Hauhauism: An Episode in the Maori Wars 1863-1866
INTRODUCTION. — An Historical Retrospect: The Maori Wars, — 1860–1864
An Historical Retrospect: The Maori Wars,
Hauhauism was the result of several different factors, which became welded in 1863 in the form of a fanatical religion. These factors were primarily political and religious, and each was closely interwoven with the other. Religious fanaticism had political repercussions. The progress of Hauhauism corresponded largely with the progress of the Maori King Movement;1 and with the defeat of the Kingite tribes the religion became a diminishing and finally a negligible force.
The political factor is the predominant one in accounting for the spread of the new religion. Hauhauism became a powerful instrument in strengthening the weakening attachment of the natives to the national cause, and in uniting antagonistic tribes against the pakeha.2 The hostile tribes, embittered by losses in men and property,3 were in a mood to welcome a new battle cry. It was a struggle to preserve their national existence.4
On March 22, 1860, Governor Gore Browne had sent a Despatch to the Duke of Newcastle, in which he stated that
“notwithstanding every endeavour on my part to avoid hostilities, a collision has taken place between Her Majesty's troops at Waitara and the natives.”
Thus the first Taranaki war commenced with the military occupation of this Waitara Block of land.
1 Wiremu Kingi was the Maori version for William King. Hursthouse, C.: New Zealand—The Britain of the South, with a chapter on the Native War, and our future Native policy. London: Edward Stanford. Ch. XIX, 2nd Ed. 1861.
2 Alexander, Sir J.: Incidents of the Maori War in 1860–61. London: Richard Bentley. 1863. Ch. III, p. 71.
The first Taranaki war was concluded on March 19, 1861. It was terminated by an agreement between Hapurona and the Government, Wiremu Kingi having most solemnly appointed him as his plenipotentiary to settle the dispute, while he himself went to Kihikihi, Upper Waikato. After some days' discussions, Hapurona was persuaded to accept the conditions laid down by the Governor-in-Council. The Waikato tribes agreed to return to their homes.3 The terms agreed upon included the investigation of the title to the Waitara Block, the completion of the survey, the restoration of plunder taken from the settlers, and the submission of the Atiawa to the Queen's Authority.
The Governor wrote in February, 1861, that he had found the Ngapuhi
“less well affected than when he last visited them.”
1 Alexander, Sir J.: op. cit., Ch. III, p. 72.
The Native Minister William Fox, on behalf of His Excellency, proposed to the natives that the Waitara question be referred to arbitration before a tribunal of two Europeans and four Maoris, three being appointed by the natives, and three by the Government.4 After protracted negotiations Hapurona wrote that
“he would not now agree to Waitara being investigated.”5
Despite the attitude adopted by the Maoris, Sir George Grey directed that the following notice should be issued on April 22nd, 1863:—
“His Excellency the Governor, directs it to be notified that from the facts now come to light, and not before known to him, he does not think that the purchase of the
1 Rusden, G.: History of New Zealand. London: Chapman & Hall. 1883. Vol. II, Ch. XL, p. 71.
2 Despatch from Secretary of State for Colonies, Duke of Newcastle, to Governor Gore Browne, N.Z. Govt. Gazette. July 29, 1861.
3 Proclamation. N.Z. Govt. Gazette. Oct. 3, 1861. p. 261.page 13 block of land at the Waitara is either a desirable one, or such as the Government should make. That His Excellency therefore abandons the intention of making this purchase, and forfeits the deposit of $100, which the Government had paid on this land.”1
5 Papers of the Colonial Parliament. 1863. E. No. 13, p. 14.
He told his Ministers that
“The country is in such a state that the Governor by no means feels confident that this act will quiet the minds of many of the native population. On the contrary, he thinks it may now be impossible to avoid some collision with them; but he believes it would at once win many over to the side of the Government; that it is a proper act; and that if a contest must come, that the closest scrutiny instituted into the conduct of the Government, either in England or in this colony, would result in an admission that every possible precaution had been taken to avoid such a contest, and to prevent the horrors of war falling on this colony…”2
1 Memorandum by His Excellency stating reasons for abandoning Waitara Purchase. App. H. of R. E. No. 2. Enclosure 8 in Despatch No. 1.
Unfortunately the Government largely nullified their wise and just policy in restoring the Waitara block, by keeping the Tataraimaka block of land. This latter portion of land had been abandoned in 1860, and the Maoris now claimed it by right of conquest. The Taranaki tribe had previously informed the Governor and General Cameron that Tataraimaka would not be given up unless the British first gave up Waitara. The armed occupation of Tataraimaka took place on April 4th; Waitara was not given up until May 11th;1 war had started on May 4th.2 Sir George Grey had erred in not making the restitution of the Waitara block contemporaneous with the resumption of sovereignty over Tataraimaka.3
1 Proclamation. N.Z. Govt. Gazette. May 15, 1863. p. 179.
2 Mould, Major-General: Sketch of Military Proceedings in New Zealand, from the Termination of the Waitara Campaign in March, 1861. Late Commanding Royal Engineer in the Colony. Auckland. 1863. p. 12.
3 Collier, J.: Sir George Grey, Governor, High Commissioner and Premier. N.Z.: Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd. 1909. Ch. XXI, p. 142.
The war in the Waikato dragged on until 1865; successive tribes gradually being forced to make their submission. The last to do this was Wiremu Tamihana, who signed a document acknowledging submission to the law of the Queen on May 27th, 1865.
1 Alexander, Sir J. E.: op. cit., Ch. III, p. 79. Also Despatch of Governor Gore Browne to the Duke of Newcastle. App. H. of R. 1863. E. No. 2.
2 Ward, Rev. R.: Life Among the Maoris of New Zealand, being a description of Missionary, Colonial, and Military Achievements. London: G. Lamb. 1872. Ch. XIII, p. 294.
4 Featon, J.: The Waikato War, 1863–4. Auckland: J. Field. 1879. Ch. IV, p. 18.