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Notes on Sir William Martin's Pamphlet Entitled the Taranaki Question

Page 30, 31, 32

Page 30, 31, 32.

[Letters from Wiremu Kingi to Archdeacon Hadfield.]

These letters were withheld from the Governor's knowledge up to August 1860. It appears that so long ago as the 2nd July 1859, Wiremu Kingi said, "Therefore my thoughts of love go forth to you, that you may speak a word to the Governor and McLean concerning the course of proceeding about Waitara here." Again, "I think that you should concern yourself with the Governor and McLean and Parris." Again, "Let your word to the Governor and McLean be strong."

The Governor had specially requested Archdeacon Hadfield to keep him informed of anything important among the Natives of his district, and had his promise that he would do so.

The Governor has a right to complain of Archdeacon Hadfield for not communicating these letters to him, and of the manner in which they were published after being withheld from him so long. Archdeacon Hadfield came up to Auckland in the steamer which brought the Wellington members to the meeting of the Assembly last July. He had these letters in his possession. They were made public, for the first time, to serve a party purpose in the House of Representatives.

In the letter of 2nd July, exactly the same intimation is given to Archdeacon Hadfield as had been given to the Governor himself in "Wiremu Kingi's letter of 11th February 1859 (quoted in the despatch of 4th Dec. 1860), namely an intimation of the determination of the Land League that Waitaha [Bell Block] should be the European boundary. Sir William Martin stops his italics just before this declaration: "What I say is that the boundary for the Pakehas is settled, namely Waitaha. That is all, let them remain there." In this passage Kingi's meaning appears quite clearly. He does not deny Teira's right, nor claim any right himself: he simply condemns the proposal for ceding any more land. "What they say is that although it be only one man who gives up the land, the Pakehas will be perfectly willing, &c. What I say is that the boundary for the Pakeha is, settled." The "wrong, very wrong, very wrong," applies to any extension whatever of the European boundary.

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But why are only two of the letters from Wiremu Kingi to Archdeacon Hadfield produced? There were three. Those dated 2nd July and 5th December, 1859, are given by Sir William Martin; the intermediate one, dated 27th July, 1859, is omitted. In this letter there are two remarkable statements. The first is this:—"Your clear words have reached me, and I have seen them …………If, indeed, you had not heard the word which you quote in your letter to me; but, is it not so, you and the Rev. Mr. Williams heard the word of Reretawhangawhanga relative to Waitara, saying that it should be held? That Was Rere's word and mine, and that word was also from you two." What the "clear words" were will, perhaps, never be known. Archdeacon Hadfield has denied giving any advice to Wireinu Kingi since 1839 to hold the Waitara; but in a letter from him to Archdeacon Govett, at Taranaki (as reported by Mr. Parris), he said that "he would not advise Natives to sell their land,—that he was not pleased with anything the Government had done for the Natives,— and that the Governor would find that a large party of the Natives at Otaki would espouse William King's cause."

The second statement is this:—"Mr. Parris has also talked of my being shot with a gun, and simply burying me outside—I am not to be taken to the graveyard. It was his plan (or idea) to fetch Te Whaitere [Katatore]: he died, and in like manner by Mr. Parris also shall I die. Mr. Parris is glad that I should die, so that he may get the land. He rejoiced also at the death of Te Whaitere Katatore, that the land might be clear."

Sir William Martin, no doubt, considered that this tissue of wicked calumnies against a man who, it is perfectly well known, saved the writer's life, would be too much for anyone to credit. If the letter had been published, it might have destroyed the effect of the other two.—[See notes, pp. 34, 35, 44.]