Object #1025977 from MS-Papers-0032-0162

9 pages written 13 Oct 1868 by Reginald Newton Biggs in Poverty Bay to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Reginald N Biggs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0162 (43 digitised items). 39 letters written from Wanganui, Tangoio, Wairoa, Christchurch, Tuparoa, Turanganui, Poverty Bay. Includes map of Wanganui sections, 1857 [?]. Names on map - Crass [?], C G Doughty, Thomas Kettle, F Watts, Awamoho, Pehira, W Jowett & R N Biggs (sections 26 & 27) by the Wanganui River. Includes letters from Biggs to Deighton, and Biggs to Fraser.

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

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English (ATL)

Poverty Bay
13 October 1868

My dear Mr. McLean

Before starting for Waiapu which I do today I send you a line to let you hear all I have to communicate of any consequence.

The Ngatimarus are not to be trusted. They have large Karakia meetings and from what I can learn because Kooti orders it. Until Kooti and the prisoners landed this tribe never cared much for or practised the Karakia but since he came their time is principally occuied by it. At night after the Karakia is over they runanga and the speeches of the younger portion of the tribe are far from satisfactory. Tamihana and Wiremu Kiriahi are staunch but are unable to do much with their people Ihaka Kaiika and his people are also doubtful Hamiora one of the Ngaitahupo Tohungas has been doing a good deal of harm amongst these people and the Ngatimaru. The only people now who can be relied upon in the Bay are Pototi's people of course I don't include Hirini and Paora Purau as they are more coast people in the doubtful lot. They and their followers are perfectly Ioyal. Of the Ngatimaru Ngatikaipoto, Ngaitahupo Itangaamahaki and Whanau a Kai I have been repeated warned by Hotene --- Henare Potae Albert Potae --- Paora Parau and several more truthworthy natives. The object of these people is to get arms and then assist Kooti --- You see by the above we are in anything but an enviable position. These doubtful tribes must have some fifty stand of government arms amongst them besides many double and single guns with a fair supply of ammunition I believe the safest and cheapest plan to keep these people quiet would be to give some land to the Ngatiporo in Poverty Bay to fifty or a hundred of them let it be good land so that they might cultivate it and live well but with this understanding that they remain on it for three years after that time give them Crown Grants and let them sell or keep it as they like best. By this means we should get fifty or a hundred good men who would delight in being placed in such a position and in the event of anything occurring the whole of Ngatiporo would be at their back. Most of the Ngatiporo have got arms at least all worth having told them there might be an inspection of arms once in three months in the same way as the Militia and if they are called upon to do active service let their pay and rations be the same as Militia. Unless something of this sort is done either A European force sent or Ngatiporo got down we may have things as bad here as on the West Coast. Action of some kind ought to be taken quickly if the land cannot be given to Ngatiporo this spring or summer for spring is nearly over. I would advise getting some as a native contingent and promise them land as soon as they are knocked off pay and rations you know I am not an alarmist and I have not bothered you with my fears until I have really thought it necessary --- Every vessel is taking men away from the District as yet Gascoigne has not been able to get even six Europeans as scouts there being no idle men about. I am glad the Government have at last consented to remunerate the friendly Maoris for their services it is rather late in the day and will not do much good here in Poverty Bay but will clear off the Ngatiporo great grievance. Many say here we have been frightened into it. I believe we may thank Europeans for that idea. You had a hard fight in Wellington about Defence and Native matters and virtually gained the day at any rate I hope you have frightened the Ministry into doing something in these critical times. I hope to see you soon.

Yours very truly
Reginald Newton Biggs

Part of:
Inward letters - Reginald N Biggs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0162 (43 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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