Proceedings of of the Kohimarama Conference, Comprising Nos. 13 to 18 of the "Maori Messenger."
Thursday, July 12th, 1860
Thursday, July 12th, 1860.
In opening to-day's proceedings, Mr. McLean observed that as several hapus had not yet addressed the Conference, they would now have an opportunity of doing so; after which Te Kauwana (an old Chief) would say a few words. He (Te Kauwana) had been suffering from Influenza, which, until now, had incapacitated him from taking his seat in the Conference. The Native Secretary then proceeded to read letters from two chiefs, Tamati Ngapora and Ihaka, (copies of which are annexed), regretting their inability to attend the meeting on account of indisposition; remarking that these letters were addressed partly to the Governor, and partly to them.
Mangere, July 9th, 1860.
Friend the Governor,—
I have a great wish to attend the meeting, but I am prevented by sickness. Friend the Governor—Salutations to you, and to Potatau. This is my speech to you and to the native chiefs. This is my first word to you, to the Governor, Peace; the second is Peace. You have said "It is correct, your desire for peace is not greater then mine."page 30
When I went to Waikato I spoke publicly to the people in favour of peace. I also strongly recommended that the piece (of land) for which the Queen's money has been paid should be given up to you. Some of the chiefs consented, others of them were not willing, Their desire is that English chiefs and the chiefs of Waikato should go to Waitara, and see the piece (of land). As soon as I had finished that subject, I spoke to the chiefs of peace, that fighting in New Zealand should cease, fighting amongst the natives themselves, also fighting between the English and natives; that is, that fighting should cease in this island. The people that are in evil must be drawn into the good. If fighting should be reported in any place, let the native chiefs and an English gentleman of good and clear understanding go to the spot and advise and put a stop to such proceedings. Whether they take place in the North or South, in the centre or on either side. Let all the chiefs of the different districts unite and prevent the growth of evil, lest it should increase—so that we may live at peace.
But listen you the native chiefs, if you like these speeches of mine—adopt them, in order that we may live in harmony—be strong and prevent evil.
Friend the Governor—I have one more speech to you if you like these remarks, you give them authority.
Mangere, July 9th, 1860.
Friend the Governor,—
Salutations to you. It would have given me great pleasure to have come to the Conference; I am however so ill, that I cannot come. My father Poharama is also dead. He died to-day. I therefore am unable to come. My friend, I have already been to Kohimarama—on the 2nd of July, and I waited there until the Thursday. The Natives of Orakei told me that the Conference had been put off and that Mr. McLean had not arrived. I therefore returned on the Thursday, and on the Friday night I was taken ill. I am therefore unable to come, from grief also for my father. I go to Patumahoe to bury him. The natives insist upon my going, and I am therefore unavoidably Prevented.
Friend the Governor, my word to you formerly was this, viz., "That if I heard any unfriendly speech spoken by Potatau. I page 31 would inform you thereof." I have listened attentively, and his words have been for peace, goodwill and quietness, for the Natives, as well as for the Europeans; and these feelings he retained until his death.
My own address to you formerly was this, that it remained for you to keep down the evil. My work to day is also the same, that you should put an end to war, that we may live quietly and peaceably. Your friend Potatau is dead, and you survive; it rests with you to suppress the evil—that peace and happiness may cover the land, because the former wars and jealousies disappeared, when the light of Christianity shone forth.
My friends, the Native Chiefs. My desire is this—that religion, goodwill and peace should prevail throughout the land. If you approve, accept these things. Be strong to suppress the evil—that confusion may not grow. If confusion should spring up in any particular part—let the Chiefs hasten there, to put it down—and let the European Chiefs do the same, who are of the same mind. Let them both go together for the purpose of putting down evil and confusion. My own desire is this, that peace may prevail throughout the land for ever, and that our warfare should be directed towards the increase of schools, and the promotion of religion.
Chief of Pukaki.
Te Amohau (Ngatiwhakaue) said: Let there be only one road. Let the speeches be condensed into one. Yesterday's speeches were confused (pohehe). There were too many channels. Listen, Pakehas, this is my speech to the Governor, and to the Queen. I am an ignorant man. I do not understand how to conduct these matters. We have been called together that we may find out the thoughts of this man, and that man, and the other man. I don't include myself, for I am only a dog. These are my words. In former times it was evil; now Christianity has come among us, and we live in peace. We shall now find out the opinions of every one (in this meeting). In former times we were lost in the dark, but the Gospel has come, and now we live. Now we shall make it our first concern to love God. I will commit these things to the keeping of my five hundred (i.e. my people).
Te Wikiriwhi (Ngatiporou): Salutations to you Pakehas! Salutations to you. Listen, that I may tell you of the path through which I have come. The first thing that influenced me was Christianity. I cultivated that, and then I rested on the law and re- page 32 spected it. The second thing that influenced me was the invitation. A message from the Governor reached me, saying, "Come to the Runanga": so I came. Now, let me say, I shall cling to the Queen and to the Governor—yes, thoroughly—the only thing that shall separate us, is death.
Karaitiana (Ngatitematera): Salutations to you, my Pakeha friends. Formerly, in the days of my childhood, I asked my fathers about their customs. They replied, "They are only the false sayings of your ancestors." Before the Pakeha came I had grown into a man. This is my word, Mr. McLean. You and your people shall be the elder brother, and I shall be the younger. If evil takes places, then there will be no home for you, and there will be no elder brother for me.
Te Makarini (Ngatiawa, Bay of Plenty): Hearken, ye people. I came here suffering pain (or concern) on account of three things, namely,—first, death (mate); secondly, power (mana); thirdly, the king. I do not mean ordinary death, I mean death by the hand of man. Listen, all of you to these words. Had the Queen's tikanga become generally acknowledged by us, these evils would have been averted, and the tikanga would have prospered. I mean by this to blame you, but I leave it with the people of this runanga to find fault.
Wiremu Patene: Welcome, welcome! Salutations to you. Welcome, welcome, in the administration of what is good. Bring your good things here and plant rightousness. As for this matter, the Governor has killed me—killed me outright. I am dead because the Governor's ways are not made manifest in every place (te kore tikanga). Let me say to you, I will become a son to you. But where were you at the time of the sprouting—[alluding to the King Movement]? It appears to me that that thing has grown (taken root) in New Zealand. Had you done this (convened this meeting) sooner (it would have been well): whereas you have allowed it to become a great tree. This is what I see. This is where you have been wrong. You acted foolishly. Had you written to us at the commencement, then it would have been right—whereas now it has become a tree. But remember, Governor, that (the Maori King) is child's play. The Queen's mana is with us. Let me repeat it, that work is child's play. This is what I have to say; put an end to the war, that we may live in peace.
Hamuera: Let me make use of an illustration from the Scriptures. Jesus Christ said he was above Satan. So the Governor says he is above both Pakeha and Maori—that he alone is Chief. Now, when Satan said, I am the greatest, Christ trampled him under foot. So the Queen says, I that she will be chief for all men. Therefore, I say, let her be the protector of all the people.page 33
Maihi Pohepohe: That subject is settled. I came to seek after some rule for the guidance of the soul, even good-will. This is my word to you, Mr. McLean. Let peace be established with Rangitake (at Taranaki), that his body and the Governor's may become one.
Hamiora Tu: Welcome, welcome—[Here a song.]—Welcome the multitudes of New Zealand, Listen to my ault-finding with the Governor, that is to say, with our Governor. Had that evil (the Maori King Movement) been dealt with at the commencement, it would have been arranged; but it has been allowed to come to maturity, and now you are angry with it. In my opinion this is wrong. This is my wish. Let peace be established with Te Rangitake.
Menehira: Welcome, in the name of peace, as a father for me! Let us inquire into the character of the Governor's address I did not hear one wrong thing in the speech of the Governor. I have seen the foolish things o the earth, I have seen its pains.
Te Mutu (Ngaiterangi): Friends, I have but one word. Do not believe in the King: that is an evil work. Do not magnify it, least it increase. If you ignore him, then that King will vanish. This is my word: you shall be the father, and I the son.
Te Ngahuruhuru (Ngatiwhakaue): Talk, O people, about your riches. I am residing on the center of the land—at otorua. This is our father, and this is our mother. I mean the Pakeha. You must implicitly obey our mother. The deceits do not belong to the Pakehas, but to the Maories alone. The Maori is wronging the Pakeha. I am an advocate for peace. Shew kindness to the Pakeha. Shew good feeling to this Governor. But you must speak for yourselves.—[Song.]—I join the Queen.—[Another song,]—I join the Governor; I repose on the Governor.—[the speaker illustrated his meaning by slipping a letter into an envolope].—Look here, Maories! My word will not alter. I belong to the mana of the Queen, to the mana of the Governor. As to the setting up o a King—not that. Listen, ye Maori Chiefs! We shall join the Queen—eh?—(A general assent.]—Now, I join the Queen. I have nothing else to say. Do not split up, and form a party for the Queen, and another for the Maori King: that would be wrong.
Pererika: O ye people!—people of the North, South, East, and West, give ear. The word of God was not sent into the world that some only page 34 might participate in it, but for all. Missionaries were sent to us, and then the Law appeared. There are two laws—the Scriptures and the law of man Friends, these are my thoughts. Fathers, listen to my sentiments. I have found out the evils of my mother—I mean, of the Maori I have two mothers; I am grieved with one of them. I find that my first mother is in the wrong. She [unclear: fed] me with fern-root, which was hard to digest. She gave me to wear a pora (native cloak) with a very thick collar, which hurt my neck. From my other mother I have received good clothes. And when I went to bathe and my face turned pale, my first mother painted it with ko 'owai (red ochre). This shows the inferiority of my first mother. But, Mr. McLean, do yon take charge of my goods. Listen now, hold them fast. If you give them to my [unclear: old] (or first) mother, then I shall go and take them back. This is all I have to say about my mothers. Here are my goods—here are my [unclear: lands]: take charge of them. Here are our headlands. Don't you concern yourself about dividing my goods: I shall please myself about that. Let me hand them over to you—then it will be all right; but don't take them foreibly. From these causes do we get wrong about the land. But the fault is not with you: it is in myself, in my own body, I am judging myself. You named this land New Zealand. Therefore, I say to you, be gentle in subduing me. In a former time, two persons came to this land; one was Christianity—the other, the Law. I do not know how many generations it took for the customs of my first mother to die out: (but) as to those old customs of ours, keep them back. This is all I have to say.
Te Rongotoa: Salutations to you, Pakehas: salutations to you, Maories! I stand here alone. This is my song.—[Here a waiata].—My Maori mother has ceased to exist. You (the Pakeha) shall be my parent for ever and ever. This is the end of my speech.
Pirihi Te Kotuku: I am a stranger. Welcome, welcome, welcome the Queen! Welcome the Governor! I am a stranger: thou also art a stranger.—[A. song.]—Let me tell you my thoughts, because you have asked me to speak in. your presence. I will not say I am a good man—I am far otherwise. Even from my birth until now, I have not ceased to behold evil. But I now begin to see the benefits of Christianity.page 35
I have become acquainted with this good prayer, "Our father who art in heaven." Listen all of you. The fault was mine. I interfered to dispose of the land of another. It is from causes of this kind that evil springs up in New Zealand. My heart would not obey it. I am condemning myself. From the time of my birth I have not ceased to do evil. We shall do much during these days. Although I may be wrong, let me utter my sentiments. Let me say, here your opinions are in unison with each other. But I am wrong; my heart is hard. Understanding now begius to develop itself in me. These are all my thoughts. I am unable to reply to the Governor. The fault was mine: my heart is hardened. If a man takes my land, then I am sad and angry. If a man takes my wife and violates her, then too am I angry and grieved. If my child is murdered, then am I angry and sad. And if my house is plundered and my goods stolen, then am I angry and sad. As to Te Rangitake's affair, that is another matter. I do not approve of that. The affair also of the King I do not approve of. I join the Queen; I enter for the first time under the shadow of the Queen.
Mohi Kupe: Now then, let me. give utterance to my thoughts, I float my two canoes, Christianity and the Queen. I shall cross over to the Government in one of these canoes, viz, Christianity. Christ is the author of peace and good-will. The saying is this—" The wind bloweth, but whence it cometh and whither it goeth we know not." So it is with the spirit (of man).
Taiapo: [A song.] There is no opportunity here for a man to turn one way or the other—[i.e. for evasion]. After what manner shall I address the Governor? The evils in my opinion are Theft, Interference, and Land-taking. I have therefore decided on suggesting a new tikanga [order of things] to the Governor. I am an indolent man. I am a stranger. Did I join you a long time since? Say not that I am jesting. Perhaps there is evil in the heart of the Maori. I shall not go there (Taranaki). Listen, people, to my opinions about this evil of the Maories. I do not know whether it is the fault of the Pakeha or the fault of the Maori. But it appears to me that the Governor page 36 was wrong, because he did not first call together the (native) teachers, that they might arrange it [the dispute between William King and the Governor about Teira's land]. Had he done so, it might have been settled. As it is, the matter is in your hands, Mr. McLean.
Mr. McLean replied to this speech as follows: Taiapo, this affair has not been overlooked. It was inquired into even in the time of Governor Hobson; and up to the present time, many years having elapsed, every attention has been given to it. You say that had the teachers been permitted to arrange it, the matter would have been settled. Is not Tamati Waaka a teacher? He tried to arrange it, but they would not listen. Also Wiremu Te Awaitaia, and Wiremu Tamihana, and old Potatau (who has just slept): are they not teachers? They went, but they would not listen to their words.
Rirituku Te Puehu commenced with a song. He then said: My place is in the centre. My canoe did not land at the extremity of the Island. Hitherto I have not belonged to the Governor. I now join the Governor for the first time. The words of the Governor are good There are two good points in the Governor's address.; namely, his consideration for the soul, and his consideration for the body. Now, I am looking at the 7th clause of the Address: these words are good. The shield of the body is the Scriptures: therefore, I say, show us some good for the body. Listen, all of you: I am now a Maori; tomorrow I shall be a Pakeha. Hitherto I have been a Maori—now I join the Queen. Do not hide from us the good things for the body, because we (the two races) have now become united.—[Song.]—Listen, all of you. I shall not attach myself to the King or to Rangitake; I shall not follow those things. Listen! I am giving my consideration (my thoughts) to the Pakeha, to the Queen, and to the Governor. I enter there this very day. The Governor's address is right. This Governor has told us of many things. This King affair is a source of trouble—it is the introduction of an evil among the Maories. I therefore say, Let both races acknowledge the Queen. Enough about that, for we do not quite understand it. This is the subject that has brought us together now, namely, the King. I have now sided with the Queen; (but) my allegiance has not yet had time to grow. Let me tell you, (however,) I have no desire for those other matters. I now enter (enlist) under the Queen. As to the King movement, do not suppress it. Let it go on till it comes to nothing. Listen to my page 37 proverb: "The kareke (the Mutton-bird) scoops a hole in the sand: so does Otoka at Whenua-kura." My speech ends here.
Henare Kepa Toangaanga: I represent my tribe. Hearkeu! hearken! Some have said that I am going to the evil side. Listen, all of you. I place myself now under the feet of (or submit to) the Queen and the Governor. Behold! the Pawharawhara (a parasite which bears a fine flower) is on fire. Do not climb that tree, lest you fall with it. Let me speak to you Mr. McLean and Mr. Smith If you tell us to go against Te Rangitake,.it is well.
Te Kauwau: Welcome, ye people! welcome, to me, a bad man. What is the fault of the Governor? Listen, all of you: the Governor is wrong, and we are wrong. Come together, that we may cultivate relationships. There is no subject for me to talk on. As to the talk about Te Rangitake—leave that affair of ours to the Governor and to me. He (the Governor) is my friend, and I am his. We will attend to that war. Welcome, welcome! Come, that we may exchange salutations. Let the work be good. As to that would-be King (Kingi-pokanoa), what have we to do with that thing?
Here the Conference adjourned to the next day.