Object #1013820 from MS-Papers-0032-0565

6 pages written 24 Jan 1861 by William Nicholas Searancke in Otaki to Sir Donald McLean in Auckland Region

From: Inward letters - W N Searancke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0565 (58 digitised items). 60 letters written from Waiuku, Ahuriri, Waipa, Auckland, Awhitu, Wellington, Masterton, Wairarapa, Otaki, Manawatu, Tuaranganui, Te Purupuru, Greytown, Rangitikei, Waikato, Whangarei, Ngaruawhaia. Includes piece-level inventory (1969 accessions not added). Contains letters from Searancke to McLean with regard to the purchase of Maori land in the lower North Island in the 1850s and 1860s, in Wairarapa, Horowhenua and Manawatu; the letters also contain information about disputes that arose from the sales among Maori and between Maori and the Government; there is also information about the disposition of Maori, and their attitudes towards the King Movement, in these areas during the New Zealand wars of the early 1860s There are also some letters about Searancke's work in the Waikato district as a resident magistrate, with information about his observations of the Kingitanga

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

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English (ATL)


24 January 1861

My Dear Sir,

With natives buzzing about one like mosquitoes it is an impossibility to do anything of an official character, blunders etc in a private letter under such circumstances are excusable.

I left the Hutt on the 22nd in the evening, met some natives at Porirua who told me privately that another petition to Her Majesty was getting up at Waikanae and that if I made inquiries, that I might hear more about it on the spot. I pushed on and slept at Pahautanui that night, on the following day the 23rd at about ten o'clock I arrived at Waikanae, went in to theviillage and found that a far more important personage had a few minutes previously come from Taranaki (a Ngatiawa Native named Taupaia) he had been sent up in November from Waikanae to bring them down authentic information about the War. there was a muster of about 150 natives crying and waiting to hear the news, after he had delivered his credentials and letters from Wi Kingi and others, (two of the latter were read to the Meeting, one dated before the engagement, the other subsequently both were cool and determined in their language that they were quite prepared to carry on the war for another year or two, that the losses of the Waikatos were immaterial as Waitara was the payment, and that the actual loss of the natives in the attack on the Matarikoreko Pah was six Waikatos and one chief the son of the Pakaru wounded in the leg Taupaia then got up and gave a very long and very distinct account of his proceedings since he left Waikanae, of the Native Fortifications, in the Waitara Dist. the whole of which he had visited having been as far north as Ongairo that ammunition was most abundant and food plentiful and natives in very high spirits, he had himself been in the engagement at the Kairau Pah had accompanied the Waikatos, that they the Natives had been put on their guard by a letter from the Waka who had been Informed by letter from a (friendly) native living I think at or near the Sugarloaves not only of the numbers of the Troops who were coming to attack them but also their route, the number and description of Guns etc, etc. He strongly affirmed in answer to a good deal of cross questioning that more than seven were killed, at the time he left 400 more Waikatoes were south of Mokau, coming south, and that these were 400 Ngatiruanui Natives to be joined by 170 Taranakis and 200 Waikatos to attack or make demonstration against the Town in fact he gave them a good straight forward account which has considerably elated them in these parts he also stated that they had been informed by the Revd. Mr. Wilson that 15 soldiers were killed and that he had seen Mr. Parris after the engagement who had allowed him to go and see some of the friendly natives. I was detained listening to this statement the whole. of the day and could do no more than ascertain that the extreme Missionary party had backed up by Riwai (the Revd) Te Ahu written a petition to the Queen and demanding that the Governor should be immediately recalled and also denying that the account given of the Conference at Kohimarama was correct and stating that they never allowed that Wi Kingi was wrong in his movements or claims at Waitara, Wi Tamehana one of the men present at the Conference is the principal supporter and getter up of the petition, this petition was signed on Tuesday morning but very partially, Wi Tako denies having anything to do with it and says he did not sign, several others also denied having signed it or in fact had anything to do with it, clearly in my opinion it eminates from the Missionary party, another petition is also now at Rangitikei to the same effect. Tamihana promised to show it to me but afterwards refused, there was also a very large meeting at Waiteanae Otaki last week about the Kings Flag after three days and three nights disucssion nothing decisive was arrived at, the Natives state that it is not to be hoisted at all, but I have good reason to doubt it very much too much importance has been given to this Flag by certain parties both here and at Wellington. I go on to Manawatu at once, natives all very busy here cutting their wheat etc. which is but little damaged by the Wind etc. I have this moment heard that the King's flag is to be hoisted on the 1st March (certain).

The short time I have will not allow of my making further inquiries into these matters but will inform Mr. Turton who is now in Wellington of them.

I am Dear Sir,
Yours very truly,
D. McLean Esqre. AUCKLAND

Part of:
Inward letters - W N Searancke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0565 (58 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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