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SELF-RELIANCE is the key with which the colonists of New Zealand have unlocked the two problems of war and settlement. Colonization had begun under auspices unique in history. A powerful and warlike native race, struck by the superior advantages of civilization, voluntarily agreed to accept the sovereignty of the Queen, reserving to itself the ownership of the soil, stipulating that all transfers should be to the Crown. The astonishing spectacle followed of a transfer of sovereignty without the aid of military force. The task undertaken by the first representative of the Queen was apparently impossible. The colonists were the minority; they were scattered along the coast at distant points, devoid of communication one with the other; they were ignorant of the customs and character of the native people; they knew nothing of the condition of their ownership of the soil, though the actual condition of their own existence as colonists was the acquisition of land. On the other hand, the Maori was strong and warlike, punctilious and generous, suspicious and shrewd, proud, and of singular independence. Yet the beginning of colonization was
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prosperous, and the two races went side by side in friendship.
It was not in human nature, however, that this state of things could continue without friction. The leaders of colonization were enlightened, and, above all things, alive to their duty of making good the promise of the British Ministry, which sanctioned the annexation of the country, that everything should be done to save the native people from the fate which in all history had befallen aboriginal races brought into contact with civilization. But many of the rank and file had no better conception of the proud and sensitive Maori than was implied in the degrading "nigger" theory, invariably applied by the unthinking Briton to all coloured races. Many of the Maories, too, were less clearsighted than their chiefs. The friction between the races therefore grew harder as the possessions of the white race increased. Its first result was Heke's war, which exploded the Maori theory of the invincibility of the Pakeha soldier. In this war some of the great chiefs were on our side, and their people fought loyally for the supremacy to which they had voluntarily submitted.
The European shortly after obtained self-government, but the exigencies of constitutional rule of the British pattern led inevitably to neglect of Maori interests. The land purchases of the Europeans proceeded, in spite of the good intentions of
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their best men, faster than the schemes for the amelioration of the Maori people. A section of the great chiefs in course of time adopted the views which had driven Heke into the field. The result was the King movement, at the head of which was placed Te Whero Whero, the greatest friend the Pakeha had up to that time possessed. The two races drifted, by natural process of increasing misunderstanding, into war. The northern part of New Zealand saw an army of 14,000 British troops in the field, engaged in the work of wrestling with Maori insurrection. The Maories were not united, however, for many took our side. The Colonial Government at the same time levied troops in the Waikato, and raised money. In the aggregate, 17,000 men were available, besides native auxiliaries, for the work of restoring the Queen's supremacy.
The period from 1861 to 1864 had seen New Zealand filled with royal troops, and many little actions had been fought against the Maories with more or less success, but there seemed to be but faint prospect of conquering, or of peace. On the contrary, the area of war seemed to be widening, and unhappily a difference of opinion arose between the two Imperial officers in the Colony, which, to a great extent, paralyzed all progress. The Colonial Parliament had with no niggard hand strained its means to the utmost to assist and facilitate the
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Royal operations, and it seemed to the colonists that, if they had to pay and support the three Waikato regiments, as well as the whole cavalry and the steamers, it would be as well to bear the entire cost of the war, which in that case they would direct and control. It was on this account that a most loyal Colony resolved to invite the Imperial Government to withdraw its troops, and leave New Zealand to work out its own salvation.
The impatience of the colonial public found an expression in various speeches of the celebrated James Edward Fitzgerald. The policy therein outlined was adopted by Mr. (afterward Sir Frederick) Weld, when he became Prime Minister. On being summoned by Sir George Grey to form a Ministry, he placed upon paper his views in that direction, amounting in short to a request to the Home Government to withdraw its troops, and to leave the subjugation of the native in colonial hands.
In 1865 the petition of the Colony was submitted to Parliament, and the discussion which followed is well worthy of perusal in the altered state of public opinion, and entitles New Zealand to claim to have initiated the true Imperial spirit when she adopted her policy of self-reliance.
The usual debate in the House of Commons resulted in the acceptance of this wholly novel undertaking on the part of this small and distant
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Colony to relieve the Mother Country of a burden which an expensive campaign had proved her to be wholly incapable of bearing to success. The astonishing point in the story for readers of to-day is the manner in which this debate was arranged--in which, in fact, a hearing was secured for the colonial petition at all. Mr. Cardwell told one of our colonists that "he hoped that the Colony would feel flattered that so large a House was assembled on this occasion, unique in the records of Parliament, when an Indian or colonial question was before it. It was by a promise that the debate would be over by dinner time."
The Colony was actually asked, in perfect good faith, to "feel flattered" at having, in a matter vitally touching its welfare, obtained the favour of a perfunctory debate.
Such were our relations with the Mother Country then. Now the whirligig of time offers us a contrast in the treatment accorded, in 1900, by both Houses, and by all degrees of statesmen to the Australian Commonwealth Bill--a measure not more important to Australia at the later date than the policy so bravely sketched in the petition of 1865 was to New Zealand then. That contrast gives us the exact measure of the improvement that has taken place in the interval, in the relations between Downing Street and the great colonial dependencies of the Crown. It is the difference between
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"cutting the painter" and the maintenance of the Empire intact and glorious.
Whatever may have been the opinion in the Colony is immaterial. But the main feature of the debate was the question whether the little Colony would or would not pay £40 a man for the services of the Royal troops for the past two years. This may be fairly considered as the spirit with which England then regarded her infant Colonies. New Zealand had incurred in these two years a debt of three millions of money, to defray the expenses of 3000 infantry, 300 cavalry, and a swarm of steamers, to say nothing of the native contingents, to facilitate the operations of the Imperial general and his 14,000 troops. The petition of the Colony was certainly not adopted graciously by Parliament, which had forgotten that the Colony undertaking this great task had only 150,000 people. The sum of three millions had been borrowed by the Colony in order to pay for the three Waikato regiments and other military expenditure incurred in order to assist the military, and on the Governor's suggestion a promise had been given to the men so enlisted of grants of land according to rank in the force. To obtain the land legally, from which such grants could be made, it was essential that an Act should be passed confiscating the necessary area. To this Sir George Grey would not assent, and one Ministry had resigned in consequence. After a considerable
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interregnum, as there was a disinclination on the part of many leading men to accept office, at last Mr. F. Weld agreed to try. He, however, insisted on a written promise from Sir George Grey that he would concede the confiscation of the land, thus enabling him to keep faith with the military settlers and so to discharge them when no longer required; following this up with the respectful petition to the Imperial Government to be allowed henceforward to keep the peace for itself. This was a singular step for so small and poor a Colony, but as things then stood, there was hardly any alternative. Mr. Weld at once undertook the task of self-reliance, and on the East Coast and Bay of Plenty put down the local disturbances with purely colonial troops. The operations undertaken by Mr. Weld had been forced upon him by natives from distant parts of the Colony, and were completely successful, and a large number of prisoners were left in the hands of the Government, whom they decided to ship off to the Chatham Islands.
The rebellion began to dwindle away through 1864, but broke out again in 1866, when a sudden inroad of armed natives descended upon the western frontier of the till then peaceful province of Hawke's Bay, in the early part of the month of October, and seized a friendly native village and some cattle of the settlers. Mr. Weld was no longer in power, and had been succeeded by Mr. Stafford, who, however,
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had left the agency in the hands of Mr. McLean, a follower of his, and a Hawke's Bay settler, who, moreover, was entrusted with the Governor's power to call out the militia for actual service. There were no troops in the province at all, with the exception of about twenty men who had strict orders not to leave the centres of population, and to act only on the defensive. In a distant part of the province there was a force of some twenty or thirty men of the lately raised armed constabulary, who were sent for, and arrived just in time, but this force did not make it unnecessary to call out the militia, who were the tradesmen and artificers of the small town and its suburbs. It was very much against the grain that McLean took the strong step of calling out the militia. But there was so clearly a necessity for firmness, and his advisers were so unanimous, that at last he consented, and directed Lieut.-Colonel Whitmore to draw out the local forces and restore order. The action which followed was very complete. Some thirty or more were killed and buried on the ground, as many more were wounded and removed in carts, while the rest were marched into town and confined in the gaol.
For nearly two years the Hawke's Bay lesson sufficed to keep the peace, and the Colony began to think her troubles over for good, but the calm of 1866 proved to be only the precursor of storm. The confiscation of the necessary land to locate the
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military settlers had been by this time carried out in the Waikato district, and had been proclaimed on the West Coast; and, as far as the Waikato was concerned, seemed to be accepted by the local Maories. On the West Coast, however, things did not run so smoothly, where the armed constabulary and some local levies hurriedly raised were completely defeated under Colonel McDonnell, with heavy loss. However, the Colony pulled itself together, and faced the position, the troops in the field were to a great extent reorganized, another officer was placed in command, and the colonists were anxious to prove that they were in earnest about colonial self-reliance.
Up to this time the Colony had discharged all the duties which had hitherto been recognized as the especial obligation of the parent State, and the position of things now looked so much more grave, that not a few persons conceived that the task was beyond the ability of the Colony. The Colony of the Cape, in its many native wars, had always looked to England for support, both in men and money. It was in 1868, a year that will not be forgotten, that wool, the great staple of the Colony, had fallen so much in price that it hardly paid to shear the sheep, and money was at famine price, that this terrible addition to ordinary expenditure fell upon New Zealand. When neither public nor private means were at all easy, an undefined and certainly
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enormous expenditure had to be faced. In the Ballarat riots England had provided the troops and the money. New Zealand had, however, deliberately absolved the Mother Country from her responsibility. Of all Colonies, this was the youngest, and nearly the poorest; but it was an Anglo-Saxon community, and accepted the self-imposed task willingly, if not cheerfully. Of course there were individuals in the community who shook their heads, and looked forward doubtfully at the ability of the Colony to carry out its undertakings. But these were only a few. The great majority recognized the obligation, notwithstanding the commercial crisis the Colony was at the moment passing through. Land, at the moment, in all the pastoral Colonies, was more a liability than an asset, and it did not require any great financial perspicacity to recognize that New Zealand had undertaken her liability at a most unfortunate time. Such was the position in which the Colony found itself when it was suddenly confronted with the task of restoring peace.
The story of the wars that followed is told in the following pages.
There is no need to refer to the story in detail. In so distinguished a case it will be enough to quote the official commendation. In the Governor's Speech opening the Parliament of 1869, on June 1st, there is the following passage:--"The thanks
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of the Colony are due to Colonel Whitmore and to the officers and men of the colonial forces, European and native, for the conspicuous courage with which they have encountered the enemy whenever he presented himself, and for the indomitable energy and zeal with which they have tracked and dispersed his retreating forces; arduous and harassing duties, in the course of which they have penetrated forests and inhospitable wilds hitherto unvisited by any European force, and inaccessible to the ordinary means of transport. The difficulties they have surmounted have had no parallel in the military history of this country. No troops could have displayed a more gallant spirit; no officers could have conducted campaigns with more enterprise, skill, and prudence."
That eloquent tribute was immediately endorsed by Parliament. The next month brought out a despatch from the Secretary of State to the Governor of the Colony. The Governor, moved by his responsible advisers, had recommended Colonel Whitmore for well-earned decoration. The despatch must be quoted in extenso:--
"No. 84.--Despatch from the Earl Granville, K.G., to Governor Sir G. F. Bowen, G.C.M.G.
"Downing Street, July 13th, 1869.
"SIR,--I have received your despatch, No. 44, of April 3rd last, conveying a recommendation in
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favour of Colonel George Stoddart Whitmore, of the New Zealand Colonial Forces, for the distinction of a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, in consideration of his military services to the Colony.
"I have before remarked with satisfaction on the skill and energy with which Colonel Whitmore has conducted the military operations which have been entrusted to him, and I have had much pleasure in submitting his name to the Queen for this mark of the Royal approval, which her Majesty has graciously directed me to offer him.
"I have, &c.,
The passage of the Governor's letter to which the above was a reply is worth quoting. "I venture," wrote Sir G. F. Bowen, "to express an earnest hope that the Companionship of the Order of St. Michael and St. George will be conferred on Colonel Whitmore, for this mark of her Majesty's approval, while fairly earned by him personally, cannot fail to be an encouragement to the colonial forces, on which has now been cast the entire weight of the active suppression of the formidable rebellion against the authority of the Queen that has been so long raging in this country. Moreover, it will be remembered that the Companionship of the Bath has been conferred during the Maori wars on several officers
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of her Majesty's naval and military forces, who, meritorious as their conduct was, have not had the opportunity of commanding on such important and difficult services, as the capture of Ngatapa, and other services performed by Colonel Whitmore. At the present time Colonel Whitmore has under his command in the Wanganui and Taranaki districts (according to the 'States' of March 31st ult.), 1348 officers and men of the colonial forces (chiefly of the armed constabulary), together with 405 friendly natives, making in all a total of less than 2000 men. Now, it will be remembered that in 1865, only four years ago, General Cameron had under his command in the same district and against the same hostile clans, no less than 4497 officers and men of her Majesty's regular troops, in addition to detachments of the colonial forces, making up a total of above 6000 men.... It will further be remembered that Generals Cameron and Chute had at their disposal the material aid of the Commissariat and of the Military Train, and of a strong detachment of the Royal Artillery; whereas Colonel Whitmore has no Commissariat Service or Land Transport Corps, and only a few small Cohorn mortars, that are carried on pack-horses, or (as happened at the capture of Ngatapa) in the arms of his men, over mountains and through forests inaccessible to horses."
In proof of the vitality of the Self-Reliant move-
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ment, it may be mentioned that the Colony did not stop short in its preparations for defence. In 1885, during the so-called "Russian scare," the Government called upon the same officer to organize its defences against possible aggression from abroad, and to arm its principal sea-ports against attack. This was done under Colonel Whitmore's personal superintendence, at a total cost to the Colony of half a million sterling; and, concurrently therewith, 12,000 volunteers were embodied for the defence of New Zealand. Through this organization, when the danger of foreign invasion had passed, the military spirit survived in the Colony and formed the nucleus upon which the Contingents for South Africa were afterwards based.
In all this story there is only one thing less astonishing than the brilliancy of Colonel Whitmore's services. It is the calm satisfaction with which the Governor and Secretary of State limited themselves to the reward granted him. But we need not pursue the subject. The times, fortunately, are altered. Colonel Whitmore got the thanks of the Parliament that knew his work, and his services are an imperishable record.
In the vivid narrative of Sir George Whitmore there are many things remarkable. But of all these, none is more remarkable than the key-note of "self-reliance." The campaigns described were fought by colonial troops; they were paid for by
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colonial means; and they were attended by a success that made racial war in New Zealand for ever impossible. The two races are now one people, equal in loyalty to the Royal house.
Nothing can be more striking than the proof afforded of this fact by the great welcome given by the Maori people to their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of York at Rotorua in June, 1901, during the Royal tour through New Zealand. It was a welcome remarkable not only for its warmth and generosity, but for the thorough loyalty of chiefs and people. Among the prominent chiefs who attended on that occasion, as amongst the great tauas (war parties) which performed their war dances with such fervour, there were many who had fought with us and against us. The daughter of the chivalrous Kemp (Rangihiwinui), who had done so much, was at the head of her tribe; Pokiha Taranui, who, like Kemp, had attained the rank of major in our service, and been rewarded by the Queen with a sword of honour, was with her. So were the Ngatiporo, the tribe of the valiant Ropata, also a major and the recipient of a sword of honour, who, before he died, sat in the Legislative Council; and the tribe was under the leadership of Ropata's right-hand man in all his wars, Tuta Niho Niho, who flourished the sword of honour which he, too, had won from the Queen's hand. With them, and no whit inferior in loyalty and enthusiasm, or in
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generosity and courtesy whole-souled, were such men as Hori Ngatai, who had commanded against us at the Gate pah; Tamaikowha, chief of the Uriwera, who had been the life and soul of the historic Orakau defence; Patara, who had fought in the Maori van at Rangiriri; Turoa, who had escaped from the slaughter of Moutoa, and many a Hau-Hau who had been out with Titokowaru and Te Kooti in the latter days. Men who had spent years in stalking one another in the bush, met in contented amity under the shadow of the great Pax Britannica. It was a noble evidence of the success of our self-reliant policy.
One word as to the treatment experienced at our hands by the Maori race, so valiant in war, both against us and for us. That so many fought on our side is some proof, surely, of the high-minded fidelity of the colonists to the promise of amelioration authoritatively given to the race when it agreed to accept our supremacy. But about the others, a few words are necessary.
Among the objections made by members of the House of Commons to the petition of the Colony in 1866, was the argument of those who were called the Philo-Maori party, who--then, as in these days do the Pro-Boer party, who will believe anything against their countrymen--affected to think that the Colony only wished to oppress the natives and rob them of their land. Since then, with every power
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in their hands, the country has prospered. The natives have been justly and even generously treated, and their numbers have steadily increased, till the census of this year shows an increase of ten per cent, in their population. While this has been going on, four Maories have, under the law of representation, had seats in the representative branch, and two in the nominated branch of the Legislature. Surely with the example of the Transvaal before their eyes, some who took part in that debate, will regret their action of thirty-five years ago, and hesitate to suspect their own kin of intentions so unworthy of our race. Another point in the discussion should be mentioned, because it was especially ungenerous and unwise. During the past two years, the British Government had maintained a force of 14,000 men in the Colony, and it was mainly because the results had proved so small and the Colony had been required to do so much in addition, that it had sent its petition to Parliament at all. But one feature of the debate turned upon the question of whether the Colony could not be made to pay £40 a man for the services of these men in the past!
In addition, returning to the Maori, there are many schools for the Maori people, special laws have been passed giving them the management of their land, and the local government of their communities. Maories have taken degrees in the university, diplomas in medicine, places at the Bar, and orders in
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various Churches. There is a young Maori party, well educated, and earnestly working for the amelioration of their people. Aperana Ngata, a barrister of the Supreme Court, and M.A. of the university, a literateur of considerable powers; Dr. Pomare, a distinguished bacteriologist; Hone Heke, the capable representative, are all examples of what education has done for the Maori. The wealth and culture of many Maori proprietors is a common-place of various districts of the North Island. Last, but not least, the Minister at the head of native affairs, the Hon. James Carroll, is of the Maori race, and one of the most capable men in the Colony. These things explain the loyalty and enthusiasm exhibited at Rotorua by all the Maori chiefs and tribesmen who were once arrayed against us in the field. These are the fruits of self-reliance, of which that ungraciously received petition of 1866 was the begining.
There is another fruit. When the Empire needed men for the war in South Africa, New Zealand was the first Colony to spring to arms. It was not a question of asking. The flower of the Colonial youth came forward with eagerness on every centre of population, from the North Cape to the Bluff. From first to last we sent 8000 horsemen, a larger proportion beyond comparison than any other Colony of the Empire, into the field, where they showed themselves soldiers of bravery and capacity, possessing the instinct of discipline, the high sense of duty, the keen-
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ness of enterprise, the esprit de corps, the patriotism, in short all the qualities which come to soldiers from high traditions. These are the traditions made by their fathers in campaigns on their own soil. In 1866 our statesmen appealed to the public spirit of the best colonists who ever left the shores of the United Kingdom. They responded by putting down the troubles of their own household in a manner which qualified them for bringing substantial ungrudging help to the Empire in the hour of need. We sent, from first to last, 8000 men to South Africa, and during the Royal tour we showed our Royal visitors many thousands more of the same sturdy stamp. Every street in the four centres was lined with our soldiery to receive their Royal Highnesses: in every procession large bodies of mounted troops accompanied the Royal carriage: at Christchurch alone 12,000 soldiers and cadets marched past the Duke of York and the Royal standard, many of them from districts renowned in Maori war: and there was not a single paid soldier in all these gatherings. The self-reliance of 1866 has made New Zealand formidable to the invader and valuable to the Empire.
R. A. L.
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PREFACE......... . v
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS......xxvii
UREWERA MOUNTAINS AND OUTBREAK AT POVERTY BAY. . 1
TE KOOTI ESCAPED AT RUAKI-TURE.....15
OPENING OF THE WEST COAST CAMPAIGN. . . . 28
THE REVERSE AT MOTUROA.......42
RECALLED TO THE EAST COAST......63
THE FALL OF NGATAPA. . . . 77
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RESUMPTION OF HOSTILITIES ON THE WEST COAST......89
THE ENEMY RETREATS AND TROOPS MOVE FORWARD......109
CAPTURE OF TE NGAIRE...........135
THE URIWERA CAMPAIGN............151
END OF THE WAR, AND GENERAL REFLECTIONS.......177
[LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS]
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Major-Gen. Sir G. S. Whitmore, K. C. M. G., N. Z. M. Frontispiece
Sir F. A. Weld, G.C.M.G., James Edward Fitzgerald, C.M.G..............Dedication
Captain G. Preece, N.Z.C., Colonel Porter, C.B., Captain G. Mair, N.Z.C........to face p. 12
Scene of Ruakiture Fight............23
Sir Edward William Stafford, G.C.M.G., Lieut.-Col. Noake, N.Z.M., Major Mair, N.Z.M.............28
Lieut.-Col. Goring, A.C., Major Northcroft, A.C., Major Swindley, A.C.............50
Ngatapa Pah--Situated on the Crest of the Hill......76
Major Ropata, N.Z.C., Sergeant C. Maling, N.Z.C., Major Keepa Rangihiwinui, N.Z.C............80
Lieut.-Col. Lyon, N.Z.M...........138
North Island....... xi
East Coast Campaign..... 2
Sections of Ngatapa Pah ...... 82
Plan of Ngatapa Pah ..... 84
West Coast Campaign ..... 88
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THE first rumours of the unexpected and sanguinary repulse suffered by colonial troops at Ngutuotemanu, on the West Coast, fell upon the public and upon the Parliament then in session with a perfectly unwarrantable consternation. The feeling of alarm was fomented by daily reports published in the press from the narratives of survivors (many of whom were deserters) and their sensational correspondents. The truth was that underlying the professions of confidence in the "self-reliant policy," which some believed in, and the Colony had adopted with a flourish of trumpets, there really existed among many, perhaps a majority of the people, considerable distrust of our ability to carry out operations in the field, without imperial military assistance and direction. Those who felt this doubt, regarded the alarming intelligence hourly arriving as a confirmation of their secret opinions and distrust, and of these many asserted that Mr. Weld's policy, in which they had hitherto acquiesced, had broken down, and urged the necessity of reversing it and appealing to the Home
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Government for assistance. The most senseless panic appeared to seize all classes, and seemed to grow in intensity in proportion to the distance from the only seat of danger. At the front, in Taranaki, the settlers braced themselves once more to face the worst, but along the coast the alarm grew mile by mile, till in Wellington itself there were some who expected from day to day to see the advance of Titokowaru's band, then only seventy in number, taking possession of the suburbs of the city. It was during this excitement, and when Parliament itself had shown as yet no spirit worthy of the crisis, that Mr. McLean brought forward his alarm resolutions. These were so called from the few first words they contained: --"That this House has learned with alarm, &c." The opposition in 1868 had been obstructive and factious to a degree. The condition of the country, never so critical as then, weighed as nothing to such patriots as Mr. Fox, who thought he saw in the difficulties of the Government, an opportunity to overturn and supplant it. He had already proposed two votes of confidence, which resulted only in exposing his own want of public spirit and impatience by any means to gain office. Both were defeated by substantial majorities, and even Mr. Fox would probably have hesitated to bring down a third, had not Mr. McLean opportunely afforded him the opening. Mr. McLean's resolutions could only be
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treated by the Government as a third challenge, and Mr. Stafford accordingly at once picked up the glove that was thrown down.
Mr. McLean was a self-raised man, who had for years lived among the Maories, and acquired their language. He understood them well, and knew all their superstitions, traditions, songs, and modes of thought. Having been subsequently long employed by Government, and entrusted with large sums of money for the purchase of native land, he acquired a considerable influence over the native race, who saw in him the distributor of nearly all the money they could at that time acquire. He was, too, highly qualified to deal with Maories. His bulky presence, to which they attached much importance, impressed them. His address and manner were pleasing to them, and he represented in their eyes the Government of the Colony. For many years he had been Native Secretary as well as purchaser of native lands. Under the regime of those days when the control of native affairs was retained by the Crown, the funds which enabled him to carry out his duties were supplied by Parliament it is true, but Mr. McLean enjoyed under a dual Government a quasi-independence. When a native war sprang up in 1860, through a disputed land purchase, it necessarily entailed great sacrifices on the settlers, although they had no voice in the conduct of the military
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operations. It was almost impossible under such circumstances that Mr. McLean should escape very unfair and often ungenerous attack. In Parliament the opposition thundered against him, the press and public condemned him, and at last Mr. Stafford, who had consistently supported him, had to make a cabinet question of his defence from the bitter attacks upon his character and conduct in Parliament. By a small majority the opposition was defeated, but the public feeling against Mr. McLean grew in intensity, till, when Mr. Stafford was himself outvoted in 1861, Mr. Fox at once broke up Mr. McLeans department and relegated him to private life. Retiring to Hawke's Bay, where he had acquired considerable pastoral property, Mr. McLean became successively superintendent of that province, member for the town and district of Napier, and under Mr. Stafford (when he became once more Premier), agent for the General Government on the East Coast. This last flattering appointment made Mr. McLean practically an irresponsible dictator within his pro-consulate of Hawke's Bay, and what is now Cook Country. He had almost all the power of the whole Cabinet, with none of its responsibility, and, uniting as he did in his own person the offices of chief magistrate of the province and member for the district, he wielded a larger influence than any other single person in the Colony.
Soon after his election to the House of Represen-
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tatives, Mr. McLean took his seat among Mr. Stafford's supporters, and there was probably no man in the House upon whose loyal support Mr. Stafford had a better right to rely; yet when the time came to have in some measure repaid his obligation, and in his turn to give yeoman's service to his chief, it was reserved for Mr. McLean to play the part of Brutus to his Caesar, Mr. Stafford. Metternich once said, after the war in Hungary had been ended through the aid of Russia, that Austria would one day astound the world by the immensity of her ingratitude, and truly when she joined the Western Alliance against Russia in 1854 she justified that prediction. To compare small things with great, not less did Mr. McLean in 1868 surprise Parliament and shock his friends by his unexpected and ungrateful tergiversation and by his alliance with his heretofore implacable enemy, Mr. Fox.
The "alarm resolutions" came at an unfortunate moment for Mr. Stafford, and almost succeeded through fortuitous circumstances. Mr. McLean in changing sides took with him his friend and colleague, Mr. Ormond, and his pocket Maori vote the chief Tareha. These defections though counting six in a division, important in a small House, would not of themselves have sufficed to make a really close division, but as it happened, the Taranaki members, in whose district the hostilities were actually occurring, objected strongly to the authority and control of
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military affairs at the front being vested in Lieut.-Colonel McDonnell, to whose incapacity they attributed the late disaster to our arms, which so greatly endangered their province. Their mouthpiece was Major Atkinson, and at an interview with Mr. Stafford he stated that he regarded Lieut.-Colonel McDonnell as quite incapable of commanding European troops, with whom he had never been much connected, or of conducting independent operations in the field at all. That being their view, they demanded that officer's immediate removal or dismissal, as a condition of their continuing to vote with what had been their party; but Mr. Stafford was, like the late Lord Palmerston, a statesman who never would abandon a subordinate until convinced of his unfitness or his fault. Lieut.-Colonel McDonnell's report had not yet been received. All that was known of the misfortune he had met with was on the authority of deserters, or nameless writers unworthy of belief. Consequently, and without a moment's hesitation, Mr. Stafford positively declined to make any such pledge, even at the cost of losing more members from his side. Still, it was a matter of doubt how the majority might go, and therefore Mr. Fox, who knew exactly the value of every vote just then, resorted to a very unworthy expedient to secure a victory for the resolutions. Of the many eloquent and highly educated men who formerly adorned the House of Representatives of New Zealand, none was
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ever so perfect a master of vituperative invective as Mr. (afterwards Sir William) Fox. In early times he had used this weapon against Mr. McLean with a violence and virulence that created a sympathy with that gentleman. Now he brought it to bear upon the Defence Minister, the high-souled Colonel Haultain, whom he lashed for not having yet proceeded to the front. When, however, Lieut.-Colonel McDonnell's reports had been received, and Colonel Haultain asked for the usual courtesy of a pair in order to go there, Mr. Fox tried to gain a vote by refusing it. Happily, however, Mr. Fox was not successful, for his old friend, the Bayard of the House, Dr. Featherston, saved him from the disgrace of winning a division in such a manner, and gave his own personal pair to the Defence Minister. Yet, and notwithstanding all the favouring circumstances, Mr. McLean's resolutions were not carried, though the Government escaped defeat only by the Speaker's casting vote.
At a largely attended meeting of his followers. Mr. Stafford was with difficulty persuaded to carry on the Government, and the Ministry did not resign, though to carry on the Government in face of so violent an opposition was a task that few would have coveted.
I felt so strongly that the public had made up its mind too quickly as regarded Lieut.-Colonel McDonnell, that I addressed at this time an appeal to all reasonable people who had kept their heads in
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the calamity which had already cost us so many valuable lives, to withhold their judgment a little while, till the facts were known, and as Lieut.-Colonel McDonnell had lost so many officers, I volunteered, though his senior, to proceed to Patea with Colonel Haultain, and serve under his orders till he was provided with sufficient assistance. I left, therefore, with Colonel Haultain, and for a short time remained with Colonel McDonnell at the front.
Colonel Haultain remained long enough at Patea to satisfy himself that the consequences of the late defeat at Ngutu-o-te-manu rendered it absolutely impossible to avoid a retrograde movement. He discussed the question alone with Lieut.-Colonel McDonnell (I having been sent to Turu-turu-mokai), and in the end a retreat from our advanced post at Waihi to Patea, a distance of over twenty miles, with outposts at Manawapo and Kakaramea, was decided upon. Unfortunately, at this juncture Lieut.-Colonel McDonnell was compelled to leave for Wanganui, where very melancholy family circumstances required his presence. Hardly, however, had he left Patea, before Colonel Haultain was compelled to disband No. 5 (Major von Tempsky's) Division of armed constabulary, which positively refused to serve any longer unless Lieut.-Colonel McDonnell was removed. Of course, dictation on such a subject could not be listened to. As Honorary
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Officer Commanding on the East Coast, I had advised the Government to withdraw from Napier, and send to the West Coast the Division (No. 1 A.C.) I had myself raised there, replacing it with a new Division to be recruited for the purpose. Patea was in presence of the enemy, Napier was not, and as there was no other force in the Colony available, it seemed to me that it would be wiser to train a new Division in an undisturbed than in a disturbed district, face to face with danger. It was fortunate that my advice was acted upon and the intact and reliable Division under Major Fraser brought speedily round to Patea, for the volunteers hurriedly engaged for three months were quite untrained and wholly demoralized by casualties, defeat, and loss of officers. The remaining shreds of No. 2 and No. 3 Divisions A.C. were few in number, No. 5 was disbanded, No. 4 compelled to defend Waikato, and the skeleton remnant of two Divisions was utterly inadequate alone to prevent the advance of the victorious band of Titokowaru, which each day augmented. Notwithstanding, however, the manifest and unavoidable necessity of the reinforcement of Patea by No. 1 A.C., the action of the Government was most unreasonably resented by the public of Hawke's Bay, and an agitation arose, excited by Mr. McLean, whose hostility to the Government since his defeat knew no bounds. Mr. Stafford had attributed Mr. McLean's defection to the fact that he had demanded that a
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large sum (£56,000) should be placed practically at his own uncontrolled disposal in order to provide against any possible outbreak on the East Coast. As, however, he would not or could not state, except in vague general terms, for what purpose the money was required, Mr. Stafford declined unless he chose to accept the responsibility of defending the expenditure as a Cabinet Minister. This, however, did not suit Mr. McLean, and he took the refusal of his extraordinary demand in extremely ill part. The removal of the fifty constables without his consent being asked, he chose to consider an outrage, though why he thought so was inexplainable; and the ill-feeling fomented by him and his friends at this period was manifested in a series of public and private attacks upon the Government of the day till its defeat a year later, and upon myself and others after Mr. Stafford had retired, which for persistence and vindictiveness have rarely been equalled in colonial history. It was under such difficulties, and without a military force, that Mr. Stafford had to undertake the most arduous campaign the Colony had yet experienced on both coasts of the island almost simultaneously. With a scantily furnished Treasury, with intrigue rampant even in the lines of the soldiery, and passive resistance amongst the most trusted employes of the Government, we took the field under every discouraging circumstance that could have existed in the extremity
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of the Colony; in fact, there was so little national spirit that the sword was almost rendered powerless by the shameful conduct of a few political adventurers who hungered for office, and hoped if they could cause Mr. Stafford's failure to profit by his discredit or disgrace.
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NORTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND