Proceedings of of the Kohimarama Conference, Comprising Nos. 13 to 18 of the "Maori Messenger."
Pursuant to the intention expressed in our last we now lay before our readers the conclusion of our Report of the Conference proceedings.
As we before intimated, the Chiefs were requested by Mr. McLean to reply, in writing, to the Governor's opening Address, in the order of their tribes or hapus. Accordingly many replies were sent in during the first week of the Session, but as others were received at later intervals we have refrained noticing them hitherto, in order that we might append them to our Report in a connected and complete form. They will so appear in our next issue.
On Monday, the 6th ultimo, His Excellency Governor Browne visited the Chiefs at Kohimarama and dined page 2 with them. They seemed fully to appreciate this mark of regard and reference was made to it several times in their subsequent speeches.
Before dismissing a subject which has of late filled our columns and claimed our chief attention, we have a few words to say to our Maori readers.
Friends,—We have given you a true and faithful account of the sayings of your Chiefs who took part in the Governor's Runanga. We have reported their speeches at full length in order to guard against misrepresentation; and, as a further precaution, we have (except in a few accidental cases) submitted our Reports, day by day, to the respective speakers to afford them the opportunity of correcting any mistake or omission which might occur. We have not suppressed anything that might seem unfavourable to the Government. On the other hand the Chiefs were invited by His Excellency, and subsequently on frequent occasions by Mr. McLean, to speak their sentiments freely, and to state plainly and without reserve any complaints or grievances they might have to make.
We believe that all of them have returned to their homes satisfied with the result of the meeting—assured of the Governor's concern in the welfare of their race, and of the friendly spirit generally entertained by the Pakeha people towards them.
And we would take this opportunity of bearing our testimony to the page 3 highly creditable manner in which the Chiefs conducted themselves throughout the whole of the proceedings. From the opening of the Conference even to the close thereof-a period of one month—the utmost harmony and good order prevailed. The various subjects brought under their notice were discussed in a friendly spirit and in temperate language. Nothing was said that savoured of tribal emnity or personal ill-will. On the contrary, there seemed to be a common desire to bury old hatreds and to establish inter-tribal friendship. As a proof of this we may mention that soon after the Conference had been opened, the Chiefs, by their own appointment, set apart one evening for a general tribal "whakahoatanga" (friend-making). The representatives of remote and hitherto estranged tribes met together, shook hands, and exchanged complimentary speeches. The interview lasted till near morning, and, at its close, the members separated with every demonstration of good feeling.
This is a pleasing indication. We trust that the people will follow the example of their Chiefs; for, as we have often said, while tribal enmities and personal jealousies are allowed to hold sway, the progress of the Maori People in civilization will be both slow and uncertain.