Object #1024202 from MS-Papers-0032-0444

4 pages written 29 Nov 1869 by Frederick Edward Maning in Onoke to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - F E Maning, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0444 (67 digitised items). 58 letters written from Auckland and Hokianga, 1860-1870. Includes letter in Maori to Maning from Hone Mohi Tawhai, 1869; from Hoani Makaho Te Uruoterangi, Akarana, 1870; unsigned letter in Maori written from Weretana to Te Rauparaha, Sep 1869; T H Maning to his father, 1870; Maning to White, 1870; Harry H King to Maning, 1870.Includes piece-level inventory, 1860-1876 & undated (excluding 1969 acquisitions)

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

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English (ATL)

Private Onoke Hokianga

November 29, 1869.



My dear McLean,

I only got your letter of the 15th. instant today it was marked ''too late'' I mention the circumstance lest you should think I delayed writing in answer.

As you have paid me the compliment to ask what I think of the proceedings at Waikato from a distance I will answer you by saying I think extremely well of them and will state the reason why indeddyour diplomacy in the difficult circumstances was such only persons having had the Maori apprenticeship that only a few have had could have made use of.

Firstly you did not, like everyone else who has had any turn at ''Peace making'' try to push on things too rapidly thereby causing the natives to think you were anxious and encouraging them to make demands impossible to grant.

Secondly There is a whole world of success and victory in the fact of Rewi having asked you not to take Taupo. This proves what I have said all along, to be correct, that the natives feel more punished than the public are aware of, and feel that we have power still to distress them farther. Rewi in pthat speech showed his gand hand, he has let many see what only a few could see before -the weak point of those who have good land accessible to us.

Thirdly you have committed yourself in no point you have promised nothing without a condition and in fact nothing at all that would not be advantageous to us even as to the Natives or far more so from the right point of view.

Rewi Maniapoto the most dangerous man in New Zealand (except the ''loyal'' natives) has spoken the words of Peace and you very properly reminded him that to make it ''real'' he must do something or in other words that it takes two to make a bargain he understood you.

I dont like Rewi's little attempt in favour of the Kooti, it verged on prevarication you answered him capitally by not saying anything that could be construed into pardoning te Kooti and yet by not ''talking daggers'' at all and by letting alone the fifty men of the Kootis followers who are with Rewi for the present. Rewi however of course cannot be blamed too much for trying to help his friend. I think the thing which will have the best effect of anything you said at Waikato was that we would not, and had no intention to take land, at an earlier stage in the transactions which have taken place since the outbreak of te Kooti, Tito, and Heuheu, it would have been imprudent to say so, or indeed under any other circumstances than those of being requested not to do so, for the promise having been made to Rewi and through him to many, all those parties will feel bound to keep the peace and not to absolve you from your promise by taking arms against us.

I don't think I would let the Heuheu loose just yet, he is humbled and has found out his mistake and his being taken I count a mercy I will increase the prestige of the Pakeha very much and dishearten many who might have joined the Kooti I think as Rewi interests himself so much for him he may for the present he held in some degree in the light of a hostage, and moreover it does not look well to accede too readily to the request of Rewi who has as yet not done anything to prove he is in earnest -- would it be possible to purchase Rewis services against te Kooti with Heuheus freedom?

Much has been done -- very much and things appear to be following exactly the train we hoped and expected they would when we spoke on these matters at Auckland. I therefore am still of opinion that there is a great likelyhood that with patience and caution coolness and by banishing every ignoble feeling of mere revenge and acting against the poor brutes when we must act against them ''more in sorrow than in anger'' we may trust to providence for success and if we succeed Oh McLean what a success! think of the future.

I am extremely glad so little was said about the Waikato lands it has a very significant bearing to my mind that such was the case, I have thought much on the subject lately and I will tell you the result when I see you, but I will say now that I think for the future welfare of the country I would not give up any more than humanity dictates, and none to a demand or in consequence of threats none at all. We are able to hold the land I believe, and would not decline to fight for it again if necessary but do not think we at present expect the necessity though it might come. The probabilities are becoming stronger in our favour

The natives here expected you sooner indeed I led them to expect you sooner they are looking out for you. I shall be glad to have a note from you when you get to the Bay of Isds.

Please thank His Excellency the Governor for me for his kind intimations in the matter of ''Sturt'' but business took me the other way. When he comes here he would find it a great convenience if he sent the steamer round she would run up and down the river and into all the beautiful branches with him nicely -- and he could move comfortably from place to place with her.

Now that I have in a hurry given you a your request a rough idea of how the Waikato expedition looks to me ''from a distance'' perhaps I may be only squinting but that is no matter you must take my notions for what they are worth. I hope soon to see you here. Meantime


believe me, Yours sincerely,
F.E. Maning.
Hon. Donald McLean. Defence Minister

Part of:
Inward letters - F E Maning, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0444 (67 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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