My dear friends, listen ! This is what I have to say. It was uttered by me before the assembly at the great tea meeting at Auckland.
It is this. I will say nothing about the fighting at Taranaki, because it has been separated by peace; but I begin to speak on this side (meaning Waikato side), at the time Mr. Gorst was badly used by Maniapoto. When all the Ministers came here my thoughts were gloomy; and after them a man named Aporo came to Auckland. When he came here he was seized and imprisoned. When the tribes of the South—namely, Waikato and Maniapoto—heard that Aporo was taken, Ngatimaniapoto reflected that it was just. He saw his error, and still went. Waitere, one of the chiefs of Ngatimaniapoto, came and bid Matutaere not to be excited because Aporo was seized and imprisoned. I, also, went to Ngaruawahia. Some other men went to Ngaruawahia, to Tamahere to Maungatautari, to Rangiawhia, to ask that war should be consented to. All the chiefs consented. When I and Waitere arrived there, I said to Matutaere: O son, do you or do you not consent to this work which is now being clone (viz., fighting). Thereon he said to me, Go, return to your place. On that same day arrived the men who went to Maungatautari, and to Rangiawhia. When they reached Ngaruawahia, the Council met and talked about attacking Auck- page 8 land. I was sad. Then I said: O tribe, if you desire to fight, write to the Governor; do the work in open daylight. Huirama stood up to answer me—a chief who died at the Koheroa. His word to me was this: I will not listen to your word, because at all the Councils of Waikato you are the man to object; all the tribes listen to your word. Then I replied to him: Listen, you are wrong. In the morning I returned home. On my arrival I knew that evil was coming. I wrote a letter to Mr. Buddle, showing the secret doings of the tribes. Afterwards I assembled my tribe. When they gathered together, I said to them: Listen to me, all. If this evil breaks out, don't you rise up. They consented to me. When Mr. Buddle's letter reached me, bidding me go to preach at Kopua, the residence of Rira (Rev. Mr. Reid), I went there. All the tribes of that place assembled; I said to them, If this evil breaks out, don't you rise up. They replied to me, we will not sit quiet. Ten men consented to my word. Afterwards, I wrote a letter to my tribe who are living at Kawhia. This was my word: Don't go to the war, but rather listen to the word of your minister, Mr. Nakipeke (Rev. Mr. Schnackenberg). When my letter reached there, they consented. I came to my home; when I reached it, the armed body had started, and pitched at Maramarua. The soldiers also had crossed Maungatawhiri. Some tribes were not aware of their having crossed (Maungatawhiri), for they had passed up the Maramarua. Waikato was still in the rear. When they perceived the soldiers had pitched on this side Maungatawhiri, Huirama said, "Ngatimaniapoto and Ngatihaua will not come, because they are stopped by Wm. Patene." This is one reason why I was abused by the Waikato; another reason is, they heard of my having written letters to you all; therefore I reflected, there has been no spokesman omitted (meaning, whatever can be done by counsel has been done). The ministers have spoken; they have exhausted their instructions in the many years they have taught the Maori. Good laws for men were laid down by the Governor at the meeting of the Waikato at Taupari; secondly the Governor went to Kaitotehe, and then laid open his good plans and works of kindness for men. I also urged much that the tribes should return to the one law. When I perceived a stubbornness notwithslanding these teachings, I thought in my heart, enough of men's speaking; one speaker is left—namely, battle. See now their bodies have fallen in battle. Don't suppose my heart is sad; how can it be helped? If you had hidden your instructions my heart would have been dark. Afterwards the battle at Koheroa was lost. Some of my own tribe jumped up, two old men. I was not aware of their going. I kept back those who remained. I said to them, don't rise up to bear arms against the Governor—that is, against the Queen.
After the battle of Koheroa, I went to Waikato. On the way I met a Pakeha (Mr. England) who was being badly treated. His flour had been taken away by the Maoris. His son was with him. When I saw those Pakehas I took charge of them. He said to me: "Shall not we be killed as a payment for the slain." I replied: "You shall not be harmed."
When the Pakehas came with me they gave me a bag of money, £102 10s. The reason why he gave it me was, that if they should perish the money might be preserved. I said: "You will not perish, certainly not."
When we arrived at Ngaruawahia, I and those Pakehas went to see the bodies of Huirama, and his people. Afterwards we went to my settlement and remained there four days. The reason of the delay was, that the Pakeha's foot was burned by fire. When it became well, I said to my young men, "Catch the horses." When the horses were caught, I said, "Go, carry the Pakehas to Raglan." Then they were brought here. The flour given to me was paid for by Mr. Buddle.
When Rewi's armed party arrived, the canoe of the Pakehas was taken from my settlement, where it was left. When I heard of its being taken, I went after it and got it back.
This is one of their bad acts against me.
When the tribes assembled at Meremere, I came there, and said to the tribes there, "Friends, lay aside bad deeds (kouihi), murdering by stealth, killing women and children, and farm labourers, and men walking about without arms." Some tribes assented, and some tribes did not assent. After this talking a woman fell, killed without cause. Enough.
From your dear friend,
From Wiremu Patene.