The Second Year of One of England's Little Wars
K. — From certain Members of the Ngatiawa Tribe to the Superintendent — of the Province of Wellington
From certain Members of the Ngatiawa Tribe to the Superintendent
of the Province of Wellington.
Mr. Superintendent,—Greeting to you. These are our words: hear them, that you may declare them openly in the presence of the Governor.
We have portions of land also at Waitara within the piece of land which was wrongly sold by Teira to the Governor; we, as well as those who have been driven of that piece of land. It belonged to all our ancestors. We never heard from the old men who have lately died, that that land belonged only to Ngatituaho and Ngatihinga, or to the ancestors of Teira and his companions, whose pedigree has been lately set forth, or to his father, and that by them it was given to our ancestors and to our fathers as to dependents, who should raise food for the ancestors of Teira and his companions, or for his father and the fathers of his companions.
Nor is it land that has lately been discovered by Teira, or by his father or by his companions, that we should be mistaken in what we say about it, or that it should be right to make strong assertions with reference to that land in order to justify their making no account of us and those who have been forcibly driven off it. No. It is old land that belonged to our ancestors.
Now we have heard the defence of Parris wrong doing with reference to our portions of land there, which says, “A long time was allowed to elapse, and nothing was said about the land: Parris, the Land Commissioner of Taranaki, carefully inquired that he might find out who were the owners of the land which was offered to him. Parris searched, and at length he found them out.”
These words were intended to excite everybody's admiration, that it might be thought that he really had searched. Listen. We were all the time living at Waikanae; one of us at Otaki. Now Parris never came to make inquiries of us as to whether we had land there or not; nor did any assistant of his in that work come to inquire; nor did he write any letter of inquiry; nor did he, in the course of that year, print in the newspaper his inquiries as to the owners of that land, None, none at all.
Off goes one of the land purchasers to make inquiries of some people of Arapawa, passing over us without inquiry.
We did not hear of it until the time when Teira received the money. Still we felt no apprehension of losing our lands, because we were continually hearing of the strong declaration of Wiremu Kingi, that he would keep our lands for us. For he is our chief, a protecting shade for our lands.
The second time was when they went to survey it.
The third time was when the soldiers were sent to take it. How could we get a word in? When the trouble had become serious, then Parris goes and prints in the newspaper that he has made inquiry.page 69
We ask this question. What are we, peaceable persons, who are not joining in the fighting, to do when our lands are wrongly taken away by the Governor? Where shall we seek a way by which we may get our lands restored to us? Shall we seek it from the Queen, or from whom? We imagined that it was for the law to rectify wrongs. Up to this time our hearts keep anxiously inquiring. We will say no more.
From us, members of Ngatiawa, and owners of that land at Waitara.