The Traditionary History of the Natives of the South Island up to the Time of their Conquest by the Northeren Tribes Under Te Rauparaha.
The question as to whence came the ancestors of the New Zealanders originally, has not yet been satisfactorily settled, and very little can be gleaned from their early traditions worthy of credit, save that some of their progenitors arrived in canoes, from some other part of Polynesia, and that those arrivals were successive.
In their traditionary legends the New Zealanders say that they came hither from a place called Hawaiki, but as the locality of the place cannot be determined, it is presumed that the term is used by the Maoris in a figurative sense. It is supposed, however, by some, allowing for a difference of pronunciation, that the Hawaiki of the Maoris is identical with the Sandwich Islands, or Hawaii, but it would seem almost incredible that people from these Islands could have come so long a distance in their frail canoes; moreover, the habits and customs of the New Zealanders are totally different from those of the Natives of that group. It has been argued, however, in favour of this hypothesis, that, when skilfully managed, the canoe of the Polynesians can brave very rough seas, and as the nearest spot from which the early immigrants could possibly have come, is over a thousand miles distant, it is reasonably presumed that a canoe able to make a voyage of that length, could, under favourable circumstances, have made a voyage three times as long. Others again have supposed that the Hawaiki of the New Zealander is an Island of the Navigator group called Sawaii, but, with the sole exception of this group being only half the distance from New Zealand that the Sandwich Islands are, there is nothing else to favour the supposition. The habits and customs of the people also are entirely different, and the language has much less affinity with that of New Zealand than the dialect spoken in some of the islands lying to the eastward, especially that of Rarotonga.
Accounts vary as to the country being uninhabited on the arrival of the New Zealanders from Hawaiki; some of their traditions, however, point to their ancestors having found inhabitants on their arrival in the country, both at Waitara, on the west coast of the North Island, and at Rotorua, in the interior. But if there were, which appears very probable, from the fact of a remnant, at present existing in the Chatham Islands, of a race which is allowed by the present New Zealander to be truly aboriginal, they have been destroyed, or become incorporated with the present race.
The Maoris account for the arrival of their ancestors in various ways. The general tradition is that their progenitors arrived from Hawaiki, in about ten principal canoes, but of different structure to those we now see, and it is generally admitted by them that the chief, Kupe, who came in the canoe Matahourua, was the first who took possession of New Zealand. This he did by naming all the rivers and mountains from Wanganui to Patea. He afterwards circumnavigated the whole of the Northern Island, giving names to many places as he sailed along its shores. Turi is the Chief mentioned as having next arrived in the canoe Aotea. Farther in point of time were the canoes, Te Arawa, and Tainui; the former was commanded by Tama te kapua and other Chiefs, and first touched land at Whangaparaoa, a headland near the East Cape; they then coasted along, touching at various places where the chiefs gave names to the principal landmarks, their object being to take possession of the land, which they did as far as Cape Colville, where Tama te Kapua died and was buried. His people then placed themselves under the guidance of Ngatoroiranga, and returned to Maketu. In the meantime, the Chiefs Ruaura and Toroa, in the canoe Matatua, had landed at Whakatane and, therefore, part of the Arawa district was taken by them from Te Awa-o-te-atua to Whangaparaoa.
The Tainui canoe, commanded by Hoturoa, came along from Whangaparaoa to Cape Colville, and went up the Tamaki river, taking possession of the district from Cape Colville to Mangawai on the east, and on the west from Manukau to Whaingaroa. The page 38next canoes of the migration were the Ngapuhi; these were named Mamari, Riukakara, and Mahuhu. The former of these went into the Hokianga river, and the people in it took possession of the land as far south of that river as Mangonui, and to the north as far as Ahipara; the Riukakara migration went into Whangaroa, and took possession of the land as far north as Mangonui, and as far south as the Bay of Islands. Mahuhu, the Ngatiwhatua canoe, touched at the North Cape, and took possession of the land not taken by the two former migrations, viz., from Mangonni along the East Coast to the North Cape, and on the West Coast to Ahipara. This migration left a number of their party at the North Cape, and the remainder came on to Kaipara, and took possession of the land from Kaipara to Mangonui on the north, and on the south to Te Taupaki. The chief Manaia, in the canoe Tokomaru, took possession of the Taranaki district. The progenitors of the Ngatiawa tribe, the most unsettled of all the migrations, arrived in New Zealand in this canoe. Manaia and his followers, it is said, found the Waitara district occupied by a people of whom they had not previously heard. These people were not a warlike race, and were easily overcome by the new comers, and many of them killed, others escaped, and, subsequently, became incorporated with the tribe of their conquerors. It is alleged also that the Waikato tribe are not all of Tainui origin, as some of them date their descent from the original people of New Zealand, who were called by the Maoris Ngatimokotorea. The next migration came in the canoe named Kurahaupo, commanded by Ruatea. Its crew landed near the East Cape, taking possession of the land from the point already taken by the Arawa round to Port Nicholson; from this migration the Rangitane and the Ngatihapa tribes are said to have descended. The old inhabitants of the Middle Island say their ancestors came in a canoe called Takitumu, commanded by Tata. This migration left Hawaiki, on account of a quarrel about a plantation. This is the only one of which it is said that when their provisions failed, they cast losts as to who should be sacrificed to the relentless cravings of hunger. The survivors landed at Tauranga, where part of the migration remained, the other portion proceeded onwards, crossed Cook's Strait, and took possession of the Middle Island.
There are many other canoes, with each of which are connected distinct migrations to New Zealand, but those named show that all the land in the North and Middle Islands was taken possession of immediately on the arrival of the first canoes.
Each one of these migrations claims the honour of being the parent family from which the whole of the New Zealand tribes have descended, and it is, therefore, a matter of some difficulty, in consequence of the contradictory statements amongst the Natives themselves as to their origin, to unravel them all, so as to arrive at the real truth; and to prevent the various traditions from conflicting, it is necessary to gather information on the subject from every tribe, and out of that to set forth that which is received as the belief of the New Zealanders, as a collective people.
Time has blotted out from the minds of the Maoris the number of years which have elapsed since the arrival of their ancestors, but information on this subject has been received from an indirect source. It was the custom of the priests in the olden days to assemble the people of each tribe at a set time to listen to a recital of their geneaology. In this way the young chiefs learnt their origin, and the causes of war and murder, as well as their relationship to other tribes. Some of the tribes kept a genealogical stick, on which they cut a mark for every generation; this, however, was not generally practised. It was the duty of the priests to preserve these sticks called "Papa tupuna,'' and from a careful examination of several of these genealogical trees, it has been ascertained that it is over 500 years since the arrival of the first canoes from Hawaiki. It is believed, however, by come writers on the subject, that the New Zealanders are of greater antiquity than is generally supposed, from the signs frequently met with in the North Island indicative of a very numerous ancient population having once dwelt in places long since desolate and uninhabited. It has also been noticed in more than one or two places in the North, where skulls and skeletons have been met with, that on enquiry it was found that none of the present generation knew anything of the people to whom these bones had belonged. This would seem either to indicate their antiquity as a race in New Zealand, or else that these remains belonged to a distinct migration, as it was invariably the custom with the New Zealander to invest the receptacles for the dead with something peculiarly sacred; in fact, to intrude or pass near one of them in olden times was visited on a person so doing with death; yet there are places where there are bones deposited, for which the Natives evince no veneration, nor do they even pay these remains of fellow-mortals that common respect which man in every state feels for the dead.
The absence, also, of all knowledge of the Moa Dinornis, by the present race of New Zealanders, is also further evidence that the time of the carly or first peopling of New Zealand is one of higher antiquity than is generally supposed, as it has been proved by the different circumstances under which the remains of the Moa have been found, that although some of these remains may be assigned to a period antecedent to the arrival of the aborigines, others are found associated with the works of man in such a manner as to leave no doubt that they co-existed with the earliest aborigines, and were largely used as food, along with the seals, and a variety of other animals.
It was on a somewhat similar principle as the practice alluded to above, that the New Zealanders preserved a record of their ancestral claims to land. A Maori invariably grounded his claim on the right of his grandfather or grandmother, and not of his father, mother, brother, or any other immediate kindred; and, although be had no written record to guide him in this knowledge of his page 39ancestors and their claims, he was, nevertheless, carefully taught by his father or grandfather the history of his progenitors; and was frequently taken to the boundaries of his hereditary claims, so that, with a memory singularly retentive, he could not only recount the traditions of his ancestors for ten or twelve generations, but even of each branch of every family or offshoot. It was a custom also to go at certain times to the utmost limit of the land claimed, and partially clear and cultivate a portion here and there; this was called "uru uru whenua, and the duty devolved on the chiefs, a certain number only of whom went each time the ceremony recurred, so that when a total division took place, that portion of the tribe which joined the chiefs who had been last engaged in the ceremony of "uru uru whenua,'' claimed the particular land where it had taken place. The custom only applied to the land originally settled by the first migration, not to lands which had been acquired by conquest, gift, or utu, for curses or other injuries.
A somewhat similar custom as that followed by the Maoris, known as "beating the bounds,'' prevails in some parts of England, for maintaining the boundaries of the parishes. The clergymen of the parish, together with the churchwardens, walk round the boundaries on Ascension Thursday. In this perambulation they are accompanied by the boys of the parish school, and their master, the boys carrying willow wands with which they strike the various boundary marks. From this practice arises the term "beating the bounds." It was the custom also in earlier times to whip a boy or boys at stated places on the boundary line, in order that the remembrance of the place might not pass away when he grew up.
As but little is known of the aboriginal tribes of the Middle Island, and as it is generally supposed that the Ngaitahu tribe now inhabiting the Southern Provinces, and the remnants of the Rangitane tribe, residing in the Pelorus, were probably the sole inhabitants prior to the country being conquered by Te Rauperaha and his followers, it is proposed to devote this chapter to a sketch of the early history of the Aborigines, so far as it has been possible to acquire information respecting it. It is no easy matter to acquire knowledge of this kind, as all the Natives do not know how to "Wakapapatupuna," literally arrange their ancestors in ranks, and it required generally the stimulus of a quarrel about some boundary line, or the prospect of selling land, or a dispute about what had been sold wrongfully by other Natives to induce those who possessed the best information to enter on the subject. There also exists a delicacy in meddling with the ancestors of any but their own immediate families, unless in their presence; for should an error be committed by giving a false pedigree for another family, it would be a cause of quarrel, which is not to be wondered at, when it is remembered how intimately, their land titles are connected with their family history. The son of a chief in olden times invariably attended his father or grandfather in all his fishing, hunting, or spearing excursions, and it was in these that he learnt by occular demonstration the exact boundaries of his lands, and the thousand names within the limits of his hereditary claim were his daily lesson from childhood. It may, therefore, be safely asserted, that there is not a hill, or valley, stream, river, or forest which has not a name, the index of some point of Maori history.
The difficulty of obtaining from any Native of New Zealand information about the ancestors of other than his own family, forms indirectly a strong proof of the credibility of what has been learnt of the history of these people; and the account which the members of a tribe are able to give of the early wanderings of their ancestors, and of their wars with other tribes, subsequent to their first settlement in New Zealand, is generally fairly within the limits of probability, and may be considered to rest on authority equally worthy of credit as much of the early histories of European nations.
According to Native traditions, the crew of the canoe Takitumu, or as it was sometimes called for its fast sailing Horouta, were the first to people the Middle Island; there appears to be no record, however, of what became of these people. A branch of the Ngatihau from Wanganui, under a Chief named Tauirapareko, were the next to cross over to the Middle Island, a section of whom called Ngatiwairangi, with their Chief Tawhirikakahu, settled at Arahura, on the West Coast. The Ngaituahuriri hapu, one of the most powerful sections of the Ngaitahu tribe of the present day, owe their origin to this tribe. Next in point of time, was a tribe named Pohea, also from Wanganui; they settled in the neighbourhood of Nelson (Wakatu), where they built a large pah called Matangiawea. The tribe Ngatitumatakokiri, were the next to arrive and spread themselves over the Wakapuaka, Nelson, Waimea, Motueka, Rotoiti, Rotoroa, and Massacre Bay districts, and the West Coast as far south as the River Karamea. They are said to be descended from a Chief named Tumatakokiri, and to have come originally from Taupo to Wanganui, where, after dwelling for a while, they crossed over to the Middle Island, and settled at Arapaoa, Queen Charlotte Sound, from whence, in course of time, as their descendants increased, they spread themselves over to the westward, occupying the shores of Blind and Massacre Bays; and it is supposed, according to Native account, that it was a few of this tribe who attacked Tasman's boat's crew, 18th December, 1642, on his visit to that part of the Middle Island, which he describes in his voyages as having named Massacre Bay, in consequence of this unhappy affray; iu corroboration of which, the locality pointed out by the Natives as having been the scene of the first unfortunate meeting between the European and Native races, is situated in close proximity to the Tata Islands, in what is now known as Golden Bay.
The next immigration in point of time was a branch of the Ngapuhi tribe, known as Te Aitanga o Terapuai, who came from the North Island, under a Chief named Te Puhirere, and landed at the Wairau, and in course of time scattered themselves south as page 40far as Kaiapoi, in the Canterbury Province. They are reported to have been very numerous; even on the mountains heaps of shells left by them show the extent of their occupation. Next came Waitaha, who claim their descent from a chief of that name, whose ancestors arrived in Te Arawa canoe from Hawaiki, under the command of Tama to Kapua.
The Chief Waitaha is said to have taken up his abode in the interior of the North Island, on a hill overlooking the Taupo Lake. In course of time his descendants, either driven out by their more powerful neighbours, or desirous of seeking a new home nearer the coast, moved southwards, and about two hundred years after the arrival of their ancestors from Hawaiki, they crossed Cook's Strait, and settled in the Middle Island. This tribe dwelt peaceably with and quarrelled alternately, mixed and intermarried with Te Aitanga o Terapuai. These people, however, did not continue long in undisturbed possession of the hills and plains of Te Wahi Pounamu, another tribe arrived after a time to dispute their right to the rich hunting and fishing grounds. In a fit of generous impulse, the Waitaha sent across the Straits to their friends the Ngatimamoe some of the superabundant stores that it was their good fortune to have accumulated. As their friends smacked their lips over these dainties furnished from the Southern Island, they resolved to wrest the coveted preserves from the Waitaha. Unused to war, the old inhabitants were easily subdued, and their possessions taken from them by the invaders, but after a while, peaceful relations were restored between the tribes, and intermarriages took place. These tribes combined are supposed to constitute the Patea. The Ngatimamoe are said to have sprung from a Chief named Turi, who came in the canoe named Aotea.
In course of time, another distant tribe, named Ngaitara, crossed the Strait, and settled near the Waitaha, in the neighbourhood of Queen Charlotte Sound, with whom they intermarried, and lived on terms of friendship for some years. To the eastward of them, the country about the Wairau, was peopled by a tribe called Te Huataki, whose ancestors also came from the North Island. Te Ao Marire, a chief of the Ngaitara, was buried in a cave near the summit of a mountain named Kaihinu, where his bones rested in peace, till the warlike Ngatikuri, a branch of the Ngatiruanui tribe, headed by Puraho, arrived from the north, and occupied the country in and about Wairau. Anxious to provoke a quarrel with the Ngaitara, they sent some of their young men to desecrate Ao Marire's tomb, and bring down his leg and arm bones, which they converted into fish hooks. A chief's bones were supposed to possess the virtue of attracting fish. Taking occasion when some Ngaitara visitors were present to make use of some insulting remarks concerning the virtue of a certain chief's bones, instanced by their success on the fishing ground, their visitors suspected that the allusion was intended to point to their deceased chief, and on visiting the cavern in which Ao Marire was buried, they found, to their horror, that his remains had been disturbed and partly removed. Dissembling their rage for many months they made a sudden and unexpected attack on the Ngatikuri, and killed Puraho, their leader. Fearing they might be overwhelmed by superior numbers, the Ngatikuri abandoned their pah in the Wairau and fled, to Te Pukatea (White's Bay), from where they made marauding attacks on Ngaitara; they then retreated south along the East Coast, and attacked Ngatimamoe at Waipapa, with whom they fought continually until they took Kaikoura.
About this time a powerful reinforcement was brought over from Terawiti by a chief named Turakautahi, whose father and grandfather, in making a similar attempt before, had been drowned, with their crew, by the upsetting of their canoe off Raukawa (Cook's Strait). Turakautahi, with his younger brother Moko, landed his forces at Totaranui, Queen Charlotte Sound, and had to fight his way through Ngaitara and Te Huataki before he could join the Ngatikuri at Kaikoura.
The Ngatikuri, after this, spread rapidly southward. In those days the Canterbury plains were covered with forests, through which the rivers made their way to the sea; but these forests have since been destroyed, owing to the clearings made in them by the Maoris having been fired by the latter from time to time for cultivation. Within the memory of Natives still living, a forest extended from the River Ashley, Rakahauri, to the hills on Bank's Peninsula, with only a few intervening spaces of open country; and till very lately, solitary trees dotted the plains to the south and west of Christchurch, marking the sites of ancient forests.
Tutewaimate, a Waitaha chief, ruled over a numerous and powerful tribe on the banks of the Rakaia river. The Ngatikuri were already poaching on his fishing and game preserves, and acting in a manner likely to provoke a war. But what brought matters to a climax, was the murder of a near relative of Tutewaimate's, by Moko, a chief of the Ngatikuri. This chief had fixed his pah on the banks of the Waipara river, his choice or the spot having been determined by the existence of a cave, in which he took up his abode. Here, the highway to the north, which was a good deal frequented, passed close to his hold, where supported by a few desperate men, he robbed and murdered all who passed by in small parties. He found this a very profitable occupation, as large quantities of mutton birds, dried fish, prepared ti palm, and other Native products were carried north, and supplies of clothes (Native mats) and other things brought back in return.
Tutewaimate, exasperated, beyond all endurance, by the murder of his relation, at once summoned his people to take warlike measures against the Ngatikuri. At Rangiora, to the westward of Kaiapoi, there were two large pahs belonging to the Ngatikuri, one called Mairangi, and the other Kapuke Ariki, containing page 41together about 2000 inhabitants. These were taken and destroyed. Leaving the bulk of his forces there, Tutewaimate pushed on with a few men to Moko's stronghold. He found the place quite unprepared; the men were all away except Moko, who was asleep in his cava. Tutewaimate advanced to the mouth of it and saw his enemy asleep before the fire, but, in the true spirit of chivalry, he scorned to strike his sleeping foe, and raising his voice, he uttered his challenge:—"I, Tutewaimate! Tutewaimate son of Popotahi! Swift as the wind from the Rakaia gorge. I have forestalled the drying of the morning dew!" The startled robber raised himself to a sitting posture, and replied, "Ho! Moko! Moko son of Hautere. The rushing wind on the mountain side. The man raised on uncooked shark." As he uttered the last word, the treacherous Moko struck his generous foe a sudden and unexpected blow that felled him to the earth, where he soon put an end to his life.
The allusion to the uncooked shark, means that like that fish he would prove hard to catch, and when caught hard to kill. To die like a shark is a proverbial expression among the Maoris.
After the death of Tutewaimate, the tribes kept up a perpetual warfare for many years, until but a small remnant remained, and these eventually became absorbed by the Ngatimamoe, who then existed in large numbers in that part of the Island. During the period while these tribes were engaged in this internecine war, another migration of Natives took place from the North Island. The ancestors of the Maoris now residing between Cape Campbell and Stewart's Island, crossed the Strait about 300 years ago, and took up their abode in the first place on the East Coast to the south of Cape Campbell. This tribe is said to be descended from a powerful tribe, called Ngatikahuhunu, who extended in those days from Turanga-nui-a-rua (Poverty Bay), all along the north shores of Cook's Strait, including Wairarapa and Porirua, and are probably the descendants of the crew of the canoe Kurahaupo, commanded by Ruatea, who arrived with the first migration, and took possession of the country from the point already taken by the Arawa, round to Port Nicholson.
The branch of the Ngatikahuhunu who located themselves in the Middle Island, were styled Ngaitahu, from their ancestor Tahu. The desire to possess themselves of the greenstone (pounamu), which was only to be found in the Middle Island, is supposed to have been the chief inducement which urged large bodies of this tribe at different times to invade the country of the Ngatimamoe, who had become celebrated as possessing this treasure. The Ngatimamoe, instead of resisting the invasion, endeavoured by every means to avert war. They relinquished a large portion of the country to the Ngaitahu, and supplied them for a time with food. For several years these tribes, cemented by the intermarriages of their members, lived peaceably together, but at length the Ngaitahu becoming dissatisfied with the locality occupied by them, removed to the Wairau, leaving behind two of their chiefs who had married Ngatimamoe women. The two cousins dwelt in different places; Apoka with his wives and a few slaves; Tuteuretira in a pah with 300 Ngatimamoe, who had chosen him for their leader.
Apoka's ground was too poor to cultivate, and game rarely frequented the woods in his neighbourhood. He was consequently compelled to subsist chiefly on fern root. He, however, bore all this cheerfully, till his suspicions were aroused that his wives partook of better fare than they chose to set before him; and he observed that, although they paid frequent visits to their relatives, who resided at a place celebrated for the variety or its supplies, they never brought anything to vary the sameness of his diet. He was convinced those visits were made to replenish secret stores, kept from him by his wives at the suggestions of their people, who, perhaps, thought that if he once tasted the good things of Waipapa, he might advise his tribe to take possession of it by force. His wives indignantly denied that they ate anything better than the food given to their lord. Convinced, however, that they deceived him, and brooding over his wrongs, he resolved to seek his cousin's advice. He accordingly proceeded to the settlement where his cousin resided, and found him in the midst of a large kumera plantation, urging on the labors of a large number of men. Tuteuretira inquired whether he should cause the men to desist from their work, and adjourn to the pah to listen to whatever he had to say. "No," replied Apoka, "my business is with you alone." The two cousins then proceeded to the pah, where they performed certain rites, and then retired to the verandah of the chief's house, where one of his wives had arranged some food for the refreshment of the guest. Tuteuretira begged his cousin to partake of the food, and then tell him his business, before the people returned from the field to prepare a feast to his honour. Apoka bent his head a long time in silence, and then said, "I am stupefied, I am amazed at the variety of food;" then, pointing to each basket before him, he inquired their contents. He then resumed his silence, and fixing his eyes on the ground, remained in that position for some hours. He was aroused from his reverie by the arrival of the tribe, bringing the feast they had prepared, which they set down in little piles before him. He gave but one answer to all their pressing invitations to eat, "I am overcome, I am astonished, I cannot eat." "But how is it," inquired his cousin, quite puzzled at his strange conduct, "that you, who have married Ngatimamoe women, should express such astonishment at the every-day fare of that people, surely you enjoy the same advantages as myself by your connection with them." In reply, Apoka told him his suspicions respecting his wives. Tuteuretira advised him to refer the matter to the elders of the tribe at Wairau, who would be only too glad to take up his quarrel, that they might dispossess the Ngatimamoe of Waipapa, Apoka, satisfied with the advice, rose and returned, fasting, to his home, where his wives brought page 42him the usual meal, of which he partook, and then retired to rest. To lull any suspicion that might arise respecting the object of his visit to Wairau, he set off for Waipapa early the next morning, accompanied by a slave bearing his fishing tackle. The canoes were already launched when he arrived, and all the men were about starting on a fishing expedition; on seeing him, however, the chief gave immediate orders that the canoes should be drawn up, and that everyone should return to the pah, out of respect to his son-in-law. But when Apoka told him that his only object in coming was to accompany them, the canoes were manned, and they all started for the fishing ground. Only two fish were caught, and those by Apoka. The whole party were much annoyed at their want of success, and looked upon it as an ill omen. On landing, Apoka's friends begged him to remain and partake of their hospitality; but he refused to stay, and returned with the fish, which he hung up as an offering to his Atua. He then ordered his wives to prepare a quantity of fern root, as he intended to take a long journey. As soon as his arrangements were completed he took one of the fish, and, having fastened it to a pole, he bore it on his shoulders to the Wairau. His tribe no sooner saw him than they interpreted the symbol to be a token of a disturbed mind, and immediately guessed his errand. They gave him a hearty welcome, and crowded eagerly round him to hear the story of his wrongs. As he detailed the various circumstances their indignation rose higher and higher, and when he proposed to lead them against the Ngatimamoe, young and old shouted with delight.
It was agreed that the close relationship existing between himself and his wives sheltered them from punishment, and that the insult they had offered must be wiped out by the blood of their tribe. Fearing to go near Tuteuretira, lest the Ngatimamoe should be warned of their danger, the war party took a very circuitous route, and came upon the doomed pah at dawn. Apoka knowing it was the custom of the inhabitants to go early every day to fish, placed his men in ambush round the pah, directing Urikore, a warrior famed for his bravery, to lie in wait under the principal chief's canoe. His arrangements were scarcely completed before Paua, the chief alluded to, appeared; he was a very tall man, and so powerful that, unaided, he could launch a war canoe. As he placed his shoulder against the bow of his canoe to push it as usual into the water, Urikore rose and felled him to the ground with a club. The cry that Paua was killed struck terror into the hearts of the Ngatimamoe, and ere they could recover themselves, the place was stormed and taken; a few only escaped, the rest were either eaten or reduced to slavery.
Apoka, whose hatred seemed implacable, resolved to destroy that portion of the Ngatimamoe, over whom Tuteuretira ruled. He, accordingly, sent Urikore, clothed in the spoils of Paua, to inform Tuteuretira of his danger. As Urikore approached the pah, the garments he wore were recognised by Paua's relations, who bewailed his sad fate with loud lamentations. Deserted by Tuteuretira, who returned with Urikore to the camp of his victorious countrymen, and dreading an attack, the Ngatimamoe abandoned their settlement, and fled some distance down the coast towards the Kaikouras, where they remained a long time undisturbed.
After selecting a strong position on which they erected a fortified pah, and being joined by other portions of the tribe, they were emboldened to attack a party of the Ngaitahu when out fishing. They succeeded in capturing all the canoes but one, that of Kaue, which escaped with the loss of most of the crew. This led to a renewal of hostilities between the Ngaitahu and Ngatimamoe. A battle ensued, in which the latter were defeated, and retired within their fortifications. The Ngaitahu then laid seige to the place for months, and tried in vain to effect an entrance. A council of Chiefs was held, at which one young man proposed to draw the enemy out by stratagem. His plan was approved of, and he proceeded to carry it out the following morning. Putting on two feather mats, and armed with a mere, or club, he went down before dawn to the beach, and entering the surf, threw himself down and allowed the waves to carry him backward and forward, occasionally raising his arm that it might appear like a fin. The sentinels took notice of the dark object in the water, which they concluded must be either a seal or a young whale. The cry of "Hei ika moana! Hei ika moana!" (a stranded fish! a stranded fish!) brought the whole pah to their doors, and a general rush followed to secure the prize. The stockade was so close to the beach that the people did not hesitate to open the gate; the foremost man plunged into the surf, but ere he discovered his error, the supposed fish rose and struck him dead. An alarm was immediately given, the crowd fell back within the pah, and the scheme failed. Weakened and wearied by this perpetual strife, the two tribes laid down their arms and made peace. It was not, however, a peace of long duration. Manawa, a chief of the Ngaitahu, demanded Ahuarangi, daughter of Tukiau, Chief of the Ngatimamoe, as a wife for his son. The manner in which the proposal was made gave offence to the tribe, and they refused their assent. In spite of the failure of his first attempt, Manawa, the following year, renewed his proposal. Accompanied by a hundred of his followers, he sought the Ngatimamoe pah at Kaikoura. Messengers were sent forward to announce his approach, and the cause of his visit. On his arrival he was greeted in the usual manner, and his party, as they entered the stronghold, were shown into a large house set apart for their reception. Manawa was the last to enter; the moment he bent his head and stepped through the opening, Tukiau who was standing by the gate, struck him a violent blow with a stone axe. Manawa staggered forward, but before he reached his companions, he received a more violent blow on the head. Immediately he got into the house, the door was closed, and the old chief after wiping the blood from his face, addressed his men. He told them page 43that their case was hopeless, caught in a trap, and surrounded by foes, they must prepare to die; all he desired was that an attempt should be made to carry to the Ngaitahu tidings of their cruel fate. Many volunteered for the dangerous service, one was chosen from the number. Manawa, after smearing his forehead with blood, charged him to be brave, and committing him to the care of his atuas (demons), sent him forth. Hundreds of spears were aimed at the messenger who fell transfixed ere he advanced a pace. Again and again the attempt to escape was repeated, but in vain. The imprisoned band grew dispirited, and Manawa failed to obtain a response to his call for more volunteers. At length, a youth, nearly related to him, offered to make the attempt. The moment was propitious—the enemy, certain of success, guarded the door with less vigilance. Smeared with the blood of the dying chief, and charged with his last message to his family and tribe, the youth sprung out, warding off the spears hurled at him; and evading his pursuers amongst the houses and enclosures, he reached the outer fence, over which he climbed in safety, and turned to rush down the hill, but the only path bristled with spears. His enemies were pressing upon him, one chance for life remained; the pah stood upon a cliff, and by leaping down upon the beach he might escape. He made the attempt, and a shout of triumph rose from his foes when they saw his body extended on the sand, but their rage knew no bounds when he sprung up, and in a loud voice defied them to track the swift feet of the son of Tahu.
The Ngatimamoe then proceeded to kill and eat the victims of their treachery. In the meantime the sole survivor of Manawa's party arrived at Waipapa with the startling intelligence of their fate. The Ngaitahu were quite unmanned by this unexpected blow. They resolved, however, to let a year pass ere they avenged the death of their chief, fearing if they should attack the Ngatimamoe, at a place where blood dear to them had so recently been spilt, a panic might seize them, and victory, after all, fall to their treacherous foes. They waited, therefore, till the grass had grown over the oven in which Manawa was cooked, and had hidden all traces of his sad fate. The war party was then summoned, and it was decided to proceed by sea. All except Kaue, the survivor of a former massacre, were ready on the appointed day, and he was told to follow. Vexed at being left behind, he urged the men to hasten the fittings of his canoe. As soon as they were completed he launched forth, and sailed in quest of his friends. On the second day he saw their camp, but, passing by them, landed on a point which served to conceal his canoe, and from which he could discern the Ngatimamoe pah. Seeing the enemy leaving the shore in the morning to fish, he waited until they anchored, and then, coming from his retreat, charged down upon them, and succeeded in capturing one canoe. Killing the crew, he bound the chief, and then paddled back to the place where his comrades were encamped. They mistook him at first for an enemy, and were not a little surprised when they recognised the very man they were waiting for. Seeing he had a prisoner, they called to ask who he was, and Kaue replied "Tukaruatoro." "He is my brother-in-law," shouted Muru, who came running down to the edge of the water with a mat to cover him. (If a chief wished to spare a particular prisoner it was customary to throw one of his garments over him) Kaue, fearing his prisoner's life would be spared, stooped down and bit off his right ear and eat it. "Oh! oh!" cried the man; "Aha!" said Kaue, "did Manawa cry when he was struck;" and, stooping down, he bit off the other ear. The brother-in-law, seeing Kaue's determination to retaliate Manawa's death on the prisoner, gave him up to be eaten. The next day, the Ngaitahu laid seige to the pah, but its impregnable position baffled every effort to take it. Food failed beseigers and besieged. The Ngaitahu were about to retire, when one of the party, named Tuterangiapiapi, who was related to persons in the place, hit upon a plan for its destruction. Without divulging his design, he asked permission to visit the Ngatimamoe, for the ostensible purpose of offering conditions of peace. He was well received by the besieged, and his visits became frequent and long continued. The Ngaitahu grew impatient at the delay, and wanted to know how he was to effect his object. "Wait," he said, "till a nor-wester blows, and then seize the opportunity afforded you." When the wind did blow from that quarter, Tuterangiapiapi went as usual and seated himself in the doorway of one of the houses near the lower end of the pah. Having procured one of the long stones with which the women prepared the fern root, he fastened one end to a piece of flax and put the other into the fire, and when it was red hot he watched his opportunity and slung it into the thatch of an adjoining house. A cry of fire soon arose. The unsuspected perpetrator rushed out to assist the crowd who were trying to extinguish the flames, but, in his apparent haste to pull off the burning thatch, he threw it in such a manner that the wind blew it to the other houses, and in a few moments the whole place was involved in the conflagration. Under the cover of the smoke the Ngaitahu entered, and a general massacre ensued.
The Ngatimamoe, after the destruction of their pah at Kaikoura, retreated south as far as Kaiapoi, in the Canterbury Province, where they were left unmolested for a time, while the Ngaitahu were engaged in building fortified pahs at Kaikoura. As soon, however, as they were fairly established there, they despatched a taua (war party) in canoes to the east coast of Bank's Peninsula, where they stormed [unclear: pah] occupied by the Ngatimamoe, called Pare Wakatu. Soon after this, the Ngatimamoe were again defeated at a place called Parekakariki, and then at Waikakai, where one of their Chiefs, named Tutekawa, was killed, and another, named Rangitamau, was taken prisoner.
After this the Ngaitahu advanced on Kaiapoi, where Tukiau had fled after murdering Manawa at Kaikoura; there they killed and drove out the Ngatimamoe, and took page 44possession of the country, killing or keeping as slaves all that fell into their hands. The Ngatimamoe, weakened and dispirited, retreated south beyond Taumutu.
After this the conquered lands were divided amongst the Ngaitahu. Te Ruahikihiki, a son of Manawa, who had gone back to the parent tribe, in the North Island to raise fresh forces among his relations, to avenge the death of his father, returned about this time, and settled at Taumutu. This being the most southern point of the newly acquired territory, was the place where he would be most likely to encounter his foe, and obtain the "utu" or satisfaction he desired. Fighting parties were sent against the Ngatimamoe from time to time, but, for many years, no advantage was gained by either side.
About this time a division of the Ngaitahu proceeded to Arahura, on the West Coast, for the purpose of getting possession of the pounamu (greenstone). Although, it has been alleged that it was probably the fame of the pounamu that induced the Ngaitahu tribe to invade the Middle Island, it would seem doubtful, however, whether the tribes of the Northern Island knew of the existence of this stone, until many years after the country was in the possession of the Ngaitahu, and the following account is narrated by some of the Natives of the present generation as the cause that led to its being more generally known.* In those days the West Coast of the Middle Island was inhabited by a tribe called Ngatiwairenga. A few of this tribe being on a visit to the Ngaitahu, at Kaiapoi, a woman amongst the party called Raureka, observing the Ngaitahu making axes out of a hard black stone, commenced to laugh and make fun of them, saying, her people made tools of a better kind, and of a more durable material than they did, at the same exhibiting a small adze of greenstone. The Ngaitahu were much struck with the beauty of this adze, which was made of the kind of greenstone called inanga, and eagerly inquired where it was procured. On being told the locality, it was agreed that three of the Ngaitahu should accompany the Ngatiwairenga back to the West Coast, and see this now much coveted stone. On their return they stated that the greenstone was found at Arahura, and that it existed in large quantities there.
The cupidity of the Ngaitahu being excited with the intelligence, a large body of them travelled across the Island to the West Coast, where they speedily overcame the Ngatiwairenga, most of whom were killed, with the exception of a few women and children, who were spared by and embodied into the Ngaitahu tribe.
After these events a portion of the Ngaitahu, designated the Poutini Ngaitahu, to distinguish them from the East Coast branch settled on the West Coast, where their descendants have ever since resided.
The Ngaitahu had not been long in possession of the West Coast, before they were attacked by the Ngatitumatakokiri, but, as the attacking party were not large, no advantage was gained by them, and they withdrew to Mohua (Native name of the northern portion of the Middle Island). The Ngaitahu and Ngatitumatakokiri seem to have had occasional fights about the right of catching the weka, kiwi, and kakapo, in the Upper Grey and Buller districts, but nothing of any moment took place between them during the first century of the occupation of the Middle Island by the Ngaitahu.
* Note.— According to Native tradition, a Chief named Ngahue was the first to discover the pounamn. This Chief it is said was driven from Hawaiki, through the jealousy of a woman named Hinetuaohanga, and on discovering New Zealand, he took up his abode at Arahura, on the West Coast of the Middle Island. During his residence there, he found a block of the greenstone so much prised by the Maoris, which he took back with him to Hawaiki. Te Ngahue never returned to New Zealand, but his people hearing of the fame thereof, and being desirious of emigrating, on account of a quarrel with a neighbouring tribe, embarked for that place, and it is said that it was out of the pounamu taken back to Hawaiki by Te Ngahue, that the axes were made which were used in constructing the canoes, Te Arawa, and Tainui, in which these people came to New Zealand. It is supposed also by the Maoris that a small piece of the same stone was fashioned into an ear-ring (Tara pounamu), and bronght back by the crews of Te Arawa and Tainui, the ancestors of the Ngatitos, from whom it has descended as a heir loom through several generations. This ornament was called Kaitangata, and was presented to Sir George Grey in 1853, on the occasion of his departure for England, by Te Rangihaeata, the principal Chief of that tribe, as an assurance of their regard and esteem.
Messengers were at once despatched to the Ngatituahuriri hapu at Kaiapoi, and to other portions of the tribe residing further north, to inform them of the mishap which had befallen the followers of Tarawhai, and requesting them to assemble as quickly as possible, and take revenge for the death of their friends. These of the tribe at once combined with their southern friends, and great was the slaughter of the now doomed Ngatimamoa, who were driven south, and being almost surrounded by the Ngaitahu, they took refuge in the fastnesses of the southern forests.
This was the last time the Ngatimamoe made any stand against the conquering Ngaitahu. Weakened by successive defeats, and terrified at the treatment they met with from the dominant tribe, they ceased to build pahs, secreted themselves in caverns, and fled on the approach of strangers. In Lyttleson harbour there is a cave which formed the retreat of a small tribe, and near Timaru there are several, the sides of which are covered with rude images of men, fishes, &c., which in like manner afforded shelter to this unhappy people. In course of time, however, peace was again renewed between the remnant of this tribe and their conquerors, and a partial incorporation with the latter may be inferred from the existence of a hapu of that name amongst the Ngaitahu of the present time:
The pursuit of bird hunting and eel fishing at the sources of the Maruia, Clarence, and Wai-au-uwha, led to frequent skirmishes between the East and West Coast, Ngaitahu and the Ngatitumatakokiri.
This tribe appear to have held undisturbed possession of the country to the north of the Buller for over a century, after the first settlement of the Ngaitahu in the Middle Island, when their territory was invaded by a division of the Ngatihapa tribe, from the neighbourhood of Wanganui, in the North Island, who partially conquered them, but after a time, withdrew again to their own district. The Ngatitumatakokiri, with a view to avenge themselves on this tribe, determined to cross the Strait and attack them at Kapiti, where they then resided, but in attempting to cross over, large numbers were drowned, and the remainder who landed were so few in number that they fell easy victims to their enemies. No further attempt at conquest appears to have been made by the Ngatihapa until about 60 years ago, when, taking advantage of a war then raging between the Ngaitahu and Ngatitumatakokiri, they crossed over to Massacre Bay, and again attacked them. The Ngatitumatakokiri having about this time, unfortunately, killed a Ngaitahu Chief named Pakeke, at Maruia, it was determined by both the Ngatituahuriri and Poutini Ngaitahu to take revenge. Two fighting parties started unknown to one another, almost simultaneously, one from Kaiapoi and one from Arahura, the former, headed by Te Warekino, an influential Chief, travelled by the Hurunui to Lake Sumner; thence by the sources of the most northerly branch of the Wai-au-wha, and the pass of Kai Tangata to Maruia, following this river until its junction with the Kawatiri or Buller, they proceeded, after crossing the Buller, in a northerly direction by the valley of the Matiri, a tributary of the Buller, to the source of the River Karamea, down which they proceeded to the Coast, where they remained some days eel fishing. The party of Poutini Natives, headed by their principal Chief, Tuhuru (father of the late Chief Tarapuhi te Kaukihi, of Mawhera), travelled by the coast, and reached Karamea at the time that Warekino, and his people were engaged in eel fishing; seeing tracks of men on the sand at Karamea, they supposed that it was some of the Ngatitumatakokiri, whom they were in quest. Tuhuru and another Native cautiously approached the Ngatituahuriri encampment. Tuhuru's companion being in advance, came suddenly on Te Warekino (who was engaged baiting an eel basket), and, taking one another for enemies, a scuffle ensued, when the Poutini Native was thrown down, and would have been killed by Te Warekino but for the timely arrival of Tuhuru at the scene of the encounter; he at once, without ceremony, made a stroke at Te Warekino with his spear, and ran him through the arm, at the same time giving him a push forward on his face; before he could rise he was seized by the hair of the head by Tahuru, who intended giving him a finishing stroke with his club, when he suddenly recognised him as Te Warekino, and a cousin of his own. The Ngatituahuriri, attracted by the quarrel, had, by this time, assembled round their leader, whereupon the mistake was explained, and they at once joined forces and proceeded to West Wanganui, led by Tuhuru. There they attacked the Ngatitumatakokiri, and killed large numbers, but, after a time, retired to Arahura, from whence Warekino and his people returned to Kaiapoi.
The Ngatitumatakokiri were shortly afterwards again attacked by the Ngatihapa, and driven on to the West Coast; and the last of them, consisting of Te Pau and Te Kokihi, two of the principal Chiefs, and a few followers, were killed by Tuhuru and his people, on the Paparoha range, dividing the Valleys of the Grey and Buller. The Ngatihapa had now entire possession of the country formerly occupied by the Ngatitumatakokiri; but events page 46were taking place in the North Island amongst the tribes there, which, eventually, led to their being dispossessed of their newly acquired territory.
The acquisition of firearms by Hongi, a Chief of the Ngapuhi tribe, while on a visit to England, in 1820, led to serious results. On his return to New Zealand, in 1822 he armed his own tribe and its allies with the warlike presents which he had received in England. His superior weapons gave him an immense advantage over the tribes, which he attacked in all directions, from the seat of his own tribe, near the Bay of Islands. Besides a bloody raid to the northward, he directed all his strength against the powerful tribes which inhabited the western coast of the North Island, between Kaipara and Waikato, who were swept off by thousands to satisfy his insatiable thirst for power. These tribes, driven from their homes, employed against the weaker tribes the skill and hardihood which they had acquired in resisting Hongi.
Early in 1822, Te Rauparaha, the principal Chief of the Ngatitoa tribe, who, subsequently, proved such a scourge to the Natives of the Middle Island, terrified at the deeds of Hongi in the North, fled southward with his followers to the neighborhood of Taranaki. There they found two large tribes, the Ngatiawa and Ngatimutunga, with whom they had repeated conflicts; but, as their common enemy, the Waikato, pressed onward, they made peace with each other. From Taranaki, assisted by these tribes, and the Ngatiraukawa, Rauperaha commenced his depopulating wars among the Native tribes residing to the southward, and conquered and over-ran the whole coast line of the Northern Island, from Kawhia nearly to Hawke's Bay, destroying and taking captives, or driving into the mountain fastnesses, the denizens of the soil. The Ngatiawa and Ngatimutunga took possession of the country about Port Nicholson, then in the occupation of a tribe called the Ngatikahuhunu; this tribe they drove out as far as the East Cape, from where they made frequent inroads on their conquerors.
The Ngatimutunga, afterwards, in fear of Te Rauparaha, whose treacherous conduct at that time was creating distrust in the minds of all the tribes in his neighbourhood, migrated in 1838 to the Chatham Islands, in the brig "Rodney," where they soon overpowered the Aborigines, killing some, and reducing the remnant to slavery.
Rauperaha, not satisfied with the conquests he had made in the North Island, carried the war over to the southern shores of Cook's Strait. In 1627, having purchased large supplies of guns and ammunition from the whalers in Cook's Strait, he crossed over to the Middle Island with an allied force, composed of picked men from the Ngatitoa, Ngatiawa and Ngatitama tribes under their leaders, Niho, Takarei, Te Kanae, Te Koihua, and Te Puoho.
The first landing of this formidable force was at Rangitoto (D'Urville's Island), and Queen Charlotte Sound. They speedily subdued the Rangitane, a large tribe then occupying the Pelorus, Wairau, and Awatere districts, only a small remnant being saved from death, who never regained their liberty, and are now represented by the Ngatikuia of the Pelorus.
The invading forces seem after this to have divided. Te Rauparaha, with a body of the Ngatitoa and Ngatiawa, proceeded by way of the East Coast to Kaikoura, to avenge himself upon the Ngaitahu residing there, for a vain boast made by their Chief, Te Rerewaka, that he would rip open Rauparaha's body with a shark's tooth (niho mango), one of the substitutes for a knife, should he ever dare to set foot upon his territory. This threat was repeated to Rauparaha by a runaway slave; the crafty Chief was glad of the excuse it afforded him for attacking the southern islanders, rich in greenstone, which was at that time highly prized amongst the Natives, and he promised himself an easy victory, as the Natives in the south were not then possessed of firearms and ammunition, or only to a limited extent.
Many years had been suffered to pass without any attempt being made to avenge the insult, as Rauparaha was engaged in wars with tribes in the other Island, besides being desirous to throw Rerewaka off his guard by delay, but the time had now arrived for action. Rauparaha, accordingly, set sail from Rangitoto with his followers, about 300 in number, for Kaikoura, arriving there about dawn on the third day, and anchored about a mile from the shore to reconnoitre the place. The illfated inhabitants mistook the canoes for those belonging to a friendly Chief whom they were expecting, and flocking to the beach, welcomed their supposed friends to the shore. Before they could discover their mistake, the well armed warriors of the renowned Rauparaha were amongst them, dealing death at every blow. Hundreds were killed on the spot, and hundreds were led away prisoners to Kapiti, to be killed, or kept as slaves, depending on the caprice of their conquerors. Rauperaha haying satiated his thirst for revenge, returned northward with his forces, and rejoined the party of his followers he had left behind at Rangitoto.
In the meantime, the subdivision of the Ngatitoa called Ngatirarua, under Niho and Takarei, and part of the Ngatiawa, belonging to the Puketapu and Mitiwai hapu, led by Te Koihua, and the Ngatitama, under their Chief, Te Puoho, had not been idle. These proceeded to Massacre Bay, and killed and made prisoners the Ngatihapa, the tribe who had conquered the country from the Ngatitumatakokiri. Leaving Te Puoho and Te Koihua in charge of this country, Niho and Takarei, with their followers, proceeded down the West Coast as far as the River Hokitika, conquering all the country before them. Amongst the prisoners taken was Tuhuru, the Chief of the Poutini Ngaitahu, who, on peace being restored between the contending tribes, was ransomed by his people for a greenstone club (Mere pounamu) called Kai Kanohi, which is now in the possession of the descendants of Matenga te Aupouri. After this, Tuhuru and some of his people, as an act page 47of submission, went to visit Te Rauparaha and the Ngatitoa, at Rangitoto; and Takarei and Niho, with some of the Ngatitoa, settled at Mawhera (Greymouth), on the West Coast.
Peace, however, was not of long duration. Rauparaha soon found another pretext for attacking the Southern Natives. A Chief of the Ngatikahunu tribe, named Kekerangu, having given offence to Rangihaeata, fled across the Strait, in fear of his displeasure, and took refuge with the Ngaitahu, who, had, by that time, re-established themselves in the neighborhood of Kaikoura. Rauperaha, with a large force of Ngatitoas and Ngatikoatas, under Te Pehi, Pokaitara, and other influential Chiefs, crossed over in pursuit. On reaching the other side of the Strait, the war party, finding that Kekerangu, with a few of his tribe had gone down the East Coast, towards Kaikoura, proceeded in that direction, and, to the South of the Kaikoura Peninsula, fell in with a large number of the Ngaitahu and Ngatikahubunu, at a place called Omihi; these they speedily captured and left in charge of some of their party, while the remainder proceeded onward to Kaiapoi. On arriving there with his followers, Rauparaha pretended that he had come for the purpose of bartering firearms for greenstone (pounamu), and protested that he was actuated by the most friendly feelings towards the people of Kaiapoi. The Ngaitahu, however, knowing his treacherous character, distrusted his fair speeches, more especially as they had heard, from fugitives who had escaped, about the capture of their relatives at Omihi, and while concealing their suspicions and intentions, feigned the utmost cordiality towards their visitors, invited the principal Chiefs to their houses, and treated them with lavish hospitality. They hoped, by doing so, to induce Rauparaha to enter the pah, but the wily Chief knew better than to place himself in their power. On the third day after their arrival, Te Pehi, Rauperaha's uncle, while engaged bargaining with one of the Kaiapoi Chiefs for some greenstone, finding some difficulty in gaining his point, lost his temper, and said, "Why do you, with the crooked tattoo, resist my wishes. You whose nose will shortly be cut off with a hatchet." This was a confirmation from the lips of the second in command of the expedition, of their worst fears respecting its object, and after a short consultation it was resolved that the eight Chiefs then in the pah, amongst whom were Te Pehi, Pokaitara, and Te Ara Tangata, should be put to death. One of them, Pokaitara, was invited to the house of one of the Kaiapoi Chiefs, named Rongotara, whose daughter had fallen into his possession at Omihi; as he stooped to enter, the old Chief took hold of his mat, saying, "Welcome, welcome, my daughter's lord," at the same moment killing him with a blow on the head with a stone club. This was the signal for a general massacre of the guests, and in a few minutes the whole of them were killed.
This was a terrible blow to Rauparaha, who never thought the Kaiapoi people would dare to provoke his anger by destroying his friends and relatives. He hastily withdrew with his party, and retreated northward to Omihi to rejoin his forces. On arriving there he caused all the prisoners they had captured on the way down to be put to death, and continued his journey onward to the Wairau, whence he crossed with his followers to Kapiti.
Te Pehi, one of the Chiefs who was murdered at Kaiapoi, had visited England in 1836, to obtain firearms. He procured a passage to Liverpool by secreting himself on board a whaler, until the vessel got out to sea. An attack of measles in England made him acquainted with Dr. Traill. Everything connected with smith's work and agriculture interested him. A small plant of New Zealand flax recalled his native land to memory, and he laughed at seeing it cultivated in a flower pot. Next to firearms, he wished for agricultural implements. He had many presents given him, but he leaped for joy when presented with some old muskets and a musketoon. When his likeness was taken he insisted that the tattoo marks should be carefully copied. His son, Te Hiko o te Rangi, who subsequently became a great leader in Cook's Strait, carefully treasured up a few relics of his father's visit to England, especially a volume of the Library of Useful Knowledge, which contained his parent's portrait.
For a long time after the murder of the Ngatitoa Chiefs at Kaiapoi, the people of that place heard nothing of Te Rauparaha, and flattered themselves that he would never trouble them again, but his vengeance was only deferred, waiting an opportunity to punish them for the murder of his relatives and friends. Circumstances, however, soon afterwards occurred, which led him in conjunction with other principal men of the tribe, to charter an English vessel to convey a force to Hakaroa, Bank's Peninsula, to avenge their death.
A few months after the murder of Te Pehi and others at Kaiapoi, a sealing vessel returning from Sydney with a few New Zealanders on board, amongst whom was a Chief named Hohepa Tamainengia, a brother of Te Rauperaha, called at an Island in Foveanx Strait, named Motupihi, where the Maoris were informed of the murder of their relatives. The captain of the vessel, noticing their grief, inquired the cause, and on learning what was the matter, proposed that if they would engage to load his vessel, on their arrival at Kapiti, with flax and pigs, he would convey them to Hakaroa, to avenge the death of their relatives. The Natives who were on board willingly consented to the proposal, and it was arranged that after the vessel had been to the Auckland Islands, to land a party of sealers, and obtain a supply of wood and water, they should set sail for Hakaroa, to carry out the design.
All the preliminaries having been carried out, they proceeded to Hakaroa in the manner prescribed. On arriving there, and the object of the visit becoming known to the European passengers, they induced the captain to abandon the intention, and the vessel page 48subsequently sailed for Wellington, without any attempt being made to carry out the project.
On reaching Kapiti, Hohepa Tamaihengia informed Rauparaha and Rangihaeata of the frustration of the plan, and suggested that another attempt should be made. These Chiefs, glad of any chance that would enable them to carry out their revenge, acquiesced at once to the proposal, and gave orders to their people to procure a cargo of flax, and that no flax or pigs were to be sold to other vessels, until sufficient had been collected for the aforesaid purpose. In the meantime, however, the vessel that had brought the party of Natives from the south, had taken her departure, and it was some time before another opportunity offered; at last, towards the close of the year 1830, a brig named the Elizabeth, commanded by Captain Stewart, anchored off Kapiti (Entry Island), and was immediately boarded by Te Rauparaha and Te Hiko, son of the late Te Pehi, who had been most anxious to avenge his death, and had been for some time bartering his flax and other disposable commodities for muskets and ammunition, in readiness for an opportunity of accomplishing his intention. Rauperaha informed the captain and supercargo that they had no flax made up, but if he would convey in his vessel a war party of 300 men to Bank's Peninsula, and assist them in inveigling some of the Natives there on board the brig, under pretence of trading, and return with them to Kapiti, with any prisoners they might capture, they would give him 50 tons of flax, at that time worth about £1200. The captain consented, a regular charter party was entered into, and the war party, consisting of between 200 and 300 picked men, under Te Rauparaha, all armed with muskets, clubs, and other weapons, proceeded to tho Peninsula, on board the brig. On arriving at Hakaroa, the Natives hid themselves below, while the captain, by their command, represented himself to those who came alongside, as a trader for flax and provisions. Unsuspicious of any treachery from the white man, they gave the information that their Chief, Te Maiharanui, was then residing with his wife and daughter in the Wainui valley, near Lake Ellesmere, a short day's journey distant, and readily agreed to carry a message to invite him to come over.
During the interval, Te Rauparaha and his party never came on deck, except at night, and then merely for air, and only a few at a time, and so completely did they succeed in their plans, that on the third day, Te Maiharanui, with his son and daughter, and several more of his tribe came on board, all unconscious of danger. As soon as the party stepped on deck, they were invited into the cabin, and, on a signal being given, up sprang the hidden band, and a general massacre took place; the Chief and his wife and daughter being alone preserved to be carried home in triumph. A party of sailors were then sent ashore, with part of Te Rauparaha's band, to assist them in slaughtering all the Natives they could find in the neighbourhood. Having gained their object, Rauparaha gave orders to set sail for Kapiti. During the voyage, Te Maiharanui caused his daughter, a girl of about 16 years of age, named Nga Roimata, who was left unbound in the cabin, to throw herself into the sea, in the hope that she might escape by swimming ashore; she was, however, drowned, and Rauparaha, fearing that Te Maiharanui might rob him of his revenge, by committing suicide, ordered his hands to be tied behind him, and fastened to a cross beam under the deck.
On arriving at Kapiti, the captive Chief was retained on board as a hostage, until the agreement concerning the flax was fulfilled, but, after waiting the stipulated time and no flax being forthcoming, the captain delivered the Chief up to his captors, and set sail for Sydney.
The unfortunate Chief, on being handed over to his enemies, was delivered to the widow and sister of Te Pehi, who cruelly tortured him, and at last put an end to his existence by running a red hot ramrod through his neck. On the "Elizabeth" reaching Sydney, the circumstances of this disgraceful transaction were reported to the proper authorities by Mr. J. B. Montefiore, who, afterwards, gave evidence on the subject before a Committee of the House of Commons in 1838. General Darling, the Governor of New South Wales, at the time, referred the case to the Crown Solicitor, with directions to bring the offenders to justice; but, through some unexplained legal difficulty, this was never effected. Stewart, the captain, was held to bail, but the other parties implicated, and the sailors, who might have been witnesses, were suffered to leave the country; consequently, both the captain and his accomplices escaped any punishment from human laws, but not the retributive justice of Providence, as it has been stated that he was shortly afterwards washed off the deck of his vessel while proceeding round Cape Horn.
The Governor forwarded to the Home authorities the depositions of two seamen of the brig, and those of Messrs. Montefiore and Kennis, merchants of Sydney, who had embarked on board the "Elizabeth," on her return to Kapiti, and had there learned the circumstances of the case, and seen the captive Chief delivered up to his enemies.
Rauparaha was not satisfied, however, with the dreadful revenge wreaked on the Ngaitahu for the murder of Te Pehi, and others at Kaiapoi; he must have more victime, cause more blood to flow; but it required some time to complete his preparations. While these were being made, a fighting party of Ngatitama and Ngatiawa, headed by Te Puoho, father of Emanu, the present Chief of Wakapuaka, travelled from Massacre Bay, by way of the West Coast, to the River Awarua, with the intention of attacking the Southern Natives. On reaching Awarua, they took advantage of a mountain path from that place to Lake Wanaka and falling, by surprise, on a few families residing there, killed most of them.
Among the prisoners was a boy, the son of the chief person of the place, whose name page 49was Te Raki. The father, with his two wives and other members of the family, was then on the banks of Lake Hawea. To secure, them and prevent the possibility of their proceedings reaching the rest of the tribe, they sent two of their party, with the boy as a guide, but he contrived to prevent his father being taken unawares, and Te Raki, a powerful and determined fellow, killed both of the men sent against him, and escaped with his family.
The war party, with the assistance of some of the prisoners, whom they reserved for slaves, then built themselves rafts (mokihi), to descend the River Matau (Molyneux) to the sea coast. At a point of this river, not far below the lakes (Hawea and Wanaka), there are some falls and rapids, which it is impossible to navigate. It was, therefore, necessary to land, above them, take their rafts to pieces, and transport them to the banks of the river lower down, and there rebuild them. From the sea coast the invaders made their way overland to the Mataura River, where they surprised another party of Natives at Tuturau. On this occasion some escaped, and carried word of what had happened to Awarua (the Bluff), and thence to Ruapuke, the stronghold of this division of the tribe, and a few days after several boats with a large armed party, headed by Tuhawaiki, in their turn, surprised and killed Te Puoho and many of his men, and made slaves of others, amongst whom was Te Puoho's son, Te Wahapiro (Paramatta), who was detained a prisoner by the Ngaitahu for many years.
Takerei and Niho, who had occupied the country in the neighbourhood of Mawhera (Greymouth) up to that time, finding the number of their followers reduced, as some had returned to Massacre Bay, and others had accompanied Te Puoho in his expedition against the southern Ngaitahu, and being apprehensive, they might be attacked by either Tuhuru and his people, or the Otakou Natives, resolved on abandoning the country. They accordingly returned to Massacre Bay with the remnant of their party, and never resumed possession of the West Coast farther south than Kaurangi Point, beyond West Wanganui.
Rauparaha, having by this time matured his plans for another attack upon the southern Natives, crossed the Strait with a large force of Ngatitoas and Ngatikoatas; the latter proceeded by way of the Wairau gorge and Hammer plains, subsequently rejoining their confederates at the Waipara, the former having gone by way of the East Coast. The plan of attack having been decided on, Rauparaha marched his forces quickly on Kaiapoi, reaching that place about mid-day. The Ngaitahus were totally unprepared for this sudden attack, a number being away at Port Cooper, escorting Taiaron, the Chief of Otago, who was returning there, so far on his journey. Many were in their cultivations when, they being startled by the report of firearms and the cries of the dying. A few old men alone being in the pah when the alarm was given; these immediately closed the gates, and manned the only side that could be approached by land. Those who could escape, made their way as fast as possible to Port Cooper, and gave the alarm; fortunately they were in time to stay Taiaroa, who, with his followers, consented to return and relieve the besieged pah. After waiting a short time for reinforcements from the villages on the Peninsula, the relief party proceeded along the coast, crossing the Waimakariri on rafts made of bundles of dry flax sticks. Fearing they might be discovered by the enemy, they waited till dark, and then continued their march along the coast, till they were opposite Kaiapoi. As they approached the pah, the watch fires of the enemy warned them that they were on the alert, and that any attempt to enter by the land side would be useless; they determined, therefore, to plunge into the lagoon and struggle through the mud and water. Cautiously creeping along the margin of the lagoon, which bounded one side of the pah, being all the while within a short distance of the enemy's sentries, they arrived at its narrowest point, and plunged in, shouting Taiaroa's name, as a warning to their friends not to fire upon them. For a moment the besieged thought it was a stratagem of the enemy, to throw them off their guard, and poured a volley amongst their friends in the lagoon, but as they were all struggling up to their necks in mud and water, no harm was done and as they drew near to each other, their voices were recognized, and a warm welcome accorded them. The besieged now took heart and sallied forth day after day to attack the enemy, but the Kapiti warriors were too strong to be overcome, and gradually the besieged grew desponding, and confined themselves to defensive operations.
A long time passed, and still the siege progressed, at length Rauparaha began to sap up to the main entrance. At first he lost a great many men, bat the precautions afterwards taken soon made it impossible for the besieged to hinder the work, and in a few days the head of the sap was within eight feet of the palisading. Rauparaha now set his whole force to cut manuka bushes, which he had tied in bundles, and piled up in a great heap against the wall. While waiting for a favourable opportunity to set fire to it, the besieged did so from the inside, hoping that as a north-wester was blowing, the heap of manuka would burn without any damage being done to the pah. But they were doomed to a bitter disappointment; when the heap was about half destroyed, the wind suddenly shifted to the south-west, and carried the flames and smoke into the pah amongst them. The defenders had consequently to retreat from the wall to escape suffocation, whereupoa Rauparaha seized the moment for an assault, and a general massacre ensued. Many plunged into the lagoon and escaped along the coast, but many more were intercepted in their fight by the besiegers, and hundreds of captives fell into Rauparaha's hands, many were killed and eaten on the spot, and many reserved for the same fate at Kapiti, or to be kept in perpetual servitude.
As soon as Rauparaha had captured the Ngaitahu stronghold at Kaiapoi, he sent parties to scour the Peninsula and the plains as far south as the Rakaia, while he, with the page 50main body of his forces, moved to Hakaroa, where by false promises he induced a large pah at the head of the bay to surrender. Most of the inhabitants were massacred, but the young and strong were reserved for slaves. In fear of further aggressions by Te Rauparaha, the fugitive Ngaitahu fled to the southern extremity of the Middle Island, many of them taking refuge on the Island of Ruapuke. On their return northward many years after, they again located themselves near to their old habitation at Kaiapoi, and on the liberation of the captives by the Ngatitoa, some years subsequently, they too repaired to this spot. No attempt, however, was made to rebuild the pah at Kaiapoi, destroyed by Te Rauparaha in 1831, but that name was attached to the new village, established a few miles to the southward of the old pah, and is not unfrequently applied to the more modern one near the Rua Taniwha stream, in the immediate vicinity of the present town of Kaiapoi.
After the destruction of Kaiapoi, Rauparaha returned northward with his followers to Kapiti, leaving the northern portion of the Middle Island in possession of the tribes who had accompanied him in the first invasion.
About tbe year 1835, in consequence of the war waged by the Waikatos against the tribes then occupying the Taranaki district, a large number after their defeat at Pukerangiora, moved southward, and crossing the Strait, located themselves in Queen Charlotte Sound. About this time an apportionment of the land was made amongst the tribes, who assisted Te Rauparaha and the Ngatitoa, in the conquest of the Middle Island. The Ngatitoa were apportioned the land at Cloudy Bay and the Wairau, and they settled with their Chief, Rawiri Puaha, at Te Awaite, Queen Charlotte Sound; some of the Ngatitoa, with the Ngatiawa, also settled in the Pelorus (Te Hoiere), and Ngatikoata with two other tribes, called Ngatihaumia and Ngatitumania, settled at Rangitoto (D'Urville's Island). The country in the neighbourhood of Blind Bay, including the Takaka and Aorere districts, were occupied principally by the Ngatirarua and Ngatitama tribes.
Subsequent to the siege of Kaiapoi, numerous attacks were made by fighting parties of the Ngaitahu, on the Ngatitoa and other tribes occupying the country on the southern shores of Cook's Strait, but the most notable encounter of the kind, and one that nearly resulted in the capture of their deadly enemy, Te Rauparaha, took place at Kaparatahau, in the Awatere, where a small party of the Ngatitoa, under this Chief, had gone on a bird catching expedition, when they were suddenly surprised, while landing from their canoes at the mouth of the Otuwhero (Blind river), by a party of Ngaitahu, under Tuhawsiki, the Ngatitoas losing a number of men in the encounter; their Chief, Rauparaha, just managing to escape from his assailants by plunging into the sea and swimming off to one of the canoes that had withdrawn to a distance at the commencement of the attack.
The Ngatitoas who escaped, made their way to Cloudy Bay, and after procuring reinforcements, started in pursuit of the Ngaitahu, whom they came up with at Waiarakiki, near Cape Campbell, where a fight ensued, the Ngaitahu getting worsted. They however, contradict this statement, asserting that not only was this attack unavenged, but, that on a subsequent occasion, they successfully conducted an expedition against the Ngatitoa, in the neighbourhood of Port Underwood, where a number of that tribe were killed, whose deaths it is also stated have never been avenged, and further, the Ngaitahu urge in corroboration of this statement, that ever since their asserted conquest, they have been allowed to remain in undisturbed possession of a large proportion of their original territory, to the south of the Clarence (Wai-au-toa); but, this may be attributed to other and higher causes, than the one alleged by the Ngaitahu, as there is little doubt, but for the spread of Christianity, and the timely establishment of European settlements, that the scattered remnant of this once extensive tribe would soon have been exterminated by their more powerful enemies, the Ngatitoa. The formation of Mission Stations in 1834-5, at Otaki, Wanganui, and other places adjacent to Cook's Strait, put an end to these cruel and worse than useless conflicts, and through the instrumentality of the Missionaries, the contending tribes were converted to the gospel of peace. From these places, the Natives around for many miles, were regularly visited, and brought under Christian instruction, receiving largely at the same time the manifold blessings of trade, commerce, and civilization. The settlement of the country in this neighbourhood, about the year 1840, was the means also of stimulating their industry and turning their attention to more peaceful pursuits.
* The following information concerning the Ngatimamoe, is copied from the New Zealand Pilot, from notes made by Captain Stokes, of H.M.S. "Acheron," while engaged surveying the West Coast of the Middle Island, in 1850-51. "The 'Acheron's' party while examining a river at the head of Bligh Sound, came on the fresh footmarks of some Natives who were heard making their escape through the thick underwood; these people as far as could be learnt, belonged to a small isolated and almost unknown tribe, rarely seen even by their own countrymen, by whom they were called wild men of the mountains."
Many of the tales, however, that are told about these people, are pure fabrications, but the following are generally allowed to be authentic. Between 30 and 40 years ago, Rimurapa, a Ngaitahu Chief, started with his followers to plunder a sealing station, at Kaniwhera, at the south-west extremity of the Island. As they clambered along the rocky coast, the came upon a house built on the edge of a cliff. Knowing that it could belong to no other than the lost tribe, they approached it stealthily, and succeeded in surrounding it unperceived. They captured the only inmate, a woman who called herself Tuau te Kura; and after questioning her about her people, they cruelly killed her, and devoured her on the spot. The search after her companions was unsuccesful, and nothing more was seen or heard of any of the tribe for some years afterwards, till a Native, named Te Waewae who was out eel fishing, near Aparima (Jacob's river), met two of them. As he made his way through the scrub, he was surprised to see two men standing at a little distance a-head of him. Wishing for a closer inspection before showing himself, he crept towards them, but found to his annoyance, that a stream stopped his further progress. As it was too deep to ford, and being unable to swim, he rose and called to them. Instead of replying, the strangers darted off towards the forest hard by. Te Waewae not fishing good game to escape, sprang into a kowai tree, growing on the bank, and bending it over the stream, dropped on the opposite side, and gave chase, but the fugitives gained the cover, and escaped before he could overtake them.
An old man named Kapiti, and his sister Popokore, who lived near Aparima, had frequent visits from the Ngatimamoe. The lonely situation of their house on the border of a forest, probably tempted these timid creatures to venture on their acquaintance. These visits were continued till the death of these persons, which occurred since the settlement of Canterbury.
It might be supposed that the foregoing accounts had been invented by the Natives, to satisfy the cravings for tidings of the lost tribe, but for the independent testimony borne by a sealing party, who in 1842, discovered one of the Ngatimamoe haunts. In sailing up one of the narrow fiords that indent the south-west coast, the crew were astonished to see smoke issuing from the face of the cliff. Having moored their boat directly under the spot, they succeeded in scrambling up till they reached a large cave, which they found deserted. It was partitioned in the middle, the inner part being used as a sleeping place, the outer for cooking. A handsome mat neatly covered with feathers of different birds, was found in the cave, with a "Mere paraoa" or club, made from the jaw bone of a sperm whale, also fishing lines and baskets, on the last mentioned the women had evidently been employed when surprised. An attempt was made to follow the runaways, but soon abandoned. After going along a path for some distance, through a dense forest, they came to a number of branch paths, each of which at a little distance again branched. Fearing to lose themselves in the maze, or to fall into an ambuscade, the party returned to their boat, carrying their spoils with them. These articles were exhibited at the various settlements in Otago, and at Kaiapoi, and on the Peninsula. The mat was afterwards sent to Otaki, and presented to a Chief there, and the "More" is now in the possession of an old chief at Port Levy.
It is stated that the Natives on the West Coast north of Milford Haven have often seen the smoke of the Ngatimamoe fires, and sometimes come upon recent camping places; and many years ago a woman was captured by them while gathering shell-fish on the beach, but owing to her escaping in the night, little information was obtained as to the habits of her people.
The fact also that Natives have been seen by passing vessels fishing on the rocks in localities never occupied by other Maoris, furnishes additional evidence of the existence of these wild men.
It seems clear from the various statements received concerning the existence of the Ngatimamoe on the West Coast of the Middle Island, that a small number of these fugitives did occupy the mountainous country in the south-west district of Otago, to a comparatively recent date. The exploration, however, to which the country has been subjected during the last few years by parties of diggers prospecting for gold, forbids any reasonable hope, that any of this tribe still exists.
For a few centuries after the arrival of the Maoris in New Zealand, they appear to have continued to increase. As the race, however, dissimilar from the outset in tribal character and history multiplied, encroachments on ill-defined boundaries arose, and wars became frequent. The hereditary transmission of these feuds did more to devastate the land than any other known cause. Cannibalism with its traditional ferocity, afterwards supervened and intensified the horrors of intertribal quarrels. Following this period of devastation came that of evangelization. In 1814, the Church Missionary Society chose New Zealand as a scene for its labors, but, owing to the dreadful state of affairs that then existed, it was fully ten years after the establishment of the Mission before the first Maori convert was daptized. Education simultaneously exerted its influence, and combined to arrest for a time, the continuance of these quarrels. The acquisition, however, of firearms by the Ngapuhi tribe in 1820, caused a renewal of hostilities, and war was resumed with page 52remorseless ferocity, thousands were killed in the sanguinary struggle, and it is estimated that fully 60,000 persons were killed, or otherwise perished in consequence of the war, between that date and the colonization of the Colony in 1840.
The gradual formation of Mission Stations throughout the North Island, and the spread of Christian instruction, put an end by degrees to these fearful conflicts, and during the last three years of the period named, the blessings of peace became daily more valuable in their eyes. During the first 12 years after the foundation of the Colony, the Natives were generally progressing in civilization. The influx of European settlers caused them to turn their attention to agricultural pursuits, and large quantities of wheat, potatoes and other produce were raised by them for sale, and found a ready market. Much was also done for them by the Colonial Government in aiding them with mills, ploughs, barrows, and other agricultural implements, and with annual grants of money for schools. New Mission Stations were formed in many places for their instruction. Many laws were also made exclusively for their benefit, and large sums of money were paid to them for their land, while the value of the reserves retained for their own use, adjacent to the alienated blocks, was greatly increased.
These efforts which seemed for a time to be successful in elevating the Maori, gradually succumbed before the impression which possessed the Native mind, that their days were numbered; year by year they grew more idle and discontented, and careless in Christian observances, in morals, and in the attendance of their children at schools. As a final attempt to withstand the inroads of immigration, they formed an anti-land-selling league in 1854, and soon after engaged in a murderous war against their best friends, the Colonists, but this proving insufficient to drive the Europeans out of the country, recourse was had to the revival of old traditions and practices, and a horrible fanaticism sprung up amongst the tribes in the North Island, superseding the Christianity, nominal or real, of a large part of the race, and developing itself into one of the most disgusting and terrible superstitions ever exhibited. This heathenism is now passing away, and there is a growing disposition to listen again to the teachings of Christianity. They are also resuming the industrial pursuits which they had, more or less, abandoned for several years, and a strong desire is manifested by them for the education of their youth in the English language; it is therefore to be hoped, now that peace is once more restored, that the Maori will accept his position, live in amity with his European neighbour, and desist from further attempts to set up a separate nationality.
The Natives of the South Island have been entirely free from the intestine commotions that prevailed amongst many of the tribes of the North Island. Although a few restless spirits favoured the King policy when it was first enunciated, very little feeling has been displayed in regard to the movement, and notwithstanding that emissaries were despatched from the King party to make converts amongst them, but little effect was produced by their advocacy of the cause. The Hauhau [unclear: has] neither found favour with them to any extent; and, while they are, perhaps, less observant of religious worship than formerly, nothing noteworthy has occurred in connections with their religious condition. Their disposition towards the Europeans is uniformly good, and their attachment to the Government has remained unaltered during the whole of the disturbances in the North Island. Viewed as a whole, their social condition is very satisfactory, their clothing as a rule is not inferior to that worn by the labouring classes, and their domestic habits are gradually assimilating to the Europeans. Their houses are fast assuming a respectable appearance, most of them are built of wood, and almost all have doors, windows and chimneys. The numerical status of the people is about stationary, the births keeping pace with the deaths. The total population of the Middle and Stewart's Island is 2353, in the proportion of 1326 males to 1027 females; the children form little more than one-third of the whole. But a very small proportion of the Native women bear children. The want of fecundity in the females has been attributed to the illicit intercourse which takes place between the sexes from a very early age, this habit, however, prevailed to a greater extent amongst the Natives in former years, during the periods when the race was increasing, than it does now, so that the sterility of the women must be traced to other causes; formerly they frequently gave birth to 10 or 12 children, although it was seldom so large a family was reared, but such cases are very rare now.
The deficiency of vigour in the reproductive powers of the race has been partially attributed to the circumstance of their subsisting mainly on a vegetable diet, but other nations of the world exist in perfect health, and multiply on a diet of which animal food forms but a small part. There would seem, therefore, no reason way the Maori population, dwelling in a state of quietude, should not increase in the same geometrical progression under similar circumstances, without there are other causes for their decrease. There is little doubt, however, that the true cause of their gradual decay lies in the inter-breeding, so to speak, that such a comparatively small and insular population, divided into numerous tribes, must of necessity have had to recourse to, from their long isolation from that admixture of different blood, which is so essential to the maintenance of the procreative vigour of a race.
The industrial stimulus the Natives received in the early days of the Colony through the steady influx of settlers, and increased demand consequent thereon for pigs, grain, potatoes and other Native produce, which led them to [unclear: ie] with the Europeans in the cultivation of the land, has diminished year by year, until little attention is now paid by page 53them to agricultural operations, further than to raise a bare sufficiency for their own wants. The same cause that has tended to retard this pursuit amongst the European settlers of late years, the decline in the value of produce, has also operated amongst the Natives. The discovery of gold also had the effect of causing many to completely abandon the cultivation of their land for the pursuit of gold digging, at which some have been very successful, but as a rule their earning have been mostly squandered in a useless manner, and the result, with a few exceptions, has been the increase of indolence and improvidence amongst them.
Since the sale of the bulk of their lands to the Crown, the Natives have been mostly confined to their reserves, which, although large in the aggregate for the number of persons to whom they belong, are small in comparison to the extent of land owned by them in former years, over which they could hunt or fish without hindrance, or the fear of transgressing some unknown law. Now they can hardly keep an animal without it becoming a source of anxiety, lest it involve them in some trouble with their European neighbours. The civilization which now prevails around them, besides curtailing their liberties, has also compelled the adoption or a different mode of life, which, owing to their improvident habits, they find very difficult to maintain. All this is very perplexing and bewildering to the Maori, and it is not surprising that perceiving his incapacity to keep pace with his European neighbours, a want of earnestness should predominate all he undertakes.