Nation Making, a story of New Zealand
Some time after the incidents narrated in the previous chapter, Mr. Buckland started across the Ranges with about 200 head of cattle. Just before he emerged from the forest, a mob of fifty broke and returned to the east side of the range. Shortly after the 150 cattle remaining were seized by Hakaria, a noted rebel, a few miles from my station, fifty of which were killed on the spot, and the remainder driven across the island to the King at Tokangamutu. The Ngatihaua tribe were asked by Mr. Buckland to recover the fifty head, which they consented to do, and page 93to hold them until the King's pleasure should be known. The cattle having been seized, Mr. Buckland returned to town.
It was then suggested that policemen should be sent to arrest Hakaria and some others who were concerned in the seizure.
I was requested to meet the Premier of the Colony on the matter. I pointed out to him that the best policy was to wait—that probably the outrage had been instigated by a few violent men, and that, if they were let alone, the good sense and good feeling of the majority might be expected to prevail. Moreover, I pointed out to him, that so far as I was concerned, I declined all Government interference or help of any kind; that I was fully prepared to stand the consequence; and, rather than my enterprise at Matamata should become, in the present critical state of affairs, a cause of war, that I would cheerfully sacrifice every shilling I had invested there. The Premier entirely concurred in my view, and as far as the Government were concerned the matter ended.
No effort of any kind was made to obtain possession of the cattle, nor were any more attempts to break the Aukati made by Mr. Buckland or myself, further than that I wrote two letters—one to Tana te Waharoa, (Wi Tamehana's successor) and one of similar purport to Tamati Ngapora (the Maori King's Prime Minister). As these letters throw some light on the subsequent proceedings, I subjoin a copy of the letter to the Chief Tanna, son of my old friend Wi Tamehana. page 94'Auckland, March 18—.