S. S. "Egmont"
Agust 21st. 1865.
I am on my way to Wellington, to confer with the Government, on the state of affairs in the Bay of Plenty; and ascertain what support and assistance can be given to the Arawa who are in the field. (there are about 500 Arawas in the field, 250 to each party) against the tribes concerned in the late murders at Whakatane.
I have issued warrants for the apprehension of the murderers; and armed parties of the Arawa have gone from inland, Tarawera, to Rangitki; and from Maketu to Te Awaotiatua, to execute them.
Mair, R.M. of Taupo, is with the inland party; and Nesbitt, R.M. Rotorua, is with the Coast division. The latters is trying to get at Te Huia, who is in a Pa on the Awaotiatua river, within a mile from the coast. This Pa is only approached from one side, having a swamp on two sides, and the river on a third. Artillery is wanted. With two or three ----- he could be easily disledged, or the Pa could be shelled from the dea.
Our people are in possession of the mouth of the Awa Awaotiatua, where there is from 7 to 9 feet of water at high tide.
I see the barque is here; and hear that a force is going to Opotiki. This is good hearing. Kereopa is at Opotiki. Wepiha Apanui and the Ngatiawa people at Whakatane would be glad to see Te Huia's people punished, and have sent a message to the Arawa, inviting them to go te Whakatane and occupy it. They are much incensed at poor Fultoon? murder. It is also said that the Urewera will not assist Te Huia, as Fulton is related to them.
Our people surprised a party of nine the other day at Te Awaotiatua, - 4 men, 4 women, and a lad. two of the former tried to get away, and were shot. One of them, Hoera, is one of the murderers. He had the Captain of the "Kate's" coat with him, when taken. He is supposed to be mortally wounded. He, and the other wounded man, with the women, were sent back to Huia's Pa. The two other men, one a Chief of Te Huia's tribe, Te Wiwi, were brought to Maketu; and are now prisoners there. Old Takehu has been threatened by the Hau Haus, and he invited the Arawas to go over to his help. The inland party have gone to join him, and with his assistance, and by action in concert with the Coast party, I Think Te Huia will stand a chance of meeting with his deserts.
I wanted very much to see you, but the Captain was afraid to land; and I thought it better not to risk the loss of my passage. If you can drop me a line to say what is going on here, and whether it is correct about a force being sent to Opotiki, I shall be very pleased. I shall make as short a stay in Wellington as possible. I went to know what the Government inten to do. and whether the steps I have taken, are approved, or otherwise. I am sure it is necessary to strike a blow, to leave a mark upon these Hau Hau gentry; or the example set at Whaketane will be imitated all over the country.
Excuse these scrawl, I can scarcely hold a pen, it is so cold.
Thos. H. Smith.
Donald McLean Esq.