April 7th. 1860.
My dear Sir,
I arrived here on the evening of the 5th. by the coast, and purpose remaining a few days in the hope of hearing from the inland settlements, relative to the recent murders committed by Taranaki and Ngatiruanui natives. Your letter to Takerei acquainting him of the above was sent inland before my arrival for the information of natives generally.
With regard to my mission, as far as I can ascertain, the Waikatos have no intention to join W. Kingi. The danger is, the King Movement, and I desire to direct attention to it, because the position taken by the Government is regarded as a blow aimed at it. The native idea is this, W.K. and his people will soon be exterminated in the present contest, and the land will fall into the hands of the Pakeha -- that is, the land belonging to them at Waitara. The piece sold by Teira is now generally considered English territory. For a time, all will be quiet -- then some other piece of land will be required with the same results, and in this manner the natives will be destroyed in detail. Violent Kingites therefore say, let us either go and assist W.K. and so prevent the purchase of Teira's land which is a teina tanga kautanga, or have no King at all
From all I can gather the prevailing feeling amongst the Kingites is this; they are the people of the country, we are strangers. They desire to retain their nationality, and to accomplish that object consider organisation necessary, to effect which every scheme is used -- they also wish to act independently of us, and say that however powerful the Queen may be in England, in New Zealand, she shall be subordinate.
Before the first blood was shed by W.K. there was I am informed an intention amongst some Waikatos to aid him -- after that it was almost universally decided that no one should assist him, and if I may judge of the feeling here about the recent murders, any lingering intention there may have been in favour of W. Kingi, will now cease. It would however be advisable to keep up a correspondence with the leading Ngapuhi and Waikato chiefs during the present disturbances at Taranaki, and that Potatau be told there is no ''take ke''. At present a man like Tare Rewiti has it in his power to counteract any good that may have been effected, and embarrass the Goverment.
Potatau is said (by natives) to have declared that every man high or low, shall do as he pleases with his own land -- if this is true the danger apprehended is at an end, and the present widespread combination will crumble away --
but how is this to be ascertained, seeing that Potatau cannot be induced to speak? The people about him speak for him, and never fail to go against the Pakeha. How would it do for Mr. Smith to send for William Thompson and sound him on this important point -- a point if I am not mistaken that he could carry.
I hear the southern mail has been stopped and burnt at Warea, and that W. Kingi has sent Takerei a hint to discontinue carrying the northern mail.
Reihana te Huatore and Taati te Waru arrived this evening -- they think the overland mail has been discontinued and intend proceeding to Taranaki to see His Excellency upon the subject. Reihana says, let W.K. molest and even kill the postman if he likes, and all Ngatimaniapoto will be down upon him. He will urge this strongly, and it is just as well you should be prepared with an answer.
The enclosed note from Mr. Smith is the latest authentic information received by me since leaving Waiuku on the 14th. March.
You will be glad to hear that Ngatawa (the Kaka) stands up for Teira manfully, and declares the land sold by him was his own, and that it is all nonsense about parts of it belonging to W.K. and his natives. He also declares the land on this side of Waitara to be Ihaia's. Ngatawa would be
a good man to send to the principal inland districts.
I send Herewini with this, and his instructions are to wait at Waitara for an answer.
I am out of paper and shall be glad to receive a little by return -- this is about my last sheet.
The Mokau natives tell me that the last time the boats were at Urinui for Nikorima, some of W.K.'s natives who are still staying there, threatened to break them up. Nimi is recommended as the safest place should there be occasion to send a boat down again.
Hoping your health is fully restored, and that I shall soon hear from you.
My dear Sir,
The house is full of natives, and I had almost forgotten to tell you it is reported here that our friend Ihaia has suggested that the Ngatiruanui and Taranaki natives now at Ngaruawahia, be seized and made prisoners for the late murders. Under no circumstances should this be done, we should make heaps of enemies, whilst by letting them pass, the probability is we should secure them as friends. I hear Tamati Oraukawa who is with them condemns the murders strongly.
To:- McLean Esq.