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Proceedings of of the Kohimarama Conference, Comprising Nos. 13 to 18 of the "Maori Messenger."

Friday, July 13, 1860

Friday, July 13, 1860.

Mr. McLean opened the Meeting with the following speech:—

Listen, Chiefs of the Runanga! Let me tell you about one of the rules followed by Europeans. When an important matter comes before the Queen, she submits it to her Council, and requests them to take it under their consideration, and to give expression to their opinions. The Governor acts in like manner with his Council. Now I request that the same rule be observed here. The Governor has read you his address, and you have been invited to take it under consideration, and to give free expression to your opinions, whether for or against it.

It has been in your hands for several days to afford you full time for its consideration. If you have examined the address, and understand all that it contains, then let each tribe in this Conference proceed to prepare a reply to the same, in writing, and unreservedly express their feelings and opinions. If, on the other hand, there are some paragraphs which are not quite clear, I shall be glad to offer you an explanation of them. I therefore trust, that page 38 if any member of this meeting should need any such explanation, he will not hesitate to ask for it. I shall now read the address to you, and shall make remarks as I proceed.

3rd Clause:—This treats of Her Majesty's protection, whereby New Zealand and the Maori people are defended from all aggressions by any foreign power. Has not this pledge been carried out? Has any foreign power disturbed this country? People of other nations have certainly come here, but their mission has always been a friendly one. They have come to settle or to trade. They have never assumed any authority in this Colony.

Some of you have said that the laws for the Maori are not the same as the laws for the Pakeha. This is in some measure true. Children cannot have what belongs to persons of mature age; and a child does not grow to be a man in a day.

This clause also states that the Queen "confirmed and guaranteed to the chiefs and tribes of New Zealand, and to the respective families and individuals thereof, the full, exclusive, and undisturbed possession of their lands and estates, forests, [unclear: fi heries], and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess, so long as it is their wish to retain the same in their possession." And this pledge has been strictly observed. In no single instance has your land been taken from you. It is only when you are disposed to sell, and not before, that the Governor gets possession of your lands. Where is the man who has been deprived of any of his land?

4th Clause speaks of the Treaty of Waitangi. Some have said that this treaty was confined to the Ngapuhi. I maintain that it was not a treaty with Ngapuhi only, but a general one. It certainly commenced with the Ngapuhi. The treaty is binding on the whole. And, further, I believe that it has been a great boon to you; and one, therefore, which you should not lose sight of nor disregard.

5th Clause states that the Governor has been instructed to maintain all the stipulations of the treaty inviolate. Now, if in the opinion of this Conference the Governor has violated any of the terms of this treaty, you have an opportunity of telling him so. If any one here has any grievance, let him make it known at this Conference, and not carry it back to his home with him.

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6th Clause: If you should decide upon writing replies to the address, this clause wil be a guide to you.

You observe that the Governor requests you to confer with him frankly and without reserve.

7th Clause: This has direct reference to the Maori King movement. You should freely express your opinions on this subject.

The movement did not possibly originate in any evil desire. With some the motive may have been a good one, but it involved the idea of establishing a national independence. The old chief, Potatau. (who has just died)professed no feeling but that of kindness and good will to the Pakeha. Therefore it would not, perhaps, be just to treat the matter with great severity. But this I may say to you, that while this movement lasts it will prove a great hindrance to the establishment of peace and the success of beneficial measures for the two races.

The protection of England has been solicited and accepted by this country, and it is therefore wrong to talk about any other sovereignty.

The Governor invites you to state your views and opinions on this matter very plainly.

12th Clause: It is not intended to hide from you what you may hear from other sources, namely the face, that the English in former times often invaded other countries. Their ancestors, when they took possession of a place, frequently destroyed its inhabitants. But when Christianity obtained a greater influence amongst them; wise men began to reflect on the sin of destroying human beings created by God to live on the earth. The Queen directed her Parliament to consider the subject, when it was proved that wrongs had been committed. The evidence adduced confirmed the fact that aboriginal subjects had been ill-treated. This occasioned much shame to many good people in England and it was determined in Parliament that such proceedings should not be permitted in future.

About this period attention was directed to New Zealand as a field for European settlement, and it was decided by the Queen and her Ministers, that in occupying the country, the New Zealanders should be treated with kindness, and a humane policy pursued towards them, with a view to their becoming a prosperous people, and united with the English.

There is no desire to conceal from you the wrongs which have been committed elsewhere, but Christian principles have ruled the conduct of the British Government in these Islands.

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The policy pursued has been one of uniform kindness, and in accordance with the precepts of Christianity.

13th Clause: This Clause refers to the difference of language as the chief obstacle to your participation in English councils.

This is a disadvantage to both races. The Maori does not understand the Pakeha, and accuses him of saying what he did not mean; and the Pakeha, on the other hand, imagines something very different to what the Maori has said. From this cause they differ with each other and misunderstandings arise. Now, if the language in common use was the same, these difficulties would disappear. Hence the desirability of educating your children in the English tongue.

16th Clause: The Governor tells you that the Queen will afford you protection against dangers from without, but she cannot without your co-operation save you from internal feuds. It is therefore the duty of every man to help, that peace and good order may prevail.

Last Clause: This ends the Governor's Address to you. He concludes with a prayer to God for His blessing on your deliberations.

You must carefully examine the Address yourselves, and then let each hapu consider a reply to it, that the Governor may become acquainted with your opinions. His object and earnest aim is to induce you to adopt European customs. Let each tribe give utterance to its opinions, whether for or against, and let this be done soon, in order that you may proceed to the consideration of other important subjects.

Henare Pukuatua then rose and said:—Listen my friends, the people of this runanga. I have no thought for Maori customs. All I think about now is what is good for me. I have been examining the Governor's address. I have not been able to find one wrong word in all these sayings of the Governor, or rather of the Queen. I have looked in vain for anything to find fault with. Therefore I now say, O Governor, your words are full of light. I shall be a child to the Queen. Christ shall be the Saviour of my soul, and my temporal guide shall be the Governor or the Law. Now, listen all of you. I shall follow the Governor's advice. This shall be my path for ever and ever. (Here there was a song.) Listen my friends. The subject spoken of by the Governor is the very bone of my body—I page 41 mean the Laws of the Queen. I shall not turn back to the ways of foolishness. This is the end of my speech.

Paora Tuhaere: Listen all of you. I am a child of the Queen. But I will not speak of this just now. I want now to speak of some wrong parts that I have seen in the Governor's address. The first is in the 3rd clause "And she (the Queen) confirmed and guaranteed to the chiefs and tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full, exclusive and undisturbed possession of their lands and estates, &e." That is one. I have found something else wrong, it is a sentence in the 11th clause, which reads thus: "Your lands have remained in your possession or have been bought by the Government at your own desire." My words now are in disapproval of those expressions of the Governor's. Listen all of you. The Government has got possession of Taurarua, and I have not yet seen the payment. This land is occupied by bishops and judges, great people, but. I am not paid for it. I applied to the first Governor for redress, and to the second, the third and fourth, without obtaining it. The next case occurred in the time of Governor Grey. I mean Matapipi, which was taken through some mistake as to the boundaries. I did not receive any payment for it, I am continually urging for payment for those pieces of land. I have two cases on which to rest my charge. Had these lands belonged to some people, they would have made it a greater cause for war than that which originated the present one. I content myself with constantly asking for satisfaction. Now listen all of you. If the matter is not arranged on this occasion, and if my life is spared for two or three years, I. shall go to England to the Queen about it. That is an page 42 excellent thing shown to us in the 13th clause of the Governor's address. I mean what he says about Maories entering the English Councils. He says, "I feel that the difference of language forms a great barrier between the Europeans and the Maories. Through not understanding each other there are frequent misapprehensions of what is said or intended: this is also one of the chief obstacles in the way of your participating in our English Councils, and in the consideration of laws for your guidance." My idea is this: let us be admitted into your councils. This would be the very best system. The pakeha have their councils, and the Maories have separate councils, but this is wrong. The evil results from these councils not being one. I therefore say let Maori chiefs enter your councils. The Governor says that there is a difference of language. In my opinion this does not matter, inasmuch as there are plenty of European friends who would make matters clear to us, as they know our language. I am desirous that the minds of the Europeans and the Maories should be brought into unison with each other. Then if a Maori killed another Maori his crime would be tried and adjudicated on by the understandings of both Pakeha and Maori. And if one man should interfere with the land of another, then let the same council try him. When a woman has been violated, let the same course obtain. Murders and "Makutu" would come before the same tribunal, because there would then be but one law for both Pakehas and Maories, and the understandings of both people would be exercised in the council. This is the point I intend to press now, namely, the admission of my fellow chiefs into the council with Europeans to explain matters for them.

Eruera Kahawai: Listen! This is not an ordinary discussion. Do not speak rashly, because this is a most important subject. The Governor's request that we should speak frankly is a very proper one. The Governor perhaps thinks that we shall conceal our views. No, the Maories will fully express their opinions to him. The Governor probably expects that we who have now assembled to meet him should take a part to ourselves. Let it not be said that the opinions have changed afterwards. No, let there be no changing of opinion. Let me state here that should a Pakeha take the liberty of injuring or killing a Maori I shall not retaliate in the same way. I shall give him up to the hand of the Law. My hand shall not touch him; but I will leave it to the law to punish him. Though the wrong may be committed as far off as Rotorua, I shall bring the offender here to be tried. And page 43 in like manner, if a Maori should injure a Pakeha, I would hand him over to the Law. These are the sentiments of all the tribe. I mean the people of Rotorua. This speech is as much theirs as mine. Even though it should be Tukihaumene, (Tukihaumene interposed "or you rather,") or Tohi, or Taiapo, or Ngahuruhuru, who committed himself by injuring a Pakeha, I would give him up to be tried for it. There is an old man in the tribe named Tawangawanga who holds the relation of father to me. If even he committed himself, I would give him up. And if Awekotuku or Paora should do so, I would give them up, and the law should try them. Now, let me speak about the land. I have been reading the Governor's address. He says that the lands should be properly administered for the children. In my opinion, this is right, namely, that the lands should be properly arranged, that they may be inherited by our children without any trouble. I shall not now fully reveal my views (or plans). But when I get back to Rotorua, I will complete them, and then I will bring them to the Governor for confirmation, in order that each man may become possessed of his own piece of land. As to the clause of the Governor's address which states that no foreign power is permitted by the Government to come here, we know nothing about that. We do not know of any other people who might come to this island. You are the only people we know about. We will bring our troubles for you to try. I mean our great troubles. As to the quarrels about women, we will arrange those ourselves, unless indeed, they are of a serious nature. This is what I have to say about the king in this island. When they first set up that king I opposed it. I was not willing that there should be two powers in New Zealand. I spoke thus at the time. I compared New Zealand to a poporo (a fruit bearing tree). The Governor, I said, has settled on the poporo, and is eating the fruit: the Maori king comes afterwards to drive him off. I will not therefore consent to that king. Now, listen to my proverb, "Homai he peropero, homai na kia rukuhia, na e ruku nei." I now enter the order of things that are good, clear, and charitable. It was on this account that I said on the first day, the good is made manifest. When the law came the evils of the Maori customs became evident. I approve of the Governor's words. If they were wrong I should tell you so. Had he said that my lands should be taken away, I should disapprove of that; or that my sick friend should be put to death without cause, or that my previsions should be used without my having any payment, I should page 44 disapprove. But now when the Governor says that the Pakeha and Maori races should be united as of one flesh, who is able to disapprove? Who is the man? The Pakeha customs have been made manifest to us in the days that past, and we have accepted one half of them, inasmuch as we take our differences to the Magistrate's Court to be adjusted. The Governor's words now under discussion are good. This is all I have to say.

Tohi Te Ururangi: O people, O people, Hearken! Let us steer our canoe with care, lest it be upset in the water. Now listen, ye of Rotorua. ye of the Arawa, let your entrance on the Queen's side be straightforward; don't let there be any going backwards. Should a hand touch, (side with) the Maori king, then all ye of the Arawa, leave it to me to bring him to judgment that the law may punish him, the law alone. We have European law now. Now listen, that I may utter my speech—it is only a word. I am resting on the Government. I will reveal the good. If I should turn backwards, let that be considered a sin, and let me be punished for it with the lash of the law. I have no grievance about my land. Let the Governor keep the law of land inviolate. All I know about now, is that I have sided in good faith with the Queen. The offence ends with me. Should a strange people come by way of the sea, then (addressed to the Pakeha) it will be for us with the Pakeha to decide how we shall act towards them. Also this Maori king we will jointly consider. When war breaks out in any place, let the law inquire into it. Should evil spring up in my midst (i.e., among my people) let the law enquire into it. My entrance on the Queen's side is true and clear When I saw my corpse (alluding to his relative Kera who was mudered by Marsden; I left it to law, and it was right. It was then that I became attached to the Law. That was my first consenting to the Queen through which I came to know good. Had I then followed Maori customs many lives would have perished. I left it to the Queen's law and I saw good. With my understanding I discovered the evil of my heart, and abandoned it. I now give my adherence to the Queen. I now give my adherence to the one law. Let there be only one law for the Arawa people, that our way may be clear. If evil should appear in any place, let the law dispose of it. People of the Arawa let not your opinions follow diverse ways, but let our opinions now be one. Listen, all of you, I give my adherence now to the Governor.

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Tamati Waaka Nene: Listen, O assembly, to my words, even as I also have listened to yours. Let the pacific character of your speeches appear to the Queen and Governor, that they may be right and proper when looked upon by the eyes of the Queen. Hear ye, O people, this is the first time I have stood up in a Council Chamber. What has brought us here to this Assembly? What? what? It is my opinion that it is the King Movement which has brought us hither. The system of this King is that which is pursued by Te Rangitake. First it was the King; the line of conduct adopted by Te Rangitake followed it. Now, hearken!. Yesterday it was stormy and rainy; to-day it is fine: so also as regards the conduct of Te Rangitake, it may be good and it may be evil. Who shall make good the system of Te Rangitake? Shall the Governor? No! If the Queen does, then it will be well. If the Governor attempts it he will not succeed; neither will this Council succeed: by the Queen only can it be done. As for me I always adhere to the Queen. The system of Te Rangitake, even though he be able to hold out for a long time, will result in evil. When the gale has subsided, it is followed by a calm. Who shall produce this calm? It will not become calm. Never, never. This is why I say let what we say in the presence of the Governor be good. You (addressing the Chiefs from the South) are from the head of this fish, I am from the tail. Where are the Chiefs of this land? Where are they? The Chiefs of this house, where are they? Where? Therefore I desired to say to you, be kind to the Europeans. Men of Whanganui, be kind to the Europeans. Men of Wairarapa, be kind to the Europeans. Men of Wellington and of Ahuriri, be kind to the Europeans, that you may see good things. If ye do what is evil, let me remind you that my wife does not know how to weave garments. Wherefore I say, Let the Europeans weave garments for me; and I in consequence will be kind to the Europeans. Thus I charge you, O Chiefs of Whanganui, Wellington, Wairarapa and Ahuriri, to be kind to your Europeans. These things, and these houses are not of our manufacture, no, they are of European origin. Chiefs of Whangarei, be kind to the Europeans, that we may eat pleasant food. Shall we again feed upon the roots of the wild convolvulus, fern root, and the pollen of the bulrush? Chiefs of Whanganui, be kind to the Europeans, even as I also am kind to them. Where are the page 46 Chiefs of this Country, where are they? Where? You are from the head of the fish, I am from the tail. I will say no more on that subject. Where is (the proof of) our kindness. I am of opinion that the Governor is still swimming in the open sea. Waikato is the source and spring of this evil. Now hear ye, I also have a desire:

"Let my desires within me lie hid,

"The wish of my heart I'll strive to restrain."

Hear what I say, Let Te Rangitake remain in possession of his desire; let Waikato retain theirs. This people, the European, is mine, I brought them up. Why does, any one say to me—Do not let Te Waaka go? Have I only just began to travel to other lands? I went to Te Rangihaeata's (disturbance): he look no heed. I have been to Whanganui and Taranaki; they would not hear. I have fed the Europeans that they might be a people for myself, for ever! ever! ever! Ye say the Governor has done wrong. What evil has he done? I ask you, who sold Taranaki to the Europeans? They did themselves. I consider that Taranaki has been in a state of slavery: it has only now become elevated. I will say no more.

Tukihaumene, a Rotorua Chief: There is nothing wrong in what you say. It is quite right. The Queen and the Governor summoned this Council, but my thoughts are not very clear. You were right in what you said. There are no Europeans between Cape Colville and Heretaunga. Your part of the Country is full of Europeans. John Heke's was the first (disturbance), afterwards Whanganui, Wairau, and Wellington. Now it is at Taranaki. I have nothing to say to the Governor because I am a dog. You were right in saying—The Europeans are yours. But it was you who cut off the people: it was you who first used firearms. How many laws are there? There are two laws. Mr. McLean how many laws are there? There are two, the Queen and the Governor. Now for the first time will I increase the power of the Queen. By me alone shall the system of the Queen be upheld from Muriwhenua to Heretaunga. What Te Waaka says is quite true. If you demand that the land which was the source of Te Rangitake's evil be given up, it shall be done by me. (Disapprobation.) This people say, that I am not speaking rightly. I am foolish! I am seeking for thought's. I have finished.

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Te Riri Tuku, (Ngatipikiao,) Maketu: Let the scion which; has long been grafted and borne fruit, go to Taranaki The scion. which is but newly grafted, may not be rudely shaken lest it become displaced—let it not be moved until its union with the stock is complete When it has borne fruit there will be no danger of its being separated (meaning, the Ngapahi may actively espouse the cause of government, but the tribes who have been but newly incorporated with the Pakeha cannot be expected to do so). (Song.)

(Addressed to Tamati Waka.)—This is what I have to say to you. It is right that you should allude to Te Rangitake. Do you carry that. Hearken! It has been said that this meeting is for the confession of offences. I am alone. I came to bring the words of my people. Leave them with me, I will attend to them.

Te Kihirini, (Tuhourangi) of Tarawera.—The good things which have come to us are for the welfare of our bodies. The goodness consists in the justice of the law. Now murder was a cause of contention and fighting in olden times. When the pa was captured, a hundred persons died for the sin of one man. At the present time the life of the murderer is the atonement for his guilt. I approve of this system; I approve of the laws of the Queen. My reason for liking the Europeans is that they bring us garments and mills. These are the things which I value and approve.

Meeting adjourned till Monday.

[We may here observe that in reporting the speeches delivered in the Conference, the reporters have adopted the precaution of submitting their papers to the speakers for revision before communicating with the Press. Our report may therefore be relied on as authentic.—Ed. M. M.]

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The following is a list of those Chiefs who were invited to the Conference by His Excellency the Governor, but who have not yet arrived. Many of them; being infirm, or labouring under influenza (which is now very prevalent), have sent deputies who are fully qualified to represent their respective tribes. As we have before remarked, the Taranaki Chiefs were detained under peculiar circumstances, and the Waikato invitees are not likely to leave their homes so soon after the decease of their venerable Chief, Te Whero-Whero. The others will probably make their appearance during the coming week:—

Hori Kingi Tupaea, (Tauranga); Wiremu Matene Ruta, (Rotoiti); Pine Te Korekore, (Ohinemutu); Wiremu Kepa, (Tarawera); Te Hura and Petera, (Awa-a-te Atua); Poihipi and Paihama Tiwai, (Opotiki); Mohi and Ihaka Takaanini, (Pukaki); Waata Kukutai, (Taupari); Wiremu te Wheoro, (Waikato); Reihana te Huatare, (Waipa); Taati te Waru and Hori te Waru,. (Rangiaohia); Tioriori, (Maungatautari); Hone Wetere, (Kawhia); Te Raihi, (Matamata); Ruihana. (Waikato); Ahipene Kaihau, (Rangiriri); Te Katipa,(Waiuku), Tamati Ngapora,(Mangere); Honi Te Haupapa, (Rotorua); Te Ao-o te-Rangi, Wiremu Nero, Hetaraka, and Kiwi Huatahi, (Whaingaroa); Wetere Te Kauae, (Ihumalao); Pita and Taniwha, (Coromandel); Mohi Tawhai, Arama Karaka, Taonui, Rangatira Moetara, Puhipi. and Mauparaoa, [Kororareka]; Takerei, Ngatawa and Hikaka Ngature [Mokau]; Tikaokao and Kaharoa, [Tongaporutu]; Wetini, [Taranaki]; te Kiri[Pakiri]; Hori Pokai te Ruinga, [Waiheke]; Paratene Puhata, [Waihere]; Hotoronene, [Hauraki]; Wiremu te Rauroha, Te Hira Horowehnua, [unclear: H]imiona, and Koinaki Tipa, [Taupo]; Karaitiana Tipa, [Waiuku]; Taraia, [Thames];. Kawakawa, Te Hemara, Mokai, Wepiha te Pono and Apanui [Whakatane]; Maihi Paraone Kawiti, [Bay of Islands]; Hori te Whetuki, [Howick];. Paora te Putu, Maihi Korongohi, [Waiau]; Te Kuri, [Coromandel]; Riwai, Te Kiore, [Hauraki]; Te Hapuku, [Ahuriri]; Wiremu te Pora and Raniera, [Hauraki]; Poharama Te Witi, Waka, Mahau, Te Ngahuru, Raniera Ngaere, Ngarongomate, Kipa and Miriona, (Taranaki); Te Tirarau, Parore, Paikea, Tomairangi, Manukau, Mate, Wiremu. Tipene, Pairama, Hikiera, Nopera, Te Otene, Pakihi, Paraone, Tamati Reweti, Matikikuha, and Arama Karaka, [Kaipara]; Te Hemara, [Mahurangi]; Te Moananui, [Hauraki]; Ihaia Taihewa, Hakopa te Ataotu, Paratene, and te Wiremu te Uki, [Canterbury].

Misprint.—Thirtieth line on the third; page, for "gratuitously" read "gratuitously."