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Letters From Certain Chiefs Of Ahuriri to Dr. Featherston



Pawhakairo, October 19th, 1863.

To Dr. Featherston,

Friend, Salutations to you. Hearken, Many men assembled on Saturday, at the Pawhakairo, to wait for you, as we wished to hear what you had to say, and to let you hear what we had to say to you. When you did not come, we were all dark (much annoyed). Enough page 4We now send our letter after you. Friend, exert yourself to discover the cause of the war, which the Governor is now carrying on in Waikato. The war we hear of, but the cause we do not known The Pakehas tell us that the causes were ambuscades, and murders on the part of the Maoris. We have not heard of those ambuscades and murders. This was what we heard of. Rewi's demand for war, after Aporo had been apprehended and imprisoned. Rewi proposed then to fight but it was disapproved by Matutaera, by Tamehana, by Te paea, and the Chiefs of Waikato. In consequence of their strong opposition, Rewi desisted, and he came to Taupo to the tangi for (the death of) Te Heuheu. On his return, he was met on the road by the news of the driving away of the Maoris from their land, of the crossing of Mangatawhiri by the troops, and of the death of Te Huirama. As our messenger, whom we sent for information about the Waikato war was returning, he met them on the road, and then they went to Meremere-Rewi himself, and his tribe the Ngatimaniapoto. The going of Taati te Waru and Porokoru Titipa's party was not an unwarrantable act. They had been requested by Mohi to follow him, after he had been expelled by the Governor. As for the driving away of the Government and all the Pakehas, it was Rewi who called upon the Ngatimaniapoto to drive them away. It was then that the Waikate commenced to find fault with Rewi. As for the stand made by Te Huirama at Te Koheroa. When it was seen that the soldiers had crossed Mangatawhiri, and that they were coming to fight the Waikate he stood forward to ward off the blow. We heard from the Pakehas that Rewi intended (or attempted) to murder the Governor, the time that he went up the Waikate; but we disbelieve it, for we had from the Maoris a full account of the Governor's visit to Ngaruawahia, of his viewing Potatau's grave, of Te Paea's weeping, and of Matutaera being followed, that he might come and see the Governor at Ngaruawahia. How comes it then that we were not told of Rewi's murderous intentions towards the Governor?

We inform you of the things which we have heard that you may enquire and see whether they are correct or not, and then inform us, and show us what words caused the wrong. Enough.