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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

Depositions of J. B. Montefiore. — Joseph Barrow Montefiore, Esq., being sworn, on his oath

Depositions of J. B. Montefiore.
Joseph Barrow Montefiore, Esq., being sworn, on his oath

Sydney, N.S. Wales, To Wit.

I am a merchant, residing in Sydney. I came from New Zealand, and arrived here on the 14th January last, on board the Elizabeth, of which John Stewart is Master. I went on board the Elizabeth at Entry Island, in New Zealand on the 23rd or 25th December last; that was about three or four days after my arrival at Entry Island, where the Elizabeth then was. Capt. Stewart was on board and also the First Mate, Mr. Clementson. I had heard that there was a New Zealand Chief on board from Bank's Peninsula, named Mara Nui. I saw him on board the Elizabeth on deck. I saw him afterwards several times. I think he was in chains. He was kept down in the forecabin. About 10 or 14 days before the Elizabeth sailed he was liberated. I was down below when he was liberated, and, on my going on deck, Mara Nui was in a canoe which was then about half way off between the ship and the Island. The canoe returned from Entry Island with the same chief in her, when I got on board the same canoe and accompanied the Chief to the mainland, to Otauka, about ten miles distant from the ship. The boat was rowed by natives. Mr. Cowell (the Supercargo) and myself were the only Europeans in the boat. At Otauka I saw the Chief, Mara Nui, land. I can't say if he was then in chains but I think not. I went with him to the place of a native chief called the Rassaraha.* Rassaraha was in the canoe with us. There was a native boy, who, I understood, came from Banks Peninsula, also on board the Elizabeth. He was not a prisoner. He came to Sydney with us. On the following morning I went to Hacho's Settlement, and, in 5 or 6 hours after, I saw Mara Nui come there, I think in a canoe. They displayed him there. page 581 He looked very grave, and the women were laughing at him. I went away in about 2 or 3 hours and never saw him again. I heard afterwards that he had been eaten. I think I heard it from the Natives. I heard that he was killed by sticking a knife in his throat. I think I heard this from Mr. Harvey, an European who is now on the mainland. I heard also that the wife of Mara Nui had been on board the Elibabeth, and I heard also that she had been eaten. Captn Stewart told me, when he came down to me, that he had got rid of him, or that he was gone—alluding to Mara Nui. I heard him say that Mara Nui was the man who had killed Sai, the father of Hacho. He told me that the Rassaraha, and other chiefs, had gone down with him from Entry Island to Bank's Peninsula. I never talked much with Captn Stewart about it. I understood from some of the Native Chiefs of Entry Island that they had gone down in the Elizabeth, and had a fight and taken Mara Nui prisoner. I did not understand that Captn Stewart had given them any assistance. Mr. Clementson, as I understood, was on board the Elizabeth at Bank's Peninsula. He said the chiefs were armed with muskets, and were down below. I heard that Mara Nui was brought on board in the Elizabeth's boat, but I don't recollect having heard that any fight took place on board the Elizabeth. There was a war between the natives of Bank's Peninsula and Entry Island, and had been for some time. I heard that an Agreement had been made with the principal Chiefs of Entry Island to take them down to Bank's Peninsula. I heard that between one and two hundred men of the Natives went with the Elizabeth to Bank's Peninsula. I heard the Elizabeth was to have a cargo of flax for that service. I was shown by Mr. Harvey the spot where he stated part of the body of Mara Nui had been burnt. This was at a place called Wyeauhi. I heard that the Elizabeth was 8 or 10 days at Bank's Peninsula before the people of Bank's knew that the Entry Island people were on board the Elizabeth. I think Mr. Clementson told me that they threw overboard a basket of arms and legs, which the Entry Island people brought on board the Elizabeth. I heard that the infant child of Mara Nui and his wife was strangled on board the Elizabeth by one of its parents.

J. Barrow Montefiore.

Sworn in the Magistrates
Private Room at Police
Office, Sydney, 5th February,
1831, before

F. Rossi J.P.

P. Superintend of Police.

F. A. Hely J.P.

page 582