Pioneering Reminiscences of Old Wairoa
Rumblings of War
Rumblings of War.
Up to the times of which I am writing the relations between the white man and the brown sons of the soil were passably good, even though at times some of the colonists over-reached the Maoris in matters of business, including trade and barter. Both lived in Arcadian simplicity. The virgin soil rendered up a rich harvest, and generally the unfulfilled wants were not much missed by either. But with the rise of Hauhauism in Taranaki at the instance of Horopapara Te Ua Haumene, "a change came o'er the spirit of the dream" and distrust soon blossomed into overt page 194acts in various parts of New Zealand, and the rumblings of the coming storm reached Hawkes Bay, and naturally soon drifted across the hills into the hitherto peaceful valley of the Mohaka. The Maori people still drew their food supplies from the moana, or the domains of Tane Mahuta, but while on sea or in the bush there was a lurking fear everywhere—and the happy-go-lucky white man scoffed at even the bare possibilities of danger, and the most inert of all were the military authorities. When Colonel Russell visited the Wairoa, in 1862, he reported favourably on the Native question, stating that there were then about thirty Europeans living on the banks of the Wairoa river, but none to the northward of the Wairoa, except at Waikokopu. He found only one chief of any note in Wairoa calling himself a "King's man," or a supporter of the Maori "King" movement. This was Henare Apatere, of Kihitu, locally known as "Bottle of Smoke," and in 1863 he went completely over to the "King" movement in a fiery speech made at Turanganui (Poverty Bay).