Object #1019291 from MS-Papers-0032-0481

18 pages written 15 Nov 1860 by John Davies Ormond in Wallingford to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0481 (89 digitised items). 85 letters written from Epraima, Auckland, Wallingford & Napier, 1857-1865. Includes a few draft letters from McLean to Ormond.

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

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English (ATL)

COPY. Wallingford
Nov. 15th. 1860

Dear McLean,

Ihakora (Manawatu) is starting for Paka--wai to-morrow, and I send this by him.

There is no news from this side, of any kind. I have taken the precaution of sending in to Herewana to tell him to look to the Wairarapa, and leave Manawatu road, and to report at once any news he may receive for these quarters.

I wrote to the old man in our joint name, and told him to stay where he is, and look after what is going on at these places.

Our natives down in this part are very excited, and every time any fresh native comes from inland or Pakawai, they get made worse. Henare Motua came back the other day very excited. He wanted to take the whole of our natives to Pakawai. I over ruled this, and told him your orders were that all the natives of the district were to remain in their own places, to keep in readiness for any consequences; but to stay at home and push on with the work of the district the shearing, etc., whilst they could; that if the Hau Haus come to Titiokura, that then it would be right for them to assemble for fighting.

This morning Hata Tiki Waipawa was here to tell me Lord Henry has (giving out he is acting for you) called upon all the Takapau, Waipawa, and that district natives to gather at Waipukurau for safety. Of course I knew he could have no authority from you; and Hata went back at once with word from me for the people to keep at their own places; in fact to do the same as I have already written you. I have told Te Hirawanu, viz:- to be ready, but to remain quiet, and get on with the work until they are wanted. Pray do what you can to keep things quiet. A very little more of this panic among the Maoris, and it will spread to the White people, who are beginning to get uneasy. Those old reports from Wairarapa and Lower Manawatu are coming back again. I should urge you to tell Karaitiana to send the inland natives he has now at Pakawai to their homes, and to keep them quiet, but ready to assemble quickly if wanted.

All that I see the Ahuriri natives have to do at present, and what ought to be done, is - to watch the Titiokura and Rununga roads. If a good look out is kept there, you will have timely notice of any movement on that side. As to this side - there are be- -ginning to be plenty of rumours from Wairarapa and Manawatu; but I will keep you informed of anything from these quarters. Half the battle - to my mind -is to keep our District quiet. Of course there is no end to the old demand for arms. Henare Matua asks what is the use of staying here to look after our own district, without the arms to defend it. But you know how they press, and how difficult they are to answer.

Heta Tiki told me His Lordship had written to the Waipawa Pakehas that they also were to congregate at Waipukurau. He declared this was true. If he is doing anything of this kind he ought to be told to keep quiet. A very little of such nonsense will do great mischief. It is the old story; the greatest braggart is always the greatest cur, and we know what he was in the last troublesome times.

Don't give him the chance of using your name. He has done so in the manner I have told you, and got listened to in consequence. I sent Heta back to tell the natives, Takapaus especially, that your orders were to keep quiet at their own places, and watch the roads, and the word that came by them.

As no further news has reached me, I conclude you have nothing fresh from the East Coast. I should consider both Wairoa and Turanga fairly safe from attack. What I mean is, they are in a position now at those places, to fight, if attacked.

My notion is that Te Kooti's party will either have a slap at Wairoa, or else will join the adverse section of the Uriwera, and go to Opotiki. We shall see, I fear, at the present moment, more for Opotiki than any other place. It is weak, and an attack there would probably be successful, and the loss of great life. Should they not go at either Wairoa or Opotiki, then we may expect to hear of them at Titiokura; and in that case, we must do our best. My firm belief, however, is that they will try the other places first.

Since I wrote you last I have been thinking over the position.

The Plan that is open to us appears to me somewhat as follows:-

To act on the defensive for a bit.

To concert a combined movement on Kooti and Uriwera (if as I hear Uriwera have joined.)

The Arawas should attack from the North.

Ngatiporou should advance from Turanga, up into the Uriwera country.

Any European force we have might move up the Wairoa by Waikare-moana, in concert with the Wairoa natives, Ihaka, etc.

The Heretaunga natives might advance by Titiokura towards the Te Ahi Kereru, and be aided by Paora Hapi, etc.,

Such a movement, if fairly organised, and with a decent military leader, and small reliable force, would settle the whole question.

It appears to me that without some great and combined movement, we shall not deal with thie matter as we ought. To succeed, we should mature our plans, and crush it.

What think you of my sketch of a plan? Something of the kind must be done, depend upon it.

I am very busy hammering away at my Station work. The shearing goes on very slowly, being short of hands. What I have are all natives. I sadly want more to get along with, but they are difficult to get in these times.

Have you a spare orderly at Napier? If I had a man for the purpose I could communicate with you, when requisite, twice each week by an Orderly, to meet the coach at Waipawa, and by the regular mail the third time. The man could easily do the two trips a week between here and Waipawa; and thus I could send you whatever news I have; or you could confer with me, if requisite, every other day.

Although the natives hereabouts are talking a great deal about Wairarapa and Manawatu, there is nothing in what they talk of yet. It is surmise. As yet they have no foundation. Their view rests on letters some three or four months old, so far as I can gather.

What do the Government say? They can scarcely refuse Fraser and his men now.

Anxious to hear what is going; and willing to come and help at any moment.

Always yours most truly (Signed)
J.D. Ormond.

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0481 (89 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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