9th. December 1869
My dear Sir,
I have kept this open till the last moment, in order to give you the latest news here; which is that Te Kooti, joined by Kereopa, and 100 men, is at Te Papa, on Taupo Lake. Kereopa, it is stated, wished him to attack here, but he refused; saying he would have Taupo first; that his God had given it to him, etc.
I found, on my arrival here, a great state of alarm, although Mr. Gill had prudently not told anyone that Kereopa had joined Te Kooti; and the alarm wasbased on some reports made by the Friendly natives across the harbour.
After consulting with Mr. Gill, Mr. S. Clarke, and the Archdeacon, I placed on pay nine (9) Orderlies, smart young fellows of the Tauranga Volunteers, at 7/- a day; who patrol in two different directions at night, beyond the out-settlers' houses, some of whom, with their families and wives, live about eight miles from the town. Had I not done this, I am sure one of the useless, senseless panics would have arisen. I trust you will approve of this step
as there are no Mounted men here, of the Constabulary. Of course as soon as I hear further, definitely, of Te Kooti's movements, I will, - should he not be coming this way - at once strike them off pay; but I really think at present they are needed.
I am employing the men at building a Redoubt, in a better place than the present; which is not only tumbling down, but does not at all pretect the place. The Force is behaving very well. The Publicans are complaining that they do not drink enough. You will see by the enclosed return I send you, that I have 82 N.C. Officers and Constables at Tauranga; and 33 N.C. Officers and Constables at Whakatane; making 115 in all of Constabulary in this District. I hope you will not order any away from here, as I do not think we have one too many, and some of them, Mr. Branigan will discharge when he arrives.
I go to Whakatane to-morrow, or next day, to inspect there, and will return to Tauranga to see Mr. Branigan, whom I do not expect before Wednesday next. I purpose asking Mr. Branigan to send me a few of the Mounted --- (?) here; which will obviate the necessity of placing Volunteers in pay; and this
is a country essentially fitted for Mounted men. There is no Block House here, but there are two in this district; one at Pye's pah, about nine miles from here, and another at Te Puna, about 15 miles. This latter one has never been used, has no settlers near it, and is not of the slightest use where it is. The cost of its removal, however, would be £25, we finding the labour. I mention this to you, in order that you may judge whether it is worth while to do so.
As soon as the men have finished the redoubt they are now at work at, I think they should be moved further away from the Town; and I am in hopes that you will visit us shortly, when I can explain to you better what I consider should be done.
ever yours sincerely