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Papers Relative to the Native Meeting Held at Peria, in October, 1862

(Translation.) — Letter By Rawiri Motutarata. October 27th, 1862

Letter By Rawiri Motutarata. October 27th, 1862.

The runanga at Peria took place on the 24th day of October, 1862.

Wiremu Tamehana Te Waharoa was the President of that runanga.

The cause of that runanga being called in 1862 was, to lay down laws for the good of this island of New Zealand; on the 24th, in the afternoon, the signal was given for assembling. The tribes that assembled were the Ngatiporou, Ngatikahuhunu, Ngatiterangi, Ngatiwhakane, Ngati-tamatera, Ngatipaoa, Ngatimaru, Ngatiraukawa, Ngatimaniapoto, Ngatikoroki, Ngatihinetu, Ngatihikairo, with the Waikato and Ngatihaua, and many other tribes of this Island, Ngati-haura, Ngatimahanga, and Ngatimahuta; Matutaera Potatau was also there.

The korero commenced on the afternoon of the 24th.

1.Tamehana Te Waharoa: This is my reason for calling this meeting of all the chiefs of this Island. I have considered that the King will be our death (be the cause of trouble). Hearken, Maungatawhiri is closed, Raglan is closed, the Waikato road is not to be opened, nor the steamer allowed to pass. It will be for you to consider (or discuss) these matters.
2.Te Raihi of Ngatihaua: Listen, Waikato. The men who should discuss this are the men of the South. He here stuck two sticks in the ground.

Karaitiana of the Ngatikahuhunu then arose and said: I wish to ask you a question. To whom does this land Maungatawhiri belong?

The Waikato stood up and said: Maungatawhiri is mine, the Pakehas have one side of it.

4.Hoera, Te Kani a Takirau's nephew said: I am for closing the road and the river.
5.One of the Ngatiporou said, I am in favour of the sticks for closing that are standing there.
6.Koikoi of Ngarauru said, I am holding my place at the present time, now I am for closing (to kati).
7.Hairini, one of the Ngatiporou, said: If the Governor's road is confined to his own land, well and good, but if he attempts to make it upon Maori land it must be stopped.
8.Kereopa, of Ngatiwhakane, said: How can you close (the roads) when you are in the midst of me (the Ngatiwhakane).
9.If the road is attempted it must be stopped.

Te Wirihana: The closing has been enjoined upon us, *if the law closes the roads (the desire for making them) will die at once.

Wiremu of Natiraukawa: I am for stopping the roads.

Ngatiporou of Waiapu: I am for closing or stopping the roads.

13.Paora Te Kipa: These laws must stand. Tamehana Te Waharoa: If our laws are just the Governor will listen.page 4
14.Tioriori: Friends, entertain these laws well.
15.Karaitiana of Ngatikahungunu said: Hearken, all ye tribes, let us conduct our korero quietly. Who owns this land that the Governor proposes to make roads upon?

Waikato replied : I do. Where are the roads to? To Wellington.

Karaitiana then asked of his forty followers—Is this road that is to be made to Wellington right? The whole forty at once said: No, it is not right.

Wiremu Tamehana said: The Governor should be informed that this is to be a great law, like the law for stopping guns and powder. If he don't consent, enough. Leave to the Governor his and to the Maori theirs.

Hoera: Let the water of Waikato be closed, and the men kept from becoming Queen's people.

Tioriori of the Ngatikoroki said: Let love to men not be stopped, but only the land.

Hemi of Ngatihourua said: Waikato and Ngatihaua! This is the day of Tawauwau, is it not?

Wiremu Tamehana: The meaning of the day of Tawauwan is this. The evil, it is in reference to your dispute with Ngatimahanga; hence I said, the sun shines in vain beyound Tawauwau.

Mohi of Ngatihourua: My road is my own. Let the Governor's road be for himself.

Wiremu Toetoe of Ngatiapakura: I have travelled in all countries, now I am for stopping the roads, and also for what is right.

Pakaroa: I am opposed to the roads.

Herewini of Ngatinaho: I have held (against) the roads from long ago to the present time.

Tioriori: This has been proposed as a law for life and for death.

Ngaiporou: This is the plan. Let the Governor keep his. What harm is there in this? Leave the matter to the law.

This is all. I did not hear the korero of other days. Two matters of great importance were decided upon.

1.The roads are not to be permitted over the Maori land.
2.The steamer is not to run in Waikato.

These laws (or resolutions) are not to be whakawaed (discussed).

There is to be no whakawa (investigation) about Waitara.

As regards smaller laws (minor points) they may be whakawaed (investigated).

This is all my love for you, show your love for me.

From your loving slave,

Rawiri Notutarata.

* "This sentence is very ambiguous, and may also bear this construction: "If the law closes the roads, and it be broken, death will ensue."