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

Reply from Ngatiwhatua. No. 1

Reply from Ngatiwhatua. No. 1.

Orakei, July 16, 1860.

Friend, Governor Browne,—

Listen to us, vhilst we speak to you and explain our views and sentiments. They are the same as in time past, even from Governor Hobson's time down to your own—the present. We have always firmly adhered to you and to the Queen's sovereignty. Do not suppose that we are holding to the New Zealand customs. It is not so; for it was we who called you as a great and powerful people to establish yourselves on our lands, on the shores of the Waitemata, that you might be a parent to us, and that we might be your child. We are in a peculiar manner your people, and part of the nation which the Queen reigns over. Now, therefore, our system shall not be a different one from yours, for the town is one, and the offences committed here by the Maories the law will punish. It is for this reason that we so strongly press upon you the subject of the 13th clause of your printed address, where you say that it is ignorance of the English language which excludes the Maori from your councils and assisting in framing laws for the Maories and Pakehas.

Hearken! Although unacquainted with page 24 the Pakeha language, yet allow your friends,. the Maori Chiefs, to enter into your councils, for we have many Pakeha friends, who can speak Maori, to translate into English and Maori what is said in the council. By this means we shall have one law and one way of proceeding for the Maories and Pakehas; for the Maories are a numerous race, and have many ways of proceeding.

2. This is another subject—the Waikato movement. Hearken to us! The fault is your own. Some time ago we informed you of its commencement, and that Potatau was set up as a King. You answered that you did not believe in it, and that it was mere child's play, but if all this island were to acknowledge it, (the Maori King,) then you would believe in it. You would return beyond the seas and this island would be covered with desolation. Your fault is this. Had you extinguished it (the Maori King movement) some time back, it would have disappeared ere this. Friend, why should we concern ourselves about that upstart project? We must treat it with contempt and altogether ignore it. Had many tribes joined in supporting that piece of unwarranted presumption, we might think it worth our consideration.
3. There is another subject: it is to ask you who it was that separated us—the Pakehas and the Maories. Was it the Maori or was it the Pakeha? We consider that you have done so, for they are your councils which enact laws for the people, and also for that which is used to shoot birds as an article of food for the people. Hearken! These things, (arms and ammunition,) must be left beyond the seas if they are to be kept from the Maories. The Maories and the Pakehas do not fear the law. The Maories and the Pakehas are buying and selling guns and powder at the present time. The Maories are drinking spirits at the present time, and do not regard the law. It would be better not to have these things here, in our island of New Zealand, lest they should become a cause of dissension between us.
4. We have also this request to make to you:—Let Crown Grants be given by you to us the Maories, though the land be our own, for we have entered under your wings,—we have become one, under one system. Should you refuse Grants, this will also be a cause of separation between us, the Maories and the the Pakehas.
5. This is another subject: let not the lands be bought carelessly, but let them be surveyed by the surveyors of the Government. page 25 Let the lands be advertised for three months before purchasing them, that the Pakehas and the Maories may be informed, and let the sellers themselves point out the boundaries. When the lands are surveyed and the notice published in the newspaper, you, the Governor, should give us a paper authorising the sale of those lands. When we receive that paper we shall be at liberty to sell the land as we please, in the same manner that wheat and potatoes are sold as we please; that we may be upon the same footing as the Pakehas, having one law for the guidance of Maories and Pakehas—that we may be like the Pakehas, who dispose of their lands to one another.
6. We would also speak about what you said in reference to invasion by a foreign nation—that is, that you would oppose the enemy alone. Hearken now! Should any one come here to attack our town, we will be ready to die with you. We say this because we have lately beard, since we went to make peace with Te Tirarau, that Waikato had proposed to attack this town, and that they were only restrained by the firmness of Potatau. It was vexation at being prevented from carrying out their designs which caused them to go to the assistance of Te Rangitake, to fight against the Queen.
7. This is another subject—the errors of the Maories. The land is a cause of strife. It must be arranged by you and by the Maori Chiefs. You must also deal with cases of murder where one Maori kills another, such as these which have lately occurred but which have not been dealt with. There are also offences in connection with women. We must find means also of dealing with these. You must not say that we alone must see to this matter. This will not be right; we must work together.

Enough, from us—from your loving friends,—from the assembly at Orakei, Auckland.

From Paora Tuhaere,
Te Keene,
Te Reweti,
Te Wiremu,
Te Keepa,
Te Hapimana,
Paora Kawharu,
Te Karu,
Arama Karaka,
Te Wirihana,
Te Warena.