Object #1011247 from MS-Papers-0032-0442

4 pages written 29 Jul 1870 by William Gilbert Mair in Opotiki to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - William Gilbert Mair, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0442 (23 digitised items). 21 letters written from Opotiki, Tauranga, Whakatane, Luna (Ship), Alexandra, Te Awamutu, Rotorua & WellingtonIncludes piece-level inventory (excluding 1969 acquisitions)

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

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English (ATL)

COPY. Opotiki

July 29th. 1870.

My dear Mr. McLean,

On my return from Tauranga yesterday I found the ''Luna'' here with Ropata. He has been discoursing to Whakatiha, and has read Awanui a lecture, which will not be without effect. I have never had any trouble with Awanui personally; but when my back is turned, he is inclined to be presuming.

On July 2nd. I reported that I had sent Raku Raku with a small party of Ngatiawa and Ngatipukiko back to Ruatahuna. They have returned to Whakatane, and their report may be looked upon as very favourable. It is the first time that Queenites have come into the Urewera Country, and they were kindly treated by everyone; and, to use their own words, - 'No one spoke better than Te Waru.'' It appears that he came up from the neighbourhood of Ruakituri, just after the fighting at Waikare, and is now living at Hukanui, in the Urewera end of the Ruatahuna Valley. His numbers, including women and children, are variously estimated at from 50 to 70. It is evident that he wishes to come to terms, and as I do not know much of his antecedants, I would like to be informed how far I may go in treating with him.

I am satisfied that the Urewera have quite made up their minds for peace, but they do not exactly like to come out to the Coast to be regarded as Mokai's. They argue thus, - ''Why are the Government not content to leave us in our own country?'' This is, of course, only natural; but we must adhere to our conditions first offered to them, viz, - that they should come out to the Coast to live. They say, also, that negotiations have been opened with them from so many quarters that they do not know which way to turn; and that Hoani Piaka has been warning them that their only course is to surrender to the Arawa. Of course there is a certain amount of jealousy among the natives employed by different people, to carry letters, messages, etc., to the Urewera; and I believe that Hoani Piaka has been using my brother's and Preece's names, to deter the Arawa from going out by any other than ''his road''. For myself, and those working with me, I can only say that we have simply urged them to submit to the Government, by any road they thought fit. They are at present holding a Meeting at Ruatahuna, and I have written to my brother, and given instructions not to say anything to the Urewera until the result of the Meeting is known. On the return of Raku Raku and party, a hapu called Ngatimura came with them to within 16 miles of Whakatane; where they will await the issue of the Meeting. They say that in case they will not go back to Ruatahuna. Te Whenuanui sent a message to Wipiha to build a large house. This, I think, is very significant.

I think that it may be considered an established fact that Te Kooti is making himself snug at Motu (between Waioeka and Turanga). I cannot, however, arrive at an estimate of his force. It may be 70, or as low as 20 men. There are not more than five Whakatihia out now. The people from Tirere to Raukokire are very quiet; in fact, they always are. There are no people in the Island who require less looking after than they do. The only quarter that causes me any anxiety is the Telegraph Extension North of Tauranga. The opposition of the Pirirakau is so determined that I am convinced that they are backed by a party in Waikato. Tahau is still in that neighbourhood, and has been sounding Ngatirangi about his chances of pardon, should he surrender.

We have had very severe weather; which, of course, makes everything cheerless and stagnant. I find Swindley (?) a first rate companion and a good Officer. He is very well liked both by Europeans and Natives.

The Wilson-Kelly faction are of course giving me all the annoyance they can. They say that they must have me removed, as they have an idea that I use my influence with the natives to their prejudice. The truth is that I only do so as far as is necessary, for the suppression of the Grog Shops.

I remain my dear Mr. McLean
yours very truly (Signed)
W.G. Mair.
P.S. Nothing has been heard lately of Nepia Tokitahi. The impression among the natives is that he would not unite with Te Kooti.

Part of:
Inward letters - William Gilbert Mair, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0442 (23 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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