Ahu Ahu, -
"It is right you should welcome us. We were friends long ago, before the new tikanga, or new order of things took place. We had also quarrels before then, but we should keep friends. Just look, Mr. McLean, the boundary we claim is the Rangitikei. Your people shall have one side; but our retaining possession of it will not be for ourselves, but for your people also; meaning for the Ngatiapa."
Taratoa Manawatu, -
"All your talk about friendship to me, is correct. This land on this side is mine. I will hold this side, and will never give it up; no, never, I will not give it up for ever. The other side, if I agree to it, will be given up to the Europeans, - but not without. Mr. McLean will not purchase land foolishly."
Timoti Ngatiapa, -
"The South side of the river is for you, Mr. McLean; for me also; and for the Ngatiraukawa."
Te Takapo - Ngatiraukawa, -
"The other side is all we will ever give up.
"Be mindful of my words, now. Just look at the other side. The other side is for you," (pointing to the North side) of the river; "but do not come to this side, if you wish to have peace."
"Mr. McLean, the Governor's brother, Major Durie, and all the Europeans present, - remember what I say to you. This side, if you attempt to take it, will not be given up by us."
Turning to George King, of Wanganui, -
"There is not a person to say a word to you, Hori Kingi, - Come, come, come, you are welcome.
"Mr. McLean, my words are few. All I wish is to have the boundaries between yourselves, the natives, amicably settled. Decide your boundaries to preserve peace, as the present unsettled state of your land, keeps you in constant agitation."
Heavy rain dispersed the natives.
In speaking to the Ngatiapa, who got under cover of some Whatas, said, - in my hearing, -
"If it were a boundary between ourselves, we should not be stubborn about it. Koputara stream should be the boundary between us as natives, -
Europeans, however, being in question, Rangitikei is decided on by us as a boundary for the Europeans."
Meeting closed for the day. Food served out.
March 16th. 1849.
Martiu, of Otaki, -
"Ngatiapa, - my friend Hunia, we are now under a new law, a law of peace. I was once in the hands of all the tribes on the Coast, - Ngatiranui, Wanganui, Ngatiapa. It is only now we are getting wise. The Europeans teach us wisdom. We are all children. We were all children. It is only now we are acquiring knowledge. All I have to say to you, Ngatiraukawa and Ngatiapa, is to become old in wisdom.
"To you, Mr. McLean, I have nothing to say. The words of each party are strong, so that those who desire to act impartially are not listened to."
Some allusions were made by this Chief, to the sayings of their ancestors, when they went on a war expedition, such as Kuruku striking the foot, which was omnious of either good or bad luck; and
"Kiriwai" for burning in the fire. Aropita is my mark, meaning a native whom he captured and released, of the Ngatiapa tribe, named Aropita.
I. Hakara, -
"Mr. McLean, if you pay the Ngatiapa for the land, you shall possess it, and I shall possess it. We shall never give up our land; and we give you this open warning."
Rawiri, Ngatiapa, -
"What Martiu says is right. We shall not add fuel to the fire. We are both strongly contending for the land. We will hold to our intention, and you will do the same. We shall all be put down eventually by the Europeans. Let both of us persist.
"The reason of our strength is on account of the words of Te Kawana Hakeke, who is now dead. We wish to adhere strictly to his last injunctions, of giving his land to the Europeans. Taratoa and he would have arranged the matter, were he alive. Kawana gave up all the land we own. It is written on the pukapuka. Rangitikei is now in the ocean, or given up to the sons of the ocean, the Europeans."
Te Whaitere, Ngatiapa, -
"There is not to be a single place reserved for
us. Manawatu is given up to the Europeans, as payment for their goods. We have given up all the land to you, Mr. McLean, - not holding one spot; and all we think of is our religion, which we wish to enjoy in quietness. We cannot take from you what you have in your hands."
"I have not a word to say. Rangitikei is all I have to speak about. Do you wish for strife, Mr. McLean? "I will hold all this side, and the other side shall be yours. Rangitikei, Rangitikei, Rangitikei shall be the boundary."
Kingi Hori te Hania, Ngatiapa, -
"I now get up to speak. Welcome, welcome, welcome, - my friends, grand-children, and sons, -welcome!"
This old Chief recited a piece of poetry; the Ngatiapa joining in the chorus, -
"E Kore te po nei tuarua rawa mai.".......
"The land, the women, the canoe, the greenstone, are our three great things. I was not the first to take to Europeans. They are new, to me. Do not talk of the evils of other places. Taratoa has come to me four times, to talk about land, about Mokohai, and Rangitoto. We were deciding boundaries before now. Let
us not conceal. You will go on, Taratoa, with your talk, and I will go on with mine. Thakara, give up your speaking, as you have done speaking."
Aperahama Tipae, -
"All the people are the Queen's. I will not consent to my land at one time, and object at another. The Governor has all the people, - and I am his also."
Kingi te Ahu Ahu, -
"I shall hold our joint property, our joint property, - the Europeans' and ours, or mine, - meaning the South of Rangitikei. Your law is not to allow any trespass on other people's boundary. This side is mine. You had better not trespass on it, - that is, the land you have got from the Ngatiapa. This is my determination for ever and ever."
Te Ahu Karuma, -
"Listen! Omurapapuko is the cause of this long talk. "E ahu e te one one mau Omurapapuko." This is a great Committee or Meeting. The cause of all our previous disturbance has been the want of such Meetings. Mr. McLean, the boundary is Rangitikei, - a boundary formed or made by God. The other side is for the Queen, is for the Queen, and the Governor of you. If you wish for this side, let us go
to the Governor, and decline in open day that we shall fight for it in open daylight, when the sun is shining."
Mr. McLean asked the Ngatiapa what their boundaries were; that they should be openly known, and declared at this Meeting, to prevent future differences. Addressing Kingi Hori, as the elder Chief of the Ngatiapa, to state the names of the boundary.
Kingi Hori Omurapapako Pukehinau, -
"Matiu joins our boundary there. That is all, - Purakau, Wakaari Oroua Koti Awa, Otara, -inland."
Hori Kingi te Anana. of Wanganui. -
"It is the Ngatiraukawas"
"Do you retain the river?", and with determination they all replied "Ae."
"I know what that determination is. Do you consent that the Ngatiapa should have their own land?"
Reply, - "Ae."
"And that the Pakeha should have the opposite side of the Rangitikei river?"
Reply, - "Ae."
Turning to the Ngatiapa, -
"Ngatiapa, - do you agree to the land being yours?"
Reply of the Ngatiapa, - "Ae."
"Do you consent that no Europeans should live on this side?"
Ten strangers of the Ngatimaniapoto, sitting on the side of the Ngatiapa, said, - "Ae." - and Ihaka, and either one or two of the Ngatiapa claimants, - "Ae.", with the Ngatimaniapoto. The others firmly objected to consent, from having previously ceded their land to the Government."
Mr. McLean, -
"Ngatiraukawa, - I wish to hear you again repeat your consent now given that the Europeans shall peaceably occupy the land on the North bank of Rangitikei."
They all replied "Ae."
"That the Ngatiapa shall also possess their own land, as far as they claimed them at this Meeting?"
Assented, - "Ae."
"That you shall not disturb or interfere with the Europeans on the North bank of the river?"
"Not we. We shall not interfere with them. So. We shall not."
While the Meeting was dispersing, Kawana Hunia, of Rangitikei, endeavoured again to arrest the
attention of the Ngatiraukawa; and requested Taratoa to listen to what he had to say. A short conversation between them, ensued; but from the haste in which the Ngatiraukawas were dispersing, I could not distinctly ascertain what passed between them, further than it was in reference to the disposal of the South bank of the Rangitikei; and to a previous understanding or conversation between Taratoa and the late Kawana Hakeke, on the subject.
Kawana Hunia seemed much affected by the proceedings, as if feeling his want of power to entirely establish the right of his tribe to dispose of all their ancient claims and possessions; a great portion of which are now in the hands of the powerful Ngatiraukawa tribe; before whom he was contending.
This Meeting, however, has been productive of more important results than may be gathered by reading over the Minutes.
The Ngatiraukawas, who, at several public Meetings of their tribe, held at Manawatu and Otaki, declared their determination to prevent the sale of any land South of Wangaehu, - have, in the time elapsing from the first of January to the fifteenth of March, so far altered their determination, that they have acknowledged the right of the Ngatiapa to sell, as far South as Rangitikei, thereby placing
the original proprietors and legitimate owners of that district in a more favourable position for the Government to treat with them for claims which had been so long agitated and disputed by Rangihaeata, and the powerful Ngatiraukawa tribe.
It has also placed the Ngatiraukawas in a position to protect, rather than aid in molesting settlers at Rangitikei; and has been the means of breaking through a combination on their part, and several other tribes in correspondence with them; who resolved, embodying their resolutions in a written document drawn up at their Public Meetings, to make a stand against the further acquisition of land by the Europeans, excepting by way of annual lease for cattle grazings.
This purchase once undertaken, and persevered in, by the Government, will induce many of these tribes (especially the Ngatitiupokoiri, of Manawatu, and those inhabiting Ahuriri and the East Coast, who are in communication with, and connected with the Ngatiapa of Rangitikei) to offer their superfluous land for sale to the Government.
I have much pleasure in noticing the friendly assistance I received from George King, the Chief of
Wanganui, Aperahama Parea, of Waitotara; and the several other Chiefs and natives who accompanied them to the Meeting.
Inspector of Police.
The Colonial Secretary