Proceedings of of the Kohimarama Conference, Comprising Nos. 13 to 18 of the "Maori Messenger."
Reply from Wanganui
Reply from Wanganui.
Salutations to you! The words we have spoken in the midst of this committee are to the effect that the Maori and Pakeha races should be united as one people. There is no departing from this. It is known to you, O Governor, that Christianity is the main foundation of all things. If I understand and follow the precepts of Christianity, I shall find Salvation in Christianity, and if we understand the precepts of the Law, we shall find salvation in the laws. Christianity is able to save us, and the law is able to save us. It is useless to repeat these things. Our idea is that the law should be the ruler of man whilst he lives. Do you hearken! Christianity and law had only been tried by us for a short space, when the precepts of both were disregarded. It has also been said, "He that putteth his hand to the plough and looketh back is not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven." We have not yet attained to wisdom. The bridle is put to our mouths but we refuse to receive it. Our wish is union. Righteous and good works are the roots which will support unanimity. Another thing, humility and passive subjection to the Queen's authority.
O Governor, there is only one thing which you will not have from us. The lands which remain to us we will not surrender. The land we sold in time past was settled satisfactorily without leaving any cause of trouble or confusion behind. We have no object in view than that of retaining it for our children after as. We shall be willing to place them in the hands of the Government for the purpose of being subdivided that they may be fairly apportioned among our relatives.page 33
These are our thoughts. We are not living according to the customs of our ancestors lest we should be humbled by God. We have no part in this presumptions undertaking as some other tribes have—no! O Governor, do you consent quickly to give us some law for leasing lands at Whanganui and Rangitikei. Let it be a strong law, sufficient to meet the case of our lands. These are the thoughts of our Pakeha friends;—they wish to lay out a town at Putiki, and we consented to ask you to enact a special law for our lands. Friends, do this that it may be setled soon, and let it be like the law for the Pakeha lands. Muzzle not the ox that treadeth out the wheat. Let the law concerning leasing of lands be passed soon that the people may speedily understand it, and that there may be no doubt or uncertainty about it. There are more difficulties about the selling of land than the leasing of it. Behold! there is no bloodshed occasioned by the leasing system, but by the selling there is Be quick and give us the law. We and our Pakeha friends have made our arrangements. These words are ended. Confirm these words of ours. Let them have effect.
About Mr. Churton:—This is another subject and it relates to our desire to have a guardian for us and those who come to us upon the invitation of the Government. We do not mean the Maori gatherings. We will provide for those ourselves. That which we desire of you is on behalf of those from a distance who are invited by the Government. It will be for you to provide a house, food, and a Pakeha to take charge. Mr. Churton (?) is the name of the Pakeha [we recommend]. Let him make all arrangements. The reason of our liking that Pakeha is that we have not yet seen any fault in him. He has lived amongst us for many years and we have not seen anything wrong in him. Our reason for not liking a stranger is that we have seen the evil of that.
From your loving friends, in our Lord Jesus Christ,—
From TahaNa Turoa, Hori Paipai, Hori Kingi TE Anaua, Te Mawae, Hoani W. Hipango, Mete Kingi, Kawana Paipai, Tamati WiRemu, of Whanganui.