Object #1011919 from MS-Papers-0032-0020

6 pages written 22 Aug 1868 by George Tovey Buckland Worgan in Napier City to Hawke's Bay Region

From: Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0020 (47 digitised items). Comprise correspondence, memoranda and reports mainly relating to McLean's work as Government Agent in charge of the campaign against Te KootiAlso includes letters in Maori from Maori such as Mokena Te Kohere and Mohi Turei regarding ammunitions and provisions

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

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English (ATL)


August 22nd 68


Under the extremely critical posture of affairs in the Wairoa District I venture to think that a truthful exposition of the state of native feeling may not be unserviceable to the Government.

In the first place, I have noticed a very wide spread and dangerous curiosity existent amongst all classes of Natives on the subject of the escaped prisoners accompanied in numerous instances by a scarce concealed exultation at the success that has attended their movements. A large portion of the population are listless and indifferent on all matters affecting the interests of the Government. Jealousy amongst the various divisions of the Tribes having largely increased and being a serious bar to any combined action amongst them. 'Ngati Kowaatu' to the number of 20 to 25 have gone over to the enemy Te Rakiroa having persuaded Te Apatio to furnish him with a rifle or rifles before hand -- 'Wi Tipuna', 'Himiona' and others have also gone -- 'Te Waru' is yet staunch and with judicious treatment will remain so, but treated as he is with suspicion by the Govt. and taunted and pointed out as a 'Hau Hau' by other Chiefs, it is scarcely a matter for surprise if he join the ranks of those who would hail his accession with acclamations. In conversation with me he complained bitterly of the false position in which he felt himself placed, and I had no small difficulty to convince him of the friendly disposition of the Govt. towards himself. The natives on the 'Waiau' and 'Wairoa' above the Junction are untrustworthy and would instantly follow the leadership of 'Te Waru' -- A number of Hau Haus say 50 to 60 occupy a strong position at the 'Putahi' near Waikare Moana -- South End -- The 'Waka Ki' people are more than doubtful in their allegiance and also no inconsiderable portion of 'Kahu' -- The positions held by the friendly chiefs are places of no strength and an active enemy would speedily obtain possession of 'Te Ruataniwha' 'Hatepe' and 'Waihi riri' pas. Whilst the enemy hold in the 'Puketapu' a position of great natural strength with the country open to their invasions with perfect safety to themselves as far as the Military Township at Pekowai -- indeed with the single exception of the Block House there is no place in the district that would he tenable for two hours under attack -- 'Te Rakiroa' is throughly acquainted with every particular of the District and is a clever and unscrupulous scoundrel. I strongly urged his immediate arrest, but my representations were not attended to until too late. I regard his disappearance as full of evil portent rendering the District especially unsafe from his through knowledge of its weak points -- Moreover communication with Turanga by the 'Reigna' will be no longer possible --

I am of opinion that the enemy will continue at 'Puke tapu' for a season as it is a place whence they can with ease communicate with Turanga and 'Wairoa' and with the Uriweras of 'Maungapowhata' Whakatane and 'Opotiki' 'Wi Tipema's people have planted largely on the 'Matukuhia' and scattered fragments of Hapu's have done the same thing on the shores of the Waikare Lake, there is no reason I believe to anticipate supplies failing them. To attack them at 'Puke tapu' would require a strong force and a throu' ghly organised expedition. A military post however established on the 'Tuhi' would command their movements and from the facilities it offers for retreat could be safely held as a means of warning the District of the approach of an enemy -- Respecting the friendly natives I may briefly state that they are completely disorganised and without any recognized head or leadership, that Govt. interests have been allowed to lapse to such an extent that it is now a difficult and uncertain task requiring both tact and energy to bind together the scattered and disunited bands into a Homogeneous body capable of answering any impulse government may desire to impart to it. I regret to feel a conviction that the great difficulty to be contended with as a pecuniary one -- the reorganisation of the natives must be attended with a certain expence, pretty nearly every consideration will be secondary to the all important one of what they are to receive for their services, at the same time it may be confined within narrow limits by a wise selection calculated to allay existing jealousies -- that is provided Government should determine upon placing further reliance upon Native assistance -- We are on the horns of this dilemma risking the incurring of the expences of doing this or by ignoring the friendly natives altogether, run the chance of finding them in the ranks of our active enemies or worse still as lukewarm and untrustworthy friends.

'Te Apatu's' influence is of service but he is intellectually incapable of taking any prominent lead 'Ihaka Whanga' is ageing fast, altho active and as willing as ever -- he is however much annoyed at the unnecessary trouble that has been thrust upon his shoulders in this last affair -- 'Tamihana' is only half to he trusted Toha will never possess more influence than he does at present and I look round in vain, for any man of intellect and position sufficient to take the helm -- that duty must I fear fall upon a European who must devote himself to the task, which will be one of great difficulty and anxiety. I enclose a sketch showing the position of 'Puke Tapu' on the Ruaki Turi -- from a drawing I made during my survey of the River in July 1867. I have merely put in the track followed by the enemy and by Col. Whitmore in pursuit from the description of some who accompanied the expedition. The fatal nature of the position will easily be seen, it is a providential circumstance that the troops were not drawn further up the river before the engagement commenced.

The information respecting the present proceedings of the Hau Haus, is derived from 'Nama' and is reliable.

In conclusion it is necessary that whatever steps be taken by the Govt. be taken promptly, a display of vigour will check further desertion and put a stop to the undermining influences at present at work.

I have the Honor to remain, Sir,
Your most obedt.servt.
George B.Worgan
Licensed Interpreter To His Honor 'The Superintendent' Hawkes Bay

Part of:
Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0020 (47 digitised items)
Series 7 Official papers, Reference Number Series 7 Official papers (3737 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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