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

Potatau's Speech To His Council

Potatau's Speech To His Council.

We have been requested to publish the following account (by a native) of an interview between the late Potatau and his Council of elders, which took place in May last. The words of the old chief indicate very plainly that he entertained the best feelings towards the colonists:—

page 7

May 26, 1860.

These are the words of Potatau which he uttered in the hearing of his own council—the council of elders:—"Why be concerned about this thing or that thing? Rather let it be according to my word—to the word of a common man—peace and good-will only. As it is, my regard for the Governor, that is to say for the Pakeha, is very great. What is that standing yonder?—A basin [of European manufacture]. That is it. As for this, William [Tamihana], there is no system. Wetere and Apihai are the descendants of Horeta and Tawhia. This man, Tiriwa, says he has found a system. Attend! The work of his ancestors was to beat out fern root. Te Waitere also—his work was to beat out fern root. They both did this for Te Whatakaraka.

As it is, William, I am very clear about the object of your coming. Enough, my heart is satisfied with Apihai and Wetere, your relatives. Attend! The outside is skin but the inside is secret." [Meaning that while persons may resemble each other in countenance, their thoughts may be widely different.]

Porokoru then said: "Friend, cut off my skull and use it as a cistern to hold water for you."

Potatau: "William, there is no system. Apihai and Wetere are in my bosom. I am the head, that is to say, I know that although a man may say he understands the work [referring evidently to the setting up of a King] it is not so, William. Attend! I am nothing but bones—you and your brother Apihai Te Kawau have the flesh. Consider this William! This is a canoe—its name is Hapupararaki, and it belongs to Tapaue."

These are the names of those who heard these words, viz.:—Apihai Te Kawau, Wetere Kawae, Paramena Te Ruamutu, Te Reweti Tamahiki, Te Paenganui, Wiremu Hopihana. Warena Kiwi, Te Raku, Potakirau Mahu, Arama Karaka Te Aho, Porokoru Titipa, Paratene te Maioha, Maka Te Nahu, Te Katea Taharape, Warana Te Ahukaramu, Tarahawaiki, and Koniria Ketokiwaho.