History of the War in the North of New Zealand.
[Image of page 1]
HISTORY OF THE WAR
IN THE NORTH OF NEW ZEALAND,
AGAINST THE CHIEF HEKE.
MANY years ago, Hongi Ika, the great warrior chief of New Zealand, was dying: 1 his relations, friends, and tribe, were collected around him, and he then spoke to them in these words: "Children and friends, pay attention to my last words. After I am gone be kind to the missionaries, be kind also to the other Europeans; welcome them to the shore, trade with them, protect them, and live with them as one people; but if ever there should land on this shore a people who wear red garments, who do no work, who neither buy or sell, and who always have arms in their hands, then be aware that these are a people called soldiers, a dangerous people, whose only occupation is war. When you see them, make war against them. Then, O my children, be brave! then, O friends, be strong! Be brave that you may not be enslaved, and that your country may not become the possession of strangers." And having said these words, he died.
After this, years passed away, and the Pakeha increased in numbers, and were spread over the whole country, and traded with the Maori, and lived with them, and the Maori were pleased
[Image of page 2]
with them, for they got from them plenty of gunpowder, and tomahawks, and blankets, and all the wealth of the Pakeha became theirs, and there was no fighting between them, but all lived together as friends.
More years passed away, and then came a chief of the Pakeha who we heard was called a Governor. We were very glad of his arrival, because we heard he was a great chief, and we thought he being a great chief would have more blankets and tobacco, and muskets, than any of the other Pakeha people, and that he would often give us plenty of these things for nothing. The reason we thought so was because all the other Pakeha often made us presents of things of great value, besides what we got from them by trading. Who would not have thought as we did?
[Treaty of Waitangi]
The next thing we heard was, that the Governor was travelling all over the country with a large piece of paper, asking all the chiefs to write their names or make marks on it. We heard, also, that the Ngapuhi chiefs who had made marks or written on that paper, had been given tobacco, and flour, and sugar, and many other things, for having done so. We all tried to find out the reason why the Governor was so anxious to get us to make these marks. Some of us thought the Governor wanted to bewitch all the chiefs, 2 but our Pakeha friends laughed at this, and told us that the people of Europe did not know how to bewitch people. Some told us one thing, some another. Some said the Governor only wanted our consent to remain, to be a chief over the Pakeha people; others said he wanted to be chief over both Pakeha and Maori. We did not know what to think, but were all anxious he might come to us soon, for we were afraid that all his blankets and tobacco, and other things, would be gone before he came to our part of the country, and that he would have nothing left to pay us for making our marks on his paper.
Well, it was not long before the Governor came, and with him came other Pakeha chiefs, and also people who could speak Maori; so we all gathered together, chiefs and slaves, women and children, and went to meet him; and when we met the Governor, the speaker of Maori told us that if we put our names, or even made any sort of a mark, on that paper, the Governor would then protect us, and prevent us from being robbed of our cultivated land, and our timber land, and everything else which belonged to us.
[Image of page 3]
Some of the people were very much alarmed when they heard this, for they thought that, perhaps, a great war expedition was coming against us from some distant country to destroy us all; others said he was only trying to frighten us. The speaker of Maori then went on to tell us certain things, but the meaning of what he said was so closely concealed we never have found it out. 3 One thing we understood well, however, for he told us plainly that if we wrote on the Governor's paper, one of the consequences would be, that great numbers of Pakeha would come to this country to trade with us, that we should have abundance of valuable goods, and that before long there would be great towns as large as Kororareka, in every harbour in the whole island. We were very glad to hear this, for we never could up to this time get half muskets or gunpowder enough, or blankets, or tobacco, or axes, or anything. We also believed what the speaker of Maori told us, because we saw that our old Pakeha friends who came with us to see the Governor believed it.
After the speaker of Maori had ceased, then Te Tao Nui and some other chiefs came forward, and wrote on the Governor's paper; and Te Tao Nui went up to the Governor and took the Governor's hand in his, and licked it! We did not much like this, we all thought it so undignified; we were very much surprised that a chief such as Te Tao Nui should do so; but Te Tao Nui is a man who knows a great deal about the customs of the Pakeha; he has been to Port Jackson in a ship, and he seeing our surprise told us that when the great Pakeha chiefs go to see the King or Queen of England, they do the same, so we saw then that it was a straight proceeding. But after Te Tao Nui and other chiefs had made marks and written on the Governor's paper, the Governor did not give them anything. We did not like this, so some other chiefs went forward and said to the Governor, "Pay us first, and we will write afterwards." A chief from Omanaia said, "Put money in my left hand, and I will write my name with my right," and so he held out his hand to the Governor for the money, but the Governor shook his head and seemed displeased, and said he would not pay them for writing on the paper.
[Image of page 4]
Now, when all the people saw this they were very much vexed, and began to say one to another, "It is wasting our labour coming here to see this Governor," and the chiefs began to get up and make speeches. One said, "Come here, Governor, go back to England;" and another said, "I am Governor in my own country, there shall be no other;" and Paapahia said, "Remain here and be Governor of this island, and I will go to England and be King of England, and if the people of England accept me for their King it will be quite just, otherwise you do not remain here." Then many other chiefs began to speak, and there was a great noise and confusion, and the people began to go away, and the paper was lying there, but there was no one to write on it. The Governor looked vexed, and his face was very red. At this time some Pakehas went amongst the crowd, and said to them, "You are foolish; the Governor intends to pay you when all the writing is done, but it is not proper that he should promise to do so, it would be said you only wrote your names for pay; this, according to our ideas, would be a very wrong thing." When we heard this, we all began to write as fast as we could, for we were all very hungry with listening and talking so long, and we wanted to go to get something to eat, and we were also in a hurry to see what the Governor was going to give us; and all the slaves wanted to write their names, so that the Governor might think they were chiefs and pay them, but the chiefs would not let them, for they wanted all the payment for themselves. I and all my family made our marks, and we then went to get something to eat; but we found our food not half done, for the women and slaves who should have looked after the cooking, were all mad about the Governor, so when I saw that the food was not sufficiently done, I was aware that something bad would come of this business. 4
Next morning the things came with which the Governor intended to pay us for writing our names, but there was not much tobacco, and only a few blankets; 5 and when they were divided some of the chiefs had nothing, others got only a few figs of tobacco, some one blanket, others two. I got for myself and all my sons, and my two brothers, and my three wives, only two blankets. I thought it was too little, and was going to return them, but my
[Image of page 5]
brother persuaded me to keep them, so we got into our canoe to go home, and on the way home we began to say, "Who shall have the blankets?" and so we began to quarrel about them. One of my brothers then said, "Let us cut them in pieces, and give every one a piece." I saw there was going to be a dispute about them, and said, "Let us send them back." So we went ashore at the house of a Pakeha, and got a pen and some paper, and my son, who could write, wrote a letter for us all to the Governor, telling him to take back the blankets, and to cut our names out of the paper; and then my two brothers and my sons went back and found the Governor in a boat about to go away; he would not take back the blankets, but he took the letter. I do not know to this day whether he took our names out of the paper. It is, however, no matter; what is there in a few black marks-- who cares anything about them?
Well, after this, this Governor died; he was bewitched, as I have heard, by a Tohunga at the South, where he had gone to get names to his paper, for this was his chief delight to get plenty of names and marks on his paper. He may not have been bewitched, as I have heard, but he certainly died, and the paper with all the names was cither buried with him, or else his relations may have kept it to lament over, and as a remembrance of him. I don't know. You, who are a Pakeha, know best what became of it; but if it is gone to England, it will not be right to let it be kept in any place where food is cooked, or where there are pots or kettles, because there are so many chief's names in it; it is a very sacred piece of paper; it is very good if it has been buried with the Governor. 6
After the first Governor came the second Governor, but the towns, and the numerous Pakeha traders we expected, did not come. We heard of a town at Waitamata having been built, 7 and others farther South, but in our part of the country there were no new towns, and the Pakeha did not increase in numbers, but on the contrary began to go away to the town at Waitamata, to be near their chief the Governor, who lived there, and many of us had no one left to sell anything to as formerly. Tobacco began to be scarce and dear; the ships began to leave off coming to Tokerau, Hokianga, and Mangonui. We enquired the reason of this, but the few Pakeha traders left amongst us told us different stories. Some said that the reason tobacco was scarce and dear, was because the Governor would not let it be brought on shore until he was paid a large price for it, besides what was paid to the
[Image of page 6]
people of the ship, who were the right owners of it. This we at first did not believe, because you all said you were not slaves, not one of you, but all free men. Others said that the reason ships did not come as frequently as formerly, was because the Governor made them pay for coming to anchor in the ports. Some said all the evil was by reason of the flagstaff which the Governor had caused to be erected at Maiki, above Kororareka, as a Rahui, and that as long as it remained there things would be no better; others again told us the flagstaff was put there to show the ships the way into the harbour; others, that it was intended to keep them out; and others said that it was put up as a sign that this island had been taken by the Queen of England, and that the nobility and independence, of the Maori was no more. But this one thing, at least, was true, we had less tobacco and fewer blankets, and other European goods, than formerly, and we saw that the first Governor had not spoken the truth, for he told us we should have a great deal more. The hearts of the Maori were sad, and our old Pakeha friends looked melancholy, because so few ships came to bring them goods to trade with. At last we began to think the flagstaff must have something to do with it, and so Heke went and cut it down.
When the flagstaff was cut down, there was a great deal of talk about it, and we expected there would be fighting; but it all ended quietly. The Governor, however, left off taking money from the people, 8 and tobacco became cheap, and ships began to come as before, and all our old Pakeha friends were glad, because they had plenty of goods to sell us, and so we all thought Heke was a man of great understanding. But the Governor put up the flagstaff again, and when Heke heard this he came and cut it down again, so this was twice that he cut it down.
Now, when the Governor heard that Heke had cut down the flagstaff a second time, he became very angry, because he thought he could never get any more money from the people, or the ships, 9 so he sent to England, and to Port Jackson, and every-
[Image of page 7]
where, for soldiers to come to guard the flagstaff, and to fight with Heke.
It was not long before the soldiers came, and the flagstaff was put up again; it was made larger and stronger than before, and pieces of iron were fastened to it, to prevent its being cut down easily, and a house was built under it for the soldiers, and the Governor told those soldiers to remain there always to guard that flagstaff. There were other soldiers at Kororareka and other places. I don't know how many, but a great many. This was the first time that Heke began to think of the last words of Hongi Ika, his relative, when he died at Mawhe. Heke began to think much on these words, for Heke was now a chief amongst the Ngapuhi, and he thought to stand in the place of Hongi, as, indeed, he had a right to do.
Now, these soldiers had red garments; they did not work, or buy and sell, like the other Pakeha people; they practised every day with their weapons, and some of them were constantly watching as if they expected to be attacked every moment. They were a very suspicious people, and they had stiff hard things round their necks to keep their heads up, lest they should forget and look too much downwards, and not keep their eyes continually rolling about in search of an enemy.
Great, indeed, was the fear of the Maori when they heard of these soldiers, for all the Pakeha agreed in saying that they would attack any one their chief ordered them to attack, no matter whether there was any just cause or not; that they would fight furiously till the last man was killed, and that nothing could make them run away. Fear came like a cold fog on all the Ngapuhi, and no chief but Heke had any courage left. But Heke called together his people, and spoke to them, saying, "I will fight these soldiers, I will cut down the flagstaff, I will fulfil the last words of Hongi Ika. Be not afraid of these soldiers, 'all men are men.' 10 The soldiers are not gods, lead will kill them; and if we are beaten at last, we shall be beaten by a brave and noble people, and need not be ashamed."
So Heke sent runners to all the divisions of the Ngapuhi, saying, "Come, stand at my back: the red garment is on the shore. Let us fight for our country. Remember the last words of Hongi Ika--Kei hea koutou kia toa."
But the chiefs of the Ngapuhi Hapu said amongst themselves, "How long will the fire of the Maori burn before it is extin-
[Image of page 8]
guished?" So the Ngapuhi chiefs would not join Heke for fear of the soldiers, but said, "We will wait till a battle has been fought, and if he is successful, then we will join him." So Heke, therefore, went with his own family and people, and those of his elder relation Kawiti, and the Kapotae, and some others, altogether about 400 men. He went to fight with the soldiers at Kororareka, and to cut down his old enemy the flagstaff.
Heke and Kawiti having arrived at Tokerau, and having fixed upon the day of attack, they agreed that Kawiti should attack the town of Kororareka, to draw off the attention of the soldiers who guarded the flagstaff on the hill of Maiki, so that Heke should have an opportunity to cut it down, for Heke had said that he would cut down the flagstaff, and he was resolved to make his word true. When they had formed this plan, and night was come, the priests of the war party threw darts to divine the event. 11 They threw one for Heke, and one for the soldiers, and one for the flagstaff: and the dart for Heke went straight, and fair, and fortunate; but the dart for the soldiers turned to one side, and fell with the wrong side up; so did that for the flagstaff. When this was told the people they were very glad, and had no longer any fear. Then Kawiti, who is himself a Tohunga, threw a rakau for his own path--he threw one for himself and people, and one for the soldiers, and one for the town. The dart for Kawiti went straight and fair, but it turned wrong side up, which is the omen of death; and so also did the dart for the soldiers go fair and straight, but also turned wrong side up; and when Kawiti saw this, he said, "It is good. Here have I two darts ominous of success, and bravery, and death--our enemy will prove very strong and brave, they will suffer much from us, and so will we from them. I am not displeased, for this is war and not play." Then Heke and Kawiti stood up in the night, and spoke long and with great spirit to their men to give them courage; and when they had done speaking, Kawiti remained where he was near the sea, not far from the town; but Heke went inland, and before morning he lay with his men in a hollow close to the flagstaff.
Heke lay on the ground with his war party--close at hand were the sleeping soldiers. Amongst those soldiers there was not one Tohunga, not a man at all experienced in omens, or they must
[Image of page 9]
have had some warning that great danger and defeat was near; but there they lay sleeping between the open jaws of war, and knew of no danger. This is the only foolishness I see about the Pakeha; they are quite ignorant and inexperienced in omens, and, indeed, care nothing at all about them. 12
In the morning, before it was light, Kawiti rushed upon Kororareka. The young men did not look for the light of this world, their only thought was who should kill the first man, and elevate his name; but the soldiers met them in the path, and the fight began. Pumuka then gained a name; he killed the first man of the battle, but had not long to rejoice, for he himself fell a mataika for the Pakeha, 13 Then the Maori charged to revenge Pumuka; the soldiers met them; the sailors charged sword in hand; a keen breeze of war was blowing then on Kororareka! The best men of both sides were in front, the sword met the tomahawk, and many fell; but of all the braves (Toa) there, the chief of the sailors was the bravest; no man could stand up before his sword, and had he not been struck by a shot, the Maori would have been defeated--four men like him would have killed Kawiti and all his war party. This is what I have been told by Kawiti's people, who were in the fight. I did not see it myself, but was at every other fight in the war.
When Kawiti attacked Kororareka, the soldiers at the flagstaff on the top of Maiki heard the firing, and left the flagstaff, and went straggling about the hill-side, trying to see what was going on below. They did not think of Heke or his words when he said he would cut down the flagstaff, neither did they remember the orders of the Governor--they were very foolish: for while they were trying to see the fight between Kawiti and the soldiers and sailors, and thinking, perhaps, that the Maori did not know how to conduct an ambush, Heke started from the ground, and before they could turn round, the flagstaff and their fort was taken. Some of them were killed, others ran away, and then the axes went to work, and the flagstaff was cut down. So this was the third time it fell, and there it lies now.
During this time the fighting was still going on at Kororareka, but at last the Maori drew back, and the Pakeha remained in the
[Image of page 10]
town. The Maori were not beaten, neither were the soldiers. Pumuka had been killed, and many others of Kawiti's people were killed and wounded; several, also, of the Pakeha had been killed, and their great Toa, the chief of the sailors, was almost dead. So the words of Kawiti proved true: both he and his enemy had done bravely, and had equal success, and both had suffered much.
In the afternoon the Maori began to perceive that the Pakeha were leaving the town, and going on board the ships, so they returned to the town, and began to plunder, and the people of the town plundered also, so both parties quietly plundered the town of Kororareka, and did not quarrel with one another. At last, all the town people and soldiers went on board the ships, and then the ship of war fired at the Maori people who were plundering in the town. The noise of the firing of the ship guns was very great, and some of Kawiti's people were near being hit by the lumps of iron. This was not right, for the fight was over, and the people were only quietly plundering the town which had been left for them, and which they had given fair payment for; but, I suppose, the sailors thought their chief was dying, and fired a volley (waipu) for his sake. So the sailors may have an argument in their favour; but the Maori did not at the time think of this, so in revenge they burnt Kororareka, and there was nothing left but ashes, and this was the beginning of the war.
Well, you Pakeha are a noble-minded people; it was very generous of you to give up Kororareka to be plundered and burnt for utu for the Maori. If you had been beaten you could not have helped it; but as you were not beaten, I say it was very noble of you to give up the town. You are always giving us something, so you gave Kawiti and Heke a town full of blankets, and tobacco, and money, and all sorts of property, and rum! It was very good of you. I wish I had been there.
When Kororareka was burnt, and all the Europeans had sailed to the town at Waitamata, which we now began to hear was called Auckland, then Heke went to stop at the Ahuahu, and the news of the battle was heard all over the country, and then many men came to join Heke, but no whole hapu came, for most of the Ngapuhi chiefs said, "Now tens of thousands of soldiers will come to fight with Heke, and he will be utterly destroyed;" but when all Heke's people were together they were about 700 men.
Now, when Thomas Walker Nene heard that the war had actually began, and that Kororareka had fallen, he called together his family and all his friends, and said he would fight against Heke, and seek revenge for his friends the Pakeha people. Walker had been always a friend and protector to the Europeans, and also Hongi Ika, Heke's relation, had killed in former times Te
[Image of page 11]
Tihi, at Hokianga, and swallowed his eyes, and Te Tihi was a matua (elder relation) to Walker.
And Te Tao Nui came to join Walker, and brought with him all his family and relations, many fighting men: only one man of his family did not come--that man went to help Heke. Te Tao Nui had always, like Walker, been a good friend to the Europeans, and he was also an ancient enemy of Hongi Ika.
And the tribe of Ngati Pou came to help Walker. Formerly they had been a great tribe, but Hongi Ika had driven them from their country and slain most of their warriors; but they in return wounded Hongi, and he died of that wound some years afterwards; they came to help Walker in search of revenge against Hongi Ika, for Heke and Hongi are the same. This tribe of Ngati Pou brought forty men to help Walker, which was all left alive by Hongi, but they fought well, for their hatred to Hongi was great; they fought through the whole war, and never were absent from any fight. The first man killed in the war between Walker and Heke was killed by a Ngati Pou, and the first man who fell on our side was a Ngati Pou, and the last man who fell in the war was also a Ngati Pou; their chief, Hakaraia, was wounded, and several others of the forty men were killed.
And all the young men of the Hikutu came to help Walker; they came to practice war, and to elevate their names; but their handsome and brave young chief, Haurake, fell at Waikare, for such is the appearance of war; and many young men came from different tribes (hapu) to join Walker, and to perfect themselves in the practice of war.
And I, your friend, went also with my two younger brothers, my four sons, and my daughter's husband, and nine cousins, (teina keke), and three slaves--twenty men of us, all tino tangata who had seen war. 14 I went because when the ancestors of Heke fought against mine, the ancestors of Walker came to help my forefathers, because they were related to each other, so I and Walker are relations, but I don't know exactly what the relationship is, for eleven generations have passed since that ancient war; but Walker and I are aware that we are related, and always come to each other's help in war.
When Walker had got all his men together, they were in number about 500, and he went with them to Okaihau and built a pa, and Heke was at Te Ahuahu with his men. Te Ahuahu is not
[Image of page 12]
far from Okaihau, and there was fighting between them every day. Several of Walker's relations were killed, and the brother of the Tao Nui was also killed, and his son badly wounded, but in every fight Heke lost most men, and had the worst of the battle. So Heke sent a messenger to Walker, saying, "If you go on this way, when the soldiers return there will be no one to fight them. Who will there be to fight with you, and who to fight the red garment?" But Walker said, in answer, "I will fight on till I arrive at the end."
Up to this time no news had been heard from the Governor at Auckland, and a Pakeha came to the camp at Okaihau, and said to Walker's people, "This is a bad thing you are doing, coming here to fight with Heke. The Governor when he hears of it will be angry, and so will the Queen. You are only wasting your powder, and getting killed for nothing. The Governor will not give you any more gunpowder, and you will get no pay. Moreover, you are not fighting at all for the Pakeha, or the Queen, you are fighting to revenge Te Tihi." Then another Pakeha who was in the camp, an old friend of Walker, arose and spoke to the people, and said, "Pay no attention to what has been said by this man. Both the Governor and the Queen will be well pleased to hear of your opposing Heke, and so will all the Pakeha people. You will be ever after this looked on as true friends, and the Governor will give you plenty of gunpowder to replace what you have expended. Neither is this a war for Te Tihi, but for Kororareka; but if you remember Te Tihi also, how can you help it?" When we heard this speech we were encouraged, for we had began to doubt whether we were doing right when we heard the speech of the first Pakeha.
Walker's old Pakeha friends gave him gunpowder, and rifles, and other things, to enable him to fight Heke; and some of them came and stayed at the camp, and fought amongst his men, to shew him that he was right in what he was doing, for Walker had not yet had any word from the Governor, and was only fighting on his own thought.
Shortly after this, a letter came from the Governor, and with it the Governor sent gunpowder, and lead, and blankets, and flour, and sugar, and tobacco; so we saw then clearly that we were doing right. But there was only one letter for both Walker and Te Tao Nui, so Te Tao Nui was angry at this, for he thought there should have been a letter entirely for himself, and he said he would leave the camp with all his men; he had more men, at that time, than Walker; but, however, he remained, and helped Walker to the last. After this, news came frequently from Auckland, and before long we heard that the soldiers were coming.
[Image of page 13]
When Heke's people heard that the soldiers were coming, most of them left him, and there remained but 200 men. Then Heke left Te Ahuahu, and came and built a pa not far from Taumata tutu, on the clear ground by the lake, for he said he would fight the soldiers on the spot where the last words of Hongi Ika had been spoken. The name of this pa of Heke's was Te Kahika.
Now, when this new fort of Heke's was finished, the spirit of the Ngakahi entered into the Atua wera, who is the greatest Tohunga in all the country of the Ngapuhi. So the Ngakahi spoke in the night to Heke and his people, by the mouth of the Atua were, "Be brave, and strong, and patient. Fear not the soldiers, they will not be able to take this fort--neither be you afraid of all those different kinds of big guns you have heard so much talk of. I will turn aside the shot, and they shall do you no harm; but this pa and its defenders must be made sacred (Tapu). You must particularly observe all the sacred rites and customs of your ancestors; if you neglect this in the smallest particular, evil will befall you, and I also shall desert you. You who pray to the God of the Missionaries, continue to do so, and in your praying see you make no mistakes. Fight and pray. Touch not the spoils of the slain, abstain from human flesh, lest the European God should be angry, and be careful not to offend the Maori gods. It is good to have more than one God to trust to. This war party must be strictly sacred. Be brave, be strong, be patient." 15
So Heke waited there at his fort at Mawhe, near Taumata tutu, for the coming of the soldiers; and before long they arrived at Walker's camp at Okaihau, which was but a short distance from where Heke was. When these soldiers arrived they were very much fatigued, and quite without provisions, and not at all fit to go to fight. They had been two nights on the road, one of which nights they lay out in the rain, and they had but a small quantity of ammunition. They had come by a long, bad road, up and down hill, though there was a good road open to them; and they were quite worn out and not fit to fight at all. What could be the reason that the Pakeha, who knew the country, did not tell the soldiers to come up the Keri Keri in boats, and then along the cart road to the turn-off to Okaihau? If they had done this, they could have brought big guns in the boats, and provisions, and put them in carts at the Keri Keri, and came along the cart road till they were not far from Walker's camp. If they had done this, the big-guns would have knocked down the pa, for it was a very weak one, and it would have been taken, and the war would have ended;
[Image of page 14]
for it was because this very weak pa was not taken that the Maori kept on fighting, and caused so many men afterwards to be killed on both sides. Heke certainly had many friends amongst the Europeans, as why should he not?
But the soldiers had with them a light gun, called a rocket, and this gun had a great name: it was said that it would go into the pa, and twist and turn about in pursuit of the people until it had killed them every one. When we heard this we were sorry for Heke and his people, and were in great fear for ourselves, lest it should turn round upon us also.
When the soldiers had rested one night at Okaihau, they prepared to attack Heke's pa; but early in the morning, when they were getting something to eat, we observed many of them eating standing up; this gave us a good deal of uneasiness, for it has an unlucky look to see warriors before going to battle eating their food standing. They should sit down and eat quietly, as if nothing was going to happen out of common; but, as I have said before, the soldiers are very inexperienced in these matters. When they had done eating, they formed to march to attack Heke. What a fine looking people these soldiers. are! Fine, tall, handsome people; they all look like chiefs; and their advance is like the advance of a flight of curlew in the air, so orderly and straight. And along with the soldiers came the sailors; they are of a different family, and not at all related to the soldiers, 16 but
[Image of page 15]
they are a brave people, and they came to seek for revenge for the relations they had lost in the fight at Kororareka. They had different clothes from the soldiers, and short guns, and long heavy swords; they were a people who talked and laughed more than the soldiers, and they flourished their guns about as they advanced, and eat tobacco.
So the soldiers, sailors, and other Europeans, advanced to the attack of Heke's pa, and with them came also Walker and his men; but before we had gone far, we observed the soldiers carrying on their shoulders certain things made of cloth and wood; these things were rolled up, and we did not know the use of them, so we asked what they were, and were told they were kauhoa on which to carry the dead or wounded! This was the worst of all; there were those soldiers going to battle, and actually carrying on their shoulders things to put themselves on when they were dead! So we began to say one to another, "Those soldiers walking there are all dead men. It only wants a few guns to be fired, and they will be all killed." So some of the chiefs told some of the chiefs of the soldiers what a dreadfully unlucky thing they were doing, but they all laughed, and said that they came there to fight, and that whenever people fought some one was sure to be killed or wounded, and that it was right to have something to carry them on; but our people said it was time enough to think of carrying a man when he could not stand, and that by what they were doing they were calling for death and destruction; and they tried hard to get the soldiers to throw away these things, but the soldiers would not listen to them. So we all said this is not a war party here marching on this plain, but a mate (a funereal procession), so all the Maori left the soldiers, and went and sat on the top of the hill called Taumata Kakaramu, except about forty men, Walker's relations, who would not leave him. We felt sorry for the soldiers; but we said, "Let them fight their own battle to-day, and if they are successful we will help them in every other fight." But no one could believe they would be successful.
[Image of page 16]
At last the soldiers and sailors got before Heke's pa; the main body of the soldiers remained opposite to it, at the side next to Walker's camp--the rest, about one hundred men, sailors and soldiers, went round by the shore of the lake, which was on the right of the pa, and so got behind it; and on that side there was but one slight fence, and no Peke rangi. 17 The soldiers had told us in the morning that they would rush on both sides of the pa at once, and that it would be taken in a moment, and that then they would come home to breakfast.
So now the soldiers were in front of the pa, and also behind it; and on the right was the lake, and on the left was Walker with about forty men, and behind Walker there was a wood--he was between the wood and the pa.
Then the soldiers who had the rocket gun went a little to the left of the front of the pa, and set the gun upon its legs, and pointed it straight at the pa; then all the people on the top of Taumata Kakaramu fixed their eyes on this gun. We watched it closely, and held our breath, and had great fear for the people in the pa, for they were, although against us, all Ngapuhi--the same iwi as ourselves, and many of them our near relations, and we never expected to see them more by reason of this gun, we had heard so much of it. At last, a great smoke was seen to issue from one end of the gun, and the rocket came out of the other. At first it did not go very fast, but it had not gone far before it began to flame, and roar, and dart straight towards the pa: it had a supernatural appearance, and rushed upon the pa like a falling star; but just as it was about to enter the pa it swerved from its course, touched the ground outside, and then rose and flew away over the pa, without doing any harm, and no one could tell where that first rocket went to, for it was the Ngakahi, the familiar spirit of the Atua Wera, who had blown upon it with his breath and turned it away, according to his word when he spoke by the mouth of the Tohunga, for up to this time Heke and his people had kept strictly all the sacred customs, and infringed none of them. So the Ngakahi remained guarding them from all danger.
[Image of page 17]
When we saw that the first rocket had gone by the pa and done no harm, we all gave a great sigh, and our minds were eased: a second rocket was fired, and a third, and so till they were all gone, but not one did any harm, for the Ngakahi had turned them all away--not one entered the pa.
Now, before the first rocket was fired, Heke came out of the front gate of the pa to watch the effect of the rocket, and he stood outside praying a Maori prayer, and holding with one hand to a post of the fence. Then the first rocket was fired--it came very near him, and passed away without doing any harm. Then another was fired, and missed also; so when Heke saw this, he cried out in a loud voice, "What prize can be won by such a gun," 18 and this has become a saying among us from that day; for whenever we hear a man boasting of what he can do, we think of the rocket, and cry, "What prize can be won by such a gun."
When the first rocket was fired it frightened all the dogs in the pa, and they ran barking away over the plain; and, also, one slave ran out of the pa; he was very much frightened, and he ran away by a path which went between the hundred soldiers and sailors, who were behind the pa, and Walker's people, who were at the left side of it; and this slave never stopped running till he came to a place called Kai Namu, where Kawiti, who had marched all night to relieve Heke, had just arrived; and this slave ran up to Kawiti and his people, and began to cry out, "Oh, the soldiers have a frightful gun, it comes roaring and flaming." Here Kawiti stopped him, and said, "I know all about all sorts of guns; all guns will kill, and all guns will also miss; this is the nature (ahua) of guns; but if you say one word more, I will split your head with my tomahawk." So the slave became more afraid of Kawiti than he was of the rocket, and he ran away back to Heke, and told him that Kawiti with help was close at hand.
When all the rockets had been fired, then the hundred men, soldiers and sailors, who were at the back of the pa, arose out of an old Maori pare pare, where they had been sheltered, and giving a great shout, turned to rush against the pa. Then Heke shouted to his men, "Now, let every man defend the spot he stands on, and think of no other; and I, on my side, will look to the great fish which lies extended on our front." 19 And as Heke was say-
[Image of page 18]
ing this, the soldiers and sailors had began to move towards the pa, when suddenly Kawiti with one hundred and forty men appeared close upon their right, and fired upon them. Then the soldiers turned quickly to the right and attacked Kawiti; they were close to each other, and some fought hand to hand. The soldiers, then, were pressed back, and forced to give way before the rush of Kawiti and his men; but soon they rallied to the call of their chiefs, and charged with the bayonet, and then a close fight ensued, in which twenty of Kawiti's men were slain, and many wounded; several of them were chiefs, and among them was one of Kawiti's sons, being the second son he had lost in the war, the other fell at Kororareka. Kawiti's men then retreated, and the soldiers chased them as far as the path in the hollow, which leads to Ahuahu, and there the last Maori was killed by the foremost soldier. There is a stone placed there where that Maori fell, and close to that stone by the side of the path the soldier is also buried, for a shot from the pa struck him and he fell there. He was a great Toa, that soldier; in this fight whenever he pointed his gun a man fell, and he ran so fast in pursuit that there was no escape from him; but he fell there, for such is the appearance of war. The musket is a bad weapon, the worst of all weapons, for let a man be as brave as he may, he cannot stand up before it long. Great chiefs are killed from a distance by no one knows who, and the strength of a warrior is useless against it.
As the soldiers chased Kawiti, the pa fired on them from the left, so that they had Kawiti in front and the pa on the left, both firing, and therefore lost many men; but having beaten Kawiti off, they returned and took shelter in the Maori breastwork, and began again to fire at the pa. So they fired, and the pa returned the fire, and the main body of the soldiers who were at the front of the pa fired; lead whistled through the air in all directions, the whole country seemed on fire, and brave men worked their work. Then Tupori, a chief who was in the pa with Heke, saw that Kawiti had elevated his name, for he had fought the soldiers hand to hand twice--once at Kororareka, and once on this day; and seeing this, Tupori wished also to do something to make his
[Image of page 19]
name heard; he therefore cried out for only twenty men to follow him, and he would charge the soldiers. Then twenty men rushed out of the pa with Tupori; they ran straight up the hill to the breastwork, the soldiers firing on them all the time, but without hitting one man; so Tupori and his twenty men came quite up to the breastwork, and stood upon the top of the bank, and fired their double-barrel guns in the soldiers' faces, and drove them out of the breastwork. The soldiers retreated a short distance, and Tupori and his people began collecting the bundles of cartridges which the soldiers had left behind, and while they were doing this, the soldiers suddenly came rushing upon them; their charge was very grand, and terrible to look at. They came rushing on in great anger, shouting and cursing at the Maori. So Tupori and his men ran away to the pa, and as they ran the soldiers fired at their backs and killed two men, and wounded Tupori in the leg; the rest got safe into the pa, and took Tupori and the two dead men along with them. Great is the courage of Tupori! he has made his name heard as that of a Toa; but it was not right for the soldiers to curse the Maori, for up to this time nothing wrong had been done on cither side, and so the Maori were much surprised to hear the soldiers cursing and swearing at them.
After this the soldiers fired at the pa all day, but only killed three men, besides the two men killed in the charge of Tupori-- these five men were all the killed belonging to the pa that day. When it was near night, the soldiers went back to Walker's camp at Okaihau, taking with them their wounded, and also two or three dead; but about ten dead were left behind at Taumata Tutu, where they fell in the fight with Kawiti.
So Heke remained in possession of the battle plain (te papa), and his pa was not taken, and he buried the dead of the soldiers; but one soldier who had been wounded, and left behind by the side of the lake, was found next morning by two slaves, and they pretended they were friends, and got his gun from him, and then they took him to the lake and held his head under the water till he was dead.
Next morning after the battle the soldiers returned to the Keri Keri, and Walker went with his people to help them to carry the wounded; and Haurake, the young chief of the Hikutu, went also with thirteen of his people to assist in carrying the wounded soldiers, but the rest of his tribe being one hundred men remained behind at Okaihau, for it was not expected there would be any more fighting for some days. But when the soldiers and Walker's people came to the Keri Keri, the Maori chiefs of Walker's party talked of attacking the Kapotai at Waikare, in the Bay of Islands,
[Image of page 20]
because they were allies of Kawiti; so they went and told their minds to the chiefs of the soldiers, who agreed to do so, for they were angry at not having been able to take Heke's pa at Taumata Tutu.
So when the soldiers and Walker's people came to the Bay of Islands, they each separated a party to attack the Kapotai. They went up the Waikare river in the night in canoes and boats, with great precaution, hoping to surprise the Kapotai, and so to revenge their dead who had fallen at Taumata Tutu; but before they got near to the pa, the wild ducks in the river started up and flew over the pa, which alarmed the Kapotai, and caused them to suspect that an enemy was coming up the river, so they took arms and watched for the approach of the war party, and soon the soldiers were near, but it was not yet daylight. Then the men of the Kapotai called out, "If you are Maori warriors who come in the night, come on, we will give you battle; but if you are soldiers, here is our pa, we give it up to you." They soon discovered the soldiers, and then they went out at the back of the pa, and left it for the soldiers to plunder, as payment for Kororareka, which was very right. So the soldiers and Walker's Maori plundered the pa of the Kapotai, and killed all the pigs.
After the Kapotai pa had been plundered and burnt, Walker and his men went in pursuit of the Kapotai, who had retreated into the forest, but the soldiers remained behind on the clear ground near the pa. Walker, Mohi, and Repa went into the woods with three hundred men, followed the Kapotai, and overtook them. When the Kapotai perceived they were followed, their anger was very great, so they turned and fought with great courage against Walker. Walker was not able to beat them, so they remained there a long time fighting in the forest. But Haurake, the young Hikutu chief, had, with his thirteen men, taken another path, and he met the young chief of the Kapotai, who had with him sixty men, and they were both young men and fighting for a name, so a desperate fight commenced. Haurake and his thirteen men thought not of the light of the sun or the number of the enemy; their only thought was of war, and to elevate their names. It was a close fight, and whenever the rifle of Haurake was heard a man fell, and soon he had killed or wounded several of the Kapotai, who began to fall back. Then Haurake cried out to the retreating Kapotai, "Fly away on the wings of the wood pigeon, and feed on the berries of the wood, for I have taken your land." Then a certain slave of the Kapotai said, "That is Haurake, a very noble born man, he is a chief of Te Hikutu, and of Te Rarawa, and of Re Ngati Kuri." Now, when Hari, the young Kapotai chief heard this, he cried aloud to Haurake, saying,
[Image of page 21]
"Swim you away on the backs of the fish of the sea, 20 there is no land for you here," then these two young warriors drew nearer to each other. Haurake had just loaded his rifle, but the caps which he had were too small, and he was a long time trying to put on the cap; while he was doing this, Hari fired at him, and the ball struck him on the breast and passed out at his back, but so great was his strength and courage that he did not fall, but took another cap and fixed it, and then fired at the Kapotai chief, and the ball struck him on the side under the arm-pit, and went out at the other arm-pit, so Hari staggered and fell dead. When Haurake saw this, he said, "I die not unrevenged," and then sank gently to the ground. His people then seeing this, two of them led him away towards the rear; the Kapotai, also, carried away their chief, and then, enraged at his death, rushed upon the Hikutu, who were now only eight in number, the rest having been killed or wounded. These eight were tino tangata (practised warriors), but were too few in number, and had lost their chief; so when the Kapotai rushed upon them they lost heart and fled, and the Kapotai chased them, and soon the foremost of the flying Hikutu overtook Haurake and the two men who were leading him off. Then Haurake said, "Do not remain here with me to die, but hide me in the fern and escape yourselves, and go to my relation Walker, and tell him to muster all his people, and come and carry me off." So they all pressed their noses to the nose of Haurake, one after another, and the tears fell fast, and the balls from the guns of the Kapotai whistled round their heads, so while some returned the fire of the enemy, others hid Haurake in the long fern; when this was done, they all fled and escaped with great difficulty; for while they were hiding Haurake the Kapotai had surrounded them, and they would never have escaped at all but for the great courage of Kaipo and Te Pake, Haurake's cousins, who broke through the Kapotai, and opened a way for the rest.
Now, when Haurake's eight men got on to the clear ground, they found that the soldiers were getting into the boats to go away, and Walker, Mohi, and Repa had just come out of the forest from fighting with the Kapotai, and Haurake's cousins ran to Walker, and said, "Our friend 21 is left behind wounded in the forest, and likely to be taken by the Kapotai." Then Walker was very much dismayed when he heard this, and he and Mohi ran to
[Image of page 22]
the chiefs of the soldiers and desired them to remain for a short time till he should rescue Haurake, but the soldiers could not understand what Walker meant, for the speaker of Maori (the interpreter to the force) had already gone away in one of the boats, and there was a great confusion, every one trying to get away, and Walker's men were also getting into their canoes and going away, and boats and canoes were running foul of each other, and the creek was choked with them. Then came the Kapotai in great force with their allies out of the forest, and commenced firing on the departing Tawa from a distance of about two hundred fathoms, so the soldiers and Walker got away and returned to Kororareka, and left Haurake lying alone in the forest, for their bellies were full with fighting; so he lay there till midnight, and the night was cold and wet, and he kept continually thinking what a disgrace it would be to his family if he should be taken alive. 22 And as he lay thus, he saw 23 the spirit of the greatest warrior of all his ancestors, who said to him, "Arise! Shall my descendant be taken alive?" Then Haurake said, "I am a mere man, not like unto my ancestors, half god and half man." 24 Then the spirit said, "In the mind is the strength of the body. Arise!" So Haurake arose, and travelled a long way in the night till he found a small canoe by the river side, then he pulled down the river towards the Bay of Islands till the canoe upset, then he swam on shore, and when he got to the shore he was almost dead; but near to where he landed was the house of a Pakeha, and the mother of this Pakeha was
[Image of page 23]
Haurake's cousin, so that Pakeha took him and concealed him in the house, and took care of him, and before the middle of the day a party of Walker's men arrived there in search of him. So they took him to the Bay of Islands, and the doctors of the soldiers did what they could to cure him, but without success; so his tribe, who had arrived from Okaihau, carried him home to his own place at Hokianga, where he died.
When Haurake died, and his body lay at Wirinake to be seen for the last time by his relations, there was a great gathering of the Rarawa and Ngapuhi, to fulfil the last rites due to a chief; and when the Pihe had been sung, 25 then the chiefs arose one after another to speak in praise of the dead. This was the speech of Te Anu, he who is known as having been in his youth the best spearman of all the Ngapuhi tribes. Bounding to and fro before the corpse, with his famous spear in hand, he spoke as follows: "Farewell, Haurake, go! taking with you your kindness and hospitality, your generosity and valour, and leave none behind who can fill your place. Your death was noble; you revenged yourself with your own hand, you saved yourself without the help of any man. Your life was short; but so it is with heroes Farewell, O Haurake, farewell." At this time it was night, and the sister and also the young wife of Haurake went in the dark and sat beside the river; they sat weeping silently, and spinning a cord wherewith to strangle themselves--the flax was wet with their tears--and as they did this the moon arose. So when the sister of Haurake saw the rising moon, she broke silence, and lamented aloud, and this was her lament--the part I remember of it: --
It is well with thee, O moon, you return from death,
Spreading your light on the little waves. Men say, "Behold the moon re-appears;"
But the dead of this world return no more.
Grief and pain spring up in my heart as from a fountain.
I hasten to death for relief.
Oh, that I might eat those numerous soothsayers
Who could not foretell his death.
Oh, that I might eat the Governor,
For his was the war!
[Image of page 24]
At this time men came who were in search of, these women, and prevented the sister of Haurake from killing herself at that time; they watched her for several days, but she died of grief. But the wife of Haurake consented to live that she might rear her son, so that he might fight with the Kapotai on a future day, so she called his name Maiki, which is the name of the hill on which stood the flagstaff, the cutting down of which was the cause of the war; he was, therefore, called by this name, that he might always be reminded of his father's death.
The lament of the sister of Haurake was sung by all the divisions of the Ngapuhi, from the West Coast to Tokerau; and when Walker heard it he was displeased, and said, "It is wrong to sing about eating the Governor, for soon people who do not know the song well will make mistakes, and sing, 'Oh, that I might eat Heke,' which would be the worst of all: as for the priests or soothsayers it is no matter, they are all a set of fools." So now when people sing that lament, they only say, "Oh, that I might eat the numerous priests," (tini tohunga).
So Haurake was taken to Te Ramaroa, a cave in the mountains, behind Wirinake, where his ancestors are buried, and then three hundred men of Te Hikutu, Natikuri, Te Rarawa, and Walker's people, armed, and entered the country of the Kapotai, to fire powder in remembrance of Haurake, 26 (paora mamai). They destroyed the cultivations, and got much plunder; but the Kapotai retired to the forest, and would not fight, for they knew this was a war party of the tribe of Haurake, who came bearing the weapons of grief, (patu mamai), and, therefore, they would not fight. So the Taua came to the spot where Haurake had fallen, and there fired many volleys of musketry in honour of the dead, and then returned unmolested to their own country. The behaviour of the Kapotai in this matter was correct; we all know that it was not fear that prevented them from attacking us; they respected the grief of the people and relations of Haurake, and made way before them, which was a noble thought (whakaaro rangatira).
When Heke heard of the death of Haurake, he said, "Now, if I am slain in this war, it matters not, for there is no greater
[Image of page 25]
Ngapuhi chief than Haurake." What Heke said was true; but he said it to please Te Hikutu, for Heke is a man of many thoughts.
At this same time Te Tao Nui, who was at Okaihau, heard that most of Heke's men had gone from te Ahuahu to Ohaeawae to kill cattle for food, for by this time Heke had abandoned his pa, near Taumata Tutu, which the soldiers had attacked, and gone to another fort of his at Te Ahuahu, to be near the cultivations. So Tao Nui took sixty men, and went on a dark rainy night and took the pa at the Ahuahu by surprise, and the people in it only fired two shots and fled. So Te Tao Nui remained in possession of Heke's fort at the Ahuahu, and all Heke's provisions fell into his hands, and also the road to Ohaeawae was opened, for this fort was on the path. Then Walker abandoned his camp at Okaihau and joined Te Tao Nui, in Heke's pa, and as they found there plenty of provisions, they determined to remain there till the soldiers should return again from Auckland.
But Heke was very much enraged to see his fort and provisions thus snatched from him, and he determined to retake it before the soldiers should return from Auckland to help Walker; so he sent messengers to all parts of the country where he had friends, and to the old chiefs who were still alive who had been companions of the great Hongi in the old wars, and they came, and with them came the Kahakaha, he who had been Hongi's chosen friend. He had seen more battles than any man now alive, and was a very brave and experienced leader. He came to assist Heke and to shew him how his fathers had fought.
When Heke's war party had assembled, they were, in number, about eight hundred men: and, after having rested a few days at Ohaeawae, they marched before daylight to attack Walker and Te Tao Nui at Te Ahuahu, and to retake Heke's pa. Walker, Tao Nui, Moses, and Wi Repa with his two brothers, were the principal chiefs of Walker's party at this time, and they had with them only about three hundred men, for many of Walker's friends had returned to Hokianga, to fetch pork and other provisions, for they did not expect to be attacked so soon.
Now, in the morning before daylight, an old slave woman went out from the pa of Walker to pick up sticks for firewood, and there was a thick fog lying close to the ground; and before the old woman had gone far she saw a black line of something coming out of a cloud of fog, and as she was wondering what this might be, she suddenly perceived that it was a Tawa of armed men, and they had got within fifty fathoms of the pa 27 so she cried aloud
[Image of page 26]
the cry of alarm--Te Whakaariki e! Te Whakaariki e!--and instantly the people in the pa were alarmed, started from sleep, and with their arms in hand rushed hurriedly to defend the gates. Then Walker called out to Te Tao Nui, "Remain you here and defend our pa, and I will go out and fight." Then Walker and his people rushed against the enemy; and when they were doing this, another party of the enemy appeared at the opposite side of the pa. Of this party the old chief Te Kahakaha was the leader. Then, when Te Tao Nui saw this division and their numbers, which were great, he said-- "Now we have the enemy in full view, there are no more of them in concealment;" so he opened the gates on his side of the pa, and rushed out with all his people, and called out to charge. So Walker charged at one side of the pa, and Tao Nui and his people on the other. Walker being opposed to Heke, and Tao Nui to Te Kahakaha, the fight began, and this was the greatest battle in the war. The best men of both parties were there, and Heke was very desirous to destroy Walker in one great fight before the soldiers should return; and Walker, on his side, wished to show that he could fight Heke without the aid of the soldiers. So now Walker charged Heke, and Heke fired like thunder against Walker. I, your friend, was there! and as we rushed on, Karere Horo was killed; (he was our mad priest;) and Taketu was killed, and Pou was killed, and Te Turi, and Hangarau, and about nine others; and Takare had both his eyes shot out, and Wi Repa and his brother, and Hakaraia, the chief of the Ngati Pou, and a great many others, were wounded. By the time all these people were killed or wounded, we were close up to Heke's people, and began to fire. Heke's men being so near, and standing too close together, we did not miss them; we had revenge for our friends who had fallen: we pressed Heke hard. Not one of us remembered the light of this world, nor thought of life. Then the enemy began to fall back, and we followed them close till we came to a hill side, where they turned and charged us; but we fell back a little then, and got behind the stone wall of a kumera field, and fired at them from behind the low wall, and drove them back, having killed and wounded several. They then returned to the hill-side, and began firing at us from about fifty fathoms distance; but we were sheltered by the low stone wall. Then we heard Heke shouting out to charge us again, and so down they came upon us again: they greatly outnumbered us, and the sound of their feet as they rushed on was like the noise of a waterfall. We fully expected this time they would finish us, but Walker cried out, "Stand firm; let them come close; waste no powder." So we stood firm, and took aim over the stone fence, and let them come so close that the smoke
[Image of page 27]
of our guns would pass by their foremost men: then we fired, and some of our Toa jumped over the wall and ran at them with the tomahawk, upon which they fled away to the hill-side again, leaving their dead and wounded in our hands. Then some of our young men being hot with the fight cried out to eat them raw at once; but this was a foolish proposal; for although we were fighting against Heke, wo were all Ngapuhi together, and more or less related to each other; had we been fighting against Waikato or Ngatiawa of the south, it would have been quite correct; so Walker and the other chiefs would not allow it.
While this was going on on Walker's side, Te Tao Nui and his family were fighting against the division of the Kahakaha and the Wharepapa at the other side of the pa; but the Kahakaha knew by the sound of the firing that Heke had lost ground and was falling back, so he fell back also slowly, intending to join the right of his division to Heke's left, so as to fill up the opening which had been made by Heke falling back, and then to renew the battle; but, in falling back, his men lost heart, and Te Tao Nui pressed him hard; so, to encourage his men, he advanced to the front, calling loudly "Whakahokia!" and, as he ran forward, his men followed; he was quite naked, and only armed with a light spear. He came on lightly, like a young man, seeking a man for his spear; and he rushed upon one of the warriors of the Ngati Pou, but before he got close enough to strike, a shot struck him on the breast, and came out at his back, which turned him quite round; then another shot struck him on the back, and went out at his breast: then he sank to the ground, saying-- "Fight bravely, O my family and friends, for this is my last battle;" so he lay quiet there, but did not immediately die, for he lingered to see once more the young man Heke, who was the representative of Hongi, his old companion in many wars.
When the Kahakaha had fallen, the battle would have been quickly lost but for the Wharepapa, the old chief of the Ihutai. He was a brave old warrior, and had also fought in the wars of Hongi Ika. He came forward laughing, and calling on his tribe to stand firm, for he wanted to save the body of the Kahakaha; so the Ihutai stood firm, and for a time the fight became stationary in that place.
At this moment a boy came running to Heke, where he stood opposed to Walker on the extreme right of the battle; the boy ran up to Heke, and cried, "The old man has fallen." Then Heke said, "What old man?" The boy answered, "The Kahakaha." Then Heke said, "Is he quite dead?" and the boy answered again, and said, "he is quite dead, and the people are falling back, and his body will be taken by the enemy." When Heke heard this
[Image of page 28]
his heart rolled about in the hollow of his breast; he threw away his cloak and gun, and ran naked and unarmed all along the front of the battle until he came to the place where the old man was lying, and here he met many men who were running away, and he quickly drove them back to the fight, for they were terrified by his look--his appearance was hardly that of a man. Then he came to where the old man lay, and having knelt down, pressed his nose to the nose of the dying man, and said, "Father, are you slain?" and that old man said, "Son, I am slain; but in whose battle should I die if not in yours?" It is good that I should die thus." Then Heke ran amongst the people and called out to charge, but many had fled; the tribe of Ihutai alone remained, and some few others; they, however, charged desperately, and drove back the Tao Nui a short distance. Then Heke tore a cartridge box from the body of a dead man, and cried out to the Ihutai to hold back the enemy a short time while he should get away the body of the old man. Then he ran away to where he had seen Te Atua Wera standing on the path trying to rally those who were flying, and to collect them on that spot to fight again. This Atua Wera, you already have heard, is the wisest priest and prophet of all the Ngapuhi, and he stood there in the path stopping the flying people with his club. But who can bind a flowing river? Tall men with long tatooed faces ran by like a stream, and were deaf to his call, but he had about twenty men who stood firm. Then Heke came running up and cried out, "Advance at once and carry off the old man while it can be done." Then Te Atua Wera said, "Give me a gun and some cartridges, I have only a club." Then Heke held out the cartridge-box, and said, "Take a gun from one of the people," and being mad with haste, and rage, and grief, he began to buckle the cartridge-box round the waist of the priest; but Te Atua Wera perceived that there was blood on the cartridge-box, so he started back and said, "Where did you get this?" Then Heke cried out, "Where should I get it: is not this war?" So then the priest saw that Heke himself, the chief of the war, had been the first himself to transgress the sacred rules, and had touched the bloody spoils of the slain; so he said to Heke, "The Maori Atua are arrayed against us, the spirits of the dead are now angry, we are lost, and you, Heke, are now no longer invulnerable. 28 Go not to the front, or you will meet with misfortune. Leave the old man where he is, it cannot now be helped;" and having said this, Te Atua Wera took the cartridge-box on the end of his club, and threw it away, club and all, into
[Image of page 29]
the high fern. 29 Then Heke roared out, "What care I for either men or spirits. I fear not. Let the fellow in heaven look to it; have I not prayed to him for years. It is for him to look to me this day. 30 I will carry off the old man alone;" and Heke's eyes rolled towards heaven, and he ground his teeth: then he ran forward to carry off the Kahakaha, but ten of the men who were with Te Atua Wera followed him, for they were ashamed to see the chief go alone and unarmed to carry off his ancient friend, but Te Atua Wera remained where he was.
All this which I have told took but little time, for in battle when men's eyes shine there is no listlessness, but by this time Heke's men to the right were quite defeated by Walker, and running away, but Walker pursued them slowly and with caution, for the ground was covered with brushwood, and rocks, and high fern, and the enemy though defeated were still more numerous than we were, and we followed slowly lest we might fall into an ambush.
[Image of page 30]
So Te Atua Wera sat on a stone beside the path waiting for the return of Heke, and soon he saw that the battle was lost, for people came running past in great numbers, and among them came the men who had gone with Heke, and they brought with them the body of the old man, Te Kaha Kaha, which Heke had gone with them to bring away. The fire of the Tao Nui now began to come closer, and the bullets were cutting down the fern all round them, and the Atua cried out to the bearers of the body to enquire for Heke, and they said he was close behind them, so Te Atua waited some time longer, but Heke did not come, and the enemy were getting near, and his mind was disturbed, for he had a presentiment of evil. At this moment Hoao, a very noted Ngapuhi warrior, came jumping over the fern, and seeing the Atua Wera, he shouted, "Turn, face the enemy, for Heke has fallen, and unless quickly rescued will be taken." Te Atua said, "Where is he?" The man said, "Here in the hollow, where I have hid him in the high fern, but could not carry him off myself." The Tao Nui had now got close, and some of his men had actually passed where Heke lay, but had not discovered him; so now Te Atua Wera saw it was his time to do his part, so he called out "Come, follow me to die for Pokaia." 31 Three men started forward at this call; they ran to where Heke was, and bore him off; in doing so they were more than once surrounded by the enemy, but the fern and brushwood were so thick that they got off unperceived; the fern and brushwood would not, however, have saved them had it not been for the Atua Wera who, by his continual karakia (incantations), rendered the bearers of Heke invisible to the enemy. The three men who carried off Heke were all from Hokianga; they were all elderly men, and practised warriors. Their names were Ta Puru, Hoao, and Te Ngawe.
So Heke lost in this battle many of his best old war chiefs, he was himself badly wounded and defeated, and escaped with difficulty to the fort at Ohaeawae, to which place he was chased by Walker and Te Tao Nui. These misfortunes would not have happened had not Heke been so thoughtless as to handle the bloody spoils of the dead, before the proper ceremonies had rendered them common; but there is nothing in this world so deaf to reason or
[Image of page 31]
so disobedient as a warrior--when he is enraged he only listens to his own courage, and being led away by it, dies.
After this battle Heke remained some time at Ohaeawae, and Walker staid at Te Ahuahu, the fort which Te Tao Nui had taken. Walker buried Heke's dead which had been left on the field, and there was a great lamentation at both forts, for the number of killed on both sides was great.
Heke and Kawiti, who had again joined him, now enlarged, and strengthened, and completely finished the pa at Ohaeawae, where they were stopping; it was originally but small, and belonged to Pene Taui, but they now completely finished it, and made it a perfect Maori fort in every respect. The inside fence was made of a very hard wood which does not splinter much, the posts of this fence were about one fathom in the ground, and the fence over ground was about four fathoms high; the posts were stout, and some of them would require thirty men with ropes to raise them. Inside this fence was the trench in which the men stood to fire; their faces only reached the level of the ground outside the fort; the loopholes, through which the men fired, were also only level with the ground outside, so that in firing the men were very slightly exposed. Outside of all was the pekerangi, which is a lighter sort of fence put up to deaden the force of shot before it strikes the inner one, and also intended to delay a storming party, so that while they would be pulling it down, the men behind the inner fence might have time to shoot them. This pekerangi was nearly as high as the inner fence, and stood little more than half a fathom outside of it; it was made of a strong frame-work, and was padded thickly with green flax to deaden the force of shot; it was also elevated about a foot from the ground, so that the men behind the inner fence, standing in the ditch, could shoot through the loop-holes in the inner fence under this outside fence; also, at different distances along the kaue (curtain) there were koki (flanking angles), capable of containing many men, so that a storming party would be exposed to a fire both in front and flank, and in these angles were put large ship guns. The men inside, in the inner trench, were also protected from a flanking fire by pakeaka (traverses), which crossed the trench at intervals; also, inside the place were many excavations underground covered over with large logs of timber, and over the timber earth. In these pits the men could sleep safe from the shot of the big guns of the soldiers. There were, also, high platforms at the corners of the inner fence, from whence could be seen all that an enemy might be doing outside.
When this fort was completely finished and provisioned, the priests (Tohunga) took, according to ancient custom, the chips of
[Image of page 32]
the posts and with them performed the usual ceremonies, and when they had done so they declared that this would be a fortunate fortress; so it was made sacred (tapu), as were all the men who were to defend it.
This fortress being now quite finished and ready for war, the soldiers came from Auckland to attack it, and also came the sailors and Pakeha Maori (Militia); they landed at the Bay of Islands, came up the Keri Keri in boats, and from thence to the Waimate along the cart road. They brought with them two very small brass guns, and two very short iron ones (mortars); the short iron guns looked like potato pots, and we laughed at them, and thought of Heke's saying of "What prize can be won by such a gun." We, however, notwithstanding our laughing, thought they must have some use, or the soldiers would not have brought them.
At last, after remaining several days at the Waimate, the Tawa advanced against Ohaeawae. The soldiers, sailors, and other Pakeha, might be in number about eight hundred, and we Maori were four hundred. The enemy did not attempt to oppose our advance, which was very good; for the soldiers were so heavy loaded with cloths, and tied up with belts, and had such heavy cartridge boxes, and also little water casks, hanging to their sides, and packs on their backs, besides the musket and bayonet, that we all said that if we Maori were loaded in that way, we should neither be able to fight or to run away. Great is the patience of the soldiers!
At this time Heke was very ill, and expected to die from his wound, which he had received at the great fight at Te Whatuteri. So his people took him away to his own place at Tautoro, and Te Atua Wera and sixty men remained there with him. Many, also, of the men who had been at the fight with Walker, at Te Whatuteri, had returned home, so there remained at the pa at Ohaeawai, only Kawiti, Pene Taui, and one hundred men.
So the soldiers encamped before the pa at the distance of about two hundred fathoms. There was a little hill on their right, rather advanced towards the pa. Walker took possession of this hill, and encamped upon it with about sixty men. This hill overlooked both the pa and the camp of the soldiers, and from it everything could be seen that was going on. The rest of the Maori encamped at a short distance behind the soldiers; and on the left of the soldiers, and a little advanced, were placed the four little big guns, two of brass and two of iron.
So now both parties being face to face and close to each other, they were very watchful. Some of the soldiers stood all night watching between the camp and the pa, and the people in the pa
[Image of page 33]
watched also, and the watch-cry resounded among the hills. This was the cry of the pa, "Come on, soldiers, for revenge, come on! Stiff your dead are lying on Taumata tutu. Come on! Come on!" 32 Then in answer was heard the watch-cry of Walker, "Come on, O Ngapuhi, for your revenge, come on! We have slain you in heaps on the battle field. Come on! Come on!" So passed the first night before Ohaeawae.
Next morning the four little big guns began to fire at the pa, but they did no damage. Some of the shots stuck fast in the large posts, but did not go through: others went between the posts making a mark on each side, but leaving the posts standing as strong as ever. As for the men in the pa they were all in the trenches, and the shots which came through the fence went over their heads, and did them no harm. After the guns had fired a few times, the people in the pa began firing at them with muskets, and soon killed one sailor, and wounded some others. So the men left the guns for the rest of that day, but in the night they took them away, and placed two of them on the hill where Walker had encamped, and the other two on the level ground between that hill and the soldiers' camp. They also made banks of earth to shelter them, so that the men who fired them were safer than they had been the day before, when they had only a little green flax to cover them, which was of no use.
Next day the guns began to fire again, and continued until night; and also a great number of soldiers, sailors, and Maori, scattered themselves about the pa, and fired at it with muskets, but could do no harm; and this went on for several days, but the fences of the pa remained standing, and not much injured. I think, however, that although the guns were smaller than they should have been, if they had been continually fired at one place, an opening in the fence would have been made at last; but instead of doing this, when they had been fired for half a day at one part of the fence, then the soldiers would begin firing at some other part of the pa, and then the people would come out of the trenches and repair any damage which had been done at the place at which the guns had been fired at first. We Maori did not think the soldiers did wisely in this respect, but they may have had some reason for it which we could not understand, for we don't know much about big guns: as was also seen at Ohaeawae, for there were four big guns in the pa, larger than those of the soldiers, and they were fired at us very often but they never hit any one. My idea is, that big guns are no use to knock down a
[Image of page 34]
pa, unless they are very big indeed. But the Maori say that in future wars they will build forts where it will be hard, and take a long time, to bring big guns; and when the soldiers after much pains get them there, they will leave the pa at once, and go somewhere else where it will take a long time to follow them, and so on till the soldiers are tired of dragging big guns about the country, after which both parties will be armed with muskets only, and the Maori can use these arms as well as the soldiers. This is what I have heard say, and I think it a very correct thought.
So the firing of big guns and muskets went on day after day, but no opening was made in the face of the pa; but the chief of the soldiers 33 did not care much for this, for he wanted every day to send his men to rush up to the pa, to pull down the fence with their hands, or pull it down with ropes, and so get in. But Walker and the other chiefs always prevented this, as they knew that all the soldiers would be killed before they could get in in this way; every one of the Maori were of this opinion, and also some of our old Pakeha friends who were with us, and who knew the appearance of the Maori in war. Nevertheless, the chief of the soldiers wished every day to send his men to rush up to the pa; and so, at last, we heard so much of this that we began to be very melancholy, and Walker told me that he felt sick in the stomach when the chief of the soldiers spoke to him about it, it seemed so great a waste of men's lives. We all became, as I have said, very melancholy, for we all began to see that it would be done at last, and we grieved, therefore, for our friends the soldiers, who we knew would be all killed. But what vexed us most was, that so fine a war party as ours should be beaten by such a small number of people as were in the pa, only because the chief of the soldiers was a foolish, inexperienced person. 34
At last the chief of the soldiers thought of sending for a very large gun from a ship of war at the Bay of Islands, which would be large enough to break down the fence. If he had done this at first an opening would soon have been made, and the fort taken without many men being killed; but as it was this gun when it came was of no use, for the chief of the soldiers did not wait till it had broken down the fence, but attempted to take the pa without this having been done.
This gun was placed at the foot of the hill where Walker had
[Image of page 35]
his camp, and it was not fired many times before it became apparent that should it keep on firing till next evening, a large opening would be made in the fence; so we began to think the chief of the soldiers would have patience, and wait till this should be done.
Now, on this same day, when this big gun began to fire, thirty men came out of the pa unperceived, and coming through a wood in the rear of Walker's camp, at a time when Walker and most of his men were absent, they rushed in and plundered it, killing one soldier who was there, and also one Maori, and wounded also a pakeha, the son of a missionary. They pulled down Walker's flag and took it away, and having fired a volley at the camp of the soldiers, ran off to their pa, leaving one man killed, who was killed by Tara Patiki, and not by the soldiers, as I have heard say. I am sure of this, for I saw Tara Patiki shoot him. They were close upon us before we saw them, and we had great difficulty to escape, but we both jumped into the fern, and ran down the hill as hard as we could. I fired my gun right into the middle of them, but as only one man was killed, I suppose my shot missed.
When the soldiers saw that Walker's pa was taken, they came out of their camp, and charged up the hill; but when they came to the top they found that the enemy were gone, and had taken away everything valuable they could find; they found the soldier who had been killed: he had been sent there by the chief of the soldiers to take care of one of the little big guns which had been removed up to that place, and so he was killed there; but I have heard that the chief of the soldiers when he wrote his letter to Auckland, to tell the Governor about this matter, said that this soldier was killed in charging up the hill; but this is not true, for I and many others got to the top of the hill before the soldiers, and when we got there the enemy were gone, and the dead soldier was lying there where he had been killed, close to the small big gun.
This affair, however, made the chief of the soldiers quite mad, so that same evening he ordered all his men to rush upon the pa and pull it down with ropes, or climb over it with ladders, or any way they could; he also sent to Walker to tell him what he was about to do. Walker spoke against it, as he had done before, and advised to wait one day more, till the big gun had made an opening for the soldiers to rush through quickly; otherwise, he said, they would be all killed, and not get in at all: but the chief of the soldiers would not wait: so when Walker saw the attack would be made he offered to attack also at another face of the pa, and also twenty young men, cousins of Haurake, the young chief of Te Hikitu, who was killed at Waikare, came and asked leave to
[Image of page 36]
go with the soldiers; but the chief of the soldiers would not let them go; neither would he consent to Walker's making an attack, lest, meeting the soldiers in the pa, his men might be mistaken for the enemy.
When we saw that the attack was determined upon, and just going to take place, we were all in a great state of agitation, and knew not what to think. Most said all the soldiers would be killed; but then we thought, on the other hand, that, perhaps, these European warriors could do things above the understanding of us Maori, and so, perhaps, they might take the pa. But all thought the chief of the soldiers very wrong to attempt the thing before an opening had been made for the soldiers to enter by. Also, Toby, (Lieutenant Philpots,) who was chief of the sailors, and a very brave gentleman, had walked close up to the fence of the pa, and along it, and, after having examined it, he returned, and told the chief of the soldiers that the place could not be taken by storm, unless it was first breached. When Lieutenant Philpots went up to the pa, the people were firing at every one who showed himself, and at first they fired at him; but he walked straight on, not caring about the shots which were fired at him. So, when the people in the pa saw that it was Philpots who had done this, they ceased firing at him, and told him to go back, as they did not wish to hurt him. So, having examined the fence closely, he returned, but the soldier chief did not mind what he said, and was angry, and spoke rudely to him for having given his opinion on the matter.
So now the chief of the soldiers mustered his men and divided them into parties. One party he stationed on the hill which was Walker's camp, and with all the rest he went to the attack; and first came a small party with a young chief leading them: these were all Toa who had consented to die, so that those who followed might succeed. After them came a party of about eighty men, and after these came the main body of the soldiers: with them also advanced the sailors, and the pakeha Maori, carrying ladders. The sailors advanced without their chief, for as yet he (Philpots) remained to fire some last shots from the big gun. But there was with them a young chief called Pena (Mr. Spain). So the whole attack moved on. We soon saw with great surprise that the soldiers were not going to attack that part of the pa which for so many days had been battered by the big guns, and where there might have been some small chance of their getting in, for in that direction the fence had been damaged in some degree, particularly by the large ship gun. The soldiers, however, advanced as they had been ordered against that part of the pa which had been built stronger than any other, and which had not been fired at at all by
[Image of page 37]
the big guns. The reason why this part of the pa was the strongest was, because it was the part which had been originally built by Pene Taui as a pa for himself, he had began it at the beginning of the war, and built it at his leisure, and made it very strong; and also that part of the pa was the nearest to the forest: so all the largest and heaviest timber, which was difficult to move, was put there. But, when Heke and Kawiti fell back to Ohaeawae, this original pa was found too small to hold their people; so they enlarged it very much: but, being in a great hurry, expecting the soldiers back from Auckland, they could not take time to make the new part so strong as that which had been first built by Taui: but, nevertheless, by working hard day and night, they made it very strong.
So the soldiers marched on silently and in good order, in full view of the pa, till they came opposite to the part they were about to attack, and then they halted in a little hollow to prepare for the great rush. But all this was done quietly, and in an orderly manner. The chiefs did not make speeches, or jump, or stamp about as we Maori do, to encourage the men, but all was quiet, and silent, and orderly, as if nothing uncommon was about to take place. I took great notice of this, and did not know what to think; for, when we Maori have determined to do a desperate thing like this, we are all like mad men, and make a great clamour, rushing towards the world of darkness (te po) with great noise and fury.
While the soldiers were advancing, Walker and all the people went and took up a position behind the pa, so that in case the soldiers got in, the retreat of the enemy would be cut off, in case they attempted to escape in that direction.
Now the defenders of the pa perceived that the time of battle was come, and all went to their stations, and the chiefs stood up and made speeches, each to his own family. This was the speech of Haupokeha-- "Have great patience this day, O children and friends; we have said 'let us fight the soldiers,' and behold the rage of the soldier is at hand; be brave and enduring this day; be victorious; the parent who maintains us is the land; die for the land! --die for the land!" Other chiefs spoke to the people, and some of the young men left the trenches, and called to the old men to lead them out to fight the soldiers in the open plain before the pa; but Haupokeha, in great anger, said, "No; this shall not be done: return to your stations, and you shall see the enemy walk alive into the oven: they are coming only to their own destruction." At this moment the bugle sounded, and the soldiers came charging on, shouting after the manner of European warriors, and those who were on Walker's hill shouted also; and
[Image of page 38]
we Maori behind the pa shouted also; and the whole valley resounded with the anger of the pakeha! Soon the soldiers were within twenty fathoms of the fort; and then fire darted from under the pekerangi; the noise of guns was heard, and the foremost soldiers fell headlong to the ground; but the soldiers are very brave: they charged right on, and came up to the pekerangi, which is the outer fence, and began to tear it to pieces with their hands. Then Philpots, when he saw the sailors charge, left the big gun and ran across the plain, and joined them; and he, being a Toa, shouted to his men to be resolute, and destroy the fence; and then, with one pull, the sailors brought down about five fathoms of the pekerangi; and then they were before the true fence, which, being made of whole trees placed upright and fixed deeply in the ground, could not be pulled down at all. All this time the fire from inside through the loop holes continued unceasingly, at the distance of one arm's length from where the soldiers were standing, and also a heavy fire came from a flanking angle at a distance of ten fathoms; and in this angle there was a big gun; it was heavily loaded with powder, and for shot there was put into it a long bullock chain, and this was fired into the midst of the soldiers, doing great damage. So the soldiers fell there, one on the other, in great numbers; but not one thought of running away. And Philpots did all a man could do to break down the inside fence, but it could not be done at all; so he ran along this fence till he saw a small opening which had been made to fire a big gun through, and he tried to get through this opening, at the same time calling to his men to follow. Then the people in the pa saw him, and about ten men fired at him, but all missed, and he almost got into the midst of the place, still calling on his men to follow, when a young lad fired at him, and killed him dead at once; so he lay there dead with his sword in his hand, like a Toa as he was; but the noise and smoke, shouting and confusion, was so great, as to prevent his men from perceiving that he was killed and bearing off his body, for such is the appearance of war. Also, a chief of the soldiers was killed (Captain Grant), and another died of his wounds, and there was a long line of dead and wounded men lying along the outside of the fence, and soon all would have been killed, but the chief of the soldiers, seeing this, sounded a call on the tetere (bugle) for them to retreat; and then, but not before, the soldiers began to run back, taking with them most of the wounded; but about forty dead were left behind under the wall of the pa. This battle did not take up near so long a time as I am telling of it, and in it about one hundred and ten Europeans were killed or wounded.
Great is the courage of the soldiers! They will walk quietly
[Image of page 39]
at the command of their chiefs to certain death; there is no people to be compared to them: but they were obliged to retreat. The number of men in the fort was about one hundred and seventy, and the part attacked was defended by the hapu of Pene Taui, in number just forty men.
Before saying any more of this fight, I must tell you of two slaves--one called Peter, who belonged to Kaetoke, and the other called Tarata, who belongs to Ti Kahuka. Many years ago Tarata went to England in a large ship, and having gone ashore to see what he could see, he lost his way in the great town called London; so, in the night, the police found him wandering about, and took him prisoner, and put him in the whare here here (watch-house), for they thought he had stolen a bundle of clothes which he was carrying. In the morning they brought him before the chief and accused him, but Tarata had not been able to learn to speak English, so he could not defend himself, or say from whence he came; so he thought he was going to be killed, and began to cry. Just then a ship captain came into the house, and seeing Tarata he knew he was a Maori, and spoke to him in Maori, and told him not to be afraid, and then he turned to the chief of the police and made a speech to him, and to all the people who were assembled there to see Tarata killed, as he believed; but, when the ship captain had done speaking, the chief of the police was no longer angry, and said, "Poor fellow, poor fellow and then all the people present gave each a small piece of money to Tarata; some gave sixpence, some a shilling, and some a few coppers; the chief of the police gave Tarata five shillings. When all the money was together there was more than ever Tarata had seen before, so he was very glad indeed; and a policeman went with him and showed him the way to his ship, and took care of him, lest he should be robbed of. his money. After this, Tarata returned to New Zealand, and many years after he came with his chief to the war to help Walker; so at Ohaeawae, when he saw the soldiers going to the attack, he thought of the goodness of the people of England, and so he said, "I will go and die along with these soldiers." Then, when Peter, the slave of Kaetoke, heard this, he said, "I also am a pakeha; I have been reared since a child by the Europeans; they have made me a man, and all the flesh on my bones belongs to them." So these two slaves ran quickly and took their place with the wakaka (forlorn-hope, or leading party) of the soldiers, but when the chief of that party saw them, he ordered them to return, but they persisted in going on, so the soldier ran at them and cut at them with his sword, and his soldiers were shouting and running on; so the two slaves stood to one side, but would not return, and when the soldiers had passed
[Image of page 40]
they followed them up to the fence of the pa, and stood there firing into it till the soldiers fell back, and afterwards, when the soldiers retreated, they carried off one wounded soldier who had been left behind.
After the fight, the chief of the soldiers sent some people with a white flag to the pa, to ask permission to take away the dead soldiers who lay beside the fence. They were told that they might come and take them next day. Soon after the flag had returned it was night, and then many near friends of Heke came from Kaikohe and entered the pa, for they had heard that the soldiers had been beaten off, and this gave them courage to come, which they had not before, and then late in the night they joining with the men of the pa danced the war dance which is appropriate to victory, and sang the song of triumph as they danced, and the song sounded among the hills in the night like thunder. This was the song--
E tama te uaua.
E tama te maroro.
Ina haoi ra te tohu.
O te uaua.
Kei taku ringa, e mauana
O te Kawau tata kiha!
O youth of sinewy force.
O men of martial strength.
Behold the sign of power.
In my hand I hold the scalp
Of the Kawau tata kiha. 35
And often in the night the watch-cry of the pa was heard, and this was the cry of the pa-- "Come on, come on, soldiers, for revenge, come on. Stiff lie your dead by the fence of my pa-- come on!--come on!" And also a great shouting and screaming was heard, which the soldiers thought was the cry of one of their men being tortured; but the noise was the voice of a priest who was then possessed of a spirit. But, nevertheless, the body of one soldier was burnt that night, for as the people were mending the fence by torchlight there was a dead soldier lying near, and they put a torch of kauri resin on the body to light their work, which burnt the body very much, and caused the report to be spread afterwards, when the body was found by the soldiers, that
[Image of page 41]
the man had been tortured, but this was not true, for the man was dead before the fire was thrown on the body.
During the night a report arose amongst the Maori of Walker's camp, I don't know how or from what cause, that the soldiers were about to decamp under cover of darkness, and that the chief of the soldiers had proposed to shoot all his wounded men to prevent them falling alive into the hands of the enemy. When we heard this we got into a state of commotion and great alarm, and did not know what to do. I ran off to a hut where an old Pakeha friend of mine slept, and having aroused him, I told him what I had heard, and asked him if such things ever had been done by his countrymen, and also what he thought would be best for us to do. My friend said nothing for some time, but lit his pipe, and smoked a little, and at last he said, "Such a thing has never yet been done by English soldiers, and be assured will not be done to-night; but, nevertheless, go you to all your relations and those who will listen to your words, and make them watch with their arms in their hands till daylight. I will do the same with my friends, for, perhaps, the soldiers might go to-night to take away the wounded to the Waimate and then return: who knows? And in the morning, perhaps, the enemy may think they are gone away entirely, and may come out of the pa; so, in that case, you and I will elevate our names by fighting them ourselves, without the soldiers." So I and my Pakeha friend watched all night with the people, until the sun rose; but the soldiers did not go away that night, so I suppose the report was false, but it alarmed us much at the time, and some of us were very near running away that night. 36
When morning came, a party went to bring away the bodies of the dead--the people of the pa had drawn them to a distance from the fence, and left them to be taken away, so they were taken and buried near the camp; and when this was done, the soldiers began to fire on the pa, and the war began again. But the body of the soldier chief who had been killed was not given up, for much of the flesh had been cut off. This was done by the advice of the Tohunga, so that the soldiers having been used for food they might lose their mana (prestige, good fortune), and be in consequence less feared.
And the scalp had been taken from the head of Philpots to be used by the tohunga in divination to discover the event
[Image of page 42]
of the war This was not done from revenge or ill-will to him, but because, as he was a Toa and a chief, his scalp was more desirable for this purpose than that of an ordinary person.
So the foliage of the battle-field was taken to the Atua Wera that he might perform the usual ceremonies, and cause the people to be fortunate in the war. 37
When the people in the pa saw that, although the soldiers had lost so many men, they were not dismayed; and seeing also that the inner fence was beginning to give way before the fire of the big gun, they made up their minds to leave the pa in the night, so that the soldiers should not have an opportunity to revenge themselves. So in the night they all left, and went to Kai Kohe, without it having perceived that they were gone.
However, before they had been gone very long, Walker's people began to suspect what had taken place, for the dogs in the deserted pa were howling, and the watch-cry was no longer heard. So a man called Tamahue entered it cautiously, and found it deserted; he crept on softly, and in entering a house he put his hand on a woman who had been left behind asleep, so he kept quiet to see if the sleeping person would awake; and he began to believe that the people had not left the pa, and was about to kill the sleeping person for utu for himself, for he did not expect to escape alive, there being so many pits and trenches which he could not see in the dark. He, however, thought it would be best first to examine the other houses; this he did, and perceived that the place was deserted, for all the other houses were empty. The only weapon Tamahue had was a tomahawk, for he had lost his left arm at a great battle at Hokianga some years before, and was, therefore, unable to use a gun. So he returned to the sleeping person and jumped upon her, and raised his arm to strike, for he did not know it was a woman who was sleeping there, but thought it was a warrior. But though he had but one arm he did not call to his brother, who was close outside the pa, for he intended to strike the first blow in the inside of this fortress himself. You must know that we Maori think this a great thing, even though the blow be struck only against a post, or a stone; but Tamahue being naked, as all good warriors should be when on a dangerous adventure, his bare knees pressed against
[Image of page 43]
the breast of the sleeping person, and then he perceived it was a woman, so he struck his tomahawk into the ground only, and having taken her prisoner, he called his brother, and they returned to the camp, and gave information that the pa was deserted.
Then all at once there arose a great confusion, all the Maori and most of the soldiers ran off to the pa in the dark, and they tumbled by tens into the pits and trenches, which were in the inside of the place--the soldiers ran about searching for plunder, and quarrelling with the Maori for ducks and geese. There was a great noise, every one shouting at once, and as much uproar as if the place had been taken by storm; and so this is how Ohaeawae was taken.
In the morning the soldiers dug up the dead of the enemy, nine in number, being in search of the body of the soldier chief who had been killed in the attack. They found the body, and also that of the soldier which had been burnt; and besides the nine bodies of the enemy's men which the soldiers dug up there was also found the body of a woman lying in the pa, which made ten the people of the pa had lost.
While the soldiers were doing this, all the Maori went in pursuit of the enemy as far as Kaikohe; and when they got there a certain pakeha met them, and spoke angrily to the chiefs for pursuing Heke's people, and told us that our souls would be roasted in the other world for making war on Sunday, for it was on Sunday this happened. So the chiefs thought that perhaps it might be unlucky to fight on the ratapu; they, therefore, only set fire to Heke's house at Kaikohe, and returned to the camp at Ohaeawae. But before the war was over, we all found that the soldiers did not mind Sunday at all when any harm could be done on it, but when there was nothing else to do they always went to prayers.
After this the soldiers burnt the pa, and went back to the Waimate, where they built a fort, and staid some time, and there they buried the body of Philpots; and we Maori still remember Philpots, for he was a generous, brave, and good-natured man: but now years have gone by, and his ship has sailed away, --no one knows where, --and he is left by his people; but sometimes a pakeha traveller may be seen standing by his grave; but the Europeans do not lament so loudly as we do; they have perhaps the same thought as some of us, who say that the best lamentation for a Toa is a blow struck against the enemy.
While the soldiers were staying at Waimate, Kawiti left Kaikohe, and went to his own place at the Rua Pekapeka, and fortified it, making it very strong; but Heke remained at Tautoro, not
[Image of page 44]
yet cured of his wound. There was a pa near Waimate, belonging to Te Aratua, and the soldiers went to attack it; but, when Te Aratua heard they were coming, he left it, and so the soldiers took it, and burnt it, without any opposition.
Some time after this the soldiers left Waimate, and went to the Bay of Islands, where others joined them. The sailors came also in the ships of war, and with them came also the pakeha Maori; and there was a great gathering, for the soldiers had heard that the fort of Kawiti at the Rua Pekapeka was completely finished and ready for war, and therefore they prepared to attack it. Walker also, and the other chiefs with their people, joined the soldiers as before; and when we were altogether we formed a grand war party--the greatest that had been seen during the war. The soldiers forgot nothing this time. They brought with them all their arms of every kind. They brought long and short big guns, and rockets, and guns the shot of which burst with a great noise. Nothing was left behind. We were glad of this, for we wished to see the full strength of the soldiers put forth, that we might see what the utmost of their power was. 38
So this great war party left the Bay of Islands, and went up the river to attack Kawiti at the Rua Pekapeka. They went in boats and canoes, and having arrived at the pa of Tamati Pukututu, they landed the guns, and powder, and provisions, and began making a road to the Rua Pekapeka; and after many days, the road being completed, the Taua advanced, and encamped before the Rua Pekapeka.
During the first two days there was not much done, but when all had been got ready, the soldiers began to fire in earnest-- rockets, mortars, ship-guns, long brass guns--all burst out firing at once. We were almost deaf with the noise, and the air was full of cannon balls. The fence of the pa began to disappear like a bank of fog before the morning breeze. So now we saw that the soldiers had at last found out how to knock down a pa; but, before the fence was completely broken down, the chief of the soldiers ordered his men to rush up to the pa as they had done before at Ohaeawae. The soldiers were about to do so, for they are a very obedient people, when Moses, with much difficulty, persuaded the chief of the soldiers not to let them go, by telling him that he was only going to waste all his men's lives, and advising him to wait till the fence was entirely gone before he made
[Image of page 45]
the attack. We all disliked this soldier very much, and saw that he was a very foolish and inexperienced person, and also that he cared nothing for the lives of his soldiers; but we thought it a great pity to waste such fine well-grown men as the soldiers were, without any chance of revenge.
So the guns fired away, and after a few days, the fence was completely down in many places, for the shot came like a shower of hail; but not many were killed in the pa, for they had plenty of houses under ground which the shot could not reach: but they were out of all patience, by reason of the pot guns (mortars). These guns had shot which were hollow exactly like a calabash, and they were full of gunpowder, and they came tumbling into the pa, one after another, and they would hardly be on the ground before they would burst with a great noise; and no sooner would one burst than another would burst; and so they came one after another so fast, that the people in the pa could get no rest, and were getting quite deaf. These guns, however, never killed any one. They are a very vexatious invention for making people deaf, and preventing them from getting any sleep. One good thing about them is, that, whenever one of the shot docs not burst, a considerable number of charges of powder for a musket can be got out of it; and whenever one dropt close to any of the men in the pa, he would pull out the wicki (fuse), and then get out the powder. A good deal of powder was procured in this way.
The pot guns are to make people deaf, and keep them from sleeping; the rockets are to kill people and burn their houses. A rocket knocked off the head of a woman in the pa, but did not hurt a child she had on her back at the time. Another took off the head of a young man of the Kapotai--another took out the stomach of a slave called Hi; he belonged to the Wharepapa chief of the Ihutai. This slave lived till night, crying for some one to shoot him, and then died. One man was killed by a cannon ball which came through the fence and knocked his leg off as easily as if it had been a boiled potato. The man was a warrior of the Ngati Kahununu, from the south; when he saw his leg was off above the knee, he cried out, "look here, the iron has run away with my leg; what playful creatures these cannon-balls are." When he said this, he fell back and died, smiling, as brave warriors do.
There were not many killed in the pa, for the people kept underground; neither did the soldiers lose many men, for they kept at a distance, and let the big guns and rockets do all the work. One evening a strong party rushed out of the pa and attacked Walker's men, and a pretty smart fight ensued. Now, this party were for the most part of the Kapotai tribe who had killed Haurake at Waikare, and among Walker's men were seve-
[Image of page 46]
ral young men, cousins of Haurake, who had come to seek revenge; and these young men fought with great spirit, and one of them killed Ripiro, a Kapotai, and took his name. 39 Some others of the Kapotai were killed, and others wounded, but none of Walker's men were killed, and only a few wounded. Amongst the wounded, however, was that brave warrior Wi Repa, who had three fingers of his left hand shot off, being the second time he had been wounded during the war.
By this time the fences of the pa were broken down very much, but the people waited patiently, in expectation that the soldiers would come on to the attack, for they thought that, though the soldiers would take the place, they would be able to kill many of them, and then escape into the forest behind the pa; but the guns and rockets kept firing on, and the people began to be quite tired of hearing the shells bursting all about them continually, when Heke, who had recovered from his wound, arrived with seventy men. As soon as Heke had observed the state of the pa, and how things were, he said, "You are foolish to remain in this pa to be pounded by cannon-balls. Let us leave it. Let the soldiers have it, and we will retire into the forest and draw them after us, where they cannot bring the big guns. The soldiers cannot fight amongst the Kareao, they will be as easily killed amongst the canes as if they were wood pigeons." So all the people left the pa except Kawiti, who lingered behind with a few men, being unwilling to leave his fort without fighting at least one battle for it.
The next day after Heke's arrival was Sunday: most of the soldiers had gone to prayers, many of Heke's people were at prayers also, and no one was in the pa but Kawiti, and a few men who were in the trenches asleep, not expecting to be attacked that day. But William Walker Turau, (Walker's brother), thought he perceived that the pa was not well manned, so he crept carefully up to the place and looked in, and saw no one; but Kawiti with eleven men were sleeping in the trenches. Turau then waved his hand to Walker, who was waiting for a signal, and then stepped noiselessly into the fort. Then Walker and Tao Nui with both their tribes came rushing on. The soldiers seeing this left prayers, and with the sailors came rushing into the pa in a great crowd-- sailors, soldiers, and Maori, all mixed up without any order whatever. When the pa was entered the soldiers set up a great shout, which awakening Kawiti, he started up with his eleven men, and
[Image of page 47]
saw his pa was taken. How could it be helped? So he and his men fired a volley, and then loaded again, and fired a second volley, which was as much as he could do. Then they ran away and joined Heke at the rear of the pa, where he called aloud to the Ngapuhi to fight, and not allow his pa to be taken without a battle. 40
Then the Ngapuhi returned to attack their own pa, which was full of soldiers, and creeping up behind rocks and trees they began to fire, and called out in English, "Never mind the soldiers! Never mind the soldiers!" They did this hoping to enrage the soldiers, and cause them to leave the pa, and follow them into the forest; but most of the soldiers remained in the pa firing through loopholes, for the back of the pa which was now attacked by the Ngapuhi was yet entire, not having been so much broken down by the big guns as the front side had been. A few sailors and soldiers, however, went out at a little gate at the back of the pa, but were no sooner out than they were shot by the people behind the trees; at last some forty or fifty soldiers got out, and a fight began outside. But Heke and the main body of his men remained at a distance beside the thick forest, in hopes that the party who were fighting the soldiers would soon fall back, and so lead the soldiers to follow them into the forest, where Heke had his ambush prepared for them. But these people did not retire as they should have done, for a report was heard that Kawiti had been killed or taken, and this enraged them so much that they would not retreat, and they remained there trying to retake the pa; but they lost many men, for hundreds were firing at them from loopholes in the pa, besides the soldiers who were close to them outside. Many soldiers were killed or wounded who might have escaped being hurt if they had got behind trees, but these men did not care about covering themselves when they might have done so. The Maori at one time charged, and there was among them a young half-caste, he had in his hand a broad, sharp tomahawk with a long handle, and he rushed upon a sailor, and using both hands he struck him on the neck, and the head fell over the man's shoulders nearly cut off. This was the only man killed by stroke of hand in this fight.
At last, Heke sent a man to tell the people to fall back, but
[Image of page 48]
they said they would not do so, but would all die there, for Kawiti had been taken. Then the messenger told them that Kawiti was safe and well with Heke, and that he had just seen him; so when they heard this they fell back at once, but the soldiers did not follow, being restrained by their different chiefs. So the fight ended, and the Ruapekapeka was taken, and this was the last fight of the war.
There were killed in this fight of Heke's people twenty-three men, and Heke wrote their names in a book, and also the names of all others who had fallen in the war.
How many men the soldiers had killed in the fight I do not know, but I don't think they lost quite so many as the Maori, for most of them were firing through the loopholes of the pa and out of the trenches, and so were well sheltered. One soldier, as I have heard say, was shot by another, because he was going to run away. I don't think it right to do this. When a man feels afraid who is ordinarily of good courage, it is a sign that he will be killed, and he ought to be allowed to go away. It is bad to disregard omens. When a man feels courageous let him fight, and he will be fortunate.
Next day, Heke, Kawiti, and all the people began to consult as to what should be done, for the fort was taken, and they had no provisions, and there was none at any of their other places, all having been consumed or wasted during the war, and but little had been planted; and the people told the chiefs that they could not live on fern root, and fight the soldiers at the same time. They began to say to the chiefs, "Can shadows carry muskets?" They were much perplexed, and some proposed to break up into small parties, and go live with different tribes who had not taken part in the war, but amongst whom they had friends or distant relations. After talking over this plan for some time it was found it would not do, for already some chiefs of distant tribes had said they would give up any one who came to them to the Governor, rather than bring a war against themselves. At last it was proposed to write to the Governor to ask him to make peace: so the letter was written and sent, but no one expected the Governor would make peace so quickly. He, however, consented at once to make peace, and so peace was made, and Heke's people were very glad indeed. But the chiefs who had been on the side of the soldiers were very sorry, for had the war been continued a little longer Heke's people would have been starved and scattered, and Walker's people could have taken their land in various places; and, also, after they had been obliged to scatter about the country to obtain subsistence, many would have been taken prisoners, and they would never have had courage to fight again.
[Image of page 49]
When Heke saw that peace was sure to be made he went away to Tautoro, and said he did not want peace to be made, but that if the Governor came to him and asked for peace he would consent. Heke is a man of many thoughts. So Heke kept at a distance at his own place, and never made peace with the Governor or Walker, until Walker at last came to him, and then Heke said that as Walker had come to him there should be peace, but that until the Governor came also and asked for peace, he would not consider it fully made.
Well, no one thought that the Governor would go to see Heke, for we think that whoever goes first to the other, is the party who asks for peace. But the Governor did go to see Heke, and shook hands with him, but Heke has never gone to see the Governor; and now the war is over, Heke is the greatest man in this Island, and will be King by and by. All the Europeans are afraid of him, and give him anything he asks for, or if they refuse he takes it, and no one dare say anything to him.
Great is the courage of the Maori people! You have now heard how they made war against the noble people of England, and were not quite exterminated, as many expected they would be. But Heke, their chief, is a very knowing man; he is learned even in European knowledge. I will tell you how he has become possessed of this knowledge, which enabled him to make war successfully against the soldiers. He has a European friend who has been a very great warrior, a very experienced warrior indeed. It was he who overcame the great soldier of France, Buonaparte, and afterwards in a great sea-fight he defeated and killed the great war-chief of England, Wellington. Besides, he gained many other battles by sea and land, and he wrote all his wars in two books. Now, he lent Heke the first of these books to show him how to fight with the soldiers, which is the reason he has been so successful, but if he had had the second book he would have taken Auckland, and been King of New Zealand long ago; but he will get it by and by. I never saw this book, and Heke never shows it to any one, for he wants to keep all the knowledge to himself. Now, what are you laughing at? It is no use to tell me that Wellington is alive yet. Heke's Pakeha killed him long ago, before you were born, perhaps. You are only a young man: what do you know about it? the Wellington you mean is some other Wellington, but the great soldier Wellington, of England, was killed long ago by Heke's Pakeha. The Governor is not near so great a man as this friend of Heke's, and is afraid of him. 41
[Image of page 50]
This has been a great talk. What payment are you going to give me? Give me that bottle of rum. I am so thirsty with talking. Don't shake your head, I must have it. Oh, how sweet rum is! There is nothing in the whole world so good. I know a Pakeha, who says, if I will get him a big pot, and some old gun-barrels, he will show me how to make rum out of corn. Don't take that bottle away. Come, give it me. You are a chief. Give me the bottle. You are not afraid of the law. I am a great chief, I am not afraid of the law. I will make plenty of rum, and sell it to the Pakeha, and get all their money, and I will have a house, and tables, and chairs, and all those sort of things for people to look at; and when the Governor comes to see me, I will scatter money all about the floor, so that when the Governor sees how much more money I have than he has, he will be quite ashamed, and think himself not near so great a chief as I am. I will have fifty Pakeha servants, and they shall all work for me one day, and I will make them drunk the next for payment, and the next day they shall work, and the next get drunk, and there shall not be a watch-house in the whole land. 42
The bottle is empty, get me another. Do now. You are my friend. Give me the key; I will get it myself. You won't! I will break open the door. I will tell the magistrate you have been giving me rum. You are a slave. You are all slaves. Your grandfathers have all been put in the watch-house. You are afraid of the magistrate, the magistrate is afraid of the Governor, and the Governor is afraid of Heke. You want to rob us of our country, and to hang us up like dried sharks. You can't. You are not
[Image of page 51]
able. You are cowards. You are a coward! Kapai Heki! 43 (Here exit Ngapuhi chief head-foremost on to the grass-plat before the door, and so ends the history of the war with Heke).
Next morning my friend the chief got up, and shook himself into shape, and begged a shirt and a pound of tobacco, neither of which I dare refuse him, and he then took himself off quietly. I have not seen him since, but received a letter from him the other day, beginning with, "great is my love to you," and ordering me to send him by bearer, one red blanket, and one cloth cap with a gold band, as he is going to Auckland to see the Governor, who he hopes to "talk" a horse and twenty pounds from, on the strength of his services during the war; perhaps when he comes back he may tell me all about his journey, and what he said to the Governor, and what the Governor said to him, all of which I will write down in English, as I have this "great talk," which is all I am ever likely to get for my cap and blanket. It is to be hoped the story will be worth the cost. 44
Since the above was written I am sorry to say that my old friend has departed this life. He was, with his brother, shot dead some years ago in a scuffle about a piece of land. In justice to the memory of my old and respected friend I am bound to say, that, according to the very best native authorities, his title to the land was perfectly clear and good. A sense of im-
[Image of page 52]
partiality, however, forces me also to declare, that the title of my other friend who shot him, is also as clear as the sun at noon; there can be no doubt of this. Both have clear undoubted pedigrees, which prove them directly descended from the "original proprietor." The only point of any consequence which made against my friend's title, was the circumstance of his having been shot dead. This has "made clear," as I am bound to confess, the title of the other party, which now remains without a flaw. The only thing I see against them is the fact that, during the last seven years, their numbers have been much decreased by sickness, while it so happens that the sons of my old friend, and also his brother's sons have large families of stout healthy-looking boys. Good native casuists, on whom I can place every reliance, tell me that possibly this may some how or other affect the title of the others. I don't know clearly how, for though I have studied "native tenure" for thirty years, I find I have even yet made but small progress. Indeed, I have lately begun to suspect that the subject is altogether of too complicated a nature for a European understanding. The only safe maxim I can give on native tenure, after all my study, is as follows: --Every native who is in actual possession of land, must be held to have a good title till some one else shows a better, by kicking him off the premises.
CREIGHTON, SCALES, AND TOTHILL, PRINTERS, SHORTLAND-STREET.