Object #1022025 from MS-Papers-0032-0311

4 pages written 16 May 1850 by Henry Halse in New Plymouth District to Sir Donald McLean in New Plymouth District

From: Inward letters - Henry Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0311 (35 digitised items). 36 letters and memos written from Wanganui, Wellington and Auckland (some in Maori)

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

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Page 1 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

PRIVATE New Plymouth
May 16th. 1850.


Dear Sir,

Tamati Waka asked me this morning whether he was to attend as usual at the Police Barracks on Saturday morning, having been in the habit of doing so for some time past, by your directions. Not being able to answer the question, I put it to Capt. King, who replied that he was unable to say anything about it, and desired me to write to you on the subject for information.

Having, on a previous occasion, been asked by you my opinion on this subject, I need not here repeat it; but I take this opportunity of saying that whatever the above-named individual really is at bottom, it is certain that of late he has evinced every desire to assist the authorities in disputes between the two races, and has been found useful, whatever he may be as an individual, his connection with a lawless tribe alone renders his general services highly desirable. It is true his reputation does not stand high with the settlers, and that other natives, equally anxious to join the force,

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English (ATL)

would be more favourably received, but from prudential motives, I should submit, for your consideration, an arrangement like that of Hakopa's, to come into operation on the 18th. of June next, the expiration of the current year.

Mr. W. Bayly has been here this afternoon, also Paratta, Hemi and others. I had hoped to settle the difference, and with less lawless natives, I might have succeeded. At W. Bayly's request, I offered Paratta, in the presence of his people, £3.1.3, which is at the rate of 10/- an acre, and only has reference to the first instalment for the first part of his work, the second part not being commenced. The money was refused, and £5 demanded. I was again told either to consent to the £5, or the cart and bullocks would be seized. I advised an appeal to Capt. King, which at first was negatived, and afterwards supported by Paratta; not however, with a proviso that in the event of Captain King not acceeding to their demands, they would help themselves. I will give you an instance of their insolent bearing and open defiance, - Two of the Police came to Barracks at 4 p.m. this afternoon, for orders. I was asked ironically by Paratta whether they were going to arrest and take him to prison. Another said he would show Heale, - tie his legs, and

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English (ATL)

pitch him on the house, (Barracks.) Another said he would serve Johnson in a similar way, with this difference - in place of pitching him on the house, carry him off bodily. Paratta remarked that I had not the power to take him, and the gaol was not strong enough to hold him. Hone Heke had not been placed in prison, and until he was, he, (Paratta) would not be. Some of the natives were armed.

I cannot say how this business will end, but I apprehend our turn is closer at hand than is imagined: and whatever they may eventually say in justification, I have no hesitation in telling you that their general bearing indicates mischief. Of the correctness of my surmise, time will soon prove.

I intend to see Captain King on the subject of the present style of agreements with natives, for labour. some of which are scarcely legible to Europeans. It was but yesterday a Ngatirunui native brought one of those productions to me. I asked if he understood the meaning of it. "No," was his reply; and yet so eager are they to get money, that they sign without realising their liabilities. The consequence is a European insists upon the fulfilment of the Agreement, and withhold the money. The natives imagine the work properly, or sufficiently finished and desire payment. Hence the confusion that ensues. It however sometimes happens that the natives practice

Page 4 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

gross impositions on Europeans, even when the nature og the Agreement is drawn up in their own language, and is clearly understood by them.

Scarcely a day passes but I arrange more or less disputes and misuneerstandings, which appear in the Reports arranged by the Police.

I intend to send this by the schooner "Shepperdess". She arrived here on the 14th. inst, and went to sea, weather threatening. She has not yet returned. Is advertised for Wellington.


Being faithfully yours
H. Halse.

May 17th. "Shepperdess" not returned; weather bad.

Mr. Bayly came to see me this afternoon with a complaint against Tamihana, for entering his house yesterday evening in his absence, and carrying away an iron pot which was on fire, containing water gruel for a sick cow or bullock, which he threw away; and after cooking his food, restored it to the owner. This morning he attempted the same thing again, without permission, and was visited by Bayly, who attempted to put him out of the house, but failed, or rather, desisted, in the fear of what might result. Bayly fur- -ther says that he feels certain the natives wish to aggravate him until he strikes one of them, which would be the signal for a general massacre in the house. D.S. From further information I feel certain the natives are determined to plunder Bayly, if not paid in accordance with their demand.

(Signed)
H.H.
Friday night. To:- Donald McLean Esq.
New Plymouth.

English (ATL)

PRIVATE New Plymouth
May 16th. 1850.


Dear Sir,

Tamati Waka asked me this morning whether he was to attend as usual at the Police Barracks on Saturday morning, having been in the habit of doing so for some time past, by your directions. Not being able to answer the question, I put it to Capt. King, who replied that he was unable to say anything about it, and desired me to write to you on the subject for information.

Having, on a previous occasion, been asked by you my opinion on this subject, I need not here repeat it; but I take this opportunity of saying that whatever the above-named individual really is at bottom, it is certain that of late he has evinced every desire to assist the authorities in disputes between the two races, and has been found useful, whatever he may be as an individual, his connection with a lawless tribe alone renders his general services highly desirable. It is true his reputation does not stand high with the settlers, and that other natives, equally anxious to join the force, would be more favourably received, but from prudential motives, I should submit, for your consideration, an arrangement like that of Hakopa's, to come into operation on the 18th. of June next, the expiration of the current year.

Mr. W. Bayly has been here this afternoon, also Paratta, Hemi and others. I had hoped to settle the difference, and with less lawless natives, I might have succeeded. At W. Bayly's request, I offered Paratta, in the presence of his people, £3.1.3, which is at the rate of 10/- an acre, and only has reference to the first instalment for the first part of his work, the second part not being commenced. The money was refused, and £5 demanded. I was again told either to consent to the £5, or the cart and bullocks would be seized. I advised an appeal to Capt. King, which at first was negatived, and afterwards supported by Paratta; not however, with a proviso that in the event of Captain King not acceeding to their demands, they would help themselves. I will give you an instance of their insolent bearing and open defiance, - Two of the Police came to Barracks at 4 p.m. this afternoon, for orders. I was asked ironically by Paratta whether they were going to arrest and take him to prison. Another said he would show Heale, - tie his legs, and pitch him on the house, (Barracks.) Another said he would serve Johnson in a similar way, with this difference - in place of pitching him on the house, carry him off bodily. Paratta remarked that I had not the power to take him, and the gaol was not strong enough to hold him. Hone Heke had not been placed in prison, and until he was, he, (Paratta) would not be. Some of the natives were armed.

I cannot say how this business will end, but I apprehend our turn is closer at hand than is imagined: and whatever they may eventually say in justification, I have no hesitation in telling you that their general bearing indicates mischief. Of the correctness of my surmise, time will soon prove.

I intend to see Captain King on the subject of the present style of agreements with natives, for labour. some of which are scarcely legible to Europeans. It was but yesterday a Ngatirunui native brought one of those productions to me. I asked if he understood the meaning of it. "No," was his reply; and yet so eager are they to get money, that they sign without realising their liabilities. The consequence is a European insists upon the fulfilment of the Agreement, and withhold the money. The natives imagine the work properly, or sufficiently finished and desire payment. Hence the confusion that ensues. It however sometimes happens that the natives practice gross impositions on Europeans, even when the nature og the Agreement is drawn up in their own language, and is clearly understood by them.

Scarcely a day passes but I arrange more or less disputes and misuneerstandings, which appear in the Reports arranged by the Police.

I intend to send this by the schooner "Shepperdess". She arrived here on the 14th. inst, and went to sea, weather threatening. She has not yet returned. Is advertised for Wellington.


Being faithfully yours
H. Halse.

May 17th. "Shepperdess" not returned; weather bad.

Mr. Bayly came to see me this afternoon with a complaint against Tamihana, for entering his house yesterday evening in his absence, and carrying away an iron pot which was on fire, containing water gruel for a sick cow or bullock, which he threw away; and after cooking his food, restored it to the owner. This morning he attempted the same thing again, without permission, and was visited by Bayly, who attempted to put him out of the house, but failed, or rather, desisted, in the fear of what might result. Bayly fur- -ther says that he feels certain the natives wish to aggravate him until he strikes one of them, which would be the signal for a general massacre in the house. D.S. From further information I feel certain the natives are determined to plunder Bayly, if not paid in accordance with their demand.

(Signed)
H.H.
Friday night. To:- Donald McLean Esq.
New Plymouth.

Part of:
Inward letters - Henry Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0311 (35 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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