Object #1013019 from MS-Papers-0032-0022

3 pages written 12 Dec 1868 by Sir Donald McLean in Napier City

From: Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0022 (82 digitised items). Comprises correspondence, memoranda and reports from December 1868, relating to the military campaign against Te Kooti.Includes letters from Maori such as Rapata Wahawaha regarding ammunitions

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

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English (ATL)

Copy Napier
12th December 1868


My dear Richmond

Through some mistake the Steamer did not get out with last nights tide which has caused some delay I have been at a meeting of the Natives at Pawhakairo when about 700 were collected to have a tangi over Karouria.

I fully agree with you that it is most important that something should be done at Whanganui and if Whitmore is not going to do anything at Puketapu I should certainly think that the sooner you send him to the West Coast the better. I hoped that an expedition would move from the Wairoa it would be so much easier to crush the enemy now than at any other time.

While fully recognising the necessity for a strong force to quell the insurrection at Whanganui it will not be safe to denude the East Coast of a certain number of trained men I should say that 100 of the Constabulary with the men already enrolled and at Poverty Bay and Wairoa would be sufficient for the present, with that number the field can soon be taken again if necessary and the Enemy kept in sufficient check to prevent danger to outlying districts. The converging movement requires the preparation you refer to but whilst that is in progress the Enemy may not let us remain inactive and we should be prepared to meet him. The news from Wairarapa and Rangatikei is pacific nothing further from Wanganui Charybdis is there the Challenger saild from Sydney for New Zealand additional men and ammuinition are gone to Whanganui and when Whitmore gets there there will be a force much larger than Titos ready to act against him and he is so emboldened that there is every prospect he must soon meet with a defeat.

On various grounds I feel fully impressed with the importance of getting the Poverty Bay land question settled, but I feel sure that any attempt to settle the question before the War is ended and while the recent massacres are fresh in peoples minds will be attended with unfortunate consequences to the Colony.

The Enemy should be first conquered before settling a question involving so many and such varied interests and I should be sorry that the impression should be conveyed to the Natives that the acquisition of land is more sought after than the punishment of the Criminals who committed late atrocities and who are still hovering about the district.

I feel certain that to urge the matter at such an inopportune time will be most distasteful to the feelings of a great majority of the natives and will in the end be a greater loss than any temporary advantage to be gained by a cession that will not be regarded either as binding or conclusive, a long study of these questions and the consequences flowing from them induce me to express my unreserved views to you on the subject.

I had letters from Taupo today they are not very important.

The Wairoa Natives are ready for a fresh expedition and seem eager to work. The worst feature of New Zealand warfare now is this Kohuru system, I hear that te Waru has been killed I am afraid it is too good news to be true he is much more to be feared as an enemy than te Kooti whose supernatural influence is almost completely gone.

I should mention that Aropeta te Haenga and Penihameni should be treated and recognized as Chiefs also te Irimana and Hokamaus son if he is with the Natives.

I remain,
Yours sincerely, (Signed)
Donald McLean
I suppose you send them back in the Ahuriri

Part of:
Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0022 (82 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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