Object #1016320 from MS-Papers-0032-0009

19 pages written 6 Jan 1857 by Sir Donald McLean

From: Secretary, Native Department - Administration of native affairs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0009 (20 digitised items). Included in this folder is a paper by McLean that his biographer, Ray Fargher, describes as McLean's 'only comprehensive statement on land purchase policy'.The folder also includes information about the battle of Te Kuititanga, 1839.

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

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Page 1 of 19. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)


Sir,

I have the honor by direction of the Governor to convey to you His Excellencys thanks for the kind zeal and assiduity with which you have aided the Govt. in effecting a settlement of the long pending question connected with the powder robbery committed by the Natives of Manaia.

The personal trouble and inconvenience to which you have been exposed in frequently visiting Manaia and in bringing the greater quantity of the stolen powder is I can assure you very much appreciated by His Excellency.

Page 2 of 19. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)


Tuesday January 6, 1857.



Left in the afternoon in Mr. Lanfears schooner for the Thames and Coromandel. Harbour to visit the Natives connected in the Kawau powder robbery. Called at Waiheke for Paratene Puhatta.

Wednesday 7 Jany. 1857.



Puhatta arrived the wind blowing very hard, unable to proceed until it moderates in the afternoon.

William Jowett near whose settlement we are anchored informs me that Mr. Grace is implicated in the affairs of the Taupo meeting, that Raharuhi of Turanga told him (Jowett) of it a long time ago, that the Natives themselves could never originate or even think of the schemes proposed by Mr. Grace for their adoption that the views enunciated by Mr. Grace are very similar to those that influenced the rebel chief Hone Heke.

Page 3 of 19. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

The Rev. Mr. Lanfear expressed to Jowett and Puhatta how much he deprecated Mr. Graces foolish conduct and assured them that he as a missionary did not sympathise with any of Mr. Graces views or sentiments.

Got to McLeods station about sunset cast anchor there for the night.

The Island of Waiheke is poor and unproductive with a few well sheltered bays --- some firewood a small extent of Kauri forest, Manganese, a stock of pigs goats cattle and a few horses although there are no roads to use the latter.

Several sections of the Ngatipaoa tribe reside on this Island with few exceptions they are deeply involved in debt, and from having been one of the finest tribes inhabiting the gulph of the Thames I fear that they are degenerating and becoming more indolent, tricky and deceitful in consequence of their inability to discharge

Page 4 of 19. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

their debts. The most respectable chief among them is Paratene Pukatta who always has been an honest upright man sincere in his christian professions without any ostentatious display. He has frequently before English law or Govt. was introduced to these Island interposed to save the lives of Europeans who were in the early days of New Zealand Colonization frequently exposed to danger, himself a a respected warrior and good shot was always feared and respected by his countrymen, and the late Gordon Brown of Hokianga frequently placed when going to England or Sydney the whole of his property and goods often of great value under his charge and they were invariably well taken care of and accounted for.

This chief remarked to Gov. Gore Brown at the first interview His Excellency held with the Natives at Auckland that his only enemy nowadays would be the ground that he would fight with it incessantly until it produced food for both Europeans and Natives

Page 5 of 19. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

was to the following effect.

Friends the Governor welcome. All I have to say to you is that my people and I shall only fight in future with the ground and stamping on the earth he added we shall fight with the wenua or ground until we make it produce food for Maoris and Europeans we shall have no other king of fighting or no other enemy.

Thursday --- 8 Jany. 1857.



Left McLeods bay at 6 a.m. baffling winds and in the morning about 12 oclock fresh sea breeze crossing the Thames, got to Mr. Lanfears in the evening.

Left McLeods at 6 am.

Friday 9th.



The station occupied by Mr. Lanfear at Mataparu formerly Mr. Dreeces is prettily situated the house is on a round moundy eminence that commands an extensive view of the firth of the Thames underneath is the Native village of Kaneranga

Page 6 of 19. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

with a flat of about 350 acres of level land nearly exhausted by constant cultivation little attention being paid to rotation of crops. The Pa is near the Kaweranga river which is sufficiently deep at high water for vesels of 15 or 18 tons.

The country on the East side of the Thames between Mr. Lanfears and Manaia is excessively poor and hilly with a small flat here and there of a few acres near the entrance of creeks on these little spots the Natives cultivate and form their villages but level land is so limited that it does not provide sufficient food for the comparatively few natives residing there who are obliged to cultivate their wheat and potatoes on the rugged hill sides which appear from the sea side so steep and inaccessible that none but expert climbers like the Maories could make any use of them

Page 7 of 19. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

Taraia informs me that although the Natives have a large extent of this country but he is obliged to go further up the Thames to clear and occupy fresh tracts of land more level as the hilly country inhabited by him and his people at the Tahmes is too poor to maintain them.

It is upwards of 13 years since I visited this part of the country and I see little or no traces of improvement since that period. The Natives are much the same now as they were then. Their superstitions have still a strong hold on them they do not appear more industrious no Europeans reside among

Page 8 of 19. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

them and having no land except on hill sides and a few flas the plough cannot be used. Their poverty is exhibited in the poorness of their dress and the wretched huts they live in, their old Pas which contained some good houses are fast tottering to decay and the sheds they now substitute for houses are of the most temporary and uncomfortable description causing together with their precarious and irregular mode of life notwithstanding the salubrious nature of the climate many premature deaths. The tapu is still upheld and few attempts to transgress its observances are permitted with impunity in Taraias dominions.

Te Mapu Huirania Riwai and a few other chiefs with their followers came up to Mr. Lanfears where we had some long speeches

Page 9 of 19. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

of welcome to Hauraki that the land only now remained to welcome us that the people were gone, they all expressed great satisfaction with the Governors conduct towards them throughout the whole of the powder proceedings.

The Principal Chief Hoterene Taipare returned in the evening from a fishing expedition. The substance of his speech may be briefly given a s followers.

Welcome McLean. I hear you have come from the Governor to put an end to these powder differences we have done wrong like forward children, the Governor has treated us as such we fully appreciate his kindness --- therefore we say welcome to the shores of Hauraki, I told him that the Governor had treated them as he just remarked like forward children, that we had now for this time forgiven them that it rested with themselves as to whether

Page 10 of 19. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

their future conduct deserved such consideration, in any case if anything went wrong in future let them go to the Governor as the fountain head for a redress of their grievances, that the spring was always purest and best when drunk at its source before it mingled with other waters. The road was now clear and they might go to Auckland.

Saturday 10 January.



Left for Manaia at 6 a.m. we arrived at a little bay near the entrance at 9 p.m.

Sunday 11 Jany. 1857.



Mr. Lanfear went to hold and th Natives went to hold service with the people at a Pa near Hohepa Paraones about a mile inland of our anchorage. I remained at Waitotara bay neal the vessel.

Monday 12 January 1857



About 8 a.m. a large war canoe manned with

English (ATL)


Sir,

I have the honor by direction of the Governor to convey to you His Excellencys thanks for the kind zeal and assiduity with which you have aided the Govt. in effecting a settlement of the long pending question connected with the powder robbery committed by the Natives of Manaia.

The personal trouble and inconvenience to which you have been exposed in frequently visiting Manaia and in bringing the greater quantity of the stolen powder is I can assure you very much appreciated by His Excellency.

Tuesday January 6, 1857.



Left in the afternoon in Mr. Lanfears schooner for the Thames and Coromandel. Harbour to visit the Natives connected in the Kawau powder robbery. Called at Waiheke for Paratene Puhatta.

Wednesday 7 Jany. 1857.



Puhatta arrived the wind blowing very hard, unable to proceed until it moderates in the afternoon.

William Jowett near whose settlement we are anchored informs me that Mr. Grace is implicated in the affairs of the Taupo meeting, that Raharuhi of Turanga told him (Jowett) of it a long time ago, that the Natives themselves could never originate or even think of the schemes proposed by Mr. Grace for their adoption that the views enunciated by Mr. Grace are very similar to those that influenced the rebel chief Hone Heke. The Rev. Mr. Lanfear expressed to Jowett and Puhatta how much he deprecated Mr. Graces foolish conduct and assured them that he as a missionary did not sympathise with any of Mr. Graces views or sentiments.

Got to McLeods station about sunset cast anchor there for the night.

The Island of Waiheke is poor and unproductive with a few well sheltered bays --- some firewood a small extent of Kauri forest, Manganese, a stock of pigs goats cattle and a few horses although there are no roads to use the latter.

Several sections of the Ngatipaoa tribe reside on this Island with few exceptions they are deeply involved in debt, and from having been one of the finest tribes inhabiting the gulph of the Thames I fear that they are degenerating and becoming more indolent, tricky and deceitful in consequence of their inability to discharge their debts. The most respectable chief among them is Paratene Pukatta who always has been an honest upright man sincere in his christian professions without any ostentatious display. He has frequently before English law or Govt. was introduced to these Island interposed to save the lives of Europeans who were in the early days of New Zealand Colonization frequently exposed to danger, himself a a respected warrior and good shot was always feared and respected by his countrymen, and the late Gordon Brown of Hokianga frequently placed when going to England or Sydney the whole of his property and goods often of great value under his charge and they were invariably well taken care of and accounted for.

This chief remarked to Gov. Gore Brown at the first interview His Excellency held with the Natives at Auckland that his only enemy nowadays would be the ground that he would fight with it incessantly until it produced food for both Europeans and Natives was to the following effect.

Friends the Governor welcome. All I have to say to you is that my people and I shall only fight in future with the ground and stamping on the earth he added we shall fight with the wenua or ground until we make it produce food for Maoris and Europeans we shall have no other king of fighting or no other enemy.

Thursday --- 8 Jany. 1857.



Left McLeods bay at 6 a.m. baffling winds and in the morning about 12 oclock fresh sea breeze crossing the Thames, got to Mr. Lanfears in the evening.

Left McLeods at 6 am.

Friday 9th.



The station occupied by Mr. Lanfear at Mataparu formerly Mr. Dreeces is prettily situated the house is on a round moundy eminence that commands an extensive view of the firth of the Thames underneath is the Native village of Kaneranga with a flat of about 350 acres of level land nearly exhausted by constant cultivation little attention being paid to rotation of crops. The Pa is near the Kaweranga river which is sufficiently deep at high water for vesels of 15 or 18 tons.

The country on the East side of the Thames between Mr. Lanfears and Manaia is excessively poor and hilly with a small flat here and there of a few acres near the entrance of creeks on these little spots the Natives cultivate and form their villages but level land is so limited that it does not provide sufficient food for the comparatively few natives residing there who are obliged to cultivate their wheat and potatoes on the rugged hill sides which appear from the sea side so steep and inaccessible that none but expert climbers like the Maories could make any use of them Taraia informs me that although the Natives have a large extent of this country but he is obliged to go further up the Thames to clear and occupy fresh tracts of land more level as the hilly country inhabited by him and his people at the Tahmes is too poor to maintain them.

It is upwards of 13 years since I visited this part of the country and I see little or no traces of improvement since that period. The Natives are much the same now as they were then. Their superstitions have still a strong hold on them they do not appear more industrious no Europeans reside among them and having no land except on hill sides and a few flas the plough cannot be used. Their poverty is exhibited in the poorness of their dress and the wretched huts they live in, their old Pas which contained some good houses are fast tottering to decay and the sheds they now substitute for houses are of the most temporary and uncomfortable description causing together with their precarious and irregular mode of life notwithstanding the salubrious nature of the climate many premature deaths. The tapu is still upheld and few attempts to transgress its observances are permitted with impunity in Taraias dominions.

Te Mapu Huirania Riwai and a few other chiefs with their followers came up to Mr. Lanfears where we had some long speeches of welcome to Hauraki that the land only now remained to welcome us that the people were gone, they all expressed great satisfaction with the Governors conduct towards them throughout the whole of the powder proceedings.

The Principal Chief Hoterene Taipare returned in the evening from a fishing expedition. The substance of his speech may be briefly given a s followers.

Welcome McLean. I hear you have come from the Governor to put an end to these powder differences we have done wrong like forward children, the Governor has treated us as such we fully appreciate his kindness --- therefore we say welcome to the shores of Hauraki, I told him that the Governor had treated them as he just remarked like forward children, that we had now for this time forgiven them that it rested with themselves as to whether their future conduct deserved such consideration, in any case if anything went wrong in future let them go to the Governor as the fountain head for a redress of their grievances, that the spring was always purest and best when drunk at its source before it mingled with other waters. The road was now clear and they might go to Auckland.

Saturday 10 January.



Left for Manaia at 6 a.m. we arrived at a little bay near the entrance at 9 p.m.

Sunday 11 Jany. 1857.



Mr. Lanfear went to hold and th Natives went to hold service with the people at a Pa near Hohepa Paraones about a mile inland of our anchorage. I remained at Waitotara bay neal the vessel.

Monday 12 January 1857



About 8 a.m. a large war canoe manned with a crew of well dressed young Natives came down to take us up to the Pa where we found about 150 assembled on the beach to welcome us waving their blankets and shawla and as we approached the beach they all joined chorus and in a very animated manner repeated their song of welcome.

After the usual ceremony of sitting down in perfect silence like statues was over, it being Maori etiquette for the people of the place to speak first, Manuwiri the head of the pwder robbers an old man of 60 with an aquiline nose, thin lips and sharp features and a keen eye got up and went through the formal ceremony of welcome without making any particular allusion to the robbery.

Paratene replied in a good speech cautioning Manuwhiri against a repetition of such thefts to be done for ever with such disgraceful conduct that if other tribes broke out let not Manuwhiri take part with them but let him stand aloof from all quarrels in future. If I do wrong let me suffer for my own misdeeds in future let Hauraki suffer for its own deeds, but you must not commence if I or Taraia or any of the others get into as wrong do not help us rather let us suffer for our folly. Address what you have now to say to McLean about the powder.

Manuwhiri and all present assented to Paratenes speech of which the above is only a brief outline.

Manuwhiri again rose and said Welcome McLean welcome to Manaia to the shores of Hauraki, Welcome to the Governor who has sent you to release us from gaol or to punish us. We are glad to see you, we have done wrong we know it we feel it, th the Governor has treated us as a parent treats forward children. Welcome to the Governors word brought by you, we may assure you that we shall not again commit such a fault as we have been foolishly guilty of, let any person in future who does wrong be given up to the judge and tried for his offence we shall in future give up our offenders, evils of this kind are not confined to us they originated of old there may be many other evils in the country but we shall not take part in them, we would have given up the powder long ago to the Governor if you would only come to demand it from us, at length we gave it up to our own Missionary Mr. Lanfear. Welcome Lanfear welcome Lanfear you and your friend McLean to the shores of Hauraki.

I replied in the following terms, Manuwhiri you have heard what Paratene has said beware how you conduct yourself in future. The governor has deputed me to tell you that you are forgiven for this offence, but do not suppose you will be allowed to escape with impunity if you attempt such mean theivish practices in future the Governor has a regard for the tribes of Hauraki who interposed their influence on your behalf, and true in this instance you forgiveness is granted, under the shining sun of this day, and with this day all your fears from this offence may vanish. The matter is now ended but my advice to you Manuwhiri is not to provoke the governor in future and let us not hear of your meddling or taking part in any future disputes thefts or bad practices against the while people let their property wherever it is or however carelessly guarded be left untouched by you and your people, a pretty name you have gained for yourself that of a thief do you enjoy such a reputation do you imagine it had risen you in the estimation of other tribes or have you not felt that this act has been followed by the degradation such acts deserves. You say you would have given up the powder to me I would not accept it the Governor would not permit to do so. The Governors words were let the thieves who stole the powder restore it to its owners I shall not send for it the Governor was right.

Two sections of the Ngatimaru and Ngatiwhanaunga tribe who were seated apart from Manuwhiris people but who were implicated in the powder robbery listened very attentively to all that occurred one of their number Hohepa Paraone did not attend assigning as a reason that he was unwell his wife and brother attended the meeting and presented some fruit and honey prabably as a peace offering. To these tribes I expressed disapprobation of their conduct in associating themselves with a vagrant chief descended of a race of thieves like Manuwhiri and thereby bringing reproach on themselves and their district which had always been free of guilt as far as Europeans were concerned up to the present time.

To the various remarks I found it nesessary to make the Natives assented frequently urging me to speak on, and fully admitted that they were in the wrong and that they appreciated the Governors forbearance I then informed them that I was deputed by the Governor now that they acknowledged their fault to extend forgiveness to you also.

Several speeches expressive of good will to the Governor were then made by the chiefs of different parties.

The Rev. Mr. Lanfear in a short speech expressed his delight and satisfaction at the manner in which the whole proceedings were conducted and terminated.

Food consisting of fruit honey fish etc. was placed before us and we left for Coromandel harbour, the same afternoon I proceeded to the Pa of Taniwhas who had taken part in defending the robbers, a short repetition of what took place at Manaia was acted here after which I proceeded to Mr. Preeces, the former missionary of the Thames district and who still exerciaes considerable influence over the Natives of Coromandel amongst whom it is most desirable that a Magistrate for the adjustment of disputes should be appointed.

The powder robbery which has created so much excitment both among Europeans and Natives may be regarded as a very awkward case well disposed of, animadversions were freely passed on the policy or non policy pursued by the Govt. in the matter, some indicated one course of proceeding while others would take quite an opposite view. Many were of opinion that the troops should be ordered down to recover the powder shoot the delinquents and imprison as many of them as they could lay hold of, but they overlooked the necessity of first catching your hare. There is no doubt if the latter course had been pursued the powder which was carefully concealed in the fastnesses of the the interior would never be recovered, a few parties might be shot on each side and expense of thousands would be entailed by the simple moving of the troops to the scene of action combinations of the disaffected of various tribes would be formed against the Govt., the vagrant tribe who committed the theft would attain a higher standing and position than ever among their own race if troops were sent against them, ageneral conflagration throughout the Island might easily be kindled but not so easily exinguished, and the consequences to the country of a native war would check its immigration and material progress for years to come, all this and much more has been avoided by the course pursued by the Govt. which was far from being of a negative or compromising character while pursuing the only means by which this long pending question could be brought to a termination.

Part of:
Secretary, Native Department - Administration of native affairs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0009 (20 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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