DESPATCHES from the GOVERNOR of NZ to the SECRETARY of STATE, 1880-1
[copied from the Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives, A1, 1881.]
COPY of a DESPATCH from Governor the Hon. Sir Arthur GORDON to the Right Hon. the Earl of KIMBERLEY.
Enclosure 1 - Memorandum for His Excellency from John Hall
Sub-enclosure 1 - Draft of letter to Te Whiti, from Arthur Gordon
Sub-enclosure 2 - Report of Parihaka Meeting, 17th November, 1880
Enclosure 2 - Report by Captain Knollys (A.D.C.) visit to Parihaka
Despatch no 39
Enclosure in no. 39 - Mr Bryce's resignation
(No. 11) Government House, Wellington, New Zealand, 31st December, 1880.
I have the honor to report to your Lordship that my Responsible Advisers have recommended me to invite the Maori chief Te Whiti,- whose name is probably familiar to your Lordship in connection with the ploughing and fencing under his directions of land claimed as confiscated by the Crown, but of which the Natives also assert their ownership, - to meet me.
2. I enclose a copy of the memorandum of the Premier offering this advice, and of the letter tendered to me for signature by the Ministers.
3. The letter was despatched by my Aide-de-Camp, Captain Knollys, C.M.G., 26th Cameronians. I enclose a copy of his report to me of his visit to Parihaka, which your Lordship will, I think, find not uninteresting.
I have &c.,
The Right Hon the Earl of Kimberley. ARTHUR GORDON.
Enclosure 1 in No. 38.
MEMORANDUM for His EXCELLENCY.
Mr. HALL presents his respectful compliments to the Governor ; and transmits herewith the draft of a letter which Ministers advise should be addressed by His excellency to the Chief Te Whiti.
2. In doing this, Mr. Hall thinks it right that he should state briefly, for His Excellency's information, the steps that have been taken for the purpose of communicating to Te Whiti -
(1) The purport of the Reports of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into any grounds which might exist for discontent among the Natives on the West Coast, and generally into the Native difficulties there ;
(2) the action taken upon those Reports by Parliament ; and
(3) the steps which the Government have taken, or are taking, for the purpose of giving effect to the Commissioners' recommendations.
3. Full information upon each of these branches of the question has from time to time been communicated to the friendly Natives on the West Coast, and particularly to a chief of high rank there, named Hone Pihama, who is in frequent communication with Te Whiti, and has lately attended the monthly meetings at Parihaka. The Government have every reason to believe that, through this channel, the substance of the information so given has reached Te Whiti and his followers.
4. The Act of last Session, by which Parliament empowered the Government to give effect to the Commissioners' recommendations, was translated into Maori, and a Government Interpreter was sent to Parihaka to distribute a number of printed copies. He found great difficulty in his attempts to do this, and eventually the copies were thrown back at him by Tohu, who is a sort of brother-prophet, and Te Whiti's principal assistant.
5. At a later period, when the Chief Wiremu Kingi Matakatea was released, with several other Native prisoners, from Dunedin Gaol, the Native Minister addressed to Wiremu Kingi a letter embodying the views of the Government as to the West Coast difficulties. This letter was printed, and the Government Interpreter was again sent to Parihaka with a number of copies of the document, which he succeeded in distributing to the Natives there.
6. Mr. Parris, an officer of the Native Department, who is not only of high standing, but is well and favourably known to the Natives throughout the West Coast Districts, was instructed to attend the October meeting at Parihaka, and to state that he did so because it was understood that Te Whiti had said that he had no knowledge of the Commissioners' reports and recommendations, and that he desired to be informed as to them. Mr. Parris was further instructed to state to the Natives the purport of the reports and recommendations of the West Coast Settlement Act, and of the Native Minister's letter to Wiremu Kingi ; to add, that the Government intended generally to give effect to the intentions expressed in those documents, on the acquiescence of the Natives concerned ; and to caution Te Whiti as to the evils that would follow further resistance or obstruction. Owing partly to the inclemency of the weather, but also, no doubt, to indisposition on Te Whiti's part, Mr. Parris did not succeed in giving effect to his instructions. He was, therefore, directed to attend at the November meeting, and to use his best efforts to communicate to the Natives the intentions of the Government. As will be seen from his report, of which a copy is attached, Mr. Parris was refused a hearing by Te Whiti.
7. Te Whiti on this occasion, however, expressed - as he has done on other occasions - his willingness to discuss his troubles, and the best mode of settling them, with the Governor. Under these circumstances, and as it appears to the Government that no reasonable means for arriving at a satisfactory settlement of those difficulties should be left untried, Ministers respectfully suggest that the accompanying invitation should be sent by His Excellency to Te Whiti. They would propose that the delivery of the letter should be, in the first instance, intrusted to Hone Pihama; and that, if he should fail, the Government Interpreter should be sent to Parihaka for the purpose.
8. Mr. Hall thinks it should be added that Sir William Fox, K.C.M.G., the senior member of the Commission already mentioned, has, at the request of the Government, agreed to act under a new instrument, conferring upon him ample powers to carry out the recommendations contained in the reports of the first Commission, and which were sanctioned by Parliament, and that, he proposes to commence his work immediately after the new year.
Wellington, December 22nd, l88O. JOHN HALL.
Sub-Enclosure 1 to Enclosure 1 in No. 38.
FRIEND TE WHITI,
This is an announcement from me to you, who are living apart in a far-off portion of these Islands, and whom I desire to see brought near to me.
I am come here to assume the Government on behalf of the Queen, and in her name to administer justice to both races of her subjects.
The troubles which have existed among some of the Maori people have been known to me in the past ; and now I am here, it is my duty to do my best to remove them. I know, too, what has been done by my predecessor, and the General Assembly, to settle these difficulties which have arisen ; and I desire to finish the work of putting things right.
I am told that you are desirous of seeing me, and representing to me your view of what should be done to promote this good end. That is very good : and if you will let me know when you will come to Wellington to see me, you shall be received with fitting hospitality, and I will not only listen to whatever you wish to say to me, but also, if you show that wrong has been done, will do justice, in accordance with the law and the will of the Queen.
Should you consider the distance between Wellington and Parihaka too great to travel, then there is another way in which it would be easier for us to meet to discuss these matters.
I shall soon be journeying round the Colony, to make myself acquainted with the affairs of Europeans and Natives throughout these Islands ; and in my journey I shall visit New Plymouth. Now, if you will come to see me there, you can more readily return from thence to your own people, to tell them the result of our conference. Or, if you prefer it, I will meet you at any other place on my way between New Plymouth and Hawera, by the inland road.
I am told that you have heard of what is proposed to be done for the settlement of differences ; and when we meet, I will make more clear to you the provision which will be made for the settlement of your people, and the plans which I have for their future welfare.
I have lately ruled over a people very like the Maoris. I have left them happy and contented, discussing their own affairs. They make their wishes known to the Queen and to the Governor in a regular manner, through duly-constituted channels. Why do not you and yours, in like manner, avail yourselves of those channels which, though not the same, here answer a similar purpose ? Why should we not talk of these matters ?
I have heard that you are a man of peace, and that you have striven to prevent war. The light is still lingering on the mountain-top.
When you receive this letter, write to me at once, so that I may know what your intentions are - whether you will come here, or whether you will meet me on my journey - and I will then let you know what day I shall be at Now Plymouth. If you explain in your letter what your grievances are, I shall be the better able to answer you when we meet.
From your friend, Arthur GORDON.
Sub-Enclosure 2 to Enclosure 1 in No. 38.
Mr. PARRIS to the Hon. the PREMIER.
New Plymouth, 19th November, 1880.
SIR,- I have the honor to report that, in obedience to the instructions conveyed to me in your telegram of the 3rd instant, I visited Parihaka on the 17th instant, to be present at the monthly meeting, for the purpose of explaining to Te Whiti and his followers what has been done by the West Coast Commissioners, together with their recommendations to the Government for the final settlement of the land question on the West Coast, &c. ; which I am sorry to say I was prevented from doing by Te Whiti, who unmistakably indicated that he would not treat with any subordinate of the Government, and, consequently, would not allow me to make any statement, as will be seen by the herewith enclosed copy of report of the meeting. I have, &c.,
The Hon. the Premier, Wellington. R. PARRIS.
PARIHAKA MEETING, 17TH NOVEMBER, 1880.
ABOUT 1,200 Natives present, larger proportion of whom were women.
Te Whiti addressed the Natives to the following effect: At the beginning of the world all things were ordained that were to happen in old times, those which were to happen in the intermediate period, and those which were to happen yesterday ; whether important or unimportant events, whether for good or evil, all were ordained which were to happen on earth. Also, those evils which were to happen in our days - namely, wars and dissensions: all of the latter, however, are now at an end. This also was ordained of old. The wars of our time were prophesied, as were also the different wars of different generations : all that was to happen in the earlier and intermediate periods down to our own time. We could not have altered anything, strive as we may. We have seen what happened in the early part of the world's history ; good and bad were mingled : so in the intermediate period, down to the present day. Do not let us be blind to what may happen to-day, lest bad mingle with good. All that happened of old we know, as also of a later period down to yesterday. Listen carefully : all things shall be altered to-day, and shall be conducted differently hence-forth ; this day is quite altered from other days - all old ties are dissolved, whether they proceed from men or laws. War shall cease, and shall no longer divide the world. Adam's race has fallen over many cliffs, but the cliffs have disappeared by numerous landslips, and none shall fall over those cliffs again.
It was ordained in the beginning that I should address you as I am doing to-day on this subject. I shall say but little to you to-day but this : that there is still a cliff left over which men will fall. It is not the man who tells you this, but the Father. All that has been hidden shall be brought to light this day. The state of men, both old and young, is like that of a pig struggling in agony, after having been almost killed by blows on the head. There is one cliff still left which has not been levelled, and that is death. All that has been foretold has come to pass ; no portion has been omitted; nothing added, and nothing taken away. This is a day for you all to settle down in peace ; and remember, the nearer you are to death, the nearer also you will be to life. All that was done of old was to lead up to the things that are being done in our time.
One cliff is left as an enemy and a snare to us. All that I say will be carried out - not because I say it, but because it was ordained from the beginning. All the evils of old are gathered to pester this generation. We have seen the prophecies of old carried out, and we shall see those for this time also come to pass. War is for ever ended : it was prophesied it should end, and it has ended, and all old customs are done away with. lf a pole is insecurely joined together for the ridgepole for a house, it will break at one end ; so also will Europeans and Maoris break away from each other, and cannot agree.
After Te Whiti had ended Mr. Parris got up, and was about to speak when Te Whiti interrupted him, and said, "Do not speak now; speak to-morrow."
Mr. Parris: No one can answer for to-morrow. If you do not wish me to speak now, shall I speak after Tohu ? I cannot say how long I shall live ; life is uncertain ; perhaps to-morrow may never come.
Te Whiti: Very good: speak on the day that never comes. If a dog flies at a pig it does so at the bidding of its master; the dog will not act of its own accord. If you have anything to say it will not be true, and will not be your own words.
Mr. Parris: I have addressed you all [alluding to and addressing the Natives] many times, and I never deceived you; but Te Whiti is leading you astray.
Te Whiti: Your address will be your superior's, not your own. Where is he? Let him come.
Mr. Parris: Are you so great and important that my chief should visit you? You are afraid to let me address the meeting, lest I detach the people from you when they hear what I have to say.
Te Whiti: I have little to say. Black and white will never agree, and cannot be joined.
Mr. Parris: I did not say I came here to join white and black.
At this stage of the proceedings Te Whiti, to prevent Mr. Parris speaking, said to his people, "Me pakaru te hui" (Break up the meeting), whereupon they all rose as one man and left the meeting-place.
Mr. Parris afterwards went to Te Whiti's whare and tried to get him into an argument, but Te Whiti merely repeated the refrain of a haka (song) having reference to the wheat. Mr. Parris told him he was not a philosopher (tohunga) to repeat childish songs. In reply, To Whiti repeated the refrain, and Natives sitting round joined in it.
Mr. Parris met Te Whiti outside of the whare afterwards, and told him that the new Governor was expected; that the "Hinemoa" was going to Auckland for him. Te Whiti said, "Although a new Governor comes, it is still the same Government - you and others."
Enclosure 2 in No. 38.
Wellington, 31st December, 1880.
I have the honor to report to you my proceedings in fulfilling the duty, intrusted to me by your Excellency, of conveying a letter to the Maori chief Te Whiti, inviting him to meet you, and of endeavouring to obtain an answer from him to the same.
I was accompanied on this mission by Mr. Hursthouse, a gentleman who speaks thoroughly the Maori language, has resided much with the Natives all his life, and is acquainted with their customs; and Hone Pihama, a Maori chief of considerable power, and in close and frequent relations with Te Whiti, with whom many of his people are living.
We left Opunake, twenty miles from Parihaka, the residence of Te Whiti, on the morning of the 25th December, and drove straight to Parihaka, avoiding the Armed Constabulary camp, which is within a mile and a half of that place, by the advice of Hone Pihama, who thought we should probably be better received if we went direct, without communication with the armed force in occupation.
At a distance of three or four miles from Parihaka we passed through some large and good fields of potatoes, maize, tobacco, &c. : these had the appearance of being well looked after, were carefully fenced, and the crops were looking very promising. The land appeared to me to be very good, and likely to be a valuable property to whoever may eventually possess it. These fields, I am informed, are in the land proposed to be put up for sale by the Government, but whether the particular spots now under cultivation are reserved to the Natives I am not in a position to say.
Beyond these fields, and at a distance of about a mile and a half from Parihaka, we crossed the road, now in course of being made, which is to be the boundary between the land marked out to be sold and that reserved for the Maoris. Here also were fine fields of wheat, maize, potatoes, &c., well cultivated and well fenced. In crossing the road we passed close to one of the barriers' recently erected by the Maoris. The country being full of cattle, horses, and pigs running at grass, all the fields are, of necessity, well fenced. If nothing were placed across the road, each spot where the road passed through a field would leave a gap for the convenience of intruding animals. The Maoris accordingly continued the fences across the road ; thus completing the enclosure. As this, however, impeded the road, it was naturally objected to by the Government, and many arrests took place, I believe, before the present compromise was come to, viz, that the fences on each side of the road should be joined by slip-rails, thus not blocking the road, and effectually fencing the field. It seems to me that the erection of such fences is not only reasonable, but most necessary, as certainly little wheat or other grain would stand a chance in a country so thickly grazed without some such effectual fencing. These slip-rails now cross the road at intervals, and are not interfered with : indeed, they are most carefully replaced by passers-by, European or Maori, after being removed to give passage. At Pungarehu itself, however, at the entrance to the Armed Constabulary camp, where the greatest number of arrests and the most determined attempt to make a continuous fence took place, no slip-rails have been put up, and the gap into the Maori wheat-field is watched day and night by Natives.
We reached Parihaka at about 1 p.m., and, after taking our horses out of the buggy, went into the town. It was a place of considerable size, from a rough estimate I should say of over 250 houses, and from 1,200 to 1,300 inhabitants. The "whares" or houses seem well and neatly built, in sizes about 20 feet long by 15 feet wide, and 10 to 12 high under the centre ridge-pole. The people appeared to be comfortably and well off, as far as I could judge from my experience of natives in other parts of the Western Pacific, the houses being well furnished with blankets, pillows, and garments of different descriptions, and the various necessities of Maori Life. There seemed also to be plenty of food, and the people looked well nourished.
Parihaka shows no sign of fortification. The neighbouring country however is rough, covered with bush in parts, intersected by watercourses, and generally adapted to irregular warfare. It is also hampered by the field-fences, which are either of strong timber, or else are banks, such as are seen in Devonshire.
We were shown into a house where we found five or six elderly men, sitting and lying about smoking. These received its civilly, shaking hands with Mr. Hursthouse and me, and embracing Hone Pihama; but the reserved courtesy, which I have been accustomed to see in Fiji, was wholly absent. After these salutations we sat down on the mats and lit our pipes. We were informed that Te Whiti was playing draughts, and we were desirous of showing that we were in no hurry. A man remarked after we had sat for a short time, " He [the prophet Te Whiti] said something would happen to-day." Conversation was going on freely in the houses, but of course I could understand nothing except a few words I could catch by their being identical with Fijian, and a few gestures. Mr. Hursthouse, however, informed me somewhat of what was going on. This gentleman is in charge of the new road, about which some of the disputes have arisen ; and one of the Maoris asked him why he did not finish the road, saying that it was a much shorter and more convenient one for them (the Maoris) than the old one. A remark was made by a Maori that the part between New Plymouth and Stoney River was the worst. "Ah," said another, "that goes through white man's land; they have to mind how they go there; in our land they can go straight at it." "Don't think they mind your feelings," said another. I mention the above items of conversation, as they seem to indicate no special ill-feeling against the road itself, or, rather, that it has been accepted as an inevitable fact.
Further conversation about various matters went on. Among other things, they asked, " What sort of a man is the Governor ? " Hone Pihama spoke up well, describing what I told him about arrangements in Fiji, especially about the settlement of lands there.
After we had sat and smoked for three or four hours, and fully proved that at least want of patience was not among our faults, foodÃ¢ÂÂpotatoes, greens, and pork was brought, and we were asked to eat, which we accordingly did; and it seemed to afford them satisfaction that we could enjoy their own food in their own way.
After we had waited altogether about four or five hours, a chief, Tahana, asked what we had come for. He was told, " To bring the Governor's companion [a very free translation of A.D.C.], and a letter from the Governor to Te Whiti. If Te Whiti likes to answer it in writing, well and good ; if not, he can reply orally to Captain Knolls - He asked if we had the letter, and was told we had. Tahana then asked, " What sort of a man is the Governor?" Hone Pihama answered, Ã¢ÂÂHe is, I think, a good man of high abilities." Tahana then said, " His works in Fiji may be left there with their good; he will not be equal to the task of setting the difficulties right in New Zealand." He then went to Te Whiti, and returned saying nothing, by which we judged that Te Whiti did not mean to come and see us. We accordingly went to see him.
We found Te Whiti in the village, sitting in the open air with the chief Tohu and others, wrapped in a blanket. He is a good-looking man, with a "smug" face, and a most marked expression of self complacency and conceit. The absence of courtesy, dignity, and good manners, again struck me, as it would any one used to the courteous bearing of Fijian or Samoan chiefs. Had I met with such want of ceremony in Fiji, I should certainly have anticipated violence as the termination of the interview. It was evident, however, that no discourtesy to us was intended, the men, women, and children pushing about among the chiefs, and even against the sacred To Whiti himself, without the least ceremony. We shook hands with Te Whiti and those round him. After a short pause, Hone Pihama asked if he should give the letter. As Te Whiti would not touch it, he laid it down by his side. Te Whiti just glanced at it, and made a sneering remark about the size of the envelope. As Hone Pihama laid the letter down, he said, "The reason for coming here is to give you this letter from the Governor, telling you that he is willing to talk to you about your promises ; and this is his companion to whom you may give your reply, if you do not like to write. Tahana took the letter up, saying, "Is it written in Maori?" and then, " shall I do this to it?" breaking the seal. He then called a man named Tai to read it to all present. When Tai had read about two pages (as far as the words "to discuss these matters") Te Whiti said, " The cooked potato cannot discuss." By this he meant that "he was cooked by the Government beyond discussion." Tai attempted to go on reading, but Te Whiti interrupted him again, with the same remark. Tai then put the letter in its envelope, and laid it down by Te Whiti, unread. I then asked Mr. Hursthouse to tell Te Whiti that I had been sent by the Governor to bring the letter, and to talk to him if he wished, on the subject it contained. Te Whiti, as soon as Mr. Hursthouse commenced to speak, said, " You must shut your eyes before you tell me what this man says. Do you come here to support this letter and the wicked works you have been doing?" By this, he meant that Mr. Hursthouse, who is engineer of the new road, could hardly be a proper interpreter in such matters. Mr. Hursthouse told him that he only came as a servant of the Government. I then said, "The letter is only to tell you that you can meet the Governor; if you do that, you may make things clear to him, with a view to their being settled. The Governor has set right difficulties with people like you in Fiji." Te Whiti, as he persistently did when we spoke to him, turned his back, half-buried his head its his blanket, and pretended to be busy with his pipe. He returned no answer. Tahana then said, " There is nothing for Te Whiti to may or do; he only looks on - all doing is on the part of the Government." Te Whiti said to Hone Pihama, "Do not be deceived : the Government are bringing trouble for the future [literally, are pushing strife on in front]." After this we left, as we considered that nothing further could be done until (as we knew would be the case) the letter had been read and discussed among themselves. We accordingly drove to the Armed Constabulary Camp, at Pungarehu, about a mile and a half off. In presenting the letter, I noticed that Hone Pihama was nervous, and his hand shook. I also noticed that Te Whiti was not as much at his ease as he wished to appear.
On the following day, the 26th, after consulting with Mr. Hursthouse and Hone Pihama, I decided not to go to Parihaka myself, but to send a short message. I accordingly asked Mr. Hursthouse and Hone Pihama (the latter objected to go alone) to say the following to Te Whiti: " The Governor has recently arrived here, and seeks to settle justly the difficulties. If wrong comes to Te Whiti's people because of the Governor's ignorance of their desires, the evil will have been brought by Te Whiti, because he will not come to make things plain to him." On their arrival at Parihaka, they found that Te Whiti was in the bush getting honey. Mr. Hursthouse saw Tohu and others. Mr. Hursthouse delivered my message to Tohu to convey to Te Whiti; Tohu impressing upon him that he was Te Whiti's " associate and equal." Tohu then asked if any telegram had come from Wellington about what was said on the previous day. He was told the telegraph office had been closed. He then said, "Then I have nothing further to say; you know what was said yesterday." Tohu then added, " Why did you not tell me yesterday that that was the Governor ? This he said jokingly, meaning to imply, "Surely no one else could have sent you." Mr. Hursthouse replied, "I could not tell you so, as he was not here: that was his companion, through whom he speaks." Tohu then said, " Where, then, is the Governor ?" Mr. Hursthouse replied, " In Wellington." Tohu said, " Oh ! I thought this was the Governor. I have no one to tell me this is this, or that is that, and require no one to uphold what I say. If I chose to speak now, my words would be with authority." Mr. Hursthouse then said, " If a sick man will not go to the doctor and explain what ails him, how can he be healed ? " Tohu replied, "That is a good saying of yours ; but it is for those who have charge of the sick to go and tell the doctor what is the matter." A shower of rain came on at that moment, and they stepped into the nearest house. This happened to be the sacred house, in which no one, white man or Maori, has been before admitted without taking his shoes off; but Tohu said, "Never mind, let us get out of the rain." Food was then brought and eaten ; and, after some conversation, carried on in a friendly manner, very different from that of the previous day, Tohu was asked if he had anything he wished to say to the Governor. He replied, "Nothing, unless the Governor is able to bring to its raw state the cooked potato." Hone Pihama believes the last speech to refer to the prisoners in detention for the ploughing and fencing. I doubt this, and think he referred to the whole question.
Mr. Hursthouse told me that the above-related interview and conversation were carried on in a cordial manner, totally different from that at our first meeting, which gives reason to believe that something might yet be done.
This determined me to see Te Whiti again.
On the 28th December we again went to Parihaka, conveying your Excellency's message received by telegraph, that "Until the Governor knew how the potato was cooked' he could say nothing about it. It was of the cooking of the potato from the very beginning that the Governor wished to have his account, and for that reason had asked him to meet him, to which he was awaiting an answer." Hone Pihama was unwilling to come again to Parihaka, but we persuaded him. When we arrived at Parihaka we sat for a time in the village, and lighted our pipes. After smoking for awhile and shaking hands with several of the people, we went to look for Te Whiti, Hone Pihama remaining behind.
We found Te Whiti after awhile, and sat down outside a house to talk to him. His manner was quite changed from what it was before. He sat and talked, and was civil, showing no signs of a desire to avoid us, or to turn his back. I delivered the message. After an interval of silence I said, "The Governor has heard about the cooking of the potato from others, but now he wishes to hear what Te Whiti has to say and to tell his mind, of which he, Te Whiti, knows nothing." Te Whiti answered, " I have nothing more to say. The Governor knows how it was done." He spoke again about Mr. Hursthouse being concerned in the wrong, and so being a man he could not talk to about it. He said also, " If the Governor wishes to know about it, he must come to the pot where the potato was cooked, and see the heap of evils that have been done. It is no good my going to hide myself away in Wellington." I answered, "That is what the Governor proposes to do, and asks you to meet him." He answered, " Where the Governor wishes me to meet him is outside the pot." I suggested that it was on the edge of the pot, where the ashes might be seen. He said, "It is no good. When a man's face is burnt, the doctor comes to him to see it." I said, "Why don't you go to the doctor to show your burnt face ?" He said, " No. If a dog is chasing a pig, the pig does not cry out to the man ; the man calls the dog off." I said, "True. But if the pig runs to the man, he is saved from the dog."
We asked him if he was going to answer the Governor's letter. He said he never had answered other letters; the people about the Governor could tell him their story about it. I urged on him the necessity for telling his own story, but could get nothing satisfactory from him. He said, "The Governor is like other Governors - a Governor for the white man." I said, "He has left good behind: where he came from the people are happy." He answered, "He has left good and bad behind him. The Maori potato is cooked." I then suggested how it would be if the Governor saw other chiefs, and their matters were settled, and his and his people's were not, because he would not take his case to the Governor. To this he made no answer.
The above conversation was carried on in all good humour, but, as is apparent, without immediate result. We then thought that, at present, it would worse than useless to say anything further, and left Parihaka.
We left Pungarehu the following day, as there seemed to be nothing further to be done for the present. In offering any opinion on what passed, I need hardly remind your Excellency that I have been little more than a month in New Zealand, and that I am not acquainted with the details of the Maori question. I have, therefore, been only guided by such experience as I may have gained of neighbouring and similar races in any conclusions I may have come to, which conclusions men of greater experience in Maori matters may find to be wholly erroneous.
From my personal observations of Te Whiti and from what I have been able to gather during my short stay in this neighbourhood, I have formed 'the following opinion, which, however, as I have said before, men of experience in Maori matters may not share.
I believe that a few years ago Te Whiti would have been glad to come to some arrangement which would have assured him and his people peaceful possession of such portion of his land as will be reserved for him. Two causes have, however, made him now most difficult to deal with. The first is that he has been so often interviewed, questioned, examined - it may be, promised something - by different emissaries of the Government, without any satisfactory result, that he is weary and sick of the sight of such emissaries ; and, secondly, that the peculiar position in which he is placed, and his own cunning self-complacency, fanaticism, and action with the Government, have won him a share of power and importance far above what he is entitled to by birth or inheritance, and which a satisfactory settlement might considerably endanger. He lives now, seeking, with Tohu and ten others, for the "truth " - as he considers his present religion, founded on his rendering of the Bible - prophesying and receiving worship ; feared by others for his divine attributes and power of witchcraft, and believed in, I think, by himself. This is, to him, a state of happiness, which might be modified were he only to become a contented Maori chief.
That the belief in him is somewhat on the wane I think there is little doubt. Events have not always turned out as he prophesied, in spite of his crafty translations of his prophecies. Those who brought clothes for their deceased relatives, who, he had promised, should rise from the dead, took them home unused, hardly satisfied with the explanation that the prophet had meant the General Resurrection at the last ; and some other such failures of his prophecies have raised doubts. But, though belief in him is waning, fear of his supernatural powers of witchcraft is, I fancy, as strong as ever. This waning of the Natives' belief in Te Whiti is, I think, certainly a great inducement to carry on things deliberately, without forcing a collision. The people, no doubt, dislike this present unsettled state. They would wish to be assured of their land, or to be allowed to fight. Though they are comfortably off, well fed and well clothed, their present position is an uneasy one to them ; and I think that sooner or later they will put pressure on Te Whiti to come to an understanding - peaceably or otherwise.
Tohu, who does not admit of To Whiti's superiority, would be, I think, of this mind. He would listen to some arrangement: if it was wholly unacceptable to him he would fight.
While Te Whiti is at Parihaka, unsatisfactory as the position is, he is certainly of value in keeping the peace, and is worth a large force of police in that respect. What might be the result were the lands to be occupied by white settlers without his having agreed to some arrangement previously, of course I have no experience to judge.
If nothing else be considered but expense, I believe that some time occupied in coming to an agreement with him will be far more economical than forcing a war with a people weak indeed as far actual fighting is concerned, but powerful enough to cause many years of trouble and lawlessness such as to render their neighbourhood unsafe without considerable armed defence. Te Whiti is determined on peace. He should not be disappointed. At any rate, some time must elapse before your Excellency's letter can be declared without fruit. It must work among the other chiefs and the people, as well as in Te Whiti's mind, before it can be known what results it may have, or that it is entirely without results.
Before closing my report I would beg to call your Excellency's attention to the sale of spirits and beer to the Natives in the District of Taranaki. Each hotel and publichouse is thronged day and night by a crowd of Maoris, among whom is a large proportion of women and young boys, simply loafing and drinking: I have seen the same people at a public house for days consecutively, evidently drinking their money out, day after day, poisoning themselves with the vile spirits imported for Maori consumption.
I heard a case of a chief, to whom another was paying a visit, going with all his people and the visitors to a public house, and every individual leaving with a bottle of spirits in each hand : 70 pund was the cost of the carouse.
The chief Hone Pihama has a large public house on his property; there is no other within eight miles of it, but he steadily refuses to allow a license to be again taken out for it, so evil did he find its effects on his people. Te Whiti also prohibits any spirits from being taken to Parihaka: If the chiefs struggle to suppress the evil among their people, cannot some assistance be given them in their good object ?
In conclusion of my report, I wish to bear testimony to your Excellency to the very valuable and able assistance rendered by Mr. Hursthouse in the mission, who spared no fatigue or inconvenience to bring it to a satisfactory end. I have also to call your Excellency's attention to Hone Pihama's ready and valuable aid
I have, &c.,
Louis F. KOLLYS, A.D.C.,
Capt., 26th Cameronians
His Excellency the Governor.
Copy of a DESPATCH from Governor the Hon. Sir ARTHUR GORDON to
the Right Hon. the Earl of KIMBERLEY.
(No. 2.) Government House, Auckland,
New Zealand, 12th January, 1881.
I have the honor to report to your Lordship the resignation of the Minister of Native Affairs, Mr. J. Bryce.
2. Mr. Bryce was desirous that measures of active pressure upon Te Whiti and the Natives of Parihaka should be at once undertaken by the Government, but has been unable to induce his colleagues to share his views, and has, consequently, retired from the Cabinet.
3. I enclose extracts from this day's New Zealand Herald containing what is said to be Mr. Bryce's own explanation of his course, and also comments which probably indicate the opinion of a considerable section of the public.
I have, &c.,
The Right Hon. the Earl of Kimberley. ARTHUR GORDON.
Enclosure in No. 39.
[Extract from New Zealand Herald, 12th January, 1881.]
MR. BRYCE'S RESIGNATION.
IN reference to Mr. Bryce's resignation, I telegraphed last night that his reason for this step was understood to be the refusal of the Cabinet to agree to the immediate adoption of measures with regard to Parihaka. This involved a serious and radical difference in the policy. Mr. Bryce is well known to have been of the opinion for some time past that the period was rapidly approaching when it would be desirable in the interests of peace and settlement to supplement resolute but just measures so far pursued in regard to the West Coast difficulty, by some more marked and decided proceedings. Mr. Bryce held that the present policy of the Government has been wise and sound, but it does not meet all the future as well as present requirements, and possibilities of danger to the peace of the country in the attitude of the determined and uncompromising, although as yet passive, hostility by Te Whiti. Mr. Bryce, while not going all the way with the alarmists, was in favour of more vigorous precautionary measures than his predecessors, and advocated an early advance on Parihaka, to arrest Te Whiti and Tohu, and their removal from the settlement. Strong objections were entertained by the other members of the Ministry to any but a purely peaceful course. They strongly held the advisableness of waiting, and altogether discountenanced every plan of action which might endanger, even temporarily, the peace of the colony. Their view was that the slow course was the sure one : the progress already made in the settlement of the West Coast Native difficulty was as satisfactory as could have been expected : that to precipitate a direct conflict by advancing on Parihaka, and arresting Te Whiti, would be a step of serious moment and questionable prudence, involving the risk of grave consequences earnestly to be deprecated. This difference was so wide and material as to admit of no compromise, or anything short of one side yielding altogether. Unfortunately, this was equally impracticable. Mr. Bryce had stated to Parliament that he should only hold the Native portfolio so long as he was allowed to pursue the course which he deemed best. His colleagues, on the other hand, agreed in deprecating any new departure in Native matters ; and, As Mr. Bryce insisted on the necessity of taking such fresh departure, a collision of opinions was unavoidable. Matters reached a climax when Mr. Bryce insisted that the Government should agree to advance on Parihaka by the 17th instant (when the monthly meeting is to be held), and occupy the place, and arrest Te Whiti under the West Coast Settlement Act. The other Ministers objected to this course, and considered the Government bound to adhere to the lines laid down last session, and to carry out the policy advised by the Royal Commissioners, and sanctioned by Parliament, especially as Sir William Fox was recently intrusted with a new mission in the same direction. They therefore refused to agree to Mr. Bryce's proposal, believing also that the opinion of the House and colony would be strongly opposed to such a course. Mr. Bryce made the acceptance of his proposal the alternative of his resignation, and, on a final negative decision being arrived at, he at once resigned. The resignation was received with much regret, and I understand the entente cordiale is and will be thoroughly maintained, although there is a difference on this one point. Mr. Rolleston will take charge temporarily of the Native Department, vacated by the resignation of Mr. Bryce. It is not likely that the vacancy in the Ministry will be filled up for some days. Rumour is busy with the name of the probable successor to Mr. Bryce. Among those mentioned were Sir William Fox and Mr. Ormond, but there is not the slightest likelihood of either gentleman taking office.
[Copied from Appendices to the House of Representatives 1881, A.1, pp 20-27]