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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.



In a letter to Premier Stafford, Mr. McLean (15/10/1866) recommended that the prisoners taken at Omarunui (H.B.) three days earlier should be sent to the Chatham Islands. They were included in the last batch that was sent away. Upon their return they did not go back home, but preferred to remain under Te Kooti's banner.

Upon landing at Whareongaonga, Te Kooti was attired in what an elderly native woman described as “a perfect masher suit and patent leather boots.” He informed his followers that he was the Maori Moses, who, acting under Divine guidance, would lead his band out of bondage. The hill leading up from the southern extremity of the cove he called “Mt. Moriah,” and he referred to the two shelving reefs as “the Tablets of the New Law.” He added that, when he and his band had subdued New Zealand, he would touch those rocks with Aaron's Rod and the New Revelation would spring from the earth.

The detention, without trial, of the Taranaki prophets, Te Whiti and Tohu, from 1881 till 1883 was made legal under “The West Coast Preservation Act, 1882.” They were taken prisoner at Parihaka on 5 November, 1881, upon the instructions of the Hon. J. Bryce (Native Minister). It was considered that it would be best if they were removed from Taranaki “until,” as Premier Whitaker put the matter, “land settlement there is so far advanced as to make resistance futile.” They were kept in a form of honourable captivity at Nelson and elsewhere in the South Island and released when the Amnesty Act came into force in February, 1883.