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Hauhauism: An Episode in the Maori Wars 1863-1866

INTRODUCTION. — An Historical Retrospect: The Maori Wars, — 1860–1864

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An Historical Retrospect: The Maori Wars,

Hauhauism was the result of several different factors, which became welded in 1863 in the form of a fanatical religion. These factors were primarily political and religious, and each was closely interwoven with the other. Religious fanaticism had political repercussions. The progress of Hauhauism corresponded largely with the progress of the Maori King Movement;1 and with the defeat of the Kingite tribes the religion became a diminishing and finally a negligible force.

The political factor is the predominant one in accounting for the spread of the new religion. Hauhauism became a powerful instrument in strengthening the weakening attachment of the natives to the national cause, and in uniting antagonistic tribes against the pakeha.2 The hostile tribes, embittered by losses in men and property,3 were in a mood to welcome a new battle cry. It was a struggle to preserve their national existence.4

The political conditions are best understood by a brief resume of the successive military cam-

1 Fox, W.: The War in New Zealand. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1865. Ch. IX, p. 140. “A Kingite and Hauhau appear to be synonymous.”

2 Meade, H.: A Ride Through the Disturbed Districts of New Zealand. London: John Murray. 1870. Ch. II, p. 32.

3 Lady Martin: Our Maoris. London: S.P.C.K. 1884. p. 170.

4 Sutherland, I. L. G.: The Maori Situation. Wellington, N.Z.: Harry H. Tombs, Ltd. 1935.

page 10 paigns
in the Taranaki and Waikato districts between 1860 and 1863. This enables the background to be visualised from which the new religion arose.

On March 22, 1860, Governor Gore Browne had sent a Despatch to the Duke of Newcastle, in which he stated that

“notwithstanding every endeavour on my part to avoid hostilities, a collision has taken place between Her Majesty's troops at Waitara and the natives.”

Thus the first Taranaki war commenced with the military occupation of this Waitara Block of land.

The Taranaki Maoris, supported by several of the Waikato tribes, strongly resented the sale of the land, and were led in their opposition by Wiremu Kingi.1 Wiremu Kingi was a chief of the Ngatiawa tribe in the Taranaki district. He claimed a paramountcy over the other chiefs of the district, and attempted by virtue of that claim to forbid the sale of this tract of land to the Government by the chief Teira.2 However, the view of the Government was that any such paramountcy had been lost when the Ngatiawas were defeated, and for the time expelled, by the

1 Wiremu Kingi was the Maori version for William King. Hursthouse, C.: New Zealand—The Britain of the South, with a chapter on the Native War, and our future Native policy. London: Edward Stanford. Ch. XIX, 2nd Ed. 1861.

2 Alexander, Sir J.: Incidents of the Maori War in 1860–61. London: Richard Bentley. 1863. Ch. III, p. 71.

page 11 Waikato many years before. Governor Gore Browne was therefore adamant, and insisted upon the Waitara block being surveyed.1 The natives obstructed this attempt, whereupon martial law was proclaimed, and war commenced. Kingite reinforcements arrived from the Upper Waikato.2

The first Taranaki war was concluded on March 19, 1861. It was terminated by an agreement between Hapurona and the Government, Wiremu Kingi having most solemnly appointed him as his plenipotentiary to settle the dispute, while he himself went to Kihikihi, Upper Waikato. After some days' discussions, Hapurona was persuaded to accept the conditions laid down by the Governor-in-Council. The Waikato tribes agreed to return to their homes.3 The terms agreed upon included the investigation of the title to the Waitara Block, the completion of the survey, the restoration of plunder taken from the settlers, and the submission of the Atiawa to the Queen's Authority.

The Governor wrote in February, 1861, that he had found the Ngapuhi

“less well affected than when he last visited them.”
His despatch was received on the 20th May. On the 25th the Duke of Newcastle recalled Colonel

1 Alexander, Sir J.: op. cit., Ch. III, p. 72.

2 Gorst, J. E.: The Maori King, or The Story of Our Quarrel with the Natives of New Zealand. London: Macmillan & Co. 1864. Ch. XV, p. 32.

3 Fox, W.: op. cit., Ch. III, p. 36.

page 12 Browne from his Office.1 With studied courtesy and acknowledgement of past services he hoped that the Governor would not feel it as a slight if the English Government at so critical a time of spreading disaffection, availed itself of the “remarkable authority attaching to the name and character” of Sir George Grey,2 and reappointed him in New Zealand.3

The Native Minister William Fox, on behalf of His Excellency, proposed to the natives that the Waitara question be referred to arbitration before a tribunal of two Europeans and four Maoris, three being appointed by the natives, and three by the Government.4 After protracted negotiations Hapurona wrote that

“he would not now agree to Waitara being investigated.”5

Despite the attitude adopted by the Maoris, Sir George Grey directed that the following notice should be issued on April 22nd, 1863:—

“His Excellency the Governor, directs it to be notified that from the facts now come to light, and not before known to him, he does not think that the purchase of the

1 Rusden, G.: History of New Zealand. London: Chapman & Hall. 1883. Vol. II, Ch. XL, p. 71.

2 Despatch from Secretary of State for Colonies, Duke of Newcastle, to Governor Gore Browne, N.Z. Govt. Gazette. July 29, 1861.

3 Proclamation. N.Z. Govt. Gazette. Oct. 3, 1861. p. 261.

4 Fox, W.: op. cit., Ch. IV, p. 48.

5 Papers of the Colonial Parliament. 1863. E. No. 13, p. 14.

page 13 block of land at the Waitara is either a desirable one, or such as the Government should make. That His Excellency therefore abandons the intention of making this purchase, and forfeits the deposit of $100, which the Government had paid on this land.”1

He told his Ministers that

“The country is in such a state that the Governor by no means feels confident that this act will quiet the minds of many of the native population. On the contrary, he thinks it may now be impossible to avoid some collision with them; but he believes it would at once win many over to the side of the Government; that it is a proper act; and that if a contest must come, that the closest scrutiny instituted into the conduct of the Government, either in England or in this colony, would result in an admission that every possible precaution had been taken to avoid such a contest, and to prevent the horrors of war falling on this colony…”2
On May 11, by Proclamation,3 the claim of the

1 Memorandum by His Excellency stating reasons for abandoning Waitara Purchase. App. H. of R. E. No. 2. Enclosure 8 in Despatch No. 1.

3 Proclamation. N.Z. Govt. Gazette. May 15, 1863. p. 179. The full proclamation is also given by Wells, B.: “The History of Taranaki.” N.Z.: Edmondson & Avery. 1878. Ch. XXIV, p. 236.

page 14 Government to the Waitara block was renounced, with the advice and consent of the Executive Council.

Unfortunately the Government largely nullified their wise and just policy in restoring the Waitara block, by keeping the Tataraimaka block of land. This latter portion of land had been abandoned in 1860, and the Maoris now claimed it by right of conquest. The Taranaki tribe had previously informed the Governor and General Cameron that Tataraimaka would not be given up unless the British first gave up Waitara. The armed occupation of Tataraimaka took place on April 4th; Waitara was not given up until May 11th;1 war had started on May 4th.2 Sir George Grey had erred in not making the restitution of the Waitara block contemporaneous with the resumption of sovereignty over Tataraimaka.3

With the renewal of war in the Taranaki, 1863, war also broke out in the Waikato, and continued throughout the years 1863 and 1864. The Waikato war was due to several factors. There was, first, the irritation caused over European encroachment. The struggle of the Maoris to preserve their lands was also a struggle to

1 Proclamation. N.Z. Govt. Gazette. May 15, 1863. p. 179.

2 Mould, Major-General: Sketch of Military Proceedings in New Zealand, from the Termination of the Waitara Campaign in March, 1861. Late Commanding Royal Engineer in the Colony. Auckland. 1863. p. 12.

3 Collier, J.: Sir George Grey, Governor, High Commissioner and Premier. N.Z.: Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd. 1909. Ch. XXI, p. 142.

page 15 preserve their national existence. They felt that the steady loss of territorial dominion was a threat to their national existence, and they had formed land leagues to resist the further sale of land.1 They wished to retain the soil they loved, and also, being a proud and spirited race, they desired to avoid national submergence or extinction. A second cause of friction was the treatment of natives received from the poorer class of whites.2 Thirdly, the prolonged reluctance of the authorities to grant some measure of self-government to the tribes alienated them.3 Finally, the sympathy with Taranaki and the Waitara campaign moulded the Waikato and their kinsmen into antagonists of the Colonial Government.4

The war in the Waikato dragged on until 1865; successive tribes gradually being forced to make their submission. The last to do this was Wiremu Tamihana, who signed a document acknowledging submission to the law of the Queen on May 27th, 1865.

1 Alexander, Sir J. E.: op. cit., Ch. III, p. 79. Also Despatch of Governor Gore Browne to the Duke of Newcastle. App. H. of R. 1863. E. No. 2.

2 Ward, Rev. R.: Life Among the Maoris of New Zealand, being a description of Missionary, Colonial, and Military Achievements. London: G. Lamb. 1872. Ch. XIII, p. 294.

3 Cowan, J.: The New Zealand Wars. (1862–1872). By Authority of the Hon. the Minister for Native Affairs. Wellington, N.Z.: Vol. I, Ch. XXVI, p. 226.

4 Featon, J.: The Waikato War, 1863–4. Auckland: J. Field. 1879. Ch. IV, p. 18.