Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

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

Tuesday, July 17, 1860

Tuesday, July 17, 1860.

The Chiefs having assembled, the Native Secretary opened the proceedings with the following remarks:—

Yesterday you gave your attention to the message of the Governor submitting for your consideration a code of Rules. Do not be hasty in forming an opinion for or against them, but consider carefully whether they are adapted to your wants. Some of you now present are invalids, and have now for the first time taken part in this runanga; others, again, have only recently arrived, and have not yet spoken. Let those chiefs speak first that we may hear their opinions. I have just received two letters which I will now read to you.—(Letters from Katipa and Hikaka read accordingly.) These letters contain the latest information.

We will postpone the discussion commenced yesterday on the subject of the rules till you have further considered them.

Hira Kingi (Ngatinaho) of Aotea, then rose and said: I shall now speak to you on the first (of Dr. Martin's rules), namely, "Where an assessor has not been already appointed, one shall be recommended by the tribe for the approval of the Governor."

In the year 1859, in the month of May, a large meeting was held at Makaka, one hundred and seventy persons being present. I Mr. Skinner presided at that meeting. When the meeting was over we sent a letter to the Governor and Mr. McLean, but we did not receive any answer. The meeting assembled again in December, with Mr. Wallis as president. After the meeting a message (or letter) was dispatched. The Minister and the people waited, but no answer came back. In the month of January we came to Kaoroa. Mr. Wallis was. our president. After that meeting too we sent a messenger, and we waited, but no word came back. Now, we have ceased waiting. You have sent us the Laws, but there is no one now to administer those Laws. Had some explanation reached us, it would be clear now.

By Mr. McLean: You may be Correct in what you say. The Governor's rule with page 22 respect to the appointment of Assessors, is, not to act hastily. When some one has been recommended to him for the office of Assessor, he waits for a year or two, in order to be satisfied of his qualifications before appointing him permanently. For this reason, the request of the Aotea Natives was not immediately complied with. Your, complaint about not having received any answer to your letters may be just. If your letters were received and not answered, we are to blame. However, when I was at Whaingaroa, the Aotea Natives intimated to me their wish that you should be appointed an Assessor for them, and I at once wrote to the Governor, suggesting your appointment to that Office.

Hira Kingi then proceeded:—I shall now speak of the 3rd head under the 6th rule, relating to adultery, which requires that the amount of the penalty should be not less than Twenty pounds. In cases where the woman has been regularly married, the penalty to be not less than Thirty pounds. As to these offences, the penalty goes altogether to the Queen, that is, to the runanga. I am perplexed about this paragraph, which states that the fine should go to the Queen and to the runanga, and no portion of it to the husband. If the rule is to be that the penalty must go to the Queen and the runanga only, it will be wrong. If no part of it is to be given to me, to the man who has been properly married to his wife, then I shall be grieved, and shall take vengeance on the man who has seduced my wife.

Tamihana Te Rauparaha, (Ngatitoa,)Otaki:—My friends, my heart rejoices on account of this arrangement (the conference). Perhaps it will not be fully understood by us, yet you will have manifested, in the sight of us all, your good sense, and furnished an example for your friends to imitate, and we, too, in like manner, shall set an example to our friends.

The customs of former days have been abandoned, and will, in future, be trampled under our feet. We are now following a new path, and a right one. It is this which causes the heart to rejoice. The fathers have disappeared. We are their children, who now meet to discuss questions; therefore, I say, let us not be inactive in this Council.

I am grieved about this new thing. I mean this new name—the Maori King. Its tendency is to cause division and ill feeling between the Maories and the Europeans.

page 23

Its tendency is to lower both Pakehas and Maories. I say let this movement be suppressed. Did the idea originate with the Maories themselves, or have they been instructed in this mischievous work by Europeans? At all events, let this new name be suppressed, and let the Pakehas and the Maories live together as brethren. Let the Queen be Queen for both England and New Zealand, It was not without good ground that the title of Queen of England and of New Zealand was assumed. I say, let Our Views be clear. Let it not be supposed the Pakehas wish to enslave (oppress) the Maories. It is not so. The Pakeha wishes to raise the Maori. I am therefore very much grieved on account of this movement. Our old Maori customs are at the bottom of it, and it has been set up to attract our younger brothers. What has changed our clothing, and caused the dog-skin mat to be laid aside? This new name will lead to our debasement; therefore, I say, let it be suppressed. If Waikato should be angry because or the suppression of this new name let us not be afraid. What shall Tukihaumene and the Ngatiwhakaue say? Let this King be put down. We are becoming divided amongst ourselves by means of this King. It therefore appears to me we shall be of this opinion, Chiefs of the Conference, that we must support the Governor, and that we should avail ourselves of advantages offered to us and thus share in; the superiority of the Pakehas.

Let us abandon Maori customs. Look at the superior condition of the Pakeha! This is not slavery. Let this title of King be put down. Even though the King's flag has been hoisted at our place Otaki) it shall be cat down, it shall never be allowed to stand. It is calculated to produce ill-will and division, and if the Maori is separated from the Pakeha, he (the Maori) will find himself wrong. The Queen's shall be our only flag. We will hold our lands under the protection of the Queen. I rejoice on account of this Conference: also that Te Karamu has taken part in it. Why, is it that others, the chiefs of this place, are not here, that we might be united? for the Pakehas resident here are theirs. It is long since that the Pakeha settled at Hauraki.

I am enquiring into this invention—the name of King. Did it originate with the Pakeha or with the Maori? My own opinion is that it was the? Pakeha who originated it. I believe that it is a scheme of Charles Davis's. The fault lies with the page 24 Pakehas. I think that Pakeha ought to be tried. He is probably still here. (This should be done) so that the Maori be not charged when it is the fault of the Pakeha.

Now, friends, that you have come forward to make things clear, let our path be cleared that our way may be open before us.

Matene Te Whiwhi, (Ngatitoa). Otaki: What I have to say is not very important and will require few words. I have on previous occasions expressed my views. I have been thinking that as the Governor has united the two races, and has said that the Maori and the Pakeha shall be brought close together; when a Pakeha kills a Maori the Maories should take part with the Pakehas in dealing with the offence; if a Maori kill a Pakeha, then let the Maories and Pakehas be associated together (to try the case); let them be bound together as in one bundle. (This refers to mixed Juries).

Hakitara, (Ngapuhi,) Bay of Islands: This is my speech. I speak of the proceedings of the present time. Enough. I came from the extremity of the land. I have two or three tribes, namely: Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa, and Aupouri. You, Mr. McLean, are my friend. "May the Holy Spirit bless and protect you for ever and ever!" This is all I have to say.

Te Makarini, (Ngatiawa;) Te Awa-o-te-Atua: Tamihana! What you and Matene have said is correct. I lay the blame upon our parent the Governor. You, Tamihana, find fault with the King. I find fault with our parent. Inactivity! inactivity! was the fault. lt was because they were left to themselves that Waikato was led to seek some means of protection for their lands and property. This is where we find fault with our parent. Had he called us together, as at present, at an earlier period, it would have been well; the tree has now grown to maturity, and it cannot be broken. I am in doubt as to whether the movement originated with us or with the Pakehas themselves, What can we do in the matter?

Ngamoni, (Ngatiwhakaue,) Maketu: (Addressing the last speaker): You have found out the Governor's error. You alone see where the Governor is wrong. (Addressing Mr. McLean:) I have given you my goods—the treasures of my ancestors—namely, the patupounamu, and the kurutongarerewa. My treasures are not of to-day; they are from the day of Tuhourangi (his ancestor) by whom they were left to Uenuku-kopako (his son), and by him to Whakaue. Let these meres be split, that you may find out page 25 their quality. It is necessary to cut the pounamu (block of green stone) to ascertain whether the grain be a bad one, or a kahu-rangi (first quality). If my. treasures be regarded as of little value, still let them be sent to the Queen; and if they are rejected by her she may return them. I have with-held nothing. Now, my friends, Mr. McLean and Mr. Smith, I have handed all my treasures over to you. Whether they be good or whether they be bad, let my words reach the Queen; for my great treasures are in my words.

Mr. McLean interposed: Do you refer to your letter (reply to the Governor's Address)?, All the replies will placed together and forwarded to the Governor for his perusal. When he has seen them they will be returned to us.

Ngamoni replied: Now that you have said that, nothing more remains to be spoken.

Te Karamu Kahukoti, (Ngatipaoa,) Hauraki: Salutations to you men of the East! and away to the South! Listen to the words that I shall utter in the hearing of this assembly. This land is mine. When the Pakeha came here I did not tell him to depart. I laid hold of him and drew him ashore. It was my friendly feeling towards the Pakeha that led me to do this. I make this precious treasure (the Pakeha) fast. Deny the truth of my words if you can; even though he swear at me, yet it was I who pulled the Pakeha ashore and enabled him to land. Say not that I am standing without. Will one garment suffice as a covering? Let there be three garments, then there will be Warmath. If one be taken away, or if there be left only the garment next to the skin, then cold will be felt. My hands are clean. Let this have your attention. I am quite clean. It was not my proposal to have a King for this land; for I had become incorporated with the Pakeha. The cry for this King came from the South. Te Heuheu took it up and brought it to Maungatautari. It then obtained footing in the centre (of the Island). Had it proceeded from us here in in the North, it would be our concern. 1 mean, had it been true that I was favorable to the King Movement. It was you people from a distance who set it afoot. I am sitting under the Queen's wings (protection). We have one style of dress (i.e. identity of customs). I am here alone. Had there been two or three of us (of my tribe) here, then we should have something to say.

Wiremu Pohe, (Ngapuhi,) Whangarei: Maori Chiefs and Pakehas! What Te Karamu has said is correct. So is your speech page 26 Matene, and yours Tamihana! Heke's conduct was parti-colored. Robinson's case had been long made clear. Maketu suffered. (Referring to Maketu's execution for the murder of Robinson's family.) We are bound with one girdle. It is not a Maori girdle but a golden one; therefore it will not part asunder. In other words, we are surrounded by a fence, constructed not with puriri and totara posts, but of iron. If a person attempts to leap over the rail of this fence we know what the result will be.

Let us keep within this fence for ever and ever. Now, there is a practice which causes us much trouble. We have "tauas" for curses. This is following up Maori custom. We have "tauas" on account of the desecration of sacred places; this too is Maori custom. And on account of the violation of women we have "tauas." This is Maori custom. Now that we have entered this new order of things, and have been bound in this golden girdle of the Queen we should all consent to abandon all these customs. Here is another matter. Let not the words of this Conference be directed to this movement, the King. We know not whether it will increase, or whether it will decrease. (Holding out a stick:) I am bending this stick to and fro in order to straighten it. In my opinion the Governor must straighten the stick, then it will be straight.

Himiona, (Tuhourangi,) Tarawera: It is now the turn of the strangers to speak. We arrived here in the middle of your proceedings. We were not here when they commenced. Now it is not well to commence when a meal is half over; for when the meal is concluded, those who were present at the commencement are satisfied, whereas those who arrived later are still hungry. The proper way is to commence together and to finish together. If this Conference is to be prolonged, we will leave our speeches for to-morrow, because we are new arrivals, and lest words be spoken by us without due consideration. I have finished.

Pauro (Tawera,): The proceedings of this Conference go upon one leg. I mean by this expression, the younger brother is with the King movement, and the elder is with the Government. The Arawa tribes jump together (are united). Ngapuhi go into it hands and feet (thoroughly). I saw in the newspaper where the Governor was wrong; the Governor was sent here to cherish, not to fight. I will not say at present that I shall enter on the Queen's side. I shall remain neutral, holding only to Good-will, Christianity, and the Church of Rome.

page 27

Wiremu Patene, (Ngaiterangi,) Tauranga: We have had our say. Now let the new arrivals speak, I have one word to say about the rule for adultery (in Dr. Martin's rules). In my opinion, if this be acted upon, men's lives will be taken, because it does not allow the husband any portion of the fine, and there is nothing to appease him. The saying is a just one:— "Render therefore to all their dues tribute to whom tribute is due."

I have another word to say. One of the rules relates to steeped corn and other putrid food; but perhaps that may be the favorite food of some one, and who, if deprived of it, may feel himself aggrieved.

Tomika TeMutu, (Ngaiterangi,) Tauranga: What both of you (Tamihana and Matene) have said is true. This affair (the King Movement) will be big or little as we choose to make it; indeed the King will disappear. Let them (Waikato) carry out their own scheme. Do not let us support it. I am an orphan. I am a remnant escaped from his weapon. His mark is on my shoulder. It was the pakeha's coming to my place, which enabled me to shew my nose. Powder and firearms became plentiful, and I was saved. I have opened my budget. I have nothing more to say.

Parakaia te Pouepa, (Ngatiraukawa,) Otaki: I am not yet satisfied. The grievance I brought with me still exists. We have heard nothing but fair speeches; but the remedy which I have sought for my grievance I have not yet found. I had supposed that the combined influences of Christianity and the Queen's authority had made the ocean between us and England a smooth highway upon which women and children might travel in safety. On the contrary the mischief has been contrived by Auckland. This evil is the work of the Council of Auckland. As to the King now talked about: the Governor said it was child's play and would soon come to an end. Instead of that, it has brought trouble upon me, for the life of Christianity has been undermined. In this very year, 1860, the evil came from Auckland. It was not you, Mr. McLean, for you were away at the time. This is the second wrong. On the 25th day of January (last), a proclamation by the Governor was written in Auckland, and sent to Taranaki. Shall I repeat it? (Mr. McLean replied "Go on.") "The Governor's soldiers are about to begin their work, fighting with the Maories at Taranaki. Now therefore, I, the Governor, do hereby proclaim and publicly declare that the fighting law shall be in force in Taranaki. Given by my hand and put forth under the Great page 28 Seal of the Colony of New Zealand.?" In the month of February it reached us at Otaki. On the 27th of March we learnt that men had fallen in battle at Taranaki. Three pakehas brought us these papers; there were three copies of the proclamation. It was read aloud in the hearing of all the people. The Ngatiraukawa cast it about in their minds. Some said:—"Why! the Governor is fighting!", And they asked "What is the cause of his going to war?" It was this that caused a division amongst us, which remains to this day. Let me address myself to the people here present. We have long since talked about good things, and during these years now past, but we have never been called upon to take these subjects under our consideration. Let us get through this trouble (the Taranaki war), then I will give my attention to the Governor's good words. Mr. McLean, let this evil be cleared away. What is death to you? (alluding to losses in the field) but our death (is a serious matter). Do you expect me to bring it to an end? I had imagined that it was for you to put an end to it. Let this evil be removed out of the way. Work cannot proceed properly. If the throat is constantly affected by a cough, speech will not be clear rather let the obstruction be removed.

Ngapomate, (Ngatiwhakaue,) Rotorua:—Listen you of the Conference, the new comers, and you others! I will hold up to you my grievance that the Conference may consider it. The grievance is between Rotorua and. Taupo. Now observe: this is Tutukau, and there is Rotokakahi. Henare Te Pukuatua is a party concerned in this grievance. There was a piece of land which Henare considered to belong to his mother, and he went to survey it (to mark boundaries). This resulted in the death of forty persons. By placing ourselves under the Queen's protection we shall get this grievance redressed. If the Queen administers a remedy it will be effectual. That disease extended to Rotomahana involving Rangihinea; then we of the Arawa suffered and one hundred men perished. The healer who should restore me was at Tarawera, but I was not made whole. Land at Te Ariki was another cause of the death of those people. This sort of thing is constantly going on. There was a healer at Rotorua who should have restored me, but I was not made whole. I therefore bring my grievance here in order that the Queen may find a remedy.

[Here the speaker was interrupted by Tukihaumene and others and sat down.]

page 29

Te Irimana, (Ngatiporou,) Wharekahika: Friends, I will repeat to you an anecdote which has become a proverb. There is a place in my district called Waimahuru. The natives of that place never hear any news. News which is heard in all the other settlements this year will not reach that, place for the next four or five years. The reason is this: the highroad passes the village a long way inland; the other way is by sea in canoes. It is only when the inhabitants of that village visit other places that they get news. Enough about that. This illustrates our position in our district. Long after the pakehas had come into most of the native districts, and the people of those districts had heard all about the pakehas, my district was still uninformed. My younger: brother happened to go to the Bay of Islands in a pakeha vessel; then for the first time did he see the pakehas and heard their talk. He brought back with him Te Wiremu Parata (the present Bishop Williams) who is still residing with us. The Governor has visited every district, but mine. The inhabitants of every other place have seen the Governor, and have heard his words, but we have not seen the Governor nor heard his word. It is his invitation to the Chiefs to come and listen to his words which has brought us here, and now we have both, seen him and heard him speak. We now hear his words, and We shall carry them home with us as something to be acted upon now and henceforth.

Meeting adjourned to the 18th instant.