Object #1012291 from MS-Papers-0032-0012

6 pages written 21 May 1860 by Sir Donald McLean

From: Secretary, Native Department - War in Taranaki and Waikato and King Movement, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0012 (33 digitised items). Includes papers on Maori intelligence gathering for the Crown and a letter in between Maori discussing preparation for conflict

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

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English (ATL)


I am of opinion that King will not agree to the terms proposed any rumour that terms of peace have been offered by the Govt. will be construed by the natives throughout the Island into weakness and advantage will be taken of it by all disaffected Natives, I submit that King should be the first to propose terms until he does so no terms dictated to him will be regarded as binding.

The best means

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English (ATL)

of reducing King to submission and of adverting a general war would be the punishseverally the Taranaki and Ngatiruanui tribes, when that is effectually accomplished King can be more easily dealt with and a-salu-tary lesson read to the whole of the New Zealand that will deter them in future from committing murder on unprotected Europeans.

The sympathy of a large portion of-the Natives would be with the Govt. in this matter,

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English (ATL)

and advantage should be taken of it to inflict a heavy blow on these offenders -unless this is done before King is attacked a general war may the consequence already 370 Waikatos have joined King who would consider it a disgrace to sympathise with the Taranakians whose punishment if it involves the use of a M. road thro their district should be vigorously inflicted.

Any belief on the part of the Natives that the Govt. was making war either to effect a partition of Native lands or obtain the cession of territory beyond Teiras block would render the peaceable occupation of any

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English (ATL)

of the English settlements in this Island very precarious and confirm the suspicions of the Natives that the Govt. was changing its policy and making war for the purpose of obtaining land.

If any terms of a more liberal nature than is usually offered by the Govt. for acquiring waste lands is now conceded at Taranaki, it will be the means of inducing other tribes to make war before they sell

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English (ATL)

any land in order that they may by such means exact a higher price for it.

It occurs to me that the land question should be entirely avoided until the Govt. is in a better position to dictate terms and comprehend more fully after consulation with the several chiefs the course which it may be most advisable to pursue with reference to this as well to other questions

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English (ATL)

at present agitating both races in the Colony.


Donald McLean
21 May 1860

English (ATL)


I am of opinion that King will not agree to the terms proposed any rumour that terms of peace have been offered by the Govt. will be construed by the natives throughout the Island into weakness and advantage will be taken of it by all disaffected Natives, I submit that King should be the first to propose terms until he does so no terms dictated to him will be regarded as binding.

The best means of reducing King to submission and of adverting a general war would be the punishseverally the Taranaki and Ngatiruanui tribes, when that is effectually accomplished King can be more easily dealt with and a-salu-tary lesson read to the whole of the New Zealand that will deter them in future from committing murder on unprotected Europeans.

The sympathy of a large portion of-the Natives would be with the Govt. in this matter, and advantage should be taken of it to inflict a heavy blow on these offenders -unless this is done before King is attacked a general war may the consequence already 370 Waikatos have joined King who would consider it a disgrace to sympathise with the Taranakians whose punishment if it involves the use of a M. road thro their district should be vigorously inflicted.

Any belief on the part of the Natives that the Govt. was making war either to effect a partition of Native lands or obtain the cession of territory beyond Teiras block would render the peaceable occupation of any of the English settlements in this Island very precarious and confirm the suspicions of the Natives that the Govt. was changing its policy and making war for the purpose of obtaining land.

If any terms of a more liberal nature than is usually offered by the Govt. for acquiring waste lands is now conceded at Taranaki, it will be the means of inducing other tribes to make war before they sell any land in order that they may by such means exact a higher price for it.

It occurs to me that the land question should be entirely avoided until the Govt. is in a better position to dictate terms and comprehend more fully after consulation with the several chiefs the course which it may be most advisable to pursue with reference to this as well to other questions at present agitating both races in the Colony.


Donald McLean
21 May 1860

Part of:
Secretary, Native Department - War in Taranaki and Waikato and King Movement, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0012 (33 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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