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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 2 (June 1, 1932)

The Blessing of “Taihoa.”

The Blessing of “Taihoa.”

The late Sir Douglas Maclean, of Napier, told me this story of the policy of patience embodied in the little word “taihoa” which wore down the “purchase resistance” of a Maori chief in the old days. His father, the great Sir Donald Maclean, was anxious to complete the purchase of a block of land for the Government in Hawke's Bay, and the principal chief concerned was disinclined to sell. He rode out to the chief's place, where he was received with the usual greetings and hospitality, and he was given the customary place of honour in the large page 39 wharepuni. He talked with his friend the chief, and repeated his offer to buy the land. He talked with the other folk of the kainga; he discussed with them all the subjects under the sun, and listened to their songs and legends, day after day.

The subject of the land was not discussed after the first day. The chief was politeness itself, as became a Maori rangatira. At last one morning Maclean called for his horse, rolled up his big tartan plaid and prepared to depart. Just as he was about to mount his horse he apparently thought of something he had forgotten. Reins in hand, he turned to the chief and said: “Oh, I suppose it is all right about that land. You'll sell it, won't you?”

“Yes, yes,” said the Maori eagerly; “take it! Take the land; it is yours.”

And so it was settled. The pakeha this time had out-taihoa'd the Maori.