Object #1018777 from MS-Papers-0032-0033
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
Page 1 of 14. View high-resolution image
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
View Full Descriptive Record in TAPUHI