Object #1011961 from MS-Papers-0032-0042
From: Native Minister - Miscellaneous papers relating to resident magistrates, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0042 (14 digitised items). No Item Description
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February 19th. 1870
Dear Mr. Fox,
I have just attended a great Meeting of the natives of this Coast, held at Kakariki, yesterday, the 18th. inst., This meeting was convened by Wi Hapi and Heremia te Tihi, -- Rawiri being considered as the host. I noticed portions of the Ngatiapa, Rangitane, Ngatikahungunu, Ngatiteapokoiri and Ngatiraukawa tribes; the latter including those from Oroua, Manawatu, and Otaki. There were also some of the Wanganui river natives present. The approximate number being from 250 to 300 persons. It was intended that the meeting should commence that morning, but owing to Kawana Hunia not having put in his appearance, it did not begin until the evening. About 5 p'clock a preliminary meeting of welcome was held, when Rawiri, Nawaka and Pengauru welcomed their guests very heartily, telling them this was a new year; a day when they could all meet and greet each other; as one when the Kawanatanga and the Hau Haus could all meet and shake hands. Several songs of welcome being sung by these gentlemen, when Hunia arose, and returned the welcome, and said that the Ngatiapa had come in answer to the invitation they had received; that this was a new month; the month of February would be remembered as the
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time when all the tribes met. It makes our hearts glad to see this. We have just heard your words; they are good. Let them be the words of your hearts. We are sure that this is towards a binding peace between all men present.
Heremia Te Tihi said, -- ''Welcome, friends, welcome! Your words comfort our hearts. Your coming here does us good. Welcome! fathers of Ngatiapa, and all welcome!'' Song. ''Come sons, come friends, and you fathers, -- this is a new day for us all. Welcome! All our hearts are ''ora'' at seeing you. You have heard our words, and know our thoughts. You have seen us this day, and we have seen you.'' Song. ''Come and let us all be one. Rangitikei is the land. This is a new month and a new year to all. Welcome, Ngatiraukawa, to Rangitikei. Fathers, this is a new word that is spoken. Welcome, Aperahama and Nepia. Welcome to the presence of the men of Oroua.'' Song. ''Come friends, younger sons and elders. Rangitikei is the land, and you are the men. Come and see Ngatiraukawa. Come, Aperahama. Come all, and see us this time. Welcome!
Pehira Turei, of Wanganui, then said, -- ''Salutations, Ngatiraukawa, to all of you. Salutations! These are the words. We have come because this is good. Let your words be true. We will be so. Our fathers wish the words to be good. Salutations, in this your day of knowledge. Salutations in your good works; which are good. Salutations to you that do not agree with us in all things. You have now arisen, and are now awake to that which is good.''
Wi Hapi now arose, and suggested that
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the Meeting should disperse, and have some refreshment; and then meet again when the object of the Meeting would be discussed.
About 7 o'clock all the natives assembled in the great Runanga House, -- ''Ko miria Te Kakara.'' There were so many people the house could hardly hold all. At length, when all had settled down, and were quiet, Heremia Te Tihi opened the Meeting, by stating that Wi Hapi and he had sent messengers round to the various tribes, calling the Meeting. He was very pleased to see so many present, -- of those who had been friendly to each other, and those who had not been so. The Meeting was not for the purpose of speaking of their grievances; but he would now say for what reason; that all men and tribes might join and be one; that all differences might be put aside; that the sword of discord among their might be sheathed; that they would all agree that whatever took place, the sword was to remain in the scabbard. He concluded by wishing that whoever felt inclined to speak, should do so, openly and freely.
Te Peeti, (Rangitane), now arose, and said, -- ''He was glad to hear the words of Heremia. They seemed good. Salutations to all present; to Ngatiapa; to Ngatiraukawa, salutations. Welcome to you, Mr. Ward. We are glad you are here.'' Song. Te Heremia, in answer to what you have just said, I say ''Ae'' (yes). I agree to your wishes. Let the sword be sheathed. I am a Government man. See, I am well
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dressed. I wear a beaver hat. But to what you say, I say Yes.''
Kawana Hunia then arose, and said he and his people had come in answer to the invitation. The words of Heremia were good. He had often heard the Pakehas on the other side of the river, speak of the natives as ''The Bloody Maori,'' and so forth. He thought the Maoris should all join and be one; and there should not be so many differences of faction. He would agree to what Heremia had said. If the present good feeling continued, this was the beginning of a new year. Hurrah! followed by three cheers.
Wi Hapi then spoke; and suggested that Ngatiapa be allowed to speak before anything more be done.
Ratana Ngahina then arose and said, -- ''Salutations to all! to fathers and sons; This was a new month, a new year; this was the year of Tite Kowaru and Te Kooti.'' He had heard the words of Heremai. There were other words about it. As he had said, -- this was the year of Tito Kawaru and Te Kooti. Heremia knew that he (Ratana) was Heremai's ''hoa riri'' (fighting friend). He would not sheath his sword. He would continue to oppose him. He would continually have the sword in his hand, so that if the Government wanted him to go and seek Te Kooti, he could go. He would not bind himself not to go. He could not agree to what Heremia had wished. He was a Government man.
Pehira Turei, (of Wanganui) said he had
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heard the words of Heremia. He was a soldier; the sword was in his hand. He was not able to ''hapai'' (lift up) the words of Heremia. He might be called at any time to go and seek after Te Kooti. He would go; the sword was in his hand.
Hapurona (Ngatiapa) said he would not sheath his sword. He wished to speak, for he was determined to carry his sword in his hand. He was a man of the Government; he would use his sword, if required.
WI Hapi got up, and said, -- ''Who is your Government? Who cares for the Government?''
Hapurona said -- ''The Government was the great Government of New Zealand. Sir George Bowen was the Governor. Mr. Fox, our Father, is the head of the Government. Mr. McLean is also one of the great men of the Government. Will you, Wi Hapi, join, and be under the Government?''
Wi Hapi said -- ''All I say to you is -- Stop. My word to you is -- Stop. If I am killed, let it be by the Pakeha. Let my death be caused by the Pakeha. You speak of your Government. They attacked Tito Kowaru. He was finished. They are now attacking to Kooti. If you say he was a murderer, I say the same. I may agree with you. But when he is finished, the Government will not be satisfied. They will then attack the King. I repeat what I said, -- if I am
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killed, -- let it be by the Pakoha.''
Ihakara Tukumaru said the sword was in his hand. His hand was strong. He was a servant of the Government. He would not lower his sword, or put it into the sheath. If required, he would use his sword. He did not agree with the words of Heremia.
Wi Hapi spoke, and said the sword might be used against Te Kooti. What he meant was that the sword should not be used in any way by any of the natives against the Maoris of Rangitikei and this Coast. He wished the Maoris to combine; and that there be no Maoris attacking Maoris in Rangitikei. He would remind them of what Hunia had said, -- how that the Pakeha had sworn at the Maoris, and had used had words. Let the Maoris be as one.
Karenama said that the words of Heremai were good. Let the Maoris be one. He then sang several songs, and words of a ''haka'', in which all Ngatiraukawa joined. He then addressed me, and said, -- Te Waari, (Mr. Ward), do not think I wish to oppose the Government in anything. It is not so. You have heard what these Ngatiapas have said. Don't mind all they say. They have lately been receiving money from the Government. I do not, -- yet am a Government man, I am loyal, You may tell Mr. Fox so. My words are good and peaceable'', addressing the
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Meeting, he said -- ''Let peace reign among us. This is a new day for us all.''
Matini Te Whiwhi, and Parakaia both said -- ''Let all the Ngatiraukawas be of one mind in this matter.''
Mahau, (Ngati--Kahuhgunu) saluted and welcomed every one. He did not refer particularly to the object of the Meeting.
Two or three of the Ngatiapas said they had heard the words of Heremia. They seemed good to them. One said ''the native rat had passed away; we have now the English rat. English clover was now covering the ground where the native grasses once grew; and that the native birds were fast becoming extinct. He would endorse the words of Heremia.''
Very little more of interest was further said; when the Meeting broke up at about 3 o'clock a.m.
Noa Te Rauhihi and his section of Ngatiraukawa were not at the meeting. They had told me that they had no occasion to go, as they had had their korero with Mr. Fox, -- ''and that was enough.'' Noa himself was absent from the district. His people are busy harvesting.
I am, dear Mr. Fox
yours very truly (Signed)
Interpreter to the Bench Marton. To:-- The Hon. William Fox, Premier Auckland.
Native Minister - Miscellaneous papers relating to resident magistrates, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0042 (14 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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