Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

A Sketch of the New Zealand War

[Account of Donald Mclean]

Here is Donald McLean's story about Waitini:—

It is easy to understand the character and position of a man like Waitini amongst such a race. He was worthy of it all—genial, kindly, unassuming, brave; and what a hero he looked! He was six foot four, twenty-one stone weight, without a particle of spare flesh on him. I saw him naked. He had muscles like iron bands, a head like a Roman emperor, and a heart in loyalty and simplicity like a child's.

page 75

When the great wave of enthusiasm for national independence swept over Maoridom, Waitini, with a chosen band of 140 men, went down to Taranaki to fight for the cause.

Waitini Taiporutu was a sucking babe in Wiremu Kingi's hands. Wiremu Kingi was a diplomatist. He was amongst the Maori a counsel chief; that is, a politician. Waitini Taiporutu was a war chief, a soldier.

Wi Tamihana te Waharoa was a counsel chief of the Ngatiawa, Waitini's tribe. Tamihana besought Waitini not to go to the Taranaki war. "You are a great warrior," said he. "We cannot spare you. The trouble is coming home to us. I see it. You are a great baby, too—guileless as an innocent girl. You are my sister's son and the pride of your race. Wiremu Kingi is a subtle, white man's Maori, without any special sense of honour. He will entrap you, and you will be lost. You weaken our tribe by taking away the pick of our young men; and when it is all over, the Ngatimaniopoto will turn and rend us. The future of our race is in your hands; stand fast, and wait. In due time, I will find you fighting enough."

In spite of it all, Waitini would go to the war. The fever was in his blood.