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The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions: Tai-Nui. [Vol. VI]

Chapter XI

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Chapter XI.

Farewell, O noble born!
Farewell, O leaders! ye
Who are as parapet
And ditch to fort
To stay the angered foe
When charging on the
Home at O-hope-here.
Ye gained the battle, when
Great revenge was sought
For death of Pa-nui.
So Ahu-rei now says
The touch unnoticed given
Was but a touch by Puhi
Of a wasting ill then felt

Death Of Europeans At Wai-Rau.

The cause of the anger of Rau-paraha was a European who had taken a Maori woman to wife, and had then left her and gone away, no one knows where. He left her to look after their house and to feed his ducks. Now, another European and his Maori wife went to the house where the Maori wife who had been forsaken lived, and they two beat her [killed her]. Some men passing by the house saw the woman and reported what they had seen, and Europeans were charged with the murder page 137 of the woman, and the case was tried. Rangi-hae-ata demanded that the Europeans should be hanged, but the Europeans would not agree, as the murder could not be proved against any European. At the time it was said the Maori people would not do such an act without some pretext. This assertion the Magistrates did not believe, and from this evil [disbelief] Rangi-hae-ata began to think of evil in his heart.

News was received that Europeans had gone to take possession of Wai-rau, and Rangi-hae-ata said, “Then does the European mean to commit two acts of aggression? My sister has been killed, and now the land is taken. This is a challenge of war to me.” Rangi-hae-ata said to Rau-paraha, “O father! let us go and send the Europeans back to Whakatu (Nelson)—to the land paid for by them, and let Wai-rau remain for me.” They embarked in their canoes and crossed Rau-kawa (Cook Strait), and went to Wai-rau, to where the Europeans (surveyors) had built huts, and Rangi-hae-ata called to the Europeans and said, “Europeans, you must go to Whakatu (Nelson)—to the land which you have paid for.”

To which the Europeans replied, “No; this is the Europeans' land.”

Rangi-hae-ata asked, “Who bought [paid for it or sold it]?” The Europeans said, “The Maori sold it.”

Rangi-hae-ata asked, “Who were the Maori who sold it?”

The Europeans said. “All the Maori.”

Rangi-hae-ata asked, “Did Rangi-hae-ata consent [to the sale]?”

The Europeans said, “What of Rangi-hae-ata? All the Maori [consented].”

Rangi-hae-ata said, “Do you say so?” and was angry at this assertion made by the Europeans, as it spoke of him as of no consequence. Rangi-hae-ata then ordered his men to take the things belonging to the Europeans out of the house, and put them all together outside of the house, so that these things page 138 might be in a distinct place from that occupied by the toetoe (Arundo conspicua) which had grown on his land, and of which the house was built, that the toetoe might be burnt.

Again Rangi-hae-ata called to the Europeans and said, “Do not be angry. This toetoe belongs to me; it grew on my land. You might be angry if your house, which I shall burn was built of boards brought from England; but, as this toetoe is mine, it is right that I should burn it. All the things belonging to you Europeans have been taken out of the house, and I am acting in accordance with a just law; it is for you to commit some evil act.” And the house was burnt.

The Europeans called to Rangi-hae-ata and said, “Rangi-hae-ata is evil, and Europeans will soon come and kill you.”

Rangi-hae-ata answered, “It will be good.”

Rangi-hae-ata and his people then paddled [or poled their canoes] up the creek; where they cleared some land to cultivate. This they had not quite prepared for the crop before the Europeans came back. A canoe was given to the Europeans, who had guns with them, by which they could cross the creek, and they at once began to hold an investigation into the matter in dispute. The Europeans called Rau-paraha and Rangi-hae-ata and asked, “Why did you burn the house of the Europeans?”

Rangi-hae-ata said, “It was because the Europeans came here without authority. Let the Europeans stay at Whakatu (Nelson) or at Port Nicholson, which have been purchased [or bought by Europeans] of the Maori; but this [land] has not been bought or paid for, and was left for me.”

The Magistrate became angry, and said, “It is wrong to burn the house of the Europeans.”

Rangi-hae-ata said, “Not anything that has been brought from England has been burnt in the house. The toetoe [of which the house was built] and the timber [of which it was made] were from [or grew on] my land, and I have burnt them. Not page 139 any plank which you may have brought from England has been burnt, but all the things which you brought from England were taken out of the house [before it was burnt], so that any English article might not be burnt, that I might not be blamed for an evil act. I ever am thinking that the Europeans are a people who investigate matters, and hence you have come to try me in this case for my toetoe [which I have burnt]. If you had purchased the toetoe you would have been right, but as the matter stands the European is deranged.”

At this the Europeans were angry, and called to Rau-paraha and said, “Soon the Europeans will kill all the Maori.” Rangi-hae-ata and Rau-paraha did not understand this, but they were informed by a Maori woman who had understood it that the Europeans had said, “Soon all the Maoris will be killed by the Europeans.”

Rangi-hae-ata stood up to consent to the assertion, and said, “It is right that my neck should be cut on my own land. As you have [already] killed my sister, I may also have my neck cut on my land.” He also said, “You Europeans have said you will not meddle with land that has not been purchased and paid for; but the Europeans tell untruths.” (To this the Magistrate listened.) “But no: [the Europeans] are a most meddle-some people with land that has not been purchased. And my neck is to be cut. And will not your neck be cut presently?”

The Magistrate called to the Europeans and said, “Surround.” [or “Close in”]; and the guns of the Europeans were fired, and the wife of Rangi-hae-ata was killed. Rawiri-puwaha then called and said, “Now the law is open” [“We can take revenge, as we are attacked.“]; and Hohepa Tama-i-hengia took his gun and levelled it at a European and shot him, and Rangi-hae-ata fled in fear. Rau-paraha called and said, “Oh, the pain!” [or, “I demand revenge. Kill”]. A man called Te-oro now rushed on with a hatchet in his hand, and with it struck a European, who page 140 fell into the river. The other Europeans fled, and attempted to gain the canoe and cross to the other bank of the river. Those who crossed fled; those behind were captured. Mr. Wakefield was taken with the other chief Europeans, but not killed by the captors. Rangi-hae-ata came up to them and said. “Let them be killed for your sister [his wife], as the Europeans have meddled, and without cause have killed a woman in war. I have heard from the Europeans that in their many wars women are not killed.” So the chief Europeans were killed, and Rau-paraha and Rangi-hae-ata and their people embarked and crossed Cook Strait to O-taki.

Rau-Paraha's Account Of The Massacre At Wai-Rau.
(Blue-Book, 1843.)

When Rau-paraha reached Queen Charlotte Sound he sent over his elder brother (Noho-rua) to be examined in the Commissioner's Court at Wellington. Upon Noho-rua's return without Mr. Spain, or any tidings of his coming, Rangiaiata [Rangi-hae-ata], tired of the delay, proposed that they should immediately proceed to Wairau and prepare the grounds for cultivation before the season was further advanced. They accordingly went to Wairau with their families, and found the surveyors cutting up the land into sections for the Europeans. He (Rangi-hae-ata) remonstrated with them about the survey, telling them that the land belonged to the Natives and not to Colonel Wakefield, but, finding this of no avail, he ordered his men to pull up the ranging-rods, and told the surveyors that he would compel them to desist; he then went to their different stations, and informed them that he had come to convey them to the pa at the mouth of the river, and send them back to Nelson. He removed all their effects out of the house they had erected, and asked them more than once if any portions of their property remained in the house, and, being answered in the negative, Rangi-hae-ata set fire to it. After he had conveyed the surveyors and their effects to the mouth of the river he page 141 returned to Tuaina-rino, the place where the conflict occurred, and commenced clearing the ground for cultivation. He considered that building a house or shed upon his land was taking forcible possession of it, and therefore, according to Native custom, he destroyed it. A short time previous to the conflict he had quarrelled with his nephew Puaha about the right to occupy a certain portion of the ground, in consequence of which they separated, and Puaha threatened to withdraw with his followers to another district, and to cease all future connection with his family. Puaha on his way to the mouth of the river met Captain Wakefield, Mr. Thompson, and a party of about fifty Europeans armed with guns, pistols, and cutlasses. They detained Puaha, and requested him to show them where Rau-paraha and Rangiaiata [Rangi-hae-ata] were, and some of the lower class of Europeans used the most violent and insulting language towards him, threatening to shoot him unless he told where Rau-paraha was; but they were reprimanded by some of the gentlemen for their conduct. Puaha, watching a favourable opportunity, glided into the forest unperceived, and reached Rau-paraha by a different route before the Europeans, and gave him notice of their coming and their object. Hitherto he (Rau-paraha) had imagined that the “Victoria” had arrived with Mr. Spain (Old Land Claims Commissioner) and Mr. Clarke (Protector of Aborigines) to investigate the disputed claims to land in that part of the country. He (Rau-paraha) told his men to remain perfectly quiet, and not to interfere until they saw the white people actually dragging him away, when they were to rescue him; but to resort to no violent measures except in defence of their lives. When the armed force of the Europeans came in sight they divided themselves into two bodies. One occupied a hillock at some little distance, and the other took up its position on the opposite bank of a deep rivulet which flowed between them and the Natives. Several gentlemen, among whom were Captain page 142 Wakefield, Messrs. Thompson, Tuckett, Cotterell, and Brooks, the interpreter, crossed over the rivulet to the side of the Natives in Rau-paraha's large canoe, which stretched across from one bank to the other. The Natives repeated the usual salutation of welcome, and upon inquiry being made for Rau-paraha he rose and said, “Here am I. What do you want with me?” He then held out his hand to Mr. Thompson, who pushed it away; but Messrs. Tuckett and Cotterell shook hands with them all. Mr. Thompson told him he had come to take Rau-paraha and Rangiaiata (Rangi-hae-ata) into custody for burning down the house Mr. Cotterell had erected at his station, and that they must go on board that vessel. He (Rau-paraha) replied that he had not destroyed any European property; that the thatch and rushes of which the house was made were the produce of his own land, and therefore his own property, and he had a right to dispose of it as he pleased; that he was willing to wait till Messrs. Spain and Clarke came to settle the question as to whom the land belonged, but that he would not submit to be manacled like a slave and taken on board the vessel. One of the Europeans said that Mr. Spain and Mr. Clarke were on board, but was contradicted by another of the bystanders. Mr. Thompson told him he had not come about the land, but to take him on board the vessel, and try him at Nelson for burning down the house of Mr. Cotterell, one of the surveyors. He replied, he could not go on board the vessel, but would willingly enter into an adjustment of the difference on the spot, and that, though it might cause a delay of two or three days, they might settle about the disputed land. Mr. Thompson then produced a paper, saying he had not come to talk about the land, but the burning of the house; that that was the “book-a-book” of the Queen, and that he was the Queen. He added that if he (Rau-paraha) still persisted in refusing to go on board the vessel he would order the white people to fire upon the Natives. At this Puaha jumped up, and, holding a New Testament in his hand, told Mr. Thompson that the greater portion of the Natives there page 143 had embraced Christianity, that they professed to be bound by the precepts of that book, and did not wish to fight. Mr. Thompson pushed him away, and inquired for Rangiaiata [Rangi-hae-ata]. On hearing his name mentioned, Rangiaiata, who was sitting behind a bush at a little distance, jumped up, and in the most violent manner and loud tone said, “What do you want with me? what do you want with Rangiaiata, that you should come here to bind him? Do I go to Port Jackson or to Europe to steal your lands? Have I burned your house? Have I destroyed your tents, or anything belonging to you?” But Rau-paraha, seeing that the Europeans were not pleased with the violent gestures of Rangiaiata, ordered him to sit down and leave the management of the question to Puaha and himself. Mr. Thompson then, after a short conversation with Captain Wakefield, laid hold of his (Rau-paraha's) hand, and called the chief constable to produce a pair of handcuffs; but, ascertaining his object, Rau-paraha hastily withdrew his hand under his garment. Mr. Thompson got into a violent passion, and reiterated his threat that he would order his people to fire upon the Natives. Rau-paraha said, “This is the second time you have threatened to fire. You should not be so thoughtless;” and firmly refused to go on board the vessel and be bound like a slave. Mr. Thompson called out “Fire;” but one of the gentlemen said, “No, no; the Natives are well armed too.” Mr. Tuckett or Mr. Cotterell turned to the Natives, and said they had better retire, or the Europeans would fire. Rau-paraha replied he would stay where he was. Puaha repeatedly entreated the Europeans to settle the matter amicably; but they would not hear him, and retired, asking him for the canoe, that they might recross the rivulet to the side where the Europeans were stationed.

Rau-paraha immediately rose and led his lame daughter to her husband (Rangi-hae-ata), that she might remain under his protection, and told his men to use no offensive measures until the Europeans had fired and one or more of the Natives had fallen. By this time the gentlemen had reached the canoe, page 144 when Captain Wakefield ordered the Europeans to advance, and while they were in the act of crossing the rivulet a volley was fired by the Europeans, and three of the Natives fell. Rau-paraha immediately said to his followers, “As the Europeans have commenced the evil, let us bid farewell to the sun and the light of day, and welcome darkness and death” (an expression meaning that they would sell their lives as dearly as possible). At the same time Puaha rose and said, “Stand up and seek retribution for the death of your relatives;” and the Natives instantly returned the fire, killing four of the Europeans. Two or three fell on the Native side of the rivulet, for the gentlemen had not time to cross in the canoe. Two or three more volleys of musketry were fired, and the Europeans were thrown into confusion and retreated, many throwing away their arms to disencumber themselves in their flight, while Captain Wakefield and Mr. Thompson in vain attempted to rally them. The Natives instantly pursued them up the hill, the Europeans occasionally standing and firing down upon them. When he had almost reached the first brow of the hill, Rau-paraha saw Captain Wakefield and Mr. Thompson and one or two other gentlemen waving a white handkerchief, as if in token of reconciliation. He heard them call out, “Enough, enough, that will do the fight,” and told the young men who had outstripped him to spare their lives; but at that moment Rangiaiata [Rangi-hae-ata] came up and shouted, “Give no quarter; they have killed your daughter Te-rongo.” The words were hardly uttered when the young men overtook them and killed them. After this the fire gradually subsided, and as many as were overtaken were immediately slain. He (Rau-paraha) gave orders after the conflict that none of the fallen should be stripped; but took one watch, which was buried with Te-rongo, Rangiaiata's wife. After interring their own people they left the spot, and that same night they left Wai-rau in their canoes; and in a few days crossed the straits, withdrew all their followers from Mana, Pori-rua, and Kapiti, and took up their position at O-taki. Rau- page break
Nga-ti-tama-oho children

Nga-ti-tama-oho children

page 145 paraha
then added that the land question was the root of all the evil. He bitterly regretted that blood had been shed. He had been in constant intercourse with Europeans for upwards of twenty years, living on the most amicable terms; he had not raised his hand against them except in defence of his life, nor would he ever have done it to the day of his death unless compelled by their oppression and injustice to do so. He had never premeditated any attack upon the Europeans at Wai-rau, as a proof of which he had taken with him the wives and families of his followers; not half of the men carried fire-arms, and even those who did were so short of ammunition that they were obliged to load them with pebbles instead of bullets. Captain Wakefield and Mr. Thompson were killed by a son of Te-ahuta, the first Native that fell, as a retribution for the death of his father. Mr. Cotterell came into the field unarmed, but after the fight had commenced seized a double-barrelled gun to defend himself; and Brooks, the interpreter, was struck down by Rangiaiata [Rangi-hae-ata] and despatched by the slaves.

Joseph Morgan says: I was at the Wairau on the 17th of June last. I saw Mr. Thompson, Captain Wakefield, and a few others cross, by means of a canoe, the stream which separated us from the encampment of Rau-paraha and Rangiaiata. The Maoris at first objected to the canoe being used; but Mr. Thompson said he would seize it in the Queen's name. They offered no further opposition to the canoe being used. Mr. Thompson told us we were to protect the constables and himself in taking Rau-paraha, but that we were not to fire unless they were molested in returning. When the gentlemen were over, the only thing which I heard Rau-paraha say that I could understand was, “Kapai the korero [Talk is good]; no good the fight.” I particularly observed among the Natives one with whom I had had a quarrel a few days before, respecting a coat which he stole from one of Mr. Parkinson's men. He also saw me, and we watched each other closely. When we were ordered to cross the stream the Natives spread themselves, and (with page 146 the exception of two or three) retired behind the bushes Tyrrell was the first man who advanced across the canoe; I followed close behind him, and told him to push along. While we were crossing, Captain Wakefield (who was also in the canoe) said, “Keep your eyes on them, my men: they have their guns pointed at us.” At this time the Maori who had stolen the coat was earnestly watching Tyrrell and myself, who were close together. The moment we jumped out of the canoe he brought his gun to his shoulder, and retired a few paces to a bush. Believing that he intended to fire at me, I stooped behind a bank for protection. At this instant a gun was discharged, and Tyrrell fell dead at my feet. I have not the least doubt that the gun was fired by the Maori who had watched us. I am certain no gun was fired previously. Tyrrell was struck in his throat, and fell dead on his back. Had the gun been fired by one of our own party he must have been struck behind. No order to fire had been given, and Mr. Thompson had told us previously that we were not to fire without his orders. I am sure that Tyrrell-was killed by the first gun that was discharged. I was not more than seven yards from the spot where the Maori stood who pointed his gun at us, and who, I believe, shot Tyrrell. I believe the Maoris always meant to fight. Whilst staying at the pa before the arrival of the brig Rau-paraha told me, if Captain Wakefield came he would kick up a row. This was said in Maori; but a Native who spoke English well told me what he said. Every Maori was armed either with a gun or tomahawk. When Tyrrell was killed Mr. Thompson ordered us to fire; but before we could do so several Maoris had fired. I had a double-barrelled gun, which Mr. Howard had given me, with which I attempted to fire at Rangiaiata [Rangi-hae-ata], who was sitting behind a bush, but neither barrel would go off. On looking round I saw that all our party, with the exception of Captain England, were on the other side of the creek. Captain England was in the water, crossing under shelter of the canoe, which he did by laying hold of its side hand over hand. I crossed in the same manner, and page 147 while doing so one ball struck off my cap, and another hit the barrel of my gun and knocked it out of my hand, and it was lost in the stream. The water reached my neck as I crossed. I followed Captain England up the hill, where he joined Captain Wakefield and the other gentlemen. Captain Wakefield, seeing that he was not supported by the men, who were then running off in all directions, held up a token of peace. I remained with the gentlemen until nearly the whole of the others had deserted them; and then Morrison and myself ran to the top of the hill and lay down, as I could go no further from being so wet. We did not look about us, because we heard the Maoris searching for us. They had with them a dog, which they shouted to and encouraged in the same manner as when they hunt pigs. We lay quiet until dark, and then went down the plain, and reached the coast at daylight. We hailed a boat, but could not make ourselves heard. We then went across the hills of Ocean Bay. On our way we passed through Robin Hood Bay, where some Natives gave us food and a woman showed us the right track. The Natives asked us if we had been at the fight at the Wai-rau. We told them we had not, but had been capsized in a whaleboat. I believe that, with the exception of myself, Tyrrell was the only armed man who crossed the stream.

Blue-Book, 1843. (Wakefield.)

The district of Wairau, in Cloudy Bay, communicating with the Nelson Settlement (of which it will form a part), at about ten miles from the valley of the Wai-mea, had been for some months under survey. The work would have been completed by next September, and would have laid open for selection the whole of the rural lands offered for sale in the scheme of what was called the Company's second colony. No opposition had been offered to the surveyors by the Natives until lately, when, upon the sitting of the Court of Land Claims at Pori-rua, Rau-paraha and Rangi-aiata [Rangi-hae-ata] informed Mr. page 148 Commissioner Spain that they intended to interrupt the operations at Wai-rau. That gentleman induced them to promise to defer that intention till he should go over to Cloudy Bay, to investigate the titles in the Middle Island; and it is thought that they would have adhered to their promise but for the influence and instigation of some Europeans, who, in consequence of cohabitation with women of Rau-paraha's tribe, set up claims to portions of the land in question. Mr. Spain's Court was to have closed here [Wellington] on the 19th June, when he proposed to adjourn to Cloudy Bay or Nelson. The promise he had with difficulty procured from the chiefs to postpone their interruption of the surveys was made on the 12th of last month, and did not come to my knowledge till after the events I have to relate. In the meantime Rau-paraha and Rangiaiata, with their followers, amounting to some twenty men, were conveyed across Cook Strait from Pori-rua to Queen Charlotte Sound, and from thence, after a stay there of a few days, to Cloudy Bay, in a schooner of thirty tons, belonging to and commanded by Mr. Joseph Thomas, who formerly cohabited with the daughter of Noho-rua, the brother of Rau-paraha, by whom he has several children, and in whose right he is a claimant of land at Wai-rau and elsewhere. I have been informed on credible authority that on the arrival of the schooner in Cloudy Bay the chiefs on board were regaled with spirits, to the use of which Rau-paraha and Rangiaiata are addicted, and that much inflammatory conversation took place, and great excitement prevailed amongst the party respecting the object of their visit to Wai-rau. But no evidence has yet been taken on this point.

The Native party being strengthened by the addition of the resident Natives at Cloudy Bay, and amounting in all to about eighty men, forty of whom carried fire-arms and the remainder tomahawks, proceeded in their canoes to the Wai-rau, when they immediately commenced the obstruction of the survey, and finally burned down the reed house of one of the contractors. Mr. Tuckett, the Company's chief surveyor, arrived at this time page 149 in order to inspect the survey, and, having despatched information to Nelson of the interruption of the works, afterwards went himself to report the circumstances. But before he arrived at Nelson the Magistrates there had issued a warrant upon the information of Mr. Cotterell, the contractor, whose house had been destroyed, and Her Majesty's colonial brig was met by Mr. Tuckett at the entrance of Tasman's Gulf, conveying the Police Magistrate, Mr. Thompson, Captains Wakefield and England, with volunteers and working-men, to the number of forty persons, to put in execution the warrant against Rau-paraha and Rangiaiata. The brig anchored off the mouth of the Wai-rau River on Thursday, the 15th instant, and disembarked some of her passengers. The remainder landed on the 16th, and the whole party ascended the river in search of the Natives. The depositions, a copy of which I forward, will more particularly explain the movements of both parties. Suffice it for me to state that on the morning of the 17th they found themselves in presence of each other—the Natives encamped on an open space of ground backed by low bush, and having a deep creek and steep hill in their front. The Police Magistrate, Mr. Thompson, Captain Wakefield, Mr. Richardson, Mr. Howard, Mr. Brooks, the interpreter, and three constables crossed the creek, over a canoe which was laid across it. Mr. Thompson then explained, through the interpreter, the object of his visit to the Native chiefs, and called on Rau-paraha to go with him on board the brig, which the latter positively refused to do. After some urgent threats by Mr. Thompson, a party of sixteen armed Natives sprung up in a hostile attitude, and the interpreter informed Mr. Thompson that there were many more hidden in the bush. Upon this Mr. Thompson pointed to the Europeans, who were armed, and amounted to thirty-five men, and threatened to order them to fire on the Natives. The English party who had crossed the creek endeavoured to rejoin the main body, some of whom advanced towards the creek. An accidental discharge from a musket carried by one of these page 150 then took place, and a moment afterwards a volley from both parties ensued. The depositions will again give you the particulars. No arrangements for resistance by the Europeans seem to have been made further than drawing up the armed men in line. No reserve force supported them, and it appears that it was never contemplated that they would have more to do, to execute the warrant, than to show themselves. Three Natives fell wounded by the first volley, and the rest wavered, and were on the point of falling back, when Rau-paraha called out to his followers to advance. The party of armed workmen, totally unacquainted with the use of fire-arms and discipline, dispersed at the yells which the Natives made on advancing across the creek, and, heedless of the orders of their superiors, fled up the hill. The rest of the sad story is soon told. Repeated attempts to rally the fugitives proving ineffectual, Captain Wakefield called on them to throw down their arms and surrender, displaying a white handkerchief as a signal of peace; but those men who had gained the summit of the hill continued to fire over the heads of those who gave themselves up. The pursuit by the Natives was not arrested till all their opponents were in their power, when E Pua [Pua], a Christian chief, attempted to save the lives of Captain Wakefield and a few others, but without avail, for Rangiaiata [Rangi-hae-ata], whose wife had been killed by an accidental shot in the affray, came forward to the party of prisoners, who were surrounded by Natives, and, calling upon Rau-paraha to assist him, with his own hand and tomahawk despatched all those who had not fallen before his followers.

Mr. Tuckett, with some others, instead of mounting the hill, descended a gorge and gained the sea-shore, where they procured a whaleboat and got on board the Government brig about the middle of the day. In the evening some attempt was made to communicate with the shore, but, no indications of any of the party having escaped to the coast appearing, Mr. page 151 Tuckett thought it advisable to bring the brig to Port Nicholson for advice and assistance. Meetings of the Magistrates and of the inhabitants took place, and numerous volunteers offered to accompany me to the scene of the contest. We accordingly embarked, about eighty in number, including all the young and enterprising settlers of all conditions in the settlement who could be spared from their avocations; but a gale of wind setting in prevented the brig sailing for forty-eight hours. At its termination we relanded the armed force, the use of which must have been rendered unnecessary by the delay, and proceeded as a quorum of Magistrates only to Wai-rau. On arriving at Cloudy Bay we found our worst fears realised, and heard the particulars which I have given you above. The Rev. Mr. Ironsides, of the Wesleyan Society, had, with praiseworthy humanity, visited the spot where the fatal occurrences took place, and interred the remains of nineteen of our countrymen. The Natives had quitted the scene of action the same evening, the 17th; and, collecting all their women, children, and property, had entirely abandoned Cloudy Bay and its neighbourhood. We found only two Natives—one wounded—who had been present at the affair, and whose evidence will be found in the depositions.

Rau-paraha and his tribe have taken up their residence at O-taki, where they profess their intention of remaining quiet unless retaliatory measures be undertaken against them, in which case they threaten an attack on the white settlers along the coast and at Wellington, and propose afterwards to take up a strong position on an almost inaccessible part on the banks of the Manawatu River, at eighty miles from its mouth.

Taraia And Last Act Of Cannibalism, In 1842. (Blue-Book, 1842.)

Acting-Governor Shortland to Lord Stanley.

It is with deep regret I now proceed to inform your Lordship that the peace of the district of Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty, has recently been disturbed by an attack on one of their pas by an armed force under Taraia, a chief of one of the principal tribes of Hauraki, or the Thames.

page 152

I proceeded to the residence of the chief Taraia, of the Nga-titama-te-ra Tribe, in the district of the Thames, on which occasion I was accompanied by the Lord Bishop of New Zealand and his chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Cotton. I found Taraia at his residence, about ten miles below the mission-station, at a place called the Puru. He was from home when we arrived, but returned as soon as sent for.

I told him the object of my visit, the reluctance with which your Excellency credited the statements in circulation, and your unwillingness to take any further steps until you should be more fully informed of the whole case.

Taraia replied, it was correct that he had, in consequence of his land having been encroached on by the Natives of Tauranga, and a number of other provocations, taken up arms against that place, had surprised a pa, killed four men, one woman, and a child, and had also fired into a canoe to which a number had escaped, killing and wounding several, and carrying off about twelve women and children as slaves.

I further pressed him to say whether or not it was true that the disgusting practice of cannibalism had been revived; he said, Yes, it was one of their old practices; that two bodies had been eaten. I told him in what abhorrence Europeans held such a practice, and that it was the determination of Her Majesty's Government to put a stop to it.

He replied that it was a matter in which Natives alone were concerned, and he did not see what business the Governor had to interfere in it. Had he injured a European it was a subject for the Governor, but not this.

I then proposed that the prisoners should be given up. He said that could not be done until peace was made; then, according to their custom, they would be redeemed by their friends and given up.

Having heard that a Native from Wangari [Whanga-rei] and his party had joined Taraia, and were then at Kawa-ranka [Kauwae-ranga,] I went to that pa to see him. He had but little to say for himself, but refused to give up two slaves that had page 153 fallen to his share, expressing his surprise that the Governor should interfere in this matter, and at the same time relating a number of cases that had taken place in different places without any interference of the Governor.

Letter From Taraia (A Chief Of The Thames).

Friend The Governor,—

Hearken to me. Mine is my land. Had the Europeans acted in this way [meaning, as the Tauranga Natives] you would have been angry: by parity of reasoning. I was angry about my lands and my corpses; it was a great provocation. Don't let the Europeans presume with the Natives. With the Governor is the adjustment of European affairs, and with us the adjustment of Natives. Don't let the Europeans presume with the Natives.

Letter From Taka-Nini (A Chief Of The Thames);

Friend The Governor,—

For what reason are you about to proceed against us, to kill us? This is the glaring wrong for you to kill the Natives. Hearken to me. The affair [meaning that at Tauranga] is not of today; it is from days gone by. From that place we have lost [or had made] many corpses. Friend the Governor, I care nothing about yours or the Europeans' anger. I said nothing in the case of Ma-ketu; I did not say that was wrong: it was correct in you, as this is correct in me; it was a payment for the European killed, as this is a payment for my friends killed, also for my land taken. Yours was correct as mine is correct.

Friend the Governor, by you let there be a letter written to me. Let Mr. Clarke be interpreter.

Willoughby Shortland To Governor Hobson.

On our arrival at Taraia's pa we were received with great civility. He told us he had heard that the Governor intended sending soldiers to capture him, and that the pakeha (Europeans) had page 154 informed him he would be hung “like Maketu.” “If this be true,” said Taraia, “I will first take payment for myself” (meaning that he would kill some Europeans as satisfaction for his own death). “The Governor may then send his soldiers to kill me. Here I will remain, that my people may see my death.” We informed him that the object of our visit was to explain to him the true words of the Governor, which were these: That war must cease; that a payment must be made to the injured parties, and the land in dispute sold to the Governor by all the claimants. “What relation is the Governor to Wanake” (the chief killed at Katikati), exclaimed Taraia, “that he should love him so much? I have no objection to pay his people, provided they pay me for all my relations whom they have killed. Have they not eaten my mother? Have we not been at war many years? This is not the first time.”

From this place we went to Coromandel, where we embarked in the “Victoria,” and arrived at Tauranga on Wednesday, the 6th August.

On anchoring we were visited by two large canoes, in which were many of the principal Natives of the neighbouring pas, and among them some of those who called on your Excellency to interfere in the matter in question, and others who had escaped from Wanake's pa.

On Saturday morning a large body of Christian Natives assembled at the mission-station, the place fixed on for the meeting and about noon the heathen party, headed by Tu-paea and Te-mutu, arrived. These latter, following the Native custom, rushed up to the spot where we were standing, and then danced the war-dance.

I then opened the meeting by informing them that your Excellency had heard with very great regret of the attack made on them by Taraia, and that you had sent me to make peace; that as the present feud had arisen from some old dispute about the land at Katikati, your Excellency gave them this opportunity of settling their differences, through his mediation, but that from this time their wars must cease, and that, in order to page 155 remove for ever the cause of strife, you would consent to purchase from each of them the lands respecting which the contention arose. I stated that I had visited Taraia, who had accepted the Governor's proposal, and had offered to allow the slaves to return, and to make a payment for the injury he had committed.

I then added that information had reached us which accused two of their own chiefs of having invited Taraia to commit this inroad.

A long debate then commenced, which lasted until night had nearly set in, without our being able to effect anything: they urged strongly that either Taraia ought to be hung, according to the English laws, “like Maketu,” or that they themselves should be permitted to seek a payment according to their own customs. Many stoutly denied the right of the Government to interfere in their quarrels, but all agreed that if in any way he [or any of them] molested the pakehas, in that case the Governor's interference would be just.

Te-mutu, the chief who had been accused of inducing Taraia to commit the depredation, entered into a long defence of his conduct. He repeated at length the communications which had passed between himself and that chief, and vehemently disclaimed having in any way been accessory; but the letters, the substance of which he repeated, were of so ambiguous a character that his innocence appears at best but doubtful.

The lateness of the hour obliged me to adjourn the meeting until Monday, when we again met, and for some time apparently to as little purpose as on the previous day. At length, however, they agreed to sit down in peace, and to leave the settlement of the matter in the hands of the Governor. They added a request that a pakeha (European) chief might be sent to reside amongst them, and that a settlement of Europeans might be formed at Tauranga, for which purpose they offered to sell some land at that place, and also a block of land lying between them and the Roto-rua tribes, which they said would be the means of putting an end to the wars which had so long existed between them.

page 156

Tanga-Roa And War At Tauranga. (Blue-Book, 1842.)

Acting-Governor Shortland to Lord Stanley.

On my arrival at Tauranga, on the 2nd December, I found the Natives of that place again engaged in warfare with a tribe residing at Maketu, one of whose principal chiefs, named Tangaroa, had shortly before committed a very serious outrage on the Natives at Tuhua or Mayor Island, relatives and allies of those at Tauranga.

The affair is rendered the more difficult to be dealt with by the circumstance of each tribe having forcibly possessed themselves of a boat—the one belonging to a European trader living at Tauranga, named James Farrow, the other to a person named Grant, living at Auckland. The former of these boats was made use of by Tangaroa to effect the massacre at Tuhua, and is still in the possession of that chief.

At the moment of my entering Tauranga, Te-mutu, a chief of the district, and an armed party were leaving the harbour in the other boat, for the purpose of retaliating on the Maketu Tribe. Fortunately I was able to persuade them to give up their intentions for the moment, and the more easily prevailed with them to leave the redressing of their wrongs to the Government, as they are the weaker party, having suffered severely by the continued inroads of their warlike neighbours the tribes of Hauraki and Maketu.

Having been put in possession of the whole facts of the case, as detailed in the letter from Mr. Chapman, of the Church Missionary Society [see p. 157], I sent a message to the chiefs of Maketu, requiring the immediate restitution of the boat belonging to Farrow, and expressing my extreme displeasure at the violence of which they had been guilty.

The reply was a decided refusal on the part of the Natives who had been actually engaged in the murder, Tangaroa and his friends expressing their determination to persist in their page 157 murderous and cannibal practices; the other chiefs, however, signified a wish that the boat and property should be given up.

I found my endeavours with the one party fruitless, and my influence with the other but doubtful, both as to the prevention of hostilities, and even as to the recovery of the boat from the hands of Te-mutu.

I should be wrong if I disguised the fact that cannibalism is by no means rare in New Zealand; the chiefs even boast of it. Te-mutu, in my presence, told the Chief Protector of Aborigines that if he caught Taraia he would kill and eat him; and on Mr. Clarke's remonstrating, again exclaimed, “Yes, I will eat him; he is a bad man.” At Maketu, also, they declared their determination to persist in eating human flesh, saying, “Pork is the food for the pakeha (white man), human flesh for the Maori.”

A further and a very detrimental effect of the continuance of Native wars is that the well-disposed Christian natives, and such as are beginning to feel the influence of the Gospel, find themselves obliged in a great measure to return to their ancient customs. As an instance of this, no less than ten of the Rev. Mr. Brown's Native congregation at Tauranga left him, returning their books to him, and saying, “We must fight to defend ourselves. Have they not slaughtered our relatives? If we may not fight, we will no longer be missionaries.”

Rev. J. Chapman, Church Missionary, to His Excellency the Governor.

I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this day's date, and beg to submit to you the following statement in reply, which is the substance of the information I have been able to obtain from different parties:—

It appears that Tanga-roa, a chief of Maketu, embarked in a small coasting-vessel for Auckland, accompanied by an inferior chief and a little boy named Ngaki, son of Pohe, one of the principal chiefs of the district. Contrary winds compelled them to put into Katikati, on the western side of Tauranga. I learned page 158 that, at the suggestion of Tangaroa, the vessel was anchored off Onare, a pa which had been tapued and deserted in consequence of Wanake and his party having been killed in an attack made upon them by Taraia and others; and, the party having landed and discovered that there were potatoes in the place, commenced loading the vessel with them. They were observed by some Tauranga Natives from a pa at some distance, and their intentions suspected. They (the Tauranga Natives) accordingly manned a canoe, and came down on the Maketu Natives so suddenly that the latter escaped with difficulty into the bush and secreted themselves. The vessel was taken, and the two Europeans in charge stripped because they had plundered the food on which the blood of Wanake and his party had been shed. In the confusion the boy was separated from his friends, and nothing had since been heard of him.

A few days after this occurrence a boat belonging to a trader named James Farrow, on her way to Whitianga, was compelled by stress of weather to anchor at Katikati, when Tangaroa and his companion made their appearance, naked, and requested to be taken on board and conveyed away, as they were fearful their enemies might discover and murder them. Farrow received them on board, clothed and fed them, and promised to take them to Whitianga, where they would be safe.

On the following morning Farrow suggested to his brother that they had better go on shore in order that they might from an eminence discover whether the bar was passable. They landed, accompanied by Tangaroa, making the vessel fast to the shore by a hawser, and leaving Tanga-roa's friend and a Native of Farrow's in charge; and, having satisfied themselves as to the state of the bar, they were returning to prepare for the prosecution of their voyage, when Tangaroa pushed on before them, got on board the vessel, drove Farrow's Native overboard, and, having loosed the hawser and taken up the page 159 anchor, set sail for Maketu. By this time Farrow made his appearance on the beach, and remonstrated with them; but received this answer: “Find my boy, and you shall have back your boat.” On Tangaroa's arrival at Maketu I was requested by some of the chiefs to attend a meeting at Roto-rua, and was deputed by them to go to Maketu and inform Tangaroa that it was their wish that he should give up the boat and property immediately to me. On my arrival there I found that Tangaroa, Tohi and Natanahira, the boy's uncles, with others, had sailed out two days previously in the boat, armed, leaving word that they were going to Katikati to look for the boy. Instead of this they ran over to the Mayor Island (the inhabitants of which are related to the people of Tauranga), feigned themselves as having come on a friendly trading visit, and as soon as a canoe came alongside from the island they attacked those in the canoe, killed three, wounded others, and took two prisoners. The bodies of two of these they placed in the canoe which they had taken. The others saved their lives by swimming to the shore.

As soon as circumstances admitted I went, in company with an influential chief related to the parties, to endeavour to obtain the release of the two prisoners. They treated me with civility, but my request was peremptorily refused. I, however, obtained a promise that they should not be killed. Hitherto, I believe, this promise has not been broken. This occupied till past midnight. On the following morning I had another interview with the chiefs, and made use of every possible argument I could to induce Tangaroa to give up the vessel; but he steadily refused unless I would give him ten blankets and 5Olb. of tobacco. This, of course, I could not accede to. I also endeavoured to obtain the bodies of the slain, which were lying before me, the head of one, a chief, having been cut off and hung up in the sacred place as an offering to “Whiro” (their god). This was also refused. I now requested a Mr. Sampson, whose vessel was lying there, to join with me in making a formal application that the bodies might be buried. Tohi seemed page 160 excited, and only replied, “You Europeans have your customs, we ours;” then, addressing those around him, “Cook them, cook them.” Finding remonstrance fruitless, and that they were almost quarrelling with one another, I left. The slain I know were cooked, and part sent to the relations of the murderers resident at Roto-rua, which they accepted, thus giving a tacit approval of the conduct of the others, and in a manner acknowledging they were ready to support the perpetrators.

Evidence Given At Tauranga.

Peter Lowrie states he was engaged to sail in the “Nimble” cutter, from Auckland, on or about the middle of the month of October, in company with Charles Joy, who was commissioned to trade with the Natives on the coast. Said Joy had a knowledge of the language, and to him was left to determine where they should proceed. He understands that the boat is the property of William Grant, of Auckland, by whom it has been let to James Smith, living at Auckland, in the service of Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Smith placed on board trade suitable to their purpose—blankets, pipes and tobacco, calico, &c., but no fire-arms. They first went to the river Thames, and thence to Maketu, where they remained eight or ten days. They procured only a few pigs, and then sailed with the intention of going direct to Auckland. At Maketu two Natives engaged for a passage—one of them to Mercury Bay; he believes he paid a small pig: and the other, named Tangaroa, to Auckland, for which he paid a musket. A Native boy also accompanied them, by the consent of his mother, on condition that he should be brought back on the return of the vessel. They arrived off Tauranga on Saturday night, 5th November, anchored for the night inside the Heads, and sailed on the next morning (Sunday). Put into Katikati, about fifteen miles from their last anchorage, on Monday, the 7th November. As they wanted wood and water, and the wind was foul, anchored near the beach, opposite the pa. The Natives immediately went ashore and entered the pa, page 161 from which they presently returned with some potatoes, which they cooked on the beach. They then sent back for more, which they placed in the boat—about six or seven basketfuls. In the meantime Charles Joy went on shore in search of wood, and Tangaroa went to look for water. They had been there, he thinks, about two hours, when a canoe full of Natives came suddenly upon them. The Natives came on board with their muskets, threatening, as he thought, with the intention of killing them. Tangaroa, the other Maketu Native, and the boy ran away directly into the bush; he (Lowrie) and his partner remained on the beach. One Native snapped his gun at them; he does think he could identify him. Three Natives came upon them before the canoe made its appearance. These were the persons by whom they were threatened. The boat was seized by the whole party of Natives, and the property divided amongst them. He thinks the property taken from the boat by them consisted of five pairs of blankets, five pairs of sheets, one whole piece of calico, one portion of a piece of calico, three or four pounds of tobacco, one dozen and a half of pipes, ten pigs, besides the clothes of Charles Joy and himself (Peter Lowrie).

No pursuit was made after the Maketu Natives. He has never seen nor heard of the little boy from Maketu since. The same night they all went to Matakana, taking the vessel with them. The distance he thinks about eight miles. The next day the Natives gave Peter Lowrie and his partner a shirt each. After remaining at Matakana two days Charles Joy went to Auckland by way of Waikato, in order to make a statement of this case. Peter Lowrie has remained at Tauranga.

Statement Made At Tauranga, On Oath.

James Farrow, of Tauranga, storekeeper, states on oath: Sailed from Tauranga on or about the 7th November last, for Tai-rua. Wind being full, I was obliged to put back and run into a small harbour called Katikati. I had been in the harbour about two hours, at anchor, when I saw two Natives ashore. One of them swam off to the boat. He got on board, and told me that the page 162 Natives of Matakana had taken the boat in which they were going to Auckland; he also said that the Native on shore was called Tangaroa. When the tide ebbed, about two hours afterwards, he (Tangaroa) came on board. They asked for food, which I gave them; I also gave Tangaroa a blanket.

In the evening they (the Natives) went on shore. They inquired where I was bound. I said, Tai-rua. They asked for a passage, which I said I would give them. On my saying, “If it is bad weather, I shall return to Tauranga,” they replied, “In that case we shall cross over to the Thames.” They asked for provisions, which I promised to give them.

The next morning, self and brother, with Tangaroa, went on shore, leaving my own Native boy on board. We met the other Native going off to the boat. Walked up a hill to look at the weather; seeing it favourable, returned to get under weigh. Tangaroa walked ahead of me and my brother to the boat, jumped on board, cut the stern-rope attached to the shore, and then ran forward and hauled the boat off shore by means of the cable, leaving my brother and my self ashore. Saw the boy in the water swimming on shore. Tangaroa called out, “Himi, go back to Tauranga, and look for my child; bring it to Maketu, and then I will give you your boat.” He then hoisted sail and went off.

Tangaroa had before told me that in the affray with the natives of Matakana he had lost his child, which he supposed either to be in their possession or killed by them.

I had no previous quarrel with Tangaroa or the Maketu Natives.

Statement Made On Oath At Tauranga.

Tangi-te-ruru (a Maori chief), warned to state the truth, and only what he had himself seen, makes the following statement (not being a Christian): Is a Native chief of Tuhua. Some weeks ago a vessel approached the pa near the landing-place at Tuhua. Hu-tata and others, Natives of Tuhua, launched a canoe in order page 163 to pull off to the vessel. The following are the names of the persons who went on board the canoe: Hu-tata, Piri-patu-kawanga, Ngaura-parapa, Te-wahakino, Te-rona-kahakaha, Te-kau, Te-paina, Mumu-rangawaka-moe, Te-kahu-kewe, Neke-neke, Te mate-kapara.

When the people of the vessel saw the canoe launched she turned her head to seaward. The canoe followed, and when the canoe approached, Tangaroa threw a rope from the vessel, which was made fast to the canoe. Tangaroa then told Ngau-raparapa to come on board. When he got on board, I heard the report of a gun, and saw Ngau-raparapa fall into the water and swim towards the shore. The canoe was then upset by the persons on board of her, who swam towards the shore, and were fired at by Tangaroa, Tohiti Uru-rangi, Rere-a-nuku, and others, making altogether about sixteen in number. Hu-tata, Patu Kawenga, Wakakino, and Mumu were killed. The persons on board the vessel righted the canoe, pursued the Natives in the water, and took two prisoners, Te-paina and Te-kau (children). They returned to the vessel, made the canoe fast to its stern, and set sail. The bodies of the persons who were killed were carried away by the Natives on board the vessel. We launched our canoes. I, Hui, Te-kei, Te-u-mata Wiwi, Te waka-rawarawa, Paku, Te-ngaio, Ti-wai, Te-kiko Wakahi, Murakaoi, Kereru, Keore, Kotiro, Te-matoro, Kahu-ute, Rake, Pioi-rou, Tapaia, Tehonowa (two women), Rangi-pai roa, Noho-roa, followed them, fired at them, but could not get near enough to hit them.

On the first approach of the boat towards the shore I saw only one man on the deck. I knew him to be Tangaroa. He was dressed in a blanket. They supposed the vessel came for potatoes and pigs. Tangaroa said, on the approach of the canoe, “Pull on; the European is useless.” He recognised the boat as one they had seen before at Tai-rua. They all supposed it to be James's boat—meaning James Farrow, who had previously traded with them. When they launched the canoe they went off expecting to find James was on board.