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

Thursday, July 26th, 1860

Thursday, July 26th, 1860.

The Native Secretary Opened the day's proceedings with the following speech:—

Friends, Chiefs of the Conference! No doubt you will be anxious to hear the most recent news from Taranaki. The intelligence received by the last steamer is that 750 fresh troops have arrived at Taranaki from Australia, or, as the older men among you would, count 300. No engagement has taken place since the one at Puketakauere. I have not yet given the whole of you the particulars of that fight although I have spoken about it to those most interested in it.

The Governor, as I have before stated, has been unjustly charged with making war. I believe that in this instance it was the Waikato who provoked an encounter. They fired upon the soldiers who had been directed by their Chief not to molest any natives, whether friends or foes. The soldiers were in the vicinity of the camp when they were fired upon. It was then that the troops turned out, and an encounter took place in which 30 of the soldiers were killed. It is not the practice of the Europeans to conceal the number of their slain; therefore you are frankly informed of the loss sustained by the English on this occasion. The number of the natives killed is not page 30 known. It is reported that many were slain. Among the Chiefs who fell was Wi Kingi's brother, Matthew, and since the engagement Hapurona is said to have died of his wounds. This may be only a rumour. It is also stated that some of the Waikatos were killed. I merely refer to the men of rank whose names are known to you.

The Governor was always in hope that this state of things might be averted and some terms arranged for putting an end to the war. The Governor desires peace, but how is he to give effect to his desire when the natives compel him to fight in self defence?

It has been said that if William King had been left to himself this matter would have ended. It is the interference of other tribes that prolongs the struggle.

You have already heard of the long cherished desire of the Taranakis and Ngatiruanuis to destroy the Europeans. This has been intended for the last seven years. It is not the custom of the troops to take advantage of unprotected persons who may be passing to and fro. Recently a European at Waitara, who went to look after cattle, was fired upon and received three wounds from which he is not expected to recover. It is stated that the Kawhia natives are making certain proposals for peace, but as the steamer was leaving and the people making the proposals were in the bush, or out of sight, Mr. Whiteley, who was in communication with them, could not definitely state the terms. With respect to the statements of Tamihana and Mohi, they can be easily answered. In due course I shall reply to their speeches. It is quite right that you should all freely express your sentiments: but I do not wish to take up too much of your time to-day in replying, especially as there are other matters of importance to come before you.

Some of you have expressed a wish to know more of the Treaty of Waitangi, The Governor has sent down that Treaty and I shall presently read it to you. If you see anything that is not understood by you, the Governor directs that it be explained.

The question of mixed juries has also, by the Governor's orders, to be explained, but this will take up some time and may interfere with the desire of some of you to speak.

Ihikiera Te Tinana, (Ngatiwhatua,) Kaipara:—Mr. McLean; my Pakens friends, and Chiefs page 31 of this Conference! The Bay of Islands was the first land settled on by the Pakehas. That was the land first supplied with fire-arms and gun-powder. The Ngapuhi, that is to say Hongi Hika, then commenced his work of slaughter. He altacked Waikato, and mine was the last tribe slaughtered by them. The Pakeha had not then arrived here. Do not suppose the pakehas crept in (stealthily), no. Mr. White was the first pakeha that attached himself to me; after him Captain Symonds arrived. We addressed him thus "Will you not consent to become our friend ?" He answered, "Yes." After this Governor (Hobson) was driven out of the Bay of Islands. I took hold of him and said "Will you not become a father to us. that we may be your children? He then said "Yes." That Governor died. After him came Governor FitzRoy; he went away After him came Governor Grey; he also left again. Then came this Governor—Governor Browne. Now, Chiefs of the Runanga you will see that the pakehas have become parents to me. I am a child of theirs. Witness the years that are past in which we have dwelt together. I am like a child who clings to its parent. I am a real child and these are my real parents. The Pakehas did not come here of their own, accord; they were invited to come.

Listen all of you! I shall not be separated from the bosom of my parent. My relations are gone to the grave, but they live again. These are they: these are my sisters, these pakeha ladies sitting here (pointing to the ladies visiting the Conference).

I have one word to say about Taranaki. Should a child cry or be troublesome, the parent's rod will be applied, and not till he has ceased his naughtiness will the punishment cease. My speech is ended.

Otene. (Ngatiwhatua,) Kaipara:—Friends, the Pakehas who are seated here. There is but one voice—there is but one tune. My ancesors have long been dead but are alive again, for you (the pakehas) sitting there represent them. You came from the Queen. Chiefs of this Conference, do not forget our parent the Governor. This is my opinion respecting the tribes that are ill-disposed towards the Pakehas. I shall not go to this place or to that place, but let them come to (destroy) this town and I shall then cry out (take up arms). When Kawiti was chastised the matter was his own. When Rangihaeata was chastised his grievance was his own. Now that Te Rangitake is being chastised the fault is his own, I shall not hasten (to interfere) in this matter.

I shall not fellow Waikato's example. Blood is floating on the ocean. Enough.

Home Ropiha Tamaha, (Ngatikinohaku,) Auckland:—Chiefs of the Conference! I have page 32 a Word to say respecting the Treaty of Waitangi. When Governor Hobson first arrived at the Bay of Islands, Ngapuhi assembled at Waitangi. The proposals were talked over and consented to by the tribes to the North. It was at that time that this Island was taken under the shadow of the Queen. After that it was brought to this place. There was a meeting (of Chiefs) and they consented (to the treatv). It was then taken to all the places in this Island as far as Port Nicholson. All gave their assent. War occurred at the Bay of Islands. The Queen's protection was not removed from the Island. War broke out at Port Nicho son and Whanganui, but the shadow of the Queen Still remained on this Island, Perhaps it will now be withdrawn on account of this King (Movement). Why are you so urgent that the Governor should make peace? Answer Mr. McLean's speech (on the Waitara Question). Peace will not be made—No !

Tamihana Te Rauparaha. (Ngatitoa,) Otaki:—Here is what I have to say upon this subject. What these old men (Ihikiera and Te Otene) have said about their affection for their Europeans is right; we also feel affection for our Europeans. We have become accustomed to them and have learnt to appreciate them. It is 20 years sincestrife among us has disappeared—it is perhaps forgotten.

Truly it is as you say, Hone (John Hobbs), our old chiefs did agree to the Treaty of Waitangi and to the Sovereignty of the Queen. Te Rauparaha did not take exception to it; he signed his name and he took the blanket. I desire that we should ratify this Treaty, that we should hold it fast lest the Queen's protection should be withdrawn from us. Some persons in England wished to do away with that Treaty—it was the Queen who insisted and caused it to continue. Although the Maories may have fought with the Europeans, yet that Treaty has not been made void. But this Maori King business may upset it. Do not consent that that Treaty should be for the Europeans alone, but let us take it for ourselves, and let it be a cover for our heads. Some of the Europeans are good and some are bad. Some of the Natives are good and some are bad. What Hone (John Hobbs) has said is correct.

Let us, however, condemn the word of Wiremu Tamihana. He designates the acts of the Ngatiruanui and Taranaki as "uru maranga" (acts justifiable on the ground of previous provocation). That belongs to the old Maori custom, but the killing of those Europeans at Omata was murder. Let us condemn that act. Wlliam King's proceedings are a separate affair. My words are not intended to refer to page 33 his conduct but to that of the Ngatiruanui; let us wholly condemn that.

I will also express my disapproval of what Mohi has said. He says he sought a parent (in the Maori king), but had he no parent in the Governor that he did not come to his parent to take care of him, the Maori, instead of seeking out another parent from amongst the Maori Chiefs? If he desires to retain his lands let him do so in a quiet and proper manner. I do not understand the particulars of the case he referred to about his land—about the boundary line mentioned by him. I leave the explanation of that to Mr. McLean. If any of the Chiefs in this conference find fault with what I have said. it is well, let them stand up and object to what I say if it be wrong. I should like this—if any one sees error in what has fallen from another, let him get up and say so, and if what is said be seen to be right, then let approval be expressed.

Tomika Te Mutu, (Ngatiterangi.) Tauranga:—I can see how matters stand in Hauraki. I am thinking that these tribes are with the king, since they have not made their appearance here. The Europeans are their own property; they brought them here. As the Ngatiwhatua say, My Europeans are my own, my parents are my own.

I am an orphan. I am not with the king. I do not go over to this king. I bear on my person the mark of his bite.

This is my word about the half-castes. I think that when the father and the mother dies, and the children survive, the children should occupy the land which belonged to the mother. I say to this meeting though we be one month, or two months here, let us complete our work and carefully discuss every subject.

Pekamu Winiata Tohi te Ururangi, (Ngatiwhakaue,) Rotorua:—I will speak to this conference on this subject» Two things have brought us here. Te Rangitake's quarrel is one, and the Maori King is the ohis. I appeal to this conference and say it is for you to take care of your Pakehas. The Queen's authority did not come to this land without being invited; it was prayed for, it was invited by the Ngapuhi, it was invited by this tribe and by the other tribe. I do not understand your position sitting there, the younger brother with the king and the elder brother with the Queen. It is I who am to come under the lash of this king. If the lash is applied I am quite willing, and ready to defend myself. But I have no Europeans living with me; I am food for the fish (referring to losses by shipwreck of the vessels sailed by Maories). I say, therefore, give me Europeans: I suffer pain through my flesh being devoured by the fish.

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Taiapo, (Ngatiwhakaue,) Maketu:—I have applied to you before to give me a protector at my own place. You received my application but it fell to the ground. I am a new hand and have only now joined this (alliance with the Europeans). I say therefore let 1000 Europeans be given to me to settle on my land. It were a pity that I should be food for the fish; all our chiefs have thus disappeared, going after the Europeans. It is a pity that we must be only food for the sea and the land (alluding to those who die away from home). I say, therefore, let me have 1000 Europeans.

Ihakara, (Ngatiraukawa,) Manawatu:—My i Treaty was from the time of Mr. Williams and Mr. Hadfield. My assent dated from that time down to the first Governor, to the second, to the third, and to he fourth—from that time. It was thea I gave up to you my chiefs (those whom I at that time obeyed) viz., hatred, evil speaking and anger. These were my chiefs to excite me, whose promptings I obeyed. There is one of my chiefs that-I will not give up to you. If you come and say to me, Will you not consent to sell your land? I say, No. But if you come to me and say, Will you not agree to lease your land? I would say, I am willing to do so.

The second thing is, let there be a Magistrate for my place Manawatu, and let me be his assistant; let me also be paid that I may be strong to uphold the laws of the Queen.

The third is powder. I now ask that we may be allowed to buy some powder and shot. When a sick person desires a bird, a pigeon or a duck, what is to be done? You will be like this disease (alluding to the influenza), destroyers of human life—that is, you and the Government. Mr. McLean, you know Mr. Robinson, Mr. Duncan, and Mr. Cook, in whose charge those things might be placed.

Hukiki Te Ahu Karamu, (Ngatiraukawa,) Otaki:—I will speak about the Treaty at Waitangi. That Treaty of Waitangi which has been referred to in this conference as having its root with the Ngapuhi, although broken by Heke, although broken by Te Rangihaeata, although broken by Whanganui, and although broken by Te Rargitake, yet it is not ignored by the Europeans. Your manner of proceeding has been good. I supposed that the blankets which were brought up to Otaki were connected with that Treaty at Waitangi I have no sympathy with the Maori King movement. When the Governor came to Manawatu a meeting took place in a house at the Awahou. I Stood up and asked the Governor, What is your opinion respecting the Maori king the Waikatos are setting up? The Governor replied, Why should we concern page 35 ourselves about that childish work; leave them to their child's play. I answered, Ay, be it so. But it has now become large and, attaining to maturity, its teeth are grown.

I will now speak about the flag. There were two men who came to Ngaruaw ahia to fetch a flag: their names were Heremia and Hapi. We assembled in the house at Poroutawhao. Matene and Wi Tako were there. I said to those men, (Heremia and Hapi,) Friends, don't you two bring the flag, lest I cut it to pieces with an axe.

I now put it to this conference of the Governor, if you are willlng that that flag should stand there, it is w ell.

I will now speak about the powder; let the restriction on the sale of powder be removed. I would suggest that the names of the King's men be written down, lest they come to buy powder. The powderis a means of procuring: food for the women and the children, for birds form a part of my subsistence. The powder J might be put in the charge of Mr. Robinson.

Paora Tuhaere, (Ngatiwhatua,) Orakei: I will speak to you about the Treaty. The Treaty is right, but it came in the time of ignorance and was not. The assent of the Ngapuhi was given in ignorance, otherwise why did they not consider that they had acknowledged the Queen, instead of turning round and striving with their own chief? for it is not well that the servant should rise up and strike his master. As to the blankets brought up here by Mr. Williams, the chiefs did not fully understand. But this (alluding to the conference) is more like it; this is the real Treaty upon which the sovereignty of the Queen will hang, because here are assembled chiefs from every quarter, and even from. the other Island, to discuss various questions and to seek out a path. As to this King of ours, of whom we have been talking, he is a relation of mine. Of what concern to us is that thing of falsehood? Let us treat it with contempt and leave it in the Waikato. If many of the tribes had joined that work, then it would be right (for us to take some action). But all the chiefs of this island are here assembled and are under the Queen.

Mr. McLean concluded the proceedings with the following speech:—

Chiefs of the Conference! I have now to make some observations on the Treaty of Waitangi. Some of you say that it was agreed to j at a time when the Ngapuhi, who first signed it, were foolish or ignorant; and that their consent was not an intelligent one. To this you attribute Heke's and other disturbances. But why refer to things that are past? They are now forgotten: no ill feeling, remains on page 36 either side. Those quarrels are regarded as the acts of rebellious children against their parent.

With regard to the Treaty: I think Tamati Waka and the other Ngapuhi chiefs shewed themselves to be wise men in asking for protection Hongi Hika was a sagacious chief, and although he destroyed many lives in war, yet he was a man of great mind. He loved his country, foresaw danger, and provided against it. He and others perceived the necessity of having protection. They applied to the King of England for it and the result was this Treaty of Waitangi. Whatever you may now say respecting it, it has been a great boon to you. It is folly to accuse your chiefs of the past generation of ignorance. Do not imagine that you are intellectually superior to them, or that they were less competent than yourselves to form a judgment as to what would benefit their people. Had they not the same faculties as you? and were they not quite as capable of using them? You should not impugn the wisdom of those chiefs who signed this Treaty, Let not the children now talk of repudiating the wise acts of their fathers. They knew in their day what they were about as well as, or better than, you of the present generation. This Treaty should be regarded by you [unclear: at] a valuable property, the benefit of which will be experienced by you, in your day, and hereafter by your children.

It is qui e true that what is done here may be considered as a fuller ratification of that Treaty on your part. I therefore agree with you, Paul, in your view as to the importance of a conference like the present one. For, as you observe, the various Native tribes of New Zealand are well represented here.

Your words also, Thompson, are correct. Attempts have been made in England to set aside this Treaty, but the Queen maintained it. She would not take advantage of your ignorance to set it aside. And let me tell you, Chiefs of the Conference, that that Treaty is your safeguard. If it were set aside, you would be the sufferers.

I shall now read to you the Treaty of Waitangi:—

"Her Majesty Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, regarding with Her Royal Favor the Native Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand, and anxious to protect their just Rights and Property, page 37 and to secure to them the enjoyment of Peace and Good Order, has deemed it necessary in consequence of the great number of Her Majesty's Subjects who have already settled in New Zealand, and the rapid extension of. Emigration both from Europe and Australia, which is still in progress, to constitute and appoint a functionary properly authorised to treat with the Aborigines of New Zealand for the recognition of Her Majesty's Sovereign authority over the whole or any part of those islands. Her Majesty, therefore, being desirous to establish a settled form of Civil Government with a view to avert the evil consequences which must result from the absence of the necessary Laws and Institutions alike to the native population and to Her subjects, has been graciously pleased to empower and authorise me, William Hobson, a Captain in Her Majesty's Royal Navy, Consul, and Lieutenant-Governor of such parts of New Zealand as may be, or hereafter shall be, ceded to Her Majesty, to invite the confederated and independent Chiefs of New Zealand to concur in the following Articles and Conditions.

"Article the First.

"The Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand, and the separate and independent Chiefs who have not become members of the Confederation, cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England, absolutely and without reservation, all the rights and powers of Sovereignty which the said Confederation or Individual Chiefs respectively exercise or possess, or may be supposed to exercise or to possess over their respective Territories as the sole Sovereigns thereof.

"Article the Second.

"Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees 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, Fisheries, and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess, so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession; but the Chiefs of the United Tribes and the Individual Chiefs yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of Pre-emption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate, at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.

"Article the Third."

"In consideration thereof, Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection, and

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imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British subjects.

"W. Hobson, Lieutenant-Governor.

"Now, therefore, We, the Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand, being assembled in Congress at Victoria, in Waitangi, and We, the Separate and Independent Chiefs of New Zealand, claiming authority over the Tribes and Territories which are specified after our respective names, having been made fully to understand the Provisions of the foregoing Treaty, accept and enter into the same in the full spirit and meaning thereof: in witness of which, we have attached our signatures or marks at the places and the dates respectively specified.

"Done at Waitangi. this sixth day of February, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight handred and forty."