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

4th Day, October 27th

4th Day, October 27th.

Early this morning I wrote to Matutaera, W. Thompson, Rewi, and Karaitiana, proposing three questions, and asking for an audience:
I.There should be one law.
II.That Waitara be investigated.
III.And that Tataraimaka be occupied by the Pakehas who own it.

I received answers from the King's Council and W. Thompson, granting the request.

About nine, the King came down with his guard, and many old men spoke and sung their songs; about 9.30 the King came out of his tent, and made the shortest of all short king's speeches:

" Welcome my parents.
" Welcome my elder and younger brothers; welcome all the tribes of New Zealand.
"Hold fast to religion.
" Hold fast to love.

The third co-efficient (Ture) was dropped, probably as involving an inconvenient question, on which he did not wish to express an opinion.

I was then called upon to speak, and spoke to my three points for about a quarter of an hour, after which I sat down; the opposition took the lead.

Hoera of Ngatiporou, brought up his party to the negative pole for Waitara, calling for the women to swell the number.

Ngaiterangi came up in a body, and did the same.

Then both parties came forward again and sat down in a body and fired off a Ngeri.

Hauraki then came forward 14 or 15, and sat in the middle as neutrals, some of my friends claimed them as affirmatory votes, but their old leader rose and said,

"No, we are sitting in the centre (between the two parties); there is death here, and death there."—(Pointing to the two sticks.) An old man came up to me and said,

"Do you consent that the King shall stand ?"

This being repeated thrice, I was obliged to rise and answer:

"I consent to there being one law, whether by the Queen, by the Governor, or by Matutaera. Whether carried out by a Pakeha or Maori Runanga. I consent to there being one law for us all. This is what I consent to."

The speaker was not satisfied with this, but remarked that I called him Matutaera, and not the King, and defined his own shade of opinion thus—

"Let there be one law, but let the authority be divided in two."

Many speakers followed, chiefly on the opposition side; among them W. Thompson, whose whole apology for an acknowleged change of opinion, was the "Deception of the Ministers, the occupation of the Ia, and the Governor's letter to Matutaera," ("That he would be punished by-and-by.")

I was obliged to deny the charge of "deceit," and to remind him that from the time of my meeting him at the Hui at Ihumatao till now, I had never ceased to object to the name of king.

Voters then began to come forward in favour of the Waitara enquiry.

Heta, Tauranga
Hoera, teacher of Ngaruawahia.
Paora, brother of Wetini Taiporutu, with a good sensible speech.
A native Assessor, whose name I did not learn.

Old Kihirini came and sat by me, and said he would have voted for me, but for the occupation of the Ia.

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Ngatikakhungunu then began to speak, but as they entered into long details of their own letters, and Renata's speech, which was read at full length, I came away at one o'clock, taking a, friendly hint from Karaitiana that as I had expressed my opinions, and opened the subject, they would get oh better without me.

I forgot to mention that Heta Tauranga was called upon to read the Governor's letter to. Matutaera, and then another,. in which he said it was promised that the troops should not go to the Ia.

I asked whether it was from Governor Browne or Governor Grey, and settled the point by referring to the date, Oct. 3rd, 1860.

An old man. ingeniously said, that they had been often told, that though the Treaty at Waitangi was made by Governor Hobson, it was binding on all the Governors.

I then left the meeting and came on to Tamahui.

My general impressions are,

1.That the meeting was much more orderly, temperate, and friendly than heretofore.
2.That there was no perceptible abatement of tenaciousness as to the King.
3.That the most mnoisy and rigorous opposition came from new members from the East Coast.
4.That among allthe Tribes thereis an acknowledgment of the necessity of one law for both races.
5.That the difficulty is to reconcile the Unity of Law with the Duality of Mana.
6.That it will not be impossible to bring about a compromise on the basis proposed by the Duke of Newcastle.
7.That there is absolutely no trace of an hostility of Race: and no unanimity even on the aubject of a division of races.