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

Friday, August 3Rd, 1860

Friday, August 3Rd, 1860.

The chiefs of the Conference having assembled, Tamihana Te Rauparaha stepped forward and laid the following petition before the Native Secretary:—

Kohimarama, August 3rd, 1860.

Our kind parent,
Governor Browne,—

All the chiefs of this Conference, sitting at Kohimarama, near Auckland, have united in a request that this Conference of the Maori Chiefs of the Island of New Zealand should be established and made permanent by you, as a means of clearing away evils affecting both Europeans and Natives.

By such a Conference light, peace, and prosperity will be diffused throughout the Island.

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By us, by all the chiefs of this Conference.

(Signed) Tamihana Te Rauparaha,
Moihi P. Kawiti,
Manihera Te Iwitahi,
Te Hemara Tauhia,
Paora Tuhaere,
Wiremu Kingi Tutepakihirangi,
Hamiora Matenga Tuwhakamakaka,
Wiremu Tamihana Te Neke,
Hoani Wiremu Hipango,
Metekingi, x
Topine Te Amohau, x
Ropata Hurumutu, x
Rapihana Te Otaota,
Horopapera Pukeko, x mark,
Aomarere Te Puna,
Wiremu Te Ahukaramu,
Te Ahukaramu, x
Kuruho Tarakapi, x
Ihakara Tukumaru,
Takerei Te Nawe, x
Moroati Kiharoa,
Matene Te Whiwhi,
Horomona Toremi,
Hohepa Tamaihengia, x mark,
Te Hope,
Arama Karaka,
Hone Waiti,
Wiremu Tipene,
Hemara Karawai,
Tomairangi Papahia,
Wiremu Nero Te Awaitaia,
Hemi Matini,
Hemi Nero,
Mohi Te Rongomau,
Te Waka Te Ruki,
Rihari Ngakuku,
Eruini Matetaitua, x his mark,
Nopera Te Ngiha, x
Hohaia Pokaitara,
Rawiri Waitere Hikihiki, x his mark,
Tomika Te Mutu, x mark,
Maihi Te Pohepohe, Parakaia Te Tuahu, x
Hori Kerei Te Kotuku, x
Himiona Mohaka,
Wiremu Patene Whitirangi, x mark,
Menehira Kingi Rakau, x mark,
Manihera Tehinaoterangi, x mark,
Te Makarini Te Uhiniko,
Hamuera Te Paki,
Tamati Wharehinaki,
Hemi Parai, x
Matenga Taiaroa, x page 69 Kihirini Te Tuahu,
Perenara Te Haukopa,
Rangitihi Upoko Wakahirahira,
Winiata Pekamu Tohi Te Ururangi,
Ngarama, x [x mark,
Tauaru, x
Taiapo Te Waiatua, x his mark,
Ngahuruhuru, x his mark,
Te Rira Pourutu, x his mark,
Moihi Kupe, x mark,
Henare Kepa Tengae,
Rawaritua, x mark,
Ihaka Ngapura, x
Herewini Amohau.

The following signatures were subsequently added, viz.:—

Eruera Maihi Patuone, x his mark,
Parakaia Te Pouepa Tuhanghanga,
Manihera Matangi, his x mark,

The Native Secretary addressed the Conference as follows:—

Chiefs of the Conference! The Governor has expressed a wish that you should be made acquainted with his opening Address to the House of Representatives on Monday last. The reason that you were not all invited to be present is that there was not sufficient room. On that account, only fifteen or twenty of you were selected to attend. The Governor desires that all of you should hear what he has said to the Europeans, and that they, in like manner, should hear what he says to you. I shall now read the Address. [Address read accordingly.] These are the words which some of you, who understand a little English, heard from the lips of the Governor.

Your speeches have been read by the pakehas, and now the pakehas' words and those of the Governor have been sent to you.

Here is another matter. Letters have been received from several Chiefs who were invited by the Governor to attend this Conference. If you wish it, I will read them to you.

The Native Secretary then proceeded to read letters from Reihana Huatari, Te Taniwha, Waata Kukutai, Paora Pou, Ranapia te Ruri, Taati Hiku, Pene Pukewhau, Hone Wetere, Rewi, Mohi Tawhai, Maihi Mokongohi, and Nepia Taratoa, which apologized for their absence on the plea of sickness &c.

Tamihana Te Rauparaha, (Ngatitoa), Otaki:—The words of the Governor which have been read to us are clear. The Maories are always finding fault; therefore this Conference has been arranged, that the Europeans and page 70 the Maories may be alike. Previously this thing was hidden from us. We did not know that the Europeans were so well disposed to the Maories. Let us now consider what the Governor says in his message about Te Rangitake's warat Taranaki. Some have approved of that war, but it was only the few who approved of that evil; the majority adhered to that which is good. Let us make straight these things which we are now engaged in, that we may hand them down to our children well arranged. My heart rejoices at the Governor's word. I mean what has been proposed to us by the Governor. I am glad that these letters from some of the Native Chiefs who are absent have been read to us: probably had they not been prevented from coming by sickness, this house would have been filled. However, let us, all the members of this Conference, consent and join in expressing our desire that the Governor may make this Conference of the Native Chiefs permanent, that when we die, we may leave it to our children after us; but now let us discuss this subject together, and if you see that what I say is wrong, then do you object to it; if you see it is right then do you agree to it, that what is done may be made firm. Our proceedings will be printed and published in the newspaper that all the world may see them and that the children may see what the old men have said. When the Maories speak, their words are on the lips only; they have no books, they have no newspaper. This is a work which will improve and elavate both races. Formerly I did not know whether the Europeans were well or ill disposed to the Maories: however it is for the Conference to lay down rules; it must not be left for one man. I will say no more at present.

Paora Tuhaere, (Ngatiwhatua,) Orakei:—What I am going to say will have reference to what has fallen from Tamihana. Let not this Conference think me long in what I am now about to say. The subject is that about which I spoke yesterday, Mr. McLean, namely, the jury. It was the Governor who appointed the Maories as Magistrates. It was the Governor's own arrangement. So now let the Governor select men for the jury. This is what I approve of, that the Maories shauld sit upon the juries. Then I will say there is one law for the Europeans and for the Maories. I have been thinking during these few days past, that in the case of a European murdering a Maori, it is said, Let it be dealt with by the Queen's law; or if a Maori should murder a European still let the case be dealt page 71 with by the Queen's law; but where a Maori murders a Maori, that does not come under the Queen's law, for it has not yet been applied to these cases. Now perhaps this may be done, as the Maories are allowed to sit on juries to try great offences, such as murder. There is another thing I wish: that the Maories should be allowed to sit in the Governor's assembly, where they are now making laws for both the Europeans and the Maories: also that they should be admitted into Council for arranging about the land, because that is a great work, and the land is a thing about which the Maories fight, that is, disputed land. This Conference should be called a Maori Conference for the Queen. The Conference is now sitting here: let its proceedings be carried on here, and let it be held here in time to come, that we may be near to the Governor to give us directions, and that we may be near to convey our wishes to the Governor, that the Europeans may see them, and also that the European Assembly may be near to us sitting here. This Conference is a proper means by which we may come under the protection of the Queen. All the people have been enclosed in the Queen's net. Although a man may wander about, he will do so to little purpose outside of the net. But now, Mr. McLean, it is for you (the authorities) to select men for this Council and for that Council.

Maihi Paraone Kawiti, (Ngatihine), Bay of Islands:—Listen! I am a man who has been wrong, and what I say will be wrong; for I am one whom men look at, and it is said, This is the man who did wrong. I am going to confess my fault. I have two things to speak about. The first is about the objections which have been made to the Treaty of Waitangi. I say that Treaty was right. Let not this Conference condemn the Treaty of Waitangi. That which was wrong was the error of Heke and Kawiti, that is, the fighting against the Europeans. But the roof of that house was yet perfect when Heke and Kawiti went and uncovered the thatching of the Treaty and threw it away. When the rain came it passed through and the cold was felt. I then went and covered it over: witness the flagstaff at Maiki. I spread out the land for it to rest upon, and as parent for our becoming one. Therefore I say, let not this Conference uncover the old offences. When the flagstaff was set up I spoke two words, Let this be a symbol of union by which to acknowledge the Queen, and also of the union of the Ngapuhi with page 72 other tribes, that we may together respect the Queen's name. It was then that the word of Hori Kingi and of all the meeting was given forth to put down the evil customs of the Maories—adultery, Maori feasts, exhuming the dead, and witchcraft,—that these customs should no longer be observed. A runanga was held, and all the people agreed that persons practising witchcraft and murderers should be put to death, but that cases of adultery should be tried by the Queen's law. Afterwards evil happened: my elder brother Te Wikiriwhi Te Ohu died, and on the third day the circumstances of the case were brought before a runanga in the presence of the small and the great, and it was proved that that man himseif had butchered him, namely Haki Te Whakaariki, for it was known that he was the worst man of all the men in this island. This place and that place had been made to stink, that is to say, people in all those places had been destroyed by him. 1 remembered also the word of Moses in the 22nd chapter of Exodus, where he said "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, and let the men who practice witchcraft be put to death." It is this which has brought me into disgrace in the eyes of both Maories and Europeans. Listen! The reason that this is not submitted for trial by the law is, that it is not the crime of murder, because in murder there is only one victim, and the murderer is quickly taken and dies as satisfaction for that one; but in the case of the wizard, he destroys many by his incantations, before he is taken and dies—a single individual, as satisfaction for the many whom he has destroyed. There is one aggravation in murder: a man puts forth his hand, and blood flows, therefore it is considered a very great crime, but there can be no witness in the case of witchcraft. Look at this; in my opinion it is right that such men should be tried (punished). The Pakeha way is to do as is done with fish which are taken with bait: they put poison in some liquid and then give to the person to drink and he dies. Let this error be made known to all the world. This was my error. I see that my offence has been put in the newspaper. As for this man he has bewitched a great many. The greater number of the people at my settlement died; he was driven from Te Kawakawa, he went to Parihoro's settlement, and there four died; he was driven thence and he went to Hauraki. Paora Te Putu (was bewitched); he recovered, but his wife died. Te Waiparu was another.

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He returned to the Kawakawa and three persons died, and my brother was the fourth. We tried warned) him three times that he should cease his work of witchcraft, but he would not hear, nor did he consent to give it up. He was not like Simon (Magus) at whom all the people of Samaria wondered, and who when he saw Philip, and heard him preach, gave up this evil work. Let it be so now, Mr. McLean: let this thing, handed down to us by our forefathers, be given up, that we may carry out the law. Listen to me, I join the Queen. The flagstaff which I and Ngapuhi put up, and the piece of land I gave up: these are the tokens of my respect for the Queen.

Native Secretary:—Maihi formerly had a place amongst the Assessors. He has set up the flagstaff, and he has given up a piece of land to the Government. When the Governor heard that he had consented to the putting to death of the man who was said to have bewitched his brother, he said that his work as an Assessor must cease. But listen: our forefathers in like manner believed in witchcraft. It is perhaps about two hundred years since they practised this foolish work. Many were unjustly put to death as wizards. The practice prevailed in mariy places besides England, even extending to America, and men were put to death for that work. But when Chistianity increased, the power of witchcraft disappeaped, and men gave up their belief in evil spirits, and turned to the God of Heaven. We have now heard the words of Maihi Paraone, that he did wrong in reference to this matter. It is not a new error, it was from of old, and it still continues. The Governor thinks he has punished Maihi Paraone sufficiently for his error. And now let us end our words about that matter and cease to reproach him, for he has now confessed his error.

Taiapo, (Ngatiwhakaue,) Maketu:—What I am thinking about at this time is that there is a tardiness about this Conference. The establishment of towns at the Bay of Islands and at Port Nicholson Was not discussed in a conference, nor was Te Rangītake's affair. This is the fourth or fifth time I have come forward to ask that I may have Europeans to live at my place. I call upon this Conference to consent to my word. It is for you of this Conference to look and see that this is a proceeding m accordance with the Jaws of the Queen. Mr. Shortland was the first (person page 74 who came to us). We were said to be an evil tribe because we persisted in fighting. We wished to have him permanently stationed amongst us, but he was scarcely two nights with us, before he was removed. Afterwards came Mr. Symonds: he came and was then taken away from me when I hoped to have held him as my prize. Afterwards Mr. Smith was appointed as Magislrate for my place, to settle disputes there. It was no evil on my part which caused these Europeans to return back here. I had not done any evil, but it was not long before they all left without cause. Those of other places remained, but mine came away. The Roman Catholics came to Ohine Motu, and became a possession for my parent Korokai. I am now lired with stretching out my hands after the Pakeha. I did not come here without an object. It was you, the Pakeha, who called us to come to dig kauri gum. I am now living on Pakeha land. Now I see that I have done wrong. My children are dead: they have died in your presence; they have been food for the fish while reaching out afier the Pakeha. For this reason I have thought to have Pakehas to live amongst us to take care of my piaee. Let me have Pakehas, for I have become submissive, and we belong to the Queen. I say this, and I now offer my land; my people have been lost amongst you, and this is a gift I ask in return, and I will also give you that which is in my hand. These only are the men (of influence), Te Mutu, Tukihaumene, Te Puehu. These men will give a portion of their land to you. I am poor, therefore I say let me have a hundred Europeans to go with me, for there are Pakehas at every other place. Therefore I say, if we give you a piece of ]and, then let this Conference consent to my word.

Arama Karaka, (Te Uriohau,) Kaipara:—All ye of the runanga, hearken! In the days that are past we were in doubt and uncertainty, and knew not whether we should live or die; but in this day the Governor has made a declaration. I am of low degree: yet I will partake of this food, the laws. I shall not consider it gall. Now we shall prosper because there is no longer a heart of mistrust in us. These two races, the Pakeha and the Maori, have now heeome united. These are my thoughts respecting Maihi Paraone's words, namely, that the people of the South should be incorporated with the people of the North. Now this is my proposal; Listen, Mr. McLean. Should evil break out here in the North, then let the Governor page 75 write to the people of the South to come here and settle it; and should the evil be in the South, then let the people of the North settle it. Mahi Paraone is right in recommending foolish works to be given up. Let this be settled, lest the people of the North be implicated in evil. My thoughts are with the laws of God and the Laws of the Queen. These are the sentiments of the people of Kaipara, for the meeting which took place yesterday (evening) was composed of Kaipara chiefs. I approve of the words of Te Waiatua (Taiapo). Let us all consent to a pakeha (magistrate) being stationed at Rotorua, as a protection for that place, so that the people may not be disturbed.

Here is another matter: I refer to the lands which have been sold to the Pakeha, and for which a part only of the payment has been received, the balance being still in the hands of the Pakeha. Let the balance be paid, lest it be a source of discontent, and evil spring out of it. Enough: my words are fixed. I have now made a pledge to the Government, and before God also. I have another word. The opinion of this Conference is that if a man should wish to sell his piece of land it should be done according to Pakeha rules, lest evil ariso. Let this be carefully considered by you for two or three months. I am very cautious, lest evil should grow.

Ngahuruhuru, (Ngatiwhakaue,) Maketu:—There is nothing for you to talk about; leave the speaking to me alone. I am not yet able to rest of the Queen. Let me have a Pakeha (magistrate) that I may lean on the laws of the Queen.

All the tribes are talking. Who is there to instruct me? I have no one to instruct me in what relates to the body. It is known to all the tribes that from Moehau to Muranga, and on to Maketu, and right on to Kaha, there is no Pakeha. I am applying for some one to come and make me his prisoner. Presently all these tribes will be wise and I shall continue in my ignorance. I therefore apply for some one to take charge of me. Maketu shall be given up as land for the Pakehas and Tauranga shall be land for the Pakehas. I will give it up, so will Tomika, so will Te Mutu. If Taraia had been here I should have included Katikati in my offer; as it is I shall confine it to Maketu, lest there be difficulty. We will give up Maketu to you (to the Pakehas). I shall give it up so that I (or my tribe) may enter on the Queen's side. There is no one else whose consent to this is necessary.

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Winiata Pekamu Tohi Te Ururangi, (Ngatiwhakaue,) Rotorua:—Let the proceedings be properly conducted. It will be for you to ascertain if this man is doing wrong in offering the land to the Pahehas. It has been agreed that Pakehas shall come to Maketu. The cession of lands has never before been a matter of consideration for a general New Zealand Runanga. The first time this has been done is now, in-reference to the cession of Maketu. Now the whole of the tribes have heard the consent to part with this land; this is right. Should I get into trouble (about this then let the Runanga enquire into it. I shall say that all New Zealand consented. I am a supporter of' Ngahuruhuru's words. All the (principal) chiefs of the Arawa are here present. This is not the first that I have applied for Pakehas to come and live with me. I have already surrendered lands to the Pakeha; therefore I am able to say that all the people are resting on the laws of the Queen. Let a director (or Magistrate) be stationed in every place. If I should get into trouble, let the Conference of New Zealand set me right.

Tamati Hapimana Wharehinaki, (Tapuika,) Maketu:—We are waiting to hear it said, "You (the Pakeha) want to get possession of the whole of the Island." I now, for the first time, say that I will enter on your side; for on this day it has been said that Maketu is your soil. That is the place which has cherished me from childhood even untii now. Do you ask me to give my parent (referring to the soil) to you? Be it according to your will. Let me have one hundred thousand pakehas on my land, that it may be filled.

Tomika Te Mutu, (Ngaiterangi,) Tauranga: The words of the old men are correct. Maketu belonged formerly to me; it belongs now to this generation—to all of them; but my "mana" still hangs over Maketu. On this occasion we are all taking together. Here am I, and here also are they. I received a letter (an invitation) and I forthwith dived into the sea and came up here. not with standing that I was an invalid. I did not give my sickness any consideration. I do not put any faith in the letters which have just been read; they are false. I left my goods at home and came up, therefore I say do not place any faith in those letters. I will believe when my eyes see it.

The Native Secretary observed that the Petition of the Chiefs, touching the Conference, would be lorwarded to his Excelency page 77 the Governor; and that, in the meanwhile, he would be glad to hear a full expression of their views on the subject thereof.

Matene Te Whiwhi, (Ngatitoa,) Otaki: I have a word to say about the Conference. Now, let it be made permanent. This is my word—let it be established. Another word: in my opinion, the. money (public revenue) belongs also to us, and therefore a part of it should be spent for the Maori side. For this reason, it appears to me, this Conference should be made permanent; for this is the only means there is of adjusting our difficulties.

Tereanuku, (Ngatiwhakaue,) Rotorua:—I have nothing to say in disapproval. My heart is glad, because a place (Maketu) has been talked about as a settlement for you. Mr. Smith knows the boundaries—from Kaikokopu to Kaituna and thence to Pakotore.

The Native Secretary: Let us now listen to the words of Te Amohau. I will not consent yet; but I will wait to hear your consent after you have heard the words of Te Amohau.

Parakaia Tararoa, (Tuhourangi,) Tarawera:—There is nothing for me to speak about. Whatever Te Arawa may do in reference to the land will be right, and will be agreeable to me. I had a law formerly, which I inherited from my ancestor Rangitihi. Here is a new skin (the Pakeha); my regard for my ancestors is transferred to him. Although he be a stranger to me, I will adopt him as my father. Nothing else claims my attention. Thou shalt be my parent.

Te Amohau, (Ngatiwhakaue,) Rotorua:—There is no going backwards in these words. The words of the Conference are good. These words (about Maketu) are true; therefore let the consent of the pakehas be true also. It is a very extensive country. Let me tell you the boundaries. Commencing at Otairoa (the boundary runs to Wha rekahu, thence to Nohonoa, thence to Waipumuka, thence to Wharepohue Ngaruapikiahu, thence to Titirangi, ending at Kaituna; then it runs along the stream to Te Kohekohe, Te Kopua, Te Karaku, Te Paroa, and Motaiparia; thence to Otairoa where it commenced. Let your consent (to purchase this land) be a true one. Let me take back with me two hundred or three hundred (pakehas). But some ought to go to Tauranga, to the mouth of the Bay.

Hemi Matini, (Ngatimabanga,) Whaingaroa:—This matter is now clear, because it page 78 has been discussed in the hearing of the Conference. But perhaps it had better be discussed at Maketu also lest having been arranged here, it should be disapproved by the majority (at home). The cession of this land to you is right. The matter now rests with the Conference.

Te Makarini Te Uhiniko, (Ngatiawa,) Te Awa-o-te-Atua:—Attend to what Te Whareheihei has said. I am of the same opinion that this matter should be discussed on the soil.

Wiremn Patene, (Ngaiterangi,) Tauranga:—Mr. McLean, the land is clear; it is properly surrendered to you. There is nothing wrong about it. There is no one at home (whose consent is necessary) inasmuch as Te Whareheihei stands here. There is no other "mana" but that of Te Whareheihei.

Matene, (Ngatiwhakaue.) Rotorua:—All the tribes have become possessed of pakehas. When we resided at Piki Piria, ten of us [unclear: died]. Then we pushed on to Mangawhai, an again some died; we then decided on selling the land.

Mohi, (Ngatiwhakaue,) Rotorua:—I have been thinking about these two subjects—the (mixed) jury and the (law to regulate) the descent of the property of a deceased man, that the children may quietly have possession. My idea is that if the eldest son behaves well the property should be left to him, but if he is a naughty child, then some one else should be selected to receive the property. My desire is that this Conference may be established, in order that the Maori and Pakeha races may become one. My speech ends here.

Tamihana Te Rauparaha, (Ngatitoa,) Otaki:—My place is at Kapiti, and my chieftainship also; neverthless, let me have a word to say about the lands of Ngatiwhakaue that are being surrendered to the Pukeha. It is well that you should give up your lands to the Pakeha, so that you may become possessed of the good things of the Pakeha—so that each tribe may have a town of their own.

Paora Tuhaere, (Ngatiwhatua.) Orakei:—I belong to another tribe, but I rise to speak because I observe that the speeches of the Ngatiwhakaue and Ngaiterangi chiefs are one. I have been listening to the correctness of their words. Formerly they were at enmity; now they co-operate for the cession of their land. I say, let all lands hereafter be treated in this way.

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Tamihana Te Rauparaha:—My friends, I propose that we continue to urge for the permanent establishment of this Conference, as affording the means for clearing up our difficulties and promoting the union of the Pakeha and the Maori. But I now wish you to speak: you have heard what I had to say.

Ihakara Tokonui, (Ngatiraukawa,) Manawatu:—The Conference has listened to those words, and they are good. Let the old men return to their homes, and let the discussion about the land be closed.

Hukiki, (Ngatiraukawa,) Otaki:—I approve of the words of the Ngatiwhakaue (chiefs). I am ill spoken of by my tribe because I am a land seller. When Tohi commenced speaking in this house we listened and his words were very good. Afterwards when be entered our house we said to him, "Is your speech in favour of land selling?" He replied, "Yes, I shall part with the land." We all said to him, "Be earin your application for Pakehas to reside on your land." He then said, "I shall speak with force." I now give my approval to the words of Ngatitutanekai, and of Ngatiwhakaue.

After a few observations from the Native Secretary, the Meeting adjourned to 10 a.m. on Monday, the 6th instant.

(To be continued in our next.)