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

(Translation.) — Speech of bishop selwyn at the peria meeting, 27th october, 1862

Speech of bishop selwyn at the peria meeting, 27th october, 1862.

Here am I, the mediator of New Zealand. This is my work, mediation, I am not a Pakeha, neither am I a Maori; I am a half-caste. I have eaten your food, and I have slept in your houses: we have eaten together, talked together, travelled together, prayed together, and partaken of the Lord's Supper together; and therefore I tell you that I am a half-caste. My being a half-caste cannot be altered (or uprooted). It is in my body, in my flesh, in my sinews, in my bones, and in my marrow. We are all half-castes; your clothes are half-caste—one portion of your garments is Pakeha and the other Maori. Your strength is half-caste; in your hearts you have the Maori courage, and in your hands Pakeha weapons. Your soldiers are half-caste; the men are Maori, but their clothes are Pakeha, and the word of command is given in the Pakeha language. Your "mana" (power or authority) is half-caste; the "mana" is Maori "mana," but the name is Pakeha. Your religion is half-caste; the Pakeha is the father and your hearts the mother, and the son that is born is religion. Hence, I say to you, we are all half-castes, and therefore let us live together in one religion (or faith), one love, and one law. Yes let there be but one religion, one love, and one law; let us be united. I have not yet forgotten the words of our parent, "Religion, Love, and Law." He never told us to have many religions many page 6loves, and many laws; but to have one. My feet shall stand upon that word. Do not suppose that I am aeting on my own authority? I was invited by Wiremu. Consent, O Runanga of Waikato, to appoint a portion of this day for me to express my thoughts in, that all the tribes may know my thoughts. Consider carefully my great propositions.

I.—That there be one law.
II.—That Waitara be investigated.
III.—That Tataraimaka be quietly occupied by the Pakehas to whom the land belongs.

Ist.—That there be one law. You have heard Tamehana's word in regard to the Duke of Newcastle's Despatch. I will explain that document to you. If you wish Matutaera and his Runanga to make laws for you, submit your laws to the Governor, and it will rest with him to confirm them, that laws may become laws for us all, and be respected by Pakeha and Maori.

The work of the Pakeha is similar. There is a Council (Runanga) at Wellington, a Council at Auckland, and a Council at Ahuriri, each having its head. They lay down laws for their wharves, roads, business transactions, lands, and other things. When the laws are made they are submitted to the Governor for confirmation, and then they become laws for all; for men travelling on the roads, and for all vessels anchoring in the harbour. There is no irregular or partial law. There is but one law for us all. Therefore, I say to you, consent to my first proposition—That here be but one law.

This is the second: that Waitara be investigated. It is not as though this was my word alone. This was from you, O Wiremu Tamehana, from you, O Ngatikahungunu, and from us all, from the Pakeha mediators, from Sir W. Martin, from myself, and from all the ministers.

This was your word, O Tamehana, at the conclusion of the war: "As for Waitara, let the law look into it." Which law? The Maori law or the Pakeha law ? Neither, but the law of both.

This was your word, O Ngatikahungunu: "If it was a bushel of wheat, a horse or a pig, it would be investigated; but land, the great thing, was not investigated."

This was our word, the word of all your Pakeha friends from the first.

Governor Browne's error was not investigating Waitara. It was this that caused my sickness,

Waitara not having been investigated; and the medicine for my sickness will be to investigate it. Who is to investigate it? Both (Pakeha and Maori). It must be done by your men who are well acquainted with Maori customs, and by our men who are skilled in Pakeha law. The error on your side was that of a single man, namely Te Teira: and on our side the error was that of one man, namely Governor Browne. Leave it to us; the many rectify the error of one man.

Come now, agree to my second proposition: That Waitara be investigated.

3rd.—This is the third:—That Tataraimaka be quietly occupied by the Pakehas, to whom the land belongs.

This is not a new word; when I came here this time last year (in October) with Tamati Nga pora; Wiremu Kingi and Rewi said that "it would soon be clear." When I went to Taranaki on the strength of that word, my statement was not credited. You heard of the difficulty I got in there (you heard of my mate there.) I shall not enlarge upon that subject. It is finished, and Hori Ngatai and I have made friends. But the thing that grieves my heart is, my widows and orphans who are living in poverty in the town of New Plymouth not being permitted to return to their places. The widows and orphans have done no wrong; let some of us go and convey them back to their places. Let this be your and my work, O Tamehana, for I have heard that the Taranakis have said,—"Let Tamehana say but one word."

Let me have your one word; don't begrudge your word, for the word of the many will not be grudged. Let Tataraimaka be quietly occupied by the Pakeha. (Here the Bishop looked towards Matutaera and took off his hat.) O Matutaera! Principal chief of Waikato, I urge you now in the name of our parent who went to sleep in love, consent to the good plans (or propositions) by which we shall be saved. (Ho then turned towards Wiremu Tamehana.) O my son Tamehana! I importune you now in the name of our loving friend whose body is preserved in my tomb at Ngamotu, consent to the good plans by which we shall be saved. (He then turned towards the people.) All ye tribes of New Zealand sitting here, holding Council here, I importune you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we believe in, and in whom is our hope, consent to the good plans by which we shall be saved.