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Copy of a letter from Wm. Thompson to his Excellency the Governor

page 242

Copy of a letter from Wm. Thompson to his Excellency the Governor.

Ngaruawahi, June 7th, 1861.

To The Governor of Auckland,—

Friend,—Send my korero to be printed, that the source of my thoughts may be seen, and the cause of my exertions on the side of the Maories. I will commence my narration from the time of my first conversion to Christianity, which was during the Rotorua war. The war had been carried on for two years when I commenced to worship God. The name of my minister was Alfred Brown. That Pakeha was plundered by my tribe. My “karakia” commenced after the departure of my minister; he went to Tauranga, and I stood in his place,—the war at Rotorua still being carried on. I urged that the feud should cease, and that feud was ended. The Hauraki (people) commenced again, and Topa Topa, Urukaraka, and Kaukiuta were taken. My tribe again rose to seek payment, but I repressed them, and that ended the Haurakis made another attack at Waiharakeke, and Pinenga was taken by Taraia. My tribe again rose to take revenge, but they were not permitted (by me) to rise and do so,—they were repressed by me. At that time my name was Tarapipi. I had no minister to strengthen me in that work which God sent into New Zealand, to every part, and to every island. I was given this work to do by the stewards of Christ, and I also worked during the time there was no minister. When my work had increased, then only did my minister return to see after me, that is, his place was on his feet: he used merely to come to baptize and to administer the sacrament, and then return to Tauranga. I worked at quarrels about land, and through my exertions these troubles were with difficulty ended. By this time there were many ministers at all the places, whilst I continued to reside at my place without one. I thought about building a large house, as a house of meeting for the tribes who were living at variance in New Zealand, and who would not become united. That house was erected, and was called Babel. I then turned my thoughts to seek some plan by which the Maori tribes should become united; that they might assemble together, and the people become one, like the Pakehas. The Ngatipaoa were invited, and came to me, and united their talk for good. page 243 Afterwards the Ngatitamatera were invited and came; afterwards the Ngatiwhakane were invited, and they came; afterwards the Ngatiwhanaunga were invited, and they came; However, they merely assembled together, evil still manifested itself; the river of blood was not yet stopped. The missionaries acted bravely, and so did I, but the flow of blood did not cease. When you came the river of blood was still open, and I therefore sought for some thought to cause it to cease, as the ministers had long persevered. I considered, therefore, how this blood could be made to diminish in this island: I looked into your books where Israel cried to have a king for themselves to be a judge over them, and I looked at the word of Moses in Deuteronomy xvii. 15; and in Revelations also, and I kept these words in my memory through all the years, the land feuds continuing all the time, and blood still being spilt, I still meditating upon the matter. When we arrived at the year 1857 Te Heuheu called a meeting at Taupo. Twice 800 were assembled there. When the news of that meeting reached me, I said, I will consent to this to assist my work, that the religion of those tribes that had not yet united might have time to breathe. I commenced at those words in the Book of Samuel viii. 5, “Give us a king to judge us.” This was why I set up Potatau in the year 1857. On his being set up the blood at once ceased, and has so remained up to the present year. The reason why I set up Potatau as a king for me was, he was a man of extended influence, and one who was respected by the tribes of this island. That, O friend, was why I set him up, to put down my troubles, to hold the land of the slave, and to judge the offences of the chiefs. The King was set up, the Runangas were set up, the Kaiwhakawas were set up, and religion was set up. The works of my ancestors have ceased, they are diminishing at the present time; what I say is, that the blood of the Maories has ceased (to flow.) I don’t allude to this blood (lately shed;) it was your hasty work caused that blood. I do not desire to cast the Queen from this island, but from my piece (of land). I am to be the person to overlook my piece. Enough.

Another portion will follow.

From Wi Tamihana.