Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 8 (November 1, 1937)

Te Peeti's “Tupara.”

Te Peeti's “Tupara.”

Very weary, after more than twelve hours' canoe work, Bates tied up his dug-out at the bank, and placed his gun and blankets in a hut. He walked through the kainga to look up Haré Mokena (Harry Morgan), the man on whom he relied in his intelligence work.

In his absence Te Waka quietly made off with his gun and ammunition and paddled three miles up the river to a village called Horahora, where the Kingite runanga, or council of the district chiefs, was sitting. He declared that he had found a pakeha carrying a gun into the country, and therefore he had confiscated it, and he laid it before the Council.

(From a sketch by Lieut. H. S. Bates, 65th Regiment.) Fort Britomart, Auckland, 1863.

(From a sketch by Lieut. H. S. Bates, 65th Regiment.)
Fort Britomart, Auckland, 1863.

Meanwhile there was turmoil in Tupeke-runga. Bates, very indignant, demanded that the people should recover his valuable tupara (double-barrel) from the thief. It was a matter involving principle of much greater importance than the value of the gun. The prestige of the pakeha was at stake. It would never do to let Waikato boast that they had taken a gun from a Government officer, a soldier of the Queen.

Haré Mokena and an old chieftainess named Te Raro set out in the darkness to follow Te Waka and regain the confiscated tupara. Meanwhile Bates slept in Mokena's whare. “Leave it to us,” said Mokena, as he went out into the night, “we shall return with the gun.”

Here it should be explained that since Bates' first cruise along the Waikato, a law had been made by the Kingites that no pakeha should bring a gun up the river. They professed to fear that King Tawhiao—he was at this time usually called Matutaera (Methusaleh), his missionary name—would be shot by order of the Government There was also the desire to assert native independence, for, said they, the Maori was not allowed to carry guns about Auckland and other pakeha towns, therefore any European carrying firearms into Kingite territory should forfeit his weapon.