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New Zealand Revisited

Chapter XV — Rewi Maniapoto

page 254

Chapter XV
Rewi Maniapoto

The first number of the Pihoihoi Mokemoke was published at Te Awamutu on February 2, 1863, and was scattered broadcast over the whole of Waikato. The manuscript of the first issue was revised by Sir George Grey himself, and published under his express authority; it contained an article which created an immense sensation in Waikato, and gave to Rewi the opportunity of suppressing the "spades" which were digging, by physical force. The article was headed, "The Evil of the King Movement." It first recited a letter from Matutaera to the Governor of December 8, 1862, which had been printed in the Hokioi. The letter asked the Governor "What evil had been done by him, and on what account he was blamed," and the Pihoihoi undertook to give to these questions a plain answer. The article set forth the great dignity and the great privileges which were accorded to a king, and asked what were the duties due from a king in return. It answered this question by a quotation from Jeremiah:—

"To the Kings of Judah, sitting upon the throne of David, thus saith the Lord. Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor; and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless nor the widow, neither shed innocent page 255blood in this place." "My friends," said the Pihoihoi, "are these things done by Matutaera? Does he execute judgment and righteousness, does he deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor? We have all heard of horses, of cows, and of property robbed from the Pakehas who live in Waikato. Has judgment been executed by Matutaera, has he blamed the wicked doers? No; the property wrongfully robbed is still in their hands, and Matutaera and his laws are responsible. Once upon a time there was a king in a foreign country; stealing and murder and all crimes were put down by him. It is said that at the end of his life golden bracelets were hanged upon the trees by the roadside, and remained there till his death, for no man dare steal them, for fear of this just and powerful king. He, my friends, was a king who executed judgment and righteousness. Can Matutaera do this? Let him hang up some golden bracelets at any place within the bounds of his kingdom, and let us see how long it will be before they are taken away? Let me tell you a story about another king. A man with his little daughter was journeying along the road, the child some distance in front, and the man behind. A wicked man on horseback threw her on the ground, and attempted to ravish her. The child screamed for help, and on the arrival of the father the criminal ran away. But he was known and apprehended by the girl's relations, who wished page 256to have him judged according to law; but his tribe declared he was an adherent of this king, and rescued him in the name of this king, so that he should not be punished for his crime. Was that a good king? Did he exercise judgment and righteousness? The criminal was rescued in his name. My friends, the country where this crime took place was Wanganui, and you have consecrated this name of king, under cover of which such criminals escape from justice. Now, my friends, listen to what I say. Has Matutaera the power to put a stop to these evil deeds, which are done at Wanganui and are done within Waikato? If he has, it is wicked of him not to exercise his power, and put a stop to these wrongs. If he has not, he deserves the strongest censure for pretending to be a king."

This article, which was expressed in the most forcible and idiomatic Maori, by the help of Miss Ashwell, produced an enormous and unlooked-for sensation. It was read in every Runanga house in Waikato, and was the subject of painful discussion at the King's Council at Ngaruawahia. The tribes less intimately related to Matutaera were greatly amused and enjoyed the hit at the King's Council, but the chiefs of Ngaruawahia were very angry. They said the "Sparrow" was written in a bad mocking style, nothing like the calm and reasoning tone of the Hokioi. Some said, Why is this press allowed among us? Others, Why is not the press broken, and the Government page break
From an oil painting of Mrs. GraceRewi Maniapoto

From an oil painting of Mrs. Grace
Rewi Maniapoto

page 257officer driven away? These words of the chiefs who had hitherto restrained the rest from violence were told to Rewi. He promptly seized the opportunity. He wrote letters to Ngaruawahia to say he intended to expel the press and Commissioner from Te Awamutu. The answer was an old Maori war song, sent by Wi Karamoa.

Oh, Kahakura, at the sea!
Oh, Ruamano, at the sea!
Hearken! our treasures are being borne away,
By Whiro, Whatino and Wharona,
By thieves wind swift,
By thieves headlong,
Cast them down! dash them down!
Fling them upon the trees!
Let them be a prey to be cast down!
A prey to be dashed down,
A prey to become the spoil of the far-famed.
Arise! Gird on!
Cast down! dash down!
Let there be a shock,
A shock of army meeting army;
Let there be a prey to overturn them, To lash them,
Oh, Tangaroa! whet thy teeth, Sharpen thy teeth,
If thou liftest thyself on high, Tangaroa
Shall gather together all his, against thee.

Rewi took the hint, and began to organize in secret an effective attack on Te Awamutu, with the object of suppressing the Pihoihoi and expelling the Commissioner. It was not the first time in my life that a paper of which I was editor was suppressed by force majeure. When I was a boy a paper called The Scholar, of which I page 258was editor, was suppressed by the authorities of the Preston Grammar School. Obnoxious articles, also written in a mocking spirit, were the pretext, and they proceeded from the pen of my father. But neither as editor nor as son could I take shelter under his name, and the paper was condemned and stopped. Nobody has ever employed me to edit a paper since these two failures.

Many vague warnings came to me, even from Rewi himself, that something decisive was about to happen. Te Oriori came and took up his quarters at Rangiaowhia and assured me he was there for our protection, as there would be trouble and darkness not only at Tataraimaka, but in Waikato as well. I was shown a letter from Tamihana to Rewi, urging the latter on no account to use any violence at Te Awamutu. The writer said that what had already taken place at Te Kohekohe, would cause trouble enough, and any further disturbance would be added by the Governor to this former one, and the two together would be made a cause of war. Rumours of this kind had been so common, and so often came to nothing, that these warnings were unheeded; my wife and two children came up to Te Awamutu and settled themselves in the half-furnished house.

The first outbreak against Sir George Grey's new plans took place at Te Kohekohe, as mentioned in Tamihana's letter to Rewi, and had occurred on March 8. The sawing of timber for the police barrack had been completed, and the page 259timber was lying at a place on the Waikato river, a little above Te Kohekohe, ready for delivery. Ihaka and Mohe and others proceeded on 7th March to Te Kohekohe, and made a strong representation there that the project of building a police barrack should be abandoned; in the opinion of the Maories it meant, "death to the nation."They therefore proposed that the timber should not be allowed to be landed at Te Kohekohe, but should be floated down to Te Ia and placed on Queen's land. These representations were supported by Aihipene, who was a salaried magistrate of Lower Waikato, and professedly an adherent of the Queen. On the morning after this discussion, a body of Maories arrived at the place where the timber was stacked, and proceeded to throw it into the water. When Wiremu Te Wheoro was told of their action, he and his people went up to the place, and objected to the timber being thrown into the water, and there was a bloodless contest between the two parties, the strangers persisting in throwing the timber into the river, and the women of Te Wheoro's tribe trying to pull it out. The invaders at last prevailed, and the whole of the timber for the police barracks was floated past the intended site of the police barracks at Te Kohekohe by the current of the Waikato, and safely landed on Queen's territory at Te la. Except for the friendly struggle between the men and the women, no violence was used, and the invaders, after page 260accomplishing their purpose, peacefully retired. Sir George Grey was absent at Taranaki and before any instruction could be received from him, a more serious disturbance broke out at Te Awamutu.

On March 25 I rode over to the mission station at Kopua to make inquiry about some bullocks which were being purchased for the Government station. A rumour had reached us that an "army" would visit Te Awamutu that day, but I paid no attention to it. On my return to Te Awamutu, after dark, I found the place in the hands of the enemy. A body of eighty Ngatimaniapoto natives were encamped round large watch-fires in the road, and in the adjoining field opposite the church, where the printing office stood. I rode through them without interruption, and found the house surrounded by a cordon of sentries, who let me pass without question. I learned that the party was commanded by Aporo, the Maori who had been the spokesman at Hangatiki the year before. Rewi and Wi Kingi had accompanied Aporo and his eighty armed men as far as Porokoru's house, which was about 300 yards from Te Awamutu, and sat there while the mischief was done. Aporo had led his men to the front of the printing office, there halted them and had prayers. Mr. Von Dadelszen and a Maori youth were engaged inside printing the fifth number of the Pihoihoi. They came outside on seeing the arrival of the "army," page 261and locked the door behind them. After prayers, without asking for the key, the Maories proceeded to break open the door. Pineaha, one of the Maories employed on the station, stood up before them and said—"It is enough. You have met now, go outside again, and let us talk to-morrow. Mr. Gorst is not here." Aporo said—"I shall not delay, Mr. Gorst heard of my intention, he refused to believe, so now break open the office." They then cried out, "Seize him, seize him," and laid hold of Pineaha, and dragged him to one side. The office was then broken open, and they began to remove the contents. They packed the type in cases, and dragged out the press, in the course of which performance one of its legs was snapped off. Then Patene intervened; since his own failure, he had always declared he would resist any future attempt to drive away Sir George Grey's officer; he arrived, dressed for the occasion in black trousers, a light summer coat and waist-coat, and a new black silk hat. He ran into the office, which was crammed with Maories, and ejected half-a-dozen of them. Pineaha then broke loose from the men who held him, and rushed in to help Patene, but was overpowered by numbers, and dragged from the office. After much uproar and confusion, Patene also was got rid of, though he was too great a chief to be roughly handled. The printing press was then brought out, and loaded upon bullock drays, with all the type, reams of paper, printed copies of the fifth number page 262of the Pihoihoi, and other contents of the office. They were taken to Rewi's place at Kihikihi. They carried off besides some clothes, blankets and other private property, which were returned as soon as the mistake was discovered. Mr. Von Dadelszen had taken off his collar and tie while printing, and left a gold pin sticking in one of the cases of type. Though the case was taken, and natives going in and out all the afternoon, the pin was found, hours afterwards, carefully stuck in the wooden wall. They even sent into the house to ask leave to have a pot and kettle in which to cook their food, instead of helping themselves as a civilized army would have done, to such utensils as they required.

After the press had gone, the war party, with the women and children by whom they were accompanied, sat down in the road and field to await my return from Kopua and to remove me, as they had done the press. Their guns were loaded, and the mission house surrounded by sentinels posted at short intervals. Aporo at the time gave as his reason that being responsible for our lives and property, he was determined to keep all other natives off the premises while he remained in occupation.

As soon as the news of Aporo's attack reached Rangiaowhia, and before my return from Kopua, Te Oriori and Taati, with a number of other natives, had galloped down and vehemently protested against what had been done. They said page 263the words of Potatau and the present King were, "Be kind to the Pakeha." The Ngatimaniapoto replied they acknowledged no king but their ancestor Maniapoto and would trample the words of Matutaera and his father under their feet. Taati called for pen and paper, took down the words, and sent them off to Ngaruawahia. The discussion lasted till evening, when the Rangiaowhia men returned home, leaving the Ngatimaniapoto in possession, but threatening them with the vengeance of Waikato, if they took any further steps before morning.

After my return no hostile action took place, except that they sent in a message to say that if I refused to go away in the morning I should be shot; they then fetched firewood to keep up their watch-fires, instead of burning the fences, and they shifted the line of sentries to meet the domestic convenience of the household. All the youths in the school behaved splendidly; they said they would stand by me in any extremity, and do whatever I told them. We had no arms, and resistance was impossible.

Early in the morning a herald arrived from Rangiaowhia to say that all the chiefs and people were on their way to judge the Ngatimaniapotos. He said the words of Honi Papita, the principal chief, were "we have been treated like slaves." The herald, after making a violent speech, and singing a war-like song, came into the garden, followed by Aporo, who ordered him out again.

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He refused to go and said, "Is this your place, oh Aporo! No, it is ours, it is for us to spoil our own place; you have treated us like slaves." Patene, who was present, supported the Rangiaowhia men against his own tribe. Aporo said sneeringly that Patene was paid by Government for his advocacy. The calumny put Patene in such a passion that he tried to knock Aporo down. The intervention of my little son, who was running about, clasping the angry men by the legs, and of Mr. Mainwaring, who proffered a fig of tobacco for them to cut up and fill their pipes and have a smoke, averted the conflict, and the herald agreed to leave Aporo's men in possession until the trial had taken place.

Crowds of Maories now began to arrive from the neighbourhood, Honi Papita, Te Oriori, and Taati on one side, and Rewi, accompanied by Wi Kingi, who now openly assumed the leader-ship of the attacking party. They all sat down in the public road, and in the churchyard adjoining, and every one was excluded from the premises of Te Awamutu, by cords of flax and Aporo's sentries, by which the place was completely surrounded. A long and animated discussion, at which I was not present, took place outside. I was told that the Waikato chiefs expressed the strongest indignation at Rewi's unwarranted violence in crossing his boundary line, and doing lawless deeds on the lands of other tribes. Rewi's reply was that he was only carrying out page 265measures for the common good. They had all long wished to get rid of the Governor's officer, who had been sent among them to do the work of Satan, to tempt and to deceive; he had waited long while Tamihana and Taati had tried their effete and ineffective measures; he was now tired of talking and waiting, he was determined to act, and now he should go on with his violence until the Governor's officer was removed. It was then suggested by somebody that they should ascertain what effect the seizure of the printing press and Rewi's threats had produced on the officer in question. A chair was accordingly placed in the middle of the road, and an invitation sent to me to come and sit upon it. I complied. Aporo then came in front of me, and with much gesticulation and brandishing of his spear said, "Get up and go." I said, "I am here on my own piece and I shall not go." He repeated the order several times, receiving the same reply. He then said, "If you will not go, I shall use force and drive you away." I said that Aporo had committed a great wrong by invading a piece of Queen's land, and robbing me of my printing press, and I had a proclamation of the Runanga of Ngaruawahia read to the meeting, which had recently been issued, to forbid the molesting of Pakehas, at which they all laughed. I said Aporo was disobeying his King's commands. He said that he would disobey his master by driving me away unless I disobeyed the orders of my master page 266by going at once. I replied that nothing but orders from Sir George Grey would induce me to leave my post. I then got up and left the meeting.

Rewi, after I had gone, declared that he and his men would not stir from the spot until their object was accomplished. They settled themselves on the ground in dogged silence. He sent off messengers to Hangatiki to fetch Reihana and his forces. Taati pointed with his spear to the mission house and said—"If you use violence I am there," and he and Te Oriori then came into my house in great alarm. They said they had come to be burnt. If a house were set on fire with a chief inside he would be considered to be burnt, and vengeance taken by his tribe on the incendiaries. They said they would remain in the house, because they did not think Rewi would dare to make an attack or set fire to the house while they were seated within. Taati sent a messenger to fetch the King, and Te Oriori sent another to Matamata for Tamihana, urging them to come with all speed.

At last Mr. Reid, the Wesleyan missionary at Kopua, persuaded Rewi to have a personal interview with me. At this interview, which took place in the road between the church and the gate of Te Awamutu, Rewi after much reluctance agreed to withdraw his men, and give a three weeks' interval, during which I should communicate with Sir George Grey. He made a speech to page 267those around him in which he said that he and his tribe had shown no signs of hostility when Sir George Grey first arrived, but had waited to see what he would do. First, at Taupari, the Governor had declared himself opposed to the King, and had begun to make the road. Since then, he had been ceaseless in his machinations against their confederacy, and in trying to reduce the Maories under the rule of the Queen. They had never been allowed to attend to their own affairs, but had been constantly harassed by alarms. Lastly at Taupiri Sir George Grey had said "he would dig round the King till he fell." They looked to see where the spades were at work, and they saw me; they were resolved to have no digging in Waikato, but to remove me to the Queen's land at Mangatawhiri; there I could dig as much as I pleased; he would wait till Sir George Grey's answer came, but he warned me, and begged Mr. Reid and all the natives to note his words, that if the Governor left me there he left me to certain death. He then came at my invitation into my house, sat down at my writing table, and with my pen and paper wrote a letter of which the following is a literal translation:—

"Te Awamutu, "March 25, 1863.

"Friend Governor Grey,

"Greeting! This is my word to you. Mr. Gorst has been killed by me. The press has been taken page 268by me. They are my men who took it, eighty, armed with guns. The reason is, to drive away Mr. Gorst, that he may return to the town; it is on account of the great darkness caused by his being sent to live here, and tempt us, and also on account of your saying that you would dig round our King till he fell. Friend, take Mr. Gorst back to town, do not leave him to live with me at Te Awamutu. If you say he is to stay, he will die. Let your letter be speedy to fetch him away within three weeks.

"From your friend,


Rewi Maniapoto.

"To Governor Grey at Taranaki."

After writing the letter, Rewi, true to his word, withdrew Aporo and all the men, and said for the space of three weeks he would guarantee Te Awamutu from any attack, but that during this time the place would be constantly watched, and at the end of three weeks the attack would be renewed. He refused to give up the printing press, saying it would be sent down to Queen's land at Te Ia. I was now, according to Maori usage, technically dead, and was thereafter addressed as "you food of Waikato," and when I travelled by canoe, my conductor was greeted from the bank by cries of "How are you and your corpse?"

The Governor when he received Rewi's letter at Taranaki resolved not to answer nor take any page 269notice of it, but instructions were sent that "in the event of there being any danger whatever to life," I was to return at once to Auckland with the other Europeans in the employment of Government on the station. The colonial postmaster, alarmed at the peril to which the property of the post office was exposed, promptly stopped the mails, thereby cutting off our regular communication with the town, and affronting Taati, whose men were the mail-carriers, though our very lives had depended on his firm opposition to Rewi. Te Oriori, to whose tribe most of the young men in the school belonged, sent a messenger to summon his section of the tribe to attend him in arms at Arikirua, to accompany him to Te Awamutu. He laughed at the idea of Rewi driving the Maories out of the school, and said he should like to see the attempt made. The youths themselves, who throughout the whole period had remained stead-fast and obedient, asked Te Oriori to bring them arms, saying they would then protect Te Awamutu themselves.

The news of Rewi's violence reached the King at Whatawhata on the Waipa, when Patara, the editor of the Hokioi, was the only councillor with him. By Patara's advice, a letter was written condemning Rewi's conduct, and requiring him to send back the printing press, pay for the damage and outrage, and leave all questions about the removal of the Governor's officer to be settled by the King and Council. The letter page 270was sent by the hands of Wi Karamoa and he carried it to Rangiaowhia, where Tamihana had arrived, in compliance with Te Oriori's message. The chiefs of Waikato and Ngatihaua assembled there, condemned Rewi, and Wi Karamoa, Tamihana, and others rode over to protest. Rewi consented with reluctance to give the press to Tamihana and pay for the damage done. The press, with all the type and papers, was sent down to Te Ia, and stored in a Pakeha's house. It was afterwards removed to Auckland by the Government. On the question of expelling the Governor's officer, however, Rewi was immoveable and declared that he would go on with the work. The party then came to Te Awamutu. Tamihana said no one liked my remaining in the district. Rewi had accused him of having brought me there. The accusation was not true. Long ago before I was an officer of Government he had invited me to live amongst the Maories; but now that I was working the Governor's works, he himself did not wish me to remain. They had no fault to find with the school itself. Everything was excellent, but the Governor had said at Taupiri he would "dig round the King until he fell." The school at Te Awamutu, was one of the Governor's spades. He had always tried to keep cases out of the Governor's court, and boys out of the Governor's school, but he never agreed and never would agree to my being driven away by force. Te Awamutu was Queen's land, and no page 271one had a right to invade it. He had said this to Rewi, and Wi Karamoa had carried the King's commands to let me alone; but Rewi was mad and would not listen, so they had come in the spirit of friends to tell me this proverb: "Land is a living thing, but man is mortal." They could not protect me, and if a shot was fired at Taranaki, where the Governor had now gone to take military possession of the land at Tataraimaka, any young man who wished to exalt his name might shoot me, and the first they would hear of it would be that I was dead.

I said that unless they could prevent Rewi from repeating an act which they admitted to be wrong, the Governor's words had come true already, and the King had fallen. Rewi was now master, and Waikato and Ngatihaua had become his slaves. We shook hands and parted in sorrow, and I never saw Tamihana again.

He died soon after the conquest of Waikato. Years after his death, a letter in his well-known handwriting was put into my hands; he had written to me in his affliction, and intrusted the letter to a military officer who had forgotten to deliver it.

I understood that after their visit to Te Awamutu, Tamihana and Te Oriori went on to Ngaruawahia and proposed that King's soldiers should occupy Te Awamutu, to prevent a second attack. But they soon discovered that few would back their proposals. Lower Waikato was charmed page 272at Rewi's daring. Tipene said Rewi's conduct was partly right and partly wrong, but they would accept the wrong with the right, and as he had begun the mischief it had better go on. The King's Council, frightened and perplexed, set to work to discover the original instigators of the attack; it was proved that Wi Karamoa, and other chiefs of the Council had said or done things which encouraged Rewi, and each of them was fined £ 2.

Before evacuating Te Awamutu I thought a direct appeal ought to be made to the King and his Runanga; for that purpose Mr. Purchas, the Medical Commissioner, and I went down to Ngaruawahia; we were accompanied by James Falloon, a half-caste chief in the Government service, who was killed soon after the commencement of the war, in an ambuscade. We were lodged by Patara and Te Paea in the printing office of the Hokioi. The chiefs who had been fined came to excuse themselves; they said when the first number of the Pihoihoi came out they were very angry at what was written about the King, and asked, "Why isn't the press taken away?" But they were sorry Rewi had construed their hasty words as approval of such an attack. A Runanga was held to discuss the propriety of defending Te Awamutu, at which we were not invited to be present. Te Paea sat with us near the house while the discussion was going on. She said, "It was neither the Pihoihoi, nor the words page 273of the Ngaruawahia chiefs that had caused Rewi's acts, it was Tataraimaka. Rewi had done his best to prevent peace being made in 1861, and had been trying ever since to renew the Taranaki War. He was now doing his best to provoke a war in Waikato. She said Rewi insulted Tamihana when he went to expostulate; she should go too, but it was unlikely Rewi would listen to her, after mocking at so good a man. Being worked up into a great passion, and tears running down her cheeks, she went into the Runanga house, and we heard her addressing the meeting in loud and angry accents.

Next morning I wrote to the Runanga, saying that Rewi alleged that his attack on Te Awamutu was sanctioned by all Waikato, and I asked whether this was true. On this Patara came to us and said that this was the very question that they had debated for three days and three nights without coming to a conclusion, but another meeting was to be held at which I was invited to be present. At this meeting strangers from Hawke's Bay, and the East Cape were present, and also several of the Lower Waikato chiefs who had taken part in floating the Kohekohe timber to Te Ia. Proceedings commenced by reading out my letter. Here-whini rose to reply: "Yes. It is done by all Waikato; though Rewi did it, it belongs to all Waikato. When we were at Te Kohekohe, we resolved to go up to remove you, but when we arrived we heard that Rewi had done it. The page 274first ground for our wish to drive you away is the Governor's word at Taupiri 'that he would dig round the King until he fell;' the second is the house at Te Kohekohe which the Governor and you planned, and which Te Wheoro is to execute; the third is the post set up as our boundary, which you presumed to pull up; the fourth is the house at Te Awamutu; and the fifth is the Pihoihoi. We saw that the Governor's words at Taupiri were being fulfilled, so we determined to remove you and all your works and goods to Te Ia to the Governor's side."

After this speech there was a dead silence, and Patara came to ask us what we were going to say. We told Patara we were not going to say anything. We did not intend to discuss Herewhini and his five grounds, because no ground could justify driving a man from his own land. All we wished to know was, who had joined in the deed. This was repeated aloud, and Herewhini again said:—

"It was all Waikato."

We asked, "Who are all Waikato?" He pointed down the river, and waved his spear round the horizon saying "it included all, and more than all we could see. From Tongariro to the sea all had agreed." We said, "Not all"; he challenged us to name one who had not. We named Matutaera Potatau and Wiremu Tamihana. He said he would not believe this, unless letters were produced; it was no use for us to say we had seen page 275a letter from Tamihana: he would not believe it. A Waipa chief sitting by produced Matutaera's letter, written on first hearing of Rewi's outrage, it was handed about among the councillors, but not considered a safe one to read aloud, so the meeting ended as fruitlessly as the three preceding ones. Patara at last brought a verbal answer to my question from Matutaera. I insisted on a written answer and after Patara had returned several times to confer with the King, he brought the following:—

"Ngaruawahia, "April 15, 1863.

"I said to Rewi, oh Rewi, leave these days to me. Bring back the property, let none be lost, I do not say that Mr. Gorst shall stay, he must go.

"From Matutaera Potatau."

In explanation of this letter Patara said the King was merely the mouthpiece of his people; he acknowledged that Matutaera had now made Rewi's act his own, he said the King could not tell me to remain, because he had no power to protect me against Rewi, and he was afraid to blame Rewi too strongly lest he should revolt altogether.

When we returned to Te Awamutu we learned that a messenger bringing a letter from Taranaki had met Rewi at Kihikihi and given the letter into his hands. The letter, of which James Falloon managed to obtain a copy, was as follows:—

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"Mataitawa, in the region of Taranaki. "April 8, 1863.

"To Wi Kingi, to Rewi Maniapoto, to Te Waru, to Porokoru, to Honi Papita, and to all their districts.

"Friends and fathers, salutations to you in the Grace of God, and in the shadow of our King.

"On April 4 the Governor marched to Tataraimaka with his soldiers. His barracks are finished and stand at Tataraimaka. The determination of the people here is to wait for the word from you, and from the people of the island. These five tribes, Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngatiruanui, Ngatirauru, and Wanganui, have sat down at Tataraimaka. The red earth has dried on the surface, the work of the people, the guns will shortly be firing continually. Oh, Wiremu, what is your determination for your people who are in trouble here? Friend, if it were only a canoe of wood we should know how to act, but for a canoe of men, where shall we search?

"From the Runanga of Mataitawa."

Without waiting to consult with any of his brother chiefs, Rewi turned the messenger back with this answer, "Strike the Pakeha." He then mustered his men, and without troubling himself further about Te Awamutu, set off to Hangatiki on the way to Taranaki.

Matters seemed to me to be now growing so page 277serious that I sent my wife and children off to Auckland. After they had gone, Te Paea, Patara and Te Oriori arrived. Te Paea said that she had come to take charge of my wife and children, and she was thankful to learn they had gone to Auckland. Patara said that after Rewi's message there would certainly be war. The coming war would not be like former wars, the young men of the present day would not attend to the word of their chiefs, but would rob and murder as they pleased. No one had any authority over them—not even Rewi; they only obeyed him so long as his commands pleased them. The King had no power at all. I told Patara he was talking like the Pihoihoi. He laughed and said it was very true. They had come out of kindness to urge us to go to Auckland at once. We had seen how Rewi had treated us in time of peace and we might judge what he would do in time of war, or rather what the people of Hangatiki might do; they said very plainly that as soon as the first shot had been fired at Taranaki any young fellow who wished to exalt his name would come and murder us, and the chiefs would have no power to prevent it. They begged us to go at once, and not put it off from day to day, waiting until bad news came from Taranaki; it would be then too late. We evacuated Te Awamutu on 18th April, 1863; I took a last look at it, as we rode away, from the heights above Mangapiko, and it was more than forty-three years before I saw it again.