Proceedings of of the Kohimarama Conference, Comprising Nos. 13 to 18 of the "Maori Messenger."
Reply from Ngatikahungunu. No. 3
Reply from Ngatikahungunu. No. 3.
Friend, Governor Browne,—
Salutations to you! Friend, Mr. McLean, salutations to you, and to your runanga—including Messrs. Smith, Clark, Kemp, Buller, Baker, and the Rev. Mr. Burrows.
Friends, salutations to you all, the explainers of the laws of the Queen and the Government.
Friend, Mr. Burrows: salutations to you, the explainer of the laws of the Most High.
Friends, this is our word. We are not able at the present time to express to you our opinion with reference to the various subjects contained in the Governor's address. This is what we will say. That which the Governor has set before us is good, for he it was who brought knowledge to New Zealand,—the knowledge of good, and the knowledge of evil. The evil thing is the gun: its evil is that human life is destroyed by it. Then there are the Ministers: through them peace reigns among the tribes of New Zealand.
Friend, Mr. McLean, we address this to you. I do not belong to Waikato, that I should know any thing of this new system. Do not say that I am hiding my thoughts from you. Friends, this is our saying: the system of Waikato is a system that will cause great disturbance among the well disposed of the tribes of New Zealand. There is another reason why we do not recognise that new system. There has been no new law given to the people of this island concerning King making; therefore the doings of Waikato appear dark to us. The only laws that we have been taught are (to the effect) that we should take part in the schools, that we may be instructed in good things. These are the good things that are to be learnt: the work of Schoolmasters, of Ministers, and of Bishops. That is all on that subject. This is another, that some of us be appointed Magistrates, or Directors, or Governors. These are the only laws we have seen. The other is that we should "do our duty in that state of life unto which it has pleased God to call us."
Now, friends, that new system has reached Wairarapa, and those who have joined themselves to it are one hundred in number.page 41
Now, friends, let the doings of Wairarapa be known to you. One hundred have nothing to do with this business. They are treating the Pakehas with kindness.
Friend, Mr. McLean, hearken! Some of our difficulties (of the people of Wairarapa) are settled. There is one matter which is a source of confusion. Our lands which we retain are a cause of disagreement amongst ourselves, also between the Maories and the Pakehas. There is yet another: those lands which have been returned to us by the Government. They are not yet settled. There is one piece of land that is causing trouble—the place of your friend Manihera, and of his father Rawiri. It is called Ngatupiri, and has been taken by the Government. We consider that this will be a source of difficulty among the people of Wairarapa.
Friend, the Governor,—These faults that we have been pointing out are on your side. Friend, this is our word. To three of the Governors my district has been unknown. But Governor Grey knew my place, Wairarapa,—both he and Mr. McLean. Governor Browne does not know Wairarapa. There is only one place that he stays at, and that is Auckland.
Friend, I have a word to say to you. Put an end to your fighting with Wiremu Kingi, in order that the love of the Queen may be manifest to the Maori people, and that it may be a true word when one says, "I belong to the Queen—I belong to the Governor—I peace myself under the Queen and the Governor. "Friends, these are our words, "Agree with thine adversary whilst thou art in the way with him." There is also another word, "Let them both grow together till the harvest."
Friends, this is another word to you, that is, to the runanga of the Government. Do you give us guns, powder, shot, and caps, to shoot birds with, that this word may be made good, which says that the Pakehas and the Maories are one people. If you do not fulfil our desire, then it is not true that the two races are equal.
You say that you are keeping off evil nations and that no other strange people have come here. You perhaps refer to the French when you say that we must be on our guard against a foreign nation. Friends, there is no other nation besides yourselves that can disturb the peace of the earth. These words are ended. You can approve or disapprove of them.page 42
Friends, Mr. McLean, and the Governor,—We have a desire that you should hold a Conference at Wellington. Do not refuse, but consent, in order that the Governor may see the people of the South. Enough.
This is a Maori song:—
The lessening cloud
Is slowly coming
O'er Tawake's lofty peak!
Oh! bow my affection
For my own beloved
Is dwelling in my heart.
I was taunted in my youth
As the unknown offspring
Of a distant land.
Oh! that I were placed
On the bow of Rewarewa, *
The Governor's own canoe,
To journey to a distance.
When I cross the Raukawa,*
With my eyes blind-folded,
I shall not gaze on Ngawhatu.
But when we get beyond.
Then I will look around,
And view the place in Cloudy Bay,
The nook which Kupe crossed,
When he performed the feat
Of skimming o'er the sea.
Tell me, whence came those
In whom I put my trust?
Brave to face the battle,
And strong for my support,—
Let me ever cling to them
And find in them my hope.
From your loving friend,
Hoani Wiremu Pohotu,
From your loving friend,Ngatuere Tawhirimatea, of Wairarapa,
* Ngawhatu is the name of a. sacred rock, in Cook's Strait, on which a person is not to look on his first passage across those waters. It was therefore customary, in former times, to blindfold strangers when passing this spot, lest, inadvertently, they should incur the displeasure of the presiding deity.