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An Epitome of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs and Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand

The Hon. the Colonial Secretary to His Excellency Lieutenant-Governor Hobson

The Hon. the Colonial Secretary to His Excellency Lieutenant-Governor Hobson.

Bay of Islands.—Visit to Kaitaia to obtain Signatures to Treaty. Kororareka, 6th May, 1840.


I have the honour to inform your Excellency that, according to your directions, I sailed on the 27th ultimo for Kaitaia in the schooner "New Zealander." We touched at Maunganui, where I obtained one of the principal chiefs as a pilot, and on the Saturday following anchored in the river, about sixteen miles distant from the town.

The Rev. R. Taylor and Dr. Johnson immediately proceeded to the Church Mission-station to arrange with Mr. Puckey and the chief Nopera the day of meeting.

On Monday, accompanied by Lieutenant Smart and the mounted police, I went to Kaitaia. At the head of the river we were met by Mr. Puckey and a great many Natives, who escorted us to the town, where we were received by a discharge of musketry, and shortly after were welcomed by a war-dance. The firing continued throughout the evening, and at intervals during the night.

At an early hour the next morning the chiefs commenced preparations, and at ten o'clock assembled on a large grass-plot before the verandah of Mr. Matthews's house, whither I repaired, attended by Mr. Puckey (who acted as Interpreter), Nopera, the principal chief, and the gentlemen by whom I was accompanied.

I opened the meeting by informing the chiefs that your Excellency's illness prevented your personal attendance, but that you had deputed me to meet them, to explain the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi, and to invite their adherence thereto. I then alluded to the mischievous endeavours of some evil-disposed persons to misrepresent the intentions of Her Majesty's Government, assured them that your Excellency would strictly perform all your engagements with them, and concluded by requesting them to make any statement, or to call for any explanation, on such subjects as they did not fully comprehend.

The Treaty was then read, and the debate was conducted much in the same manner as at Waitangi, with this exception: that there was but very little opposition.

They stated that they had been informed by the pakehas that your Excellency would take away their lands and make them slaves; that you would place their provisions in stores, and distribute only such quantities as you might think proper. They also stated that they had been solicited by some of the Ngapuhis and Hokianga chiefs to join in a conspiracy to cut off the pakehas, but that they had declined doing so; and concluded by expressing their hearty concurrence with your Excellency's views, and their earnest wish to become subjects of Her Majesty. The Treaty was then signed by sixty of the principal chiefs, and the meeting concluded with a war-dance and a general discharge of musketry.

I herewith enclose the speech of Nopera, by which your Excellency will more fully perceive the value of his adherence. I further beg to inform your Excellency that he provided all the food for the entertainment of the Natives, and would not accept any payment for it, although offered by me. He also desired me to request your acceptance of a present of pigs and potatoes, which he sent on board the schooner.

I have, &c.,

Willoughby Shortland,

His Excellency Lieutenant-Governor Hobson, &c. Colonial Secretary.