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

Ngatiawa Migration from Kapiti in 1848

page 37

Ngatiawa Migration from Kapiti in 1848.

  • 60. But Governor Grey had been deceived in the belief that the whole of the Ngatiawa Tribe acquiesced in his decision. It was soon evident that: Wiremu Kingi was as much bent as ever on returning to Waitara. He pretended to be anxious not to act in opposition to the Government; but pressed on Major Richmond the offer of Waikanae, his anxiety on this head being caused by the scarcely-concealed intention of the Ngatitoa Tribe to seize on the land at Waikanae the moment he left it.
  • 61. The Governor, hearing that canoes were being built at Port Nicholson for the migration, sent peremptory orders that they should be dismantled, and, if necessary, seized and destroyed; and these orders and a memorandum recorded by the Superintendent show clearly that at that time it was seriously in contemplation to prevent the migration by military force. But Sir George Grey, desirous of trying a last effort to come to terms with Wiremu Kingi, made a further proposal of certain conditions on which he would permit him to sell Waikanae and come up to Waitara. The basis of this proposal was that Wiremu Kingi should settle on the north bank of the River "Waitara, and should "relinquish all pretensions to any lands on the south bank"(where the block purchased by me is situate). "Upon all pretensions being at once relinquished to all lands to the south of the Waitara, the Government will, without further inquiry into such pretensions to these lands, admit that, from the prompt settlement they are making of this question, the Natives are entitled to such compensation as may be agreed on between themselves and the officers of the Government. The Government will then also recognize and permit them immediately to dispose of their claims at Waikanae and Totaranui for such compensation as may be agreed on. The compensation in both cases to be paid in annual instalments, spread over a period of not less than three years."
  • 62. Thus your Grace will perceive that even in this proposal Sir George Grey carefully refused to recognize either the tribal right or any "seignorial right" in Wiremu Kingi, and treated his claims as mere "pretensions."
  • 63. Wiremu Kingi agreed to the condition of locating himself on the north bank of Waitara. At the end of 1847 offers to sell Waitara were made to Government; and just before the migration in the early part of 1848, Mr. McLean went to Kapiti, any purchase of Waitara being kept in abeyance till all the claims should be clearly ascertained. At a large gathering of the Ngatiawas on that occasion, Wiremu Kingi distinctly agreed to go on the north bank: "Let me return thither, and I will then, consider the matter [of the sale]. When I get there, ono side of the river shall be yours and the north side mine, whence I can look out for the Waikatos in case that tribe should meditate an attack upon us." This was publicly stated by Mr. McLean at the Kohimarama conference, adding: "That was his word, which is retained in the memories of myself and others here present who heard what passed between us."
  • 64. Further evidence of his intention is afforded in a proposal which he made to Te Teira. "When Wi Kingi thought of returning to Waitara he sent to Teira and, said, 'Let us return to Waitara; you take one side, I will take the other, as Waikato gives us permission to return.' "
  • 65. Under, these circumstances the Government no further opposed the return of Wiremu Kingi, and the migration took place in April, 1848. On reaching Taranaki he went to reside at his ancestral place near the Manukorihi Pa on the north bank, which bears the same name as the section of the Ngatiawa Tribe to which. Kingi belongs. His own claims and those of his immediate followers were represented by the best possible evidence—that of his own brother—to be almost exclusively on the north bank; and it was stated, to Mr. McLean, who several years before had, in company with Kingi's brother, travelled over the district, when the respective claims of the different hapus were pointed out to him, that even on the north bank Kingi's ancestors had been but comparatively recent occupants.
  • 66. And the chief Ropoama te One, at Queen Charlotte Sound, when Mr. McLean was investigating the Waitara purchase, said that Kingi's land was on the north bank: "I [McLean] said to him, 'Waitara is offered for sale.' Ropoama asked, 'By whom?' I inquired of him, 'Is it King's?' He replied, 'No; his land is on the other side of Waitara.'" But as some of the Waikatos under Rewi and other chiefs were even then (1848) cultivating in the vicinity, and Kingi was in fear of an invasion from that tribe, he asked permission of Tamati Raru, Teira's father, to build a pa upon the piece of land on the south bank, now sold to the Government, which permission was granted.