In the Hands of a Hostile Tribe.
Passing through the site of the present station at Ohakune, he went on along a bush track to Ruakaka, the principal settlement on the Manganui-a-te-ao, which he and his party were able to reach on horseback. He was detained there, and his theodolite and other surveying gear were seized. He was told that he must stay until Kepa was communicated with, and presently the party were marched by the Hauhaus to Papatupu, some two miles above the confluence of the river with the Wanganui.
At that bush village of the anti-Pake ha faction, a Hauhau tribe called Patu-tokotoko, there were about eighty Maoris assembled. He was kept there, virtually a prisoner, for the next two or three days. He gave in his report the names of the principal men of the Hauhaus—Taumata, Te Kuru Kaanga, Te Peehi, Winiata te Kakai, Manurewa, Turehu, Raukawa, Te Aurere,
Mr. C. W. Hursthouse.
One of the King Country railway route pioneer surveyors. Mr. Hursthouse (died 1911) had a very adventurous life as Government surveyor, and became Chief Engineer of Roads and Bridges. This photo, was taken in 1883.
Huriwaka, Te Whaiti, Niko, and Kaiatua. (Most of these, it may be added to the surveyor's story, were warriors who had fought against the Government in the wars; Te Peehi Hitaua was the highest in rank, a fine specimen of a stalwart fighting man.) Some of the speakers at the korero in the village were friendly. The strongest in opposition to the survey was the old chief Taumata, who said that if Rochfort had been taken prisoner on his land he would have cut all the surveyor's belongings up into small pieces and made slaves of all the party. Eventually letters were written to Kepa, and to Mr. Woon (Government Maori Agent at Wanganui) and to Rochfort himself, stating that if he returned to the work of carrying through the survey he would be turned back and his Maoris killed, and if he came a third time he would be killed.
Taumata urged keeping the party prisoners, but Te Peehi and others were more moderate, and said if Rochfort could bring letters of approval from Tawhiao, the Maori King, or from the great Wahanui, the principal chief of the King Country, he would not be obstructed further.