Object #1027219 from MS-Papers-0032-0316

6 pages written 20 Apr 1859 by Henry Halse in Wanganui District

From: Inward letters - Henry Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0316 (40 digitised items). 42 letters written from New Plymouth, Wanganui, Auckland, Waiuku, Mokau, Kawhia [?], 1858-1860

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

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English (ATL)

Private. Whanganui

Apr.20/59



My dear Sir,

I left Waitotara this morning with Aperahama Parea and arrived here at noon.

Aperahama's motive in coming is to spend Good Friday with the Rev. Mr. Taylor and then go back to his place Although I remained there a day and a half the question of selling the land on to Kai Iwi was only occasionally alluded to as a settled matter in their own minds and your presence alone required to bring it to a conclusion.

Ngatiruanui is greatly opposed to the proposed sale of Waitotara by Ngarauru, and a small party has been sent on to watch proceedings. Every effort has been made by them to turn Aperahama but to the present time he stands firm and with his people does not admit the right of Ngatiruanui to interfere at all. I find however that Ngatiruanui and Ngarauru have been associated for a considerable time in all matters and become as it were a part of Ngatiruani - for instance Ngarauru belonged to the League against land selling, which league was hatched at Mananapo in the celebrated house, known by the name of Taiparohenui, when it was resolved that all the land between Kai Iwi and Okurukuru should be retained by the natives for ever - it was on this occasion that they acted as one body, were looked upon as one tribe, and that tribe was Ngatiruanui. And this is the secret of the present vexation on the part of Ngatiruanui natives - they see that the waka is about to be broken, in other words that the League entered into at Taiparahenui is on the point of being cast to the winds, and they are accordingly doing their utmost to prevent such a calemity.

The King movement I find is spreading all over the country and assuming an appearance that should attract the attention of the Government. I think it has been too lightly regarded since first conceived which must have been some 5 or 6 years ago and during which time it has been perseveringly carried on by emissaries from the North, who have promulgated their own views with impunity until they have succeeded in uniting as one, nearly all the tribes in the country. It is a regular combination against the English and unless a rupture occurs amongst themselves, time will prove it to be so - such at least is my opinion.

There are several reasons assigned for this combined movement, some of which I will just mention.

First and foremost is fear that their lands will eventually be taken from them by the English. 2nd. that certain lands, supposed to have been set apart by the N.Z. Company for the Wellington natives, have been given to settlers, and thereby caused the Natives to believe that their Reserves granted by the Government will share the same fate.

3rd. the usage received by natives from Europeansm, in kicking them out of their houses, swearing at them, and even setting dogs at them.

4th. Not a chief in selling his land, sells at the same time his dignity, and that a tutea by working for the English soon becomes richer and more important than his chief.

5th. that during their feuds the Government looked quietly on, and is supposed to have inwardly rejoiced in the diminution of their numbers.

Wi Tako arrived at Waitotara with a small party of natives the day before yesterday. He is going on to New Plymouth and will do all the mischief he can. He carries a smooth face for the English, and at the same time uses his in fluence as a pakeha native (and it is these pakeha natives in Wellington and Auckland who have been doing all the mischief) to root out foom amongst them, the few native friends they possess. He is for the King absdutely, and like some of the Waikato men who have been traversing the country of late, so plausible that he will inevitably carry conviction in the minds of the Ngatiruanui and Taranaki natives in passing through their districts. I have met with a strange combination of sound sense and utter childishness amongst these people and a clever fellow like Wi Tako knows full well which chord to strike. The reason given by him for seceding from the English is in consequence of certainlands in the Wellington district the property of the natives, having been taken from them and handed over to the settlers - this I have already alluded to, and do not clearly understand what lands he means, unless it be the 10th originally set apart for the natives by the N.Z. Company. It this is the case the Genl Government is no more subject to censure for the disposal of those lands, than it was entitled to credit for the original arrangement. But the misfortune is, that the natives as a body don't understand the relative positions of the various powers in the country and at once charge Govt. with being guilty of bad faith with them. The Native Reserves Act 1856 happened to be explained to the natives at the very time they were smarting about the loss of certain lands in the Wellington Province, they said directly, now look here, it will not be long before the pakehas get possession of our reserves, therefore we had better collect money and pay for them as soon as possible - hence Te Ahoaha's letter which you will remember seeing whilst at New Plymouth.

I hope to see you shortly as I have only written down a few matters as they have occurred to me. On Saturday I expect to see a few natives of this place when I shall be better able to judge of our chances with the Waitotara block, which in as far as my observations go, is of the last importance to get indeed I regard it as the key to Ngatiruanui, but any delay will I fear be fatal.

Hoping you will excuse this hastily written note and all wrong opinions.

I remain My dear Sir,
Faithfully yours,
H. Halse.
P.S. I find the people here imggine their interests neglected by the Govt. and greatly disappointed in not receiving a visit from His Excellency. I have written to Parris to prepare him for a visit from Wi Tako, who will try to prevent Teira's offer being brought to a successful issue, and on other points of general importance for his information.

Part of:
Inward letters - Henry Halse, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0316 (40 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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