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Historical Records of New Zealand Vol. II.

Depositions of A. Kemmis

Depositions of A. Kemmis.

Arthur Kemmis Esquire, being sworn, on his oath saith.

I am a Merchant and at present reside in Sydney, I went hence to New Zealand and arrived at Entry Island in November last. I found there the Elizabeth, Stewart, Master, and went on board her. I saw Captain Stewart and some Natives. I saw a Native Chief sitting on the deck, who, I afterwards understood, was Mara Nui a chief of Bank's Peninsula. I saw him during the 2 days I was on board the Elizabeth, three or four times. I understood he was a prisoner from Bank's Peninsula taken by the chiefs of Entry Island. I understood from the Natives whom I saw as soon as we had cast anchor. I understood from them, before I went on board the Elizabeth, that a number of them had gone down to Bank's Peninsula, in the Elizabeth, and had made a great fight and had taken Mara Nui, who was on board the Elizabeth, prisoner, and who was to be eaten as soon as the Elizabeth quitted Entry Island. I understood the language very imperfectly but that was the substance of what I gathered from them. I understood that they had made war on the Bank's people in revenge of the death of Pai,* and some white people of the Samuel (a vessel of Mr. Street's), whom Mara Nui had put to death. I heard, I think from the Chief Mate, Clementson, that Mara Nui had been killed and eaten. I understood that Mara Nui had his wife on board, and that she had been at first made a slave, and afterwards had been killed on the main at a place called Ataka. I remember Clementson saying that he had seen a scene at Bank's which he never wished to see again. I understood from the general report of white people and Natives that about 190 of the Natives of Entry Island were taken on board of the Elizabeth, and taken down to Bank's Peninsula, and that Mara Nui either came on page 584 board the Elizabeth or was decoyed there, and afterwards the Natives of Entry Island landed and massacred a great number of the people of Banks. I heard once that Mara Nui was enticed on board by a cook who shipped on board the Elizabeth at New Zealand, and who is now, I believe, at Otaheiti. I never saw any chains upon Maru Nui when I saw him on board the Elizabeth.

Arthur Kemmis.

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

F. Rossi J.P.

P. Superintendent of Police.

Fredk. A. Hely J.P.

* Te Pehi Kupe.

On 31st July, 1824, the “Samuel,” a Sydney sealer, was in Cook Strait, when Captain Dawson and four of his seamen were massacred and eaten by the Natives.