24 October 1865
I regret not having been able to wait any longer than I did the day I was in Napier in order to speak to you, but as it was I was very nearly late for the steamer -
The steamer called as you directed at Poverty Bay Waiapu and Opotiki - At the first named place all was quiet at the time - but. I understood from the officer commanding as well as Mr. Reid that there was a force of 4 or 500 Hau Haus entrenched at a Pah about 6 miles distant. I also gathered that the Hau Haus held some prisoners in their possession - At Waiapu we learned of the great success which Major Frazer accomplished three or four days before our arrival and of which doubtless you have full particulars before this. We were prevented from communicating a second time with the shore on account of the surf - so had to leave without particulars -
At Opotiki there had been also severe fighting, and the Maoris had surrendered one Pah and were expected
to surrender another Immediately - a good number of prisoners had been taken by Major McDonnel between 2 and 300 I understood and 39 Maoris had been buried and many more were supposed to have been killed. Altogether the successes of the Colonial forces at Waiapu and Opotiki were complete and I should say from what I gather from others decisive and concluding the war along that part of the coast -
With regard to Mr. Esdaile's statement or rather "misstatement" of facts and figures to you - I should be glad to have a copy of acct. furnished to you both on my Dr. and Cr. side - I am quite prepared to prove that some of his statements are nothing more or less than unmitigated falsehoods prompted by his personal dislike to me - and which dislike originated entirely from his knowing that I saw too clearly through the duplicity and ignorance of his character - I shall only give you one instance - and which I can prove by other evidence - as to whether he is a fit person to trust the management of a station to - About the last week in Septr. the shepherd who lived at the first whari left - he had the care of the young ewe flock where the wild dogs were making sad havoc and was a
very active hand always out after them from the day he left till the day I did a period of at least a fortnight not a soul slept in that whari or went near the sheep - the most of which time Mr. Esdaile spent either sitting over the kitchen fire or moping about the home station - when at Dr. Featherstons side though the dogs were not so bad at the time Mr. MacDonald was two or three nights every week up and about the Run - That is only one of the many instances that I could adduce to show he was incompetent for a trust that required activity and energy -
If I might take the liberty of giving you advice I should say send some trustworthy person down to attend the sheep mustering - endeavour to get as clean a muster as possible so as to arrive at an approximate idea of the number of sheep on the Sun - for my firm belief is that there are nothing like the number which exist on paper - from want of proper shepherding and care -
I fear I have already trespassed too long on your time.
I remain dear Sir
Donald McLean Esq.
Inward letters - C H Otway, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0489 (22 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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