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"Solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant."
NEW ZEALAND HISTORY.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY JAMES WOOD, AT HIS PRINTING OFFICE, TENNYSON-STREET, NAPIER, HAWKE'S BAY.
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REPRINT PUBLISHED BY
CHRISTCHURCH. NEW ZEALAND
Printed offset by The Caxton Press, Christchurch from the copy in the Canterbury Public Library, Christchurch
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THESE pages have been chiefly written for such as desire to forward to distant friends a brief connected account of one of those terrible massacres, accompanied by wholesale destruction of property, which bid fair to depopulate and lay waste the North Island of New Zealand.
It is possible that only vague, indefinite reports respecting the calamities which afflict this colony have reached the majority of far-away readers; more especially in Great Britain, impressions are known to prevail which are often opposed to facts. In this little work it is intended to tell a "plain, unvarnished tale;" to briefly review the causes which led to the perpetration of a great tragedy, and to shew how it might have been prevented. If the sad story contributes, even in a slight degree, to bring about an improvement in the future, the purpose for which it was written will have been accomplished.
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BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF POVERTY BAY.
Turanga, or Poverty Bay, lies between the East Cape and the Mahia Peninsula. North and south, the district consists of hills, and a circlet of hills bounds the interior; the hills are partly occupied as sheep runs.
The central portion of the district consists of a fertile plain, which stretches for about 25 miles inland, and averages from six to eight miles in breadth. The plain is traversed by several rivers, navigable for a few miles by small craft, and is diversified by clumps of forest in all directions.
The plain and adjacent valleys are richly clothed with grasses. Fruit groves abound, and wild honey is found in every forest. All descriptions of vegetables and fruits the production of temperate zones thrive to perfection, and require little culture; exotics are reared in gardens with little trouble or expense.
The climate resembles those of Hawke's Bay and Nelson, but is sensibly warmer at all seasons; rain is more equally distributed than in Napier. All parts of the plain are accessible by dray to the coast; vessels of moderate draught can enter the principal rivers, and the roadstead is safe for large shipping in all weathers.
Turanganui, the village capital, is situated at the bottom of a deep bay, from which the district derives its English appellation, on the south bank of the Waimataha river. It contains several stores, a handsome hotel, fine court-house, post-office, etc. On the northern side of the Waimataha, opposite Turanganui, two redoubts are placed, named respectively Wilson's and Hirini's redoubts. The population of Poverty Bay in 1867 consisted of about 500 Maoris and 150 Europeans of all ages. Matewhero was situated about five miles from the sea, in the heart of the district. Many people resided there in houses surrounded with gardens and orchards.