Object #1018857 from MS-Papers-0032-0319
From: Inward letters - William Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0319 (28 digitised items). 28 letters addressed from New Plymouth & Taranaki
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3rd. February 1855.
My dear McLean,
I do not hear of anything certain amongst the natives. All is rumour at present, Pas, it is said, are being built in Taranaki; and Ngatiruanui intends again to try the fortunes of war with Ihaia, who is busy in his preparations for them. It is further rumoured that W. Kingi will unite with all the
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other natives, in Ihaia's defence, by reason of Ihaia having already atoned for the killing of Rimene, by a brave defence against overwhelming numbers; and of the loss of lives on both sides. If true, this will, in all probability keep the Southerns at home, especially as old Hori Te Pakeke is against their coming.
Ani died last Wednesday, and Hori (the slayer of Rimene) is dying. Both had left the Hospital.
It is only recently that I heard that Ihaia had been struck out of the list of Native Assessors, on the recommendation of someone, (I believe, Flight), for his conduct in the Mamaku tragedy. No reason have I heard for this step, but I suppose it was thought that being an Assessor, he should have brought his case into Court against a man who probably would have laughed heartily at the process, and defied it. It appears to me to be a most unpolitic step, and one
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which, right or wrong, should not have been taken without a reference to you. For he was appointed, I believe, on your recommendation; and whether or no, no one knows the man so well as yourself. From the outset, he has been our great hope at Waitara. He has always sided with us, without regard to the enemies he made for himself by so doing; and in the midst of his domestic troubles, --- because of looking to the Government, which confessedly does nothing in native disputes, unless both sides
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are willing, --- one of his own natives affords him speedy and complete redress (quite in accordance with natural impulses all over the world), by slaying the offender in hot blood, the Government does its best to make an enemy of him for the future, by degrading him in the eyes of the natives. Nothing can be more inconsistent, or short-sighted. Ihaia did not kill Rimene, nor is it known, beyond report that he gave orders to that effect. If he deserved to be struck off, why not adopt the native mode of deliberating
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well over the
thing to be done, and so allow time for the present excitement to pass over. Well, as it has been done, Raniera should be similarly served. He was appointed in Rawiri's place at a high salary to carry out the laws; yet went out only the other day with an armed party to kill natives, and probably did wound some of those he was opposed to on that occasion. This is more against the laws than anything his £10 brother did. Because whilst one acted under the impulse of the moment, the other took about six months for deliberations; and moreover had Ihaia's penalty before him. So you see that the example to the natives, as such, is a dead failure; and as that was the object Government, (or the adviser), had in view, the step had better not have been taken. They must all go out if we are to be consistent, from Hone Ropiha, to my unpaid friend Waka, who turned out the other day, armed to the teeth.
As for ourselves, gaieties continue to be the order of the day. Picnics and dancing follow each other so quickly
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that we have no time for the sober duties of life. Whare-pu is fast progressing to completion, and looks well. Mr. Carrington is surveying in the forest, by tender, (in anticipation of my notice), the Superintendent guaranteeing the charge.
So O. Carrington, and (if here), Rogan, will go to work at the Crown Grant maps, being at hand for native work at any time.
The Superintendent gave a second evening last week, at which I was present. I enjoyed myself immensely. Lots of others, by different people, are appointed.
sincerely yours, (Signed)
To:- Donald McLean Esq.
Inward letters - William Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0319 (28 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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