September 27, 1856
My dear Sir,
Many thanks for your letter of the 18th. which reached me through Richmond on Monday afternoon last. Your description of the little allotment at Remuera is very encouraging and when I know something definite about myself I shall be in a position to arrange about the disposal of it.
With regard to the natives recommended to receive the Maori Messenger, I omitted Ihaia's name because he had been struck off the list of Assessors and was glad to receive a paper for him which may be productive of unknown advantages.
Mrs. Crocker frequently inquires about her account forwarded with others in April last, but owing to recent transitions and press of business, most likely mislaid. The only one returned approved was Watt's for freight for parcels of Pilgrims Progress.
On the night of the 20th. a party of 5 Waiwakaiho natives walked away with 8 cwt. of sheet lead the property of a recent arrival living between the Henui and the Waiwakaiho, who unfortunately left it outside his house apparently regardless of the frequent applications made by natives to purchase portions of it. On the following morg. I caused the Assessors and other leading natives to be made acquainted with the circumstance and am glad to tell you that
through the able and ready assistance of Hone Ropiha, well supported by Hone Wetere, the whole of it with the exception of 100 lbs. has been recovered and returned to the owner. Hone is now collecting £20 as compensation for the loss sustained by the cutting up of the lead and 2 of the natives Wiremu Ropiha and Ihaia have paid in £8 the amount demanded of them. Ropiha Haungenge and Ihakara fired off large words and threatened to retire to the Kaipakopako under the conviction that once there, they would be secure, that pa being considered by them of equal strength with the once stupendous forts at Sebastopol. We are indebted to Henere te Whare for having attempted to induce the natives to keep the lead and resist the authorities and but for Hone Ropiha it is probable he would have succeeded. Unless this young man is curbed I venture to predict that he will some day involve us in trouble. Formerly he was frequently seen in Town drunk but since his assault upon W. Black when he got the worst of it and was confined in gaol from Saturday night to the following Monday morning, he has visited Town but rarely and conducted himself in a proper manner. While writing Hone Ropiha and Poharama have just come to my office about the lead case. Hone tells me that Hoani, the ferryman, who was the 5th. man concerned, has authorised me to receive his monthly pay from the Provincial Govt., until his and Ihakara's account is paid and that Ropiha Haungenge's share will be paid in next week. So far then this awkward affair may be considered arranged
without a reference to the R.M.'s Court, and I cannot too highly eulogise the valuable aid rendered by Hone Ropiha on this as on all other occasions and when Poharama was informed of the occurrence the weight of his influence was thrown in the right direction and materially assisted in bringing the affair to its present highly satisfactory state. Hone Wetere behaved well and was the first to give information against the culprits who cunningly divided the lead amongst many to insure support and prevent the possibility of its recovery a portion of which was actually carried right away inland.
My office is full of Huirangi native 2 of whom are accused by Mr. George Lethbridge with having sold 2 of his cows to Mr. Hulke. I have not yet had time to go into the case but as Mr. Lethbridge states Mr. B. White drove the cows to Huirangi 7 or 8 months ago for the purpose of decoying a bullock to Town, and left them there, it is possible they may resemble cattle belonging to those natives and sold by them under that impression. The readiness with which these natives came forward to have the charge investigated is certainly very much in their favour as it is notorious that when a native commits a wrong, he rarely shews himself, but more frequently adopts a stubborn silence only broken by occasional threats of violence. These natives came in yesterday and the very stormy state of the weather has prevented the Europeans attending today as arranged, I have therefore
promised to let them know what the alleged original owners say when the cows are brought into Town. This satisfied them and they are off through all the rain which is heavy enough to wash them away.
The original letter of which the enclosed is a copy, fell into my hands unexpectedly and will afford you some information of the intentions of the Kuare tribe. You will not fail to observe the omission of certain familiar names such as Arapata, Raniera, Paturei, irrespective of deceased chief, significant of the strength! of the League which I imagine has had its burst and like most bubbles, will disappear. With regard to Arapata I am not prepared to say that he is now in favor of land selling but the circumstance of the stand taken by him and others may eventually lead to it, and I am delighted to find that many natives consider the ice more than half broken already.
A small party of Whanganui natives arrived at Waitara last week by the inland path on a uhunga mission, there were only 10 of them but 10 times 10 was soon implicitly believed by some of our credulous townsmen. These natives wished Komene's remains to be removed from the Ninia to Waitara in order that they might then all be of one mind and drag Kaiiwi into the sea, so said Hone Ropiha in the presence of poharama. I asked for an explanation, when Hone replied that he did not exactly understand the matter but thought it not unlikely that some natives intended to have a pull at Kaiiwi
and if Ngatiruanui attempted to pull in the other direction a whawhai would follow. Yes, added Poharama and like Waitaha, Kaiiwi will be dragged into the sea, and that is all about it. I give you this little conversation as it took place and as a reaction is certain to follow recent events it is to be hoped that there is more in this than now appears.
The correspondence relative to a certain peace of swamp land at the Henui reached me too late to affect the question here, as the Komiti had done with it, and as some of the members imagine in accordance with C - m's wishes. His brother-in-law would have done better to let this unsound claim alone and yet it is perhaps as well as it is, as proving beyond all doubt what some of them will lend themselves to. There are many amongst us satisfied to the fullest extent that C - m us only entitled to 30 acres of Town belt for his 30 acres (not 35 as appears in your letter to Mr. Wicksteed) at the Waiwakaiho - in cases more distant
half an acre of belt was given as compensation for one acre, but in C - m's case, acre for acre was allowed and there is no document to shew that a single particle was ever granted or promised beyond that. As for Mr. O. Carrington's certificate which has been produced with so much importance I hope it will yet receive the fate I conceive it merits. Mr. Wicksteed appears to me to have annihilated the certificate writer and the claim altogether, of which I
I hope to hear no more.
Happily you are independent of our local powers, i.e. such of them as would wither you if they could, you will not therefore be surprised to be again attacked about the Kawau pa. I don't know exactly whether it will be about a portion of a section belonging to Mr. Lewthwait to the eastward of the pa which is included in that part of the boundary or whether upon the subject of 1/2 of Gill treet being included in the S. East boundary - however it very little matters after all you will soar high above them which would not be the case with little fish.
Arama Karaka has been supplied with rations for some weeks past by the Col. Surgeon and I am happy to say is better, whether it will continue and restore him to his former robust state I am not at present able to say.
Old Rangi is actually on his legs again and now supposed to enjoy the privilege of 9 lives 8 of which he has now seen. His wife from last accounts is not so famed and is gradually sinking into the grave where many of her children sleep.
I enclose a satisfactory letter forwarded to me by Te Ngahuru which I observe has been copied by him, and which counteracts a portion of the other.
All is quiet here - most of our Natives are turning their attention to work and money making - very little of the latter is to be had at present.
To:- McLean Esq.