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An Epitome of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs and Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand

[No. 11.]

No. 11.

The Hon. the Colonial Secretary to His Excellency Lieutenant-Governor Hobson.

Bay of Islands.—Visit to Kaitaia to obtain Signatures to Treaty. Kororareka, 6th May, 1840.


I have the honour to inform your Excellency that, according to your directions, I sailed on the 27th ultimo for Kaitaia in the schooner "New Zealander." We touched at Maunganui, where I obtained one of the principal chiefs as a pilot, and on the Saturday following anchored in the river, about sixteen miles distant from the town.

The Rev. R. Taylor and Dr. Johnson immediately proceeded to the Church Mission-station to arrange with Mr. Puckey and the chief Nopera the day of meeting.

On Monday, accompanied by Lieutenant Smart and the mounted police, I went to Kaitaia. At the head of the river we were met by Mr. Puckey and a great many Natives, who escorted us to the town, where we were received by a discharge of musketry, and shortly after were welcomed by a war-dance. The firing continued throughout the evening, and at intervals during the night.

At an early hour the next morning the chiefs commenced preparations, and at ten o'clock assembled on a large grass-plot before the verandah of Mr. Matthews's house, whither I repaired, attended by Mr. Puckey (who acted as Interpreter), Nopera, the principal chief, and the gentlemen by whom I was accompanied.

I opened the meeting by informing the chiefs that your Excellency's illness prevented your personal attendance, but that you had deputed me to meet them, to explain the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi, and to invite their adherence thereto. I then alluded to the mischievous endeavours of some evil-disposed persons to misrepresent the intentions of Her Majesty's Government, assured them that your Excellency would strictly perform all your engagements with them, and concluded by requesting them to make any statement, or to call for any explanation, on such subjects as they did not fully comprehend.

The Treaty was then read, and the debate was conducted much in the same manner as at Waitangi, with this exception: that there was but very little opposition.

They stated that they had been informed by the pakehas that your Excellency would take away their lands and make them slaves; that you would place their provisions in stores, and distribute only such quantities as you might think proper. They also stated that they had been solicited by some of the Ngapuhis and Hokianga chiefs to join in a conspiracy to cut off the pakehas, but that they had declined doing so; and concluded by expressing their hearty concurrence with your Excellency's views, and their earnest wish to become subjects of Her Majesty. The Treaty was then signed by sixty of the principal chiefs, and the meeting concluded with a war-dance and a general discharge of musketry.

I herewith enclose the speech of Nopera, by which your Excellency will more fully perceive the value of his adherence. I further beg to inform your Excellency that he provided all the food for the entertainment of the Natives, and would not accept any payment for it, although offered by me. He also desired me to request your acceptance of a present of pigs and potatoes, which he sent on board the schooner.

I have, &c.,

Willoughby Shortland,

His Excellency Lieutenant-Governor Hobson, &c. Colonial Secretary.

The Speech of Nopera Paraeaka, Chief of Kaitaia.

"Hear, all of you, pakehas and Maoris. This is my speech. My desire is that we should all be of one heart. Speak your words, openly; speak as you mean to act; do not say one thing and mean another. I am at your head. I wish you all to have the Governor. We are saved by this. Let every page 19 one say Yes, as I do. We have now somebody to look up to. I am jealous of those speeches I hear from the pakehas be careful not to listen to them. Some say it will be the pakehas who will offend; but I say No; it will be the Maoris. My grandfather brought the pakehas to this very spot, and the chiefs agreed with what my grandfather did. He went on board the ships, and got trade. He spread it through the land. Let us act right, as my ancestor did. The pakehas went to the Bay of Islands, and were murdered. Let us do them no harm. What has the Governor done wrong? The shadow of the land goes to Queen Victoria, but the substance remains with us. We will go to the Governor, and get a payment for our land, as before. If the Ngapuhi commit evil they will suffer. We have always been friendly with the pakehas. We never went in ships to England or Port Jackson to buy arms to kill our countrymen. If you want to be cut off, go and fight the Governor. Do not, like the chiefs at Hokianga, wish to kill the Governor. Live peaceably with the pakehas. We have now a helmsman. One said, 'Let me steer,' and another said, 'Let me steer,' and we never went straight. Be jealous, look well into your own hearts, and commit no evil. The Natives did wrong at the Bay, and suffered. What man of sense would believe that the Governor would take our goods, and only give us half of it? If you have anything else to say, say it; but, if not, finish; and all of you say Yes.

Say Yes."

Upon this there was a general exclamation of "Ae, ae" (Yes, yes), and they came forward in an orderly manner, and signed the Treaty to the number of sixty.

[These notes were taken by the Rev. R. Taylor and Dr. Johnson.]