Proceedings of of the Kohimarama Conference, Comprising Nos. 13 to 18 of the "Maori Messenger."
Tuesday, August 7th, 1860
Tuesday, August 7th, 1860.
The Native Secretary, in his introductory remarks, observed that he wished to correct a misapprehension on the part of some of the Ngatirankawa people as to Potatau's sentiments towards the pakehas. He assured them that Potatau's conduct towards the settlers had been uniformly that of kindness and goodwill; and in support of this statement he read to them the report of a speech delivered by that Chief, on the 26th May last, to the Ngatiwhatua tribe. He moreover gave an account of his interview with Potatau at Ngaruawahia.
Hemi Matini, (Ngatimahanga,) Whaingaroa:—The reason I speak is because we are making a covenant with our pakeha friends. Mr. McLean spoke yesterday of the English heads (or Magistrates) to assist the native assessors as explainers of the law. The native assessors have but little knowledge. The runangas are not quite clear. Our first pakeha sent us by the Governor was Mr. Fenton. His explanations were very clear, and were understood by us. The second was Doctor (Harsant). We do not understand him. For he speaks the English language (only): We do not understand it. This is my word to you and the Governor. Send us a pakeha (Magistrate) who understands the native language, so that the laws may be explained to us. Mr. Halse is one of the pakehas we have seen. Mr. White is another. It is for this Conference page 15 to consider my request. I have heard that in two years Mr. McLean will go across the sea. While Mr. McLean is with us, the laws are good and are explained.
Arama Karaka, (Te Uriohau.) Kaipara:—Chiefs of the Runanga! This is my word to you. Let us consent to the suggestions which the Governor has sent to us. There were two subjects named yesterday: the European head (Magistrate)—and the Native head. I have not arrived at a decision. When I return to Kaipara I will consider it. If I decide for it I will write and let you know If I decide against it, I will also write and let you know.
I have one word to say to you respecting. Tamihana's suggestion, that (native) soldiers should be set up. This is a weighty subject. Carefully consider it. Let this Conference carefully turn it over in their minds.
Chiefs of the Conference, let us all turn in one direction. This is a union of ourselves.—Let our canoe go straight on. Let us pull and steer it carefully. Do not let us turn back.
Mr. McLean, this is my word to you: let these words be printed in the newspapers audsent to the Queen, and let the Queen send an answer to us, that it may be a firmly established covenant for us and our children, so that we may be as the Pakehas. The affairs of your ancestors are handed down to the children. Let us have but one law, lest evil arise—lest our canoe rock from side to side.
Tamihana Te Rauparaha, (Ngatitoa,) Otaki:—I sigh and am affected by the words of Potatau which we have just heard. The thoughts of the old men are good, but it is the young men who cause them to be evil disposed. Te Rauparaha thought thus before his death. He was greatly attached to the pakeha. We also wish to follow out those sentiments, even until death. My opinion is that if Takiwarn (Kati) had been alive, Potatau would not have consented to the proposition of Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi. Te Heuheu visited Matene and myself but we would not consent. We said to him, "Return with those plans: do not bring them here: take them back to your place." The thoughts of the old man lately deceased are clear. It was the young men who misled him. They are upstarts. That is all I have to say.
Wiremu Tipene Takahi (Te Uriohau,) Kaipara:—Chiefs of the Conference of this Island. This is the runanga of the Queen. Steer this canoe straight, that her keel may page 16 be even. This is an approach on our part to the Pakehas. This is the foundation of all knowledge. Let us go under the shadow of the Queen. Let us enter into a mutual covenant with the Pakeha. It is not that we shall derive any great benefit, but our children who come after us will. Let this covenant be made firm. The Governor has expressed the loving words of the Queen to the Native Chiefs of New Zealand. Let us also turn and adopt the laws of the Queen, that we may have but one shadow to protect both the Pakeha and the Maori—that the people of this Island may prosper.
Matene Te Whiwhi, (Ngatitoa.) Otaki:—Chiefs of the Conference, I have no other word. I have said all I have to say to you. My words do not run to and fro: (they express) nothing else than the acceptance of the Queen's authority. But with this tribe, and with that tribe, are their own thoughts. We know with the first Governor there was no other word, even up to this time there was but one word; that there should be but one law, and that both races should be united. The authority of the Queen rests upon us. Let us cleave to the good and to the clear customs of the Pakeha.
Here also is a word of mine: do not be grieved Mr. McLean. Let the warmth rest upon the Maori, as it does upon the Pakeha. [Meaning that the members of the Conference should receive pay. ]
Paora Tuhaere, (Ngatiwhatua,) Orakei:—I speak respecting the curse of the Pakeha. If I am cursed it will do me no harm. If a Pakeha strikes me with his fist and my nose bleeds, I shall not strike him in return, but will hold him, and give him up to be tried.
I agree with what Matene has said respecting the warmth (pay).
This is my word respecting the Commissioners of land, also for the Assessors. Let them be selected by this runanga. Let them be appointed by us. Let us not leave that for the Governor to do; let him simply give his approval. Let us also seek a Pakeha as a superintendent. The Pakeha I should like is Mr. McLean, because I have not yet seen any fault in him. The fault is in the surveyors and purchasers.
Formerly I set my people the example of ploughing. They all took to ploughing; after that I look a cart as an example to my people; they soon got carts. Now I have (started) a store as a pattern to my people. For this reason I now request that some of the Queen's goods may be placed in my page 17 store. Let the Queen supply one half and I will supply the other half.
Horomona Toremi, (Ngatiraukawa,) Otaki:—I rise to speak. The discussion respecting the head (Magistrate) is ended; so also is the discussion respecting the mixed Jury. I now speak of my shot, my powder, and gun caps—that the restrictions may be taken off. Let these things be deposited with Mr. Eagar. Some people have accused Eagar of stealing cattle, and said that he ought to be summoned. Other people say that Eagar ought to be brought up on account of his horses and cattle which are running on our land, in order to make out a case against Eagar. [Tamihana Te Rauparaha here asked the speaker—"Is there no other Pakeha residing at Otaki?" Horomona replied, "Eagar has resided there seven years. Thomas is but of yesterday, and the person established by Tamihana is (as it were) of this evening."]
Listen, chiefs of the runanga! This is my answer to the suggestion of Mr. McLean, that we should go back to our Maori homes and consult (runanga). It will not be right. If the Native Runanga had appointed Matene it would long since have come to naught. But as it was the Governor, I have strength to uphold him; and now you too must uphold(him). Respecting the suggestion of Thompson for making (Native) soldiers, do not be eager; also as to a militia do not be eager; do not be in haste to do it in these days, lest evil arise. But rather let the good effects of this runanga be apparent, and let them spread over our Island.
Porutu, (Ngatiawa,) Wellington: Friend, Mr. McLean. The word of Potatau is wrong when he says, "Why care for this thing, or that thing?" Because he has eaten at the same table with the Governor, and they had but one bedroom. Why did he not say to his people, Why do you indulge in child's play?
Listen, Mr. McLean! Settle the account with me. Do not close the road to me (referring to pay, as proposed by Matene. The reptile that is gnashing its teeth yonder will begin to laugh, because it will see that what is just has been accomplished. You, the Pakehas, will not work for naught; your work is paid for in money.
Te Herewini Te Amohau, (Ngatiwhakaue,) Rotorua: Mr. McLean, there is nothing more to be said. All has been laid before you during the month and a half during, which this conference has lasted. I say, respecting the word, of Matene, that it is page 18 right. Warm the Native side with this round thing (money).
Perenara, (Tuhourangi,) Tarawera: The reason for my rising to speak is, to give utterance to my opinion respecting our deliberations during the days which are past. The former subjects have been considered. Do not bring them up again, but now let something fresh be introduced. The first subject brought forward, namely, the Treaty of Waitangi, has been settled. It has been agreed that it shall be a "mana" for all the people. The mixed Jury of twelve has also been disposed of. The third subject is the union with the Queen's (Government). In my opinion this is the end (of all disturbances)—the establishment by the Governor of this runanga, that is, that it may be held every year. But in my opinion nothing plain has yet been said about putting an end to the war of Te Rangitake. The Governor is fighting in the light, and can see clearly; because the soldiers have been set apart to do that work,—the Magistrates and the Runanga to take care of the law,—and the Ministers of the Gospel to attend to that work. But with the Maori people it is different. When the Gospel first arrived they all embraced it; but when they engage in wars, there is no dividing them (into different classes)—they all take part in it. There are no Christians, there is no runanga, and there are no devils (heathen). Both body and soul suffer. For this reason I desire that all the opinions should be united—that there should be one opinion in favor of peace. Let Matene and those chiefs of the conference who are going in that direction, acquaint Te Rangitake (with the desire of this conference).
There is also a word for me respecting Tamihana's suggestion to set up soldiers, which has been disapproved of. In my opinion we ought not to disapprove; let him express his opinions. Had it been a proposal from the Governor, then it would be right for this conference to take it under consideration. In that case we ought to say, Let it remain in abeyance, that we may enquire into it during coming years; for it would not be right for us to swallow it at once.
This is my word respecting what Matene has said about pay. That matter rests with you, Mr. McLean.
Wi Pohe, (Parawhau,) Whangarei: I approve of the words of Te Awaitaia which he spoke yesterday, namely, that we should be bound together in the Queen's bundle. The bundle that will not be separated is that page 19 which is bound with iron (fastenings). If a man who is enclosed in this bundle should slip out, that will be a cause of evil.
This is what I have to say respecting the words of Arama just now, when he said that this conference has but one canoe: now that we have all embarked in one canoe, let us be careful that we do not pull backwards. Let all pull in the same direction, as those who sit in the bows; do not let the people in the stern paddle in the opposite direction.
Now, respecting the words. of Matene, that all should be made warm, and that all should feel the heat: what can be the interpretation of those words? I think it refers to the round thing (coin). In my opinion that would be plundering the Queen. These are the goods that we ought to contend for now, namely, single-barrel guns, as a means of warfare with the birds of the air.
It is for the Conference to consider the words of Tamihana respecting the (Maori) King. Everytime he rises to speak he says something in condemnation of the King.
Arama Karaka, (Te Uriohau,) Kaipara:—I rise to speak about the canoe.
Chiefs of the Conference, we are now embarking in this canoe - both Pakehas and Maories. The Ngapuhi people here have entered this canoe. Let the canoe be steered with care. Now, listen you! Here are three old Chiefs of Ngatiwhatua, namely. Apihai, Ihikiera, and Paikea. Now, if I see Apihai turning (to paddle ) backwards, I shall cry out to him. "Jump out into the Water." If Ihikiera should turn backwards, he must jump into the water; and if Paikea should turn backwards, he, too, must jump overboard. That is my reply to the words of Wi Pohe.
Mr. McLean, listen! This is our thought respecting your words, to the effect that this is the influential rununga of this island. (Our opinion is) that the non-attendance of the Ngatipaoa is not a matter for consideration.
My reply to the words of Matene is, that they are right. Because it appears to me that the Ministers who are sent to this Island get remuneration, and the Magistrates get remuneration, and the Government (officers) get remuneration. This will promote union—to make all warm together.
Ihakara, (Ngatiraukawa,) Manawatu:—I do not approve of the suggestion of Tamihana about enlisting (native) soldiers at our settlement, because this has a tendency to produce irritation. This is my word in page 20 reference to Matene's suggestion that all be made warm together. Matene's words are correct, because the house is one and the people are one. The name of. the house is the Government. It is not right to open one door and leave another closed, but all should be open alike.
This also applies to the (sale of) powder, because the house is one; therefore, I say, let it be altogether open.
Eruera Patuone, (Ngapuhi,) Awataha:—This is my word respecting the reptile which has been spoken of. In my opinion, Chiefs of the Conference, this refers to Te Rangitake—to his fighting with the Governor at Taranaki. My advice is, let that reptile remain there to do its own work.
Let us from this side look away to the South and then away to the North, even to the Reinga (North Cape). Let us watch the hawk as he sails about in search of rats. As soon as he has secured a rat he flies away with it. Look at that, ye Chiefs of this Conference, and ye tribes of this Island. Understand what you see, lest there be evil.
Parakaia Te Pouepa, (Ngatiraukawa,) Otaki:—I shall continue to find fault with the words of this Conference. There are three words of which I disapprove. I now find that the proceedings of this Conference are without meaning. In my opinion, those questions have already been settled, and it is not therefore right to discuss them again. Do you not consider that we have dined in company with the Governor, and that he has spoken words to you? If one tribe take food with another tribe that implies the establishment of love (between them). In like manner, Christ, when he had finished his work, took bread with his disciples. This was the way in which he confirmed his love to his apostles. In what direction can you fly now? for you have taken food with the Governor.
Te Awaitaia has told us about (the fable of) the bundle of sticks. His words are correct. If the Conference have but one method, who shall break it? But if the words of this Conference are divided, then they will be broken and evil will arise.
This is my reply to the words of Paora, of Te Rira, and of Matene, about the money belonging to the Queen and the Governor. It is wrong that the children should ask for money. My view is that I came here to seek explanations which we might carry home with us. As to asking for money, that is wrong. This is coaxing for some of the Governor's money. My plan is, that we page 21 should collect money, whether for the Conference, for the house, or for some other purpose. If it amounts to 2l., then, when the Governor hears of it, he will give us 2l.; if it amounts to 5l, he will give us 5l. As to applying for money before we have raised any ourselves, that is wrong. In the same way, now that we have raised 97l. for a (public) road, let us ask the Governor to give us other 97l.
Now, respecting the words of Te Rira, that the Governor should give us some remuneration, that it may be manifest to those people who are called reptiles,—that is to say, those who are turning to the King,—so that they may say, "Ah! if I had attended the Governor's meeting I should have secured some riches": in my opinion this is paying honor to the Maori party and coaxing the Queen's party.
Meeting adjourned to 8th instant.