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Through Ninety Years

Chapter XXIII

page 206

Chapter XXIII.

1865. Third General Synod, Christchurch. School Moved Paihia. Fighting at Waiapu. Hauhaus Defeated. Defence Preparations, Turanganui. Leonard Williams at Turanga. After Exodus, has Waikahua Cottage Built. Goes to Paihia.

While Bishop Williams was in Auckland he held consultations with his host. He also had an interview with the Governor, Sir George Grey, to whom he gave a full account of the recent events and state of affairs on the East Coast.

On April 19th the Bishop and Mrs. Williams, in company with Rt. Rev. Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn, and the northern members, embarked by S.S. Otago to attend the third General Synod, which was to be held in Christchurch. They called on their way at Tauranga, Napier and Wellington, and arrived in Lyttelton on the evening of April 26th.

Next morning they travelled by coach to Christchurch where they were hospitably entertained.

The proceedings of Synod opened on April 28th and continued until May 16th.

The most important business dealt with at this Synod was the revision of the Constitution of the New Zealand Branch of the Church of England which had been originally framed at the Convention in 1857 and presented to the General Synod at Wellington in 1859. This had not met with the full approval of the diocese of Christchurch and evoked a very full discussion. As a result of this a satisfactory decision was arrived at on May 10th which thus preserved the unity of this Province of the Church.

While in Christchurch the assembled Bishops and their wives were photographed by Dr. Barker. The visitors also attended a number of important and interesting meetings.

The Bishops at 1865 General Synod in Christchurch Bishops Selwyn, Harper, Abraham, Patteson Williams (seated)

The Bishops at 1865 General Synod in Christchurch Bishops Selwyn, Harper, Abraham, Patteson Williams (seated)

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The Bishop and Mrs. Williams took their departure by steamer for the north on May 22nd and arrived in Wellington next day, and at Napier on the 26th. Here they remained for several days, during which time Bishop Williams interviewed Mr. Donald McLean and made a voyage with him on S.S. St. Kilda when they landed at Turanga on June 4th and Waiapu a few days later.

From this he returned to Napier where he rejoined Mrs. Williams on June 11th and embarked with her on the S.S. Egmont calling at Tauranga on the way. They landed in Auckland on June 14th.

The Governor had gone to Kawau, but invited Bishop Williams to go there and inspect the buildings which he had offered for the use of the native school. The Bishop obtained a passage to Kawau by H.M.S. Brisk on June 17th and after looking at the premises returned by H.M.S. Eclipse the following day.

On June 19th he left Auckland by S.S. Egmont for a visit to Tauranga. There he discussed diocesan business with Archdeacon Brown from whom he received £200 for an unattached endowment, and returned to Auckland on the 26th. Here he continued several matters of business which had occupied his attention two months earlier, and had further discussions with Bishop Selwyn and others.

On July 13th Bishop and Mrs. Williams took passage by the Sea Breeze and landed at Paihia four days later.

Bishop Williams finally decided to decline the Governor's kind offer of buildings at Kawau. Mr. Henry Williams provided him with a large vacant building at Horotutu which faced the beach just above the entrance to the present wharf. This was not far from the old Paihia Mission Station near which he was also able to secure the use of a small house for his own residence. He found that this would be a more suitable place for his school natives to occupy temporarily. He at once arranged to have alterations made to adapt the building for this purpose.

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He had to pay another visit to Auckland at the end of August in order to give evidence in a Court case on September 14th after which he returned to Paihia.

During his absence the school natives from Turanga were landed by the schooner Tawera, and were established in the quarters which had been fitted for their occupation. Rev. E. B. Clarke, who had returned to Bay of Islands, assisted the Bishop in carrying on the work of the school there.

From “East Coast Records” by W.L.W.: “Soon after this some little excitement was caused by the action of Mokena Kohere, the Ngatiporou chief, who had come on a visit to Paratene Turangi and his people. He had always been a strong opponent of the Kingites at Waiapu, and on his arrival he began to use rather violent language with reference to the Hauhaus, urging that, if they should refuse to abandon Hauhauism when urged to do so, they should at once be treated as enemies and war should be declared against them. The Ngaitekete hapu at Taru-heru had brought out of the forest a great spar which they talked of erecting at Turanganui as a flagstaff on which the British Ensign should be hoisted. Mokena proposed that a meeting of those who were well disposed towards the Government should be held at Taruheru to consider the expediency of erecting the flagstaff at once, and that the European residents should be invited to attend the meeting. The meeting was held on May 18th and the opinion of the majority of the speakers, including Paratene, was that it would be well not to hurry the matter, as it would certainly give offence to many, but that the question should be further discussed at Turanganui on the following day. In the morning, when most of the people had left for Turanganui, Mokena, with the help of some of the young men manned a whale boat, by means of which he towed a moderate sized spar down the river and erected it at once on the river bank, near the mouth of the Waikanae creek. Upon this the British ensign was immediately hoisted, and in the course of a day or two a rough stockade was erected round it, Ngaitekete taking charge of it. The hesitation which was page 209 shown at Taruheru was owing to the apprehension that trouble might be caused by the Hauhaus, but this apprehension was not realised. Much indignation was expressed during the succeeding three or four weeks, especially by people who, if not openly favourable, were at least not strongly opposed to the Hauhaus, but as those who had erected the flagstaff were on their own ground the excitement gradually subsided. One of the most strenuous opponents was Hirini Te Kani, who had a share in the title to the land on which the flagstaff was erected, and considered himself aggrieved because the Ngaitekete had ignored him and had done what he did not thoroughly approve. When Mr. Donald McLean came in the St. Kilda on June 4th and a number of people took the oath of allegiance, Hirini refused to take it unless the obnoxious flagstaff should first be taken down.”

The Bishop and Archdeacon W. L. Williams had some time before decided that they should have a cottage put up at Turanganui which they might occupy when required, and arranged for timber to be cut in the forest for it.

Archdeacon Williams now arranged that this should be built, and Espie, their carpenter, began on May 11th to prepare the timber for erecting. Hirini te Kani agreed on June 23rd to find a suitable site on the left bank of the river near the mouth, just above where the Captain Cook's landing monument now stands. Here on July 10th the definite position was fixed with Espie, to which on that and following days the prepared timber was sent, and the erection proceeded steadily.

On June 4th the Bishop arrived with Mr. McLean by the S.S. St. Kilda and spent three days, during which he visited Waerenga-a-hika and talked to the school natives about moving to Kawau. During June, July and August the wheat which was in stack was threshed, winnowed and bagged, and sent off for shipment.

From “East Coast Records”: “A few weeks afterwards the Bishop wrote urging me to go as soon as possible and to take with me as many of our pupils as would be willing to accompany me. Preparations were page 210 accordingly made for removal, and a moderate number of our pupils were shipped off in the middle of August. Their destination, however, was changed from Kawau to the Bay of Islands, where buildings belonging to the Church Missionary Society were available at Horotutu, adjoining the old Station at Paihia, where the Bishop had already taken up his quarters in a small cottage, the Rev. E. B. Clarke being there also. The faithful remnant who had steadily resisted Patara's plausible sophistry and had used their best efforts to prevent others from being influenced by it were entitled to all the help and encouragement that I could give them, and it did not seem fitting that I should leave them at this time. As the little cottage near the mouth of the Turanganui River was now habitable I took possession of it, leaving Waerenga-a-hika in the charge of four staunch Maori friends, viz., Wi Haronga, Pita Te Huhu, Paora Matuakore and Matenga Toti, all of Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki tribe.”

Information was received at the end of July that fighting had taken place in the Waiapu district on 18th and 19th of the month and after, between the loyal Ngatiporou natives, who were supported by some Government forces who had been sent up to assist them, and supply them with arms and ammunition, and the Hauhaus and Kingite sympathisers who had erected and fortified several Pas. In these engagements and the desultory fighting which continued for several weeks, the Hauhaus suffered severe losses in killed and wounded, and they were gradually driven from their fortified positions. It was reported that by the end of August they were completely routed, and many prisoners taken; others had surrendered and gave up their arms. Some, however, of those who evacuated their Pas took to the bush and made their way to the Turanga District where they joined the local Hauhau sympathisers.

In consequence of the hostilities at Waiapu the Turanga Hauhaus began erecting Pas. On September 2nd it was reported that the Pa close to Waerenga-a-hika was being fortified and on the 13th that the Hauhau
Waikahua Cottage

Waikahua Cottage

page 211 refugees from Tokomaru had joined the resident Hauhaus there.

As a protection for themselves the Government native supporters also erected fortified Pas. After the School natives with their baggage had all been sent away on August 15th for shipment to the north by the schooner Tawera, Archdeacon W. L. Williams moved his personal effects to Waikahua as the Turanganui cottage was there-after called, and took up his residence there, though the carpenters had not finished their work; and some of the doors had not been hung, and for a day or two improvised coverings for the openings had to be provided. Emma Espie and Mr. A. Kempthorne, who had been a frequent caller at Waerenga-a-hika, assisted in opening up the establishment. The Tawera finally sailed on August 22nd.

Archdeacon Williams began building his cottage chimney on August 25th and finished it on September 5th. He had a sledge cottage brought from Waerenga-a-hika which had been used there by a workman Davy; this on the 6th was floated over at high water with the aid of some empty casks, and placed near the cottage, as a sort of porter's lodge to be occupied by a caretaker.

The native residents had asked for Government protection and assistance, and on September 13th Ensign Wilson arrived with 30 Military Settlers and an extra supply of arms and ammunition. A fortnight later 30 more men of this Force arrived by the H.M.S. Brisk with Captain La Serre who then took command.

On September 18th Lieut. Wilson selected a site on the higher ground, a short distance up the left bank of the river, for a Redoubt 93 feet square with flanking towers at the angles, which his force proceeded to erect at once, assisted by the local natives. In this was put up a wooden building 60 feet long by 16 feet wide, and a secure building for a magazine, and there was room for the camp of the military settlers which they promptly occupied.

On October 7th it was reported that 170 Hauhaus had arrived from Waiapu who were said to be refugees from page 212 the Pukemaire Pa, and ten days later it was stated that the fighting in Waiapu was practically at an end. The influx of Hauhaus from the scenes of recent fighting increased the feeling of insecurity among the settlers at Turanga, to whom the local Hauhaus had not been so far aggressively hostile, but from October 20th the Makaraka settlers began to move their goods and some of their sledge houses to Turanganui.

On November 1st Mr. Harris recommended that all the women and children should be brought in. More of the sledge houses and 11 women and 18 children of settlers' families were sent down to the houses on the right bank. Those in authority insisted that they should for safety be brought over the river, and they were housed that night in the Church and other quarters. The following day it was found that most of the deserted Makaraka premises had been looted by the Hauhaus.

On November 3rd Captain La Serre gave instructions that all the sledge houses should be brought across the river and placed near the redoubt for protection where the refugees could again occupy them.

Another party of 100 European troops were brought by the steamer Sturt on November 9th.

A few weeks earlier Mr. A. Kempthorne who was sheepfarming about 18 miles inland, after some difficulty with his native landlords, brought his sheep to Waerenga-a-hika and had them shorn in the barn there, after which the natives drove them back again to the run.

Archdeacon W. L. Williams wrote further: “During the months of September and October the Hauhaus in Poverty Bay showed an increasingly hostile disposition towards their Pakeha neighbours, and, in anticipation of open warfare, proceeded to fortify two pas, one of these being that at Waerenga-a-hika close to our Mission Station. In the beginning of November, owing to the threatening attitude of the Hauhaus, the settlers with their families left their homesteads and moved to Turanganui. The unsatisfactory state of affairs was now taken cognizance of by the Government, and, as the campaign at Waiapu had been concluded by the sur- page 213 render of the Hauhaus at Hungahunga-toroa on October 11th the force which had been employed there was brought to Turanganui. Mr. Donald McLean, who had come at the same time, sent a message to the Hauhaus by Chiefs from Hawke's Bay, demanding that they should give up their fire-arms and take the oath of allegiance to the Queen. This message met with little response from the Hauhaus, who had determined to make a stand at Waerenga-a-hika, and, in token of their intentions, set fire to all the buildings on the Station with the exception of the Bishop's house. This also would have been burnt had it not been for Wi Haronga, who was taking charge of it, and who told the Hauhaus that if they should burn that house, they would have to burn him and his family in it. The troops, under the command of Major Biggs, left Turanganui, and on the 17th of November took possession of the Bishop's house, from the roof of which they were able to send a plunging fire into the pa. On the 19th a sally was made from the pa, apparently in the expectation that the Hauhau karakia would render the bullets of the troops harmless, but nearly all who came out of the pa were killed. On the 20th all the occupants of the pa surrendered, and were afterwards taken as prisoners to Turanganui.

“The loss of the buildings, and the wholesale destruction of other property which followed, made it clear that it must necessarily be a long time before work could be resumed at Waerenga-a-hika. Most of the Hauhaus who were driven out of Pukepapa by Henare Potae made their way by the middle of September to Waerenga-a-hika, numbering, it was said, about 200, and met with a cordial reception. They attributed their defeat to what they called ‘Pikirapu,’ i.e. to an unwitting transgression on their part of some requirement of ‘Paimarire.’ In their absence no trouble was apprehended at Tokomaru, and Henare Potae therefore did not hesitate to pay a visit to Turanganui, his object being to confer with Lieutenant Wilson and also to ascertain how the Tokomaru Hauhaus were situated. After spending several days at Tolaga Bay and Whangara, he page 214 arrived at Turanganui with forty of his men on September 28th. On the following day word was brought to him that, on the 27th a half-caste boy named Henry Henderson had been killed by Hauhaus when out with two other boys from Te Mawhai looking for horses; also that early on the next morning Te Mawhai had been attacked, but had been successfully defended by the small garrison, three of whom were wounded; one, whose wound was serious, being John Henderson, the father of the boy who was killed. The assailants who left nine of their number dead, were some of the refugees from Waerenga-a-hika who had returned to Tokomaru, and finding that the garrison of Te Mawhai was much reduced in number, expected to be able to capture the place without difficulty. On the receipt of this news Henare Potae returned at once to Te Mawhai.

“The completion of Tamihana Ruatapu's pa at Oweta was celebrated by a great demonstration on October 11th when a good flagstaff was erected and the British flag duly honoured. Lieutenant Wilson went over for the occasion. Soon afterwards Hirini and his people threw up a defensive earthwork round their two wharepuni at Turanganui.

“In the meantime the European residents could not but recognise that their position was becoming daily more critical. A number of the women and children had already been sent away. Of the adult males there were at this time forty, all of whom had been living on good terms with their Maori neighbours, but the Hauhau fanaticism had already begun to interfere somewhat with their amicable relations, and further unpleasant developments were to be expected. Some of the traders had been selling intoxicating liquor to the Hauhaus, which tended to make them more aggressive than they would otherwise have been; Mr. Harris, therefore, who was the oldest European resident in the district, called a meeting in the hope of putting a stop to the practice. Several of the traders attended with others, and all who were present pledged themselves not to supply any intoxicating liquor to any Maori or half-caste during the ensuing six months, page 215 and to forfeit a sum of £50 if they should violate this pledge. This had some little effect in checking the illegal practice, but did not end it.

“On October 30th Henare Potae arrived again at Turanganui from Te Mawhai with thirty of his men, and his presence had the effect of exasperating the Rongowhakaata Hauhaus, who dared him to meddle with the refugees from Tokomaru, and declared that they should come as far as Makaraka by way of a challenge, and to show that they were not afraid of him. Raharuhi and others used very violent language, referring not only to Henare Potae, but to Europeans generally, advocating war to the knife. In consequence of this there was a general move of most of the European residents to Turanganui. Several small buildings on sledges had been brought to the right bank of the river some days previously, but these afforded very scant accommodation. Of these refugees eleven were women and eighteen children, ten of whom took shelter for the night under my small roof. Many of the Hauhaus, on hearing that the homes were deserted, proceeded to plunder them, wantonly destroying much of what they could not carry away. Anaru Matete was with some of them, not taking part in the plunder, but making no effort to prevent it. After this Captain La Serre ordered that all the Europeans should sleep on the left bank of the river, where they could be more easily protected in case of need, and as there were no buildings available, they took up their quarters temporarily in the church until buildings could be brought across for them.

“On the following day there came a letter from Raharuhi to Lieutenant Wilson to say that he strongly disapproved of what the Hauhaus had done, and that if an assessment could be made of the amount of the damage sustained by the Europeans, he would make the culprits pay the equivalent. The messenger was sent back without any definite reply, but was bidden to inform Raharuhi that a report had already been despatched to Napier, that Mr. McLean was expected almost immedi- page 216 ately, and that he would be able to speak with authority on the subject.

“The chiefs of Hawke's Bay had shown a decided disapproval of the state of affairs in Poverty Bay, and especially of the conduct of Raharuhi. In September Karaitiana Takamoana had come for the express purpose of trying to persuade him to renounce Hauhauism. Now in the beginning of November Tareha came on a similar errand. He brought Raharuhi to Turanganui, and wished the officers to meet him and discuss the position. They, however, declared that they were without authority, and that any further communication must be made to Mr. McLean. On the 9th of November H.M.S. Esk arrived from Waiapu, bringing Mr. McLean with 260 of Ngatiporou, who were accompanied by the Rev. Mohi Turei. The Sturt followed soon after, bringing 100 Forest Rangers under Major Fraser. On the following day Mr. McLean took counsel with a number of friendly chiefs and decided to offer the Hauhaus the following terms, viz.,


That malefactors should be delivered up.


That Hauhauism should be renounced by all; and that they should take the oath of allegiance.


That they should pay a penalty in land.


That they should give up their arms.

On the 13th an answer came signed by most of the leading men among the Hauhaus, stating that they were willing to come to terms, but that they were very anxious that he (Mr. McLean) should go to visit them. This he declined to do, and sent word that if they were willing to agree to the terms he offered them, they had better come in at once, and he would then know that they were sincere. A few Hauhaus came over in boats from the further side of the bay, but the majority were evidently in no hurry to surrender themselves.”

Captain Lace of H.M.S. Esk offered Archdeacon W. L. Williams a passage to Auckland, and he embarked on November 13th, 1865. Four days later he landed in page 217 Auckland where he stayed with Sir William Martin for a week. He then took passage by schooner General Cameron for Bay of Islands where he was very pleased to rejoin his family on November 25th.

Bishop and Mrs. Williams left Bay of Islands for Auckland on November 30th that he might attend a conference of Missionaries on December 12th. They reached Paihia again on December 23rd after a passage of five days. In addition to the school work. Bishop Williams had services in the neighbouring native settlements, and continued writing his book “Christianity among the New Zealanders.

He closed his journal for the year 1865 thus: “This ends the most eventful year we have spent in New Zealand. Many dangers and many mercies, God has delivered us out of all. This year too has been marked by the removal of a large number of our brethren, Volkner, Morgan, Kissling and Hamlin, but we are all in health and safety. God be praised for his mercies.”