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Early Wellington

Te Rauparaha's Ride

Te Rauparaha's Ride.

Te Rauparaha, attended by a number of natives, visited Wellington and Pito-one, on May 17th, 1845. He was met by Mr. Forsaith, Protector of Aborigines, and Dr. Fitzgerald. At mid-day the Maori Chief stepped from his canoe, attended by the Bishop (Dr. Selwyn). Dr. Fitzgerald having given a horse to him, the procession was formed in the following order:—

25 Maoris on foot; Te Rauparaha and Protector Forsaith on horseback; the Bishop and Dr. Fitzgerald on horseback; and 25 Maoris on foot.

On arrival at Wellington Te Rauparaha was conducted by the Bishop into the house of the Rev. Mr. Cole, the Anglican Clergyman, whose premises were immediately filled by a crowd of native attendants on the chief.

On June 22nd, 1846, Te Rauparaha again visited Wellington, returning to Porirua on the 29th. His actions were looked on with suspicion, and preparations were made for his arrest.

His son Tamehana (Thompson) gives a detailed account of events leading up to the capture of his father, in Mr. Travers “Stirring Times of Te Rauparaha,” pp. 161–166. He writes:—“A letter was written by some one, to which the name of Te Rauparaha was signed. It is said that Mamaku and Rangihaeata wrote the letter and signed the name of Te Rauparaha to give it force.”

On July 20th, 1846, His Excellency Governor Grey embarked on board the “Driver” with a body of sailors from the “Calliope,” under Capt. Stanley, 100 troops under Major Last, and a detachment of armed police under Major Durie, and proceeded to Porirua.

The capture of Te Rauparaha was effected on the 23rd July, 1846. Kanae, Charley, and four other natives were taken at Porirua at the same time. The following account of Te Rauparaha's capture is taken from Sir James Wilson's “Early Rangitikei,” page 14:—

“Te Rauparaha was alone in the whare when he was taken. There had been a number of other Maoris in the whare, but when they heard the tramp of the men, they fled, and Te Rauparaha, who was seemingly on the best of terms with page 127 the soldiers, remained behind, as he never dreamed that it was he who was to be taken. The small body of men who were sent with some of the sailors to capture the old man belonged to the Carbine Rifles, under Major Durie, and the two selected to go into the whare and effect the capture were John Frazer (later of Rangitikei) and a sailor from the “Calliope,” called White. When Te Rauparaha was laid hold of he made a struggle to get away, and is said to have nearly bitten White's thumb off. But this time the wily old savage was not able to effect an escape. He was placed on board the “Calliope” and kept there some time, where he seems to have thoroughly enjoyed himself.”

The “Spectator,” dated 29th July, 1846, announces the arrival of the “Driver,” having on board as prisoners Te Rauparaha and six other natives, who were arrested at the Taupo Pa (now Plimmerton Beach), on Thursday, 23rd. William Kanae, Mohie, Whangaroa, and Charley were the names of four of the natives. When Te Rauparaha was liberated in the year 1846, he urged the Ngatitiraukawa Tribe to build the Maori Church at Hadfield Town (Otaki), where he worshipped until his death, on 27th November, 1849.

Fig. 39D. The remains of the old Redoubt (slowly crumbling to decay and disappearing) are north of the Paremata railway bridge to the left. (see page 135).

Fig. 39D. The remains of the old Redoubt (slowly crumbling to decay and disappearing) are north of the Paremata railway bridge to the left. (see page 135).