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

Reply from Ngatiwhakaue. No. 1

page 13

Reply from Ngatiwhakaue. No. 1.

July 13, 1860.

Friend, the Governor,—

Salutations to you! We have seen your speech. It is good. This is what in my opinion is right, and will be the means of benefitting both races—the Pakeha and the Maori. It is that the Maori should take part in the Pakeha runanga. Although the Maori may not understand the Pakeha language, Pakehas who understand Maori may interpret for their Maori friends.

2. It is right for you to explain to us the good intentions of our Queen, who is so gracious to the Maories in New Zealand,—to tell us of her kindness and regard for the Maori people, and of her sending Governors, from the first down to yourself, to shew us what is good. Friend, we are rejoiced because of this light which is, set up in this Island. The light I speak of is the Governor who stands here explaining to us the laws of our Queen, and pointing out the path to your Maori friends.
3. This word also which you have spoken, about the sovereignty of the Queen, which has covered this Island, is right. It is right in my opinion because we were not aware that any other nation were likely to come to take our island of New Zealand. We thought that you were the only foreigners coming to this island. And now, O Governor. I seek in vain to detect a fault in your words; nothing but what is right has been found by me. I have thought, therefore, of placing my land under your protection some of these days; and, when I return to my tribe, to appoint a great committee to lay down properly the boundaries of our lands, and when this is completed to hand them over to our Queen to be taken care of. I fully agree with this, that good may spring up for our children, and, indeed, for all the Maories, and that the property of the poor and of persons of low degree may be protected, so that your Maori friends may properly thrive in New Zealand.
4. You have reminded us also of the meeting at Waitangi where the sovereignty [of these islands] was ceded to the Queen. My thoughts are similar. I am for yielding up the management of all matters in this island to our kind Queen. I think in my heart that the Maori should be the same as the Pakeha, and that they should have but page 14 one parent, namely, the Queen—so that they may be called the children of one mother.
5. Friend, the Governor, hearken! Do not suppose that I am speaking as behind your back. No: I am confronting you and expressing my thoughts. Do not think that I am keeping anything back. I am not doing so. These words are given to you in the light, as you, in the light, have given the Queen's words to her Maori people.
6. Friend, I agree that disorderly persons should be punished by the law, and that disputes should be peaceably adjusted. This is another word of mine to you. If a Maori is unjustly killed by a Pakeha, I shall not kill the murderer, but will give him up to the law to put him to death. The law shall judge him and decide upon the merits of the case, and separate the right from the wrong [i.e., the guilt or innocence of the accused]. Also, if a Maori presumes unjustly to kill a Pakeha, I will give him up into the hands of the law. Although he may be a Chief, he shall be given up to suffer for his offence; for I am not willing to bring upon the innocent the punishment due to the crimes of one man. Enough on this subject.
7. I shall now make some remarks on the 7th clause [of the address]. It will not perhaps be properly replied to by me. This is all that I can say on this subject. We thought that perhaps this war would spread over the world, and an idea came into my mind that we had better side with the Pakeha that he might be as a parent [to protect us]. The Governor will treat us with kindness. Having settled this in our minds, the anxiety of our hearts ceased on the 11th March, 1860.
8. Friend, the Governor of New Zealand, hearken! Do not suppose that we are looking towards the unwarrantable proceedings of Waikato.—No. Attend! It would have been right had this setting up of a King for New Zealand been commenced I a long time ago; but as it is, he has been set up in the midst of the enlightened laws of our Queen, and therefore we do not at all approve of that King, and will never acknowledge him. Although they may endeavour to draw us to take part in their work, we will not do so. Listen to this simile. If that [with which they will endeavour to draw us] were a chain or a rope [i.e., a strong bond] then they might succeed; instead of which it is merely green flax joined by tying the leaves together. When one pulls, it page 15 parts, inasmuch as it is not twisted. This may be compared to the presumptuous work which has been set on foot in New Zealand. A chain will not break, nor will a rope. Paint is used to preserve the chain, and oil for the rope. The kindness of our Queen as made known by her Governors to her Maori friends in New Zealand is like the paint and the oil.
9. Friend, the Governor, here is a question I wish to ask you. What can be done to put down this Waikato King Movement? In my opinion it will die of itself if you agree to what I now propose. I will fully explain it to you. Would it meet your approbation to erect a fence, that is, to make a law for all Waikato, to stop their being supplied with blankets, shirts, trousers, coats, sugar, tobacco, and all such things?

Let none of these things reach the Maori tribes of Waikato. This, in my opinion, would put an end to the Maori King. Let the Rangiaohia Pakehas also return to Auckland in the same way as the Kawhia settlers have been taken away. This, is in my opinion, would bring to an end the Maori King. Enough on this subject. It is ended.

And now, O friend, the Governor, I cannot find expression for the many proofs of your goodness, nor am I able to reply to the words of the Queen which you have read in the presence of your Maori friends.

This is the end of what I have to say to you.

From your friend,
Eruera Wiremu Kahawai.