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Renata's Speech and Letter to the Superintendent of Hawke's Bay on the Taranaki War Question; in the original Maori, with an English translation.


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It has been thought desirable to publish in a separate form the speech and letter of Renata referring to the Taranaki war, in order that an enduring record should remain of these remarkable and able productions. Mr. Fitzgerald's speech, to which Renata's letter is a reply, has also been included in the publication in order to render the latter more intelligible. As unwarrantable doubts have been circulated by persons in authority as to the genuineness of Renata's speech and letter, and their authorship has been attributed to some English Missionary, the Publisher desires to state that he is authorised by the Rev. Samuel Williams, the only Missionary of the Church of England resident at Ahuriri, to deny most positively the truth of these reports, and to state that he believes Renata to be the real author of these documents. The following letter from Renata in reply to a communication addressed to him by the Publisher renders any further notice of these reports unnecessary:—

June 10, 1861.

Friend Mr. Stokes,

Your letter has reached me, and I have thought over what you have written me.

Now Sir, what I have written is my own, that is, by the Maoris. The Pakehas say it is not mine: it is mine. Sir, I should have thought that upon the Pakeha observing the correctness of my statements, they would have made but one reply to me—"Renata, what you have said is correct:" —such a reply would have been right. But for them to observe the correctness of my arguments, and to draw them aside page breakas being from the Pakeha, Sir, such an assertion arises from a sense of conviction (that is, they have no better reply to make). Far better would it have been for them to acknowledge at once—"Renata, what you say is correct;"—this would be right: but for them to say, it is not from the Maori, it is not from me, this is wrong.

Now, do you listen: these statements are from us all; they were carefully discussed at our meetings (Runangas); as a correct reply was arrived at it was written down: it was not the work of a single week nor of a single month. Had it been written by the Pakeha it might have been completed in a day. Sir, if the Pakehas still dispute with you on the subject, enough; bring them here, and we will talk the matter over.

But perhaps they will tell me there is a Pakeha inside of me talking to them.

Why not at once admit, "your arguments are very correct; it is exceedingly wrong of the Governor to purchase land clandestinely, and to kill the Maori without cause."

Hune 10, 1861.

E ta e Te Toki,—

Kua tae mai tau pukapuka ki a au, kua kite au i o korero. Na e hoa naku tonu aku korero ara na te Maori; e ki mai na nga Pakeha e hara i a au, naku tonu, e ta, e ki ana au ka kite iho nga Pakeha i te tika o aku korero kia kotahi tonu te kupu he ki mai ki a au e ta e Renata e tika ana o korero me penei mai te kupu ka tika, tena, ka kite iho i te tika o aku korero ka kukume ke na te Pakeha, e ta, he hanenga tonutanga i penatia ai te korero, e ngari me ki tonu mai e tika ana o korero e ta e Renata ka pai tenei tena ko te ki mai e hara i te Maori e hara ia au, ka he tenei, kia rongo mai koe na matou katoa ano ena korero he mea ata runanga marire ka kitea te kupu tika ka tuhi ai kahore hoki i oti i te wiki kotahi i te marama kotahi ena korero mehemea nau na te Pakeha i tuhi kua oti pea i te ra kotahi, e ta ki te mea ka tohe tohe tonu mai nga Pakeha ki a koe, kati mau e mau mai ki konei tatou korero ai, oti ia a kua nei pea ratou ki mai ai ki a au he Pakeha tonu kei roto i a au e korero atu ana, te whakaae noa mai pea, ae ka nui te tika o korero ka nui te he o te Kawana, ki te hoko whanako i te whenua ki te patu noa i te Maori. Heoti ano.