Object #1026459 from MS-Papers-0032-0123
From: Papers relating to provincial affairs - Taranaki. Inspector of police, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0123 (71 digitised items). No Item Description
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6th. April 1848.
I had the honour of being instructed by His Excellency the Governor in Chief, to proceed to this Province, to endeavour, under your Excellency's directions, to facilitate the contemplated arrangements with the Ngatiawas, for relinquishing their claims to the South banks of the Waitara, and to such other portions of land at New Plymouth, as it is essential to acquire for the European settlers.
In compliance with the directions, which I accordingly had the honour to receive from your Excellency, I visited the natives at Waikanae, where I ascertained that the Chief, Wm. King and his party, were not only firmly opposed to an arrangement respecting their land at Waitara, but were even inducing the natives of the several other tribes who purpose leaving for Taranaki, to unite in building a large Pah at Aorangi, the site of one of their original fortifications on the Southern banks of the Waitara, where Wm. King proposed to have lands alloted to them for cultivations.
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These proposals were favourably received by the numerous bodies of natives returning to Taranaki; although a great portion of them, from the position of the lands originally claimed by them - independent of their being distinct tribes from the Ngatiawa - have not the most distant connection with the Waitara.
It was therefore obvious that these natives, especially those of the Ngatiruanui and Taranaki tribes, whose district lies between Wanganui and New Plymouth, could have no other object in passing their own lands to join Wm. King, than that of assisting him in preventing the Europeans from occupying any part of the Waitara; as the Wherowhero, on his late visit, assured them all they had nothing to fear from their former enemies, the Waikatos; and that he should see Taonui, the Chief of Mokau, to persuade him against molesting them. In these assurances, the Ngatiawas appear to have every confidence.
The only parties who anticipate any disturbance in asserting their original claims are two small sections of the Ngatimutanga and Ngatitaiuia tribes, whose land extends from about 14 miles North of Waitara to Mokau, and is at present possessed by the natives of that river, who are a branch of the Waikato tribes.
The unusually sulky manner exhibited by William King, together with the confidence with which he was inspired, from swaying such a numerous body of natives as from
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the migration to Taranaki rendered it evident that he would accede to no reasonable terms, while this combination lasted. I therefore disuaded as many of the natives as I could against prejudicing their own interests, by incautiously favouring William King's intentions; and in furthering this object, as well as in obtaining offers of land at Waitara, I was considerably assisted by the natives who accompanied me from there, more especially by Ihaia, nephew of Tipene, the Mamaku chief, and by Matthew, a younger brother of William King's, but who openly disapproved of his measures.
On Wednesday, 22nd. ult., I held a meeting, which was attended by about 500 natives. The sentiments expressed by William King's party were to the effect that they would sooner lose their lives than part with their land; that food would not grow on payment they would receive for it; Europeans were not strong to take it; and they should rather have their throats cut than let the "Pakehas" or white men have the favoured land of their ancestors.
I advised the natives of the several tribes, who have no interest in lands at Waitara or Puketapu, that in retiring, they should take no part with the natives of the latter places, some of whom had been speaking so rashly; as their best course would be to improve and settle on the lands in the localities they formerly possessed, where there
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was no chance of their being interrupted or disturbed.
Without detailing at length what took place at a Meeting which lasted the greater part of the day, it may suffice to notice that I explained the whole state of the land question within the limits awarded by Mr. Spain to the New Zealand Company, and told the natives when they were prepared to treat the proposals of your Excellency and the Governor in Chief, with due respect, I should make them known; but not while I could perceive any unfriendly disposition lasted; that it would be well for them to remember it was not from weakness, as some of them ascribed, but from a desire to preserve and improve their race, that they were uniformly treated with such kind forbearance and consideration by the Governors of the country.
I was followed by the Chief Teheroa Te Tupe, better known as Tibby Teretiu, Hoani, Ihaia, and several others, who declared their intention of selling their Puketapu lands, and Waitara lands.
William King and his party were greatly irritated and confounded at this unexpected determination; and, finding they would desist or sit down at their request, William King spoke to them in the following terms, -
"My fathers and friends, why treat me in this manner? Why not speak this way before, when our old men were alive to advise on this subject? Now that I am in the
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canoe to leave here, you sell the land to which I was retiring, from under my feet. My land! My land!" he exclaimed, "I will not give up my land till I am first dragged by the hair and put in gaol!"
On Thursday the Ngatiruanui and Taranaki natives expressed themselves satisfied with what they had been told respecting their land; which they previously apprehended was desired or claimed by Europeans the same as Waitara. Now they were satisfied such was not the case, they should live on their own places; and the Taranaki natives offered to dispose of the lands not required for their own use, to the Government; the Puke- tapus made similar offers.
The Ngatiawas assigned fear of the Waikatos as their reason for agreeing to live some years with William King. They gave their numbers, and boundaries of their land.
William King desired to see the map of Waitara, and offered to sell a small portion of land when he got there, for which I would not treat unless he would give up the South, and occupy the North banks of the river.
On the 25th, while engaged in enquiring into the pesition, and probable extent of land offered for sale at Waitara, William King came in a more subdued and friendly manner than
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he evinced since I arrived here, to enquire if I would again show him the map, and have a talk about Waitara, He said the proposals of the Government, to which he attentively listened, were very good; but that he would have a difficulty in acceding to them at once, as all the natives who came with him from Arapaoa and other places, would accuse him of being unfaithful, and betraying their interests, from his having promised to place them in possession of lands on the South banks of the river; and as those of his own tribe who had no lands on the North banks would not readily agree to take up their abode there, being averse to occupying the
lands of other natives, and strongly attached to the patches originally possessed by them. He would, however, use all his endeavours after he arrived at Waitara, to influence the natives to sell the South banks of the river, and requested no purchases should be made from the natives till they were all unanimous, as it would lead to various disputes.
I have the honour to remain Sir, Your Excellency's most obedient servant (Signed)
Inspector of Police. To:- His Excellency The Lieut. Governor.
etc., etc., etc., Wellington.
Papers relating to provincial affairs - Taranaki. Inspector of police, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0123 (71 digitised items)
Series 7 Official papers, Reference Number Series 7 Official papers (3737 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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