Object #1018777 from MS-Papers-0032-0033

14 pages

From: Native Minister - Meetings with Waikato chiefs and final pacification of the King Country, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0033 (49 digitised items). No Item Description

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

Download a at

Page 1 of 14. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

H. E. 4/11/72



In order to prevent any misunderstanding or misconception as to the motives which actuated me in the course I adopted with reference to your Ex's proposed interview with the Waikato Natives in May 1872, and as the fact of your not having visited the King country has been, I believe, looked upon by you as a misfortune attributable to myself, I think it right that I should place on record the reasons which influenced me on that occasion.

At an early stage of the negotiations it seemed to me that a meeting with the King natives might be attended with beneficial results and it became then my object to obtain an opportunity of ascertaining how far in reason their offers would extend, so that I might advise Y. Ex. as to future steps.

Page 2 of 14. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)


In these views I believe you fully acquiesced: and I think you will acknowledge that, wherever it has been in their power to assist your Ex in your ceremonial visits to natives in various parts of the Island, the Ministry have, to their utmost power, facilitated your progresses which have generally been of a nature satisfactory to yourself.

At the period when your Ex. wished to journey from Taupo to Cambridge, and again, when later you displayed so much anxiety to visit the Waikatos, I became impresssed with the belief that you thought a meeting with the latter would be attended with results similar to those evoked in your interviews with the leyal natives.

Page 3 of 14. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)


I think that your Ex hardly realised the fact considered that a keen struggle of a long duration had so far estranged the Waikato tribes as to cause them to look upon a visit from the Governor with a considerable amount of suspicion; if not even with apprehension for the security of their own nationality and power.

Having been kept fully informed of the motives by which the natives were actuated, I did not encourage the sanguine expectations formed by your Ex. of the beneficial results likely to accrue from the proposed interview; and, on your visit to the interior, I felt it my duty to advise against your entering the King district, as you proposed by the way of Cambridge. This advice I gave from a belief that it would be looked

Page 4 of 14. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

upon by the natives generally as an unbecoming proceeding were a great chief to approach their country from the rear instead of from the principal town. To use their own expressions: "The way of peace should be in the old war path, so that the footsteps made on it/in anger may be effaced.

Again, in Auckland, I desired time to enable me to ascertain whether an interview beneficial to both races could be arranged, one of my chief objects being to maintain the regard due to your position and dignity.

I learnt however that differences of opinion had arisen between the Waikato and Ngatimaniapoto chiefs as to the place of meeting,

Page 5 of 14. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

the subjects to be brought foward for discussion and other matters involving points of etiquette such as whether you should go to Te Kuiti to see Tawhiao, or whether he should come to meet you in some place in the vicinity of the English settlements. The immediate relatives of the King objected to meeting your Ex on the grounds that the invitation came from Ngatimaniapoto, and they positively declined to attend any interview held beyond their own boundaries; they said that "if the Governor wanted to see them, he must come to them; they had not asked him and were perfectly indifferent as to whether he came or not. Should he come,

Page 6 of 14. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

they had certain demands to make, which if he granted, they would be satisfied. For their part, they were not prepared to make any concessions."

I then visited the Waikato in order to prepare the way for your Ex.

On arrival at Alexandra I found that the differences between the Waikatos and the Ngatimaniapotos had increased, and that it was impossible that any meeting should take place at which your Ex. could be present.

This opinion I imparted to you; and in it I have been supported by written and verbal communications from those the Europeans and natives throughout/Island who are best calculated to form a correct and impartial judgment.

Page 7 of 14. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)


I beg to call your Ex's attention to appended extracts made from a few of the letters received from influential chiefs in answer to my circular (attached) requesting an opinion as to the ideas evoked among the Natives by Rewi's invitation. I may add that nine tenths of the writers were strongly against its acceptance.

I wish also to call your Ex's attentive notice to appended extracts from a memo, by H. E. Sir G. Grey written in 1863. The difficulties then foreseen by Sir G. Grey and the reasons assigned by him for not going to Ngaruawahia accompanied by his responsible advisers are similar to those which presented themselves to my mind when an identical

Page 8 of 14. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

state of things occurred in 1872.

Under these circumstances to have gone into the King's territory would have been looked upon by the natives as an act of humiliation on the part of the Europeans; and this would not have been the only misfortune attending such a meeting.

For several years the Colony has been at peace, and the prudence of not disturbing extant relations, but of leaving well alone, is self evident. A journey into the King country without a cordial invitation and without the slightest indication as to the object or motives of such of the natives as desired this visit would have placed your Ex in the awkward position of being subjected to demands

Page 9 of 14. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

with which you could not comply, and which might, instead of the interview leading to a reconciliated, has had the contrary effect and very possibly have led to an open rupture in our relations with the King natives.

Such a result was not only possible but probable, and I need not say that the consequences would have been exceedingly disastrous to the Colony, especially as no necessity existed for incurring such a hazard.

Had negotiations with the King party been so far advanced that an agreement had been made as to terms which could be entertained, it would then have been very pleasing duty to have advised your Ex to enter Waikato with a certain degree of state

Page 10 of 14. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

and ceremony, accompanied by numerous friendly chiefs, in order to ratify by your presence and conclude arrangements beneficial to the Colony. In such a case your Ex's own dignity and that of your position would have run no risk of compromise.

Nothing however occurred to justify me in the belief that it would be right for me to advise your Ex to take the step of coming to Waikato, and I duly acquainted you with my views on the subject.

I may add that the same causes which prevented your Ex's interview with Tawhiao in 1868 were also in operation though in a less degree, in 1872.

In interviews I have had the honour of having with

English (ATL)

H. E. 4/11/72



In order to prevent any misunderstanding or misconception as to the motives which actuated me in the course I adopted with reference to your Ex's proposed interview with the Waikato Natives in May 1872, and as the fact of your not having visited the King country has been, I believe, looked upon by you as a misfortune attributable to myself, I think it right that I should place on record the reasons which influenced me on that occasion.

At an early stage of the negotiations it seemed to me that a meeting with the King natives might be attended with beneficial results and it became then my object to obtain an opportunity of ascertaining how far in reason their offers would extend, so that I might advise Y. Ex. as to future steps.

In these views I believe you fully acquiesced: and I think you will acknowledge that, wherever it has been in their power to assist your Ex in your ceremonial visits to natives in various parts of the Island, the Ministry have, to their utmost power, facilitated your progresses which have generally been of a nature satisfactory to yourself.

At the period when your Ex. wished to journey from Taupo to Cambridge, and again, when later you displayed so much anxiety to visit the Waikatos, I became impresssed with the belief that you thought a meeting with the latter would be attended with results similar to those evoked in your interviews with the leyal natives.

I think that your Ex hardly realised the fact considered that a keen struggle of a long duration had so far estranged the Waikato tribes as to cause them to look upon a visit from the Governor with a considerable amount of suspicion; if not even with apprehension for the security of their own nationality and power.

Having been kept fully informed of the motives by which the natives were actuated, I did not encourage the sanguine expectations formed by your Ex. of the beneficial results likely to accrue from the proposed interview; and, on your visit to the interior, I felt it my duty to advise against your entering the King district, as you proposed by the way of Cambridge. This advice I gave from a belief that it would be looked upon by the natives generally as an unbecoming proceeding were a great chief to approach their country from the rear instead of from the principal town. To use their own expressions: "The way of peace should be in the old war path, so that the footsteps made on it/in anger may be effaced.

Again, in Auckland, I desired time to enable me to ascertain whether an interview beneficial to both races could be arranged, one of my chief objects being to maintain the regard due to your position and dignity.

I learnt however that differences of opinion had arisen between the Waikato and Ngatimaniapoto chiefs as to the place of meeting, the subjects to be brought foward for discussion and other matters involving points of etiquette such as whether you should go to Te Kuiti to see Tawhiao, or whether he should come to meet you in some place in the vicinity of the English settlements. The immediate relatives of the King objected to meeting your Ex on the grounds that the invitation came from Ngatimaniapoto, and they positively declined to attend any interview held beyond their own boundaries; they said that "if the Governor wanted to see them, he must come to them; they had not asked him and were perfectly indifferent as to whether he came or not. Should he come, they had certain demands to make, which if he granted, they would be satisfied. For their part, they were not prepared to make any concessions."

I then visited the Waikato in order to prepare the way for your Ex.

On arrival at Alexandra I found that the differences between the Waikatos and the Ngatimaniapotos had increased, and that it was impossible that any meeting should take place at which your Ex. could be present.

This opinion I imparted to you; and in it I have been supported by written and verbal communications from those the Europeans and natives throughout/Island who are best calculated to form a correct and impartial judgment.

I beg to call your Ex's attention to appended extracts made from a few of the letters received from influential chiefs in answer to my circular (attached) requesting an opinion as to the ideas evoked among the Natives by Rewi's invitation. I may add that nine tenths of the writers were strongly against its acceptance.

I wish also to call your Ex's attentive notice to appended extracts from a memo, by H. E. Sir G. Grey written in 1863. The difficulties then foreseen by Sir G. Grey and the reasons assigned by him for not going to Ngaruawahia accompanied by his responsible advisers are similar to those which presented themselves to my mind when an identical state of things occurred in 1872.

Under these circumstances to have gone into the King's territory would have been looked upon by the natives as an act of humiliation on the part of the Europeans; and this would not have been the only misfortune attending such a meeting.

For several years the Colony has been at peace, and the prudence of not disturbing extant relations, but of leaving well alone, is self evident. A journey into the King country without a cordial invitation and without the slightest indication as to the object or motives of such of the natives as desired this visit would have placed your Ex in the awkward position of being subjected to demands with which you could not comply, and which might, instead of the interview leading to a reconciliated, has had the contrary effect and very possibly have led to an open rupture in our relations with the King natives.

Such a result was not only possible but probable, and I need not say that the consequences would have been exceedingly disastrous to the Colony, especially as no necessity existed for incurring such a hazard.

Had negotiations with the King party been so far advanced that an agreement had been made as to terms which could be entertained, it would then have been very pleasing duty to have advised your Ex to enter Waikato with a certain degree of state and ceremony, accompanied by numerous friendly chiefs, in order to ratify by your presence and conclude arrangements beneficial to the Colony. In such a case your Ex's own dignity and that of your position would have run no risk of compromise.

Nothing however occurred to justify me in the belief that it would be right for me to advise your Ex to take the step of coming to Waikato, and I duly acquainted you with my views on the subject.

I may add that the same causes which prevented your Ex's interview with Tawhiao in 1868 were also in operation though in a less degree, in 1872.

In interviews I have had the honour of having with your Ex I have become aware that you would wish to see different course pursued in native matters, were they under Imperial Contro; and I have been consequently led to believe that it was your desire an alteration should take place.

I am however of opinion that it could hardly be expected that the Imperial Govt. would resume the management of native Affairs without a full consideration of the liabilities these carry with them, which, pecuniarily, do not fall far short of a quarter of a million annually in times of peace, and which would be increased to a far larger amount should any negotiations immediately entered into come to an unsuccessful issue.

I would not have deemed it necessary to lay this Memo before your Ex had it not come to my knowledge that you had made allusions to my condut in this matter, and I therefore deem it due to myself to request your Ex to transmit this memo to H. M.'s Secretary of State for the Colonies, should it be necessary.

That it was your wish that the Govr. should come more directly responsible for native affairs.

I need not point out that this view, were it carried out, would lead to an entire reversal of the relations now subsisting between the Home authorities and the Colony. The management of native affairs is entrusted to the Col. Govt equally as much as that of matters regarding the settlers; and, should Y E wishes assume a practical shape, they would lead to the reopening of a question which has for years been looked upon as settled.

I deem it my duty to indicate that a change of this nature in the Control of Native affairs would carry with it a very heavy pecuniary liability computed to not less than 25000 annually during times of peace.

The question as to whether the Imp. Govt. would be prepared to accept such a responsibility is one on which I can form no opinion, but I think it right to point out the liability, as it may be a means of preventing any undue haste in the consideration of a matter of so much importance.

Should Y E continue to hold the views that I have alluded to, I beg to represent that to avoid any misunderstanding, it would be desirable that they should be laid before H.M.S. for Col, and in that case, I have the honour to request that this memo, may be transmitted at the same time.

Part of:
Native Minister - Meetings with Waikato chiefs and final pacification of the King Country, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0033 (49 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)

Usage: You can search, browse, print and download items from this website for research and personal study. You are welcome to reproduce the above image(s) on your blog or another website, but please maintain the integrity of the image (i.e. don't crop, recolour or overprint it), reproduce the image's caption information and link back to here (http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=1018777). If you would like to use the above image(s) in a different way (e.g. in a print publication), or use the transcription or translation, permission must be obtained. More information about copyright and usage can be found on the Copyright and Usage page of the NLNZ web site.

External Links:
View Full Descriptive Record in TAPUHI

Leave a comment

This function is coming soon.

Latest comments