Object #1015616 from MS-Papers-0032-0021

3 pages

From: Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0021 (68 digitised items). Comprises correspondence, memoranda and reports mainly relating to the military campaign against Te Kooti.

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

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English (ATL)

Reasons for not communicating with the late Major Biggs, relative to the intended attack by Te Kooti, on Poverty Bay.

The Revd. S. Williams reported personally to Mr. Richmond on 2nd. November, that he received information that Te Kooti intended attacking Poverty Bay.

Before leaving Wairoa on the 31st. October, it was arranged with Mr. Richmond that a Native Expedition should start at once in the direction of Puketapu, to ascertain the movements of the enemy. Everything-progressed favourably until the 6th. November, when Col. Lambert, on his own responsibility, ordered the Expedition to return, and sent the Napier natives home in the ''St. Kilda.''

Circumstances which have since transpired, clearly show that had the natives been allowed to proceed forward on the 6th. November, Te Kooti would not have moved his force from Puketapu, Consequently no attack would have been made on the Poverty Bay settlement. And yet the Government uphold Col. Lambert's conduct, which was the cause of so much innocent bloodshed, and the destruction of one of the finest settlements in New Zealand.

Had there been any reason for suspecting that the Expedition from Wairoa (which cost so much time, trouble and expense in organising) would have so utterly failed in its object, means would have been adopted by which timely notice could have been given to the late Major Biggs.

Nothing was known in Napier of this failure until 6 p.m. on the 7th. November, when the ''St. Kilda'' arrived with the Napier natives. A telegram was sent at once, informing the Defence Minister that the Expedition had returned from Whataroa, and proposing to send the ''St. Kilda'' to Poverty Bay.

On Sunday, the 8th. November, there was a strong S.E. wind. Capt. Fox did not consider it necessary to employ special labour for coaling, as the steamer could not go out while the wind lasted.

On Monday. the 9th., Mr. McLean sent Major Green on board ''St. Kilda'' to ascertain when she sould proceed to Poverty Bay. Capt. Fox stated that the engineer had some portion of the machinery to pieces, which it was of the utmost importance to have repaired.

On Tuesday the 10th. the ''St. Kilda'' left the Iron Pot by the 2 o'clock tide, and steamed for Poverty Bay.

Part of:
Superintendent, Hawkes Bay and Government Agent, East Coast - Papers, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0021 (68 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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