1869 - Mr. J. C. Firth's Conference with Tamati Ngapora and the King Natives at Orahiri - [Text] p 1-19

E N Z B       
       Home   |  Browse  |  Search  |  Variant Spellings  |  Links  |  EPUB Downloads
Feedback  |  Conditions of Use      
  1869 - Mr. J. C. Firth's Conference with Tamati Ngapora and the King Natives at Orahiri - [Text] p 1-19
Previous section | Next section      


[Image of page i]


[Image of page ii]

[Page ii is blank]

[Image of page iii]

[Page iii is blank]

[Image of page iv]

[Page iv is blank]

[Image of page v]

[Page ii is blank]

[Image of page vi]

[Page vi is blank]

[Image of page 1]


Printed and published by Charles Williamson, at the Daily Southern Cross Office, O'Connell-street, Auckland.

[Image of page 2]

[Page 2 is blank]


[Image of page 3]


IN compliance with the request of a number of Subscribers, who were unable to obtain extra Copies of the DAILY SOUTHERN CROSS, containing an account of Mr. Firth's conference with the King Natives at Orahiri, on June 1st and 2nd, we reprint the account furnishd by our Special Reporter.




I HAVE, I think, in my last letter sufficiently explained to you the steps that have been taken to secure an interview with the King party. Though I have no hope that Mr. Firth's visit will bring about a meeting of the King natives with either the Prince or the Governor, the events of to-day afford grounds for hoping that the frigid feeling of sullen silence, and the isolation in which the King natives have so long lived, may ere long begin to thaw.

As I was looking about outside the house this morning, my eye lighted on a large pig. There is nothing at any time extraordinary about a pig, but I felt that this animal was something out of the common. He was such a big fellow, and there was such an air of dignity about him, that I was at once struck with his appearance. To my surprise I learnt that my porcine friend was no other than Puru, the sacred poaka. The history of this interesting animal is that he formerly belonged to King Tawhiao, by whom he was given to Mr. Louis Hettit. Before Puru could be taken away, the aukatis were established, and Mr. Hettit did not dare to be guilty of so heinous an offence as driving his pig across. Tawhiao, however, thought there could be no harm in allowing a pig to go through, and accordingly the pig was taken across the aukati to Mr. Louis Hettit's place. The animal immediately became sacred, and has remained so ever since.

I was standing near the fence yesterday morning, when a native came up, and, regarding Mr. Davis, who stood near me, for some minutes, exclaimed, "Well, this is Hare Reweti (Charles Davis)!" The Native was an old man, only slightly tatooed, and with a little tuft of hair on his chin. He was attired in an old cotton shirt, over which was a common Maori mat, a la Roman toga. His legs were bare and brown, but sinewy though bowed, and his feet were flat and massive. His features wore a look of grizzliness, increased by a pair of sinewy eyes and a broad nose. After regarding Mr. Davis with a look of great curiosity mixed with affectionate regard, he honoured me with his attention, paying me the compliment of removing his pipe from his mouth in order to have a good look at me. I returned his broad defiant stare with as much dignity as I could command, but it struck me that the old fellow would be an extremely ugly customer to meet in any secluded spot, with a tomahawk in his hand. After a pause,

Mr. DAVIS, turning to him, said: Which is your tribe?

The native, whose name I afterwards learned was Werahiko Panipoaka, replied: Te Haua.

Mr. DAVIS: Where do the Hauas live?

PANIPOAKA: They live at no particular place. They are scattered all over the world (i, e. scattered throughout the island). They were like a ship which

[Image of page 4]

sailed on the ocean, but the ship was broken by the the storm, and the planks were scattered far and wide. Like the planks of the ship have we been drifted about --some to Kawhia, some to Mokau, and some to other places. You (looking at me, and coming closer)--you pakehas did this. Look at the sun shining in the heavens, giving light, and heat, and life to all men; but presently a mist arises, the light is withdrawn, and the earth is enveloped in fog. The mist and the cloud is the Governor, and the breaking of the ship was the work of the Governor. Mr. Governor (looking straight at me), this was your work. You first brought us guns and powder, and set about to make these things. When you had completed making them, you made swords, --you gave these things to us to destroy each other with. Then you sent us missionaries, and we became religious. You told us to look up to heaven, and we turned our eyes upwards towards the heaven. While we were engaged in that way--in looking up to heaven--you looked down to the earth with a covetous eye to grasp the land. You made us despise the land, and give it away for that (pointing to his finger-nail). Then you commenced at our bodies. Wairau was first, Hone Heke second, Te Rangihaeta and Rauparaha third, and Te Mamaku fourth. Then came Taranaki, and, lastly, you dashed into the Waikato. Then I rose up to repel you. You put forth your strength, and I put forth mine. Your men fell and my men fell, and you thought to annihilate me. You tried your best, and I tried my best. We struggled for the mastery, but I have it. I am standing up here this day. You got yourself into a great ship, and a great storm came and rent her sails. You, England, who stood up like a great mountain, disappeared utterly before the smoke of my pipe!

This last was too much, and we burst forth into a hearty laugh. The old fellow had gradually warmed as he proceeded, and I expected nothing less every moment than that he would lay violent hands upon me.

Mr. Davis, who seemed to enjoy the whole affair as great fun, encouraged him now and then by saying "Tena, patua," and I had carefully calculated the probable effect of a vigorous blow on Panipoaka's nose. It appeared that he had spoken in perfect good humour, and I did not therefore find it necessary to resort to fisticuffs. By this time, however, my friend's pipe had gone out, and, as he walked up to procure a red-hot coal from the adjacent fire, he said: "These are not my sentiments alone; they are the sentiments of all the tribes."

He was afterwards driven away for this rudeness in presuming to speak in such a way to pakeha guests.

I was told an amusing story just now. It will show to what an absurd extent the Hauhaus carry out their adherence to the Maori King. A native woman came to visit a pakeha living in Waikato. She managed somehow to get at his wife's box, and when the man returned he found a lot of postage stamps scattered about the floor. The woman said she had an antipathy to the "pani Kuini' (Queen's head).

Early this morning a messenger arrived with intelligence that Tamati Ngapora would meet us at Orahiri if we desired it, thus paying us the compliment of leaving us the option whether we would meet him at Hangatiki or Orahiri. We preferred the latter place, and, shortly afterwards, another messenger arrived with intelligence that the party had arrived at Orahiri, A third messenger afterwards arrived, requesting us not to be in a hurry. I learned that a child of Te Kuri's had died on the previous day, and that the party were having a tangi before meeting us. Shortly after dinner another messenger arrived, informing us that the natives were ready to receive us.

Mr. Firth, accompanied by the two interpreters, Messrs. Davis and Preece, prepared to proceed to Orahiri on foot, and a few natives, who happened to be at Torohanga, volunteered to accompany us. We went in single file, Mr. Davis leading, and your humble servant bringing up the rear. This, I believe, is the correct style of approaching a Maori settlement on any occasion when you are to be received with ceremony, as I felt sure Mr. C. O. Davis would be from the very high respect manifested for him by the Natives all along the road. Indeed, I am quite sure that had it not been for Mr. Davis neither Mr. Firth nor Mr. Preece would have been able to obtain a personal interview with Tamati Ngapora.

Orahiri was only about half a mile off, but, short as was the distance to be traversed, there was a swamp to be crossed. By the by, I should like to see any locality up here where you could travel a distance of half a mile without having to cross one swamp at least. But fortunately this one was comparatively dry, the weather having been very fine since I left Ngaruawahia.

Have you ever crossed the aukati? I believe there are about half a dozen pakehas in this province who have, so that the chances are that you have not. You cannot therefore imagine the kind of feelings that come over one when you are about to do it. Crossing the line is nothing to it. For my part I wondered what sort of thing this aukati would turn out to be, and I was quite disappointed when I found that there was nothing bearing any resemblance to a toll-gate, in fact there was only a furze hedge at the end of Mr. Louis Hettit's paddock. As we approached the place an old woman came and called out, waving her shawl the while--"Welcome, fathers, brothers, and people," continuing in the same strain until we had crossed the swamp and had begun to ascend the slope.

Orahiri is a small village, consisting of about half a dozen whares built on either side of the main track to Hangatiki. There appears to be no cultivation in its vicinity, and in fact it appears to be only occupied at intervals.

We found the natives awaiting our arrival. They were assembled to the number of about 100 besides women and children outside the Whare Runanga (or Council-house), the men on the right and the women on the left. You ignorant pakehas, who know no--

[Image of page 5]

thing of Maori etiquette, will imagine that we all went up and shook hands with the men. Not a bit of it: we stood at a short distance away, and silently gazed upon the crowd seated before us. Anon one of their number, Te Aroha, settled himself in a reverential attitude, with his face half concealed by his blanket, and offered up the following beautiful prayer:--


He ra, he ra e te Atuaora o nga mano kua homai e koe hei uhononga mo o matou tinana, e mau ana hoki te tukunga o te maramatanga i ahei noa ai a matou whakamoe mititanga ki a koe, te Atua o nga mano. No te orokohanganga o te ao ka tu koe ki te tiaki i o pononga, a taea noatia enei takiwa, he atawhai tonu tau i te tangata he tuku tonu mai te Aroha, whakarongo ki ta matou e inoi nei kia tupu ai te pai, te aroha kia ahu tonu o matou whakaaro kia koe i te ao, i te po. He uhononga nau e te ariki atawhai i o matou tinana, na te mea kua horahia noatia e koe te maramatanga, korero ana te rangi, me te whenua, me te takiwa i tau pai. E tukua noatia ana e koe nga korere wai i runga i o matou tinana; tera kua whakarapopototia e koe i nga tutanga ma o kahui katoa i nga pito e wha o te motu. Te Atua atawhai, kia tau to rangimarietanga ki runga kia matou, kia matou hoa hoki kua kawea mai nei e koe ki o matou nei aroaro, kia tau te rangimarietanga ki nga iwi e rua. I era nga rangi i heke te toto o te pakeha o te Maori, i mate raua tokorua, a i tenei ra, ka whaka moemiti matou, no te mea, e tu mai nei o matou hoa i o matou nei aroaro. Kia whakakororiatia koe Ingiki Tawhiao e hipoki nei i a matou i te ao, nau te kororia nau te kororia.


Matua pai marire, rire, rire, Tamaiti pai marire, rire, rire, Wairua pai marire, rire, rire.


A day, a day, oh Lord of Hosts, hast thou given us to unite us in person, for thou art continuing the light which enables us to praise Thee, oh Lord of Hosts.

From the creation of the world Thou hast protected Thy servants, and Thou continuest to do so in these seasons. Thou art ever gracious to men, making known Thy love.

Hearken to our prayer now, so that peace and love may flourish, that our thoughts may be turned to Thee both day and night.

Oh gracious Saviour, Thou hast engrafted our bodies, for Thou hast before spread out the light; the heavens, the earth, and the seasons declare Thy goodness.

Thou art pouring out, unasked for, water on there our bodies, i. e., the water of grace instilled into the soul from heaven. Thou has gathered together from the four corners of the island the benefits for the whole of Thy flocks.

Gracious Lord, let Thy peace rest on us, also on our friends, whom thou hast brought hither before us. Let peace dwell on both races. In days gone by, the blood of both pakehas and Maoris was shed, they both suffered, and now we bless Thee that we see our friends standing before us.

Let the INCA Tawhiao be glorified who is shielding us in the world. The glory is Thine, the glory Thine, the glory is Thine, grace grace.


Father good and gracious, grace, grace, Son good gracious, grace, grace, Spirit good and gracious, grace, grace.

During the delivery of this prayer, the natives sat with their faces half buried in their blankets, and they joined in the hymn at the close with the greatest apparent fervour and devotion. I shall not soon forget the sight of that group of picturesque figures crowded together under the verandah of the meeting-house, their humble and suppliant attitude, the deep reverential tones of their voices, joining in unison in the chant, "Nau te kororia."

We stood bareheaded during this religious service. When it was concluded and after a short pause Tamati Ngapora Manuhiri arose, and coming forward a pace or two said, "Come forward, Mr, Davis."

The gentleman thus addressed at once led the way, shook hands with Tamati, and rubbed noses. Messrs. Firth, Preece, and myself were introduced by Mr. Hettit, and we each had the honour of shaking hands with the famous Prime Minister of King Tawhiao. We were not however equal to the task of rubbing noses, not being sufficiently advanced in the more refined customs of Maori etiquette. A mat was placed for us on the right-hand side of the whakamahau (the verandah), and we sat down upon it, Mr. Davis in the middle. Some of the chiefs (most of them old men) then came forward and rubbed noses with him, and, though I am not much of a judge of this sort of thing, I could not help being struck with the strict propriety and decorum with which Mr. Davis conducted himself. Anon a number of women appeared with baskets of food which were set down in a row in front of the whare. I counted about twenty. Then the two halves of a pig, which had been baked in a Maori hangi, were set down besides the baskets, and in a twinkling a number of the baskets and half the pig was placed before us, I could not but admire the admirable way in which the thing was done. There was no bustle, no fuss or confusion, but it was done quietly, unobtrusively, and gracefully. As a matter of simple courtesy we were bound to eat some of this food; if we had allowed it to remain untouched it would have been construed into a disregard of the hospitality of our friends. We each ate a few potatoes, and to Mr; Hettit (who came most opportunely to our rescue) we were each indebted for a rib of the pig. It was a wild poaka, and the flesh was tough. While we were eating, Whitiora or Wiremu te Kumete walked out into the space between the two lines formed by the natives, and prepared to address us. He was dressed in a native mat made with sleeves

[Image of page 6]

like a coat, and called a koura, moleskin trousers, and knee boots, and while he spoke he held his cap in his hand. His commanding figure, and manly intelligent features, no less than the deep energetic tones in which he spoke, were sufficient to strike the observer with admiration. I could not help thinking as I looked at him of the character of the Barbarian in the play of "Ingomar." This chief, I ought to remind the reader, was the commander at Rangiriri, and by his courageous bearing on that occasion was the admiration of the Europeans as well as of his fellow countrymen. Addressing Mr. Davis he said: "Welcome, Charles Davis, coming along the path of peace. Don't you suppose that peace emanated from you (the Europeans). No, but it has emanated from me (the Maoris), But for that peace you would not be able to come here now. Welcome to this district, torn by the ravages of war formerly, but now peaceful. We are here to welcome you. Come with your friend Mr. Firth, whose arm was strong formerly in support of war, but whose arm is now becoming weak to make war (i. e., his work formerly was that of war, but now it is that of peace). Welcome, Mr. Davis, with your friend Mr. Firth.

Mr. DAVIS, in reply, said: What you say is right. I come in the paths of peace. There is no greater thing than this peace; to establish peace God came down from heaven. It is true what you have said of Mr. Firth, that his present work is peace. It is on account of this that he has come up now to see you. The fact of our being here together is sufficient evidence that we all desire peace, speaking mouth to mouth, you looking at us, and we at you. Formerly there were thorns and briars strewing our paths, but now these have been cleared out of the way. My heart rejoices in consequence of your call of welcome, and now let there be a basis for the establishment of peaceful relations.

TE AROHA then rose and stalked in great dignity out into the space in front of the whare. He said; Welcome, Mr. Davis, welcome hither. Come straight up. This is a time of rejoicing. There are signs of peace. The black cloud is being cleared away from the heavens, and the day looks brighter. Welcome to us now, as you were welcome formerly, leaving with us words of remembrance to which we hold fast now. The world was not made for you only, but for both of us. The Almighty is as willing to look in pity upon us, with our brown skin, as on you with your white skin. We both sprang from the same seed, planted by the Almighty. His grace is as free for us as it is for you. We were created the same day. Come straight on. I am living on the branch of a tree. Do not be nervous hearing what I have to say. Give back the soil, give back Waikato, give back Tamaki (i. e., Pukaki, Mangere, &c.). Although I am living on the branch of the tree I still cling to the soil (I will not give up my right to it). We are like wandering Israelites without a home; we are living on the branch of the tree. The day, the day, this day is given to us by the Almighty for the purpose of uniting us in the bonds of peace. This word of peace was neither yours nor mine, but it was first instilled into our hearts by the Almighty.

Mr. DAVIS: Call to me, my friend. What you have said is excellent and true. We are both engaged in the same work. What good work is so great as this, the saving the lives of men? It is true as you say that this work is not our own, but we are permitted to do it by the Almighty, for He is the fountain of peace and of all good. And think you that it is a matter of indifference to the Almighty; think you that the angels are not rejoicing over this work, and the hosts of heaven? The proclamation was, "Peace on earth and good will towards men." Although this work is the work of the Almighty let us who have been impressed with it set to work at once, so that the pakeha and the Maori may dwell together in unity. Your thoughts are wise, and loving, and good. I have little to say in reply, because you are imbued with the same feelings as I am myself, that is, the desire for peace.

This talk had gone on while we were eating, Whitiora (Wiremu te Kumete) having apportioned the food outside to the natives by waving his hand.

When we had partaken of the food, the baskets were removed into the whare where the chiefs were assembled. While they were at dinner we were examined with great curiosity by the women and children, and one of the former suddenly conceived an almost irresistible desire to possess my pipe. I slyly threw her a piece of tobacco, being apprehensive that I should sink in the estimation of the chiefs by condescending to speak with a woman on such an occasion. When the chiefs had dined there was a movement into the open air. Tamati Ngapora came out, quietly squatted down in front of Mr. Davis, and looked intently into his face. To squat down with any degree of dignity I have always regarded as a most difficult and dangerous operation, but I never could have believed that the movement could be performed with so much grace and dignity as it was by Tamati Ngapora. As he came up he drew round him his handsome mat (which alone would have marked him as a person of distinction), and he bent down in a deliberate dignified way, but nevertheless with that grace and ease which is so common amongst the children of the forest. His features and his attitude were a subject worthy the pencil of a Salvator Rosa. He is closely tatooed, with short hair plentifully besprinkled with grey, His height is medium, and he is well made and robust-looking, though age has evidently begun to tell upon him, for the nimbleness and vivacity of youth have disappeared. He moves in a deliberate dignified way, as one might suppose an American Indian chief would walk, and he speaks in a quiet reserved tone, but withal very pleasingly. I thought as the old man sat before me and talked with us that I detected an air of sorrow in his looks. Now and then there was a twitching about the mouth,

[Image of page 7]

and the lines with which age and care had furrowed his face contracted themselves. He was evidently ill at ease. The eyes of his people were upon him, and every word of his was eagerly listened to, and would be repeated in every kainga in the country. The Europeans before him were also weighing every word and tone of hia voice, anxious to elicit something from him that would indicate the true state of his feelings and that of his party; while the old man on his part seemed to have steeled his heart and to have determined to maintain an appearance of cold and haughty reserve, if not of obstinacy and of irreconciliation. I saw enough, however, to convince me that it was not real; for now and again when he turned to Louis Hettit and spoke a few words in an undertone a smile beamed over his dark face, and the look of sad haughty pride disappeared in a moment. With all his pride and frigidity I could not but pity the poor misguided old man. During much of the conversation that ensued he remained sitting with head bent down, apparently humbled in spirit, yet still endeavouring hard to preserve the same haughty exterior. Tamati's features are pleasing and full of intelligence and thoughtfulness, but his imaginary wrongs have hardened his heart so that it will be long before he will be reconciled towards the Europeans. I know little of his history. He has not always been the King's Prime Minister and mouthpiece. Before the war in 1863 Tamati lived at Mangere, and was the native pastor there. He wore the attire of a minister, and was much respected by the Europeans, but when hostilities broke out he forsook us and joined his countrymen, amongst whom he soon became conspicuous for his intelligence and education. Tawhiao having married one of his daughters, he became Prime Minister of the Maori King, and at the present day Tamati is virtually King himself. When I saw him he wore no other European clothing but a Crimean shirt, beneath his mat, and even of that be appeared to be ashamed, for when he saw my eye bent upon his sleeve, he suddenly withdrew it inside his mat, and never afterwards showed it except when he shook hands with us at parting. Tamati Ngapora has recently taken the name of Manuhiri (guest), in reference to his being the guest of the Ngatimaniapotos, upon whose territory the whole of the Waikatos are now residing. I believe Tamati is in receipt of a considerable sum in the shape of rent on land of his at Mangere which he still owns. Before we left he gave Mr. Davis a power of attorney respecting his Mangere property. And here, before proceeding to give the discussion which took place at the interview, I may pause in order to say a word or two of the actual feeling that exists between the Ngatimaniapotos and the refugee Waikatos. The King himself, Tamati Ngapora, and all the principal supporters of the King are Waikatos, and the Ngatimaniapotos are jealous of the assumption of authority over them, and have accused the Waikatos of maintaining the aukatis for their own exclusive benefit. Rewi and his people have as yet lost no territory, and are not embittered against us. They are jealous of the King, and would, I feel sure, gladly get rid of the Waikatos altogether if the latter could be induced to settle on portions of the Waikato. They are annoyed at the obstinacy of the Waikatos, and already a suspicion is gaining ground that these people whom the Ngatimaniapotos have received as guests and refugees desire to remain in permanent possession of the land on which they have been provided with an asylum on sufferance. Already there have been bickerings, and I firmly believe that, so soon as it is known that the Waikatos refuse to accept portions of confiscated territory as a free gift, the breach between the two tribes will be so widened that the slightest accident will bring them into hostile collision with each other. At the present time Rewi and Tamati Ngapora are estranged from each other, in consequence of the latter having opposed Rewi's going to Ngaruawahia to meet the Prince. I have been told by those who heard him that Rewi said at Tokangamutu on a recent occasion, "I have been the cause of these troubles; I was strong to produce them, and now I will be as strong on the other side to end them." The Ngatimaniapotos also say that should the King and Tamati involve the Ngatimaniapotos in a war with the pakehas it is the Ngatimaniapotos who will suffer, while the Waikatos will lose nothing. Tamati Ngapora is not a warrior, and I will do him the justice of saying that he has hitherto shown himself to be averse to fighting, and has done much to put it down. At the same time, however, the proclamation of the King is couched in such doubtful language that it has little or no effect; and the common complaint amongst both Kupapas and King natives is, "Why does not the King speak out boldly, so that we may understand him?" Te Wheoro very recently, after visiting Tokangamutu, declared that the King natives were so changed that even their own countrymen could not understand them.

TAMATI's first words, after looking at Mr. Davis for some minutes, were: Have you a word to us?

Mr. DAVIS; Yes, I have. I heard you were out yonder, and I came up with the hope of finding you at Kiorenui (Alexandra), for the day and the place had been named, and I discovered that you were not there (i. e., at Ngaruawahia). I have come in search of you. You were to have been at Alexandra on Friday, and on the Saturday you were to have been at Karakariki, and on the Monday you were to have been at Ngaruawahia to meet the son of the Queen and the Governor; but I find you here.

MANUHIRI (Tamati Ngapora); I have already sent to the Governor three several times. I replied to a letter of his sent from Wellington, inviting me to Auckland to welcome the son of the Queen on shore. I sent fifty of my people to Ngaruawahia to meet the son of the Queen and the Governor, and they returned, saying that the Prince would only stay in Auckland ten days to look about him, and

[Image of page 8]

that he would not come by the Waikato. I have seen Dr. Pollen, who was represented by Wilson, but I expected to see his father.

Mr. DAVIS: Did Mr. Wilson invite you to meet the Prince?

MANUHIRI: I asked him who sent him hither. He said the Governor. I said what Governor? He said Dr. Pollen. I said, "Well, now that you have come from the Governor, speak." I asked him three times, and he made no reply. At last he said, "I have come to ask you to go down to Auckland to meet the Prince." I said, "I won't go."

Mr. DAVIS: What reply did you make about the other places, Maungatawhiri and Ngaruawahia?

MANUHIRI: I made no reply. As I was leaving Mr. Wilson, I said to him, "Have you any words from the Governor? What about the letter of the 6th March? If you have come to confirm the propositions in that letter, say so." He said, "I know nothing about that letter."

Mr. DAVIS: Was a letter addressed to you from Sir William Martin?

MANUHIRI: Aua. How do I know?

Mr. DAVIS: Will you produce that letter?

MANUHIRI: What have you (the Europeans present) to do with it?

Mr. DAVIS; We wish to see its contents, so that we may know whether it agrees with suggestions made by some of our European friends, who are desirous to establish peace.

MANUHIRI: I have a letter.

Mr. DAVIS: The gentleman with whom the propositions contained in that letter originated is here.

MANUHIRI: Why, then, do you ask to know its contents, as they have originated with you?

Mr. DAVIS: I want to know whether they are in unison with the statements that were expressed.

MANUHIRI: You know the contents of the letter already.

Mr. DAVIS: Don't suppose that I have any other feeling but that of kindness towards you, and a desire to benefit you, and these gentlemen are equally anxious to serve you.

MANUHIRI; I know you well. I have not the least doubt as (to your sincerity, and your good feelings towards us.

Mr. DAVIS: Mr. Firth waited on Sir William Martin, and made certain propositions to him in reference to bringing about the establishment of peace. Afterwards Mr. Firth heard that Sir William Martin had written to you; and I wish to see this letter, or to ascertain whether the propositions contained in it agree with those suggested by Mr. Firth.

MANUHIRI: You know the contents of the letter; they come from you.

Mr. DAVIS: What think you of the contents of the letter?

MANUHIRI: No; but what think you of them?

Mr. DAVIS: Do you approve of them?

MANUHIRI: No; do you approve of them?

Mr. DAVIS: I am not quite sure about the contents of that letter.

MANUHIRI: I approve of them.

Mr. DAVIS: Are you satisfied that righteousness and peace will kiss each other, if the suggestions mooted in that letter are carried out?


Mr. DAVIS: That is most excellent, for the lives of men will be preserved, and peace will be restored, and we shall be able to sleep soundly and eat with relish. What are your sentiments in reference to your visiting the Prince?

MANUHIRI: What are yours?

Mr. DAVIS: We left the Prince in Auckland.

MANUHIRI: I heard he was gone.

Mr. DAVIS: We have here the notification in reference to his having remained, and his being willing to come up the Waikato to visit you.

[A copy of the extra published by the Daily Southern Cross in reference to the prolongation of the Prince's stay was here read in English by Mr. Davis, and translated into Maori by Mr. Preece.]

The foregoing conversation had been listened to with the deepest attention by the natives who crowded round the verandah of the council house, the principal chiefs sitting under the verandah, while the commoner sort of tho people sat down or stood up outside. Every point that could command a view of the spot where we sat was occupied, and many of the men looked over the shoulders of those in front. By this time, however, the shades of evening had begun to close, and we were invited to continue the korero inside. A mat was spread for us in a corner of the whare, and we seated ourselves upon it, a lamp being placed beside us. Manuhiri, who, the reader will be careful to bear in mind, is one and the same person as Tamati Ngapora, then came and squatted down in front of us as before.

A Hauhau prayer was then offered up, and a chaunt sung, which occupied about half an hour. At the conclusion of the service the conversation was resumed.

MANUHIRI said: Were you at Opepe (in the Taupo district)?

Mr. DAVIS: No, I was at Oruanui (Taupo district.)

MANUHIRI: Te Poihipi and Hohepa Tamamutu were building a pa at Opepe, and Te Heuheu, finding it, sent them back.

Mr. DAVIS: I have heard that there has been fighting in that district.

MANUHIRI; While we are talking of peace here, there is fighting there, and at many other places.

Mr. DAVIS; Why don't you put a stop to the fighting.

MANUHIRI: Why don't you?

Mr. DAVIS: Has all mana (power and authority) been taken away from you?

MANUHIRI; Has all mana (all authority) been taken away from you, that you do not put a stop to this fighting?

[Image of page 9]

Mr. DAVIS: I have seen your proclamation in relation to peace, which has gladdened my heart.

MANUHIRI: I tried to send it to Te Kooti, who is now fighting, buT my messengers could not get through on account of your armies.

MR. DAVIS: Now that you and I are agreed about peace, cannot you do your part?

MANUHIRI: Cannot you do yours? You are all-powerful. You have the road open by sea and by land. All you have to say to your side is "Come back," and they will come back immediately. But our side is slow to work. There are hindrances in the way; our messengers are obstructed by your armies.

MR. DAVIS: You say you are anxious for peace, and we say that we are anxious for peace; cannot you meet the Governor, and state what you want?

WHITIORA: I will answer that. We do not want any particular part of Waikato; we want all Waikato and all New Zealand back; for this is Waikato and there is Waikato (meaning the confiscated line through the country). The Taranaki land belongs to its own people; the Manukau land belongs to its own people; the Whanganui and Waikato lands belong to their own people. Let the Governor call back all you Europeans, who are sojourners (i. e., living on the confiscated land) merely, throughout the colony, and not until then will we meet the Governor to talk about peace.

Mr. DAVIS: Our anxiety is that peace should be established throughout the country; that the weapons of war should sleep in the corners of the house; that men should dwell together as brethren, not only in Waikato, but at Taranaki, at Hawke's Bay, Poverty Bay, Opotiki, and all other places. Let us assist each other in bringing about this desirable end.

MANUHIRI; He (Whitiora) is speaking about Wairoa, about Whanganui, about Waitara, about Waikato, and other places.

Mr. DAVIS: I should like you to give expression to your feelings with respect to what the Maoris desire to have, in order to bring about the establishment of peace.

MANUHIRI: You know already: why do you ask? You are fully acquainted with my views--fully.

Mr. DAVIS: You and I understand each other, but there are gentlemen here now whose ears will listen to your requests. You are desirous that this unsettled state of things should come to an end, and this ngeri expresses your views. Mr. Davis then rehearsed the following:--

A toia
Te waka;
Ki to urunga,
Te waka--
Ki te takotoranga
E takoto ai,
Te waka nei e.
Oh! haul up
The canoe;
To the pillow,
The canoe--
To the resting-place
Where it shall lie,
This canoe.

Mr. Davis continued: Would you like to meet the Governor and make known your views to him?

MANUHIRI: You have the Governor here by your side (alluding to Mr. Firth, and meaning that Mr. Firth was acquainted with the Governor's views in reference to these matters).

Mr. DAVIS: True, Mr. Firth may know what are the views of the Governor. It does not take long to eat food nor to take a draught of water. In relation to the more important affairs of men they require calm deliberation. I shall not, therefore, prolong this discussion to-night, but if you have no objection we will meet here to-morrow after breakfast.

MANUHIRI; I am going off to-morrow morning.

Mr. DAVIS: We would like to talk to you further on these matters. We will come and see you tomorrow after breakfast.

MANUHIRI; You white people have late breakfasts.

Mr. DAVIS: We will come early and breakfast with you. Will you stay?

MANUHIRI: All right.

We then got up and took our leave, after shaking hands with MANUHIRI and the principal chiefs. We returned to Mr. Hettit's at Torohanga, where we were most hospitably entertained by Louis Hettit. I wish any of you pakehas who are so fond of praising European hospitality could come here and partake of the hospitality of the Hettits, and could see the kind thoughtfulness of Mrs. Hettit herself. You would be astonished at her kind thoughtfulness, and the tact and delicacy with which she anticipates the wants of her guests. She thinks no trouble too great, and you have only to express a wish for anything and lo it is before you. She is a pattern of her sex--and by this, mind you, I do not mean of the Maori race only, but of the pakehas likewise. I am afraid some of my lady friends will hardly consider this a compliment, but I can assure you that this good kind creature is worth half a dozen fine ladies who do nothing all day but strum upon grand pianos and read trashy novels. She doesn't make a fuss about her hospitality, and overwhelm yon with it, as too many of our ladies do. She is not perpetually obtruding it upon you, as if she were determined to remind you every moment how much you are beholden to her, but she does everything as if she possessed a quiet intuitive perception of what you require to make you comfortable. I have spent two or three very pleasant evenings here, and there is not one of our party but will bear this good woman's kindness in grateful remembrance.

[Image of page 10]




WE were up betimes this morning, and made an early start for Orahiri. We found the natives preparing breakfast. They received us very cordially, and we were invited to take our seat in the Council-house, a mat being spread in the opposite corner to that in which we sat on the previous day. Shortly afterwards, baskets of potatoes were placed before us, and we each of us partook of them. As the food was set down before us, one of the natives remarked: "This is the sort of food you get when you come to the people who are dwelling in the branch of a tree,"--meaning that they had been dispossessed of their own lands in the Waikato, and were living on those of the Ngatimaniapotos, where they had no means of procuring pakeha food for us. When we had ceased eating, the baskets were removed, and their contents divided amongst some of the natives who sat on the opposite side. A second set of baskets was then brought in, containing vegetable marrows and potatoes. Having eaten some of these, the baskets were again removed, and, to our surprise, a third course was brought in, consisting of small fish called porohe, and potatoes. It was evident that these fish, which are very sweet and pleasant to the taste, had been prepared as a special delicacy for us, and in all probability had been caught for this occasion. I could not but feel gratified at the kind attention shown by the Maoris. After we had finished eating, the baskets were removed as before to the opposite side of the whare, and the fish disapeared with the utmost rapidity, being evidently regarded as a great luxury by the natives. Manuhiri (Tamati Ngapora) came in shortly afterwards. The natives previous to his entrance had been engaged in general conversation, but no sooner was he espied entering the door than every voice was hushed, and you might have heard a pin drop, so deep was the silence. I saw many other indications of the profound respect with which the natives regard Manuhiri. He sat down on the opposite side of the whare, eating a few of the potatoes from one of the baskets beside him. The natives were occupied sometimes in their meal, and some of those on our side, who were apparently more expeditious eaters than the other chiefs opposite, spent the interval in conversation. An old fellow near me, who had caught my attention by a peculiar habit which he seemed to have of shifting about uneasily, got into conversation with another Maori near him about the hakihaki (itch). He was describing the ingredients to be used in order to effect a cure, consisting of gunpowder, grease, and hinau bark, and he remarked in a tone which evidently showed how great he esteemed the drawback, "But after you have rubbed it on your skin, you must wash yourself, you know." I should think so! The conversation appeared to be attractive, for presently one or two other natives drew themselves closer to the speaker, and one of them remarked, to the evident surprise of his companions, that he had always cured himself by the plentiful use of soap and water.

I had a practical illustration of the benefits of the great necessity of civilized cleanliness. Sitting before me was a Maori girl who lives with Mrs. Hettet, and whose face had been washed that morning--as a consequence her complexion was several degrees lighter than that of any other native in the house.

I watched Manuhiri very narrowly during the discussion which took place on this day, and I noticed that he betrayed more signs of uneasiness than on the previous day. I am quite sure that this reserve and frigid haughtiness sit very unnaturally upon the King's Prime Minister, and it struck me that, could we remove him from the hearing of the chiefs who were around him, his outward coldness would thaw, and we should find a very different person beneath that artificial exterior. During the day, he held in his hand a handsome chief's staff, which was tipped with silver. I noticed by certain unmistakable signs that the tug of war was expected to take place to-day, and it was evident that the natives, after carefully discussing the previous day's discussion, had come prepared, Manuhuri having all the principal chiefs and orators near him. The korero on the previous day had been marked by great caution on both sides. Manuhiri evidently believed that Mr. Firth had not yet unfolded the real object of his visit, and he was apparently determined to draw the pakehas out first. Mr. Firth on his part was obliged to be very cautious from his unofficial position, and the conversation flagged very much at times, both sides remaining silent for minutes together. Indeed without Mr. Davis it would have been utterly impossible to have kept up the interest at all.

The discussion was opened by a chief named PAENGAHURU, of the Ngatimahuta tribe, who said: What need is there of any further discussion after what took place yesterday?

[Image of page 11]

Mr. DAVIS: There may be some things still in the heart, for it is the heart of man that thinks; it would be well that your thoughts should be made known.

PAENGAHURU: Let me alone (that is, the King party). Let me proceed with my business (allow us to carry out our own plans, for the well-being of our race). Although it is the heart of man that thinks, I do not wish to be troubled, I want to take time to consider.

Mr. DAVIS: You and I are not to live for ever. It is not well that our paths should be circuitous. Come straight to the point, so that we may each in our own day derive the benefits arising from peaceful relations.

PAENGAHURU: The sun will talk to me, the day will talk to me, and the night will also talk.

Mr. DAVIS: If you were able to converse with the day and night and to command time, that thought of yours would be good, but the work must be done now, while you and I are here, while we live. Is there no desire in your heart? do you feel no pain?

PAENGAHURU: There are desires in my heart, and I do feel pain.

Mr. DAVIS: Why then do you not speak out, so that the ears of these gentlemen may hear what you have to say, for they have come on the European side. What about the land? does it feel no pain, or are you feeling no pain on account of it?

PAENGAHURU: I am. The land is like a stricken bird, whose wings are quivering on account of the pain.

Mr. DAVIS: Have you nothing particular to say? We are waiting for you to express yourself candidly. Let us know where your boundary is, and what are your thoughts respecting it. Did you put up a post and place a placard thereon some years ago? What about the post now, what about the placard?

Paengahuru paused for some time, and did not answer.

Mr. DAVIS: If you do not understand my questions I will put them in other words.

PAENGAHURU: I do not want to say that I will hold out for that; I am not quite light with respect to your questions.

Mr. DAVIS: You have said that the land is in pain, and that it is like a bird pierced and bleeding, and whose wings are quivering. You say also that you are feeling pain in consequence. Cannot you tell us where your boundary line is, and what are your views respecting the land, so that these gentlemen may hear you? I know what your feelings are, and I want you to express yourself before these gentlemen, because otherwise, if you are silent and I express your opinions, it may be said that these opinions are mere inventions of my own. I have known your opinions for a long time, and I have expressed them. I have on these occasions been told by the people below that they are my own ideas. Now I want you to speak for yourselves.

Paengahuru again paused for some time, and appeared disinclined to hazard a reply,

REIHANA TE AROHA (of Te Aua, and formerly of Pukaki) said: Friend Mr. Davis, let me now have my say. It is not you only who have known my sentiments with regard to the land (confiscated land), but my views have been put forth time after time to the whole four corners of the world. To what are you alluding? Is it to the post at Mangatawhiri, that was in your charge and mine? 1 It was under our mutual protection (under the protection of Europeans and natives). That is an established thing; we need not refer to that again. But to what do you allude when you wish us to speak out? Is it in relation to the streams of thought that day by day and from season to season we each separately derive from the Almighty? You have one stream and I have another, and we each ought to work out the thoughts that present themselves to our minds.

Mr. DAVIS: Yes, time is given us by the Almighty, and the good thoughts are instilled into our minds by the Almighty. But they are not to be buried in our hearts. We are to work while there are opportunities, so that we may be benefited, and the happy influences felt by all.

TE AROHA: Yes, I know that you are one with me, and that we have to work to-day; but the time has not yet come for the establishment of peaceful relations. The times are in God's hands.

Mr. DAVIS: The times are in His hands, but we are not at liberty to sit down and do nothing. There is plenty of work for both sides to do, and it must done. That is the reason why we have come hither. Let us understand each other; let your sentiments be made known to us, and ours to you.

TE AROHA: If this be the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, which is to come to pass in the last days, what can be done to prevent it?

Mr. DAVIS: Your word respecting the prophecy of Daniel cannot be counteracted by anything that we may do. Our business is what we have to do today, not with Daniel's prophecy. Our business is, what shall we do for the benefit of our fellow men, to save their lives, and not to refer to Daniel's predictions regarding other events.

Te Aroha paused for some time apparently in deep thought, and Manuhiri, who had spoken not one word further than the usual salutation to us on entering, had sat with his head bowed and his eyes fixed on the ground. The remainder of the natives, about 100 in number, sat in attitudes of deep attention.

After a long and painful silence,

TE AROHA said: Jehovah of Hosts lives, and he has said that peace shall never be made. There was a covenant made with Noah, and the sign of which was the rainbow. There wes another dispensation and another covenant, and now in these days Jehovah of Hosts has said there shall be no peace for ever on earth.

[Image of page 12]

Mr. DAVIS: Jehovah of Hosts liveth, it is true, but his desire is that man should not dwell together as enemies, but as brethren enjoying all the benefits that accrue from friendly intercourse. He is willing to make a covenant of peace with us now, so that the beautiful rainbow may shine above our heads. It is Jehovah that gives light and peace.

TE AROHA was again silent for some minutes, but at length, being prompted by some of the chiefs, he said; You turn round and go to work; do you work on that side; I will go to work on this side, and, as the days go on, the Almighty will be a judge between us. Turn to Josiah (Mr. Firth), and speak to him about your side: our side has finished.

Mr. DAVIS: Wait a while, Mr Firth has plenty to do, and so have we. I go on board your canoe, and although I am only an inferior one placed at the bottom of the canoe to bail the water out, and so prevent her from sinking, you are to look after the stern post and the prow of the canoe, and to mind the helm, the top sides, and so forth. Set to work and repair the canoe, and let us get into it, so that we may feel safe and happy. Now that you and I are in the same canoe, let us work together, and understand each other, in order that we may lay our grievances before the others (pointing out to Mr. Firth and his party), who are on the opposite side.

TE AROHA: Yes, our (Mr. Davis's and his) acquaintance is not of to-day, and our friendly feelings are still the same. I agree to your proposition that you and I work together, to enlighten the other side as to what we want.

Mr. DAVIS: Now then what do you want? Do you mean, by the restoration of the Waikato, that the whole should be returned, as far as Mangatawhiri, or do you mean that a portion should be returned?

TE AROHA: You know and I know that our wish is the whole.

Mr. DAVIS: There are people who have been considered to have committed dark offences, and what say you to that? Do you wish everybody to be considered free and washed from their sins? Do you say that these persons should be punished, or that a free pardon should be given to all, from one end of the island to the other, notwithstanding the greatness of their crimes?

TE AROHA: Yes. Speak to them (Mr. Firth and Mr. Preece).

Mr. DAVIS: Do you wish that all fighting should cease? For you are aware that there are pains at Taranaki, pains at Whanganui, pains at Poverty Bay, pains on the East Coast, pains at Hawke's Bay, and pains at Waikato.

TE AROHA; Our word has gone forth that the striking of man by man should cease. Now then do your part; remove your armies, for my messengers cannot get through.

Mr. DAVIS: If I should ask for my treasure to be brought forth, that he (the Maori King) may see the light of the sun, and that men should look on his face, what would you say then?

TE AROHA: Consult with your side at the four corners of the island, and if they all acknowledge him (the King) and the fighting cease, and the soldiers are withdrawn from their present positions, then I shall know that the day is come that we look for, and that the sun will shine upon us.

Mr. DAVIS then sang the following waiata, which was composed by himself, and to which the natives listened with the deepest respect:--

Tera ka mokowhiti tera ki runga ra,
Te utu ki te Kuiti,
Te puke ra i a te nui tirohanga mata,
Na te ao o te tonga
To pai whakaaro ra ki rau o te iwi.
Nau mai e tama,
Tama tananui uri o Tapane,
Kei o matua;
Potatau, ra e kua hiko ki te muri.
Tawhiao, ra e
E hau nei te rongo ki nuiwhenua
He ingoa ka tiketike e i,
Whakahaerea ra kawea mai te mihi;
Kawea mai te pai,
Kia mohani ai whakangaiotia ra,
Te moana ngarungaru,
Kia mania noa te moana i rokiroki,
Kia puta te whenua,
Te tangata hoki ra tenei te kanohi ka
Huri kia tama
He rerenga kotuku i te muri rangaranga,
Tau ana ki te motu ra e i.


Lo! the sun is mounting high
Above Kuiti's heights,
The hill where dwells the great,
To whom the face is turned
Of those who live in southern lands.
Let me greet thee, son: thy thoughts
Are excellent, conveyed to many tribes;
Son and chieftain great, descendant of Tapane,
These were thy fathers;
And Potatau, who with them
Traverses the land of spirit?.
Oh, Tawhiao! thy fame
Has spread to distant land?,
And thy name is exalted.
Oh, bring him forth,
And bring with him the kindly feelings,
And bring with him the peace,
And smooth the way, and calm the troubled sea,
And let the sleeping sea be as the plain,
And let the land have quiet,
And let the people rest;
The countenance is turned to thee, my son,
Who like the crane that flies,
At eventide moves gracefully,
Then on the island rests.

[Image of page 13]

TE AROHA: The matter rests with you solely. You and I have finished. My proclamation has gone forth that the striking of man by man shall cease, and that the striking of the land by men shall cease; the right hand to the right hand, and the left to the left. Turn you round to your pakehas, and tell them to do their part.

Mr. Davis here turned to Mr. Firth and addressed him in Maori, so that the natives might comprehend the remarks. Mr. Preece continued to interpret for Mr. Firth and myself. Mr. DAVIS said; Listen, you pakehas. Listen to the sentiments which have been expressed in your hearing to-day. These people (the Maoris) say that their boundary line is at Mangatawhiri, and they want Waikato given back to them. They say that every transgressor, no matter how dark his crimes, should be pardoned. They also say that fighting should cease, and that peace should be established not only in Waikato, but at Taranaki, Whanganui, Poverty Bay, and all places in the island, and that the soldiers from all these places should be withdrawn. They ask you also to acknowledge their King. Now then, you are between both parties, and this weighty matter will be entrusted to you, that is, to propose these things to your side, the Europeans. Do not suppose that your dignity will be sacrificed, or that you will become little in the eyes of the Maoris, should you accede to their requests. No, it will be simply a great people doing a great thing. Say not to us that the Waikato is dotted over with houses, and that Europeans are living in various localities. We (the Maoris) did not ask you to build those houses, and to occupy those lands. We are not asking you for anything that is yours; we never acknowledged your boundary line laid down by the Governor (the boundary of the confiscated land), and all we ask of you now is to give back our own, the land of our ancestors. Our boundary line is at Mangatawhiri, and we erected a post there. We were not to cross over to your side, nor you to ours. Do not take that which belongs to a small people like us. We have but a small portion which you should allow us to occupy. Be you strong now to carry out your part of the business, for ours is done. Turn neither to the right nor to the left, but look straight on, and be strong to complete your great work, so that the sun (peace) may shine upon us.

Mr. FIRTH then addressed Manuhiri and the chiefs, his words being interpreted by Mr. Preece. He said; Friend Manuhiri, salutations to you, and to all of you. This is a great work that we are engaged upon to day; it is the saving of men's lives. This is a very great work indeed; to accomplish this the Saviour came down from heaven, and died for us. I shall have weighty words to speak to you this day. The work I am engaged upon I do not want to be done in a corner. We wish our work and our words to be known to all men, that all the pakehas and the Maoris in New Zealand may hear them, There is one here who will write down our words, and give them forth to the whole world. Whitiora said yesterday that my arm was strong for war formerly. He spoke the truth. It was strong for war then, but for some time past it has been just as strong for peace. I went to war so that the supremacy of the law might be maintained, so that the law might be above every man; so that evil deeds might be put down throughout the island. Rewi and the Waikato went into war, and their desire also was that their law might be maintained. I was on one side of the whare, Rewi was on the other side: we each went on our war paths until we met in the centre of the house. We have both found that we have not secured the supremacy of the law, for evil deeds are still done in the land. Bands of armed men of both races are wandering about the country seeking to destroy each others' lives. Ministers have been killed, quiet people have been killed, women and children have been killed. Long ago, when I heard that the son of Queen Victoria was coming here, a man of ancient lineage and exalted rank, a man whose reputation was known throughout the world--when I heard that he was about to come here to these shores, I saw that a great opportunity would arise for the establishment of peace. At last the Prince arrived, and it went forth amongst the people that a meeting would take place at Ngaruawahia between the Prince on one side, and Tawhiao, Manuhiri, and Rewi on the other. Then Rewi sent down his 50 men to meet the Prince at Ngaruawahia and they returned, because nobody knew that they were coming down, and no proper intimation was given to the Governor. After that it appeared that some misunderstanding had arisen, and the Prince was going away without seeing you. A number of pakeha rangatiras (European gentlemen) heard that the Prince was not going to Ngaruawahia --that he was going away in his ship. They wrote a letter to the Governor asking that the Prince might remain in the land, so that peace might be established between the two races. In consequence of that word to the Governor the Prince consented to remain. I then came up to this part of the country in order to remove any misunderstanding which might have existed amongst you, and I brought this white flag in my hand (pointing to Mr. Davis). I came here also for the purpose of understanding what your thoughts were about the peace which we are all anxious to obtain, both pakehas and Maoris, and also to prevent any mistake being made. In the days that are passed my friend Wiremu Tamihana (William Thompson) and I made peace at Waiho. I said to him, "William, let no evil deeds be done in this district; let no fighting men be found here. I on my part will take care that no soldiers come to this district." I have kept my word, for the foot of a soldier has not trodden upon the land at Waiho, and the peace that Thompson and I made there still remains. Evil deeds have been done in other parts of the island, but no women or children have been murdered there. There was fighting in other parts of the island. Thompson and I were like men standing

[Image of page 14]

on the shores: we saw the ship tossed about by the fury of the winds and the waves, and in danger of being wrecked. Thompson died, and his last words were "Peace." Before he passed away he gave to me his mat "Taihoa," and he said to me, "Many wicked deeds will be done in this island by my people. Do not you be impatient when you hear of evil things being done. Put on this mantle, and wait patiently until the dark days have passed away."

I have put on that mantle; even now it is wrapped around me. I wish you thoroughly to understand my position. I have not come to speak to you today as the representative of the Government. I am not a Government man, I am standing alone, and I have come here because I do not wish to see the canoe destroyed by the pakehas and the Maoris who are in it. I am come here to see if I can find out any way by which the canoe can be brought safely to shore, I come now to speak of your proposals for peace. I have no authority whatever, as I am not speaking on behalf of the Government in any sense, but, notwithstanding that, I know something of their intentions. Now with regard to your first proposal about the King. I believe that the King will be assented to in a certain district.

MANUHIRI (Tamati Ngapora); It is a matter of indifference to us whether you consent or not; we shall have him.

Mr. FIRTH: With regard to the fighting I believe, if peace be established, the Government will consent to the ending of all fighting in all parts of the island. Then again with regard to the amnesty. There have been many persona, innocent men, women, and children foully murdered, and these things weigh heavily on the minds of the pakehas, so that there will be great difficulty in their forgiving them, because their hearts are very sore about them. Nevertheless I believe that, if that were the only obstacle to the establishment of a permanent peace throughout the whole of this country, dark as the hearts of the pakehas are about these things, I believe a free pardon would he granted to all.

MANUHIRI: What you consider murders are not murders with us according to our custom, because, war having once commenced, the rule is to kill wherever you see.

Mr. FIRTH: Now there is another matter about which there must be no misunderstanding. I shall speak plainly to you, but I shall not speak in anger, and therefore you must not be offended with what I am going to say. I am a man who speak right out, and I often offend the pakehas by speaking out what I think should be said openly. Whatever may be said of me, it cannot be said that I am afraid to express my own convictions. William Thompson said I was a man who spoke out my thoughts, and I mean to speak straight out now.

MANUHIRI: Talk on.

Mr. FIRTH: Well, if you mean by our giving back the land that you expect the Government to give back the whole of Waikato, I tell you that is a thing which will never be agreed to. With regard to giving portions of land to people who have none, I know that has always been the intention of the Government, and their intentions are unchanged. If peace be established I believe the Government will agree to give portions of the Waikato.

MANUHIRI: We have got it already; the whole of it has been given back.

Mr. DAVIS: According to Manuhiri this giving up of the Waikato has already preceded what you are now talking about, so that the actual giving up comes before this proposition to give.

Mr. FIRTH: When?

MANUHIRI: In the letter of the 6th March,

Mr. DAVIS: Are you quite sure of that?

MANUHIRI: Quite sure.

Mr. FIRTH: If Sir William Martin, the writer of that letter, has told you the Government will give you the whole of the Waikato back, he has done so without authority, and it will not be acceded to.

MANUHIRI: According to your idea the canoe will be split in two. If a channel were cut from Ngaruawahia to the coast on the other side, that would be breaking up the canoe, but the waters of the Waikato still flow into the sea on this side in their old course. The letter of the 6th March says that the canoe is not to be split up.

Mr. DAVIS: Your words come clothed in wrappers, for the letter of the 6th March says the land is given up.

MANUHIRI: How can I help it? It is a voluntary act on the part of the pakehas to give up Waikato.

Mr. FIRTH; I have spoken to Sir William Martin about these matters, but he never told me that he proposed to give the Waikato back.

MANUHIRI: Here it is, I have it,

Mr. FIRTH: You have heard what I have to say about these things. Look at these children there growing up in hatred of the pakehas, while on the other hand the pakeha children are growing up in hatred of the Maori. When these children grow up to be men there will not be that chance of making peace which we now have; for you, Manuhiri, are my friend, and we have the remembrance of good deeds done one to another in the days that are passed. I now stretch out my hand to you, and I ask you to grasp it before it be too late. Do not throw my hand scornfully from you. Let this good work be our work. Remember this word, "Whatsoever thine hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might."

WHITIORA: Oh friends, some of Mr. Firth's wards are good. Friend Charles Davis, some of Mr. Firth's words are good, good, good, very good--some of them. That part is very good wherein he says he extends his hand to Manuhiri, the meaning of which is the expressions he has given utterance to. Mr. Firth is not a man who conceals his thoughts, he speaks right out. Be strong, Mr. Firth, be strong with the Government, and if you be strong then I shall know that the day is ours (i. e., that we have established peace). You are plain, you speak out

[Image of page 15]

boldly, and I like your mode of speaking. Don't you say one thing here, and another down below (at Auckland). (To Mr. Davis:) Mr. Firth's word is good. He tells us that his arm was strong formerly in the cause of war, but that now it is weak in that cause (i. e., he has no desire to lift his arm to fight). According to the opinions of you pakehas, these killings you speak of were murders, but we say they are not. This would be a murder, if I were to kill you now that you have come here on a friendly visit; or if I were to kill Mr. Firth, that would be a murder. If I were to say to-day in a friendly spirit, "Come round by this path," intending evil while professing friendship, if I took you out of the safe path into that of danger and you were killed, that would be a foul murder. And here are your foul murders;-- General Cameron told us to send our women and children to Rangiawhia, where they should remain unmolested, but he went away from Paterangi with his soldiers after them, and the women and children were killed and some of them burnt in the houses. You did not go to fight the men; you left them and went away to fight with the women and little children. These things you conceal because they are faults on your side, but anything on our side you set down against us, and open your mouths wide to proclaim it. That deed of yours was a foul murder, and yet there is nobody to proclaim it, Not only in this island are the foot-prints of your evil deeds visible, but in every island whereon you had touched. But now you come here and talk to us of peace, and I like your words well, for they come straight from the heart. Be you strong, Josiah, to continue your work, and if you are strong to carry it out I shall also be willing, and then the sun will shine upon us.

MANUHIRI: Formerly, Mr. Firth, when you came up I did not know you, and I said to you, "Go back." I had heard that you had been strong in lifting up your arm in the cause of war. I afterwards heard that you had lifted up your arm for peace, and I was pleased at that word. I was determined to try you further, but when you came this time I stretched out my hand to you.

TE AROHA (to Mr. Davis): Charles, you have Pukaki and Ihaka, and you and I have the post in keeping at Mangatawhiri.

Mr. DAVIS: I know this. You are my old friend, and you and I have thoughts in keeping.

TE AROHA: Yes, you know them.

MANUHIRI: I do not go round and round. I come straight on. Mr. Firth (i. e., the Europeans) has done nothing. All that has been done has been accomplished by me. I have issued a proclamation about peace.

MR. FIRTH: I have listened to the words of Whitiora, and I like some of them well. Te Aroha says that Jehovah lives. We all know that He lives, and that He said in the olden time, "Let there be peace on earth and good will amongst men." That work of peace is our work to-day. The ancient saying is, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Now we must understand each other. My word is this--if we can agree about the land and the other things that have been spoken of, let the words be put into a letter, and I will then go down with them to the Prince. If he has gone away in his ship, I will see the Governor. If the Governor has gone down to the Great Assembly I will go there also, taking my two friends, Mr. Davis and Mr. Preece, with me, and I will lay these matters before the Assembly of pakeha rangatiras. But I must have two things in my hand, the word about the land and the letter, I have already told you that I shall not speak figuratively to you. I want you to agree with me about the portions of land being given, but if you still say that you demand the whole of the Waikato lands to be given back to you, I tell you that it will not be done, and that I will not go to Wellington with such a word. If you say to me, "Give me a portion of these lands," and you give me a letter, then I will go and see if anything can be done. This will not be my first visit to Wellington. In 1866 Governor Grey proposed to place soldiers at Taupo. I knew that if that were done it would bring evil again into the land. I went down to the Assembly to raise my voice against it. I saw many of the rangatiras of the Runanga (members of the Assembly), and I brought them over to my opinion. I then wrote a letter to the Governor, pointing out to him the evil that would grow out of that proposal of his. Then they all agreed to my word, that the troops should not go there. On my return I saw William Thompson. I said to him, "I have stopped the troops from going to Taupo; the Governor has agreed to my word." And I said also to him, "Now, if bad deeds are done in this country, if women and children are killed, the troops will be placed at Taupo in days to come, but remember that work will be the work of the Maoris, the placing of these pakeha soldiers at Tapo will be the act of the Maoris, not mine or the Government's." I have not gone into a discussion of the old questions this day, and I do not intend to do so, for this is a day of peace. You remember, Manuhiri, that Naaman of old was afflicted with a grievous leprosy. Did the man of God tell him to attempt to heal himself by constantly ruffling those old sores? Did he not say to him, "Dip thyself seven times into the Jordan, and be clean"? Was Naaman not angry at so simple a remedy? But afterwards he followed the word of the man of God, he washed in that sweet water and became clean, and his flesh was as that of a little child. This is a day of peace: for nine years we have had days of trouble.

MANUHIRI: Hold there! (Turning to the natives.) Where is our song?

With these words, he gave the first few words of a song in a low plaintive tone, and the voices of the natives broke forth with the following:--

E noho ana hoki au
I roto koia i toku whare,
Moe tu matako au anake.

[Image of page 16]

Tahi nei hanga kino na te Atua,
E iwa aku tau e huna ai koe,
Naku ano koe i whakarere,
Te mau atu ai ki te toko
Te ueuerangi.


Lo, in my Louse I sit,
And though I lay me down to rest
I sleep not--I, of all my fellows.
The gods this direful work have done
And tried to overwhelm me.
Lo these years, nine in number,
I cast thee off,
Else thy staff would have been borne by thee,
And thou wouldst long have had the power
To shake the heavens.

At these words Manuhiri put up his staff, and called out, "Hold," and the natives ceased at once.

Mr. FIRTH continued: We have had days of trouble and sorrow, but now in this day we remember the ancient saying that, like as a woman who has been in travail and sorrow, when she is safely delivered she forgetteth all her travail and the sorrow for joy that a child is borne into the world. The child that is born this day is the child of peace.

MANUHIRI: Yon contended for nine years, and I was not exterminated by you. You persisted in yours, but did not succeed.

TE AROHA: Do not write a letter, because St. Paul says, "I have many things to say to you but not with pen and ink, for I shall speak to you face to face." You are boring at me, in order to get the water out of me (pumping me), while you are concealing your views on the other side.

Mr. FIRTH: St. Paul wrote many letters, notwithstanding the example Te Aroha has given us of St. Paul. St. Paul even wrote that in a letter.

MANUHIRI: You are our letter.

Mr. DAVIS: These pakehas will return to Auckland, and if the Prince is not there, and the Governor is not there, they will go to Wellington and take your word. Then the question will be asked, "What authority have you? Where is your letter?" and they will be speechless.

MANUHIRI: That is your point of view, but we Maoris consider it sufficient to speak in this way, face to face. Let Mr. Firth be the bearer of my sentiments to the other side.

Mr. FIRTH: You must give me to understand distinctly that you want only a portion of the Waikato to be given to you, otherwise I will not go to Wellington.

MANUHIRI: That is your affair. What crime have I committed that you should take my land?

Mr. FIRTH; I have already told you that I do not wish to argue old questions. I do not wish to ruffle up the old sores, because that is not the way to heal them. But do not suppose that I am either afraid or unable to argue these matters with you. If you wish it I am ready.

Mr. DAVIS: He has already asked you to tell him the reason why you confiscated the Waikato land, and he has asked you what sin have the Waikatos committed.

Mr. FIRTH (addressing Manuhiri): This is the sin. Rewi and the Waikatos went down to Taranaki. They interfered in a quarrel with which they had nothing to do. That is the reason why the Waikato lands were taken. The land is gone and can never he given back to you.

MANUHIRI: Hold there. You said Waikato went down to Taranaki. Did not the Europeans go from Auckland?

Mr. FIRTH: Can you restore the plunder that was taken by you? Can you restore the dead to life?

MANUHIRI: Answer my question direct. I want to know, did not the Europeans go from Auckland to Waitara?

Mr. DAVIS (to Mr. Firth): Answer his question. Don't wrap it up in a covering.

Mr. FIRTH: Pakeha soldiers did go from Auckland to Taranaki, because they are the soldiers of the Queen, and the Queen is the Sovereign of this island of New Zealand. The Waikato went to Taranaki, but your King was not the King of that place.

MANUHIRI (addressing Mr. Preece who was interpreting Mr. Firth's words): How about your Governor, did he not go?

Mr. PREECE: The Governor is no more a resident of New Zealand than are the soldiers. Manuhiri, you are not an ignorant man, and you know the Governors of New Zealand are not residents. The first Governor Hobson died a year or two after he came. The second was Governor Fitzroy; he remained a short time, and then went away, when his term of office had expired, to another land. Governor Grey came next. He remained his term, and was then sent to be Governor of another land. Governor Wynyard then came here for a short time, and after him Browne, who remained until his term of office was over, and then went to be Governor of another country. Afterwards Sir George Grey was sent for, and now we have Governor Bowen. So now you know that the Governor and the soldiers are removable by the Queen from place to place, and that no colonists went to Taranaki.

TE AROHA: By whose authority did the soldiers go to Taranaki?

Mr. PREECE: By the authority of the Governor, who was the servent of the Queen, not by the pakehas of the soil.

MANUHIRI: Cease this. You are holding a court. It would take days to come to a conclusion.

Mr. PREECE: It would take months.

A NATIVE: Years.

[Image of page 17]

After a long pause--

MANUHIRI inquired: When do you leave?

Mr. DAVIS: We leave to-morrow morning.

MANUHIRI: Well. I have a long way to go, and you have a short way. Is there anything further to say?

Mr. DAVIS: There is nothing to be gained by any further talk.

Mr. FIRTH: Once for all, will you authorise me to state to the Governor that you are willing to make peace on these terms, namely, the assent to the King; all fighting to be at an end; free pardons to be given to all criminals; and a portion of Waikato to he given up to you?

MANUHIRI: We must have all of Waikato.

Mr. FIRTH (putting his bands behind his back): You have tied my hands. I shall go back to my kainga and remain quiet, with my wife and children. I shall not consent to be the bearer of your propositions.

MANUHIRI: That is a matter of indifference to us. That is for you to consider.

Mr. DAVIS: Mr. Firth has a large basket full of words, let him take the basket with him. Let him decide what is to be done with it.

Mr. FIRTH: If the Prince has not gone, will Tawhiao, you, and Rewi go to meet him?

MANUHIRI: Our answer is already gone. Have you not seen it?

Mr. FIRTH: No.

MANUHIRI: It has gone on. Rewi's word about going to Ngaruawahia was he kupu taurangi (a figure of speech --indefinite). You know the meaning of that.

Mr. DAVIS: Now here is another thing. We have come up here, and in all probability we shall be blamed for keeping you away from meeting the Prince and the Governor at Ngaruawahia.

MANUHIRI: No, we never promised to go there.

The speaker here repeated in Maori his conversation with Te Wheoro, who went up to invite him to meet the Prince:--

Ka ki mai a te Wheoro: "Ki te karanga au i a korua, ko te Kawana, ki Ngaruawahia, ka haere atu ranei koe?'

Ka mea aitu au, "Kei a koe tena."

Ka whakaae koe ki te haere atu ki Ngaruawahia.

Ko au, "Tena ko koe."

"E mea ana au kia karangatia te Kawana ki Ngaruawahia, kia kite i a koe."

Ano, ko au, "Mau tena." Ka ki ake au, ki te haere atu au ki Ngaruawahia kaore koe e wehi.

Ano, "Koia kaore au e wehi." Ka ki ake ano au, "Ki te unga au i nga pakeha kia haere atu i Waikato kaore koe e wehi."

"Ka wehi au."

"Ha, ka wehi hoki koe."


TE WHEORO said; if I invite you and the Governor to Ngaruawahia, will you come thither?

I said to him, That rests with you.

TE WHEORO: Will you consent to go to Ngaruawahia?

MANUHIRI: You represent me.

TE WHEORO: I am desirous of inviting the Governor to Ngaruawahia that he may see you.

MANUHIRI: That is your affair. If I go to Ngaruawahia, will you not be afraid?

TE WHEORO: I shall not be afraid.

MANUHIRI: If I should order the Europeans to leave the Waikato, will you not be afraid?

TE WHEORO: I shall be afraid.

MANUHIRI: You will be afraid then.

Mr. FIRTH: What message are you going to send to the Kupapa chieftains that are down there (at Ngaruawahia)?

MANUHIRI: They are engaged down there eating loaves; that is their work. I have sent them a message.

Mr. FIRTH: Can a man live without eating?

MANUHIRI: I have already said that they are eating loaves down yonder. Some of them also came up here to eat vegetable marrow.

At this stage of the proceedings we all got up and prepared to leave.

Mr. FIRTH (putting on his cloak) said: I go now to my kainga, wearing Thompson's mantle of patience. I shall still be a lighthouse down there that I may show your one ship how to avoid the rocks and the shoals, that you may get safely to port. If hereafter you make up your mind to any course of action for the establishment of peace, you can write to me, and, if your proposals be such as I can approve of, I will lay them before the Government, who are anxious to bring about a reconciliation.

MANUHIRI: When we see the light, we shall know that it is yours.

After a few more words, we shook hands with our friends, and returned to Lewis Hettet's.

[Image of page 18]


THE following is a copy of the report forwarded by Mr. J. C. Firth to the Hon. the Resident Minister on the subject of the recent conference at Orahiri:--

Auckland, June 10, 1869.

The Hon. Dr. Pollen,
Resident Minister, Auckland.

Sir, --I have the honour to inform you that I have returned from a visit to the King natives at Orahiri, a native village in the neighbourhood of Tokangamutu.

1. It is proper to state here the circumstances under which I considered it my duty, as a private citizen, to undertake the task of seeing the King natives.

2. On being informed by you that H. R. H. the Duke of Edinburgh had consented to delay his departure from Auckland in order that he might meet Tawhiao and the leading chiefs of the King party at Ngaruawahia, so that his influence might be exerted to restore peaceful relations between the two races, it will be within your recollection that I made you acquainted with my intention to visit the King party, with the following objects, viz.;--

(1.) To remove the impression existing amongst the King natives that the Prince had no power to interfere on behalf of peace.

(2.)To endeavour to ensure the attendance of Tawhiao, Tamati Ngapora, and Rewi at Ngaruawahia.

(3.) To ascertain, if possible, the desires of the King natives, so that neither his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh nor his Excellency the Governor might be put in a false position in consequence of unreasonable demands being unexpectedly made by the King party.

3. I then stated to you that I purposely refrained from asking your opinion on any matter connected with my proposed visit, so that Government might not be in any way compromised by my action. The only question I asked was whether you had any objection on the part of Government to my proposed visit, and you stated that Government raised no objection.

4. After the termination of this interview I invited Mr. C. O. Davis and Mr. J. W. Preece to accompany me as interpreters, and set out the same evening, May 27. I arrived at Torohanga on the 30th May, and met Tamati Ngapora, Manuhiri, and several leading chiefs at Orahira on June 1. During that and the following day the conference was held.

5. The results were that Manuhiri informed us that they had already sent word to Te Wheoro that they declined to meet the Prince, the Governor, or the Kupapa chieftains at Ngaruawahia.

They further informed me that they were desirous of peace on the following conditions;--

(1.) The King to be acknowledged.

(2.) All fighting on both sides to cease.

(3.) All criminals to be pardoned.

(4.) The whole of Waikato as far as Mangatawhiri to be given back to them.

In reply, I stated my belief that there might be a possibility of the following conditions of peace being granted to them by Government;--

(1.) The King to be acknowledged in a certain district.

(2.) Fighting on both sides to cease.

(3.) A general amnesty to be proclaimed.

(4.) A portion of land to be given in Waikato for those people to live on who have no land.

6. Manuhiri desired me to convey his propositions to the Government. I declined to do so unless they were given to me in writing as amended by me. They did not agree to this proposal.

7. For a full and sufficiently faithful report of the proceedings, I beg to refer you to the appended account from the Southern Cross newspaper, whose special reporter was present.

8. In conclusion, I have great pleasure in stating that I have received very valuable assistance from Mr. C. O. Davis and Mr. Preece, under circumstances of extreme delicacy and difficulty. --I have, &c., . . . . . . . . J. C. FIRTH.

[Image of page 19]


THE letter referred to by Manuhiri in the course of the Conference is here given, and it proves beyond all doubt that Manuhiri has deliberately misrepresented its contents.

Shortly after the last panic in the Waikato, the Government became anxious to open up negotiations with the King party, and particularly with Tamati Ngapora, who has for some time past been regarded as the leader and mouthpiece of the King party. Many years ago, when Tamati Ngapora was pastor of Mangere, Sir William Martin was on terms of friendship with him, and their acquaintance dates as far back as the time of the first colonial Governor. Very naturally, therefore, the Government applied to Sir William Martin to endeavour to open up negotiations between them and the King party, and a conference took place on the subject between him and the Resident Minister, the Hon. Dr. Pollen. The letter was written with the knowledge and concurrence of the Government, and out of a desire to bring about a friendly feeling between the two races.

Akarana, Maehe 6, 1869,

E hoa, e Tamati, tena koe.--Tenei ano au te mahara tonu nei ki a koe, ki a koutou e noho mai ra i te kainga raruraru, me te kimi ano i te huarahi e noho pai ai nga iwi, e kite ai ano taua i a taua; me te wehi ano kei toro atu te ahi e ka nei, kei kino. Heoi ano te mea e marama ite ake nei toku ngakau ko te korero e haere nei, kua kaha a Tawhiao--ma te pehi i nga tangata kuware, i nga tangata whakakeke toto. Koia i koa ai toku ngakau.

E hoa, e Tamati, whakarongo mai. Ko enei kupu aku hei huri huri ma koutou, mau, ma o taua hoa. Ko taku mahi hoki i nga tau kua maha nei ke titiro tonu ki nga tangata e neki ake nei i roto i te tangata Maori, i te pakeha. I mua takoto kei ana nga whakaaro, kahore he hononga: tenei kua tata, whai tahi ana ki nga tikanga e tokoto pai ai tenei motu.

Koia au i mea ai me whakaputa taku karanga ki nga rangatira o tetahi taha, ma ratou e whakapai mai ranei, e whakakino mai ranei.

E toru tahi oku karangatanga:

1. Ko te whenua e noho na koutou kia kiia he whenua motuhake, --ko nga tikanga o te Pakeha kau a mana i kona, engari ma koutou ano e whakatakoto tikanga mo koutou ano.

2. Kia whakahokia atu ano etahi o nga whenua o Waikato hei nohoanga mo nga tangata e pai ana ki te noho i raro i te Ture. Ko ratou ano hei whakahaere i taua Ture ki a ratou whakatangata-- Maori.

3. Kia ureu katoa tatou ki roto ki te whakaaro kotahi mo te pehi i nga kohuru, i nga mahi nanakia, e kino nei tenei motu.

E hoa kia marama mai ki a au tau e pai ai, ta Tawhiao-ma e pai ai: kia marama rawa. He mea

nui hoki enei.

Engari mau ano, e hoa, oku ringaringa e whakakaha ki tenei mahi.

Na tou hoa aroha,

Kia Tamati Ngapora Manuhiri.


Auckland, March 6, 1869.

Oh friend Tamati, greeting. --Here am I mindful continually of you of you (plural) who are dwelling in the distracted land. I am seeking a way whereby the two races may dwell in peace, and whereby we two may see one another again, though I am fearing lest the fire which is now burning spread and cause trouble. The only thing which causes a gleam of light to arise in my heart is the report which is now current that Tawhiao's people have exerted themselves to repress the senseless men, the shedders of blood. For this my heart rejoiced. Friend Tamati, listen to me. These words of mine are for you to consider, you, you and our friends. I have been employed for a number of years in observing the persons who are conspicuous amongst the Maoris and the pakehas. Formerly their thoughts lay apart, there was no point of contact. Now they have come nigh, and they are seeking alike for some plan whereby this island may be at peace. Therefore, I thought it would be well for me to put forth my proposal to the chiefs for them to approve or disapprove.

My proposals are three-

1. The land on which you are living let it be made a separate district. The laws of the pakeha to have no force there, but you to make laws for yourselves.

2. Let some of the lands of Waikato be given back again as a dwelling-place for such persons as are willing to live under the law; they themselves to administer that law between Maori and Maori.

3. Let all join in one plan for the putting down of murders and barbarous deeds whereby this land is disgraced.

Oh, friend, make it clear to me what you approve and what Tawhiao's people approve, make it quite clear, for these are important matters. But it will be for yourself, yourself my friend, to strengthen my hands for this work. --From your friend,

To Tamati Ngapora Manuhiri.

Printed and published by Charles Williamson, at the Daily Southern Cross Office, O'Connell-street, Auckland,

[Image of page 20]

[Page 20 is blank]

[Image of page 21]

[Page 21 is blank]

[Image of page 22]

[Page 22 is blank]

[Image of page 23]

[Inside cover]

[Image of page 24]

[Back cover]

1   Before the war in Waikato the natives erected a post on the bank of the Mangatawhiri Creek, and on it was a large placard stating that the boundary of the Queen's land was there.

Previous section | Next section