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A NATIVE ACCOUNT
Pakeha-Maori Wars in New Zealand
H. BRETT, PRINTER AND PUBLISHER, SHORTLAND STREET
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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THIS BOOK, CONTAINING OUR HISTORY, IS MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED
KOWHIA NGUTU KAKA
OLD RANGATIRA PAKEHA TRIBE
AND TO THE
VOLUNTEERS AND MILITIA
WHO ARE NOW RESIDING IN OUR COUNTRY, CALLED BY THEM
BUT BY US
TE IKA O MAUI.
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IN the following pages, I have endeavoured to give a brief Maori account of the early colonization of New Zealand, as also a history of the native wars that have taken place in this colony, which I gathered from a Maori chief, who was an eye-witness of many of the events recorded, and had learned from others on good authority. In every instance I have strictly adhered to the facts related, and have allowed my Maori historian to draw his own inferences from them. Of course, many of these inferences will be found absurd, as, for instance, the missionary who denounced Kahu and his people for fishing on the Sabbath, and assured them that they would "all go to hell and be burnt with fire for ever and ever, just like their wicked forefathers, who knew not Jehovah," did not mean to insult them. He merely did what he conceived to be his duty; while Kowhai Ngutu Kaka's inference was that as these fits of cursing, so dangerous to the tribe, might come upon these missionary wizards at any time, it was necessary for their own safety to destroy them. As a rule, the early missionaries were well-meaning men, and some were high-minded and self-sacrificing; but some were what we might expect men to be who, taken from inferior positions in society, suddenly found themselves at its head. Power is always a dangerous temptation, and a narrow theological education does not lessen its force. Religious enthusiasm was largely mixed with spiritual pride, and as time lessened the former it increased the latter in too many cases. Despite the idiosyncrasies of those early soldiers of the Church, they were, with few exceptions, faithful servants of their Master, and we cannot but admire the heroic self-sacrifice and devotion to duty of the pioneer missionaries, who were the bearers of the banner of the Cross in primeval New Zealand. Unfortunately, the Christian graces of the missionaries did not at first make so much impression on the natives as the rough-and-ready methods of the runaway sailors, who were amongst the earliest colonists, and were the progenitors of the class of Europeans still known as pakeha-Maoris. The Maori thought the Maori pakeha a good sort of fellow, and the missionary a mere visionary. His judgment was wrong in both cases; but it was his own, and I have studiously avoided giving my own impressions. What I have written are merely Maori ideas, and what I know to be such.
In the same way, I must not be considered responsible for what Kowhai Ngutu Kaka says about the folly of distinguished Imperial officers, or of Colonial Governments. I am no more responsible for his opinion of these persons and institutions than I am for his opinion that Te Ua caused the
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wreck of the steamship Lord Worsley by his incantations. In like manner, I leave him to say what he really thinks about confiscation and other matters. In short, I only wish to be regarded as the translator of the thoughts of a people in regard to ourselves whom I know thoroughly. I understand their language and traditions. I have fought with them and against them. I have dealt with them as a settler, bought land of them as a Government officer, and sold it for them as their agent. I have lived amongst them as one of themselves, helped them, and have been helped by them in peace and in war. I know their good qualities and their bad, their knowledge and their ignorance, their wisdom and their folly. I have often taken an active part, and often a leading part, in public matters, where European and native interests came into collision. I am no Philo-Maori, nor am I blind to the faults of my own countrymen. I think if we had acted more on the motto "Be just, and fear not" in our dealings with the Maori it would have been better for both races. I believe our intentions have been excellent, but most of them have gone to pave a well-known road. All I can hope is that the road will never reach its terminus. Purgatory is fair enough for both pakeha and Maori. We have, I fancy, just reached that stage, and I think I have done no harm in showing how the natives of New Zealand think we have got there.
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My Tanewha ancestry, and how I manage to prove my claims to land.
I AM descended from a long line of ancestors. The first mortal or man ancestor of mine was the offspring of a great Tanewha, who lived in the whirlpools and dark caves about Tongariro. From such a source is my origin, and as such it has been acknowledged by the Native Land Courts, one of your legal institutions; so I hope that no one will doubt this account of my original and immortal descent. I have, too, with my tribe, based our rights--well, I will say our claims, as it is a better word than rights--to many a block of fair land. I always took money when it was offered to me on account of my claim from commissioners. As the fact of having sold and accepted money was certain to secure, if not the entire block, an interest therein, I always took as much as I could get. When in Court, to support that claim, I always swore to the truth on your Bible. I rubbed my nose well on it (our form of kissing, or substitute for it), and then I traced my descent from that old and ancient Tanewha. In the main my accounts did not differ much, and I always claimed my Tanewha for my ancestor. I always won my case, as I always sold to the Government. I invariably did thus, thanks to a teaching I had had from my Tanewha ancestor, who appeared to me in a dream, and said, "All this country was mine when I dwelt in Tongariro. You are my descendant, so grasp all you can. If you don't others will. Stick to your Tanewha; quote him well; chant songs of no meaning. People don't like to expose their ignorance, and they will agree with you as to what you say is the meaning, for the less they know the more stubborn they will be to agree to it. Go to! Arise, my son! The Courts wait for you! Go, and the white Christian race will protect you! Obey their behests, and love yourself, even as they love each man themselves. E noho!" (Farewell!). And he vanished. But I often see him in my dreams, and his teachings are ever the same. My ancestry, eighty-nine generations back, each generation marked on this notched stick; the top and biggest notch is my Tanewha's mark, made with a stone axe by himself. My mother was a Waikato; my father, the one who begat me, for I have many fathers, originally came from Ngatiruanui. The tipuna (grandfather) of my mother's sister was a Uriwera chief, who again was the grandson of a Ngapuhi, who had killed an Arawa chief under the great Hongi-Hika. Fortunately for me this Ngapuhi grandfather of mine ate a portion of that
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Arawa chief, so by our law he became entitled to his estates, to which I have a large right, and to Taupo and the Lake district (as your Courts acknowledge). So, as I explain to the Court, I am entitled to receive advances on the land occupied by the Ngapuhi, Arawa, Uriwera, Ngatiruanui, Rauru, and Waikatos. I could give you my own mother's ancestry, but it is totally different to that of her sister's. My father's ancestry was again different. Through him I claim at the Thames and Maketu, and Whakatane, and on a yet undiscovered goldfield. I cannot say I know where it is situated; but no doubt my Tanewha does, and will tell me in time to send in my claim, so I am in no hurry. My father's father died, his mother threatened to marry again, so my father married his own mother to keep the estate in the family. Then she died, when in her right he became possessed of the manor which has by right descended to me. So you see I am a large land owner, and always am willing to sell to anyone, but prefer the Government to buy. Further, I am related to all the Hauhaus and Kingites, and until the last few years have fought against you. That is over now for me, and now I will tell you why I have addressed you. It has long been my wish to seek out a good European, if I can find one, who understands our ways, and get him to put into your language what I tell him in mine, but who at the same time can be trusted to keep my real name a secret. Well, I have found this European translator, seen and talked him to attention, and told him that he must put down what I say word for word. I will give our history of the past war, and the fights, and the causes that led us to fight against you. Governors have written, premiers have written, generals have written histories of the war. Missionaries have written. Some of them have told the whole truth, others have when it suited them. Rusden has written, ugh! such a book; but, alas! the majority of the writers have lied and cheated. Before I commence my history of the fighting, as witnessed by me, for our history, will you consent to publish it when it is sent to you? I shall only speak the truth. What I have witnessed I will speak of as that I have seen, and what I have been told as that I have heard. My book will be better than the books of those pakehas who have written solely from what they have been told or read of.
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Our history--Captain Cook--The arrival of the missionaries.
I WILL commence with, I will say, one hundred years ago. Many years ago (it may be one hundred years or more, for Maoris do not remember dates or time,) a people who called themselves missionaries came to our shores and distributed themselves all over our country. Until the arrival of these persons we had, on the whole, lived a happy life. In the spring we cultivated our yam and kumera fields; we searched and obtained the substantial fern root that was to us, when pinched by failure of our crops, a never-failing source of food. There it grew, and at all seasons of the year, but especially in the spring and summer months, it was eaten by us. The fern root of these days is not what it once was, as the pigs brought here by the pakehas have almost entirely destroyed the good kinds by their eternal rooting. With bundles of this dried root our people who resided far inland used to come in the season to their recognised fishing places on the coast, and there live on fresh fish, dried fish, and the fern root they had packed down with them, until it was time to return and weed their kumera beds, and snare the rats, who at this time began to burrow in the kumera hillocks in search of the young and sweet roots. It was a necessity with us to snare those little animals, as otherwise they would have destroyed our plantations.
It is generally believed, though it is an error of the pakehas, that we principally lived on fern root; but we only used it in conjunction with other food, except when we were hard pressed. We ate these rats; they were game to us in their season. They were totally unlike the large pakeha rats who live on offal and sewerage. Our rat was fat, tender, and sweet, living only on nutritious roots. He was to us an article of food--a delicacy--what the pheasant and hare is to the pakeha; only we ate ours when it was pure and sweet; they eat theirs when it is decomposed by long keeping and stinks like a dead hawk. But yet they express disgust at us because we steep maize and potatoes in fresh running water to make them soft. What a blind and self-conceited race the pakehas are! I have known many Europeans, the late Sir Donald McLean, Parris, and other pakehas, eat our steeped maize; ay! and enjoy it greedily; but I have never known a Maori attempt to eat a putrid pheasant or a decayed hare. Well, as I was saying, we lived merrily. We had our moaris--long slender spars we used to swing from by ropes attached to the top of it. It was firmly fixed in the ground on the grassy and
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mossy banks of our rivers and streams. Many ropes were fastened to the head of it, and our men, women, and little ones used to swing off the ground and, when over the cool river, let go the rope and be plunged into the water. It was great fun. This way of taking our bath lasted all the summer months. Then we had kiwi and weka hunting, pigeon and kaka (parrot) snaring and spearing, eel spearing, and fish spearing by torchlight on the sandy and muddy flats of our rivers. There was no dearth of sport for ourselves and our young ones.
At the fall of the leaf, and in the winter, we lived on the harvest we had gathered in the summer and autumn. We had our games, too. The kaihotaka (humming top) was a great amusement to all, and the different tones sounded by these tops as they flew off the ground and bounded in the air from the lash of the muka (dressed flax) whips, sounded like the string of a harp when one of them is struck singly. We had the haka, too, and the dance. We loved music--not the discordant scraping sound of the fiddle I have heard played in a public house, danced to by intoxicated pakehas, who at one time, it was thought by us, were so maddened by its horrible noise that they tried to drown its scrapings by shouting and gesticulating. We know better now what it all meant. Not the crashing sound of drums and brass bands, or the bugle. No, such was not our music. Our music was what even our oldest warriors and priests used to listen to with pleasure. The flocks of little birds who welcomed the rising and sang the setting sun to rest, mingling their liquid notes with the distant hum of the waterfall and the rippling of the water of our mountain stream, as it raced rapidly on to the sea over the pebbles. Such was our music; but our bird bands have now gone for ever. Nothing softens the crashing sound made by the water as it is hurled over the precipice, and the murmuring of the brooks creates a desolate feeling in our hearts. When I think and muse over these shadows of the past my soul grows dark; then my heart begins to throb and my right arm to tingle, and I exclaim, "Oh! had not my sinews been cut by the pakeha? Oh! why did he ever come to disturb us in our happy country? Why did not our ancestors foresee our ruin, and slay all who first touched our shores? Why did not our sacred Tanewha warn us? Too late! alas, too late! We cannot kill them now." Although, when we found them out, we had a try for it, as in the course of our history I will tell.
Let us return to our missionary. When those people came here first we were very much surprised at their appearance and bearing. We had seen Captain Cook and his sailors. They were a cheerful and merry tribe--good-natured, very affectionate (especially to our women), and gave us a quantity of useful things without asking for payment, such as hooks, axes, iron hoops, etc. We liked this tribe very much. But this new tribe, the missionary, puzzled and vexed us. The majority of them were very solemn, and had a gloominess about them as if all their relations had been eaten and they were powerless to get their revenge. We asked our priests, "Are they
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spirits?" Some replied they were good spirits, others that they were bad spirits, others again that they were a mixture of good and bad. "Say you so?" said a chief named Poata. "Well, then, let them be killed. We are quite good enough, and want no more evil." A "hui" (gathering) took place to discuss this view of the question, but I believe the meeting broke up without doing anything definite in council. That meeting years ago did then what the pakeha meetings of Parliament do now. They met, they talked, they ate, and drank--though they did not get tipsy--and did nothing; but after it was over the women of the people had to work extra hard to replace the quantity of food that had been wasted. A great many meetings took place in different parts of our country, and it was generally settled that the missionary tribe should be allowed--though tolerated would be a better word--to try and persuade those who were willing to listen to their incantations or prayers. Our country was a free country, and everyone did as he liked, so long as nothing was done injurious to the welfare, prestige, or mana of the tribe. Mark that. But a few missionaries were killed, and that some of them were eaten is true. You will say that this was wrong, but I say it was right and only just in many instances. Listen! Some of our chiefs, bold, brave men, were somewhat of short temper, and though good-natured enough and keen for a joke, would on no account stand undue familiarity. They had a high-spirited, though very affectionate, race to lead--not control, mind--or guide, and to have put up with insult without avenging it according to its nature would have been fatal to a chief occupying a leading position; and not only so, but injurious to the tribe, as it would render it contemptible to its neighbours. Taking this into consideration, will any reasonable person be astonished at the following action taken by my greatgrandfather Kahu, as fine an old warrior as ever led men to battle. One day, as he was returning from a whapuku fishing excursion, in which some visitors, Ngapuhi chiefs and their favourite wives had accompanied him by invitation, he was met by a missionary on the beautiful surf-beaten beach of Tatahi, and as the men of the tribe dragged the large red canoe, fish and all, ashore, this person thus addressed my great-grandfather: "You are a wicked, bad man. You have not listened to my teachings; you have broken the Sabbath commandment by going over to fish. My God is angry. You and your people will all go to hell, and be burnt with fire for ever and ever, just like your wicked forefathers, who knew not Jehovah. Repent, or be lost!" All eyes were turned from this man's face, and became fixed on my great-grandfather, who had been threatened by this missionary that he would be burnt with the fire that was now burning up his ancestors, male and female; that he was to be cooked with fire, and never to be done. Not a doubt existed--could have existed--in the hearts of the tribe as to what the result would be. No harm had been done to this stranger of a stranger tribe. He had asked for, and obtained, a piece of land in our tribal district to build upon; houses had
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been built for him and his gods; yams, kumeras, fish, crayfish, shellfish, eels, pigeons, kakas, and rats, each in its season, had been largely heaped up for him, as he said it was good to give to him and his god; and then, without any provocation at all, he had cursed my great grandfather! True, this man would be killed, and his flesh would be cooked with fire and sent to the neighbouring tribe, who would, of course, hear of this awful cursing. Each tribe would have its tana muru (robbing party), who would come and ravage the settlement, dig up and trample our kumera and yam plantations; blood would flow from wounds received and given, and perhaps it might be necessary to have someone killed to wipe away the disgrace of this cursing. My great-grandfather's mats and kiwi mats would all go, as they would be brought from their places of safe keeping and exposed to view. These robbing parties it would never do to allow to return empty-handed, for my great-grandfather was a powerful chief, and the tribe would feel insulted if they and their chief were not well robbed, as otherwise it would appear as if their mana (prestige) was so small that it was not worth taking notice of.
So far so right; but otherwise it would be a great loss to the whole tribe, and the man who was the cause of all this coming trouble was one we had befriended. Yes, it evidently was about as nasty a piece of kohuru (unprovoked maliciousness) as ever we have been told of or dreamt of. "Lay hold of him," cried my great-grandfather; "take him out of his kotiroa (long coat) and other clothes." This was done more quickly than a boiled kumera is taken out of its skin. "Remove his head and place it on to the short pole in front of our big house; stick it upright, and cook the rest of his body in a priest's sacred oven." This order was quickly obeyed, and in less time than it takes to remove the feathers from a fat pigeon the man of incantations was in an oven, and prevented from creating further mischief. He had done quite enough as it was. Some of him we ate, but the most part of him was cut up into many portions and sent away to the tribes far and near, to show and to prove that my great-grandfather was not a chief to be insulted with impunity, or a man to allow his ancestors to be cursed for nought. Every day for a whole moon after this tauas came upon us, robbing us first and then condoling with my great-grandfather, and showing their respect for him to such a degree that when the tauas left off coming we had not a kumera left, nor had my greatgrandfather a flax or kiwi mat in his house.
A few other missionaries were, by distant tribes, killed at once by the tribes they had taken up their abode with, as they said, "Who could tell when a fit of cursing might seize them and cause the same trouble to fall on them as has fallen on us?" Some of these missionaries were afterwards eaten out of curiosity to see what they tasted like, but they were not approved of, as I have heard tell. The rest of the missionaries met when things had cooled down a bit, and told us through some of our slaves, who had been baptised and made catechists of, that a letter was being
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written to King George (George the Fourth), who would send war parties in big ships, and batter us. We believed this, as it was natural and right that the English king chief would want payment for the death of one of his wizards, and we felt uneasy, though why he should have sent that style of men to our shores to curse us we could not tell. On the receipt of this news, two lines of action were recommended to us by our chief men. The first was to kill all the missionaries, and cook the lot; then they could not make personal complaints against us when the ship of King George came. We decided, however, not to molest them further, and to await the current of events.
Then King George's ships never came to get utu (payment) for the missionaries who had been killed; and we afterwards found out, from other Europeans, that King George had never heard anything about us. By this time many of our inferior men had joined their churches and ways of praying; and other ships brought fresh tribes to our shores. You must know that the missionaries had names for our people. Those who were baptised, and said they believed all they were told, were called missionaries. Those who would not be baptised were called by them Teweras (devils)--a nice name for us, don't you think? But, when these other people came, these wizards of priests said they were devils too, just as we were called devils; and we were glad to hear it. Anyway, we would be even with them now, and give a welcome to the new tribe called the Pakeha Devil Tribe.
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BEFORE I go into the matter of the new tribe of pakeha rewera (devil pakehas), I must relate to you a new code of laws laid down for us to follow by this wizard tribe of missionaries lest, by neglecting them, we incurred the anger of the new gods, whose powers were being made known to our people. The Ten Commandments we had already been made acquainted with, and, on the whole, we thought them good. But we were much puzzled about the new laws made for our tribe and people. We were not to spin humming-tops on Sunday, or peel kumeras or potatoes. They were to be peeled on Saturday evening, or we must boil them in their skins. We were not to gather firewood on a Sunday, or fish, or bathe, or go into the woods to get tawharas (fruit), or catch eels; and if any traveller came to our village on Saturday evening, he was to be asked if he meant to continue his journey on the morrow, and, if so, he or they would not be permitted to rest there, but would have to move on, as it would be desecrating the Sabbath.
I remember hearing that, one season, a native of our village, who had been created a teacher of the new religion, broke our law with a betrothed maiden, and then took shelter with his chief wizard missionary. The tribe resolved at length to ask for him, fully expecting that, as he had broken their own commandments about taking other people's goods, to say nothing about his having broken our laws, too, that no difficulty would present itself. But this wizard missionary would not give the transgressor up to be punished and spoke to us of a woman who had sinned, and who was going to be stoned to death for the offence, but who was pardoned without payment. That settled the question, and they dragged the Maori who had committed the wrong to the clear place in the middle of the village, where he was speared through and through by the chief to whom the young woman had been betrothed. But had this Maori teacher of new incantations been a chief, or a brave man, he would have known how to meet his antagonists, and have warded off the blows aimed at him; then the tribe very likely would have interfered to save him. As it was, all the kaiaka tanga (science) was on one side, and he fell ignominiously, as a woman falls, without defence worth calling such. As the man who now lay dead from the spear wounds was of our tribe, we prepared to place him in the fork of the puriri tree in our waihi tapu (sacred place), but the missionary begged us to let him have the body, saying he would bury it in a hole he would dig for it,
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that at last our chief consented. "It will be something new to gaze upon," said he; so a hole was dug in the ground, then the dead man was put in a long box, which was nailed down to prevent him getting out, as we thought; then the missionary put the box in the hole, first of all writing a direction, as we supposed, on it, and then covered him up, after performing an incantation, and told us all he had gone to heaven.
Well, we welcomed the first devil tribe, and each chief and head of a hapu (family) exerted himself to obtain a pakeha; wives were given to them to induce them to settle down and live with us, and be "our pakehas." It is true that some of them, as we look back now, were rough, and we found that some of them had, from motives of policy, left their own tribe without saying "hekona" (good-bye); but it was no use writing other people's names on bits of paper in our country, as nothing could be got by it, and there was nothing worth stealing they could carry away. We think they were good men, the most of them; they worked hard, and their wives bare them lots of children for our tribe, and they treated their wives well, as a rule. Only one man, a whaler, beat his wife on one occasion for nothing. But when her relations heard of this they belaboured him so soundly with the butts of their spears that he was ill for some time. His wife afterwards told us that he had been drinking some waipiro (stinking water). We afterwards found out what this waipiro was, but did not drink it for many years. It has since proved to be our greatest curse, but we drink it whenever we can get it. These pakehas of ours laughed at the missionary wizards and would not attend their incantations. Nevertheless, on the whole, we preferred our devil pakehas to the missionaries. Thus we lived on until other pakehas came, who were an improvement on the former ones, as we thought, and who brought their pakeha wives and children with them.
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A terrible crime--Arrival of a Governor--Treaty of Waitangi---War in the North--How we were taught repudiation--Causes that led us to war--Land purchase and spoliation.
NOTHING stands still, and guns were brought to us as an article of trade. Iron hoops had been discarded for tomahawks. A flint musket was a valuable article, but a double-barrel flint gun was a weapon to be turned over and over again to be admired; and pistols with a large bore were precious, indeed, and showed to us that the pakeha knew how to get rid of his foes by a sudden surprise, when it became necessary.
To prove the value that we placed in muskets about the year 1830, I will relate the following story, and will tell it as it was told to me, but I can vouch for its truth. There lived on the Hokianga River two men who were sawyers. Both were pakehas belonging to chiefs. They had several muskets and some pistols, and each had a native wife. A slave man had been given them by the chief, who had great authority. He had, with his people, consented to be baptised, and his name went home to the Wesleyan Mission Society. The chief was a good man, though his temper was somewhat gusty and uncertain. He seized a double-barrelled gun and shot a man one day at the Bay of Islands, because he got the better of him in some argument. Well, one day, as these sawyers were heaving a log on to the saw-pit, something gave way, and the log fell on one of the men, hurting his leg badly. The other, with his wife, went down the river to get assistance, leaving his mate and the slave. The injured man during the absence of his mate, had proof that his domestic arrangements were all going wrong, and that the slave had been making a fool of him. On his companion's return, he told him; but his wife had eloped with the slave. Recovering from his hurt, the sawyer and his mate went to the chief to see about getting back his wife and to have revenge on the slave. The result of the conference was that the chief promised to punish the slave, provided that his pakehas gave him one musket afterwards, and one pistol as payment in advance. This bargain was agreed to. The slave and the woman had gone to the Ahu Ahu, a settlement not far from Ohaeawai, to seek protection. The chief, accompanied by his friend Hehi, went in search of them, and found them in the above-named village. With fair and oily words the chief induced the slave to return with them to Hokianga, telling
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him never to mind the pakehas, as no notice would be taken of their complaint. Nearing the entrance of the bush that divides the country in this locality, they halted to roast some potatoes in the ashes of a fire they made. After partaking of these, the chief said to the slave, "Go on," and the slave said, "Lead on." The chief rose to go, the slave following him, carrying the bundles, Hehi bringing up the rear. Suddenly Hehi brought down his weapon on the man's head. The blow was not sufficient to stun him, and he sprang upon the chief, who had turned round to face him, and as they clutched each other both rolled on the ground. Hehi now despatched the slave, the chief holding him tight. They cut his head off, and pitched his body into the fork of a tree, and came on to where the sawyers lived. It was night when they got to the house (a wooden one). The pakehas arose and began to get them some food. "I have come for my musket, and I want one too for Hehi," said the chief. "Not till you have revenged us for the wrong the slave did us," replied one of the men. The chief, who had been sitting on the floor of the house, now arose and, letting the head roll off his lap, said in a stern voice, "There is your head; give me muskets." And they were given. I don't know if this account was sent home to the society of the wizards, but if it wasn't it ought to have been.
Nearly all the new arrivals bought land from us. Some of these pakehas paid fair prices; others obtained a right to thousands and thousands of acres for very little. Missionary Williams, Davis, and a score of others, bought land--Captain McDonnell, R.N., Judge Maning, Russell, St. Aubin, Busby, and others. But, be what they gave little or much, we were quite satisfied with it at the time, and knew what we were doing. Then the New Zealand Company bought land, and settlers continued to arrive.
At last a Governor arrived. This was in the year 1840. The Governor's name was Hobson. A paper called the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by a few chiefs, who had only a right to sign for themselves, and not for the New Zealand Maoris as a whole. But it is doubtful, in spite of what has been said and written, if these old Maori chiefs really understood the true meaning of what they did sign. I don't believe they did. It was all great rubbish and nonsense.
After a time new laws were made. Ngapuhi, objecting to these laws, and seeing, with a troubled spirit, our independence slipping from us, cut down the flagstaff--the emblem of the Queen's authority over these islands at the Bay--and had a fight, which ended in the defeat of the Queen's troops, and the sacking of Kororareka town. The red-coat tribe were driven away; but the sailor tribe of Her Majesty's ship Hazard, commanded by Captain Robinson (or Robertson), fought like braves and Robinson slew several of our men in a hand-to-hand fight at the corner of the church, on Kororareka beach, and
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the marks of his cutlass are to be seen on the posts of the churchyard there to this day. After this victory of ours we erected a pa at Okaihau. The soldier tribe came to attack it, and boasted that they would eat their breakfast inside it. Tamati Waka Nene, Wiremu Repa, and Te Taonui, of the Popoto tribe, attempted to dissuade the English commander from attacking the pa in front, and said, "Let us go to the rear, where there are no rifle-pits, and only a slight fence." But he would not listen to them, such was his self-conceit. And then the bugle sounded, and this red-coated tribe came on like a pack of fowls when grain is thrown to them. Oh, what a brave but foolish tribe!
Hone Heke was in the pa with 250 men. Kawiti lay in ambush outside, in some scrub, with twice seventy warriors, all clothed in the pillage of the Bay of Islands town. "Wait till you see the eye of the enemy!" cried the chiefs. "Wait, be brave! Wait, be ready! Now, give them their breakfasts! Haere mai! Haere mai! Bang! Fire! Ha! ha! ha!" And fifty men lay dead and wounded before the pa, not twenty feet from the palisading. Then they fell back. At this time, Kawiti charged with gun and tomahawk. Alas! this was a fatal mistake. A bugle sounded, when the enemy, now reinforced by a number of men who had not joined in the assault on our pa, faced about, and came at our people with a rush, grinding their teeth, with their bayonets fixed on their muskets. And then it was all over. Down went Kawiti's choicest warriors. The ground was strewn with them. Kawiti lost half his men in that charge. We never tried that move again. Once was quite enough. On the return of the troops to camp, we afterwards heard that Tamati Waka Nene was so enraged at the useless sacrifice of men that he tore from a Maori whare a long stick, and hit the commander of the Queen's forces a blow on the head with it.
We left the pa that night, and built another at Ohaeawai. The soldier and sailor tribes drew up big guns from the Bay of Islands to batter it down. But all the posts of our pa were of puriri; they fired plenty of balls at us, but they did not knock down our pa. Then they rushed it, but we drove them back with a killing fire, and they retreated, leaving their dead and dying, whom we tomahawked. We left that night, after Pene Tawi had lit a kauri gum fire on the breast of a wounded soldier--the only instance of torture resorted to in that war.
Then we went to Ruapekapeka (Bat's hole) Pa. Here we intended to take a stand, and give the Queen's troops a good thrashing and drive them into the sea. We had constant intercourse with the missionaries at this time, and no settler pakeha was touched by us. Not one hoof did we deprive them of. As our allies passed through pakeha settlements they bade them "Good day," and came on. The reason for this was threefold, as I will explain. First of all we had invited these pakehas to come and dwell amongst us, and we thought they all belonged to different tribes, like ourselves. We understood there was English Church, Wesleyan, and Catholic
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(the wizard missionary tribe of three hapus=families). Jews had not then arrived. They are a clever people. We are of this race. These families hated each other, it is true; but then it is natural for families to disagree, though of one tribe. Then came the tribe of inferior pakehas, called "rerewas" (devil pakehas), because they would not attend to what the wizard tribes taught. Then came the superior pakeha--"rangitira," gentleman tribe--and the children of these old pakehas are respected to this day. Then the red-coat tribe, and then the sailor (Captain Cook) tribe. Ah! these last were a fine lot of men--worth ever so much more than the red-coat tribe. Afterwards we found out, but not so very long ago, that all these people and tribes really comprise one tribe. It was very puzzling to us, and is now. The third reason was, we feared to do any wrong to our friends lest payment be demanded of us, and taken, if we did not give it. This was a very good reason.
How we came to lose the Ruapekapeka Pa will seem to you very absurd now. But it was the innocent fault of the missionaries. I feel sure if they had known of our doings they would have warned us. We never did them the injustice to think that they behaved treacherously to us in this war.
We generally understood (for we had been taught by the pakeha) that the seventh day being Sunday was set aside as a day of rest, as was stated in the Ten Commandments; and in the enemy's camp the missionaries had, they informed us, performed divine service, and prayed with and for the army of the Queen. Well, one Sunday we all went out of the pa to have prayers too--to pray for ourselves--and only a few of the devil ones remained inside. No thought had crossed our minds of misfortune, when all of a sudden the army of the pakeha were inside and outside our pa. We fought, but it was of no use. We were beaten, and lost heavily, and our stronghold was captured by the soldiers.
This was the last fight worth recording, and shortly afterwards peace was made and all were friends again, only that the Queen's flagstaff was not attempted to be re-erected until many years afterwards. We would not have that. No heartburnings were felt, because no land was confiscated.
It was after this war with Hone Heke that the pakeha passed a law to prevent Europeans selling us guns and ammunition. Perhaps this was a wise act on their part. But I could tell you of pakeha traders and whalers who paid little or no attention to it. They used to get out double-barrelled guns in cases, hidden in bales of blankets, and plenty of powder and shot. A score of guns and a hundredweight of powder was as much as one could get secretly from our friends the traders at one time; but we often got a ton or so of powder from the American whalers when on the eve of starting home to their own country. The ships used to lay off and on the coasts from Coromandel up to the Bay of Plenty and Poverty Bay. Plenty of tobacco, too, we got in that way.
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The Northern natives were not so well off as the East Coast-tribes. I remember some of those Ngapuhi chiefs, anxious to be allowed to purchase openly, sailed from Hokianga to Auckland to see the Government. For a chief to make that voyage in the days I speak of (thirty and more years ago) was a great event. Well, they at last got to Auckland, after great expense and trouble, and had an interview with the Government, related their errand, spoke of their past and present loyalty to the Queen of England, and hoped that permission would be given to them to buy powder and shot. After some talk they were informed that this permission was allowed them, and they returned highly elated with the success of their mission. Fancy their disgust, and how they were laughed at when, on going to the traders to purchase ammunition, they were informed that though permission was accorded them to buy the prohibition had not been taken off against selling! They had been put off with this in Auckland, and sold in a rascally manner. Nice treatment for men who helped the pakeha in his time of need with men and guns.
Letters were now received by us, and communications were sent to the chiefs in the different districts to the effect that a commission would be appointed to inquire into the various land transactions between the pakeha and the Maori. So that if we liked (for so we read it, and our racecan quickly take a hint) to repudiate our bargains, we could do so. This commission sat. We claimed back all our land we had formerly sold to the pakehas, and got most of it. We felt ashamed after this to visit our pakehas for some time, but a great many of them went away and never came back any more. But the Government said we might do this unjust thing, and rob them. So it was not us who really were to blame. When the Maori people declared war against the Government years afterwards (a war that has cost millions of money to prevent us regaining the lands they had for the most part robbed us of), we had a vivid remembrance of who taught us repudiation in the first instance. Nothing, as I have before said, stands still, and some things travel in circles. If anyone starts a wrong, it will come back to him again, and we all get punished in turn for our robberies. The Government bought, with a strong hand, our fair tracts of land for from one penny up to fivepence an acre; but they had far better have purchased it in an honourable way--ay, and given us twenty pounds an acre--than have fought with us for it.
I will try as well as I can to explain the later reason we had for going to war. First of all, we thought it would be easy to vanquish and kill the pakehas. We looked upon them as merely a large number of thistles, easily cut down and rooted up; and, after we had endured much wrong, the thought of an easy victory was very fascinating to our nature. But the chief, the very chief reason of our commencing to fight--the reason that had attracted so many tribes, and attached them to the King movement--was the unjust manner in which our land was being torn from us. There were no Native Land Courts in those days to even make a
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semblance of doing justice; but one man was appointed the land purchase officer for the Government. I am only a native, and am not able to go into all the pakeha policy of those dark, black days, which ought to have been bright days for us.
At last these land purchases brought trouble at the Waitara; but if Cooper, who was subordinate to the chief officer of the Government, had been left to manage native affairs in Taranaki, no war would have arisen there; and if Searancke had been left alone in his district, no trouble would have arisen in the Waikato. But these subordinate gentlemen were shifted about, and their decisions altered and amended by their chief, who made the Government believe that the future welfare of the country rested solely upon him--as if the welfare of a country depended upon one man! What fools the pakehas are! Well, as I said, the land purchase policy caused a disturbance at the Waitara. The rightful owners refused to sell, but the tribes which had no claim sold, and the land was taken possession of in the name of the Queen. This time the rightful owners took up arms to defend their rights. The tribe rallied up. And this is how the war commenced; but it had been smouldering a long time before it burst into the flame that has scorched our country and has taken so much blood to extinguish.
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Organising the King movement--A man buried alive--War in Taranaki--Imperial proclamation--War in Waikato--Orakau Pa.
OUR one great motive in organising this political movement was to unite the Maori race and bring them together as one people. Many of our wisest chiefs foretold failure in this. They urged that the tribal independence was too strong. There were tribal jealousies and ancient feuds to overcome. To entirely do away with these latter was impossible. And then, who would be chosen to rule over us all as the King Chief?
There were two great tribes in this country before whom all other tribes must give way. The first was Ngapuhi, who as a whole comprise, roughly speaking, all the tribes north of Auckland--very powerful tribes, several thousands strong in their day. The hapus were usually about two hundred to five hundred strong. The Rarawa tribal boundary extended to the North Cape and to the mouth of the Hokianga River; the warlike tribe of Ngatiwhatua, at Kaipara, Riverhead, and Hauraki. Then, who could withstand the Ngapuhi from Hokianga, where even the great Hongi Hika met his death trying to conquer the river, and Ngapuhi of the Tokirau, Bay of Islands? Did not Hongi Hika, on his return from England, dressed in the armour King George had given him, lead all these warriors to battle, and slay from the Auckland hills--those rich volcanic kumera grounds--right away to the barren lands of Ngaiterangi, at Tauranga, proceeding on to the Arawa country, swooping on to Ahuriri, Hawke's Bay, where they slew the Ngatikatiungunu, and made them fly like dust before a gale? Then putting to one side a slight repulse, fearfully avenged on the confines of Waikato, returned to their own districts along the coast from Auckland, in their huge sea-going kauri war canoes. Such a fleet was never seen before, nor ever will be again, laden with spoil--the captive women of many a hapu, and the flesh of their enemies.
Waikato knew too well, for the bones of many of their warriors whitened the soil of Ngapuhi, the geographical strength of their country. To get there nothing could be easier; but to get back again across the narrow strip of land was another question altogether. Then the Ngapuhi were better armed, and had learned much that the Waikatos and other tribes had not had the chance to learn. Under these circumstances there was small chance that Ngapuhi would consent to recognise a Waikato King. However, a deputation of diplomatic chiefs, wizards, tohungas (no missionaries), and
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warriors, known and trusted for their wisdom, and whose words and speech could be made as enticing as the fat pigeons fed on the "miro" berry are to a hungry man, was sent to sound and to tempt the Ngapuhi. Ngapuhi met the Waikato heralds on the Hokianga river, at Opara, and with haughty patience listened to all that the Waikato deputation had to say. It is related that all the fat of the tuis and the pigeons in the "miro" season was as naught to compare with the oiliness of the Waikato speeches. If only the Ngapuhi would consent to be the backbone, the sinew and mana of the Waikato King.
"Your speech," replied Ngapuhi, "is as a sperm whale for fatness; but you can return, and take back our reply. If we ever elect to join our tribes under one head, we have the race of Hongi Hika to fall back upon, and Matiria shall be our queen; but we choose to live as we are, and under the Queen of England, and at peace with our friends the pakehas. All the pakehas are ours." We knew what this meant, and that Ngapuhi perceived that we intended to go to war, and wished to intimate to us that old battlefields could be fought on again. It was enough; and we turned our attention south, and Waikato drew all the southern tribes into the meshes of her net, excepting the Arawa; but even some of the hapus of the Arawa were induced to join when it came to fighting in their locality, and at Tauranga, when half of Ngatipikiao came over to assist us at the Gate Pa, at Tauranga. But our wish was to confine the war to the neighbourhood of Waikato. At length the Taranaki, Mokau, and the brave Ngatiruanui tribes joined, and so did Ngatiraukawa; but the Lower Wanganuis and Ngatiapa were undecided for a time, and swayed to and fro like a tall tree in the wind, but the friendship for the pakeha prevailed. The confidence these tribes had in Sir George Grey in the old war of 1845 remained firm, and though he was absent from the colony his words and advice remained with them. Then there was Dr. Featherston, Sir William Fitzherbert, and other old pakeha friends, who had proved themselves to be "rangitiras" (gentlemen). And no doubt all this, combined with tribal dislike to old enemies, turned the scale, and they elected to abide by the Queen of England, whom they had never seen. We looked upon these people as "lick plates" of the pakehas and cookies. But what cared Hori Kingi, Mawae, Kawana Paipai, and Mete Kingi. They laughed at us, and said "taihoa" (wait).
Strange as it may seem, no one at this time appears to have warned the Government that the King movement meant war; that it was a plot to kill all the pakehas and drive them into the sea, and recover our land that they had stolen from us through their agents. During this time we were allowed to purchase arms and ammunition, the prohibition having been taken off, and we laid in a heavy stock of powder and guns.
We cast our eyes back, and saw nothing but cheating and taking advantage of us. Even in small things it was the same. The large P-weight belonging to the steelyard that would weigh up to 500lbs.,
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was used by dishonest traders to weigh our wheat with the small steelyards that weighed up to 250lbs., but when anything was sold to us by weight the p's were reversed. It was the same system, and our innocence in the dark ways of the pakeha, and our credulity and ready forgiveness of injuries were utilised to our disadvantage. We had noticed also that the Government were not brave enough, nor had not confidence in themselves to carry out the laws that they made. The cry was, "We are afraid to send policemen here, lest," as they urged, "they be cooked and eaten."
I have said that the Government were afraid to carry out their own laws. I could give many instances of this, but I will content myself by relating one. It was about the year 1857 or 1858 that an old man fell sick at a village on the Wairoa river, in Hawke's Bay. It happened to be planting season; and though the sick man was a chief the tribe could not delay their planting, so they left one of their number to look after him until he died. His death was daily expected, but he lingered on. The native deputed to look after him was angry because this old man would not die, and he thought he would be too late to put in his own corn and potatoes. "You ought to die, as you are keeping me here doing nothing," said the man to the sick person, who would reply, "Perhaps I may die to-morrow." But the morrow came, and still he was there. At last the man got a spade, an old blanket, and a prayer-book. He put these into a canoe, and then carried the old man and placed him in it, jumped in himself, and pulled down the river for a short distance to a sandy point, got out and dug a hole, placed the old man in it, read the burial service over him, and covered him up alive! He then returned to the village, and from there went up to the plantation, where his tribe were. He told them that he had buried the sick man. "When did he die? Why did you not tell us, so that we could have a 'tangi' (cry) over him?" he was asked; but all they could get was that he had read the burial service over him. At last they got at the truth of this dreadful murder. The head men of the tribe, Paora Rerepu and others, sent to the Magistrate at Napier to send up policemen and take the native who had committed this crime, but no notice was taken of the information or request. The natives, therefore, held a meeting, but were puzzled to know what to do. At last a young chief got up and said he would end the difficulty. The murderer was placed with his back against a cabbage tree. The young chief then loaded his double-barrelled gun, and took his position about one hundred yards distant. "I am," he called out, "going to fire two shots at the murderer. If I hit him, there is an end of the matter; if I don't hit him, he shall go free." And he fired at him, and the bullet went clean through his brain, and he fell dead, and was there and then buried. It was apparent to all that it was the Government who were afraid to act.
The big fighting began in Taranaki about land some time in the year 1860. We commenced by killing some men and children. All the Kingites were involved. To seek payment for this, a force,
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composed of soldiers and settler-soldiers, marched up from Taranaki to attack us at Waireka. Soon after the fighting commenced the soldiers went away, leaving the settler-soldiers to stem the attack. We now hurried on, and the fight grew hotter and hotter. I must tell the truth in our history. Well, these men beat us; but still we might have had better fortune had it not been for the unexpected arrival of some man-of-war sailors, who attacked us from another quarter. They rushed at our pa and climbed over the palisading, regardless of the storm of bullets we sent at them. We lost heavily in this remarkable fight, but we killed many of the enemy.
The war grew, and all the settlers were driven into town. We tomahawked many a pakeha. The soldiers now sent away, by force, the settlers' wives and children to Nelson. When we heard of this we said, "The town will be abandoned soon," as we had no doubt all the men were going to march away in a body, when they had sent away their women and children. But one never can calculate what pakehas will do, except that if we laid an ambuscade they would be certain to walk into the midst of it. Sentries were now placed round the town, and settlers were forbidden by the troops to go and save their houses from being burnt, and their stock from being killed and driven away. It was very considerate of the troops for us. To prove that the alarm caused by us was very great, I will give you one or two of the proclamations issued at this time.
Dated 20th April, i860, signed by Colonel C. E. Gold, commanding the forces, New Zealand.
"The inhabitants will in future be required to have a candle or lamp at their front windows, ready to light in case of alarm, and are desired to secure their doors and lower windows. The police to see to this."
"The Major-General hereby gives notice that it is imperatively necessary that all persons should come within the lines of entrenchment at nightfall; and that, in the event of alarm, all women and children repair at once to Marsland Hill. It is also requested that lights are then put in windows of all houses.
By command. R. CAREY,
Lieut.-Colonel, Deputy Adjutant-General,
Headquarters, New Plymouth,
October 16, 1860."
"Many complaints having been made to the Major-General that Europeans are in the habit of intriguing with the wives and daughters of the friendly
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Maoris in the pa in the neighbourhood of the town, which not only creates ill-feeling, but is not unlikely to lead to the murder of the person so offending and the withdrawal of these Maoris and their families from their allegiance all Europeans are cautioned against the continuance of such practices, which, if persevered in, will oblige the Major-General to issue orders that no European, excepting the medical attendants and others specially sanctioned, shall enter into any of the pas. And, on the other hand, that no Maori, male or female, shall pass the barrier into town without a pass from Mr. Parris, Assistant Native Commissioner.
By command. R. CAREY,
Lieut.-Colonel, Deputy Adjutant-General.
Headquarters, New Plymouth,
November 23, 1860."
Brown, Atkinson, Stapp, and others fought us bravely at Waireka, and had it not been for Atkinson and his toas (braves), who prevented us from killing more of the 57th Regiment when we killed Lloyd and his men and cut off their heads, we would not have been beaten back. At Puketekauri, too, when the 40th Regiment were defeated, their loss in killed and wounded would have been much heavier than it was had it not been that the settlers saved them. We got a fine lot of rifles and ammunition that day. We understand that the Queen of England instituted an Order for any act of "conspicuous bravery." The Order is called the "Victoria Cross." There is no order for "conspicuous caution" yet instituted. However, in a fight a soldier was hit by us badly, and could not get away with the other wounded. He would have been tomahawked by us, but a man--an ordinary pakeha--named Antonio, at a fearful risk of his life, rushed to the rescue, and getting the wounded soldier upon his back, carried him away to a place of safety. This, we all said, was a brave act. Listen to the result. Antonio, after he had got the man out of danger, gave him up to an officer of the Imperials, who was recommended by his Colonel, and afterwards received the Victoria Cross. Antonio got no reward until the New Zealand Cross was instituted, when he received one for his brave act in 1864.
Seeing the state of things that existed, we sacked and burned homestead after homestead, for we knew, or thought we knew, that Atkinson and Stapp with their men had been sent away to Nelson lest they should sally forth and molest us in our work of destruction. After some weeks had passed (but not until we had destroyed the whole of the settled district) General Pratt, the English General, arrived with his tribe of soldiers. "Now," we said, "we will have some fighting." For so we thought.
Soon after this we erected a pa, as we were tired of burning houses and waylaying and tomahawking people. We determined to await the attack of the troops. Day after day passed on, but all remained perfectly quiet, and our European clothing began to get shabby and rotten. At last the General commenced a sap. A big roller was made, and the friendly natives under Parris, the Civil Commissioner--Now, I am pledged to tell the facts. Well, then,
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these friendly natives under the Civil Commissioner were our good friends. When the Civil Commissioner told them what was going to be done they let us know all about it, though the Civil Commissioner did not know that all he told them was conveyed to us. Then we assisted the troops to make their sap and bridge over the bad places approaching to our pa. Yes, I believe that without our valuable assistance they could not have done even what they did. I daresay you who read this will think that I am joking; but listen. Fascines were required of green manuka brushwood in large quantities. Now, this manuka grew upon our land, for we had driven the pakeha from it, and by right of conquest it had become ours; but, as the troops did not like to fetch it themselves, they asked the friendly natives to get it for them. These natives did not wish to take our brushwood without our permission; but it was no use to us, so we had an understanding in the following manner. We cut the brushwood, and tied it up into the different sized bundles that General Pratt and his army required, and we really did try hard to please them, lest they should take their custom elsewhere, and send to Auckland or Nelson for what they required, as they did for their fuel. After we had stacked the fascines, the friendly natives came and fetched them away, first paying us the cash they had obtained from the commissariat. We were well paid for our labour. We returned a portion of this money to them to purchase clothing for ourselves and our wives and children, and the next time they came to get more fascines, they brought us blankets, shirts, and trousers for us, and underclothing for our wives, and little clothes for our children; so the sap progressed steadily, and did nobody any harm; and when, after a time, it came too near, we left that pa and built another one.
I think it was soon after this that the fighting commenced near Auckland, and war parties, from Rangiriri and other strong places of ours, sallied forth to kill anyone and everyone they came upon. The first people we killed were at a place called Burt's Farm. It was occupied by a farmer, his wife, and children. Our war party came upon the little children, whom they found playing in the woods near the house, and tomahawked them. We then killed the others. One of the men, however, I fancy, got away. We were very successful, and killed a good many children and people by surprising them. We thought the pakehas were very foolish in not sending their families to safe places.
We now assembled in force at Koheroa, and made strong rifle-pits. A new general (General Cameron), who had fought with the Russians at the Crimea, came to fight us with his tribe of soldiers. This general was a different man to General Pratt. He did not sap up to our position here at the Koheroa line of rifle-pits, but with his tribe of soldiers, charged up and into our earthworks, so that it was doubtful at one time who would win, our enemies fought so well. But now this general came up in person and encouraged his men--just as our chiefs encouraged our men--and
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so they charged us, with strange yells, and alas! we were beaten, and lost heavily. We retired in disorder, leaving our dead and wounded. Some of them were bayonetted; but this is right in war, for what is the use of fighting unless you kill your man when you have got him down? To do otherwise would be to waste all your efforts to get him into a position so as to be able to kill him properly, and the pakehas who blame us and their own people for this are very foolish, and write nonsense merely because they don't know what fighting is. We knew that there were some settlers living at the Mauku, so we sent a large party from Rangiriri to tomahawk them. As we were on our way there, we came across a Magistrate (Armitage), who had been appointed by Fox (now made a big rangatira) to spy upon us. So we killed him, as a warning to others, and then continued on our way. On our arrival at the houses of the settlers, we found they had left; but the garrison stationed at the Mauku Church Redoubt came out to attack us, and a battle took place on some cleared land, which resulted in their defeat. We killed a good many of them, and chased the remainder back to the redoubt. We laid those of their dead we could find in a row, after well tomahawking the bodies, stuck up a stick and placed the courier-bag we found on one of the officers on the top of it, and went back with our dead and wounded to Rangiriri. Our chiefs were very angry at the loss of men we had sustained, as they termed it a useless fight, though we had come off victorious.
After the fight at Koheroa, we entrenched ourselves strongly at Rangiriri and Meremere, having had to retreat from Whangamarino. The main body of the enemy were at Queen's Redoubt, and now we harassed their convoys as they used to pass between Queen's Redoubt and other parts, and cut off stragglers, whom we tomahawked. One day we caught two soldiers going up from Queen's Redoubt to Pokeno. We caught them, and chopped them up. After this the enemy were more careful how they strolled about looking at our country.
To keep the enemy from getting to the rear of our people at the Thames, and at the rear of Meremere and Rangiriri, we commenced to build a strong pa at Paparata, and to dig a line of rifle-pits near a bush. This position was about twelve miles from Queen's Redoubt and about five from Pickard's Redoubt, where they had an Armstrong gun that overlooked Meremere on the Waikato. This gun was a great nuisance to us, and we laid an ambuscade for Pickard, but it was unsuccessful. General Cameron sent two officers to spy us out at Paparata. These men came in the night and hid themselves, and returned the next night. Had it not been a very wet day we would certainly have found them. As it was, we discovered where they had been the morning after they left, and found a compass and a box of preserved fish and some empty tins. This made us feel uneasy, as we did not know what information they might carry to the General or the Governor, and it was partly in consequence of this that we decided to abandon this place. One
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of these officers was Von Tempsky, the other was McDonnell. You will hear more about these two men anon.
Rangiriri and Meremere were now attacked. This was a dreadful battle, and the loss on both sides was very severe. The flower of Waikato fell here. Our rifle-pits were carried by a series of charges, but were not taken until the red blood flowed like water. Then the soldiers tried to storm our redoubt, but were repeatedly repulsed, and each time with great loss. Many of us escaped by swimming the Waikato river, and going by the lake in rear; but those inside the redoubt could not get away so easily; so they at last, after having done all that brave men could do, hung out a flag of truce and surrendered. "Shall we be all killed in payment for the loss sustained by the enemy?" we asked one another; but we were well treated, and our wounded were well looked after by their doctors. And then some of us thought that perhaps that if this class of men had been the first to arrive in this country we might all have lived in peace. But, alas! that could never have been, for our doom was pronounced on the distant day when Captain Cook first came to New Zealand. From that day our fate was sealed, and we know now that in a few short years we will have to follow the moa and our ancestors to oblivion. To oblivion? No; to a better and happier world, where there are no bad pakehas to trouble and perplex us, and when the natural ignorance of the Maori and the unnatural ignorance of the pakeha will be enlightened.
After Rangiriri fell overtures were sent to us for peace. But while these negotiations were being talked over, and before anything was settled, a large body of troops was slipped past us and took possession of Ngaruawhia, at the junction of the Waikato and Waipa rivers. This movement was carried out so suddenly that we only saw the advantage that had been taken of us after it was too late to try and prevent it. It was a smart trick. This we attributed to the Governor. Others said it was the General's doing. But whoever was to blame for this, there were the troops in possession, and when we sent to tell them that it was not fair, and that they were to return, they refused to budge. So we determined to fight it out--as, by the way, we all along had made up our minds to do--but we wanted to gain more time after our defeat, and engage the enemy in talk. Large parties of soldiers were sent up the Waipa river to different parts, and up the Waikato, and the troops spread over the country like a stream that had overflowed its banks in a flood. Many skirmishes took place, in most of which we were beaten, but we made up our loss for this by laying ambushes and by firing on the steamers from the banks of the river as they passed up and down. This kind of warfare suited us. Soldiers always walked right into our traps, they are so stupid. We shot and tomahawked scores of men in this way during the war, but we could not, as a rule, contend successfully against them in the open ground; but then they were always better armed and provided than we were.
We now erected two strong pas at Paterangi and Pikopiko, to
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bar the advance of the Queen's troops on Te Awamutu, Rangiaowhia, and Kihikihi, the heart and lungs of Waikato. General Cameron now began to concentrate his men at Te Rore, and big guns were brought up, and huge mortars, and we saw that a tremendous battle would soon take place, for we had more than one thousand men in these pas, all of them warriors and eager for a fight--the greatest number ever concentrated together at one time against the enemy in the Waikato or at any other place in our country. Our pas were double palisaded and rifle-pitted. The pits were deep and roofed over with logs eighteen inches through. These again were covered with bundles of tightly-bound fern, and a thick layer of earth was shovelled over the whole and tramped smooth. Only small holes were left for the men to fire through. Each of our pas was flanked, and the strength of one part was made equal to the other. Our rear was protected by a swamp, and the only approach was up a gentle slope from the position taken up by the enemy. A good dray road extended from the rear of one of the pas to our farms at Rangiaowhia, Te Awamutu, and Kihikihi, from where we were kept supplied with provisions. Having made our fortifications complete, our young men amused themselves by firing at the steamers, and this at last became so serious to our foes that they had to get iron sheets to protect their men with. But still we made our bullets whistle about their heads. We kept a good watch for an attack to be made, for we felt certain of beating them off with ease. About this period the Governor arrived at Te Rore, and told the General to attack us, but the General would not obey the Governor. How it would have been I cannot tell, but we felt certain of defeating him if an attack had been made. However, nothing of this kind was attempted. One or two men used to take pot shots at us with their rifles, but nothing more.
Traitors, however, were at work. A half-caste, for a few shillings, betrayed us, and offered to show the general a way round our pas, so that he could get to the back country and cut off our supplies, rendering our positions useless. We knew nothing of this until one day a mounted man rode into our camp covered with dust and foam, and astounded us all with the information that Te Awamutu, Rangiaowhia, and Kihikihi were in the hands of the enemy, and that severe loss had been inflicted upon us at the village of Rangiaowhia, and that a number of people had been burnt in a house there; also that a number of prisoners had been captured. On receipt of this news we put on our belts and at once evacuated our pas, and fell back inland of Te Awamutu, where we found the troops had encamped. We wept bitterly over our dead in the burnt and once beautiful village of Rangiaowhia, and prepared to dislodge the enemy from the position they had taken up at Te Awamutu mission station. It was on a Sunday morning the troops attacked Rangiaowhia, and on the following day we advanced from there to give them battle. We attacked them in three columns, and drove in their
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pickets. Then the troops poured out of their camps and came at us. A short conflict took place. They drove us at the point of the bayonet to some distance, to a swamp. Here we rallied and had another fight; but two bodies of cavalry, one on each side of the troops on foot, charged us, and one party of cavalry came upon us in a corn field. Then we had a bad time of it, and our men were cut down with the sword right and left. Our other wing and centre had been defeated. We were utterly routed with heavy loss. Our killed numbered twenty-five men, and we lost many in wounded and prisoners. Soon after this Tamihana Tarapipipi sent in messengers to the General. A correspondence ensued, but nothing came of it.
On the same evening of this battle, as a party of our scouts were in ambush at a bush on one side of the cornfield where our dead warriors lay about, we noticed two mounted men, one without arms and the other apparently a cavalry officer, ride up, quietly dismount and fasten up their horses, and proceed to investigate the bodies of our dead. We could not understand their conduct, for they were far away from the troops. They then separated, and went looking all over the field, meeting again. At last the one not in uniform called out in a loud ringing voice, "E hoa ma ko au tenei ko Pihopa haere no mai, ko au tenei Ko Pihopa Herewini." (Friends, this is I, the Bishop. Come to me in safety. This is I, the Bishop Selwyn.) "Ha," we said, "it is Bishop Selwyn with a soldier officer come to gaze on our dead. Let us call them to us, and then tomahawk them." Some of us were afraid to kill the Bishop, others were for letting a volley fly at him. He and his companion were not more than two hundred yards distant, but while we were making up our minds as to what we should do they proceeded to untie their horses. The Bishop called out once more, and then the two got into their saddles; and now we sent a volley of fifty guns at them, but they rode rapidly away, apparently uninjured. 1
We now made other pas, and the fighting went on. Kihikihi was occupied, and troops were located in redoubts all over the country.
The last big fight we had in the Waikato was at Orakau. Here again we lost heavily, but if the most wonderful blunders had not been made not one man of us had escaped, and this fight would have annihilated us. As it was we put our women and children and wounded in the centre, and surrounded them with our band of warriors. Watching our time, all of a sudden we marched out of the pa in a dense column right over the heads of a small portion of the Regiment (I think it was the 40th) guarding this outlet. This movement, as we had calculated, took everyone by surprise, and we got clean away from the whole of the troops in array against us. Still our loss was heavy, but we had taken our mana (prestige) safe with us. The General had
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offered terms if we would surrender, but Rewi, the chief in command, replied "Never! We will fight for ever and for ever." This was because of our lands. We thought after the defeat at Orakau, and seeing our fine country and pastures in the occupation of our foes, that indeed our affairs seemed hopeless. We could not afford to lose any more of our men. There were none to fill up the gaps made in our ranks. This was not the case with the pakeha. If he blundered, as he nearly always did, and lost men, ten replaced every one he had lost. Nevertheless we fought on, lest we should become worse than slaves. Far better, we thought, to die in battle than lose the heritage that had descended to us from our ancestors.
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Hauhau religion--War on the West Coast, Wanganui district.
IT was about the year 1863 or 1864 that a revelation was made of what we thought to be the real God. We had been told of so many different religions, and at different times, that each one was right and the other was wrong, that we were puzzled. So at last a man called Te Ua determined to search the foundation stone of all these creeds, and extract a religion for himself and the race. He did so, and the result was this new religion, which was named "Hau," and his disciples were called Hauhaus. We worshipped before a pole placed firmly in the ground, and rigged as a top-mast of a ship.
It had been manifested to us that we were the ten lost tribes of Israel. We chanted our prayers in an unknown tongue, as we marched and danced round, trusting, with all faith, that, sooner or later, we would be able to comprehend the meaning of the apparent gibberish we gave utterance to. A spike nail was driven into the pole or Niu, about three feet from the ground, upon which we used to hang the head of one of our enemies we had killed. "Paimariri" was our watchword, and "Riki" was our god of war, and the spirit of Joshua was our guiding general. It was a very nice, cheerful sort of religion. Te Ua, our prophet, caused the Lord Worsley steamer to come on shore near the White Cliffs, by his prayers of Hau; but the spirit of the angel Gabriel forbade him to kill any of the passengers or crew.
Our form of prayer was a chant after the following: "God the Father, Hau; God, the Son, Hau, Hau; God the Holy Ghost, Hau, Hau, Hau. Attention, save us; Attention, instruct us; Attention, Jehovah, avenge us, Hau; Jehovah, stand at ease, Hau; fall out, Hau, Hau; Paimariri Hau, big rivers, long rivers, big mountains and seas, attention, Hau, Hau, Hau."
We were then sanctified by the Three in One. Each person now touched the head hanging on the spike nail in the Niu, as they revolved round the pole, and the prayers were over for that time. Then, if about to start on an expedition to seek the enemy, Joshua's spirit led us forth, and he who had told the moon and sun to stand still led us forth with power to smite the Gentile and our spirits assisted him.
The first Hauhau fight was near Mount Egmont, and was fought bravely by us. Here we killed Captain Lloyd and several men, and cut off their heads for our Nius. Some of our people that were faint-hearted got hit, and we lost two killed, who at once became orderlies for Joshua to help us. We now fought the battle
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of Mutoa, about which such a fuss has been made. It was more a tribal faction fight than anything to do with the pakehas. The friendly natives were very clever indeed to twist that fight into the form they did.
The war in the Wanganui district commenced by our throwing down the challenge by killing several pakehas and slaying Mr. Hewitt at Kai Iwi. We called Mr. Hewitt out of his house one night when all was still. He came out with his man-servant to see who it was calling to him, and then we seized him and cut off his head for our Niu, but the servant escaped. This was our signal for fighting, and we now awaited the attack of the troops at our pa, the "Wereroa," which we had made exceedingly strong with double palisading, covered in rifle-pits and strong earthworks. There were three pas--one big centre, one and two smaller ones flanking the centre one.
One morning our scouts brought in the news that the pakeha taua (European force) was advancing to attack us in thousands. Our men at once assembled, and we planted an ambuscade in a karaka grove near to Nukumaru. Soon after the taua came in sight, kicking up the dust with their feet. But in place of coming to attack us, as we had made up our minds they would, they pitched camp near to some tall flax and toitoi, not far from where our ambush was concealed. The chief in charge, Hone Pihama, sent at once to the pa to inform the garrison. A conference was held on the spot, and it was decided to attack forthwith, which we did. We shot down the outlying picket and tomahawked several men. Then a general charge was made, and a small party rushed on the General's marquee, thinking to catch and kill him; but owing to some of our people (so it was said at the time) having disregarded the commands of our high priest, the attempt was not so successful as it ought to have been. The real victory, however, remained with us, as the General moved his army to the sea coast after this and never again attempted to fight us near the bush.
The next fight we had with this commander was between Papawhero, Patea, and Kakaramea. The army of the pakeha was on the line of march to somewhere, but just as they filed through the sand hills and drew near to a small swamp, they were attacked by the Pakakohe tribe, who, by the way, had sneered at the attack that the Ngarauru had made on the army of the pakeha before at Nukumaru. The Pakakohe, however, were defeated, and nearly annihilated. It was a brave but very foolish thing for their chiefs to lead these men (about one hundred) to attack in broad daylight about one thousand, who were wide awake and on the line of march, especially when they had over one hundred cavalry with them. The result ought to have been foreseen. The Pakakohe were horribly beaten, and lost sixty of their best men--cut down by the troopers--for nothing. It was like the charge we read of made at Balaclava--a brave but foolish affair.
A few more fights took place between Patea and Taranaki, but as General Cameron would not permit his troops to attack us near
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the bush, where our pas were, no battles of any importance were fought. But we sent out parties to lay ambuscades daily, and succeeded in killing a few carters and military trainmen now and then. It kept our young fellows out of mischief, and in good humour and training to be ready to seize any chance that might present itself to inflict a severe blow on our enemies. Thus we instilled a fear of us, by constantly tomahawking and shooting down from ambushes.
About this time our friends, the Upper Wanganuis, sent us word that a European force, and some traitors of our race belonging to the Lower Wanganuis, had taken possession of Pipiriki. They were under the command of an officer (Major Brassey), who had made a name for himself in India. Queen's troops were also sent to Tauranga and Maketu, and the Arawas (the traitors!) were enrolled for service under Hay and McDonnell. Colonial troops were also sent to Poverty Bay, under Fraser, Biggs, and George.
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Defeat of the English troops at Gate Pa (Tauranga)--Fight at Maketu--Battle of Motata--A spirit's warning unheeded--The result, defeat and heavy loss--Fighting at Tauranga--Te Kooti--Escape of prisoners from Kawau and the hulks--Capture of Wereroa Pa by His Excellency Sir George Grey, K.C.B., Governor of New Zealand, with a scratch corps of Colonials and Maoris.
THE Ngaitirangi, our allies, now induced half of Ngatipiako, a hapu of the Arawa tribe, to join them in an attempt to drive back the invaders of their district, now at Tauranga. Only a few paltry skirmishes had taken place as yet, and the Ngaitirangi had not yet tried their strength with the troops. That was to come, as will be seen. When the hapu of Ngatipiako and Ngaitirangi assembled we advanced to within a short distance of the camp and town at Tauranga, and dug a straight line of shallow rifle pits across a narrow strip of level land and stuck some tokorari (flax sticks) in the earth we had shovelled out of this ditch. Behind this we built a small square redoubt of sods, but made no loopholes or palisading, and well in rear of this we erected a flagstaff on the level and open ground. We had about five hundred men, and here we awaited the attack. We were about three miles from Tauranga Camp. There was no bush near, and we had to go to the river beach for firewood. After waiting a few days more then half our men left--owing to a difference of opinion amongst our leaders--and fell back to Te Ranga. Those that left urged that our position was not tenable, but weak and dangerous, and that when we were attacked the enemy would drive us into the mud flats that were on each side of our position, which the pakehas afterwards named the "Gate Pa." There had been an old stockyard here at one time, but all that was left of it was one of the gates, hence, I suppose, they called it the "Gate Pa," but it was no pa at all.
One morning we discovered that one regiment--a thousand strong it must have been--had got to our rear. We were on a narrow strip of land, with water on both sides of us, an enemy in our rear and an enemy in front. Our chiefs now took in our position, which was very similar to that of a snared rat or parrot, but we determined to make the best of it. The attack was about to commence from the front. We could see them dragging up their big guns to fire at our flax-sticks. It put us in mind of a man trying to tomahawk a mosquito or namu (sandfly). Our chiefs told us to keep low in the ditch, and not poke our heads
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above the level, and let the enemy fire away at the redoubt and flagstaff. Perhaps they might continue firing till evening, when we might get an opportunity to slip away. This was good advice, so we followed it, and waited for results.
The uproar soon commenced, and we had a lively time of it; but we sat and smoked our pipes. The cannon roared, the big mortars banged away, and so did the little ones; the rifles cracked, and the shower of lead and iron and bursting shells rattled over our heads. Every now and then a report like thunder was heard loud above the din. This was the hundred-and-ten pounder Armstrong gun, making a big noise, and the shrieking of the shot as it flew along, here and there skimming up a long piece of grassy sod that covered us with dust, made us think it would be well to be out of reach. We picked up several of these projectiles some miles in rear of our position next day nearly two feet long. "Well, they kept up this furious fire, but it did us no harm. Not one of us had as yet been touched, and the day was getting on, and our courage began to improve.
We cannot make out, even to this day, how our enemy in rear escaped the fire of the tribes in front (the 43rd Regiment and Naval Brigade). Towards the evening the enemy in front came on with a rush and a cheer, and charged up to our ditch. We saw them coming, and passed the word along. When they were close upon us, we ran into the little redoubt behind us. We could get no further, for the enemy in our rear (the 68th Regiment) now advanced, firing volley after volley, intending them for us, but they passed on to their friends in front, who returned them with interest, thinking it came from us; but we had not fired at all. Then both sides retreated from each other, and then, and not till then, we rose and gave them the contents of our guns, and they fled in haste, leaving their dead and dying with us, some of them having been shot down by their own men.
We treated their wounded well, by the order of a Ngaitirangi chief, and gave Colonel Booth, of the 43rd, a resting place for his head, and placed a calabash of water near him to slake his thirst. We considered that the slaughter of these men was a judgment from heaven. We only lost three men, and one or two were slightly wounded; but the enemy lost about thirty killed, and their hospitals must have been filled with their wounded. We left the battlefield early the next morning. This victory for us was, I regret to say, the only set-off against other fights that ended in sad defeats for our race.
At this time the Bay of Plenty tribes, the Ngatiawa, Whakatohea, Ngatipukeko, and Ngatiporou--in all 800 strong--marched up the coast from Opotiki, Whakatane, Ohiwa, Matata, and other places to do battle with the Arawa and Europeans stationed at Maketu and Fort Colville. On we came, and nearly caught two officers, who were stupidly enough out shooting ducks at Waihi, but they escaped from our fire. Shortly afterwards we were engaged in a smart skirmish, in which we lost four men, but we
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must have killed many of the 43rd Regiment. The next day a rifle-pit was taken possession of by a few men--twelve in all--and they kept up a sharp fire upon us all the day. These men were officered by McDonnell and his brother William. Only one man came to support them, and we tried to shoot him down as he advanced to the pit, but we could not hit him, although we concentrated the whole line of fire upon him as he came forward at a sling trot with his gun at the trail. He was a brave man, though a traitor to us. We afterwards learnt that he was Pohika Taranui, the fighting chief of Ngatipikiao, of the Arawa. There were hundreds of men on the cliff above the pit, but after a little firing in the early part of the morning they did not trouble us much. We could not make it out, but so it was. When the sun fell the men in the pit got up and ran away one by one, and our whole line of pits in the sandhills opened fire upon them, but they all got away alive. That night we crossed over, and took possession of the ground occupied by the enemy the day before. All this day and for a week afterwards there was daily fighting and skirmishing between us and the Arawa and the few men under Hay and McDonnell. The troops in Fort Colville did not trouble us much, but fired a few shots at our rifle-pits with a big gun. At last a man-of-war ship steamed up and shelled us from the sea; but none of us were hit, but albeit the shells and firing prevented the Arawa from following us up, and in that way served to cover our retreat, for which we were very thankful.
When we got as far as Otamarakau, on the beach, a little steamer (colonial gunboat Sandfly) that had been in chase of us fired a shell as we were rounding a cliff, which hit and killed four of us, making our losses in killed twenty-two men; but we had-- must have--killed a great many of the Arawa--so our leaders said. Night fell, and we camped at the Matata, not thinking the Arawa were after us.
Strange to say, on the same day our people had defeated the troops with such slaughter at Gate Pa, we received a worse defeat at the hands of the Arawa and their pakeha leaders, for the next morning early they tell like a tremendous landslip upon us. We made a short stand, and then turned and fled. The ebb tide was at its swiftest in the Matata River, and those who escaped the bullets from the carbines of Hay's men, and the long-handled tomahawks of the cursed Arawa, tried to swim across the river, but many were swept out to sea over the bar, and were strewn along the coast afterwards--food for the seagulls and sharks. We lost about eighty men; only one prisoner was taken--a chief named Aporotanga. He was shot dead the next day by the wife of the head chief of the Arawa, old Winiata, who fought his last fight at the battle of Matata. This was only right, and proved her affection for her husband was sincere. Shortly after this battle, we all turned Hauhaus, and were called Kingites no more for a long time.
Soon after the defeat of the united tribes at the Matata, the Ngaitirangi and Pikiao, who had won the victory at the Gate Pa,
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commenced to strengthen their position at Te Ranga. Rifle-pits were dug, and earthworks had commenced to be thrown up, when, one morning before daylight, one of our women, who had lost her husband at the Gate Pa fight, said that she had heard voices in the distance. We turned out and listened, but could hear nothing, and so rebuked her, telling her it was the distant noise of the surf on the beach. But she replied that the noise she had heard was the voices of a war party on the march to attack. We derided her, so that she got angry and left, taking her two sons with her. But we knew afterwards that it was the spirit of her husband which had made her hear the music as a warning to move off with his sons, for the enemy were soon upon us with a vengeance, and we had barely time to man our first line of rifle-pits when they charged up with fixed bayonets. We lost very heavily, and fled, leaving more than one hundred of our warriors to be buried in the pits they had made. This victory completely did for us on this coast, as the best men of Ngaitirangi and Pikiao were nearly all killed, and we paid dearly for our strange victory at Gate Pa.
A great deal of fighting was going on at Turanga, Poverty Bay. The European commanders were Biggs, Fraser, and George. Many pas were taken, and scores of our people were made prisoners. In fact, all the news that we got from that quarter was most disheartening. Of the prisoners made there some were sent to the hulk in Wellington, while Te Kooti was, with many others, sent to the Chatham Islands. Te Kooti was a nobody at this time, only rather notorious as a horse thief. He eventually became a great man, as I will relate in due course. The prisoners taken in the Waikato, Turanga, Rangiriri, and other places were sent to Auckland and placed on board a hulk there.
And now a curious thing happened. All the prisoners were removed from on board the hulk and sent to the Kawau, and these ridiculous pakehas thought that they would remain there quietly, while the mainland and liberty, a few miles off, were beckoning them to come over. So one calm evening they quietly rowed over in boats. They then borrowed a few spades and old guns, and quietly entrenched themselves on some ranges, much to the terror of the neighbouring settlers and of the Aucklanders.
I will now relate how the Wereroa Pa passed away from our hands, and how our famous chief Tataraimaka was taken prisoner. General Cameron's army, or part of his tribe, was stationed at Nukumaru, in a large redoubt, and we watched their proceedings from our stronghold--the Wereroa Pa. We watched the roads too, and laid ambuscades for carters, orderlies, and in fact anyone and anything we could safely kill and capture. On the whole we were very successful. At one time we nearly caught Major Rookes, who commanded the Militia of Wanganui, Major Nixon, and Von Tempsky, who were out reconnoitring on the Okehu stream. We drove a volley into them, and had it not been for Major Nixon and Von Tempsky, who kept us back, we would have tomahawked them and got their horses. These two officers did not get the
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Victoria Cross, because they did not belong to the Imperial troops, but a similar act was performed by a brave man, Colonel McNeil, a staff officer in the Waikato, who saved Vosper, a trooper in the Defence Force, when they were fired upon by an ambuscade. For this act he earned and obtained the Victoria Cross. Our bullets, it was considered by the Queen, I suppose, could only kill and wound Imperial and not colonial men. What superstitious people the pakehas are!
We now heard that the Wanganuis, who had been stationed at Pipiriki, were coming to attack us, having been excited thereto by McDonnell, who commanded them. Soon after the receipt of this news, a woman brought us a letter from Hori Kingi, Mawae, and Kawana Paipai, telling us to surrender the pa to them at once. A few of our people seemed inclined to listen to these chiefs, especially the Nga Rauru, who were related to them. After this we received a number of messages from McDonnell, who, with a mixed force, was now camped at Okehu. At length the Waitotara tribe, urged by their chief Pehimana and others, agreed to surrender this pa to the Wanganuis, and a day was fixed for the occasion. But one of McDonnell's officers rode to the Nukumaru camp, where he had some men, and told the officer there in command (Colonel Logan) what was going to happen. Colonel Logan at once thought he would get the pa surrendered to himself. So he collected his staff and, with the officer who had brought him the information, rode off to the Wereroa, and asked the natives to go out of the pa, and let him take it. But this did not please us, so we told him to return at once to his camp, or we would fire upon him, and we manned the works. So they rode back. They had not long been gone when the Wanganuis came in sight. But we refused to give up the pa now, as we thought they had been playing us a trick to get us to give it up to Colonel Logan. That night McDonnell came by himself right up to our pa, but as he arrived, a large party of our men went out of the principal gate, with torches, and were astonished at seeing this officer. We did not know what to think, but he at once told us who he was and what he had come for, and asked us to keep our word to the Wanganui chief and to him. The strange coolness of this proceeding staggered us exceedingly, and some of our older men said it would be the wisest thing to kill him at once; but we suspected an ambush. Our priests had told us to take food to our relations, the Wanganuis, and now desired us not to hurt McDonnell, but to escort him back, and take the food with us as a present, and Pehimana promised to visit the united camp in the morning. So we escorted McDonnell back to his camp, and left our presents of food there. But when the morning came we observed that Colonel Logan had moved up a lot of his troops from Nukumaru, between our pa and the camps of the Wanganuis, and intercepted Pehimana on his way there and again demanded that the pa should be surrendered to him and
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not to the Wanganui chiefs. He turned round to McDonnell, before our envoys, and asked him, saying, "Why am I not in the Wereroa Pa?" to which he got the reply from McDonnell, "I cannot tell you. There stands the pa, you can go and take it." Colonel Logan then ordered Rookes, who commanded the Wanganui force, to return to Wanganui and not take the pa. At last this mixed force returned, but came back again after Colonel Logan had gone to Nukumaru. Rookes, McDonnell, Kawana Paipai, Tamati Puna, and Kemp were invited by us to the Perekamu village, below the Wereroa, in the valley behind it, and we again entertained the question of the surrender. But we feared what the Pakakohi would say, who lived at the Putahi, some distance off. If the consent of this tribe could have been gained, we would not have cared for what all the tribes of the Ngatiruanui might say or do, as we felt our hearts warm towards our relatives, the Wanganuis. So we proposed to McDonnell that, as he had risked coming to see us, he might as well go and talk it over with the Pakakohi tribe at the Putahi stronghold, and he at once said he would. We found horses for him, Tamati Puna, and Kemp, and off they started, Kawana Paipai and Rookes remaining in the Perekamu village. On McDonnell and the two chiefs who accompanied him reaching the flat below the Putahi Pa, they were met, as had been previously arranged, by a scout, who desired them to dismount, and leave their horses and saddles on the flat below, as they could not ride up the steep bush hill. They were told also that they must discharge their revolvers, and leave them with their saddles. They fired off their revolvers, but returned them to their waist belts, and then ascended the hill.
On their arrival at the pa they were met by the priests and taken round the niu, and they joined in our prayers, etc. After this they were left alone in a small house, while the tribe assembled to discuss matters. The result of the deliberations was that Tamati Puna and Kemp should be sent back to Perekamu in the morning, but that McDonnell should be killed for having come to ask for the pa, and who, as they were informed, had been the chief cause of getting this expedition up. In the evening we re-assembled in our big runanga house, and then sent for McDonnell and the two Wanganui chiefs. Our chief priest, Te One Kura, now stood up and told McDonnell he must at once unbuckle his sword and give it up. McDonnell said in reply that he would do no such thing, but asked for the Wereroa Pa, or he would take it, and spoke to us all as we had never been spoken to before. Much talking now took place, and Kimball Bent, a deserter from the 57th Regiment, pressed us hard to kill McDonnell at once, but our talk had not yet finished. Tamati Puna rose to speak in favour of his pakeha, saying, "You must kill Kemp and me first, if you have to kill McDonnell." Kemp afterwards said the same. This we thought was the speech of warriors and brave men. McDonnell drew his sword out of its sheath, loaded the revolvers, and then handed them
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to his companions. We did not interrupt Kemp or Tamati. At last daylight began to dawn upon us. We had been talking the whole night long. Presently there was a loud cry, and then a volley of musketry. None of us knew what it could mean, and we all rushed outside with our arms, and met a body of the Tangahoe tribe, who lived at Manutahi, who had come to bring a prisoner (a 57th soldier) they had taken as a companion for Kimball Bent. On our return to the pa McDonnell, Kemp and Tamati had gone. We sent after them, but they had got their horses and galloped away.
After this the Governor, Sir George Grey, came up, and again the negotiations were re-opened for the surrender of the pa, but we refused. Aperahama te Maiparea, who is now alive and knows this, now invited Sir George Grey to come up to the pa, and he would give it to him. Sir George Grey rode up with several officers, General Waddy (we saw that he had one eye like our chief Titokowaru), Colonels Logan, Rookes, McDonnell, Dr. Buller, and other Europeans. This aggravated us, as we did not wish to see Waddy and Logan. We manned the pits of our pa, and would have ended the matter there and then had we not feared for the Maiparea, who was between the pits and the Governor of New Zealand. We saw him looking down our barrels, or we would have shot them all. After this the Governor sent McDonnell twice in one day to tell us to surrender; the second time, as he returned, he just missed a party who would have tomahawked him as he ascended the Wereroa hill from Perekamu village. He took another track that he had not taken before, and so escaped. We all thought this very strange luck, that boded bad for us.