Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.
Whitmore (The Last Maori War in New Zealand) says that, when he landed at Poverty Bay after the massacre, popular feeling was much excited against the Stafford Government, “upon whom the blame for the massacre was being unfairly thrown, the agent on the East Coast [McLean], who was, of course, the actually responsible person, escaping the odium through the circumstances of his position, he being bitterly opposed to the Government.” This attack on McLean need not occasion surprise. If he had had his way, Major Fraser—not Whitmore—would have been sent to Poverty Bay to take charge of the military operations. McLean told Mr. Richmond that he feared that the loyal natives might disperse upon Whitmore's arrival. It was only on Mr. Richmond's urgent solicitations that McLean wrote to the Ngati-Porou leaders urging them to continue the campaign to a successful conclusion. The contents of one of his letters were revealed in Parliament on 18 June, 1869.