W hat I believe to be genuine and authentic the collected publications of William Colenso



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Part iii

On the 2nd September 1865, while the General Assembly was in session, the Governor issued his famous “Proclamation of Peace;” in which he stated, that, “the war is at an end;” that “sufficient punishment bad been inflicted, and so much land confiscated as was thought necessary; that all who have been in arms would never be prosecuted for past offences, excepting only those who have been concerned in the murders of the following persons (naming 8); and the chief Te Pehi, because, having taken the oath of allegiance be violated his oath, and treacherously attacked the Queen’s troops Pipiriki; when taken, he will be brought to trial for this crime. All others are forgiven. Out of the lands which have been confiscated in the Waikato, and at Taranaki, and Ngatiruanui, the Governor will at once restore considerable quantities to the natives, &c. The Governor will take [7] no more lands on account of the present war. The Governor is sending an expedition to the Bay of Plenty to arrest the murderers of Mr. Volkner and Mr. Fulloon. If they are given up to justice, the Governor will be satisfied; if not, the Governor will seize a part of the lands of the tribes who conceal these murderers, &c.

On the 4th of September (only two days after the aforesaid “Peace Proclamation,”) the “Proclamation proclaiming martial law throughout, the districts of Opotiki and Whakatane was issued. The “expedition” sailed from Wellington to Opotiki without a Civil Magistrate; arriving there, they immediately (without even a formal parley or demand of the murderers) commenced military operations, killing (as per official return) in the first three days 16 of the natives (sex not shown), utterly destroying their war pah and villages, and also all their cultivations for miles. The following is an extract from what was then published: —“After the (first day’s) fight the British flag was waving where Volkner was murdered. Judging from expressions of feeling around our camp fires, the conclusion is unavoidable, that it will not require a very, large gaol to hold our prisoners; we have not sufficient men to tell off as a guard, and we have nothing but a church to put them in—which is too good for such a purpose. Thirteen dead bodies of the enemy were counted this day, and twelve more a few days after.”

Other engagements took place afterwards in that district, and very many more natives were slaughtered; the number, however, is not known.

Subsequently a large number of them were also taken prisoner; these were conveyed to Auckland, tried, and several of them hung there, while others of them were imprisoned.

The land (“500,000 acres”) was also confiscated.

________________

Here I pause awhile in my recital to ask, if any one, after reading the foregoing brief and meagre yet faithful outline, can say, that “the murders of Mr. Volkner end Mr. Fulloon” were not most amply avenged?

For my own part I candidly confess, that, to this day, I have never been able to see the justice of this most complicated proceeding; which, remember, was not done in a hurry. The carefully drawn, and plain and full “Peace Proclamation” was issued six months after the murder of Mr. Volkner. In it the Colony was informed, that “the war was at an end;” that “the Governor was sending an expedition to arrest the murderers. If they are given up to justice the Governor will be satisfied; if not the Governor will seize a part of the lands of those who conceal the murderers;” not, however, as in former cases, for the Crown, but “and will use them for the purpose of maintaining peace in that part of the country, and of providing for the widows and relatives of the murdered people.” But nothing of the kind was attempted—may I not rightly say, intended? seeing that no Civil Magistrate accompanied the said expedition, and that a proclamation levying war unconditionally on that district was actually issued previous to the expedition leaving Wellington! The Governor himself broke his own terms, and chose again to initiate war in the island and Colony only two days after be had announced peace, and that without any thing new calling for his doing so. I, therefore, cannot see the justice of beating the unhappy Opotiki Hauhaus with both ends of the stick! Either (one would suppose) by civil law, or by fighting and confiscation, but not by both. I waive, for the present, the enquiry as to the Governor’s legal power to proclaim martial law at all,— there, or anywhere else in the Colony.

________________

To proceed: I should have stated, that the Act first making (or “deeming”) the Maoris to be British subjects, was assented to on the 20th September 1865; a fortnight after the visit of the aforesaid expedition to Opotiki.

In March, 1866, the Governor visited those parts in H.M.S. Eclipse, and thus reports in a despatch to the Right Hon. E. Cardwell, dated the 23rd of that month:— “At Opotiki I found the Hauhau fanatics entirely subdued, and tranquillity fully established. The disturbances which have for so long a time unhappily prevailed are thus at an end, and I see every reason to hope that the existing tranquillity will not again be disturbed, and that New Zealand will continue rapidly to progress.”

On this occasion the Governor took with him the Hauhau prophet Te Ua, the prime [8] mover and Originator of the whole Hauhau movement, who had also been recently charged with murders on the West Coast. At Te Awanui, near the East Cape, where the “Eclipse” anchored, and the Governor saw some of the loyal chiefs, Mokena and others, they were highly indignant at seeing Te Ua on board as his Excellency’s companion, and were with great difficulty restrained from laying bands on him—as the cause of so much misery and loss of life; Mokena assured the Governor that if Te Ua went on shore his people would kill him.

The Governor in a despatch, written also to Mr. Cardwell, six days after the former one, from Raglan (Kawhia), speaks thus of Te Ua:—“Rewi and his followers were within thirty miles of me, celebrating the religious services of the Hauhau fanatical faith, whilst Te Ua, the former prophet and founder of this faith, and framer of these religious services, was taking part in the service of the Church of England on board H.M.S. Eclipse, having renounced the Hauhau doctrines, and having made a full statement (If the delusions under which he was suffering when he imagined be had those visions which led him to found and promulgate the Hauhau superstition.”

Te Ua was landed at Auckland a free man; and Patara, too, has since been allowed to go free. (For my part I do not object to this; I think it, under all the circumstances, a wise and proper policy.)

Notwithstanding the Governor’s statement in his despatch, of the great tranquillity at Opotiki, and of the entire subjugation of the Hauhaus at that place, martial law was not revoked there until the 6th of January 1867; some ten months afterwards!

I may here mention in passing (as I do not intend to deduce anything from it) the following highly curious circumstance (not, however, without its well-known parallel in history), viz., that although the Government received a very large amount of written information concerning the death of Mr. Volkner (I having read more than twenty letters and statements, written and signed by a great number of persons, European and Maori, many of whom were resident on the spot), scarcely two of them agree, save in his having been killed; indeed, some of them strangely contradict each other.

Messrs. Volkner and Fulloon were killed in 1865, and in the same year was the dreadful retribution exacted. Where, then, has the prisoner Kereopa been during those six subsequent years? A miserable fugitive in the mountain recesses, perpetually hunted, and fleeing from place to place with his life in his hand—coput lupus! £1000 was the price set upon his head by one of the Ministry of the day (although such was not agreed to in the (General Assembly in 1865, when the question was brought before them, and was also subsequently censured by the Home Government); yet, to the honor of the poor starving, half-clad Maoris of those parts, who knew of his retreats, and who suffered largely for concealing him, not one allowed himself to be seduced by such a golden bait! No doubt, if all his adventures and hair-breadth escapes during that long and miserable time could be written, they would vie in romantic and perilous incidents with those of the Pretender and his son (James Stuart and Charles Edward Stuart) in the Highlands of Scotland, which also served to exhibit the good qualities of the highlanders; but with this great addition on the part of the Maoris, that their trial of good qualities extended over so much longer time, and under far greater miseries and privations, and that he, poor wretch! had no ultimate hope,—no silver lining to his black cloud,—no friendly foreign court, or power, to flee to!



iv.

I have already shewn, that in the “Proclamation of Peace,” all natives who had been in arms were unconditionally forgiven, and assured that they would never be prosecuted for past offences: excepting only those who had been engaged in eight murders, therein specified; and, also, a chief named Te Pehi, for violating his oath and treacherously attacking the Queen’s troops.

In a proclamation, however, dated Oct. 5, 1864, (and again in a later one of December of the same year, issued just two months before Mr. Volkner was killed,) the murderers of upwards of thirty persons, men women and children, all therein named, are specially excepted from pardon,—as [9] against many of them coroners’ juries had returned a verdict of wilful murder. Now of all these thirty, nearly all of whom were quiet settlers, only four are mentioned and included in the eight subsequently given in the “Proclamation of Peace;” so that, by that proclamation of the second of September, 1865, the murderers of 26 of our people were absolutely forgiven, though hitherto repeatedly declared to be legally and specially excepted. Not a few, too, of those 26 who were murdered were (if possible) less deserving of so sad a fate than Mr. Volkner, (as the natives had nothing individually against them) and certainly they were very much less deserving of it (politically speaking) than Mr. Fulloon, a Government officer, and, by the mother’s side, belonging to the tribe which killed him.

The chief Te Pehi, who was specially excepted from pardon in the aforesaid proclamation, for violating his oath of allegiance and for his treacherously attacking the Queen’s troops (as already stated), was also pardoned by notification in the Gazette for 1867, page 338.

Again, in a later proclamation dated October 2, 1865, £1000 is offered for the apprehension of three natives named therein, “the murderers of Kereti,” the Governor’s messenger or bearer of the aforesaid “Proclamation of Peace” to the West Coast tribes. They would not have his peace, thus made by himself within the four walls of his study, so quietly foisted upon them; as a fighting people, used to the ways and terms of peace-making, they did not understand it. Here, it should be borne in mind, that (as in the case of young Fulloon) this native Kereti was one of themselves: the Government of the day, however, did not seem to know, or to consider, this. These three natives, like Te Ua and Patara, have also been allowed to go free:—and rightly so, as I take it.

I will not now enter into the vexed question whether those Maori were belligerents or “rebels;” enough for me at present that, on the one side, were a handful of natives driven to fight for their lives and liberties,—their lands their children and their homes,—or rather, to sell them as dearly as possible, (as our forefathers English, Irish, Scotch, and Welsh, have often done), and on the other side the might and majesty of Imperial Britain, lowered and debased in this distant part of the Empire, to do that which could not have been legally done nearer the Home Country.

And here I will state my great surprise at this Maori prisoner Kereopa being brought to this small place (town) for trial He is neither a native of this province, nor is Opotiki where Mr. Volkner was killed within it, neither was he taken within its boundaries. I know very well the wise practice of our ancestors of allowing a change of venue for a prisoner that he may have a fair trial; but can such be thought of here?—rather, is it not all t’other way?—It may be (such things are talked of “by the man in the street,”) that since certain persons high in authority have been baulked in their wish as to hanging drawing and quartering, that they will try hard for the next to it, and have an unhappy Maori hung, &c., in every little place in the North Island, and so demonstrate “the terror and dread majesty of the law!” Vain idea. If such be the case, then such persons miserably mistake. For to such men as our prisoner, who have long ago counted the cost, and who “are content to sacrifice their lives in the contest,” (as Sir W. Martin ably and truthfully expresses it,) all such considerations are most puerile;—shewn, indeed, in his manfully and heroicaly attempting to commit suicide the moment he fell into the Christians’ (!) hands.

I would also call your attention to two remarkable documents, bearing on the subject now before us,—viz. two despatches from two noblemen, successively British Secretaries of State, relative to our past Maori executions. (Will the thirsty of Napier and Hawke’s Bay also please to “take a note of it?”)

In October, and also in November, 1869, Governor Bowen wrote lengthy despatches to the British Secretary of State, Earl Granville, respecting the Hauhau prisoners, then lately tried at Wellington, when a large number were quickly sentenced to death and something else; enclosing of course, the famous “Charge,” and other similar documents. Now how were they answered by Earl Granville? By a single despatch of 5 lines, in these words:—

“I have to acknowledge the receipt of [10] your despatches of — and of —, reporting the final decision arrived at, and the execution of only one of the prisoners. I observe with great pleasure the lenient course adopted by the Government of New Zealand.”

Again; in July, 1870, Governor Bowen wrote another very long despatch to the Secretary of State, concerning 30 more of the Hauhau prisoners, who had recently been tried at Wellington, and, of course, sentenced to death (but not, this time, to be hung drawn quartered, &c., &c.), in which despatch the Governor again brings in the Judge’s “Charge” to the jury of the last year! (sent by him in his despatch mentioned above, but then as a separate document,) and this time actually incorporated into the body of his despatch! (Just as it has again more recently been brought forward by the present Ministry in their speeches in the session of the General Assembly just closed:—serving as a kind of “stock gravy!”) And, no doubt, to this despatch some more pleasing more suitable reply was expected:—and what was the answer? I give it complete, below, as it should long ago have been published throughout New Zealand.

“Downing-street, 7th October, 1870.


Sir,—I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch No. 91, of the 28th July, informing me of the course pursued with regard to the members of Te Kooti’s band recently tried before the Supreme Court at Wellington for levying war against the Queen. I am very glad to find that it has not been found necessary to execute any of these prisoners.
“I have, &c. (signed), Kimberley.
“Governor Sir (1.F. Bowen, G.C.M.G.”

Any comment on the above few terse and pregnant words would be superfluous, and as vain as to attempt to gild gold or paint the lily. They are all the more striking when read in connexion with the long and florid despatches they are replies to, To me, as an Englishman, it is especially pleasing to find such instances in these days, when so much is spoken and written against our British House of Lords and British Nobility. Thank God, I say, that we have still among our British noblemen, men possessing noble hearts and minds!

One sentence, however, in the Governor’s despatch of July, 1870, 1 would like to give equal publicity to, as it reflects credit on our own member for Napier, Mr. M’Lean, and shews a little (through a crevice as it were) of how he must have acted in the consultation of the Governor and his Executive on this occasion. The Governor says:—“Mr. M’Lean and all those who know the Maoris best, believe that the lenity of the Government has produced a favorable effect on the native mind generally. They think, in short, that in this as in other countries, the maxim holds good which declares that ‘the grass soon grows over blood shed on the battle-field, but rarely over blood shed on the political scaffold.’”

Yes, Mr. M’Lean was right in so speaking of lenity to the erring deluded Maoris; such will indeed he appreciated by them; such, steadily pursued, will go a great way to win them back again—if such can ever again he effected! Some people, however (whether from temperament, or from the peculiar hardening bias of their profession—like some lawyers, or from prejudice, or the obliquity of their mental vision,) delight in speaking ex cathedra in strong language; vainly supposing that strong words so spoken necessarily convey strong ideas! Just as some others rap out oaths with every sentence; or as some parsons in a church, where they know they cannot be answered. Such people know not the power and majesty of a mild rebuke, neither would it answer for them to attempt it. I could at any time make a New Zealand youth weep by a few mild touching words, whereas a torrent of invective has only the very opposite effect; so true it is—

“One touch of nature makes he whole world kin.”

It is not amiss to state what the Native chiefs themselves now think of our prisoner Kereopa; some of them, too, having severely suffered through the Hauhau invasion. It so happens that I am in Communication with several of them, and I know some of their thoughts. (I do not speak of the paid emissaries of the Government, neither of any other proteges or proselytes; such, parrot-hike, always repeat the key-note struck or indicated by their masters.) The natives say, (1.) That it is not just to punish him now, because the Governor pardoned Te Ua and Patara, the originators of [11] the evil, the greater men, and the greater criminals. In other words, our own law maxim, Qui facit per alium facit per se. (Native justice.) 2. That as the Governor chose his mode of visiting the crime at Opotiki by a war party (taua), and killing so many for the murder fo one man, that, if Kereopa should now be punished for his acts, then the Governor and those who levied war afresh there for this crime and killed so many of the natives should also be tried and punished. (Native justice again.)

Let us hear, again, the clear-headed lawyer Sir W. Martin; he says:—“Not only in newspapers but in public documents from the commencement of these troubles the hostile natives have been called rebels. It is now admitted that a large portion of the native population has never intelligently, or at all, assented to our dominion, and therefore remains where Capt. Hobson found it. Such portions of the population are still what the terms of our first national transaction with them admitted them to be. Small communities entitled to the possession of their own soil, and to the management of their own internal affairs. This is their position at present. Those, therefore, who are actually in arms against us are to be regarded as enemies in war,—as hostile but not criminal. If so, then so far as these communities are concerned, the Acts and Proclamations are not properly laws, but simply announcements that the stronger party will take the lands of the weaker. The taking itself is an act of war, an act of the Queen, to whom alone belongs the prerogative of peace and war. It is for the English nation, therefore, finally to determine how the “giant’s strength” of England is to be used. The object of the war itself was to repress and terminate the efforts which the natives were making to set up a separate nationality, but though that effort was a great folly it was not a great crime.”

The Natives also say (or have said), that this continuous pursuit after Kereopa and Te Kooti, and the consequent hunting down and slaughtering in cold blood of so many men women and children, is not now from the Government but from the Church (!) kept up by the Williams’ (Te Wiremu ma) in revenge for the uprooting of their Mission Station at Poverty Bay, and for the killing of a minister, &c.

In your issue of Nov. 30, you tell us,—“that steps are being taken to collect evidence of the murder of Mr. Volkner,” and. that “the Keera (steamer) will bring the witnesseses to Napier on her return trip.” And no doubt she will bring quantum suff., and they will be well “shepherded”! I read with disgust the statements made by some of the Maori witnesses brought forward by the Government at the political trials of Hauhaus at Wellington, and only wished that I had had the cross examining of some of them! Allow me to tell you of two matters which occurred, highly applicable here; in 1846, I walked, as usual, to Wellington; arriving there I found the Hutt troubles had begun, and four Natives were then in chains on board of H.M. steamer “Driver,” at anchor off Pitoone, charged with the murder of settlers at the Hutt. I stopped in my tent among the Natives at their village, Pitoone. I heard a good deal. I knew, also, that the four unhappy Maoris in fetters were all intent on committing suicide. I sent them word not to do so. In Wellington I saw Mr. St. Hill the respected R.M., I told him all that I had heard; subsequently he allowed me to see the depositions—eight, I think, taken before him. They were all most plain, most positive; eight Settlers, decent ones, too, nil swearing dead point-blank against those four natives. I returned to Pitoone with a heavy heart; end spent a day or two more there; during that time I gained quite enough to convince me of the innocence of those four prisoners of what they were charged with—by a most clear and striking alibi. I wrote it down and sent it to Mr. St. Hill, as I could no longer stay in those parts, begging that a Special Commission might be appointed to try them. The present Bishop of Wellington, then confined to his bed at Mr. St. Hil’s, took the matter up; they were soon tried and were all acquitted. So here, in Napier, in 1862; the young Native from Te Wairoa committed for the murder of his wife would have been convicted by super-abundant Maori evidence brought against him by his own people! had not I and others exerted ourselves: he, too, was acquitted. Their very statements, however preposterous, he would not deny or rebut; [12] and, indeed, virtually pleaded Guilty!—i.e., they, my people, my fathers and superiors, say so, and I won’t gainsay it.—This is in strict accordance with old native custom.— I merely, however, mention these two cases now to shew,—1. That one cannot always believe what even respectable witnesses say as to what took place, in a great tumult; 2. That I should be very chary as to believing Maori witnesses deposing against any Hauhaus, especially if in the pay of Government in country districts, and brought forward (selected) by Government officials; the said Hauhaus not belonging to their tribe, and being (rigidly or wrongly) popularly obnoxious.

I should like to say somewhat about Hauhauism, which has been, and is, much misrepresented. Many of those who have written about it—(“bothered,” I might, truly enough, say, the Government, with forcing upon them their crude notions,)— knowing least about it. I cannot, however, enter fully on it now; but this much I will say—1. That some of its prayers, of which I have more than 40 composed for various occasions, are truly beautiful good and pious.255 (Witness, also, that sublime prayer, uttered up before Mr. M’Lean at Waikato when he went to visit Rewi, and which has been published.) They are all correctly addressed, too, to the One true God—Jehovah; and are such as I could well use myself. 2. That I have heard from most trustworthy Europeans, resident on the West Coast and in other parts, that they would rather deal with a Hauhau than with a “Missionary” or “Christian” Native, —as the former was civil honest and truthful; while the latter were often bounceable deceivers and liars. And, I would ask, is it fair to charge the atrocities committed by some of the insane Hauhaus in the height of their mad fanaticism upon the whole body as a part of their belief? any more than to charge the Christian Church, whether Romanist or Protestant, with their equal abominations which some of their mad or persecuting followers have committed? Those who do so know little of Ecclesiastical history, whether past or present:—in ancient days, the thousands who have been anathematized and put to death by their fellow Christians on account of the use or disuse of the letter i in their creed!—in modern times, the hundreds of highly educated English Christians (?) who are now cordially hating each other, about robes, positions, postures, genuflections, crossings, and holy water!—in all which, as I take it, they are in the matter of pure religious worship infinitely below the simple uneducated Hauhau.—

For, think you, God loves our tame levelled acres
More than the bare crag of some heaven-kissed hill?
Man’s straight-dug ditch, more than His own free river,
That wanders, He regarding, where it will?

So about Cannibalism, (Nay, don’t start, I am not going to support it, simply because there is no such thing practised in New Zealand. With much snore propriety you may charge tie citizens of Paris with such a deed.) To me, however, the mere ill-usage of the dead body of an enemy, even to the eating the flesh, is not so bad as the killing him, whether by the bayonet or mitralleuse. Particlarly if such a custom, however horrid, has always been practised among them. It is the reckless slaughter of living men! how many of our so-called European heroes and kings have attained that eminence by guilt and crime? daring

—‘‘to wade through slaughter to a throne.”

If the deeds of Kereopa and the deeds of Napoleon should ever be viewed in a stronger clearer more just and divine light than either that Aluminium or Electricity, which of the two would be seen to be the greater scoundrel? “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement.”

Then as to “the extreme sentence of the law” (as it is termed by us) the penalty of death is not always so considered, never has been by all nations; degradation, and servitude, and banishment, with many, is still the heavier, the unbearable punishment—the one that tells most upon the living. Witness— Toulon; the unhealthy marshes of Cayenne, and the frozen deserts of Siberia; and nearer still, our Norfolk Island, formerly. That Oriental prince knew human nature well, acted wisely, when be carried about his prisoner in a cage in chains. So did our Henry VII when he made Lambert Simnel, who bad publicly been crowned King of Ireland [13] with a golden Crown taken from a statue of the Virgin Mary, a scullion in his kitchen,—notwithstanding his bold invasion of England and the many lives it cost. With all aboriginal nations, who think lightly of human life and of suicide—degradation and imprisonment and banishment, are far worse punishments than death. Our rulers seem to have ignored all this. Besides, with a Native people like ours, no greater hold could a Government ever obtain over the free for their good behaviour, than by a discreet humane management of the Maori prisoners. (This, with other similar matters, I pointed out to Governor Browne, in 1861.)

I have called your attention to what the Native Chiefs think of our prisoner; it is also worth while to consider their present attitude towards us; especially as we are now largely committed to such an extensive extension of Public Works throughout the Island.—What do they think of us, and of the Government, in their heart of hearts? Are they satisfied, or dissatisfied? I say, highly dissatisfied; and this feeling, rightly or wrongly, is daily increasing— even among those who, 3-5 years ago, were our friends and “loyal Natives.” What Sir W. Martin wrote then, is still more true, more applicable now:—“The practical fact with which we have to deal is this, the old feeling of distrust and exasperation towards our Government.... this is our real difficulty.... I believe that this feeling is now more deep more widely spread than at any time. I believe there are now many who are convinced that we arc determined even by fraud and violence to get possession of their land.” (Let the rapacious reckless “ Landsharks” of Hawke’s Bay consider this,—and what follows, already given, ante.) They are dissatisfied (including the members of Parliament) at the various Acts formerly passed by the Government against them, and not even amended in this last session. Speaking of some of those acts, Sir W. Martin shews that they are against English Law; and he further says,—“within 12 months two Acts have been passed, which, if they should actually remain as law, would leave to scarce1y any Maori in the Country any security for the retention of an acre of his land.” And again, speaking generally of recent enactments,—“In all this business of bringing the Natives within the operation of the law, it behoves us to be ourselves careful to act according to law, and that the Law of England. As long as we are able to say, “This is part of the Law of England,” we ensure is certain degree of acceptance.... they are willing to recognise in the greatness of our Nation a proof of the excellence of all laws. But we offer them as a boon the name of English subjects, and they find that in practice for them that name is to mean subjection to hard rules, which no man in Englond is subject to.”——

Yes, they are dissatisfied.—l. As to the constitution and working of the Native Land’s Court, through which they are fast losing their lands. 2. As to the double-tongue (arero rua) of the Government, ever promising and cajoling, but doing nothing. Their patience, even of the “loyal Natives,” is getting well-nigh exhausted; witness their complaints and petitions to the General Assembly, made too often in vain for redress, little or no attention being paid to them, at all events no alleviation is granted; the burden is as of yore. And 3 The chronic fighting, or slaying of their people; or, as they say, the double dealing of the Government, as against offenders—both by civil and by Martial Law; not merely life and land (of the offender), but the wholesale killing, of the innocent and helpless, by day and by night, under the pretext of obtaining one offender. In this respect the Governor (who has to bear the blame of all) is often by them likened to a bloody thief of olden time called Te Whatu, who, when he went on his small marauding and killing expeditions, and had done as much mischief as he cared for, would say,—“It’s over now; all right; come back and dwell;” and then, in a few days, or weeks, he would return again to slay; so he was named Te Whatuarerorua, which name is now commonly given to the Governor and Government,

Perhaps in no one thing has our Government lost influence with the Maoris more during the 1ast few years than in this— their perpetual hunting and slaying of the helpless ones in the interior under the miserable subterfuge of pursuing Te Kooti! [14] We, the early missionaries to this people, had the utmost difficulty in bringing the native tribes to leave off their seeking recompense for offences in this kind of way—by armed murdering prowling bands. Eventually, however, Christianity triumphed, and it was put down everywhere. Now, however, the Government has revived it, and they, I fear, will bye-and-bye find out their very serious error. But their doing so has caused the natives to think and talk and brood over their wrongs more than ever. Look, for a moment, at that last sad case (one of ninny similar ones,) reported in your paper a few weeks ago: of the murderous band of mercenary bloodhounds surrounding a small village by night, and shooting down suddenly and unexpectedly 6 unoffending natives (3 men and 3 women) and wounding others! Were these British subjects ? No one here lamented them; no Christian female settler even said, How shocking! But, had such a deed been done by the Prussians when overrunning France, all England would have rung with the atrocity, and our Napier papers would have copied it—but these, alas! were Hauhaus!

Our Premier, the Hon. Mr. Fox, on the 7th ult., in the House of Representatives, moved an address to the Queen respecting the melancholy death of Bishop Patteson, which address concludes in these words:

— “And we pray that your Majesty may long live as the protector of the weak and defenceless in every part of the world.”— To which good words I respond heartily, Amen. But, “Charity begins at home;” and our Premier might have thought of those wretched “weak and defenceless” Maories in the mountains of New Zealand, so long harassed and hunted and killed by the mercenaries of the Government. There was a time when he could speak eloquently in their defence, as “men of like passions with ourselves.” As it is, such can only remind one of what Dickens so forcibly tells us of Mrs. Jellyby and her telescopic philanthropy for educating the African children of Borrioboola-Gha, while her own family around her were utterly without it!

Why it is, that the ministers of our various Christian churches have not long ago stood up unitedly in the defence of the oppressed, I cannot divine. In rude ancient times, the bishops, abbots, priors, priests, and presbyters, were always found in the van, loudly denouncing all such ill-usage, even when made by their own nobles and kings. But then the clergy led and tended and taught their flocks, being independent of them; now, alas! they follow in the ruck, and preach to please their sleepy fat sheep (as we have seen in the clergy of the American slave-holding States,) being wholly dependent on them.

Of one thing however I feel it to be my duty to tell my fellow-settlers, of our rulers, (and they know I am not an alarmist,)—that if this unhallowed proceeding of secretly slaughtering the natives in the woods and mountains in the interior is not quickly put a stop to, they must prepare for the inevitable result. Let them remember the wise proverb,—“It is the last straw (hot heavy weight) which breaks the camel’s back.” Let them look at the sad fate of Bishop Patteson, and be warned in time. The same fell spirit is abroad—here, as in the Melanesian Islands, and will surely be followed by the same terrible results. Tragedies, far more fearful than those of Opotiki, Poverty Bay, and Mohaka, will yet be enacted. The innocent will again suffer for the guilty. To me it is really marvellous, the patience and forbearance of those harassed fugitives,—in those dreadfully cold and wet regions without fire or food. Surely some day their blood will be avenged by a righteous God! Let the believer in the inspiration of the Old Testament read the former part of the 21 chap. of 2 Samuel, and con.

The Government and Colony has more than once been engaged in considering the best means to oppose invasion, but, I fear, they have never yet duly considered the growing discontent (Fenianism) within: ‘tis thus which has to be considered and prepared for: here is the great danger, in case of any war with England. Be wise in time. Verb. sat sap.

As one of the latest proofs of the double-tongue on the part of the Government, the natives speak of the following; it should appear, that the four Maori members before they left Wellington waited on the Government respecting the standing sore of the continued imprisonment and servitude of the Maori political prisoners at Otago, when their release was promised at [15] Christmas. This satisfied them; and was also published here in our papers. Since their return, however, the Governor and Ministry have visited Whanganui, and among the requests made there on that occasion by the chiefs was, to repeat what had been already asked for and granted; when the reply was a half-refusal, and, eventually, that the Native Minister would think over it! This is also published in the papers. Well may Sir W. Martin say,—“With all this delay and uncertainty, projects put forward and never carried out, one expectation after another raised and disappointed, the soreness and distrust of the natives will remain unallayed, or even increased; many more will come to say, what too many say already, that our plans and proposals to them are maminga,—devices to cheat them and to gain time.”



And again,— “The great principle of all our policy towards the natives, the one hope of success in overcoming their fear arid distrust of us was expressed by the first Native Minister in words which ought not to be forgotten,—‘The fears of the natives can be calmed, and the peace of the country secured, only by a policy which seeks not theirs but them’” (Mr. (now Judge) Richmond’s Mem.)

Before, however, that I close this part of my subject, I must say a word about some of their petitions to the General Assembly, to which I have alluded. From those of W. Tamihana te Waharoa I have already briefly extracted; there are many others of that class,—from those natives and tribes who have been in arms against us; I will not touch these; I will confine myself to those from our friends, and from some of the most eminent and prominent of our “loyal natives.” 1. There is a very able one from Karaitiana last year, in which he unmistakeably tells the Government, that he and his will not submit to having their lands taken from them under the guise of law, &c., and ventures constitutionally to warn them of consequences. 2. This year, there is one from Tamihana te Rauparaha (son of the famed chief Te Rauparaha), and other West Coast chiefs, in which, after narrating their troubles and fears, mainly arising from the very large amount of Government arms and ammunition left in the hands of several of the Wrest Coast tribes, and of the probability of Maori war, and that these petitioners had applied in vain to the Government, they say,—“Some of us are in great distress, and have begun to think, that the Government have no regard for, nor do they draw near to peaceful people. Our tribe have for many years been living in peace, and have been patient through the troubles which have occurred in this island: we have steadfastly kept to our Churches and to our schools, and have been faithful to the Queen, and have upheld her laws even up to this year. Our applications to the Government, have not been heeded.” 3. Then there is a most remarkable petition from Paul (Pauro) Tuhaere, the proud chief of Orakei, the Maori founder of Auckland City, and the steadfast friend and visitor of all the Governors, and who, a few years ego, was chosen by the then Superintendent of Auckland (Mr. Williamson) to a seat in the Executive Council of that province! And what does he complain of? That he cannot get justice from the Government. That, for years, he has complained to each and every Governor, including the present, Governor Bowen, and the Native Minister, Mr. M’Lean, to do him justice, and pay for the land they have unjustly taken and sold. Will it be believed, that that land is the valuable property of Taurarua near Auckland containing 252 acres? Where Bishop Selwyn lived and built his Church and College, and where Sir W. Martins has always dwelt! Will it be believed, that the new law is such that as Crown Grants have been issued to the occupiers (the Government having sold it and got the money), the Native Lands Court will not investigate his claim ? The petition is a long one, and is well worthy attentive perusal—not so much on account of the alleged deep wrong, as to shew the patience and the love of justice inherent in the Maori, arid the working of the native mind, and the strong deep dissatisfaction which exists (even in the bosoms of such loyal men) against our Government. I must make a long extract or two, as his account of an interview with the late Governor, Sir G. Grey, is too rich, too characteristic, to be lost.

— “That Sir G. Grey returned to the Colony as Governor in the place of the said Thomas Gore Browne, and your petitioner [16] knowing that it was in the time of the said Sir G. Grey that your petitioner’s land had been finally taken away, waited upon the said Sir G. Grey; accompanied by the Chief Te Keene Tangaroa. The said Sir G. Grey asked your petitioner what he had to say. Your petitioner replied, “I have come to converse about Taurarua, the land you heard of at the time of your first arrival in the Colony as Governor.” Sir G. Grey replied, “That is correct, Paul, but what is to be done in the matter?” Your petitioner answered, “I want payment for that piece of land.” Sir G. Grey said, “Paul, don’t demand too heavy a payment. How much do you require?” Your petitioner replied, “£4000.” Sir G. Grey said, “That is far too much. You had better compromise it.” Your petitioner replied, “Now, according to your idea, how much should it be?” Sir G. Grey said, “£1000.” Your petitioner replied, “The reason I ask £4000 is, that my land was taken away for no reason, and without my consent.” Sir G. Grey said, “Agree to take the £1000.” Your petitioner replied, “Will the £1000 be paid at once?” Sir G. Grey said, he would speak to his Council and he asked your petitioner to return on the following day.”

They did return, hut nothing definite was effected. Then arbitration, at the request of the Governor, was resorted to, in 1862; which, Paul says, was in his favor, but nothing came of it.

Paul, however, throughout his Petition speaks nobly; reminding one of a certain Araunah, “who, as a King gave to the King” his land; (such a contrast to the heavy-pursed European land-and money-grabbers!)—not wishing to drive a hard bargain: he says,—

“That your Petitioner does not wish your honorable Assembly to restore Taurarua aforesaid to him, as Europeans are now inhabiting the land, and Crown grants have been issued for portions of the same, but he wishes to obtain compensation for the loss of his said land—for your petitioner and his descendants will always maintain that the same was unjustly taken away.”

“That your Petitioner would most humbly and respectfully remind your honorable Assembly that he has always been a faithful and loyal subject of Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, and that your Petitioner has been the constant friend of the Europeans since their first arrival in Auckland.

Another pregnant sentence must not be omitted. Paul quotes what he had told the Conference of Native Chiefs at Auckland in 1860; Mr. M،Lean being also present, and presiding on behalf of the Government. It was with reference to the twelfth paragraph of the Governor’s address to them, just delivered, in which he addressing the Native Chiefs had said; —“It is your adoption by her Majesty as her subjects which makes it impossible that the Maori people should be unjustly dispossessed of their lands or property. Every Maori is a member of the British Nation; be is protected by the same law as his English fellow-subject.”

Paul replied —“Listen all of you! The Governor has got possession of Taurarua, and I have not yet seen the payment. The land is occupied by Bishops, Judges, and great people, but I am not paid for it. I applied to the first Governor for redress, and to the second, the third, and fourth, without obtaining it. Matapipi (another estate) has also been taken from me. I did not receive any payment for it. I am continually urging payment for those pieces of land. Had these lands belonged to some people, they would have made it a greater cause for war than that which originated the present one” (namely, the Taranaki war, that was at that time being carried on). “I content myself with constantly asking for satisfaction. Now, listen all of you! If the matter is not arranged on this occasion, and if life is spared to me for two or three years, I shall go to England to the Queen about it.”

All, however, was in vain! and it is thus, in numberless cases, that the Government has succeeded in estranging from them some of their best Maori friends.

And this from Paora Tuhaere! the friend of all the Governors!! the constant guest at Government house!!! the petted Maori Lion with all noble visitors, from H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh downwards!!!! the only Maori chief ever selected to sit in an Executive Council of the Colony!!!!!

“Tell it not in Gath!”— [17]

I addressed a letter to you in April 1869, pointing out what I then believed best calculated to establish a lasting peace between the two races:—the first step towards which was, to do justice and to proclaim a general amnesty. Oh! that that letter had but been considered!256 I feel daily more and more assured that the way pointed out therein was “the right way.” It would, no doubt, have cost some money, but not so much as the present policy (or “drift”) is costing, and will and must continue to cost. Besides, by that plan, the Colony would have permanent and settled Peace—which it sadly wants. But by that plan the thousand-and-one who now derive a gainful trade by the present miserable chronic war, and the keeping-up of unprofitable scattered outlying redoubts and depôts, would find, alas! their occupation gone.

While writing the foregoing, I have thought, that it is just possible that some few of my fellow-townsmen may suppose (from my former official connection with the Maoris, and my having lived so many years among them,) that I am now writing in defence of this prisoner Kereopa, merely because he is a Maori: such, however, is not the case. And, as I do not wish to fall out with my fellow-townsmen, nor that they should fall out with me, I now add,—that I do this solely in the cause of strict and pure and holy justice. Were he an Irish Fenian, an American Mormon, an English traitor, or a “heathen Chinee,” I would do exactly the same, if (as in this case) his crime had been already signally and amply punished in any way chosen by the Government of the day. Had that not been done, then I would certainly cry for justice on Kereopa and some others. It is to prevent another great act of injustice being perpetrated here among us, under the guise of the high and holy name of Law that I do this:—to save our provincial escutcheon from another dark and damning blot! which not the sun of to-day nor of to-morrow, but of coming times will reveal.—Witness, Tasmania!



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