Object #1014961 from MS-Papers-0032-0162

8 pages written 28 Aug 1866 by Reginald Newton Biggs in Poverty Bay to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Reginald N Biggs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0162 (43 digitised items). 39 letters written from Wanganui, Tangoio, Wairoa, Christchurch, Tuparoa, Turanganui, Poverty Bay. Includes map of Wanganui sections, 1857 [?]. Names on map - Crass [?], C G Doughty, Thomas Kettle, F Watts, Awamoho, Pehira, W Jowett & R N Biggs (sections 26 & 27) by the Wanganui River. Includes letters from Biggs to Deighton, and Biggs to Fraser.

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

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English (ATL)

Poverty Bay
28 August 1866

My dear Mr. McLean

I wrote to you in a great hurry on board the Sturt as Fairchild told me there was a chance of meeting the mail steamer for the south at Tauranga. You know of course that the Defence Office has allowed me to move the position from Kohangakarearea to Toanga but they will not permit any extra expense to be incurred. I am sorry for it as a trifle would cover every thing and make a good position of it. All the timber requisite for a house capable of holding 50 men comfortably has been in the Wilson Redoubt for some time. The men could put it up themselves and the cost would be only for nails and hinges etc.

Luckily Toanga is more convenient for Read to send supplies to than Kohangakarearea so I have got him to do the carting free of charge.

I have given all the potatoes out distributing them as fairly as I could. The Bishop of Waiapu has sent the Maoris a ton so I think there will be plenty of food to carry them through next year. I am glad to hear the House agreed to your clause in the pension bill to provide for wounded natives It is quite time that the Maoris should derive an equal benefit with Europeans in all acts passed as also to be made to suffer for any breach of them. I do hope that henceforth the government will make but one law for Maoris and Europeans now is the time to commence.

It is perfectly useless any body trying to prevent spirits being landed on this coast as long as the Maoris do all in their power to get it vessels are sonstantly hanging about and landing grog all along the coast. I took the law into my own hands the other day and seized a lot of brandy in Hirini's Pa. I had several of the men up for being drunk and found out where the spirits came from so sent a file of the guard to search the whares. The spirits were landed in Tolaga Bay and sent overland to Hirini. The Maoris did not object in the least.

You mention in your letter not having received my plan of enrolling 50 or 100 men out of Morgan's people. I would not select them entirely from Morgan's people but take a few from each friendly tribe but in no account allow any of the "Ruini hou" to join, however good soldiers they may make. They should receive pay at the rate of 2/- per diem clothes and rations the same as we now issued to the Mil. Sets. They must be treated in every respect as Europeans as regards rules and punishments. They could be used as policemen when required or messengers etc. As regards drill I would simply teach them some of easiest movements making them march properly, use their arms smartly without awkwardness, and skirmish. All that drill of forming squares batalion drill can never be wanted in this country.

I did not get your letters about the missing petition till last week they having been sent to Tauranga though the one for Ropata came all right and immediately on receipt of it I posted up to Wylie in a great state of mind about it and was precious glad to find that it had gone down all right in the Ahuriri.

I had no idea you even wished to show my letters to Ministers or I should have been more careful.

4th. Sept.

The Tawera is going off today so I shall take the opportunity of sending this. Hotini and 20 Ngatiporou came down on Saturday last and are going to stop a month. I have sent them up to Toanga, giving them bags of potatoes to plant they are to assist in putting up the new redoubt there. Rice has been trying all sorts of ways of getting the Maoris over to his side but he is making no impression. The sooner you come to arrange what land is to be confiscated and what (given) to the loyal natives the better. I do not (think) the Court will be able to do much (when) it sits as there is such a strong party against letting or selling the oil spring. I hope we shall not be long without a steamer from Wellington the Ahuriri did not come on here last month.

We hear the Stafford ministry is out but nothing authentic it seems likely to be a very long session as little or nothing of importance had been got through when we last heard. Baker desires to be remembered to you

Believe me
Yours very truly
Reginald Newton Biggs.

Part of:
Inward letters - Reginald N Biggs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0162 (43 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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