The Life and Times of Sir George Grey, K.C.B.
Chapter XL. — The Waikato War
The Waikato War.
"But who, if he be called upon to face
Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined
Great issues, good or bad for human kind.
Is happy as a lover."
Sir George Grey's reception in New Zealand was enthusiastic All traces of the bitterness which had been felt towards him by many of the early settlers had disappeared. Time had removed many unfavourable impressions and justified many of his actions hitherto misconstrued. The clamours which for many years had echoed against him had died away, and the old colonists lost their memories of fancied slights and arbitrary rule, and remembered only the courage, the skill, and wisdom which bad been so signally displayed in the nine years of his former government. Public meetings were held, and congratulatory addresses largely signed before his arrival. The address presented in Wellington was written by Dr. Featherstone, and the following passage is taken from it:—
"Remembering the warm interest which during your former administration you ever took in the advancement of these provinces, and the many and important benefits you then conferred upon us, we cannot refrain from availing ourselves of the opportunity afforded by your arrival amongst us to give you a hearty welcome, and to renew the expressions of our personal esteem and respect, and of our most fervent wishes for the success of the policy you have inaugurated, and for your own health and happiness."page 313
The loyal chiefs-welcomed him back to their country, and presented addresses equal in depth and fire to those which his departure from the colony in 1853 had drawn forth. These Sir George enclosed to the Secretary of State, for the Queen's perusal.
Her Majesty was so much pleased with them, that at her suggestion the Duke of Newcastle sent a copy of one to the Times for publication. In a letter from the Duke to Sir George, dated November 26th, 1862, he wrote:— "The Queen was greatly gratified and touched by the feeling and poetic address of the New Zealand chiefs, and desired me to tell you so. It was at Her Majesty's suggestion that I sent a copy of it to the Time, so that it might be read and admired by all her subjects."
On the Governor's arrival in New Zealand, six thousand soldiers were placed by the War Office at his disposal. Without loss of time he met the Ministry then in power, obtained possession of all the information available, and with characteristic energy proceeded to concert his plans to terminate the present disastrous state of affairs, and to restore peace and tranquillity to the colony. He resolved to employ the troops in road making, especially in those directions and localities where roads were indispensable for military purposes.
Governor Browne's manifesto was set aside, and the Maoris were informed that military operations against them would only be resorted to in the last extremity. Various reforms among the natives themselves were also initiated. The Maori tribes which had not become actual participators in warlike operations eagerly accepted the institutions framed by the Governor. But the great Waikato tribes, among whom William King was an honoured guest, were still silent and sullen.
The military road which the soldiers, under Sir George Grey's instructions, were making into the Waikato, steadily advanced. The Maoris declared that so long as the road was in the Queen's country they would take no notice If, however, it were carried across the Maungatawhiri River into the land nominally rendering allegiance to the Maori king they would take it as a declaration of war.
At that time Mr. John Gorst (since Sir John Gorst, Under-Secretary for India) exercised official duties as magistrate in that district. page 314He established a school and printing press at Te Awamutu. The Maoris had a newspaper at Ngaruawahia, a few miles distant, and Mr. Gorst also published one at Te Awamutu. In the columns of Mr. Gorst's paper the king question was discussed without hesitation. The Waikato chiefs were offended at his plain speech.
One morning a Ngatimaniapoto chief, named Patane, accompanied by thirty armed men, visited Te Awamutu, and requested Mr. Gorst at once to depart. He refused. Patane argued, some of his principal followers joining in. Gorst was obdurate. The Maori school children clambered on the fence around the school, and, with bright eyes and laughing brown faces, clapped their hands and enjoyed the fun.
After a time Patane, discomfited, and doubtful of his own authority, withdrew. His reward was a censure from the King's Government, and a request to the great chief Rewi that he would keep his subordinate chiefs in better order. A law was issued, however, from the King's Council, prohibiting all Maoris from seeking redress in Mr. Gorst's court, which was thereafter abandoned by the natives.
On New Years Day, 1863, the Governor paid his last friendly visit to the Waikato. The canoe in which he travelled upon the river was manned by some of the late King's personal friends, for Te Whero-whero had paid the fast debt, and gone to his fathers. He had died in 1860, and his son Matutaera, commonly known as Tawhiao, was elected to succeed him. He was buried at Ngaruawahia.
On the 3rd of January the Governor, leaving his large Maori escort, rode alone to Ngaruawahia. Dismounting at Te Whero-Whero's grave, he stood for a time thinking of the scenes through which in the days gone by he and the Maori King had passed together.
As he meditated, a crowd of Maoris, attracted by the sight of the solitary pakeha standing by the King's last resting-place, drew near. He was suddenly recognised by some of the older chiefs. With shouts of joy which might almost have waked the dead, the Maori cry of welcome, "Haeremai! Haeremai! "echoed far and wide.
Tawhiao was not at Ngaruawahia, but Te Paea, the King's sister, and some chiefs were there Messengers mounted upon fleet page 315horses were at once sent to the King and to his principal chiefs. Immediately upon receiving the news of the Governor's visit, Tawhiao mounted and rode hard to see him. But he was stout and not strong, and suffered so much that he was obliged to stay at a place called Eangiaohia. Anxious lest Sir George Grey should misconstrue his absence, Tawhiao sent a certificate, signed by the Maori missionary and the Maori catechist, testifying to his condition, and stating that he could go no further.
The great chief, Tamehana, with a number of other heads of the different tribes, had a long consultation with the Governor. It was upon this occasion that a statement was made by Sir George Grey which has always been imperfectly interpreted, and misconstrued. Tamehana asked the Governor if he was opposed to the King. To this Sir George replied, "I shall not fight against him with the sword, but shall dig round him with good deeds till he falls of his own accord."
In all the reports which have been made of this celebrated speech of the Governor, the words "with good deeds" are invariably omitted. This omission alters its meaning altogether, and changes a friendly and benevolent intention into a direct threat.
The chiefs desired to have a longer interview with the Governor, Tamehana and many others being most anxious to avoid war. A great meeting was decided on, to which the Governor was to be invited. That meeting was never held, for Sir George, tired and unwell, had been called to Auckland on urgent business.
The hostile attitude of the natives, for a short time allayed by the Governor's visit, was gradually resumed. On the 24th of March, 1863, Rewi, with a large force of armed men, visited Te Awamutn, and finally told Mr. Gorst that he must leave. All next day the discussion continued. Rewi was determined. If Mr. Gorst remained at Te Awamutn he would be put to death. Mr. Gorst refused absolutely to leave without the Governor's orders. An armistice was agreed upon, giving the European magistrate time to write to Auckland. Gorst's letter speaks for itself:—
Awamutu, March 25th, 1863.
My dear Sir George Grey,—The natives have utterly beaten me at last, broken the press and taken away the pieces, and effected a lodgment on the ground, from which they refused to stir until I left the place. At last, page 316by dint of great obstinaey, I have got an armistice to communicate with you, and if you allow me to remove I am to retire with the honours of war, i.e., all the property. … Rewi allows three weeks in which to receive your answer, but he says if you leave me, you leave me to death.—Your faithful servant,'
J. E. Gorst.
Upon receiving this letter the Governor immediately issued his instructions to Mr. Gorst to retire. He knew Kewi too well to doubt his iron inflexibility. He was well assured that if one hour beyond the three weeks elapsed, and Mr. Gorst still remained at Te Awamutn without orders to leave, he would no longer be in the land of the living. It is not given to every Secretary for India in peaceful England to be able to look back upon a time when in very deed and truth his days were numbered.
Nor had Mr. Gorst himself a shadow of a doubt of the reality of his own peril. He, too, knew Rewi. He knew that dogged resolution which was so strong a feature in the old chief's character. When, during the war that followed, the name of Rewi became immortalised by the stern heroism of the defence of Orakan, neither the Governor nor the magistrate felt surprised. The type and other metal taken by the natives was cast by them into bullets, and used in the war which followed.
During the next eventful three weeks the fate of New Zealand was being decided, not at Te Awamutu between Rewi and Mr. Gorst, but at Taranaki and Waitara. The inquiries which Sir George Grey had made regarding the ownership of the land at Waitara convinced him that Wi Kingi's contention was correct, and that in truth he and his people were the real owners, according to native custom, of the disputed territory.
The Governor made personal inquiries for an old plan which he believed that he had himself seen, on which appeared a line showing Wi Kingi's boundary, and effectually settling the question. He was assured by his Ministers that there was no such plan, and that although Wi Kingi himself had appealed to it, the conception of its existence was a mistake.
The Governor was uneasy and disturbed. He proceeded to New Plymouth, and personally examined officers and documents-Especially important evidence was afforded by Mr. Bates, a lientenant in the Sixty-fifth, who occupied the position of Native Interpreter page 317to the Forces. It became evident that there had been such a plan, and that upon it the boundary line as stated had been drawn. Mr. Bell (now Sir Dillon Bell, recently Agent-General for New Zealand) was in attendance upon the Governor during the investigations. Mr. Bell still insisted that the idea of the plan and the boundary line was a mistake. Before advising Governor Browne to assume military possession of the land at Waitara Ministers had taken every precaution to assure themselves and His Excellency that they were right. They still adhered to this statement. In regard to the plan alluded to, the only thing of that nature of which Ministers were aware was an old tracing recently found in the office at New Plymouth.
Sir George desired that this tracing or plan might be sent for. On this being done, and the plan produced, the Governor detected the very boundary line, the existence of which was denied.
Mr. Bell was overcome with astonishment. Impulsive and in pressionable, the sudden disclosure of a fact which threw such lurid light upon the whole conduct of the Government in the matter confounded him. Amid the silence which followed the Governor's discovery Mr. Bell requested permission to withdraw. Sir George Grey was left alone with the map on the table before him.
The Governor's mind was immediately made up as to the course to be pursued. He determined that the land should be publicly given back to Wi Kingi, that the purchase from Teira should be rescinded, and that all the reparation now possible should be made.
Calling his Ministers together, he laid the facts fully before them. A great wrong had been done, in which Ministers, Parliament, and the Crown had all participated. The loss of life had been lamentable, and the expenditure of treasure great. It was indeed humiliating to the last degree to confess that the Government was wrong and the natives right, but the demand made by justice was inexorable. The only course consistent with honour was to acknowledge frankly the wrong that had been done and offer reparation.
The Cabinet, at last convinced, were yet unwilling to humble themselves and, as they thought, the colony in the way and to the extent insisted upon by the Governor. For a considerable time, stretching over several weeks, they hesitated to adopt a course which to them was exceedingly bitter.page 318
Their hesitation and the delay consequent upon it were fatal to all hopes of a speedy reconciliation between the races. The Maoris, ignorant of Sir George Grey's plans regarding the Waitara, and alarmed by certain movements of the troops, laid an ambuscade on the 4th of May, which destroyed a party of the 57th Regiment on their way from the camp to New Plymouth. Four days afterwards, on the 8th of May, Ministers tardily published the proclamation in the Gazette.
It was too late. Had the Ministry, when convinced of the wrong which had been done, honourably admitted the error and allowed the Governor at once to issue his proclamation, the ambuscade in which the party of the 57th fell would never have been laid, and peace might well have been restored.
As the Maoris said in relation to this matter, "The fire had been put to the fern," and the flames swept in a short time over all the centre of the North Island.
From this time forward the conflict continued. Nearly twenty thousand men were put in the field. The story of the New Zealand war, with its long catalogue of sufferings and incapacity, and of gallant deeds on both sides, is a matter of history— affecting more the history of New Zealand than the biography of its Governor.
Well established as the foregoing facts are, many of Sir George Grey's political opponents attempted to throw the responsibility of the Waikato war upon him, and not upon his Ministers. Mr. C. F. Hursthouse, in his pamphlet The Case of New Zealand, says: "Just or unjust, necessary or unnecessary, the war was the Governor's, and not the colonists'." Rather more than eighteen months after the ambuscade at the Waitara, on the 25th of January 1865, a letter from Mr. Fitzgerald appeared in the Times, containing the serious charge that "Sir G-. Grey, although he had many months before promised to investigate the Waitara case, and to do justice in it, proceeded early in 1863 to march an army into the Tataraimaka to recover it, before having 'made any inquiry into the facts of the Waitara."
This letter called forth a prompt reply from another New Zealander. The writer of this answer is believed to have been page 319Colonel (now General Sir George) Whitmore. He emphatically denied Mr. Fitzgerald's statement, and added —
"It is difficult to imagine how Mr. Fitzgerald, who is a member of the Assembly, and who shows himself well up in some parts of the colonial blue-books, can make the statement that the Tataraimaka was occupied before 'having made any inquiry at all into the facts of the Waitara.' Before troops moved to the Tataraimaka the two principal colonial Ministers, Messrs Domett and Bell, who were at New Plymouth, had settled with Sir G. Grey that the Waitara was to be given up, and it was the openly avowed intention of the Governor and Ministers to occupy the Tataraimaka and evacuate the Waitara on the same day.
"When the day fixed (the 4th of April) came, the troops marched out, but the Ministers had not yet prepared the proclamation giving effect to their decision on the Waitara question, and it was solely owing to their not having done so that the one block of land was occupied before the other was evacuated. I know that few, if any, of the events which have taken place in New Zealand since that have caused Sir G. Grey or Sir Duncan Cameron so much annoyance as the delay of the Ministers in issuing their proclamation,—a delay to which it is entirely attributable that we are placed in the false position of appearing to give up the Waitara from fear, because it was not done until after the murders were committed. These facts are patent to all who were there at the time, and I can further state that several of the friendly chiefs were told, before the murders were committed, that the Waitara was to be given up; but as day after day passed and no proclamation came forth they began to disbelieve it, and when a month passed and still no proclamation appeared, is it to be wondered at that the natives came to the conclusion that we did not mean to keep our word about the Waitara, because we had been allowed to occupy the Tataraimaka in peace—a conclusion to which some of our own party were also brought by the unaccountable delay?"*
* Times,January 31st, 1865.
The difficulties by which Sir George Grey was surrounded prevented him from calling into requisition his own peculiar aptitude for dealing with savage races under such circumstances as those which now existed in New Zealand. Fettered in one direction by Parliament and a responsible Ministry, he was precluded in the other from taking a controlling part in the conduct of the campaign. The troops were under the orders of the General in command, who was not responsible to the Governor, but to the Ministry in England.
General Cameron, though skilled in European campaigning, was inexperienced in bush warfare. He held too lightly both the courage and capacity of the Maoris, and received during the two or three years of his command in New Zealand several severe repulses, which created dissatisfaction and anger among his troops, and tended to prolong the strife. Had Sir George Grey possessed absolute command, it is probable that six months would have seen the end of the war A few sharp lessons would have taught the Maoris that the forces of the Crown, properly led and guided, were not to be resisted.
That this is no exaggerated idea may he justly inferred, not only from Sir George Grey's former experience and exploits in New Zealand and South Africa, but from circumstances which happened during the war itself.
Between New Plymouth and Wanganui the Maoris had built a pah at Te Wereroa. From this pah they issued from time to time in marauding parties. The reduction of Wereroa became an absolute necessity. Representations were made to the Governor, and through the Governor to the General. Sir George Grey himself expressed his desire that the Wereroa pah should be destroyed.
General Cameron refused to undertake the duty. He said it would require at least two thousand (in all 6,000) more troops than he had under his orders available for the task. When further urged, the General accused the New Zealand Government of indifference as to the lives of Her Majesty's soldiers. He also refused permission to Colonel Waddy to march a regiment towards the pah to act, not as a reserve, but as a support for the Colonial forces.page 321
For some time the natives within the pah had expressed a desire to agree to terms of capitulation. While these overtures were under consideration fresh supplies and reinforcements found their way into the Wereroa. Major Rookes and Captain McDonnell spent some days at a pah belonging to the chief stronghold, while the natives debated whether it should be peace or war. Eventually the white men were told to go, as the defenders had resolved to hold the place.
Meanwhile several friendly chiefs had hastened to Wellington to ask the Governor himself for assistance in subduing the Hauhaus who had mustered behind the strong defences of Wereroa. When these Maoris arrived at Government House it was late at night, and Sir George Grey was asleep. Knowing the character of the Governor, they demanded and obtained immediate admittance. Sitting on the floor or standing round the bed they traced diagrams describing the position and construction of the pah, and told of the distress which the settlers and loyal natives suffered from its. occupation by the rebels.
As Major Rookes retired from the Perikamo pah, after learning the final decision of its garrison to fight and not to yield, he met the Governor on his way to the Wereroa, and turned back with him. Sir George Grey was quite convinced in his own mind "that all intention of giving the pah up had been abandoned by the mass of the people in it, and that they would not do it, and were only pretending in order to gain time."
No trace of this distrust appeared in his conduct. He accepted the invitation to go up and take possession of the fortress, two of the chiefs who had ridden out to meet him returning to the pah in order to make preparation for his reception.
They advanced to within one hundred and twenty yards of the palisading, and then were stopped by natives who came out of the pah, and asked the various conditions of the terms which would he granted if they gave up the fortress. What followed is concisely told in the Governor's memorandum on the subject:—
"They then said it was all satisfactory, and Aperahama, the principal chief of the pah, came out and requested that Hori Kingi and myself alone would at once go into the pah. Hori Kingi came to my side (we were on horseback), and said, 'Oh, Governor, do not page 322let us go in; ride up and touch the fence with your hand,* and let that satisfy you: do not let us go in.'
"I saw he was in great fear of treachery. Several of the natives earnestly begged me not to go on, saying the people in the pah were fanatics, given up to old customs.
"I told Hori Kingi that he must come on. He gave way, and Mr. Parris, myself, Hori Kingi, and Hori Kerei, rode on towards the pah. When we arrived within about thirty or forty yards of the pah, the priest of the fanatics came out, and ordered the natives not to allow us to come further, that they would not give up the pah, and Hori Kingi said that he saw their guns prepared, and that we should be fired on if we moved on; and the friendly chiefs of the Wereroa pah, who stood between us and the pah, seeing what was intended, prayed us not to go on."
Although alluded to so quietly, the danger in which the little party stood was most imminent. Colonel Rookes says that the palisading before them bristled with tuparas (double-barrelled guns) levelled at the Governor, while the clicking of the guns being cocked was distinctly heard.
One of the old chiefs rushed from the pah, and holding up a blanket before Sir George Grey, implored him to turn back. Standing between the guns and those whom they menaced he brought them a temporary protection. But he assured the Governor that the Maoris were in grim earnest, and that any attempt to advance closer to the gateway of the pah would inevitably bring death upon the whole party.
Even then Sir George hesitated to withdraw. For a few minutes he endeavoured to reason with the excited natives, calling upon his "children" to reflect, and not to break their word or behave so badly. At last convinced of the uselessness of further argument, he slowly gave the order to retire—an order which was welcomed and obeyed without loss of time by those in attendance upon him.
The next day the Governor received a letter from the occupants of Wereroa, saying that if he would send away the forces, then they would come to terms. His reply was characteristic:—
O Sons,—I will not cause my men to return to Wanganni. I have lintone word, that your words to me he fulfilled, that I come into the pah; thenpage 323will I fulfil my words to you, and in every way I will treat yon well.—Your friend,
* A sign to the native mind of the establishment of authority.
G. Grey Governor.18th July, 1865.
"When it was hopeless any longer to expect a peaceful surrender of the stronghold, Sir George Grey undertook the responsibility of an assault. He mustered a few hundred men (friendly natives and Forest Rangers), assumed personal command, and in three days had taken the dreaded pah, holding its garrison as prisoners of war, without the loss of a single man.
What a contrast was this to the disastrous and bloody scenes of Rangiriri, the Gate-Pah, and other places.
Another instance of the disagreements between the Governor and the General in command involved not merely the safety of the people of Taranaki, but the reputation of Sir George Grey and Colonel Warre.
About four miles from New Plymouth, a spur of the range running towards the sea from Mount Egmont falls rapidly to the South Road, and forces that road clown nearly to the sea level. A celebrated pah, once held by Bob-e-Rangi, had been built there. Upon the crest of the spur, some distance on its upward course, an old chief had built a pah, from which he and his people descending, had from time to time committed robberies and murders upon the people of New Plymouth.
Moved by the complaints of the Taranaki people, and by his own knowledge of the circumstances, the Governor invited the General to accompany him to reconnoitre the position of the enemy. From the road by the sea shore they perceived distinctly the earthworks and palisading of the Maori stronghold. Sir George directed the attention of General Cameron to the fact that the interior of the pah, especially that portion of it which dominated the ascent from below, was open to and commanded by the upper portions of the same spur, and suggested that a body of picked marksmen should take possession of the hills above the pah, and then, an attack being made in front, it would be impossible for the Maoris to approach the palisading to defend it.
General Cameron refused to take the advice tendered, using at the same time words as to the Quixotic character of the Governor, which in reality amounted to an insult.page 324
Shortly after this, Sir George Grey and General Cameron both proceeded to Auckland. Grey was determined that something should be done to rid the people of the West Coast from the danger by which they were continually menaced. "While laying his plans, the matter was summarily ended from another quarter.
Colonel Warre, a very able and energetic officer, had been left in command in Tara-naki. Moved by the evident military necessity and by the representations of the settlers there, and being ignorant of the refusal already given by his commanding officer, he proceeded to drive out the obnoxious garrison. After careful inspection of the stronghold, he took the very steps which Sir George Grey had urged upon the General. Throwing a strong force of riflemen along the range above the pah, he attacked it in front.
When the old chief and his people rushed to the palisading to repel the attacking force, they were paralysed by the firing from the hills above them. After having suffered some loss in killed and wounded, they fled from the pah by the sides which led into the dense forests and escaped. The troops suffered no loss.
General Cameron immediately concluded that there was a conspiracy against him existing between the Governor and Colonel Warre. He wrote to the Horse Guards, accusing Sir George Grey and the Colonel of this supposed conspiracy. Both were called upon by the Duke of Cambridge to explain. Both denied emphatically that any correspondence, direct or indirect, verbal or written, had ever passed between them on the subject, Sir George Grey stating that he had never received any letter from Colonel Warre but one enclosing some sketches of scenery which the Colonel, who was an artist, had forwarded to him; and the only letter that he had written to that officer was one thanking him for his kindness and praising the pictures themselves.
He added that he was not surprised at Colonel Warre's action, because it was evidently induced by proper military considerations, and was such as should have suggested itself to any officer in command.
The Duke of Cambridge afterwards told Sir George Grey that in spite of his emphatic denial and that of Colonel Warre, he found himself bound to accept the statement of General Cameron, his own immediate subordinate. To Sir George Grey this mattered nothing, page 325but Colonel Warre for years afterwards found that this unjust and untruthful accusation was a constant bar to his promotion in the service.
The war was virtually at an end in 1860. A few skirmishes and casual encounters did indeed take place during the last six months of that year, but in the beginning of 1867 the troops were gradually withdrawn from New Plymouth, the last leaving in July.
One incident, not of this war, but of a conflict between two native tribes, deserves to be recorded, as it illustrates the character of the Governor and the position he held in the eyes of the Maori people.
Sir George Grey had for bidden all tribal wars. Sometimes the old nature of the Maori would overcome the new system of things, and instead of referring to the arbitration of the Governor or the tedious process of the law, an appeal to arms was made as an easy and speedy method of settlement.
On an occasion of this nature, word was brought to the Governor at Auckland that two tribes to the northward had commenced hostilities. A well-known chief named Tirirau had marched his people on to the territory of an old enemy, and was laying deliberate siege to his principal pah.
The Governor was determined to put a stop to all such proceedings. Instantly embarking in a man-of-war then in Auckland harbour he proceeded to Whangarei. Landing there in the early dawn with a half-caste guide, he obtained horses and proceeded over the ranges towards the scene of conflict. During several hours he rode as fast as the track would permit, till at length the pace and difficulty of the way told upon the horses.
By making a slight deviation he was able to call at a farm owned by a gentleman he knew. There, hastily eating breakfast—it was now high noon—he procured fresh cattle, and rapidly cleared the remaining distance, accompanied only by the guide. Upon his arrival at the pah he found the battle already begun. The besiegers had brought with them an old ship's cannon, and he could hear far off the sound of the solitary piece of ordnance. Drawing nearer, the cracking of rifle and gunshots told the fight was fast and furious. At last he came in sight of the pah, and the stockades and rifle pits of the attacking party. Putting spurs to his horse, he dashed into the line of fire and threw up his right hand, shouting at the same page 326time to both parties to cease firing. As he rode by, the brother of Tirirau fell shot through the neck.
The person of the Governor was at once recognised. In a moment all was silent. Sir George Grey, still sitting on his panting horse, commanded both parties to come out and range themselves on either side of him without their arms. His word was law. In a few minutes several hundreds of fighting men stood drawn up in two bodies, only separated by the Governor and his orderly.
In a severe tone Sir George Grey reminded the chiefs on both sides that as the Queen's representative he had forbidden all fighting, whether for land or in revenge for any injury or insult. He bade both sides depart at once for their ordinary homes, and he would himself decide their disputes. A few of the chiefs and common men were to stay to look after the dead and wounded, the rest were to depart.
To the Maoris the voice of "Te Kuwana" was as the voice of God. To hear was to obey. Without remonstrance the defenders left the pah, the besiegers left their pits and whares. Shouldering arms, they marched away contentedly to their various kaingas. The wounded were looked to, the dead were buried, and the Governor, having examined into the dispute—which was, as such disputes usually were, about land—settled it satisfactorily to both sides.
Personal intervention like this, regardless of danger or fatigue, challenged the admiration of the chivalrous Maoris, while the constant kindness and justice exercised towards them won their confidence and love.