Letter from W. Halse
to Donald McLean,
dated 8th. August 1854.
8th. August 1854.
My dear McLean,
I wrote you by the Overland Mail yesterday, full particulars of the Hua Massacre. Since then, we know that Rawiri was buried without the opposition threatened by Katatori, who remained in his pa. He could shoot down unarmed men, but kept out of danger when retaliation was within their power; and so fell short of the opinion held of his personal courage. But who could be brave in such a cause? The muster of followers to the grave was sufficiently strong, and armed, to have carried an attack on Katatori's pa; and by what potent influence they were restrained, is a puzzle; as natives are not over inclined to act on our recommendation, whether of Missionaries or Officers, when it is counter to their feelings. The intention is to bury at the same place any others who may die of their wounds; which perhaps will be confined to Mahangai, who is of consumptive habit; and it is not probable,
after yesterday's trial, that it will be opposed.
I am still of opinion that this is a native quarrel, and should not be interfered with by Government. At the same time, a particular force should be placed here for natives, as well as ourselves. It is found very effective at Wanganui; and the want of it, seriously felt here. It may be that Flight, Cooper, and others, who will report the recent disaster to Government, may urge good reasons for taking up the quarrel. Indeed, I understand the natives are expecting it. The fear I have, is that it would call into action, tribes hostile to the sale of land; who appear disposed to remain auiet, so long as the quarrel is confined to the natives immediately interested. If you think differently, on hearing the whole case put before you, I shall be glad to find that the Government can safely take the business in hand.
By the way, are you aware that the assessors are about 12 months in arrear? There is now due to Rawiri's widow, some £50; which should be paid at once; and it may be the proper time for appointing some influential Puketapu to the vacancy, --- say Raniera; whose good will should be acknowledged. Of this you are the judge. Rogan now tells me the natives expect a relation of Rawiri, from Kapiti, to take his place.
If so, he would be the man. What think you of giving the £50, which Rawiri was receiving, to his widow for her life? Or would the natives take offence, and say the Government estimated his life at that sum? This is a present thought. I am inclined to think the pension would be received favourably. Enough of this sad business for a while
I send by the "Cashmere", Rogan's accounts to you direct, instead of to the Colonial Secretary; who would not understand them. Will you get them approved and returned to me for payment?
The Auckland Province is charged with:---
Please to certify the salary abstract for this.
The New Plymouth Province is charged with:---
This being in New Plymouth is certified by Cooper.
The land at Mokau being at present within the Auckland Province, only a small portion of the £23.2/- was incurred there. The rest was for surveys in the Waiwakaiho purchase, by your direction, and under your personal superintendence. The whole charges are against the "Land Purchase" Department; and as I have paid nearly the whole, I shall be glad to have the papers returned approved, after your explanations of the circumstances under which the charges were incurred.
I am getting very anxious, as are all of us, to receive answers to our applications for an increase of pay. The arrival of some 70 people, and the expected coming of the "Monarch" and "Joseph Fletcher" with more; and the state of the natives, who are neither working, nor producing, give an upward tendency to every article of consumption.