Hauhauism: An Episode in the Maori Wars 1863-1866
CHAPTER III. The Spread of Hauhauism
CHAPTER III. The Spread of Hauhauism.
1 “The fascination such wild doctrines have over the savage and half savage mind is not easily explained, but it is not the less certain, they appealed, too, to the most brutal passions, to gross immorality, to cannibalism, to the love of plunder, to the love of murder, to the excitement of wild and horrible fanatic rites.”— Weld, F. A.: Notes on New Zealand Affairs… Late Prime Minister of the Colony. London: Edward Stanford, 1869. p. 39.
the missionaries of old had taught the Maoris to turn their eyes to heaven, while they themselves turned theirs to the land;
the missionaries had deserted them in the midst of their troubles;
the missionaries by their prayers had strengthened the troops to fight against their women and children.
Grace: op. cit. p. 257. Annual Letter to C.M.S., July 19th, 1877.
“They have lost confidence in us as a body, and look upon us with distrust and suspicion, and have determined to manage their own religious affairs… Who can blame them after 14 years' neglect by us, for framing a service more or less imperfect, with which to supply the need? They know they cannot do without religion.”1
However, from a study of the subsequent behaviour of the tohunga priests, it seems impossible to attribute their acceptance of Hauhauism to genuine heart belief; but rather to a desire to regain their fast decreasing influence.2
1 Grace: Op. cit., p. 266. Diary, Aug. 10th, 1877.
2 Anderson, M. A.: “Christianity and the Maoris.” MS. 1933.
4 P.C.B. Good Words, Oct. 1, 1865.
The Colonial Secretary and Native Minister declared:—
“The foul superstition seems to have seized with more or less violence on all the rebel party; a Kingite and a Hauhau appear to be synonymous.”3
Many insisted that the Kingmaker was a convert. Letters attributed to him were produced with the concluding word Pai Marire.4 Te Oriori assured Sir George Grey that some of them were not written by the Kingmaker; and in December, 1864, a Maori averred that the King was opposed to the Pai Marire.5 Lady Martin, however, says:—
“It had a political significance. Their King Tawhiao became a spiritual power.”6
2 Le Pai Maririsme à la Nouvelle Zélande (Etude sur la nouvelle réligion du Maorisme) Ethnographic-Super-stitions. Revue Britannique. 1866.
3 Fox: op. cit., Ch. IX, p. 140.
5 Rusden: op. cit., Vol. II, Ch. XII, p. 192.
6 Lady Martin: op. cit., p. 170.
Hauhauism was certainly having an extraordinary and diverse appeal. The Bishop of Wellington stated:—
“Doubtless thousands… have joined the fanatical movement merely as a political engine for upholding their nationality.”1
Te Ua was not ignorant of this fact, and to co-ordinate the activities of his followers he issued a proclamation to the New Zealand chiefs:—
“The Lord of Hosts has given to the natives the sword of Samson and of Gideon; the sword by which the Philistines and the Midianites were overpowered. This is Gabriel the Archangel. He has come down like a mighty flood upon his people and upon the ruler who is anointed over them. He commands you to stay the fair winds of heaven, and that all the people shall take upon them the solemn oath.… If you obey this command your God will come down upon this land. It is because He loves His people and is about to restore you to your rock, which is Jehovah.”2
1 Rt. Rev. Bishop Hadfield, Charge to Synod, Wellington. Sept. 26, 1865.
2 Letter by Horopapera to Tamihana Te Waharoa, and New Zealand chiefs generally. Cited William Williams. Ch. XIX, p. 367.
3 Supra. Ch. II, p. 21.
1 Despatches, N.Z. Govt. Gazettes, 1864. E. No. 3, p. 73.
2 Hamilton Browne, Col. E.: With the Lost Legion in New Zealand. Late Commandant in Colonial Forces. London: T. Werner Laurie. Ch. II, p. 23.
3 Rusden: op. cit., Vol. II, Ch. XXII, p. 193.
These severe reverses seemed to add fuel to fire, and emissaries were sent to every part of the island. Both Hepanaia and Matene had disobeyed Te Ua's instructions; having been too impatient to await the appointed time for the head to do the circuit of the island. Both had lost their lives, and this failure was attributed to disobedience. The Maoris, far from being disheartened, felt that it showed how correct were Te Ua's instructions, and therefore joined the ranks of Pai Marire with renewed vigour.
1 Cowan: op. cit., Vol. II, Ch. III, p. 33. I feel Cowan's description of the battle has been drawn from his own fertile imagination, despite the fact that he was writing a “scientific” account of the origins of the Hauhau wars at the command of the Minister for Native Affairs. Cowan gives no authority or justification for his statements. A certain amount of information is given on the inscription on the monument erected on Pukename Hill in Wanganui, which I have seen. The inscription reads: “To the memory of those brave men who fell at Moutoa, 14th May, 1864, in defence of law and order against fanaticism and barbarism.”
2 Taylor, Rev. R.: op. cit., Ch. VII, p. 150.
3 Report of Dr. Featherston, C.P.P. 1864. E. No. 3, p. 80.
It appears, however, that on the arrival of the first party at Pipiriki, on the Wanganui River, their purpose was changed. The friendly natives, under the command of the chief John Williams, who was head catechist to the Church Missionary House at Wanganui, defended the town against the Hauhau warriors.3 After their defeat on February 23rd, 1865, the Hauhaus proceeded thence with the intention of murdering any missionaries who might come in their way. This purpose was announced at Whakatane, but there was no means of warning those who might be exposed to danger.
1 William Williams: op. cit. Ch. XIX, p. 370. Also App. H. of R. 1865. E. No. 5. 7 Enclosure.
2 Rusden: op. cit., Vol. II, Ch. XII, p. 199. Te Ua Haumene wrote Dec. 8, 1864: “… Let your conduct be good in carrying these my instructions to the various parts of the Island, even until you come unto Hirini, who will convey the teachings peacefully to his European relations there.”
3 William Williams: op. cit., Ch. XIX, p. 372.
In 1865 various Reports were sent to the Minister for Native Affairs, which testify to the alarm felt in numerous areas at the spread of the Pai Marire religion.
The Resident Magistrate for Central Wanganui wrote:—
“I would report that the Hauhau fanaticism is spreading very rapidly in the Province, and I fear will be the cause of great mischief. It is now the mainstay of the King movement.”1
The Civil Commissioner in Napier also wrote:—
“I beg to draw your particular attention to a very unsatisfactory state of affairs in this Province. Even making every allowance for the usual exaggeration of Maori stories, there still remains the fact that a body of armed ruffians have suddenly made their appearance right in the centre of the Province before anybody knew they were coming; that they have converted a number of people to the most ridiculously degraded superstition; that Te Hapuku—hitherto supposed to be the first friend of the Pakeha—has invited them here, subscribed to their faith, and hoisted the rebel flag with many absurd ceremonies; and, above all, that they are to be followed by further armed parties of propagandists, with thepage 46 distinct object of defying the English and the peaceably-disposed natives in the hopes of bringing on a disturbance.… In the present state of the Province, it is evident that if large bodies of armed fanatics are permitted to be constantly travelling about, a state of peace cannot long exist.”1
1 White, J.: App. H. of R. E. No. 4, 3. 1865.
Friendly chiefs at Te Whaiti sent a message to Dr. Nesbit saying:—
“Friends, greeting you the heads of affairs. Natives of Taranaki, Waikato, and Raukawa, have come here to preach their God, and leading also Pakeha captives— there are two living men, and one head of a murdered man. When they came they urged us to return to their God, but we did not consent. They replied, it is well: the bearer of the sword is close behind to destroy you and all the Arawa. We sought and found a word in Scripture: ‘Be patient in tribulation;’ but if their sword touches us we shall fight. Enough.From
and all the Chiefs of the three
It was apparent that a new phase in the political struggle had been inaugurated by the development of Hauhauism.
1 Cooper, S.: App. H. of R. No. 4. 20. 1865.
2 App. H. of R. No. 4. 22. 1865. Enclosure.