1845 - Wakefield, E. J. Adventure in New Zealand [Vol.II.] - CHAPTER XVIII

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  1845 - Wakefield, E. J. Adventure in New Zealand [Vol.II.] - CHAPTER XVIII
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News of the appointment of Governor Fitzroy--Modified agreement between the Company and Lord Stanley--Expedition of H. M. S. North Star--Negotiations for the recovery of a stolen boat--Letter of Rauperaha--Major Richmond at Nelson--Warrant against Rauperaha and Rangihaeata--Ridiculed by Sir Everard Home--Dismissal of the frigate as unnecessary--Effect of impunity on the natives--Disallowance of Ordinances--Land Claims Bill--Corporation Bill--The Company's offer to build a lighthouse--Obstructed by Government delays--Proceedings of the Wellington Corporation--E Waho rescued by natives from the Police--Letter of Major Richmond--Conduct of Mr. Clarke junior--Rauperaha's son--False rumours at Otaki--Threatening behaviour of Rangihaeata--Conversation with Rauperaha-- His statements--Correspondence--Trial of E Waho--Menacing movements of natives-- The Hutt road -- Haunts of lawless natives.

THE next day, the 13th of September, the Ursula arrived from England. Among other passengers was Mr. F. Dillon Bell, who had been for some time Assistant Secretary to the Company, but had now emigrated as an agent for many of the absentee owners of land in the settlement of Nelson. He came into the room where nearly the same party as on the previous day were congregated. After the first greetings were over, he said, "By-the-bye, I suppose you know that Fitzroy is Governor!" Some turned pale, others became flushed or bit their lips, and a chill silence ensued; till one, not the least persevering and energetic of the group, said, "Well! five years more of troubles and difficulties! I believe that is the time that a Governor's reign lasts." And he took his hat, mounted his horse, and rode at an angry gallop towards his farm, without

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waiting to hear more news from the country of his birth.

It appeared that the Company had at length been forced to terminate their ineffectual efforts to obtain a fair fulfilment of the original agreement, by accepting a compromise from Lord Stanley. This was, that they should receive a conditional prima facie grant of the lands to which they were entitled immediately on the arrival of the new Governor; reserving always the rights of the natives, which the Governor was, however, bound to define without delay, in a final and conclusive manner. A separate Judge of the Supreme Court was to be appointed for Cook's Strait; and Mr. Chapman, who had received the appointment, was to accompany the Governor. His Excellency was also to have the power of appointing a Resident at Wellington, with somewhat extended powers, for the Cook's Strait settlements. Another provision was, that the Company should exchange their claim to land in the Strait, to the extent of 50,000 acres, for 50,000l. worth of land at Auckland and the neighbourhood; which they were to buy, hold, and colonise, under certain conditions.

Captain Fitzroy had been selected to carry out this modification of the original agreement, which had so long been treated as waste paper both in England and in the colony. The new Governor had been engaged in long and intimate communication with the Directors of the Company; and they expressed a high sense of his honourable character and intentions, and their conviction that he would carry out the modified agreement most beneficially for the settlers, and in the frank spirit of instructions from the Colonial Office, of which the contents were made known to the Directors, and of which they perfectly approved. The Company, under the faith of this mutual reconciliation, had re-

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sumed their operations of selling land and despatching emigrants to the colony.

But the new Governor was expected to touch at Bahia, at the Cape of Good Hope, and even at Sydney, before reaching his Government.

Fears were not wanting that the crisis of affairs brought on by the Wairau massacre, unknown before his departure from England, might require too immediate a declaration of policy in one decided course or the other, for the prudent commencement of the reign of any but a very superior man. It was clear that the question would have to be at once settled beyond a doubt, as to whether Rauperaha and Rangihaeata were British subjects or not; and that, if they should be considered amenable to British law as having been parties to the Treaty of Waitangi, their apprehension and trial in the most formal way would be the only course left open. Some even of those who had the most acknowledged right to cherish a lingering wish for retribution, were so far softened as to dwell on a hope that justice might be benignly tempered with mercy, after the dignity of the law should have been duly asserted, even in the case in which its impartial verdict should return the two chiefs as murderers.

A meeting was held for the purpose of forwarding a memorial on this and other important subjects to Captain Fitzroy at Sydney; in the hope that he might come from thence direct to Cook's Strait in order to rectify the critical state of affairs.

Mr. White, who had been appointed Police Magistrate at Nelson, had now written to Major Richmond in confirmation of the former accounts from that place; and Sir Everard, on the sight of the letters, "determined," he says, "to go to Nelson: as I could be of little use there alone, Major Richmond said that he would

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accompany me. I then proposed going first to Mana, near to which island is the pa of Porirua; there to see Te Rauperaha, to tell him all that was said of him, and to require him to explain himself the circumstances, and to see how things were; how far fortifications had been carried, the number of people assembled, and the number of canoes collected. The Major then proposed, that the boat taken after the unfortunate affair at Wairau, and hauled on the beach near Porirua, should be recovered. He sent Mr. Clarke on foot to let the tribe know that a ship was coming, and to prevent, if possible, the departure of the chiefs Te Rauperaha and Rangihaeata.

"We sailed next morning, the 5th October, and anchored the same afternoon under Mana. Shortly after rounding the point and opening the island, a canoe passed from Mana to Porirua with three persons in her; one of them we heard afterwards was Rangihaeata. As soon as the ship anchored, I landed, attended by Major Richmond, and Captain Best in command of the detachment on board the North Star. We first went to the whaling-station, or great pa, where we found Mr. Chetham, who had been sent on to join us. We also soon after met Mr. Clarke. He informed us that Te Rauperaha had left that morning at daylight for Waikanae; which must have been a voluntary movement, as no person knew our intentions till the Strait was entered. We immediately went round to the pa at which the tribe was established. Here we found no one on the beach to receive us; and having landed, walked to the huts, where we found a few persons sitting together. Rangihaeata, they said, had fled to the bush. Te Rauperaha was at Waikanae; and, finding nothing could be done, we returned on board."

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That same afternoon I reached Porirua, just as the man-of-war's boat was pulling out, and after Mr. Clarke and Mr. Chetham (the Clerk of the Bench) had gone on to the northward. As I rode through the steep potato-grounds leading off the beach into the woods towards Pukerua, I saw on either side of the path about 200 natives, who had run from the village, sitting on the skirts of the bush, ready to disappear in case of any offensive operations. Rangihaeata was sitting in the midst of one of the groups. Some of them called to me; but I rode steadily on, as I had no knowledge of the intentions of the expedition.

I slept at Pukerua; and soon after starting in the morning, saw the frigate come under all sail round the point, making for Kapiti. Having a message to deliver to Mr. Hadfield, I rode up to his house at Waikanae, just as she was coming to an anchor off Evans's Island. But a crowd of natives sitting round the gate told me that Rauperaha was with Mr. Hadfield, and he came and received the letter outside the door. I went on to Otaki.

Sir Everard Home says: --

"We were received by the Rev. Mr. Hadfield, a missionary, a gentleman of high character and great intelligence, who living in the pa amongst them, knows every movement, for none could take place without his knowledge. He at once declared all the reports to be without foundation. Having walked to his house, which is in the pa, we proceeded to his school-yard, and the chiefs, Te Rauperaha, and Rere, chief of the tribe inhabiting the pa of Waikanae, came accompanied by about 50 men. I then stated to the chief all that was reported of him, and asked him what he had to say to contradict it. He replied, that far from wishing to continue the quarrel with the Europeans, which had been commenced by them and not

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by him, his whole time was occupied in travelling up and down the coast endeavouring to allay the irritation of the natives, and to prevent any ill consequence arising from the provoking language and threats with which they were continually annoyed by the Europeans passing backwards and forwards. That for himself, he believed them to be lies invented by the White men; having been assured by the Police Magistrate that no steps would be taken until the arrival of the new Governor, or the pleasure of the Queen was known. This account I have received from Captain Best, who was present and understands the language.

"He also declared that they all stood in fear of the White men; and asked why I had come, if it was not to fight with and destroy them, for they had been told that was my intention. I told them, that the Queen's ships went to all parts of the world, and that my object was to preserve peace rather than make war; and he was advised to believe no reports which he might hear, but to inquire into the truth of them of Major Richmond, through Mr. Clarke or Mr. Hadfield. The affair of the Wairau was in no way touched upon. After this, the assembly broke up; and Te Rauperaha being sent for to Mr. Hadfield's house, he was asked to write a letter to the principal person at Porirua, desiring him to give up the Company's boat, which had been taken at the Wairau, when called for. He said, that he had little influence there, but that he had all along wished the boat to be returned; for as long as it remained in their hands, it would be a bone of contention and must cause trouble."

Nothing appears to have been said about the arms, clothes, watches, rings, handcuffs, or tent; although Messrs. Clarke and Macdonogh, who "had visited all

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the pas," must have seen them. But these were probably not a "bone of contention," as Rauperaha had them all to himself.

But, to go on with the Captain's narrative: --"Rauperaha asked, if the boat were given up, whether the quarrel would be considered as terminated. Major Richmond replied, that was a question he could not answer; but that, however he behaved about it, he would have the credit of it; he was the chief, and that the Government looked to him. He accordingly wrote the letter, which here follows: --

"Go thou my book to Puaha, Hohepa, and Watarauehe. Give that boat to the chief of the ship; give it to the chief for nothing. These are the words of Te Rauperaha. Your avarice in keeping back the boat from us, from me, Mr. Hadfield, and Mr. Ironside, was great. This is not an angry visit, it is to ask peaceably for the boat. There are only Mr. Clarke, Mr. Richmond, and the chief of the ship; they three who are going peaceably back to you, that you may give up the boat.
"This is my book,
(signed) "Te Rauperaha.

Furnished with this document, they returned to Porirua; lay at anchor all the next day, being Sunday; and on the Monday morning went ashore, and were assisted in launching the boat by "40 natives, all in the greatest good humour."

Mr. Hadfield afterwards told me, that Rangihaeata and the other natives at Porirua had at first been inclined to refuse obedience to Rauperaha in the matter; but that a private message sent by the chief, by land, to say that he understood the ship would

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fight if it were not given up, had brought them to their "greatest good humour."

The North Star now proceeded to Nelson, arriving there the same evening.

The first thing done there was to warn Mr. Parkinson, who had contracted to survey the Wairau plain for the Company, to recall his men, whom he had again sent thither.

The pas of Motueka and Wakapoaka were visited during the two next days by the Captain, Major Richmond, Captain Best, and Mr. White. "Having now seen for ourselves," pursues Sir Everard, "all the points from which any attack was to be expected, and having found all the reports of preparations making by the natives to be entirely false in every respect, the next morning, the 13th, Major Richmond and myself attended a meeting of a portion of the settlers at their request."

And there a scene occurred, precisely similar to that between the Government functionary and the Magistrates at Wellington; except that the Magistrates at Nelson were accompanied by a large assemblage of the settlers, and that their feelings, more nearly wounded, felt all the more acutely the galling treatment of the Police Magistrate and of the Captain of the man-of-war. The landing of any of the troops was absolutely refused; although Major Richmond allows in his report to the Acting Governor that a small military force is "most essential to keep the unruly workmen in awe, to enforce obedience to the law, and insure the preservation of the peace, which certainly cannot at present be effectually maintained."

He also refused to sanction the payments made by the Company towards the erection of a fort; or those which the Agent had made for the absolutely neces-

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sary increase of the police force, which was kept by the Government at so small a number, that Major Richmond reports to Auckland in favour of the continuance of those who had been added.

But his whole demeanour bore the colour of believing in a dastardly spirit of revenge in the Nelson settlers, merely because they wished to see the law put in force; and he wished to show a determination to keep such a spirit down.

At length, pushed to exasperation, some one asked Major Richmond, "whether on the departure of the North Star, he would feel himself justified in requesting the Commander of the French frigate to move from Akaroa to their protection?" He replied, "Certainly not; and he considered it would be derogatory to any British subject making such an application."

The Magistrates at Nelson, having heard some more evidence, especially that of Morgan, who relates that he saw the first shot from a Maori kill a man by his side, had issued a warrant against Rauperaha and Rangihaeata for murder; and they applied to have it enforced, now that the authorities possessed the necessary means.

But this was refused, with no small manifestations of ridicule at the idea. The Captain says, in his report, "It appeared that, mistaking my functions as a captain of a man-of-war, they imagined that I was bound by law to enforce any act authorized by warrant from two Magistrates; and accordingly, on the arrival of the ship, having 50 soldiers on board, a warrant was made out for the apprehension of Te Rauperaha and Rangihaeata, and it was supposed that I should have been honoured with the execution of it. Understanding this, I commenced by explaining

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to them how far my authority really did extend; that troops were put on board on the express condition that they were on no account to be landed except for the preservation of the lives and properties of the British subjects; and that I should on no account do anything which was contrary to what my own judgment told me was right. I left them; being requested to state my opinions in writing."

Which he did, as roughly and plainly as he had spoken.

He concludes with some strong symptoms of having caught the "Government fever" during his short stay: --

"On the following morning, I sailed for Port Nicholson, where I arrived on the 16th of October; and I left that place on the 21st of the same month, arriving at Auckland on the 10th instant.

"From all that I have been able to see, I am of opinion that none of the settlements, in the parts of New Zealand which I have lately visited, have anything to fear from the natives, so long as they are fairly dealt with. At Nelson, a force is wanted, not to repel the attacks of natives, but to restrain and keep in subjection the English labourers brought over by the New Zealand Company, who have, I believe, been in open rebellion against their employers more than once.

"At that place, also, the general feeling appears to be more inclined to revenge the death of their friends, than to wish impartial justice to be done; and vengeance and revenge are words that I have heard used when speaking of that affair."

While at Wellington, the officers of the frigate gave a picnic to the ladies at the inn at Aglionby. A ball was given to them in return at Barrett's hotel; and

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so ended the expedition of the North Star to recover a boat.

Mr. Clarke junior gave, of course, the same account as Sir Everard Home. In answer to a request for his opinion from Major Richmond, he says: --

"I have the honour to inform you, that I did not observe an unusually large assemblage of natives at any of the above-mentioned places {Porirua, Waikanae, and Otaki), nor have I the slightest suspicion of their meeting with hostile intentions. On the contrary, Te Rauperaha and the principal chiefs repeatedly and pointedly assured me that no effort should be wanting on their part to preserve peace, and prevent the occurrence of anything that might lead to a collision between the two races.

"Under these circumstances, I cannot perceive that there is any necessity for the further detention of Her Majesty's ship North Star in Port Nicholson, as far as the aborigines are concerned."

A short time afterwards, a vessel from Hobart Town, with 100 soldiers, called at Nelson; but the commanding officer refused to land them, having been forbidden to do so unless in case of being actually required to defend the lives and properties of the settlers. The detachment was on its way to Sydney; but Sir Eardley Wilmot, the new Governor of Van Diemen's Land, to whom an application had been sent direct for assistance, instructed the officer to diverge so far out of his way. The vessel stopped two days at anchor in the outer roads, and then proceeded to her destination.

Thus the whole Wairau affair was disposed of, for the present; not as though a successful resistance had been made to the execution of the Queen's warrant, followed by the cruel murder of her Magistrates and their assistants, and the plunder and insult of their

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remains, but as though a battle had been fought between the two nations, in which King Rauperaha had been victorious, and had followed the customs attendant on a New Zealand victory; and as though Great Britain were glad to end the campaign on receiving from the conquerors a small portion of the booty taken in the battle, and an assurance that peace should be maintained for the future.

So, at least, it appeared to the natives. They became daily convinced that they could affront, harass, or even kill the settlers, and each other, with impunity.

They readily mistook the destructive humanity of the Government for pusillanimity, and the admirable forbearance and generosity of the settlers for cowardice and weakness. They had Wairau and its authorized impunity, with many lesser, only because not deadly, instances, constantly before their eyes. E Ahu, and many other of the chiefs at Otaki, who were most friendly to me and the White people generally, did not disguise their utter contempt for the unwarlike habits of the pakeha, and their total disbelief of the extraordinary powers of the soldiers. With such children, seeing is believing. Some of them would often say to me, "You White people are very good for building ships and houses, for buying and selling, for making cattle fat, and for growing bread and cabbages; you are like the rats, always at work. But as to fighting, you are like them too, you only know how to run. Our children learn to handle a spear or a tomahawk when they are quite young; and all natives know how to fire a gun. As to your people, very few of them know how to load one properly. As for your soldiers, have they got four arms or four legs, that they should be better than other men? If I have got a gun like a soldier, I am as good a man as he,

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though I have only a blanket instead of a red coat. And the ships can do us no harm, if we get away from the coast when we see them coming. Thus it began to be their firm belief, that the pakeha was not only timid but powerless. E Puni and many other of the Port Nicholson natives who still remained our friends, often remarked to us, that we were no longer, as they had hoped, a protection to them against the possible attacks of Rauperaha and his followers. They candidly confessed that they did not think us strong enough to resist him. And some among them spoke seriously of removing to Taranaki, or some other part of the country less subject to a sudden attack from their old enemy.

If such were the impressions produced upon the well-disposed natives by the puling indulgence shown to them by a Government spiritless except against its own people, what could be those produced upon such among them as were naturally disposed to support and exemplify the supremacy of brute force over law and order? For, however much may have been said of innocent, harmless, well-disposed, intelligent savages, and their remarkable capacity for civilization, it must not be denied that many among the inhabitants of New Zealand, as among the inhabitants of Great Britain, are ruffians by nature. Under the most complete and humane system of civilization, such savages as were naturally ferocious and depraved, or corrupted by the irregular colonization which had taken place previous to the arrival of the quiet and orderly settlers from England, would have required a firm and unflinching coercion from those most eager to benefit the whole race. Even with a view to the protection of their fellow-savages from the pernicious example as well as the immediate consequences of their barbarian ca-

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price and revengeful disposition, it would have been the duty of a really humane and humanizing Government to deter such men as Rauperaha and Rangihaeata from the indulgence of their unbridled passions by the most iron-like justice and the most severe penalties.

It was in the end of September that we got the Government Gazette from Auckland, announcing the disallowance by Lord Stanley of the last Land Claims Bill and the Corporation Bill, and also detailing the reasons for disallowance.

The Land Claims Bill had been passed in 1842 to amend the one passed in 1841. The principal reason adduced by the Colonial Office for disallowing the Bill of 1842 was, that it did not provide against an admitted evil, the accumulation of land in new colonies in the hands of persons without capital or the means of introducing labour. The Ordinance of June 1841, like the New South Wales Land Claims Bill of 1840, limited grants of land to 2560 acres, beyond which no grant could be claimed. This restriction was abandoned in the Ordinance passed in 1842, now disallowed. The next ground taken for its disallowance was, that a large body of settlers (the northern land-sharks) had represented that it would be injurious to their interests. The principle of the Ordinance of 1841 was to value the land, to those who had obtained it in times of insecurity, and had expended labour and capital upon it, at a low rate, which was considered just. That principle the Ordinance of 1842 abandoned, and placing all parties upon an equality, fixed a uniform price of 5s. wherever and under whatever circumstances it had been obtained. To the justice of this Lord Stanley could not assent. The Governor was then instructed to be guided in future by the provisions of the enactment of the 9th June 1841; which was of

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course revived by the disallowance of the Act which had repealed it.

The legislative wisdom of the Colonial Office appears from the fact that the restoration of the old rates of valuing the compensation and expenditure placed much more land in the hands of the claimants to the north than they held under the disallowed Ordinance, notwithstanding the fixing of a limit to claims. A few large claimants were certainly restricted to 2560 acres; but the great majority of claimants had bought quantities of land under the maximum at periods when their expenditure was allowed to entitle them to an acre for every 6d. or 1s., instead of every 5s. And consequently, the very same claims which had entitled 127 persons to 67,652 acres under the disallowed Ordinance of 1842, entitled them to 72,002 acres under the revived Ordinance of 1841. 1

The Corporation Ordinance was disallowed, because it placed the power of establishing beacons and lighthouses in the hands of the Corporation; and because it vested in the Corporation all unappropriated lands within its limits, with the exception of certain reserves. The objection to the latter power was, first, its being declared repugnant to the Act of Parliament for regulating the sale of the waste land of the Crown; secondly, because it vested in the Corporation property of the Crown which her Majesty had not placed at the disposal of the Local Legislature; and thirdly, because it might be attended with the improvident waste of a large extent of most valuable land.

The first objection came with peculiarly bad grace from the Government, who had always obstructed rather than furthered any of these necessary erections

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as far as Cook's Strait was concerned. So early as the 5th of November 1841, the New Zealand Company had applied to be allowed to spend 1500l. in the erection of a suitable lighthouse at the heads of Port Nicholson, provided that such sum should be made a charge on the future dues. But Lord Stanley had answered that he could "form no opinion on the subject in the absence of any report upon it from the Governor of New Zealand, for which his Lordship would immediately apply:" and he "suggested to the Company the propriety of submitting to their Agents in the colony, that as often as questions may arise there on which it may be necessary for Her Majesty's Government to decide, such questions should be brought to the notice of the Secretary of State through the intervention of the Governor; since, by adopting any other course, a very serious delay must intervene, which may often be attended with extreme inconvenience to the public service."

This seemed to anticipate delay, and to throw the blame beforehand on the Company, for not proceeding in what he chose to consider the formal manner.

Accordingly it was not till the 22nd December 1842, nearly fourteen months after their application, that they were informed that Lord Stanley had "received a despatch from the Governor of New Zealand, in which he states that he has requested the Police Magistrate at Wellington to furnish him with the plan for the erection of a suitable lighthouse at the entrance of the harbour at Port Nicholson, together with an estimate of the expense of erecting and maintaining it, in order that he may be able to report more fully on the subject."

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Nor was this all--the Police Magistrate alluded to was no other than Mr. Murphy. Up to the time when he had to resign his office in January 1843, he had not taken the slightest step towards furnishing the plan or estimate, and the letter of the Governor alluded to had been lying for months unheeded on his table. Colonel Wakefield often pressed him to proceed in the business. I have often urged him to get the plan and estimate made at once. But he invariably shuffled it off with various excuses; treating it as "of no consequence," or "totally out of his province;" or declaring that "he did not know to whom he could apply for the requisite information." His successors in the office probably lost all traces of the paper. At any rate, nothing more was ever heard of the lighthouse; and even in October 1844, Captain Fitzroy discouraged the idea, and had some thoughts of erecting a beacon at the heads instead, which will be of no sort of use in the dark. This had been done long before by private subscription, at the risk of having the beacons pulled down or injured because not protected or authorized by law. The Corporation had never, up to the time of their dissolution, possessed funds to a larger amount than 371l.; a sum quite inadequate to the building a lighthouse, and required moreover for other purposes.

The proposal for erecting a lighthouse at Port Nicholson was thus fairly smothered, like the Native Reserves, by the Colonial Office and the local Government: Lord Stanley taking care that it should have to go at least three times the distance between England and New Zealand, besides four times that between Auckland and Port Nicholson; and the local officers taking care that it should faint on the way: Lord Stanley preventing the possibility of the thing being

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done by the colonists themselves; and the Governors taking care not to originate the measure.

The only lands vested in the Corporation of Wellington were, the belt reserved round the town for ornament and recreation, and the land which might be reclaimed from the sea.

The Municipality of Wellington had been in existence nearly a year when this disallowance put an end to its operations. After the death of Mr. Hunter, Mr. William Guyton had been elected Mayor.

They had imposed no taxes during their short term of office; but had been principally engaged in preparing measures for various objects, and in regulating the terms on which the land to be reclaimed from the harbour for wharfs and quays should be let on improving leases. They had originated measures for the preservation of the town-belt, for the formation of markets and slaughter-houses, for the maintenance of roads and streets, and for various other useful local purposes. The members of the Council were most praiseworthy in their attendance, meeting once or twice a week; though one of them had to come about nine miles from his home to the Exchange, where they met at 10 o'clock.

Their funds had consisted entirely of fees paid on the registration of voters in October 1842, amounting in all to 370l. 12s. 6d.

This had been spent as follows: --118l. for labour in repairing roads and streets; 15l. for the rent of their Town-hall; 50l. for the salary of the Town Surveyor; 42l. 15s. for that of the Town Clerk; 7l. for messengers, and 37l. for constables; 8l. for making up a rate-book; 2l. 10s. for engraving a borough-seal; 5l. 5s. for a large map of the beach frontage; 12l. 12s. for law expenses; and 72l. for printing and stationery from the two newspaper-offices.

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They were dismissed just as many of their well-digested plans were about to be brought into operation.

Scarcely two months after the departure of the frigate as perfectly unnecessary, the consciousness of impunity had so increased among the natives, that a repetition of the "very trifling affair" of Mr. Clarke junior took place in the very same pa, under precisely similar circumstances, and with precisely the same performers. The Police Magistrate, apparently considering himself the virtual Governor of the White inhabitants of Cook's Strait, thus familiarly excuses himself to the Governor of Auckland for having employed the troops in enforcing British law upon one of those who considered themselves as only subject to New Zealand chiefs: --

"MY DEAR SIR, "Wellington, 5th Dec. 1843.
"As I have been obliged, much to my regret, to call out the military in aid of the civil power, I take advantage of the sailing of The Sisters to give you a hasty sketch of the affair, lest a garbled account should reach you; but I shall forward it officially to your Excellency by return of the brig, which we look for hourly. On Thursday last, a constable, who was in search of stolen goods, detected some of them in a box belonging to or in charge of a young chief named E Waho; and while endeavouring, with the assistance of two other constables, to take him into custody they were not only resisted, but attacked, knocked down, and otherwise ill-treated, by all the natives who were in the pa at the time. I hastened to the spot the moment the circumstance was reported to me; and as I found the prisoner and his party were still determined to set the law at defiance, and refused to yield to the civil force, I was reluctantly compelled to call upon the military: their appearance, I am happy to

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say, brought them to reason, and I was enabled, without further difficulty, to lodge the prisoner in the new gaol. Next morning, not wishing to cause any excitement by sending the military through the town to bring him before me at the Police Court, I directed the constables to conduct him. They used every precaution; but, when opposite the pa, the prisoner contrived to slip his hand out of the handcuff which attached him to one of the constables, and bounded into the pa; when the whole of the natives immediately turned out, armed, to protect him. I gave Mr. Clarke a certain time to endeavour to get him to go quietly with the constables to the Police Office; but both the prisoner and the rest of the tribe obstinately refused, and I was again obliged to call for the assistance of the military. Fortunately, they were again awed by their presence, and the prisoner immediately surrendered. I investigated the case, assisted by Mr. M'Donogh and Mr. Clifford, without delay; when the evidence was so strong that we had no alternative but to commit him to take his trial at the next County Court, which will be held on the 19th instant. It may be in the recollection of your Excellency, that a Mr. Milne was murdered on the Pitone road about two years since. The prisoner was then suspected to be the murderer; and some of the natives have mixed up this affair with it, while others are indignant that a chief should be made subservient to our laws. There is therefore some excitement in consequence of his apprehension; but it was a matter that could not be passed over, otherwise they would with impunity have entered any house and pilfered it as they pleased, independent of their outrageous conduct to the constables. I have written to all the Magistrates, Mr. Hadfield, and other gentlemen of the mission along the coast, that they may give

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the natives a true version of the business; and although those at the Pipitea pa, where the prisoner was taken from, are rather sulky, yet I do not apprehend any mischief, more especially as E Puni, the nearest relative of the prisoner, says he shall not interfere, and will be angry with any native that does. This, it is believed, will be a wholesome check to the natives in these districts, who have, since their unfortunate success at the Wairau, assumed a different bearing, and are certainly not inclined to yield obedience to our laws, which before they never disputed.
"With great esteem, &c.
(Signed) "M. Richmond.
"His Excellency Willoughby Shortland, Esq. &c. &c. &c."

This narrative, correct in the main circumstances, contains some misrepresentations, and omits some important collateral facts.

I was again an attendant at the Police Court; although I felt unwilling to take part in a show of authority which was only now necessary because it had been so long delayed or trifled with. I therefore abstained from taking my place on the bench, and remained a silent spectator.

It was painful to a real well-wisher of the native race to behold the prisoner, guarded on either side by a grenadier with his firelock and bayonet, and glancing angrily upon the crowd of anxious townspeople who thronged the Court. The troops were ready to turn out at a moment's notice; and the Commanding Officer was anxiously looking towards the pa about fifty yards off, as though he expected a sudden rescue, while the Ensign, also on duty, was watching the proceedings

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inside the Court. At their termination, the prisoner was guarded to the new jail, about a mile off, by a file of soldiers.

This E Waho was the same native who was identified at the time as having been seen following Milne the night he was killed.

When the stolen things, for which he was committed to take his trial, were seen in his box, clothes said to have been worn by Milne the night he was murdered and stripped were also seen there and identified.

In consequence of this, Mr. Smith, the cousin of the murdered man, who had throughout been diligent in his endeavours to find out and bring the murderer to justice, at the conclusion of the investigation applied for a warrant for the purpose of searching the prisoner's boxes, and the warrant was granted by Major Richmond.

The keys of the prisoner's box were given, at the conclusion of the investigation of the theft, to Mr. Clarke junior. Mr. Smith requested Mr. Clarke to accompany him to the pa to examine the boxes; but he hesitated to do so, and at last acknowledged that he feared for the safety of his life. He subsequently went down as far as the pa, and on seeing the natives, said they were too excited to allow of the boxes being searched at that time. Mr. Smith was afraid that, should time be allowed, the evidence of the man's guilt might be destroyed; but all his entreaties were of no avail. Mr. Clarke's fears overcame his sense of duty. His appearance was described by the lookers-on as truly pitiable, as he shrunk pale and trembling from the task imposed upon him.

Early the next morning, the Maori were seen by numerous and trustworthy witnesses to remove from the boxes the clothes supposed to be the evidence of E Waho's guilt as the murderer of Milne. Mr.

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Smith applied for Mr. Clarke to go to the pa with him, and after some hesitation that gentleman refused to do so. Mr. Smith then proceeded with the constables to the pa, and of course was disappointed.

I do not know whether Major Richmond wrote to all the other Magistrates; be neither wrote nor spoke to me on the subject.

The Police Magistrate omits to say that it was their impunity as well as their success, on other occasions as well as at Wairau, which had induced the natives to "assume a different bearing."

But instead of "never having disputed our laws before," he well knew that they had first disputed them at the Bay of Islands only two months after the performance of the Treaty of Waitangi; and that on two occasions, the military had enforced obedience at that place before our laws had been infringed by the natives at Wellington. He knew, moreover, that the conduct of Noble and the other natives at Manganui, north of the Bay of Islands; of the plunderers at Wangari near Auckland; of Rangihaeata at Porirua; of the natives of Maketu and Tauranga; and of the natives of Port Nicholson, headed by Warepori, when one of their number had been found dead; were only the most remarkable among the many cases which had occurred of the cruel results of unpunished disobedience and the want of a respectable protective force.

I rode up to Otaki about this time, with two horses which I had to offer for sale to the natives, they having begged me to bring them some to look at. I had intended to take a dozen mules up the coast, some of a cargo which had arrived lately from Valparaiso, as I thought I could make them useful for carrying flax. But I was told by one of my own natives who visited the town, that Rauperaha had heard of this, and had expressed a firm intention of driving them back.

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I formed some intimacy with one of Rauperaha's sons, christened Tomihona, or "Thomson." He was a very intelligent young man, who had become much civilized in the course of various voyages in vessels to the Bay of Islands and other places. He had only returned to Cook's Strait from one of these trips since the Wairau massacre, and lived almost apart from his father in the large pa nearer to the house wherein I dwelt. He and his wife were both very neat and clean in their dress and their house. He pleased me especially by being, although unskilful, fearless on horseback. Two old horses had formed part of the stock of the farm on Mana for many years, and now belonged to the proprietor of the island, Mr. Fraser. But soon after the Wairau massacre, Rauperaha had taken possession of them, and they had been conveyed to the mainland in one of the large sailing-boats belonging to his new allies from the Middle Island. He now kept them at Otaki, and his son constantly rode about on one of them. He used to follow over a leaping-bar without any hesitation, though he more than once fell; and he beat a young horse of mine in a regularly-appointed race which we held along a mile of straight beach, to the great delight of the assembled population.

I was going quietly on with my flax-trading, when one morning about the end of December, before I was up, a native brought a strange report to the house. Rauperaha, he said, had come up very early to the large pa, and had stated "that I was reported to be here for the purpose of watching him and Rangihaeata, in order that twenty men on horseback, whom I expected from Port Nicholson, might be sure to catch them." He also said that Rangihaeata had threatened to come and burn the house I was sleep-

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ing in, on first receiving the news. I showed the native my rifle and other arms by my bed-side, and told him that I would immediately shoot Rangihaeata, or anybody else, who should attempt to fire the roof over my head. After eating my breakfast, I went unarmed to the pa where the two ruffians dwelt. I was accompanied by Taylor and two or three friendly natives.

I found Rauperaha sitting under the tent taken at Wairau. Near him were his son "Thomson," a nephew of Rangihaeata named E Wiwi, and several other natives. I had hardly begun to deny every particular of the story which the natives had got hold of, when Rangihaeata sprang out of his house in an adjoining court-yard, and made a furious oration.

He was much excited, as though by drink; he foamed at the mouth, leaped high into the air at the end of each run up and down, and made frightful grimaces at me through the fence whenever he shopped opposite to me to turn and run again. He taunted me with being a spy, hiding about inland to watch his doings. He repeated the old question, about whether the soldiers had four arms and four legs that they could take him and put handcuffs on his wrists. He applied the most insulting expressions to the Queen, to all the Governors, and to all the White people. He got to his highest pitch of excitement, when he at length challenged me to stand out and fight him manfully, hand to hand, instead of crouching about in ambush. He roared out his own name, and his known bravery, and his known strength, and his known skill, and his contempt for the Whites as fighting men. All this with occasional interjectional yells, grinding of the teeth, protruding of the tongue,

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quivering head and limbs, and the usual slapping on the thigh.

It was a complete instance of what he called, in whaling slang, his boo-boo-boo, or "bounce;" and, unarmed as I was, I should probably have thought myself in some danger, even with the fence between us, had not Rauperaha and the other natives continued to whisper to me during the whole time of his harangue, "Don't listen to him! Don't answer! Don't be afraid, they're only words! Don't mind him, Tiraweke!" I looked steadily at him without saying a word; and he at length appeared to get tired, or to be convinced that I would not be intimidated. He finished one of his angry runs by returning into his hut.

I now turned to Rauperaha, and distinctly denied every part of the story which had been reported to him. I endeavoured, but without avail, to trace its origin. We then held a long conversation; Rauperaha taking pains to impress upon me his power, the care which he took of his own people, and the accurate information which he constantly received of everything that was going on in the neighbourhood of the White men's settlements.

To prove the latter assertion, he instanced two cases which, he said, were perfectly well known to him, of murders committed by natives in the neighbourhood of Wellington, and of which the Whites never had any sign or suspicion. The first he stated to have been committed up the Hutt by a native then alive, whom, however, he would not name. He asked me repeatedly, whether any one had been missed up there; and upon my answering in the negative, said that showed how little care we could take of our people compared with that which he took of his. The second murder he described as having been committed among the hills at

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the back of the town, by the native who was shot by another in Wellington some months before. He described the whole affair circumstantially, and stated as a proof that the adze with which the deed was done remained with the father of the murderer at a settlement on the main opposite Mana.

He then spoke about the natives living in the town and neighbourhood; and declared that there was not a single one sincerely friendly to us, except E Puni. He named E Tako and Moturoa, a chief of Pipitea, as at the head of an extensive and well-arranged plan, organized at the time of E Waho's trial, for attacking the town, should his sentence have seemed to them too severe; and said that messengers from this tribe had been in constant communication with him as to their proceedings. With his usual treachery, he thus betrayed the plans of the Ngatiawa tribes, his old enemies; but only after they had been unsuccessful, and too late for them to be thwarted had they been carried out, for the trial was to have taken place nine days before, and I did not even know the result. He ridiculed the idea of the 53 soldiers resisting such a combined attack as they had planned; and still more the belief entertained by many people that the natives were Christianized and therefore averse to such doings. He said that the mihanere was only used as a cloak; and that in private they swore at the missionaries as the principal cause of their disasters, and were perfectly ready at any time to sing the war-song with their old fury.

He told me that E Mare, the chief of the Chatham Islands, and another native whom he named, had kept the Waikanae people informed of their plans, and that they, in their turn, communicated with him.

He praised my prudence in carrying arms wherever I went; for, he said, the constables and the soldiers

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had no strength to take care of me here. The Maori all carried arms, and were ready to take care of themselves; why should not I? It was the custom among the Maori chiefs; why not amongst the Whites when they travelled in Maori territory? "Carry your arms," he concluded, "and look about you as you ride through the Porirua bush. You might be attacked, perhaps, by some of your own Ngatiawa people."

He then urged me to return to Port Nicholson, as he acknowledged that my stay caused fears to him and to Rangihaeata. "The reports were true, perhaps-- false, perhaps; --never mind; would I go to-morrow?"

I told him I should go two or three days hence, on the same day that I had fixed before this discussion, as I did not choose to be frightened away by threats. I again assured him that I had not the slightest design against him or any other native, as my laws bade me leave utu to be taken by the Queen for her people, and not by the son for the father. But I also told him, that if any one tried to burn me in my house, or to attack me in the bush, I would defend myself with my own hands and do my best.

This was the last I saw of Rauperaha and Rangihaeata.

On the New Year's-day, the Bishop visited Otaki with Mr. Hadfield. Some natives, who saw him arrive at Pakakutu, told me that he at first held out his hand to Rangihaeata, but that Mr. Hadfield informed him of his mistake, and he then turned to Rauperaha, and shook hands with him.

The next day I returned to Wellington. When there, I published an exact account in the paper of what Rauperaha had said to me; as I felt sure that to inform the authorities would only be to have the matter hushed up, and it seemed of consequence that

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something should be known about these alleged murders.

A long correspondence ensued between Mr. Clarke junior and E Tako on the one part, and myself on the other. They charged me with reporting untruths, and unnecessarily alarming the community; and blamed me for not giving the information to the Magistrates only. I replied, that I published statements which I had heard from Rauperaha, and I named the other persons who were present; and I explained that I did not wish the matter to be hushed up. Indeed, my letter had elicited several from other parties, furnishing information corroborative of Rauperaha's statements.

The trial of E Waho for theft had taken place on the 19th of December.

From the time of E Waho's committal, great excitement had prevailed among the natives. Meetings had taken place at all the pas among themselves, and numerous strangers had come into the town from places at a distance from Port Nicholson.

At an early hour the Court was crowded with both natives and settlers.

E Waho is a grand-nephew of E Puni, and is related to most of the principal chiefs of Waiwetu, Pitone, Pipitea, and other pas. A large body of natives who had assembled at Pitone had been persuaded not to come over to Wellington, but many others from various places had been arriving for several days before.

The Judge entered the Court, accompanied by the Lord Bishop of New Zealand, who took his seat on the bench. Moturoa of Pipitea, who had been the most violent in opposing the proceedings, and at one time in threatening the Judge, was amongst the crowd; the Judge beckoned to him, and placed him on the bench.

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Counsel was retained for the prisoner, and Mr. Clarke junior was sworn as interpreter.

After the evidence had been gone through at great length, Judge Halswell charged the jury very carefully. It so happened that one or two of the jurors were men married to native women.

They retired for an hour, and then returned an informal verdict, which they were told by the Judge to re-consider. After an hour and a half more, they returned a verdict of guilty.

Upon the Clerk of the Court, through Mr. Clarke, demanding of the prisoner why judgment should not be passed upon him according to law, the prisoner stated, that the things which he had been found guilty of stealing were not the property of any White man, but belonged to his sister; and as to anything which could be done to him now, he was indifferent. He had been degraded by being handcuffed and kept in jail, and did not care for anything.

The learned Judge said he perfectly concurred in the verdict; and sentenced the prisoner to two months' imprisonment, with hard labour, in the jail of Wellington.

This sentence was received by loud hisses, as too lenient. The Judge directed the usher to close the door of the court-house, and ordered the constables to take into custody any person expressing either approbation or disapprobation.

Upon hearing the sentence, the prisoner loudly complained of the degradation of imprisonment, and requested most earnestly to be killed with a tomahawk. The native Porutu of Pipitea, a near relation of the prisoner, had sent a message to the Judge to this effect at the last sitting of the Court for appearances, a few days before.

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The trial lasted ten hours; and the Bishop remained in Court the whole time.

It was now found that the natives contemplated a rescue. Those who had assembled at Pitone were understood to have reached Kai Wara Wara. Dr. Evans rode down to them, and advised them to retire; but they advanced to Pipitea pa. Mr. Clarke junior, and Dr. Fitzgerald, the doctor appointed by Government to attend the natives, tried their influence; but they were both turned out of the pa. A small body of the military were all day close in the neighbourhood of the court, but out of sight; but as a rescue had been threatened in case the prisoner should be convicted, a Serjeant's guard of 25 men were marched out; and E Waho, placed between two constables, not handcuffed but surrounded by soldiers, was marched off to the gaol. When the natives in the fa saw this, they allowed the Bishop to address them; they were about 300. In the morning they fired off their muskets, which they had kept loaded all night, and quiet was restored.

It was afterwards heard, in confirmation of Rauperaha's account to me, from a good native authority in Wellington, that all the Pipitea and Kumu Toto natives, of whom E Tako and Moturoa were the chiefs, with a large auxiliary force from the neighbourhood, were encamped above Kai Wara Wara, on the occasion of the trial, to be ready for action should the verdict be disagreeable to them; and that an order was sent from the confederation to the Te Aro natives to encamp on the hills west of the town (their own potato-grounds), which they however did not obey.

It may be mentioned that the Judge asked E Tako to dinner with him on Christmas-day, and kindly assented to his bringing Moturoa and his wife Martha also to his table.

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Mr. Halswell had thus the happy art of blending private kindness and attention to the nearest relations of the prisoner with a strict performance of the public ends of justice.

About this time, the road was finished a mile above the gorge of the Hutt, so that you could ride thither on horseback; and a bridge was nearly completed by the Company over the river just above Mr. Molesworth's large barn and thrashing-machine. In various spots on the lower valley, settlers were daily being driven off land which they attempted to occupy, by the natives living near Mr. Swainson's curtailed farm. The pas there had become the rendezvous for all the worst characters from many of the tribes, as well as for the immediate followers of Rauperaha and Rangihaeata. If an outrage, an insult, or a robbery was perpetrated, it almost always turned out that the culprit was an inhabitant of these villages, or, at any rate, he soon after became one. These fugitives and reprobates, living almost without chiefs or subordination, were contented while they could grow potatoes for the market of the town, with a good road along which to carry them; but seemed resolved to prevent the White, people from entering into competition with them in the pursuit. They were not to be made friends of: missionaries, settlers, and sawyers, were alike laughed at and scorned. Mr. Clarke junior was on one occasion threatened and driven away for attempting to interfere; and they seemed to taint the air, like a loathsome and augmenting dung-heap, in the very path of settlement and civilization.

1   Revised award published in the New Zealand Government Gazette of 6th September 1843.

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