Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.
Te Kani-a-Takirau's autocratic methods greatly perturbed the Rev. T. S. Grace whilst he was supervising the Tolaga Bay station in 1852–3. In the former year, some Turanga natives removed a post from an old burial ground. Although they had replaced it, Te Kani made the road leading to Turanga tapu, stopped intercourse between the two districts, and declared war. Mr. Grace sent a deputation of influential Turanga chiefs to him, and, following them three days later, “was most happy to be able to bring matters to a peaceful conclusion.” The trouble in 1853 was more serious. A great woman of Turanga named Victoria—many page 171 called her “Queen Victoria”—died from consumption, but her death was attributed by her people to witchcraft by an Anaura tohunga. An avenging party, 150 strong, set off from Turanga to Anaura. Mr. Grace went on ahead to mollify the people in the villages through which it was about to pass. On the fifth day of the march Te Kani was conferred with at Puatai, and a peaceful settlement was reached. (Vide A Pioneer Missionary Among the Maoris.)