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



Mr. Bush, R.M. at Opotiki (8/5/1888) likened the tours made to his district by Te Kooti to “visits by a horde of locusts.” “It will be a great pity,” he said, “if something cannot be done to prevent these page 297 large native gatherings, which simply mean that the native hosts are left to starve for the rest of the year.” During the Parliamentary session that year the Native Affairs Committee dealt with two petitions bearing upon Te Kooti's nefarious activities—one from some Bay of Plenty natives, who complained that his tours amounted to the levying of a kind of blackmail on the settlements which he visited, and the other from Hoani Ruru and 89 other natives who prayed, inter alia, that he should not be allowed to re-enter Poverty Bay.

The committee recommended that Te Kooti should be prevented from going through the country “living by systematic loafing, which succeeds on account of his menacing attitude”; held that his followers' practice of holding monthly meetings “estranged families, disturbed the general tranquillity and impoverished the people”; and advised the Government to take steps to put a stop to what was “a deliberate and crafty system of living on the resources of the thrifty and well-disposed sections of the natives.”