21st. June 1865.
I have the honor to report, for the information of the Government, that a party of about one hundred and twenty natives, from Petane, and adjacent villages,- several of whom are Hau Haus,- are now on a visit to Tareha, at the Pawhakairo, about ten miles distant from Napier.
The professed object of the visit is to hold a Tangi over some people lately deceased.
They marched to the Pah in procession, with arms in their hands, and flags flying, and repeating Hau Hau incantations.
I am not aware that they have made any converts. Indeed, although Tareha openly encourages them, I do not believe he would use any influence to induce his people to join them.
The Hau Haus strenuously disavow any intension hostile to the settlers. They are, however, busily engaged in putting the pa in a state of repair; and no attempt is made to disguise the fact that they are encouraged by Tareha to support him in his quarrels with Karaitiana, about land on the
lower Ahuriri plains.
In conformity with the terms of His Excellency's proclamation of the 22nd. of April last, it would be my duty to call upon these Hau Haus to leave the district, or to apprehend them in case of refusal.
I must, however, point out to the Government, the considerations that are involved in taking such a step; and which have led me to the determination not to interfere with these people,- at least until I receive further instructions; unless they commit some overt act of rebellion, or resistance to the law; of such a nature as to place them unmistakeably in the wrong; and to insure the co-operation and sympathy with the Government, of natives at a distance, as well as here; who have not, as yet, joined the fanaticism.
The leader of these Hau Haus is a man named Paora Toki; who, while outwardly professing peace and friendship to the Europeans, is well-known to have been longing for a pretext to commence here, ever since hostilities began at Waikato. In this he has been restrained by the good sense of the Chiefs, especially Tareha himself; and he has been obliged to curb his desire for mischief, and wait till a pretext should be given him by the authorities.
He lives at Petane, a place where the settlers are widely scattered, and quite unable to defend themselves from an onslaught; which Paora and his followers are only too eager for an excuse to make.
At Poverty Bay, and on the outskirts of the Province, are a large number of natives, some of whom are Hau Haus, some supporters of the Government, the great majority standing aloof, ready to join whichever party may appear the stronger, when the struggle comes on; but of course, from natural feelings, more inclined to side with the fanatics, than with us.
I am using every effort to secure these waverers; and I look upon it, in its bearing upon the General Native Question on the East Coast, as of the greatest importance to achieve this end, before adopting measures that may lead to an outbreak.
Were hostilities to break out at this moment, under circumstances that could be made to appear as if the Government were the aggressors, the whole of the waverers above alluded to, would join the Hau Haus; and a guerilla warfare would rage throughout this Province, and the Wairarapa District; the end of which would certainly not be reached within one, or two years of its commencement.
The above are the considerations which have induced me to refrain from interfering with the party of Hau Haus now at the Pawhakairo.
Renata and Karaitiana proposed, some time ago, to attack the Hau Haus, and expel them from the Province; but seeing that their object in this was merely to obtain the co-operation of the Government against Tareha, and Te Hapuku, with whom they were quarrelling over disputed land questions, I felt it my duty to restrain their eagerness, and told them that if they expected assistance from the Government, it must have no connection with-land questions, and must apply only to persons from without, who might come to create disturbance in the Province; in which event the Government would call upon all well-disposed natives to assist in punishing the aggressors.
Taking all these points into consideration, I have, as above stated, refrained from interfering with this party of fanatics.
I now do myself the honour to request that I may be furnished with the views of the Government in the present case; and the probable support that might be relied upon, in the event of being obliged to use more vigorous measures.
I enclose the copy of a letter which I wrote to Tareha, on hearing of the arrival of the Hau Hau party at his place, and of the reply I have received from that Chief.
Beyond the effect of the display made so near to us, by this party of fanatics, I am not apprehensive that any dangerous consequences will result from their presence on this occasion, unless a pretext be given by the natives in opposition to Tareha.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient servant,
The Honourable,The Colonial Secretary,