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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70

Ngaitahu Invasion of the South Island

Ngaitahu Invasion of the South Island.

Mr. A. Mackay, Native Commissioner, who is well versed in South Island affairs, describing Nga-i-tahu, who were an emigrant offshoot from Ngat-kahu-ngunu, the tribe which occupies the east coast of the North Island south of Hawke's Bay, says the desire to possess themselves of the greenstone which was only to be found in the South Island is supposed to have been the chief inducement which urged large bodies of this tribe at different times to invade the country of the Ngatimamoe, who had become celebrated as possessing this treasure. The story of the introduction of the stone to the knowledge of Ngaitahu, however, contradicts this version, which is not accepted by Mr. Stack, and is doubted by Mr. Mackay himself. Ngatimamoe in all probability did not possess much greenstone, perhaps did not know it, for it was after Ngaitahu had acquired their knowledge, and fought for and conquered the West Coast, that they carried on their bloodthirsty war of extermination against Ngatimamoe, fighting over the district surrounding this city (Dunedin), and ultimately destroying them in Southland.