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

Reply from Ngatiporou. No, 1

Reply from Ngatiporou. No, 1.

July 16th, 1860.

Friend, the Governor,—

Salutations to you, sent hither by that lady the Queen, to protect the two races dwelling in this country of New Zealand from aggression by foreign nations,—by her, who in times past, waged cruel war against other races, destroying some, driving the survivors away, and then seizing the land and assuming the power. (Referring to the 12th clause in His Excellency's address.)

When the Queen heard of me, the Maori, living in this country of New Zealand, and that some of her own people had come to settle amongst us, then was her kindness towards us manifested. Before you came, Missionaries were sent by her to preach to us the Gospel of God. The first word of the Gospel was—repentance, absolution, forgiveness of sins, and peace. When the Missionaries arrived, they beheld us, and explored the coasts of our land. They saw that many of us were in the depth of misery. Some were bound by the chain of the enemy and some were devouring one another. Then did their hands seize us by the the forelock, and draw us thence, and we stood forth from the gulf of darkness. Then, for the first time, did we behold light and salvation, which have remained to us to this day. Those who were bound were released, and those who were devouring one another were parted. The customs of the Maories were then made by the Missionaries to give place to the works of the Gospel of God. Cannibalism and other evil practices of this land were all abolished and superseded by the works of God. The Missionaries pointed out to us that we had a father in heaven, even God, and that he created us.

Friend, the Governor,—In my opinion it was right that the Queen should make war upon other nations, and it was also right that she should send the Missionaries here and that she should have shown her love to the people.

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This is quite correct in my view. The same was done in times past. God visited the heathen nations with His wrath and allowed His own people to occupy their lands. Afterwards, God manifested His love towards men, and sent His Son into this world to seek men and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Friend, the Governor,—The first shadow which the Queen spread over me was Christianity. This is the chain that has held me and caused me to dwell in peace, happiness, and goodwill. I could not break away from this chain, and I could not turn back to the evil customs and the cannibalism of our Maori ancestors.

Friend, the Governor,—I, of the Ngatiporou tribe, am conducting myself properly at my place, and am engaged in following out the precepts of the Gospel of God. This shall be my aim all the days of my life—even till death. Accordingly, I consider it to be my duty to send my children to Turanga to the school of Bishop Williams, that they may be taught the good customs of the Pakeha.

Friend, the Governor,—On your arrival here, the powerful hand of God had already united these two races together. Still you must stand as guardian on the one side of these two races and the Holy Spirit of God on the other. The enemy also on one side is Satan, and the enemy which you have to guard us against is the foreigner. Hitherto, no foreign nation has come to destroy these two races, but they are found to be quarrelling between themselves, even in the presence of their protectors. It is precisely the same as in days of old, when I had no guardian. I mean, under the old Maori system.

O friend, the Governor,—Let your side be guarded properly, for the Scriptures say, "He that watcheth, let him take heed lest he fall." Your error is your haste to be angry, and your inciting the wise race to destroy the ignorant race. It was not left for the foreigner to destroy them, but you took upon yourself to do it. What is the good of your talking while it is seen that you are quarrelling both with the people and about the land.

Friend, the Governor,—Let your duty of taking care of and governing the two races be properly discharged, and let your land purchasing transactions be properly conducted that you may be blameless. For this is a present cause of confusion involving both Pakehas and Maories—even the wrong purchasing of land, the owners of which, not being satisfied as to the fairness of the price given for their land. Hence arise disputes and those evils which destroy men's lives.

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Friend, the Governor,—Those are my inmost thoughts. Here, also, are others which I will express to you. Should you punish me without cause wrongfully, what can I say to you? I would say this, "You are very unjust to me, for I have no desire to fight like other tribes who are fighting with the Pakeha." I have no desire to set up a Maori King like some other deceitful tribe. I have only one King, who is in heaven, even Christ, who is King of kings and the Head of all men. I have no desire to sell land like some who deceitfully sell their land to the Pakeha,—or is the deceit on the side of the Pakeha? Or, perhaps, there has been some deceitful dealing on your part, judging from the serious nature of the difficulties which have arisen in connection with land. If only men of inferior rank were implicated in these difficulties they might be settled by the Chiefs and be made to disappear. But, as the Maori proverb says, "The seas of Maihirangi (surge high)." This proverb is used with reference to an easterly gale, and applies to the war about the land which is going on between the Governor and Te Rangitake (Wiremu Kingi).

Friend, the Governor,—Those are some of my inmost thoughts. There are yet others which I will express to you.

There are troubles at my place, arising out of the avariciousness of the Pakehas in their dealings. The price given for a bushel of wheat is five shillings, and even as low as four and three The price given for a bushel of corn is three shillings, and for a basket of potatoes, one shilling. Such dealing as this is fraudulent. It is for you to look at it. I consider those Pakehas to be robbers. They only show us the shadow of the money, and do not give us cash for our produce. The only money which those Pakehas give us for our produce is the rotten clothes which are rejected in this town; apparently what they have picked up out of the rubbish trodden under the feet of all the Pakeha merchants of this town, and which they bring to us to exchange for our produce. Our food is delivered to them in sound condition, but the clothes which they give us are rotten.

Friend, the Governor, I am thinking that you should make regulations for these things that we may dwell at peace with these Pakehas.

Friend, the Governor,—Those are some of my thoughts. This is another. Let us buy guns, powder, shot, and caps, for shooting birds, that we may have something to give relish to our breakfasts.

Friend, the Governor,—Those are some of my thoughts.This is another. I desire page 50 that you will make known to me some rules for administering justice at my place, for you know that the Maories are liable to go wrong. Thus end my thoughts.

Friend, the Governor,—Salutations to you. I will take your words to Ngatiporou, to the people who hold fast what is valuable, and greedily swallow talk. This is their Maori incantation (Karakia Maori):—

The inanga [a fish] swims in the deep water—
The inanga swims at the bottom:
Oiwiwia, Oirawea!
Give me my treasure,—
It is a treasure!—
(Congratulating themselves on their good fortune.) Enough. It is finished.

From your loving friend,

Na Te Irimana Houturangi, of Wharekahika.

To the Governor.