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Title: An Old New Zealander - or, Te Rauparaha, the Napoleon of the South.
Author: Buick, T. Lindsay
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Old New Zealander - or, Te Rauparaha, the Napoleon of the South." ***

Transcriber's Note:

Italics are indicated by _underscores_, "oe" ligatures have been
removed, and small capitals have been converted to full capitals.

Discrepancies between the detail of the list of illustrations, and the
text accompanying the illustrations themselves, have been retained.

The list also omits the table of Te Rauparaha's wives and children,
that has been inserted at the end of the book before the map of his
and Te Puoho's raids. It has been transcribed in this version.

Apparent typographical errors have been corrected. Inconsistencies in
hyphenation have been retained.


 [Illustration: TE RAUPARAHA.
 After a drawing in the Hocken Collection, Dunedin.
















I have been constrained to write the story of "An Old New Zealander"
largely to gratify the frequently expressed desire for a more
comprehensive sketch of Te Rauparaha's career on the part of many
readers of my former books, in which fitful glimpses of the old chief
were given. These references have apparently awakened some
considerable interest in the life and times of the great Ngatitoan,
and although this period of New Zealand's history is by no means
barren of literature, I am hopeful that there is still room for a
volume in which much heterogeneous matter has been grouped and
consolidated. There may be some amongst the reading public who will
question the need, or the wisdom, of recording the savage and
sanguinary past of the Maori; but history is always history, and if
this contribution serves no other useful purpose, it may at least help
to emphasise the marvellous transformation which has been worked in
the natives of New Zealand since Te Rauparaha's time--a transformation
which can be accounted one of the world's greatest triumphs for
missionary enterprise. It may be, too, that some critics will not
subscribe to my estimate of the chief's character, because it has been
the conventional view that he who refused to part with his own and his
people's heritage was destitute of a redeeming feature. Owing to the
misrepresentation of the early settlers and traders he has been
greatly misunderstood by their successors; and they have further added
to the injustice by sometimes seeking to measure one who was steeped
in heathen darkness by the holy standard which was raised by the
Founder of Christianity. As in the careers of most conquerors, there
is much in the life of Te Rauparaha that will not bear condonation;
but in every British community there is a wholesome admiration for
resourcefulness, indomitable will, and splendid courage; and, if the
succeeding pages serve to balance these high qualities of the chief
against his failings, they may assist in setting up a more equitable
standard whereby future generations will be able to judge him.

In compiling this work I have necessarily had to draw upon many of the
existing publications on New Zealand, and I now desire gratefully to
acknowledge my obligations to their authors. I have also to thank Mr.
S. Percy Smith, F.R.G.S., for the kindly interest he has displayed in
the progress of my work, and in no less degree must I pay my
respectful acknowledgments to Mr. H. M. Stowell and to Mr. J. R.
Russell for their judicious criticisms and suggestions, whereby I have
been assisted in arriving at a correct historical perspective. To Mr.
T. W. Downes, of Whanganui, who has enthusiastically co-operated with
me in procuring some of the illustrations, and to Mr. J. W. Joynt,
M.A., for his careful revision of the proofs, I am equally indebted,
and now beg to tender to these gentlemen my sincere thanks for their

Humbly acknowledging the force of Carlyle's dictum that "Histories are
as perfect as the historian is wise and is gifted with an eye and a
soul," I now present the result of my last year's labour to the reader.



_May 23,_ 1911.


 WHENCE AND WHITHER?                                                 1

 ARAWA AND TAINUI                                                   16

 A WARRIOR IN THE MAKING                                            29

 THE LAND OF PROMISE                                                62

 THE SOUTHERN RAIDS                                                121

 THE SMOKING FLAX                                                  189

 WAKEFIELD AND THE WAIRAU                                          235

 THE CAPTIVE CHIEF                                                 293

 WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE                                            331


 PORTRAIT OF TE RAUPARAHA                               _Frontispiece_
 _After a drawing in the Hocken Collection, Dunedin_

                                                           FACING PAGE

 DEPARTURE OF "THE FLEET" FOR NEW ZEALAND                           16
 _From a painting by K. Watkins, Auckland.
 By kind permission of the Artist_

 POMOHAKA PASSAGE, KAWHIA                                           32
 _From a photo by Jonston_

 BURNING OF THE "BOYD"                                              48
 _From a painting by W. Wright, Auckland.
 By kind permission of the Artist_

 TE ARAWI PA, KAWHIA                                                64
 _The Point from which the Ngati-Toa migration commenced_

 THE MEMORIAL TIKI, KAIAPOI                                        128
 _Erected on the site of the pa destroyed by Te Rauparaha_

 GILLETT'S WHALING STATION, KAPITI, 1842                           144
 _By kind permission of Miss Gilfillan.
 From a sketch by her Father_

 MONUMENT ON MASSACRE HILL, WAIRAU                                 256
 _Erected by public subscription, 1869.
 Photo by Macey_

 TAUPO PA, PORIRUA                                                 288
 _After a drawing by G. F. Angas_

 TE RANGIHAEATA                                                    304
 _After a drawing by C. D. Barraud, Esq._

 TE PUOHO                                                     _At end_


_Composed by Hinewhe, and supposed to be sung by Te Rangihaeata._


              Alas! my heart is wild with grief:
                  There rises still
                  The frowning hill
      Of Kapiti, in vain amid the waters lone!
                  But he, the chief,
              The key of all the land, is gone!


      Calm in the lofty ship, O ancient comrade, sleep,
          And gaze upon the stillness of the deep!
                  Till now, till now,
          A calm was but a signal unto thee
              To rise in pride, and to the fray
          Despatch some martial band in stern array!
                  But go thy way,
              And with a favouring tide
              Upon the billows ride,
      Till Albion's cliffs thou climb, so far beyond the sea.


      Thou stood'st alone, a kingliest forest tree,
                  Our pride, our boast,
              Our shelter and defence to be.
          But helplessly--ah, helplessly wast thou
          Plucked sword-like from the heart of all thy host,
              Thy thronging "Children of the Brave,"
                  With none to save!
          Not amid glaring eyes;
          Not amid battle cries,
          When the desperate foes
          Their dense ranks close:
      Not from the lips of the terrible guns
      Thy well-known cry resounding o'er the heath:
              "Now, now, my sons!
      Now fearless with me to the realms of Death!"
      Not thus--not thus, amid the whirl of war,
      Wert thou caught up and borne away afar!


              Who will arise to save?
              Who to the rescue comes?
          Waikato's lord--Tauranga's chief,
      Thy grandsons, rushing from their distant homes,
  They shall avenge their sire--they shall assuage our grief.
          While you, the "Children of the Brave,"
          Still sleep a sleep as of the grave,
  Dull as the slumbering fish that basks upon the summer wave.


          Depart then, hoary chief! Thy fall--
          The pledge forsooth of peace to all--
  Of Heaven's peace, so grateful to their God above,
          And to thy kinsmen twain, by whom
  Was brought us from the portals of the "land of gloom,"
          This novel law of love--
              This law of good:
      Say, rather, murderous law of blood,
      That charges its own crimes upon its foes--
  While I alone am held the source whence these disasters rose!

An Old New Zealander



Probably no portion of the globe is so pregnant with the romance of
unsolved problem as the Pacific Ocean. For thousands of years before
Vasco de Balboa, the friend of Columbus, stood upon the heights of
Panama and enriched mankind by his glorious geographical discovery,
this great ocean and the islands which its blue waters encircle had
remained a world in themselves, undisturbed by the rise and fall of
continental kingdoms, unknown even to the semi-civilised peoples who
dwelt on the neighbouring continental shores. But although thus shut
out from human ken and wrapt in impenetrable mystery, we are entitled
to presume that during all this period of time Nature, both animate
and inanimate, had been there fulfilling its allotted part in the
Creator's plan, though no pen has fully told, or ever can tell, of the
many stupendous changes which were wrought in those far-away centuries
either by the will of God or by the hand of man. That vast and
far-reaching displacements had been effected before the Spanish
adventurer's discovery of 1513 broke this prehistoric silence, there
is little room to doubt, for the position and configuration of the
island groups are as surely the results of geological revolutions as
their occupation by a strangely simple and unlettered people is
evidence of some great social upheaval in the older societies of the
world. Precisely what those geological changes have been, or what the
cause of that social upheaval, it would be imprudent to affirm, but
there is always room for speculation, even in the realm of science and
history, and there is no unreasonable scepticism in refusing to
subscribe to the belief that the Pacific Ocean always has been,
geographically speaking, what it is to-day, nor rash credulity in
accepting the ruined buildings and monolithic remains which lie
scattered from Easter Island to Ponape, as evidences of a people whose
empire--if such it can be called--had vanished long before the
appearance of the Spaniards in these waters.

But even if the opinion still awaits scientific verification that the
islands and atolls which sustain the present population of the Pacific
are but the surviving heights of a submerged continent, there is less
room to doubt that the dark-skinned inhabitants of those islands can
look back upon a long course of racial vicissitude antecedent to the
arrival of the Spaniards. What the first and subsequent voyagers found
was a people of stalwart frame, strong and lithe of limb, with head
and features, and especially the fairness of the skin, suggestive of
Caucasian origin.[1] Although of bright and buoyant spirits, they were
without letters, and their arts were of the most rudimentary kind. Of
pottery they knew nothing, and of all metals they were equally
ignorant. For their domestic utensils they were dependent upon the
gourd and other vegetable products, and for weapons of war and tools
of husbandry upon the flints and jades of the mountains. Their
textiles, too, were woven without the aid of the spindle, and in much
the same primitive fashion as had been employed by the cave-dwellers
of England thousands of years before. In the production of fire they
were not a whit less primitive than the semi-savage of ancient
Britain. They thus presented the pathetic spectacle of a people
lingering away back in the Palæolithic period of the world's history,
while the world around them had marched on through the long centuries
involved in the Bronze and Iron Ages.

But though devoid of these mechanical arts, the higher development of
which counts for much in national progress, these people were no
sluggards. They were expert canoe-builders, and their skill in naval
architecture was only equalled by the daring with which they traversed
the ocean waste around them. They were bold and adventurous
navigators, who studied the flow of the tides and the sweep of the
ocean currents. They knew enough of astronomy to steer by the stars,
and were able to navigate their rude craft with a wonderful degree of
mathematical certainty. Whether their wanderings were in all cases due
to design or sometimes to accident, cannot now be definitely affirmed;
but there is abundant proof that their voyages had extended from
Hawaii in the north to Antarctica in the south, and there was scarcely
an island that was not known and named in all their complex

Of literature they, of course, had none, but they revelled in oral
traditions and in a mythology rich in imagination and poetry, which
accounted for all things, even for the beginning of the world and for
the ultimate destiny of the soul. Being deeply religious and as deeply
superstitious, they interpreted natural phenomena in a mystic sense,
and Pope's lines on the poor Indian would have been equally applicable
to the ancient Maori in Polynesia--

  "Lo! the poor Indian, whose untutor'd mind
  Sees God in clouds, or hears Him in the wind:
  His soul proud science never taught to stray
  Far as the Solar Walk or Milky Way.
  Yet simple Nature to his hope has given
  Behind the cloud-capt hill an humbler heaven;
  Some safer world in depths of woods embraced,
  Some happier island in the watery waste,
  Where slaves once more their native land behold,
  No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold."[2]

The cradle of the Polynesian race was undoubtedly Asia; and to arrive at
a clear understanding as to how it became transported from a continental
home into this island world it will be necessary to carry the mind back
probably more than 200,000 years. At that time the dominating section
of the human family was the Caucasian--fair-skinned, blue-eyed, and
revelling in the glory of long, wavy hair. Their civilisation,
however, like their weapons of chipped stone, was of the most
primitive character; but they had advanced sufficiently in the
ascending scale of human progress to show that they valued life by
paying pious respect to their dead. They preserved the memory of the
departed by erecting over their burial-places huge blocks of stone,
many of which monuments stand to-day to mark the course of their
migrations. And, except possibly a flint axe-head or a rude ornament
found deep in some ancient gravel-bed, these megalithic monuments are
amongst the most convincing evidence we have of the wide diffusion of
the human race in prehistoric times. From the most westerly point in
Ireland, across the European and Asiatic continents, they stretch by
the shores of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean in the former, and
the plains of Siberia in the latter, until they reach the waters of
the Pacific. Even this wide expanse of ocean proved no insuperable
barrier to the onward march of wandering man; for it is by the
presence of his stone-building habit in so many of the Pacific Islands
that we are able to construct a probable hypothesis of the process by
which Polynesia first became inhabited.

In the light of modern knowledge, the theory which finds most ready
acceptance is that in Palæolithic times the Caucasian race, being more
or less a maritime people, had obtained possession of the coastal
districts of Europe. As they multiplied and spread, they followed the
ocean's edge to the northward, and, as the Arctic regions were then
enjoying a temperate climate, there was a plenteous and pleasant home
for them even in the most northerly part of Siberia. But later a
drastic climatic change began to take place. The great ice-sheet,
which is known to have twice covered northern Europe and Asia, began
to creep down upon the land, driving man and beast before it. Impelled
by this relentless force, there began a momentous migration of
Palæolithic man, who swept in hordes southward and eastward in search
of a more hospitable home. In course of time a section of these
fugitives, travelling across the Siberian plains, reached the Pacific
coast, and here their old maritime spirit reasserted itself. With the
pressure of climate behind them, and in their breasts the love of
adventure, the sea soon became as much their domain as the land.

At first their canoes were of the frailest character; but experience
and unlimited opportunity soon taught them the art of constructing
safe sea-going craft, which could carry considerable numbers on a
course of discovery. The tales of new lands found, and their warm and
genial climate, no doubt stimulated the spirit of exploration, so that
gradually, and almost imperceptibly, the tide of migration which was
flowing from the centre of the continent was drawn across the sea to
the region of eternal summer.

From somewhere in the vicinity of the Japanese archipelago, fleets of
canoes set off at various times carrying with them a freight of
humanity destined to found a new people in a new land. But, in order
to account for the transportation of large numbers of women and
children on vessels which, at the best, must have been mainly
constructed of reeds, we must assume smaller intervals of ocean than
exist now. There are evidences of other kinds that startling
geological changes have occurred in this portion of the globe; and
this assumption would help to explain feats of travel otherwise
apparently impracticable to a rude and poorly equipped people.

For how many centuries this stream of venturesome humanity flowed
southward no one can tell; but it is safe to assume that great numbers
must have taken the plunge into the unknown, some resting by the way,
others pushing on to a point beyond the furthest preceding colony,
until the main groups of islands were occupied, and outpost after
outpost was firmly established. With them these people carried their
simple mode of life, their primitive arts and customs, not the least
of which was their stone-building habit, which, as already shown, had
originated in their desire to perpetuate the memory and preserve the
bones of their dead. Hence arose in their new home those strange
structures of uncemented stone which astonished the early discoverers,
and which stand to-day, broken and decrepit relics, like ghostly
wraiths from a long-forgotten past.

But, whatever its duration may have been, two causes operated to bring
this period of migration to a close. The first of these influences was
the dispersion of the Mongolian race from Central Asia; the second,
the subsidence of the land along the Asiatic coast. Either of these
events would have been in itself sufficient to cut off the supply of
emigrants to the islands. The descent of the more warlike Mongols from
their high plateau would effectually close the inland route across the
north of Asia to the gentle Caucasians; while the sinking of the
land-bridge, along which they had been wont to pick their way, would
so increase the hazard of the journey that none would care to risk a
voyage across the greater stretch of sea. Thus the first stratum of
the Polynesian race was laid by an invasion of European people
embarking from Asia; and these light-skinned, fair-haired Vikings,
who were driven out of their ancient home by the descent of the giant
glaciers, plunged into the abyss of uncertainty, little dreaming that
from their stock would arise a people whose life-story would be, as it
still is to some extent, one of the world's unsolved problems.

Amongst the many features which have seemed to intensify the shroud of
mystery enveloping these people is the combination of a dark skin with
tall and stalwart frames and a head-form usually belonging to fair
races. Also the strange stratification of their customs discloses a
social condition so contradictory as to amount almost to a paradox.
Why a dark-skinned race should possess features which find their
counterpart in the whites of to-day, or why the most primitive method
of obtaining fire--by friction--should be found side by side with
highly scientific methods of warfare, especially displayed in the art
of fortification, seemed difficult of explanation, until the idea of a
second invasion, comprised of dark-blooded people, had been conceived
and had taken root.[3]

The theory of a grafting of a dark race on to the Caucasian stem which
had already been planted in Polynesia explains much. It would account
for the olive-coloured skin of the present-day natives, and it would
provide the reasonable supposition that, being later comers, they
would import with them newer ideas and more modern customs, some of
which would be adopted in their entirety, others in a modified form.
With the advantage of many centuries of contact with neighbouring
peoples, they had necessarily learned much of the art of war, which
had been quite unknown to the islanders in their isolation. These dark
invaders were therefore able to come in the spirit of conquerors; and
consequently the masculine arts, such as the making of weapons and the
building of forts and canoes, received an impulse which placed them
considerably in advance of anything of which the original people had
ever dreamed. But the domestic arts would be but little changed, for
the reason that the invasion, being one of warlike intent, would be
comprised largely of males, the women who were taken to wife after
their lords had been vanquished being allowed to retain their old
modes of life. Hence the methods of twisting threads of fibre, of
weaving mats, and of making fire, would remain the same as had been
practised by them from time immemorial, while there would be a
distinct advance in those arts which came more exclusively within the
domain of the males. In two respects, however, these newcomers did not
better the condition or raise the standard of art amongst the people
with whom they were about to mingle their blood. They introduced
neither pottery nor the use of metals. It is therefore clear that the
section of the human family to which they belonged had not advanced
beyond the Stone Age when their invasion took place; and this fact
helps us to some extent in our inferences as to the period when this
second migration commenced and when it terminated.

For the direction whence these dark-skinned invaders came we have to
rely on a careful comparison of the traditions and genealogies of the
present-day people, who have preserved in a remarkable way certain
leading facts, which serve as landmarks by which their journeys can
still be traced. By the aid of these, the thread of their history has
been followed back to a time at least several centuries before the
birth of Christ, when a dark-skinned people dwelt upon the banks of
the river Ganges. Here, by contact with other races, probably the
Egyptian and Semitic, they acquired that smattering of mythology
which, as preserved by the ancient Maori, resembled so closely the
beliefs still prevalent in many parts of the Old World. But although
versed in the mysterious philosophy, if such it can be styled, of
their time, they were entirely ignorant of the principles of the
Buddhist religion; and from this circumstance it is fair to deduce
that they had left India before Gautama, who died in 477 B.C., had
commenced his teaching of "Nirvana and the Law."

But when we come to inquire into the causes which operated to inspire
this migration, we get little information beyond the explanation
commonly given as the root of all Polynesian movements, that "great
wars prevailed." If this be the true reason why a whole nation should
move _en masse_, then it is not unreasonable to suppose that the
future Polynesians were the defeated people, and were forced by
irresistible waves of invasion to abandon their home in India. Slowly
they were pushed southward and eastward by the more warlike tribes who
came down from the north; and as they made their way along the coasts
of the Malayan Peninsula, circumstances, climate, and assimilation
with other peoples continued the process of racial modification which
had commenced before they abandoned the valley of the Ganges. For
three hundred years or more they drifted from point to point. We know
little more, for there occurs a comparative blank in the story of
their journeyings as they moved along the coast of Sumatra and down
the Straits of Malacca.

In the year 65 B.C., however, we again get a glimpse of them
on the island of Java. From this point, although their movements are
often vague and shadowy, they are never entirely lost to sight.
Tradition, at this period, speaks of a renowned personage named Te
Kura-a-moo, who "went to the east, to the rising sun, and remained
there." To precisely what spot in the east he journeyed is uncertain,
but his objective is generally supposed to have been the island of
Java, which was then known as Avaiki-te-Varinga. This is the first
suggestion of migration which we have in Polynesian tradition; and as
it corresponds in date with other large ethnic movements which are
known to have occurred in the Malayan archipelago, it is more than
probable that pressure from other invaders compelled the occupation
of Java, which thus became the parent Hawaiki, towards which the Maori
stands in much the same relationship as does his brother _pakeha_ to
the Garden of Eden.

But the same cause which drove these wandering Asiatics into Java, at
a latter period led to its evacuation. And still the movement was in
an eastward direction, towards the islands of Indonesia, the people as
they moved becoming more and more expert in the art of navigation and
sea-craft. In view of the scattered nature of the archipelago in which
they now found themselves, their voyages became gradually longer,
requiring larger canoes and more daring seamanship. They were
beginning to leave the beaten path which hitherto had been the common
course of the human race--the mountain, the river, and the plain. With
them the sea was gradually becoming the broad highway which had to be
traversed in order to find fresh resting-places, or to maintain
communication with established outposts in more advanced situations.
The spirit of the sea-gipsy, which led them to do and dare, was
rapidly developing within them, and the knowledge thus born of courage
and experience was shortly to prove invaluable to them in carrying to
a successful issue their own great policy of conquest.

Wars and rumours of wars are again heard of, and are given as the
underlying cause of the next movement southward from Indonesia, the
date of which is so uncertain that it cannot safely be defined more
strictly than as between the first and fourth centuries. It is
unfortunate that we are driven to this loose estimate of time for so
important a national event, because it was this final migration which
led to the actual entry into Polynesia of these dark-blooded
wanderers, and if our first hypothesis be correct, to their ultimate
fusion with the fair-skinned, stone-building people who had preceded
them by many centuries.

They had obviously come into contact with strange people and strange
animals, for the existence of the former has been preserved in their
traditions and the memory of the latter in their fantastic carvings.
Not the least interesting of their stories is the finding of a
fair-complexioned people, whom their fancy has elevated into the realm
of fairies, and from whom they claim to have learned the art of
net-making. Whether these mysterious people, who are said to have
laboured only at night and to have vanished when the sun rose, were
the original Caucasians who, we have supposed, set out from the
eastern coast of Asia, and who were about to be absorbed by the more
virile emigrants from India, or whether they were, as some suggest, a
few wandering Greeks or Phoenicians on the coast of Sumatra, we cannot
pretend to decide. But, in all its vagueness and fanciful setting, the
tradition is interesting, as indicating the existence on their route
of a people fairer than themselves, and the fact that they must have
come into close personal contact with them. A careful reflection upon
the probable circumstances attending the story of how Kahu-kura
captured one of the fairy's nets inclines us to the opinion that it is
the first evidence we have of the contact of the Indian branch of the
Polynesian race with their whiter predecessors. These they would meet
in island after island as they moved down the Pacific towards Fiji,
which group they are believed to have occupied about A.D. 450.

Like all other dates connected with Polynesian migrations, this one
can only be approximate, for the people were without any mode of
reckoning time, except by reference to ancestral lines. But there is
traditional authority for supposing that their descent upon Fiji was
made in considerable numbers, and that for a time these islands
constituted one of their principal colonising centres. Whether Tonga
and Samoa were settled from this point seems doubtful; but it is
certain from the marvellous stories which find credence in the
traditions of this period that an era of extensive voyaging had set
in, and that the newcomers began to spread themselves with
considerable rapidity from atoll to island and from island to
archipelago. These excursions into new realms naturally gave promise
of an attractive home amongst the palm-covered islands; and,
simultaneously with their policy of conquest and colonisation, they
began the absorption and assimilation of the resident people. As the
defending warriors were driven out or annihilated, the women of the
vanquished were taken possession of by the victors, and their domestic
arts were taken with them. This blending necessarily, in the course of
many centuries, worked appreciable modifications in the physique and
customs of both races, and gave to the world the Polynesian people as
we know them to-day.

A race of stalwarts, long-headed, straight-haired, and brown-skinned,
warriors from birth, full of courage, and ardent for adventure, they
were not altogether devoid of those higher ideals which make for the
elevation of man. They were deeply imbued with a love of poetry, which
enabled them to appreciate in a rude way the beautiful in life and to
preserve in quaint song and fantastic tradition the story of their
wanderings and the prowess of their heroes. They were even
enterprising enough to attempt the solution of the marvellous natural
phenomena everywhere presented to them, which, to their simple minds,
could have no origin except in the intervention of the gods.

With a continuous stream of fresh immigrants flowing in from the north
to reinforce the southern outposts, the conquest and colonisation of
the islands was now only a matter of time. Before we come to the
period directly connected with our story, some seven hundred years had
elapsed, during which every trace and even the memory of the original
people had been effaced, and but for their stone monuments, which have
withstood alike the shock of invasion and the ravages of time, their
very existence would have remained as one of the problems of a
forgotten past. But long before this period had been reached, some
great ethnic or geographical event had occurred to terminate the
further inflow of these invaders from the north. Either the movements
of the nations upon the Asiatic continent supervened to make
continued migration unnecessary, or geographical changes in the
distribution of land and sea operated to make it more difficult, if
not impossible. Certain it is that the supply of warriors was
effectually cut off, and that at a time before the parent people had
learned the use of metals. From this period, down through the ages
until the day of their discovery by the Spaniards, the gulf which
separated them from the rest of the human family remained unbridged,
and the Polynesians were suffered to evolve their own racial
peculiarities and develop their own national spirit, untrammelled by
exterior influences. Isolated from the rest of the world, they lived
in total ignorance of the progress with which other peoples were
advancing towards a higher type of human development and loftier
ideals of national life. They knew nothing of the growth of science or
of art, and they derived no benefit from the stimulating effect of
competition, or from the bracing conditions of a strenuous life.
Nature was bountiful to them in the ease and abundance with which
their simple wants were supplied, for it required neither labour nor
ingenuity to provide for their daily needs. Hence there was little
incentive to depart from traditional customs, or to seek more advanced
methods than their fathers had learned and applied in that far-off
time when they lived on the banks of the Ganges. Had it been
otherwise, the Polynesians would not have been found still clinging to
their stone clubs and flint axes, while the continental peoples
surrounding them had acquired a written language, the use of metals,
and the arts of husbandry, pottery, and weaving. The complete absence
of these primary evidences of civilisation amongst the islanders gives
us the right to assume that they came into the South Seas before man
had acquired any knowledge of the metallic arts, and that their
migration ceased before pottery and the weaving spindle were known.

Polynesia must, therefore, have been occupied during the Palæolithic
and Neolithic periods of the world's history. From that time down to
the Spanish era all communication with the surrounding nations was
completely cut off, and the Polynesians were allowed to sleep the
sleep of centuries and to work out their own destiny in the midst of
their tragic isolation. As the evolution of the race progressed, there
was gradually developed a rude system of tribal government,
administered by acknowledged chieftains, who claimed and obtained
unquestioned obedience. So, too, victory or defeat became gradually
the chief factor in determining the home of each tribe. These tribal
boundaries were, however, by no means arbitrary lines of exclusion,
and, in fact, there were frequent visits of friendship between the
different sections of the race. These voyages necessarily led to a
wide knowledge of the Southern seas and their archipelagos, and often
contributed surprising results. While the sea-captains navigated their
canoes with wonderful accuracy, unaided as they were by chart or
compass, their vessels were not always under absolute control, and in
stress of sudden storm, or influenced by some unexpected current, they
were frequently carried far out of their intended course.

It is probable that in some such way the first canoes reached New
Zealand, for it is known that individual vessels had visited these
shores long before the historic migration known as "the fleet" left
Rarotonga in or about the year 1350 A.D. The stories brought
back by these pioneering mariners excited the cupidity and fired the
imagination of the islanders, and when a fleet of several great canoes
arrived at Rarotonga, and found that group already fully occupied,
they decided to set out in search of the strange land which had been
dragged from the depths of the sea by the miracle-working Maui, and
discovered by the great sea-captain Kupe.[4] Here they hoped to
capture the giant bird, the flesh of which Ngahue had preserved and
brought back with him, but more than all they were eager to enrich
themselves by the possession of the _toka-matie_, or much prized
greenstone, the beauty of which they had heard so much extolled.

The story of this migration is recorded amongst the classic traditions
of the New Zealanders: how the Arawa canoe came perilously near being
lost in a tempest, and descended into the mysterious depths of the
whirlpool, Te Parata; how the crew of the Taki-tumu suffered the pangs
of starvation; how the Kura-haupo suffered wreck; and how, on landing,
the crew of the Arawa practised the deceit upon the sleeping Tainui of
placing the cable of their canoe under that of the latter, in order
that they might, with some hope of success, set up a claim to first
arrival. One by one the canoes reached these shores, the major part of
them making land in the vicinity of East Cape, thence sailing to the
north or to the south, as the whim of the captain or the divination of
the _tohunga_ decided their course. In this way they spread to
almost every part of the North Island, which they found already
peopled with the remnants of prior migrations, who were living in
peaceable possession. With these the warlike Vikings from the Pacific
fought and contended until they gained undoubted supremacy, thus
giving a starting-point to New Zealand history by establishing
ancestral lines from which all Maoris love to trace their descent.
These tribes soon became the dominant power in the land. The weaker
_tangata whenua_[5] were subdued and absorbed. Their traditions,
arts, and customs disappeared, except in so far as they may have
unconsciously influenced those of their conquerors. The latter grew in
strength and numbers, extending their influence far and wide, as they
marched towards the development of their national existence and their
final consolidation into the Maori race.

Unto these people was born, about the year 1768, a little brown babe
who was destined to become the great Te Rauparaha, chief of the
Ngati-Toa tribe.

[1] "The distinguishing characteristic of the Marquesan Islanders, and
that which at once strikes you, is the European cast of their
features--a peculiarity seldom observable among other uncivilised
peoples. Many of their faces present a profile classically beautiful,
and I saw several who were in every respect models of beauty"

[2] "I found that the Natives had not formed the slightest idea of
there being a state of future punishment. They refuse to believe that
the Good Spirit intends to make them miserable after their decease.
They imagine all the actions of this life are punished here, and that
every one when dead, good or bad, bondsman or free, is assembled on an
island situated near the North Cape, where both the necessaries and
comforts of life will be found in the greatest abundance, and all will
enjoy a state of uninterrupted happiness" (_Earle_).

[3] "It is most certain that the whites are the aborigines. Their
colour is, generally speaking, like that of the people of Southern
Europe, and I saw several who had red hair. There were some who were
as white as our sailors, and we often saw on our ships a tall young
man, 5 feet 11 inches in height, who, by his colour and features,
might easily have passed for a European" (_Crozet's Description of
the Maoris at the Bay of Islands_).

[4] The knowledge which the Polynesians possessed of the Southern sea,
and their skill as navigators, was such that when "the fleet" set out
from Rarotonga, they did not go to discover New Zealand, but they went
with the absolute certainty of finding it.

[5] "Man of the land, native, aboriginal." Probably these people were
a mixture of the Melanesian and Polynesian types.



If the genealogies of the Maori race can be relied upon, it may be
accepted as a fact that the immediate ancestors of Te Rauparaha came
to New Zealand in the canoe Tainui, which is said to have been the
first vessel of the fleet after the Arawa, prepared for sea. By an
unfortunate circumstance there sprang up between the crews of these
two canoes a fatal rivalry, which repeated acts of aggression and
retaliation were continually fanning into open ruptures, even after
they had landed and were widely separated on the shores of New
Zealand. This ill-humour, according to the tradition, was first
engendered by Tama-te-kapua, the chief of the Arawa, depriving the
Tainui of her high priest, Ngatoro-i-rangi, by inviting that renowned
_tohunga_ on board his vessel for the purpose of performing some
of the all-important ceremonies which the complex ritual of the Maori
demanded on such occasions, and then slipping his cable and putting to
sea before the priest had time to realise that he had been
deliberately led into a trap. But this act of treachery on the part of
the bold and unscrupulous captain cost him dear, and bitterly must he
have repented before the voyage was over his trifling with the dignity
of so consummate a master of magic as Ngatoro-i-rangi. But that story
belongs to the voyage of the Arawa. Of the voyage of the Tainui, under
Hoturoa, we know little; but presumably she had a comparatively
uneventful passage until she touched land at a point near the
north-east end of the Bay of Plenty, which her people named
Whanga-poraoa, for the reason that there they found a newly stranded
sperm-whale. But scarcely had they disembarked than a dispute arose
between them and the Arawas, who had beached their canoe at a spot
close by, as to the ownership of the carcase. The result of the debate
was an agreement, arrived at on the suggestion of a Tainui chief,[6]
that the crew which had first touched land should be the acknowledged
owners of the fish, and to establish the date of arrival it was
further agreed that they should examine the sacred places which each
had erected on the shore, and on which they returned thanks to the
gods for guiding them safely across the ocean. Here the ingenuity of
the Arawa people enabled them to outwit the Tainuis. While the latter
had built their shrine of green wood, the followers of Tama-te-kapua
had taken the precaution to dry the poles of their altar over the fire
before sinking them into the sand. Precisely the same process had been
applied to their hawsers, so that when the examination was made for
the purpose of determining priority of arrival the Arawa temple
carried with it the appearance of greater age, and the Tainuis,
without detecting the trick, conceded the point and yielded the prize
to their rivals.

 From a painting by K. Watkins, Auckland,
 by kind permission of the artist.]

Hoturoa then decided to make further explorations to the north, and
moved off in that direction with his canoe, to be followed a few days
later by the Arawa. The Tainui skirted the coast, noted and named many
of its prominent features as far as the North Cape, and then, as the
land terminated at this point, the canoe was put about and retraced
her course as far south as Takapuna.[7] Here a halt was called, and
exploring parties were sent out to ascertain if all the district
promised was likely to be realised. Upon ascending one of the many
hills[8] which mark the landscape in this particular locality, the
voyagers were surprised to observe flocks of sea-birds, some flying
over from the westward, others wheeling with noisy flight in mid-air.
To the experienced eye of the native, who had been bred on the borders
of the sea, this circumstance bespoke a new expanse of water to the
west. The canoe was once more launched, and on their crossing the
Wai-te-mata[9] harbour a critical examination of the eastern shore
revealed to the astonished visitors the fact that a narrow portage
existed at the head of the Tamaki River, over the ridge of which lay
another arm of the sea, apparently as wide and as deep as that which
they had just entered.

In the meantime they had been joined by the Tokomaru canoe, and the
joint crews decided upon the bold scheme of hauling their vessels over
the narrow portage at Otahuhu.[10] The Tokomaru was the first to be
taken across, and under the guidance of the chiefs she glided with
perfect ease and grace over the carefully laid skids into the deep,
smooth water. But when the drag-ropes were applied to the Tainui, pull
as they would, she remained fast and immovable. Tradition says that
Marama-kiko-hura, one of Hoturoa's wives, being unwilling that the
weary crews should proceed at once upon this new expedition, which the
chiefs were evidently projecting, had by her power as an enchantress
so rooted the canoe to the ground that no human strength could move
it. Against this supernatural agency the stalwart boatmen struggled
unavailingly, for, although there was a straining of brawny arms, a
bending of broad backs, and much vocal emulation, inspired by the
lusty commands of those in authority, the charm of the enchantress
could not be broken. In this distressful emergency the womanly
sympathy of a second wife of the chief was stirred within her, and
she, being even more gifted in the art of magic than her sister,
chanted an incantation so great in virtue that instantly the spell was
loosed and the wicked work of a disappointed woman undone.[11]

The song which was chanted on this memorable occasion has long since
been embalmed amongst the classics of the Maori, and has become the
basis of many another chant which is used while canoes are being drawn
down to the sea.

  "Drag Tainui till she reaches the sea:
  But who shall drag her hence?
  What sound comes from the horizon?
  The Earth is lighting up,
  The Heavens arise,
  In company with the feeble ones
  Welcome hither! Come, O joyous Tane!
  Thou leader and provider.
  Here are the skids laid to the sea,
  And drops the moisture now from Marama,
  Caused by the gentle breeze
  Which blows down from Wai-hi;
  But still Tainui stays,
  And will not move.
  Red, red is the sun,
  Hot, hot are its rays,
  And still impatient stands the host:
  Take ye and hold the rope,
  And drag with flashing eyes
  And drag in concert all.
  Rise now the power
  To urge. She moves and starts,
  Moves now the prow,
  Urge, urge her still."

Under the exhilarating influence of the singer's musical voice,
together with a profound faith in her skill as a mistress of magic,
the weary crews once more bent themselves to their task. Their renewed
efforts were rewarded with success; for with one vigorous pull the
canoe was seen to move, and was soon slipping and sliding on her way
to the bosom of the bay below.[12] Once fairly launched, the Tainui
was soon speeding her way to the open sea; and, having successfully
crossed the Manukau bar, she passed out into the Western Ocean to
battle with adverse winds and tides. Evidently, the physical features
of this coast were not greatly to the liking of the explorers. Unlike
the eastern side of the island, there were fewer shelving beaches and
favourable landing-places; the predominating aspect was high and
abrupt cliffs, fringed with jagged and evil-looking rocks, against
which the surf beat with deafening roar. The sea, too, was much more
turbulent; so that, after travelling only some eighty miles, the canoe
was headed for the sheltered harbour of Kawhia,[13] and there Hoturoa
and the tribes who accompanied him determined to bring their
wanderings to an end.

The canoe which had brought them safely over so many miles of open
ocean was hauled to a secure spot on the beach, there to await the
ravages of decay, the spot where she rested and finally rotted away
under the _manuka_ and _akeake_ trees being still marked by
two stone pillars,[14] which the natives have named Puna and Hani. The
next thing was to erect an altar to the gods for having thus far
prospered their journey. The spot chosen was that afterwards called
Ahurei, in memory of their old home in Tahiti;[15] and, doubtless for
the same sentimental and patriotic reason, the spot on which the wives
of Hoturoa first planted the _kumara_[16] was called Hawaiki. With
these preliminaries settled, the pilgrims from the east were now faced
with the most serious duty of all, to arrive at an equitable division
of the new land which was about to become their permanent home. What
method of adjudication was employed in the apportionment we cannot now
say; but two main divisions mark the final arbitrament. The Waikatos
occupied the country from Manukau in the north to the Marokopa River
in the south, while the tribe afterwards known as Mania-poto occupied
a domain which extended from that point to one about two miles south
of the Mokau River. Within these comprehensive boundaries was embraced
the acknowledged territory of the numerous sub-tribes; but to only two
of these need we refer at this stage, namely, to the Ngati-toa, who
lived on the shores of Kawhia Bay, and to the Ngati-Raukawa, who had
settled further inland, in the country of which Maungatautari is now
the centre.

When the Tainui people landed on the shores of Kawhia and began to
spread their settlements throughout the valleys of the district, they
did not find, as they might have expected, an empty land. At some
time, and by some means, man had already established himself in New
Zealand, and before the organised migration, of which the Tainui was a
part, had set sail from Rarotonga, the country was already extensively
peopled. Whether these _tangata whenua_, as the Maoris called
them, were Polynesians like themselves, and the fruits of some of the
prior migrations which are known to have taken place, or whether they
were a lower order of mankind struggling through the process of
evolution to a higher plane of civilisation, is a point which cannot
well be debated here. But whatever manner of men they were who lived
in the balmy climate of Kawhia, they were already well established
there in their villages and gardens, and for many generations--perhaps
for many centuries--they had been burying their dead in the secret
caves which honeycombed the limestone cliffs that rise in beetling
precipices sheer from the harbour's edge. Although they are generally
credited with being a less combative and virile race than the fierce
and hardy tribes who came with the fleet, they were not disposed to
surrender or divide their estate without a struggle, and Hoturoa found
that, if he was to become master of Kawhia, it could only be as the
outcome of a successful war. But Kawhia was a country worth fighting
for. Early travellers through New Zealand, who saw it before the
devastating hand of man had marred its beauties, speak with eloquent
enthusiasm of its extremely picturesque and romantic landscape.[17] At
full tide the harbour shines in the sunlight like an unbroken sheet of
silver, in which the green and gold reflections of the surrounding
bush are mirrored and magnified. For many miles in length and breadth
the sea runs inland from the bay's bar-bound mouth, stretching its
liquid arms right to the base of the mountains which encircle the
harbour like a massive frame. Rugged and picturesque are these
mountains, with their cloak of deep verdure, through which huge masses
of limestone rock protrude their white faces, suggesting the bastions
of some old Norman tower covered with gigantic ivy. So marked, in
fact, is this resemblance, that the character of the peaks has been
preserved in their name--the Castle Hills.[18] Down the sides of these
slopes run innumerable streams, the largest being the Awaroa River,
which enters the harbour at the north-east end, where the scenery
attains its most impressive grandeur. A little to the north-east of
Kawhia, and over the ranges, lies the broadly-terraced valley of the
Waipa, and between this district and the harbour stands "an ancient
and dilapidated volcano," called Pirongia, upon which the evening sun
directs its blood-red darts, lighting up its many peaks and towers
until they resemble a giant altar raised by some mighty priest. The
climate, too, is mild and soft, like that of Southern Spain, and there
the orange and the lemon might bud and blossom with all the
luxuriance found in the valleys of Granada.

Such was the home in which the people of the Tainui canoe sought to
gain a footing, when they abandoned their vessel; but these exiles
from far Hawaiki were yet to pass through the bitter waters of
tribulation before their arms were blessed with success and their
claims ceased to be contested. In the quaint language of an old
_tohunga_ we are told: "In the days of the ancient times the
descendants of those who came in the Tainui made war on the people who
had occupied the interior of Waikato. These people were called Te
Upoko-tioa, and were the people who had occupied the land long before
the Tainui arrived at Kawhia. These people were attacked by those who
came over in the Tainui. The men they killed, but the women were saved
and taken as wives by the Tainui. Those who attacked these people were
of one family, and were descended from one ancestor, who, after they
had killed the inhabitants of Waikato, turned and made war each on the
other--uncle killed nephew, and nephew killed uncle: elder killed the
younger, and the younger killed the elder."

Of the various battles which the Tainui people fought during the
conquest of their new home we have scarcely any account, beyond vague
and general statements of the most fugitive character. These,
unfortunately, do not afford us any wealth of detail, the possession
of which would enable us to picture in vivid colours the doughty deeds
by which the invaders overcame the strenuous resistance of the
_tangata whenua_, who maintained the struggle with the desperation of
men who were fighting for their very existence. The story of the
conquest of Kawhia may be regarded as lost in the misty distances of
the past, but it is not surprising to discover by shadowy suggestion,
such as quoted above, that, after the original inhabitants had been
effectually subdued, the turbulent nature of the Maori should lead to
devastating and sanguinary internecine wars. One of the traditions of
the Tainui tribes is that they left the South Pacific because of a
great battle called "Ra-to-rua," which originated in a quarrel between
Heta and Ue-nuku; and it would be quite unreasonable to expect that
they should suddenly forsake their warlike passions on reaching New
Zealand, a country in which there was so much to fight for. With the
Maori war had now become more than a passion: it had become part of
his nature; for, through all the long centuries of migration, the
story of the race had been one of incessant struggle with other races
and with circumstances. They fought their way into the Pacific, and
were in turn submerged under the tide of a second invasion, which gave
to the world a people inured to the hardships inseparable from strife,
who had tasted the bitterness of defeat as well as the joys of
victory--a proud and haughty race, sensitive to the slightest insult,
and so jealous of their honour that they were ever ready to vindicate
their fair name before the only tribunal to which they could
appeal--that of war. Steeped as they had been from birth in this
atmosphere of strife, they had grown to expect the clash of arms at
every turn, and, as they grew to expect it, they grew to love it. It
is small wonder, then, that, when they found their enemies at Kawhia
and its neighbourhood vanquished, they occasionally turned their hands
upon each other, in the attempt to efface some real or imagined wrong.

But, fatal to national progress as these inter-tribal wars must have
been, they, nevertheless, played an important and valuable part in
spreading the Maori over New Zealand. A tribe defeated in battle was
forced to fly before the pursuing enemy, with no alternative but
either to appropriate some district still unoccupied or to displace
some weaker people, upon whom the burden was cast of again
establishing themselves where and as best they could. Thus the tide of
fortune and misfortune rolled and recoiled from Te Reinga to Te
Ra-whiti, until an asylum was sought by the last of the refugees even
across the waters of Cook Strait. Although we have no accurate
information on the point, it is probable that these blood-feuds
contributed in no small measure to the ultimate distribution of the
Tainui people; for their subsequent history is eloquent of the fact
that, while they claimed common descent from the ancestral line of
Hoturoa, this family bond did not prevent hatred and hostility
springing up, and at times bathing their country in blood.

The first migration, however, of which we have any record did not
apparently ensue upon the result of a battle, although a quarrel was
its underlying cause. Hotu-nui, who was one of the principal chiefs of
the canoe, is said to have taken as his wife a daughter of one of the
_tangata whenua_, and was apparently living in the same village and on
terms of perfect friendship with her people. Having been wrongfully
accused of an act of petty thieving, he determined to rid the _pa_ of
his presence; and so, with one hundred of his immediate followers, he,
it is said, moved off towards the Hauraki Gulf. As the years rolled
on, and the systematic exploration of the country began to be
undertaken, many similar expeditions, no doubt, went out from the
parent home at Kawhia, one at least of which was fraught with fateful
consequences. A chief named Raumati,[19] whose story has been embalmed
in tradition, had taken a band of followers with him and travelled
across the island, past Rotorua, until he finally came to the shores
of the Bay of Plenty, where his mother's people lived. Here he was in
the Arawa country, and it was not long before he heard that their
canoe was lying at Maketu, some distance further to the southward. It
will be remembered that there had never been good feeling between the
Tainui and Arawa peoples, and Raumati determined upon an act which
would demonstrate beyond all doubt that he, at least, was not disposed
to hold out the olive-branch to Arawa. His scheme was to effect the
destruction of the great canoe which had brought the hated rivals of
his tribe to New Zealand. Once decided upon, his plan was put into
execution with a promptness worthy of a better cause. Travelling along
the coast from Tauranga to Maketu, he and his followers arrived at the
latter place when all its inhabitants were absent in quest of food.
But his trouble was that the Arawa had been berthed on the opposite
side of the Kaituna River, where she had been housed under a covering
of reeds and grass to protect her from the ravages of the weather.
Nothing daunted, however, Raumati soon proved that his ingenuity was
equal to the desperate circumstances in which he found himself placed.
Taking a dart, and attaching to the point of it a live ember, he
hurled the smoking stick across the water with unerring aim, and, to
his intense satisfaction, he saw the firebrand fall in the midst of
the combustible material which formed the covering of the canoe. The
fire was soon in full blast: the glare of the flames lit up the
surrounding country and was reflected in the red glow of the evening
sky. The first impression of the people out in the forest was that the
Maketu _pa_ had been destroyed; but in the morning they were
undeceived, for then they saw that it was their beloved canoe which
had been burned, and all that remained of her was a heap of glowing

The unanimous conclusion was that this had been the work of an enemy,
and messengers were sent far and wide to acquaint the tribesmen of the
fate of the canoe and call them to council upon the subject. At the
meetings the debates were long and serious, for the tribe was torn
between its desire to live in peace with all men and its natural
impulse to revenge the burning of the Arawa, which "they loved and
venerated almost as a parent." They remembered the injunction which
had been given to them by Hou when on the point of leaving Hawaiki: "O
my children, O Mako, O Tia, O Hei, hearken to these my words: There
was but one great chief in Hawaiki, and that was Whakatauihu. Now do
you, my children, depart in peace, and, when you reach the place you
are going to, do not follow after the deeds of Tu, the God of War: if
you do, you will perish, as if swept off by the winds; but rather
follow quiet and useful occupations, then you will die tranquilly a
natural death. Depart, and dwell in peace with all; leave war and
strife behind you here. Depart and dwell in peace. It is war and its
evils which are driving you hence: dwell in peace where you are going;
conduct yourselves like men; let there be no quarrelling amongst you,
but build up a great people."

These were, no doubt, excellent words of advice, and they expressed a
very noble sentiment; but the practical question which they had to
determine was whether they could afford to adopt an attitude of
passivity while these acts of aggression went on around them: whether
they should declare war on account of the destruction of their canoe,
or permit the act to pass without notice. This was the problem over
which they pondered; and, as they discussed and debated it, "impatient
feelings kept ever rising up in their hearts." But at last an end was
made of deliberation, the decision of the tribe being in favour of
battle as the one and only sufficient means by which they could be
compensated for the burning of their canoe. In the words of the old
tradition, "then commenced the great war which was waged between those
who arrived in the Arawa and those who came in the Tainui."[21]

[6] On this occasion Hotu-nui is credited with having addressed his
people in the following terms: "Friends, hearken! Ours was the
first canoe to land in New Zealand before any of you had arrived
here. But let this be the proof as to which of our canoes landed
first. Let us look at the ropes which the various canoes tied to the
whale now before us, and also let us look at the branches of the
trees which each have put up in building an altar, then the owners
of the rope which is the driest and most withered, and of the altar
the leaves of which are the most faded, were the first to land on the
coast of the country where we now reside."

[7] After the canoe left Whanga-poraoa the first stopping-place was
at Whare-nga, where the crew amused themselves with various
games on the beach. To mark the spot, one legend has it, they
placed one large stone on top of another, while a second story has
it that this monument, which is still existent and is called _Pohatu
Whakairi_, represents one of the crew who was turned into stone.
The next point of interest was Moe-hau, now known as Cape
Colville. They then landed at Te Ana-Puta, where, it is said, the
canoe was moored to a natural arch of rock jutting into the sea.
For some reason the anchor was left at a spot between Wai-hou
and Piako, and under the name of _Te pungapunga_ (the pumice
stone) is still to be seen on the coast by those who are curious
enough to look for it. The course was then deflected slightly to
the west, and the canoe crossed to Whaka-ti-wai and coasted along
the mainland past Whare-Kawa, where, it is said, Marama, one
of the wives of Hoturoa, desired to be put ashore with one of her
male slaves. Here they were left, and, according to one version of
the tradition, it was her misconduct with this slave which prevented
the crew dragging the Tainui over the portage at Otahuhu. The
canoe then went on, some accounts say, as far as the North Cape,
and others seem to imply that she was shortly afterwards put about
and, returning into the Hauraki Gulf, sailed past the islands of
Waiheke and Motu-Korea, until land was once more made at Takapuna.

[8] Now called Mount Victoria or "Flagstaff Hill."

[9] Waitemata may be interpreted as "the waters of volcanic obsidian,"
no doubt a reference to the eruptive disposition of Mount Rangitoto.

[10] Otahuhu signifies "ridge-pole." This portage is only 3,900 feet
long and 66 feet high.

[11] There are different versions of this tradition, some attributing
the transfixing of the canoe to Marama, others crediting her with
releasing it. The version given in the late Sir George Grey's
_Polynesian Mythology_ has been here adopted.

[12] Some authorities are of opinion that the Tainui was not taken
across the portage at Otahuhu (ridge-pole), and they base this
contention upon the fact that no traditional marks have been left
inside the Manukau harbour. All the points of interest which have been
handed down, and are remembered, are on the sea coast; and from this
circumstance it is argued that the canoe was never in Manukau harbour
at all. Others say that some of the skids of Tainui were left at South
Manukau Heads.

[13] As they were passing the mouth of the Waikato, the priest of the
canoe, noticing that the river was in flood, named it by calling out
"_Waikato, Waikato, kau_." Further on, noticing that there were
no landing-places, he threw his paddle at the face of the cliff and
exclaimed, "_Ko te akau kau_" (all sea coast). The paddle is said
to be still embedded in the face of the rock, and is one of the
traditional marks by which the course of the Tainui can be traced. At
the entrance of Kawhia Harbour they ran into a shoal of fish, and the
priest gave this haven its present name by exclaiming "_Kawhia
kau_." Another account is that the name comes from Ka-awhi, to
recite the usual _karakia_ on landing on a new shore, to placate
the local gods.

[14] The distance between these stones is 86 feet, indicating the
probable length of the Tainui canoe.

[15] Now called Te Fana-i-Ahurei (or, in Maori, Te Whanga-i-Ahurei,
the district of Ahurei).

[16] The Tainui brought the species of kumaras known as
_Anu-rangi_ (cold of heaven) and the _hue_ or calabash.
Those planted by Marama did not come up true to type, but those
planted by Whakaoti-rangi, another of the chief's wives, did.

[17] "I reckon this country among the most charming and fertile
districts I have seen in New Zealand" (_Hochstetter_).

[18] The natives call them Whenuapo.

[19] His full name was Raumati-nui-o-taua. His father was Tama-ahua,
who is reputed to have returned to Hawaiki from New Zealand, and his
mother was Tauranga, a Bay of Plenty woman.

[20] The date of this incident has been approximately fixed at
A.D. 1390, or forty years after the arrival of "the fleet."

[21] "It is to be presumed that Raumati's relatives and friends at
Tauranga made his cause their own, for they met the Arawa people
somewhere near Maketu, where a great battle was fought. Raumati's
party, though successful at first, were defeated, and their leader
killed by the power of _makutu_, or witch-craft, for Hatu-patu,
the Arawa chief, caused a cliff to fall on him as he retreated from
the battle, and thus killed him" (_Polynesian Journal_).



In one of the many sanguinary battles of those intertribal wars which
raged in Old New Zealand from this period down to the introduction of
Christianity, Werawera, the father of Te Rauparaha, was captured,
killed, and eaten. The subject of our sketch was at that time a mere
child, and the grim old warrior who had made a meal of Werawera was
heard to remark that, if ever the youngster fell into his hands, he
would certainly meet a similar fate, as he would make a delicious
relish for so great a warrior's _rau-paraha_. The _rau-paraha_ here
referred to was a juicy plant of the convolvulus family, which grew
luxuriantly upon the sand-dunes of the seashore, and was largely used
by the Maori of those days as an article of food. Such a tragic
association of the child with the plant was never forgotten by his
tribe, and it was from this circumstance that he derived that name
which has stood paramount amongst Maori _toas_[22] of all time--Te
Rauparaha--the convolvulus leaf. The branch of the Tainui people to
which Te Rauparaha belonged was the Ngati-Toa tribe, who have already
been described as occupying the country immediately surrounding the
shores of Kawhia harbour. Like all the other Tainui tribes, these
people claimed direct descent from Hoturoa, the admiral of the canoe;
but the ancestor from whom they derived their name was Toa-rangatira,
and from him Te Rauparaha was descended in a direct line on his
father's side. Werawera, however, had married a Ngati-Raukawa lady,
named Pare-kowhatu, and this fact, placing a bar sinister across Te
Rauparaha's escutcheon, destroyed in a measure the purity of his
pedigree from the Ngati-Toa point of view, although, as compensation,
it gave him an influence with the Ngati-Raukawa tribe, which in after
years carried with it fateful results.

The Ngati-Raukawa people were closely allied to Ngati-Toa by ties of
blood and friendship; for Raukawa, the ancestor who gave them name and
individuality as a tribe, was related to Toa-rangatira, both chiefs
being descendants of Raka, and through him of Hoturoa. This common
ancestry gave these two tribes a common interest and sympathy, which
were steadily increased by frequent inter-marriages; and to these
bonds they appear to have been faithful through all the varying
fortunes of their history. Conflicts between the Ngati-Toa and
Ngati-Raukawa tribes were less frequent than was the case with the
majority of the tribal families; and when the time came to mould their
affinities into a closer union, Te Rauparaha used this long-standing
friendship as the central argument, by which he eloquently sought to
convince Ngati-Raukawa that there was but one destiny for them and for

Te Rauparaha had two brothers and two sisters, all older than himself;
but none of them ever achieved a great position or reputation in the
tribe, except perhaps Waitohi[23], who might claim the reflected glory
of being the mother of that fiery and volcanic soul, Te Rangihaeata.
This chief, whose life enters largely into early New Zealand history,
rose to be the fighting lieutenant and trusted adviser of his more
famous uncle, and, in these questionable capacities, he was probably
the most turbulent spirit who crossed the path of Wellington's pioneer
colonists. Towards them he ever manifested an uncompromising hatred,
the one redeeming feature of his hostility being the absolute
frankness with which he proclaimed it.

Unfortunately but little is known of Te Rauparaha's boyhood.
Presumably he was brought up by his mother, after his father's death,
between the settlements at Maungatautari[24], where he was born about
the year 1768, and Kawhia, where his father's relatives lived. As he
grew in years, the greater part of his time was spent at Kawhia with
the Ngati-Toa tribe, by whom he was regarded as a hereditary chief and
as one of their future leaders. His influence with Ngati-Raukawa did
not commence until he had attained to early manhood; and the visits
which he paid to his kindred at Maungatautari during this period had
no military importance, and could only be regarded as interchanges of
friendship. His sojourns at Maungatautari were always welcome, for as
a boy he is said to have had a particularly sunny disposition, and to
have entered eagerly into all the amusements dear to the heart of
Maori children of that day. These enterprises frequently led him into
mischief, and into those moral pitfalls which beset the path of
high-spirited lads. But, for all his boisterous spirits, the boy never
failed to pay respect to his elders, and one of the marked
characteristics of his nature at this time was his willing obedience
to those who were entitled to give him commands. He was even known to
have performed services at the request of a slave, whom he might very
well have ordered to do his own work, since his birth and breeding
placed him far above the behests of a menial.

As Te Rauparaha grew to youth and early manhood he began to display
qualities of mind which soon attracted the attention of the leading
Ngati-Toa chiefs; but, strange to say, his mother was the last to
discern these exceptional talents in her son, and always maintained
that Nohorua, his elder brother, was the clever boy of the family.
These maternal expectations, however, were not destined to be

Before the introduction of Christianity amongst the Maori, it was the
custom to assign to a young chief some girl from his own or a
neighbouring friendly tribe as his wife. Neither of the parties most
directly interested in the alliance was consulted, and their feelings
or wishes were not considered to have any important bearing upon the
question. Such a system frequently led to unhappiness and
heart-burning, but in the case of Te Rauparaha, the choice made for
him proved to be a happy one, and Marore[25], a girl of tender grace,
made him an admirable wife. Of her he became extremely fond, and out
of this affection arose the first military enterprise which gave him
fame and reputation as a leader of men.

 [Illustration: _Photo by Jackson._

As not infrequently happened in Maori life, his own people had
prepared a great feast for some visiting tribesmen; but when the food
which had been collected for their entertainment was distributed to
the various families, Te Rauparaha observed with considerable
displeasure that the portion given to Marore was of the very plainest,
and contained no dainty morsel which she was likely to enjoy. The want
of consideration thus shown towards his child-wife preyed upon the
young chief's mind, and he speedily determined that, come what might,
he would find with his own hand the relish which his friends had
failed to provide. Accordingly he petitioned those in authority at
Kawhia to permit him to organise a war party for the purpose of
invading the Waikato country, where he hoped to take captive in
battle some warrior who would make a banquet for his bride. At first
his proposals were received with opposition, for the reason that he
was himself at this time in delicate health, and it was deemed prudent
that he should await recovery before embarking upon so desperate a
venture. Moreover, the tribe being then at peace with Waikato, the
chiefs were naturally reluctant to sanction any act which would
inevitably embroil them in a quarrel with their neighbours. But the
fiery enthusiasm which Te Rauparaha displayed for his own scheme, and
the persistency with which he urged its claims, overcame the
resistance of the tribal fathers, who thus acknowledged, for the first
time, the strength of the personality with whom they had to deal.

Armed with this authority, he at once set about marshalling his
forces, and his call to arms was eagerly responded to by a band of
young bloods equally keen for adventure with himself. The
_taua_[26] made its way safely to the nearest Waikato _pa_,
where the profound peace prevailing at the time had thrown the
defenders off their guard. In the belief that the visitors were on a
friendly journey, they invited their advance guard within the walls of
the village. Soon, however, the error was discovered; and the
inhabitants, realising the position, flew to arms with an alacrity
which sent the invaders flying through the gate of the _pa_. The
impetuous energy of the Waikatos, led by Te Haunga, induced them to
push the pursuit a considerable distance beyond the walls of their
stronghold; and it was the strategic use which Te Rauparaha made of
this fact that gave him the victory and established his claim to
leadership in future wars. Owing to the difficulty which he
experienced in walking, he had not been able to march with the
leaders, but was following with a second division of his men, when he
saw, to his dismay, his warriors being chased out of the _pa_.
His own force was as yet concealed behind an intervening hill, and,
quickly taking in the situation, he ordered his men to lie down
amongst the _manuka_ scrub, which grew to the height of several feet
beside the narrow track which they had been traversing. He saw that
the fugitives would follow this line, in order to rejoin him as
speedily as possible, and in this anticipation his judgment proved
correct. At full run they swept past, closely followed by the angry
Waikatos, who, having escaped from one trap, little dreamed how simply
they were falling into another. Close in his concealment, Te Rauparaha
lay until the last of the pursuing body had rushed by; then, bursting
from his hiding-place, he attacked them in flank and rear with such
vehemence that they were at once thrown into disorder. The tumult of
his assault checked the flight of the Ngati-Toas, and the Waikatos,
now wedged in between two superior forces, sustained heavy losses. Te
Rauparaha is credited with having slain four of his opponents with his
own hand, and the total killed is said to have numbered one hundred
and forty. Amongst these was Te Haunga, the principal chief of the
_pa_, who formed a specially valuable trophy in view of the purpose
for which the raid had been organised. His body was carried home to
Kawhia to provide the relish which Te Rauparaha so much desired for

Although this attack upon Waikato was only one of the many sporadic
raids so common amongst the Maori tribes, and could not be regarded as
a military movement of national importance, Te Rauparaha had conducted
it with so much skill and enterprise that his achievement became the
chief topic of discussion throughout the neighbouring _pas_, and,
in the words of an old narrator, "he was heard of as a warrior by all
the tribes." The fame which he had thus suddenly achieved, and the
desire to live up to his reputation, inspired him with a new sense of
responsibility, and he became a keen student of all that pertained to
the art of war as practised in his day. He was shrewd enough to see
the advantages attending military skill amongst a people with whom
might was right, and, even at that age, he was ambitious enough to
dream dreams which power alone would enable him to realise. He aimed
at making the acquaintance of all the great chiefs of the surrounding
tribes; and, when it was safe to visit them, he travelled long
distances to sit at the feet of these old Maori warriors, and learn
from them the subtle methods by which fields were won. These journeys
gave him a familiarity with the country and the people which was very
useful in the disturbed and precarious relations between Ngati-Toa and
the neighbouring tribes. In these warlike excursions, which were as
often of an aggressive as of a defensive nature, Ngati-Toa was not
invariably successful. But, even in their defeats, the reputation of
Rauparaha increased with his years, for he was ever turning to account
some new device of tactics or giving some fresh proof of his personal

Nor did he neglect to cultivate the good opinion of his tribe by
generosity in the discharge of his social duties. His bounty was never
closed against the stranger; and when he invited his friends to a
feast, his entertainment was always of the most lavish kind. Even to
his workmen he was strikingly considerate. He abolished the practice
indulged in by the field labourers of giving a portion of the food
provided for them to strangers who happened to arrive at the
settlement, by insisting that the kumara-planters should retain their
full ration and the strangers be fed with food specially prepared for
them. This unconventional liberality speedily created the desired
impression,[27] and became the subject of general remark amongst those
who were on visiting terms with the Kawhia chief. It even became
proverbial, for it was sometimes said of a benevolent Maori, "You are
like Te Rauparaha, who first feeds his workmen and then provides for
his visitors."

Reference has already been made to the fact that Te Rauparaha had been
in the habit of making frequent visits to parts of the country distant
from Kawhia, for the dual purpose of completing his education in the
art of warfare and of strengthening his personal relations with
influential chiefs, who might be useful to him in future diplomacy.
During one of these excursions he had proceeded as far as what is now
known as the Valley of the Thames, in the Hauraki Gulf, to pay his
respects to the chiefs of the Ngati-Maru[28] tribe, who were then both
numerous and influential in that part of the island. How much he was
esteemed by the leaders of this people may be judged by the fact that,
when he was about to return, they, amongst other gifts, presented him
with a firearm and a few cartridges, his first acquisition of the
kind. To us the gift of an old flintlock might seem a trivial
circumstance; but to a Maori, who was lingering on the fringe of the
Stone Age, such a weapon was a priceless treasure. So dearly were they
prized by the natives at this time that only the consideration of
warmest friendship could have induced the Ngati-Maru to part with even
one. There was in these rusty and erratic "fire-spears" that which
would before long revolutionise the whole system of native warfare;
and the shrewdest of the natives saw that the tribe which acquired the
largest number of guns in the least time would have an enormous
advantage in the field of battle.

For some years a few vagrant and adventurous voyagers, together with
the more honest whalers, had been making the Bay of Islands one of
their principal rendezvous; and in the desultory trade which had been
carried on between the crews and the natives, guns had first fallen
into the possession of the Nga-Puhi tribe. The deadly use which these
warriors had made of this new instrument of destruction, in their
skirmishes with their neighbours, had so impressed the native mind
that forces hitherto well-disciplined were seized with panic when
marched against guns, until it was felt by the inland tribes that such
weapons were absolutely indispensable to safety or victory.[29] Many
of the natives, whose curiosity had been aroused by the novel sights
which they had seen on the visiting whalers, had shipped as seamen
before the mast in the hope of seeing more of the great world from
which the _pakeha_ came. In this way they had been carried to Port
Jackson, where they had witnessed on a more extensive scale the
destructive power of the European weapons. Owing to the misjudged
generosity of the Sydney public, some had been able to bring a few
muskets back with them, while others had secured hatchets and
bayonets, which, fastened on the end of long handles, were soon
recognised as weapons vastly superior to the spears and _taiahas_ of
their fathers. These discoveries accentuated the desire to replace
their obsolete arms with others of a more modern type; and as a result
of the excessive demand thus created, the commercial value of a musket
rose in the market, until the traders asked, and the Maoris willingly
gave, as much as a cargo of flax for a single weapon. The effect of
this musket-hunger was to change completely the existing relations
between the _pakeha_ and Maori, going far to remove the estrangement
and distrust which had been generated between the two races. Up to
this time but little respect had been shown to the dark-skinned
natives of these far-away islands by the rude sailors who had visited
them; and in their contempt for the "niggers" they had been guilty of
many outrages which would have staggered humanity, had humanity been
able to grasp the full measure of their ferocity.[30] Retaliation,
culminating in the murder of Marion du Fresne and the burning of the
_Boyd_, followed upon outrage, and hatred, fed by misunderstanding,
was daily driving the two peoples further and further asunder.[31] But
the need and the hope of acquiring muskets suddenly changed all this,
for the natives now saw that it was necessary to their very existence
that they should cultivate the European, in order that they might
trade their flax and pigs for guns; while the white man, seeing that
he could procure these valuable products at so insignificant a cost,
was nothing loath to forget the many injuries which had been inflicted
upon his own race.

Thus the spirit of crime and revenge, which for years had darkened the
page of New Zealand's history, suddenly disappeared in the eagerness
for trade, and in its stead came the spirit of industry, which sent
countless natives toiling in the swamps and on the hill-sides,
preparing in feverish haste the fibre wherewith they might purchase
this new weapon of destruction. This mad rush for muskets did not
escape the keen observation of Te Rauparaha, who saw with unerring
precision what its ultimate effect must be. Had he been a resident of
the east coast there is little doubt that he too would have plunged
with enthusiasm into the fatal scramble, trusting to his natural
shrewdness and business acumen to secure for him a fair share of the
market's prizes. But he was at the outset placed at this disadvantage.
His country was on the west coast of the island, where the whalers and
traders seldom came; and the Ngati-Toa, unlike the Nga-Puhi, had few
or no opportunities of holding intercourse with the _pakeha_, from
whom alone the coveted muskets could be procured. It was therefore
with a heavy heart and sorely perplexed mind that Te Rauparaha
returned to Kawhia, for he knew with absolute certainty that so soon
as the Waikatos succeeded in arming themselves with firelocks it was
only a question of time when they would decide to attack him and his
people, in satisfaction for many an old grudge. Then the day would go
hard with Ngati-Toa, who could only encounter this new invasion with
stone clubs and wooden spears.

As the result of many years of intertribal wars the country
surrounding Aotea harbour, to the north of Kawhia, had become almost
denuded of population. A few inconsiderable _pas_ still remained,
but their defenders were so inefficient as to constitute a living
invitation to some stronger people to come down and exterminate them.
Thus it was not surprising that a section of the Ngati-Mahanga tribe,
whose home was at Raglan, should, after a successful raid in this
quarter, decide to permanently occupy so inviting a district. They
immediately attacked and drove out the feeble occupants, and then sat
down to enjoy the fruits of their conquest. This act of aggression was
hotly resented by Te Rauparaha, who could not suffer his allies to be
buffeted in so unceremonious a manner, and within an incredibly short
period of time he had his fleet of canoes on the water carrying a
_taua_ to Whanga-roa, where he met and decisively defeated
Ngati-Mahanga. The report of this Ngati-Toa victory soon spread
throughout the enemies' domain, and in due course reached the ears of
those branches of the tribe living at the mouth of the Waikato River,
who at once resolved to espouse the cause of their defeated friends.
Manning seven large canoes, they came down the coast with a
well-disciplined force under the renowned leader Kare-waho, and
landing at Otiki, they first demolished the _pa_ there and then
passed on to Ohaua, whither the fugitives had fled, and delivered
their attack upon that stronghold. No decisive result was achieved, as
the rupture appears to have been healed before victory crowned the
arms of either side, and the invaders were as eager to return as the
besieged were glad to see them go. But the peace thus hastily made was
as speedily broken, and a series of events was soon to ensue which was
fated to have far-reaching results. Shortly after the return of the
northern raiders a noted Waikato warrior, named Te Uira, came into the
disputed Aotea territory, and while there varied his sport as a
fisherman by killing a stray Ngati-Toa tribesman. On hearing of this
tragedy Te Rauparaha and a war party promptly went over and retaliated
by slaying Te Uira. Though to all appearances strictly within the code
of morality which sanctions the taking of a life for a life, the
Waikato people chose to regard this act as one of treachery, and the
magnitude of the crime was measured by the value of the life taken. Te
Uira was a man who had ranked high in their esteem. As a warrior and a
leader of men he was a _toa_, indeed, and his death was to them a
disaster. They therefore determined that the annihilation of Ngati-Toa
was the only adequate solace for their injured feelings, and on this
end they now concentrated their energies. War party after war party
was sent over to Kawhia, and many desperate battles were fought, out
of which Ngati-Toa seemed to emerge generally with success. But the
gloom of impending disaster was gathering round Te Rauparaha, for the
powerful Ngati-Mania-poto tribe became leagued with Waikato against
him; and, although he had no difficulty in defeating them singly when
they met, their coalition with his old enemy was a more serious
matter. Stung by a recent repulse at Ta-whitiwhiti, they hurried
messengers to all their distant friends, and in answer to their call a
combined force of 1,600 men under Te Rau-Angaanga, father of the more
famous Te Wherowhero, was soon marching against Kawhia's diminishing
band of defenders. Crossing the ranges, they soon fell upon the
Hiku-parea _pa_, which they invested at the close of the day. During
the night half their force lay concealed in ambush, and when the
garrison emerged in the morning to give battle to an apparently small
body of besiegers they were mortified to find themselves so hopelessly
outnumbered and outgeneralled that there was nothing left for them to
do but die as bravely as they might. The invaders then marched to
attack the great Te Totara _pa_, where Te Rauparaha was personally in
command, and here again the defenders were driven in before the swift
onslaught of the allies. But where his arms had failed him Te
Rauparaha's diplomacy stood him in good stead. He managed to soothe Te
Rau-Angaanga into agreeing to a truce, and a temporary peace was
patched up, only to be broken by the turbulent temper of the
Ngati-Toa, who saw no impropriety in committing fresh aggressions so
soon as their militant neighbours had returned home.

The position was thus becoming grave for Te Rauparaha, and in an
effort to stem the threatening disaster he sought to turn to some
practical purpose the influence and prestige which he had now gained
with the neighbouring chiefs. He suggested to his more trusted friends
amongst the Maori leaders the need and wisdom of a confederation of
all their tribes against the oppression of the Waikato people. But,
though conducted with consummate tact and skill, these negotiations
were destined to be futile. While all were friendly enough with Te
Rauparaha, mutual jealousies existed amongst the other tribes, which
destroyed any prospect of that unanimity and cohesion so essential to
the success of such a scheme. Nga-Puhi remembered how Ngati-Maru had
invaded their territory in days of old, and now that they were
possessed of muskets they saw a prospect of repaying the debt--a
chance much too promising to be lightly thrown away. Te Heuheu, the
great chief at Taupo, would not coalesce with Ngati-Maru, and the
Arawa still nursed their grudge against Tainui. These ancient
grievances, which never seemed to die, kept the tribes outside Waikato
apart, while the fact that Te Wherowhero had been able to form an
offensive and defensive alliance with the Blücher of Maoridom, Te
Waharoa, so strengthened his position that, after months wasted in
fruitless appeal, Te Rauparaha returned to Kawhia more than ever
convinced that if his tribe was to be spared the humiliation of
defeat, and perhaps annihilation, self-reliance must be the keynote of
his future policy.

During the next two years (1816-1818) Te Rauparaha devoted himself to
occasional excursions against Waikato, in which he was moderately
successful; but his more important operations at this period were
directed against the tribes of Taranaki. The peculiar ethics of Maori
warfare were largely responsible for the first of these southern
descents upon a people with whom he was now beginning to enjoy
considerable intercourse. A marriage had been celebrated between
Nohorua, his elder brother, and a Taranaki lady,[32] and by way of
commemorating the solemnity, a feast on a sumptuous scale had been
given to the bridegroom's friends. Te Rauparaha, with the generosity
for which he was at this time remarkable, was not slow to return the
compliment, and in the course of a few months he journeyed southward
to Te Taniwha _pa_, where Huri-whenua, the brother of Nohorua's
young wife, lived, bringing gifts of dried fish and other seasonable
foods. These social amenities led to still more intimate relations,
and at the end of the following kumara and taro harvest the chief of
Te Taniwha proceeded northward in his fleet of canoes on a promised
visit to Kawhia. A fair wind beating into their triangular sails
carried the canoes to within ten miles of their destination, and at
the close of day the fleet headed for the shore at Harihari. Next
morning they were met at their camp by Te Rauparaha and Rauhihi, who
assured them of a cordial welcome at Kawhia and then proceeded
overland to prepare their reception. In the meantime a rolling surf
had set into the bay where the canoes were beached, and in the
operation of launching them several were overturned and their crews
nearly drowned. This misfortune, which involved the loss of all the
food intended for the feast, angered Huri-whenua exceedingly, and he
adopted a strange but characteristically Maori-like method of seeking
balm for his injured feelings. Gathering a party of his people
together, he set off in pursuit of Te Rauparaha and his friend, and,
attacking them, succeeded in killing Rauhihi, but not Te Rauparaha,
who reached Kawhia after an exciting chase. His assailants, knowing
full well that this unprovoked attack upon their chief would excite
the indignation of Ngati-Toa, retired in haste to their home, which
they immediately began to place in a condition of defence against the
day when Te Rauparaha would return to seek satisfaction for the
contemptuous disregard of his hospitality and the menace offered to
his life. Nor were their precautions taken a moment too soon. Scarcely
had the walls been strengthened and the Waihi stream dammed up so as
to form a wide lake on one side of the _pa_ than Te Rauparaha
appeared, accompanied by Tuwhare,[33] one of the most celebrated
Nga-Puhi chiefs of his day. This was Tuwhare's first visit to the
south. He had gladly accepted the invitation to join the expedition,
for his purpose in coming to Kawhia had been to lead an invasion into
Taranaki territory, in order to secure some of the valuable mats, for
making which the people of that part were widely famed.

Tuwhare's contingent consisted of not more than two hundred men, but
they brought with them something which, at this period, was more to be
dreaded than men--the deadly musket. A few of these arms were carried
by the invaders, while the defenders had not as yet even heard of or
seen them.[34] The precautions of the garrison had robbed the
northerners of all hope of successfully capturing the _pa_ by assault,
and so they sat down to besiege it in the most leisurely fashion. For
several weeks besiegers and besieged watched each other across the
wide lagoon which had been formed by the waters of the Waihi. At last
Te Rauparaha and his people, growing weary of the enforced inactivity,
sent proposals of peace to Huri-whenua. These were accepted, and
subsequently ratified, but not before the pride of Ngati-Toa had been
salved by their insistence upon a quaint condition. Te Rauparaha,
recognising that the damming of the Waihi stream had been the means of
frustrating his plans, demanded that, before the siege was raised, the
dam should be removed. The point was conceded and the barrier broken
down; and, as the waters rushed back into their bed, the northerners
ostentatiously discharged their muskets in token of victory, and
"then," says a Maori chronicler, "this ignorant people of these parts
heard for the first time the noise of that weapon, the gun." The war
party remained for some time on amicable terms at Te Taniwha, and
before they had resolved to return home they were importuned to engage
in further aggressions by Te Puoho, of whom we shall hear more anon.
This warrior was a man of influence amongst the Ngati-Tama tribe, who
held what has been called "the gate of Taranaki"; and it was due to
the numerous connections by marriage between the northerners and
Ngati-Tama that the former had been permitted to pass unmolested to
the attack upon Te Taniwha. Te Puoho now sought recompense for his
friendship by enlisting the sympathies of the northern leaders in the
redress of his own grievances. He solicited their aid in an attack
upon Tatara-i-maka _pa_, the home of those who had been responsible
for the death of his sister not long before.

Obedient to Te Puoho's summons, and eager to secure mats and heads and
slaves, the war party marched upon the _pa_, which stood with its
terraced ramparts upon the sea-coast eleven miles south-west of New
Plymouth. Seeing the invaders approach, the defenders went out to meet
them, and gave them battle on the open space in front of the _pa_; but
the sound of the guns, and the sight of men falling as by the hand of
some invisible enemy, so terrorised the defenders that their lines
were soon broken, and they fled, a demoralised host, back to their
stronghold, which was immediately stormed and taken with great
slaughter. This incident inspired the following lament, which was
composed by one of the Taranaki people, in memory of those who fell at

  "Sweet is the Spring, the September month,
  When brilliant Canopus stands aloft,
  As I lay within my solitary house,
  Dazed with sad thoughts for my people
  Departed in death like a flash.
  To the cave of Rangi-totohu--
  Emblem of sad disaster--
  They are gone by the leadership
  Of Uru, of the fearsome name.
  'Twas there at the hill of Tatara-i-maka
  The foe advanced in wedge-like form,
  Whilst our gathered people bid defiance
  At the entrance of the _pa_,
  Where Muru-paenga[35] forced his way--
  The army-raiser, the leader--
  His was the fatal blow delivered,
  At the ascent of Tuhi-mata:
  Hence I am dried up here in sorrow."

From Tatara-i-maka the _taua_ moved southwards, attacking
Mounu-kahawai as they went. This _pa_ was taken under cover of
the smoke caused by firing the dry _raupo_ which grew in the
neighbouring swamps, and then Tapui-nikau was invested. Here the
defenders, though fighting only with their _rakau maori_, or
native weapons, made so gallant a resistance that not even the guns of
the invaders could penetrate it. They had filled the fighting towers
of the _pa_ with huge boulders and smaller stones, and the
branches of the trees which overhung the trenches were lined with men,
who handed the missiles to those best able to drop them upon the enemy
as they swarmed round the walls.[36] Changing their tactics, the
invaders drew off to a position which closed all communication with
the _pa_, and at the same time gave them complete control of the
surrounding country, so as to prevent the possibility of succour
reaching the beleaguered _pa_. It was during the respite from
active hostilities thus secured that there occurred one of those
strange incidents which, though common enough in Maori warfare, appear
so anomalous in the light of European custom. Te Ratutonu, one of the
defending chiefs, had been so conspicuous in repelling attacks that
his gallantry and skill in arms became the subject of universal
admiration throughout the northern camp. But not alone upon the men
had his bravery made its impression. Rangi Topeora, Te Rangihaeata's
sister, had witnessed his prowess, and, charmed by his handsome figure
and manly strength, had been seized with a desire to have the hero for
her husband. When the clash of arms had ceased, she persuaded her
uncle, Te Rauparaha, to have Ratutonu "called," a ceremony which was
performed by some one approaching the beleaguered _pa_, and under a
guarantee of safety, inviting the warrior into the camp. Ratutonu
obeyed the summons, and came down from the _pa_ to meet Topeora; and
to her he was married after the orators had delivered themselves of
speeches rich in eulogy of their new-found kinsman, and full of
admiration for the virtues of his bride.[37]

This unexpected union had raised a hope in the breast of the defenders
that the rigour of the siege would now be relaxed, and that peace
would be made as a fitting sequel to the romantic nuptials. In this
they were, however, doomed to disappointment, for the Nga-Puhi,
knowing that the food of the _pa_ must be failing, would listen
to no suggestion of compromise. But, moved by a more generous impulse,
Ngati-Awa, the Taranaki section of the allies, entered into secret
communication with the garrison, and finally arranged that the
defenders should be allowed to pass through their lines by night and
escape to the neighbouring hills. Next morning, great was the
excitement in the camp when it was discovered that there was neither
smoke ascending from the fires nor sound from the ramparts of the
_pa_. The enemy had slipped from under their very hand; had flown
from under their very eyes; and, as Ngati-Awa kept their own counsel,
there was not a trace to show or suggest how the trick had been
accomplished. Nothing, therefore, remained for the outwitted besiegers
to do but avail themselves of what plunder had fallen into their
hands, and make the best of their way back to their homes.

Upon the return of the _taua_ to Kawhia, its composite forces
separated and departed to their respective districts, but not before
the plans of a still more extensive campaign had been discussed. These
operations, however, did not commence for a year, and, in the
meantime, the seriousness of his position in relation to the Waikato
people was more than ever apparent to Te Rauparaha, whose inability to
come into contact with the whalers, and the consequent difficulty he
experienced in becoming possessed of muskets, brought him much
"darkness of heart." But, as he meditated, his anxiety of mind was to
some extent relieved by the arrival at Kawhia of the northern portion
of the war party, the raising of which had previously been agreed
upon. In accordance with this arrangement, Tuwhare, accompanied by
Patuone, and his brother, that picturesque figure in Maori history,
Tamati Waka Nene[38]--whose influence and eloquence were subsequently
to be so powerfully used to secure the acceptance by the natives of
the Treaty of Waitangi--left Hokianga in November, 1819, and
proceeding by a circuitous route which embraced the country of the
Waitemata, reached the home of Te Rauparaha, and found there a force
of four hundred men waiting to welcome them.

 [Illustration: BURNING OF THE "BOYD."
 From a painting by W. Wright, Auckland,
 by kind permission of the artist.]

Accredited estimates give the strength of the combined contingents
at fully one thousand men, and they were armed with a greater number
of muskets than had ever previously been carried into the field by any
Maori organisation. A further distinction was the presence of many
leaders whose deeds were to be deeply imprinted upon the records of
Maori history. Each tribal section was under chiefs who are
acknowledged to have been amongst the classic warriors of their time;
so that, in the matter of skilful direction and heroic example, the
_taua_ might consider itself more than usually fortunate. The primary
purpose of the expedition appears to have been no more than a love of
adventure and a desire to kill and eat a few of their enemies; but
embraced within this scheme was a secondary motive, which involved the
redress of a grievance which Te Puoho had acquired against the
Whanganui people, whom he considered accountable for a slight put upon
his daughter. The friendly relations which prevailed between Ngati-Toa
and Ngati-Tama ensured the war party an uncontested passage through
"the gate of Taranaki"; and, although Ngati-Awa assembled to oppose
them, they were satisfied to desist, upon Te Rauparaha consenting to
pay the tribute of ownership by requesting permission to pass through
their territory.

The first important halt was made at Manu-korihi, on the north bank of
the Waitara River, where a stay of some length was made for the
purpose of finally determining the order of their plans. The
Manu-korihi people became deeply interested in the muskets which the
visitors had brought with them; and curious to observe their
effect--at the expense of some one else--they persuaded Te Rauparaha
and his friends to commence hostilities against the famous
Puke-rangiora _pa_, whose inhabitants had been guilty of some
cause of offence. The invitation to attack the great stronghold was
accepted with alacrity; but when the war party presented themselves
before the walls, they found it so strongly fortified and so keenly
defended that discretion dictated a less valiant course, and so they
passed Puke-rangiora, and went over the mountain track to Te
Kerikeringa in search of a meaner enemy. This _pa_ was a central point
in the system of defence set up by Ngati-Maru, who had established
populous settlements and made great clearings in the forest east of
the present town of Stratford. Their great fighting chief was
Tutahanga, who in former days had subdued the pride of both the
Waikato and the Nga-Puhi. Now he was old, but his martial bearing was
still such that, when the invaders inquired of their guides how they
might distinguish him from those of inferior rank, they were told, "He
is a star."

Graced by the red plumes of the tropic bird, the northerners moved up
to the attack, but were met with so stout a resistance by the
defenders, who had donned the white feathers of the sacred crane,
that, in spite of their muskets, their combination broke, and they
retired in disorder to the western slopes, where they were compelled
to resort to the tactics of a regular siege. From these heights, which
dominated the _pa_, they were occasionally able to shoot down an
unwary defender who exposed himself to their fire; but they did not
rely entirely upon this method of fighting to effect their conquest.
Frequent assaults were made upon the gateway, in one of which they
succeeded in shooting Tutahanga, and in another Patu-wairua, his
successor in command. Before his death, Patu-wairua, persuaded that
the _pa_ could not hold out much longer, desired to make peace if
possible; but his conciliatory views were overruled by the less
diplomatic leaders of the tribe. Patu-wairua then sat down and sang a
lament for his people, whose impending fate he deplored with all the
affection of a father. In the next sally he was killed in the
fore-front of the fighting line, bravely sustaining the unequal
contest, in which the _mere_ was matched against the musket.

With their two great leaders gone and many of their tribesmen dead, a
feeling of depression settled down upon the garrison, whose position
was daily growing less secure. But while they were sinking under the
weariness begotten of incessant vigilance, a Maori-like episode
occurred, in which the arts of the women were employed to do that in
which the stalwart arms of the men had failed. As a last device, the
Ngati-Maru generals hit upon the idea of sending all the young women
of the _pa_ into the camp of the invaders, to beguile the warriors
with their charms, and so induce them temporarily to relax the
severity of the siege. History does not record the fate of these
maidens of Te Kerikeringa; but they deserve at least a certain
immortality. For during the diversion thus caused the _pa_ was
silently evacuated, the survivors of the siege making their escape
across the Waitara River along the Tara-mouku Valley, and through the
dense forest which stretched for many miles into the heart of the

The tidings that Kerikeringa had fallen spread with such rapidity
that, before the rejoicings of the victors had concluded, the tribes
to the southward had succeeded in concealing themselves within their
mountain fastnesses. Consequently we hear of no conflicts with
Ngati-Ruanui or Nga-Rauru, as the victorious _taua_ passed over
the old forest track which leads out into the open country near the
town of Normanby. This peaceful passage was not interrupted until they
reached the Whanganui River, where they found the resident tribes
drawn up in battle array to oppose them at the Turua _pa_. This
_pa_ was situated on the eastern bank of the river, a little
above the present town of Whanganui; but, in reaching it, the
northerners were faced with a serious initial difficulty, inasmuch as
they had no canoes of their own, and Te Anaua, of Whanganui, had taken
the precaution to remove his flotilla to the opposite shore. But the
ingenuity of Tuwhare and Te Rauparaha was equal to an emergency of
that kind. Ordering their men into the neighbouring swamps, they
employed a month in cutting dry _raupo_ leaves, out of which they
constructed a _mokihi_ fleet, and on these vegetable rafts the
whole force was eventually transported across the wide and deep
river. The capture of the _pa_ was a work of no great difficulty; for
here, as elsewhere, the muskets exercised their terrifying influence
upon natives coming into contact with them for the first time.

Southward the march was once more directed, and skirmishes followed
with Ngati-Apa in the Whangaehu and Rangitikei districts. No
protracted fighting was possible where the panic-stricken inhabitants
fled before the all-destroying guns. Across the Rangitikei the
_taua_ passed into the fertile district of the Manawatu, which
since the traditional days of Whatonga had been the home of the
Rangitane people. Of this hostile descent upon the coast the Rangitane
people declare that they, secure in their mountain fortresses, heard
nothing until the arrival of the war party at Otaki. Thither some of
the children of Toki-poto, the chief at Hotuiti, near Awahou (Foxton),
had gone on a visit to their friends; and there they met Te Rauparaha,
who inquired of them the whereabouts of their people and the number
and strength of their _pas_.

The patronising and fatherly demeanour which this warrior could
assume[39] when his ends were better served by the concealment of his
true purpose completely won the confidence of the lads, and, in their
innocence of the man, to whom they were confiding the secrets of the
tribe, they readily told him all that he wished to know. When the
desired information had been obtained some of Te Rauparaha's followers
proposed, as a precautionary measure, that the children should be
killed; but Te Rauparaha, more far-seeing than they, interposed, for
he had not yet exhausted their usefulness. In the depths of his
cunning he had conceived the idea of making the children of Toki-poto
the instruments by which that chief should be delivered into
Ngati-Toa's hands. Accordingly, he resisted the demand for their
blood, saying, "No, let them alone, they are only children. Rather
let us go and take Toki-poto out of the stern of the canoe." This was
his expressive and figurative method of conveying to his warriors that
he sought a more valuable trophy than the life of a child, and that he
had resolved upon no less a scheme than the assault of the Hotuiti
_pa_. To Mahuri, the eldest son of Toki-poto, he then turned, and in
dulcet tones he said, "Go to your father, I will see him."

Accompanied by the Ngati-Toa warriors and their leader, the lad led
the way to a small lake _pa_ at Hotuiti, whither Toki-poto had
gone with the major portion of his people from their main settlement
on the banks of the Manawatu River. The _pa_ itself was built on
one of the many miniature islets which dot the face of the lake; and,
while Te Rauparaha and his followers lurked in the bush which fringed
the margin, he sent the unsuspecting Mahuri to tell his father that Te
Rauparaha wished to talk with him. The first thought to arise in the
mind of the Rangitane chief was one of suspicion, and he at once
exclaimed, "No, I will not go. I shall be slain." But the boy, into
whose good graces Te Rauparaha had completely ingratiated himself,
ridiculed these fears, and urged his father to go. To these entreaties,
and possibly to fears of retaliation if he did not comply, Toki-poto
at last yielded, and, taking a few of his people with him, went in his
canoe, unarmed, to welcome his visitor.

Scarcely had they reached the edge of the wood when they were set upon
by the secreted warriors, and in the massacre which followed the chief
and a number of his followers were killed, the remainder, with the
exception of two, being taken prisoners. The two who escaped were
Mahuri, the innocent cause of the disaster, and Te Aweawe, the father
of the well-known family who still reside upon the Rangitane lands in
the Manawatu. Side by side with Toki-poto, there fell that day another
chief named Te Waraki, whose greenstone _mere_, a weapon famous
in the annals of the tribe, was buried on the site of the massacre by
the mourning people, and there it remained hidden for full sixty
years, until it was discovered in 1882.

Strange to say, Te Rauparaha did not press the advantage gained by the
removal of Hotuiti's chief by attacking the _pa_, but contented
himself with carrying off his prisoners to Otaki, where he rejoined
Waka Nene. Here the two chiefs rested for a time, pursuing vigilant
inquiries into the number and disposition of the resident tribes. They
visited for the first time the island stronghold of Kapiti, and found
it in the possession of a section of the Ngati-Apa people, under the
chieftainship of two men named Potau and Kotuku. The visit was made
with a simulation of friendship, for the time was not ripe for an
attack; and the northerners were satisfied for the moment with
examining the strategical features of the island, and extorting from
Potau and Kotuku a considerable quantity of the greenstone which they
had accumulated during the course of their traffic with the Ngai-Tahu
of the South Island.

Refreshed by their sojourn at Otaki, and considerably enlightened as
to its military possibilities, the northern war party then pushed on
southwards, fighting as they went, first at Wai-mapihi, a fortified
_pa_, the remains of which are still to be seen not far from the
Puke-rua railway station. The _pa_ was captured, it is said, by
treachery suggested by Te Rauparaha, and the Muaupoko, whose valour
had defied the most desperate efforts of their assailants, were hunted
in and through the bush by their fierce pursuers. Here, and at
Porirua, a number of canoes fell into the hands of the invaders, some
of whom now decided to vary the monotony of the land journey by the
exhilaration of the sea route. This determination ended disastrously.
Ignorant of the silent currents and treacherous tides of Cook Strait,
the Nga-Puhi men of two canoes were swamped while taking the outer
passage in rounding Sinclair Head, and fully one hundred of them were
drowned. The remainder of the canoes, steering a course inside the reefs,
escaped the danger of shipwreck, and reached Whanganui-a-Tara[40]
almost simultaneously with the party who had journeyed by land.

The country surrounding this great basin was then held by the
Ngati-Ira, a sub-branch of the Ngati-Kahungunu tribe, whose
possessions practically extended from Gisborne to Cape Palliser, on
the eastern side of the North Island. They were a brave and numerous
people, and when their _pa_ at Pa-ranga-hau was attacked, they
fought with a desperation which extorted admiration even from their
enemies. Though considerable numbers of Ngati-Ira were killed in this
conflict, Nga-Puhi did not escape scatheless; for one native account
says: "Ngati-Ira charged them in the face of the flames of their
muskets, and with their native weapons killed many Nga-Puhi." Hunger
was now beginning to assert its inconvenience; and the war party were
at this time compelled to live exclusively on the flesh of their
slaves, of whom large numbers were killed, each chief undertaking
successively to provide the necessary supply. Disease also attacked
their camps, of which there were two; and some mysterious pestilence
was responsible for the death of many warriors and several chiefs,
whose heads were preserved and their bodies burned, to prevent them
falling into the hands of the enemy. Scarcely had the stricken host
recovered from the prevailing sickness than the Ngati-Ira swept down
upon the bivouac at Te Aro in the dead of night, and, in the first
shock of the surprise, inflicted sore loss upon the sleeping warriors.
Thanks to their guns, the northerners were ultimately successful in
beating off the attack, and immediately afterwards the pas which
skirted the harbour were deserted by their inhabitants, who, reluctant
to accept the responsibility of battle under such unequal conditions,
beat a stealthy retreat into the Hutt Valley, whither the northern
chiefs followed them, though their force was now only a remnant of
what it had formerly been. They travelled by canoe up the river which
waters the valley, and, as they went, the resident people, confident
in their numbers, collected along the banks to jeer at them, and
contemptuously invited them on shore to be eaten.

The details of this campaign are but a repetition of successive
slaughters; for the panic created by the strange sound and deadly
power of the gun left the unhappy defenders no spirit to resist the
onslaughts of their assailants. For several weeks they remained in the
valley, guided from _pa_ to _pa_ by their slaves, who, to
save their own lives, were forced to sacrifice those of their
tribesmen. Every nook of the dark forest was penetrated, and even the
steeps of the Rimutaka Range were climbed in vengeful pursuit of the
fugitives. In connection with these manoeuvres the reputation of Te
Rauparaha has again been besmirched by suggestions of treachery--and
treachery of the blackest type; for nothing could be more hurtful to
the honour of a high chief than that he should prove faithless while
feigning hospitality. It has been recorded by the Nga-Puhi chroniclers
that, as they pushed on through the forest, they came upon a strongly
built and populous _pa_, which left some room for doubt as to
what the issue of an attack would be. To tempt the warriors into the
open was the policy advocated by Te Rauparaha, and to achieve this end
he sent messengers to the Ngati-Ira chiefs with offers of peace. To
render the bait more seductive, a feast was prepared, to which the
warriors of the Hutt were invited; and, on assembling, a northern man
sat down beside each one, prepared at a sign from their chief to
spring upon the unsuspecting guests. Into the _marae_ the women
brought the food, and, as the unsuspecting Ngati-Ira were revelling in
the delights of the banquet, the fatal signal was given by Te
Rauparaha, and a massacre commenced, which ended only with the capture
of the _pa_ and the rout of its inhabitants.[41] Whether the name
of Te Rauparaha will ever be cleared of this odious imputation which
the Nga-Puhi record has branded upon it is uncertain. But, as a
counterpoise, it must be remembered that those who have made the
accusations were at least willing participators in the schemes which
they ascribe to him, and that, if the plans were his, the execution of
them was undoubtedly theirs.

Having exhausted the field of conquest open to them in the valley of
the Hutt, the war party returned to the harbour where their canoes
were beached, and, undeterred by the fact that their numbers had now
dwindled to less than three hundred, they set off by sea for Palliser
Bay, by which route they had determined to enter the Wairarapa. A
successful reprisal by the Ngati-Kahungunu tribe, who had cut off and
annihilated a small party of the northerners, was the immediate
justification for this new development in the plans of Tuwhare and Te
Rauparaha. The opposing forces met at the Tauhere Nikau _pa_,
near Featherston, which was strongly fortified and bravely defended;
but the muskets which these rude imitators of Cortés carried with them
were here, as elsewhere, sufficient to spread consternation through
the opposing ranks, and the _pa_ soon fell before the Ngati-Toa
assault. Numbers of the besieged escaped to the hills, where they
suffered the biting pangs of hunger, and the bitterness of soul
inseparable from the aftermath of war.[42] Others, keeping to the open
country, were pursued as far as Porangahau, in Hawke's Bay; and then
the war party, weary of their bloody work, made their way back to
Tauhere Nikau, where they spent some days demonstrating their contempt
for the enemy by eating the bodies of the slain.

When hunger and tribal hatred had been sated, the victorious warriors,
observing ominous signs of a gathering storm, returned to the west
coast, and remained for a few days' rest at Omere.[43] While here,
the eagle eye of Waka Nene descried a vessel[44] in full sail beating
through Cook Strait. To the quick intellect of the chief, the sight of
the ship opened up in an instant fresh possibilities; for he knew what
intercourse with the _pakeha_ had done for the Nga-Puhi, and he saw no
reason why the same advantages should not be shared by his friend and
ally, Te Rauparaha. Doubtless that chief had confided his fears to
Waka Nene, and they had probably consulted long and anxiously as to
the growing weakness of the position at Kawhia. When, therefore,
Tamati beheld the passing ship, he saw at a glance that, if this part
of the coast was frequented by vessels of the white man, it offered
the same facilities for obtaining arms and ammunition which Hongi
enjoyed at the Bay of Islands. With unrestrained excitement he called
out to his comrade: "Oh, Raha,[45] do you see that people sailing on
the sea? They are a very good people; and if you conquer this land and
hold intercourse with them, you will obtain guns and powder and become
very great." This optimistic little speech was apparently all that was
required to confirm Te Rauparaha in his growing desire to take the
decisive step of migrating with the whole of his people from the
storm-threatened Kawhia; and when the chief turned his face towards
home, it was with the full resolve to come back at the first
convenient season and make the country his own.

The homeward journey was characterised by the same ruthless behaviour
towards the resident people which had been practised on the way down,
those who were captured being killed and eaten without any
unnecessary ceremony.[46] What occurred within the confines of the
Manawatu district we do not know, because the present-day
representatives of the Rangitane people declare that they saw and
heard nothing of the invaders. As they proceeded further north,
however, we hear more of them; for while they were in the Rangitikei
district an incident occurred which it suited the Ngati-Apa people not
to forget. In one of the many excursions made into the interior in
search of prisoners, a young chieftainess, named Pikinga, was captured
by a party of Te Rangihaeata's men. Pikinga was the sister of Arapata
Hiria, the Ngati-Apa chief against whom Waka Nene and Te Rauparaha
were operating at the moment; and, if the gossip of the day is to be
believed, she was possessed of no mean personal charms. She, at least,
was attractive enough to captivate the most ruthless of the party, for
it was not long before Te Rangihaeata fell a victim to her charms and
made her his wife.

Whether this was merely a passing whim on the part of an amorous young
warrior or a move in a much deeper game of diplomacy, it would be
difficult to say at this distance of time, particularly as each tribe
now imputes to the action of the chief a different motive. The
Ngati-Apa claim, with some insistence, that the marriage was the
expression of a bond of perpetual peace between them and Te Rauparaha:
while the Ngati-Raukawa, to whose lot it fell some fifty years later
to contest the point, contend that no such wide construction could be
put upon Rangihaeata's action, and that, even if it involved the
tribes in a treaty of friendship at the time, the compact was
subsequently denounced by Te Rauparaha on account of the treachery of
Ngati-Apa. It is quite within the region of possibility that Te
Rauparaha, having regard to the political aspect of the situation,
would, so soon as he had measured their strength, lead the Ngati-Apa
to believe that he desired to cultivate their goodwill; because
immediately he had determined to seize the country opposite Kapiti, he
would perceive the wisdom of having some friendly tribe stationed
between him and his northern enemies, upon whom he could rely to
withstand the first shock of battle in the event of a Waikato
invasion. Such tactics would not be foreign to the Ngati-Toa leader,
for that part of his life which was not spent in battle was occupied
in the development of schemes whereby the efforts of one tribe were
neutralised by the efforts of another; and if he could make pawns of
the Ngati-Apa, he would chuckle to himself and say, "Why not?"

But Te Rauparaha was not the man to seriously contemplate anything in
the way of a permanent peace with Ngati-Apa, or with any one else whom
he felt strong enough to destroy. And even assuming that he encouraged
them in the belief that Rangihaeata's devotion to Pikinga was a common
bond between them, he would not dream of maintaining such an
understanding a moment longer than it suited his purpose. It seems,
therefore, more likely that, when he satisfied himself that the people
of the Rangitikei were no match for his own warriors, and that he
could subdue them at his leisure, he was at some pains to impress them
with a sense of his magnanimity, but only because he desired to use
them as a buffer between himself and the Waikatos. Years afterwards,
when he felt secure against invasion, he repudiated all friendship
with Ngati-Apa, and ordered his people to wage eternal war against
them. The claim which the Ngati-Apa subsequently made to the land in
the Rangitikei-Manawatu districts, on the ground that they were never
conquered by the Ngati-Toa, because this marriage protected them from
conquest, was therefore not well founded, the ordinary occurrence of a
chief taking a captive woman to be his slave-wife being invested with
a significance which it did not possess. Upon the consummation of
this happy event, the war party, laden with spoil and prisoners, made
their way back to the north. When they reached Kawhia, after an
absence of eleven months, Tuwhare being dead,[47] Waka Nene, who had
now assumed command of the northern contingent, took his leave of Te
Rauparaha, and Te Rauparaha prepared to take leave of the land of his

[22] Braves.

[23] Waitohi had other children, one of whom, Topeora, afterwards
became the mother of Matene Te Whiwhi, one of the most influential and
friendly chiefs on the west coast of the North Island. Topeora is
perhaps more famed than any other Maori lady, for the number of her
poetical effusions, which generally take the form of _kaioraora_,
or cursing songs, in which she expresses the utmost hatred of her
enemies. Her songs are full of historical allusions, and are therefore
greatly valued. She also bore the reputation of being something of a
beauty in her day.

[24] There appears to be some doubt as to the exact locality of Te
Rauparaha's birth, some authorities giving it as Maungatautari and
others as Kawhia.

[25] Marore was killed by a member of the Waikato tribe--it is said,
at the instigation of Te Wherowhero--while she was attending a
_tangi_ in their district, about the year 1820.

[26] War party.

[27] The traditional accounts of the Maoris have it that at this
period Te Rauparaha was "famous in matters relative to warfare,
cultivating generosity, welcoming of strangers and war parties."

[28] This tribe was afterwards partially exterminated during the raids
of Hongi and Te Waharoa.

[29] "When Paora, a northern chief, invaded the district of Whanga-roa,
in 1819, the terrified people described him as having twelve muskets,
while the name of Te Korokoro, then a great chief of the Bay of
Islands, who was known to possess fifty stand of arms, was heard with
terror for upwards of two hundred miles beyond his own district"

[30] "If we take the whole catalogue of dreadful massacres they (the
New Zealanders) have been charged with, and (setting aside partiality
for our own countrymen) allow them to be carefully examined, it will
be found that we have invariably been the aggressors: and when we have
given serious cause of offence, can we be so irrational as to express
astonishment that a savage should seek revenge?" (_Earle_).

[31] Marsden, writing of this time, says that such was the dread of
the Maoris that he was compelled to wait for more than three years
before he could induce a captain to bring the missionaries to New
Zealand, as "no master of a vessel would venture for fear of his ship
and crew falling a sacrifice to the natives." As an extra precaution,
all vessels which did visit the country were supplied with boarding

[32] Whare-mawhai, sister of Huri-whenua, chief of the Ngati-Rahiri,
who lived at Waihi, four or five miles north of Waitara.

[33] Tuwhare belonged to the Roroa branch of the Nga-Puhi tribe.

[34] When the musket was first introduced into Taranaki, a slave was
very anxious to know how it was used. A Nga-Puhi warrior explained to
him the method of loading and priming, then told him to look down the
muzzle. The slave did so, whereupon the Nga-Puhi pulled the trigger,
and the top of the unfortunate slave's head was blown off, much to the
amusement of the surrounding crowd.

[35] Associated with Tuwhare and Te Rauparaha in this raid was another
and equally famous chief, named Muru-paenga. That he was a great
warrior is proved by the fact that his enemies speak of him in the
lament already quoted as "the army-raiser, the leader," while his
friend Te Taoho, in a _tangi_ composed after his fall, refers to
his "warlike eloquence," and compares him to "a richly-laden vessel,
with all knowledge and great courage." But Muru-paenga is not merely
famed in song, for his achievements have in a measure passed into
proverb. In the taking of _pas_, one of his favourite stratagems
was to stealthily approach the enemy's fort at nightfall, and pounce
upon it with the first light of dawn. This involved the sleeping of
his men amongst the tender ferns growing on the outer edge of the
bush, which in the morning necessarily bore a trodden-down appearance,
a fact which did not escape the keen observation of those who had oft
been the victims of his tactics. Consequently, when Muru-paenga was
killed by Nga-Puhi in 1826, the joyful news went through the country
which he had previously devastated, and the saying was composed, in
significant suggestion that the ferns and the people would no longer
be crushed, "Rejoice, O ye little ferns of the woods, Muru-paenga is

[36] "During the siege, Tawhai (afterwards Mohi Tawhai), father of the
late Hone Mohi Tawhai, M.H.R., who was with the northern contingent of
the taua in the attack, was close under one of the towers of the
_pa_ when one of the defenders hurled a big stone at him which
split open his head. But by careful doctoring he recovered--careful
doctoring according to Maori ideas meant that they poured hot oil into
the wound and then sewed it up" (_Polynesian Journal_).

[37] Topeora did not secure her husband without a struggle, for
another lady, Neke-papa, had also taken a fancy to the handsome
warrior, and as Te Ratutonu was leaving the _pa_, a dispute arose
as to which should have him. But Topeora, being fleet of foot, ran to
meet the advancing warrior, and cast her _topuni_, or dog-skin
mat, over him, "and this being in accordance with Maori custom, Te
Ratutonu became the husband of Topeora."

[38] His home was on the banks of the Hokianga River, on the western
side of the country, opposite to the Bay of Islands. He afterwards
became a convert to the Wesleyan Mission, and received at his baptism
the prefix "Thomas Walker" to his old Maori name of Nene, hence the
name by which he is known in history--Tamati Waka Nene.

[39] The late Hon. J. W. Barnicoat, who knew Te Rauparaha well, has
assured the writer that when it suited him the wily old chief could
"lend a most angelic expression to his countenance."

[40] Now known as Wellington.

[41] "All these works of treachery, ambushes, murders, and all these
wrongs done by the _taua_ of Nga-Puhi, were taught them by Te
Rauparaha" (_Nga-Puhi account_).

[42] The female prisoners were secured by plaiting flax ropes into
their long hair, and the men were imprisoned in enclosures made for
the purpose.

[43] Omere is a high bluff just to the south of Ohariu Bay. This bluff
was the place which Maoris always visited to see if the Straits were
calm enough to cross: hence the reference in the old song--

  Where Omere projects outside,
  The look-out Mount for calms.

[44] It has been suggested that this vessel was either the _Wostok_
or the _Mirny_ of the Russian scientific expedition sent out by
Czar Alexander I. in 1819, and which visited Queen Charlotte Sound. If
this is so, the date of this event was either late in May or early in
June, 1820.

[45] A contraction for Rauparaha.

[46] On one occasion, when Te Rauparaha was conversing with Mr. George
Clarke, then Protector of the Aborigines, the latter asked him how he
made his way from north to south. With a wicked twinkle in his eye, Te
Rauparaha replied, "Why, of course, I ate my way through."

[47] On reaching Whanganui, a division in the councils of the leaders
took place, Ngati-Toa and Nga-Puhi remaining on the coast, while
Tuwhare made an intrepid dash up the Whanganui River with his own
immediate followers. They fought their way up into the "cliff
country," in the upper reaches of the river, and here, in an
engagement at the Kai-whakauka _pa_, Tuwhare received a wound on
the head from which he shortly afterwards died. On receiving the fatal
blow, he contemptuously remarked to his assailant: "If thine had been
the arm of a warrior I should have been killed, but it is the arm of a



When the period of feasting and enjoyment, which invariably followed
upon the return of a successful Maori war party, had terminated at
Kawhia, Te Rauparaha immediately became involved in a fresh struggle
with Waikato. The cause of the hostility was remote; but, as Waikato
had vowed to drive him out, no pretext was too slight upon which to
base a quarrel. Thus the killing of one of their chiefs by a Taranaki
warrior, to whom Te Rauparaha was related, was sufficient to justify
the marching of a large war party against him. Their force advanced in
two sections: the one came down the inland track, and the other, which
was to actively engage Te Rauparaha, entered Kawhia from the sea. Two
_pas_, Tau-mata-Kauae and Te Kawau, speedily fell before the
invaders, and again Ngati-Toa were defeated at the battle of Te
Karaka, on the borders of Lake Taharoa, after an heroic struggle, in
which it is said that three hundred Ngati-Toa fought more than a
thousand Waikatos. These disasters were indeed darkening the outlook
for Ngati-Toa, and the position has been graphically described by one
native historian, who states that "the losses of the tribe of Te
Rauparaha were very great; by day and by night they were killed by
Ngati-Pou." Success had also attended the arms of the section of
Waikato who, under Te Wherowhero, had swept through the Waipa Valley
and across the forest plateau until they reached the Wai-Kawau
_pa_ on the sea-coast, just north of the Mokau River. This they
stormed and sacked by force of overpowering numbers, and, surfeited
with victory, they united with their comrades at Te Karaka, and then
triumphantly marched home.

With so many of his _pas_ obliterated and his warriors slain, Te
Rauparaha retired upon Te Arawi, a coastal stronghold built upon the
summit of a forbidding-looking rock, which at full tide is completely
surrounded by a breaking sea. Here he had leisure to reflect upon the
lessening radius of his freedom and to formulate his plans for
extricating his people from a position of increasing peril; and we may
fairly assume that it was now that his final decision to migrate from
Kawhia to Kapiti was taken. Once resolved on this course, he applied
himself systematically to the task of persuading his people to enter
into the spirit of the scheme, over which he himself had become so
enthusiastic, and which he now deemed necessary to their safety. The
task was by no means a simple one, for the impending danger was not so
apparent to all the tribe as it was to their chief; and, moreover,
there centred in the spot which he was asking them to leave the
traditions and associations of all the centuries which had passed
since their forefathers had first landed there from the pilgrim canoe.
They knew each nook and corner, from the caves to the hill-tops, every
point of which spoke to them of the beloved past. Here a rock which
had been a trysting-place in some tragic love affair, there a haunt of
spirits, yonder a burying-ground made sacred by the bones of their
ancestors, and there again a battlefield hallowed by the memory of the
fallen. Each of these was a tie dear to the Maori; and they were loath
to leave all that linked them to the past and face a future full of
doubt and uncertainty.

But the confidence which Te Rauparaha had inspired, and the prospect
of guns and ammunition in abundance, gradually overcame these
sentimental objections; and before long the Ngati-Toa people agreed to
follow their chief whithersoever he might lead. Te Rauparaha was,
however, prudent enough to recognise that his own section of the
tribe, though brave at heart, were few in numbers for so serious an
undertaking as the conquest of a new territory. As soon, therefore, as
he had secured the consent of his own tribe, he paid a visit to
Maungatautari, for the purpose of obtaining the co-operation of
Ngati-Raukawa. With them he was no more successful at first than he
had been with his own people. He pointed out their liability to
attack, the difficulty in obtaining guns, shut out as they were from
communication with the whalers, and the prospect of an easy victory
over the weakened tribes of the coast. But they were reluctant to give
up all that they possessed for a visionary and problematical success,
and it was not till quite a year later that he was able even partially
to break down their resistance. In pressing his claims upon the
Ngati-Raukawa, he was materially aided by a somewhat romantic incident
which occurred during his stay at Maungatautari. Although his mother
was a Ngati-Raukawa woman, and by virtue of that fact he could claim
chieftainship amongst them, Te Rauparaha was not regarded as a
particularly brilliant star in their peerage; but what he lacked in
pedigree was more than compensated for by his mental initiative and
personal courage. Conscious of his own power, he never lost an
opportunity of impressing it upon others; and it is therefore not a
matter for surprise that he made the death of the Ngati-Raukawa chief
the occasion of advancing his own claims to leadership.

 [Illustration: _Photo by Jackson._
 From which the Ngati-Toa migration commenced.]

Thus it was a fortunate circumstance for him that, while he was
advocating the conquest of Kapiti, Hape Taurangi, the great chief of
Maungatautari, was seized with a fatal illness, and, while the whole
tribe sat silently waiting for the end, the question of succession
seemed to trouble him, as he probably realised the absence of a
master-mind amongst his own sons. To them he put the question: "Can
you tread in my steps and lead my people to victory? Can you uphold
the honour of the tribe?" To these interrogations not one of his sons
replied, and the silent suspense remained unbroken, until Te
Rauparaha, springing from the ring of warriors, exclaimed, "I am able
to tread in your steps, and even do that which you could not do." The
apparent presumption of this speech was lost in the general
satisfaction, and, when Hape passed into the Great Beyond, Te
Rauparaha took over his wives and his leadership, the latter of which
he retained to his dying day.[48] But the measure of authority which
had passed to him on the death of Hape did not include the sole
direction of Ngati-Raukawa's affairs. The tribe still looked to their
natural leaders for guidance in domestic matters, and the new
influence gained by Te Rauparaha in their councils, though
considerable, was not sufficient to overcome the obduracy of the tribe
towards what they chose to regard as his chimerical proposal.

Nothing daunted, however, by the refusal of his kinsmen to participate
in his bold enterprise, Te Rauparaha proceeded with patient
deliberation to make his own arrangements. These involved the most
careful planning and delicate negotiation, for failure in any one
direction might wreck the whole scheme. The first consideration was to
secure safe conduct for his people through the territory of the
Taranaki tribes, and the establishment of resting-places where the
very old and very young could recover their strength, and where
sufficient food could be grown to carry them on to the next point of
vantage. To this end negotiations were entered into with the Ngati-Awa
and Ngati-Tama chiefs, who were more or less connected with Ngati-Toa
by inter-marriage. It would, however, be a mistake to elevate this
racial relationship into a bond of sincere friendship between these
tribes, for neither would have hesitated long about a proposal to
destroy the other, had a favourable opportunity presented itself.
Their attitude towards each other was distinctly one of armed
neutrality, which at any moment might have broken out into open
rupture. But even this negative attitude of the tribes proved useful
to Te Rauparaha, as it enabled him to approach Ngati-Awa and
Ngati-Tama with at least the semblance of friendship, while it
deprived them of open hostility as a reason for refusing his requests.
The concessions which the Ngati-Toa leader asked for were therefore
granted, though grudgingly; but he could no more persuade Ngati-Awa to
go with him than he could impress the Ngati-Raukawa; and when he
reminded them of the change which was coming over the system of Maori
warfare, and the weakness in which they would be left by his
departure, they laughed at his misgivings, boasted of their ancient
_mana_, and told him that his fears were altogether unworthy of a
chief of his standing. How dearly they paid for their lack of
foresight is told in the fall of Puke-rangiora _pa_ a few years later,
when the Waikatos swept down upon them and drove them flying into the
arms of the man whose counsel they had so carelessly despised.

Having thus diplomatically arranged an open road for the passage of
his people to the south, he found it equally essential to secure an
unmolested departure from the north. He therefore appreciated the
necessity of making terms with his old enemy, Te Wherowhero, of
Waikato, and in this important negotiation he availed himself of the
services of two Ngati-Mania-poto chiefs, who occupied the country
close to Kawhia and were on friendly terms with Te Wherowhero. These
chiefs paved the way for a conference, at which Te Rauparaha appears
to have been unusually candid with his old antagonist. He frankly
unfolded to him the details of his proposed migration, and, in
consideration of Te Wherowhero's guaranteeing him immunity from
attack, he, on his part, agreed to cede the whole of the Ngati-Toa
lands to the Waikato tribes after his people had vacated them. Such
easy acquisition of a valuable piece of country was not without its
influence upon Te Wherowhero. But he was even more impressed by its
strategic than by its inherent value. The migration of Ngati-Toa
would rid him of a troublesome enemy on the west, and enable him to
concentrate all his forces on his eastern frontier, where he would be
the better able to resist the aggressions of that other remarkable
figure in Maori history, Te Waharoa, should it ever occur to that
warrior to attack him. On the understanding, then, that Kawhia was to
be formally ceded to him, Te Wherowhero undertook not to molest the
migrating tribe, either during their preparations or on the actual

The question of immunity from attack having been thus satisfactorily
disposed of, the next matter which Te Rauparaha had to consider was
the securing of an adequate supply of provisions for his people during
their pilgrimage. As it was impossible to complete the journey in a
single season, it was necessary not only that large quantities of food
should be carried with them, but that planting-places should be
established at various points along the route of march, where these
supplies could be renewed from time to time. None of these details
were overlooked, but all were worked out with mathematical exactitude
by the consummate organiser in whose brain the migration had been
planned; and the smoothness and precision with which these precautions
dovetailed together furnish a remarkable example of high organising
capacity. As a final preparation, it was necessary that the
disposition of his fighting men should receive some attention, because
he could not hope to conceal his real purpose from the people whose
country he was about to invade. It is true he did not anticipate any
serious opposition, because the defeats inflicted upon them by the
recent expedition under Tuwhare, Waka Nene, Patuone, and himself had
so reduced their strength as to render serious opposition impossible;
but, in view of the limited force at his command, and the unlikelihood
of increasing it, unnecessary waste had to be guarded against. He
therefore divided his warriors into suitable sections, and, appointing
a sub-chief to lead each company, he retained the supreme command of
affairs in his own hands. The carrying out of these varied
preparations had now occupied several months, and when all was ripe
for departure he paid a last visit to the surrounding tribes and
chiefs--to Kukutai, of Lower Waikato, to Pehi-Tukorehu, of
Ngati-Mania-poto, to Te Kanawa, of Waikato, bidding them good-bye,
and, as an example in good faith, he kept his word to Te Wherowhero,
saying to that chief: "Farewell! remain on our land at Kawhia; I am
going to take Kapiti for myself: do not follow me." At Mungatautari a
final effort was made to induce the Ngati-Raukawa to join him; but,
although there were evidences of weakening resistance, he had still to
wait several months before their objections were so far overcome as to
permit him any measure of hope that they would yet yield and follow
him. The tour of leave-taking at an end, Te Rauparaha returned to his
_pa_ at Te Arawi, and there summoned his people to prepare for the
fateful march. When all was ready, the blazing flaxstick was put to
the walls of the great carved house which had adorned the _pa_, and as
the smoke of its destruction arose, the whole tribe of fifteen hundred
souls passed through the gate which they were never again to enter.

In the case of unlettered peoples there is necessarily some difficulty
in determining the precise periods at which important incidents in
their history have occurred; and in this instance we have nothing to
guide us except the arrangement and comparison of subsequent events.
By this mode of reasoning we are led to the conclusion that the
migration from Kawhia must have occurred during the latter months of
the year 1821. But, whatever obscurity rests upon this point,
tradition is clear[49] that the circumstances under which the exodus
commenced were singularly auspicious. The day broke with a cloudless
sky, and, as the sun rose into the blue dome, the landscape for miles
was lit by the rosy tints of morn, rendering every peak and valley
more beautiful. On the route of march lay the hill of Moeatoa, and to
its summit the pilgrims climbed, in order to take a last fond look at
their ancient home. As they turned and gazed upon old Kawhia the
memories of the past came crowding back upon them, and it is easy to
understand their deep manifestations of sorrow at leaving their
ancestral domain. The softer sentiments associated with home and
country are not the exclusive prerogative of civilised beings. These
people, savage and ruthless though they were, thrilled with the same
patriotic feeling which prompted the Prophet of Israel to exclaim: "If
I forget thee, O Jerusalem! may my right hand forget her cunning." And
although their form of expressing it was neither so beautiful nor so
poetical, they were, nevertheless, quite as sincere when they cried
upon the mountain-side: "Kawhia, remain here! The people of Kawhia are
going to Kapiti, to Waipounamu." "The love of a New Zealander for his
land is not the love of a child for his toys," says a well-known
writer.[50] "His title is connected with many and powerful
associations in his mind, his affection for the homes of his fathers
being connected with their deeds of bravery, with the feats of their
boyhood, and the long rest of his ancestors for generations." And
there is no reason to suppose that these feelings were less active in
the Ngati-Toa at such a moment than they were in other Maori tribes.

The closing scene in the life of the Ngati-Toa at
Kawhia has been beautifully described by Thomas
Bracken, whose word-picture of the scene on Moeatoa
Hill is amongst the finest that came from his poetic

  "Beneath the purple canopy of morn,
  That hung above Kawhia's placid sheet
  Of waters crystalline, arose on high
  The golden shield of God, on azure field,
  With crimson tassels dipping in the sea!
  And from its burnished face a shower of rays
  Shot up the hills and gilt their spires and peaks
  In lambent sheen, until the turrets seemed
  Like precious ornaments of purest gold
  On mighty altars raised by giant priests
  In olden times, to offer sacred fire
  As sacrifice unto the Fount of Light,
  From whence the planets and the myriad stars
  Drink their effulgence!
                          In the wild ravines
  And gorges deep, the limpid babbling creeks
  Sang matins as they left their mother hills
  To mingle in united waters, where
  They lost their little selves, and merged in one
  Pellucid flood that gathered stronger life
  From day to day! as God's great human church,
  Now building on the earth shall gather all
  The little sects and creeds and small beliefs
  That split mankind into a thousand parts,
  And merge them in one universal flood
  Of boundless charity.
                          The dazzling points
  Of morning's lances pierced the bursting hearts
  Of all the flow'rets on the fertile slopes,
  And waked red Kawhai's drops from sleep
  And shook the dew buds from the Rata's lids,
  Until its blossoms opened up their breasts
  And gave their fragrance to the early breeze
  That played amongst the Koromiko's leaves,
  And stole the rich Tawhiri's sweet perfume,
  And strung the flax-leaves into merry tune
  To woo the Bell-bird from his nest, to ring
  The Tui up to sing his morning hymns.
  The scene was made for man, not savage man,
  The cunningest of brutes, the crafty king
  Of beasts! but Man the Spiritualised,
  With all the light of knowledge in his brain,
  With all the light of love within his heart!
  And yet they were but savages who stood
  On Moeatoa's hill, above the scene,
  Mere savages, a step beyond the brute!
  But still there were bright sparks of God-lit fire
  Within their breasts! they loved their native vales
  With heart and soul! for they had hearts and souls
  Far nobler than some milk-faced races who
  Have basked 'neath Calv'ry's sun for ages long,
  And yet lie grov'lling in the nations' rear,
  With hearts encased in earth too coarse and hard
  For Calv'ry's glorious light to penetrate.
  Poor savages! that Orient had not yet
  Shed its benignant rays upon their souls,
  To melt the dross that dragged them down to earth
  In carnal bonds! they knew not yet the road
  To reach the standard of their better selves.
  Yet they were men in all save this! brave men
  With patriots' hearts, for as they stood and gazed
  O'er fair Kawhia's hills and vales
  That stretched into the sea, o'er which their sires
  In ages past sailed from Hawaiki's shores,
  The tears ran down their tattooed cheeks, and sobs
  Welled from their bosoms, for they loved the land
  With all the love intense a Maori feels
  For childhood's home! The hist'ry of their tribe
  Was written there on every rock and hill
  That sentinelled the scene, for these had known
  Their deeds of prowess, and their fathers' deeds
  Of valour! And the caverns held the bones
  Of those from whom they'd sprung! Their legends wild,
  And weird traditions, chained them to the place,
  And ere they burst those links of love they gave
  A long sad look on each familiar spot
  And wailed above Kawhia's lovely vale:

    Oh! Kawhia, remain,
      Cavern, gorge, and bay,
    Valley, and hill, and plain--
      We are going away.

    Oh! Kawhia, remain,
      Take our tears and our sighs;
    Spirits of heroes slain,
      Rise up from Reinga, rise.

    Oh! Kawhia, remain,
      With thee, Tawhaki, stay;
    Long may he o'er thee reign--
      We are going away."

The first stage of the journey ended with the close of the fourth day,
when the _pa_ of Puohoki was reached; and here Te Rauparaha
decided to leave his wife Akau[51] and a number of the women and
children under a suitable guard, while he and the bulk of the people
pushed on as far as Waitara. Here they were received by the Ngati-Tama
and Ngati-Awa tribes, in whose _pas_ they were quartered for the
season; and, except that a spirit of parsimony seemed to pervade their
welcome, they had every reason to feel rejoiced at the success which
up to this moment had attended their venture.[52] After the lapse of a
brief period spent in perfecting his arrangements, Te Rauparaha
decided to return for his wife and her companions, and on reaching the
_pa_ where they were staying he learned to his great joy that
Akau had borne him a son. This infant lived to be the well-known
missionary chief, Tamihana te Rauparaha. Against the advice of his
tribe, Rauparaha had only taken a band of twenty warriors with him,
and on the journey back to Waitara his strategic abilities were tested
to the full to escape annihilation. Three days after his arrival he
left on his return journey, carrying his infant son in a basket on his
back. Knowing that he had left Kawhia, a party of the restless
Ngati-Mania-poto had crept down the coast in the hope of finding some
stragglers of his party whom they might conveniently kill. But instead
of meeting, as they had expected, a few irregulars, they came suddenly
upon Te Rauparaha himself near the mouth of the Awakino River. To some
extent the surprise was mutual, but the stress of the position was all
against Te Rauparaha. Supported only by a limited force and hampered
by the women and children, he was in serious difficulties, as the
enemy might cut off his retreat and then attack him in force. Suddenly
a brilliant idea struck him. Before the enemy approached within
striking distance he ordered twenty of the most active women to
disrobe and don the mats and headgear of fighting men. Then arming
each of them with a stone club, he placed them under the charge of
Akau, who was a woman of magnificent physique, with instructions to
march in the van brandishing their weapons after the manner of veteran
warriors. The more helpless women and children were placed in the
centre, while he and his fighting men covered the retreat. Misled by
the stratagem, the Ngati-Mania-poto were tricked into the belief that
the Ngati-Toa force was much stronger than it really was, and instead
of attacking they began to retire. Observing this, Te Rauparaha
immediately accelerated their panic by charging down upon them, and in
the skirmish which followed Tutakara, their chief, was killed by Te
Rangi-hounga-riri, Te Rauparaha's eldest son by his child-wife Marore,
who was rapidly making a name for himself as an intrepid warrior. But,
although the position was somewhat relieved, Te Rauparaha felt that
the danger was not yet at an end. He was experienced enough in native
tactics to know that the Ngati-Mania-poto would be tempted to return
at nightfall and renew the attack in the hope of avenging the death of
their chief. He therefore could not consider himself safe until the
Mokau River was crossed, and, unfortunately, when he reached its banks
the tide was full and the river was in flood. Nothing remained to be
done except to wait, but in order still to maintain the deception
twelve large fires were kindled, at each of which three women and one
warrior were stationed, while the chief and the rest of his followers
lay prepared for emergencies. It was also an injunction to the
sentinels at the fires to address each other occasionally in the
heroic language of the time. "Be strong, O people, to fight on the
morrow if the enemy return. Take no thought of life. Consider the
valour of your tribe." These stimulating exhortations, which were
intended for the enemy's ears as much as for their own, were
supplemented by fervid speeches from the women, whose shrill voices
were carried out into the night air as a warning to the enemy that
they would not lag behind their lords in the coming battle.

Meantime, Te Rauparaha lay waiting for the enemy, who never came.
Either having no stomach for another encounter with so redoubtable a
warrior, or still not understanding the true position, they wisely
declined to provoke a battle, about the result of which they could be
by no means sanguine. At midnight the tide turned, and the river fell
sufficiently to be fordable.[53] Leaving their fires burning, the
Ngati-Toa crept silently down to the bank, and, wading across, made
their way to the _pas_ of their friends, which they reached
amidst general rejoicing. Early next morning the scene of the previous
day's battle was revisited and the bodies of the slain enemy
recovered to make a feast, at which the sweet revenge harboured
against Ngati-Mania-poto was surfeited.

While the Ngati-Toa plans were developing in Taranaki, another
misfortune was falling upon the people of the southern districts from
the opposite direction. Towards the middle of 1820 a band of six
hundred warriors, under Apihai Te Kawau, of Ngati-Whatua, Te Kanawa,
and Tu-korehu, of Waikato and Ngati-Mania-poto, and other prominent
chiefs, longing for some new excitement, had journeyed down the east
coast through Hawke's Bay and the Wairarapa, for no particular purpose
except to kill, eat, or make slaves of whoever might fall into their
hands. In the course of this pilgrimage of blood they crossed over to
the west, and there attacked in succession the Muaupoko, Rangitane,
and Ngati-Apa tribes, upon whom they inflicted sore and mortal wounds;
and when they retired back to the north they left the conquest of
Kapiti a matter of comparative simplicity to Te Rauparaha. But they
were soon themselves to feel the sting of defeat. Passing into the
Taranaki country on their homeward march, they were set upon by the
Ngati-Awa people, who strenuously opposed their further progress at
Waitara. This was a strange reversal of all previous policy on the
part of Ngati-Awa, who had always been friendly to, and had frequently
co-operated with, the Ngati-Mania-poto and Waikato peoples on similar
raids. By some authorities this new antagonism has been attributed to
the sinister influence of Te Rauparaha, who was still at Ure-nui
waiting to harvest his crops. He had not forgotten the anxious moments
to which he had been subjected on the banks of the Waitara River, and
it would have been more than human on his part had he not sought to
balance accounts now that the opportunity offered. "By means of
plotting and deceit," says one writer, "he succeeded in rousing
Ngati-Awa--or the greater part of them--to take up his quarrel."
Whatever the cause of Ngati-Awa's hostility, the effect was a series
of determined and well-organised attacks upon the northern _taua_,
which ultimately drove them to seek refuge with a friendly section of
the Ngati-Awa in the famous Puke-rangiora _pa_. Here they were
besieged for seven months, fighting repeatedly, and, towards the end
of that period, suffering intense privations. Frequent attempts were
made to send intelligence of their straits through the enemy's ranks
to their friends; but so close and vigilant was the investment that
their messengers were invariably captured, and their heads fixed upon
poles and exhibited to the besieged in a spirit of exultant derision.
One, Rahiora, a young man of the Ngati-Mahanga tribe, did at length
succeed in evading detection, and travelling into the Waikato by
Kete-marae and Whanganui, thence by Taupo and Waipa, was able to
communicate to the great Te Wherowhero the critical plight of his
tribesmen. Te Wherowhero immediately made his call to arms, and soon a
numerous relief party was on its way to join the force already in the
field, which had vainly endeavoured to cut off Te Rauparaha at the
Mokau. The junction of these forces was successfully accomplished, and
the pride of Waikato's military strength, under two of the greatest
chiefs of that time, Te Wherowhero and Te Waharoa, marched southward
for the dual purpose of raising the siege of Puke-rangiora and of
attacking Te Rauparaha. Though they failed to reach within striking
distance of the beleaguered _pa_, their movement indirectly achieved
its object, for the advent of so large a force lightened the pressure
of the siege by drawing off a considerable number of the besiegers. Of
these Te Rauparaha took command, and to his strategical genius was due
the victory which he ultimately achieved on the plain of Motu-nui.
This plain stretches along the sea-coast between the Ure-nui and Mimi
Rivers. At this point the shore is bounded by perpendicular cliffs,
fully one hundred and fifty feet high, along which are dotted several
small _pas_, used as fishing-places in olden times. Away to the
eastward of the plain run the wooded hills, on the steep sides of
which rise the numerous streams which rush across the plain to the
sea. On the southern end of one of the spurs descending from the
range was built the strongly fortified Okoki _pa_, which was made the
point of assembly by the Ngati-Awa and Ngati-Toa warriors.

The Waikato _taua_ came on as far as a place called Waitoetoe on
the southern bank of the Mimi River, and there commenced to make a
camp preparatory to throwing down the gage of battle. To the watchers
in the Okoki _pa_ their fires had been visible for several miles;
and when it was seen that they had determined to pitch camp, there was
a general request that their position should be at once attacked.
Personally, Te Rauparaha preferred to take no risks until the portion
of his force which was still holding Tu-korehu in check at
Puke-rangiora should have come up. He, however, yielded to the
importunities of some of his chiefs, and consented to send out a
_hunuhunu_, or reconnoitring party, to test the mettle of the
enemy. To meet the possibility of the skirmish developing into a more
serious encounter, he took the precaution of concealing a strong
reserve force, composed of the older men, in the bed of one of the
wooded streams which ran close beneath the _pa_. Having
instructed Rangiwahia, of Ngati-Mutunga, in whose charge he left these
supports, he took eighty of the younger men with him, and advanced
across the plain by stealthy marches. So secretly was the movement
effected, that they were within a stone's-throw of the Waikato camp,
and had actually commenced the attack upon some of the Waikato
warriors, before their presence was discerned. In the first onset Te
Rauparaha's followers were roughly handled, and, in accordance with
their preconcerted plan, they began rapidly to fall back, sustaining
severe losses the while from the guns of the enemy. Their retirement
soon developed into a general retreat, which might have been much more
disastrous but for a fatal division of opinion which sprang up amongst
the Waikato leaders, as to whether or not the fugitives should be
pursued. Te Wherowhero was content to have repulsed them, and advised
resuming the interrupted work of building their shelters; but others,
not so cautious, urged immediate pursuit, and, these counsels
prevailing, the whole Waikato force was soon in full cry after the
retreating scouts. The chase was fierce and stern, and many a good
Taranaki warrior dropped upon the plain as he sped towards the _pa_,
for the pursuers kept up as hot a fire as their rapid movements
rendered possible. Seeing the men falling round him, a chief who was
running close to Te Rauparaha repeatedly urged him to turn and attack
the pursuers; but the crafty general, knowing that the time was not
yet, declined to forestall his prearranged strategy. He held on his
way, only urging his men to faster flight, while Te Wherowhero incited
his marksmen to single out the Ngati-Awa chiefs for death. Some two
miles of the plain had been covered, and the southern warriors were
nearing their supports. As the foremost reached the wooded gully, they
waited there to recover their breath, and allowed the pursuers to
close in upon them. Weary and blown with their long and exciting run,
the Waikatos came straggling up, innocent of the trap into which they
had fallen. At the psychological moment Te Rauparaha gave the signal,
and out dashed his veterans, fresh and eager for the fray, charging
down upon the exhausted and astonished Waikatos. Their chiefs who were
in the forefront of the chase were the first to go down, and their
numbers were perceptibly diminished as they were beaten back by
repeated charges across the blood-stained field. Te Wherowhero fought
through the reverse with supreme courage, engaging and vanquishing in
single combat no less than five of Taranaki's greatest warriors; and
to his fine defence and heroic example is attributed the fact that his
tribe was not completely annihilated on the field of Motu-nui. On the
other hand, it has been whispered that his companion in arms, Te
Waharoa, did not bear himself in this fight with his wonted gallantry.
Waikato paid a heavy toll that day. They left one hundred and fifty
men dead on the field, and the slaughter of chiefs was a conspicuous
tribute to their bravery--Te Wherowhero and Te Waharoa being the only
leaders of eminence to escape.

For some inexplicable reason, Te Rauparaha did not pursue his victory
to the bitter end, as was his wont.[54] This forbearance on his part
is especially surprising in view of the fact that Te Wherowhero had
specifically promised to remain neutral during the progress of the
migration. Possibly the consciousness that he would have done the same
thing himself induced him to take a lenient view of his old
antagonist's want of good faith; for there can be no doubt that the
bloody wars which were at this time ravaging the country had
completely sapped the old Maori sense of honour. "At the period in
question, more perhaps than at any other in the history of the race,
moral considerations had but little weight in determining the conduct
of either the individual or the tribe. Even the nearest relatives did
not hesitate to destroy and devour each other." There was thus nothing
unusual about Te Wherowhero's conduct; but his experience of Te
Rauparaha on this occasion was such that from that day onward he left
him severely alone.

The effect of these successive victories was to enhance enormously the
prestige and power of Te Rauparaha. He began to be regarded with
reverence by Ngati-Awa and with something akin to worship by
Ngati-Toa. As a tangible proof of the gratitude which his hosts felt
for the services which he had rendered them, food, which had been
grudgingly supplied up to this time, was now given in abundance to his
people, and, what was of even greater moment to Te Rauparaha,
adherents began freely to flock to his cause. But, although he had
beaten off both the Ngati-Mania-poto and Waikato tribes, the position
was still unsatisfactory to him from the point of view of numbers, and
so he resolved to make one more effort to persuade Ngati-Raukawa to
join him. Accordingly he journeyed back to Opepe, a village on the
shores of Lake Taupo, where he met young Te Whatanui, a chief destined
to become famous in after years as the protector of the Muaupoko
people whom Te Rauparaha wished to destroy. Upon the assembled tribe,
and upon Te Whatanui in particular, he again impressed the merits of
his scheme, pointing out the altered position occupied by the tribes
who had managed to become possessed of fire-arms, as compared with
those who had only wooden spears and stone _meres_. He dwelt upon the
fact that ships were beginning to frequent Kapiti, and that there they
could obtain guns, as Nga-Puhi had done at the Bay of Islands. He also
reiterated all that he had formerly told them about the fertility of
the soil and the ease with which the country might be conquered: but
in vain. Te Whatanui volunteered no sign of approval. He gave many
presents to Te Rauparaha, as marks of respect from one warrior to
another. He also made him a long oration, skilfully avoiding the
all-important topic upon which Te Rauparaha had travelled so far to
consult him; nor did the majority of his people conceal their
objection to coming under Te Rauparaha's immediate command, to the
exclusion of their own chiefs. Angered at this perversity, Te
Rauparaha shook the dust of Opepe from off his feet and proceeded to
Rotorua, and as far as Tauranga, where he sought the aid of the great
Te Waru. But he met with no success, for Te Waru had schemes of his
own which claimed his personal attention. While resting with the
Tu-hou-rangi branch of the Arawa tribe on his return to Rotorua from
Tauranga, Te Rauparaha (according to accounts) perpetrated an outrage
upon Nga-Puhi which was destined to inspire one of the most disastrous
wars and one of the most daring assaults known in Maori history. His
motive for "sowing the seeds of evil counsel" is not clear. By some it
is alleged a jealous envy of Nga-Puhi's success in procuring arms,
while others find it in the consuming desire for revenge for the death
of a young relative killed a few weeks before at the fall of the Te
Totara _pa_ at the Thames. Whatever the motive, before leaving he took
occasion to recite a _karakia_, or song, informing the Tu-hou-rangi
that there was a small band of Nga-Puhi travelling about in their
vicinity, and broadly insinuating that "death and darkness were very
good things." This hint, however enigmatical, was taken and acted
upon. When Te Pae-o-te-rangi, Hongi's nephew, and a company of his
Nga-Puhi followers arrived at the Motu-tawa _pa_, from which Te
Rauparaha had just departed, they were treacherously set upon and
killed by the Tu-hou-rangi people. It was to avenge the death of Te
Pae-o-te-rangi that Hongi performed the Herculean task of dragging his
canoes from Waihi, near Maketu, to Lake Rotorua, and on the island of
Mokoia slaughtered the unfortunate Ngati-Whakaue (Arawas), who had
been entirely innocent of the original crime.

Before quitting Rotorua, however, Te Rauparaha had the good fortune to
fall in with the Nga-Puhi chief Pomare,[55] who handed over to him a
few of the men who had accompanied him to the Lake district on a mission
of bloodshed. With this small reinforcement Te Rauparaha returned to
Taranaki and prepared to resume his journey southward, having in the
meantime enlisted the services of some four hundred Ngati-Awas under
one of the most famous men of his time, Rere-ta-whangawhanga, father of
Wi Kingi Rangitake.[56] The force at Te Rauparaha's command now
numbered about eight hundred fighting men and their families. With
these he resumed his march in the autumn of 1822, when the kumara had
been gathered in, and advanced without interruption or mishap until he
reached Patea. Here a slight skirmish took place, and six of the
invaders were killed, their deaths being immediately avenged by the
slaughter of some Waitotara people. From them a large canoe was
captured, and was employed in the transportation of some of the women
and children by sea, thus saving them the labour and fatigue involved
in the land journey. Te Rauparaha himself also travelled by water with
the women, but, with the exception of those required to propel the
canoes, the men continued on foot along the coast, capturing and
killing an occasional straggler who had lingered too long in the
vicinity of the warpath.

At the mouth of the Rangitikei River the canoe was drawn up on the
beach, and the whole party halted for several days. Hearing of their
arrival, the friends of Pikinga came down to the camp to welcome her,
but the remainder of the Ngati-Apa tribe fled to the hills and
concealed themselves amongst the mountain fastnesses. It would
therefore appear that the friendship which they afterwards alleged to
have existed between Te Rauparaha and themselves was not of a very
substantial character.[57] Nor did the marriage of their chieftainess
with Te Rangihaeata avail them much; for while the bulk of his people
rested by the river, odd bands of their fighting men were continually
scouring the country in search of some plump Ngati-Apa who was needed
to keep the ovens fully employed. While the weather continued fine, Te
Rauparaha was anxious to lose no more time than was absolutely
necessary. So soon, therefore, as his people had been refreshed by the
rest, he pushed on again, making his next stage the mouth of the
Manawatu River, where he harassed the Rangitane people by the inroads
of armed parties on their settlements. But comparatively few captures
were made, as the _pas_ were deserted immediately the inhabitants
scented the danger.

The migration which Te Rauparaha was thus conducting had for its
objective a sweet and fertile spot on the banks of the Ohau stream;
and when the remaining portion of the coast had been traversed without
opposition, and the tribe had reached its journey's end in safety,
preparations were at once made to establish them permanently on the
land. A _pa_ was built large enough to accommodate the whole
party, and ground was cleared for cultivations, in which the potato
was planted for the first time on this coast. Their nearest neighbours
were the Ngati-Apa, who held possession of the island of Kapiti, and
the Muaupoko tribe, who were settled round the shores of Lakes
Horowhenua and Papaitonga. In what light the former regarded the
aggression upon their borders it is difficult to say; but the latter
were evidently very ill at ease, for they had a heavy presentiment of
what the ultimate result would be. But how to avert the danger was no
simple problem, as they had learned enough in the stern school of
experience to recognise that victory in open battle was not to be
hoped for. Strategy was therefore determined upon. Learning from two
Whanganui chiefs, who were then on a visit to Horowhenua, that Te
Rauparaha's vulnerable point at this period was his desire to obtain
canoes, they resolved to tempt him with the bait to which he was most
likely to fall a victim. The ease with which the chief fell into the
trap was due to his excessive ambition and the further large schemes
towards which his aspirations soared.

He had heard strange stories of a treasure-trove of greenstone which
the Ngai-Tahu people had stored in their _pas_ over on the Middle
Island; and as he stood on the beach at Ohau and looked across the
Strait towards the hills of Waipounamu, he dreamed of this wealth and
how he could possess himself of it. Without a fleet of canoes to
convey his warriors over the intervening sea, the project of invasion
was visionary; but even with the frailest vessels he might make it a
reality, and at one bold stroke add to his dominions, gratify his
avarice, and satiate his hate by waging war upon the southern tribes.

Of canoes the Muaupoko had many. Residing as they did upon the shores
of two lakes, these vessels were almost as essential to them as
gondolas to the Venetians; and when they learned of Te Rauparaha's
eagerness to obtain what they possessed, a device was cautiously
planned by which they might rid themselves of a neighbour whose coming
they felt boded them no good. Into this conspiracy of murder the
Rangitane people of Manawatu were admitted; and for thus allowing
themselves to be made the cat's-paw of others they paid a bitter
penalty, for they succeeded in nothing except in arousing the eternal
hatred of the great chief, who seemed invulnerable alike to their
cunning and their force. The authors of the scheme were Turoa and
Paetahi, both of the Ngati-Apa tribe; and the willing instrument in
their hands was Toheriri, a leader of the Muaupoko, whose part was,
shortly after the arrival of the Ngati-Toa at Ohau, to send an
invitation to Te Rauparaha and a number of his followers to pay a
friendly visit to his _pa_ at Papaitonga. As already indicated,
the inducement held out to Ngati-Toa was the promise of a gift of
canoes, and, under the circumstances, a more artful pretence could not
have been conceived. "Canoes were at this time his great desire, for
by them only could he cross over to the island of Waipounamu," is the
explanation of the position given by Tamihana Te Rauparaha; and, if
the Muaupoko could gratify that desire, Te Rauparaha was not the man
to refrain from making a convenience of his enemies, as well as of
his friends. Accordingly he accepted the invitation, notwithstanding
the earnest remonstrances of his nephew and lieutenant, Te
Rangihaeata, who declared his irresistible conviction that murder,
rather than hospitality, was the secret of the Muaupoko invitation.

Rauparaha was in no mood to speculate about omens, good or evil.
Canoes he wanted, and canoes he would have, even if the gods or the
devils were against him. His unusual recklessness even carried him so
far that he selected only a few warriors to accompany him, and with
these he arrived, just at the fall of evening, at Papaitonga. The
party was, of course, received with the most profuse expressions of
friendship. Toheriri and his fellow-chief Waraki conducted their
visitors in state to view the canoes which were to be handed over in
the morning; but, on returning to the _pa_, they were careful to
conduct Te Rauparaha to a house at one end of the settlement, while
his followers were provided for at the opposite end. This fact appears
to have aroused no suspicion in the Ngati-Toa mind; for at night all
slept soundly, until the shouts of the combined Rangitane and Muaupoko
war parties were heard in the early morning as they rushed upon the
slumbering _pa_.

The assailants appear to have been too precipitate in their onset.
Instead of first surrounding the _whare_ in which Te Rauparaha
lay, they commenced the massacre of his followers at the other end;
and Toheriri, who was lightly sleeping in the same compartment as Te
Rauparaha, was compelled to go out and direct them to the particular
hut in which their common foe was lying. This delay was fatal to their
design, but fortunate for Te Rauparaha. In the absence of his host, he
stayed not to take his leave, but bursting through the _raupo_
wall which formed the end of the _whare_, he slipped away between
the houses; and when the tardy Rangitane rushed up to the hut, their
prey had flown, and nothing remained but to wreak their vengeance upon
the less distinguished victims, whom they slaughtered without mercy.
Included amongst these victims of treacherous onslaught were several
of Te Rauparaha's wives and children. Of the latter, however, two were
spared, Te Uira and Hononga, the former of whom was a daughter of his
child-wife Marore. The reason for this partial clemency is not clear;
apparently vengeance was satisfied by sending them prisoners to the
Wairarapa, where they afterwards became wives of men of renown in the

Amidst the chaos of treachery which surrounds this incident, it is
pleasant to record an act of chivalry of an heroic type. Amongst those
who accompanied Te Rauparaha on this eventful visit was his son,
Rangi-hounga-riri, who, it will be remembered, had distinguished
himself by slaying Tutakara, the chief of the Ngati-Mania-poto, when
that tribe attacked Ngati-Toa at the Awakino River. He, being strong
of body and lithe of limb, had managed to break through the attacking
cordon, and, had he chosen, might have made his escape. But, as he
hurried away, his ear caught the sound of a girl's piteous crying for
help. He recognised the voice as that of his sister, Uira. Heedless of
consequences he rushed back to the _pa_, and, forcing his way to
the side of the girl, placed his protecting arm around her, and fought
her assailants until overpowered by superior numbers. By his death, Te
Rauparaha lost one of his most intrepid lieutenants, and the Ngati-Toa
tribe one of its most promising leaders. As chivalrous as he was
brave, he was the type of chief whose nobility lifted the ancient
Maori above the level of the mere savage, and illustrated the manly
qualities which so impressed those early colonists who took the
trouble to understand the people amongst whom they had come. The
qualities are still there, and justify the hope that, by sound laws,
and sanitary and educational reforms, such as are now being effected,
it may yet be possible to stay the process of degeneration which set
in as the result of the first contact of the Maori with the European.

Te Rauparaha, having slipped from the snare of his enemies, plunged
into the long grass which surrounded the _pa_, and, in the
semi-darkness, succeeded in eluding his pursuers, eventually reaching
his settlement at Ohau, weary, angry, and almost naked. Bitterly
disappointed at the result of his mission, and deeply enraged at the
treatment he had received, he in his wrath cursed the Rangitane and
Muaupoko peoples, and, calling his tribe around him, he charged his
followers to make it the one special mission of their lives "to kill
them from the dawn of day till the evening." This doctrine of
extermination was not preached to unwilling ears; and from that day
the fixed policy of the Ngati-Toa tribe was to sweep the Muaupoko and
Rangitane from their ancestral lands. In the reprisals which followed
as the result of Rauparaha's vow of eternal vengeance, the former tribe
seems to have suffered most; and there is little room for doubt that
they would have been ultimately uprooted and effaced from amongst the
tribes of New Zealand, but for the kindly offices of that dark-skinned
humanitarian, Te Whatanui, who, years afterwards, took them under his
protecting mantle, and declared, in the now historic phrase, that
"nothing would reach them but the rain from heaven."

The Rangitane people were more fortunately situated, having the
impassable forests of the Manawatu and its inaccessible mountain
fastnesses to protect them. But they by no means escaped the
bitterness of persecution, as bands of Ngati-Toa were constantly
roaming their country in search of some one to kill and devour. The
constant absence of these parties convinced Rauparaha that the small
band of men whom he had with him was by no means sufficient for the
magnitude of the task which his ambitious mind had conceived, and so
he determined upon doing two things. The first was to strengthen his
position by conquering the island of Kapiti, which was still in the
possession of a section of the Ngati-Apa people; the second, once
again to despatch ambassadors to the north, to persuade some of his
former allies to join him in mastering a district which promised a
rich supply of guns and ammunition. As a preliminary to the former
scheme, he extended his frontier as far as Otaki, from which point he
could the better watch the movements of the islanders and sweep down
upon them at a favourable moment. But the intervals in which there was
lack of vigilance were few and far between, and consequently the first
series of attacks failed signally. The defenders were strongly posted
and incessantly watchful; so Rauparaha, seeing that the frontal
attack, however well delivered, would not avail, decided upon a
stratagem which, judged by its success, must have been admirably

His device was to lull the defenders of the island into a false sense
of security by apparently withdrawing all his forces from Otaki for
the purpose of some larger movement in the north, at the same time
leaving a small band of well-tried men, whose duty it was to make a
dash for the island and seize it before its inhabitants had recovered
from their surprise. He accordingly marshalled his forces one morning,
and, with an amount of ostentatious display which was calculated to
attract the attention of the Ngati-Apa spies, he marched away to the
Manawatu at the head of his warriors. The Ngati-Apa saw this movement,
but did not understand it. Believing that the absence of Te Rauparaha
meant a period of respite, they withdrew their sentries and gave
themselves up to rejoicing. This was precisely what the Ngati-Toa
chief had hoped for and calculated upon. He also had the satisfaction
of knowing that the most critical part of his scheme was in safe
hands. His uncle, Te Pehi Kupe, who was left in charge of the attacking
party, was a tried and grim veteran, and, true to the trust imposed
upon him, he came out of his concealment just before dawn on the
morning after Te Rauparaha had left. Silently the intrepid little band
launched their canoes, and as silently they paddled across the
intervening water, reaching the island at the break of day. They found
the inhabitants still sleeping, and unconscious of any danger until
the shouts of their assailants and the cries of the wounded warned
them that some desperate work was on hand. Not many of them stayed to
fight, and those who were not killed in the first onslaught scrambled
into their canoes and made for the mainland, thus ingloriously leaving
the last independent stronghold of the Ngati-Apa in the hands of the

It has been charged to the discredit of Te Rauparaha, that, in
planning this attack upon Kapiti, he cherished a guilty hope that Te
Pehi might fall in the assault, and by his death rid him of a powerful
rival in the councils of the tribe. But, while his critics have never
been slow to attribute to him the grossest treachery towards his
enemies and infidelity to his friends, there is absolutely no evidence
that on this occasion he meditated a crime, such as sacred history
imputes to the King of Israel when he placed Uriah the Hittite in the
forefront of the battle. Te Pehi was a great chief. He was Te
Rauparaha's senior in years and his superior in birth. His prowess in
battle was known far and wide, and the circumstances under which he
afterwards emulated the example of Hongi by visiting England, and like
him, subsequently procuring for his tribe, guns and ammunition at
Sydney, stamp him as a man of strong initiative and individuality. But
he did not possess the political genius with which his nephew was
endowed; he lacked the organising power, the tact, and the gift of
inspiring others with his own enthusiasm. While Te Pehi might lead a
charge with brilliancy, Te Rauparaha could often gain more by
diplomacy than he by force of arms; and these statesmanlike qualities
gave the younger chief an influence with the tribe which Te Pehi did
not and never could possess. Indeed, the tragedy associated with his
death at Kaiapoi, in 1828, is sufficient to convince us that he was
strangely lacking in conciliation and tact. So far as can be learned,
there is nothing to lead us to suppose that Te Pehi ever questioned
his nephew's superiority in the diplomatic department of his tribal
office; on the contrary, he seems to have cheerfully accepted a
secondary position, and loyally aided Te Rauparaha in all his
projects. Under these circumstances, it is somewhat difficult to
imagine what Te Rauparaha was to gain by sacrificing so brave an ally.
Moreover, the intense grief which he manifested when Te Pehi was
killed at Kaiapoi, and the signal vengeance which he took upon the
Ngai-Tahu tribe for their act of treachery, render the suspicion of
foul play on his part utterly improbable. In view of these
considerations he may fairly be exonerated from any criminal intent
towards Te Pehi. It is clear that the seizure of Kapiti was but an
essential move in his policy of conquest, and that the manner of its
seizure was but a cleverly designed piece of strategy, certainly not
unattended by risk, but affording very reasonable chances of success.

The capture of this natural fortress did not result in its immediate
occupation, for Te Rauparaha still had abundance of work to do on the
mainland before he could regard the power of the enemy as broken and
the conquest of his new home complete. In pursuance of his policy of
extermination, he had been interspersing his larger movements with
repeated raids upon Rangitane and Muaupoko, in which he invariably
made them feel the sting of his revenge. Finding that these attacks
were becoming more frequent and more vigorous, the chiefs of the
latter tribe conceived a plan by which they hoped to elude the
persistency of their implacable pursuers. Hitherto their _pas_
had been built on the shores of the picturesque lakes, around which
they had lived since their advent into the district, centuries before.
But they now decided to abandon these strongholds, which were exposed
to every raid of the enemy, and build their dwellings in the centre of
Lakes Horowhenua and Papaitonga. At the cost of an amazing amount of
industry and toil, they constructed artificial islands upon the beds
of these lakes at their deepest parts, and upon these mounds they
built a miniature Maori Venice. The construction of these islands was
most ingenious, and desperate indeed must have been the straits to
which Muaupoko were driven before they imposed upon themselves so
laborious a task.

Proceeding to the bush, their first operation was to cut down a number
of saplings, which were pointed and then driven into the soft mud,
closely enclosing in rectangular form sufficient space on which to
place the foundations of the houses. Smaller stakes were then driven
into the centre of the enclosure, upon which were spitted those
compact masses of vegetation known as "Maori-heads." A layer of these
gave the builders a solid basis upon which to work, and huge stones,
earth, and gravel were brought in the canoes from the shore, and
poured into the enclosures until the pile of _débris_ rose some
height above the level of the water. Six such islands were formed on
Lake Horowhenua and two on Papaitonga, and on these _whares_ were
erected, which were gradually extended by the addition of platforms
reaching a considerable distance beyond the islands. Round each of
these platforms ran a stout palisade, which served the dual purpose of
preventing the very young children from falling into the water and
offering a formidable barrier to the assaults of the enemy. As the
only means of communication with these islands was by canoe, and as it
was well known to the Muaupoko people that Te Rauparaha had few such
vessels, they felt comparatively secure from attack so soon as they
had transferred themselves to their new retreat.

But they little reckoned on the kind of man with whom they had to
deal, when they imagined that a placid sheet of water could interpose
between Te Rauparaha and his enemies. Canoes he had not, but strong
swimmers he had; and it is a fine tribute to their daring that, on a
dark and gloomy night, a small band of these undertook to swim off to
one of the Horowhenua _pas_ and attack its sleeping inhabitants.
With their weapons lashed to their wrists, they silently entered the
water, and by swift side strokes reached the walls of Waipata, the
_pa_ which they had chosen for their attempt, and were swarming over
the palisades before a note of warning could be sounded. Taken at such
a disadvantage, it was not to be expected that the Muaupoko resistance
would be effective, for they were both stunned by surprise and
paralysed by fear at the awful suddenness of the attack. Flight was
their first thought, and such as were not slain in their sleep or
caught in their attempt to escape, plunged into the lake and made for
the nearest shelter. In this endeavour to escape death all were not
successful, and it is estimated that, between the killed and drowned,
the attack upon Waipata cost the Muaupoko several hundred lives,
besides adding to their misfortune by shattering utterly their belief
in the inaccessibility of their island _pas_. The adjoining _pas_ upon
the lake, warned of the impending danger by the tumult at Waipata, at
once prepared for a stubborn defence; but the attacking party, feeling
themselves unequal to the task of a second assault, discreetly
withdrew to the mainland before it was yet daylight, and at once made
preparations for another attack upon a more extensive scale. But both
prudence and necessity dictated the wisdom of delay; it was wiser to
wait until Muaupoko had relapsed into their former state of
confidence, and, moreover, the plan upon which it was proposed to make
the attack required time for its development.

Recognising the strength of the Waikiekie _pa_, against which the
energies of his tribe were next to be directed, Te Rauparaha saw that
success was not to be expected unless he could attack it in force.
This involved the transportation of a large body of men over the
waters of the lake, which could only be effected by means of canoes.
These he did not possess in numbers, and, even if he had, he must
still devise means of conveying them to the lake, which was several
miles from the coast. His ingenious mind, however, soon discovered an
escape from these perplexities, and he at once decided upon a plan,
which was not without precedent in European warfare or imitation in
subsequent Maori history. His scheme involved the haulage of his
canoes over the belt of land which separated the lake from the sea,
and the enterprise seems to have been as cleverly executed as it was
daringly designed. Out of the lake runs an insignificant stream, which
slowly meanders over shallows and between narrow banks down to the
ocean; and to the mouth of this creek were brought such canoes as had
fallen into Te Rauparaha's hands at the taking of Kapiti, and a larger
one which had been procured from his friends at Whanganui-a-Tara.[59]
Where the water was deep enough, or the reaches straight enough, the
canoes were floated up the bed of the stream; but as this was possible
only at rare intervals, the greater part of the distance was covered
by dragging the vessels over the grassy flats and ferny undulations.
Such a task would be laborious enough under any circumstances; but on
this occasion it was rendered even more wearisome by the necessity for
conducting it in absolute silence. As the success of the expedition
depended mainly upon the completeness of the surprise, it was
essential that no note of warning should be given, and therefore it
was impossible to encourage the workers to greater exertions by song
or speech; but so heartily did they bend themselves to their
monotonous task, that the three miles of toilsome road were traversed
before the break of day.

The outflow of the lake was hidden by a clump of trees which grew
close to the water's edge, and behind this natural screen the canoes
were concealed, and the men lay down to rest until the moment came to
strike. At the first appearance of dawn, the canoes were shot into the
lake, and before the inhabitants of Waikiekie had shaken slumber from
their eyes, the shaft was on its way that would send many of them to
their last long sleep. The _pa_ was attacked on every side, and
with a vigour which left little chance of escape. Such resistance as
was possible in such a situation was offered by the drowsy defenders.
But the mortal fear with which they had come to regard the Ngati-Toa,
together with the fury of the onslaught and the completeness of the
surprise, spread panic amongst them, and the resistance was soon left
to a desperate few. Their valiant efforts brought them nothing but the
glory which attends the death of the brave. They were quickly borne
down before the onrush of the assailants, whose shouts of triumph,
joined with the terrified cries of the fugitives, filled the morning
air. Large numbers, who looked to discretion rather than valour,
plunged into the lake, and by swimming, diving, and dodging, a few
managed to elude both capture and death. But many were slain as they
swam, and, while their bodies sank to the bottom, their blood mingled
with the waters of the lake, until it lay crimson beneath the rising
sun. Warriors and women, old men and children, to the number of two
hundred, we are told, perished on that fateful morning, which saw the
Muaupoko tribe driven from Horowhenua, and the epoch of their
greatness brought to a close. A mere remnant of the tribe escaped, and
made their way through the forests and mountain fastnesses towards the
south, where, within the space of another year, they were again
pursued, hunted, and slaughtered, with all the old relentless hatred
of their destroyer.

Having inflicted this crushing blow upon Muaupoko, and feeling
convinced that they could never again be a serious menace to
Ngati-Toa, the section of the Ngati-Awa tribe who, under
Rere-ta-whangawhanga and other chiefs, had accompanied Te Rauparaha
from Taranaki, now determined to return to their own country at
Waitara;[60] and it was this decision which made it imperative that
the Ngati-Toa leader should seek efficient aid from some other
quarter. He accordingly, without delay, despatched messengers to the
north, once again to invite his kinsmen of the Ngati-Raukawa tribe to
come and join him. These emissaries, having arrived at Taupo, learned
that an attempt to reach Kapiti by way of the east coast had already
been made by Te Whatanui, but without success, as he had been defeated
by a Hawke's Bay tribe and driven back. This experience had somewhat
cooled his ardour; but when Te Rauparaha's messengers came with the
news that Kapiti had been taken, and told of his marvellous success at
Waipata and Waikiekie, interest in the project at once revived.
Especially was a young chief, named Te Ahu-karamu, fired with its
romantic prospects, and he immediately organised a force of one
hundred and twenty men and set off for the land of promise.

Almost simultaneously with the arrival of these reinforcements,
additional strength was gained by the accession of another band of
Ngati-Awa from Taranaki; and, with these additions to his ranks, Te
Rauparaha felt himself strong enough to resume once more active
operations in the field. He accordingly moved upon a skilfully built
_pa_ situated at Paekakariki, some miles to the southward of
Kapiti, whither the escaping Muaupoko had fled and taken refuge. In
this adventure a larger force than usual was employed; for not only
were the new arrivals keen for a brush with the enemy, but the natural
strength of the _pa_ was such that Rauparaha knew it would be
useless to approach it without a force of adequate proportions. In
these anticipations his judgment was correct, as usual, for the
struggle proved to be an exceedingly obstinate one and the death-roll
on both sides considerable. After some days of incessant attack, in
which the few muskets possessed by Ngati-Toa played their fatal part,
the Muaupoko defence was pierced, and the victory was sealed with all
the atrocities associated with the savage warfare of the ancient Maori.

The capture of this _pa_ proved to be a rich prize for Rauparaha.
Not only did it uproot the last stronghold of the Muaupoko people, but
it brought a substantial addition to his supplies. Large quantities
of provisions were discovered within the stockade, evidently collected
in anticipation of a lengthy siege. So provident, in fact, had the
inhabitants of the Paekakariki fort been in this respect, that the
large attacking force spent the succeeding two months feasting upon
the captured stores, interspersed with an occasional cannibal repast.
This period of rest the visitors were prepared to enjoy to the full;
for after a battle nothing was more congenial to Maori warriors than
to lie idly about the sunny places in the _pa_, and discuss in every
detail the stirring incidents of the fight.

It was while thus basking in fancied security that the tables were
suddenly turned upon them, and from a most unexpected quarter. Hearing
from some of the fugitives of the capture of the Paekakariki
_pa_, and burning to avenge the raid which Ngati-Toa had
previously made into the Wairarapa, the members of the Ngati-Kahungunu
tribe residing at Wairarapa and near Wellington believed that this was
their golden opportunity. Secretly collecting a fighting force of
considerable strength, they made their way through the bush to
Paekakariki, and there fell upon the unwary and self-indulgent
invaders. To them it was something of a novel experience to be thus
repaid in their own tactics; but the swiftness and audacity with which
the blow was delivered completely demoralised them, and the erstwhile
assailants suffered the humiliation of being beaten back upon Waikanae
with inglorious precipitancy. The whole procedure necessarily involved
considerable loss on the part of Ngati-Toa and their allies, and the
bitterness of the reverse was especially galling because it was the
first occasion on which they had been worsted in arms since their
occupation of the country had commenced. The closeness of the pursuit
did not slacken until the fugitives had reached Waikanae; but beyond
this point Ngati-Kahungunu did not press their advantage. They were
now rushing into touch with Rauparaha's permanent settlements, from
which the echoes of the strife might draw reinforcements at any
moment. Unwilling to overrun their victory, the men from
Whanganui-a-Tara withdrew to the south, well pleased with their
achievement, which was not without its lesson for Te Rauparaha.

The chief saw that the time had not yet arrived when he could relax
his life-long vigilance. Heavy as had been the defeats which he had
inflicted upon the resident people, he saw that their spirit had not
yet been completely crushed. Brave as his own followers were, he saw
that they were not proof against the panic which often springs from a
surprise attack. The thing, however, which caused him most concern was
the hostile attitude which was now being adopted towards him by the
Ngati-Kahungunu people. Hitherto this powerful tribe, whose domain was
a wide and populous one on the eastern coast, had remained
comparatively neutral in the contest for supremacy in the west. But
now this attitude was abandoned, and under the encouragement afforded
by this prospect of protection, the displaced tribes were gradually
venturing back to their deserted settlements. Should an effective
alliance be formed between his enemies on the two coasts, the position
would at once become so charged with danger that his comparatively
small force would find itself in a most critical situation. It was,
then, the threatening attitude of his neighbours which caused the
Ngati-Toa chief to decide finally upon the abandonment of the mainland
and the transference of the whole of his people to Kapiti, there to
await the result of his mission to his friends at Maungatautari. In
the meantime three strongly fortified _pas_ were built upon the
island, and every preparation made against possible attack. These
_pas_, situated one at either end, and the third in the centre of
the island, were designed with as keen an eye for trade as for the
purposes of defence. Te Rauparaha had not lost sight of the main
purpose of his conquest, which was to bring himself into close
association with the whalers, from whom he hoped to obtain, by
purchase, barter, or bullying, additions to his store of guns and
ammunition. For this purpose Kapiti was easily the key to the
position. Favoured by deep water and safe anchorage, it afforded the
securest of shelter to vessels seeking to escape from the dirty
weather which comes whistling through the Strait. Boats lying snugly
at anchor under the lee of the land would have opportunities for trade
from which all others would be cut off; and there is little doubt that
this commercial advantage was coolly calculated upon when the _pas_ on
the mainland were evacuated and those on the island were occupied.
This much at least is certain, that, whether part of a premeditated
scheme or otherwise, the move proved to be a masterstroke, for it gave
to Te Rauparaha a virtual monopoly of the white man's patronage, a
privilege which for years he guarded with jealous exclusiveness.

When it became known that Te Rauparaha had retired to Kapiti, and
there seemed less danger of immediate molestation, the Rangitane
people again began to collect in force near their old home at Hotuiti.
They built a strong _pa_ near the present town of Foxton, and
here they were joined by a number of Ngati-Apa chiefs and people from
Rangitikei. This proceeding Te Rauparaha regarded as a danger and a
menace to his safety; for he had no reason to believe that he enjoyed
their friendship, and no means of ascertaining when they might think
fit to wreak their vengeance upon him. He therefore decided to take
the initiative and attack them. Accordingly, with Rangihaeata and his
Ngati-Apa wife Pikinga, he marched his war party up the coast and at
once invested the place. The method by which he sought to reduce the
_pa_ to submission was a clever stratagem--perfectly honourable,
perhaps, according to the Maori code of warfare--but utterly repulsive
to civilised ideas; and, to those who judge him by the latter
standard, it lowers Te Rauparaha from the high plane of a classic
warrior to the level of a cunning and unscrupulous savage. His first
act of generalship aimed at separating the two tribes, a step which
has been attributed by some to a desire to spare the Ngati-Apa,
because of their relationship with Pikinga. Others, however, can see
in it nothing but a clever ruse to divide the defending force, so that
he might the more easily attack and defeat them singly. He therefore
sent Pikinga to the Ngati-Apa chiefs with a request that they would
withdraw to their own territory beyond the Rangitikei River. Probably
he promised them safe-conduct on their journey; but, if he did, it was
of no avail, for they firmly refused to evacuate the Hotuiti _pa_, and
doggedly remained where they were. Feigning, then, to abandon his
campaign, Te Rauparaha sent to the Rangitane chiefs, inviting them to
come to him and negotiate terms of peace.

In view of their past experiences it might have been expected that
such a request would be scornfully declined; but after long and
anxious debate it was decided--mainly, it is said, on the advice of
the Ngati-Apa chiefs--that the leading Rangitane warriors should meet
the Ngati-Toa leader and make the best terms possible with him. The
result was, of course, the old story: the ruthless slaughter of the
confiding ambassadors, who found that Te Rauparaha had come, not with
peace, but unrelenting war. Treachery was no more suspected inside the
_pa_ than out of it; and while the people were deluded into the
belief that the war-clouds had passed away, they were being secretly
and silently surrounded. At a given signal the walls were stormed and
a bloody massacre followed, from which the Ngati-Toa warriors emerged
sated with gruesome triumph. The slain were eaten on the spot, and the
prisoners were taken to Waikanae, there to await the returning
appetite of their captors.

So dastardly an attack upon their friends and so gross an insult to
their tribal pride could not be ignored; and although time might
elapse before the Ngati-Apa peoples would be able to strike an
avenging blow, it was quite certain that so soon as the favourable
moment arrived the Ngati-Toa would have to pay the penalty of their
treachery. But Te Rauparaha never dreamed that they would have the
temerity to attack him upon his own land, and while he was lying in
fancied security at Waikanae, the storm suddenly burst upon him. The
Ngati-Apa, under Te Hakeke, had hurriedly collected their war party,
and obtaining reinforcements from the fugitives who had escaped from
the massacre at Hotuiti, came by stealthy marches down the coast and
fell upon the unsuspecting Ngati-Toa in the dead of night. Next
morning the camp was in ruins, Te Rauparaha's force was in flight, and
sixty of his followers, including four of Te Pehi's daughters, were
lying dead amongst the _débris_. The balance of battle honours having
been thus somewhat adjusted, the aggressors retired, well satisfied
with the result. They were allowed to depart without a resumption of
hostilities, for the supports who had come over from Kapiti were
either not strong enough, or not keen enough, to pursue them.[61]

Whatever may have been Te Rauparaha's previous disposition towards
Ngati-Apa, whether he was genuinely disposed to befriend them or
whether he was merely playing on their credulity, is of no further
importance, for from that day he took on an attitude of undisguised
hostility towards them, revoking all promises of peace, stated or
implied, and becoming, in the characteristic language of
Matene-te-Whiwhi, "dark in his heart in regard to Ngati-Apa." The
shield of friendship having been removed, this unfortunate tribe was
now exposed to all the fury of the most ruthless man in New Zealand;
and in the raids which his warriors made against them, neither man nor
woman was spared who was unfortunate enough to fall into his hands.
These misfortunes created a bond of sympathy between Ngati-Apa and
their neighbours, the Rangitane and Muaupoko, and paved the way for an
alliance against the common enemy. Although banished from Horowhenua
and wandering about the solitary places of the coast, a broken and
shattered people, there was still sufficient energy and hatred
remaining in one of the Muaupoko chiefs to make a final effort to
recover their departed _mana_.

Te Raki, who had suffered captivity at the hands of Te Pehi, aspiring,
after his escape, to be the regenerator of his tribe, became the
active apostle of a federation which was to embrace the tribes who had
felt the weight of the Ngati-Toa hand. From Waitotara in the north to
Arapawa and Massacre Bay in the south, and Wairarapa in the east, he
organised an alliance which could hurl two thousand fighting men
against their redoubtable adversary. Canoes from far and near brought
this host to the appointed rendezvous, the northerners assembling at
Otaki and the southerners at Waikanae. From these two points this army
converged upon Kapiti, their canoes "darkening the sea" as they went.
The magnitude of the armada, however, was greater than its discipline,
and before it had proceeded far its movements were discovered. The
noise of the paddles, as the canoes approached the island in the early
morning, caught the keen ear of Nopera, and when the right wing landed
at Rangatira Point, they were opposed by the people whom they had
expected to surprise. The attack was fierce and desperate, and when
Pokaitara, the Ngati-Toa commander, found himself being driven back
towards Waiorua, he astutely proposed a truce. It would give him a
welcome respite while it lasted, and perhaps some advantage in the
first moment of its violation. Ignorant of the fact that a message had
been sent to Te Rauparaha, who happened to be at the centre of the
island, and hoping for the speedy arrival of his own laggard
reinforcements, who were still at sea, Rangi-maire-hau, the Ngati-Apa
chief from Turakina, in a weak moment, agreed to a suspension of
hostilities. Scarcely had this been arranged, when Te Rauparaha, with
the major part of his people, arrived upon the scene, and repudiating
the agreement to which his lieutenant had committed himself, he
recommenced the sanguinary work, and fought to such purpose that the
issue was soon placed beyond doubt. With one hundred and seventy of
their tribesmen slain, the Ngati-Apa attack began to slacken.
Presently their ranks were seen to waver, and an impetuous charge at
this decisive moment drove into rout what had hitherto been an
impenetrable front. The slaughter of pursuit was scarcely less than
that of resistance. Dead and dying lay on every side, and many found a
watery grave in their vain effort to swim to the canoes, which had not
yet reached the shore.

News that disaster had overtaken the advance guard quickly spread to
the other sections of the allied forces; and, without attempting to
retrieve the fortunes of the day, they turned and precipitately fled
in whichever direction safety seemed to lie. When he realised that his
host had been worsted in the battle, Rangi-maire-hau disdained to fly,
but threw himself upon the mercy of Te Rangihaeata, who had borne
himself with conspicuous bravery throughout the attack. That haughty
chief, however, saw no reason why he should spread his protecting
mantle over his would-be exterminator, even though the appeal was
founded on the bond of relationship with his Ngati-Apa wife; and,
steeling his heart against every entreaty, he ordered Rangi-maire-hau's
immediate death. With this exception, it is recorded to the credit of
Ngati-Toa that they used their victory with unusual moderation. Thus,
the largest force which had ever been marshalled during the Maori wars
along this coast was defeated by one of the smallest; the organisation
of two years was dissipated in as many hours; and the invaders were
only the more firmly established in the land by this futile attempt to
uproot them. This great victory, which settled for ever the question
of supremacy, was duly celebrated by feasting and dancing, during
which Te Rauparaha chanted a song of triumph, which was especially
offensive to his enemies, taunting them, as it did, with a lack of
courage, and foretelling even greater misfortunes that were yet to
befall them:--

  "When will your anger dare?
  When will your power arise?
  Salute your child with your nose.
  But how salute him now?
  You will see the rejoicing tide
  Of the warrior's coming glee,
  And the departure of Rongo-ma-whiti."

While Te Rauparaha was enjoying the fruits of his victory, his forces
received welcome reinforcements from two quarters. The news of battles
fought and laurels won had reached Taranaki, where the Ngati-Tama
chief, Te Puoho, and some of his followers, whose curiosity had been
aroused by the tales told by their returned tribesmen, came down to
learn the truth of the matter for themselves. Close upon their heels
came the long-hoped-for band of Ngati-Raukawa, who signalised their
advent by at once attacking the settlements in the Rangitikei and
Manawatu districts. While one party skirted the coast,[62] the other
struck inland, and under their chiefs, Te Whatu and Te Whetu,
surrounded and captured a Ngati-Apa _pa_ at Rangiure, and then
proceeded to Pikitane, where they killed a number of the resident
people and made the rest prisoners. These two settlements had been
taken completely by surprise, their people little dreaming that a war
party was marching through the land. No better prepared were the
Ngati-Apa then living at Awahuri, who were next attacked, and their
chief, named Te Aonui, was added to the train of captives. The
invaders then pushed their victorious march down the course of the
Oroua River, as far as its junction with the Manawatu. Here they
crossed the larger stream, and immediately attacked the _pa_ at
Te Whakatipua. This assault was stoutly resisted by the chiefs,
Kaihinu and Piropiro, who paid the penalty with their lives, but the
remainder of the people who were not shot by the invaders were spared
on proffering a humble submission. This was practically the only
discreet course open to them. Not only were they placed at a serious
disadvantage, away from their fighting _pas_, but many of the
Ngati-Raukawa were armed with guns, while the Rangitane people had not
as yet been able to discard the wooden spears and stone clubs of their

The rapid movements of the Ngati-Raukawa, and the completeness of
their captures, had prevented the news of their presence being
despatched to the adjoining settlements; and, as a consequence, when
they ascended the Manawatu and came upon the little _pa_ at
Rotoatane, situated not far from Tiakitahuna,[63] they were able to
attack and capture it almost before the people could be summoned from
the fields. Not that it was a bloodless victory. A Rangitane chief,
named Tina, fought with desperation, and, before he was overpowered by
superior numbers, three of the assailants were stretched dead at his
feet. Once more the advance was sounded, the objective this time being
the _pa_ at Tiakitahuna itself. This settlement was under the
chieftainship of Toringa and Tamati Panau, the latter being the father
of the chief Kerei te Panau,[64] who until recently lived at Awapuni.
These men were evidently more alert than their neighbours, for no
sooner did the _taua_ come in sight than they took to their
canoes and paddled across to the opposite bank of the river. While the
two tribes were thus ranged on opposite sides of the stream, the
Rangitane had time to consider the position. Tamati Panau was the
first to seek an explanation, by calling out to Te Whatu, "Where is
the war party from?" Clear and quick came the answer back, "From the
north." That was sufficient for Toringa, who had already tested the
mettle of the northerners, and he at once sent a curse across the
water, hurled at the heads of the invaders with all the venom that
tribal hatred and a sense of injured vanity could instil. Whether it
was the dread of Toringa's denunciation, or whether the Ngati-Raukawa
were satisfied with their unbroken course of victory, is not clear to
the present-day historian; but the Rangitane traditions relate that,
after firing a single shot from one of their muskets, the invaders
retired from the district, taking their prisoners with them, and made
their way south to join Te Rauparaha, who was anxiously awaiting their

The prospect opened up to these new-comers was far beyond anything
that they had dreamed. In fact, so fascinated was Te Ahu-karamu with
the new and beautiful country which his great kinsman had conquered
that, after a reasonable rest, he returned to Taupo for the purpose of
bringing the whole of his people away from a position which was daily
becoming more exposed to the aggression of the Waikato tribes. But his
designs in this direction were nearly thwarted by the persistency with
which the tribe clung to their northern home, even in defiance of his
threat to invoke the wrath of his _atua_[65] if they dared to
question the command of their chief. Finding that the terrors of his
god had no influence upon them, Karamu adopted an instrument of the
devil, and, taking a torch in his hand, brought his obdurate tribesmen
to their senses by burning every house in the _pa_ to the ground.
Rendered thus houseless and homeless, there was nothing for the
dejected people to do but to follow their imperious leader. In his
journey back to Kapiti he was joined by two of the most famous chiefs
of that day--Te Whatanui and Te Heuheu, the former of whom was
destined to become the patriarch of Horowhenua and the protector of
its persecuted people. Collecting a strong retinue of followers, the
three chiefs set off in 1825 by the same route which Karamu had
previously travelled down the valley of the Rangitikei, varying the
monotony of the journey[66] through the Ngati-Apa country by
occasionally chasing frightened fugitives, in order to gratify their
pride and glut their appetite.

Upon their arrival at Kapiti long and anxious consultations followed
between the chiefs, the result of which was that Te Whatanui at last
consented to migrate[67] and throw in his fortunes with Te Rauparaha.
This was eventually accomplished in 1828-29, the consolidation of the
Ngati-Toa and Ngati-Raukawa tribes making their future absolutely
secure and bringing Te Rauparaha's wildest dreams of conquest within
measurable distance of accomplishment. His broadened aspirations had
long before this extended across the Strait; and, next to the conquest
of the coast on which he was now operating, it had become his greatest
ambition to measure his strength against the natives of the Middle
Island. Their reputed wealth in greenstone had aroused his avarice,
while the prospect of acquiring additional territory appealed
strongly to his love of power.

But before he was able to perfect his plans for carrying into effect
this new stroke of aggression, an event occurred which was destined to
have important results. It will be remembered that the crowning
circumstance which had induced Te Rauparaha to leave Kawhia was the
sight of a vessel beating through Cook Strait. He had there and then
settled in his mind that this part of the coast was soon to become an
important rendezvous for whalers, &c., and already his anticipations
were being realised with an amazing rapidity. The whalers were now
frequent visitors to Kapiti, and many were the marvels which they
brought in their train. But most of all were the natives absorbed in
the prospect of securing from these rough seafarers guns and
ammunition, steel tomahawks, and other weapons, which would give them
an advantage over their enemies in the only business then worth
consideration--the business of war. Many of these ships, however, had
not come prepared for this traffic,[68] and the lack of guns, rather
than any hesitation to part with them, made the process of arming a
tribe a slow one. It had at least proved much too slow for some of the
more restless spirits of the race; and impatience, added to a natural
love of adventure, had led some of them to ship to Sydney, and even to
England, in the hope of bringing back with them the means of
accelerating their enemies' destruction. Of these latter Hongi had
been a conspicuous example, and the success which had attended his
mission to England roused a spirit of emulation in the breasts of
other chiefs, who were only waiting the opportunity of following his
example. Of these, Te Pehi Kupe, the conqueror of Kapiti, was one of
the few who were signally successful. Knowing no language but his own,
having only the vaguest notions of what a voyage to England meant,
and a very precarious prospect of ever being brought back, this man
had thrown himself on board an English whaler, and, resolute against
all dissuasions, and even against physical force, had insisted upon
being carried to a country of which he had but two ideas--King George,
of whom he had heard, and guns, which he had seen and hoped to

Thus it came about that, while the ship _Urania_ was lying
becalmed in Cook Strait, about five or six miles from the land, on
February 26, 1824, Captain Reynolds perceived three large canoes,
fully manned, approaching the vessel. Doubtful what such a
demonstration might portend, Captain Reynolds put his ship in a
condition to resist an attack if necessary; and when the canoes were
within hail, he, by word and sign, endeavoured to warn them off. Had
he chosen, he might easily have sent the frail-looking barques to the
bottom by a single shot from the ship's guns; but, unlike many another
skipper of those days, Captain Reynolds was a man actuated by
considerations which went beyond himself, and the thought of the
retaliation which might fall upon other mariners coming to the shores
of New Zealand restrained him from committing any such act of
brutality. Fortunately there was no need for drastic action, and the
behaviour of the natives was such as to leave no doubt in the mind of
the captain that their intentions were of a peaceable character. Te
Pehi boldly directed his crew to paddle alongside the ship, and,
divesting himself of all his clothing except a mat which was slung
across his shoulders, he, with the swiftness of an athlete, climbed on
board. When he reached the deck, he endeavoured by signs and gestures
to convey to Captain Reynolds that what he wanted was arms and
ammunition, and, on being informed that the ship had none to spare, he
coolly indicated that, such being the case, he had decided to remain
on board and proceed to Europe[69] to see King George. These words he
had evidently learned from some of Captain Reynolds' predecessors, for
he was able to pronounce them with sufficient distinctness to be
clearly understood. The audacity of this proposal completely staggered
the master of the _Urania_, and he at once tried to nip such ambitious
hopes in the bud by peremptorily ordering the chief back to his canoe.
Te Pehi, however, met this direction by calling to his men to move the
canoe away from the ship, and the captain next sought to give his
command practical force by throwing the chief overboard, in the hope
and belief that the canoes would pick him up out of the sea. But in
this he was again checkmated. The chief threw himself down on the deck
and seized hold of two ring-bolts, with so powerful a grip that it was
impossible to tear him away without such violence as the humanity of
Captain Reynolds would not permit. At this critical juncture a light
breeze sprang up, and Te Pehi improved the favourable circumstance by
ordering his men to paddle to the shore, as he was going to see King
George, and that he would soon return. This command was at once
obeyed, and the breeze carrying the _Urania_ off the land, Captain
Reynolds was reluctantly compelled to keep the chief on board that
night. But, far from satisfied with his self-constituted passenger, he
next day made another effort to force Te Pehi on shore, and nearly
lost his ship in the attempt. This narrow escape, and the favourable
conditions for getting away from New Zealand, to some extent
reconciled the captain to an acceptance of the situation; but his
chagrin was as great as was the delight of the chief, when it was
found that there was no option but to keep him on board for the
remainder of the voyage.

With more intimate acquaintance, the relations between the captain
and chief grew to be of the most friendly nature, and they lived
together, both on shipboard and on shore, the captain taking a kindly
interest in explaining to his protégé the mysteries of the great world
upon which he was entering, while the native clung to his new-found
friend with a confiding affection.[70] The _Urania_ ultimately reached
Liverpool, where Te Pehi was the subject of much public attention. He
was shown over the principal manufactories in Manchester and London,
his great anxiety to see King George was gratified, and, although he
was subject to a good deal of sickness, yet, thanks to the care of
Captain Reynolds, he made an excellent recovery. After about a year's
residence in England, he was placed on board H.M. ship _The Thames_,
and in October, 1825, he sailed for his native land, loaded with
presents of clothing and agricultural implements, which were given him
by benevolently minded people in the hope that, combined with the
knowledge of their use and blessing, which he had acquired in England,
they would exercise an elevating influence upon his countrymen when he
should return amongst them. Vain hope; for on his arrival at Sydney,
Te Pehi reversed the beautiful biblical allegory, and turned his
pruning hooks into spears and his ploughshares into guns and
ammunition, to aid in the work of waging eternal warfare against the
enemies of his tribe.[71]

Early in the year 1824, and immediately after Te Pehi's departure for
England, Te Rauparaha found that, in consequence of the many recent
additions to his forces, the number of natives who had placed
themselves under his command was then sufficient to enable him to
begin the main purpose of his conquest, namely, the systematic
occupation of the land.[72] He and his own immediate tribe having
decided to occupy the island of Kapiti, where they could be in closer
touch with the whalers, he now proceeded to partition the country
along the coast amongst the new arrivals. The first division led to
civil war and domestic feuds between a section of Ngati-Raukawa and
the Ngati-Tama from Taranaki, under Te Puoho, which at one time
threatened to destroy all that he had already accomplished; and it was
not until a new allotment was agreed upon, by which Ngati-Awa, to whom
Ngati-Tama were closely related, were given exclusive possession of
the country south of the Kukutauaki stream, and the Ngati-Raukawa sole
dominion over the district northward of that boundary as far as the
Wangaehu River, that his power to resist his enemies was restored by
the restoration of harmony amongst his friends. Not that there was any
immediate danger of attack; for his incessant raids upon the Ngati-Apa
and Muaupoko tribes had reduced them to the condition of a shattered
and fugitive remnant, incapable alike of organised attack or organised

It was probably one of the proudest days of Te Rauparaha's life when,
standing on Kapiti, he formally transferred the whole of the coast to
his followers by right of conquest, than which no Maori could hope for
a better title, and proclaimed to the assembled people the precise
districts which were to be their future homes, where they were to
cultivate, to catch eels, to snare and spear birds. These
dispositions, however, did not imply that he was prepared to surrender
his supreme authority over the lands, and the fact that he desired to,
and intended to, retain his right of suzerainty was made abundantly
clear. "The lands I now give you are in our joint rule, but I shall be
greater in power than you individually"; such were the terms in which
the transfer was made, and the people acquiesced in a unanimous "It is
right, O Raha! it is as you say." But Ngati-Toa, Ngati-Raukawa and
Ngati-Awa were commissioned to do something more than merely occupy
the land. In imperious tones the great chief commanded them: "Clear
the weeds from off my field." In other and less figurative words, they
were to kill and persecute the conquered peoples without pity and
without mercy; and perhaps it would have been well for Ngati-Raukawa
had they more faithfully obeyed his instructions, instead of extending
a sheltering arm to Ngati-Apa and Muaupoko, both of whom subsequently
proved themselves so unworthy of this clemency.[73]

Under the arrangement thus determined upon at Kapiti the country round
the beautiful lake at Horowhenua was taken possession of by that grand
old member of a magnificent race, Te Whatanui, and those people who
had come from the north with him. The district now known as Lower
Manawatu was occupied by another section of the Ngati-Raukawa people,
under Te Whetu, and, still higher up, Rangitikei came under the
dominion of Nepia Taratoa, a chief who seems to have been as generous
to Ngati-Apa as Whatanui was to Muaupoko. Southward of Horowhenua, as
far as the present harbour of Wellington, the country was subsequently
given over to Ngati-Awa, who were in settled possession when the
first European colonists arrived. Here in 1825-26 Pomare, their chief,
led the Ngati-Mutunga _hapu_ of the Ngati-Awa people, who forcibly
occupied the shores of the great bay, where they hoped to cultivate
the friendship of the whalers,[74] whose commerce was so profitable to
them. Their tenure, however, was not an undisputed one. They were
subjected to frequent raids and incessant harassment from the
Wairarapa tribe, whom they had displaced, and who deeply resented
being thus deprived of their one avenue of communication with the
_pakeha_. This tribe, though powerless to retrieve the aggression of
Ngati-Awa, missed no opportunity of irritating them, and Pomare was
not reluctant to hand over his trust to some other chief, so soon as
he could be honourably relieved of it. This opportunity came when,
after the fall of the Puke-rangiora _pa_ in 1831, the survivors of
that (for Ngati-Awa) disastrous day, together with the flower of their
tribe from their other settlements, abandoned Taranaki, and came down,
a fugitive host, to shelter under the protecting wing of Te Rauparaha.

With Te Puni, Wi Tako, and Wharepouri, an arrangement was entered into
in 1834, whereby the land round the harbour and the right to contest
the ownership of the territory with the unexterminated portion of the
Ngati-Kahungunu were to be ceded to them for the consideration of a
greenstone _mere_. Pomare was perhaps the more ready to relinquish
possession of what is now amongst the most valuable land in the
Dominion, because he had become possessed of information which seemed
to open up a much more agreeable prospect than resisting the
inconvenient incursions of his Wairarapa enemies. One of the young men
of his tribe, Paka-whara, who had shipped on board a whaler, had just
returned from a southern cruise, with the intelligence that the
Chatham Islands were populated by a sleek and inoffensive people, who
might be expected to fall an easy prey to such hardened veterans in
war as Ngati-Awa could now furnish. Pomare at once acted upon the
inspiration; and chartering, partly by payment and partly by
intimidation, the British brig _Rodney_, he sailed with his followers
in November, 1835, for the Chathams, where, by a fearful destruction
of human life, the well-conditioned, unwarlike Morioris were reduced
within the short space of two years to a remnant of two hundred souls.

Whether the allocation of these districts to these particular chiefs
was due to their own choice or to the will of Te Rauparaha is not
known; but in the case of Te Whetu the former appears to have been the
fact. During the raid which he made upon Manawatu while migrating to
Kapiti, he had secured amongst his captives a handsome young Rangitane
woman named Hinetiti, whose charms so pleased him that when he reached
Kapiti he made her his wife. Hine's gentleness moved her lord and
master in a way that sterner methods would not, and she soon obtained
such an influence over him that her will became his desire. Doubtless
the memory of her old home was ever present with her, even amongst the
beauties of Kapiti; and, when the partition of the country was being
spoken of in the _kaingas_, she urged Te Whetu to take her back
to the banks of the Manawatu, where she might be once more with her
friends and relatives. In deference to this wish, Te Whetu brought her
to a little settlement named Te Iwi te Kari, near Foxton. With them
came the Ngati-Wehiwehi _hapu_, bringing the prisoners whom they
had taken eighteen months before, and together they occupied the
district around Matai-Kona.

The Manawatu was still well stocked with Rangitane, for many of their
larger settlements in the upper portion of the district had not been
so completely depopulated as some of the more southern _pas_ by
the captures and slaughters of the marauding northerners. The
presence of the Ngati-Raukawa in the midst of their country put no
check upon their freedom, and, according to their ancient custom, they
moved about from one _kainga_ to another at their pleasure. Indeed,
the relations between the Rangitane and Ngati-Raukawa appear to have
been of the most friendly nature after the return of the captives from
Kapiti, a fact which the former attribute to the marriage of Te Whetu
with their chieftainess, but which in reality was due to the
generosity of the Ngati-Raukawa, who, had they chosen, might have left
nothing but smoking ruins and bleaching bones to tell of the
Rangitane's former existence.

The feeling, however, was not so cordial between the Rangitane and the
natives immediately under the leadership of Te Rauparaha, who allowed
no circumstance to mitigate his extreme desire for revenge; and,
although no pitched battles took place, there were occasional
skirmishes and massacres which served to keep alive the fires of hate.
In like manner he constantly harried the Muaupoko and such members of
the Ngati-Apa tribe as he now and then fell in with, until these
people, feeling life to be unbearable if they were to be hunted like
beasts of prey, decided to place themselves beyond the reach of so
relentless a tormentor. They accordingly, to the number of three
hundred souls, including women and children, determined upon flight
into the Wairarapa; and there they threw themselves upon the mercy of
the Ngati-Kahungunu, who might be expected to display some sympathy
for other victims of the suffering from which they themselves had not
escaped. But here again the hapless people were doomed to a bitter
experience. Instead of being received with the open arms of welcome,
they were cruelly set upon and driven back over the Tararua Ranges,
because of some old and unavenged act of violence which their friends
had committed, but of which they had probably never heard.

Spurned from the only asylum which appeared to be open to them,
Ngati-Apa returned to Rangitikei and sought the protection of
Rangihaeata and Nepia Taratoa, to both of whom they paid tribute for
the right to live. Muaupoko placed themselves under the protecting arm
of a Ngati-Raukawa chief named Tuahine, whose heart was touched by
their destitute and defenceless condition. But his intervention was of
little avail. However willing he might have been--and there is no
reason to doubt his sincerity--he proved quite unable to shield them
against the never-dying wrath of Te Rauparaha. Hearing from some of
the Ngati-Raukawa people that the remnant of the Muaupoko tribe was
once more beginning to gather round the Horowhenua and Papaitonga
lakes, he organised a force of Ngati-Toa, Ngati-Huia and Ngati-Tama
warriors, and marched upon Papaitonga in defiance of the vehement
protests of Tuahine and many other Ngati-Raukawa chiefs, who wished to
have done with this incessant slaughter. This lake, which covers an
area of about one hundred and twenty-five acres, lies a few miles to
the southward of Horowhenua. From time immemorial it had been the home
of the Muaupoko tribe, by whom it was originally called Waiwiri, but
in more recent days the name of the larger of the two gem-like islands
encircled by its waters has been applied to the whole lake.
Papaitonga, which signifies, "the islet of the South," is a name which
reveals in bright relief the poetic fancy of the Maori; for, even now,
when its scenic charms have to some extent succumbed to the demands of
settlement, the lake and its surroundings still present one of the
most charming beauty spots in the whole Dominion. A deep fringe of
tree-ferns and underwood, backed by a dense forest of native bush,
skirts its north and northeast shores. Southward, through occasional
breaches in the woods, can be seen the open undulating ground,
gradually rising until it reaches the foot of the Tararuas, whose
snow-capped peaks seem to touch the azure sky. Westward, stretching
away to the sea, are the low flats over which meanders the
slow-winding Waiwiri stream, which forms the outlet of the lake. Here
the visitor is indeed on classic ground, for there is scarcely a
feature of the landscape which has not, for the Maori, some historic
association, some tragic story, some deepening memory of the hoary
past. To this day the island of Papaitonga, so restful with its
luxuriant crown of soft foliage, but which in the days of old was a
sanguinary battle-ground, remains "a perfect necropolis of human
bones," lying concealed beneath a living shroud of vegetation, which
has silently risen to obscure from human sight the gruesome evidence
of human savagery.

It was to this spot that Te Rauparaha now, in 1827-28, led his
warriors, arriving there late in the afternoon. His first care was
effectually to surround the lake. This he did by posting strong
detachments of men at various points, the reason for this disposition
being a doubt as to which direction the fugitives would take in their
flight, which rendered it expedient to intercept them at every
possible avenue of escape. Ten men were then left in concealment near
the canoe-landing, the smallness of the number being designed to
deceive the inhabitants of the island, who at this time numbered
several hundred. It was arranged that these men should, in the early
morning, call to the people on the island to bring them a canoe, the
intention being to create the impression in the minds of the islanders
that they were a party of friends. Accordingly, when those in the _pa_
began to be astir, Te Riu called out to Kahurangi:--

"_E Kahu, e! Hoea mai te waka ki au. Ko tou tangata tenei._" (O Kahu,
bring over a canoe for me, I am your man.)

Either the call was not heard, or a lurking suspicion forbade a ready
compliance with the request, for no movement was made by the islanders
in the direction desired until Te Riu had called again:--

"_Hoea mai te waka, kia maua ko to tangata. Ko Te Ruru tenei._" (Send
a canoe for me and your friend. Te Ruru is here.)

This last appeal was not without avail. A chief named Takare ordered
two men to paddle a canoe across and bring Te Ruru to the island, at
the same time impressing upon them the need of keeping a sharp
lookout on shore to prevent unpleasant surprises. No sooner had the
canoe put off than two of the Ngati-Toa divested themselves of their
clothing, and waded out amongst the _raupo_ flags which grew near the
landing, keeping only their heads above the water. One was armed with
a tomahawk, and the other with a stone club known as an onewa, and
their mission was to prevent the return of the canoe, should the men
who brought it refuse to take the party on board. On came the canoe;
but when passing the bulrushes, the rowers, who were peering
cautiously about, detected the heads of the two men amongst the
_raupo_, and in an instant the conviction of treachery flashed upon
them. The man in the stern of the canoe excitedly called to his
companion to shove off; but Whakatupu, the Ngati-Toa, was too quick
for him. Springing from his concealment, he laid hold of the bow of
the canoe and began to haul it towards the landing. The Muaupoko
nearest to him made a lunge at his head with the paddle, but Whakatupu
skilfully parried the thrust with his short-handled axe, and then,
turning upon his assailant, with an unerring blow cleft his skull, and
sent the lifeless body reeling back into the water. When the man in
the stern of the canoe saw the fate of his companion, he immediately
leaped overboard, and dived, coming to the surface again well out of
the reach of the enemy. By diving and swimming, he at length succeeded
in reaching the shore, where he concealed himself amongst some low
brushwood, only to find that he had been tracked, and that it was his
fate to be shot by Aperahama.

The report of the gun, echoing through the silent bush and across the
face of the placid lake, was the signal to the concealed warriors that
the day's work had commenced, and to the unhappy islanders the
announcement that the dogs of war had again been let loose upon them.
They instantly prepared for flight, for to men without guns resistance
was hopeless, even had it been possible. While they were swarming into
their canoes, their panic was considerably accelerated by the sight
of a Ngati-Huia warrior swimming towards the island discharging his
musket as he swam. He had tied his cartouche box round his neck, and
with his hands he loaded and re-loaded his gun, while he propelled
himself through the water by his legs. When he reached the island, the
inhabitants had already left, and were making for the shore. Here they
were met by a deadly fusilade from one of Te Rauparaha's detachments,
who were quietly waiting for them. They then turned their canoes, and
made an effort to land at another point, only to be driven back by a
second attack as disastrous as the first. Attempt after attempt was
made to land, and here and there a strong swimmer or a swift runner
succeeded in escaping; but the harvest of death was heavy, the bulk of
the people, including all the chiefs, being shot. "As for the few who
escaped," says a native account, "some took refuge at Horowhenua, and
others fled to the mountains. After the fall of Papaitonga, the war
party went on to Horowhenua, where there was more killing. Driven from
there, the Muaupoko fugitives crossed over to Weraroa and fled to the
hills. Then the war party returned to Papaitonga. What followed was
according to Maori custom, but who would care to tell of it? I have a
horror of that part of the story. If you want to know, ask the old men
of the Ngati-Toa--Ngahuku, Tungia, and the others. That is all."
Amongst those who were slain in this fight was Toheriri,[75] a
Muaupoko chief, whose wife was inspired by the occasion to compose a
lament in which she mourned the death of her husband, and implied that
Tuahine had broken his pledge by exposing her people to the raid. But,
in justice to that chief, it has to be admitted that he was entirely
powerless to interpose on their behalf; while, on the other hand, the
whole incident serves to show how ruthlessly Te Rauparaha cherished
his desire for revenge, and how inadequate he considered the lapse of
time and the slaughter of hundreds to satisfy the _manes_ of his
children murdered by Muaupoko at Papaitonga.

So Muaupoko died--or what was left of them lived, and were suffered to
retain some of their lands around Horowhenua Lake. Pathetic laments
for their lost lands and their departed _mana_ have been
composed, and are still sung amongst them. One chanted by Taitoko in a
lamentation over the dead of his tribe is universally known and sung
by the Maoris of the coast:--

  "The sun is setting,
  Drawn to his ocean cave--
  Sinking o'er the peak of Pukehinau.
  Here wild with grief am I,
  Lonely as the bird in the
  Great waste of waters.
  Wait, wait awhile, O Sun,
  And we'll go down together."

[48] "It is not unusual for the natural _ariki_, or chief of a
_hapu_, to be, in some respects, supplanted by an inferior chief,
unless the hereditary power of the former happens to be accompanied by
intellect and bravery" (_Travers_).

[49] I have here followed the narrative of Travers; but, in his
_History and Traditions of the Taranaki Coast_ Mr. Percy Smith
makes it appear that at the moment of migration Te Ariwi was being
besieged; that the exodus was not premeditated, but was suggested to
Te Rauparaha by a Waikato chief as the only means of escape, and that
the evacuation of the _pa_ was carried out at night. As affording
an interesting sidelight upon the diversity of opinion which prevails
as to the cause of Te Rauparaha's migration, I here append the
following note which I have received from Mr. H. M. Stowell, a
descendant of the great Hongi. "There is one striking Rauparaha fact
which has not yet been properly given: Rauparaha had become a pest
among his own people, and they warned him to beware--this at his
Kawhia home. Consequently, when the _taua_, or war party, of my
people, under Waka Nene and his brother Patuone, arrived at Kawhia on
their way south, and invited Te Rauparaha to join them, he was only
too willing. He was in personal danger at home, and he could only lose
his life, at the worst, by coming south. He therefore came. When the
war parties returned to Kawhia, Rauparaha at once gave out to his
people that he intended to move south permanently. This being so, his
people did not take any steps to molest him, and in due course he came
south. These facts are important, as showing that his coming south was
not a mere whim or accident; on the contrary, it was imperative,
because he had made himself obnoxious to his own people."

[50] John White, _Ancient History of the Maori_.

[51] This woman was one of the wives whom Te Rauparaha had taken over
after the death of Hape Taurangi at Maungatautari.

[52] On the way down one disaster overtook the party. In the passage
of the Mokau a canoe capsized and the only child of Te Rangihaeata was
drowned. It was due to this circumstance that Rangihaeata in after
years sometimes adopted the name of Mokau.

[53] During the night a peculiar incident, illustrative of Maori life
at this period, occurred. One of the women, the wife of a chief, had a
child with her, which, in its restlessness, began to cry. Te Rauparaha,
fearing that his stratagem would be betrayed by the wailing of the
child, told its mother to choke it, saying, "I am that child." The
parents at once obeyed the command, and strangled the child.

[54] As illustrating the peculiar methods of Maori warfare, it is said
that during the night following this battle Te Wherowhero came close
to the Ngati-Toa camp and called out: "Oh Raha, how am I and my people
to be saved?" To which Te Rauparaha replied: "You must go away this
very night. Do not remain. Go; make haste." Following this advice, the
Waikatos left the field, leaving their fires burning, and when the
Ngati-Awa reinforcements arrived in the morning, no enemy was to be

[55] This is according to Travers's account. Some authorities say that
Pomare could not have been there at that time.

[56] Afterwards a thorn in Te Rauparaha's side: the saviour of
Wellington in 1843, and the honourable opponent of the British forces
in the Waitara war in 1860.

[57] Between the years 1863-69 a violent dispute raged between the
Ngati-Raukawa and Ngati-Apa tribes as to their respective rights to
sell a valuable block of land known as Rangitikei-Manawatu to the
Provincial Government. Ngati-Raukawa claimed the land on the ground of
conquest, while Ngati-Apa urged that the marriage of Pikinga, their
chieftainess, with Rangihaeata was a bond between them and Te
Rauparaha, which induced him to protect rather than to destroy them.
Te Rauparaha and Rangihaeata were furious when they heard of these
pretensions, and severely upbraided Ngati-Raukawa for not having
permitted them to exterminate Ngati-Apa, whom they described as "the
remnant of their meal."

[58] Te Uira was at this time the wife of Te Poa, who was killed at
this massacre. Hononga was Te Rauparaha's daughter by his second wife,

[59] Now Wellington.

[60] This decision, it is said, was taken partly because they took
umbrage at Te Rauparaha's overbearing manner, and partly because they
had heard that another Waikato raid upon Taranaki was imminent. This
was in the year 1823.

[61] This would be about the year 1824.

[62] This force, to the number of 120, was led by Te Ahu-karamu, a
chief who afterwards became a prominent and progressive leader of the
Maori people on the west coast.

[63] Called by the early European settlers "Jackeytown."

[64] Kerei te Panau was at this time a lad of about ten years of age,
and probably owes the fact that he lived to be about ninety-four years
of age to this flight across the river in the canoes.

[65] _Atua_--a god.

[66] This migration is known to the Ngati-Raukawa tribe as the _Heke
Whirinui_, owing to the fact that the _whiri_, or plaited
collars of their mats, were made very large for the journey.

[67] For this purpose, he and Te Heuheu returned to Taupo, some of the
party passing across the Manawatu block, so as to strike the
Rangitikei River inland, whilst the others travelled along the beach
to the mouth of that river, intending to join the inland party some
distance up. The inland party rested at Rangataua, where a female
relative of Te Heuheu, famed for her extreme beauty, died of wounds
inflicted upon her during the journey by a stray band of Ngati-Apa. A
great _tangi_ was held over her remains, and Te Heuheu caused her
head to be preserved, he himself calcining her brains and strewing the
ashes over the ground, which he declared to be for ever _tapu_.
His people were joined by the party from the beach road at the
junction of the Waituna with the Rangitikei, where the chief was
presented with three Ngati-Apa prisoners. These were immediately
sacrificed, and then the whole party resumed the journey to Taupo.
Amongst the special events which occurred on the march was the capture
of a Ngati-Apa woman and two children on the south side of the
Rangitikei River. The unfortunate children were sacrificed during the
performance of some solemn religious rite, and the woman, though in
the first instance saved by Te Heuheu, who wished to keep her as a
slave, was killed and eaten by Tangaru, one of the Ngati-Raukawa
leaders. Shortly after this, Te Whiro, one of the greatest of the
Ngati-Apa chiefs, with two women, were taken prisoners, and the former
was put to death with great ceremony and cruelty, as _utu_ for
the loss of some of Te Heuheu's people who had been killed by
Ngati-Apa long before, but the women were saved (_Travers_).

[68] The native trade consisted of dressed flax and various kinds of
fresh provisions, including potatoes, which, prior to the advent of
the Ngati-Toa tribe, had not been planted on the west coast of the
North Island.

[69] The words which Te Pehi is reported to have used were "Go Europe,
see King Georgi." Dr. John Savage in his _Account of New Zealand_,
refers to the apparent preference which the natives had for the word
Europe over that of England. He says of a native whom he took to
London with him, from the Bay of Islands: "I never could make
Mayhanger pronounce the word England, therefore I was content to allow
him to make use of Europe instead, which he pronounced without
difficulty." Possibly Te Pehi experienced the same difficulty of

[70] The Maori became popular in the _Urania_, and at Monte Video
plunged into the sea and rescued the drowning captain, who had fallen
overboard (_Rusden_).

[71] Captain Reynolds was allowed a sum of £200 by the British
Government as compensation for the trouble and expense to which he had
been put by his enforced alliance with Te Pehi (see _N.Z. Historical
Records_). The account of the chief's visit to England will be
found in the volume of The _Library of Entertaining Knowledge_ for

[72] One of the migrations which took place about this time consisted
of 140 Ngati-Raukawa men under the leadership of Nepia Taratoa. It is
known in history as the _Heke Kariritahi_, from the fact that
those warriors who were armed with muskets had hit upon the shrewd
plan of enlarging the touch-holes of their guns, in order to save the
time which otherwise would be occupied in priming. They were thus able
to keep up a much more rapid fire upon the enemy. Te Whatanui came
down with this _heke_, to consult further with Te Rauparaha, but
finding him absent from Kapiti, he returned to Taupo to prepare for
the migration of his own people.

[73] During the hearing by the Native Land Court in 1869 of the
dispute which arose between the Ngati-Raukawa and Ngati-Apa tribes as
to the right to sell the Rangitikei-Manawatu block of land to the
Provincial Government of Wellington, Chief Judge Fenton remarked to
Mr. Travers, who was appearing for Ngati-Raukawa, "The fact is, Mr.
Travers, it appears to me that the flaw in your clients' title is that
they did not kill and eat all these people."

[74] At times there were many whalers there--as many as a hundred--of
various nations. Here they stayed while whales came near the coast:
but when these ceased to come near the coast, the whalers went out on
the ocean, and the ships which were full of oil went each to its own
land, and Rauparaha went back to his people and home at Kapiti
(_Ngati-Toa account_).

[75] Toheriri was prominent in the conspiracy of 1822 in connection
with the gift of canoes. After that event, he, with his particular
_hapu_, went to the Wairarapa for two years, and then returned to
Papaitonga, where he was killed on this occasion, it is said, with
great barbarity.



The events just narrated have brought us in point of time to early in
the year 1828, by which period Te Rauparaha was unquestionably master
of the whole coast from Whanganui to Wellington. Not only was his
supremacy indisputable in that he had completely silenced his enemies,
but success had brought its natural result in the shape of numerous
reinforcements, which had come from the shores of Taupo to share in
his adventurous cause. Thus he was both free and able to give his
undivided attention to the realisation of a dream which he had long
cherished, and which he one day hoped to realise. This was no less
ambitious a scheme than the invasion and conquest of the Middle
Island, the forest-clad hills and snow-capped mountains of which were
plainly discernible as he gazed wistfully across the broken waters of
Raukawa (Cook's Strait). But it was not the scenic beauties of the
island which attracted the keen eye of Te Rauparaha, for these alone
would have no charm for him. His mind was cast in the material rather
than in the æsthetic mould; his thoughts ran to practical rather than
to artistic ends, and the real magnet which attracted him southward
was the hope of possessing himself of the large store of greenstone
which, according to report, the Ngai-Tahu people had collected at
Kaikoura as the result of their periodical excursions to the west
coast, where alone this valuable jade could be obtained.[76] Avarice
and love of conquest were driving forces in his plans, but there was
yet another motive operating to impel him onward. If the reader will
recall the circumstances attending the battle of Waiorua, it will be
remembered that the host which on that occasion invaded Kapiti had
been collected from far and near. Some among them had even come from
the tribe of Ngai-Tahu, which was then the most powerful branch of the
Maori race occupying the Middle Island, of which they had dispossessed
the Ngati-Mamoe some two hundred years before. One of the principal
_pas_ of these people in the northern end of the island was situated
on a high cliff overlooking the bay of Kaikoura, which at this time
was estimated to contain between three and four thousand souls, living
under the direction of a chief named Rerewaka. When the fugitives from
Kapiti reached their settlements on the Middle Island, and carried
with them marvellous tales of Te Rauparaha's prowess in battle, these
stories only tended to intensify the feelings of hatred and envy
already cherished by the southern chiefs. Their impotent rage found
expression in a vain and unfortunate boast made by Rerewaka, which
supplied Te Rauparaha with the strongest of all incentives to a Maori
raid--the desire for revenge. Rerewaka had not himself been present at
the battle of Waiorua, otherwise he might have been more modest in his
language towards the invincible Te Rauparaha. But he had had friends
with the allies, and the chagrin felt at their annihilation, and the
taunting song of triumph chanted by the victorious Ngati-Toa, in which
the subjection of the Ngai-Tahu was hinted at, provoked him to declare
in an unguarded moment that "if ever Te Rauparaha dared to set foot on
his land, he would rip his belly open with a _niho mango_."[77] This
oral indiscretion was overheard by a slave standing by, who shortly
afterwards, making his escape, reported Rerewaka's boast to
Rauparaha. The chief of the Ngati-Toa heard with placid countenance of
his threatened fate, and in answer merely remarked, "So he has said,"
the apparent unconcern of his reply justifying the native proverb
concerning him: "_Ko te uri o kapu manawa whiti_" (No one knew his
thoughts, whether they were good or evil). He was really glad at heart
of this further pretext for attacking and conquering the tribes of the
Middle Island.[78] But while he had his mind bent upon revenge and his
eyes fixed upon the treasure of greenstone, he was in no haste to put
his design into execution. Leisurely action would enable him to
mobilise his own forces, and serve to wrap his enemies in imagined
security; and so for two years he waited patiently, keeping his
warriors in fighting trim by repeated skirmishes with the shattered
remnants of the Muaupoko and other northern tribes. But now his plans
had fully matured, and by this time he had succeeded in gathering a
large quantity of arms and ammunition from the Europeans, who, having
learnt its advantages, were making Kapiti a frequent port of call and
a place of some importance in the whaling industry. With these weapons
he equipped his chosen men, who, when fighting with their native
_meres_, were superior even to the best of the Ngai-Tahu or Rangitane,
but, when armed with the more modern implements of the _pakeha_,
became simply invincible. His fleet of canoes[79] also had been
strengthened by the captures he had made after the battle of Waiorua,
so that he had ample accommodation for the three hundred and forty men
who comprised his expeditionary force. With this force, the most
perfectly equipped that he had yet commanded, Rauparaha crossed the
Strait, making Rangitoto (D'Urville Island) his first place of call.
Here he found a section of the Rangitane tribe, the descendants of the
people whom Captain Cook had first met at Ship Cove, who had now
become powerful in the sense of being numerous. But where the odds of
skill and arms were against them, numbers only supplied more victims
for the cannibal feast which followed the battle. Everywhere the
islanders were defeated and put to rout, many of them being eaten on
the spot, and as many more carried back to Kapiti, there to await the
dictates of their captors' appetites. Or, if they were fortunate
enough to have their lives spared, the reprieve only enhanced their
misfortune by carrying slavery and degradation with it.

Rauparaha on this occasion swept like a withering blast over the whole
of the northern portion of the Marlborough Province, neither the
seclusion of the Pelorus Sound nor the inaccessibility of the Wairau
and Awatere Valleys protecting the inhabitants from the rapacity of
his warriors. Deflecting their course from D'Urville Island, they next
proceeded to the point known in Maori legend as "Kupe's spear," but
more recently styled Jackson's Head. Here a temporary division of
their forces took place, the Ngati-Awa allies proceeding up Queen
Charlotte Sound as far as Waitohi, the Pelorus Sound being the
objective of Te Rauparaha. The tribe who occupied the shores of this
great waterway was the Ngati-Kuia, an offshoot of Ngati-Apa, who were
famed for their skill as fishermen, but who did little cultivation.
Their principal _pa_, a semi-fortified village called Hikapu,
stood at the junction of the Pelorus and Kenepuru reaches; and, when
the fleet of northern canoes was seen sweeping up the Sound, the cry
was raised "_Te Iwi hou e!_" (The newcomers! the new people!) That
their coming boded them no good, Ngati-Kuia knew, and those who could,
disappeared into the forest, while those who could not stayed to fight
for the _mana_ of their tribe and the honour of their ancestral home.
For them the battle was one against fearful odds; for, this being
their first acquaintance with firearms, they were seized with panic,
and the fight soon degenerated into a massacre. "What are those lights
and the smoke we see at the village?" inquired a boy as he was being
hurried through the bush by his fugitive father. "That," replied the
sobbing parent--"that is Ngati-Toa burning your ancestors' and our

Whatever hesitation Te Rauparaha may have had about raiding the Wairau
during this campaign, was dispelled on its being reported to him that
the Rangitane chief of the valley, Te Rua-Oneone, whose _pa_,
called Kowhai, was situated near the mouth of the Wairau River, had
heaped a curse upon his head, an insult which called for prompt and
vigorous action. As yet the Wairau natives had had no experience of
Rauparaha's qualities as a fighting chief. But they had heard rumours,
and had listened to tales of his doings on the other island, which,
although painted in glowing colours, had nevertheless been regarded
with contempt by many of the leading chiefs. Amongst these incredulous
persons was Te Rua-Oneone, who treated the matter so lightly as to
remark that "Te Rauparaha's head would one day be beaten with a
fern-root pounder." According to the Maori code, there was but one way
of dealing with a scoffer who could speak so contemptuously of a
chief; and therefore, when the natives of Pelorus, D'Urville Island,
and Totaranui had been hopelessly beaten, the canoes were ordered to
the Wairau, where the boastful Te Rua-Oneone had direct experience of
what manner of man Te Rauparaha was. The fight, which took place on
the land now enclosed within Bank Farm, was soon over, and could only
have one result. The Rangitane were brave men, but their stone and
wooden weapons were useless against the muskets of the Ngati-Toa. Te
Rua-Oneone was captured and carried as a slave to Kapiti, where he had
time and opportunity to reflect upon his defeat, which Rauparaha, with
appropriate sarcasm, called _tuki tuki patu aruhe_, which signifies
"beaten with a fern-root pounder."

Nor was this merely a raid of bloodshed. Rauparaha sought territorial
aggrandisement, and adopted the Roman principle of securing the fruits
of his conquest by planting a colony of his tribe at every centre
along the route of his victorious march. In each case the newcomers
made slaves of the strong amongst the men and the beautiful amongst
the women of the people whom they vanquished.[81]

No sooner had this shattering blow been delivered against the fortunes
of Ngai-Tahu than Te Rauparaha gave his attention to a matter which
from force of circumstances had been neglected for many months. At the
earnest solicitation of Ngati-Raukawa, he now agreed to march against
the Whanganui people, who, it will be remembered, were responsible for
the destruction of one of the several Ngati-Raukawa migrations prior
to the first visit to the South Island. A force which, it is said,
numbered nearly a thousand fighting men, led by the most distinguished
chiefs of the allied tribes, with Te Rauparaha in supreme command,
proceeded up the coast and attacked the Putikiwharanui _pa_, which was
defended by a garrison almost twice as numerous as the assailants.
Though not protracted, the struggle was fierce. The defenders made
many desperate sorties, fighting with great determination and
affording a fine example of courage, during the two months over which
the investment extended. The damage, however, which they were able to
inflict had no effect in causing the forces of Te Rauparaha to
relinquish their grip. After a spirited defence of eight weeks, the
assailants succeeded in carrying the place by storm, and the
inhabitants suffered so severely that they were never afterwards able
to seek the satisfaction of retaliation.[82]

While the Ngati-Toa were engaged in these minor operations, an event
occurred which increased the _mana_ of their chief amongst his
own people and added considerably to his reputation abroad. This was
the opportune arrival of his uncle and former comrade, Te Pehi Kupe,
who, laden with the store of weapons which he had procured in Sydney,
was brought back to New Zealand at this critical juncture in the
history of the tribe.[83] The jubilation at such an event was
necessarily great; not so much, perhaps, because of the wanderer's
return, as because of what he had brought with him. There is at least
no denying the fact that Te Pehi soon forgot what little of
civilisation he had learned, except in so far as it enabled him to
become a more destructive savage. He at once coalesced with his former
leader; and with this valuable addition to his staff of councillors,
and the enhancement of his munitions of war, Te Rauparaha felt more
than equal to the task of carrying the battle to the gates of

Out of this extreme confidence grew a further development of the
Ngati-Toa scheme of conquest. Their forces were now divided into two
sections, the one proceeding to the great bays on the Nelson Coast,
where they intended forcibly establishing themselves, while the
remainder, under their old leader, aided by Te Pehi and a staff of
other warriors, prepared to test the merits of Rerewaka's boast. It
was a fateful day in the summer of 1829 when the canoes with three
hundred men left D'Urville Island and turned their prows to the south.
Although few in numbers compared with the enemy they were going to
meet, they knew that the advantage of arms was with them, almost every
man being provided with a musket. Moreover, they were full of the
animation which is born of complete confidence in one's leader, and
which, in this case, almost amounted to a superstition. No war party
with Rauparaha at its head ever took failure into account, some of the
warriors even going so far as to declare that "it was only necessary
to strike the enemy with the handles of their paddles in order to
secure a victory."

 [Illustration: THE TIKI, KAIAPOI.
 Erected on the site of the old Kaiapoi Pa.]

Thus, well-armed and confident, the Ngati-Toa proceeded down the
coast, resting the first day at Cloudy Bay, and subsequently at
various other points, and arriving off Kaikoura before dawn on the
fourth day. Not knowing what the exact disposition of the enemy's
forces might be, and not being disposed for risks, Rauparaha anchored
his canoes under the shadow of the peninsula, and then waited for the
light. In this decision his characteristic good fortune did not desert
him. It so happened that the Kaikoura natives were at that very time
expecting a visit from some of their tribesmen in the south; and, when
the first glimmering of dawn revealed a fleet of canoes on the bay
below, there being nothing to indicate the direction from which they
had come, the unsuspecting Ngai-Tahu assumed that their anticipated
visitors had arrived. The early risers in the _pa_ set up the song
of welcome--_Haere-mai, Haere-mai_--and soon the whole settlement
throbbed with life and activity, indicative of the jubilant
expectation of a reunion of friends. Whilst the elders busied
themselves with preparations for the hospitable entertainment of the
strangers, the younger people rushed, shouting gaily, down to the
beach, to escort the guests back to the _pa_. The quick eye of Te
Rauparaha at once saw the trap into which his enemy had fallen; and,
elated at his amazing good fortune, he ordered the advance of the
canoes, which, with a few sweeping strokes of the paddles, were driven
swiftly across the intervening water. Before the unwary victims had
recognised their mistake or recovered from their surprise, the
Ngati-Toa warriors were amongst them, dealing death-blows on every
hand. As might have been expected, the Ngai-Tahu, being totally
unarmed and unprepared for the attack, were slaughtered without
remorse or resistance, and, as their only safety lay in flight, they
beat a breathless retreat towards the _pa_, where for a time the
semblance of a stand was made. But the muskets of their assailants
were now doing their work of death, while their ruthless charges
increased the havoc. Before long Rerewaka was a prisoner, over a
thousand of his people were slain, and his stronghold was in the hands
of his most detested enemies.

This decisive achievement was fully celebrated during the next ten
days, with all the atrocities peculiar to cannibal feasts; and after
the savage appetites of the victors had been surfeited with the flesh
of their victims, and the nephritic treasures of the _pa_ had
been collected, the war party returned to Kapiti, carrying Rerewaka
and four hundred additional prisoners with them, to be killed and
eaten at the leisure of their conquerors. The majority of them in due
course met this fate, Rerewaka himself being killed with especial
marks of cruelty and indignity, because of the insulting nature of his
language towards the Ngati-Toa chief.[84] In consideration of the
circumstances which led to this attack upon Kaikoura, the victory has
ever since been known as _Niho Mango_, or "the battle of the shark's

After the humiliation of Rerewaka and his people at Kaikoura,
Rauparaha's greatest ambition was to pit himself in battle against
that section of the Ngai-Tahu tribe who, under Tamaiharanui,
Rongotara, and other powerful chiefs, held the strongly fortified
_pa_ at Kaiapohia. But before he had a reasonable excuse for
picking a quarrel with the people of Kaiapoi, and so attacking them in
a manner that would be strictly _tika_, or proper, he had another
opportunity of returning to Kaikoura, to retrieve the dignity of
himself and his friends. The cause of this second invasion, like the
previous one, was somewhat remote; but, unlike it, it arose out of a
superabundance of love rather than of hate. The offence complained of
was not committed against Te Rauparaha, but against his nephew,
Rangihaeata. Rangihaeata was at this time rapidly rising into fame as
a daring and successful warrior, and his place in the tribe naturally
demanded that much of his time should be given up to the business of
war, with the result that his functions as the head of his household
were much neglected. During one of these prolonged periods of absence,
his _pa_ at Porirua was visited by a chief of the Ngati-Ira (a
branch of the Ngati-Kahungunu) tribe, named Kekerengu. According to
tradition, this Kekerengu was a man of remarkable beauty of figure and
grace of deportment. Tall and stalwart of frame, easy of carriage, and
engaging in manner, his personal charm was still further enhanced in
Maori estimation by a particularly artistic _moko_, or tattoo
decoration. The introduction of this social lion into Rangihaeata's
family circle was the cause of all the trouble. Kekerengu had so
insinuated himself into the affections of the warrior's wives, that
when Rangihaeata returned from the wars, the breath of scandal was
busy with the proceedings of his family circle during his absence. The
anger of the chief, on learning what had occurred, knew no bounds.
Forthwith he sent the fiery cross from _pa_ to _pa_, and in a short
space of time a force sufficient for his purpose was enrolled. Te
Rauparaha, to whom the scent of battle was sweet, at once espoused the
cause of his injured relative, and together they set out in search of
the destroyer of Te Rangihaeata's domestic happiness.

Kekerengu knew that, as the result of his indiscreet conduct,
retribution would in some form follow him; but, in order to delay the
evil day, he judiciously took to his canoe, and with a few of his
followers crossed the Strait and sought refuge amongst the Ngai-Tahu
of Kaikoura.[85] Thither Te Rauparaha tracked him; but the inhabitants
of the _pa_ were not to be taken by surprise a second time.
Knowing that they were no match for the force they saw approaching,
they at once abandoned their settlement and flew down the coast,
through the Amuri, towards Kaiapoi. But this escapade was not to stand
between the Ngati-Toa and their revenge. When they arrived and found
the _pa_ empty, they at once decided to go in pursuit. The march
was swift and forced, and the invaders soon fell in with the
fugitives, as they were camped at the Omihi stream. Here the unhappy
wretches were attacked and routed with great slaughter, the few who
escaped death or capture flying in precipitate haste into the bush,
through which they made their way to the minor settlements further
south. Kekerengu's guilt[86] was now expiated in his own blood and
that of his hosts, and therefore Ngati-Toa might have returned to
their homes fully satisfied with the results of their expedition. But
the opportunity was so favourable for carrying out the long-cherished
design of attacking Kaiapoi, that Te Pehi strenuously counselled going
on. Te Rauparaha, it is said, was seized by some dark foreboding that
Fate was trifling with him, and endeavoured to argue his lieutenant
out of his warlike enthusiasm, but without avail. Te Pehi was bent
upon storming Kaiapoi, and for once Te Rauparaha allowed himself to be
overruled by his less cautious comrade. To facilitate the movements of
the war party, which numbered about one hundred men, all encumbrances
in the shape of prisoners were left in charge of a detachment at
Omihi, and the canoes, which had been brought round from Kaikoura,
were manned and taken as far down the coast as the Waipara River.
There the force disembarked, and hauling the canoes beyond the reach
of the tide, pushed on across the plains towards the southern

Kaiapoi was one of the oldest of the Ngai-Tahu _pas_, as it was
admittedly one of their strongest fortresses. It had been built by Tu
Rakautahi in 1700 A.D., at the close of the thirty years' war, which
had resulted in the expulsion and the almost total annihilation of the
Ngati-Mamoe people. Its position had been selected with some strategic
skill, for it stood on a narrow tongue of land about five acres in
extent, which ran out into the Tairutu lagoon, and was surrounded on
three sides by the dark waters of that extensive swamp, which
stretched for several miles to the north and the south. On the
landward side it was protected by a wide and deep ditch, which in
peaceful times was bridged over, while its double row of palisades,
erected upon massive earthworks and surmounted by curiously carved
figures representing gods and ancestors, rendered it so impregnable in
the popular estimation that it was sometimes compared to "the
inaccessible cliff of God," which none had dared to scale. The
internal arrangements were in keeping with the importance of the _pa_
as the social and military centre of the tribe. Its population was
numerous, wealthy, and distinctly aristocratic, and therefore the
domains of the _rangatiras_ and the commonalty were well defined. The
dwellings of the chiefs were large and commodious structures,
"ornamented inside and out with carving and scroll work." There were
storehouses for the man physical, shrines for the man spiritual,
playing grounds for old and young, and a burial-place for both when
their earthly sojourn was over. The commerce of the _pa_ was conducted
through three gates, two of which, Kaitangata and Hiaka-rere, faced
the deep moat, and the third, Huirapa, the lagoon on the western side,
being connected with the opposite shore by a light wooden footway. But
with all its vaunted strength, the _pa_ had, according to critics, a
fatal weakness, in that, if subjected to a close investment, it was
liable to have its food supply cut off owing to its semi-insularity.
Its builder had been twitted with this supposed defect when he
determined upon the site of his stronghold, and he silenced his
critics more by his ready wit than by the soundness of his military
judgment. For he said "_Kai_" must be "_poi_," or food must be swung
to the spot. "Potted birds from the forests of Kaikoura, fish and
mutton birds from the south, _kiore_ and _weka_ from the plains and
the mountain ranges"; and so down through the century or more which
had passed since then it had been an essential part of the policy of
those in authority at the _pa_ to see that its commissariat was not
neglected, and that its _whatas_ were always full against the day
when its gates might have to be barred to a troublesome enemy.[87]

Such was the place which, in the opening months of 1829, the northern
force marched to assault; but they had sadly misjudged the position if
they imagined that they could take it by surprise. Ngai-Tahu had
warning enough to enable them to gather their people within the
palisades, to cut away their bridges, and to stand upon the alert at
all the most vulnerable points. When, therefore, Te Rauparaha arrived
under the walls of the _pa_, he adopted the most diplomatic
course open to him, and made a virtue of necessity by feigning that he
had come only with the most peaceful intent. His first care was to
select a suitable site for his camp; he fixed it upon the
south-western side of the lagoon, and there calmly sat down to await
developments. Nor had he long to wait. Tamaiharanui, the high priest
and leading chief of the Ngai-Tahu tribe, accompanied by a native
named Hakitara, proceeded under commission from the people in the
_pa_ to inquire the purpose of so unexpected a visit. Hakitara
was a Nga-Puhi native, having come originally from the northern
portion of the Auckland Province. When Te Rauparaha had exchanged
salutations with him and the venerable Tamaiharanui, he proceeded to
furnish the explanation which they had come to seek. In the course of
his oration he recited a _tau_, or war song, the idiom of which
was more apparent to the Nga-Puhi than to his companion, who was less
learned in northern lore. This battle chant conveyed a message to
Hakitara which was sinister and disturbing. The protestations of Te
Rauparaha were most ardent in the direction of peace, and his
declarations full of the promise of friendship; but the words of his
song had been so suspiciously indicative of evil intent, that Hakitara
felt it incumbent upon him to advise the immediate return of
Tamaiharanui to the _pa_, while he himself remained in the Ngati-Toa
camp to pick up what scraps of useful information might drop from the
lips of incautious retainers. By dint of sedulous inquiry,
particularly amongst the slaves, he gleaned enough to stimulate his
suspicions, which were more than confirmed when he heard that the
northerners had desecrated a newly made grave which they had passed on
the march to the _pa_. Such an outrage to the dead of Ngai-Tahu was
not the act of friends; and now the living witnesses of Te Rauparaha's
hostility began to pour into Kaiapoi, viz., the fugitives who had
escaped from the slaughter at Omihi. For days they had wandered in the
bush and in the by-paths of the open lands, hoping to evade the clutch
of their pursuers; and when they arrived with their tale of terror,
something more than fair words were needed to convince the inhabitants
of the semi-beleaguered _pa_ that Ngati-Toa had come so far south on a
mission of peaceful commerce, and not of resentful war. Te Rauparaha,
with his usual clarity of vision, saw the predicament in which the
inopportune arrival of the fugitives had placed him, and promptly
determined upon a desperate expedient, which, he hoped, would allay
the dark suspicion which he hourly saw growing up around him, and
which, if unchecked, would assuredly frustrate his enterprise. Not
only did he feel it necessary to reiterate his assurances that nothing
but a desire to trade for greenstone had brought him to Kaiapoi, but
he did more. With a recklessness which only a critical situation could
justify, he permitted his principal lieutenants--a liberty hitherto
denied them--to freely enter the enemy's _pa_, and carry on, with
well-simulated earnestness, negotiations for the exchange of
greenstone for their own ancient fire-arms and doubtful powder.

Amongst the first of the Ngati-Toa chiefs to avail himself of this
permission was Te Pehi,[88] who, it will be remembered, had, with
fatal enthusiasm, inspired the raid, and urged it upon an unwilling
leader. Together with Pokaitara, Te Aratangata, Te Kohua, Te Hua Piko,
and several other chiefs equally renowned in Ngati-Toa warfare, Te
Pehi continued to visit and revisit the _pa_ for several days,
carrying on a brisk trade, and incidentally noting the interior
arrangements of the fortress, its people, and the chances of its
speedy capture. Meanwhile, the Ngai-Tahu agent in Te Rauparaha's camp
was not idle, and not the least of Hakitara's successes was the fact
that he had been able to ingratiate himself into the good opinion of
Te Rauparaha. That astute personage, usually so keen a judge of
character, was completely deceived by the clever Nga-Puhi, whom he had
hopes of weaning from the Ngai-Tahu cause. To this end he presented
him with one of the most attractive of his slaves, a lady named Te
Aka, whose charms it was hoped would prove sufficiently strong to draw
the Nga-Puhi warrior back to the north. But Te Rauparaha's cold
calculations were soon set at naught by the warmth of a human heart.
Te Aka was not a free woman. She was a slave, whose _pa_ and
whose people had been overrun and destroyed by the ruthless invader,
and within her breast there burned the undying desire and hope for
revenge. Therefore, when she and Hakitara came to understand each
other, there was soon a joint wit at work to worst the man who fondly
believed that the human passions were being harnessed to his
political schemes. So confident was he that he would win Hakitara
over, that he neglected even ordinary prudence in discussing his plans
within his hearing. To such excess was this overconfidence carried,
that one night he called his chiefs together to a council of war,
which was held under the eaves of the _whare_ which Hakitara occupied,
where every word could be heard by the occupants. Here the whole
scheme of the capture of Kaiapoi was discussed and decided upon; and
so hopeful was Te Rauparaha of success, that he boastingly remarked to
Te Rangihaeata, "Soon we shall have our _pa_." "Beware of the Nga-Puhi
man," was Rangihaeata's whispered advice; but Rauparaha dismissed the
warning by an impatient gesture and a petulant remark that nothing was
to be feared from that quarter. Hakitara had, however, been greedily
listening to all that had passed, and when the council broke up he was
in possession of every detail of the tactics by which the _pa_ was to
be assaulted on the morrow.

As might be surmised, sleep came but fitfully to the faithful Hakitara
that night, and just as the first silver ray of dawn was breaking in
the east, he rose, and, wrapping himself in a large dog-skin mat,
crept out of the hut into the grey morning, determined to warn his
friends in the _pa_, if fortune did not desert him. The Maori
system of warfare, though quaint in many respects, was practical
enough to include the posting of sentries round the camps; and, even
if they were not invariably vigilant, there was always the risk that
one might happen to be watchful at an awkward moment. This fear
haunted Hakitara as, with beating heart, he wormed his way between the
huts and through the tufts of waving tussock grass. Tradition records
that he was successful in eluding a direct challenge; and when he was
well beyond the circuit of the sentries, he rose to his feet and ran
with all his speed to the nearest gate of the _pa_. The gate was
instantly opened to him, and in a hurried whisper he bade the keeper
summon the chiefs to a conference in a neighbouring house. When the
warriors were assembled, he disclosed to them in hot, hurried words
all that he knew of Ngati-Toa's intentions, which, in remembrance of a
treaty negotiated only the previous day, could be regarded in no other
light than as a shameless breach of faith. The council decided that
they would not wait for the blow to fall upon them from outside, but
would forestall the northerners in their own methods. They knew that
some of the Ngati-Toa chiefs would, in keeping with the custom of the
past few days, visit them again for the purpose of trade; and they
were hopeful that, by a special effort, they might be able to induce
the great Te Rauparaha himself to come within the gates. It was agreed
that the chiefs, once within the walls, should be attacked and killed,
and that then a sortie should be made upon the unsuspecting camp
outside. Scarcely had this decision been arrived at, when Te Pehi and
several of his fellow-chiefs entered the _pa_ and began to mix with
the populace, who were now busy preparing for the business of the day,
and were in total ignorance of the decision of their leaders or the
circumstances which had dictated it. There was thus no change in the
demeanour of the people to excite uneasiness in the minds of Te Pehi
and his friends. They, on the other hand, knowing that their plans
were nearing fruition, and believing that the _pa_ was virtually in
the hollow of their hands, adopted a more insolent air, and were at no
pains to conceal the contempt with which they regarded the rights of
Ngai-Tahu property. Thus, Te Pehi boldly entered one of the houses,
and seizing a large block of greenstone, attached to it a rope of
flax, and proceeded to drag it towards the Hiaka-rere gate, evidently
intending to carry it into the northern camp.

The _pa_ was now alive with men and women, for the day was well
on, and the audacious cupidity of Te Pehi aroused both astonishment
and anger. As he strode towards the gate, he had to pass a group of
excited onlookers sitting in the _marae_, or open space which served
the purpose of a sports ground. One of these, Moimoi, rose and
challenged Te Pehi's right to purloin his greenstone in that
unceremonious fashion. With scorn unspeakable, Te Pehi turned upon his
interrogator, and in tones of bitter contempt inquired by what right
he, a menial, dared to call in question the actions of a chief. "You
of the crooked tattoo, what use would your ugly head be to me if I
were to carry it back with me to Kapiti? It would be worth nothing
towards the purchase of a musket. But," said he, turning to a stalwart
native standing near by, "here is a man whose head would be worth the
taking, but you with the worthless head, how dare you cavil at the
actions of the great Te Pehi?" The slighting reference to the
inartistic facial decoration of Moimoi was intended to be particularly
insulting, for every native was wont to pride himself upon the
completeness of his _moko_, and Te Pehi had good reason to regard
himself as something of an authority upon this branch of Maori art,
for his own tattoo was more than usually elaborate. But the most
alarming portion of his taunt was his thinly-veiled reference to the
sale of Moimoi's head. Every one knew that at this period a
considerable traffic had sprung up in native heads,[89] which were
preserved by a crude process and traded away to Europeans in exchange
for muskets. Te Pehi's reference to the matter could, then, only be
taken as an indication that during his visits to the _pa_ he had lent
his eye to business, and, in this connection, business meant the
assault and sacking of the fortress. The full force of this indiscreet
admission had flashed upon the astonished listeners; but, before they
could reply, their attention was diverted from the arrogance of Te
Pehi by another incident which had occurred at the Hiaka-rere gate.
Pokaitara, one of Te Rauparaha's most intrepid lieutenants, had
approached this entrance, and was seeking admission to the _pa_, which
was being denied him. Observing who the visitor was, Rongotara, the
superior resident chief of Kaiapoi, ordered the keeper of the gate to
admit him, exclaiming as he did so, "Welcome my younger brother's
lord," a reference to the fact that Rongotara's brother had been made
a prisoner at Omihi by Pokaitara, and was at that moment in his
keeping. The gate was immediately thrown open; but the Ngati-Toa had
no sooner bent his head beneath the portal than Rongotara dealt him a
crushing blow with his _miti_, or stone club, which he was carrying in
his hand, and the lifeless body fell with a heavy thud to the ground.

It was this opening episode in the Ngai-Tahu policy of checkmate which
had suddenly diverted attention from Te Pehi. But the incident had
been as visible to him as to those around him, and the moment he saw
it, the critical nature of his own position dawned upon him, and,
taking no further thought of the greenstone, he sprang with the
agility of a tiger towards the south-western angle of the palisading,
and commenced to scramble up the wall by clutching the vines which
bound the upright posts together. His plunge for safety would probably
have proved successful--for several shots which were fired at him flew
wide of the mark--had not Tangatahara, a Ngai-Tahu warrior of great
strength and personal courage, closed with him, and, pulling him to
the ground, despatched him with a blow from his tomahawk.[90] The
other northern chiefs who were in the _pa_ were apprised of the mêlée
which was proceeding by the sound of the fire-arms discharged against
Te Pehi, and were not slow to grasp the situation. Realising that they
had been trapped, they knew that it would be of little use attempting
to escape by the regular gateways, which were all securely guarded;
and, with one exception, those who were free to do so flew to the
walls, hoping to scale them, and so get safely to their camp. But they
were for the most part either overpowered by numbers and tomahawked on
the spot, or were shot while scrambling up the _aka_ vines. The
exception referred to was Te Aratangata, who happened to be at the
northern end of the _pa_, and was at this juncture bargaining to
secure a famous greenstone _mere_ called by the Ngai-Tahu people "Te
Rau-hikihiki." The moment he saw what was happening, he dashed toward
the gate Huirapa, hoping to force his way past the guard, who, he
supposed, could offer but feeble resistance to his own exceptional
strength, courage, and skill.

There is every reason to believe that Rongotara rather precipitated
matters by killing Pokaitara at the gate, as it had been decided that
an attempt should first be made to induce the great Te Rauparaha
himself to enter the _pa_, in the hope of including him in the
holocaust. Still, the plans of the Kaiapoi chiefs were sufficiently
mature to meet the emergency when it suddenly arose; and so Te
Aratangata discovered to his alarm that, although he was at the
further end of the _pa_ from that at which Te Pehi had been
attacked, he was just as closely surrounded by enemies. When he
started for the gate, he had virtually to fight every inch of the way.
He had little difficulty in disposing of the first few who intercepted
his path; but, as he drew nearer to the gate, his assailants
increased, and before he had struggled on many yards he was attacked
by over twenty persons armed with all manner of weapons. Against those
who ventured at close quarters he valiantly defended himself with his
_mere_, all the time pressing on towards the gate. A gun-shot wound
temporarily checked his onward course, and he was soon further
handicapped by several spear-thrusts, which left the spears dangling
in the fleshy parts of his body, and from which he found it impossible
to disengage himself, pressed as he was on every side. These
difficulties perceptibly weakened his defence, but he was still able
to fight on, keeping his opponents at bay by swift and desperate blows
with his _mere_, which, up to this moment, had accounted for all who
had ventured within his reach. The brave Ngati-Toa had now reached
within a few paces of the gate, and may have even yet had dreams of
escape, when the crowning disaster came in the breaking of his _mere_.
A shot, which had been intended for his body, struck the greenstone
blade, and shattered the faithful weapon into a hundred fragments,
leaving only the butt in Aratangata's hand. Now utterly defenceless,
weakened by his wounds, and hampered by the dragging spears, the
undaunted chief turned upon his assailants, and, with his last
strength, grappled with those who came within his reach. The unequal
struggle could not, however, be long maintained. Emboldened by his
helpless condition, his pursuers pressed in upon him with angry
tumult, and he was borne to the ground by Te Koreke, who finished the
deadly work with a succession of blows with his tomahawk upon the
prostrate warrior's head and neck.

So fell Te Aratangata, and so fell the flower of the Ngati-Toa tribe
that day. In all, eight great chiefs[91] were killed, who, by their
heroism on the field and their sagacity in council, had materially
aided Te Rauparaha in all his great achievements. They had added
brilliancy to his battles, lustre to his victories, and had lent a
wisdom to his administration, whereby the fruits of his enterprise
had not been wasted by internecine strife. So dire a tragedy as the
death of the princes of his tribe was a great blow to Te Rauparaha.
But it is doubtful whether the sacrifice of so much mental and
physical fibre was more keenly felt by the Ngati-Toa chief than the
loss of prestige and damage to his reputation, which he might
reasonably apprehend from his being outwitted at his own game, and
that, too, by a people whom he had hitherto despised as opponents.
That they would turn upon him in what he chose to regard as an
unprovoked attack was something which was not reckoned upon in his
philosophy, for he had trusted to his blandishments to soothe away
their suspicions, or to his great name and reputation to awe them into
submission. And when the blow fell, and he saw his patiently laid
plans tumbling about his ears, he received the result with mingled
feelings of surprise, indignation, and something akin to dismay. In
this frame of mind he deemed it expedient to anticipate any further
unexpected eventualities by withdrawing his force and making good his
retreat with as little delay as possible. Consequently his camp was at
once broken up, and the little army made its dejected way across the
plain to Double Corner, where the canoes had been left, and next day
Te Rauparaha set sail for Omihi and Kapiti, having, as the result of
his first raid upon Kaiapoi,[92] added neither greenstone to his
treasure nor glory to his reputation as a warrior.

For the better part of two years Te Rauparaha nursed his wrath against
Ngai-Tahu, and spent the intervening time in devising schemes whereby
he might secure a vengeance commensurate with the disgrace of his
repulse and the death of his well-loved friends. One thing on which he
had fully determined was that Ngai-Tahu should pay for their temerity
with the purest of their blood, for he would take no plebeian in
payment for so royal a soul as Te Pehi. His schemes were therefore
directed against the life of Tamaiharanui,[93] who has already been
described as the embodiment of spiritual and temporal power in the
southern tribe. He was the hereditary representative of all that stood
for nobility amongst the sons of Tahu. His person was regarded as so
sacred that the common people scarcely dared to look upon his face. He
could only be addressed by his fellow-chiefs with the greatest
deference and in the most reverential language; and if, while passing
through the congested streets of a village, his shadow should fall
upon a _whata_ or a _rua_, the storehouse and its contents would be
immediately destroyed, to prevent the sacrilege of a tribesman
consuming food upon which even the shade of so sacred a personage had
lighted. Indeed, so sanctified and ceremonious an individual was he,
that his presence was sometimes oppressive to those who were not
accustomed to live in an atmosphere of ritual; for the slightest
disregard of what was due to one so endowed with the spirit of the
gods might involve them at any moment in the loss of possessions, and
even of life.

 [Illustration: GILLET's WHALING STATION, KAPITI, 1842.
 From a sketch by Gilfillan,
 by kind permission of Miss Gilfillan.]

To secure so eminent a scion of Ngai-Tahu aristocracy would be a
trophy indeed; but Te Rauparaha knew that it was no ordinary task that
he was contemplating. An attack upon regular lines might easily defeat
its own purpose, for a chief so sacred to the tribe as Tamaiharanui
would scarcely be permitted to sacrifice himself upon the field of
battle, even if his own inclinations impelled him to lead his people,
a point of personal courage by no means too well established.[94]
Strategy must therefore be employed, and it must be strategy of the
most delicate kind, for, in the naïve language of the younger Te
Rauparaha, "the chief must be enticed, even as the _kaka_ is enticed."
For the scheme which was finally adopted it has been claimed that Te
Rauparaha was not originally responsible, but that the idea was first
conceived by a relative of his, named Hohepa Tama-i-hengia, who had
been working on board a whaler in the southern latitudes, and heard
the story of Te Pehi's death on the ship calling in at a bay on the
coast of Otago. Hohepa, who, in his contact with the European, had
lost none of that eternal thirst for revenge which marked the ancient
Maori, at once besought the captain to employ his vessel in the
capture of Tamaiharanui, promising a large reward from Te Rauparaha on
his handing over the prisoner at Kapiti. The captain, however, was
discouraged in the idea by the rest of the ship's company, who were
eager to reach Queen Charlotte Sound, there to resume their whaling
operations; and thus the execution of the brilliant suggestion had
perforce to be suspended until the ingenious author of it himself
reached Kapiti. There the daring plan was laid before the fighting
chiefs of the tribe, who were readily convinced of its practicability.

Their first overtures were made to Captain Briggs, whose ship, the
_Dragon_, was then lying at Kapiti. This seaman has, with a frankness
amounting to brutality, explained that he ultimately declined their
proposals, not because the enterprise was repugnant to him, but
because Te Rauparaha insisted upon taking more men with him than he
deemed it prudent to carry in his ship. The manner in which the
captain of the _Dragon_ was approached was diplomatic in the extreme.
The chiefs explained to him that Te Pehi had been to England, and
that, as a mark of gratitude for his generous treatment there, he had
always been the friend of the English. Tamaiharanui, on the other
hand, had killed more white men than any other chief in New Zealand,
from which fact they adroitly argued that they and Captain Briggs had
a mutual interest in compassing his death. Briggs seems to have been
convinced that Tamaiharanui was a "monster," whose death would be a
distinct benefit to society, and he unhesitatingly offered to take Te
Rauparaha and two of his best men to Akaroa to effect the capture. Te
Rauparaha and Te Hiko, however, stipulated for twenty men; but, as the
cautious Briggs considered that "this would have given the chiefs more
power in the vessel than he cared to part with," he declined further
discussion. This rebuff delayed, but did not extinguish, the purpose
of the chiefs. They still hoped that other captains would be more
amenable to persuasion or more susceptible to reward. There was thus
considerable excitement at Kapiti on a certain day towards the close
of the year 1830, when a vessel was seen rounding the Taheke Point,
and the cry of "A ship, a ship!" was raised from every corner of the
settlement. Rauparaha immediately ordered out his canoe, and, putting
off with Te Hiko and a full crew, boarded the stranger, which proved
to be the British brig _Elizabeth_ of 236 tons, commanded by Captain
Stewart.[95] The chiefs were fortunate in the type of man with whom
they had come to negotiate. Stewart was one of the semi-buccaneer
breed, who, at this period, were all too common in these waters, and
whose depredations have contributed so many of the ugly pages of our
country's history. Nor was this case to be an exception. Before
committing himself, however, Stewart took the precaution of consulting
Captain Briggs, who advised him not to undertake to carry more natives
on board than he could safely control. But this counsel[96] was not
followed, and a bargain was eventually struck, whereby it was agreed
that the captain was to carry the chiefs and their party to Whanga-roa
(now Akaroa) Harbour in Banks's Peninsula, in consideration for which
he was to receive fifty tons of dressed flax--valued roughly at
£1,200--immediately upon his return to Kapiti. The conclusion of this
contract gave intense satisfaction to the chiefs, and according to his
son, "the heart of Te Rauparaha lived in joy."

Some of the apologists for Captain Stewart have endeavoured to show
that he was not made fully aware of the real intentions of the chiefs,
and that, when the savage purpose of the voyage was borne in upon him,
he was then powerless to avert the tragic scenes which were afterwards
enacted. It has been further urged in extenuation of his crime that,
when he arrived on the coast of New Zealand, he discovered to his
dismay that his cargo was totally unsuitable to excite trade with the
natives, and that he was, therefore, constrained, in the interests of
his employers, to accept a charter against which there was no law, and
which promised a rich and speedy remuneration. What measure of truth
there may be in the former defence it is now difficult to determine.
It is possible that events developed in a manner and to an extent that
had not been contemplated by Stewart; but it must be remembered that
he had discussed with due deliberation the whole project with his
friend Captain Briggs, and that, if he afterwards found himself
powerless to control the passions of his charterers, the blame was
entirely his own for disdaining the advice of his fellow captain
regarding a limitation of numbers. As to the unmarketable nature of
his cargo, that specious plea is flatly disproved by the ship's
manifest. So far from the goods carried being unsuitable for trade,
there was scarcely anything brought in the _Elizabeth_ for which the
natives were not eagerly craving. Indeed, there is no room to doubt
that, had Captain Stewart chosen to confine himself to legitimate
commerce, he could have easily bartered his guns and his powder, his
flints and his tobacco, for a cargo which would have given his
employers an adequate return, without requiring his zeal in their
behalf to outrage the feelings of humanity. Similarly, it is scarcely
to be supposed that Stewart's knowledge of the law was so wide that he
was aware there was no statutory decree prohibiting his entering into
this unholy compact. He was clearly just as indifferent to its moral
aspect as he was unaware of its legal bearing. Otherwise he would have
known that, viewed from this standpoint, there was no distinction
between a crime committed against a savage and that perpetrated upon a
civilised being. The absence of any law regulating the conduct of
individuals placed in such circumstances is no palliation for the
outrage which he committed; and, so far from his being unwittingly led
into an error of judgment, his treatment of Tamaiharanui after his
capture dispels any supposition that he had repented of his bargain,
or that he was in the least degree revolted by the excesses of the
natives. Having regard to these facts, the impression conveyed by a
study of the general character of the man, as revealed by his actions,
is, that the purpose of the voyage would not have caused him much
scruple, so long as the reward was ample and easily obtained. Howbeit,
a few days after the bargain was struck, he received on board his
vessel Te Rauparaha and one hundred and seventy of his followers,
accompanied by five of his remaining lieutenants--Te Rangihaeata, Te
Hiko, Tungia, and Tama-i-hengia, and on October 29th set sail for
Banks's Peninsula.

The voyage appears to have been propitious enough, for, in due course,
the vessel arrived at Whanga-roa Harbour, on the shores of which then
stood the Takapuneke _pa_, and now nestles the sequestered town of
Akaroa.[97] The coming of a ship was an event much more rare at Akaroa
than it was at Kapiti, and, consequently, the natives of the _pa_ were
stirred to the highest pitch of excitement, and desired to enter into
immediate trade with the vessel, which they misjudged to be an honest
whaler.[98] Meanwhile Te Rauparaha had carefully concealed all his men
beneath the hatches, and enjoined upon them the strictest seclusion;
for the success of his scheme altogether depended upon the concealment
of the fact that a force of natives was on board. Acting under
instructions from the chief, Captain Stewart, through his interpreter,
forbade any of the resident natives to board the _Elizabeth_ until
Tamaiharanui had returned; for it so happened that, at the time of the
brig's arrival at Akaroa, that chief was absent from his _pa_,
superintending the preparation of a cargo of flax which he had sold to
an English captain. A message was accordingly despatched to Wairewa,
urging him to come and see a _pakeha_ who was eager to trade. It was
not, however, till the eighth day that Tama arrived, and, during all
that time, the Ngati-Toa warriors had been cooped up under the
hatches, being permitted only a few minutes on deck under the cover of
darkness. These precautions prevented any suspicion reaching the
shore; and yet some doubt seems to have lurked in the minds of the
resident people, for they eagerly inquired of Cowell, the interpreter,
whether there were any natives on board, and were put off with the
laughing assurance that such was impossible, as the vessel had just
come down from Sydney. This statement was seemingly fair enough; but,
if Sydney was the last port of call, how came those _hutiwai_ burrs
clinging to the clothes of some of the crew, which a keen-eyed native
had just espied? _Hutiwai_ burrs do not grow in Sydney, nor upon the
broad ocean. Then the lie that came handiest was that on the way down
they had called at the Bay of Islands, and the sailors had probably
picked up the burrs while carousing on shore. The evasion, however
palpable, was at least successful in silencing the doubts which were
just growing to dangerous proportions in the minds of Tamaiharanui's
people, and the incident had no influence in cooling their ardour for
trade, for further messengers were shortly afterwards despatched to
hasten their chief's coming. When Tamaiharanui came, he brought with
him his wife, Te Whe, his sister, and his little daughter
Ngaroimata,[99] a name full of pathetic suggestion. He was cordially
welcomed by the captain, who invited him to his cabin below with every
show of courtesy and hospitality. But no sooner was the chief seated
than the door opened, and, to his intense amazement, his mortal
enemies, Te Rauparaha and Te Hiko, stood before him. To overpower and
bind him was the work of but a few moments, and then the Ngati-Toa let
loose upon him the full flood of their invective, taunting him in
bitter scorn with his infantile simplicity in falling so easily into
their trap. Te Hiko added insult to injury by advancing and drawing
back the captive's upper lip, sneeringly remarking, "So these are the
teeth which ate my father."

In all innocence of what was passing within the cabin, the followers
of Tamaiharanui swarmed round the ship's side in their canoes,
clamouring for admission, so that they might trade for the needful
guns and casks of powder. This permission was granted to a few at a
time, who, immediately they reached the deck, were conducted by the
crew to the open hatchway and promptly shoved headlong into the hold,
where they were secured by Te Rauparaha's men and made prisoners as
easily and as simply as their chief had been. The failure of these
people to return to the shore evidently did not excite any
uneasiness. It was no uncommon thing for natives visiting a ship in
the offing to remain for several days, or even longer, if their
presence could be tolerated. Events were thus playing into the hands
of Te Rauparaha more effectually even than he might have reasonably
expected; and so, on the evening of the second day after the capture
of Tamaiharanui, having secured all the visitors to the ship, he was
now in a position to deal with those who had remained on land. Boats
were accordingly got out some hours after nightfall, and a strong and
well-armed party was sent ashore to attack the Takapuneke _pa_.
Ngai-Tahu accounts of this fight would have us believe that an heroic
resistance was offered to a cyclonic assault; but the circumstances
render such an account most improbable. The place was not a fighting
_pa_, and for the purposes of war was practically defenceless. The
people, too, were awakened from their sleep by the tumult of the
attack, and, shorn as they were of their leaders and their warriors,
there was little hope of any organised defence being made. The attack
therefore became a rout, and the rout a massacre; and before morning
broke the people of Akaroa were either helpless captives, bound in the
evil-smelling hold of a ship, fugitives flying for dear life, or lying
dead amongst the smoking ruins of their ancestral home.

Having achieved a complete success, Te Rauparaha collected a quantity
of human flesh for consumption on the voyage, and set sail for Kapiti,
where the final scene in the tragedy was to be enacted. Tamaiharanui
and his family were housed in one of the fore cabins, and apparently
some degree of liberty was permitted him, for on the first night out
from Akaroa,[100] he, after consultation with his wife, seized a
favourable opportunity to strangle his little daughter as she lay
asleep, and afterwards cast the lifeless body into the sea. This
extreme course he justified to his conscience as averting the eternal
disgrace of her ever becoming the wife of one of his enemies. His
unnatural action, however, had the effect of rousing the fury of his
captors.[101] Fearing that his next step would be to take his own
life, and so deprive them of the legitimate fruits of their mission,
they took immediate and adequate precautions by pinioning him fast in
a position which caused him exquisite torture, and his sufferings they
watched with intense delight. On the voyage northward high revels were
kept by the natives, who, if the interpreter's testimony is to be
credited, were even permitted to cook the flesh of their victims in
the ship's coppers, without protest from the captain or any of his
equally degenerate crew.

Upon the arrival of the _Elizabeth_ at Kapiti, on the 11th of
November, the _pas_ were almost deserted, the majority of the
people being absent in the swamps and on the hill-sides, preparing the
flax which was to be Captain Stewart's payment. The news, however,
soon spread that the great Ngai-Tahu chief was a captive on board, and
crowds came flocking from the mainland to verify the reported triumph
of their leader. The major part of the prisoners were landed on the
12th of November, and the natives now expected that Tamaiharanui would
also be handed over to them at once, to be disposed of in their own
fashion. But on this point Captain Stewart was obdurate, for he
probably saw but little prospect of securing his flax if once the
prisoner passed beyond his keeping. He therefore resisted the tribe's
demands for this species of _habeas corpus_, and detained the
chief, heaping upon him the additional pain and ignominy of keeping
him in irons until he could be redeemed by the fulfilment of Te
Rauparaha's promise. Either this was no simple matter, or, more
likely still, his followers, having to some extent satisfied their
craving for excitement and revenge, relaxed their efforts in the
fields, preferring to discuss in the _kaingas_ the strange adventures
of their comrades at Akaroa. From whatever cause, there was a distinct
failure on their part to complete the contract. Day after day went
past, and still a residue of the flax was wanting. At the end of six
weeks, Captain Stewart was persuaded that it was hopeless to wait
longer, and, probably wishing himself well out of the whole business,
he handed Tamaiharanui over to Te Rauparaha, and made his course with
all speed to Sydney, arriving on January 14, 1831.[102]

The prisoner was taken on shore in Rauparaha's canoe, and, at a great
feast held in honour of the occasion, was surrendered to the wives of
Te Pehi to do with him as they pleased. A final appeal for life was
made to his captor by Tama; but Te Rauparaha took high ground, and
replied that if it was a matter that rested with himself, he would
most certainly spare him, but the death of Te Pehi was a calamity
which affected the whole tribe of Ngati-Toa, and hence the final
decision must rest with them. About the precise time and mode[103] of
the unfortunate chief's death there is much doubt, for scarcely any
two accounts agree, except in the central fact that Tamaiharanui
subsequently met his fate at the hands of Tiaia, Te Pehi's principal
widow. The most favourable view of this lady's conduct in revenging
the death of her lamented husband is given us by her own tribe, who
have averred that "on landing, the chief was given up to the widow of
Te Pehi, who took him and his wife to her own house, giving up half to
their use. They talked like friends to each other, and the widow
behaved so kindly to him, that a stranger would have taken them for
man and wife, rather than a doomed captive and his implacable enemy.
She used even to clothe him in her finest garments and deck his head
with choice feathers. This continued for about two weeks, until she
had assembled her friends, or thought her victim sufficiently fat to
kill.[104] She then suddenly caused him to be seized and bound, with
his arms stretched to a tree, and whilst he was in this position she
took a long iron spear, with which she stabbed him in the jugular
artery, and drank his warm blood as it gushed forth."

Harrowing as this spectacle must have been, and awful as it is to
contemplate, it must be remembered that the manner of Tamaiharanui's
death was not more savage than that of many another leader of men,
perpetrated in Christian countries and in the name of a higher cause.
By the Maori code the death of the Akaroa chief was not only
justified, but necessary to appease the spirit of the departed Te
Pehi, and the more humiliating his death, the more adequate the
compensation to the dead. A student[105] of Maori life and character,
than whom perhaps none have had better opportunities of mastering
Ngai-Tahu history, and who, from his calling, could scarcely be
accused of callousness towards Tamaiharanui's sufferings, has given it
as his mature opinion that, "base as the means adopted for his capture
were, and cruel as his fate was, it is impossible to feel much pity
for Tamaiharanui. His punishment was hardly more than he deserved. The
treatment he received at the hands of Ngati-Toa was little more than a
repetition of the cruelties which he had himself inflicted upon
members of his own tribe." Possibly the knowledge that he would not
have acted differently himself assisted the unhappy captive to resign
himself to his fate. For, although he has been described as both cruel
and cowardly, by one whose verdict it is not easy to challenge, this
much must be laid to his credit: that neither the mental nor the
physical torture invented for him by his barbarous enemies was
sufficient to break down his rugged fortitude or to tame his defiant

When the _Elizabeth_ reached Sydney, the circumstances attending
the death of the Akaroa chief were reported to Governor Darling by Mr.
Gordon Browne, and the Governor, with commendable promptitude, ordered
the arrest of Stewart and proceeded to put him on his trial. The
depositions were referred to the Crown Solicitor on February 17, but
that official expressed doubts as to the statutory power of the colony
to bring the offender to justice, it not being clear whether offences
committed in New Zealand against New Zealanders were punishable under
the laws of New South Wales.[106] Darling was in no way disconcerted
by this legal difficulty, but urged with some vehemence that the point
should be tested, holding that it was "a case in which the character
of the nation was implicated, and that every possible exertion should
be used to bring the offenders to justice." Stewart retained Dr.
Wardell, a lawyer eminent in his day, for his defence, and while the
officers of the Crown were seeking to make good their ground, the
delay was utilised to spirit away the witnesses whose testimony might
be fatal to Stewart. Meanwhile, the _Elizabeth_ was allowed to put to
sea under another captain, and Stewart was held on bail,
notwithstanding the strenuous protests of his counsel. With the
witnesses out of the way, Dr. Wardell became more confident, and
boldly demanded the release of his client. But the Governor could not
but be influenced by the prayer of the more honourably disposed white
residents of New Zealand, who expressed the fear that their "lives
would be made answerable for the proceedings of their countrymen," or
by the touching appeal of the natives, who came personally to plead
that speedy steps might be taken by England to put a curb upon the
unbridled behaviour of her degenerate sons. The curb which Darling
proposed to apply was to appoint a resident representative of the
colony in New Zealand, and he suggested to the Secretary of State for
the Colonies that Captain Sturt[107] should be employed in this
capacity. The carrying out of this scheme was delayed by the recall
of the Governor, and the appointment of Sir Richard Bourke as his
successor, to whom Darling deemed it prudent to leave the initiation
of a system which it would be his lot to administer.

All this time justice was tardily picking her way amongst the
complicated meshes of the law, and it was not until the 21st of May
that Stewart was called upon to face his trial. Even then the Crown
Solicitor was not prepared to proceed upon the main indictment, but
sought to get a conviction upon a minor offence, to which course Dr.
Wardell took the strongest exception, and warmly demanded the
discharge of Stewart's recognisances. The Crown justified its action
on the ground that its witnesses were not forthcoming, for great
remissness had been shown in letting them depart; and, notwithstanding
Dr. Wardell's protest that it was unfair "to hold Stewart to bail in a
sum of £2,000 for an indefinite period," the Chief Justice decided to
adjourn the matter, and allow it to come up for consideration on a
future day. When that day arrived, the Crown Solicitor was still
unready, and applied for leave to abandon the charge of misdemeanour,
and proceed upon the main information so soon as his witnesses were
available. But his witnesses were the same intangible quantity that
they had been ever since they had first vanished, and there was not
the remotest prospect of their appearing. Dr. Wardell knew this, and
bantered his learned friend upon his unfortunate predicament, in which
he was compelled to "skip from a charge of murder to a misdemeanour,
and then to murder back again." He earnestly pleaded the hardship
imposed upon Stewart by these delays, for which he was in no way
responsible, and claimed either instant dismissal or immediate trial
for his client, who, he believed, or affected to believe, was the
unhappy victim of circumstances.[108] To all this the Crown might
have justly retorted that the disability placed upon Stewart was
gentleness itself compared with his own conduct towards his fettered
captive. Possibly this view was influencing the Court, for it still
refused to take the responsibility at that stage of discharging the
prisoner, but appointed the 20th June as the day on which Dr. Wardell
might make application for the discharge of Stewart's recognisances.
But when, after further adjournments, that application was argued on
June 30th, the Crown was unable to convince the Court that the accused
man should be indefinitely detained, and the Bench, reluctantly, no
doubt, announced that he must be "discharged on his own recognisances
in the sum of £1,000." So ended Governor Darling's sincere endeavour
to make national reparation for one of the blackest crimes which have
ever dishonoured the relations of the white man with the Maori, a deed
which must be counted dark even at a time when the spirit of humanity
seemed to slumber. Whatever palliation the apologist may find for the
rough sea captain, whose occupation and environment were not conducive
to the gentler qualities, it is not to the credit of a civilised
community that its public opinion was apathetic in the presence of
such an atrocity as that in which Captain Stewart had steeped his
hands. It is to be feared that the Governor failed to receive the
support from his officers, or from the community, which a jealousy for
the national honour might have demanded;[109] while it is equally true
that active sympathy with Stewart was largely responsible for the
ease with which the witnesses were got out of the way. It was,
perhaps, due to the fact that he was never brought to trial, rather
than to any other cause, that no jury of Sydneyites acquitted Stewart.

The tidings of Te Rauparaha's successes in the south were rapidly
filtering to the ears of his friends in the north, by the agency of
the devoted messengers who were repeatedly travelling backwards to
their old home. With each fresh tale of victory told by ardent tongues
to wondering ears, some new hope or ambition was awakened in the
breast of the Ngati-Raukawa who still lingered in their settlements
round Lake Taupo. Apart from the larger migrations which from time to
time came down to join Te Rauparaha, less important bands were
continually being attracted by the glory of Ngati-Toa's splendid
achievements. Many of these soldiers of fortune reached Otaki and
Kapiti with little adventure; for there was no inclination on the part
of the subdued remnant of the Ngati-Apa to risk a conflict with these
fiery spirits as they pushed across the ferny hills of Rangitikei. But
one small company, travelling further to the northward than was
customary, came into conflict with, and met disaster at the hands of,
the Whanganui people, who secured the momentary advantage of a
victory. From out of this defeat, two young men, Te Puke and his
brother, Te Ao, succeeded in making their way to Kapiti, where the
story of their misfortune made a deep impression upon chiefs and
people alike. But matters more urgent and nearer home were pressing in
upon the chief, and because of lack of opportunity, rather than of
desire, the day of reckoning with Whanganui must be indefinitely

The business which thus preoccupied the mind of Te Rauparaha was the
need of adjusting the differences and unravelling the complications,
which were daily accumulating, as the result of accretions to his
forces. With the arrival of every new contingent of warriors,
provision had to be made for their immediate entertainment, and for
their ultimate settlement on the land, in order to leave them
comfortable and contented. This their mutual jealousies made somewhat
difficult, and no small measure of diplomacy was needed to avert civil
ruptures, such as afterwards threatened to destroy all that unity and
unquestioning devotion to his authority had accomplished. Though there
was this simmering of discontent between the men of Ngati-Raukawa and
Ngati-Awa, fortunately for Te Rauparaha no crisis occurred, and any
ill-feeling that might lead to such an event was soon forgotten in the
thrilling announcement that another attempt was about to be made to
capture the great _pa_ at Kaiapoi. This decision was, we are led to
understand, arrived at somewhat hurriedly, and was largely accelerated
because of a vision seen by a hoary seer of the tribe, who had
interpreted the manifestation as a mandate to go forward to the
attack. His _mata_, or prophecy, has been preserved amongst the oral
treasures of Ngati-Toa, and has been freely translated as follows:--

  "What is the wind?
  It is north-east, it is south.
  It is east in the offing, oh!
  Come then, O Raha!
  That you may see the fire
  On the crimson flat of Kaiapohia.
  By the prow of the canoe,
  By the handle of the paddle,
  The hold of the canoe of Maui
  May be overturned to cover it.
  Then pound, pound the sea!
  And stir it with your paddles.
  Behold my flock of curlews
  Hovering over the backwater
  Of that Waipara there.
  The fight will be on the other side;
  Embrace it, get closer and closer.
  Fierce will rage the fight."

It might be supposed that, with the capture and death of
Tamaiharanui, and all the carnage that had followed upon the Akaroa
raid, Te Rauparaha would have felt that he had taken sufficient
vengeance upon Ngai-Tahu for the slaying of Te Pehi and his comrades
in arms. We are, however, assured by an authority deeply versed in the
intricacies of Maori etiquette that no such limit was placed upon his
actions, and that, so far from his proposal to again attack Kaiapoi
being anything but strictly "correct," no alternative course would
have adequately met the exigencies of the case. No sooner, therefore,
was the chief's decision to obey the _tohunga's_ call to arms publicly
proclaimed, than preparatory measures on an exceptional scale were
commenced with alacrity and enthusiasm. There was to be no trifling
with the occasion, which, it was generally understood, would be
pregnant with the fate of tribes; for Te Rauparaha had determined that
as the result of this priest-ordained raid either Ngati-Toa or
Ngai-Tahu would be for ever humbled in the dust. The force to be
raised was to consist of seven hundred and fifty warriors, and only
the pick of the men were to be taken--the Ngati-Toa, the Ngati-Raukawa
and Ngati-Awa tribes contributing their quota in nearly equal
proportions. The traffic in arms and ammunition had now become so
lucrative at Kapiti that there was no difficulty in arming every man
with a musket more or less serviceable. Food was also abundant, for so
rich had been the harvest of captives that at this time, it is said,
Te Rauparaha had upwards of two thousand slaves constantly employed in
planting or reaping the crops, which grew abundantly on the alluvial
flats along the mainland coast. The question of transport presented
greater difficulty. The conveyance of so large a force across the
rough waters of Cook Strait was a serious problem, as there was no
adequate supply of canoes for the purpose. This perplexity was,
however, solved by the decision to transport the force in sections.
The first division was to be landed at the Wairau, with instructions
to march over the inland track, which led through the wild and
picturesque Wairau Gorge, and over the Hanmer Plains, to a rendezvous
appointed for them at the mouth of the Waipara River. While this
detour was being made purely in the interests of adventure, the
remainder of the warriors were to embark at Kapiti, and make their way
by slow stages down the coast, until they should unite with the inland
party at the Waipara. Here the canoes were to be beached, and the
whole force was then to march rapidly upon the doomed _pa_, in the
hope of surprising the inhabitants and carrying the fortress by one
swift and resolute stroke.

So soon as the summer of 1831 was sufficiently advanced,[110] these
plans were put into execution, and, as far as is known, were carried
out with admirable precision. The two sections of the allied forces
met at the appointed place, and, with as little delay as was
permissible, set off in good order across the plain. But their
movements had not been so secretly conducted as could have been
wished; for the fleet of canoes had been espied coming down the coast,
and a breathless messenger had carried the startling intelligence to
the people in the _pa_. The first impulse of the latter was to
gather all the people in from the fields and out-stations, and then to
consult the patron deity of the tribe, and endeavour to ascertain by a
process of revelation what the issue of the invasion was to be. The
Rev. Canon Stack has left on record a description of the elaborate but
idolatrous ceremonial by which the movements of a wooden image,
dangled in the hands of a shrieking priest, were to reveal the future.
The consultation of the _atua_ was most piously performed at a
spot outside the _pa_, consecrated for the purpose of this and
similar religious rites. There the prescribed questions were put to
the nodding image, in the presence of a trembling people, and the
answer, as read by the priests, was that there was to be one defeat.
This prophecy they immediately interpreted as foretelling the ultimate
repulse and humiliation of the approaching enemy. So satisfactory a
termination to the toro was received with much congratulation, and
served instantly to revive the drooping spirits of the people, who
returned in jubilant procession to the _pa_. But the gates were
scarcely closed before the muskets of Te Rauparaha's men were heard
snapping in the distance, as they kept up a running fire upon some
belated stragglers.

That the _pa_ was surprised is now a matter of history, but
fortunately for its slender garrison, Te Rauparaha did not realise how
hopelessly unprepared they were. During the year or more which had
elapsed since his raid upon Akaroa, the people of Kaiapoi had been
deeply immersed in the endeavour to cultivate a trade with the
itinerant whalers who paid their fitful visits to Whangaraupo[111] and
other parts of Banks's Peninsula. In their anxiety to make the utmost
of these infrequent opportunities, they had lost sight of the
probability of another attack upon their settlement, and this unwary
attitude had been encouraged by the fond belief that the difficulties
of transporting from Kapiti a force large enough to assault the
_pa_ with any prospect of success were so formidable that even Te
Rauparaha would never seriously contemplate such an undertaking. How
illusory these dreams of safety were, and how little they understood
the dogged spirit of the man against whom they were called upon to
contend, they now realised to their cost. At the moment of Te
Rauparaha's arrival the _pa_ was deserted, except for a guard of
old people and a number of women and children. The greater part of the
population had only a few days before gone off to Whangaraupo, in
company with the influential Otago chief Taiaroa, who had been paying
a friendly visit to Kaiapoi. Some had gone merely to bid their great
kinsman farewell; and so remote was the need of strong arms and stout
hearts at home considered that many of the younger men were purposing
to travel southward with him to Otakou.[112] Kaiapoi was thus
practically denuded of its fighting men, and it says much for the
courage and ingenuity of those who were left that, in this sudden
emergency, they were able to make so brave a show along its ramparts
as to utterly deceive the northern leader. Had the _pa_ been attacked
promptly and vigorously, there is no room to doubt that it would have
fallen, for its thin veneer of resistance must soon have been pierced;
but this was one of the few occasions on which the Ngati-Toa chief's
clearness of perception and promptness of decision failed him, and the
price of his vacillation was a long weary siege, and the loss, to him,
of many valuable lives.

As a preliminary step in the defence of the _pa_, the Kaiapoi
people had hurriedly removed the few temporary houses and fences which
had been erected immediately in front of the landward approach, and
which would have afforded some degree of shelter to the approaching
enemy. Their destruction left not only an unbroken view of the
movements of the enemy, but deprived them of every vestige of cover,
so that, in rushing to the assault, they had to pass over ground
exposed to the pitiless fire of the defenders. For this reason, the
first attack was repulsed with considerable loss, as was also a
second, which was delivered with some additional energy. The defenders
had entrenched themselves behind the first line of palisades, and,
with their bodies protected by the deep ditch which ran the whole
width of the narrow isthmus between the converging swamps, they were
able to concentrate their fire upon the advancing warriors with so
deadly an effect that Te Rauparaha was led to believe the defence to
be much more formidable than it really was. Surprised that his coming
had been so evidently anticipated and so amply provided against, and
irritated to find himself baffled in his hope of snatching a victory
from a napping victim, he retired beyond the range of the Ngai-Tahu
guns to deliberate on his next move. As the result of a consultation
with Rangihaeata, Te Hiko, and his other lieutenants, it was agreed
that all hope of carrying the fortress by a _coup de main_ must
now be abandoned, and it was decided to adopt the more prosaic
course of investing the _pa_ and subjecting it to the annoyance
and humiliation of a regular siege.

A camp was formed immediately in front of the _pa_, and so placed
as to intercept the path which led to its main entrance. A wing of
this camp stretched round amongst the sand-hills to the westward, so
as to command the approach to the Huirapa gate. In these quarters
Ngati-Toa and their allies sat down in patience, to tempt the enemy to
a sortie, but ever ready to profit by any momentary looseness or
indiscretion on the part of the defenders. Meantime a few of the
residents of Kaiapoi who had been shut out when its gates were closed,
but had succeeded in evading capture by their superior knowledge of
the surrounding maze of swamps, had fled southward to carry the news
of the invasion to their friends who had gone to Whangaraupo with
Taiaroa. These messengers were fortunate in intercepting their
tribesmen before they had departed for the south, and, at the earnest
solicitation of his Kaiapoi relations, Taiaroa agreed to return and
lead the defence of their fortress. All possible reinforcements were
speedily gathered from the Peninsula _pas_, and the combined
forces set off along the coast to endeavour to raise the siege. Their
march to the Waimakariri River was rapidly executed; but here some
delay was occasioned, owing to the difficulty in getting the people
across the broad and rapid stream. At the cost of much labour, a
_mokihi_ flotilla was constructed, on which they crossed to the
northern bank; and then, fearing that their movements might be
discovered if they approached nearer to the _pa_ before darkness
set in, they lay down to await the fall of evening. Under the cover of
darkness they resumed their march, which was still conducted with the
utmost caution, more especially as they approached the vicinity of the
besieged _pa_. By the glowing watch-fires which they saw in the
distance they knew that the enemy was sleeplessly alert, and that any
impetuosity on their part might easily prove fatal to themselves, and
equally disastrous to their friends watching and waiting their coming.
It had been decided that the attempt to enter the _pa_ should be made
on the western side, where the swamp which fringed the fortress was
narrowest, and where they could be admitted by the Huirapa gate. It is
probable that when Taiaroa came to this determination he was not aware
that he must pass near to a section of the enemy's camp. But here
fortune favoured him, for the high wind which was blowing at the time
drove those of the besiegers who were keeping watch to crouch closely
over their fires, and, by agitating the surrounding foliage, aided
materially in concealing the movements of the warriors as they crept
cautiously through the long and waving grass. By adroitly advancing
when the breeze blew with greatest violence, and throwing themselves
flat upon the ground when it lulled, they drew so near to the
Ngati-Toa lines that they could plainly hear the sentries conversing
amongst themselves. Their position at this juncture was most critical,
and in the intensity of their excitement they scarcely dared to
breathe. Nothing, however, occurred to betray their presence,[113]
and, at a preconcerted signal, every man rose from his concealment,
and shouting, "Taiaroa to the rescue! Taiaroa to the rescue!" plunged
into the dark waters of the swamp and swam towards the _pa_.

It is doubtful whether the surprise of the Ngati-Toa sentries or of
the defenders was the greater, as they were suddenly aroused by the
tumult of the struggling horde which had swept in upon the scene. The
first thought of the defenders was that a clever ruse to gain
admission to the _pa_ was being practised by Te Rauparaha, and they
at once lined the walls, and began a brisk fusilade upon the splashing
forms in the water below. Darkness, uncertainty, and excitement,
however, made their aim extremely erratic, and no damage of any
consequence was done before the voices of the leaders were recognised,
and what had seemed a daring and ingenious assault was discovered to
be the eagerly-looked-for succour. The firing instantly ceased, and
the Huirapa gate was thrown open to the dripping warriors, who, as
they emerged from the water, were received in the warm embraces of
their grateful friends.

With the arrival of Taiaroa and of the Kaiapoi chiefs whom he had
brought with him, a new spirit animated the population of the _pa_,
and its defence was organised upon a more systematic plan than before.
To Whakauira was entrusted the defence of the Kaitangata gate, and
Weka was given a similar responsibility over Hiaka-rere. Other
vulnerable points were similarly entrusted to the personal care of the
best and bravest of the chiefs, who were not only to defend their
particular positions against attack, but were to lead all sorties made
by their own companies. In guarding against surprises, the garrison
were greatly aided by a watch-tower, which stood close to the
Kaitangata gate. This tower was no pillar of masonry, such as a Norman
of old would have attached to his castle, but was merely the tall
trunk of a totara tree, firmly set in the ground, on the top of which
was perched a little wooden hutch, after the form of a native
_whata_.[114] The sides of this cabin were constructed of thick
wooden slabs which had been carefully tested, and demonstrated to be
proof against any bullet fired from the nearest point to which an
enemy could safely come. Before daylight every morning a faithful
watcher crept into this elevated cabin, and, peering through slits cut
in the sides, was able to command a view of all that was passing
within the enemy's camp, and communicate the results of his
observation to those within. In this way the defenders were able to
anticipate and successfully counteract the tactics of Te Rauparaha,
who, much to his chagrin, found all his movements checked. But the
rôle of attack was not confined to the Ngati-Toa; for, in the early
stages of the siege, frequent sorties were made by the defenders,
though, it must be admitted, with but doubtful success. Their fighting
was of a more emotional order than that of the northern men, who were
desperate fellows, and just as willing to submit to punishment as they
were to administer it. Their tenacity of purpose, combined with the
fact that they were led by the most skilful native tactician of his
day, gave them an undoubted superiority in these hand-to-hand
contests; and the Ngai-Tahu defenders derived but little comfort from
their spasmodic efforts to disperse the enemy's camp. One excursion of
this kind, however, was more than usually heroic. Intelligence having
been brought that Te Rauparaha had moved his canoes down the coast
from Double Corner, where they had been left when he first landed, to
the mouth of the Ashley River, Taiaroa, on a dark and stormy night,
took a few men with him, and, swimming and wading through the swamps,
succeeded in reaching the spot where the fleet was lying securely
beached. The purpose of the sortie was to destroy the canoes. But here
was furnished an example of that want of forethought which is to be so
frequently noted in Ngai-Tahu warfare, and which stood in such marked
contrast to the methods of Te Rauparaha. The expedition had armed
itself with only light hatchets, which proved to be quite incapable of
making any material impression upon the heavy hulls of the canoes.
Consequently, Taiaroa and his men had to content themselves with
merely slashing at the lighter timbers and severing the cordage which
lashed the thwarts and side boards, which would, at least, render the
vessels unseaworthy until repaired. Finding it impossible to achieve
their object with the axe, an attempt was made to burn the canoes; but
the blinding rain-storm which was raging at the time rendered futile
every effort in this direction, and the bold little band was compelled
to return to the _pa_, having succeeded in nothing beyond risking
their own lives and imposing a passing inconvenience upon the

Three anxious months had now passed since the siege began, without
anything decisive having been accomplished on either side. Te
Rauparaha had hoped that hunger and the losses they had suffered would
have sapped the strength of the defence; but in this he was mistaken,
for events were proving that the old idea, that the _pa_ could be
starved into submission, was a delusion. As a matter of fact, the
defenders were well supplied with food, their storehouses having been
filled with the fruits of the early crops, while the surrounding
swamps provided them with an abundant supply of eels. On the other
hand, Te Rauparaha was frequently hard pressed for supplies; while, on
the score of losses, he had fared rather worse than the defenders.
Finding that he was making no progress along the orthodox lines of
attack, he now decided to revolutionise his methods. He recalled to
mind the words in the song of the seer Kukurarangi, "Embrace it, get
closer and closer"; and, acting upon this prophetic injunction, he
conceived the idea of sapping[115] up to the walls of the _pa_
and demolishing the palisades by fire. He accordingly ordered three
trenches to be dug, one by the Ngati-Toa, one by the Ngati-Raukawa,
and the third by Ngati-Awa, no doubt relying upon a spirit of friendly
rivalry between the tribes to accelerate the work. At first they
suffered considerably, for the men working in the open trenches
offered a conspicuous mark to the riflemen concealed behind the
outworks of the _pa_. The casualties were, however, sensibly
reduced when Te Rauparaha ingeniously deflected the line of the sap
and carried the trenches forward in a zigzag direction. The spademen
were thus protected by the angle at which they worked, and additional
security was given them by the placing of slabs of wood across the top
of the open sap. These precautions almost entirely neutralised the
efforts of the sharpshooters, and the sap proceeded rapidly, and with
a regularity and precision which excited the admiration of those early
colonists who saw the trenches before their symmetry had been

These proceedings were naturally viewed with considerable alarm by the
garrison, and frequent sorties were resorted to for the purpose of
putting a check upon the progress of the work. These excursions,
whether unskilfully conducted or badly executed, may have hindered the
operations of the sappers, but they certainly failed to compel the
abandonment of the sap. As an answer, the besiegers occasionally
delivered a surprise attack, and it was in repulsing one of these that
Te Ata-o-tu fought with such heroic courage that by his signal bravery
he has helped to redeem the general ineptitude of the defence. The
story of how "Old Jacob" (for as such he was known to the early
Canterbury colonists) slew Pehi Tahau has been worthily told in the
warrior's own words:--

"Towards the close of the siege, after standing sentry at the foot of
the watch-tower all one stormy night, during which heavy showers of
rain had fallen, and being very wet and very sleepy, I was dozing with
my head resting upon my hands, which were supported by the barrel of
my gun, when I was roused by a hand on my shoulder and a voice
whispering in my ear, 'Are you asleep?' I confessed I was, and asked
if anything was the matter. My questioner, who was one of our bravest
leaders, said: 'Yes; the enemy have planned an attack, and I wish a
sortie to be made at once to repel it: will you take command?' I
readily consented on condition that I should choose my own men. He
agreed; and I picked out six of the bravest men I knew, and got them
to the gate without arousing the rest of our people. I told my men to
wait while I and another reconnoitred. We entered the sap and
approached the shed where the attacking party, numbering about two
hundred, were sleeping, awaiting the dawn. They were lying all close
together like herrings in a shoal. I motioned to my men to come on.
Just at that moment one of them who had gone down another trench
called out: 'Let us go back; I have taken spoil--a club, a belt, and a
cartouche box.' The result of this injudicious outcry was very
different from what might have been anticipated. Startled by the sound
of his voice, our sleeping foes sprang to their feet and immediately
bolted panic-struck in the direction of their main camp. The coast was
now quite clear for me, and, emerging from the trench, I proceeded
cautiously in the direction taken by the runaways. I had not gone far
before I noticed the figure of a man a short distance in front of me.
He had nothing on but a small waist-mat, and was armed with a
fowling-piece; and walking beside him was a woman, who, from the way
he kept pushing her forward, seemed unwilling to accompany him.
Happening to look round, he caught sight of me, and immediately cried
out to his fleeing companions: 'Come back! come back and catch this
man; he is all alone!' But as no one did come back in answer to his
appeal, and as I heard no answering call made, I felt confident that I
had nothing to fear at the moment from his comrades, who were not
likely to come to his aid till it was quite light; and that if I could
only close with him, I might overcome him, and have the satisfaction
of carrying his dead body back with me into the _pa_. I determined
therefore to try and force an encounter at close quarters, my only
fear being that he might shoot me before I could grapple with him.

"I had only a tomahawk on a long handle, having left my own gun behind
because the charge in it was wet from the previous night's rain. The
ground we were passing over was covered with large tufts of tussock
grass, and I leapt from one to another to deaden the sound of my
footsteps, squatting down whenever I saw the man turning round to
look at me. I kept following him in this way for several hundred
yards; fortunately he did not keep moving towards Rauparaha's camp,
but in a different direction. By dint of great agility and caution, I
got within a few feet of him, when he turned suddenly round and pushed
the woman between us, and instantly fired. It seemed to me at that
moment as if I were looking down the barrel of his gun. I squatted as
quickly as I could on the ground: fortunately there was a slight
depression of the surface where I stood, and that saved my life. The
flame of the charge set fire to my hair, and the ball grazed my scalp:
for a moment I felt stunned, and thought I was mortally wounded. My
opponent kept shouting for assistance, which never came: for his
panic-stricken companions, I afterwards learnt, were at the very time
up to their necks in water in an adjoining swamp, clinging in their
terror to the nigger-heads for support, their fears having magnified
my little party of followers into an army. The shouts of my opponent
recalled me to my senses, and, recovering from the shock I had
received, I made a second attempt to grapple with him, but without
success: as before, he slipped behind the woman again, and aimed his
gun at me; I stooped and the bullet flew over my shoulder. We were now
on equal terms, and I had no longer to exercise such excessive caution
in attacking him. I struck at him with my hatchet; he tried to parry
the blow with the butt-end of his gun, but failed, and I buried my
weapon in his neck near the collar-bone. He fell forward at once, and
I seized him by the legs and lifted him on to my shoulder, intending
to carry him out of the reach of rescue by his own people. It was now
quite light enough to see what was going on, and I could not expect to
escape much longer the notice of the sentries guarding Rauparaha's
camp. Just then one of my companions, who had mustered sufficient
courage to follow me, came up to where I was, and, seeing signs of
life in the body I was carrying, ran it through with his spear; and at
the same time drew my attention to the movements of a party of the
enemy, who were evidently trying to intercept our return to the _pa_.
Hampered by the weight of my prize, I could not get over the ground as
quickly as our pursuers, but I was loath to lose the opportunity of
presenting to my superior officers such unmistakable evidence of my
prowess as a warrior, and I struggled on with my burden till I saw it
was hopeless to think of reaching the _pa_ with it, when I threw it on
the ground, contenting myself with the waist-belt, gun, and ear
ornaments of my conquered foe, and made the best of my way into the
fortress, where I was received with shouts of welcome from the people,
and very complimentary acknowledgments of my courage from my
commanders. I owed my life at the fall of Kaiapoi to that morning's
encounter. For, when I was lying bound hand and foot along with a
crowd of other prisoners after the capture of the _pa_, Rauparaha
strolled amongst us inquiring whether the man who killed the chief
Pehi Tahau was amongst our number. On my being pointed out to him as
the person he was in search of, instead of handing me over, as I fully
expected he was going to do, to the relatives of my late foe, to be
tortured and put to death by them, he addressed me in most
complimentary terms, saying I was too brave a man to be put to death
in the general massacre which was taking place, that I had fought
fairly and won the victory, and that he meant to spare my life, and
hoped that I would, in time to come, render him as a return for his
clemency some good service on the battlefields of the North Island."

At the end of the fourth month the trenches had, by dint of incessant
labour, and in the face of repeated attacks, been brought to within a
few feet of the wall, and then Te Rauparaha was in a position to
develop the second phase of his scheme--the burning of the hitherto
impregnable palisades. For many weeks his people were employed in
cutting down and binding into bundles the _manuka_ scrub which
grew in abundance on the flats in the immediate vicinity of his camp,
and when these bundles had been dried in the sun, they were carried
into the trenches and passed along to the further end, where a
stalwart warrior seized and threw them with all his power in the
direction of the doomed _pa_. This was a work which cost Ngati-Toa
dearly, for there was an interval of time, in the act of hurling the
sheaf of _manuka_ forward, during which the body of the thrower was
exposed to the galling fire of the defenders; and they placed their
best marksmen in a position from which they were able to take unerring
aim at the unprotected figure in the trench. Many a brave fellow who
had passed safely through the stress of siege and sortie met his fate
in that twinkling of an eye. But, notwithstanding the peril of the
post, there was no lack of volunteers to accept its awful
responsibility, and as soon as one martyr to duty went down with a
bullet in his brain, another sprang forward to fill his place. So the
work of piling up the combustible material went on with scarcely an
interruption. At first, the defenders made bold to emerge from the
gates of the _pa_ at night, and hurriedly scattered the piles of
brushwood which had been accumulated during the day. But this was only
a temporary respite, and no permanent obstruction to the policy of Te
Rauparaha. Day by day the process went on of hurling the bundles of
_manuka_ from the trenches, until at last the quantity to be moved
became so great that the defenders, in their brief rushes, were unable
to disperse it. Then it began to mount higher against the palisades,
and every night saw the position becoming more and more critical, with
scarcely any resistance on the part of the besieged.[116] Indeed, the
semblance of a panic was now beginning to make its appearance within
the _pa_, and the opinion was rapidly taking root that their
relentless enemy was slowly gathering them within his toils. A feeling
of deepest depression fell upon the populace, and proposals were even
secretly discussed by some of the younger men to abandon the _pa_
before the inevitable catastrophe plunged them in disaster. Taiaroa
actually adopted this course. Taking his Otago contingent with him, he
left the _pa_ under cover of night, and made good his escape through
the gloomy swamps. To some this might appear an act of base desertion;
but it is the duty of the historian to rescue the name of so brave a
chief from so dark an imputation. The secret motive which impelled him
to leave Kaiapoi at this juncture was his settled conviction that some
diversion must be created, during which the inhabitants would have a
reasonable prospect of clearing the walls of the dangerous pile of
_manuka_. His intention was, therefore, to proceed southward to his
own dominion, where he hoped to raise a large force, and return to
meet Te Rauparaha in a decisive battle on the open field. Events,
however, moved too rapidly for him. Before he was able to give effect
to his plan, Kaiapoi had fallen, and nothing remained to him but to
shelter its unhappy fugitives.

With the departure of Taiaroa for the south, the people seemed to feel
themselves deprived of the moving spirit of the defence, and, instead
of redoubling their energies, they sullenly yielded to the pessimistic
impulses of their mercurial nature, and abandoned themselves to
brooding and despair.[117] Te Rauparaha, now finding his tactics less
seriously opposed, made strenuous efforts to ensure the perfection of
his plans; and, having done all that remained to be done, he resigned
himself to wait with such patience as he could command for a
favourable wind to carry the fire from his flaming bundles against the
walls of the _pa_. And now a curious contest arose between the
_tohungas_ of the opposing tribes; for, while the priests of Ngati-Toa
were daily repeating incantations for the purpose of inducing a
southerly wind, the priests of Ngai-Tahu were as piously imploring the
gods for a wind from the north. The impartiality of the deities in
these circumstances was remarkable, and distinctly embarrassing; but
it is nevertheless a fact well remembered in connection with the fall
of Kaiapoi, that while the conflicting prayers filled the air, an
atmospheric calm set in, and for several weeks no breeze of any
violence blew from either direction. But it was not to be supposed
that this condition of aerial negation would continue for ever. At
length, on a day some six months after the siege had been commenced,
the dawn came in with a nor'-west wind blowing strongly across the
plains. To the besiegers, this appeared to be all in favour of the
besieged. But those within the _pa_ knew from long observation that
the nor'-wester was an exceedingly treacherous wind; that sudden
changes were apt to be experienced when the wind was in that quarter;
and that, regarded in the light of experience, their situation was by
no means as rosy as it looked. That their fate was hanging by the most
slender thread was a fact perfectly apparent to the chiefs in command,
who, after consultation, came to the conclusion that their only hope
of safety lay in the bare chance that, if the menacing brushwood,
which lay piled against the wall, was fired from the inside, the wind
might hold out long enough to carry the flames away from the _pa_
until the source of danger was removed. This view was strongly held by
Pureko, who was now entrusted with the defence of the threatened
portion of the _pa_; and he decided to take upon himself the
responsibility of proving the accuracy of his theory. Accordingly, he
seized a firebrand, and thrust it into a pile of _manuka_, which
instantly became a seething mass of flame.

When Te Rauparaha saw that his enemy was likely to circumvent him, he
at once ordered his men to belt up, take their weapons with them, and
carry the burning brushwood against the palisades, so that the fuel
which had been collected at such infinite pains might not be consumed
in vain. Without staying to question the wisdom of this order, a rush
was immediately made by the younger warriors to obey the command; but
they were met by a fusilade from the defenders who lined the walls,
which worked havoc amongst their ranks. Had the contending parties
been left to fight the issue out untrammelled by the intervention of
external agencies, it is more than probable that Te Rauparaha would
have been worsted in this attempt to fire the _pa_, and would have
been compelled either to abandon the siege till the ensuing summer or
to repeat during the impending winter the toilsome process of laying
his fire train to the gates of the fortress. But at this juncture, as
in so many others of his eventful life, his characteristic good
fortune did not desert him. While his men were being mown down under
the galling musketry of the enemy, the wind suddenly swung round to
the south, and the whole aspect of the combat was instantly changed.
The flames were carried high against the walls, licking the palisades
with fiery tongues, while dense clouds of smoke rolled backwards,
driving the garrison from the trenches and from every station of

By this marvellous reversal of fortune Te Rauparaha was not slow to
profit; and no sooner had the firing of the defenders slackened than
his men crept up to the walls, and, as an essential precaution, filled
up the loopholes through which the Ngai-Tahu marksmen had taken aim.
This must have seriously hampered the defenders, had they been
disposed to stand to their posts. But they were no longer animated so
much by the desire to save the _pa_ as to save themselves. Panic
had now taken the place of heroism, and despair had completely
extinguished all idea of defence. The _sauve qui peut_ of
Napoleon became equally the policy of Ngai-Tahu, and from this point
there was nothing heroic in the defence of Kaiapoi. In a marvellously
short space of time, the flames had completely enveloped the outer
works; and, while they were eating their way through the wooden
walls, many of the besiegers were indulging in the wild joy of the war
dance, which, according to one native chronicler, was so vigorously
conducted that "the noise they made was like thunder, and the earth
trembled." As soon as a breach had been made, the attacking force
rushed between the burning palisades, and the massacre--for it can be
described by no other word--commenced.

  "Through the fire, and through the smoke,
  Swiftly Ngati-Toa broke
  With a scream and a yell;
  And the glare and the flare
  Of the fire-tongues in the air
  Flung a demoniac light
  On the horrors of the fight:
  And the children in affright,
  And the women in despair,
  Shrieked for mercy, but in vain.
  And the blazing timbers threw
  A ghastly lurid hue
  On the wounded and the slain.
  And, as the fierce light gleamed
  On the warriors, they seemed
  Like fiends unloosed from hell.
  A struggle, fierce and short,
  And the keepers of the fort
  Were slaughtered for the feast:
  And the red sun in the west
  Went down as Kaiapoi fell."

No semblance of resistance was offered except by a desperate few, and
those who still lingered were either struck down by their infuriated
pursuers, or were captured and bound, to be spared or killed, as
future circumstances might dictate. When the stampede commenced, the
Huirapa gate was made the first avenue of escape, as it led directly
into the surrounding swamp. But Te Rauparaha had provided against this
by posting a strong body of men on the opposite bank; and, as fast as
the fugitives landed, they fell into a snare as fatal as that from
which they had just escaped. Numbers of the more active, impatient at
the delay caused by the total inadequacy of this single outlet,
scaled the walls, and dropped down into the swamp below, swimming or
wading in the direction of the plains to the westward. Those who
selected this mode of retreat were almost all successful in making
good their escape, for they were able to secure the friendly shelter
of those dense clusters of vegetation[118] which freely studded the
face of the swamp; while the black smoke-clouds, which were carried on
the wind, hung low upon the water, and effectually screened them from
the searching eyes of their pursuers.

It is estimated that some two hundred of the fleeing garrison reached
safety by concealing themselves in the slimy waters and rank
vegetation of the Tairutu lagoon, until the vigilance of the
northerners had relaxed sufficiently to enable them to creep out and
slip away to the southward, or to Banks's Peninsula, where they could
rely upon finding shelter in some of the tribal _pas_.[119] But
by far the greater part of the inhabitants, who could not have
numbered less than a thousand souls, met death in various ways. Many,
especially the women and children, who essayed to cross the swamps,
were either drowned in the attempt or shot down as they swam. Others,
who, owing to age and infirmity, were slow in eluding the attack, were
never able to leave the _pa_ at all. The aged and the very young
were killed without ceremony; but the more comely were for the most
part overcome and bound, destined either for the feast or for a life
of slavery, adorning the household of a chief or working as menials
in the fields. Pureko, who had put the brand to the burning, was one
of the first to fall, being disembowelled by a gun-shot; and within a
few moments there was also witnessed the pathetic death of the
patriarchal Te Auta,[120] the venerated priest of the tribe, who was
slain as he knelt at the shrine of his patron deity, vainly imploring
the assistance of Kahukura[121] in this their hour of greatest need.
The air was rent by the shrieks of the dying, the shouts of the
victors, and the crash of falling timbers, mingled in one hideous din,
which typified all that is blackest and most brutal in human
passion.[122] When an end was made of this gruesome work, and the
smoking walls were ruined beyond repair, the captives were removed to
Te Rauparaha's camp, situated on the spot now known as Massacre Hill;
and there the full rites of the cannibal feast were celebrated at an
awful cost of human life,[123] every detail being observed which, in
the light of national custom, would ensure the eternal humiliation of
the defeated tribe.

Kaiapoi having now fallen, and the dispersal of its people being
complete, Te Rauparaha might have reasonably retired from the scene,
satisfied with the laurels which his conquest had brought him. But it
would seem that lust of victory and greed of revenge were in him
insatiable. He knew that there were still some well-populated
_pas_ on Banks's Peninsula, and he was determined not to return
to Kapiti until he had reduced them also. The canoes which had been
damaged by Taiaroa were, therefore, repaired with all possible speed,
and, after provision had been made for the prisoners who were to be
taken to Kapiti, the remaining canoes were directed to proceed to
Banks's Peninsula. A small _pa_ on Ri-papa Island, in Lyttelton
Harbour, was first attacked and reduced, and then the canoes were
steered for Akaroa, from which point the war party was to move to the
assault of Onawe. This _pa_ had been but recently constructed,
and owed its existence to the widespread dread which the name of Te
Rauparaha had now inspired. When it was known on the peninsula that
he had laid siege to Kaiapoi, a feeling of insecurity crept over the
natives there, who were seized with a grave presentiment that their
turn might come soon. And how inadequate were their small and isolated
_pas_ to withstand the shock of assault or the stress of siege! They
accordingly hastened to concentrate their forces in one central _pa_,
and the spirit-haunted hill of Onawe[124] was the point selected for a
united stand. The _pa_, which was built upon the pear-shaped
promontory which juts out into the Akaroa Harbour, dividing its upper
portion into two bays, was both extensive and strong, and into its
construction several new features were imported, to meet the altered
conditions of warfare caused by the introduction of fire-arms.

With the fall of Kaiapoi, the alarms and panics to which the people of
the peninsula had been subjected through Te Rauparaha's foraging
parties were brought to an end, and they then knew that their worst
fears were about to be realised. On the day after the sack of the
_pa_, a few of the fugitives had arrived at Onawe with the
doleful intelligence that the fortress had fallen, and that, so far as
they could gather, the northern canoes were at that very moment being
made sea-worthy, for the purpose of conveying the victors to Akaroa.
Hurried messengers were then sent to all the outlying _pas_,
calling the people in to Onawe, and preparations were at once made to
resist the impending attack. Tangatahara, who, it will be remembered,
had been the immediate cause of Te Pehi's death, was placed in chief
command, with Puka and Potahi as his subordinate chiefs. The garrison,
which consisted of about four hundred warriors, was reasonably well
equipped for the struggle, for they had been moderately successful in
securing fire-arms from the whalers, and those who did not carry
muskets were at least able to flourish steel hatchets. In these
circumstances, Te Rauparaha found them a much more formidable foe than
had been the Muaupoko of Horowhenua, or the Ngati-Apa of Rangitikei.
There he had all the advantage of arms; here he was being opposed on
almost even terms; but there still remained in his favour a balance of
spirit, courage, and tenacity of purpose. In the matter of provisions
the _pa_ was well provided against a protracted siege, while one of
the features of the new fortification was a covered way, which led to
a never-failing spring on the southern side of the promontory.
Scarcely were the people gathered within the _pa_, and all the
preparations for its defence completed, than the sentinels posted on
the lookout descried, in the early morning, the northern fleet
sweeping up the harbour. The alarm was at once given, and every man
sprang to his post to await the oncoming. The canoes paddled to the
shore below the _pa_, and there Te Rauparaha committed an error in
tactics, the like of which can seldom be laid to his charge. He had
hoped that, by his early arrival, he would have been able to take the
garrison by surprise and effect an easy victory; but in this the
vigilance of the defenders had frustrated him, and he therefore
decided to delay the attack. In the meantime, he permitted his men to
land, but unwisely allowed them to become separated. The Ngati-Toa and
Ngati-Raukawa went to what is now known as Barry's Bay, and Ngati-Awa
occupied the beach at the head of the harbour. In these positions
respectively the sections of the invaders immediately began to
establish their camps, and numerous fires, eloquent of the morning
meal, were soon smoking on the shore.

Tangatahara saw with some satisfaction the disposition of the enemy,
and shrewdly determined to profit by the advantage which their want of
cohesion gave him. He resolved upon the manoeuvre of first attacking
Ngati-Awa, in the hope that he might defeat them before Te Rauparaha
could come to their assistance, and then he would be able to turn
upon the unsupported Ngati-Toa and drive them back to the sea. But
either Tangatahara was much mistaken in his calculations or his
directions were only indifferently executed, for his manoeuvre failed
ignominiously. As his men sallied out of the _pa_, their movements
were noticed by the sentries of Te Rauparaha, who lost no time in
communicating the fact to their leader. Instantly, the Ngati-Toa camp
was in a state of intense excitement; every warrior dropped his
immediate employment and rushed to secure his belt and arms. When
equipped, they went off in hot haste, floundering through slime and
soft mud, to reinforce the threatened Ngati-Awa. Tangatahara, seeing
that his movement was observed and understood, hesitated and was lost.
A halt was called, and, while his men stood in indecision upon the
hill-side, the advancing Ngati-Toa opened fire upon them with fatal
effect. Tahatiti was the first to fall, and several were wounded as
the result of the opening volley. The Ngai-Tahu then began to fall
back, firing the while; but their musketry failed to check the onrush
of Te Rauparaha's veterans, who were now thoroughly seasoned to the
rattle of bullets and the smell of powder. The retreat to the _pa_ was
safely conducted; but, for some reason, the defenders did not
immediately pass through the gates and shut them against the invaders.
They continued to linger outside, possibly to watch with greater ease
the approach of the enemy. As they were thus engaged, a number of the
captives taken by Te Rauparaha at Kaiapoi suddenly came over the brow
of the hill and entered into conversation with those of their own kin
who were still outside the gates. During this friendly parley, Te
Rauparaha came boldly up to the walls with his own followers and
demanded the surrender of the _pa_. Those within the walls were now
placed in the dilemma that they could not fire upon the enemy without
imperilling the lives of their own friends; and it was equally unsafe
to open the gates to admit them, as the besiegers might rush in with
an impetuosity that could not be resisted. In these circumstances the
parley was continued, Te Rauparaha pointing to the presence of so many
Kaiapoi notables as a living evidence of his clemency, while the
captive Ngai-Tahu joined with him in advising the policy of surrender,
chiefly, no doubt, through a jealous apprehension that the inhabitants
of Onawe might escape the misfortune and disgrace which had befallen

Thus the battle, which had opened with visions of courage, degenerated
into a war of words, of which the best that can be said is that the
insincerity of the invaders was only equalled by the indecision of the
defenders. Only one man in the _pa_ appeared to have a clear idea
of what his duty was. This was Puaka, who, recognising Te Rauparaha
amongst the crowd, pushed his gun through a loophole, took aim, and
fired almost point-blank at the chief, whose miraculous escape was due
to the fact that one of the Kaiapoi captives, who was standing close
to Puaka, pushed the muzzle of the musket aside just in time to
deflect the shot. As might be supposed, the incident served only to
intensify the confusion and disorder. Some of the invaders seized a
moment's want of vigilance on the part of the sentries at the gate to
force an entrance into the _pa_, where they commenced killing
every one around them. All the brave vows which had brought the Onawe
_pa_ into existence were then forgotten, and the high hopes which
its fancied strength had inspired were shattered in this moment of
supreme trial, which revealed in all its nakedness the inherent
weakness of the Ngai-Tahu character. Panic seized the people, and for
some time the _pa_ was the scene of the wildest confusion. Here
and there a brave show of resistance was offered; but for the most
part the defenders were too dazed at the swiftness of the Ngati-Toa
rush even to stand to their arms, which, in their distraction, numbers
of them even threw away. Of those outside the _pa_, not a few
dashed for the bush as soon as the fighting commenced, and made good
their escape. But those within the walls were caught like rats in a
trap; and, during the conflict, the shrieks and imprecations of the
miserable fugitives were mingled with the hoarse shouts of the
victors, as they rushed bleeding and half naked from one place of
fancied security to another. The conquest of Onawe, though swift, was
none the less sanguinary. After the last vestige of resistance had
been stamped out, the prisoners were collected and taken down to a
flax-covered flat. There the old and the young, the weak and the
strong, were picked out from their trembling ranks; and, at the
command of the chief, those who from excessive youth or extreme age
were regarded as valueless were at once sacrificed to the _manes_ of
the dead, while the more robust were preserved as trophies of the

For a few days following the fall of Onawe, the surrounding hills and
forests were scoured by the restless victors, in search of such
unhappy fugitives as might be found lurking in the secret places of
the bush. Few, however, were captured, and in some instances
successful retaliation reversed the fortune of the chase, and the
pursuers became the pursued. When the prospect of further captures was
exhausted, the northern warriors asked for and obtained leave to
return to their homes, and the canoes, with the exception of that of
Te Hiko, immediately put to sea, a rendezvous being appointed for them
at Cloudy Bay. Te Hiko was detained by the fact that his canoe stood
in need of repair, and, during the operation, an incident occurred
which justified the high estimate of his character which was
subsequently formed by many of the earliest colonists.[125] He was the
son of Te Pehi, whose death two years before was the immediate and
avowed cause of this southern raid. If, then, the fires of hate and
fury against Ngai-Tahu had burned more fiercely within him than in
others of his tribe, there might have been some justification for it.
But Te Hiko proved to be more chivalrous than many who had received
less provocation. Amongst the prisoners who had fallen into his hands
at the taking of Onawe was Tangatahara, the commander of the fortress,
who, it will be remembered, had been the most active agent in causing
the death of Te Hiko's father. What ultimate fate was intended for
Tangatahara is uncertain, but he was fortunate enough to be spared an
immediate death. He was, however, closely guarded; and, as he was
sitting on the beach surrounded by Ngati-Raukawa warriors, two of the
women who had accompanied Te Rauparaha's forces espied him, and
immediately put in a claim to Te Hiko for his death, in compensation
for the injury which the captive chief had caused them. The claim,
though clamorously made, was firmly resisted by Te Hiko who
endeavoured first to persuade and then to bribe them, by a gift of
rich food, into a more reasonable frame of mind. Neither his
blandishments nor his bribes were successful in appeasing their desire
for the captive's life; and it was not until Te Hiko gave them plainly
to understand that he was determined not to give his prisoner over as
a sacrifice to them, and that he regarded his authority as outraged by
their persistency, that they sullenly consented to compromise their
claim. What they now asked was the right to debase the chief by using
his head as a relish for their _kauru_, a vegetable substance which a
Maori chewed, much as an American chews gum or tobacco. To this
modified proposal Te Hiko reluctantly consented, and the women,
approaching the captive, struck his head twice with their _kauru_,
which they proceeded to masticate with enhanced enjoyment because of
the flavour which it was thought to derive from his degradation.

Though he had thus far humoured the women, the want of consideration
shown by them for his position as a chief so incensed Te Hiko that he
there and then determined to release his prisoner, and so prevent his
authority in regard to him being flouted by irresponsible personages.
That night he roused Tangatahara from his sleep, and, taking him to
the edge of the bush, bade him escape, a command which he was not slow
to obey, nor found it difficult to fulfil.[126]

[76] To the ancient Maori greenstone was invaluable as a material out
of which to manufacture weapons and ornaments; but after the
introduction of fire-arms the _mere_ was superseded by the
musket, and it is doubtful if, when the trinkets of the European were
available, the native would take the trouble to laboriously work out
an ornament from so hard a substance.

[77] A shark's tooth fixed upon a stick and used as a knife.

[78] This could scarcely have been otherwise, for Rerewaka's insolent
speech amounted to a _kanga_, or curse, which, according to the
Maori code, could only be atoned for by the shedding of blood.

[79] The canoe used by Te Rauparaha on many of these southern raids
was called Ahu-a-Turanga, and for this reason it is supposed that it
came from the Manawatu, that being the name of an ancient track over
the Ruahine Ranges near the Manawatu gorge. It is said that this canoe
is now lying rotting at Porirua Harbour. Another famous canoe of this
period was called Te-Ra-makiri, a vessel captured from the
Ngati-Kahu-ngunu at Castle Point by Ngati-Tama, and presented by them
to Te Rauparaha. This canoe was held to be exceedingly sacred, and now
lies at Mana Island.

[80] "Having reached at sunset to within a mile of the spot where the
_Pelorus_ anchored, we again encamped on a shingly beach in a bay
on the east side of the Sound. At this spot there were some ten or
fifteen acres of level ground, on which we were shown the remains of a
large _pa_, once the headquarters of the tribe conquered and
almost exterminated by Te Rauparaha" (_Wakefield_).

[81] It was to this policy of settlement, following upon conquest,
that Marlborough owes the presence of the little cluster of northern
natives who are settled on the banks of the Wairau River--the most
southern outpost that now remains to mark the aggression of Te

[82] Hori Kingi Te Anaua, a chief well-known in after years as the
firm friend of the Whanganui settlers, escaped from this defeat, as
one quaint native account puts it, "by dint of his power to run."

[83] Some difficulty has been experienced in closely tracing the
movements of Te Pehi. He left England on board H.M.S. _Thames_ in
October, 1825, and the _Thames_ reached Sydney on April 11, 1826.
Whether she came on to New Zealand bringing the chief with her, I have
not ascertained. The probabilities are that she did, for the late
Judge Mackay, who is an excellent authority, says Te Pehi returned
direct to New Zealand, but afterwards made the voyage back to Sydney
to procure arms, from which place he returned in 1829, at the juncture
referred to in the text.

[84] Here we meet with one of the many discrepancies in the published
histories of the time. The Rev. Canon Stack makes it appear in his
_Kaiapohia_ that Rerewaka was killed during the battle, but Mr.
Travers (_Life and Times of Te Rauparaha_) states that he was
taken prisoner; and this version is sustained by Tamihana te Rauparaha
in his published account of his father's life, wherein he says
Rerewaka was taken to Kapiti to be "tamed."

[85] Canon Stack would seem to imply that Kaikoura and Omihi were one
and the same place; but from a petition presented to the House of
Representatives in 1869 by the Ngai-Tahu tribe, it seems clear that
they were separate places, and that their destruction took place at
different times. Omihi is about 15 miles south of Kaikoura, near the
Conway River, but the battle took place on the hills near the valley
which leads down to the Waipara.

[86] Some accounts make it appear that Kekerengu was killed by a
wandering band of Ngai-Tahu after he landed on the Middle Island, and
that, although he had greatly offended Te Rangihaeata by his
impropriety, it was really to avenge his death and not to punish him
that this raid was made upon Kaikoura and Omihi. But these are
variations in tradition that we can scarcely hope to reconcile at this

[87] Kaiapoi is a popular abbreviation of the old name--Kaiapohia,
which signifies "food gathered up in handfuls" or "a food depôt," but
Kaiapohia was seldom used except in formal speeches or in poetical
compositions. The name originated in the incident related in the text,
and the place became in reality a food depôt, because, owing to its
peculiar situation, large quantities of food, particularly kumaras,
were raised every year, not only for local consumption, but for the
purposes of exchange with other branches of the tribe which possessed
abundance of particular kinds of provisions which could not be
procured at Kaiapoi.

[88] Tamihana te Rauparaha would lead us to suppose that his father
was averse to this course, and was again overpersuaded by Te Pehi's
impetuosity. He makes him say to Te Pehi, "Be cautious in going into
the _pa_, lest you be killed. I have had an evil omen: mine was
an evil dream last night," But what, says Tamihana, was the good of
such advice to a man whose spirit had gone to death?

[89] At first only the heads of chiefs were sold, as they were the
most perfectly tattooed, but when chiefs' heads became scarce, the
native mind conceived the idea of tattooing the heads of the slaves
and selling them--the slave being killed as soon as his head was ready
for the market. Sometimes the slave was audacious enough to run away
just as he was attaining a commercial value, and the indignation of
one merchant who had just sustained such a loss is humorously
described in Manning's _Old New Zealand_.

[90] In an account of this incident given by a Captain Briggs to the
newspaper _Tasmanian_, in 1831, he states that a European named
Smith, who had been left at Kaiapoi by a Captain Wiseman, for the
purpose of trade, attempted to save Te Pehi's life, and was himself
killed for his interference. If this was so, the Ngai-Tahu accounts
are discreetly silent on the point; but Briggs infers that Te
Rauparaha and Te Hiko made it one of the arguments by which they
sought to convince him that he ought to assist them to capture
Tamaiharanui, and so revenge the death of his countryman.

[91] The names of the chiefs who were killed on this fatal day were Te
Pehi, Te Pokaitara, Te Rangikatuta, Te Ruatahi, Te Hua-piko, Te Kohi,
Te Aratangata, and Te Rohua. Tamihana te Rauparaha states that in all
some twenty of his father's people were killed, but that a number were
successful in escaping by clambering over the palisades.

[92] The Rev. Canon Stack considers that this event occurred either
late in 1828 or early in 1829.

[93] It is doubtful whether Tamaiharanui took any part in the killing
of Te Pehi and his comrades, but that would not relieve him of his
liability to be killed in return, as the whole tribe was responsible
for the acts of every member of it.

[94] There was little in Tamaiharanui's personal appearance to mark
his aristocratic lineage. His figure was short and thick-set, his
complexion dark, and his features rather forbidding. Unlike most Maori
chiefs of exalted rank, he was cowardly, cruel, and capricious--an
object of dread to friends and foes alike, and however much his people
may have mourned the manner of his death, they could not fail to
experience a sense of relief when he was gone (_Stack_).

[95] The _Elizabeth_ arrived in Sydney in July, 1830, and in the
following month left for New Zealand. A contemporary Australian
newspaper described her cargo as consisting of four cases and eighteen
muskets, two kegs of flints and bullets, two bales of slops, two kegs
of gunpowder, one bundle of hardware, and five baskets of tobacco and

[96] A more or less exaggerated account of this raid appeared in the
newspaper _Tasmanian_ on January 28, 1831, and in a subsequent
issue, Captain Briggs, in passing some comments upon it, said the
penalty which Captain Stewart had to pay for disregarding his advice
was that "the natives wanted to do as they pleased with him and his
ship." He further said that he endeavoured to persuade Stewart not to
deliver Tamaiharanui over to Te Rauparaha after their return to
Kapiti, but that worthy declined to carry the chief to Sydney, on the
ground that "The Marinewie," as he called him, "had been too long on
board already."

[97] Properly spelt Akau-roa--"the long coast line"; doubtless
referring to the deep inlet which forms the harbour of Akaroa.

[98] According to a Parliamentary Paper published in 1831, the
_Elizabeth_ carried eight guns, two swivels, and a full supply of
small arms. This fact, it is said, deluded some of the natives into
the belief that the ship was a British man-o'-war.

[99] Signifying "tear-drops."

[100] Some accounts say that this occurred before the vessel left the

[101] It is said that the action of Tamaiharanui also so roused the
righteous anger of Captain Stewart that he deemed it his duty to have
the chief triced up to the mast and flogged. This met with the most
marked disapproval from Te Rauparaha, who maintained that as his
prisoner was a chief he should not be punished like a slave.

[102] The _Australian_ newspaper records the arrival of the
_Elizabeth_, Captain Stewart, in Sydney, on the above date, with
a cargo of thirty tons of flax, and carrying Mr. J. B. Montefiore and
Mr. A. Kemiss as passengers.

[103] When the _Elizabeth_ returned to Kapiti, her company was
increased by a Mr. Montefiore, who was then cruising round New Zealand
in his own vessel, in search of commercial speculations. Hearing of
what had occurred at Akaroa, he became apprehensive of his own safety,
and fearing that all the white people in the country would be killed,
he joined the _Elizabeth_ in the hope of being carried away from
New Zealand at the earliest possible moment. In giving evidence before
a Select Committee of the House of Lords, in 1838, he related what he
knew of the capture and death of Tamaiharanui. He claimed credit for
having protested to Captain Stewart against the chief being held in
irons, and succeeded in getting the fetters struck off, as the
prisoner's legs had commenced to mortify. He also stated that his
appeal to Captain Stewart to take the chief to Sydney, and not to hand
him over to his enemies, was futile. According to Mr. Montefiore, who
said he went ashore and "saw the whole process of his intended
sacrifice," Tamaiharanui was killed almost immediately after being
given up, but other accounts supplied by the natives place it some
weeks later. The wife of Tamaiharanui, unable to bear the sight of her
husband's agony, ran away from the scene of the tragedy, but was
recaptured and subsequently killed. Tamaiharanui's sister became the
wife of one of her captors, and lived at Wellington. It is generally
admitted that Te Rauparaha did not witness, or take any part in,
Tamaiharanui's death. Heaven knows, he had done enough.

[104] If this is an accurate statement of what occurred--and there is
every reason to believe that it is--the treatment of Tamaiharanui
presents an interesting parallel to the manner in which the Aztec
Indians of Mexico regaled their prisoners, destined to be sacrificed
at the annual feast to their god Tezcatlipoca.

[105] Rev. Canon Stack.

[106] The Sydney _Gazette_, in referring to the case, remarked
that its peculiarity lay in the fact that it involved "the question of
the liability of British subjects for offences committed against the
natives of New Zealand." The point was never tested, but it is
doubtful whether the Imperial Statute constituting the Supreme Court
of the Colony of New South Wales (9 Geo. IV., cap. 83) gave express
power to deal with such offences as that of Stewart. An amendment of
the law in the following year (June 7, 1832) made the position more

[107] Captain Sturt afterwards did valuable work as an explorer in
Australia, but received no suitable recognition from the Imperial
Government. Sir George Grey vainly endeavoured to procure for him the
honour of knighthood.

[108] There is not much doubt that, had the case gone to trial,
counsel for the defence would have endeavoured to prove that Stewart
was compelled by the natives to do what he did; for the
_Australian_, a paper controlled by Dr. Wardell, argued that it
"could not divine the justice of denouncing Stewart as amenable to
laws which, however strict and necessary under certain circumstances,
were not applicable to savage broils and unintentional acts of
homicide, to which he must have been an unwilling party, and over
which he could not possibly exercise the slightest control."

[109] It will be charitable, and perhaps just, to suppose that this
feeling arose more from personal antipathy to the Governor than from
any inherent sympathy with crime. Governor Darling had succeeded in
making himself exceedingly unpopular with a large section of the
Sydney community, which resulted in his recall in 1831.

[110] The expedition probably started about the end of January or
beginning of February.

[111] Now Lyttelton Harbour.

[112] His _pa_ was in the vicinity of what is now the city of

[113] The Rev. Canon Stack relates how one of the Ngai-Tahu men, Te
Ata-o-tu, was carrying his infant son on his back during this march.
When they approached the _pa_, some of his companions, seeing how
closely it was invested, whispered to him to strangle the child, lest
it might cry at a critical moment and betray them. The father,
however, could not find it in his heart to take this extreme step, but
he wrapped the boy tightly in a thick mat, and, strapping him across
his broad shoulders, carried him safely through the dangers of that
terrible night. The child, however, was only spared to be drowned in
the waters of the swamp as his mother vainly endeavoured to escape a
few months later, when the _pa_ fell.

[114] A storehouse erected upon a high central pole, to
protect the food from the depredations of rats.

[115] So far as is known, this was the first occasion on which the
principle of the sap was applied in Maori warfare.

[116] An interesting parallel to these proceedings is to be found in
Gibbon's description of the siege of Constantinople: "To fill the
ditch was the toil of the besiegers; to clear away the rubbish was the
safety of the besieged; and, after a long and bloody conflict, the web
which had been woven in the day was still unravelled in the night."

[117] It is a popular belief in some quarters that the reason why the
defenders so lost heart was that they were oppressed by the guilty
knowledge that they had acted treacherously in killing Te Pehi and his

[118] Popularly known as "Maori-heads" or "Nigger-heads." Flax and
_raupo_ also grew freely in the swamps.

[119] This was rendered more difficult owing to the fact that for many
days Te Rauparaha's followers were scouring the country, far and wide,
in search of fugitives. The Rev. Canon Stack mentions the pathetic
instance of two young children who were in hiding with their father.
He left them to go in search of food, promising to return; but he
never did so, having in all probability been captured and killed. The
children, who afterwards lived to be well-known Canterbury residents,
sustained themselves by eating _raupo_ roots for several months,
until they were found by an eeling party in the bed of the Selwyn

[120] Te Auta is described as a man of grave and venerable appearance,
who was a strict disciplinarian in all matters pertaining to the
religious ceremonies of the _pa_, his authority in these respects
being considerably enhanced by his long white hair and flowing beard.
He was one of the last of the Ngai-Tahu _tohungas_, who were
deeply versed in all the peculiar rites of Maori heathendom.

[121] Kahukura was the patron divinity of the Ngai-Tahu tribe. His
cultus was introduced by the crew of the Takitimu canoe, who were the
ancestors of the Kaiapohians (_Stack_).

[122] Amongst the prisoners taken was a boy named Pura, who excited
the interest of Te Rauparaha. The chief took him under his personal
protection, and on the night that Kaiapoi fell, he led him into his
own _whare_. In order to prevent any possibility of escape,
Rauparaha tied a rope round the boy's body and attached the other end
to his own wrist. During the early hours of the night the chief was
exceedingly restless, but after he fell asleep Pura quietly disengaged
himself from the rope, and tied the end of it to a peg which he found
driven into the floor of the _whare_. He then crept stealthily to
the door, but in passing out he had the misfortune to overturn a pile
of _manuka_ which was piled up outside. Luckily, the brushwood
fell on top of him, completely covering him, but the noise aroused Te
Rauparaha, who, as soon as he perceived that his captive had flown,
raised the alarm, and in an incredibly short time the whole camp was
in a state of uproar and panic. The warriors, suddenly aroused from
their sleep, were in a condition of extreme nervous tension after the
excitement and exertion of the day. Some imagined that the prisoners
had risen in revolt, while others believed that the fugitives had
returned in force to attack the camp, and it was some time before
order could be restored and the true position explained. Meanwhile,
Pura lay panting with fear and trembling lest he should be found, for
recapture meant certain death. His hiding, however, was not
discovered, and when the camp had once more settled down to sleep, he
quietly pushed the brushwood aside, and, threading his way out into
the swamp, made good his escape to the south, where he afterwards
joined the main body of the fugitives. Pura subsequently became a
well-known resident of Lyttelton, under the name of Pitama.

[123] "Some conception may be formed of the numbers slain and eaten
when I mention that some time after the settlement of Canterbury the
Rev. Mr. Raven, incumbent of Woodend, near the site of the _pa_
in question, collected many cartloads of their bones, and buried them
in a mound on the side of the main road from the present town of
Kaiapoi to the north. Ghastly relics of these feasts still strew the
ground, from which I myself have gathered many" (_Travers_).

[124] "The summit of Onawe was called Te-pa-nui-o-Hau. There, amongst
the huge boulders and rocks that crown the hill and cover its steep
sloping sides, dwelt the Spirit of the Wind, and tradition tells how
jealously it guarded its sacred haunts from careless intrusion"
(_Tales of Banks's Peninsula_).

[125] "Te Hiko struck us forcibly by his commanding stature, by his
noble, intelligent physiognomy, and by his truly chieftain-like
demeanour. His descent by both parents pointed him out as a great
leader in Cook Strait, should he inherit his father's great qualities.
He was sparing of his words and mild in speech. He had carefully
treasured up his father's instructions and the relics of his voyage to
England.... He was said to pay his slaves for their work, and to treat
them with unusual kindness, and the white men spoke of him as mild and
inoffensive in his intercourse with them" (_Wakefield_).

[126] "Before the northern fleet got clear of Banks's Peninsula, a
number of the prisoners escaped, the chief person amongst them being
Te Hori, known in after years as the highly respected native
Magistrate of Kaiapoi, the only man of acknowledged learning left
amongst the Ngai-Tahu after Te Rauparaha's last raid" (_Stack_).



The conquest of the southern districts being now completed, and the
winter months approaching, the whole of the northern fleet took its
departure for Cloudy Bay, where, according to the records of the
whalers who were there at the time, scenes of the wildest excitement
prevailed for many days, and the unhappy condition of the captives was
observed with much compassion by persons who were powerless to
intervene. From Cloudy Bay the main body of the conquerors passed over
to Kapiti, and there the scenes of unbridled ferocity were resumed,
until sufficient slaves had been killed and eaten to fittingly honour
the returning warriors. These rejoicings at an end, Te Rauparaha set
himself to seriously administer the affairs of his own people, which
were always in danger of violent disturbance, due to the mutual
jealousies of the tribes when not preoccupied by the excitement of
war. This work of domestic management almost wholly absorbed his
attention during the next few years; and it was fortunate for the
Kaiapoi captives that he had so much on hand, as the pressure of
circumstances and the stress of inter-tribal complications more than
once compelled him to treat them with greater consideration than might
otherwise have been their lot. While these events were proceeding in
the North Island, the Maoris in the south were slowly reorganising
their forces. The majority of the fugitives from Kaiapoi and Onawe had
travelled southward until they reached Taiaroa's settlement at Otago,
where, under his guidance, they began to formulate their plans for
avenging their many humiliations. Amongst these fugitives was
Tu-te-hounuku, the son of the treacherously captured Tamaiharanui, who,
recognising that his own people were not equal to the task of
accomplishing vengeance, sought the aid of the great Otago warrior,
and chief of Ruapuke, Tu-Hawaiki. This chief had received from the
whalers the startling appellation of "Bloody Jack,"[127] not so much
because of his sanguinary disposition as from the lurid nature of his
language. He was a warrior of the progressive type, who at once saw
the advantage of intimate intercourse with the white man; and to this
end he made common cause with all the whalers stationed along the
coast. He assisted them in their quarrels, and they in return supplied
him with the implements of war necessary to overcome his tribal
enemies. In this way he managed to acquire the mastery over a large
area of country, and to amass a considerable amount of wealth. He
owned a small vessel, which was commanded by one of his whaler
friends, in which he frequently made trips to Sydney. There he formed
an acquaintance with Governor Gipps, who presented him with a number
of old military uniforms; and on his return to New Zealand he enrolled
a squad of his own tribe, clothed them in the soldiers' garb, drilled
them, and on state occasions paraded them as his personal bodyguard,
"all the same the _Kawana_."[128] To this enterprising barbarian the
prospect of a brush with Rauparaha--or with any one else for that
matter--was a most agreeable one, and so the alliance with
Tu-te-hounuku was entered upon after the most trifling negotiation.

Although Taiaroa appears to have taken some part in organising the
expedition, he did not accompany it. The leadership was therefore
entrusted to Tu-Hawaiki, who came and secreted himself in the vicinity
of Cape Campbell, being thus favourably situated for an attack upon
the Ngati-Toa, who now had entire control of the northern portion of
the Middle Island, where a section of their people were continuously
settled. Moreover, it had become one of their practices to visit Lake
Grasmere for the purpose of snaring the paradise duck, which then, as
now, made this sheet of water one of their favourite breeding grounds;
and it was while upon one of these bird-catching expeditions that Te
Rauparaha nearly lost his life. Being intent upon the manipulation of
his snares, he was unconscious of the approach from behind the Cape of
Tu-Hawaiki and his horde, until, with a savage yell, they pounced upon
the unwary Ngati-Toa. For the latter the situation was indeed
critical, and all its difficulties were taken in by Rauparaha at a
glance. He saw that in point of numbers the odds were terribly against
him, and that to stand his ground and fight it out with such a
formidable foe could only result in certain death. On the other hand,
the chances of escape had been almost completely cut off; for when the
party landed at the lake, the canoes, with one exception, were drawn
up on the beach, and were now high and dry. The delay in launching
these meant the difference between life and death, so closely were
they pressed. But fortunately for him, one still remained in the water
some distance from the shore; and on observing this solitary gleam of
hope, Te Rauparaha swiftly made up his mind that discretion was the
better part of valour. He raced for the sea, and, plunging into the
surf, swam to the canoe with rapid and powerful strokes, followed by
at least forty of his own people. At the canoe a general scramble
ensued, in which only the fittest survived, the remainder being left
struggling in the water to escape as best they could, or be despatched
by their enemies as opportunity offered.

In the meantime, those of the Ngati-Toa who had not been able to
plunge into the sea were unceremoniously killed on the spot, and those
of the attacking party who were not actively engaged in this
sanguinary work at once launched the canoes lying on the Boulder Bank,
which divides the lake from the sea, and set off in hot pursuit of the
retreating Rauparaha. As might be expected, the chase was a desperate
one, each party straining every nerve to defeat the object of the
other. Rauparaha, standing in the stern of his canoe, by word and
gesture urged the men at the paddles to renewed exertions; not that
they required much exhortation, for they knew that their lives
depended entirely upon themselves. But, notwithstanding their utmost
endeavours, it soon became painfully evident that their pursuers were
gaining upon them, owing to the overloaded condition of the canoe.
Rauparaha then determined upon a course which can scarcely recommend
him to our admiration, although Nature's first law, self-preservation,
might be urged in extenuation of his crime. Without further ceremony
he ordered half the people in the canoe, many of whom were women and
children, to jump overboard, and those who demurred were forcibly
compelled to obey.[129] Thus relieved of some of its burden, the canoe
gradually forged ahead, and the diversion of the pursuers' attention
to the jettisoned passengers, who were struggling in the water,
enabled Rauparaha to make good his escape to Cloudy Bay. The Ngai-Tahu
people are especially proud of this encounter, which they regard as a
brilliant victory, and have called it _Rua Moa iti_, or "The battle of
the little Moa's feather."

It could not, of course, be supposed that a man of action, such as Te
Rauparaha was, would long remain idle while so black a stain upon his
reputation as a warrior remained unavenged. He therefore lost no time
in sending his messengers to a branch of the Ngati-Awa tribe, who then
resided at the Wairau, soliciting their aid in a mission of
retaliation. The request was readily granted, and, with this
reinforcement, a war party of considerable strength set sail in their
canoes for the _karaka_ groves which grew luxuriantly at
O-Rua-Moa Bay, immediately to the south of Cape Campbell, where it was
fully expected that the enemy would be resting. In these anticipations
they were disappointed. The prey had flown; and if the purpose of the
expedition was not to fail utterly, there was nothing for it but to
push on until the object of their search was found. They were soon
rewarded, for close to the shore, at the mouth of the Flaxbourne
River, Tu-Hawaiki and his braves were encamped, and here the gage of
battle was thrown down. That the encounter was a desperate one may be
judged by the fact that both sides claimed the victory, and they seem
to have withdrawn from the combat mutually agreeing that they had each
had enough. According to the Ngai-Tahu account, Te Rauparaha's
stratagem of sending one hundred and forty men of Ngati-Awa down the
steep face of a cliff to cut off Tu-Hawaiki's retreat was successfully
circumvented, the flanking party being caught in their own trap and
every one of them destroyed. The Ngati-Toa are equally positive that
the palm of victory rested with them; but in that event the advantage
gained was not sufficiently great to justify them in following it up,
for Tu-Hawaiki was allowed to depart next morning unmolested to
Kaikoura. On the journey down an incident occurred which betrayed the
savage side of this man's nature, and showed how much he deserved, in
another sense, the title of the old whalers, when they styled him
"Bloody Jack." During the voyage the canoe commanded by Tu-te-hounuku
was capsized in a southerly gale, and the young chief was drowned,
although every other man was saved. The selfishness of the men in
seeking their own safety and letting their leader perish so enraged
the fiery Tu-Hawaiki, that as soon as he heard of the accident he
ordered the canoes ashore, and with his own hand slew every one of the
surviving crew.[130]

Immediately after this skirmish Te Rauparaha returned to the North
Island, where there was urgent need of his presence. With the coming
of the Ngati-Awa, Ngati-Ruanui, and other Taranaki tribes, the domestic
disagreements, of which he stood in daily dread, began to ferment, and
were already breaking out into open rupture. The Ngati-Awa had cast
envious eyes upon a piece of country under tillage by Ngati-Raukawa,
in the vicinity of Otaki, and were openly boasting of their intention
to make it their own. Their cause was espoused by their Taranaki
relatives, and even a section of Te Rauparaha's own people threw in
their lot with them against their old allies, the Ngati-Raukawa. This
defection, which was especially distressing to Te Rauparaha, arose from
some act of favouritism--real or fancied--displayed towards Te
Whatanui, the great Ngati-Raukawa chief, for whom Te Rauparaha ever
felt and showed the highest regard. These strained relations, however,
did not break out into actual civil strife until the Ngati-Raukawa
people discovered the Ngati-Ruanui malcontents looting their
potato-pits at Waikawa. Up to this point the Ngati-Raukawa had borne
the pin-pricks of the Taranaki braggarts with some degree of patience;
but this act of plunder satisfied them that, unless they were prepared
to defend their property, they would soon have no property to defend.
They therefore stood no longer upon ceremony, but straightway attacked
the Ngati-Ruanui settlement, and thus let slip the dogs of civil
war.[131] In the conflict which ensued Tauake, a Ngati-Ruanui chief,
was killed, an incident which only served to fan the flame of
internecine strife, and hostilities of a more or less virulent nature
involved all the settlements along the coast from Waikanae to
Manawatu. Both sides were equally well armed, for guns and ammunition
were now plentiful, the traders having learned the Maori's weakness,
and being prepared to pander to it for the sake of cheap cargoes of
flax and potatoes. The consequence was that in each skirmish numbers
of the belligerents were killed, and Te Rauparaha saw with increasing
dismay the havoc wrought amongst his fighting men, and the useless
waste of tribal strength which must ensue from these insane
proceedings. Only too clearly he realised that, watched as he was by
enemies both on the north and to the east, this state of division
might at any moment be seized on as an opportunity for attack. His own
efforts to reconcile the disputants were unavailing; and when he saw
the spirit of insurrection growing and spreading beyond his power of
control, he determined upon making an appeal for outside aid. He
accordingly dispatched a mission to Taupo, requesting Te Heuheu to
bring down a large force wherewith to crush out the seeds of
rebellion, by inflicting a telling defeat upon the most turbulent
insurgents. Te Heuheu's reply to this appeal was of a practical kind.
Within a few months he marched out from Taupo with an effective
fighting force of eight hundred men, officered by some of the most
famous of his own and the Maungatautari chiefs of that time. Almost
immediately upon their arrival on the coast, they, in conjunction with
Ngati-Raukawa, proceeded to attack the Ngati-Awa at a pa close to the
Otaki River, and for several months the conflict was maintained with
fluctuating success. Notwithstanding the numbers brought against them,
the Ngati-Awa and Ngati-Ruanui proved themselves stubborn fighters,
maintaining their ground with heroic desperation.

In several of the battles the slaughter was exceedingly heavy, amongst
the slain being counted many important chiefs attached to both sides;
but still the issue hung in doubt, and so it remained until the great
battle of Pakakutu had been fought. On this occasion a supreme effort
was made by Te Heuheu, and the struggle culminated in the decisive
defeat of Ngati-Awa. Their _pa_ was taken, and their chief
Takerangi was slain. With his death was removed one of the principal
factors in the quarrel, and the way was paved for a settlement
honourable in its terms to all the parties. A conference of
considerable importance was immediately held at Kapiti, at which the
disquieting issues were discussed, and in the debates upon these
contentious points both Te Heuheu and Te Whatanui raised their voices
with force and eloquence in the cause of peace. As a result of these
negotiations, the differences which had so nearly wrecked Te Rauparaha's
consolidating work of fourteen years were amicably settled.[132] The
general result was that Ngati-Raukawa were reinstated in their
possessions at Ohau and Horowhenua and as far north as Rangitikei,
while Ngati-Awa retired southward of Waikanae, and extended their
settlements as far in that direction as Wellington, where they
replaced Pomare, and where, under Te Puni and Wharepouri, they were
found by Colonel Wakefield and his fellow-pioneers of the New Zealand
Company when they came to the spot in 1839.

But, though the civil war had thus ended in a manner satisfactory to
himself and to his friends, Te Rauparaha was stung to the quick by the
knowledge that his authority had been so completely set at defiance by
Ngati-Awa. And this feeling of irritation was further intensified by
the fact that some of his own tribe had shown him so little regard as
to aid and abet them in their rebellion. Their disloyal conduct so
preyed upon his mind that, as the result of much serious reflection,
he determined to absolve himself from all further responsibility on
their behalf, by abandoning the business of conquest and returning
with Te Heuheu to Maungatautari, where he proposed to live for the
remainder of his days the quiet and restful life, to which waning
years look forward as their heritage. To this end he collected a
number of his most trusty followers, and, shaking the dust of Kapiti
from his feet, had travelled as far as Ohau in the execution of his
petulant decision, when he was overtaken by representatives of all the
tribes, who begged him to return and once more become a father to
them. In these entreaties the suppliants were joined by Te Heuheu,
whose advocacy broke down the chief's resolution. He at length agreed,
amidst general rejoicing, to retrace his steps, and none rejoiced more
sincerely than the repentant Ngati-Awa.

Between the date of the battle of Pakakutu and the arrival of the ship
_Tory_, Te Rauparaha does not appear to have been engaged in any
conflict of great importance in the North Island, the years being
spent in visiting the various settlements which had been established
under his guiding genius. These journeys frequently led him across
Cook Strait to the Middle Island, where, at Cloudy Bay, there was now
a considerable colony of his own and the Ngati-Awa people, who were
actively cultivating the friendship of the whalers.[133] These visits
also more than once led him into sharp conflict with his old enemies,
the Ngai-Tahu, who were ever vigilantly watching for the favourable
moment to repay their defeat at Kaiapoi. Once they met him on the
fringe of Port Underwood, at a spot still called Fighting Bay, where
they claim to have defeated him with considerable slaughter. From this
engagement, in which his small force was neatly ambushed, the great
chief only escaped by diving into the sea and hiding amongst the
floating kelp, until he was picked up by one of his canoes, and,
availing himself of a heavy mist which suddenly enveloped the scene of
strife, fled, leaving his allies, the Ngati-Awa, to continue the
unequal struggle. After the fight, the bones of the slain were left to
bleach on the beach, where they were repeatedly seen by the first
settlers at the port.[134]

This success did not induce the Ngai-Tahu to pursue the retreating
enemy across the Strait; but, elated in spirit, they returned to the
south for the purpose of fitting out an expedition on a much more
extensive scale, with which they hoped to inflict a crushing blow on
their hated enemy. These operations were superintended by Taiaroa, who
in a few months had gathered together a flotilla of canoes and boats
sufficient to transport some four hundred men. These he commanded in
person, and with them proceeded by slow stages to the neighbourhood of
Cloudy Bay. Hearing that Te Rauparaha was at Queen Charlotte Sound,
the southern warriors steered their fleet for Tory Channel,[135] but
failed to encounter the enemy until they had reached Waitohi, near the
head of the Sound. Here they met, and immediately attacked a large
party of Te Rauparaha's followers, who were under the personal
direction of their chief. The ground upon which the battle took place
was broken and wooded, and it was difficult to bring the whole of the
respective forces advantageously into action at once; and therefore
the combat resolved itself into a series of skirmishes, rather than a
pitched and decisive battle. At the end of the first day Te Rauparaha
shifted his position, a fact which has encouraged the Ngai-Tahu people
to claim the credit of a victory. But Ngati-Toa did not retire from
the field altogether; and for several days hostilities continued to be
carried on in a succession of duels between the champions of the
opposing tribes, in which the battle honours were fairly evenly
divided between them. In these contests Te Rauparaha is said to have
warned his men against risking defeat by coming too confidently into
close quarters with the enemy. Numerous incidents during the siege of
Kaiapoi had served to impress him with Ngai-Tahu's prowess in this
class of warfare, and any recklessness on the part of his warriors
might therefore easily lose him a valuable life. Thus, when a
Ngati-Toa and a Ngai-Tahu were struggling upon the hill-side in full
view of both forces, and victory ultimately rested with the southern
warrior, Te Rauparaha exclaimed to those about him, "_I kiia atu ano_"
(I told you it would be so). But though an occasional success of this
kind attended the southern arms, nothing of a decisive nature was
accomplished by Taiaroa on this raid. Scarcity of provisions shortly
afterwards compelled him to withdraw to the south; and before he had
time or inclination to devise fresh reprisals, events of an external
nature had so operated upon the Maori mind as to make any further
conflict between the Ngati-Toa and Ngai-Tahu tribes undesirable if not

It is now fitting to remember that, while these events had been
proceeding along the eastern coast of the Middle Island, the process
of subduing the southern tribes had not been neglected on its western
shore. Out of the extreme confidence which pervaded the Ngati-Toa mind
upon the return of Te Pehi from England, a wider field of conquest was
sought than appeared to be provided by the plains of Canterbury. In
obedience to these aspirations, an important division of their forces
was sent across the Strait for the purpose of forcibly establishing
themselves in the bays of the Nelson coast. _Hapus_ of the Ngati-Toa
and Ngati-Awa united in this expedition, which was attended with
unqualified success. They immediately moved to attack the Ngati-Apa
settlements in Blind and Massacre Bays, from out of which they drove
the inhabitants with ruthless severity, and immediately assumed
possession of the soil. Those who had fought under Te Koihua and Te
Puoho, the Ngati-Awa leaders, built _pas_ and remained in permanent
occupation of the conquered country;[136] but Niho, a son of Te Pehi,
and Takerei took their Ngati-Tama, and perhaps a few of their
Ngati-Rarua, warriors across the wild and almost trackless mountains
which intervene between Blind Bay and the west coast. From the Buller
district they worked their way southward, killing and taking prisoners
almost the entire population as they went, until they reached the
Hokitika River, where resistance ceased and the need for further
aggression disappeared.

Niho and Takerei settled at Mawhera, on the banks of the Grey River,
the centre of that romantic region, the greenstone country, which for
centuries had been the Eldorado of Maori dreams.[137] At various other
points, both to the northward and southward of Mawhera, the
northerners established themselves in permanent _pas_, to the
total exclusion of the weaker tribes, who had formerly controlled the
barter of the precious nephrite. From these points of colonisation the
restless spirit of the invaders was ever carrying them further
southward and eastward in search of excitement and adventure. No
systematic occupation of the land appears to have been attempted
southward of Hokitika; but stray bands of marauders were frequently
setting off on predatory expeditions into the pathless mountain-waste
of western Otago, which then sheltered the shadowy remnant of the
Ngati-Mamoe race. Further and further these adventurers penetrated
into the deep glens, rugged passes, and dark forests, until they knew
the geographical secrets of the interior almost as intimately as did
its former conquerors.[138]

In the absence of written records, many of these militant journeys
have necessarily been effaced from memory, and no tradition has been
left to commemorate those whose valiant spirit led them into the wilds
of a hostile country, from which only a lion-hearted courage could
bring them safely back. Of one such venture, however, undertaken about
the year 1836, for the purpose of attacking Tu-Hawaiki on his island
fortress at Ruapuke, the story has been preserved; and, because of its
ambitious conception and dramatic ending, it is worthy of being
narrated here as it has been told in the tribal traditions. The chief
concerned in leading the adventure was Te Puoho, who came originally
from the country south of the Mokau River, in Taranaki, to assist Te
Rauparaha in his policy of conquest. He was at this time the head
chief of the Ngati-Tama tribe, who were closely allied to Ngati-Awa,
and whom the fortune of war had now settled round the great bays on
the Nelson coast. Hearing that the inhabitants away to the south were
"a soft people," Te Puoho conceived the idea of raiding their country,
and, in addition to matching himself against Tu-Hawaiki, securing a
large number of slaves,[139] whom he intended to use as beasts of
burden. To this end he first completed a strong stockade, in which he
intended to herd his captives, and then he set off with a fighting
force of some seventy men, and a small number of women, to pierce his
way through the dense forest and dangerous passes of the overland
route. Arrived at the Grey River, where Niho and his people were
settled, he expected to be largely reinforced from amongst his former
friends; but, to his consternation, he found that his old comrade,
Niho, was distinctly hostile, and most of his people coldly
indifferent. A number of his own followers, finding that the purpose
of the expedition was not approved by Niho, declined to proceed
further in the enterprise and returned to Cook Strait. But at length
Te Puoho, nothing daunted, succeeded in persuading a section of the
Ngati-Wairangi to reverse their decision not to accompany him, and
then with about a hundred followers he commenced his march southward.

His first route took him over the sinuous tracks which hugged the
coast line until they reached Jackson's Head, a distance of many
hundred miles from the point of departure. Few particulars of this
stage of the journey have been preserved: but it is known that they
returned northward as far as the Haast River,[140] where they
deflected their course to the eastward, and proceeded inland by way of
the Haast Pass. At Lake Hawea they met a Ngai-Tahu eeling party, from
whom they ascertained that the chief with his two wives had gone to
Lake Wanaka. On the pretence of guiding two of Te Puoho's men thither,
the chief's son, Te Raki, succeeded in getting them deeply entangled
in the bush; and then, abandoning them to their own resources, he
slipped away to his father's camp and advised him of what had
occurred. Arming themselves, they went in search of the two men, who
were now wandering aimlessly about, and, finding them floundering in
the forest, they soon succeeded in killing them. When it dawned upon
him that he had been duped, Te Puoho exacted _utu_ from amongst the
other members of the eeling party, and pushed on further into the
interior. They navigated the upper waters of the Molyneaux on
_mokihis_, and made their way down the valley of the Mataura through
the country of Wakatipu. In view of his previous achievements in that
direction, no one would have been surprised had Te Rauparaha or his
people attempted an invasion of these far southern districts by sea;
but no one ever dreamed of a blow being struck at them by an inland
route. Consequently, when this war party marched down the valley of
the Mataura, the inhabitants were wholly off their guard, and fell an
easy prey to the invaders. An eeling party was captured at Whakaea,
and their store of food proved exceedingly welcome to the hungry
wanderers, whose only provender up to this time had been wild cabbage,
the root of the _ti_ palm, and a few _wekas_. These wanderings had now
occupied the northern men nearly two years, during which many of them
had died of cold and hunger. But, though a "dwindled and enfeebled
band," they were still strong enough to secure another party of
Ngai-Tahu, whom they found camped in the midst of a clump of _korokiu_
trees, which then grew upon the Waimea Plain. Te Puoho believed that
he had secured the whole of the party, but in this he was mistaken.
Some few escaped, and, hastening off to the Tuturau _pa_, warned the
people there of the approaching danger, the fugitives making their way
to the Awarua whaling station. Te Puoho and his party immediately
proceeded to occupy the abandoned _pa_, in the hope that a prolonged
rest would recruit their exhausted powers; and, innocent of the fact
that retributive justice was at hand, they settled down to leisurely
enjoy the recuperative process.

From Awarua news of the raid was dispatched to the island of Ruapuke,
where Tu-Hawaiki and his men were. Memory of the event is still well
preserved on the island, as the last occasion on which oblation was
offered to the god of battle. In accordance with ancient Maori custom,
this ceremony took place in an immense cavern, which opens to the sea
beach beneath the island fortress. It may still be seen, a dark abyss;
and, although geological periods must have elapsed since it was
instinct with the life of mighty waters, the echo-swish still sounds
and resounds, as if acting and reacting the story of its birth. Shut
up amidst these ghostly sights and sounds, the tribal _tohunga_ spent
the night in severe exorcisms. Outside in the open was heard the clash
of arms, plaintive wails and lamentations of the _tangi_ for the dead.
At dawn of day the prescribed spells to weaken the enemy were cast and
the invocation to the spear was spoken. The followers of Tu-Hawaiki
then sailed for the mainland and effected a landing at what is now
known as Fortrose. Concealing themselves during the day, they marched
under cover of night, reaching Tuturau early on the morning of the
third day. Being unapprehensive of danger, the inmates of the _pa_
were in their turn caught napping, and the recapture was effected as
smartly as had been the original capture. As the attacking force crept
cautiously within gunshot, Te Puoho was observed sleeping on the
verandah of one of the houses. A slight noise fell upon his quick ear
and startled him. He sprang to his feet; instantly the report of a gun
rang out, and he fell a lifeless heap upon his bed. Some thirty in all
were killed. The rest, with one exception,[141] were taken prisoners,
and confined on Ruapuke Island, whence they were afterwards smuggled
away by a pakeha-maori boatman named McDonald, who, under an
arrangement with the Ngati-Toa tribe, landed them safely back at

The Haast River raid, as the exploit of Te Puoho is known in Maori
history, becomes interesting not only because it was on this occasion
that the followers of Te Rauparaha reached the most southerly limit of
their aggressions upon Ngai-Tahu, but because it affords another
evidence, if such were needed, of the extremes to which the Maori was
ever ready to go in order to get even with an enemy. Primarily, the
raid was designed as a stroke of retaliation upon Tu-Hawaiki, whom
they hoped to surprise by pouncing upon him from a new and unexpected
quarter. To effect this, a long and dangerous journey had to be
braved; they had to penetrate into a region in which Nature seemed to
have determined to impose in the path of human progress her most
forbidding barriers. Not only had this band of half-clad savages to
cross what the late Sir Julius Von Haast has described as "one of the
most rugged pieces of New Zealand ground which, during my long
wanderings, I have ever passed," but they had to contend with
snowfields lying deep in the Southern Alps, the swollen torrent, the
pathless forest, and the foodless plains. Not even the roar of the
avalanche as it swept down the mountain-side, the impassible precipice
as it loomed dark across their path, nor the severity of the climate,
with its oscillations from arctic cold to tropical heat, was
sufficient to chill their ardour for revenge. So for two years they
wandered amidst some of the grandest and gloomiest surroundings, at
times suffering bitterly from cold and hunger. In the stress of these
privations the weaker ones died; but the survivors were sustained by
the enthusiasm of their leader, who directed their course ever to the
southward, where they hoped some day to meet and vanquish their hated
rival. Of the fate which overtook them, history has told; and, though
future generations may be reluctant to endorse the purpose of their
mission, they will not refuse to credit them with a certain spirit of
heroism in daring and enduring what they did to accomplish their end.

The peace which had been dramatically concluded at Kapiti by Te Heuheu
breaking the _taiaha_ across his knee, and which closed what is
known as the Hao-whenua war, was sacredly observed by all the tribes
for some years; and this respite from anxiety afforded Te Rauparaha
freedom of opportunity to pursue his grudge against the Rangitane and
Muaupoko peoples. The humiliated remnant of the Muaupoko tribe had by
this time sought and obtained the protection of Te Whatanui, who had
promised them, in his now historic words, quoted many years afterwards
by Major Kemp, that so long as they remained his dutiful subjects he
would shield them from the wrath of Te Rauparaha: "I will be the
rata-tree that will shelter all of you. All that you will see will be
the stars that are shining in the sky above us; all that will descend
upon you will be the raindrops that fall from heaven." Although
slavery was the price they had to pay for the privilege of breathing
their native air, it at least secured them the right to live, though
it did not secure them absolute immunity from attack. More than once
Te Whatanui had to protest against the inhumanity of Ngati-Toa towards
those whom he had elected to save from utter destruction; and these
distressing persecutions did not cease until the Ngati-Raukawa chief
told Te Rauparaha, in unmistakable language, emphasised by
unmistakable gestures, that, before another hair of a Muaupoko head
was touched, he and his followers would first have to pass over his
(Te Whatanui's) dead body. Unwilling to create a breach of friendship
with so powerful an ally as Te Whatanui, Te Rauparaha ceased openly to
assail the helpless Muaupoko, though still continuing to harass them
in secret. He plotted with Te Puoho to trap the Rangitane, and with Wi
Tako to ensnare the Muaupoko: the scheme being to invite them to a
great feast at Waikanae, to partake of some new food[142] which the
_pakeha_ had brought to Kapiti. So far as the Rangitane were
concerned, the invitation was prefaced by an exchange of civilities in
the shape of presents between Mahuri and Te Puoho; and when it was
thought that their confidence had been secured, the vanity of the
Rangitane was still further flattered by an invitation to the feast. A
considerable number of them at once set out for Waikanae; but, when
they arrived at Horowhenua, Te Whatanui used his utmost endeavours to
dissuade Mahuri, their chief, from proceeding further. Knowing Te
Rauparaha as he did, he felt convinced that he could not so soon
forget his hatred for those who had sought to take his life at
Papaitonga: and, while he would have had no compunction about killing
in open war every man and woman of the tribes he was protecting, his
generous soul revolted against the treachery and slaughter which he
feared lay concealed beneath the present invitation. His counsel was
therefore against going to Waikanae; but the impetuous young Mahuri
saw no reason for alarm, and, heedless of the advice of Te Whatanui,
he led his people to their destruction.

On their arrival, the hospitality of Te Puoho was of the most
bountiful nature. The visitors were shown to their houses, and no
effort was spared to allay any suspicion of treachery. But one night,
as they sat around their fires, the appointed signal was given, and
the guests were set upon by a force superior in numbers by two to one,
and, to use the words of a native[143] who knew the story well, "they
were killed like pigs," only one man escaping from the massacre. This
was Te Aweawe, whose life was spared at the instigation of Tungia, in
return for a similar act of humanity which the Rangitane chief had
been able to perform for him some time before. In justice to Te
Rauparaha, it should be stated that this massacre was not entirely
prompted by his old grudge against the Rangitane people, but partly
arose out of a new cause of grievance against them, which serves to
illustrate the complexity of Maori morality and the smallness of the
pretence upon which they deemed a sacrifice of life both justifiable
and necessary. The offence of which the Rangitane people had been
adjudged guilty enough to deserve so terrible a punishment was the
fact that they were somewhat distantly related to the Ngati-Kahungunu
tribe, resident in the Wairarapa. These people had some time
previously killed a number of Ngati-Toa natives, whom they believed to
be plotting their destruction; for, while they were discussing their
plans in one of the _whares_, a Ngati-Kahungunu, who was sleeping with
at least one ear open, overheard their conversation, and at once gave
the alarm, with the result that the tables were turned on the scheming
Ngati-Toa. Their deaths, however, had to be avenged; and it is easy to
understand how gladly Te Rauparaha would avail himself of this new
excuse for wiping out old scores.

The morning after the massacre, Tungia took Te Aweawe outside the
Waikanae _pa_, and, placing a weapon in his hand, said, "Go! come
back again and kill these people." The released chief at once made his
way back as best he could to the Manawatu, where he found most of the
settlements deserted by the terror-stricken inhabitants, in
consequence of the appalling news which had just reached them of the
death of their friends. He, however, succeeded in collecting about
thirty warriors, and with these he travelled down the coast, receiving
additions by the way from a few stragglers belonging to his own and
the Muaupoko tribes. When they reached Waikanae, they found the
Ngati-Toa and Ngati-Awa peoples busily engaged in gathering flax to
trade away for guns and powder and little suspecting an attack. They
had beguiled themselves into the false belief that the shattered
Rangitane would not be able to collect in so short a time a force
sufficiently strong to harm them. When, therefore, Te Aweawe, at the
head of his brave little band, burst in upon them, dealing death at
every blow, they, in their turn, were at all the disadvantage of being
taken completely by surprise. Upwards of sixty of the followers of Te
Rauparaha were killed, amongst them a chieftainess named
Muri-whakaroto, who fell into the hands of the enraged Te Aweawe, and
was despatched without the slightest compunction. Matea, the Rangitane
chief second in command, was more chivalrous to Tainai Rangi, for he
spared her and brought her back, a prisoner certainly, but still
alive. Such of the flax-gathering party as were not slain made good
their escape down the coast; and the avengers of Mahuri, fearing that
they might soon return with a large and active war party, beat a hasty
retreat, well satisfied with the result of their mission of
revenge--the last great act of slaughter perpetrated by the resident
people as a protest against the conquest of their country.

Any policy of retaliation which Te Rauparaha and the chiefs who were
co-operating with him may have contemplated, as a step towards
restoring the equilibrium of tribal honour, had to be indefinitely
delayed, owing to the rapidity with which events developed in another
direction; and that delay robbed them of future opportunity. The death
of Waitohi, Te Rauparaha's sister, and mother of Rangihaeata, had just
occurred at Mana, where she had been living with her son. The demise
of so high-born a woman necessarily demanded a _tangi_ on an
unusually elaborate and extensive scale, and the whole of the tribes
who had been associated with Te Rauparaha in his scheme of conquest
assembled on the island to attend the obsequies of the honoured dead.
Levies of provisions were made upon all the tributary tribes on both
sides of the Straits, and for several weeks the peculiar rites of a
Maori funeral were continued without intermission.

It is said that, for no other purpose than to appear opulent in the
eyes of his guests, Te Rauparaha ordered the killing and cooking of
one of the poor slaves who had come from the Pelorus with his people's
tribute to the feast. Be this as it may--and it is by no means
improbable under the circumstances--the strange admixture of funeral
and festival, which marks the Maori _tangi_, was observed at Mana
in all its completeness and elaboration. But the death of Waitohi
brought in its train something more than a great _tangi_; for
indirectly it was the cause of the renewal of hostilities between
Ngati-Awa and Ngati-Raukawa, culminating in the engagement known in
Maori history as Kuititanga, which was fought on October 16, 1839. It
is not clear why or in what way the old sore between these comrades in
arms was re-opened, but the weight of testimony inclines towards the
assumption that Te Rauparaha's irrepressible passion for intrigue was
the moving impulse in urging Ngati-Raukawa to take the step they did.
Whether he had grown jealous of Ngati-Awa's increasing numbers and
power, or whether, having achieved all he could hope to accomplish, he
wished to shake himself free from any further obligation to them,
cannot of course be asserted with any confidence. Ngati-Raukawa were
nothing loath to join in any conspiracy against Ngati-Awa. Living, as
they did, north of Kapiti, they began to find themselves somewhat out
of touch with the whalers; and probably it was the rapid extension of
trade, enabling Ngati-Awa to procure guns as readily as Rauparaha
himself, that induced him to instigate Ngati-Raukawa to break the
truce which had existed since the battle of Pakakutu. No breach of the
peace actually occurred at Mana, but bickerings and threats foretold
the coming storm; and when Ngati-Awa returned to their _pas_ on
the mainland, it was with the full consciousness that the attack would
not be long delayed. The Ngati-Raukawa mourners remained at Mana for
some time after Ngati-Awa had left, and it would have caused the
latter no surprise had Ngati-Raukawa made an attack upon them--as
indeed they invited it--as they passed Waikanae on their way to Otaki.
This Ngati-Raukawa did not do, but went on with every semblance of
peace, even ignoring the shots of defiance which were fired by
Ngati-Awa as they passed. Towards evening, however, they altered their
tactics, and, doubling back, surrounded the Kuititanga _pa_ during the
night, in preparation for the attack at daybreak. A reconnoitring
party was sent out to investigate the state of the defences, one of
whom was indiscreet enough to enter a house, and, rousing a boy by his
intrusion, attempted to cover his blunder by asking him for a light
for his pipe. The boy sharply recognised his visitor as a
Ngati-Raukawa; and knowing that no friendly native would be prowling
about at that unseemly hour, sprang for his gun, and fired point-blank
at the intruder. The echo of the shot rang through the clear morning
air, and was the signal for a general movement on both sides. The
women and children made a hurried flight to the neighbouring
settlements, from which Ngati-Awa reinforcements swarmed up to the
assistance of their beleaguered tribesmen; and by daylight the full
strength of both forces--variously estimated at between eight hundred
and a thousand men--was actively engaged. The _pa_, which bore the
brunt of the first assault, stood close to the seashore on a narrow
tongue of sand, between the Waikanae and Waimea Rivers.[144] At the
inception of the attack it was defended by a slender company of thirty
men, who offered so stubborn a defence that the assailants were held
in check until assistance arrived. A strong company of Ngati-Awa
crossed the Waikanae, and, catching Ngati-Raukawa between two fires at
this point, caused them to deploy and so open an avenue, by which the
supports reached the _pa_. Trenches were now hurriedly dug in the
loose soil, which, together with the protection offered by the
stockade, afforded them a friendly shelter from the fire of the enemy.
In this respect they were more fortunate than the aggressors, who,
fighting in the open, suffered a greater number of casualties,
including several of their principal chiefs.

Te Rauparaha took no part in the battle; but that he anticipated its
occurrence is proved by the fact that he landed from his canoe shortly
after it commenced. And when, at the close of an hour's desperate
fighting, Ngati-Raukawa, who had his silent sympathy, if not his
active help, began to waver under their heavy losses, he thought it
prudent to get beyond the danger zone, and, plunging into the surf,
swam towards his canoe. Ngati-Awa, who knew that he was inside the
enemy's lines, saw the movement, and made a spirited effort to
frustrate it, in the hope of capturing the man to whose subtle
intrigues they attributed all their misfortunes. An equally vigorous
rally on the part of Ngati-Raukawa intercepted their rush, and saved
the chief, though at heavy cost to themselves. With Te Rauparaha safe
amongst the whalers, who were watching the conflict from their boats,
Ngati-Raukawa began rapidly to fall back; and, after maintaining a
slackened fire, retired from the field altogether, taking their
wounded with them, but leaving to Ngati-Awa the victor's privilege of
burying the dead. Sixty of the Ngati-Raukawa had fallen, but only
sixteen of the defenders. There were, however, many wounded in both
camps. These were attended to by the medical men on board the
_Tory_, which arrived at Kapiti on the day that the battle was
fought; and, as Dr. Dieffenbach has left a graphic account of what he
saw, no better authority can be here quoted:--

 "All the people of the village were assembled; and, though grief was
 expressed in every face, they received us with the greatest kindness
 and attention, and we were obliged to shake hands with everybody.
 They regarded us as friends and allies, for we had brought with us
 from Te-Awaiti some of their relations; and when they saw the medical
 men of our party giving assistance to the wounded, their confidence
 and gratitude were unbounded. Some of the women gave themselves up to
 violent expressions of grief, cutting their faces, arms, and legs
 with broken mussel-shells, and inflicting deep gashes, from which the
 blood flowed profusely. We had brought with us E Patu, the son of a
 chief in East Bay, whose uncle had been killed in the battle. We
 found the widow standing on the roof of a hut, deploring in a low
 strain the loss of her husband. When E Patu approached she threw
 herself upon the ground, and, lying at his feet, related to him, in a
 funeral song, how great had been their happiness, how flourishing
 were their plantations, until the Ngati-Raukawa had destroyed their
 peace and bereft her of her husband. During this time E Patu stood
 before her, convulsively throwing his arms backwards and forwards,
 and joining in her lamentations. An old woman, bent down under the
 burden of many years, had her arms and face frightfully cut; she was
 painted with red _kokowai_, with a wreath of leaves round her
 head, and gesticulated and sang in a similar manner. In this place
 there were no wounded; they had been carried to the principal and
 most fortified _pa_, which lies a little to the northward. This
 latter village was very large; it stood on a sand-hill, and was well
 fenced in, and the houses were neatly constructed. Everything was
 kept clean and in good order, and in this respect it surpassed many
 villages in Europe. The population seemed to be numerous, and I
 estimated it, together with that of the first-mentioned village, and
 a third, about a mile higher up, to amount, on the whole, to seven
 hundred souls. Several native missionaries, some of them liberated
 Ngati-Awa slaves, live here; and the natives had built a large house,
 neatly lined with a firm and tall reed, for their church and
 meeting-house. At the time of our visit they were expecting the
 arrival of a missionary of the Church of England from the Bay of
 Islands, who purposed living amongst them. The medical aid which they
 had given to their wounded was confined to binding the broken limbs
 with splints made of the bark of a pine, or of the strongest part of
 the flax-leaves, and carefully protecting the wounds from external
 injury by means of hoops. Some of these bandages had been very well
 applied. I went to the beach on the following day to attend my
 wounded patients and to visit the scene of battle. This was at the
 third village, and many traces of the strife were visible: trenches
 were dug in the sand of the beach, the fences of the village had been
 thrown down, and the houses were devastated. The Ngati-Awa buried
 their own dead; and the improved state of this tribe was shown by the
 fact that, instead of feasting on the dead bodies of their enemies,
 they buried them, depositing them in one common grave, together with
 their muskets, powder, mats, &c., a generosity and good feeling as
 unusual as it was honourable to their character. The grave of their
 enemies they enclosed, and made it _tapu_ (sacred)."

While this internecine strife raged up and down the coast, its
disturbing influence had almost completely suspended the systematic
settlement of the land by Europeans. There were many in Australia who,
but for the peril of life and uncertainty of title, would long before
this have swarmed over to New Zealand and occupied its shores. Only
the most wanton and the more adventurous had come, and of these latter
a few had been invited by the chiefs to remain, land being given to
them on which to reside and establish themselves as traders. In
isolated instances attempts had been made, chiefly by some subterfuge,
to acquire from the natives large tracts of country for a nominal
consideration; but these examples of dishonesty almost invariably
brought their own punishment. One of the most unscrupulous of such
perfidious transactions was that of Captain Blenkinsopp. He had sailed
these seas in command of the whaler _Caroline_, and had made more
than one trip to Cloudy Bay. There he became infatuated with a Maori
woman of the Ngati-Toa tribe. His alliance with her gave him influence
with Te Rauparaha and Rangihaeata, who, about the year 1834, entered
into a bargain with him, the spirit of which was that for the right to
procure wood and water for his ship while at Cloudy Bay, the captain
was to present the tribe with a ship's cannon,[145] which he had then
with him at Kapiti. The conditions of this bargain were reduced to
writing by Blenkinsopp, but not the bargain Te Rauparaha had counted
upon. For wood and water, Ocean Bay and the magnificent Wairau Plain
were substituted in the deed; and Rauparaha, with that reckless
disregard for the value of his signature which he exhibited at all
times when fire-arms were concerned, had signed it with the lines of
his _moko_.

The Wairau Plain is the floor of the valley through which the Wairau
River runs. Terminating on the shores of Cloudy Bay, it recedes in
ever-increasing elevation and diminishing breadth back for many miles,
until it vanishes in the gorge at the foot of the Spencer Range.
Covering an area of 65,000 acres, it comprises some of the richest
agricultural and pastoral land in the Middle Island, and was at this
time treasured by Rauparaha as one of his principal food-producing
centres. Eager as he was to procure weapons with which to slaughter
his enemies, he was equally sensible of the value of this valley; and
it is scarcely reasonable to suppose that he would have parted with so
rich an estate for a single piece of rusty artillery, subject to the
additional disadvantage of the difficulty involved in its transport.
Knowing that he was, for such purposes, ignorant of the English
language, Blenkinsopp, with a touch of irony, presented Te Rauparaha
with a copy of the deed, and told him to show it to any captain of a
man-o'-war who might visit Kapiti. Te Rauparaha did not wait for a
naval officer, but gave the document to a whaler protege of his, named
Hawes, then living at his island fortress. Hawes explained to
Rauparaha that by the deed he had parted with all his land at the
Wairau: whereupon the chief, in a fit of anger, tore up the paper,
threw the fragments into the fire, and declared that, so far as he was
concerned, the contract was at an end. Not so with Blenkinsopp. He
sailed to Sydney, and there proceeded to raise a substantial sum of
money upon the security of his deed from a solicitor named Unwin, then
practising in that city. For reasons which need not be discussed here,
Mr. Unwin eventually claimed the valley as his own; and his attempt to
occupy the district, its disastrous failure, culminating in the
massacre at the Wairau Bar, in 1840, of his manager and all his men,
are now matters of history, affording another instance of how the just
sometimes suffer for the unjust. Nor were the deception of Mr. Unwin
and the death of Mr. Wilton and his fellow employees the full measure
of the toll exacted as the result of Blenkinsopp's perfidy. When
Colonel Wakefield met at Hokianga the native woman who had formerly
been Captain Blenkinsopp's wife, and was now his widow, she showed him
a document which purported to be the original deed to which her late
husband had secured Te Rauparaha's signature. As a matter of fact, the
document was no more than a copy which had been left amongst the
captain's papers, but, believing it to be genuine, Wakefield purchased
it for £300;[146] and it was largely on this spurious foundation that
his brother, Captain Wakefield, subsequently, and with such fatal
results, sought to build up the New Zealand Company's claim to the
Wairau. This transaction, in which Captain Blenkinsopp was so
scandalously concerned, was but typical of many another, by which the
credulity of the natives was cunningly exploited. Their influence had,
however, been so far comparatively harmless, and the measure of injury
they had inflicted had told more heavily upon the unscrupulous
speculators than upon the natives.

But now Te Rauparaha, and those tribes with whom he was associated,
were about to be brought into contact, and to some extent into
conflict, with a more persistent earth-hunger, and more powerful
land-buyers, than any which had yet operated upon the coasts of New
Zealand. The spirit of colonisation was abroad in England, and the
restless genius of Edward Gibbon Wakefield[147] was busy coining
schemes whereby the spirit of the hour might be embodied in action.
Canada and South Australia had each attracted his attention; and now
his eyes were turned to New Zealand as a field suitable for the
planting of his quasi-philanthropic projects. His writings upon the
subject of colonisation had drawn within the circle of his influence a
galaxy of men, whose liberal education, lofty ideals, and generous
impulses had earned for them the title of "philosophic radicals," and
with these men, who stood for the most advanced development of English
political aspiration, as its sponsors, the New Zealand Company was
founded in 1839. With the story of this Company's early political
troubles we are not concerned, for they bear only slightly on
subsequent events in New Zealand. But the central fact with which we
are concerned is that the Company was established for the purpose of
acquiring land from the natives and transporting emigrants from
England to settle thereon. To this end, the expeditionary ship
_Tory_ was hurriedly despatched from the Thames, and arrived
safely in New Zealand waters, bringing with her Colonel Wakefield,
brother of the founder of the Company, with a staff of officers
charged with the duty of conducting the negotiations for the purchase
of land and arranging other preliminaries--which appeared to be
regarded in the light of mere formalities--incidental to the
introduction of a great colonising scheme. In furtherance of her
mission, the _Tory_ paid a brief visit to Queen Charlotte Sound
and Port Nicholson, and reached Kapiti on October 16, 1839, the day on
which Ngati-Raukawa had been routed by Ngati-Awa at the fight of

The first tidings of this engagement was brought to the officers of
the _Tory_ by a canoe-crew of natives who had just left the scene
of strife; and although the sea was high, a boat's company had been
organised, and was on the point of starting for the battlefield, when
a message came from Te Rauparaha, who had returned to Evans' Island,
that he wished them to pay him the honour of a visit. Accordingly, the
course of the boat was deflected to the island, and there the chiefs
of the two races met for the first time. Te Rauparaha was sitting upon
the ground beside his wife, a woman who has been described as being of
the "Meg Merrilies" type. He was deeply smeared with red ochre, and
evidently in an uneasy frame of mind. His manner was restless, his
glance furtive, and he was obviously depressed at the result of the
battle. As Colonel Wakefield and his party approached, Te Rauparaha
rose and hastened to exchange with them the missionary greeting,
shaking them by the hand. With equal alacrity he sought to convince
them that he had been in no way concerned in promoting the fight. In
these protestations it cannot be said that he was in the least
successful, for the Englishmen had already been prejudiced against him
by the tales of his duplicity told them by both whalers and Ngati-Awas
at Cloudy Bay; whilst his wandering, distrustful glances, as he spoke,
were not calculated to inspire confidence. Though, on the whole, his
conduct was unsatisfactory, the interview was occasionally illumined
by flashes of his imperious nature, the inborn power to lead and
command momentarily asserting itself, only to be again clouded by a
mean cringing, which seemed to bespeak a craven spirit.

Being assured that there were no hostile natives harbouring on board
the _Tory_, Te Rauparaha left Evans' Island for Kapiti, promising
to visit the ship on the following morning. Next day he was received
by Colonel Wakefield with a salute of guns, which filled him with
alarm, until it had been made clear that the demonstration was
intended as a great compliment to him and those chiefs who were with
him. The preliminaries of the reception being over, the question of
the land purchase was introduced to the chiefs; but Colonel Wakefield
discovered them to be distinctly hostile to his proposals, an
opposition which he attributed to the influence of Mr. Wynen, the
agent for a Sydney land syndicate, whose headquarters were then at
Cloudy Bay. The energies of this gentleman had been insidiously
applied to prejudice the native mind against the Company's scheme of
colonisation; and it was only with the greatest difficulty that the
Colonel was ultimately able to dissipate these prejudices, and to
obtain their consent "to look over their land, and if he found it
good, to take it." A gale which raged through the Strait prevented all
communication with the shore and suspended the negotiations until the
21st, when Colonel Wakefield made a definite proposal to purchase all
the Ngati-Toa possessions, together with their rights and claims on
both sides of the Strait. After he had exhibited to their wondering
eyes a great portion of the goods--the finery and the trumpery--which
he intended to dignify by the term "payment," his proposals were
doubtingly accepted, Te Hiko pressing for more soap and clothing, and
Te Rauparaha clamouring for more arms. Te Rauparaha dictated to Mr.
Jerningham Wakefield the names of the localities involved in the sale;
and the binding nature of the bargain was impressed upon the natives
as clearly as the linguistic limitations of Dicky Barrett, the
interpreter, would permit.

These preliminaries settled, the following day was appointed for the
distribution of the goods; but the ceremony was intercepted by the
indisposition of Te Hiko, whom Colonel Wakefield regarded as an
indispensable party to the transaction, and he refused to proceed
without him. This refusal greatly aggravated Te Rauparaha, whose hands
were itching to grasp the guns, which had been thrown like leaven
amongst the heap of worthless stuff; and he railed bitterly against
the deference paid to one whom he designated "a boy," destitute alike
of any interest in, or knowledge of, land. "Give us the goods," said
he, "with more powder and arms. Of what use are blankets, soap, tools,
and iron pots, when we are going to war? What does it matter whether
we die cold or warm, clean or dirty, hungry or full? Give us
two-barrelled guns, plenty of muskets, lead, powder, cartridges and
cartouche boxes." This militant appeal was coldly ignored by Colonel
Wakefield, who steadfastly declined to consider the question of
distribution until Hiko's return, which did not occur until two days
later. On the 23rd, however, the chiefs again assembled, and the
merchandise, which the Company offered as payment for the land, was
ostentatiously displayed on the deck of the _Tory_. The
consummation of the transaction was, however, still to be delayed.
While Te Hiko was busy trying on one of the coats which he had
selected from the pile of clothing, Te Rauparaha, Tungia, and several
of the warlike chiefs made an unseemly rush to secure some of the
fowling-pieces, which were lying on the companion hatch ready for
distribution. This exhibition of selfishness so exasperated Te Hiko
that he at once threw down the garment, and, calling to Rangihiroa to
accompany him, went down over the ship's side and made for the shore
in a fit of ill-humour, out of which he could not be cajoled until
next day.

Colonel Wakefield immediately suspended the proceedings, whereupon Te
Rauparaha again became deeply offended at the consideration shown for
one whom he regarded as so much his inferior; but, in spite of
importunities and threats which sorely tried his patience, the Colonel
refused to recede from his former attitude, and declined to take one
step towards the sale in Hiko's absence. As Wakefield was adamant
against all their menaces and blandishments, nothing remained but to
return on shore for the purpose of placating Te Hiko, which they
shortly succeeded in doing. Next day, unsolicited by Colonel
Wakefield, both Te Hiko and Te Rauparaha came off to the ship, and,
after entertaining themselves for some time with the novelties of the
_pakeha_, they asked that the deed of sale might be read over to
them, the map being at the same time consulted. After questions had
been asked and answered, and all doubts on either side apparently
cleared away, the fateful document was signed, Te Rauparaha making a
mark peculiarly his own, and Te Hiko subscribing the sign of the
cross. Each then left the vessel, possessed of a gun, promising that
the rest of the chiefs would come on board and sign on the next day.
This ceremony was duly performed, but only eleven signatures were
obtained, Te Rauparaha and two minor chiefs signing as proxy for the
natives on the opposite side of the Strait. A share of the gifts was
reserved for Te Rangihaeata, who was at Mana, and had taken no part in
the negotiations. On Thursday, 24th October, Colonel Wakefield was
able to report to his Directors in London that he had acquired by his
purchases at Port Nicholson and Kapiti, at a cost of a few guns, some
powder, lead, and miscellaneous goods, "possessions for the Company
extending from the 38th to the 43rd degree of latitude on the western
coast, and from the 41st to the 43rd on the eastern." But Colonel
Wakefield still had some reservations as to the completeness and
validity of his purchases; for he added to his report this qualifying
sentence: "To complete the rights of the Company to all the land
unsold to foreigners in the above extensive district, it remains for
me to secure the cession of their rights in it from the Ngati-Awa,
and, in a proportionately small degree, from the Ngati-Raukawa and
Whanganui peoples."

Three days later he had an interview with the Ngati-Awa people at
Waikanae, and they, being excited by the spirit of war and fearful of
another attack by Ngati-Raukawa, were easily tempted by the sight of
guns and the prospect of powder. Several of the elder chiefs addressed
the assemblage, and urged their followers to acquiesce in the
Colonel's proposals, conditionally upon their receiving arms and
ammunition. To this stipulation Wakefield felt no reluctance in
agreeing, and, for the purpose of giving it effect, a conference was
arranged to take place on board the _Tory_. On the appointed day
(8th November) the natives were astir bright and early; soon after
daylight they "began to come on board, and by 12 o'clock more than two
hundred had assembled on the deck, including all the principal chiefs
of the Sounds." To these unsophisticated dealers in real estate was
produced the deed, phrased in stilted terms, which purported to convey
to the Colonel, as agent for the Company, and in trust for the
Company, a vast area of country, over much of which the signatories
had absolutely no authority whatever.

"Know all men that we the undersigned chiefs of the Ngati-Awa tribes,
residing in Queen Charlotte's Sound, on both sides of Cook Strait, in
New Zealand, have this day sold and parted with, in consideration of
having received, as full and just payment for the same, ten
single-barrelled guns, three double-barrelled guns, sixty muskets,
forty kegs of powder, two kegs of lead slabs, two dozen pairs of
scissors, two dozen combs, two pounds of beads, one thousand flints,
the land bounded on the south by the parallel of the 43rd degree of
South latitude, and on the west, north and east by the sea (with all
islands), and also comprising all those lands, islands, tenements,
&c., situate on the northern shore of Cook Straits, which are bounded
on the north-east by a direct line drawn from the southern head of the
river or harbour of Mokau, situate on the west coast in latitude of
about 38 degrees South, to Tikukahore, situate on the east coast in
the latitude of about 41 degrees South, and on the east, south and
west by the sea, excepting always the island of Kapiti, and the small
islands adjacent thereto, and the island of Mana, but including
Tehukahore, Wairarapa, Port Nicholson, Otaki, Manawatu, Rangitikei,
Whanganui, Waitotara, Patea, Ngati-Ruanui, Taranaki, Moturoa, and the
several sugar-loaf islands and the river or harbour of Mokau."

The goods which were specified in the deed as the price of the land
were carefully arranged on deck; but during the process of distribution
a violent altercation took place, which was only quelled by a threat
from the Colonel to send the wares below and proceed to sea, if peace
was not immediately restored. Advantage was taken of the "momentary
calm" thus secured to obtain the coveted signatures, and consenting
chiefs to the number of about thirty appended their marks to the
document. Scarcely had the distribution of the beads and bullets
recommenced than another mêlée, even more violent, took place. "In a
moment," says the Colonel in his report to the Company, "the most
tumultuous scene we had ever witnessed took place, in which many blows
were exchanged: never did a ship witness such a scene of violence
without bloodshed." A similar, "if not more unfriendly," riot occurred
on shore amongst those natives who had first conveyed their goods to
land before they commenced their peculiar method of division; but it
mattered nothing to the Company's representative how the natives
abused their goods or each other so long as they had put their marks
to his deed. Equally was it a matter of indifference to the Maoris how
many deeds they signed, so long as they became possessed of arms and
ammunition. It was sufficient for the one that he had outwitted his
rivals, and appeared to be doing well for his employers, and for the
other that they had satisfied the most pressing need of the moment.
Neither looked beyond the immediate present, or took a single thought
for the long years of mistrust and misunderstanding that were to
follow upon their hasty and ill-considered transactions. Confident
that he had made "a full and just payment" for the land described in
the deed, Colonel Wakefield on 9th November went on shore and took
possession of the estate, in the name of the Company; and, in order to
distinguish their possessions, "which so greatly predominate in this
extensive territory," from those of other buyers, he designated them
North and South Durham, according to the respective islands in which
they were situated. Having completed his purchases at Kapiti to his
own satisfaction, Colonel Wakefield, on 18th November, sailed northward,
intending to call in at Whanganui for the purpose of perfecting his
purchases there, as he regarded that district as one of some
importance. But before he left he had received a glimmering that his
proceedings had not been perfectly understood, and the first shadow of
doubt must have crossed his mind when Te Rauparaha calmly informed him
that he (Te Rauparaha) wanted more guns, and, in order to get them,
intended to make further sales, embracing territory which the Colonel
believed he had already bought. Language of the most reproachful
character was used towards the chief, and his speedy repudiation of a
solemn bargain was characterised in unmeasured terms; but Te Rauparaha
steadfastly maintained that, so far as he was concerned, the sale in
the Middle Island had not included more than D'Urville Island and
Blind Bay at Nelson. Subsequent investigations proved that Te
Rauparaha was right and the Colonel was wrong; but it is doubtful
whether, when he left for Whanganui, the latter had realised the full
extent of his error, and therefore he parted from the chief with
bitterness in his heart and an angry word upon his lips.

While these events were in progress in New Zealand, the operations of
the Company and its contemporary land-speculators had not passed
unnoticed in England. The British authorities were beginning to regard
those islands with an anxious eye, but they displayed a painful
indecision in adopting measures to meet the political emergency which
they were commencing to realise was inevitable. As a tentative step,
Mr. Busby was sent from New South Wales in the capacity of British
Resident; but his usefulness was shorn down to the point of nullity by
the purely nominal nature of the powers with which he was endowed.
Negative as the results of this experiment had been, it nevertheless
encouraged the British authorities to take a still bolder step in the
appointment of Captain Hobson, R.N., as the accredited British Consul,
who was authorised to negotiate with the chiefs, and, if possible, to
acquire the country by cession, preparatory to annexing it as a
dependency of New South Wales. Even Hobson's position was extremely
anomalous until the now famous Treaty of Waitangi had been formulated
and successfully promulgated amongst the tribes. The ratification of
this document by the chiefs was a severe blow to the New Zealand
Company, while it is doubtful whether the Maoris had more than a
nebulous idea of its real meaning. It, however, gave the British
Government the colour of right to institute the principles of
established authority in those islands, where it had become their
imperative duty to control the colonisation which their indifference
had not been able to thwart. With the policy of the Treaty of Waitangi
we are not now concerned, beyond recording the fact that, in order to
give effect to that policy, it became necessary to procure the
signatures of all the principal chiefs, as acknowledging their assent
to the solemn obligations involved in the covenant. To this end
Archdeacon Williams came southward, and in due course reached Kapiti,
where, on May 14, 1840, he succeeded, but by what means we are not
told, in inducing Te Rauparaha to sign the treaty. Similarly, Major
Bunbury, an officer of the 80th Regiment, had been despatched by
Captain Hobson in H.M.S. _Herald_, charged with the mission of
securing the assent of the chiefs in the Middle Island to the
proposals of the Government. After having visited all the southern
_pas_ of importance, and proclaimed the sovereignty of the Queen
both at Stewart Island and Cloudy Bay, he arrived at Kapiti on June
19th, and to him we are indebted for the following account of what
there occurred:--

 "When we arrived off the island of Kapiti several canoes were leaving
 the island, and on my preparing to go ashore, fortunately the first
 canoe we met had on board the chief Rauparaha, whom I was anxious to
 see. He returned on board with me in the ship's boat, his own canoe,
 one of the most splendid I have yet seen, following. He told me the
 Rev. Mr. Williams had been there, and had obtained his signature to
 the treaty, and on inquiring for the chiefs Rangihaeata and Te Hiko,
 I was informed that we should meet them both, probably at the island
 of Mana, and, as this lay on our route to Port Nicholson, thither we
 proceeded, the chief Rauparaha remaining on board the _Herald_,
 his canoes following. On our arrival, the _Herald_ having
 anchored, I went on shore, accompanied by Mr. Williams and Rauparaha.
 We learnt that Hiko, son of the late chief Te Pehi, had gone out on a
 distant expedition. The other chief, Rangihaeata, after some time
 returned with us on board, accompanied by Rauparaha, when both signed
 the treaty."

What arguments or other inducements were held out to the chiefs to
lead them to append their marks to the document is not clear.
Rauparaha subsequently boasted that he had received a blanket for his
signature, but whether this gift, or bribe, was tendered by the
missionary or the Major is equally a matter of doubt. It would,
however, be safe to assume that the blanket was a more potent factor
in securing the allegiance of the chief to the policy of the treaty
than any arguments that could have been pressed upon him. It is
certainly asking much of the intelligence of Te Rauparaha to assert
that he was seized with the full significance of the step he had
taken, seeing that the terms and intentions of the treaty were
afterwards so diversely interpreted by cultured Englishmen.[148] Major
Bunbury, when being sent out on his southern mission, was instructed
by Captain Hobson to assemble the chiefs, to explain the provisions of
the treaty to them, and further, to give them "a solemn pledge that
the most perfect good faith would be kept by Her Majesty's Government,
that their property, their rights and privileges should be most fully
preserved." In direct conflict with this official view, which was an
accurate reflex of the instructions given to Captain Hobson himself by
the Marquis of Normanby, the then Secretary of State for the Colonies,
Lord Howick persuaded a Committee of the House of Commons to condemn
the treaty as "a part of a series of injudicious proceedings," and
with a light-hearted ignorance of Maori reverence for landed
rights,[149] to assert that the acknowledgment of Maori property in
wild lands subsequent to the Queen's assumption of sovereignty was
"not essential to the construction of the treaty, and was an error
which had been productive of serious consequences."

Whether or not Te Rauparaha and his fellow-signatories were able to
analyse the language of the treaty with the precision of an English
statesman, they had certainly never placed upon it such a loose
interpretation as this. And when tidings of the Committee's deliberations
reached the colony, the alleged "serious consequences" which had
followed upon the observance and administration of the treaty as laid
down by Captain Hobson were safety itself compared with the
catastrophe which might have followed from this rash attempt to
repudiate, in the interests of the New Zealand Company, the essential
principle of the treaty--that the "full, exclusive, and undisturbed
possession of their lands and estates, forests, fisheries, and other
possessions" was guaranteed to the natives by the Queen. Fortunately,
at this time there was at the head of Britain's Colonial Department a
Minister who held national honour to be dearer than personal gain.
Lord Stanley, to his credit, refused to comply with the recommendations
of the Committee to confiscate the native land "without reference to
the validity or otherwise of its supposed purchase from the natives,"
and at the end of the famous three days' debate induced the House of
Commons to adopt his view of the nation's obligations to the Maoris.

The Crown having now assumed sovereignty over New Zealand, it became
necessary to administer its affairs impartially in the interests of
both Maori and _pakeha_ population; and, in this connection, one
of its first and most pressing duties was to make an honest effort to
unravel the complex web of land claims, in which both races had become
unhappily entangled. The Government of Lord John Russell accordingly
appointed as a commissioner to adjudicate upon claims of all classes
of buyers Mr. Spain, an English lawyer, who, it is said, had been a
prominent electioneering agent on the side of the Liberals. Mr. Spain
arrived in New Zealand on December 8, 1841, and immediately took steps
to establish his court. He has been described as a man of solid
intelligence, but burdened with a good deal of legal pedantry; slow in
thinking and in his apprehension of ways of dealing with new
emergencies; steady and plodding in his methods, thoroughly honest in
his intentions, and utterly inflexible to threats, though, perhaps,
not unsusceptible to flattery. Considering the magnitude of their
alleged purchases, the claims of the New Zealand Company naturally
took precedence over all others in the business of the court; and,
having regard to the temperament of the Commissioner, an inauspicious
start was made by the representatives of the Company metaphorically
shaking their fists in his face. In some degree their annoyance may
have been pardonable, for they, believing themselves to be the
pioneers of a great colonising scheme, had flattered themselves that
not only the merit of their cause, but the fact that they had made
their purchases prior to the proclamation of the Queen's sovereignty,
would have placed them outside the exacting conditions of the Treaty
of Waitangi.

The coming of Mr. Spain, and his insistence upon an exhaustive
examination of their titles, was a heavy blow to them, which they at
first thought to ward off by affecting an attitude of amused
indifference. They laughed at the treaty, with its engagement to
respect Maori rights in land, and its elevation of the Maori to a
civil status equal to themselves. But amidst this simulated merriment
they exhibited an ill-concealed chagrin that the little self-governing
community, which they had hoped to set up on the shores of Cook
Strait, had been so unceremoniously superseded by the sovereignty of
the Queen, and they resented with fear and anxiety the appointment of
a commissioner, who might deem it his duty to ask awkward questions
regarding their titles. Their policy was, therefore, one of delay and
evasion, which was inaugurated by their raising technical objections
to the constitution of the court, its jurisdiction, and its forms of
procedure, but, most of all, to Mr. Spain's determination to call
native evidence. That was surely an unnecessary elevation of the
savage, and a corresponding degradation of the white man. In fact,
they openly asserted that to put the testimony of the one against the
other was a gratuitous insult to the dignity of the British subject.
But this was not the full measure of Spain's offending in the eyes of
the Company's champions. He was audacious enough to ask Colonel
Wakefield to submit proof that those natives who had signed the
Company's deed had the right to sell the land which they thus
purported to convey to the Company; and some of them made themselves
conspicuously offensive in the manner in which they ridiculed this
demand as preposterous and ridiculous.

The proceedings of the court at Wellington[150] do not materially
concern our purpose, for Te Rauparaha took no part in the sale of Port
Nicholson, nor need we burden the narrative with the interminable
finesse which took place before the court was able seriously to attack
the work which lay before it in other districts. When this condition
was at length reached, Spain soon saw that he was faced with a most
serious problem. That the Company's purchases were in most instances
bad he had little hesitation in declaring. But there was no blinking
the fact that hundreds of settlers had risked their all on the
assurances of the Company that they could give them a title, and it
would have been cruel indeed to visit the sins of the Company upon the
unfortunate colonists. Spain, therefore, halted between justice to the
Maoris and equity to the settlers, satisfying the requirements of his
office by issuing interim reports, hoping that in the meantime some
workable compromise might be evolved. This was ultimately found in an
arrangement whereby Mr. Clarke and Colonel Wakefield were to agree
upon what additional compensation was to be paid for the land
purchased, and, failing their arriving at an understanding, Mr. Spain
was to be the final arbitrator. At the outset of these negotiations,
Mr. Clarke stipulated that the natives were not to be evicted from
their _pas_ or their cultivations, nor were their burial-places
to be disturbed; but to these reasonable reservations Colonel
Wakefield could not at first be induced to frankly agree, while his
unwillingness, or his inability, to comply with the ultimate awards
tended to accentuate rather than to soothe public irritation.

Meanwhile, Rangihaeata had been busy entering his practical protest
against what he believed to be a violation of his rights at Porirua.
He, in conjunction with Te Rauparaha and Te Hiko,[151] stoutly
contended that Porirua, like the Wairau, had never been sold; and
when, in the early part of 1841, the Company's surveyors went there to
survey, Rangihaeata blocked up the forest track, levelled the
surveyors' tents to the ground, and, at the end of each day, undid all
the work which they had performed. This interference with the survey
was obviated by an assurance being given to the chief, that, even if
the land were surveyed, the Company's title must still be investigated
by Mr. Spain before the settlers would be permitted to enter upon it.
But, in defiance of this assurance, Colonel Wakefield, in April, 1842,
issued leases to four settlers--Joseph Hurley, Thomas Parry, Benjamin
Lowndes and Josiah Torr--who at once proceeded to erect houses and
occupy their holdings. Two of the houses were nearly finished when the
intelligence was brought to the chief. Rangihaeata immediately gave
the settlers notice of his intention to pull their houses down; and
this threat, so chivalrously declared, was duly executed next day,
without any unnecessary violence, by the chief and a band of fifty
men. The indignation which followed this assertion of native authority
found expression in a public meeting at Wellington, at which the
arrest of Rangihaeata was violently demanded, and those present
declared their readiness to assist the Sheriff in effecting his
capture. With the mandate of this meeting Mr. Murphy, the magistrate,
refused to comply,[152] and when, in the following June, the huts were
again demolished, he wrote to the Governor declaring his determination
not to interfere "to prevent any natives keeping land which they state
they have not sold, until Mr. Spain decides upon the claims." This
determination to regard the Porirua land claims as _sub judice_
met with the entire concurrence of Captain Hobson, but was as bitterly
assailed by Colonel Wakefield, who committed the indiscretion, almost
criminal under the circumstances, of declaring, when speaking at
Wellington, that he had not treated with the natives for a settlement
of their claims, but preferred to employ the inconvenience created by
these claims as grounds of complaint against the Government, and as
arguments in aid of his efforts to secure the removal of the Governor.
With such a feeling of declared insincerity pervading Colonel
Wakefield's conduct, it is small wonder that the differences between
the natives and the Company were slow of settlement, or that the
efforts of Spain and Clarke to that end were unduly protracted.
Equally true is it that thereby the cares and worries of the Governor
were unnecessarily aggravated, while both brown and white populations
were exasperated almost to the point of desperation by the vexatious
delays. The irritated state of the public temper thus engendered not
only made acts of violence possible, but even encouraged them, and
these only added fuel to the threatened conflagration. A native woman
was found by her friends murdered at Wellington, and suspicion fell
upon a European. Only a few months later a settler was discovered
lying upon the Petone road with his skull fractured, and questioning
eyes were at once turned in the direction of the Maoris. The
burial-grounds of the natives were being repeatedly desecrated by
_pakeha_ looters in search of greenstone ornaments, and in the
prosecution of this shameful traffic, deep offence was given by the
secret exhumation of the body of Te Rauparaha's brother, Nohorua, at
Cloudy Bay. For this act of violence to the honoured dead the natives
would at one time have taken swift vengeance; but, acting under the
restraining counsel of Mr. Clarke, they consented to refer their
complaint to the Government for settlement, a forbearance which the
Protector, in his letter to Captain Hobson, assured the Governor
greatly surprised him.[153] The weight of these and other accumulating
troubles began to tell heavily upon the frail physique of Captain
Hobson, and borne down by the stress of his increasing responsibilities,
he died at Auckland in September, 1842. Before his successor, Captain
Fitzroy, arrived in the Colony, the tragedy for which the country was
being rapidly prepared had been enacted, and the faithlessness of the
New Zealand Company had been written in letters of blood on the floor
of the Wairau Valley.

[127] "Amongst these, there was a great chief named Tu-Hawaiki in
Maori, 'Bloody Jack' by the Englishmen, because in his English, which
he learned mostly from the rough whalers and traders, he often used
the low word 'bloody'" (_Memoirs of the Rev. J.F.H. Wohlers_). Tu
Hawaiki was both the patron and the pupil of the whalers, and was
referred to by them as an evidence of what they had done in civilising
the aborigines. "He was undoubtedly the most intelligent native in the
country in 1840, and his reputation for honesty was such that
Europeans trusted him with large quantities of goods" (_Thomson_).

[128] "Just like the Governor."

[129] Travers doubts the occurrence of this incident, holding that had
Te Rauparaha been guilty of such conduct towards his own people, he
could never have retained the respect of his fellow-chiefs. Wakefield,
on the other hand, insists upon it, and it is also referred to in a
Ngati-Toa account of Te Rauparaha's life found in White's _Ancient
History of the Maori_.

[130] A modified version of this incident states that all the crew
were drowned except an old woman, who escaped by clinging to the
overturned canoe. Tu-Hawaiki and his friends waited about the shore
for some days until the bodies were cast up, and then the old woman
was killed, her death being part of the religious rites performed at
the funeral ceremonies. But there are discrepancies in the tradition,
upon which it is now impossible to arbitrate.

[131] This war is known in Maori history as the Hao-whenua war.

[132] Te Heuheu's peace was made at Kapiti. He took a _taiaha_
and broke it across his knee. Some people then gave him a long-handled
tomahawk, and Hoani Tuhata gave a sword, and peace was made (_Native
Land Court Record_).

[133] I am indebted to my friend, Mr. Robert McNab, for the following
note, culled from an American whaling captain's log, which probably
refers to this period, the incident described having occurred at
Cloudy Bay on Saturday, April 30, 1836:--

"At 4 had visit from Roabolla (Rauparaha), the head chief of this Bay
(just returned from a marauding expedition), accompanied with the
customary demand of lay of tobacco, muskets, and cask of powder, which
I peremptorily denied. This they returned with a threat that I should
not whale here, to which I replied I was perfectly willing to go to
sea, for I would not submit to any imposition, although I would
present them with the same the English ships and parties did, but no
more, and if they would not take that they should have nothing. They
finally consented to receive a dozen pipes, 10 lbs. tobacco, and a
piece of low-priced calico of about 30 yards, priced 17s. 4d., and a
tin pot, then dismissed them with a blessing. He afterwards came and
demanded supper, which I, of course, declined furnishing him, and bade
him goodbye. There is no other way to deal with these people only to
be positive with them, and let them know you do not fear them, as if
any timidity is shown, they demand everything they see, nor would the
ship hold enough for them, and the bad conduct of masters has
encouraged them to be very importunate. I am willing to allow a lone
ship here, not well armed, might be obliged to comply with their
requisition, but no excuse can be offered for any one to do so now, as
there are seven ships here all partially armed, and yet he showed me
three muskets given him by the captains of ships the other side, to
their shame be it spoken, for if they only reflected they would know
'tis for the interest of these natives to keep on good terms with us,
as they know if ships are hindered coming here, adieu to their darling
tobacco, muskets, and pipes. I have adopted this line of conduct from
my own conviction, and the advice of the English masters now here who
know them well."

[134] This fight is known in Ngai-Tahu tradition as _Oroua-moa-nui_.
The Rev. Canon Stack says that Paora Taki, afterwards a well-known
Maori Assessor at Rapaki, who was fighting under Tu-Hawaiki,
recognised Rauparaha, and might have killed him as he brushed past him
on his way to the water, if he had only possessed a better weapon than
a sharpened stake with which to assault him.

[135] Dieffenbach says: "Ten or twelve years ago (1827-29) the
southern headland of Tory Channel was the scene of a sanguinary
contest between the original natives of the channel and the tribes of
the Ngati-Awa. Rauparaha, at the head of the latter people, earned
inglorious laurels by shutting up his opponents on a narrow tongue of
land and then exterminating them."

[136] "Te Koihua settled near Pakawau, in Massacre Bay, where I
frequently saw the old man prior to his death. Strange to say, his
love for greenstone was so great that even after he and his wife had
reached a very advanced age, they travelled down the west coast in
1858, then a very arduous task, and brought back a large rough slab of
that substance, which they proceeded diligently to reduce to the form
of a _mere_" (_Travers_).

[137] "Every tribe throughout Maoridom prized greenstone above
everything else, and strove to acquire it. The locality in which it
was found was known by report to all, and the popular imagination
pictured untold wealth to be awaiting the adventurous explorer of that
region" (_Stack_).

[138] When Mr. Edward Shortland was travelling in the Middle Island in
1843-44, an account of which he has left us in his _Southern Districts
of New Zealand_, he had for guide and assistant a native named
Huruhuru, who employed the leisure of his evenings in giving Mr.
Shortland information about the interior of the country, with which he
was well acquainted. He drew a map of the four great lakes in central
Otago, described the country through which the path across the island
passed, and was able to name the principal streams, and even to point
out the various stopping-places at the end of each day's journey.

[139] In confirmation of at least one purpose of the expedition--that
of securing slaves--it is interesting to note that, with the exception
of two children who were killed and eaten at Lake Wanaka, none of the
prisoners were sacrificed, although the temptation to do so must have
been difficult to resist, as the party often suffered severely from

[140] "For three miles we followed this stream, flowing in a
north-north-east direction, through a comparatively open valley, with
occasional patches of grass on its sides, and arrived then at its
junction with a large stream of glacial origin, and of the size of the
Makarora, which came from the eastern central chain, and to which,
according to the direction of His Honour the Superintendent, I gave my
name. This river forms, before it reaches the valley, a magnificent
waterfall, several hundred feet in height" (_Haast's "Geology of
Canterbury and Westland"_).

[141] The exception above referred to was Nga-whakawa, Te Puoho's
brother-in-law, who escaped in the dim light of the early morning. Mr.
Percy Smith, writing in the _Polynesian Journal_, says: "His was
a most unenviable position. A distance of nearly five hundred miles in
a straight line separated him from his own people, the intermediate
country being occupied by tribes bitterly hostile to his, who would
welcome with joy the opportunity of sacrificing him. But notwithstanding
the exceeding difficulties which lay in his path, this brave fellow
decided to try to rejoin his relatives at Massacre Bay, at the extreme
north end of the South Island. How long his arduous journey took I
know not, but it must have been months. He dare not keep near the east
coast, which was inhabited by his enemies, but had to follow the base
of the mountains inland, seeking his sustenance in roots of the fern,
which is very scarce, and of the _taramea_, occasionally snaring
a _weka_ or other bird. So he made his toilsome way by mountain
and valley, swimming the snow-cold rivers, ever on the alert for signs
of wandering parties of his enemies, only lighting fires after dark by
the arduous process of _hika-ahi_, or rubbing two sticks together,
enduring cold, fatigue, and hunger, until, after making one of the
most extraordinary journeys on record, he at last reached the home of
his people at Parapara, Massacre Bay. Here he was the first to bring
the news of the disaster which had befallen Te Puoho and his
companions. The daughter of this man, born after his return, named Ema
Nga-whakawa, was still living at Manawatu a few years since."

[142] This food was composed of pumpkins, probably the first grown on
the coast.

[143] The late Rangitane chief at Awapuni, Kerei te Panau.

[144] Kuititanga means the wedge-shaped piece of land which is
formed by the junction of two rivers.

[145] This celebrated cannon is now at the town of Blenheim. Its
history has been stated as follows, by the late John Guard, of Port
Underwood. In 1833, his father, the original "Jack Guard" of the
_Harriet_, brought this gun from Sydney and traded it away to
Nohorua, a brother of Rauparaha, for the right to establish a whaling
station at Kakapo Bay. This bargain was greatly facilitated by a
demonstration which Guard gave by loading the gun and firing it off,
for its power vastly pleased the natives, who christened it
_Pu-huri-whenua_, "the gun that causes the earth to tremble." In
1834, Captain Blenkinsopp came upon the scene, and is said to have
carried the gun away from Kakapo Bay "without leave or licence," and
bartered it to Rauparaha for the Wairau Plain and Ocean Bay.
Subsequently, it was brought back to Port Underwood by Rauparaha, and
again given to Guard's father. After his death, it was taken
possession of by the province of Marlborough as an historic relic,
during the superintendency of Mr. Eyes.

[146] "Previous to sailing, Colonel Wakefield purchased from a lady,
representing herself to be the widow of Captain Blenkinsopp, some
deeds professing to be the original conveyances of the plains of the
Wairau by Rauparaha, Rangihaeata, and others to that gentleman, in
consideration of a ship's gun. They were signed with elaborate
drawings of the _moko_ or tattoo on the chiefs' faces" (_Wakefield_).

[147] According to Lord Lytton, Edward Gibbon Wakefield was "the man
in these latter days beyond comparison of the most genius and widest
influence in the great science of colonisation, both as a thinker, a
writer, and a worker, whose name is like a spell to all interested in
that subject."

[148] Mr. Somes, one of the champions of the New Zealand Company in
London, thus expressed the views of the Directorate upon the treaty:
"We did not believe that even the Royal power of making treaties could
establish in the eye of our courts such a fiction as a native law of
real property in New Zealand. We have always had very serious doubts
whether the Treaty of Waitangi, made with naked savages by a Consul
invested with no plenipotentiary powers, could be treated by lawyers
as anything but a praiseworthy device for amusing and pacifying
savages for the moment." To this Lord Stanley replied through his
secretary that he was "not prepared, as Her Majesty's Secretary of
State, to join with the Company in setting aside the Treaty of
Waitangi after having obtained the advantage guaranteed by it, even
though it might be made with 'naked savages,' or though it might be
treated by lawyers as a praiseworthy device for amusing and pacifying
savages for the moment. Lord Stanley entertains a different view of
the respect due to obligations contracted by the Crown of England, and
his final answer to the demands of the Company must be that, as long
as he has the honour of serving the Crown, he will not admit that any
person, or any Government, acting in the name of Her Majesty, can
contract a legal, moral, or honorary obligation to despoil others of
their lawful and equitable rights."

[149] "Long before the arrival of the white man in New Zealand there
was a proverb amongst the Maoris--'_He wahine he whenua, e ngaro ai
te tangata_,' which may be rendered in English 'For land or wife man
stakes his life'" (_Clarke_).

[150] When the court opened at Wellington on 16th May, one of the
first witnesses called was Dicky Barrett, who had acted as interpreter
to Colonel Wakefield when making his purchases, and Mr. George Clarke,
who appeared as the representative of the natives, has left us the
following sketch of Dicky's appearance in the box: "Barrett was a
shore whaler who had married a native woman; he was a decent fellow
enough among men of his class, but he was very ignorant, and I soon
made him show, in the course of his evidence, that he did not even
understand the English meaning of the deeds he professed to interpret.
He admitted, too, that instead of telling the natives, as the deed set
forth, that one-tenth of the surveyed lots should be reserved for
their use, he had simply put it that one lot of the alienated land
should be kept for the Maoris and one for the _pakehas_, and so on
through the whole--that is, one half the land should be kept for their
use. He admitted, further, that he had taken no account of many
natives who were unwilling to sell. It soon became clear that Barrett's
qualification to interpret was that he spoke whaler Maori, a jargon
that bears much the same relation to the real language as the pigeon
English of the Chinese does to our mother tongue."

[151] "Te Hiko, whose signature Colonel Wakefield had boasted of
obtaining in 1839, being examined before the Governor, the Chief
Justice, Colonel Wakefield, the Rev. O. Hadfield, and others, denied
that he had signed any deed of sale of Porirua. E. J. Wakefield
asserted the contrary. The ignorant Barrett ... admitted that Hiko's
signature was 'not obtained willingly,' and Clarke, the Protector,
skilled in the language, declared that the document signed was
calculated to mislead the natives. Hiko was constant in his denial of
Wakefield's statements, and Hobson's mind was 'left with the
impression that he had not sold' the land" (_Rusden_).

[152] Subsequently, a similar application was made to Chief Justice
Martin, when he arrived in Wellington in October, 1842, but he also
declined to issue a warrant for the arrest of Rangihaeata, partly
because the application was _ex parte_, and argument was
requisite before judgment could be given on so grave a matter, and
partly on technical grounds connected with the Police Magistrates

[153] Mr. Spain, writing to Captain Hobson in 1842, remarked that the
natives at Wellington had, upon many occasions, shown the greatest
forbearance when deprived of their cultivations, and he very much
doubted whether their white brethren would have followed their example
if placed in similar circumstances.



Amongst the many unsatisfactory negotiations for the purchase of land
entered into between Colonel Wakefield and Te Rauparaha, few seem to
have been so ill-defined as that relating to the Wairau Plain. Whether
Wakefield really believed that he had bought it, or whether Rauparaha
was equally confident that he had not sold it, will never be known.
Certainly it is difficult to understand how such a wide difference of
impression could have arisen between them, had they both been sincere
in the transaction. It is true the Colonel might have considered that
the plain was included in the purchases made in 1839, when he
bargained for four hundred miles of country, extending from the 38th
to the 43rd degree of latitude on the west coast, and from the 41st to
the 43rd degree on the east coast. But he knew that the plain had
never been specifically named, and in his heart he must have felt that
no valid title could rest upon a purchase made as this one was, its
full purport not being clearly explained by Dicky Barrett, who acted
as interpreter, and the signatures of three chiefs only being obtained
to the deed, when thirty thousand natives had, by native law, a voice
in its disposal. That Colonel Wakefield did have some reservation,
later on, about his right to the land is almost certain, for, after
the settlement of Nelson had been in progress about a year, he
strongly opposed the suggestion of his brother, Captain Wakefield, to
include the Wairau in the district to be surveyed, partly because he
considered that its occupation might militate against the success of
the Wellington colony, but chiefly because he anticipated that the
Company's title would be disputed by other claimants and by the
natives. It would therefore seem that Captain Wakefield, the resident
agent of the Company, was the more to blame for the improper
occupation of the valley and for all the subsequent trouble, which he
expiated with his life. He was as conversant as the Colonel with the
whole circumstances of the case, perhaps more so; and, had it not been
that he had no alternative between opening up the Wairau and
acknowledging the ignominious failure of the Nelson settlement, he
would hardly, in the face of so many warnings, have persisted in his
high-handed and injudicious course.

The story of the Nelson settlement repeats the tale of undue haste,
imperfect preparations, a disposition to make florid promises and hold
out inflated inducements, that characterised all the New Zealand
Company's attempts at colonisation. One of the essential features of
this settlement was that each settler should receive 150 acres of
rural land, 50 acres of suburban land, and one town acre. But after
the most thorough exploration of the region round Blind and Massacre
Bays, it was found that, although a great deal of inferior country had
been included in the sections laid off by the surveyors, there was
still an enormous deficiency in the area required to provide for all
the settlers who had either paid for their land in advance or were
waiting to settle on it. Misled by the reports of some of his
officers, Captain Wakefield had caused it to be broadly published that
there was more than sufficient land at Port Whakatu to meet the
requirements of the settlement, and it was while looking round for
some tangible fact to justify his assertion that he bethought him of
the Wairau.

During his many excursions in search of rural land, Mr. Tuckett, the
Company's chief surveyor, had discovered a route via Top House, by
which the Wairau might be reached after a journey of 110 miles. This
fact was reported to Captain Wakefield, who ordered that a complete
examination of the district should be made by Mr. Tuckett. He,
accompanied by his assistant, Mr. Davidson, and Captain England, a
landowner in the settlement, made an extensive exploration, and
subsequently conveyed the discomfiting intelligence to the resident
agent that the Wairau Plain was the only available surface between
Cape Farewell and Cape Campbell sufficient to afford the number of
sections required to complete the settlement. The survey of the plain
was then decided upon, but intelligence had reached Kapiti that the
_pakehas_ had been down to the Wairau and that they intended to
take possession of it. Immediately upon the receipt of this news,
Rauparaha, accompanied by Hiko and Rangihaeata, crossed over to Nelson
and sought an interview with Captain Wakefield. In plain and
straightforward terms the natives told the Europeans, who had gathered
in Dr. Wilson's residence to hear the _korero_, that they had not
sold the Wairau to the principal agent of the Company, and that they
had no intention of doing so, unless (to use Rauparaha's own
expressive phrase) "the cask of gold was very great." They therefore
warned them not to go there, as they had no right to the land.

Captain Wakefield's answer was that he intended to proceed with the
survey, as he claimed the land in the name of the Company. Rangihaeata
vehemently denied the sale, and backed up his protestations by a
threat that if Captain Wakefield attempted to carry out his intentions
he would meet him and take his head. The agent was in no way disturbed
or shaken by the hostile attitude of the chiefs; and to Rangihaeata's
boisterous manner he calmly replied that, if any interference was
offered, he would come with three hundred constables and arrest the
belligerent natives. This unconciliatory attitude did not in the least
assist to clear the atmosphere, for Rangihaeata went about the
settlement during the next few days openly threatening with death
every one who, he conceived, had any authority amongst the colonists,
if they ventured to annex the Wairau, unless they could first succeed
in killing him, in which event, he said, the land would remain as the
lawful possession of the conqueror. Rauparaha, on the other hand,
assumed the air of the diplomat, and professed not to sympathise with
the policy of his lieutenant, whom he described as a "bad man." At the
same time, in his fawning fashion, he entreated the Europeans not to
go to the Wairau, and begged that the dispute might be referred to Mr.
Spain, the Government Land Commissioner, who had been appointed to
investigate the claims of the Company. But Captain Wakefield
repudiated the jurisdiction of Mr. Spain in the matter, and refused to
comply with the request. The chiefs, finding that neither threats nor
persuasion could shake Captain Wakefield in his determination to take
possession of the Wairau, indignantly left the settlement, Rauparaha
expressing his intention to lay the whole circumstances of the case
before the Queen's Commissioner and demand an immediate settlement of
the claim.

Scarcely had the angry Ngati-Toas left Nelson than the three chiefs
who were resident at the Wairau arrived. These natives were sons of
Rauparaha's elder brother, Nohorua, the oldest of whom, Rawiri Puaha,
had previously informed Mr. Tuckett, when that gentleman visited his
_pa_, that the plain was theirs and that Rauparaha had no power
to sell it. They were gratified at the idea that the Europeans looked
upon it with a favourable eye, but, at the same time, they were in no
haste to enter into any negotiations for its sale until they had
considerably extended their cultivations, in order that they might
fairly claim a larger compensation. Doubtless one of their reasons for
desiring closer intercourse with the _pakehas_ was that, in
addition to their clearings, they had a large number of pigs running
on the plain, which they used as a marketable commodity with the
settlers at Port Underwood. But as fast as they cleared and cultivated
the land and reared their pigs, Rauparaha was in the habit of coming
over and coolly helping himself, with the result that his relations
with the resident people were by this time considerably strained, and
they probably thought that the presence of the settlers would check
these depredations on the part of their high-handed relative. When
they heard that Rauparaha had been to Nelson, they, being utterly
mistrustful of his methods, at once concluded that he had gone there
for the purpose of selling the plain; and it was to counteract this
policy, as far as possible, that they went to see Captain Wakefield.
The latter had always been much more considerate to resident natives
than to those whom, like Rauparaha and Rangihaeata, he described as
"travelling bullies."[154] He was therefore most anxious to make a
valid and binding bargain with Puaha, to whom he offered a small
schooner, and any reasonable quantity of goods, if he would
acknowledge that the Wairau had been purchased by his brother, the
Colonel. This Puaha refused to do, and therefore, at a subsequent
interview, the resident agent adopted another line of argument,
contending that the Company had already a legal title to the district
by virtue of its being included in the latitude and longitude
purchases made in 1839, and by right of a deed bought from Captain
Blenkinsopp's widow for £300. Puaha denied the validity of both
titles, pointing out that "the Wairau" had evidently been written into
the first deed after signature; and that, in the second case, if
Rauparaha had sold any portion of the land to Blenkinsopp, he had no
right to do so without his (Puaha's) consent, which had never been
asked and never given. For three days the conference was continued by
the agent and the chief, without either being able to convince the
other; but, at last, Puaha withdrew, still protesting in manly and
dignified language against the views of the agent as to his title to
the land.

After these animated interviews, it might have been supposed that
Captain Wakefield would, in his calmer moments, have seriously
reviewed the position, and that against the vague and shadowy rights
of the Company, as expressed in the two deeds in his possession, he
would have set the fact that the authenticity of these sales was being
stoutly contested by the resident and non-resident natives interested.
He might have been expected also to recognise that the whole question,
having been placed in the hands of Mr. Spain, was _sub judice_, and as
such should remain in abeyance until the court had pronounced its
judgment. These considerations were, however, altogether outweighed by
the desire to placate the settlers, who were clamouring for their
land, and to prevent the exposure of the Company's inability to fulfil
its engagements. The fear that, if this could not be done, he would be
open to crushing censure from all with whom they had entered into
engagements, and the desire to rescue his own and his brother's
reputation from public anger and ridicule, biased his otherwise
judicial mind against the merits of the opposing case. Accordingly, he
decided to act upon the impulse that moved him most, and on April 15,
1843, he entered into three contracts for the survey of the plain with
Messrs. Barnicoat and Thompson, Mr. Cotterell, and Mr. Parkinson. In
view of the probability of native interference, a special provision
was inserted in the tenders that the contractors were to be
indemnified in case of loss; and, on this understanding, the
surveyors, with forty assistants, arrived a few days later, and
commenced operations--Messrs. Barnicoat and Thompson at the Marshlands
side of the valley, Mr. Cotterell in the neighbourhood of Riverlands,
and Mr. Parkinson still higher up the plain, towards Grovetown.

At first, the resident natives allowed the work to proceed with but
slight resistance. Once or twice they refused to permit timber to be
sawn for pegs and ranging rods; but with the exercise of a little tact
and patience these difficulties were overcome, and the work had
proceeded with so little friction that before Rauparaha arrived Messrs.
Barnicoat and Thompson had practically completed their contract, the
others not being quite so far advanced.

Rauparaha and Rangihaeata were at Mana when the news of these
proceedings reached them, and they at once engaged with their English
friend, Joseph Toms, to convey them and a portion of their party in
his schooner, _Three Brothers_, to Port Underwood, whence they
intended to reach the Wairau in their canoes. On the 1st of June the
schooner and the canoes arrived at the port, and Rauparaha, with one
hundred armed followers, at once proceeded to the house of Mr. Cave,
who for seven or eight years had been employed there as cooper for the
whaling stations, and with whom they were on the best of terms. To him
they declared their intention of burning the surveyors' camps, and for
that purpose they left for the Wairau the same evening, in eight
canoes and a whaleboat. Next morning Rauparaha, with thirty of his
people, appeared at Mr. Cotterell's camp on the Opawa River, and,
after stripping his huts, burned the _toetoe_ grass with which
they were covered, as well as the survey pegs and ranging rods
prepared from manuka sticks. They then assisted the surveyors to carry
their belongings to the boats, and shipped them off to the _pa_
at the mouth of the river. Their next proceeding was to paddle up the
Wairau to Mr. Barnicoat's camp, which was situated on the river-bank
close to the Ferry Bridge, and there they re-enacted their settled
programme. In these proceedings Rauparaha was very firm, yet
conciliatory. There was no exhibition of temper or violence towards
persons or property. He simply gave the surveyors to understand that
he would have none of them or their surveying there, and that the
sooner they returned to Nelson the better he would like it;[155] and,
to this end, he assisted them to remove their instruments and personal
effects to a place of safety before demolishing their _whares_.
In logical fashion, he argued that the _toetoe_, having grown
upon the land, was his, that he was entitled to do what he pleased
with his own, and that so long as he did not interfere with any of the
articles brought from England, he was committing no breach of justice.

The instruments and baggage were placed in the boats and taken down to
the _pa_, where they were safely landed and their owners treated
with every consideration. But, before matters had reached this crisis,
the contractors had despatched a joint letter to Mr. Tuckett, at
Nelson, explaining the gravity of the situation, and asking him to
come down at once and certify to the work already done. On receipt of
this communication Mr. Tuckett, accompanied by Mr. Patchett, at once
set out for the Wairau; and, on his arrival at the bar, on 3rd June,
he was met by Mr. Cotterell, who briefly related all that had
transpired since the arrival of Rauparaha, and the present position of
natives and contractors respectively.

So soon as he had grasped the situation, Mr. Tuckett hastily wrote a
letter in pencil to Captain Wakefield, giving details, and intimating
his intention of remaining on the scene until the Captain should make
his pleasure known to him. This letter he entrusted to Mr. Cotterell,
who at once left with his men in the boats for Nelson. The chief
surveyor then set off up the Opawa River to the site of Mr.
Cotterell's camp, where he pitched a tent and remained all night. In
the morning he proceeded, in company with Mr. Patchett and Mr. Moline
(Mr. Cotterell's assistant), to search for Mr. Parkinson, and, when
they arrived at his hut, they found it in possession of a few natives,
who had in no way interfered with it. The surveyor and his party not
being there, Mr. Tuckett inquired for Rauparaha and Rangihaeata, who
he was informed were in the bush. He thereupon explained that he
intended to go over to the Awatere, that he would be absent about
three days, and that at the end of that time he desired to meet the
chiefs at Mr. Cotterell's camp, where he would converse with them over
the recent events. The natives gladly undertook to convey this message
to Rauparaha, who, with Rangihaeata, a number of their followers, and
Mr. Parkinson's men, were awaiting them at the appointed place of
meeting when the party returned from their explorations beyond the
Vernon Hills. Here the expected conference took place, Rauparaha
calmly but firmly explaining his reasons for interference. He claimed
the Wairau as his own, but since there was a dispute about it, he had,
on his return from Nelson, placed the matter in the hands of Mr.
Spain, who had appointed a day on which to hear the case, Rauparaha on
his part undertaking that in the meantime none of his people should
enter upon the land. The day appointed by Mr. Spain had passed, and
fearing that, if the survey was finished before he adjudicated upon
their claim, they would lose their land, they had determined to stop
the proceedings. Rauparaha expressed himself as being still willing to
abide by Mr. Spain's decision, but the survey must cease and the
Europeans must leave, until such time as that judgment should be
given. Mr. Tuckett vainly endeavoured to point out the hardship this
course would impose upon the contractors and their men, who were
dependent upon their work for their living.  He also explained that he
was expecting instructions from Captain Wakefield, and asked
permission to remain until he heard from his superior.

His request for delay was met by a command to remove his tent to the
boat, and, upon his refusing to obey, Rangihaeata burst into a violent
passion, and, in a torrent of invective, reminded Mr. Tuckett of the
warning he had given him in Nelson, ironically remarking that, if he
was so fond of the Wairau, he (Rangihaeata) would bury him there. This
insulting outburst was treated with studied contempt by the chief
surveyor, who quietly rebuked Rangihaeata for his ungentlemanly
behaviour, telling him that he would not converse with him until he
mended his manners. While this brief altercation was proceeding,
Rauparaha had remained silent, although he was evidently exercising a
restraining influence upon his comrade. But he now advanced, and once
more politely requested Mr. Tuckett to have his tent removed; but
that gentleman still persisted in his right to remain, whereupon
Rauparaha, becoming impatient, ordered some of his own people to carry
out his behest, and in a few minutes the tent was struck and stowed
away in the boat. Mr. Tuckett then deemed it unwise to offer further
objection, and, together with the two chiefs, he agreed to go back to
the _pa_.

It had been Mr. Tuckett's intention to embark for Nelson next morning,
but in the night a south-easterly gale came up and blew for three
days, causing such a surf on the bar that Rauparaha advised him not to
attempt to cross it. During this compulsory stay, the chief was most
profuse in his expressions of goodwill towards the Europeans, and by
his fawning and obsequious manner created a feeling of revulsion in
the minds of the Englishmen. Rangihaeata, on the other hand, left them
severely alone, seeking neither favours nor intercourse of any kind,
and, save on one occasion, his isolation was complete. That exception
arose from the fact that one of the men reported that he had lost a
handkerchief and a billhook, which he had seen in the possession of
Rangihaeata's people. Mr. Tuckett at once approached the chief, and
asked to have the property returned. His reply was that he had some
bad men as well as good ones amongst his followers, with the sarcastic
addition that perhaps Mr. Tuckett was in the same position; but that,
as he had come to the Wairau to defend his own and not to thieve, if
the surveyor could identify the man, he would have his property back;
failing that, he could have _utu_ instead. The billhook was soon
found, and here the incident ended; but the impression it made upon
Mr. Tuckett was that, if Rangihaeata was more violent than Rauparaha,
he was up to this point certainly the more noble of the two.

As soon as the weather cleared, the chief surveyor prepared to take
his departure, but, as the boat would not carry both passengers and
baggage, it was finally decided that Messrs. Barnicoat and Parkinson
should remain, while Messrs. Tuckett, Patchett, and Moline proceeded to
Nelson, although the chiefs raised no objection to the whole party
remaining until additional boats could be brought, or until they could
be conveyed to one of the whaling stations at Port Underwood. By noon
on the following day Mr. Tuckett and his companions had got well into
Blind Bay, when they observed the Government brig _Victoria_ under
full sail. A gun was fired from the ship as a signal to board her. On
doing so, they learned that the vessel had just left Nelson, and was
proceeding to the Wairau with the police magistrate (Mr. Thompson),
Captain Wakefield (the Company's agent), Captain England, J.P., Mr.
Cotterell, and some of the would-be proprietors of the proposed
settlement, as well as the chief constable, Mr. Maling, and
twenty-four labouring men who had been sworn-in as special constables.
The agent informed the chief surveyor that, after Mr. Cotterell had
arrived at Nelson and made his report, it had been decided to proceed
as soon as possible to the scene of operations, and arrest the chiefs
on a charge of arson, a warrant having been granted by Messrs.
Thompson, P.M., Captain Wakefield, Captain England, and A. McDonald,
Esq., Justices of the Peace. Mr. Tuckett was naturally surprised and
deeply grieved at this intelligence, and, in deprecation of the rash
and impolitic step he informed Captain Wakefield of Rauparaha's
interview with Mr. Spain, and of the chief's willingness to abide by
the decision of the court. He further pointed out the great care
observed by the natives not to interfere with any of the surveyors'
property, or to injure the persons of any of their employees. He
proceeded to argue that the men on board would not number one-half the
strength of the natives then at the Wairau; and contrasted this
numerical weakness with the threat made by the Captain at Nelson,
that, if Rangihaeata interfered with the survey, he would come with
three hundred constables to arrest him. His impression, therefore, was
that the smallness of the party would inspire confidence in the minds
of the natives rather than dread, and he strongly urged that, however
satisfied the agent might feel about the result, prudence demanded
that they should appear on the plain with such a force as would
completely overawe the Maoris, and to which there would be no
humiliation in surrendering. In support of his views, he handed to
Captain Wakefield a letter which he had received from the Rev. Mr.
Ironside on the day that he had met Mr. Cotterell at the bar, in which
the missionary, ripe in experience of Maori feeling, and knowing how
tenaciously they clung to their rights in landed property, ventured
the opinion that, unless this dispute was most diplomatically handled,
the result might be extremely serious.

Mr. Ironside, taking the missionary view of the Company's scheme of
colonisation, expressed great anxiety lest a collision might arise out
of the subject of the claims to land, which would eventually terminate
in the extinction of the native tribes, as had been the case in other
countries settled by Europeans. He urged upon Mr. Tuckett not to be
precipitate in endeavouring to include the Wairau in the Nelson
survey, informing him that the resident natives and Rauparaha were at
issue about the land, to such an extent that the former, if left to
themselves, would probably withdraw from the Wairau, and treat with
the Nelson agent for the sale of it.

Captain Wakefield expressed himself deeply thankful for the counsel
contained in Mr. Ironside's letter, and also for the advice tendered
by Mr. Tuckett, with whose whole conduct he entirely acquiesced. So
impressed was he with the force of the chief surveyor's arguments that
he at once went into the cabin where Mr. Thompson was, and requested
him to read Mr. Ironside's letter, stating that from it and other
considerations urged by Mr. Tuckett he had come to the conclusion that
it would be wiser to return to Nelson. Mr. Thompson was totally averse
to turning back. He begrudged missing the opportunity of giving the
natives what he called "a prestige for the law," and of showing the
Government the correct way to deal with such troublesome fellows. At
the same time he expressed the opinion that, if the authorities at
Wellington had dealt with these chiefs as he had dealt with Ekawa at
Massacre Bay, they would long ago have ceased to give annoyance. He
also stated that, if they returned at that stage, they would simply be
laughed at by the settlers, and he was not going to put himself in
that undignified position. In his determination to go on Mr. Thompson
was seconded by the Crown Prosecutor (Mr. Richardson), who begged that
the expedition might not be given up, as he considered it was "only a
lark"; and, in deference to the aggressive mood of the magistrate and
the jocular anticipations of the lawyer, Captain Wakefield surrendered
his better judgment. Mr. Tuckett, still apprehensive that disastrous
consequences would follow if these unwise counsels prevailed,
earnestly remonstrated with Mr. Thompson, taking up the attitude that
he was exceeding his rights in proceeding to execute his warrant with
an armed force. The magistrate admitted the correctness of Mr.
Tuckett's premises, but hotly resented the assumption that he intended
to use the force at all. He explained that he was not sure that he
would land the men. Certainly he would not give out the arms or take
the force into the presence of the natives until he had first
exhausted every plausible means of getting the chiefs to submit
themselves to trial on board the brig. Should they refuse to do so,
which he did not expect, then he would investigate the charge on the
spot, and afterwards decide whether he should call in the aid of the
armed party or not. Had this plan of operations been strictly
observed, much that afterwards happened might have been averted; but
in no single particular did the magistrate follow his promised line of
action, for as soon as the vessel arrived at Cloudy Bay, the men were
supplied with fire-arms and landed at the mouth of the Wairau River.

On seeing the Government brig enter the bay, the Maoris had abandoned
the old _pa_ at the bar and retired further up the plain. Next
morning the magistrate's band of special constables was ordered to get
ready and go in pursuit. Perceiving that his worst fears were likely
to be realised, and that the magistrate would not go without the armed
force, Mr. Tuckett made a final appeal to Captain Wakefield, and
offered to go himself and see Rauparaha, in company with the chief
constable and the interpreter, if only the men bearing arms were
allowed to remain where they were. To this suggestion the Captain
readily agreed, and at once put the proposal before Mr. Thompson, who
also consented, and ordered the chief constable to prepare himself for
the journey; but when Mr. Maling announced himself ready to go, he
presented such an armour-plated appearance that the chief surveyor
absolutely refused to be seen in his company. He wore a cutlass at his
side, a brace of pistols and a pair of handcuffs in his belt, while in
his hand he carried a pair of heavy leg-irons. How he proposed to get
Rauparaha down to the bar when he was both handcuffed and hobbled is
not very clear, nor did he have time to explain. Mr. Tuckett at once
drew attention to his accoutrements, and pointed out that the
leg-irons would have an especially exasperating effect upon the
natives; while, if he insisted upon carrying pistols, it would at
least be judicious to conceal them, and so avoid the appearance of
intimidation. The magistrate at once ordered that the irons should be
discarded, but also intimated that he had changed his mind as to the
mode of procedure, and that he had now determined that the whole force
should participate in the arrest, a decision from which no amount of
persuasion could induce him to deviate.

At the outset an attempt was made to ascend the river in boats, but as
the tide was on the ebb and the wind unfavourable, the travelling was
both slow and laborious, and before they had proceeded very far, the
boats were abandoned, and the party, except Mr. Cotterell and his men,
who remained in a whaleboat, commenced the march along a survey track
which ran parallel with the river. By this time the ardour of the men
had considerably cooled; the bitter cold night experienced at the bar
had helped to extinguish their enthusiasm, and now the keen morning
wind and bad walking through the long wet grass completely dissipated
all idea that the affair was to be regarded in the light of a pleasure
trip. During the course of the journey, which was both a slow and
irritating one, Captain Wakefield expressed the opinion that the
natives were more inclined for trade than for war, and that the
prospect of their attempting to fight in the event of a forcible
arrest being made was very small. In reply to this, Mr. Tuckett still
adhered to his former opinion that the Maoris would most certainly
offer resistance if the armed force was taken into their presence.
While this discussion was going on, the party reached the bend in the
river at the back of Grovetown, where they met a number of resident
natives, who, in consequence of their differences with Rauparaha, were
quitting the Wairau and returning to Port Underwood. Amongst them were
Puaha, a lad named Rore (who afterwards became the honoured and
respected chief of the Wairau natives), his father, and a few other
Maoris cutting timber in the bush. Of these they inquired the
whereabouts of Rauparaha, and were informed that he was a few miles
further up the valley, at the Tua Marina stream. Night coming on, they
decided to camp in the Tua Mautine wood, but took the precaution to
send Puaha forward to acquaint Rauparaha with the nature of their
visit; and he was followed by the remainder of the natives at a later
hour. Mr. Thompson was careful to explain to Puaha that he had not
come to interfere with him; but it was noticed that his countenance
bore a most anxious and concerned expression, and in the brief
interview which he had with the magistrate, he not only advised, but
earnestly entreated him not to precipitate a quarrel by taking the
armed men into the presence of Rauparaha and his followers. If he did
so, it would be impossible to convince them that he had not come for
the purpose of shedding blood. The pained look that fell upon the face
of Puaha when he realised the magistrate's intentions made a deep
impression upon Captain Wakefield, and he several times made reference
to it. Even when waking from his sleep in the night, he spoke of the
fact as though he had a gloomy presentiment that all would not be well
on the morrow. Mr. Thompson did not appear to be troubled with any
such forebodings; his concern was that he would not have the
opportunity of arresting the chiefs, who would probably make good
their escape as soon as Puaha conveyed his message to them. He
endeavoured to make light of the agent's fears by explaining that
Puaha's troubled looks were due to the conflict between the dictates
of his barbarous nature and the influence of his Christian teaching,
which, under the circumstances, would naturally burn within him--a
course of reasoning that Captain Wakefield seemed to cheerfully

At dawn next morning,[156] the camp of Te Rauparaha was easily located
by the smoke rising through the forest trees at the mouth of the
Waitohi Valley, about four miles away. The magistrate then mustered
his constables, and served out to each man eighteen rounds of ball
cartridge. All told, they numbered forty men, bearing muskets,
bayonets, and cutlasses, besides ten or twelve gentlemen who were
without arms, the chief surveyor and Mr. Cotterell being members of
the Society of Friends, and refusing, in accordance with their
religious principles, to carry them. After a short march across the
plain through the fern and _toetoe_, they arrived at the foot of
the Tua Marina hills, and there they halted, having, during the course
of the journey, been cautioned not to fire unless ordered to do so.

The constitution of the arresting party was not calculated to ensure
success in the event of resistance on the part of the Maoris. They
were untrained and without discipline. Some of them were even
unwilling participants in the expedition, for they had been coerced
into coming by the threat that they would lose their employment in the
service of the Company if they refused to assist in the arrest of the
chiefs. Their arms were old-fashioned and not in the best of repair;
there was a total lack of organisation, and apparently no common
understanding as to who was in authority. Under these circumstances,
the result could scarcely have been different, regard being had to the
character of the men with whom they had to deal.

Anyone sitting on the hill-side even now can, without the aid of a
vivid imagination, picture the animated scene which unfolded itself on
that bright June morning. What are now grass paddocks were flats, more
or less covered with native scrub. Of what was then dense bush only a
few detached fragments now remain, but otherwise the physical features
of the landscape are but little changed. The Maoris, when they first
observed the Europeans, were squatting around their camp-fires on the
western side of the Tua Marina stream. They immediately hailed them
and inquired if they intended to fight. Mr. Thompson answered in the
negative, and, after explaining the purpose for which he had come,
asked the natives to place a canoe across the stream that he might
come over and talk the more freely to them. Rauparaha consented to
this course, but stipulated that the armed men should not be allowed
to cross over; and, the magistrate agreeing to this condition, the
special constables were left in charge of Captain England and Mr.
Howard, who had instructions to act if called upon. He himself,
accompanied by Captain Wakefield, Mr. Patchett, Mr. Tuckett, Mr.
Cotterell and Mr. Brooks,[157] the interpreter, crossed over in the
canoe, which was immediately drawn back again alongside the bank by a
native nicknamed Piccawarro (big-fellow), to prevent any surprise from
the force on the other side of the stream. When the magistrate walked
into the presence of the natives, he observed that they numbered about
ninety men and thirty-five women and children; but, as an indication
of their peaceful intentions, they had placed in the midst of their
group three women, the wives of Rauparaha, Rangihaeata, and Puaha,
while the party of resident natives sat on one side, and the immediate
followers of Rauparaha on the other. The noble and dignified Puaha
stood in the centre with a Bible in his hand, reading from it select
passages, and exhorting both parties to peace, while the natives
sitting around chanted the usual welcome, _Haere-mai, Haere-mai_.
Rangihaeata lay concealed behind some bushes, but Rauparaha came
forward frankly when Mr. Thompson inquired for him, saying "Here am
I," and offered to shake hands with the strangers. But this courtesy
was declined by the magistrate, who pushed the chief's hand away, and
it was left to Mr. Tuckett and Mr. Cotterell to perform the politeness
of a friendly greeting.

In reply to Rauparaha's inquiry as to what had brought them there, Mr.
Thompson proceeded to explain to him, through Brooks, the interpreter,
that he was their prisoner. Rauparaha disdainfully replied that it
would be time enough to indulge in such talk when Mr. Spain had made
his inquiry about the land. They then strove to make him understand
that, as this case had nothing to do with the land, but was a charge
of arson, it did not come within the province of Mr. Spain to inquire
into it, but that the charge must be heard on the brig. Rauparaha
declared that he had not destroyed any European property, in proof of
which he appealed to Mr. Cotterell, who admitted the truth of his
assertion, and therefore he would not go on board the brig, but he was
quite willing that the matter should be adjudicated upon there and
then, and, provided the compensation demanded was not excessive, he
would be prepared to pay rather than there should be any ill-feeling
between the two races. Thereupon he was told that, if he would not go
voluntarily he must be taken by force, and a pair of handcuffs were
produced to impress him with the sincerity of this threat. His
chieftain blood was aroused by this insult; he indignantly dared them
to try to imprison his hands in such implements and bind him like a
slave, but begged for longer time to talk the matter over. The
magistrate, who was now rapidly losing his temper, began to stamp and
rave, and scorning the need for further argument, desired the
interpreter to finally ask Rauparaha to say whether he would go on
board the brig or not; and, upon his still firmly refusing to do so,
Mr. Thompson turned to Brooks and exclaimed, with a violent gesture in
the direction of the opposite bank, "Then tell him there are the armed
party; they will fire on them all." A native from the Bay of Islands
who was present amongst Rauparaha's people, and who understood a
smattering of English, told those of Rauparaha's party that an order
to fire had been given, and sixteen of them at once sprang to their
feet, and, presenting their muskets at the magistrate, awaited the
order from their chief to fire. The mistaken impression under which
this hostile display had been made was at once removed by the chief
surveyor and Mr. Patchett, who walked over to them and explained that
only a threat, and not an order, to fire had been given, and on this
assurance they immediately subsided to their seats on the ground.

The altercation between Mr. Thompson and Rauparaha still proceeded.
The former produced his warrant, which he told the chief was the
"book-a-book" of the Queen "to make a tie," and that he was the Queen,
again adding, in high and excited tones, stamping his foot the while,
that if Rauparaha did not consent to surrender himself, he would order
the Europeans to fire on them. This was quickly interpreted to the
armed natives by the stranger from the Bay of Islands, and they
instantly sprang to their feet and pointed their muskets at Mr.
Thompson and his companions, as before. At this point, the peace-making
Puaha[158] stepped forward with his Testament in his hand and said,
"Don't fight, don't fight! This book says it is sinful to fight. The
land has been made good by the preaching of the missionaries. Don't
make it bad again." In this way he strove to reason with Mr. Thompson,
but the latter in his frenzy and rage pushed the native aside, and
angrily called out for Rangihaeata to come forward. That chief, on
hearing his name, came from behind the bushes which concealed him,
and, leaping into the midst of the throng, began to brandish his
hatchet in dangerous proximity to the magistrate's head, meanwhile
upbraiding him in a most violent manner. "What do you want with
Rangihaeata that you 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 tents or anything belonging to you?" Such were the pertinent
inquiries made by the angry chief; and, as it was quite evident from
his flashing eyes and bitter tones that he was in no mood to be
trifled with, Mr. Patchett appealed to the chief surveyor to
interfere, "otherwise," he said, "we shall all be murdered."
Rauparaha, seeing that his companion's manner was not likely to
improve matters, ordered him to retire and leave the settlement of the
matter to Puaha and himself, at the same time leading Rangihaeata's
lame wife, Te Rongo, to him, so that she might be under his
protection. Mr. Tuckett then seized the opportunity of pointing out to
Captain Wakefield that, in the event of Rangihaeata's temper getting
the better of him, they would be completely at the mercy of the
natives, seeing that their retreat had been cut off by the removal of
the canoe. After a brief consultation with Puaha, they agreed that it
would be wiser to restore the means of communication between
themselves and their party on the other side of the stream. Captain
Wakefield, taking the initiative, jumped into the canoe, and with the
aid of a pole shoved the bow down the stream until he found a
convenient landing-place on the other side. While this movement was in
progress, Mr. Thompson[159] had made another attempt to place the
handcuffs upon Rauparaha's wrists. Just at that moment, when the chief
had indignantly wrested his hand from the magistrate's grasp, and was
bitterly protesting against the conduct of the Queen's officers,
Captain Wakefield stepped on to the opposite bank of the creek, and,
noticing a threatening movement towards Mr. Thompson on the part of
the natives, in a loud voice gave the command, "Men, forward;
Englishmen, forward!" The company at once obeyed, and four of the men
who were in the front, Morgan, Clanzey, Ratcliffe and Tyrrell, jumped
into the canoe for the purpose of crossing over to assist Mr.
Thompson. Almost simultaneously the latter turned and entered the
canoe at the other end, with the result that she was nearly capsized.
A momentary confusion ensued, during which one of the Englishmen, in
striving to get in front of his companions on the bank, tripped and
fell, and in the fall his gun was accidentally discharged. That was
the fatal crisis, for it turned what had hitherto been only stirring
drama into fearful tragedy.

The natives had now no doubt that the Europeans had come to fight, and
Te Rauparaha, believing death to be imminent, turned, and, stretching
his arms heavenward, exclaimed, "_Hei kona e te ra, hei kona e te ao
marama--haere mai e te po, haere mai e te mate_" (Farewell, O sun,
farewell, thou world of light; come on, O night, come on, O death).
This was a cry which a chief would only utter in a situation of
deepest stress, and no Maori loyal to his leader would refuse to obey
the call, even though it should cost him his life. The natives
therefore briskly returned the fire, the first volley being fatal to
Tyrrell, who was shot in the throat. Clanzey and Ratcliffe were also
shot by the first discharge of musketry, and their bodies fell into
the water and sank to the bottom. The Englishmen returned volley for
volley, and, in the midst of the general fusilade, Mr. Thompson and
his party passed safely over in the canoe. Mr. Tuckett was the last to
leave the bank on which the natives were, which he did by entering the
stream, and, with one hand on the canoe, pulling himself through the
water. At this stage of the fight the natives might easily have killed
every one of the leading Europeans; for, when the latter started to
cross the stream, the muzzles of the native guns were no more than a
few yards away from them. The fact that they were not shot must have
been due to some chivalrous sentiment on the part of the natives, who,
seeing them unarmed, honourably abstained from attacking them. For
some ten minutes after crossing the creek, Mr. Tuckett stood no more
than twenty yards away, fully exposed to the fire that was being kept
up by the natives and fourteen or fifteen of the European rank and
file. Beside him stood Messrs. Barnicoat, Cotterell, Richardson,
Patchett, and Maling. The two latter were shot almost at the same
moment. Mr. Richardson bent over Mr. Patchett and inquired if he was
hurt, to which he replied, "I am mortally wounded--I am mortally
wounded; you can do no good for me; make your escape."

 [Illustration: _Photo by W. Macey._

The bullets now began to rain down upon them thick and fast. As
several of the labourers had fallen in the vicinity, including
Northam, Smith, and Burton, Mr. Tuckett and his friends retired to the
foot of the ridge, whither the other officers had gone with a portion
of the men to consult as to the best course to pursue. They decided to
retreat up the hill, and called to Mr. Tuckett and the rest of the
party to follow them. This act of mistaken generalship cost them dear,
for up to that time their fire had kept the natives penned up on the
other side of the stream. But the moment they observed the Europeans
falling back, they dashed into the water, and, carrying their guns
above their heads to keep them dry, crossed over and took possession
of the trees which grew on the opposite edge. Secure within this
cover, they opened a galling fire upon the Europeans, who were now
hopelessly exposed upon the face of the fern-clad hill.

Mr. Thompson did his utmost to steady the party by exclaiming, "For
God's sake, men, keep together!" But his appeals were for the most
part disregarded, not more than a third of the men remaining with
their leaders, the rest retreating up the ridge and firing haphazard
as they went. Captain Wakefield's attempts to instil something like
discipline into the men were likewise frustrated by some panic-stricken
individual rushing up and shouting out, "Run for your lives, lads,
run!"--an injunction which they were not slow to obey. In an instant
all semblance of organisation had disappeared. Time after time a few
men were got together, but the majority were always utterly beyond
control. On the last partial rally Captain Wakefield and Warrant
Officer Howard ordered the men to fix bayonets and charge the natives;
but on one of the men (Richard Painter), who had been in the
artillery, pointing out that there was no one visible to charge at,
the idea was abandoned. The natives were still maintaining a steady
fire, and a protest on the part of the artilleryman, who declined to
remain where he was "and be shot down like a crow," led to a further
retreat up the hill-side. On the second brow of the hill they met Mr.
Cotterell, who was sitting down with a double-barrelled gun at his
side. At the commencement of the quarrel he had been unarmed, but he
had now seized this weapon in self-defence. He appeared deeply
distressed at what had occurred, and expressed his intention of
quitting the scene; but he was dissuaded from this course by Captain
Wakefield, who, addressing him in most earnest tones, said, "For God's
sake, Mr. Cotterell, don't attempt to run away; you are sure to be
shot if you do." Mr. Cotterell therefore remained with the party, only
remarking to Painter, one of his own men, "This is bad work, Dick."

Being now out of range of the native fire, a council of war was held
of such of the party as could be got together, and finally it was
decided that Captain England and Mr. Howard should bear a flag of
truce to the natives, and endeavour to settle the dispute by
negotiation. A white handkerchief was accordingly fixed on a stick,
and, with this fluttering in the breeze, the two officers started
towards the wood. As an indication of their sincerity in desiring to
relinquish fighting, Captain Wakefield ordered all those who were with
him to lay their arms on the ground, and the natives, seeming fully to
appreciate the nature of the advances that were being made to them,
ceased firing, and a number of them left their muskets behind the
trees and came out to meet the bearers of the flag. Captain England
and his comrade had almost reached the wood, when some of the
Englishmen who had halted much higher up the hill than Captain
Wakefield, seeing the Maoris emerging from the bush, commenced to fire
upon them, notwithstanding that they had seen the flag of truce, as
well as their companions laying down their arms. Regarding this as a
dastardly act of treachery, the Maoris beat a hasty retreat into the
bush, and reopened a rapid fire upon the Englishmen, whereupon Captain
England and Mr. Howard ran back to the hill, and reached the spot from
which they had started, uninjured by the native bullets.

This attempt at conciliation having failed through the folly of their
own people, the magistrate and Captain Wakefield decided to go further
up the hill and meet those who were in advance of them, to induce
them, if possible, to act in concert with the rest. In this they were
no more successful than before, for no sooner did the one section
begin to advance than the other began to retreat. Seeing that this
must go on indefinitely, Mr. Tuckett endeavoured to persuade Captain
Wakefield that their best hope of reaching the beach and getting back
to the brig was to abandon the ridge which they were climbing, and
strike down into the plain. Although this advice was twice pressed on
Wakefield, he took no notice of it, and Mr. Tuckett thereupon, calling
to Mr. Barnicoat and a labourer named Gay to follow him, descended in
an oblique direction on to the plain below. For a moment Mr. Cotterell
hesitated which course to take, but finally decided to go up the spur
with the rest, and this decision cost him his life. When Captain
Wakefield and his party began their last retreat, most of them left
their muskets lying on the brow of the hill, and were therefore quite
defenceless; but the Maoris kept up a running fire as they gradually
crept up the side of the range. As they approached the summit of the
first knoll, Mr. Cotterell stopped and surrendered himself when the
natives reached him, calling out, "Enough, enough! that will do the
fight," in the hope of assuring them that the Europeans wanted peace.
But he was immediately struck down and his body thrown into a manuka
bush. Captain Wakefield followed his example by surrendering a few
minutes later, as did also Captain England, Messrs. Richardson,
Howard, Brooks, Cropper, McGregor, and the magistrate. A few of the
younger natives were in the van of the pursuit, and these held the
prisoners in hand until the arrival of Rauparaha, whom they had
outstripped. At first gold was offered as ransom, and it seemed as if
the feud would end without more bloodshed, for the chief had accepted
the assurances of Captain Wakefield that the shooting had been a
mistake, and had shaken hands with them all. But Rangihaeata, who had
killed the wounded as he found them lying on the hillside, panting
with haste and anger, rushed up and called out to Rauparaha, "What are
you doing? Your daughter Te Rongo[160] is dead. What are you doing, I

Scorning the acceptance of gold, he then fiercely demanded the lives
of the principal Europeans as the only _utu_ that would compensate him
for the loss of his wife, exclaiming in impassioned tones, "We are
sure to be killed for this some day. The white people will take _utu_;
let us then have some better blood than that of these _tutua_ (common
men). We are chiefs; let us kill the chiefs, and take _utu_ for
ourselves beforehand." To this Rauparaha was at first reluctant to
agree, and his objections were well supported by Puaha and the other
Christian natives; but he felt that, in view of Te Ronga's death, the
demand was a reasonable one, and he at length yielded to the powerful
appeal of his lieutenant, and delivered the unfortunate colonists over
to their fate.

At this juncture Mr. Thompson seemed, for the first time, to be
apprehensive of serious consequences attending his conduct, and he
implored Rauparaha to save their lives. But that chief haughtily
answered, "Did I not warn you how it would be? A little while ago I
wished to talk with you in a friendly manner, and you would not; now
you say 'Save me.' I will not save you." The whole party then retired
a little lower down the hill, and there the massacre commenced.
Captain Wakefield and Mr. Thompson were killed by Te Oru,[161] a son
of Te Ahuta, the first native who fell in the fight, as a retribution
for the death of his father. Brooks, the interpreter, was struck down
by Rangihaeata and despatched by the slaves, which would account for
the mangled condition in which his body was found by the burial party
from Port Underwood. The rest of the slaughter, according to native
accounts, was conducted mainly by Rangihaeata. His method of procedure
was to glide silently behind the victims while they were standing
amongst the crowd of natives and brain them with a single blow of his
tomahawk. The peculiar part of the tragedy was that none of the
Englishmen, except Captain Wakefield, made the slightest resistance,
and even he was checked by Mr. Howard exclaiming, "For God's sake,
sir, do nothing rash!" Perhaps their ignorance of the native language
prevented them from understanding all that was passing around them
until they received the fatal blow. But there was no struggle, no
cries, except from the native women, led by Puaha's wife, who pleaded
with the men to "save some of the _rangatiras_, if only to say they
had saved some." No Englishman who survived actually saw the massacre,
and therefore it is impossible to describe the exact method of its
execution; but the colonists to all appearances met their fate with
the greatest equanimity. George Bampton, who had concealed himself
amongst the fern only a few yards from the spot where the tragedy was
enacted, in giving evidence at Nelson a few days after the event,
deposed that "he heard neither cries nor screaming, but merely the
sound of beating or chopping, which he supposed at the time to be
natives tomahawking the white people."

In accordance with Rauparaha's express orders, none of the dead bodies
were mutilated or stripped, although Captain Wakefield's watch was
taken by Rangihaeata and buried with Te Rongo, while one native
furnished himself with a pair of white gloves and another with a pair
of silver-mounted pistols. After burying their own dead in the Waitohi
Valley, the two chiefs, with their followers, came down to the mouth
of the Wairau River, bringing with them their own canoes and the
whaleboat which had been taken up by Mr. Cotterell and his men. In
these they went first to Robin Hood Bay, and then to Te Awaiti, in
Tory Channel, where they remained a few days, finally crossing the
Strait to Mana and Otaki, there to await developments.

Shortly after the skirmishing began, a Sydney merchant named Ferguson,
who had been a passenger in the brig to Nelson, and had accompanied
her to the Wairau under the impression that he would have a pleasant
outing, had taken one of the wounded men, Gapper, down to the river
where the boats had been left that morning, and, with him and the
boatman who had been stationed in charge, had paddled down the river
to the bar, and reached the brig that afternoon. A number of the men
had also gone down the Waitohi Valley, which was then densely bushed,
and by this means had evaded pursuit until they could return to Nelson
by the overland route. Others, again, who had broken away from the
main body had made for the sea, so that before Mr. Tuckett and his two
companions had proceeded very far they were joined by eight of the
original party, one of whom, John Bumforth, was badly wounded in the
shoulder. Mr. Tuckett first proposed that they should divide into two
parties, the one to proceed to the bar and the other to the vicinity
of Port Underwood, thinking that by this means the chances of some of
them reaching the brig would be increased. But the men stoutly refused
to separate, and the chief surveyor then decided to proceed to the
corner of Cloudy Bay nearest the port, where luckily they found one of
Mr. Dougherty's fully equipped whaleboats riding in the bay a few
chains off. They hailed the boatmen, and explained that they wished to
be taken to the brig, which was anchored some seven or eight miles
away; but owing to the heavy swell that was rolling into the bay at
the time, and the large number of the party, there was the greatest
difficulty in persuading the whalers to comply with the request. Even
after the danger of embarking had been overcome, the headsman had
almost made up his mind not to risk the voyage to the brig, but to
land the party at Port Underwood. But fortune still favoured the
fugitives, for at this moment another boat's crew, who had been
watching their movements, imagining that they had sighted a whale,
came out in pursuit, and the two boats raced for the brig, which was
almost reached before the pursuing crew discovered the true position
of affairs. Up to this point the whalers had not been informed why Mr.
Tuckett and his friends desired to get on board the brig, but they
were now told that a _fracas_ had occurred between the Europeans and
the natives, that the leaders of the party were Rauparaha's prisoners;
and a promise (that was never fulfilled) was extracted from the
boatmen that they would convey the intelligence to the other settlers
at the port, and prepare them to act as they might think best under
the circumstances. The captain of the brig then sent his boats to
search the shore, in the hope that other fugitives might have reached
the beach; but no one was seen, and no unusual circumstance was noted
except the burning of a large fire at the mouth of the river, which
had been lit for some purpose by the natives. The brig then weighed
anchor and sailed for Wellington, the captain, whose inclination was
to enter Port Underwood, adopting this course at the earnest
solicitation of Mr. Tuckett, who believed that, if assistance was
necessary, it could be more easily obtained from the larger centre of

When the news of what had happened spread through the infant
settlement early next morning, the excitement ran wild and high, and
the settlers, believing that at the worst Captain Wakefield and his
friends were only prisoners in the hands of the natives, immediately
organised a band of volunteers to effect their forcible rescue. Their
departure was, however, delayed by a gale, which had the effect of
making most of the volunteers seasick; and, by the time the storm had
abated, wiser counsels prevailed, and it was decided that only a
quorum of magistrates and Dr. Dorset, the surgeon of the settlement,
should proceed to the scene, the impression having gained ground that
intercession was more likely to prevail with the Maoris than the
presence of an armed force. The brig left Wellington for Cloudy Bay
that night, and it was when she arrived at Port Underwood that Colonel
Wakefield and Mr. Tuckett learned for the first time the appalling
nature of the tragedy which had been enacted. They also learned that
the natives, both resident and visiting, had hurriedly left the
Wairau, believing that retaliatory measures would speedily be taken
against them.

Altogether about twenty-seven of the arresting party had managed to
elude the pursuit of Rangihaeata's warriors. After undergoing intense
privations, some wandered back to Nelson, but most of them went to
Port Underwood, a few suffering from wounds, and all from protracted
hunger and exposure. The first to arrive were Morgan and Morrison, who
reached Ocean Bay with their trousers worn to their knees, and they
were shortly followed by others who were in no better plight. Their
wants and wounds were attended to by Mrs. Dougherty, who ministered to
them with the kindest of care, and it was by these few survivors that
the whalers were first apprised of the catastrophe. The Rev. Mr.
Ironside had heard vague rumours about impending trouble between the
chiefs and the Government; but, as he had not seen the arrival of the
brig, he paid no heed to them until the following Sunday, when, in the
midst of a heavy rain-storm, he noticed a Maori swiftly paddling his
canoe up the bay. Knowing that a native would only be out on such a
day under exceptional circumstances, Mr. Ironside sent one of his
mission-boys to inquire. The boy did not return, which only increased
the anxiety, and later on, when a few particulars did reach the
station, they were only sufficient to indicate that a collision had
taken place, without any details. That night the missionary and his
wife retired to rest a prey to harrowing suspense.

Next morning the storm had increased to a perfect hurricane, and as it
was impossible to launch a boat, they could do nothing but wait. By
Tuesday the weather had moderated, and a boat's crew of whalers took
Mr. Ironside down to Ocean Bay, where the two chiefs and their
exultant followers had arrived. From them the whole story was gleaned,
and by them the tragedy was justified; "for," said Te Rangihaeata,
"they killed my wife, Te Rongo, and they did not punish the murderer
of Kuika."[162]

Mr. Ironside at once asked permission to go and bury the dead,
whereupon the fiery Rangihaeata ejaculated, "What do you want to go
for? Better leave them to the wild pigs. But you can go if you like."
Still the gale was too severe to admit of venturing across the twelve
miles of open sea; but so anxious had they all become, that next
morning a start was once more made from Ngakuta, and at the imminent
risk of their lives the brave crew pulled their boat across the stormy
bar into the river. On arriving at Tua Marina, Mr. Ironside and his
party found that all the bodies had been left as Rauparaha had
directed--unmutilated. The watch of Captain Wakefield was gone, one of
the pistols, which he had evidently attempted to fire, had been laid
across his throat in compliance with Maori custom, and a piece of
"damper," in savage derision, had been placed under his head. The body
of Brooks, the interpreter, was found to be in the most mangled
condition, the others apparently only having received the one final
and decisive blow, when they were struck down by the enraged
Rangihaeata. Five bodies were discovered in the bush close to the
creek, and were there interred with the benefits of Christian burial,
while those who were slain on the brow of the hill, thirteen in
number, were buried close by with similar rites. This fatiguing work
had been almost completed by the devoted missionary and his band of
native helpers when Colonel Wakefield, with the party from the brig,
arrived to assist. On an extended search being made by the combined
parties, one more body was found at the point where the road turns
into the Waitohi Valley, and it was buried where it lay. Probably it
was that of Isaac Smith, who had either sought to escape after being
mortally wounded, and had died in the attempt, or had been overtaken
in his flight and killed where he was found. Mr. Patchett was buried
in a single grave on the spot where he fell, and Tyrrell and Northam
were interred together close beside him.

In recognition of the kindly and humane service rendered by Mr.
Ironside during this critical and anxious period, the Nelson settlers
presented him with a testimonial in the shape of a handsome edition of
the Bible, bound in three volumes. The gift was gracefully
acknowledged by the reverend gentleman in a letter to Mr. Domett,
dated from Wellington on February 20, 1845.

Upon the return of the party to Port Underwood, Messrs. Spain and
McDonough (the magistrate at Wellington) set about collecting, with
all possible speed, all available information concerning the disaster
from those of both races who had been present, and who had now arrived
at the settlement. Amongst those whose depositions were taken were two
Maori boys, who had both been wounded, and were being taken care of by
female relatives. Their story was a general corroboration of the Maori
version, and they were both unanimous in declaring that, when the
Europeans were overtaken on the brow of the hill, Puaha, who was one
of the first to reach them, offered them his hand and did all in his
power to obviate further bloodshed by pointing out that he had counted
the slain, and, as both sides had exactly the same number shot, there
was no need for further _utu_. In this view Rauparaha at first
concurred, but he finally gave way before the vehement protestations
of Rangihaeata, who reminded him in violent tones of his duty to his
dead relative, Te Rongo. He had then allowed his enraged lieutenant to
work his wicked will, which Puaha and his people, being unarmed, were
powerless to prevent. At the conclusion of his inquiry, Mr. Spain left
for Wellington, taking the wounded with him; and those of the
survivors who had escaped uninjured proceeded back to Nelson, some in
the boats and some overland. Before leaving the port Mr. Tuckett was
authorised by Colonel Wakefield to act as agent for the settlement
until the pleasure of the New Zealand Company should be known. His
journey home was rather an adventurous one, as he had a very narrow
escape of being intercepted by the natives when sailing through the
French Pass. Some of his companions who were venturesome enough to
call in at Tory Channel, were detained there for a week by the
natives, but were ultimately permitted to take their departure

The body of Mr. Maling, the chief constable, had not been found when
Mr. Ironside made his first search upon the scene of the massacre, a
fact which created no surprise at the time, for it was thought
probable that he had succeeded in making good his escape into the
bush. But, as he had not arrived at any of the settlements, the
missionary again returned to Tua Marina for the dual purpose of making
an extended search and of protecting the graves already made from
desecration by the wild pigs, with which the valley was at that time
thickly stocked. He was successful in finding two bodies floating in
the stream, being the remains of Clanzey and Ratcliffe, who had been
shot while crossing in the canoe. These were reverently interred on
the banks of the creek near where Mr. Patchett had been laid. The last
resting-place of these men bears no mark to distinguish it from the
surrounding landscape, but a plain though substantial monument has
been raised over the spot where Captain Wakefield and his companions
fell; while a memorial church, built by the Wakefield family, stands
prominently upon the point of the hill, and solemnly presides over the
whole scene.

It would be difficult to describe the intense excitement which
agitated the whole colony as the tidings of the massacre flew from
settlement to settlement; and in the white heat of their anger the
settlers were guilty of saying and doing many rash and intemperate
things. Few of them had made themselves conversant with the whole
facts of the case, and fewer still stayed to reason out the natural
actions of men under the circumstances. All that they knew, and all
that they cared to know, was that their countrymen had been, as a
Nelson settler forcibly expressed it, "brutally butchered by a parcel
of miscreant savages, ten thousand of whose useless lives would have
all too cheaply purchased their survival, let the cant of
ultra-philanthropists say what it will." But this fierce indignation
was not participated in by the Europeans alone. Flying from the scene
of the tragedy, Te Rauparaha arrived with his retainers at Waikanae,
cold and wet with the sea spray which had swept over him on the
passage across the Strait. He immediately assembled the Ngati-Awa
people and told them the tale of the massacre, holding their attention
by the graphic nature of his narrative. At first his listeners were
unsympathetic, but he appealed to their sympathies by feigning
physical distress. Bent in body and trembling in voice, he appeared to
speak with difficulty, and used a hacking cough with some effect to
melt their sternness. But his most telling point was made when,
advancing a few steps, he held up his shaking hands and dramatically
exclaimed, "Why should they seek to fetter me? I am old and weak; I
must soon pass away. What could they gain by enslaving me? by
fastening irons on these poor old hands? No; that is not what they
seek. It is because through my person they hope to dishonour you. If
they can enslave me they think they can degrade the whole Maori race."

This was the dart that struck deep into Maori pride, and wounded their
sense of honour. Instantly the tribe rose responsive to the
suggestion, and weapons were gripped, eyes flashed, and the spirit of
war surged in every breast. Missionary Hadfield was present, and saw
the sway wielded by the old chief's oratory. He saw, too, how critical
was the position, and gladly availed himself of the timely suggestion
made by one of the missionary natives to ring the bell for evening
prayers, and thus bring back the warriors' thoughts to a more peaceful
frame. Next morning Te Rauparaha journeyed to Otaki, and there
harangued the fighting men of Ngati-Toa. Here there was no need to
adopt the arts of the stage. His auditors were his own followers, many
of whom had been with him since childhood. They knew him and trusted
him, and with them his word was law. He therefore threw off the guise
of broken manhood, of fettered limbs, of tottering steps, and stood
before them the bold and imperious chief that he was. His words
ringing with the timbre of commanding confidence, were direct and to
the purpose. "Now is the time to strike. You see what the smooth
speech of the _pakeha_ is worth; you know now what they mean in their
hearts. You know now that tyranny and injustice is all that you can
expect at their hands. Come then and sweep them from the land which
they have sought to bedew with our blood."

In these warlike counsels he was ably seconded by Te Rangihaeata, who,
reasoning as a Maori would reason, had always strongly held the view
that, as the white men would be certain to seek satisfaction for the
massacre, their duty was to get what _utu_ they could while the
opportunity to do so was theirs. He therefore joined with his chief in
urging an immediate march upon Wellington, in order by one swift
stroke to obliterate the _pakeha_ and his settlements. These
sanguinary proposals were not preached to unwilling ears, for it was
but natural that the Maori should judge the settlers by their leaders,
the representatives of the New Zealand Company, whose bad faith now
appeared so audaciously transparent. But there was one chief who was
proof against the hysteria of blood which had seized the tribes. Side
by side with Hadfield he stood like a rock above the billows of hate
which surged around him, and by his calm and stedfast loyalty broke
the fury of the storm. This was Wiremu Kingi te Rangitake, the
Ngati-Awa chief of Waitara. His resolute opposition to Te Rauparaha's
plans was an obstacle which that chief could not overcome. He carried
his own people with him, while Hadfield soothed the Ngati-Raukawa into
neutrality. Without Ngati-Raukawa and Ngati-Awa, Ngati-Toa was not
equal to a task which with their united forces would have been a
simple matter. That the Maoris had the power at this time to drive
the colonists into the sea, had they chosen to exercise it, has been
freely admitted by the settlers themselves,[163] so that the service
which Wiremu and the good missionary Hadfield rendered to the Colony
at this juncture can only be estimated at the value of the infant
settlement itself. And, with regret be it said, Wellington is even now
destitute of any monument to which the passing generations might point
as a public recognition of the fact that these two men once stood
between it and extermination.

Before Te Rauparaha was able to extend his projects for avenging his
wrongs beyond his own immediate sphere of influence, he was visited by
Mr. George Clarke, the Sub-Protector of the aborigines, who gave him
his most solemn pledge that the Government would not attack him
without first hearing his side of the question, and begged him to try
and keep the natives quiet until the case could be investigated.
Following close upon Mr. Clarke came Mr. Spain, deputed by the
magistrates at Wellington, and empowered to speak as one in
authority.[164] He strove to assure the natives that they were
mistaken if they imagined that the Europeans would wage war against
them indiscriminately by way of retaliation for the death of Captain
Wakefield and his comrades. The question of punishment rested solely
with the Governor, and, until he could decide who should be punished
and what the punishment should be, there would be no act of aggression
against the natives.

"Your words are very good, but who can tell what will be the words of
the Governor?" was the comment of one of the chiefs upon these
assurances. To this Spain could only reply by pointing to their past
intercourse, and asking if during their long acquaintance they had
ever known him to deceive them. Fortunately, his record stood him in
good stead, and the chief agreed that he for one would help to protect
the Europeans. While this discussion was proceeding, Rauparaha had
joined the assembly, and at this point he rose and delivered what Mr.
Spain considered "a most powerful speech." He traversed anew the
events which had led up to the _fracas_, and vehemently asked,
"Is this the justice which the Queen of England promised to the Maori?
You are not satisfied with having taken all our land from us, but you
send a Queen's ship headed by a Queen's officer to fire upon us and
kill us." Spain endeavoured to expound to the angry chief the niceties
of British law, under which a warrant to arrest did not necessarily
imply established guilt; had he surrendered he would probably have
been admitted to bail until the day of the trial, and, so far from the
Queen and the Governor being to blame for the conduct of the
magistrate, they had never heard of the warrant. On Spain expressing
his abhorrence of the killing of the captives, Te Rauparaha admitted
the error of the step, which he palliated as due to their own custom
and Rangihaeata's grief at the death of his wife. He then proceeded to
question Spain with an acumen which astonished the lawyer, and forced
him to form a very high estimate of the chief's intellectual capacity;
for his examination was as keen "as if I had undergone that ordeal in
Westminster Hall at the hands of a member of the English Bar." What Te
Rauparaha wished to guard against was treachery. He wanted everything
open to the light of day, and the conference ended by his saying to
Spain, "If the Governor should decide upon sending soldiers to take
me and Rangihaeata, let us know when they arrive, because you need not
take the trouble to send up here for us. If you only send word I will
come down to Port Nicholson with a thousand Maoris and fight with the
_pakehas_. If they beat us, they shall have New Zealand, and we will
be their slaves, but if we beat them, they must stand clear."

Mr. Spain next proceeded to Otaki. There he was told that the natives
intended to stand loyally by their chiefs, and that any attempt to
seize them would lead to immediate reprisals. Following closely upon
Mr. Spain's departure, Mr. Jerningham Wakefield reached Otaki. He came
from the north, and, as he drifted down the Whanganui River, he
received the first tidings of the death of his uncle. It was difficult
at first to give credence to the nebulous rumours which reached him;
but the constant reiteration of the same story about a fight with the
_pakehas_ and the death of "Wideawake" gradually compelled
attention, and ultimately received confirmation at the white
settlement then known as Petre.[165] Here Wakefield was the recipient
of a message from Te Rauparaha, demanding to know whether he was for
peace or for war, and preferring a request that "Tiraweke" would come
to Otaki to _korero_ with him. In the meantime he had sent his
canoes to Manawatu, and was preparing for his retreat into the
interior should he be attacked. Wakefield left Petre, and at the end
of the first day he was met at Rangitikei by the old Ngati-Raukawa
chief Te Ahu karamu,[166] who had gone thither with an armed party to
conduct his friend safely through the disturbed district. On reaching
Otaki, Wakefield went to Rangi-ura _pa_, the principal settlement,
where the Maoris placed only one interpretation upon his
coming--vengeance upon Te Rauparaha for the death of his uncle.

For two days Wakefield rested at Otaki, but saw nothing of the chiefs.
Rangihaeata was reported to be some distance in the interior, building
a strong _pa_, where it was understood that the chiefs had
determined to make a stand should the authorities seek to pursue them.
Te Rauparaha was at the Pakakutu _pa_ at the mouth of the river,
endeavouring to break down the influence of Mr. Hadfield and Wiremu
Kingi. His efforts to consolidate his forces were various, as suited
the circumstances. He sought to ingratiate himself into the good
opinion of the missionary natives by appearing to become zealous in
religious observances; on the feeling of others he played by a recital
of his wrongs; and towards the European residents of Otaki he assumed
an attitude of unconcealed hostility, and ordered their removal from
the district. This step he deemed to be necessary, in order that he
might be free to act unhampered by spies in the supposed impending
campaign against the Queen's troops, and it was this mandate which
brought the chief and Wakefield face to face.

As a result of Rauparaha's prohibition, a _pakeha_ settler named
White, who had been living under the patronage of Te Ahu karamu, found
himself suddenly stopped at the Otaki River while in the act of
driving some thirty head of cattle on to the land upon which his
patron chief had invited him to settle. This high-handed action
naturally aroused the anger of the Ngati-Raukawa chiefs, who had
hitherto assumed that they were masters of the territory which they
had chosen to "sit upon" when the division of the conquered lands was
made. Te Ahu was especially angered at what he regarded as an
uncalled-for encroachment upon his prerogative as a chief. He
therefore announced his determination to proceed to the Pakakutu
_pa_ and demand from Te Rauparaha a complete renunciation of his
views. Wakefield was invited to be present, and to his facile pen we
are indebted for a graphic account of what followed. The _korero_ did
not commence immediately upon the arrival of Te Ahu's party at the
_pa_, and Wakefield employed the interval in the kindly office of
helping to dress the wounded leg of a Maori, whom he has described as
one "particularly gentle and dignified in his manners." While thus
engaged, Te Rauparaha approached him, and, with evident signs of
apprehension as to the propriety of his doing so, offered a friendly
salutation. Wakefield coldly declined to grasp the hand which he
naturally believed was imbrued in his uncle's blood; and Rauparaha,
immediately acknowledging the delicacy of his position, muttered "It
is good," and returned to his seat. The speech-making commenced by his
entering upon a lengthy narrative of himself and his conquests, for
the evident purpose of riveting in the minds of his hearers the fact
that he was the brain and the heart of the tribe. His story was
eloquently told, for not the least of his great natural endowments was
the precious gift of the silver tongue. The tale of conquest ended, he
was proceeding to refer to the incidents of the Wairau, when Wakefield
rose and checked him. Naturally the latter was sensitive upon the
point of prejudging so dreadful a tragedy, by listening to an
_ex-parte_ statement of its facts, when he was fully persuaded that at
no distant date he would hear the truth disclosed before an impartial
tribunal. He therefore told Te Rauparaha that he would not remain if
he proposed to discuss the affair of the Wairau, but begged him to
confine his speech to a justification of his extreme and arbitrary
desire to drive the Europeans away from Otaki.

Te Rauparaha acknowledged the reasonableness of this request, but so
anxious was he to excuse himself in the eyes of Wakefield, that his
oration had not proceeded far before he reverted to the subject of the
massacre. Thereupon Wakefield rose, and, walking to the stile at the
outer fence, was in the act of stepping over it to proceed home, when
a chorus of shouts called him back, and a promise was given that there
would be no further reference to the Wairau. Te Rauparaha then
earnestly addressed himself to the status of the _pakehas_ at Otaki,
claiming the land as his alone. He admitted the validity of the sales
of the Manawatu, Whanganui, and Taranaki, but not those of Otaki or
Ohau, and insisted that the white people, whalers included,[167] must
remove to those districts which the Company had fairly bought. He
upbraided the Queen for sending her constables to tie his hands. "Who
is she," he asked, "that she should send her books and her constables
after me? What have I to do with her? She may be Queen over the white
people; I am the King of the Maori! If she chooses to have war, let
her send me word, and I will stand up against her soldiers. But I must
have room; I must have no white people so near."[168]

Challenged as to the inconsistency of these views with his action in
signing the Treaty of Waitangi, he wheeled sharply round and
exclaimed, "Yes; what of that? They gave me a blanket for it. I am
still a chief, just the same. I am Rauparaha. Give me another blanket
tomorrow and I will sign it again. What is there in writing?" The
attitude of absolute authority assumed by the chief distinctly alarmed
Wakefield, who saw in it the elements of unlimited trouble for the New
Zealand Company. For if Te Rauparaha's claim to exclusive jurisdiction
over the land was well founded, then verily many of their purchases
had been brought to the brink of repudiation. Turning hastily to Te
Ahu and several of the chiefs around him, he sought enlightenment on
the point, reminding them that they had frequently laid claim to
large possessions in the neighbourhood, but had never acknowledged Te
Rauparaha as having the least right or interest in them. Then Te Ahu
proceeded in a tone of apology and regret to elucidate one of the many
intricate phases of Maori land tenure which were now beginning to
prove so embarrassing to the Company. He explained that when the tribe
burned their houses at Maungatautari and came down to assist Te
Rauparaha in his conquest, they had selected Otaki out of the
conquered lands to be their future home. In times of peace Rauparaha
would have made no claim to the land, nor would his claim have been
acknowledged if he had. In proof of this, he quoted the scorn with
which Rangihaeata's assumptions over the Manawatu had been rejected by
Ngati-Raukawa; but now that the war clouds were in the air, the
_riri_, or anger, had completely altered the whole aspect of affairs;
the land had reverted to him who had conquered it, and Ngati-Raukawa
had no land which they could call their own. "And then he rose," says
Wakefield, "and endeavoured to persuade Rauparaha to change his
determination. He reminded him of the 'war parties which he had
brought to him on his back to assist him against his enemies, through
dangers and troubles more than he could count.' He related how 'he had
burned the villages of the tribe at Taupo to make them come with him
to be by the side of Rauparaha on the sea-coast.' He counted how many
times he had adhered to him 'in his feuds with Ngati-Awa,' and
described 'how much of the blood of Ngati-Raukawa had been spilt for
his name.' Te Ahu had now warmed with his subject, and was running up
and down, bounding and yelling at each turn, and beginning to foam at
the mouth, as the natives do when they seek to speak impressively.
'Let the cows go!' he cried. 'Let them go to my place!'

"Rauparaha seemed to consider that Te Ahu's eloquence was becoming too
powerful, and he jumped up too. They both continued to run up and down
in short parallel lines, yelling at each other, with staring eyes and
excited features, grimacing and foaming, shaking their hands and
smacking their thighs. As they both spoke together, it became
difficult to hear what they said, but I caught a sentence here and
there, which gave me the sense of the argument. 'No!' cried Rauparaha;
'no cows; I will not have them.' 'Let them go!' yelled Te Ahu. 'Yield
me my cows and my white man--the cows will not kill you.' 'No cows, no
white men! I am King! Never mind your war parties! No cows!' answered
Te Rauparaha. 'The cows cannot take you,' persisted Te Ahu; 'when the
soldiers come we will fight for you, but let my cows go.' 'No, no, no,
indeed,' firmly replied the chief, and sat down.

"Te Ahu remained standing. He took breath for a minute, then drew
himself up to his full height, and addressed his own people in a
solemn kind of recitative. 'Ngati-Raukawa,' he sang, 'arise! Arise, my
sons and daughters, my elder brothers and my younger brothers, my
sisters, my grand-children, arise! Stand up, the families of
Ngati-Raukawa! To Taupo! to Taupo! to Maungatautari! To our old homes
which we burned and deserted; arise and let us go! Carry the little
children on your backs, as I carried you when I came to fight for this
old man who has called us to fight for him and given us land to sit
upon, but grudges us white people to be our friends and to give us
trade. We have no white men or ships at Maungatautari, but the land is
our own there. We need not beg to have a white man or cows yielded to
us there if they should want to come. To Maungatautari. Arise, my
sons, make up your packs, take your guns and your blankets, and let us
go! It is enough, I have spoken.' As he sat down, a mournful silence
prevailed. An important migration had been proposed by the chief,
which no doubt would be agreed to by the greater part of the Otaki,
Ohau, and Manawatu natives, on whom was Rauparaha's chief dependence
for his defence.

"I noticed that he winced when he first heard the purport of Te Ahu's
song; but, while Te Ahu continued, his countenance gradually resumed
its confidence. Much as I abhorred his character, I could not but
yield my unbounded admiration to the imperious manner in which he
overthrew the whole effect of Te Ahu's beautiful summons to his tribe.
Instead of his usual doubting and suspicious manner, his every gesture
became that of a noble chief. He rose with all the majesty of a
monarch, and he spoke in the clearest and firmest tones, so that the
change from his customary shuffling, cautious and snarling diction was
of itself sufficient to command the earnest attention of his audience.
'Go,' said he, 'go, all of you!--go, Ngati-Raukawa, to Maungatautari!
Take your children on your backs and go, and leave my land without
men. When you are gone, I will stay and fight the soldiers with my own
hands. I do not beg you to stop. Rauparaha is not afraid! I began to
fight when I was as high as my hip. All my days have been spent in
fighting, and by fighting I have got my name. Since I seized by war
all this land, from Taranaki to Port Nicholson, and from Blind Bay to
Cloudy Bay beyond the water, I have been spoken of as a King. I am the
King of all this land. I have lived a King, and I will die a King,
with my _mere_ in my hand. Go; I am no beggar; Rauparaha will fight
the soldiers of the Queen when they come, with his own hands and his
own name. Go to Maungatautari.' Then, suddenly changing his strain, he
looked on the assemblage of chiefs, bending down towards them with a
paternal smile, and softening his voice to kindness and emotion. 'But
what do I say?' said he; 'what is my talk about? You are children! It
is not for you to talk. You talk of going here and doing that. Can one
of you talk when I am here? No! I shall rise and speak for you all,
and you shall sit dumb, for you are all my children, and Rauparaha is
your head chief and patriarch.'"

This fearless rejection of Ngati-Raukawa assistance, culminating in an
arrogant assumption of absolute authority over their movements,
completely won him his point, and one of the highest chiefs said to
Wakefield, "It is true, Tiraweke! He is our father and our
_Ariki_. Rauparaha is the King of the Maori, like your Queen over the
white people." The others, full of conscious dignity in being
followers of such a leader, acknowledged his authority by bowing a
silent assent. Rauparaha remained inflexible in refusing to permit the
cattle to enter the district, but, in deference to the urgent
persuasions of the chiefs, he subsequently relaxed his prohibition
against the white men already settled in the district, but stoutly
refused to sanction the coming of any more.

But this effort of Te Rauparaha to consolidate his forces was in no
sense the full range of his preparations. To augment his fighting
strength was as much his policy as to unite those who already
acknowledged allegiance to him. And this he sought to do in a quarter
which, in view of past events, he would have been least expected to
approach, and where his advances, once made, would have been least
likely to touch a responsive chord. His scheme involved no less a
delicate task than salving the wounds of the Ngai-Tahu tribe, and
negotiating a friendly alliance with the men whose _mana_ he had
so rudely trampled in the dust at Kaikoura and Kaiapoi. To this end he
collected a number of the most influential prisoners whom he had taken
at the latter place, and, bidding them go back to their tribe, charged
them to use their utmost endeavour to promote a good feeling towards
him amongst their people. This unexpected act of clemency--or apparent
clemency--which restored to them their much esteemed chief Momo, their
great warrior Iwikau, and others equally noted in their history, went
far to soothe the injured pride of Ngai-Tahu, who, after much serious
debate, decided to forget the past, make peace, and accede to the new
proposals. As an earnest of their acceptance of Rauparaha's terms,
Taiaroa at once paid a visit to Kapiti, and, as he professed to be
aggrieved at the manner in which some land transactions had been
conducted in the south, there is little doubt that, had an attack upon
Wellington been contemplated, he and his people would have combined
with their former enemies to effect the annihilation of the

A fearful uncertainty thus continued to agitate the breasts of the
settlers; and when H.M. ship of war, _North Star_ arrived in
Wellington on 31st August, as the result of a memorial sent by the
settlers to Sir George Gipps, Governor of New South Wales, she was
received with a salute of guns and a display of bunting, which
indicated a belief that the day of retribution was at hand. It was
not, however, for four days that her commander, Sir Everard Home, was
able to enter into communication with Major Richmond, the principal
officer of the Government in Cook Strait. By him he was assured that
"he had received various reports of meditated attacks upon Wellington
by the natives under Te Rauparaha; that the chief was at a _pa_
not more than fourteen miles away, with between five hundred and a
thousand of his fighting men; that Taiaroa, the chief from the Middle
Island, had joined Te Rauparaha, and, having been an ancient enemy to
him, had made peace; that the _pa_ at Porirua was fortified, and
every preparation made for an attack on the town of Wellington." To
this Sir Everard, having regard to his explicit instructions not to
intervene unless the natives and the whites were at actual war,
replied that, in his judgment, the circumstances did not warrant his
interference, but that he would keep his ship in the harbour as a
salutary check upon Maori aggression. In the meantime he penned the
following letter to Te Rauparaha:--

 "FRIEND RAUPARAHA,--It has come to my knowledge that you are
 collecting the tribes round you, because you expect that I am going
 to attack you. Those who told you so said that which is not true.
 It was to keep the peace and not to make war that I came here.
 You know that where many men are met together, and continue without
 employment, they will find something evil to do. They had best go

Sir Everard Home, having satisfied himself that no immediate crisis
was likely to arise at Wellington, unless it was precipitated by the
settlers themselves, was constrained by reports of seething discontent
at Nelson to visit the settlements in Blind Bay. But, before
proceeding thither, he decided to call in at the island of Mana, and
there personally discuss the situation with Te Rauparaha himself.
Accompanied by Major Richmond and Captain Best, he left Wellington
Harbour on the morning of October 5th, and anchored the _North
Star_ under the lee of Mana that afternoon.

 "As soon as the ship anchored," says Sir Everard in his official
 report, "I landed, attended by Major Richmond and Captain Best,
 who commanded the detachment on board the _North Star_. We
 first went to the whaling station, or great _pa_, where we found Mr.
 Chetham (clerk of the Court), who had been sent to join us. We
 also soon after met Mr. Clarke. He informed us that Te Rauparaha
 had left that morning at daylight for Waikanae, which must have
 been a voluntary movement, as no person knew our intention till
 the Strait was entered. We immediately went round to the _pa_
 where the tribe was established. Here we found no one on the
 beach to receive us, and, having landed, walked to the huts, where
 we found a few persons sitting together. Rangihaeata, they said,
 had fled to the bush, Te Rauparaha was at Waikanae, and, finding
 that nothing could be done, we returned on board."

During this visit to Porirua, the attention of the official party had
been directed to the presence of the New Zealand Company's boat, which
had been brought by the natives from the Wairau, after the massacre,
and hauled up on the shore of Taupo Bay amongst some twelve or fifteen
canoes; and this fact was made a subject of discussion next day when
the frigate reached Kapiti.

Landing at Waikanae, where the interview was to take place, Sir
Everard Home says:--

 "We were received by the Rev. Mr. Hadfield, a missionary, a
 gentleman of high character and great intelligence, who, living in
 the _pa_ amongst the natives, knows every movement, for none could
 take place without his knowledge. He at once declared all the reports
 (of an intended attack upon Wellington) to be without foundation.
 Having walked to his house, which is within the _pa_, we
 proceeded to his school-yard, and the chiefs, Te Rauparaha, and Rere,
 chief of the tribe inhabiting the _pa_ of Waikanae, came,
 accompanied by about fifty men. I then stated to the chief all that
 was reported of him, and asked him what he had to say to contradict
 it. He replied that, far from wishing to continue the quarrel with
 the Europeans, which had been commenced by them, and not by him, his
 whole time was occupied in travelling up and down the coast,
 endeavouring to allay the irritation of the natives and to prevent
 any ill consequences arising from the provoking language and threats
 with which they were continually annoyed by the Europeans travelling
 backwards and forwards. That, for himself, he believed them to be
 lies invented by the white men, having been assured by the Police
 Magistrate that no steps would be taken until the arrival of the new
 Governor, or the pleasure of the Queen was known. He also declared
 that they all stood in fear of the white men, and asked why I had
 come if it was not to fight with and destroy them, for they had been
 told that was my intention.

 "I told them that the Queen's ships went to all parts of the world,
 and that my object was to preserve peace rather than to make war, and
 he was advised to believe no reports which he might hear, but to
 inquire into the truth of them of Major Richmond, through Mr. Clarke
 or Mr. Hadfield."

The conference then dispersed, but at a later hour Te Rauparaha was
sent for to Mr. Hadfield's house, and asked if he would send a letter
to the principal chief at Porirua, requesting him to deliver up the
Company's boat to Sir Everard Home. His reply was that he had but
little influence amongst the Porirua people, but that, as he had
always been against the retention of the boat, he would assert what
authority he had to secure its return. He then became curious to know
if the surrender of the boat would end the quarrel; but Major Richmond
discreetly declined to commit himself on the point, and appealed to Te
Rauparaha's position as a chief to see that justice was done. Te
Rauparaha then penned the following letter, which he addressed to the
Porirua chiefs:--

 "Go thou, my book, to Puaha, Hohepa, and Watarauehe. Give that boat
 to the chief of the ship; give it to the chief for nothing. These are
 the words of Te Rauparaha. Your avarice in keeping back the boat from
 us, from me, Mr. Hadfield, and Mr. Ironside, was great. This is not
 an angry visit, it is to ask peaceably for the boat. There are only
 Mr. Clarke, Mr. Richmond, and the chief of the ship: they three who
 are going peaceably back to you that you may give up the boat.

 "This is my book,


Armed with this authority Sir Everard Home returned to Porirua, where,
after lying at anchor all day on Sunday, he landed on the following
day, and made a formal demand for the return of the boat. At first, Te
Rangihaeata was inclined to resist the request, but, on receipt of a
private message from Te Rauparaha that a refusal might mean trouble,
he yielded the point, and the boat was ultimately handed over with
"the greatest good-humour."

During the interview at Waikanae, Te Rauparaha had given the most
profuse assurances that he, relying upon the promise that there would
be no reprisals until the facts surrounding the massacre had been
investigated, was employing his best endeavours to pacify his people.
But his efforts, he said, were often nullified by the disturbing
rumours which reached them of armings and drillings[170] by the
settlers at Wellington, which seemed to portend war rather than peace.
But the seeds of irritation and mistrust had already been sown much
further afield than Waikanae and Otaki; for the natives, on leaving
the Wairau, had taken with them, as well as the boat, the handcuffs
and leg-irons which had been foolishly brought down by Mr. Maling to
ensure Rauparaha's capture. These were sent from one _pa_ to
another, and wherever they were exhibited, the enemies of the
_pakeha_ were not slow to insinuate that, when the English became
numerous in the land, they would provide leg-irons for the whole of
the natives. The sight of these manacles, and the dark hints with
which they were everywhere accompanied, created bitterness and
resentment against settlers, with whom the Maoris had always lived in
perfect harmony; so that before many weeks had passed away it only
required a single spark of indiscretion to set the whole colony in a
blaze of war. At no period of her history has New Zealand stood so
much in need of firm, discreet and conciliatory guidance as in this
critical juncture;[171] and fortunately the hand of authority was
strong enough to prevent the spark being kindled. Acting-Governor
Shortland, taking a bold but unpopular initiative, on July 12, 1843,
issued the following proclamation:--

 "Whereas it is essential to the well-being of this Colony that
 confidence and good feeling should continue to exist between the two
 races of its inhabitants, and that the native owners of the soil
 should have no reason to doubt the good faith of Her Majesty's solemn
 assurance that their territorial rights should be recognised and
 respected. Now, therefore, I, the officer administering the
 Government, do hereby publicly warn all persons claiming land in this
 Colony, in all cases where the claim is denied or disputed by the
 original native owners, from exercising rights of ownership thereon,
 or otherwise prejudicing the question of title to the same, until the
 question of ownership shall have been heard and determined by one of
 Her Majesty's Commissioners appointed to investigate claims to land
 in New Zealand."

The wisdom of thus holding the hands of the settlers until the title
to their lands had been settled by a constitutional course was not at
first apparent to the pioneers, who treated the proclamation with
scant respect, and roundly abused it and its author in the public

 "If," said one writer, "it had been the desire of its framer to hound
 a troop of excited savages upon a peaceable and scattered population,
 to destroy the remains of friendly feeling existing between the two
 races, to imbrue in blood the hands of both, and lead to the
 extermination of one or the other, such a proclamation might have
 served its purpose."

This style of exaggerated invective will serve to show the unreasoning
pitch to which even the better class of colonists had allowed
themselves to be worked by the news of the catastrophe. Nor were they
content with merely upbraiding the authorities in the press and at
public meetings; deputations waited upon the Acting-Governor at
Auckland, urging him to take immediate steps to avenge the death of
Captain Wakefield. The Nelson deputation consisted of Dr. Monro and
Mr. A. Domett, and the essence of their petition was contained in the
following paragraph:--

 "We have no hesitation in stating that it is the general opinion of
 the settlers at Nelson that our countrymen who were killed at Wairau
 Plain lost their lives in endeavouring to discharge their duties as
 magistrates and British subjects, obedient to British law, and that
 the persons by whom they were killed are murderers in the eyes of
 common sense and justice."

They therefore hoped that impartial justice would be done, and that
the penalties of the law would certainly overtake those whom its
verdicts pronounced to be guilty. But to this and all other petitions
of a similar tone Mr. Shortland staunchly refused to accede. In his
reply to Dr. Monro and Mr. Domett he clearly set forth the error under
which the settlers were labouring, when they ascribed the disaster to
the performance of duty on the part of the magistrates, and pointed
out that it might be more fairly attributed to an excess of duty on
the part of those officials, in attempting to annex land which had
never been legally purchased. After dwelling upon the criminality of
those who were responsible for the final conflict, he proceeded:--

 "But whatever may be the crime, and whoever may be the criminals, it
 is but too clear that the event we must all deplore has arisen from
 several parties of surveyors, without the concurrence of the local
 Government, proceeding to take possession of and to survey a tract of
 land in opposition to the original native owners, who had uniformly
 denied its sale. His Excellency therefore deems it proper to inform
 you that the New Zealand Company has not selected any block of land
 in the valley of the Wairau, nor has the local Government yet
 received any intimation that it is the intention of the Company to
 select a block in that district."

To say that the Englishmen were trespassers is the mildest way in
which the case against them can be stated, especially in view of the
forceful opinion expressed by Mr. Swainson, the Attorney-General, who
described their conduct as "illegal in its inception and in every step
of its execution, unjustifiable in the magistrate and four constables,
and criminal in the last degree on the part of the attacking party."
Writing from Port Nicholson ten days after the massacre, Mr. Spain
confirmed Mr. Swainson's condemnation of their conduct, which he
declared to be "an attempt to set British law at defiance and to
obtain, by force, possession of a tract of land, the title of which
was disputed, and then under the consideration of a commissioner
specially appointed to investigate and report upon it." From the
information he had been able to collect, Mr. Spain arrived at the
conclusion that at the commencement of the affair the natives
exhibited the greatest forbearance, and the utmost repugnance to fight
with the Europeans. His views were cordially endorsed by Mr. Clarke,
the Protector of the aborigines, who reported to the Acting-Governor
that he was "satisfied that such an unhappy affair as that of the
Wairau could never have occurred had not the natives been urged to it
by extreme provocation." These emphatic opinions from men who were not
only capable of arriving at a judicial conclusion, but were impartial
in the sense that they were not concerned in the catastrophe, together
with the decision of the Attorney-General that no act of felony had
been committed by the natives in burning the huts, fortified His
Excellency in ignoring the violent clamour of the settlers for
revenge. They induced him even to go further, and prohibit the
military displays which they were beginning to organise amongst
themselves under the plea that they were in imminent danger of being
attacked by the natives. This prohibition was to their excited minds
the crowning injustice of all; and in October, when H.M.S. _North
Star_ arrived at Port Nicholson, the Wellington and Nelson settlements
were practically in a state of open rebellion. When Sir Everard Home
was applied to by the colonists to execute a warrant against Rauparaha
and Rangihaeata for murder, he was compelled to "decline the honour,"
and admit candidly that he did not consider a force so necessary to
put a check upon the natives as to keep in subjection the irate
settlers themselves. The settlers further memorialised Sir Eardley
Wilmot, Governor of Tasmania, for assistance, and he immediately sent
a battleship to their aid. But he took the precaution to warn Captain
Nicholson not to land his troops unless the natives and Europeans were
in actual conflict; and this not being the case when the ship arrived,
she soon after took her departure. In their extremity the settlers
then turned to a French frigate which was lying in New Zealand waters;
but Major Richmond, on hearing of the proposal to call upon her
captain for aid, indignantly vetoed it as being "a stain upon British

The social and political atmosphere was still in this condition of
ferment when, towards the close of the year, Captain Fitzroy, the
newly appointed Governor, arrived. It was not, however, until February
that he was able to give his undivided attention to the adjudication
of matters connected with the massacre; but he then spared no pains to
make himself master of all the facts upon which a decision was to be
based. He first studied the merits of the European case, and then
journeyed to Waikanae, where he landed on February 12, 1844, with his
suite, consisting of Sir Everard Home, Mr. Spain, the officers of the
_North Star_, Major Richmond and Mr. Symonds, the Wellington
magistrates, and Mr. George Clarke, the Sub-Protector of the
aborigines. There he met Rauparaha and Rangihaeata with upwards of
four hundred of their tribe, congregated for the _korero_ in an
enclosure in the centre of the _pa_, the Governor being provided
with a chair, Rauparaha sitting by his side. His Excellency,
addressing the assembled natives through Mr. Clarke, said:--

 "I have heard from the English all that happened at the Wairau, and
 it has grieved my heart exceedingly. I now ask you to tell me your
 story so that I may compare the two and judge fairly. When I have
 heard your account of that dark day, I will reflect and then tell you
 what I shall do. The bad news I have just heard about killing the
 English after they had ceased fighting, and had trusted to your
 honour, has made my heart very dark, has filled my mind with gloom.
 Tell me your story that I may compare it with the English, and know
 the whole truth. When I first heard of the death of my friends at the
 Wairau, I was very angry and thought of hastening here with many
 ships of war, with many soldiers, and several fire-moved ships
 (steamers). Had I done so your warriors would have been killed, your
 canoes would have been all taken and burnt, your houses and your
 _pas_ would have all been destroyed, for I would have brought
 with me from Sydney an irresistible force. But these were hasty,
 unchristian thoughts: they soon passed away. I considered the whole
 case. I considered the English were very much to blame even by their
 own account, and I saw how much you had been provoked. Then I
 determined to put away my anger and come to you peaceably. Let me
 hear your story."

Rauparaha then arose, and after being exhorted by several of his tribe
to speak out that all might hear, he began in slow and measured tones
to narrate their land troubles with the Company in the Wellington
settlement, and then he passed on to the Wairau. This land, he
declared, was taken away by Thompson and Captain Wakefield, and he
described the visit of Rangihaeata and himself to Nelson to protest
against its occupancy; nor did he omit to mention the threats then
used towards them by Captain Wakefield. Then he told how they had gone
over and stopped the survey, and brought Messrs. Cotterell and
Barnicoat down to the bar, and how they had afterwards met Mr.
Tuckett, and likewise refused him permission to remain.

 [Illustration: TAUPO PA, PORIRUA.
 Where Te Rauparaha was captured.]

 "After Mr. Tuckett had gone to Nelson," said Rauparaha, "we continued
 our planting, till one morning we saw the _Victoria_ (the
 Government brig). Then were our hearts relieved, for we thought Mr.
 Spain and Mr. Clarke had come to settle the question of our lands.
 Being scattered about on the different places on the river, we took
 no further notice, expecting a messenger to arrive from Mr. Spain;
 but a messenger came up to say that it was an army of English, and
 that they were busily engaged in cleaning their arms and fixing the
 flints of their guns. They met Puaha, and detained him prisoner. They
 said, 'Where are Rauparaha and Rangihaeata?' Puaha said, 'Up the
 river.' After Puaha and Rangihaeata arrived, we consulted as to what
 we should do. I proposed going into the bush, but they said 'No, let
 us remain where we are: what have we done that we should be thus
 beset?' The Europeans slept some distance from us, and, after they
 had breakfasted, came on towards us in two boats. We remained on the
 same spot without food. We were much alarmed. Early in the morning we
 were on the look-out, and one of the scouts, who caught sight of them
 coming round a point, called out, 'Here they come! here they come!'
 Our women had kindled a fire and cooked a few potatoes that we had
 remaining, and we were hastily eating them when they came in sight.
 Cotterell called out, 'Where is Puaha?' Puaha answered, 'Here I am,
 come here to me.' They said again, 'Where is Puaha?' Puaha again
 saluted them. Cotterell then said, 'Where is a canoe for us to
 cross?' Thompson, Wakefield, and some other gentlemen crossed over
 with a constable to take me, but the greater number stopped on the
 other side of the creek. Thompson said, 'Where is Rauparaha?' I
 answered, 'Here.' He said, 'Come, you must come with me.' I replied,
 'What for?' He answered, 'To talk about the houses you have burnt
 down.' I said, 'What house have I burned down? Was it a tent
 belonging to you that you make so much ado about? You know it was
 not; it was nothing but a hut of rushes. The materials were cut from
 my own ground; therefore I will not go on board, neither will I be
 bound. If you are angry about the land, let us talk it quietly over.
 I care not if we talk till night and all day to-morrow; and when we
 have finished, I will settle the question about the land!' Mr.
 Thompson said, 'Will you not go?' I said 'No,' and Rangihaeata, who
 had been called for, and who had been speaking, said so too. Mr.
 Thompson then called for the handcuffs and held up the warrant,
 saying, 'See, this is the Queen's book, this is the Queen to make a
 tie, Rauparaha.' I said, 'I will not listen either to you or your
 book.' He was in a great passion; his eyes rolled about and he
 stamped his feet. I said I would rather be killed than submit to be
 bound. He then called for the constable, who began opening the
 handcuffs and advancing towards me. Mr. Thompson laid hold of my
 hand. I pushed him away, saying, 'What are you doing that for?' Mr.
 Thompson then called out 'Fire!' The Europeans began to cross over
 the creek, and as they were crossing they fired one gun. The women
 and children were sitting round the fire. We called out, 'We shall be
 shot,' After this one gun, they fired a volley, and one of us was
 killed, then another, and three were wounded. We were then closing
 fast; the _pakehas_' guns were levelled at us. I and Puaha cried out,
 'Friends, stand up and shoot some of them in payment.' We were
 frightened because some of them were very close to us. We then fired;
 three of the Europeans fell. They fired again and killed Rongo, the
 wife of Rangihaeata. We then bent all our energy to the fight, and
 the Europeans began to fly. They all ran away, firing as they
 retreated; the gentlemen ran too. We pursued them and killed them as
 we overtook them. Captain Wakefield and Mr. Thompson were brought to
 me by the slaves, who caught them. Rangihaeata came running to me,
 crying out, 'What are you doing, I say?' Upon which some heathen
 slaves killed them at the instigation of Rangihaeata; neither Puaha
 nor the Christian natives being then present. There was no time
 elapsed between the fight and the slaughter of the prisoners. When
 the prisoners were killed, the rest of the people were still engaged
 in the pursuit, and before they returned they were all dead. I forgot
 to say that during the pursuit, when we arrived at the top of the
 hill, Mr. Cotterell held up a flag and said, 'That is enough, stop
 fighting!' Mr. Thompson said to me, 'Rauparaha, spare my life.' I
 answered, 'A little while ago, I wished to talk to you in a friendly
 manner, and you would not; now you say, 'Save me,' I will not save
 you. It is not our custom to save the chiefs of our enemies. We do
 not consider our victory complete unless we kill the chiefs of our
 opponents. Our passions were much roused, and we could not help
 killing the chiefs."

At the conclusion of Rauparaha's address, Captain Fitzroy desired time
to reflect upon what he had just heard, and, at the expiration of
half-an-hour, he announced his decision as follows:--

 "Now I have heard both sides, I have reflected on both accounts, and
 I am prepared to give my judgment. In the first place, the English
 were wrong; they had no right to build houses upon lands to which
 they had not established their claim--upon land the sale of which you
 disputed; on which Mr. Spain had not decided. They were wrong in
 trying to apprehend you, who had committed no crime. They were wrong
 in marking and measuring your land in opposition to your repeated
 refusal to allow them to do so until the Commissioner had decided on
 their claim. Had you been Englishmen, you would have known that it
 was wrong to resist a magistrate under any circumstances, but not
 understanding English law, the case is different. Had this been all,
 had a struggle caused loss of life in the fight--wrong and bad as it
 would have been to fight in the sight of God--I could not have blamed
 you so much as the English. The very bad part of the Wairau
 affair--that part where you were very wrong--was the killing of the
 men who had surrendered, who trusted to your honour as chiefs.
 Englishmen never kill prisoners; Englishmen never kill men who have
 surrendered. It is the shocking death of these unfortunate men that
 has filled my mind with gloom, that has made my heart so dark, that
 has filled me with sorrow; but I know how difficult it is to restrain
 angry men when their passions are aroused. I know you repent of your
 conduct, and are now sorry that those men were killed. As the English
 were very greatly to blame, as they brought on and began the fight,
 and as you were hurried into crime by their misconduct, I will not
 avenge their death."[172]

In arriving at this determination, Captain Fitzroy may have been
actuated to some extent by considerations of expediency; for, had he
decided in any other way, the reprisals of the English would
undoubtedly have created a war with the natives, which the Government
was not in a position at that juncture to carry to a successful issue.
Therefore, to have provoked hostilities with Rauparaha would have
meant the obliteration of all the settlements before the necessary
reinforcements could have arrived. At the same time, there was a large
measure of justice in the course he chose to adopt, which, in the
calmer judgment of to-day, must receive the endorsement of all
impartial men, as it did that of Lord Stanley, the Secretary of State
for the Colonies, immediately the Governor's decision was known to the
Home authorities. In his despatches on the subject, Lord Stanley made
it clear that, in his opinion, Mr. Thompson and Captain Wakefield had
needlessly violated the rules of English law, the maxims of prudence,
and the principles of justice; and having thus provoked an indefensible
quarrel with a barbarous tribe, they could not reasonably complain at
the barbarities practised in the subsequent conflict. He was therefore
satisfied that, in declining to make the Wairau massacre a subject for
criminal proceedings, the Governor had taken a wise, though
undoubtedly bold, decision. As might have been expected, the action of
Captain Fitzroy in refusing to arrest the two chiefs created a tempest
of ill-will against him amongst the settlers, but, on the other hand,
the Maoris were overjoyed at the prospect of once more possessing the
friendship of the _pakeha_, and instantly resumed a sociable
demeanour towards the colonists. This feeling, upon the advent of
Captain Grey as Governor, was gradually reciprocated by the Europeans,
who in time came to recognise the folly of their fears, and the
absurdity of their hostile attitude. In this way, the startling nature
of the catastrophe, which had paralysed the efforts of the New Zealand
Company and thrown a pall over the settlement of the whole Colony,
began to lose its deadly effect, and the splendid scheme of setting a
new gem in the British Crown was rescued from the disaster which
threatened it.

[154] On the 13th June, Captain Wakefield wrote to his brother from
Nelson: "The magistrates have granted a warrant, and Thompson,
accompanied by myself, England, and a lot of the constables, are off
immediately in the Government brig to execute it. We shall muster
about sixty, so I think we will overcome these travelling bullies."

[155] As told to the author by the late Mr. Barnicoat.

[156] Saturday, June 17, 1843.

[157] John Brooks had been engaged as a sawyer at Cloudy Bay. He was
thoroughly acquainted with the native language and habits, having been
eight years resident amongst the Waikato tribes.

[158] Rawiri Kingi Puaha was born at Kawhia, and belonged to one of
the best of the Ngati-Toa families. He migrated southward with Te
Rauparaha, and was married to one of Te Pehi's daughters. He died at
his own village, Takapuahia, Porirua Harbour, on September 6, 1858. He
was a man widely respected by the colonists, and to the day of his
death he "maintained a high character as a consistent and
conscientious Christian."

[159] "The conduct of Mr. Thompson has been unquestionably the means
of bringing about the fatal conflict in which he himself lost his
life. There is only one way of accounting for the part he has acted in
that affair; as far as he is concerned, no more blame can be attached
to him than to any other lunatic, for such he was to all intents and
purposes, and such he was well known to be, even to Mr. Shortland"
(_Martin's Letters_).

[160] Te Rongo was not the _daughter_ of Te Rauparaha, as that
word is generally understood by Europeans, but a much more distant
relative. She was the widow of Te Whaiti, a nephew of Rauparaha and a
first cousin of Rangihaeata, who married her because she was the widow
of his near relative. The story that she was shot while standing in
front of Rangihaeata to protect him is pure romance. She was killed by
a stray bullet while hiding in the swamp at the rear of the Maori

[161] "Yesterday we passed (near Maraekowhai) the grave of Te Oru, the
chief who killed Captain Wakefield at the Wairau" (_Crawford's
"Travels in New Zealand"_).

[162] This referred to an incident which occurred in 1839. A
degenerate whaler named Dick Cook had cruelly murdered a native woman,
Rangiawha Kuika, who was the wife of an Englishman named Wynen. The
natives wished to deal with him in their own summary way, but the Rev.
Mr. Ironside persuaded them to send him to Wellington to be tried
according to the British forms of justice. He was charged with the
crime at the Supreme Court, but was acquitted, the evidence being
mainly circumstantial, his own wife (also a native woman), who saw him
do the deed, not being allowed to give testimony against him. This was
a delicate point which the natives could not understand, and they ever
after retained the firm conviction that an injustice had been done in
not punishing him.

[163] Mr. Clarke, Sub-Protector of the aborigines, estimated that in
1843 there were 11,650 natives capable of bearing arms inhabiting the
shores of Cook Strait. In a petition to Parliament signed by seven
hundred residents of Wellington shortly after the massacre, it was
stated "that it is in the power of the aborigines at any time to
massacre the whole of the British population in Cook Strait, and
Rauparaha has been known to declare that he will do it."

[164] On the 29th June, the Wellington magistrates met at Mr.
McDonough's house, and on the motion of Dr. Evans, seconded by the
Hon. J. Petre, it was resolved: "That Mr. Spain, the Commissioner of
Lands, be requested to go in his capacity as one of the magistrates to
communicate to the native chiefs and tribes of Cook Strait their
determination, which is not to take or to sanction any attempt to take
vengeance for the death of the white men at Wairau, but to leave the
whole matter to the decision of the Queen's Government, who will
inquire into it and decide according to law."

[165] Now known as Whanganui.

[166] Te Ahu karamu's son was travelling with Wakefield on this
journey, and under the impression that Wakefield would kill him in
revenge for the massacre, Te Ahu "had furiously urged the Otaki
natives to join Rauparaha and Rangihaeata in an attack upon

[167] "Some of the whalers present laughed at this, having too many
friends and relatives by their wives to fear being turned out. Taylor,
among the number, laughed outright, for he had lived with the tribe
for many years and was a general favourite among them. Rauparaha
turned to him and said, 'You must go too, Sammy'" (_Wakefield_).

[168] Wakefield has said that Rauparaha not only rebuked the Queen,
but spoke offensively of her. But it must always be remembered that he
was naturally prejudiced against the chief, and that he was frequently
vindictive towards those from whom he differed.

[169] "Taiaroa talked to me for some time about land in a disgusting
jargon composed of whaling slang, broken French, and bad English, so
that I was obliged to beg him to speak in Maori, which I could better
understand. I then made out that he was angry with 'Wideawake'
(Colonel Wakefield) and other white people for taking so much land,
and he said he would turn the white people off to the southward if he
did not get plenty of _utu_" (_Wakefield_).

[170] These displays had a distinctly disturbing effect upon the
native mind, the Maoris regarding them as a sure and certain sign that
the settlers meditated an attack upon them.

[171] The entire military force in the Colony at the moment of the
massacre was one weak company of infantry stationed at Auckland, and
there was no vessel of war on the station (_Mundy_).

[172] This decision was written out in pencil and handed to Mr. Clarke
to read out to the assemblage. Because Governor Fitzroy did not claim
the Wairau district as having been paid for with blood--a course which
the chiefs fully expected would be taken, in accordance with their own
customs--British prestige and power are said to have suffered
considerably in their estimation, and Rangihaeata is reported to have
remarked, "_He paukena te pakeha_" (The Governor is soft, he is a
pumpkin). When the Middle Island was sold to the Government by Taiaroa
and the descendants of Tamaiharanui, Rangihaeata claimed part of the
payment as compensation for the death of Te Pehi and his friends
killed at Kaiapoi, and his claim was allowed by Governor Grey.



The decision of which Governor Fitzroy had delivered himself, as the
result of his hurried investigation into the circumstances attending
the tragedy at the Wairau, brought him into bitter conflict with the
more influential colonists, and added to his native troubles a
European difficulty, which ultimately played no small part in his
official undoing. Fitzroy had, with a patriotism worthy of the best
traditions of our race, sacrificed place and high prospects in the
homeland to assume the Governorship of New Zealand, a post which was
afterwards described by Lord Stanley as "a laborious, responsible, and
ill-remunerated office in a distant colony." Without money, or the
means of obtaining it, to carry on his civil administration, and
destitute of military support wherewith to assert his authority, he
found himself defied by the natives and thwarted by the Europeans. His
appeals for soldiers were unheeded, and his schemes for supplementing
his revenue were disallowed by the Home authorities, who, instead of
repairing their policy of parsimony, recalled the Governor. Thus was
cut short a career upon which Robert Fitzroy had entered with only the
highest motives, throughout which he had acted with the utmost
devotion, and in which he had failed only because with his limited
opportunities it was humanly impossible to succeed. His successor in
the arduous task of soothing the dual discontent was Captain Grey,
late of the 83rd Regiment, who was then serving the Crown with
conspicuous distinction as Governor of South Australia. His success
in dealing with native difficulties there, his achievements as an
explorer, added to his valuable personal qualities, were his chief
recommendations for the new responsibilities which it was proposed to
ask him to assume. That the judgment of those responsible for the
selection was sound, history has proved; but the administrations of
Fitzroy and Grey cannot fairly be compared, for the reason that, while
the former was expected to rule a turbulent population without either
men or money, the latter was freely supplied with both. The new
Governor was further invested with the additional prestige derivable
from the title of Governor-in-Chief, and from the fact that he was
supported by a Lieutenant-Governor, who, in his subordinate authority,
was stationed in the Southern province. Captain Grey assumed the
duties of his new office on November 18, 1845. His first recorded
contact with Te Rauparaha was on the occasion of his receiving from
him and other chiefs a memorial, in which they expressed their anxiety
to know his political intentions, and begged him to give them someone
skilled in both native and European laws, who would advise them how
best to avoid conflict with the _pakeha_. They were, they said,
deeply anxious to obey the laws of the Queen, and just as they had
teachers amongst them to lead them to a proper understanding regarding
the will of God, so, in order to avoid misunderstanding, they desired
some one to act as their guide and friend in the matter of the
temporal law. Grey was more than gratified with this evidence of
loyalty and desire for harmony, and, in his reply, endeavoured to make
it clear that it was his duty so to direct his authority as to secure
the peace and happiness of all under his jurisdiction. "Maoris and
Europeans," wrote the Governor, "shall be equally protected and live
under equal laws, both of them alike subjects of the Queen and
entitled to her favour and care. The Maoris shall be protected in all
their property and possessions, and no one shall be allowed to take
anything from them or to injure them; nor will I allow Maoris to
injure one another. An end must be put to deeds of blood and
violence." This clear and explicit declaration of his determination to
permit of only one law for the _pakeha_ and Maori, and to hold the
racial balance justly before the eyes of the world, touched a
responsive chord in the heart of the Maori nation; and Te Rauparaha
was but expressing the general sentiments of the people when he wrote
in reply to the Governor's message: "We have heard your words, which
are like the light of day to us; our hearts are glad. Friend, now will
I hold fast your words for good, and for living in quiet, both of
natives and Europeans. Your protecting word has come forth for one and
for the other; your kind words are a light to us. Now, for the first
time, I can say the light has dawned for the Maoris, and now no
wrong-doing shall spring from me. I mean the errors of the natives. If
you cannot come hither, will you write to me?" Not less reassuring was
the word of Wi Kingi Rangitake, of Ngati-Awa.

With these pronouncements of loyalty from the two most powerful chiefs
on the west coast, Grey felt more than equal to the task of subduing
the malcontent natives under Taringa-kuri, chief of the Kaiwara
_pa_, whose depredations in the Hutt Valley had been causing the
greatest anxiety to the Wellington settlers. Both Te Rauparaha and
Rangihaeata had laid claim to part payment for the land which the New
Zealand Company had purchased in this valley, their claim being based
upon the alleged conquest of the country. This conquest Mr. Spain held
to be incomplete, inasmuch as they had not resided on the land, which
was really occupied by Ngati-Awa. He therefore disallowed their claim,
although Mr. Clarke, junr., was anxious to pay out of the £1,500
awarded to the natives a sum of £400 in liquidation of their rights,
he having come to some such arrangement with Rauparaha at an interview
which took place at Waikanae in the presence of the Governor. Hearing
of Mr. Spain's objection, Rauparaha, on February 3, 1844, penned a
letter to him, Mr. Clarke, and the Governor, in which he warned them
against paying the purchase-money for Port Nicholson over to "wrong
parties," and listening to "strange men," at the same time urging them
to make haste and come to Otaki for the purpose of explaining their
intentions to Rangihaeata and himself.

 letter is from me and Rangihaeata, respecting your foolish work in
 paying for the land. This was the cause of you and us going wrong
 at the Wairau, the foolish paying to wrong parties. Do not listen to
 strange men, but make haste and make known to us your intentions,
 that the truth of what you have said may be seen. Friend Clarke,
 make haste. Desist from listening to any man. Son Clarke and
 Mr. Spain, desist also from carrying your payment to men who have
 nothing to do with it, but bring it straight to us--myself and
 Rangihaeata. This is all my speech to you by us.


To this Mr. Clarke replied on the 29th, assuring Rauparaha that
anything that he had promised him in the matter of payment would be
carried out. Simultaneously, Mr. Spain arranged to hold a court at
Porirua, in order to comply as speedily as possible with Te
Rauparaha's request. This court, which was opened on 8th March, was
attended by most of the leading chiefs and upwards of two hundred
natives. After the preliminary addresses had been disposed of, Mr.
Spain formally opened the court by saying, "Rauparaha, I received your
letter asking me to settle the Port Nicholson purchase, and after
inquiry I have decided that the natives who owned the land are
entitled to more money, and I therefore offer you new terms." To this
Te Rauparaha answered, "My wish was to settle my claims at Port
Nicholson, but you want me to give up the Hutt." "Did you not consent
to receive £300 for Port Nicholson and the Hutt?" inquired Mr. Spain
in an injured tone; to which Te Rauparaha replied that he had not
regarded the bargain in that light. Efforts were made to convince him
that he had signed a deed in which the Hutt was included, but he
insisted that the boundary was not to go beyond a creek known as
Rotokakahi. "I am aware of the cause of this objection," said Mr.
Spain. "That man sitting by your side, Taringa-kuri, is cultivating
land at the Hutt to which he has no right." Te Rauparaha's answer was
that the land belonged to Taringa-kuri, as he was the oldest man of
the resident natives; whereupon Mr. Spain rose to depart, and as he
did so he turned, and, more in sorrow than in anger, upbraided Te
Rauparaha for thus breaking faith with him in so flagrant a manner.

The court then adjourned without either party having been able to
convince the other. But Te Rauparaha did not permit the grass to grow
under his feet, for he at once despatched Taringa-kuri to cut a line
through the scrub and bush dividing the Upper from the Lower Hutt
Valley, in order to define clearly what territory he considered
belonged to the _pakeha_ and what to the Maori. On hearing that
this work was in progress, Mr. Spain felt it incumbent upon him to go
out and warn Taringa-kuri that he was committing an illegal act, and
that the boundary he was attempting to create would not be recognised
by the Government. Mr. Spain's reception was not an encouraging one.
"If you have come to make remarks about our cutting this line, you may
as well return, as we will listen to nothing you have got to say, nor
will we be deterred from it by you, by the Governor, or by the Queen,"
was the truculent declaration of the first native whom he met.
Taringa-kuri was not less uncompromising. "I am cutting a line to
divide the lands of the settlers from our own, and I am doing it under
Te Rauparaha's orders," was his emphatic reply to Mr. Spain's demand
for information as to why this work was proceeding. And in answer to
the Commissioner's protest that the line being cut was not the line
agreed upon, the chief, with a fine show of indignation, accused him
of hostile intentions. "It is plain," he said, "you are not peaceably
disposed; you heard at Porirua that Rauparaha would not agree to your
boundaries, and you appear determined to insist upon them. You had
better return to the land of your birth."

Immediately upon his return to Wellington, Mr. Spain despatched a
letter to Rauparaha again severely censuring him for committing a
breach of faith in sending Taringa-kuri to cut the line contrary to
his (Mr. Spain's) decision, and concluding by saying, "Let me tell you
that after all that has occurred, Kuri is acting contrary to the laws
of the Governor, and, if he persists in his illegal acts, he will be
punished by the law accordingly." This letter Mr. Spain first showed
to Mr. Hadfield, who approved its contents, and translated it into the
native tongue for him, Mr. Spain thinking that this course would
enhance its value in the native estimation. On the 27th Rauparaha
replied that it was not he who was withholding the land, but
Rangihaeata, who had negatived his voice in the councils of the tribe.
But he still reiterated his former contention that he had never agreed
to sell the Hutt.

The remonstrances on the part of Mr. Spain having proved fruitless,
the Governor first pacified Heke[173] and Kawiti in the north, and
then came south in February, 1846, with all the prestige of a
successful "fighting Governor," to direct his operations against the
truculent Taringa-kuri. In an interview, the Governor peremptorily
demanded the evacuation of the valley. The chief pleaded for time to
reap and remove the standing crops; but the Governor, strong in the
knowledge that he had right on his side, and an ample force to sustain
his demand, refused to consider any compromise, and gave the chief no
alternative between immediate compliance and a declaration of war. The
natives hesitated to test the question by an appeal to arms, and
sullenly withdrew from the disputed territory, but not from the valley
itself. They fell back upon a _pa_ up in the ranges, which the
Governor afterwards described as "the strongest position he had seen
in any part of the world." From this mountain fastness they made
sudden and destructive raids upon the peaceful settlements in the vale
below. Two hundred soldiers were left to render the settlers what
measure of protection they could, by defensive tactics. Their
instructions were not to attack the rebels in their stronghold, but,
by vigilantly preventing them from securing supplies, to endeavour by
starvation to render its continued occupation impossible. This policy
had early the anticipated effect, and, acting on Te Rauparaha's
assurance that the rebels had abandoned the _pa_, the Governor visited
the spot, and has thus described what he saw:--

 "The forest which had been held by the enemy was traversed by a
 single narrow path, almost impassable for armed Europeans. This path
 ascended a narrow ridge of rocks, having a precipice on each side
 covered with jungle. The ridge of rocks was so narrow that only one
 person could pass along it at a time, and it led to a hill with a
 broad summit, upon which a fortress had been constructed in such a
 manner as completely to command the path, which was rendered more
 difficult by an abattis placed across it. The rear of this position
 was quite as inaccessible as the front, and on each flank was a
 precipice; from the number of huts placed upon it, it must have been
 occupied by from three hundred to four hundred men."

No sooner was this position abandoned than another, almost equally
impregnable, was taken up, and from this lair in the depth of the
hills a band of marauders crept down through the forest early in April
of 1846, stole past the troops, and late in the afternoon murdered a
settler named Gillespie and his son, while they were engaged threshing
wheat. There were soldiers in the vicinity at the time, but they were
more intent upon getting grog from Burcham's public-house than upon
protecting the settlers; and so stealthily was the attack carried out,
that no one knew of the tragedy until Charles Gillespie, returning
home in the dusk, found his father and brother in the throes of death.
Te Rauparaha disclaimed, and probably with truth, all knowledge of or
participation in this treacherous act, and even offered his assistance
in bringing the murderers to justice. Rangihaeata was not so frank--or
it may be that he was even more frank--for he instantly betook himself
to the hills, and openly declared himself in sympathy with those who
were thus contesting the question of the supremacy of the races. He
refused to give the murderers up to the authorities, and busied
himself with preparations for continuing the contest. Nor had the
military long to wait for his onset. The most advanced British post in
the valley was known as Boulcott's Farm, commanded by Lieutenant Page,
who had a force of fifty men with him. Here, just before dawn, on May
16, 1846, the sentry, as he kept his lonely vigil, was startled by
seeing some dark body creeping through the grass towards him. Without
waiting to challenge, he fired, and in an instant the air was rent
with the savage yells of a horde of warriors, who, under Mamaku, had
left Rangihaeata's _pa_ at Pahautanui on the previous day, and,
scaling the mountain range, had fallen upon the sleeping camp. The
sentry and the picket were soon overpowered and killed, but not before
the alarm had been given by Allen, the bugle-boy attached to the
company. Roused from sleep by the commotion, he seized his bugle, and
was in the act of sounding the call to arms, when a blow from a
tomahawk struck the instrument from his hand. He still had time to
recover it, and blow a blast which awakened his sleeping comrades,
before he was laid low by a second stroke of the murderous axe. A
galling fire was at once opened upon the outpost from the surrounding
bush by the secreted natives, and Lieutenant Page and two men, who
were with him in one of the out-buildings, hurried off to join their
comrades who had been sleeping in the stockade. Intercepted by a swift
rush on the part of a band of natives, they were only rescued from
their perilous position by a determined effort on the part of the
sergeant, who rallied some of the men and went to his commander's
relief. Three men went down with wounds, and the remaining six fought
the savages hand to hand, checking their onslaught until the wounded
were got safely away and the remainder were able to retreat to the
barn. Here the available force was assembled, and, leaving a
sufficient garrison to defend the position, Lieutenant Page[174] and
his men sallied out in extended order, firing as they went. Under this
pressure the attack soon slackened, and, on the arrival of
reinforcements, was turned into retreat, but not before six men had
been killed and four wounded. During the following month there was
another skirmish in the valley, which did not redound greatly to the
credit of the British arms.

These repeated raids convinced the Governor that he must lance the
lairs which were harbouring these human wolves, who represented all
that was worst in the native race. He had been desirous of deferring
field operations against these malcontents until the winter was over;
but, realising that every successful attack only encouraged the enemy
to further excesses, and diminished the enthusiasm of the loyal
natives, he now determined upon an immediate and active campaign. The
policy of road-making, which had been initiated some months before,
was vigorously prosecuted, the friendly natives, as well as the
soldiers, being employed in the work. The deep paths which were thus
cut through the luxuriant beauty of the wilderness to Porirua and into
the heart of the Hutt Valley robbed the forest of much of its terror,
and were masterly counter-strokes to the secret tactics of
Rangihaeata's followers. That chief's reply to the Governor's policy
was to build a _pa_ at Pahautanui, so skilfully situated and so
strongly fortified that he openly boasted that nothing but British
artillery could drive him from it. But he did more than this. A
_tapu_ placed on the Porirua track for a time disturbed and
paralysed our native allies; but the inconvenience was only
temporary, and the Governor succeeded in gradually breaking down the
chief's authority.

An important military post was established at Porirua, garrisoned by
three hundred men, and the services of the friendly natives were
enlisted in the contemplated movement against the forces of
Rangihaeata. His _pa_ was reconnoitred on the night of July 8th
by Lieutenant the Hon. Charles Yelverton, of the Royal Artillery, and
Mr. McKillop, then a midshipman on board H.M.S. _Calliope_, and
the conclusion at which they arrived was that the artillery might
easily be brought forward against the _pa_, and that in all other
respects its investment was feasible, so soon as the Governor had a
sufficient force at his disposal for the purpose. But there was one
other factor to be taken into account. What would Te Rauparaha's
attitude be if Rangihaeata were attacked? In his _pa_ at Taupo,
on the shores of Porirua Harbour, he occupied a strong strategical
position; and, though he had consistently professed his friendship for
the Governor and his loyalty to the Queen, he was supremely
distrusted, both by the authorities and by our native allies. As early
as June of 1846, Major Last had reported to the Governor, from
Wellington, that he was "a little suspicious of Te Rauparaha";[175]
but the insinuation of disloyalty coming to the chief's ears, he
challenged the Major's suspicions by offering to come to Wellington to
prove the contrary. In view of the intensely hostile feeling
prevailing amongst the European population against the chief, Major
Last deemed the proposed visit to be ill-timed and impolitic, and
declined to encourage Rauparaha in his intention. But the bold and
fearless proposal must have shaken the officer's confidence in the
grounds for his aspersion. The position of the chief at this time was
a most unenviable one, for there is evidence that the Governor had
begun to share the doubts of Major Last. It must not be forgotten,
however, that the seeds of suspicion may have been assiduously sown in
his mind by Rauparaha's tribal enemies, who would have exulted in
embroiling him in a dispute with the local authorities. Even his
friends who were with Rangihaeata in the field, either to further
their own schemes or out of resentment at his passive attitude, sought
to draw him into the vortex of the struggle. The _mana_ of the chief
was still great, and Rangihaeata and Mamaku endeavoured to conjure
with his name and claim his sanction for a letter to some tribal
comrades containing an appeal for assistance.

The native carrying this letter was captured, and the intercepted
document placed in the hands of the Governor, who immediately sailed
for Porirua in H.M.S. _Driver_. On board the vessel he was
visited by Te Rauparaha, and, during the interview, the incriminating
message was produced and handed to the chief, who instantly denounced
its contents as falsehoods and its writer as his enemy. "I watched him
narrowly at the time," says Grey, "and his manner was such as to lead
me to think that he really had no knowledge that such a letter had
been written." Though thus frankly confessing that the letter was an
injustice to the chief, the Governor, either from some innate mistrust
of his visitor or a too ready disposition to listen to the sinister
suggestions made against him, resolved that he would take no risks as
to the future conduct of the man whom he believed he had to checkmate.
He therefore determined that, before moving against Rangihaeata, he
would forestall any possibility of an attack upon his lines of
communication by capturing Te Rauparaha and holding him hostage for
the good behaviour of his tribe. Without indicating by sign or word to
the chief that the friendship between them was at an end, and without
permitting him even to suspect the existence of any doubts as to his
loyalty, the Governor took his farewell of Te Rauparaha, and on the
afternoon of July 22 left Porirua. For the purpose of allaying
suspicion, the _Driver_, in which he sailed, ostentatiously steamed to
the north; but during the night she returned and stealthily anchored
at the entrance of the harbour. Boats were lowered, and a company of a
hundred and thirty men, under Major Last, Captain Stanley, of H.M.S.
_Calliope_, and Lieutenant McKillop,[176] landed, and silently
surrounded the stockade of the Taupo _pa_, in which the chief and his
people were sleeping. The arrangements of the capturing party were so
admirably made that no suspicion of what was moving around them was
allowed to reach the natives until the stormers rushed into
Rauparaha's _whare_, and, seizing the chief in his bed, carried him,
in spite of his struggles and protestations, down to the boat side.
Lieutenant McKillop, who personally accomplished the seizure of the
chief, has left on record the following account of the exciting

 [Illustration: TE RANGIHAEATA.
 After a drawing by C. D. Barraud. Esq.]

 "I was sent for soon after we arrived, and had an interview with the
 Governor, who informed me of Rauparaha's treachery, and his wish to
 have him and three others taken prisoners, if possible by surprise;
 and knowing that I was acquainted with their persons and locality, he
 asked me if I would undertake the capture of the 'Old Serpent'
 myself, allowing me to choose my own time and method of doing it,
 Major Durie, the Inspector of Police, being selected to take the
 others. Accordingly it was arranged that we were to leave the ship
 before daylight the next morning and land quietly on the rocks some
 little distance from the _pa_ in which our treacherous allies
 lived, taking a mixed force of bluejackets and soldiers, amounting to
 two hundred men, to support us in the case of the natives rising
 before we had effected our object. It was the Governor's particular
 desire that we should not lay our hands on these men until we had
 told them they were prisoners for treason, but on no account to let
 old Rauparaha escape. I took Mr. Dighton with me to act as
 interpreter, and four of our men unarmed, giving them instructions to
 seize upon the old chief as soon as he was made aware of the charge
 preferred against him, and to hurry him down to the boat before he
 could rouse his people, the principal object being to secure him. We
 landed at break of day, and while they were forming the troops on the
 beach, I with my small party ran on, as it was then light, fearing
 that conscious guilt might sharpen their ears and frustrate our
 plans. When we reached the _pa_ not a soul was stirring, but our
 heavy footsteps soon brought some of the sleepers to the doors of
 their huts, knowing we were not of the barefooted tribe. We could not
 wait to give any explanation, but pushed on to the hut which
 contained the object of our search, whose quick ears had detected
 strange footsteps. Never having liked me, he did not look at all easy
 on perceiving who the intruder was, although his wife showed no alarm
 and received me with her usual salutation. Upon informing him that he
 was my prisoner, he immediately threw himself (being in a sitting
 posture) back into the hut, and seized a tomahawk, with which he made
 a blow at his wife's head, thinking she had betrayed him. I warded
 the blow with my pistol and seized him by the throat, my four men
 immediately rushing in on him, and, securing him by his arms and
 legs, started off as fast as his violent struggles would allow of,
 which for a man of his age (upwards of seventy) were almost
 superhuman. He roared out lustily 'Ngati-Toa! Ngati-Toa!'
 endeavouring to bring his tribesmen to his rescue, and in a few
 seconds every man was on his legs and came rushing over to see what
 was the matter with their chief; but the troops and bluejackets
 coming up at the same time and surrounding the _pa_ prevented
 any attempt at a rescue, as he was already in the boat. His last
 effort to free himself was fastening with his teeth on to my
 coxswain's shoulder, who bore this piece of cannibalism unflinchingly.
 I sent Mr. Dighton off to the ship with him, there being not much
 chance of his escaping from the boat, particularly as he was informed
 that he would be shot if he attempted to escape. I then returned to
 the _pa_ to search for arms and ammunition, and also to see if
 the other prisoners had been secured. The interior of the _pa_
 presented a woeful spectacle, the women all howling in chorus with
 the pigs and the children, the two latter being much knocked about in
 the search for arms."

In the mêlée which ensued upon the capture of Te Rauparaha, four other
natives were also seized by Major Durie, and in the same arbitrary
manner were carried off to the ship.[177] Two of these were the
influential chiefs, Te Kanae (the _ariki_ of the Ngati-Toa tribe) and
Hohepa, and two were men of inferior rank. By some writers who have
been at no pains to conceal their hostility to Te Rauparaha, it is
alleged that upon his arrival on board the _Driver_ he manifested the
most craven spirit, until he was assured that it was not the
Governor's intention to hang him from the yard-arm. But, whatever be
the truth of this assertion, he at least retained sufficient dignity
and self-respect as a chief to strenuously object to the additional
humiliation of being imprisoned in company with men of no standing in
the tribe; and, in deference to his injured pride and his vehement
expostulations, Pohe and his companion were sent ashore and released
from their brief captivity.

Naturally, the little settlement at Taupo was thrown into a state of
intense excitement. The seizure of their chief was so sudden, so
unexpected, that its reality could not for the moment be grasped; but
when its full significance broke in upon the astonished tribe, the
startling tidings was immediately despatched to Te Rangihaeata, who
was still sitting in defiance in his stronghold at Pahautanui. He at
once made for the coast, but was too late. The Governor had several
hours' start of him, and he was compelled to make a wide detour to
avoid the British post at Porirua. He arrived on the wooded hill-side
above Te Rauparaha's _pa_ only in time to see the war-ship with
her captives steaming down the coast.[178] Enraged and disappointed at
what he must have regarded as the perfidy of the _pakeha_, and
disheartened at his own impotency, he gloomily retired to his lair,
there to sing[179] that beautiful lament, in which he mournfully
acknowledges the increasing ascendancy of the stranger, and chides the
waning loyalty of his own people.

             "My brave canoe!
    In lordly decoration lordliest far,
              My proud canoe!
          Amid the fleet that fleetest flew--
    How wert thou shattered by the surge of war!
          'Tis but the fragments of thy wreck,
          O my renowned canoe,
    That lie all crushed on yonder war-ship's deck!
          Raha! my chief, my friend!
          Thy lonely journey wend:
  Stand with thy wrongs before our god of battle's face:
          Bid him thy foes requite!--
  Ah me! Te Raukawa's foul desertion and disgrace--
          Ah me! the English ruler's might!

          Raha! my chief of chiefs!
          Ascend with all thy griefs
  Up to their Lord of Peace--there stand before His face--
          Let Him thy faith requite!--
  Ah me! Te Toa's sad defection and disgrace--
          Ah me! the English ruler's might!

          One counsel from the first I gave,
          'Break up thy forces, comrade brave,
          Scatter them all about the land
      In many a predatory band!'--
          But Porirua's forest dense,
          Ah, thou wouldst never stir from thence,
          'There,' saidst thou, 'lies my best defence,'--
          Now, now, of such design ill-starred,
      How grievously thou reap'st the full reward!

         Hence, vain lamenting--hence, away!
         Hence, all the brood of sorrow born!
         There will be time enough to mourn
      In the long days of summer, ere the food
      Is cropped, abundant for the work of blood.
      Now I must marshal in compact array,
  Great thoughts that crowding come of an avenging day!"[180]

The seizure of Te Rauparaha, at such a time and in such a manner, is
one of the many debatable points in the history of this period, and,
notwithstanding that many pages have been written upon the incident,
the ethics of the act are apparently as far from final determination
as ever. To the present writer its justification lies in its success.
There is no doubt that, however high-handed and arbitrary, it was a
tactical stroke which compelled waverers to pause, and paralysed those
who were already in active hostility. On the other hand, it might just
as easily have roused the whole Maori race into a frenzy of injured
pride, and plunged the country into the vortex of a retaliatory war.
Only one thing saved New Zealand from this calamity, and that was the
tribal dissensions. Had the Maori been a united people, this
unprovoked indignity put upon one of their greatest men must have
excited their bitterest passions against the perpetrators of the deed;
and one almost shudders to realise in what a hair-balance the fate of
the little Colony trembled at this moment of her history. In
criticising the Governor's policy, however, it must be borne in mind
that he, with his knowledge of Maori conditions, may have counted upon
these very intertribal hatreds to prevent anything in the nature of a
general rising. This being assumed, his action is shorn of some of its
rashness and impolicy, and he becomes entitled to credit for the
success of his methods of overawing the turbulent spirit of the
malcontent Maoris. On no other ground than that the end justifies the
means can the seizure of Te Rauparaha be defended, nor, so far as the
writer is aware, has any other defence ever been seriously attempted.
The most that can be urged against the chief is that, unlike Te Kingi
Rangitake, he did not join the allies and enter upon active
hostilities against the so-called rebels. Of the fact that he secretly
aided them there is little evidence and no proof. What evidence there
may be is confined to the intercepted letters, admitted by the
Governor himself to be forgeries, and to the unsupported statements of
natives, some jealous of his power, and others aggrieved at his
previous treatment of them. In this respect Te Rauparaha must have
felt that, having sown the wind, he was now reaping the whirlwind; for
those natives who had gone down under his hand in war, or had been
outwitted by his diplomacy, were only too anxious to represent him in
an unfavourable light to the Governor, and were never tired of
insinuating, and even broadly asserting, that his spirit was behind
the rebellion, even though his hand might be invisible.

In communicating with Mr. Gladstone on July 23, 1846, Grey described
his military operations, which were designed to check a company of
some two hundred rebels who, he had reason to believe, were marching
from Whanganui to join Te Rangihaeata. He landed at Waikanae, Otaki,
and Ohau, where he had a conference with the friendly chiefs. He
proceeded to say: "The whole of the chiefs with whom I had interviews
declared that these disturbances were to be entirely attributed to the
intrigues of Te Rauparaha." How much his mind was influenced by the
opinions of the chiefs may be judged by the fact that on the following
day he launched his successful stroke, but how little he had weighed
the value of their testimony may also be inferred from the
circumstance that a year later he wrote a despatch to Mr. Gladstone's
successor at the Colonial Office, in which he was forced to admit that
after retaining Te Rauparaha in captivity for ten months his
difficulties in deciding how to dispose of him were enhanced by the
fact that all his "efforts made to secure the evidence of Pohi[181]
failed, consequently it was not possible to prove Te Rauparaha's guilt
in a court of law."

It is strange, if so many chiefs knew that the brain of Te Rauparaha
was forging the balls which Rangihaeata was firing, that none were
able to testify to the fact in an established court of law, and,
travesty upon British justice though it may seem, it is nevertheless a
fact that the man who had relied upon the Treaty of Waitangi to
secure him his rights and liberties was detained a prisoner without
formal charge and without the chance of a trial until it was thought
possible to prove his guilt. How far Te Rauparaha's seizure and
continued detention were a palliation to the wounded feelings of the
European settlers it is difficult to pronounce, but it is not in the
least unlikely that the Governor paid some regard to the popular
effect of the step, even if he totally ignored its judicial aspect. In
all probability Te Rauparaha was at this time the best-hated man in
New Zealand. The memory of the massacre at the Wairau had not yet died
out, and there were many who, misunderstanding that fatal event, could
not look upon the chief whose name had been so tragically associated
with it in any other light than as a social and moral outcast. To this
not inconsiderable section of the community imprisonment was much too
good for Te Rauparaha, but it was preferable to the negative attitude
of Governor Fitzroy, and Grey, no doubt, counted upon standing well
with these extremists by the initiation of a policy in which there was
a touch of retribution, however barren it might be of justice.

With the European population, then, the kidnapping of the Ngati-Toa
leader was, on the whole, a popular move, and with a number of the
natives it was hailed as an act of retribution, long delayed, but
nevertheless a judgment at last. Upon his own people the effect was
different. They were stunned by the swiftness of the blow and
confounded by its audacity. Here in a twinkling the very eye had been
plucked out of their head, the heart torn from their body, and that,
too, at a time when they had no quarrel with the Government, and by a
man whom they had been wont to regard as their friend. Their first
impulse was to fly to arms. To attack Wellington, to sweep the
_pakeha_ into the sea, to avenge the wrongs of Te Rauparaha, was
the cry. Te Rangihaeata called his own followers about him and sent
out his appeals to the northern tribes: "Friends and children, come
and revenge the injuries of Te Rauparaha, because Te Rauparaha is the
eye of the faith of all men. Make haste hither in the days of
December." But his design for the extermination of the Europeans was
doomed to be frustrated. His own particular faithfuls were few in
number, and the one great chief, Te Heuheu, to whom he might have
looked for encouragement in such an emergency, was dead, buried
beneath a huge landslide which had overwhelmed his village on the
shores of Lake Taupo. Of others with whom he had been accustomed to
co-operate in the days gone by, some were espousing the cause of the
enemy, and some, having embraced the Christian faith, had grown weary
of incessant war. Their reply, which was something in the nature of a
rebuke, betokened that they had realised the futility of opposing the
further progress of the _pakeha_. "How can you dry up the sea? That is
why we say, finish fighting with the European." Such was their answer
to his summons to arms, and Rangihaeata was left to fall back upon his
small band of war-worn desperadoes to carry on a struggle which was
hopeless from the first.[182]

Abandoned to his own resources, he applied himself to his duties of
leader with the energy of despair. Realising that his position at
Pahautanui was no longer tenable, as its swamps and shallows were no
protection against the artillery which he knew was collected at
Porirua, he withdrew his forces into the deeply wooded Horokiwi
Valley. Through this forest defile, tangled and matted by an almost
impenetrable undergrowth, he was pursued by a force of 1,000 men,
composed of militia and native allies, under Major Last. Te
Rangihaeata's generalship proved equal to the peculiar circumstances
in which he found himself, and his genius for war won for him the
warmest encomiums from British officers, who have generously expressed
their admiration for the skill with which the chief conducted his
retreat. Into the density of the wooded valley he led his pursuers,
enticing them by a simulated resistance, but abandoning his camps as
soon as they pressed too closely upon him. In one of these
semi-fortified resting-places the British soldiers discovered the
bugle which had been taken from the boy Allen when he was struck down
at the fatal fight at Boulcott's Farm.

At length, retreat being no longer possible, the rebel chief turned at
bay and fought his pursuers at a point near the head of the valley.
His decision to throw down the gage of battle here was not the result
of accident or impulse, but was due to deliberate calculation. The
position was admirably chosen, and he held the enemy in check long
enough to enable him to fortify it effectively. He threw a rough
breastwork of tree-trunks across the narrow neck of a spur springing
from a densely wooded hill, the approach to which was flanked by steep
ravines, leaving so narrow a ridge that it could only be passed
abreast by a very limited force of men. This wooden rampart, which
presented so imposing a front to an enemy, was liberally perforated
with loopholes, through which the defenders were able to concentrate
their fire with deadly effect upon any approaching force. This
arrangement, combined with the inaccessible nature of the ground, made
its seizure by storm practically impossible. Nevertheless, an attack
was determined upon, and on the morning of August 6, 1846, fire was
opened upon the position, but with no other visible result than that
Ensign Blackburn[183] and two privates were killed and nine others
wounded. On the following day the assault, which had been so
inauspiciously commenced, was suspended, for Major Last had now seen
enough to convince him that some projectile more searching than
bullets was necessary to dislodge the defenders from their stronghold.
He accordingly sent to Porirua and procured two small mortars, which,
after infinite labour spent in dragging them into position, were
discovered to be absolutely worthless for purposes of attack, for the
high forest trees made accurate gunnery impossible. Seeing his troops
in a deplorable condition, even after this short bush campaign, and
hopeless of driving Rangihaeata out, except at an enormous sacrifice
of human life, Major Last decided to withdraw the regular troops and
leave the friendly natives, under Puaha, to watch and wait for hunger
to work its effects upon the stubborn garrison. A few days sufficed
for this. On the 13th the allies were surprised by a hail of lead
suddenly raining down upon their lines. No sooner had they sprung to
arms than they saw that the enemy was afoot, the volley which they had
fired being the signal for retreat. Immediately the real nature of the
movement was ascertained, Puaha and his loyalists rushed forward over
the fallen trees and broken ground, and reached the breastwork only in
time to see the last of the defenders escape by the thickly veiled
forest track, where they were swallowed up by the bush and lost to
human view.

Hunger and cold had done their work, for there were no signs of food
supplies inside the camp except some edible fern. Nor did the escape
of the defenders to the open avail them much, for they were so harried
by the followers of Puaha as they fled along the snow-covered mountain
ridge that the opportunities for procuring food were few and
uncertain. Some made their perilous way to the coast, in the secret
hope of finding food and shelter amongst their friends in the
_pas_, but these were for the most part found by the vigilant
Wiremu Kingi, and either driven back into the mountain fastnesses or
promptly secured as prisoners of war.[184] Deeming himself fortunate
to have so far evaded death or capture, Te Rangihaeata retreated
northwards with his famished adherents until he reached the lowlands
of the Manawatu. There, beaten though still defiant, he retired to a
_pa_ built in the midst of the swamps and marshes of Poroutawhao,
where he laid down his arms and, sullenly drawing his mat about him,
prepared to watch the irresistible march of the _pakeha_, though
refusing to acknowledge defeat at his hands. "I am finished," he wrote
to the Governor, "but do not suppose that you conquered me. No; it was
these my own relatives and friends, Rangitake and others. It was by
them I was overcome, and not by you, O Governor."[185]

A new cause for anxiety, in the outbreak of hostilities at Whanganui,
now diverted Grey's attention momentarily from the fugitive chief,
who improved the respite thus given by refraining from any act of
violence. Although no formal peace was declared, Grey wisely decided
not to precipitate further trouble by following him into the marshes
of Poroutawhao. True, on the very day (April 18, 1847) that the news
of the outbreak at Whanganui reached Wellington, the chief made a
sensational descent upon Kapiti. In the grey of the early morning a
whaler named Brown was awakened by a sound at the door of his hut,
and, as he raised himself on his elbow, he saw the tall form of
Rangihaeata enter the room with a tomahawk in his hand. The whaler not
unnaturally thought he had come to take his life, and, in his
subsequent narration of the incident, he indulged in some heroics,
telling how he had challenged the chief to slay him on the spot. But
Rangihaeata was not in search of a defenceless whaler's blood. He had
come to demand some powder which was rightly his, and which he had
left there for safe keeping. When he had secured his property, he went
harmlessly away, after shaking hands in the most friendly manner with
the frightened seaman. Some of his followers, however, were not quite
so scrupulous; and, in searching the hut for the powder, they had
appropriated a bundle of bank notes and some sovereigns, and secreted
them about their persons until they returned to the _pa_. Here
Rangihaeata discovered the theft, and immediately sent back the
plunder to the Governor, accompanied by a characteristic note, in
which he made it clear that, however much he might be in opposition to
the Government, he had no desire to be esteemed a common thief.

With Rangihaeata beaten out of the field, we may now return to Te
Rauparaha, whom we left in the hands of his captors. To ensure his
greater security, he was, immediately upon the arrival of the
_Driver_ at Wellington, transferred to H.M.S. _Calliope_,[186] where
he was placed under the watchful eye of Captain Stanley, for whom, we
are told, he afterwards acquired a high regard. On board this ship he
was detained with some show of liberty for upwards of ten months,
visiting the principal ports of northern and central New Zealand, as
the duties of the station demanded the presence of the vessel. During
all this period no attempt was made to bring him to trial, though no
pains were spared by the Governor to secure the evidence which would
ensure his conviction. In a despatch written to the Colonial Office on
December 1, 1846, Grey endeavoured to explain his position and justify
his halting attitude, but, in the trenchant words of one of his
critics, his was a justification which itself required to be

 "A number of designing Europeans, who are annoyed at my
 interfering with their illegal purchases of land, have thought it
 proper to agitate the question of the justice and propriety of my
 arresting Te Rauparaha. Some most improper publications have
 already appeared, and I regret to state that I find a great effect is
 being produced upon the minds of the native chiefs. The difficulty
 of my position is that I am not yet quite satisfied whether or not it
 will be expedient or necessary to bring the old man to trial. In fact,
 I am rather anxious to avoid doing so, and I fear that, were I to
 make public the various crimes for which he has been seized by the
 Government, and the proofs of his guilt upon which the Government
 justify his detention, a large portion of the European population
 would be so exasperated against him that it would be difficult
 for the Government to avoid bringing him to trial; and, if I were
 compelled to adopt this step from having made known the charges
 against him, I should probably be accused of having ungenerously
 prejudiced the public against him previously to his being brought to

The only impression which the unbiassed student can derive from a
perusal of this specious reasoning is that the Governor, in seeking to
excuse himself for an unjustifiable action, has in reality delivered
his own condemnation for a grave breach of trust. If the "various
crimes" of which the chief was suspected were as defined as the
Governor implies they were, and if "the proofs of his guilt upon which
the Government justified his detention" were clear and unimpeachable,
obviously then it was his bounden duty to the Colony and to Te
Rauparaha that the chief should be brought to trial at the earliest
possible moment. But the real fact was that the offences of Te
Rauparaha were as imaginary as the proofs of his guilt were mythical,
and he was kept captive on a ship of war while the Governor was
diligently endeavouring to find Pohi, who was supposed to be possessed
of important secrets, or was sedulously filling in the missing links
in the chain of evidence which he hoped would establish the fact that
certain messengers, who were known to have carried information to
Rangihaeata, were indeed sent by Te Rauparaha.

A fruitless ten months was spent in these endeavours to bring home
guilt to Te Rauparaha, and at the end of that time Grey was forced to
admit that he was still unable to prove the chief guilty in a court of
law. He therefore began to consider how far he was justified in longer
detaining him, while still refusing to do him the justice of giving
him a clear acquittal. He temporised with other reasons, from which it
is clear that he regarded the step as one of expediency rather than of
right. "The detention of the prisoners," he wrote to Earl Grey, "has
caused expense and inconvenience to the Government"; and therefore, to
relieve his administration of something which it had forced upon
itself, he was magnanimous enough to loose the chains from off the
chief. But the Governor was also influenced by other considerations.
He believed that the capture and long captivity of Te Rauparaha had
completely destroyed his _mana_, so that he was now incapable of
originating any new mischief, even if he were so inclined. But we
may also do him the justice of believing that he was genuinely anxious
to placate the Ngati-Toa people, who had repeatedly petitioned him for
their leader's release, and to allay an ugly suspicion, which had
gained credence amongst them, that Te Rauparaha had been murdered, and
that his so-called detention was merely a subterfuge to cover a
desperate crime.

 "Repeated applications," wrote the Governor, "have been made
 by Te Rauparaha's tribe for his release, and this step seems to be
 quite justified by his ten months of good conduct. Waka Nene and
 Te Wherowhero also petitioned for his release, and went guarantee
 for his good behaviour. Upon the whole, with the larger force that
 will be placed at my disposal, and after the convincing proofs which
 the natives have so frequently afforded of their regarding their
 interests as identical with those of the Government, I entertain no
 apprehension of Te Rauparaha being able to effect further mischief,
 even if he were disposed to do so. I therefore determined to order
 his release, merely requiring Te Wherowhero and Waka Nene to
 pledge their words for his future good conduct, and although I
 exacted no conditions either from themselves or from the prisoners,
 I recommended them to require both Te Rauparaha and Hohepa to
 reside on the northern portions of the island until I felt justified in
 stating that I had no objection to them permitting Te Rauparaha to
 return to his own country."

Under the guarantee of good conduct given by Te Wherowhero and Waka
Nene, Te Rauparaha was released at Auckland, and was received as a
guest into Te Wherowhero's house, which had been built for him by the
Government in what is now the Auckland Domain. Here, though nominally
free, he must have felt the bitterness of his exile, for he frequently
displayed the humiliation which was surging within his soul by
relapsing into periods of deep melancholy, during which he doubtless
meditated upon the departed glory of the past and the hopelessness of
the future. With him times had indeed changed. From the imperious
leader of a victorious tribe, supreme and absolute, his word the word
of authority, his very look, his merest gesture, an unquestionable
command, he found himself shorn of his power, degraded by captivity,
destitute of influence, and little more than a memory--the hoary
vestige of a stately ruin. But his path was not all strewn with
thorns, and there were not wanting those, both Maori and European, who
strove to lighten his burden and salve his wounded soul. Visitors
frequently sought to cheer his drooping spirits, and, as a compliment
to the conqueror of Kapiti, Te Wherowhero brought the flower of the
Hauraki chiefs to do him honour. In September, 1847, two hundred of
these warriors, casting aside their tribal prejudices, came and
visited him. As the kilted band of strangers advanced, Te Rauparaha,
dressed in a dogskin mat and forage cap, went out to meet them. He
saluted several of the leading men according to native custom, and
then followed the speechmaking inseparable from Maori gatherings.
Squatting in a semicircle upon the ground, the assemblage listened
with rapt attention to the oration delivered by Te Rauparaha, of whom
all had heard, but whom few had previously seen. His speech was a
dignified recitation of his past deeds, and while he spoke of his
struggles with Waikato, his pilgrimage, and his conquests, he
delivered himself brilliantly and dramatically, for the fire of the
old warrior seemed to burn again within him and the blood of the
victor to pulsate once more through his veins. But when he came to
describe his seizure and captivity, the injustice and humiliation of
it all bore down his valiant spirit, and he concluded his oration with
difficulty and almost in tears. To this great effort of Maori
eloquence replies of a lengthy and ceremonial nature were delivered by
Taraia, Te Wherowhero, and several members of Hauraki's aristocracy,
and then food was served on a sumptuous scale to the strangers. It
was, however, noticed that Te Rauparaha ate but sparingly and was ill
at ease. He rose and walked to his house, into which he was followed
by two of the women, who there sang to him of the deeds of his
fathers, and of the heroes of the ancient line from which he had
sprung, the lament bringing a flood of tears to the old man's dim eyes.
Still under the surveillance of Te Wherowhero, Te Rauparaha spent six
months in the country of the Waikatos, the scene of some of his
youthful exploits; but, feeling his freedom to be liberty only in
name, and himself a stranger in a strange land, he preferred a request
to the Governor to be allowed to return to his own people by the
shores of Cook Strait, where was centred everything in life that he
valued. The Governor granted his request, believing that he had now
nothing to fear from the chief, and recognising that his return would
have a quieting influence upon Rangihaeata, who, during his uncle's
absence, had steadfastly refused to believe that the man by whose
orders Wareaitu[187] had been executed would be more merciful to Te
Rauparaha. Accordingly, in January of 1848, the Governor, Lady Grey,
Lieut.-Colonel Mundy, Te Wherowhero, Taraia, Te Rauparaha, and several
other chiefs, embarked on board H.M.S. _Inflexible_ and steamed
for Otaki. Arrived there, the vessel was immediately boarded by
Tamihana Te Rauparaha, who, clothed in the garb of a clergyman, came
off to welcome his father.

The morning of January 16, 1848, was the time appointed for the
restoration of Te Rauparaha to his people. When the boats had been
lowered to row the party ashore, the old chief came upon the
quarter-deck dressed in full naval uniform, even to the cocked hat and
the epaulets. His surprise and indignation were, however, considerable
when he observed that the Governor and his suite had no idea of
regarding the event as a State occasion, and were clothed in simple
undress coats. Nor was his ill-temper improved when the Governor
further robbed the incident of ceremonial importance by refusing to
accord to him the honour of a salute from the ship's guns as he left
the vessel's side. With eyes flashing and nostrils dilated, he sprang
back into his cabin, and, throwing off his brilliant uniform,
immediately reappeared wrapped in the sombre folds of an ancient
blanket. Wounded in spirit at the absence of those impressive features
which would have made his homecoming something of a triumph, he landed
on the Otaki beach in no enviable mood; and, as the party proceeded
towards the inland _pa_, he turned away from them, and sitting down in
the sand with his face towards the ocean, covered his old grey head
with his mat, and for two hours sat and sobbed like a child. During
this meditation of tears no one approached him. Maori etiquette
forbade his kinsmen breaking in upon his grief, and European courtesy
dictated a discreet respect for the feelings of one who had come back
to find the times so vastly changed, and for him so sadly out of

In that brief time, as the old warrior sat sighing in sympathy with
the sobbing sea, there must have passed before him in vivid picture
the whole panorama of his eventful life--his struggles, his schemes,
his dreams, the anguish of defeat, the glut of victory, and then the
final triumph in which tribe after tribe went down before him, and his
name became wonderful and mighty throughout the land. But now, because
of the advent of the _pakeha_, power had melted in his hand like
snow. His life, like the wind-swept ruin of his old heathen _pa_,
which stood broken and dilapidated a few chains off, had become but a
shadow and a memory of the past; an exemplification of the fallible
and transitory nature of mundane things. At length, rousing himself
from his reverie, he proceeded to the new Christian settlement of
Hadfield, at Otaki, which had been built mainly by the efforts of his
son, Tamahana te Rauparaha, and his nephew, Matene te Whiwhi. A motley
crowd of five or six hundred people poured out of the little
settlement to welcome their chief, the Governor, and Lady Grey; and,
as an evidence of the elevating influences which were operating
amongst them,[188] prayers in the native tongue were read in the open
air, before the feast which had been prepared for the visitors was
placed before them. A glass-windowed, carpeted _whare_ was the
banquet-room, and a clean damask cloth covered the table at which the
guests were seated, while a daughter of Rangihaeata courteously
discharged the duties of hostess.

On the following day Te Rauparaha presented himself before
the people, and was received with the usual evidences of Maori
jubilation--interminable speeches, wild and barbarous dances, and
endless feasting. Almost immediately he exercised the prerogative of
his freedom by visiting Rangihaeata, who was hovering in the
neighbourhood of Otaki, but with what intent no one knew. Te Rauparaha
was accompanied by Te Wherowhero and some of the visiting chiefs, and
the _korero_ lasted several days. What the precise nature of their
discussions was will never be known; but that they were not of a
treasonable nature may be inferred from the fact that the Governor,
hearing that Rangihaeata was at that time harbouring a notorious
murderer, whom he refused to deliver up to justice, sent a letter to
Te Rauparaha calling upon him and his compatriots to show their
displeasure at Rangihaeata's conduct by instantly withdrawing from his
presence. At the time the letter arrived, the chiefs were on the point
of sitting down to partake of Rangihaeata's hospitality; but without
hesitation they rose and left, though not before telling the obdurate
chief their reason for doing so.[189]

This evidence of unfailing loyalty to the Crown was as gratifying to
the Governor as it must have been aggravating to Rangihaeata, who,
when he met His Excellency at Otaki, roundly abused him and all the
_pakehas_ for their presumptuous interference with his affairs.
He declared that he was not tired of war, but evidently men and women
had changed with the times, and now preferred to fight with the tongue
rather than the _mere_ or the musket. His contempt for the
Europeans and all their doings was still as vehement as ever,[190] and
in his violent denunciation of their encroachment upon his privileges
as a chief, he declared that he wanted nothing of them, and he wore
nothing of their work. He was then standing before the Governor, a
tall and picturesque figure arrayed in a lustrous dogskin mat, with
adornments in his hair; and when Grey quietly exposed his
inconsistency by pointing to a peacock's feather dangling about his
head, he angrily muttered, "True, that is _pakeha_," and cast it
scornfully from him.

Though Rangihaeata never accepted the Christian faith, in course of
time his feelings mellowed and his attitude somewhat modified towards
the occupation of the land by the white people. He not only acquiesced
in the policy of road-making, which he had at first so strenuously
opposed, but in 1852 he constructed two lines at Poroutawhao at his
own expense. A school was even established at his _pa_, and
subsequently his declared principles not to use British goods were so
far modified that he purchased and drove in an English-made buggy
along roads made by British soldiers. His feelings, too, towards the
Governor considerably softened, and when, in 1852, Sir George Grey was
about to proceed to England for a holiday, the chief wrote to him in
terms of genuine friendship, which gave proof of the surprising change
which had come over the hitherto untamable spirit of "the tiger of the

 "O Governor! my friend, I send you greeting. I need scarcely
 call to your remembrance the circumstances attending my flight
 and pursuit: how it was that I took refuge in the fastnesses and
 hollows of the country, as a crab lies concealed in the depths and
 hollows of the rocks. You it was who sought and found me out,
 and through your kindness it is that I am at this present time
 enjoying your confidence and surrounded with peace and quietness.
 This, then, is the expression of my esteem for you, which I take
 occasion to make now that you are on the point of leaving for your
 native land."

The release of Te Rauparaha was the signal for a furious outburst of
hostile criticism against the Governor, and Colonel Wakefield led the
agitation in one of the biased and bitter effusions usual with him
where Te Rauparaha was concerned.[191] But the anticipation of the
Governor that the chief could, or would, cause the authorities no
further trouble, appears to have been amply justified. So far as is
known of him from this time until his death, he lived quietly and
unostentatiously at the Otaki settlement. It would seem that he
accepted with as good grace as he might the new order of things, and
even sought to assist his people in reaching a higher plane of
civilisation than at his advanced years he himself could ever hope to
attain. It is at least accounted unto him for righteousness by his
son, Tamahana, that it was at his suggestion the Ngati-Raukawa people
built the now famous church[192] at Otaki, wherein the tribe has so
often heard the glad tidings of "peace on earth and goodwill towards
men," so strongly contrasted with their old heathen doctrine of blood
for blood. A striking feature in the architecture of this church is
its central line of large totara pillars, which rise to a height of 40
feet, carrying the solid ridge-pole above. These wooden columns were
hewn out of the forest on the banks of the Ohau, which in those days
ran into the Waikawa, forming one large stream. The trees were felled
in the bush, floated down the river to the sea, and thence dragged
along the coast, one native standing on the tree with pole in hand to
guide it through the surf, while a string of stalwart men tugged at
the heavy tow-ropes, as they marched along the sandy beach. Column
after column was, in this way, eventually landed at Waitohu, near
Otaki, and then hauled across the sandhills by hundreds of brawny arms
to the site where the church now stands. There the trees were, with
infinite labour, dressed and prepared with native adzes, which are
still kept in the church as interesting mementoes. No machinery of any
kind was available to assist in the construction of the sacred
edifice. Hand labour was everywhere brought into requisition, and only
the most cunning workmen were employed, men of reputed skill being
brought from the Manawatu to design and execute the carvings of the
interior, while the reed lacework round the walls was also dexterously
woven by these same masters of Maori art.

Some attempt has been made, but with dubious success, to prove that Te
Rauparaha ordered the building of this church because he had become
deeply and genuinely religious, and his son has given us the pious
assurance that he spent these last of his days "continually
worshipping."[193] "I saw," says an intelligent but newly arrived
clergyman, who visited him at this time, "amongst the other men of
note, the old and once powerful chief, Te Rauparaha, who,
notwithstanding his great age of more than eighty years, is seldom
missed from his class, and who, after a long life of perpetual
turmoil, spent in all the savage excitement of cruel and bloody wars,
is now to be seen every morning in his accustomed place, repeating
those blessed truths which teach him to love the Lord with all his
heart and mind and soul and strength, and his neighbour as himself."
This amiable picture, drawn in a spirit of enlarged charity, is
unfortunately dimmed, and the sincerity of the chief's religious
convictions discounted, by the story related of him by a
conscientious, if unfriendly, critic. "A few days before his death,"
says this writer,[194] "when suffering under the malady which carried
him off, two settlers called to see him. While there, a neighbouring
missionary came in and offered him the consolations of religion.
Rauparaha demeaned himself in a manner highly becoming such an
occasion, but the moment the missionary was gone, he turned to his
other visitors and said: 'What is the use of all that nonsense?--that
will do my belly no good.' He then turned the conversation on the
Whanganui races, where one of his guests had been running a horse."
Such an incident, if true, leaves behind it the impression that the
chief was shrewd enough to observe that the Christian faith had taken
root amongst his people, and conventional enough to adopt it for
fashion's sake, without realising any real spiritual change. But we
will not attempt to pass judgment upon one who was at so manifest a
disadvantage in grasping the mysteries of a faith which centuries of
science and learning have left still obscure to many more fortunately
circumstanced. But, whatever the chief's spiritual condition may have
been, it was not vouchsafed to him to witness the completion of his
building scheme. He had long passed man's allotted span, and life's
last stage was closing in upon him. He was in his eighty-first year,
and was stricken with an internal complaint, the precise nature of
which has not been ascertained, but which necessitated his taking much
rest. His last days were therefore spent in enforced inactivity, and,
while practically an invalid, his greatest delight was to recount to
those capable of appreciating his narrative the stories of his early
campaigns. The late Bishop Hadfield was especially favoured in this
respect; and when he grew weary of the company of his own people (of
whose intellectuality he had so small an opinion that he once remarked
that they could talk of nothing better than dogs and pigs), he would
send for the missionary, and regale him with stories of the past, told
with a native force which aroused astonishment and admiration in the
mind of his hearer. His descriptions of former fights were generally
dramatic, frequently graphic, and always eloquent, for his vocabulary
was rich in words and phrases which were far beyond the linguistic
capacity of the natives by whom he was surrounded. It is to be
regretted that these recitals have perished with the good Bishop.
Until quite late in his life a vivid impression of them remained in
his memory, and his constant readiness to refer to them confirms the
claim that Te Rauparaha was a man of superior intellect, in so far as
that term may be applied to a Maori of his day.

Towards the end of November, 1849, the complaint from which he was
suffering begun to assume a more malignant form. On the 24th of that
month he received a last visit from Rangihaeata, and bade farewell to
his erstwhile comrade in arms. Three days later he was dead; the event
was consummated for which Colonel Wakefield so devoutly wished when,
ten years before, he wrote: "It will be a most fortunate thing for any
settlement formed hereabouts when he dies, for with his life only will
end his mischievous scheming and insatiable cupidity." Had Te
Rauparaha been asked to pen his opinion of the promoters of the New
Zealand Company, he might have couched his judgment in much the same
terms. But now that he was dead there was no need, and little desire,
to keep open the floodgates of vituperation, and there were many who
in his lifetime could find no kindly thought for him, but were willing
to bury the bitterness of racial misunderstanding in the grave wherein
the chief was so soon to be laid.

The news that Te Rauparaha was dead spread like a prairie fire, and
natives from all parts of both islands flocked to Otaki to swell the
weeping multitude who wailed around the bier of the dead chief. So
altered, however, had the times become, that, though there was a
feast, there was little _tangi_ of the barbarous sort, for his son
Tamahana, who was sincere and consistent in his emulation of European
methods,[195] discouraged in the native people, as far as possible,
the indulgence in their time-honoured mourning customs, and, according
to a contemporary authority, the whole proceedings were conducted "in
a most decorous manner." The interment took place on 3rd December, the
last resting-place being a spot chosen by his friend Rangihaeata,
within the church enclosure, and immediately in front of the unfinished
building. A procession of fifteen hundred people followed the body to
the grave, where the beautiful burial service of the Anglican Church
was read by Mr. Ronaldson, the native teacher from Whanganui. The
coffin, made in the usual manner, was covered with black cloth, and
the final chapter in the life of this remarkable man was written on
the brass plate which adorned the casket:--


27 O NOWEMA 1849

[Te Rauparaha died on November 27, 1849.]

[173] Heke had asked the pertinent question, "Is Rauparaha to have all
the credit of killing the _pakeha_?"

[174] "From what I know of the young lieutenant, I have no doubt he
laid about him vigorously. Even had burly Rangihaeata confronted him,
I should not have feared the result" (_Mundy_).

[175] It was quite the orthodox thing for natives on opposite sides to
hold intercourse with each other during war, and Rauparaha, having
many relations engaged with Rangihaeata, would, in accordance with
this custom, keep up a certain connection with them, and they with
him. This, not being understood by the British authorities, was
probably mistaken for treachery.

[176] Afterwards McKillop Pasha, an Admiral of the Khedive of Egypt.

[177] Grey, in his despatch to the Secretary for the Colonies,
describing the seizure of Te Rauparaha, states that a "considerable
quantity of arms and ammunition belonging to the disaffected portion
of the Ngati-Toa tribe" was also seized, though he makes no attempt to
explain what steps were taken under the exciting circumstances to
ascertain who the precise owners were.

[178] On the voyage to Wellington the prisoners were quartered in the
workshop above the boilers. During the night a great disturbance was
heard in this direction, and, on an examination being made, it was
found that the room was full of steam. One of the boilers had sprung a
leak, but the natives imagined that their vapour bath was an ingenious
contrivance to compass their death.

[179] Mr. Percy Smith is my authority for saying that Rangihaeata did
not actually compose this lament, as is generally supposed, but merely
adapted it from a very old original.

[180] In October, 1850, Dr. Dorsett, as Chairman of the Settlers'
Constitutional Society, in a letter addressed to Earl Grey, complained
of the inadequacy of Te Rauparaha's punishment. Sir George Grey
replied by quoting two laments, of which this was one, "to show the
light in which the natives regarded the punishment inflicted on him."

[181] Pohi was one of the inferior chiefs arrested with Te Rauparaha
and afterwards released. Subsequently, Grey discovered that this man
was supposed to possess "important information."

[182] For the passive attitude adopted by many of the Ngati-Toa people
some credit must be given to Te Rauparaha, who had already advised his
son to go to the tribes and tell them to remain in peace. "I returned
on shore," says Tamahana, "and saw Ngati-Toa and Rawhiri Puaha. We
told them the words of Rauparaha respecting that which is good and
living in peace. Two hundred Ngati-Raukawa came to Otaki. Rangihaeata
wished to destroy Wellington and kill the _pakehas_ as satisfaction. I
told them the words of Te Rauparaha, that they must put away foolish
thoughts, live in peace, and cast away bad desires. They consented."

[183] Ensign Blackburn, who was a fine officer and a great favourite
with the troops, was shot by a native secreted in a tree, and he in
turn was almost immediately brought down by an artilleryman.

[184] Under the chilling atmosphere of bleak winter the enthusiasm of
our native allies soon began to cool and the vigour of their pursuit
to slacken. Power, in his _Sketches in New Zealand_, gives an
amusing account of a big _korero_ held at Otaki to decide whether
or not they would continue the chase, in which he says: "Rangihaeata's
sister was present and addressed the meeting in favour of her absent
brother, making at the same time some very unparliamentary remarks on
the aggressions of the _pakehas_ and the want of pluck of the
Maoris in not resisting them, as her illustrious brother was doing. An
old chief requested her to resume her seat, informing her at the same
time that she was the silly sister of a sillier brother. He then put
it to the meeting whether pigs and potatoes, warm fires and plenty of
tobacco, were not better things than leaden bullets, edges of
tomahawks, snow, rain, and empty bellies? All the former, he distinctly
stated, were to be enjoyed on the plain; the latter they had had
plentiful experience of in the mountains, and was it to be expected
that they--and he confidently relied upon the good sense of the
meeting--could be such fools as to hesitate for a moment? The applause
of the old man's rhetoric was unanimous, and it received no slight
help from the timely appearance of a procession bearing the materials
for a week's feasting."

[185] Lieutenant McKillop, writing on this point, says: "We never had
any such decided advantage over him in our various skirmishes with his
tribe as to dishearten him, and had we been unassisted by friendly
Maoris I have no doubt he would have held out and carried his point."

[186] While the _Calliope_ was lying at Wellington, Te Rauparaha
was visited by his son Tamahana, who has left it on record that, in
that trying moment of his life, his father displayed a spirit of calm
forgiveness towards those who had so treacherously deprived him of his
liberty. His advice was: "Son, go to your tribes and tell them to
remain in peace. Do not pay for my seizure with evil, only with that
which is good. You must love the Europeans. There was no just cause
for my having been arrested by Governor Grey. I have not murdered any
Europeans, but I was arrested through the lies of the people. If I had
been taken prisoner in battle, it would have been well, but I was
unjustly taken."

[187] In his _Travels in New Zealand_, Crawford remarks: "During
the march to Pahautanui, a Maori named Martin Luther (Wareaitu) was
taken prisoner and was some months afterwards tried by court martial
and hanged. I cannot help thinking that this was a blunder." Dr.
Thomson is even more emphatic, and declares that "Luther's death is a
disgrace to Governor Grey's administration."

[188] Visitors to modern Otaki cannot fail to notice a tall pole
erected near the roadside opposite the church. The totara tree out of
which the pole was hewn was brought there at the outbreak of the Maori
war. It was intended as a flagstaff, but Mr. Hadfield persuaded the
Maoris to remain perfectly neutral and make no demonstration one way
or the other. The tree lay for many years on the common until the Rev.
Mr. McWilliam induced the Maoris to shape the tree into a tapering
obelisk 40 feet high, with the dates 1840 (the year when Christianity
was established at Otaki) to 1880 (the year the obelisk was erected)
going spirally round it from bottom to top, and so it became a
memorial of the English Church Mission at Otaki. It was first erected
in the middle of the common, but in 1890, that is, the fiftieth year
of the mission, it was moved into the corner opposite the church gate.
It is called by the Maoris the "Jubilee." There was a great gathering
of Maoris on that occasion, and fifty of them were clad in white and
took part in the ceremony. The chief speaker was Kereopa Tukumaru, an
old chief from Kereru, who had been one of the first converts to
Christianity, and was now able to tell what great things the religion
of Christianity had done for the Maoris. "This man," says Mr.
McWilliam, "was the most consistent Christian I have ever had the
privilege of knowing." He was most industrious, but when not working
he was reading his Bible. He knew nearly the whole of it by heart. His
grave may be seen near the Kereru railway station on a small natural
mound. It is an oblong raised vault, built of concrete, with a
beautiful white marble angel standing over one end.

[189] Colonel Mundy mentions that a remarkably plausible report was
circulating in Wellington at this time, to the effect that
Rangihaeata--in order to prove himself a convert to civilisation--had
signified his intention to kill and eat the aforesaid murderer, and
then "go into the best society."

[190] As illustrating Rangihaeata's intolerance of Europeans,
Crawford, in his _Travels in New Zealand_, mentions that when he
visited Fraser's whaling station on Mana in 1839, he saw sitting in
the corner of the room a large Maori wrapped in his mat. "He listened
to the conversation, but said nothing. At last, as if displeased, he
uttered a hideous and prolonged grunt, and rose to his feet: I was
struck with his height and imposing, although savage, appearance--he
grunted again and walked out of the room without speaking. This was
Rangihaeata, the great follower or coadjutor of Te Rauparaha--the Ajax
of his tribe, as the other was the Ulysses."

[191] As illustrating the feeling of the time, we may mention that
very great indignation was expressed in Wellington because Bishop
Selwyn had taken Te Rauparaha to the house of the Rev. Mr. Cole, a
clergyman of Wellington, to stay there during a visit to the city.
Major Richmond, the Superintendent, and the Sub-Protector, Mr.
Forsaith, had gone to Porirua and provided for his safe escort to
Wellington. The Bishop had publicly refused to shake hands with
Rangihaeata, showing to the natives his horror of the massacre at the
Wairau on every occasion. But he refused to recognise Te Rauparaha as
responsible for it, and did no more than his clear duty in providing
for his safety on this occasion. The outcry raised against him was
bitter, but was quietly ignored by him (_Brett's "Early History of
New Zealand"_).

[192] The church, which is a noble specimen of native architecture,
was built under the supervision of Archdeacon Hadfield and Rev. H.
Williams. It was commenced in 1849 and opened in 1851. Its length is
80 feet, its breadth 36 feet, and its height 40 feet. The ridge-pole
is hewn out of a solid totara tree, 86 feet long.

[193] "Te Rauparaha was not baptized, and, although his son wished the
burial service of the Church to be used at his funeral, the minister
did not feel himself justified in doing so; however, a lay member of
the Church Missionary Society from Whanganui, opportunely passing
through the place, read the service over him, and thus terminated the
eventful life of the New Zealand warrior" (_Rev. Richard

[194] The late Sir William Fox in his _Six Colonies of New

[195] In 1868, Tamihana te Rauparaha and his wife Ruta (Ruth) lived by
themselves about half-way between Otaki and Waikanae on his sheep run,
but he now and again came to his town house in Otaki and stayed a few
weeks. He was a fine, handsome man, tall and stout, but active and
mentally energetic. He always dressed well, and in cleanliness and
neatness was a thorough English gentleman. He had been home to England
and presented to the Queen. He never forgot what he saw there, and he
wished to be considered an English gentleman. For that reason he lost
influence with his tribe. He held aloof from _tangis_ and other
Maori feasts, but was most hospitable and generous to Europeans. His
wife was a most ladylike and charming woman. She was not so well
educated as Tamihana, but for all that she had the manners and taste
of an English lady. She died several years before him, and he erected
a small marble stone over her grave; but when he died, and was laid by
her side, no monument of any kind was erected to his memory; the
cast-iron fence, which had been broken accidentally, was not even
repaired. The Maoris did not care much for him, because he was too
civilised and _pakeha_-like for them, so they made no general
mourning at his death. In his youth, Tamihana te Rauparaha and Matene
te Whiwhi had journeyed all the way to the Bay of Islands to beg for a
missionary, and in response to their request Mr. Hadfield (who was
afterwards Bishop of Wellington and Primate) came back with them to
Otaki, and lived amongst them and taught them Christianity for thirty

The graves of Tamihana te Rauparaha and his wife are enclosed with an
iron railing. On the tombstone of the wife is the inscription: "_Te
ohatanga tenei mo Ruta te Rauparaha wahine O Tamihana te Rauparaha, i
mate ki Otaki i te 10 o nga ra o Hurae, 1870._"



Te Rangihaeata survived his uncle by seven years, living during this
time quietly at Poroutawhao. Though ceasing his violent opposition to
the occupation of the land by the settlers, he still clung to his
refusal to traffic in the native estate, either with individuals or
with the Government. Almost immediately after the close of the war,
Lieutenant-Governor Eyre and the Rev. Richard Taylor penetrated
through the bush and swamps which surrounded Poroutawhao, and met the
chief in the very heart of his stronghold. He was then, says Mr.
Taylor, an old man with a head as white as the top of Tongariro, and a
spirit somewhat resembling that active volcano, always fuming. His
white hair strongly contrasted with his bronzed features and highly
tattooed countenance. The missionary thus describes the retreat in
which they found him, and the reception they met with:--

 "A long, low, narrow strip of land, running through deep swamp, led
 to his retreat; the name of the place aptly describes it, being a
 cork, or stoppage, to war, and few would have liked to draw it out.
 The _pa_ was on a mound, the only one in the vicinity, and
 strongly fortified in the native style, with thick, lofty posts
 deeply sunk in the ground, and bound together with a _huahua_,
 or connecting pole, running round at a height of about ten feet.
 Inside the outer fence there was another, behind which the defenders
 could post themselves, and take aim through the outer one. The
 _pa_ was divided into a number of small courts, each equally
 well defended, and connected by very narrow passages. We found the
 chief with his wives and his head men assembled in the chief court,
 or _marae_, sitting on mats in front of his house. Fresh fern
 was strewed on the ground, and new mats laid on it for us; we were
 received with great respect, and welcomed with a loud
 _haeremai_: we sat down on the chief's right hand, and conversed
 on various subjects, until we were invited to enter a neighbouring
 house, where no one followed us, except a neatly dressed and
 good-looking lady, who was appointed to wait upon us according to
 Maori etiquette: there was a kind of table formed of two boxes, one
 placed on the other, with a new red blanket placed over it, and a
 form similarly covered in regal style. On the table was placed a dish
 of good fresh-baked cakes, another containing sugar, a knife, spoon,
 and two basins, one nearly allied to a wash-hand basin in size. The
 lady then brought a tea-kettle, and filled our cups with an infusion
 of mint, which she called tea. The wash-hand basin was, of course,
 placed before the representative of Majesty, who viewed with dismay
 its enormous capacity, which, being given him from respect, he could
 not well avoid draining to the bottom. After enjoying the Governor's
 perplexity, when the lady left the room, I emptied the contents of
 our bowls into a calabash, from which our natives were drinking; our
 repast being ended, we returned to the chief and sat by his side. The
 Governor requested me to ask the chief to sell some land, which I
 respectfully declined doing. He then attempted to do so himself: at
 first he was not understood, but when the chief comprehended what he
 meant, he gave a savage look of defiance, thrusting out his tongue
 and rolling about his eyes in such a way, that his Excellency, who
 had never seen such a display before, stared in amazement, and
 evidently felt anything but at ease. It need not be said that the
 land negotiations were speedily terminated, and we were soon
 threading our way back along Rangihaeata's swamp-girt road."

Not less interesting was the experience of Lord Charles Butler and Mr.
Carnegie, two officers of the _Calliope_, who, upon the cessation
of hostilities, conceived the adventurous idea of visiting the chief
in his lair at Poroutawhao. Starting from Wellington, accompanied by
Lieutenant Servantes of the 96th, who during the war had acted as
interpreter with the Government troops, and Tamahana Te Rauparaha,
they experienced considerable difficulty in pushing their way across
the country to the place of Rangihaeata's retreat. By dint of
perseverance they at length reached the borders of the swamp
surrounding the small hillock on which the _pa_ was built, and,
meeting some of the natives there, they sent them on to the chief to
ascertain if he would be prepared to receive them. A messenger soon
returned to say that Lord Charles and Tamahana might come on, but that
if Ewie (Lieutenant Servantes) attempted to do so, he would be shot.
Rangihaeata had persuaded himself that Servantes had been acting the
spy in the late proceedings against him. This impression, which was
quite erroneous, doubtless arose from the fact that this officer had
been a great deal in the company of the natives before the outbreak of
hostilities, that he was thoroughly conversant with their language,
customs, and haunts, and consequently was frequently acting in
conjunction with the native allies when no other Europeans were near.
There being no opportunity to offer explanations which might remove
the chief's prejudice, Servantes deemed it prudent to respect
Rangihaeata's mandate, and remained where he was, the others
proceeding to the _pa_. As they approached, sounds and evidences of
excitement, which they were at a loss to understand, greeted them, and
as they drew nearer, several armed natives came out of the _pa_,
pointing their muskets at Mr. Carnegie, at the same time abusing him
with a tornado of picturesque native epithets. This hostile
demonstration arose from the fact that they had mistaken the naval
officer for Servantes; but, when the guides had silenced the clamour
sufficiently to obtain a hearing, the necessary explanations were
made, and the party was led into the _pa_. They found Rangihaeata
leaning against his _whare_, and taking aim at the gateway with his
gun, having fully determined to end the days of the supposed spy if he
dared to enter the _pa_. The introductions were, however,
satisfactory, and, putting away his musket, he gave his hand to his
guests, whereupon his tribe likewise disarmed themselves, and prepared
to extend hospitality to the visitors. Lord Charles opened the
proceedings diplomatically, by presenting Rangihaeata with a few
pounds of tobacco and a red blanket; and, as soon as the chief had
filled his pipe with the fragrant weed, and adjusted the blanket to
his brawny shoulders, he sat down and entered into a most amiable
conversation with the _pakehas_, for whose refreshment he took care
that food should be brought. He plied his visitors with many questions
concerning Te Rauparaha and those natives who were prisoners with him,
and closely inquired of those Europeans with whose names he was
acquainted, making special reference to Lieutenant McKillop, of whose
conduct in the war he had formed an excellent opinion. He was also
exceedingly complimentary to Lord Charles, of whom he said he had
received very flattering reports, but he was equally regretful of the
conduct of his own people in deserting his standard, and spoke
bitterly of his experiences since he had abandoned his _pa_ at
Porirua. These misfortunes did not, however, detract in the least from
his hospitality to his visitors. He begged them to remain with him
until next day, in order that he might have the opportunity of killing
a pig and regaling them with due splendour on the morrow. This kind
invitation they modestly declined, and, after explaining that their
visit was of purely a private nature, and not one which would warrant
them in carrying back any message to the authorities, they took their
leave of the chief, whom they have described as being particularly
dirty, but a fine handsome man.

By his winning ways and the generous use of presents, Governor Grey
several times induced Rangihaeata to leave his retreat at Poroutawhao
for the purpose of holding conferences with him; and when he believed
that he had sufficiently ingratiated himself into the good opinion of
the chief, he ventured to propose the sale to the Government of the
Waikanae district. "It would have been the subject for an artist,"
says one writer, "to picture the indignant look of the chief as he
flatly and rudely refused, telling the Governor to be content with
what he had already got. 'You have had Porirua, Ahuriri, Wairarapa,
Whanganui, Rangitikei, and the whole of the Middle Island given up to
you, and still you are not content. We are driven up into a corner,
and yet you covet that also.'" But, though his overtures were thus
indignantly spurned and rejected, the _mana_ of the Governor did not
suffer any diminution in the estimation of the chief, who to the end
of his days continued to regard Grey with that chivalrous respect
which is extended by one warrior to another whom he deems to be worthy
of his steel.

In 1856, while still residing at Poroutawhao, Rangihaeata was stricken
with measles in a particularly malignant form, but, with his
characteristic recklessness of consequences, he refused to take the
ordinary precautions to facilitate his recovery. Though still in a
high state of fever, he decided to visit Otaki, and ordered his groom
to drive him thither. When passing the Waikawa River, he thought to
abate the fever by taking a cold bath; and, stopping the buggy, he
plunged into the river, from which he emerged with the hand of death
upon him. He was taken on to Otaki, where his malady rapidly increased,
and two days afterwards he passed away. His body was taken back, at
the head of an enormous procession, to Poroutawhao, where he was
buried beside his wife, the _tangi_ in his case being marked by
all the barbarous features of native mourning, interspersed with not a
few of the prevailing European vices.

When in the prime of life, Rangihaeata stood over six feet in height,
a handsome man, magnificently built. Like his more notorious uncle, he
too had features of aquiline mould, lit up by a pair of piercing black
eyes, which instantly flashed out their resentment on any real or
fancied insult. He was exceedingly jealous of his _mana_, and quick
to blaze into a fit of indignation at any word or act which he might
construe to be a reflection upon his authority as a chief. That
authority he frequently asserted by levying toll upon the settlers and
whalers, but never in any case from pure cupidity, or where he did
not, by Maori law, have some good and valid claim to _utu_. Against
these extortions, as they were pleased to regard them, the whalers
appealed to such authority[196] as they could find in the islands; and
when they were unable to obtain what they deemed to be justice in that
quarter, they took the law into their own hands, and tried to rid
themselves of their tormentor by means of the poison-cup. Frequent
attempts were made to poison him at the whaling stations; and we are
credibly informed that, on one occasion, he was induced to swallow a
pint of raw rum heavily drugged with arsenic. But, in their excess of
zeal to compass the chief's death, they had been led to apply too
great a quantity of poison, and instead of its acting as they
anticipated, it merely acted as an emetic. If this statement be
well-grounded, or if the whalers were as Major Bunbury described them
to be, when he visited Mana in order to procure Rangihaeata's
signature to the Treaty of Waitangi, it is not to be expected that
such dissolute associates would afford the chief much light and
leading in the path of rectitude.

The reckless disregard by the settlers and whalers of the sanctity of
native custom was responsible for many of the misunderstandings, which
they have debited against Rangihaeata for malice and mischief; while
no attempt has been made to exonerate him on the ground that he
probably saw the act only from the point of view of his native origin
and upbringing. He was in spirit and in the flesh a Maori, and gloried
in it, openly professing a detestation for the _pakeha_ and all that
he had brought to the country. He affected a supreme contempt for the
luxuries of the white man; but the weakness of human nature had
blinded him to the inconsistency of which he was daily guilty in
acquiring and gratifying an uncontrollable love of tobacco and rum.
When under the influence of liquor he was querulous and violent; but
his drinking indiscretions were generally redeemed as far as possible
by the payment of ample compensation, for, savage though he was,
Rangihaeata was not destitute of a liberal sense of justice.[197] This
he applied to himself as rigorously as to others. When he was flying
before the troops in the Horokiwi Valley, he frequently inquired if
those who were hottest in pursuit were relatives of the victims of his
anger at the Wairau; for to him "a life for a life" was an inexorable
law, to which even he must bow, if the friends of the massacred men
should overtake him. In the cause of what he believed to be the
liberty of his people he did and dared much, enduring intense
hardships for the maintenance of a principle, and when we charge him
with harbouring criminals and refusing to deliver them over to
justice, our resentment against his conduct may be mitigated by the
reflection that his loyalty to these misguided friends was not so much
due to a sympathy with crime, as it was a practical protest against
what he believed to be their unfair treatment by the New Zealand
Company. Rangihaeata stoutly resisted all attempts to convert him to
the Christian faith, clinging to his heathen gods as closely as he
clung to his antipathy to European settlement. His convictions on
these points were deep-rooted and irrevocable; and he died as he
lived, a savage, guilty of much bloodshed, yet not altogether devoid
of nobility. Though he never rose to the level of Te Rauparaha as a
warrior or a statesman, he was, nevertheless, a strong man amongst his
people, opposed alike to the missionary and the settler, but only
because he saw with a prophetic eye that the growing ascendancy of the
_pakeha_ meant the ultimate subjugation of the Maori race. Viewed from
this standpoint--the only one equitable to Rangihaeata--his policy of
hostility cannot be characterised as that of a stubborn rebel, but may
with greater justice be regarded as the policy of a patriot.

The character and personal attributes of Te Rauparaha have been the
subject of much conflicting comment, and the pen-portraits of him
which have come down to us have consequently varied, in sympathy with
the mood or interest of his critics. In physical appearance, all,
however, agree that he was short of stature and aquiline of
feature;[198] and, though at times obsequious in manner, he was
equally capable of displaying an imperious dignity of deportment which
marked him as a man accustomed to wield unquestioned authority. While
in repose, the general expression of his countenance was placid and
thoughtful; but when under the influence of excitement or agitation, a
receding forehead, a furtive glance, and tusk-like teeth, revealed by
a curling lip, detracted considerably from his impressive appearance.
Though upwards of sixty years of age when he came into contact with
the Europeans (for he claimed to have been a boy when Cook visited the
country), he was still possessed of a wiry frame, and was capable of
exerting great physical strength and activity, his limbs being
straight, his step elastic, and his athletic vigour little diminished
by age. Perhaps the most graphic description given of the chief is
that penned by Mr. Jerningham Wakefield, whose cameo-like portrait may
be accepted as faithful, and typical of others given by contemporary
writers of equal integrity, if of inferior literary skill. Wakefield
saw Te Rauparaha for the first time on the morning after the battle of
Kuititanga, from which the chief had just returned; and to the
excitement of that event may be attributed the agitation observable in
his manner, the "wandering watchful glances" he threw around him, and
the air of "evident fear and distrust," all of which contributed so
forcefully to the creation of an unfavourable impression on the minds
of his visitors.

 "As we leaped from our boat, he advanced to meet us, and, with looks
 of evident fear and distrust, eagerly sought our hand to exchange the
 missionary greeting. During the whole of the ensuing conversation he
 seemed uneasy and insecure in his own opinion, and the whalers
 present described this behaviour as totally at variance with his
 usual boastfulness and arrogance. He made us a pious speech about the
 battle, saying that he had had no part in it, and that he was
 determined to give no encouragement to fighting. He agreed to come on
 board the next day, and departed to one of the neighbouring islands.
 He is rather under the average height, and very dignified and stately
 in his manner, although on this occasion it was much affected by the
 wandering and watchful glances which he frequently threw around him,
 as though distrustful of every one. Although at least sixty years
 old, he might have passed for a much younger man, being hale and
 stout, and his hair but slightly grizzled. His features are aquiline
 and striking; but an overhanging upper lip and a retreating forehead,
 on which his eyebrows wrinkled back when he lifted his deep-sunken
 eyelids and penetrating eyes, produced a fatal effect on the good
 prestige arising from his first appearance. The great chieftain, the
 man able to lead others, and habituated to wield authority, was clear
 at first sight; but the savage ferocity of the tiger, who would not
 scruple to use any means for the attainment of that power, the
 destructive ambition of a selfish despot, were plainly discernible on
 a nearer view."

Such was the man who, in or about the year of Bonaparte's death, began
to play the Napoleonic _rôle_ in New Zealand.[199] Like the
Corsican conqueror, to whom his life affords an interesting historical
parallel, he derived no especial advantage from hereditary lineage,
for his place in the Maori peerage was only sufficient to lift him
above the native plutocracy. In his rise to eminence birth played but
a minor part, his path to fortune being carved out by innate
enterprise, inherent courage, wonderful executive capacity, and that
dash of political unscrupulousness which is seldom absent from leaders
of men. From his youth up he displayed masterful qualities of
mind,[200] which infallibly lift their possessor above the level of
mediocrity, and when such qualities are found, whether in savage or
civilised society, the measure of success attained is only limited by
the degree of opportunity offered. Te Rauparaha's escapades as a boy
reveal his natural bravery; his care as a young man for the generous
entertainment of his visitors indicates an appreciation of the value
of a good social impression; his exertions to master the art of war
were sustained by a clear recognition of the fact that authority in an
age of strife was impossible without military success; and his
ambition to furnish his people with guns was just as clearly the
result of the knowledge that military success was impossible without a
weapon as efficient as that wielded by the enemy. It was not any doubt
of the bravery or fidelity of his people that induced his anxiety
regarding their safety at Kawhia, but a conviction that, unless they
could procure muskets and fight Waikato on equal terms, their doom was

But there was also that in him which made him hunger for conquest just
as keenly as he desired to evade being conquered; and if the discovery
of an escape from his dilemma at Kawhia was accidental, he was, as a
rule, careful to leave nothing to accident in the execution of his
fully matured plans. The migration from Kawhia to Kapiti was a bold
and daring conception, fraught as it was with difficulties of
transport, peril to old and young, and, more than all, with the
certainty that every inch of the way would have to be either bargained
for or fought for. Yet it is the manner in which the idea was executed
rather than the idea itself that calls for our admiration. It was
characterised by wise planning, discreet forethought, accurate
calculation, clever diplomacy, skilful strategy; and, when all else
failed, there were the strong right arm and the courageous heart to
compel compliance, if compulsion were needed. That Te Rauparaha was
blessed with abundant confidence in his own prowess is demonstrated by
the lightheartedness with which he assumed the rank and
responsibilities of the dying Hape Tuarangi; and it was just this
spirit of cheerful self-sufficiency which inspired others with that
unbounded trust and confidence in him, which enabled him to lead his
people away from the ties of their ancestral home, and induce them to
share with him the dangers and uncertainty of a great enterprise. It
is at least a tribute to Te Rauparaha's talents as a leader that, so
long as the Maori remained unchanged by European influences, he
continued to receive the loyal support and unfailing allegiance of his
people. He was always popular with the masses, otherwise he could not
have accomplished a tithe of what he did. No criticism of Te Rauparaha
is sound which represents him as wholly bad. There is in human nature
a rough method of arriving at what is right; and no public, whether
savage or civilised, will for long tolerate, much less venerate, a
leader whose only policy is his own aggrandisement.

The undisputed position which Te Rauparaha enjoyed in the affections
of his own people, the fidelity with which they followed him, till the
_mana_ of the chief was superseded by the ascendancy of the
_pakeha_, afford proof that they, at all events, were able to
discern some meritorious qualities in him, even though not endowed
with the higher ethical vision of a modern critic. It has been
suggested that, in after years, when dissensions arose amongst the
tribes which acknowledged his chieftainship, the revolt was due to
shattered confidence, this shaken faith being traceable to a belief
that he was treacherously plotting with Ngati-Raukawa to compass the
expulsion of Ngati-Awa from Waikanae. But it must not be forgotten
that, by this period, the advent of the _pakeha_ had created a
new atmosphere around the Maori, and the policy of the missionary in
extolling the convert to the disparagement of the chief had, in a
measure, destroyed the power of the people's leaders. And, in the
general decline of hereditary authority, Te Rauparaha's _mana_
had suffered with the rest. It had therefore become more
difficult--and it may have been impossible--for him to quell
internecine strife by the peremptory means which he would have
employed in the days of his absolute supremacy.

No candid review of the chief's career can, however, fail to take
cognisance of the fact that his methods frequently gave rise to
suspicions of deepest treachery, the doubtful honour of these
proceedings having long since passed into song and proverb. In common
with all successful leaders, he possessed the virtue of keeping his
own counsel. He made his plans, nursed them in his own mind, and, in
the fullness of time, gave his orders accordingly--a secretive habit
which gave origin to the saying: "No one knew his thoughts, whether
they were good or evil." This reticence has, by some writers, been
given an interpretation which does not rightly belong to it: because
he was reserved, therefore he was treacherous. Such a deduction does
not necessarily sum up the whole position. But, even when this has
been admitted, there still remains the imputation of treachery, left
by the derisive songs and proverbs, to be either admitted or combated.
The unblushing apologist for Te Rauparaha might conceivably argue that
these chants were but the creation of prejudiced or malignant minds;
but the charges of deception, amounting to treachery, are too
frequently reiterated to be rejected as altogether groundless.
Barbarous though the Maori was, he had a code of honour which could
not be lightly violated; and when a member of a tribe was killed, it
was not the fact that he was dead which agitated his friends, but the
circumstances of his dying. "Was his death _tika_?[201] Had it been
compassed in fair fight? Or was it _kohuru_?"[202] These were
questions always demanding a satisfactory answer, for the laws
governing life and death were well defined. And, judged by these laws,
it is impossible to hold Te Rauparaha blameless of the crime of
treachery. The killing of the Rangitane chief, Toki-poto, the capture
of the Hotu-iti _pa_, the seizure of Tamaiharanui, and possibly many
another similar deed not so specifically recorded, were all acts of
treachery, and serve to dim the lustre of his larger achievements
conducted strictly in accordance with Maori military law.
Nevertheless, it is possible that there has been much exaggeration in
relation to this phase of the chief's character. When his troubles
with the New Zealand Company began to develop, and more particularly
after the Wairau massacre, it became the mission of a section of the
European community to represent him as the incarnation of all that was
cruel, treacherous, and unspeakably wicked. In this connection it
becomes especially dangerous to accept unreservedly the judgment of
the Wakefields, who were early prejudiced against him by his
opposition to their colonising methods, and were afterwards deeply
embittered towards him by the death of their relative at the Wairau.
Impartiality under such circumstances is almost too much to expect;
and it is only just to Te Rauparaha to say that they availed
themselves fully of their special opportunities for disseminating a
prejudice against him, so that a view so long uncontradicted can
hardly now be eradicated.

In no respect has the reputation of Te Rauparaha suffered more from
bitter hostility than in connection with the Wairau massacre. And we
cannot wonder; for at the time of its occurrence he had arrayed
against him a galaxy of literary talent, such as the Colony has never
seen since, and day by day these wielders of facile pens fed with
scholarly vituperation the flames of racial animosity, which were
already burning at white heat. They spoke of murder; they clamoured
for revenge; and all who failed to see as they saw were exposed to the
darts of their merciless sarcasm. But, with the softening influence of
time, men's hearts have mellowed, stormy passions have subsided, and
we of this day are able to review the facts with more sober judgment
than was possible to those who lived and wrote in the heated
atmosphere of the time. In this unhappy quarrel it must now be
accepted as an established fact that the New Zealand Company were the
aggressors. The Wairau Valley may, or may not, have been included in
their original purchases; but Captain Wakefield knew that this point
was being contested by the natives. He knew further that the dispute
had been by them referred to Mr. Spain, and therefore no reasonable
excuse can be advanced for his attempt to seize the valley while its
title was still subject to judicial investigation. Te Rauparaha's
attitude in the early stages of the trouble amounted to no more than a
temperate protest. He personally interviewed Captain Wakefield at
Nelson; he was as conciliatory in requesting the surveyors to leave
the field as he was decided that they must go; he calmed Rangihaeata's
violence at the conference with Mr. Tuckett; and, as Mr. Spain's final
decision was fatal to the Company's claim, the charge of arson
preferred against him dwindles into a legal fiction. The conciliatory
tone thus manifested by the chief was equally marked in the more acute
stage, which arose at Tua Marina. While the magistrate fumed and
raged, the chief stood perfectly calm. He more than once begged that
time should be taken to talk over the case; but the mad impetuosity of
Thompson would brook no delay in determining a cause the merits of
which he, the judge, had already prejudged in his own mind. For the
precipitation of the conflict which followed, who shall say that the
fault was Te Rauparaha's? It was neither his hand nor his command
which put the brand to the bush, nor does it appear that it was ever
within his power to control the outburst of human passion which flamed
up upon the firing of the first shot. What part he took in the fight
is uncertain. It has never been suggested that he bore arms, and
therefore we may assume that he was an excited spectator, rather than
an active participant in the mêlée. That he was early on the brow of
the hill, after the retreat had ceased, would appear to be beyond
doubt; but his first act on reaching the Europeans was to shake hands
with them, a proceeding which seemed to imply that, even after all
that had passed, his friendship had not been irretrievably lost.
Indeed, there is nothing to lead us to suppose that he harboured any
thoughts of retaliation, until Rangihaeata violently demanded _utu_
for the death of Te Rongo.

This demand placed Te Rauparaha in a serious dilemma. Against any
feeling of friendship for the Europeans which may still have lingered
in his heart, he had now to set a claim which was wholly in accord
with native custom; a right, in fact, which had been recognised by
his forefathers for more centuries than we can with certainty name; a
feature of Maori justice supported by ages of precedent, and which,
imbibed from infancy, had become a part of his nature. This was
undoubtedly the crisis of the tragedy. Had Te Rauparaha decided
against Rangihaeata, there would have been no massacre; but where his
detractors are unfair to him is in appearing to expect that he should
have suddenly risen superior to his Maori nature, and, in place of
allowing his actions to be governed by Maori law, that he--a
heathen--should have viewed the attempt to seize his land and his
person, together with the death of Te Rongo, in the forgiving spirit
of a Christian. No Ethiop was ever asked to change his skin more
rapidly; and if Te Rauparaha failed in the performance of the miracle,
he only failed when success was morally impossible to him. In the
massacre itself he had no share; and, beyond the fact that, under
intense natural excitement, he gave a tacit consent to Rangihaeata's
deed, he appears to have stood outside it.

Of his relations with the whalers, accounts vary. If we accept the
Wakefield view, we must believe that by them he was heartily detested
and distrusted. That he was acquisitive to the point of aggression is
possible; that he was often overbearing towards them may be equally
true, for these are characteristics frequently seen in the powerful
savage; but there are also instances recorded in which he showed a
ready generosity and a strict sense of justice towards the whaling

 "The whalers and traders, who had the best opportunity of being
 intimately acquainted with him, and that, too, at a time when his
 power to injure was greatest, invariably spoke of him as ever having
 been the white man's friend. He always placed the best he had before
 them, and in no instance have I heard of his doing any one of them an
 injury. Speaking of him to an old whaler, he said emphatically that
 Te Rauparaha never let the white man who needed want anything he
 could give, whether food or clothing; in fact, his natural sagacity
 told him that it was his interest to make common cause with the
 Europeans, for it was through them that he acquired the sinews of
 war, guns, powder, and shot, and everything else that he

The impartiality with which he held the balance between the two races
may be gathered from the following incident: A whaleboat had left
Waikanae to proceed to Kapiti, the crew taking with them a native, who
sat in the bow. On the journey over the Maori managed to secrete
beneath his mat the small hatchet which the whalers used to cut the
line, and was quietly walking off with it when the boat reached the
island. Before he had gone many steps one of the crew whispered to the
headsman what had happened, whereupon that worthy picked up the
harpoon and drove it straight through the Maori's back, killing him on
the spot. The native population was at once thrown into a state of
uproar and fury, threatening dire vengeance upon the whalers, but Te
Rauparaha quelled the disturbance in an instant, and, after inquiring
into its cause, walked away, declaring that the native had only met
with his deserts.

Towards his native enemies Te Rauparaha was unquestionably merciless
and cruel, though not more so, perhaps, than was sanctioned by the
spirit of the times in which he lived. Yet that he was not wholly
incapable of admiration for a worthy opponent is shown by his seeking
out and sparing Te Ata o Tu, the Ngai-Tahu warrior, who fought so
bravely against him at Kaiapoi. Even in this case there are persons
who affect to believe that self-interest rather than chivalry may have
been the moving impulse in his conduct, for he possibly counted upon
so skilful a fighter being invaluable to him in his northern troubles.
But surely we can afford to be magnanimous enough to concede to so
fine an example of generosity a less mercenary motive?[204] Though
relentless to a degree towards those tribes who came between him and
his ambitions, it must always be remembered that his ruthlessness is
not to be judged from the Christian standpoint. His enormities, which
were neither few nor small, were those of a savage, born and bred in
an atmosphere into which no spirit of Divine charity had ever entered.
Compared with the excesses practised in civilised warfare by such
champions of the Cross as Cortés and the Duke of Alva, his deeds of
darkness become less repugnant, if not altogether pardonable.

The attitude which he adopted towards the European was in exact
opposition to that assumed by Te Rangihaeata. He welcomed rather than
resented the coming of the white man, although he found reason to
protest against the methods employed by the New Zealand Company in
acquiring land on which to settle them. Nor in this respect can it be
said that his objections were captious or ill-founded; in fact, with
the exception of the Hutt dispute, the Commissioner's decisions were
invariably a vindication of his contentions. Some doubt has
necessarily been cast upon his loyalty to the Government (which he
accepted when he signed the Treaty of Waitangi), by virtue of the fact
that he was seized and held captive because of his supposed
infidelity. There are those with whom it is only necessary to accuse
in order to condemn. In this case accusation carried condemnation with
it, but condemnation without proof of guilt is injustice. Whatever the
measure of Te Rauparaha's duplicity may have been, the Governor
conspicuously failed to do more than suspect him, and as conspicuously
failed to bring the chief face to face with his accusers. It was never
proved, nor was any attempt ever made to prove before a court of
competent jurisdiction, that Te Rauparaha had held communication with
the enemy. Even if he had so communicated, an easy explanation might
have been found in the native practice, under which individuals in
opposing forces frequently visited each other during the progress of
hostilities. Te Rauparaha had many friends with the rebels, and it
would appear perfectly natural to him to hold friendly correspondence
with them, whilst himself maintaining an attitude of strict
neutrality. Considering the contemptuous disregard which many British
officials displayed towards rites and customs held sacred by the
Maori, it is not to be expected that they would trouble to understand,
or try to appreciate, this subtlety in the native character. And so,
what was to the Maori a well-established and common custom, was by
them translated into treachery, for which Te Rauparaha was made
captive in a manner which leaves us but little right to talk of open
and honourable tactics.

His conduct while a captive on board the _Calliope_ appears to
have been exemplary enough, and he succeeded in impressing those with
whom he came into contact by his quick perception, particularly of
anything meant to turn him into ridicule, of which he was most
sensitive. He frequently became much excited and very violent, and at
other times, when talking of his misfortunes, he would become deeply
moved, and the tears would run down his wrinkled cheeks. It is
recorded that he was very grateful for any kindness shown him; and
when Lieutenant Thorpe left the ship to return to England he expressed
the most intense sorrow, crying the whole day, and repeating the
officer's name in piteous accents. This, it was noted, was not merely
a temporary affection. When, a year later, the _Calliope_ was
leaving the New Zealand station, he sent his favourite a very handsome
mat, begging the officer by whom it was sent to tell Lieutenant Thorpe
how glad he would be to see his face once more, and how well he would
treat him now that he was free. Similarly, when Lieutenant McKillop
was proceeding home, Te Rauparaha took him aside and entreated him to
go, on reaching England, and convey to Queen Victoria his regard for
her and express his keen desire to see her, only his great age and the
length of the voyage standing between him and the consummation of that
desire. "He hoped, however, she would believe that he would always be
a great and true friend of hers, and use all his influence with his
countrymen to make them treat her subjects well, and that, when he
became free again, there would be no doubt as to his loyalty, as he
would himself, old as he was, be the first to engage in a war against
any who should offend her or the Governor, of whom he always spoke
with the greatest respect." During his captivity the news of the
outbreak of the war in the Sutlej reached the Colony, and, noticing
the excitement on board the _Calliope_, he asked to be informed of the
contents of the papers giving details of the battles. In this subject
he maintained the liveliest interest; and, when he had sufficiently
grasped the details, he was perceptibly impressed by the magnitude of
the armies engaged and the tremendous resources of the Empire, about
which he, in common with all natives, had been distinctly incredulous.
That his release was marked by no exhibition of resentment is at least
something to his credit, and the ease with which he afterwards adapted
himself to the strangely altered order of things is proof that his
nature was capable of absorbing higher ideals than are taught in
savage philosophy, although it is doubtful if he ever reached the
purer heights attained by a clear conception of the beatitudes of the
Christian religion.

In the life of Te Rauparaha there is much that is revolting and
incapable of palliation. But, always remembering his savage
environment, we must concede to him the possession of qualities which,
under more enlightened circumstances, would have contributed as
fruitfully to the uplifting of mankind as they did to its destruction.
His superiority over his fellows was mental rather than physical; his
success lay in his intellectual alertness, his originality, strategic
foresight, and executive capacity. He was probably a better diplomat
than he was a general, but he had sufficient of the military instinct
to make him a conqueror. And if, in the execution of his conquests,
the primary object of which was to find a safe home for his people,
the weaker tribes went down, history was but repeating amongst the
Maoris in New Zealand the story which animate nature is always and
everywhere proclaiming, and which, in the cold language of the
philosophers, is called "the survival of the fittest."

[196] "On shore, I was much tormented by the zeal of some European
sailors, who appeared to be a drunken set of lawless vagabonds,
belonging to the different whaling establishments in the neighbourhood.
The only respectable person amongst them was a stock-keeper in charge
of some sheep and horned cattle, and the captain of a whaling vessel
ahead of us. I asked the sailors, who were complaining that some of
the property taken was theirs, if they had any specific charge to make
against Rangihaeata, who was the most powerful chief in the
neighbourhood. However, I could get nothing from them but vague
declarations against native chiefs in general, to which I replied that
the fault was probably as much on their side as on that of the
natives. The old chief, who was present, appeared to understand the
drift of the conversation, for he went into his hut and brought out
several written testimonials of good conduct; on which I desired Mr.
Williams to explain to him how much I was gratified in perusing them,
and that I trusted that under the Queen's Government he would continue
equally to deserve them: that he would find the Government just and
even-handed, and that punishment would follow evil-doers, whether they
were natives or Europeans. To which he replied, 'Kapai,' apparently
much satisfied" (_Major Bunbury_).

[197] "On Saturday (November 24, 1849), Rangihaeata and a party of his
followers paid a last visit to Te Rauparaha. At the Ohau ferry
Rangihaeata demanded some spirits from the temporary ferryman (the
regular one being absent). On being refused, he knocked him down, and
then helped himself, but afterwards tendered _utu_ for the
violence offered and the spirits taken" (New Zealand _Spectator_,
December 1, 1849).

[198] In an enclosure opposite the Maori church at Otaki there stands
upon a pedestal a marble bust of Te Rauparaha. The bust was procured
in Sydney by Tamihana te Rauparaha at a cost of £200, and the
likeness, which is said to be a very faithful one, was copied from a
portrait painted by Mr. Beetham. Because Te Rauparaha had not become
even "nominally Christian," Mr. Hadfield refused to permit the
erection of the bust within the church enclosure, and for two years it
lay upon the common, packed in the case in which it had come from
Sydney. Subsequently, Mr. McWilliam, the native missionary, collected
a few pounds with which to purchase the pedestal, and had the bust
erected where it now stands. On the authority of Dieffenbach and
Angas, it is said that Te Rauparaha possessed the physical curiosity
of six toes on each foot.

[199] It is estimated that during the course of Te Rauparaha's
campaigns no less than 60,000 lives were sacrificed.

[200] Mr. Spain, in one of his reports, has said: "Rauparaha is the
most talented native I have seen in New Zealand. He is mild and
gentlemanly in his manner and address; a most powerful speaker; and
his argumentative faculties are of a first rate order."

"He must have been a most powerful man, and, if his mind had been
cultivated, would, no doubt, have been a most clever one. As it is, he
seldom gets the worst of an argument about his own proceedings, puts
such searching questions and gives such evasive answers, that he
puzzled the best of our logicians on many occasions when endeavouring
to get him to give a decided answer about his not giving us the
assistance he promised when we were trying to capture the murderers
from Rangihaeata" (_McKillop_).

[201] Correct, according to prescribed rules.

[202] Treachery, amounting to murder.

[203] Rev. Richard Taylor.

[204] "I must not omit to mention that, cruel and bloodthirsty as this
man appears to have been, he must occasionally have made exceptions,
as one of his slaves voluntarily accompanied him into captivity on
board the _Calliope_, waiting on him and paying him every
attention for a period of eighteen months, knowing from the beginning
that he was quite free to leave him at any time. He was offered a
rating on the ship's books, but this he refused, saying there would be
no one to wait on the old man if he was otherwise employed"


            { = Marore (Ngati-Toa)
            { | (the trap).
            { +---------------+-------------+-------+
            {   |             |             |       |
            { Uira.  Ranga-hounga-riri.  Tutari.  Poaka.
            { = Kahui-rangi
            { | (stranger).
            { +---+------------+
            {     |            |
            {  Hononga       Atua
            { (landslip).   (god).
            { = Ranga-ta-moana (Ngati-Toa)
            { | (day of taking at sea).
            { +-------+-------------------+
            {         |                   |
            { Whetu-kai-tangata       Puta-kino
            { (man-eating star).   (note of evil).
            { = Hope-nui (Ngati-Toa)
            { | (big waist).
            { +---+-----------------+
            {     |                 |
  Rauparaha {  Motu-hia         Te Malata
  (leaf of  { (cut off).   (carry on a litter).
   paraha). {
            { = Akau (Tu-hou-rangi)
            { | (sea-coast).
            { +------+------------------------+
            {        |                        |
            {  Tamu-whakairia         Tamihana Rauparaha
            { (king lifted up).   (Thompson leaf of paraha).
            { = Kutia (Tu-hou-rangi)
            { | (nipped together).
            { +--+
            {    |
            { Paranihia
            { (Frances).
            { = Kahu-kino (Ngatirangitihi)
            { | (evil garment).
            { +---------+
            {           |
            { Rangi houngi-riri tuarua
            { (day of battle, second).
            { = Kahu-taiki (Ngati-Toa)
            {   (garment of wicker work).

 [Illustration: MAP OF NEW ZEALAND]


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Old New Zealander - or, Te Rauparaha, the Napoleon of the South." ***

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