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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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>Pawhakairo, February, 1861.

Mr. Fitzgerald,

Sir,—I have received the report of our speeches made here at the Pawhakairo when we mutually gave expression to our opinions, and which have now been published by you in a newspaper. We all recognise mine as correct (i.e. the report), but yours were not these that have been sent to me; these are newly made up by you. It was not I alone who observed that your speech was incorrectly reported; the whole of us agree that it is wrong, all those who heard our speeches. These are not your words as beard by the meeting; they have been manufactured anew by you. Had you spoken thus when here, you would have been answered by me according to the tenor of your words. Perhaps our friends in other places may suppose that this is a correct report of your speech as delivered here; instead of which it has been made anew by you at Ahuriri. Sir, it comes to me in a new shape, and I must give you a new answer.

Now then, I will answer your speech.

In reply to what you say about your grief for the war at Taranaki. If you felt genuine sorrow you would have been at Taranaki before this; your grief would have led you thither to put a stop to the war; then your word would have been beard beforehand in favour of stopping the evil; then you and I would have had nothing to discuss. I told you that the cause of our meeting was grief for the war at Taranaki, and proposed to go there and put a stop to it, to which you replied—that you could not influence the Governor. Then I thought, Eh! you are not sorry, your grief does not reach up to mine, since you oppose my proposal that we should go to Taranaki to enquire into the war. Although the Governor has the direction of the laws he will not submit (his conduct) to investigation; and you also oppose it; this is my reason for concluding, Eh! it is only I who feel any sorrow. This is your sort of sorrow. You wish that the Maoris only should be killed.

You say "Fighting is not a good thing." This is the answer. Truly fighting is not a correct thing, and nothing but the badness of your cause has prevented you from trying to stop it, so that I might know that you were free from the fault of the Governor. This was why we said in your presence, Eh! we are grieved because of the evil going on at Taranaki; but you would not agree to accompany me [unclear: thither] to discuss it.

You say, "Shall we permit evil to prevail?" This is my answer —Is it the Maori who permits evil to prevail? It was proposed to the Governor that an investigation should be had. This is what [unclear: Te]Wherowhero said about the failure of the meeting at Waiuku to discuss the Waitara question. The old man was vexed at the Governor avoiding a quiet discussion and investigation, and ha said—"Uennku, the man-eater, used to be my god; but when the clergy-men came to this land, I was told to put away my god, for the Pakeha's God was the true one, Jehovah, the preserver of man, page 14Lthe Creator of heaven and earth. When I accepted your God, I thought all wrongs were to be made the subject of investigation, great wrongs as well as little ones. When it came to this affair, I alone was left to worship his God, whilst he, the Governor, went off to pick up (ki te hamea haere) my castaway god, Uenuku, the cannibal. And now the Governor, the supporter (kaupapa) of Jehovah has stepped forward and carried off Uenuku the cannibal to Taranaki as his god for the destruction of man."

Sir, was this evil created by me—by the Maori, that I should be spoken to by you in that fashion? Why, that is your evil, the Governor's, and you had better yourself reduce the prevalence (whakatutua i te rangatiralanga) of that evil. The Maori knows perfectly well that it was you who allowed it to prevail, since you did not hasten to put an end to it. If I were the instructor of both of us (to taua kaiwhakako), I should have said, investigate that the war may be stopped, so that the man may be saved for after days.

You say, "Can chastisement be laid aside?" My reply is, Sir, what is the chastisement alluded to by you? Do you mean bloodshed? Do you mean shooting men down with guns? What part of the children do you mean to leave alive to feel your chastisement? What I have always heard described as chastisement was this, to teach with love. My idea of chastisement is investigation, that the child may survive to listen to your instructions in after days. Those weapons of yours are not good things for teaching with; your teacher is a very bad kind of one, your children will run away. What would be right would be to agree to an investigation, that the evil might be put down, and man suffered to live.

This is one of your words, " It (the war) is being used as a medicine." This is my reply. Sir, this medicine that you speak of is killing people, then physicking them. Sir, your medicine is the same as that Used by the European shepherds to physic our dogs with. This is the kind of physic that you use, and the dogs die. The medicine for mankind is investigation; this is the kind of physic prescribed by the law of God and of the Queen. Sir, do you not hold in awe the life-blood supplied aliketo us all by the Creator?

You say, "It is better as it is with us at Ahuriri here, where we dwell together and eat together."

This is my reply: Sir, do you mean to say that dwelling (peaceably) together has only existed at Ahuriri? How was it at Taranaki in your opinion? Why, they had the same manner of dwelling together, of land purchasing, of bartering in trade, of brotherhood with the Maori, just the same. There was the same Mr. M'Lean, the same Governor, and all the same relationships subsisting between the Pakeha and the Maori. Sir, eating together is also a good thing. What William King himself said was, that we should sit down in peace and eat toge her; but the Governor would persist. And who speaks against commerce? Has anybody been killed by commerce?

You say "It has been seen already in bygone years how great a regard the Governor has for the Maories."

This is the answer: Sir, that is the very thing that William King was pleased with, the great regard of the Governor in bygone years; and he thought from that that he was not a bad man, but friendly disposed. Eh! but when he requested him to leave his land alone, he (the Governor) did not pay attention to his wish. Sir, this proved to us that the regard of the Governor, to which you allude, is a sneaking regard for the land (he aroha patipati whenua).

Sir, in time of the former Governor, the crimes of the Maoris were the greatest; and the Governor pursued the crime of the Maori to page 15Lpunish it. But with this Governor, it is quite clear to us that the evil is of his making alone. He is a Governor in your estimation; he is nothing but a common Pakeha in ours. For, had he been really a Governor, he would not have listened to the persuasions of evil. The greatness of his regard (for the Maori) would have been able to keep him out of war.

You say: The Governor went all the way to Taranaki that he might himself see them both (W. Kingi and Te Teira) and hear what they both had to say.

This is the answer: Sir, that is a piece of your own invention. Who is to be deceived by it? Why, he sent for William King to go and talk with him, after the soldiers had arrived. Why should he go there to put himself in danger of the soldiers? The good opportunity had been lost which was indicated by our great man for investigating the dispute according to law; the Governor had disregarded the wish of Potatau that they should meet and talk it over in accordance with the law. The first thing he hears is, Eh! the Governor has arrived at Taranaki, and is thundering forth with cannons and rockets. A person might suppose from the way you talk that the dispute was investigated by the Governor. Sir, what have you to do with mis-statements?

You say, "The Governor was aware that William King was an obstinate man."

This is the answer: Sir, wherein did you discover the obduracy of William King? Is his land a proper thing to call him obstinate about? When he takes something of yours, you can then talk of his obstinacy. Sir, this is what Potatau said of him, " William King is not a deaf man; his ears are always open to hear both Pakeha and Maori. They have no hair (to obstruct them); but when Ihaia murdered his friends, then it grew; and when Te Teira and the Governor took the land, the hair grew all over every part of his ears. It did not grow out from inside; it was thrust in from without."

You say "When we arrived (at Auckland) we met together (General Assembly) and discussed the matter with many questions." This is my reply—Sir, had your meeting been one of enquiry you would have discovered a means of putting a stop to the war at Taranaki. Instead of which your seeking was like that of a man in search of a missing horse. He searched the whole country around in vain; he is not found. He returns home, and behold there is the animal all the time! Had it been a seeking indeed the Governor's assembly of Maori Chiefs would first have taken place, afterwards the Taranaki war.

You say "I shall not allow it (the land) to be sold, having said which Wm. King arose and walked out of the room." Sir, I beg you to know that this is the Maori's most emphatic mode of denial: to say his say, get up and go, that it may be known that he will never consent.

You say "As for this matter it was most carefully investigated when I was in the House of Representatives at Auckland; how careful was the enquiry of that Assembly! its diligent research, its careful and penetrating questions. Nothing could equal it! it was greater than I can tell."

This it my answer: Sir, what were you looking for when you were at Auckland? Were you seeking to find the wrong of the Taranaki war? or were you trying to find out a way of justifying the Governor's proceedings? or was it to find an excuse for persisting in the Taranaki war? This would have been a great thing for you to do to investigate the matter, but you did not accomplish it yet there were a great many Pakehas assembled at that gather-page 16Ling. But if you are seeking, let us go to Taranaki and seek there; we shall not be long before we find something."

You say "For Governors were sent to punish evil doers and to praise those who do well." This is the answer: Sir, the word of Scripture is right, but you misapply it altogether in this instance. It is the Governor who is in fault. Sir, your word is wrong. The chastiser having himself given cause of offence, is he to go out and punish others for it? Rather let crime come of itself, and then let punishment follow; and when men see that which is good, they will praise it. Sir, why did not the Governor, the chastiser, hang up Ihaia by the neck, that murderer whom he has taken to be his dear friend? Your quotation is misplaced.

You say "Do not suppose that it is only we Pakehas who think the Governor right in what he has done at Taranaki. No, there are great numbers of Maoris who say the same thing."

This is my reply: Sir, I have told you those fellows were Lickplates, and you still report their words to me. Listen to me: it was not I who condemned them; it was themselves, in their own assembly at Kohimarama. When a great number of them had been dunning the Governor for money, one among them stood up and said they were attempting to impose upon the Governor. That Maori's name was Parakaia, of Otaki. This is the way they spoke when their vessel called in at Ahuriri. One of them said they had been disappointed about money, as they fancied the £3000 voted for their meeting was to be divided amongst them. Another one said they had been scheming to get a way opened by which to buy some gunpowder; but as to the question of wrong they had seen well enough that the Governor was in the wrong. In what you have written yon make them out to support the Governor. So we have two opposite opinions from the same men. So much for two faces under a hood, with their two contrary sayings. (Ra mahi te kanohi taiaha me aua torero e rue.) Don't again quote those lickplates to me; one of whose faults was their not saying plainly to the Governor's face "you are wrong in what you are doing at Taranaki." Sir, they were not a wise assembly. Look here. Mr. M'Lean himself, the author of the evil, stands there himself to investigate it. Why, did not the Maoris say: It will not do for the defendant to be a judge in his own case?

This is what you say about the Pakehas who find fault with the Governor: "Those Pakehas are not good people. They are chattering, growling, grumbling Pakehas, aye, bad Pakehas." This is the reply: Sir, what is the crime of those Pakehas? Is it (the war) a work of such small dimensions that you turn aside after the Pakehas? Did they go and teach Wm. King? It was he who pointed it out to himself (his position); it was not taught him. The evil was notoriously self-evident, and that it was that showed it to Wm. King Sir, had he been urged on by a Pakeha instead of by his own feelings, the war would probably have been over. A person acting under the instigation of another does not hold out very long; he soon gives in. This is the Pakeha's teaching, that fighting with guns is bad; it is better to fight with words, and with the pen. This war is of Maori origin, the effect of his anger about his land; he talked for along time, but his words were unheeded.

You say, "Let Wm. King lay down his arms;" you also speak of not making peace, and about (W. King) submitting to the law.

This is the answer: Sir, shall I then lay down the shield, and leave the weapon free to strike me? No, let the weapon be put down, and the shield will follow it. Is this fault the man's (W. page 17LKing's) that the man should put an end to it; it is the Governor's own, and he must put n stop to it. Who is fine innocent man having charge of the laws? For the Governor himself has done wrong the keeper of the laws. The Maori will obey the law; if it be properly administered he will always obey. It was the Governor himself who established the law of fighting at Taranaki. The Maori only defended himself.

You quote this passage from Scripture: "A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand; and if a city of a house be divided against itself it cannot stand."

Sir, Did I, the Maori, turn round upon you to fight? I rather think it was you who turned upon your neighbour, William King. I did not go to your land to set up my little King. But it was my wronga unredressed by you that induced me to set about to work out an idea of my own; that is, Waikato, the tribe who set it going. They were in doubt whether to term Chief, or Governor, and neither suited. And then they established him as "the Maori King;" it was tried experimentally, and proved as a means of redress for wrongs not settled by you, by the Government. The only wrongs you redressed were those against yourselves. But as for those all over the breadth of the country, you left them unnoticed. Sir, the enemies he (the Maori King) had to fight with were the crimes of the Maori,—his murders, his thefts, his adulteries, his drunkenness, his selling land by stealth. These were what he had to deal with. As for the occurrences at Taranaki, that was none of his work. The Governor taught that sort of work to the Maori. Attend to my figure of speech. A bird, in flying, flaps both his wings downwards. But the Governor's way of flying is to flap with one wing downwards and the other up. He tells the Maori to sit quietly, with the wing that flaps downwards, whilst he beckons to the white men, with the wing working upwards, to come and exterminate the Maori. Sir, it was you who taught the Maori to fight and to go to Taranaki.

You say, "It may be in his (W. King's) power to lengthen out this trouble, this sorrow, this bitter grief, which causes such pain to so many people."

This is the answer: Sir, who caused the pain? I take it to have been the Governor. Very different were the land purchasing arrangements of former days. There was to be an assemblage, and when they had all consented, then the land should pass. All the Maoris heard this from the Governor. But now they hear, Eh! this plan of buying is changed, and land is now to be sold by a single individual. Sir, this is the way by which this pain, this trouble, has come upon us; it was through double-dealing that this trouble came. Had the old way continued, we should not have gone wrong; but since it has been abandoned, and attention has been paid to a single individual, difficulties have arisen.

You say, "That man must let down his bristles, and pay obeisance to his Sovereign the Queen."

This is the answer: Sir, what then is the Maori doing? The Maori is yielding obedience. For many years he has been listening to that teaching of the Queen's. But the Governor has made it all go wrong. Your word is not clear. Perhaps you think he is not a man, that you say he should not raise his bristles when his land is taken from him? If your land were taken by a Maori, would your bristles not rise? Give him back his land, and then if we see his bristles still sticking up, I will admit that you are right. You quote from the Scripture that children should honor their parents; quote to the Governor the other portion of the same passage, "Fathers provoke not your children to wrath."

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You say, "Probably by lengthening, by dragging out (the war), this island will be filled with soldiers and fighting men." This is my answer: Sir, you have no right to say this to me. Had I (i.e., the Maori) begun this war, you might with justice have applied those words to me. But seeing it was the Governor, if you had said this to the Governor, to him who began the work at Taranaki, it would have been right. Not to me. Sir, all these (evils) are of your doing. First, there was the wish to take our lands, and now is the accomplishment of it. For the cause (of the war) was but a small matter, and you have gone on importing Pakehas from other lands to fight with the Maoris. The next thing will be, you will hide your error under the cloak of the Waikatos having gone to Taranaki to ward off the weapon raised by you against William King, whereas your opposition was made in order that you might get the land.

For it had not then been asserted that the Maori King had any power (or sovereignty); they were still in search of a rule of action. By and by you will conceal the Governor's fault under this covering (King movement) since you seem determined on war. Sir, the Maori did not look upon war as his avocation; it was you who taught it him, and he stood erect to ward off your weapon, because of your stealing the Maori's land. Sir, is thieving indeed then a legitimate occupation? It has been said to be a wicked one—it must be that only a that by a Maori is wrong; but when a Pakeha commits one, it is a laudable action.

You say "that by fighting and division, the Maori King will be established in Waikato" (i.e. that the Waikatos think that by fighting, &c).

This is my answer. Sir, can't you perceive that the Governor commenced that quarrel with his son Wm. King? He (W. K.) was an opponent of my little king.

All that Waikato desired was to have an investigation; and for a long time, as far as talking could accomplish, they intervened between the combatants; and for a long time, whilst the Governor was quarrelling with his son, the Waikato were strenuously smothering their feelings of sympathy. But when at length the war became permanent, then they arose to shield him (W. K.) from the weapon of him who was placed over him. Ought they to have given him up to darkness (death)? This is my custom—if my chief is gently punishing his children, they are left to settle their own differences; but if I see him lift a deadly weapon, then I get up to interfere. If he thereupon turns round upon and kills me, it cannot be helped. That is a good kind of death in my—the Maori's—estimation.

Sir, did I set up my King in secret? As I view it, Waikato wished that his authority should emanate from the Governor. And then it was that we tried to do the best we could for ourselves. When it was seen that evil was partly put down by the runanga, and the stupid drunkards became men once more, then the work (the King movement) became general. And then I hear that the Governor, who found fault with our runanga, has himself called another Maori runanga to screen himself that his fault might be hidden.

But is this (King movement) indeed to cause a division between us? No, it will be caused by secret purchases of land, the thing which has been going on for years.

Is he a veritable King in your eyes? Sir, cease to cite this as a cause of quarrelling. For behold, the Treaty of Waitangi has been broken. It was said that that Treaty was to protect the Maoris from foreign invasion. But those bad natives never came to attack us; the blow fell from amongst you, the nation who made that same page 19Ltreaty. Sir, it is you alone who have broken your numerous promises.

You say, " The Maories are not able to fight against the Queen of England and kill (prevail against) her. "This is my answer. Sir, you know perfectly well that the Maori will be beaten. What will save me will be my not attempting to instruct you. It is only you who teach me; and then there are both me and your doctrine for you to kill. Sir, I have not strength to fight with you, but the law (of right) is strong, and you cannot kill it. Though it be said that this war is for sovereignty, the fault of the Governor can never be concealed by that. Who is the Maori that is such a fool as to be mistaken about the sovereignty or supremacy of the Queen of England? Or who will throw himself away in fighting for such a cause? No, it is for the land; for land has been the prime cause of war amongst the Maoris from time immemorial down to the arrival of Pakehas in this Island of ours. The Maori will not be daunted by his weakness, by his inferiority, or the smallness of his tribe. He sees his land going, and will he sit still? No, but he will take himself off (to resist).

It is not a fight for life, (i.e., we fight without caring for our lives, that being a secondary consideration to a Maori, as is proved by their carrying on the war against hopeless odds at Taranaki); my surviving or dying is a thing to be determined there (in fighting) as you may see them now, being killed at Taranaki. The Queen's sovereignty has been acknowledged long ago. Had it been a fight for supremacy, probably every man in this Island would have been up in arms. But in the present case the fighting is confined to the land which is being taken possession of. There is a letter of Wm. King's lying here in which he says that if his land is evacuated he will put a stop to the fighting. This is my answer to what you say about the Maori being starved for want of money. Why did you say this? Am I making light of your money, of your food, of your clothing? I am always buying them, and I am also building churches, and mills, and wooden houses. You had better confine yourself to the subject of the land improperly purchased by the Commissioners. Yon speak of the Maori improperly buying guns and powder. In reply I say, well, what would you have? —when you are setting us quarrelling amongst ourselves about our land improperly bought, and you leave us alone to fight it out. It is partly to arm ourselves against each other that we buy these things. We do not buy them to be turned against you. For where are we to find a road (cause) since we hear the Governor saying that he will not be the aggressor. Look for yourself—the earth has long been shaken by you, and yet the Maori has nowhere commenced fighting, through the instrumentality of my little king who kept them down, as I have already shewn you. As to what you say about your Pakehas having no powder, cease to humbug me. Do you then feed your children upon nothing but lead? do you not add a little powder as a relish? By what kind of air then was it (the lead) propelled?

You say "It is quite evident yourselves are the cause of the faulty purchasing. It lies' neither with the Governor, nor with his Commissioners, but with the Maori." This is my answer. Are not you ashamed to put your sins upon my shoulders? When he who committed the fault has himself acknowledged it, are you to deny it? Mr. M'Lean said to us, "this fault is mine, the purchaser's; I will pay you for it"—and he paid us £1300 for that mistake. Other mistakes were likewise paid for.

This was not a subject that we intended discussing; but your having desired it, obliged us to allude to it. But it will probably be page 20Ljust the reverse at Taranaki; he (Mr. M'Lean) will not be able to admit (an error there), lest the news of it should spread far and wide, and reach the ears of everybody. Sir, listen whilst I tell you of the last errors of Mr. M'Lean after we had wiped out his former ones, the mistakes that were made subsequently, viz., Omarutairi and Ngapaeruru—these are what I am going quietly to tell you about. Omarutairi was a piece of land held by the owners as a reserve for themselves, the greater part of their possessions being already alienated. When Mr. M'Lean went to Te Aute it was reported that this land was sold. The owners went straight off and said, "Mr. M'Lean, don't buy that land, Sir." They remained three days repeating this, and then went away; and afterwards the money was secretly paid to two people. As to Ngapaeruru, this land was for sale; but by reason of the faulty purchase, you did not obtain it. This was the fault. Two men came to sell this land by stealth to Mr. M'Lean. The owners heard of it, and wrote a letter to Mr. M'Lean not to pay any money to those men. When they reached Mr. M'Lean, one of us saw them there—Karaitiana Takumoana— who suspected that they must have come to sell the land secretly. Karaitiana put Mr. M'Lean on his guard, who replied "You are right, for I have got a letter from Paora Tamaihotua." Karaitiana read the letter, and then said to Mr. M'Lean, "This letter is correct. Don't you give any money for the land to these men, but pay your money into the hands of the tribe on the spot, that the land may pass with a clear title to you." Mr. M'Lean consented to this, and as soon as Karaitiana was gone, he paid £400 as the price of Ngapaeruru. That was the fault in the case of those two men, and these wrongs prove to us those which have been committed by Mr. M'Lean and his assistants at Taranaki. It is the same Mr. M'Lean and the same system of purchase.

You say "For you have tied up the land. It was free (rangatira) formerly—aye, free from the days of your ancestors."

This is the answer. Sir, our land is free, but it is now being enslaved, inasmuch as it is being sold for money. In olden times it was not sold, but if we had a man in captivity, that was what we sold. Sir, you should have reflected that the land was free, and therefore had an investigation as a preliminary step (before proceeding to purchase). This is a suitable reply to your childish saying. You appear to suppose that by getting hold of a single individual you can gain an advantage over him. Hereafter, whenever the majority consent to a sale it shall take place. Let us have no more blundering. All our troubles have arisen from faulty working, and on this account it was that the door of land selling was shut. But when the system of buying is amended the door will be opened that sales may be conducted on a regular plan.

An expression of ours is quoted by you—"That no man will be allowed to sell his land although it should be his exclusive property." This is my reply—That expression is (quoted) both eorrectly and incorrectly. It was settled so, in consequence of your bad system of purchasing—for we had lost numbers through this same land purchasing. Whenever the Government shall have laid down some equitable system of land purchase, and when calm is once more restored (takoto rawa te aio), then the tribes who are for selling will sell their lands under a properly regulated system.

But the word (as quoted by you) is not exactly correct, for it was determined by Waikato that if the land turned out to be the individual property of Te Teira, it should be given up to the Governor. Instead of which it was a land of complicated claims, the pro-page 21Lperty of the whole tribe, the site of pas and of cultivations; and besides that, W. King and his tribe were in occupation of it.

You say—"Yes, indeed, friend Renata, for this very reason, the stoppage of sales, was the system of purchasing altered in later times." This is my answer. Do you tell me that because I with hold my land, you are therefore justified in coming and buying it by stealth? Sir, be cautious how you repeat that word; give it up once and for ever. At our first meeting at the pa Whakairo here, you said the Governor had only one plan of buying, which had been followed from the commencement down to the present time; he would never buy in any other manner. Afterwards you tell me that our own internal quarrels had put an end to the system of assembling us together, that all might witness the alienation of the land; but we see that no land was sold at the time of our war; it was sold before the fighting (with Hapuka) began, afterwards, when peace had been made, some land was sold. And who was the cause of this? A man who goes up to Auckland, and there sells the land, and the first thing the owners hear about it is that the land is gone. Others went off to Wellington, and there sold, and the first I heard of it was, that my own place, Okawa, was gone, and several others the same. Did these cases arise from the war? You buy in a hurry inside your house, and the first I hear of it, a man has passed by with the money, whilst I am continually saying, "Pay your money in the presence of the tribe to whom the land belongs, that you may obtain it with a clear title;" but Mr. M'Lean would not listen.

You told me at our last meeting that the Governor had made a rule that every individual should be free to sell his own bushel of wheat, his potatoes, his corn, and his land as well. We replied to this at the time, "That is right, as applied to the wheat, potatoes, and corn, for they are produced by the labour of his hands; but the land is an inheritance from our ancestors, a father of us all;" and besides all that, how about the rule made by all the Governors who preceded Governor Browne? the rule adopted by the Land Purchase Commissioners, and by the very man, M'Lean himself. "Although a single man should offer land to me, I will not accept it, but let the majority concur, that the purchase may be right:" In those days the land passed clearly, and everything was carried on peaceably, and with Governor Grey it ceased (i.e., purchases were carried on correctly and peaceably till the end of Sir George Grey's government, and then this system changed), and now you tell me that my withholding my land from sale has justified you in taking and buying it from any single individual. Not so; it was rather the faulty purchasing that caused the land to be retained lest it should continue to be a road to death for us. Sir, it is not I who have upset your arguments about the Governor's land buying. It was your first assertion that the Governor's system of purchasing would never be changed, by which your subsequent statements have been condemned down to the last of them. Each of your assertions is contradicted by another, and that again by others, so that those very statements carry their own condemnation on the face of them. That is all on that subject.

This is what you say about Te Teira, "Because his genealogy was published last winter." (therefore he is a chief).

This is my reply: Sir, what about his genealogy? This is the second proof that he has given you (against himself), his theft first, and now his genealogy; by these you may know him. W. King would never give his genealogy, because it is known throughout this Island; it is not recounted. That is a thing for the common man to do, who page 22Lnever was heard of before, or for an obscure thief. You must know that that is a thing done by the lower orders.

You say to me, "Lay a firm hold on the regulations of the Government in order that you may see life and length of days, and prosperity increasing without end."

To which I reply: That is the very thing. Exert yourself to point it out to me, that I may speedily see it. At present I am entirely occupied in looking at your guns, powder, and lead, and at our tribes who are being exterminated by you, through your system of seizing land.

Sir, some of your statements I do not particularly care to notice. Were all true, I should answer all. For this is the only reply to the truth, "What you say is correct." But now I have occupied months in preparing and digesting a written reply to what you said. That is my difficulty (writing). Had it been an exercise to which I had been accustomed in my youth, I should not have taken long to write an answer to what you have said; or had it been that which I understand properly—an oral discussion, it would not have taken me such a length of time to find a reply. That is all.

From Renata Tamakihikurangi,
The Spokesman of Ngatikahuhunu.

To Thomas Fitzgerald,
Superintendent, Napier.