May 7th. 1873
My dear Doctor,
When last in Auckland, I told you that the King Party at Tokangamutu had established a sort of Regular Force of Guardsmen; and that they were to have a roving Commission, as it were, to look after the King's interests, as against encroaching Pakehas; and that it had been seriously debated whether or not to send for Te Kooti to command them.
You advised me to mention the matter to Mr. McLean, and I did so; but it seemed to me that he doubted the accuracy of my information. You will see now, however, that I was perfectly correct in my statement.
Te Kooti has been sent for, and will probably be employed ere long. But what I now wish to tell you is that the murder of Sullivan was the result of direct orders from the King. Three principal men were entrusted with its execution, viz:- Purukutu, Ngamuka, and Paora Tuhua; to each of whom twelve fellowers or assistants were assigned, in case they should be required; their orders being, to drive off from the Koihi Eakau and Europeans or their cattle, by any means.
I have every reason to think that war (if found necessary) was resolved upon soon after the return from Maungatautau; and when I saw you in Auckland, and notified you of the information - of the formation of these predatory bands, they had actually matured a great portion of their plan of operation.
It is not true that this murder was a personal affair, and confined to two or three half frantic fanatics. I know Purukutu's views of the leasing of Pukekura, as well and probably better than any white man in the country, having heard them from himself in person.
When the resolve to fight was come to, Te Kooti, who had been sent for, (and who has been propheysing for some time past), got up and said that he "was destined to be captured by the Pakeha, but that he would first capture and destroy three settlements."
During the first eighteen months of the past two years, the King had been purchasing large stores of powder, etc.) and I truly think that his present intention is to bring on a war.
I should tell you that Rewi has somewhat - I may indeed say greatly - lost his influence; in consequence of his having (at the war meeting above referred
to) said that when the war broke out, he will "takoto" as he is now, and has always been utterly opposed to the murdering system, which has heretofore always accompanied their wars.
I forgot to state in case of my meaning being misunderstood, that the King did not order the murder of Sullivan in particular; but his instructions applied to all and sundry, or any one, as the case might be.
Please note also that Rewi did not say if, but when I have known of this thing for some time, and was warned when the murderers left Te Kooti, and would have written before, but was away surveying, and have only just returned for a few days.
Since I began this letter I have heard of the attack on Mr. Mackay. Strange to say I was told that he was running a great risk, and would be probably killed; but I utterly disbelieved it, as I expected he would be stopped, and turned back. It seems now that he got past the Aukati without their knowledge, which accounts for it; and if he gets back safely, he will have to thank Rewi for it, or I am greatly mistaken.
Now my dear Doctor, I don't want to bore you with a long letter, but I earnestly trust that you will not
neglct this warning; and when I say you, I mean the Government and more especially the Native Minister, to whom you can show this letter; and you can substantiate this statement of mine, to him, viz:-that from the loss of Kawhia (of which I warned you), to the present time, I have never been far out in what I have told you. When I told Mr. McLean of the talk of recalling Te Kooti, he asked me whether my information was of a reliable nature. What I told him then, I repeat now, viz:- "of the very best and most direct character."
In conclusion I have only to say that I understand that Mr. McLean is expected shortly; and if so, and he will communicate with me, I think I could tell him something worth his hearing.
Yours very truly
The Honble.Doctor Pollen