Object #1017458 from MS-Papers-0032-0012
5 pages written 25 Apr 1860 by Sir Donald McLean in
From: Secretary, Native Department - War in Taranaki and Waikato and King Movement, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0012 (33 digitised items). Includes papers on Maori intelligence gathering for the Crown and a letter in between Maori discussing preparation for conflict
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25 April 1860
Sir, I have the honor to report to your Excellency that Whaingaroa is at present perfectly tranquil.
The panic occasioned by rumours from Waikato is subsiding about 25 chiefly women and children left hare on the 14 inst. by the Jupiter.
Those of the settlers with whom I have been in communication are decided not to abandon the settlement, they are all pursuing their various avocations.
I have notified to the European and Native inhabitants that I should meet them at noon today to devise and confer with them on such measures as may be calculated to ensure greater security in case of attack.
I shall take an early opportunity of transmitting the result of this meeting to your Excellency as I may not be able to do so in time for this mail.
The Natives on the coast between Waikato heads and Whaingaroa received me well, they professed allegiance to the Queen as far as they were capable of comprehending such a compact, they had some grievances to complain
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of such as the shooting at and wounding one of their tribe
recently at Waikato heads and the death previously by a European at Auckland or Hemi also one of their trite. They wished to know whether in similar aggravated and unprovoked attacks they should be justified in taking the law into their own hands. I explained to them that that would be using a dangerous and unnecessary weapon while there were courts in the country in which their own chiefs assisted to administer the law where they could obtain redress for all grievances --
I should here notice that John Hobbs the messenger at the Native office previously distinguished as a skilful warrior, on the English side at the Bay of Islands spoke with excellent effect to the various tribes as we came along he was listened to with much attention from the fact of his being a relative of theirs.
Wm. Nero had a long interview with me yesterday evening, he feels annoyed that the settlers should leave, he is summoning his followers from the Waipa Aotea and other places to consult on the course they are to pursue should the
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Waikatos meditate any present or future attack upon either themselves or the Europeans of this place.
These meetings will occupy several days and will be calculated to have an important influence on the proceedings at the Waikato meeting.
I may add that every confidence may be placed in Neros loyalty and attachment to the Government, he intends in common with many others to attend the meeting at Ngaruawahia although strongly opposed to the King movement.
Potatau is admitted by Nero to be friendly in his sentiments and this admission is rehiable from the fact that Nero in consequence of old unrevenged feuds is notlinely to admit more than may be relieo upon in favor of Potatau.
Nero states that there is a widely extended disaffection among several of the New Zealand tribes which Potatau may not be able to control as his influence when it comes to a question of peace or war although nominally great at present, will not be felt beyond his own
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more immediate followers and adherents.
From all I can learn the Europeans at Kawhia must be warned to remove, there are very ill disposed Natives there and I submit that it would be most politic to place a restriction upon that harbour prohibiting under heavy penalties any vessels except Govt. cruisers from entering it. this course I would bring these people to their senses more readily than if war were carried on against them, I am informed by Mr. Skinner Wesleyan teacher a reliable authority that a considerable section of the Ngatihikairo part of Ngatimaniapoto of Kawhia intend to proceed by way of Whanganui to join Wm. King. It is probable as they intend passing through a disaffected part of the country that they may enlist others to join them and by this means augment Kings party to 1000 men.
Such a movement while it distracts the attention
Secretary, Native Department - War in Taranaki and Waikato and King Movement, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0012 (33 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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