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The Maori King Movement in New Zealand


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Hongi Hika, the renowned Warrior of the Ngapuhi tribe, was probably the first New Zealand Chief that entertained the idea of a Maori King. In 1820 Hongi visited England; “To see King George and bring back Missionaries, Carpenters, Blacksmiths, Europeans, and twenty soldiers,” was the declared intention of his visit. He was invited during his stay in England to Carlton Palace by George the Fourth. He saw the king's greatness, and heard of his power; he saw the Guards, the Tower, and Military Stores; he received a present of a suit of armour, and a supply of arms; he listened to stories of the sieges and battles of Napoleon; his ambition was excited, the spirit of war enkindled, and Hongi said, “There is but one King in England, there shall be only one King in New Zealand.” No sooner did he return to his own country than he employed the guns he had obtained in England and Sydney, in attempting the subjugation of distant tribes. He carried his new weapons of war to the Thames, to Waikato, and to Taranaki, and employed them with terrible advantage over his countrymen, who depended on Native weapons for their defence, no doubt with a view to carry out his expressed determination, to become King of New Zealand. But Hongi never realised the object of his ambition. After seven years of savage warfare he received a bullet wound in a conflict at Whangaroa that finished his career of blood.

The next attempt in this direction was made by Matini Te Whiwhi, of Otaki, in 1852. He is described by Rev. R. Taylor, in his work on New Zealand, as “the nephew of Rangihaeata, a very shrewd intelligent man, who speaks a little English, and lives in European style in a very good house.” This chief, either from patriotic or ambitious motives, initiated a Maori King movement in the South. His friend Tamihana Te Rauparaha had just returned from England, and it is said that Matini's ambition was fired by the accounts he heard of England's king. Gathering a few other chiefs around him who sympathised with the project, they formed page 4 a deputation, and went forth to visit Roturua, Maketu, and Waikato, ostensibly for the purpose of exhorting the chiefs of the interior of the Island to submit to the authority of the Governor, but really on a mission of King-making. Their principal motto was “Whakakotahitanga,” “Union.” They proposed a confederacy of all the tribes, and that one chief should be appointed as King or Governor. It was commonly thought that Matini aspired to the kingdom. They returned from Rotorua and Maketu, having met with no sympathy from the chiefs of those districts, who addressed a letter to the chiefs of Wanganui and Taranaki expressive of their desire to live in peace with all, in substance as follows:—“We salute you all. This is our word to you, New Zealand is the house, the Europeans are the rafters on one side, the Maories are the rafters on the other side, God is the ridgepole against which all lean, and the house is one.”

About the same time, and connected with the subject, arose the Taranaki Land League. In 1849, the Ngatiapa, whose territory lies between Whanganui and Otaki, sold to the Government a tract of land reaching from Wangaihu to Rangitake, and containing about 400,000 acres, for the sum of £2,500. This transaction caused no little excitement among the tribes along the Western Coast from New Plymouth to Wellington. Some wished to follow the example of Ngatiapa, but numbers loudly declaimed against the small amount received for the land, and contrasting it with the high prices which had been paid by natives for allotments near Wellington, opposed further sales. Hona, of Waitotara, and Karipa, of Taumaha, proposed to sell a fine block lying between Patea and Manawapou, but many who possessed no claim in the block raised an outery against the proposal. In May, 1849, the entire tribe met at Turangarere, on the occasion of the opening of a new Church. The subject of land sales was introduced at that meeting and warmly discussed. It was proposed that no person, or family should sell land within the boundary of the Ngatiruanui territory without the general consent of the tribe. This proposal was approved by many, but the meeting was not unanimous. Many asserted their right to do as they pleased with their own; and Hona nnd Karipa persisted in their determination to sell. The opposition was prompted by various motives: some opposed from patriotic feelings, declaring it to be their wish that the land they had received from their ancestors should be by them handed down to their children. Some of the thoughtful men spoke of the invariable results of colonization, and argued that a pakeha's town would bring immorality and disorganization among them; that page 5 their young women would be debauched and their young men be tempted to drunkenness. How much it is to be regretted that our European settlements, composed as they are of professedly christian people, should furnish savage tribes with such arguments as these!

Others were influenced by exaggerated ideas of the value of native land, derived from the increased value of lands improved by English labour and capital, and argued that to sell land was to enrich the pakeha and impoverish themselves. And numbers opposed the sale from barbaric pride,—dwelling alone on these large tracts of land, they felt they could maintain individually a degree of self-respect, importance, and independence, that would be lost when they came to mingle with the better informed and civilized European; that, in fact, if they parted with their land, they would soon be made to feel their inferiority, and must become the pakeha's slave. These opponents pushed their views, and sought to make it “Te Tikanga o te Iwi,” (the Law of the Tribe) that no individual or family should alienate land without the consent of the whole tribe. To make the law popular and binding, they determined on a more general meeting, and to invite all the tribes along the coast to join them in this measure. Tamati Reina, a zealous opponent of land sales, made a tour along the coast from New Plymouth to Wellington, soliciting the co-operation of the principal chiefs. The proposal was, that a League be formed that should be both defensive and offensive in its operations, not merely binding its members not to sell, but also prohibiting others from selling, and which should employ any amount of for cethey might be able to command, in carrying out their measures. Tamati met with a favourable reception at Waitara, at Otaki, and from some of the Wellington Chiefs. After the usual amount of agitation, a great meeting was summoned to be held at Manawapou, for which extensive preparations were made. A large house was built, said to be the largest ever erected in the country, measuring 120 feet in length, by 35 in breadth. Matini Te Whiwhi, who attended this meeting, named the building “Taiporohenui,” a word that is used as a symbol of union. The meeting was held in 1854, about 1000 persons attended, and the following measures were resolved upon:

  • 1st. That from this time forward no more land shall be alienated to Europeans without the general consent of this confederation.

  • 2nd. That in reference to the Ngatiruanui and Taranaki tribes, the boundaries of the pakeha shall be Kai Iwi on the South side, and a place within a short distance of New Plymouth on the North.

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  • 3rd. That no European Magistrate shall have jurisdiction within native boundaries, but all disputes shall be settled by the runanga.

To give solemnity to the proceedings, and confirm the bond into which they entered with each other, they buried a New Testament in the earth and raised a cairn of stones on the spot; and to re-assert and perpetuate their determination, parties have been appointed to beat the boundaries at certain periods.

This was the origin of the notorious Taranaki land league, which evidently contains the elements of the present King movement, and which has proved so fruitful a source of dissension among the tribes of that district, caused so much bloodshed, and brought about the present collision between W. King and His Excellency the Governor.

Its fruits soon appeared. But a few months after its formation, land was offered for sale to the Government by a tribe not connected with the league, and Rawiri Waiaua, a Native Assessor, went with his people to cut the boundary. Katatore, one of the most active chiefs in the league, with sixty armed men, met them on the land and fired at Rawiri's party, killing seven and wounding ten, Rawiri being among the dead. Thus commenced the Native War at Taranaki, which has continued from that day to this, and has at length involved the Governor in a conflict with the obstructive party that threatens to be more serious in its results than any of the collisions of former years.

There is reason to hope that Matini has seen the folly of such proceedings, as he appears to have been one of the speakers who attended the meeting of chiefs at Wellington in April last—a meeting convened by his Honor the Superintendent of that Province for the purpose of hearing the views of the native chiefs in reference to the Taranaki War, and at which Matini joined others in expressions of good will to the Europeans and of desire to live in peace and unity.

The present King Movement has been initiated in the Waikato district. William Thompson Tarapipipi, principal chief of Ngatihaua, is universally regarded as its author and chief promoter. Thompson is a man of high rank in Maori society, the son of Te Waharoa, a renowned warrior of the last generation. He has been connected with the Church Mission since his boyhood, remarkable for his intelligence, his desire for self-improvement, and his love of peace. During the wars in which Te Waharoa, his father, was engaged, and to which he often urged the son to follow him, William generally remained at home, preferring the exercises of the page 7 Mission School to the excitements of the battle field. He has well stored his mind with Scripture truth, made his observations on men and things as he has passed through the world, obtained a slight acquaintance with the English tongue so as to be able to use an English Bible, and is a very intelligent man. He is not what would be called a handsome man, but his dignified carriage marks him as one of nature's nobles. His principal residence is Matamata, on the Thames.

Thompson evidently regards himself as the author of this movement, for he said at the late meeting at Ngaruawahia, “Naku tatou i he ai”; (I have been the cause of our troubles). And his friends universally point to him as the “take,” the originator of the Maori Kingdom. They say that it originated thus; Thompson, in conversation with a friend, expressed his great admiration of some of our usages and especially of the manner in which justice is administered in our courts. His friend replied “E tomo koc i raro i aku huha.” (Your path is through underneath my thighs). He enquired the meaning of this strong figure, and received for reply “me rapu koe?” (Search it out). He thought, he pondered, and at length arrived at the conclusion that it must point to oppression and slavery. “That path,” he reasoned, “is the path of dogs only, then, are we to be treated like dogs? Does the pakeha intend to put us beneath his feet? But he shall not be permitted.” And he resolved on devising some means to preserve himself and countrymen from the degradation thus figuratively indicated. The statement is given as it is commonly related in Maori circles.

Whether the idea of setting up a King was suggested to his mind by the movements already alluded to, or whether it originated with himself, does not appear. But this idea was adopted and he began at once to work it out.

Te Heuheu, Iwikau, of Taupo, was one of the first of the Chiefs who joined Thompson in this King Movement. He is the successor of the far-famed Heuheu, principal chief and native priest of the Taupo District, who was buried beneath an avalanche of mud that fell on him and about thirty of his people a few years ago, and whose name he adopted. The present Heuheu is a very sanguine and excitable man, entering into any subject to which he has committed himself with all his heart. Having taken up this new thing in Maoridom, he soon became one of its most zealous and persevering advocates, and remains so to this day.

In December 1856, the first public meeting held to deliberate on the subject and to prepare some plan, was held at Taupo, at which several influential chiefs from various districts were present. Many page 8 proposals were made to adopt extreme measures,—the most violent party advocated a clear sweep of all the pakehas, Governor, Missionaries, pakeha maories, (settlers)—all. At one of the evening meetings which was held in a large house lighted up for the occasion, one of the advocates for a general dealing out was very eloquently pressing his views upon his audience, when Tarahawaiki of Ngaruawahia walked quietly round and one after the other put out the lights, till the place was in total darkness and the speaker in possession of the house was brought to a full stop. “Don't you think you had better light up the candles again?” he said. “Most certainly,” replied Tarahawaiki, “it was very foolish to extinguish them!” The meeting at once apprehended the meaning of this symbolical act, and the orator sat down amid roars of laughter enjoyed at his expense. Tarahawaiki is now a leading man in Potatau's councils at Ngaruawahia, and exhibits a spirit of moderation and friendliness towards Europeans which induces the hope that he still considers it would be foolish to extinguish all the lights.

Whether Te Heuheu ever dreamt of being monarch of the New Kingdom is not seated, but at any rate it was decided that “Tongariro, (the burning Mountain of Taupo) should be the centre of a district in which no land was to be sold to the Government, and that Hauraki, Waikato, Kawhia, Mokau, Taranaki, Wanganui, Rangitikei, and Titi Okura, the circumference; that no prayers should be offered for the Queen, no roads be made within this district, and that a King should be elected to rule over the New Zealanders, as the Queen and Governor do over the settlers.”

The next meeting was held at Paetai, on the banks of the Waikato in May 1857, and, by adjournment, at Ihumatao, Manukau, in the same month. At Paetai there were upwards of two thousand natives present. The meeting was divided into two parties, one headed by Thompson and Te Heuheu comprising their respective tribes, with a few others that sympathised with their views; the other party was headed by William Naylor, and included the tribes of lower Waikato—at that time all opposed to the movement. The flag given by William IV. to the united tribes at the Bay of Islands, was hoisted by one party with the inscription, “Potatau, King of New Zealand,” and the Union Jack by the other.

William Naylor, Te Awaitaia, who led the opposition, is the principal chief of Ngatimahanga, the tribe that resides at Waingaroa on the West Coast. He has been one of the greatest warriors of his day. A man of keen intellect, great sagacity, and indomitable courage. Wise in counsel, eloquent in debate, and famous in battle, bit name is held in great respect among the Waikato tribes, page 9 and his influence is widely extended. He became connected with the Wesleyan Mission upwards of twenty years ago, and still maintains his Christian profession. He signed the Treaty of Waitangi, and has never meddled with those given to change, but has opposed the King Movement from the beginning. When the present war broke out and the Waingaroa settlers feared invasion, he engaged to protect them against all invaders, and is at this moment one of the Governor's firmest friends.

The Paetai Meeting being assembled,—the usual amount of Maori eloquence was displayed on the occasion, both pro and con. The advocates of the movement enumerated their real or supposed grievances, pointed out the dangers they thought they saw looming in the distance, and presented them in Maori type and figure to the assembled tribes. The opponents of the movement met them, and in their turn described the scheme as pregnant with trouble. Thompson and some of his friends took a moderate view of the subject. They expressed no disaffection towards the Government, but urged the necessity of maintaining peace, order, and good government in the country, which they argued the Governor was unable to do. “I want order and laws,” Thompson said. “A King could give these better than the Governor. The Governor never does anything except when a pakeha is killed. We are allowed to fight and kill each other as we please, a King would end these evils.”

Paora said, “God is good: Israel were his people, they had a king. I see no reason why any nation should not have a king if it likes. The Gospel does not say we are not to have a king. It says, ‘Honor the King, love the brotherhood.’ Why should the Queen be angry? We shall be in alliance with her, and friendship will be preserved. The Governor does not stop murders and fights among us. A King will be able to do that. Let us have order. So that we may grow as the pakeha grows. Why should we disappear from the country? New Zealand is ours, I love it.”

Te Heuheu was more violent, and expressed himself as decidedly opposed to British rule. He spoke of insults to which the Maories were constantly subjected from white men. Referred to the prostitution of their women, the spread of drunkenness among the men, of indignities frequently offered to chiefs, and declared his determination to throw off the yoke, and to seek the ultimate expulsion of the pakehas from the country. William Naylor, Te Awaitaia opposed their views. “I am a small man, he said, and a fool. I am ignorant of those scriptures you quote. Ngatihaua don't be dark. Waikato hear; Taupo attend. I speak as a father, page 10 and my word is this. I promised the first Governor when he came to see me, and I promised all the rest that I would stick to him and be a subject of the Queen. I intend to keep my promise, for they have kept theirs. They have taken no land. The desire to sell was mine, and they gave me money. Why do you bring that flag here? There is trouble in it. I cant see my way clear. But I know that there is trouble in that flag. I am content with the old one. It is seen all over the world, and belongs to me. I get some of its honour. What honour can I get from your flag? It is like a fountain without water. Don't trouble me. You say we are slaves. If acknowledging that flag (pointing to the Queen's) makes me a slave, I am a slave. Let me alone. Don't bring trouble upon us. Go back to the mountains. Let us live in peace; I and the Governor will take our own course.”

The address of this loyal and influential Chief produced a powerful effect on the assembly. He carried with him the feelings of his friends, deepened their impressions against the scheme, and so completely took the wind out of the sails of its advocates that half an hour elapsed before they attempted to make sail again. When Thompson arose after this long silence, he said, “I am sorry my father has spoken so strongly. He has taken away my life.”

At Ihumatao, William Naylor referred to the great changes that had taken place in the country, contrasted their present with their former condition, and ascribed the improved state of the people to the teaching of Christian Missionaries. He congratulated the people on the protection they enjoyed and the advantages they possessed under the Queen's Government, and spoke of the kind consideration they had always received from Her Majesty's representatives. This was too much for the mercurial temperament of Te Heuheu, who suddenly sprang into the arena, and skipping to and fro like a merry-andrew, good temper excepted, abruptly interrupted Naylor, and denied the truth of his statements. He evidently considered that William was aiming a quiet blow at the king movement; and said, “It is true the Gospel has done much for us; but the Gospel has not done all we want. The Queen has done something. And the Governor too has done something. But there is great deal yet to be done. We must have a king to do it.”

The result of these meetings was a determination on the part of Thompson, Te Heuheu, and their supporters to have a king, and Te Whero Whero, or Potatau, as he is now called, was fixed upon as the sovereign elect. Perhaps no man could have been found who is so generally popular as this old and renowned warrior. page 11 His rank by birth gave him a prestige beyond that of many. His connexion by blood with several important tribes secured him extensive influence. His conquests in different parts of the sland had rendered him famous in Maori history. His wisdom in council, his eloquence in debate, and his known sagacity, recommended him as a man most likely to attract the largest number of tribes to the standard about to be erected. It may be questioned whether any other chief in these Islands could have drawn around him, or brought to one common centre, so many distant and independent tribes. The promoters of this scheme no doubt knew this when they proposed Potatau as their king. They did not select him for his vigour and energy, mental or physical, or for his ability to give them new laws, and to administer the affairs of the proposed Maori Kingdom. His ideas and habits are all fixed and stereotyped in Maori. His day for improvement and progress is gone by. He is verging on the dotage of a second childhood, comparatively inert both in body and mind. It was the prestige of a name they wanted to give popularity to the project. Their success defended on numbers, and To Whero Whero was a name universally known and respected, a name likely to induce numbers to join the league.

When the leaders of the movement were referred to his age, and to his ignorance of the laws and usages of civilized society, and his consequent incapacity for such a position, they shrewdly replied, “He make laws! we do not intend him to make the laws or to do the work, we shall legislate and carry on the government, he is only a head for us.”

This idea has been obviously carried out in the practical working of the scheme. Potatau lies on his mat, wrapped in a dirty blanket, in an old Maori whare, smoking his pipe or sleeping, while his ministers make laws and send them abroad without ever consulting their King, thought they use his name to give authority to their acts. He may often be seen lying asleep while his council of chiefs is deliberating on matters of state, himself perfectly unconscious and regardless of what is transpiring in his presence. He will occasionally ficely confess that the work is not his but that of the chiefs around him. “This work is yours, not mine, I am getting old,” he said in his address on the crection of the flag-staff at the late meeting, “What can I do, who am but a bundle of bones?” he will sometimes enquire. In fact it is evident that those around him endeavour to keep him in ignorance of many of their plans. They also do their best to prevent intercourse between him and his page 12 European visitors, and take care not to allow him to be alone with strangers. They are evidently jealous lest European influence should be brought to bear upon him. And hence not only are some of his chiefs present at all his interviews with strangers, but they generally reply for him. He says but little, and his replies are generally so diplomatic that they impart but a small amount of information. These are so many proofs that it was only the name that the originators and promoters of the scheme wanted—not so much the man or his mental power and capabilities for government. The council indeed resolved at the close of the late meeting, “that no chiefs whether native or European shall be allowed to hold private conversation or discussions with Potatau, especially on Maori politics.”

Thus far was the scheme brought in 1857,—the Ngatihaua, Ngatimaniapoto, and Te Heuheu, being its principal supporters. The tribes of the lower Waikato and the Ngatimahanga, Wm. Naylor's tribe, opposing it. Waata Kukutai said at one of the meetings in 1851, “I shall remain a subject of the Queen and look up to this flag (the Union Jack) as my flag for ever, and ever, and ever. If it is dishonoured I shall be dishonoured too. If it is honoured so shall I be. I accept fully the arrangement made between the Governor and Potatau,—Laws, a Magistrate, and the Assembly. I don't want to talk, for my mind is made up. I shall go to work on the basis of that agreement; you may go on talking and when you have done we will let you join us, for if you follow your road you will be benighted, get into a swamp and either stick there or come out covered with mud.” The projectors however were not discouraged, they had taken their ground and were not to be easily beaten from it. They arranged for another meeting to be held in 1858 and returned home to work out their plans. They laboured most assiduously, travelling, agitating, diffusing information, and gradually winning over to their views the young chiefs of various tribes who were just rising into life. Amongst this class of Maori society the movement found many prepared to sympathise with its objects and to enter into its plans, heart and soul. The young men obviously look with great jealousy and dissatisfaction on the changes that are taking place in Maori society. They see the old chiefs passing away, and with them the status, power, and influence, or what they call the mana of chieftainship. They must see that there is no probability that they shall succeed their fathers in their mana, or occupy the position of power and influence in their tribes that was occupied by their ancestors. They wish to retain it if they can, and do not intend it to pass away without a struggle; they therefore readily page 13 entered into the new movement, and have become the chief promoters and most zealous and earnest advocates of a scheme which now numbers among its supporters the intelligent, active, energetic young men of many tribes.

The next meeting was held at Ngaruawahia, on the 2nd June 1858. Invitations had been sent to all the tribes of this Island, but none of the distant tribes sent representatives save the people of Ahuriri who were represented by the chief Te Moanni. So that the meeting comprised the Manukau, the Lower Waikato, the Matamata (Ngatihaua), the Upper Waipa, Kawhia, and Rangiaohia, (Ngatimaniapoto) tribes.

The object of the meeting was to decide the question of Potatau's installation as King of New Zealand. The King party wished him to be installed by all the tribes then present, and acknowledged as their King. The other party was decidedly opposed to this course, declaring they were willing to give Potatau the “Mana Maori,” but not the dignity or power of King. Ihaka, of Pukaki, remarking that he held his own land independently of any one, and would give it up to nobody.

The parties were nearly balanced, each numbering about 1000 men. They met at nine a.m., the flag was hoisted, and a party comprising Ngatihaua, Ngatimaniapoto, and part of Ngatimahuta proceeded to Potatau's tent. William Thompson entered to ask Potatau if he would become their King. When he returned these tribes were asked by Paul Te Ahuru “Will you have this man for a King?” The reply was “Ac.” He asked again “Will you give all the power (mana) and all the land to the King?” They replied “Ae,” again.

The Manukau and Lower Waikato tribes headed by Ihaka and Katipa then faced the other party, and Katipa addressing Potatau said, “Will you be a father to us?” He answered in an andible voice “Ae,” when a salute of blank cartridge and three hearty cheers followed.

William Thompson then addressed the assembly, and said: “Listen to our words, as the south, east, and west winds are too weak to carry out the law of God and man amongst us, as evils are still existing amongst us, as God says, ‘Come to me ye that are heavy laden and I will lighten your burden,’ we have united this day to give the power into the hands of one man, so as to give force to the laws of God and man amongst us. The birds of heaven are uniting and warbling their thoughts, the fishes in the sea are doing the like, the rivers and rivulets are running into one body, and so we are uniting to give hands and feet to this man, that he may page 14 assist the opprressed and wrench the sword out of the hands of those that are dark.”

A heavy shower of rain falling, the meeting broke up for the day.

Next day they reassembled, and W. Thompson resumed: “I asked Potatau yesterday which he preferred, ‘Mana Maori’ (native power) or to be king; he declared the latter, therefore, this our King; his parliament and magistrates will terminate all disputes about land, he will carry out the laws of God and man. Let us live in peace with every body.”

He then handed over a document to be given to Potatau, of which the following is a translation:—

June 3, 1858.

“The laws for the king are these. The power he is to exercise over men and land is the power of protecting them against quarrels, wars, and murders,—a power to extend to all the chiefs and councils of all the tribes.”

Second. “Every man is to live upon his own land, and the king is to defend him against all aggressions against his land or person.”

Several speeches followed, principally in reference to an adjourned meeting to be held at Rangiaohia. The King's party urged the others to accompany them, but they firmly refused, and Hohepa Otene, of Ihumatao, closed the proceedings by addressing his friends thus: “You all heard Katipa ask Potatau to be a Father to us, and heard him consent to it We must abide by this.” The Waikatos repeated “Yes,” three times. Hohepa added, “Let them have a king. Let us have a matua (father). Never forget it.”

Thus ended the Meeting at Ngaruawahia, which was regarded at the time as a great triumph obtained by the conservatives. The great body of the Waikatos returned home, and the Kingites proceeded to Rangiaohia to complete the installation of their sovereign,—one party accepting Potatau as a Patriarch for the tribes, with what views and for what purpose did not transpire; the other vowing allegiance to him as a King, who is to protect their lands and their interests against all aggressors—not to give them laws, for they gave laws to him.

The new-made Maori Monarch and his friends reached Rangiaohia on Thursday, 17th June, and entered the settlement with as much state as they could command. He rode on horseback, accompanied by his son, preceded by his flag, and followed by the chiefs and others who had attended him from Ngaruawahia. They were met at the entrance to the settlement by a procession of the inhabitants. A leading chief presented an address of welcome, and 150 young men saluted him with a volley of musketry, then fell into lines, and formed a guard of honour through which the procession passed to the place of rendezvous. At a given signal to “Honor the King” all uncovered and made obeisance; a Native Teacher then read a portion of Scripture, sang a Hymn, and engaged in prayer, after which Te Heuheu chanted a song of welcome. page 15 Another salute was fired, and another “whakahoneretanga” (obeisance) presented, so the ceremony ended.

The speeches that were made at this meeting contained no declarations of policy by which future movements could be ascertained. Katipa accompanied the party to Rangiaohia and spoke on the occasion. He insisted that there should be no divisions, but that Queen, King, Bishop, Ministers, and Laws should be held in one hand, and the bond of union be love. Potatau said, “Let the other chiefs be Kings, as for me, I am only a cook for the Pakehas: and the work for my children is to wash the plates of the Pakcha.” The burden of the King party was, a clear division of territory between the Queen and the Maori King. “The Queen on her piece, the King on his piece, God on both and ever binding them to each other.”

The subject of opening roads through Maori territory for the Queen's Mails was keenly contested; the party with Te Heuheu at its head saying No, another and much larger party saying Aye, so that at that meeting the Ayes had it. A Rangiaohia chief during the discussion declared that if anything were done hostile to the Queen, he would hew down the King's flag.

The objection to opening Mail roads through their territory arose from the foolish idea that is entertained by the Maories that opening roads will certainly lead to the alienation of their lands; and as their main object clearly was the formation of a land league to prevent all further sales, the roads were opposed on this ground.

Thus ended the formal recognition of Potatau as Maori King, by the originators and supporters of the movement, and he returned to Ngaruawahia, the place selected as the centre of the new Kingdom and the residence of its Monarch.

Ngaruawahia is most favorably situated for the purpose. It lies at the confluence of the Waikato and Waipa rivers, central and of easy access from all quarters, either by land or water and may be reached by horse from Auckland in two days. It has been surveyed by a Maori surveyor and a large Town laid out in one acre allotments, with good streets at right angles, the streets being named after Maori tupunas (ancestors) and living chiefs. The map of the town is in the custody of the Secretary of State. Two years have elapsed since Potatau took up his abode there, but the city is still unbuilt.