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Petition of Te Teira and Other Natives Respecting the Relinquishment of Waitara



Waitara, October 21, 1863.

O Chief Heads of the Pakeha Runanga,

I salute you (assembled) there, engaged upon the duties appertaining to the work of adjusting the difficulties of this Island, of New Zealand. Friends, I am vainly searching for the cause which led to the unloosing of Waitara. It was perhaps the shallowness of the water, inasmuch as the guardians of the canoe are being removed. I know not. Now, as to this, our word shall ever remain under the mana of Queen Victoria, even until the fulfilment of our assent that our land Waitara (should be given) to the Queen. It is for the Queen to be a covering over the canoes, lest they should be split by the sun; that they may lie sound in their lying-place. This is our word, O Runanga of the Pakehas. O friends, O men of the Runanga, what we desired (called for) was that (the title to) Waitara should be investigated. Governor Browne said, Waitara must be investigated. Such also was the word of Mr. Fox, of the Bishop, and of Governor Grey also when he came here; but we did not witness the investigation. Waitara was summarily given back to us. Perhaps the Governor and Mr. Bell have seen the error of Te Teira and the right of William King, and we desire that the many should see it also. Therefore we say. Let Waitara be investigated; not in the room (office) of one man, whether of Mr. Bell or of any other person, with perhaps three persons in it. That is a one-sided (lit. leaning) examination in our opinion. Rather let it be a public examination, that the many may hear. O friends, O great Runanga of the Queen, do you attach weight to (cause to be mana) our words, because I am a Queen's man, and you also are Queen's men.

This is still our opinion, that Waitara should be investigated. But it was not our proposal that it should be investigated; it was Tamihana's; we only consented. Then we waited at that time for the arrival here of Governor Grey that Waitara might be again investigated. But when Governor Grey arrived here it was not investigated; then the death of the Pakehas at Wairau occurred, whereupon Waitara was returned to us. We knew not the cause of its being returned; we did not ask for it to be given to us, and we are still, searching for the cause of Waitara being returned to us. But we fully heard the words of Mr. Bell and the Governor, who said that the reason why Waitara was abandoned was because it would not be right te expel the men who had lived upon the soil in the time of peace—that is to say William King. I said to the Governor, O friend, O Governor, The horse was mine; another man leaped upon it; the horse was not his. When I saw my horse with that man on it, my hand, grasped the bridle, and I said, Friend jump down; let me have my horse that I may sell it. Now that expression had reference to Waitara. The horse is Waitara; Te Teira is the man to whom the land belongs; as for William King, he is an intruder upon it. This is why the word of Mr. Bell and the Governor does not apply to it.

Now, O Runanga of the Pakehas, we have no other thought. We have but one thought (wish) that Waitara should be taken (received) by the Pakehas.

These are our names hereunto subscribed:—

*Te Teira,
Tipene Warihi,
page 3 *Tamati Raru,
*Wi Nga Waka,
*Hone Hira,
Wi Te Arei,
Hori Taharoa,
*Te Wari,

Now we are the persons adhering to the Queen, to the one law, to our one parent. Though we be tempted by the tempter, though we be threatened, we will not fear. We will be faithful to our Queen. We will be like the Tui which conveyed pebbles into a calabash, water appeared, it drank, and was satisfied. We will not be like a hen; the eggs were a duck's, a hen hatched them. So we do not approve of the king cherishing us, rather let the Queen cherish us. We do not wish to cherish the plans of the King, as a hen broods over the eggs of ducks, geese, and turkeys. One only will we embrace, the Queen only. No more.
Friend, I have marked the names of the persons to whom that piece belonged *. As for Tipene, Otimi, Paranihi Tiwana, and Pene, their wives give them a claim to the land. The others belong to our Runanga.

Te Teira Manuka.