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THE STORY OF TE WAHAROA.
The following fragment of "Biographie Universelle" contains the sketch of a "fine old Maori gentleman, one of the olden time," and may perhaps prove interesting to some readers.
The history of Te Waharoa shows something of the condition of the ancient New Zealanders, who separated into various tribes, inhabited the valleys of the Thames and Waikato, who occupied the shores of the Bay of Plenty, and held the Lake district adjacent. It is a history which enables us to observe the actions of those tribes in peace and in war; to study their religion, their habits, and customs; to trace the effect of the humanising and Christian influences, which gradually dispelled the dark clouds that had rendered those savages unapproachable; and it assists us to examine the causes, latent in the Maori mind, which facilitated that change. In order, however, to make such a view more complete, we shall sometimes introduce incidents and characters not strictly connected with Te Waharoa's story, but generally contemporaneous with that chief, and
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pertaining to the districts where his influence was felt.
Te Waharoa, chief of the Ngatihaua tribe, and father of the present William Thompson Tarapipi, was, in his youth, a slave at Rotorua. The great influence and distinction he attained in after life is probably the reason why this, and other incidents of Waharoa's boyhood, are rescued from the obscurity which, notwithstanding he was a New Zealand chief, would otherwise have been their lot.
It is said that, ere Te Waharoa's birth, Taiporutu, his father, a Ngatihaua chief, was killed at Wanganui, in the waharoa--large gateway--of a pa he was in the act of attacking, and that on its birth his infant was named Te Waharoa by its mother, in remembrance of the spot where her husband had so nobly fallen.
When Waharoa was only about two years old, Maungakawa, the place where his tribe lived, was invaded and devastated by the Ngatiwhakaue, and he and his mother were carried captive to Rotorua. In reference to this circumstance, the aged Ngatiwhakaue chief Pango, as he reflected, some sixty years afterwards, on the slaughter of his tribe at Ohinemutu, by Te Waharoa, said, "Ah! had I but known once what I know now, he never should have killed us thus. I saw him, a little deserted child, crying in the ashes of his pa; and, as he seemed a nice child, I spared him, and putting him into a kit, carried him over to Rotorua, and now see how he requites us. Oh! that I had not saved him." Such was old Pango's pious
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prayer in 1836, but it came too late; for not only was Waharoa's infancy spared, but when he grew up, out of respect to his rank, and because perhaps his disposition was but ill qualified to brook the restraints of his condition, he was suffered to return to his father's tribe. This may have been about seventy years ago.
The Ngatiwhakaue, who liberated Te Waharoa, and against whom he, forty years afterwards, declared war, came originally from Hawaiki, in company with the other Maori tribes. Their canoe, the "Arawa," landed at Maketu. Rotorua was shortly afterwards discovered by a man of their tribe, named Ihanga, whilst out hunting with his dog, and was occupied by them; since which time they have maintained themselves in uninterrupted possession of their country. During the period over which our story extends, the chiefs of Ngatiwhakaue were Korokai; Pango, alias Ngawai, alias Ngaihi, a priest; and Pukuatua, of the Ngatipehi hapu, at Ohinemutu; Kahawai, Hikairo, Amohau, and Huka of the Ngatirangiwewehi hapu, at Puhirua; Nainai, of Ngatipukenga, at Maketu; Tapuika, of the Tapuika hapu, near the same place; also Tipitipi and Haupapa, fighting chiefs; who, as well as Kahawai, Tapuika, and Nainai, were afterwards killed in action, fighting Te Waharoa. There was also at Rotorua a noted old tohunga, named Unuaho, of the Ngatiuenukukopako hapu.
This section of the Maori people is now more commonly, and we think more correctly, called Te Arawa, an appellation but seldom used in
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Waharoa's time, when Ngatiwhakaue was the name by which they were known.
If we assume Te Waharoa to have been twenty years old when he joined his father's tribe, that event will be placed about the year 1795, as at his death, in 1839, he was upwards of sixty years of age.
Of course it is now impossible to give a circumstantial account of all the events connected with his early career as a fighting man among the Ngatihauas, who then held the Maungakaua Range, and were but a small tribe of, perhaps, about four hundred fighting men. Suffice it to say, that he witnessed the many incursions of the ruthless Ngapuhi, in the early part of this century, and the desolation they wrought in the districts we have named, and that he soon distinguished himself, and gradually gave importance to his tribe.
Te Waharoa's courage, activity, and address, his subtlety and enterprise, joined with reckless daring in single combat, rendered him in a few years the head of his own people and the dread of his neighbours. He allied himself with Ngatimaniapoto, and drove Te Rauparaha and the Ngatiraukawas from Maungatautari to Cook's Straits. He made war upon Waikato, and consigned a female member of the would-be royal house of Potatau to his umu (oven). At length, having made peace with Te Wherowhero on the west, and having planted the friendly Ngatikorokis at Maungatautari on the south, he turned his face towards the sea, and waged a long and bitter strife with the
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powerful Ngatimaru tribe, who inhabited Matamata and the valley of the Thames.
Thus far I would remark the apparent policy of this crafty chief. First he got rid of Te Rauparaha, who was as pugnacious a cannibal as himself. Then he terrified Te Wherowhero, who, having the example of his unfortunate relative before his eyes, doubtless judged it more prudent to enter into an alliance with the conqueror, and to assist him in his wars, than to run the risk of being otherwise disposed of. And lastly he endeavoured in two ways to obtain for his tribe a passage to the sea, viz., by seeking forcibly to dispossess the natives of the Thames, and by cultivating the good will of the Tauranga natives, and pressing his friendship on them--a friendship which has resulted more disastrously to Ngaiterangi than even his hostility proved to Ngatimaru.
It involved the reluctant Ngaiterangi in a six years' sanguinary war with Ngatiwhakaue, by which Tauranga was frequently devastated, and gave the haughty Ngatihauas the entree to their district. Nor is it too much to affirm that, during the long course of his wars, the alliances formed by Te Waharoa with the Ngatimaniapoto, the Waikato, and the Tauranga tribes, have been, in the hands of his son, an important element in the opposition which has been offered to the British Government. Its consequences are visible in the expatriated Waikato, now a byword among other natives, and in the present miserable remnant of Tauranga
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natives--despised even by those who have duped them. What did a Ngatihaua say lately, when reminded by one whom he could not gainsay, that his tribe had no right or title to Tauranga land at Tepuna or elsewhere? "What!" he said, "do you not know that Ngaiterangi are a plebeian race--an iwi ware? Where are their chiefs? We helped them against Ngapuhi, and it is right we should live at Tauranga." - Such is Maori right--the right of might--which converts not merely the lands, but the wives and chattels of the weaker party to the use of the stronger; and, therefore, as the unfortunate Ngaiterangi gradually lost their strength and prestige in the war with Ngatiwhakaue, which the fear of incurring Waharoa's displeasure compelled them to join in, so the ungrateful Ngatihaua slowly and almost imperceptibly encroached upon their land, and at length they boldly assert a right thereto. The sequel will show that Te Waharoa himself never ventured to make such a claim. But to resume the thread of our story.
The Thames natives against whom Te Waharoa now turned his arms were a numerous and warlike people; they had held possession of their country almost from the time of their arrival from Hawaiki. Their leading chiefs were Rauroha, Takurua, Urimahia, Te Rohu, Horita, and Herua, with Piaho and Koinake, fighting chiefs. Before the introduction of firearms, this tribe had been accustomed freely to devastate the northern portions of the island,
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so that Te Rohu's father enjoyed the reputation of being a man-eater--one who lived entirely on human flesh. Puketonu, well known in the Bay of Islands, was about the last pa destroyed by these cannibals. They were called generally after Maru, from whom they sprang, who travelled from Kawhia to Hauraki after the arrival of the Tainui canoe from Hawaiki; but they were divided, as indeed they are still, into Ngatimaru proper, Ngaitematera, Ngatipaoa, and Ngatiwhanaunga.
At the time of which we write, a number of Ngatimaru, with Takurua their chief, resided at Matamata, near to Maungakawa--Waharoa's place. Their position, therefore, rendered them particularly exposed to Te Waharoa's incursions; nor did they receive any effective aid from Ngatipaoa, Ngatitematera, or Ngatiwhanaunga, who lived chiefly upon the coast and islands of Hauraki Gulf; for their inter-tribal jealousies, and their constant dread of Ngapuhi--who were the first natives to obtain firearms, and now diligently employed themselves in taking vengeance on their former persecutors--frequently prevented their joining Ngatimaru against the common enemy in the south. Te Waharoa was well aware of these circumstances, and but too ready to take advantage of them. Had they been otherwise, it is doubtful whether the efforts of his united forces would have proved sufficient to produce any material result; as the Thames natives, before they lost the Totara pa,
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mustered four thousand fighting men; and he was never able, by fighting, to wrest even Matamata from Ngatimaru. Be this, however, as it may; the following events probably determined Te Waharoa vigorously to prosecute his war with Ngatimaru.
In 1821 a taua of Ngapuhi, under the celebrated Hongi, arrived at the Totara pa, between Kauaeranga and Kopu, at the mouth of the Thames. So numerous did they find Ngatimaru, and the Totara so strong that, hesitating to attack, they affected to be amicably disposed, and were received into the pa for the purposes of trade and barter. Towards evening Ngapuhi retired, and it is very remarkable--as indicating that man in his most ignorant and savage state is not unvisited by compunctions of conscience--that an old chief lingered, and going out of the gate behind his comrades, dropped the friendly caution, "kia tupato." That night, however, the Totara was taken; and, it is said, one thousand Ngatimarus perished. Rauroha was slain, and Urimahia, his daughter, was carried captive to the Bay of Islands, where she remained several years. This calamity, while it weakened Ngatimaru, encouraged Te Waharoa.
In 1822 Hongi again appeared, and sailing up the Tamaki, attacked and carried two pas which were situated together on part of the site now occupied by the village of Panmure. Many of the inhabitants were slaughtered, and some escaped. I would here observe that these
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two pas, Mauinena and Makoia, had no connection with the immense pa which evidently at some time flourished on Mount Wellington, and which, with the traces of a very great number of other enormous pas in the Auckland district, betokens the extremely dense Maori population which once existed upon this isthmus--a population destroyed by the late owners of the soil, and numbered with the past; but which in its time was known by the significant title of Nga Iwi--"The Tribes."
Leaving naught at Mauinena and Makoia but the inhabitants' bones, having flesh and tendons adhering which even his dogs had not required, Hongi pursued his course. He drew his canoes across the isthmuses of Otahuhu and Waiuku, and descended the Awaroa. At a sharp bend in the narrow stream, his largest canoe could not be turned, and he was compelled to make a passage for her, by cutting a short canal, which may yet be seen.
At length he arrived at Matakitaki, a pa situated about the site of the present township of Alexandra, where a great number of Waikato natives had taken refuge. The pa was assaulted, and while Hongi was in the act of carrying it on one side, a frightful catastrophe was securing to him the corpses of its wretched occupants on the other. Panic-stricken at the approach of the victorious Ngapuhi, the multitude within, of men, women, and children, rushed madly over the opposite rampart. The first fugitives, unable to scale the counterscarp,
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by reason of its height, and of the numbers which poured down on them, succumbed and fell; those who had crushed them were crushed in like manner; layer upon layer of suffocating humanity succeeded each other. In vain did the unhappy beings, as they reached the parapet, attempt to pause--death was in front, and death behind--fresh fugitives pushed on, they had no option, but were precipitated into, and became part of the dying mass. When the deed was complete, the Ngapuhis came quickly up and shot such as were at the surface and likely to escape.
Never had cannibals gloated over such unexpected good fortune, for more than one thousand victims lay dead in the trench, and the magnitude of the feast which followed may perhaps be imagined from the fact that, after the lapse of forty-two years, when the 2nd Regiment of Waikato Militia in establishing their new settlement cleared the fern from the ground, the vestiges of many hundred native ovens were discovered, some of them long enough to have admitted a body entire, while numberless human bones lay scattered around. From several of the larger bones pieces appeared to have been carefully cut, for the purpose, doubtless, of making fish-hooks, and such other small articles as the Maoris were accustomed to carve from the bones of their enemies.
Let us turn now from the startling glimpse of New Zealand life in the "olden time,"
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afforded by the Matakitaki episode, and follow the fugitives from Mauinena and Makoia to Haowhenua, a place belonging to Ngatimaru, situated on the banks of the Waikato, in the vicinity of where Cambridge is now; and, indeed, the ruins of the old pa are yet visible on the Maungatautari side of the large sandy chasm locally known as Walker's gully.
Te Waharoa viewed with a jealous eye the increasing strength and importance of the pa at Haowhenua; for, in reality, it had become a stronghold of the Ngatimarus. Its position, too, not only menaced his flank, and checked any operations he might meditate against that tribe, but it interfered materially with direct communications with his Waikato allies.
On the other hand, the stealthy Maori policy pursued by the Ngatimarus in establishing this stronghold to check Te Waharoa, should not be unnoticed. They suffered the refugees from Mauinena and Makoia to occupy the post, and then gradually, by a sidewind, made themselves masters of the situation.
Waharoa, however, was not to be thus deceived; and, as was before observed, he determined to commence very active hostilities against them. He therefore summoned some of his Waikato and Ngatimaniapoto friends to meet him at Maungatautari, who, nothing loth, speedily assembled to blot out the obnoxious pa. They were 200 strong, and on arriving at Maungatautari found Te Waharoa there, with 700 Ngatihaua and Ngaiterangi men.
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Meantime, the Thames natives spared no pains to secure and garrison their important outpost. The tribes of Ngatimaru, Ngatitematera, and Ngatipaoa united their forces at Haowhenua, and the pa became a very large one, and was densely peopled, not only with warriors, but with women, children, and slaves. Their numbers appear to have inspired them with much self-confidence; for when it became known that Te Waharoa had arrived at Maungatautari, with a taua 900 strong, they boldly determined to meet him in the open field. Perhaps they wished to decide the matter before that chief should receive further reinforcements; or, perhaps they desired to avoid the mortification of seeing the enemy sit comfortably down before their pa, and regale himself on their cultivations. At any rate, they marched forth and took post on the hill Te Tihi o te Ihimarangi--the place where the descendants of Waharoa's warriors opposed General Cameron in 1864; and, when the enemy was seen to approach, they rushed down and joined battle with him at Taumatawiwi on the plain to the eastward.
The contest was a severe one, but resulted in the complete defeat of the Thames natives. They were driven back over Te Tihi o te Ihimarangi, and down its reverse slope, and were pursued with great slaughter over the long, narrow, bushy plain that extends to Haowhenua. At the end of a long and sanguinary day the dejected men within the pa sat
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dreading the morrow's light; their mental depression being doubtless in proportion to their recent self-elevation. Outside the pa Te Waharoa, wounded in two places (shot through a hand, and a tomahawk wound in a leg), sat calmly revolving his own and his enemies' positions. Perhaps no general in New Zealand, either before or after his time, has rivalled this chief in the rare qualification of rightly estimating and balancing the complex phases and conditions of opposing armies. On this occasion, he had experienced the quality of the enemy, inasmuch as sixty of his men were killed, and the object of the campaign-- the destruction of Haowhenua--remained unaccomplished. True, the enemy was in a state of despondency and fear, but in a little while his courage would revive, and prompt him to defend himself with the energy of despair. Better take instant advantage of his fears to secure the object sought, and to avoid, if possible, farther loss to the assailants. "Better make a bridge of gold for a flying enemy"-- such was the spirit of Te Waharoa's reflections --for presently, "through the soft still evening air," the voice of a herald was heard to proclaim to the occupants of the pa "that during the next four days any one might retire unmolested from the pa; but on the fifth day Haowhenua, with all it contained, would be taken and destroyed." No answer was returned; but during the interval a multitude of all ages and both sexes issued forth from
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the pa, and marched in close order along the road by Matamata to the Thames. That night Te Waharoa's ranks were recruited by many slaves, who deserted under cover of darkness, from the retreating Ngatimarus.
The fall of Haowhenua, which occurred about 1831, terminated the residence of Ngatimaru on the Waikato; and was followed by operations, from a Waikato basis, successfully conducted against them on the line of the Piako. Already the Ngatimarus had been compelled to abandon Matamata to Te Waharoa, and relinquish the wooded and fertile plain of Tepiri, abounding in flax--the material from which Maori garments were made in those days. They lost it in the following manner.
Up to the year 1825, the Ngatimaru chief Takurua maintained his ground at Matamata; but about that time he appears, after much fighting, to have judged it advisable to accept certain terms of peace proposed by Te Waharoa. They were to bury the past in oblivion, and both parties were to live at Matamata, where, it was said, there was room for all. These terms were practically ratified by Te Waharoa and Takurua living side by side, in the utmost apparent friendship, for a period of about two years.
We have now to relate an act of perfidy, condemned even by the opaquely-minded savages of that day, by which Te Waharoa obtained sole possession of Matamata, and so turned the balance of power in his own favour, that he
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afterwards drove Ngatitumutumu, under Hou, from Waiharakeke, and finally established his boundary at Te Ruapa, a stream on the left bank of the Waihou, between Ruakowhawhao and Mangawhenga. On the occasion of Waharoa undertaking a short journey to Tauranga--a circumstance rather calculated to lull suspicion --at midnight his tribe rose, and massacred in cold blood the too-confiding Takurua, and nearly every man of his tribe. Their bodies were devoured, and their wives and property were shared by the ruthless Ngatihauas.
This Maori St. Bartholomew occurred about 1827, and further weakened Ngatimaru, who six years previously had suffered seriously at the taking of the Totara pa. Thus Te Waharoa was enabled, after the fall of Haowhenua, to push his conquests to the foot of the Aroha; and it is difficult to say where they would have ceased, had not his attention been unexpectedly diverted by the casual murder of his cousin Hunga, at Rotorua, in the latter end of the year 1835.
The Thames natives never forgot the deep injuries they had received at Waharoa's hands. Even to the outbreak of the present war, Ngatimaru always hated and distrusted Ngatihaua; and here we would remark the neglect or failure, on our side to enlist them actively against his son William Thompson. This was the more apparent when we saw our faithful Ngatiwhakaue allies fighting manfully in our cause. They had not experienced half the ills
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Ngatimaru had endured. Our story will show that in their wars with Waharoa, Ngatiwhakaue did not lose a foot of soil, and excepting one occasion they, according to Maori custom, were on the whole pretty successful in keeping their utu account square with that chief. But that occasion rankled in their memory; for, when beleaguered in their large pa Ohinemutu, sixty of their best men had been ambuscaded, killed, and eaten before their eyes; nor had they ever been able to make good that balance until they slaughtered Thompson's allies, the tribes of the Rahiti (rising sun), and killed Te Aporotanga at Te Awa-o-te-Atua.
As the Opotiki natives have lately made themselves so notorious, we will digress a moment to say that Te Aporotanga, an old man, was chief of Ngatirua, a hapu of the Wakatohea tribe, whose ancestor Muriwai came from Hawaiki. In very remote times this tribe lived amongst the forest-clad mountains of the interior; and then, five generations ago, under three brothers, Ruamoko, Te Ururehe, and Kotikoti, they forced a passage to the sea by driving away the Ngatiawas, who inhabited the Opotiki valley. They are divided into five hapus, and now muster at Opape--whither the Government lately removed them--only 120 fighting men, whereas twenty years ago they were five times as numerous. About 1823, they were attacked by the Ngapuhis, under the celebrated Hongi. Their pa, Te Ikaatakite, was taken, and a blue cloth obtained from Cook was
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carried away, and many captives. Two years afterwards the Ngapuhis, commanded by another chief, returned and destroyed Takutae, another pa.
Again, in 1830, Te Rohu led Ngatimaru against Te Papa pa, on the Waioeka river, where nearly all the Wakatoheas had assembled. This he took, and swept the tribe away, carrying them by way of Mount Edgecombe, Tarawera, Rotorua, and Maungatautari, to Haowhenua, just before Waharoa took that place. These are the prisoners that escaped, many going over to Te Waharoa, and many to Tauranga.
At the fall of Te Papa, a noteworthy incident occurred: Takahi, a leading chief, managed to escape with ten followers to the bush, whereupon Te Rohu caused him to be called by name, to which Takahi responded, and gave himself up. This may seem a strange proceeding, on both sides; yet it was strictly in accordance with a Maori custom which enabled the victors, even in the hour of slaughter to secure any chief whom they might wish to save; and such person, upon responding and coming forward, not only remained free, but retained his rank in the tribe by which he had been taken.
At the same time, Rangimatanuku, with part of the Ngatirua hapu, escaped from his pa at Auawakino, eastward of Opape, and fled to Hick's Bay, where, being kindly received by Houkamau, he built a pa, and remained until the influence of Christianity, a few years after,
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effected the gradual return of Wakatohea captives to their own country. Rangimatanuku then joined them, and by 1840 the bulk of the Wakatohea tribe had returned to Opotiki.
The loss of Te Aporotanga was doubtless much felt, as he was the last old chief the Wakatoheas possessed. Titoko, Takahi, Rangimatanuku, Rangihaerepo, and Hinaki, have all died, leaving the tribe without a man of real influence to look up to; and, perhaps, the loss of the directing minds by which they had been accustomed to be guided, was a cause which induced them, on the melancholy occasion of Mr. Volkner's murder, to accord such an unusual welcome to Patara and Kereopa, and be led by such adventurers in so extraordinary a manner.
But to resume, Te Waharoa was not destined to remain long undisturbed at Matamata. He was attacked by Ngapuhi, who, making each summer a shooting season, spread terror universal with their newly acquired weapons, killing and eating wherever they went. They were particularly incensed against the great warrior of the South, because he had audaciously assisted the Ngaiterangi to repel their incursions, and they were determined to make an example of him. Accordingly a band, led by Tareha, encamped before the great pa of Matamata. Te Waharoa, however, was not to be carried away by any popular terror; his sagacity, too, quickly made him acquainted with the bearings of his situation; his tribe, also,
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had every confidence in their leader. He shut himself up in the pa, and kept so close that the enemy, probably imputing his non-appearance to fear, became careless; then, watching his opportunity, he suddenly made a sortie, and in hand-to-hand conflict, used them very roughly. He also made four or five prisoners, whom he crucified on the tall posts of his pa, in the sight of their astonished comrades. The horrible spectacle completed the Ngapuhis' confusion, who forthwith retired from the scene--not, however, before Waharoa had sent this challenge to Tareha: "I hear you fight with the long-handled tomahawk; I fight with the same; meet me." But, Tareha, a huge, bloated, easy-going cannibal, preferred rather to enjoy life, feeding on the tender flesh of women and children, to encountering Waharoa with his long-handled tomahawk.
We have now arrived at that period of our history when Europeans first ventured to make transient visits to the savage tribes which acknowledged Te Waharoa's name, or were more or less influenced by his power.
These visitors were of two different sorts, viz., missionaries who appeared as pioneers of religion and civilization, and "Pakeha-Maoris"; (literally, pakehas maorified), who, lured by the prospects of effecting lucrative trading enterprises, not unfrequently fell victims to the perils they incurred; while the immunity of the former class from death at the hands of the natives is a matter worthy of
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remark, and suggests to the reflective mind the instructive fact that, for a special purpose, they were often protected, amidst the dangers that surrounded them, by the unseen hand of the Great Master they so enthusiastically served. In after years, when the missionaries' influence became great, and Pakeha-Maoris numerous, individuals of these respective classes were frequently placed in positions antagonistic to each other; but, considering the incongruous nature of the elements involved, such unfriendly relations could be no subject of surprise. It is, however, but just to state that when Pakeha-Maoris became entangled in serious difficulties with natives, and were unable to extricate themselves--difficulties caused sometimes by their own delinquencies-- that when they invoked a missionary's aid, that influence, though at other times contemned by them, was ever cheerfully but judiciously exerted on their behalf; and, we may add, such efforts were generally gratefully received.
The first European that landed at Kawhia, and penetrated to Ngaruawahia, was a Pakeha-Maori, a gentleman of the name of Kent, who arrived at the latter place in 1831; and probably the first vessel after Cook, adventurous enough to perform a coasting voyage in the Bay of Plenty was the missionary schooner 'Herald,' in the year 1828.
The latter enterprise was undertaken by three brethren stationed at the Bay of Islands --Messrs. H. Williams, Hamlin and Davis--
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Rev. Henry Williams (afterwards Archdeacon of Waimate).
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who, urged by a desire to discover, if possible, an opening for the establishment of a mission among the barbarous tribes of the Bay of Plenty, availed themselves of an opportunity which presented itself; and set forth in their schooner for the ostensible purpose of conveying the Ngatiwhakaue chief Pango back to his tribe.
Tauranga was first visited, which place was found to be densely populated. The large pas there were three--Otumoetai, belonging to Ngaiterangi, proper, whose chiefs were Hikareia, Taharangi, and Tupaea; Ngatitapu's pa, Te Papa, where Koraurau was chief; and the Maungatapu pa, held by Ngatihi, whose chiefs were Nuka (alias Taipari), Kiharoa, and Te Mutu. Rangihau, killed afterwards in an attempt to storm Tautari's pa at Rotoehu, and Titipa, his younger brother, since killed at Otau by the Auckland volunteers, were fighting chiefs of Ngaiterangi proper; but the whole of the Tauranga people were known by the general name of Ngaiterangi--just as the Thames natives were by the appellation of Ngatimaru--and mustered in 1828 at least 2,500 fighting men. Their canoes, too, were very numerous--1,000, great and small, were counted on the beach between Otumoetai and Te Papa.
After staying a few days at Tauranga, our voyagers proceeded on their cruise, and touched at Maketu, to land Pango, who, with a number of other Ngatiwhakaue natives, had
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been saved by the missionaries at the Bay of Islands from death at the hands of Kaingamata, a Ngapuhi chief. Leaving Maketu, the 'Herald' then ran along the extensive and shelly shores of the Bay of Plenty, lying east and west, and passing the mountains of Wakapaukorero, arrived off Te Awa-o-te-Atua, a river which has one of its sources in the Tarawera lake, and which, after skirting the base of a magnificent extinct volcano, Mount Edgecombe, and threading a swampy plain, after a course of forty miles, falls into the sea over a bar at a place called Otamarora, twenty miles from Maketu. Again passing on a distance of thirteen miles from Te Awa-o-te-Atua, the 'Herald' stopped off Whakatane.
The mouth of the Whakatane river is immediately on the western side of the rocky range, 700 feet high, which terminates abruptly in Kohi Point. The stream sets fairly against the rocks, and keeps the entrance free from a sandy bar, the usual drawback to harbours in the Bay of Plenty; but, as if to compensate this advantage, several dangerous rocks stud the approach to the river. In the offing, at a distance of six miles, Motohora (Whale Island), which sheltered the 'Endeavour' in 1769, still affords protection to vessels in that neighbourhood.
Looking westward from the Whakatane heights, an immense plain is viewed by the traveller, spread out before him. North of it lie the low sand-hills of the beach; westward
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are the Wakapaukorero mountains; on the south it is bounded by the Tarawera hills, Mount Edgecombe and the Uriwera mountains; and on the east by the Whakatane heights, which descend from the broken country of the Uriwera, and form a spur jutting out upon the coast line. The area of this plain is perhaps not less than three hundred square miles. Its western sides are partially swampy, but the soil of the greater portion is good, and contains many thousands of acres of the richest alluvial ground. It is traversed on one side by Te Awa-o-te-Atua (the river of God), which divides itself into the Rangitaeki and Tarawera rivers; on the other by the Whakatane river, which, taking its rise in the Uriwera mountains, falls into the plain at Ruatoke, whence, meandering for thirty miles through an unbroken flat of excellent alluvial soil, it approaches the sea, and is joined within two miles of its mouth by the Orini, a very navigable stream, which branches from Te Awa-o-te-Atua.
Turning now to the east, our traveller will view on his right hand, stretching far as eye can reach, a portion of that extensive, impenetrable mass of snow-capped, forest-clad mountains--the great and veritable New Zealand Tyrol--which, containing an area, say, of from three to four thousand square miles, lies between the Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay, and occupies the peninsula of the East Cape. Though the bulk of this region is
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untrodden by man, yet some of its districts are inhabited by the Uriwera--a race of mountaineers, who, through a long series of generations have become habituated and adapted to the peculiar characteristics of their secluded and somewhat dismal country.
In front, below the spectator, is Ohiwa, an extensive harbour--like Manukau on a smaller scale--the entrance to which is over a shifting bar, having a depth at low water of from 9 to 11 feet. Ohiwa is ten miles from Whakatane; and nine miles further is seen the Opotiki valley, as it opens to the sea--a valley of almost inexhaustibly fertile soil. Its superficies is about forty square miles; it is watered by two rivers--the Otara and Waioeka, which unite half a mile from the sea, and flow into the latter over a bar that varies in depth, being from 8 feet to 18 feet, according to the season of the year. Beyond Opotiki the shores become mountainous, bold promontories jut into the sea, the streams become rapid, the beaches short, the valleys small; but the scenery generally, is surpassingly grand, wild, and beautiful. The whole sweeping far away to the northward, terminates in the distant Cape Runaway, the north-eastern extremity of the Bay of Plenty; while Puiwhakari (White Island), a magnificent burning mountain, standing thirty-five miles out in the sea, completes the picture, and furnishes a huge barometer to a dangerous bay; for, by its constant columns of vapour--whether light or
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dark, thin or voluminous--and by the drift of its steam cloud, timely and unfailing indications are given of approaching meteorological changes.
Such is the panorama presented of a region which for diversified scenery, soil and climate, is unrivalled in New Zealand; for as the shores of Cook's Straits are less stormy than those of Tierra del Fuego and Maghellan's Straits, and as the climate of the Auckland Isthmus is less boisterous than that of wind-swept Wellington, so is the climate of Opotiki compared with the Auckland climate. Spring and autumn are uncertain seasons there. Winter is mostly cool, clear, and frosty, the mountains on the south protecting the adjacent shore land from the severity of the powerful Polar winds, which at that season sweep the other New Zealand coasts; just as some Mediterranean shores are sheltered from chilling north-east winds by the maritime Alps, and the mountains of Albania. The summer weather, from November to March, is almost entirely a succession of refreshing sea breezes in the day, and cool land winds at night.
This fair portion of New Zealand was, in 1828, tenanted solely by ferocious cannibals, who scarcely had seen a sail since that of Cook. Ohiwa, being debatable ground, was uninhabited. Of the Wakatohea, we have already given an account. At Tunapahore, sixteen miles to the northward and eastward of Opotiki, live Ngaitai, a small tribe which
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asserts that its ancestors were of the crew of Pakihi, the Whakatohea's canoe; but it is unable to claim any dignified origin. Leaving Tunapahore, the natives, as far as Wangaparaua, Cape Runaway, are of the great Ngatiawa connection, which ramifies through various parts of the island. The principal places--Maraenui and Te Kaha--are held by Te Whanau o Apanui, a hapu very closely related to the Ngatiawas at Whakatane.
The natives of the plain of Whakatane, and Te Awa-o-te-Atua are unable to occupy or cultivate a hundredth part of its surface. It cannot, therefore, be said to be peopled; let us say rather that they live upon it, and that it is owned by them. Ruatoke belongs to the Uriwera, and is that tribe's nearest station to the sea, though twenty-five miles from it. The rest of the plain pertains to various sections of the Ngatiawa race. Rangitekina was chief of the tribe at Te Awa-o-te-Atua, whose chief pa was Matata. The chief divisions of the Whakatane Ngatiawas were Ngaitonu and Te Whanau o Apanui. The former lived, as they still do, in two pas, Whakatane and another, near the mouth of the same. The chief of Ngaitonu was Tautari, a renowned warrior. They were connected by marriages with Ngatipikiao, a hapu of the Arawas or Ngatiwhakaue, and Tautari had a pa at Rotoehu. Te Whetu, being son of Tautari's eldest son is now the hereditary chief of the tribe; but Mokai, his uncle, is a man of more
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character, and proved himself a fighting chief at Tunapahore some years ago, when he assisted Ngaitai--his wife was a Ngaitai woman--against the Maraenui natives. The chiefs of Te Whanau o Apanui were Toehau, with his two sons, Ngarara and Kepa. The survivor of these, Kepa, is now chief of the tribe; but Apanui, his cousin, is also a man of importance. Te Uhi is chief of a small hapu near Pupuaruhi. Hura is of Te Awa-o-te-Atua, and is not a man of any great note, excepting such fame as--like Te Uhi--he has acquired by his evil deeds; of the two, he is, perhaps, the worse man.
But at the time of which we write, Ngarara was pre-eminently the evil genius of the place, and the 'Herald' had hardly arrived near Whakatane, when he determined to cut her off. His design, however, was overruled by Toehau, his father; so, after a short stay, the missionaries proceeded on their voyage. They next landed on the Onekawa sands at Ohiwa, where, finding upwards of twenty dead bodies of natives recently killed, and other signs that a battle had lately taken place there, they judged it prudent to return to their vessel. After this they were observed and followed by two canoes, apparently from Opotiki. The vessel's head was turned towards the offing, but there was little wind, and the canoes came alongside, where they remained from the forenoon until evening, the natives in them maintaining silence. In the meantime, the schooner
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gradually drew off shore to White Island, and at length, to the relief of all on board--for no one knew the natives' intentions, and indeed they did not seem to know them themselves-- the canoes cast off from the vessel and returned to land. A north-east gale now came on, and compelled the 'Herald' to bear up and seek shelter in Tauranga harbour.
When the missionaries returned to Tauranga after an absence of ten days, they were surprised to find Te Papa destroyed, Koraurau killed, and Ngatitapu, comprising nearly one-third of the Tauranga people, annihilated. Te Rohu had been there with a strong force of Ngatimarus. He first assaulted Maungatapu; but, experiencing a repulse, he made a night attack on the Papa, from the side where the karaka trees grow--that is, if they are yet spared by our countrymen's rather too indiscriminating axe. The pa was taken, and its people slain. Twenty-five persons, availing themselves of the darkness, slipped away from the pa just before the attack was made, and were the only fugitives that escaped. Among them was Matiu Tahu, a renowned old priest. From Tauranga the 'Herald' returned to the Bay of Islands, and thus ended the perils of a voyage remarkable in that it had been successfully performed on a portion of the New Zealand coast on which the 'Endeavour'--an armed and well-appointed ship, but commanded by an officer of acknowledged humanity--had twice been compelled to fire on the natives.
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We shall presently relate the next visit paid by an English vessel to the Bay of Plenty, and its melancholy result; but before doing so, it will perhaps be opportune to give a short account of some of the antecedents of the Tauranga people.
The Ngaiterangi are of Ngatiawa origin; their ancient and more proper name is Te Rangihohiri. Several generations before the time we write of, they lived on the East Coast. It is said they were driven by war from a place there called Whangara. Accounts differ as to whether or not they fought their way in advancing northward along the coast; suffice to say, they arrived in force at Maketu, where they were well received. Soon, however, in consequence of a murder they committed, war ensued between them and the Tapuika, the people of the place, resulting in the defeat and expulsion of the latter. Tapuika being then the rangatira hapu of the Arawas, and though the vanquished were subsequently suffered to return, yet Te Rangihohiri maintained their hold of Maketu down to the year 1832.
Being dissatisfied, however, with Maketu, and desirous of possessing the coveted district of Tauranga, this tribe, which we shall now call Ngaiterangi, advanced. On the night of a heavy gale, accompanied with much thunder and lightning, eight hundred warriors, under Kotorerua, set forth from Maketu to take the great pa at Maunganui, and to destroy the bulk of Ngatiranginui, and Waitaha, the ancient
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inhabitants of Tauranga. The doomed pa was situated on the majestic and singular hill which no one who has seen Tauranga will forget; it forms a peninsula, and is the east head to the entrance to the harbour. When Ngaiterangi arrived at Maunganui, they commenced by cutting, with stone axes, large holes in the bottoms of all the canoes on the strand, the sound of their operations being drowned by the roar of the elements. The natives, with superstitious awe, tell how, at this critical point of time, a certain celebrated priestess of the pa went forth into the storm, and cried with a loud voice, her prophetic spirit being moved to a knowledge of approaching woe--"Heaven and earth are being rent, the men next." Having scuttled the canoes, Ngaiterangi entered the pa, and the work of death began. Such of the affrighted inhabitants as escaped being murdered in their beds, rushed to the canoes; but when they had launched out into the harbour, there about two miles broad, the canoes became full of water, and the whole were drowned.
Thus, about one hundred and fifty years ago, Ngaiterangi obtained possession of Tauranga, and drove the remnant of its former people, Ngatipekekiore, away into the hills, to the sources of the Wairoa and Te Puna rivers; where although now related to the conquerors, they still live. Another hapu of Tauranga's ancient people are Te Whanau o Ngaitaiwhao, also called Te Whitikiore. They hold Tuhua--
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Mayor Island--and in 1835 numbered 170 people. Their chief was Tangiteruru; but now Tupaia, chief of Ngaiterangi proper, is also chief of both those tribes.
Yet, notwithstanding their ancestors' too unceremonious mode of acquiring a new estate, it is but just to Ngaiterangi to say that, unlike some other tribes, their intercourse with our countrymen was ever characterized by fairness and good conduct. They were not blustering and turbulent like Ngatimaru, or lying and thievish as Ngatiwhakaue were; nor were they inclined to substitute might for right, in the way that Wakatohea sometimes acted towards Europeans. It was their boast that they had never harmed a pakeha. They were called by other natives "Ngaiterangi kupu tahi," which may be freely rendered "Ngaiterangi the upright," and finally their recent hostilities against our troops were conducted in an admittedly honourable manner. We will only add, in reference to Tauranga, that its climate is a sort of average between those of Auckland and Opotiki; more frosty, and less subject to westerly winds, than the former; and less frosty and more windy, than that of the latter place.
Before returning to the immediate subject of our story, we will narrate the unfortunate episode of an English trader's visit to the Bay of Plenty, a year after the 'Herald's' voyage. In 1829, the brig 'Haws,' of Sydney, anchored off Whakatane. Having large quantities of arms and ammunition on board, she soon
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obtained a cargo of pigs and flax, and then moved over to Whale Island, where, by the side of a spring of boiling water, conveniently situated near the beach, the captain and some of the crew proceeded to kill the pigs, and salt them down into casks; while thus engaged, a number of canoes were seen to board the vessel from Whakatane, and the sailors who had taken to the rigging were shot. Upon this, the captain and those with him fled in their boat to Te Awa o te Atua, and thence to Tauranga. The natives, who were led by Ngarara, then took everything out of the brig, and burnt her. Among other things, they found a quantity of flour, the use of which very much puzzled them; at length they contented themselves with emptying it into the sea, and simply retained the bags.
When the news of the cutting off of the 'Haws' reached the Bay of Islands, some of the European residents there considered it necessary, if possible, to make an example of Ngarara. They therefore sent the 'New Zealander' schooner to Whakatane, and Te Hana, a Ngapuhi chief acquainted with Ngarara, volunteered to accompany the expedition. Upon the 'New Zealander's' arrival off Whakatane, Ngarara, encouraged by the success of his enterprise against the 'Haws,' determined to serve her in the same way. But, first, with the usually cautious instinct of a Maori, he went on board in friendly guise; for the double purpose of informing himself of the character of the vessel, and of putting the pakehas off
Upper part of Whangaroa, shewing where the "Boyd" drifted after taking fiew.
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their guard. Ngarara spent a pleasant day, hearing the korero, (news) and doubtless doing a little business,--so much so, that his was the last canoe alongside the vessel, which latter it was arranged should enter the river the following morning. Meanwhile, our Ngapuhi chief sat quietly, and apparently unconcernedly, smoking his pipe on the taffrail, his double-barrelled gun, as a matter of course, lying near at hand: yet was he not unmindful of his mission, or indifferent to what was passing before him. He had marked his prey, and only awaited the time when Ngarara, the last to leave, should take his seat in the canoe; for a moment, the canoe's painter was retained by the ship, "but in that drop of time," an age of sin, a life of crime, had passed away; and Ngarara--the Reptile--had writhed his last in the bottom of his own canoe: shot by the Ngapuhi chief, in retribution of the 'Haws' tragedy, in which he had been the prime mover, and chief participator.
Te Whanau Apanui were much enraged at being thus outwitted, and deprived of one of their most leading chiefs. The difficulty, however, was to find a pakeha whom they might sacrifice in utu; for utu they must have for the violent death of a tapued chief; or the atua would be down upon them, and visit them, or theirs, with some fresh calamity. In the end, therefore, they were compelled to fit out a flotilla, and went as far as Hick's Bay; for Europeans lived on the East Coast prior to
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their settlement in the Bay of Plenty; where they, too successfully, attacked a pa at Warekahika, for the purpose of getting into their hands two pakehas, who lived in it. One poor fellow was instantly killed, but the natives complained he was thin, and tough, and that they could scarcely eat him; and we may add, in reference to pakehas they have murdered, that other New Zealanders have found the same fault, and experienced the same hardship. The other European escaped in a marvellous manner; he fled, and attempted to climb a tree, but the native who pursued him, a Ngaitai man, cut his fingers off with a tomahawk, and tumbled him down out of it. We suppose the Maori preferred making a live man walk to the kianga to carrying a dead man there; otherwise another moment would have ended the pakeha's life. During the brief interval, our pakeha turned his anxious eyes towards the sea--when lo, an apparition! Was it not mocking him? or could it be real? Yes, a reality, there, "walking the waters like a thing of life," a ship--no phantom ship--approached, as if sent in his hour of need; she suddenly shot round Warekahika point, not more than a mile off, and anchored in the Bay. "Now," said the pakeha, "if you spare me, my countrymen on board that ship will give a handsome ransom in guns and ammunition." The Maoris at once saw the force of the observation; the thing was plain on the face of it; and, as they wanted both guns and ammunition, they took him to the landing
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place, a rocky point, to negotiate the business. Presently an armed whaleboat neared the shore (the ship was a whaler), the pakeha advanced a pace or two beyond the group of Maoris, to the edge of the rock, to speak; and when he spoke, he said to those in the boat, "When I jump into the water, fire." He plunged, and they fired; he was saved, and the natives fled; excepting such as may have been compelled to remain on the rock, contrary to their feelings and wishes, 0 tempora! 0 mores! The unfortunate pakehas were proteges of Makau, alias Rangimatanuku, the Wakatohea chief who, it will be remembered, had fled from Opotiki when Ngatimaru devastated that place. Makau lost several men in this affair, and always considered himself an upholder, and martyr, in the cause of the pakeha. It was lucky this idea possessed his mind, as it probably saved the crew of the 'John Dunscombe,' a schooner from Launceston, which came to grief at Opotiki, in 1832.
Another incident in connection with the 'Haws' tragedy cannot be omitted. One of the natives who took part in it was a Ngapuhi man, who at the time was visiting at Whakatane, but usually lived at Maungatapu, at Tauranga, having taken a woman of that place to wife. It so happened that Nene, of Hokianga--now Tamati Waka--was on the beach at Maungatapu when this Ngapuhi native returned from Whakatane, to his wife and friends. Tamati Waka advanced to meet him, and delivered a speech, taki-ing up and down in Maori style,
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while Ngatihei, the natives of the pa, sat round. "Ugh! you're a pretty fellow to call yourself a Ngapuhi. Do they murder pakehas in that manner in Ngapuhi? What makes you steal away here to kill pakehas? Has the pakeha done you any harm that you kill him? There-- that is for your work," he said, as he suddenly stopped short and shot the native he addressed dead in the midst of his connections and friends. This act, bold even to rashness, on Waka's part, stamped his character for the future throughout the length and breadth of New Zealand as the friend of the pakeha; a reputation which that veteran chief has since so well sustained.
The next matter we have to chronicle is a curious compound of superstitious absurdity, and thirst for human blood. In the summer of 1831, two Bay of Islands' girls of rank bathed together in the sea at Kororareka. Their play in the water gradually became serious, and ended in a quarrel in which one cursed the other's tribe. When this dreadful result became publicly known, the girls' tribes gravely prepared for war--one to avenge the insult, the other to defend itself. In an engagement which followed, the assailants were so terribly worsted, that the other party, remembering they were all related to each other, became ashamed and sorry at the chastisement they had inflicted; and they actually gave up Kororareka --the site of the township of Russell--in compensation for the tupapakus they had killed. But the gift of a pa, no matter how advantageously situated, could not appease the craving of
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blood for blood. Accordingly, an expedition of Ngapuhis and Rarawas was sent to Tauranga, to get a bloody atonement for the people slain in their intertribal war in the North. The expedition was void of result, and returned to the Bay of Islands, after having been beaten off the Maungatapu pa--the same pa which, three years before, Te Rohu had vainly tried to take. The only incident worth mentioning on this occasion is that the celebrated Heki was shot in the neck, and fell in the fern near the ditch of the pa, from which perilous position he was removed in the night by his comrades. "Ah!" said Nuka, chief of Maungatapu, in allusion, some years afterwards, to this circumstance, "if we had only known that he was there in the fern, he never would have troubled the pakeha."
Undaunted and undiscouraged by lack of luck, Ngapuhi again set forth a taua, led by Te Haramiti, a noted old priest; and as the war party was a small one of only 140 men, it was arranged that a reinforcement should follow it. In 1832 Te Haramiti's taua set out, and landed first at Ahuahu--Mercury Island-- where about one hundred Ngatimarus were surprised, killed, and eaten. The only person who escaped this massacre was a man with a peculiarly shaped head, the result of a tomahawk wound he then received. He said that as he sat in the dusk of the evening in the bush, a little apart from his companions, something rustled past him; he seemed to receive a blow,
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and became insensible. When next he opened his eyes, he saw the full moon sailing in the heavens; all was still as death; he wondered what had happened. Feeling pain, he put his hand to his head, and finding an enormous wound, began to comprehend his situation. At length, faint for want of food, and believing the place deserted, he cautiously and painfully crept forth to find the bones of his friends, and the ovens in which they had been cooked. Food there was none; yet in that wounded condition, he managed to subsist on roots and shell-fish, until found and rescued by some of his own tribe, who went from the main to visit the slaughtered. How the wretched man lived under such circumstances is a marvel to the writer, who has not forgotten the time when-- seventeen years ago--he had the misfortune to be cast away in a schooner on the same inhospitable island; and the difficulty that he and three native companions experienced, during a three weeks' succession of winter gales, in obtaining from its rocks and beaches a very poor and scanty fare.
From Mercury Island, Te Haramiti's taua sailed to Mayor Island, where they surprised, killed, and ate many of the Whanau o Ngaitaiwhao. A number, however,, took refuge in their rocky, and almost impregnable pa at the east end of the island, whence they contrived to send intelligence of Ngapuhi's irruption to Ngaiterangi, at Tauranga. The Ngapuhi remained several days at Tuhua, irresolute whether to
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continue the incursion, or return to their own country. A few men of the taua, satisfied at the first slaughter, had wished to return from Mercury Island; but now all, excepting Te Haramiti, desired to do the same. They urged the success of the expedition: that, having accomplished their purpose further operations were unnecessary; that they were then in the immediate vicinity of the hostile and powerful Ngaiterangi--who, should they hear of the recent murders, would be greatly incensed; that their own numbers were few, and there appeared but little hope of the arrival of the promised reinforcements; and that, though the tribes of the South possessed only a few guns, yet they no longer dreaded firearms as formerly, when the paralysing terror they inspired so frequently enabled Ngapuhi to perpetrate the greatest massacres with impunity--hence Pomare, and his taua, had never returned from Waikato. To these arguments Te Haramiti then priest and leader, replied: that, though they had done very well, the atua was not quite satisfied, and they must therefore try and do more. He assured them that the promised succours were at hand, and that they were required by the atua to go as far as the next island, Motiti, whence they would be permitted to return to the Bay of Islands. To Motiti, or Flat Island, accordingly they went; for Haramiti, their oracle, was supposed to communicate the will of the atua; and they, of course, like all New Zealanders of that day, whether in war or
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in peace, scrupulously observed the forms and rites of their religion and superstition, and obeyed the commandments of their spiritual divinities, as revealed by the tohungas, their priests.
The Ngapuhis, when they arrived at Motiti, were obliged to content themselves with the ordinary food found there, such as potatoes and other vegetables, with pork, for the inhabitants had fled. But this disappointment was soon forgotten, when the next day at noon a large fleet of canoes was descried approaching from Tuhua, the way they had come. Forthwith the cry arose, "Here are Ngapuhi! here is the fulfilment of Haramiti's prophecy!" and off they rushed in scattered groups along the southwestern beach of Motiti, to wave welcome to their supposed friends.
Let us leave this party for awhile, to see how in the meantime Ngaiterangi had been occupied. As soon as the news from Tuhua reached Tauranga, the Ngaiterangi hastily assembled a powerful force to punish the invaders. Te Waharoa was at Tauranga on a visit, and by his prestige, energy, and advice, contributed much to the spirit and activity of the enterprise. In short, so vigorous were Ngaiterangi's preparations, that in a few days a fleet of war canoes, bearing one thousand warriors, led by Tupaea and Te Waharoa, sailed out of Tauranga harbour, and steered for Tuhua. The voyage was so timed that they arrived at the island at daylight the following morning, when
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they were informed by the Whanau o Ngaitaiwhao from the shore, that the Ngapuhis had gone the previous day to Motiti. Instantly their course was turned towards Motiti. The warriors, animated with hope, and thoroughly set upon revenge, or perish in the attempt, made old Ocean hiss and boil to the measured stroke of their warlike tuhi; while the long low war canoes glided serpent-like over the undulations of an open swell. At midday, as they neared Motiti, the enemy's canoes were seen ranged up on the strand, at the isthmus which connects the pa at its south end with the rest of the island; and now Ngaiterangi deliberately lay on their oars, and took refreshment before joining issue with their antagonists. The Maungatapu canoes, forming the right wing of the attack, were then directed to separate at the proper time and pass round the south end of the island to take the enemy in rear, and prevent the escape of any by canoes that might be on the eastern beach.
All arrangements having been made, Ngaiterangi committed themselves to that onset which, as we have seen, the doomed Ngapuhis rushed blindly forth to welcome. The latter, cut off from escape, surprised, scattered, and outnumbered, were destroyed in detail, almost without a show of resistance. Old Haramiti, blind with age, sat in the stern of his canoe ready to receive his friends, but hearing the noise of a conflict he betook himself to incantations to ensure the success of his people; and
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thus was he engaged when the men of Ngaiterangi came up, and pummelled him to death with their fists--a superstitious feeling preventing each from drawing his sacred blood. Only two Ngapuhis survived--a youth to whom quarter was given and, a man who, it is said, swam to Wairake on the main, in respect of which feat we will only say, that it was an uncommonly long swim.
Such was the end of Haramiti's expedition and such the last link in the chain of tragical events, which Maori ingenuity, superstition, and cruelty contrived to attach to the childish quarrel of the girls that bathed at the Bay of Islands. Coupled, however, with Pomare's similarly disastrous affair at Waikato, the good effect was attained of deterring Ngapuhi from all further acts of aggression against the South.
Tupaea, who led Ngaiterangi's avenging taua, and wiped out the insult of Ngapuhi's two recent irruptions, is the same chief that was lately a prisoner of war at Auckland. He was one of the few defenders of the Tumu, that escaped from that pa on the 7th May, 1836. On the afternoon of that day he was seen suffering from a wound in the head, of so singular a nature that it deserves to be mentioned. A musket ball, fired somewhere from his left front, had penetrated the skin immediately behind the left ear, and forming a passage round the head between the scalp and skull, had made its exit at the right eyebrow. Thus the hardness of his cranium, and the elastic toughness of his hairy
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scalp, had not merely saved his life, but had absolutely reversed the course of the bullet; and, strange to say, with apparently comparatively little inconvenience to himself.
It is a remarkable coincidence that, as in 1832, Tupaea put a final stop to Ngapuhi's incursions by the retributive carnage at Motiti, so it had been his father's lot, some fourteen years before that time, to avert from Tauranga's shores the dreadful inroads of that tribe by an act of extraordinary chivalry and self-sacrifice, the circumstances of which are the following:-- Soon after Ngapuhi obtained firearms, they attacked Tauranga, and took Ngaiterangi's pa at Maunganui, driving its wretched inhabitants into the sea at the rocky point, which forms the north-western extremity of that mountain. Again they invaded Tauranga, and encamped at Matuaaewe--a knoll overhanging the Wairoa, a mile and a half from the great Otumoetai pa. Such was the state of affairs when, in the noontide heat of a summer's day, Te Waru, principal chief of Ngaiterangi, taking advantage of the hour when both parties were indulging in siestas, went out alone to reconnoitre the enemy. Having advanced as far as was prudent, he sat down among some ngaio trees near the beach, and presently observed a man, who proved to be Temoerangi, the leading Ngapuhi chief, coming along the strand from the enemy's camp. The man approached, and turning up from the beach, sat down under the trees, without perceiving the Tauranga chief
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who was near him. Instantly the determination of the latter was taken. He sprang unawares upon the Ngapuhi, disarmed him, and binding his hands with his girdle, he drove him towards Otumoetai. When they were arrived pretty near to the pa, he bade his prisoner halt; he unloosed him, restored his arms, and then, delivering up his own to him, said to the astonished Ngapuhi, "Now serve me in the same manner." The relative positions of the chiefs were soon reversed, and the captor driven captive entered Ngapuhi's camp, where so great was the excitement, and the eagerness of each to destroy Ngaiterangi's chief, that it was only by the most violent gesticulations, accompanied with many unmistakeable blows delivered right and left, that Temoerangi compelled them for a moment to desist. "Hear me," he cried, "hear how I got him, and afterwards kill him if you like." He then made a candid statement of all that had occurred, whereupon the rage of the Ngapuhis was turned away, and a feeling of intense admiration succeeded. Te Waru was unbound, his arms restored; he was treated with the greatest respect, and invited to make peace --the thing he most anxiously desired. The peace was concluded; the Ngapuhis returned to the Bay of Islands; and, though in after years they devastated the Thames, Waikato, and Rotorua districts, yet Tauranga was unvisited by them until 1831--when, as we have seen, they attacked Maungatapu.