THE TARANAKI AFFAIR.
Waikato Times, Volume XIII, Issue 1087, 12 June 1879, Page 2
THE TARANAKI AFFAIR.
New Plymouth, Tuesday. There is nothing new to report respecting the natives, except the Maoris are not so bounceable as they were. The arrival of the Armed Constabulary force and tho settlers being armed has somewhat frightened them, and put a deal of the superstition out of their heads. EFFECT OF THE GOVERNMENT ACTION. Most reliable information from the "Waimate Plains, Okato and Oakura, states that the arrival of the Constabulary and the determined action of the Government at the front have produced a great change m the bounceable attitude of the natives. No violence is anticipated for the present. The enrolment of Volnnteers md Government forces combined has removed much of the uneasiness that prevailed with the public. It is unanimously desired that, as Government has been compelled to take arms, they should push on roads and railways everywhere without further parley with the natives. THE BASIS OF CLAIM MADE BY THE NATIVES. The own correspondent of the Herald writes As the result of inquiries I have been making into the position of the land which the natives are now ploughing, I find that 'there are complications which separate it from the case of confiscated land, and that the natives have some additional claims which must be considered before we take any further steps, or at all events befure we shoot V them. 0 akura land was given to military settlers, being cut up into fifty-acre sections, which have gradually been aggregated into larger farms. The laad was within one of the confiscated blocks, but it belonged to friendly natives as well as rebels. In order to avoid giving the natives patches here and there, it was arranged that those natives having claims, and who had not been m rebellion, should receive as compensation for the land of which they had been deprived m Oakura, 1250 acres within the block, and 3600 acres on the Kaitake and Patukai ranges. The natives who had not been m rebellion signed a document consenting to this arrangement. This was done m July, 1866. However, no title has yet been given to any portion of this land, and the natives seem to be under ,the impression that, after agreeing to give up Oakura thsy arc not to receive anything at all, either within the block or without it. The principal men are Bob Erangi, Himiona, and Wi Kamohamo. Two of these men are concerned m the ploughing operations. Those who were m rebellion, and who owned land within the Oakura block, are now living at Parihaka. There are 150 of 'them. Some of them are concerned m the ploughing, including Tukino. The land now being ploughed was not really confiscated land, but was acquired by us from friendly natives to complete a confiscated block, under a promise of compensation. Something of the same circumstances exist with regard to the land now being ploughed at Opu- n ake. Of these fa6fcs I understand that the Government has just been made aware m pursuance of inquiries directed bi£. Ministers to be made. IMPORTANT RECOMMENDATIONS BY JUSTICES OF THE PEACE. Wellington, Tuesday. The Justices of the Peace for New Plymouth and the neighborhood have, at the request of the Premier, placed oa record their view of the present troubles, and have forwarded a memorandum to to the Government, which is of considerable interest. They (the Justices) believe that the act of trespass, m ploughing up a grass paddock belonging to Mr Courtney, is not the act of a few individuals, but has been committed with the full approval of Te Whiti, who has acquired a wide-spread influence over the natives, through the assertion of supernatural powers. The act is regarded by the Justices as a natural sequel to Te Whiti's success m removing the surveyors from the Waimate Plains, and they point but that the colony must not be lulled into a false confidence by the fact that Te Whiti has only employed peaceful methods to get back thelconfiscated lands. They show that he sheltered Hiroki, the murderer of Maclean, and justified himself by saying- that the crime was not greater than the crime of the Government m taking the land from the natives. The Government are advised to be prepared for any acts, however barbarous, which are known to be sanctioned by Maori usage when once the war-spirit is let loose, and it is asserted that the experiment of ploughing up paddocks m. the occupation of Europeans is one fraught with the most imminent danger to the peace of the district. They say:— "From the nature of the ag-gression and the avowed .intention of Te Whiti and his people to follow it xip by other acts of a like land, it is quite impossible for the Government to delay for any length of time the adoption of measures for effectually putting a stop to this and similar proceedings. This may possibly be effected m the present case without bloodshed. There is, however, at least a serious probability of forcible' resistance to any intorfence, and if any af To Whiti's followers should be lolled m the struggle, it is impossible to predict liow far .and how quickly tho flame may spread. "On the other hand, if the trespass should be put a stop to by the capture, without bloodshed, of those, engaged in^
it, and these men who have been obeying and carrying out the orders of Te Whiti, should be locked up m the town gaol, we f eol ourselves quite unable to foresee with any certainty what will be the result of the great revulsion of feeling amongst his followers which must take place when they discover that his peaceful methods of recovering the land are a delusion. We are informed by a reliable authority on native matters m this district, that the most probable result of such a discovery will be, that those who have been deceived by Te Whiti's mysterious claim will turn against him, and that his own life will be m jeopardy. "Be this as it may, Vre cannot but think that m the time of intense excitement, whioh must ensue amongst the large gathering of natives at Parihaka, on hearing that the representatives of their cause have been arrested and imprisoned, it is almost certain that the party amongst them, however small it may be, which is ready for immediate acts of violence, will, either with or without the santion of Te Whiti, take its own course, and that a large part of those who are more peaceably, disposed will find themselves dragged into the struggle." i 1 The Justices then point out that the action of the natives is a complete defiance of the power of the Government, and state their belief that until effectual steps are taken to convince them of our superior strength, and of the hopelessness of their attempts, the whole industry of the settlement must necessarily be paralysed, and the settlers live m constant apprehension, whilst, if the period of suspense is much prolonged, great numbers will abandon their property and flock into town. j Under these circumstances, they recommend that the country should be put m the most complete state of defence possible, and submit that the settlers should be armed with efficient weapons; whilst they further advocate the introduction into,the settlement of such a body of men to act as a field force as may be deemed sufficient, if necessary, to capture, all disturbers of the peace with the least possible delay. Whilst making these recommendations, they do not imply that war must inevitably f ollbw, but they hold that the chances of a peaceful result will be very small indeed, without giving to the disaffected and the waverers among the natives dear proof that the Government is stronger^ than they, and will use its strength without hesitation if necessary. Moreover, what is wanted is not merely to tide over the present hour, but to place the otherwise flourishing settlements on this coast m such a position that the recurrence of a crisis like that through which they are now passing may be practically impossible, and we trust that the Government will aim at nothing short of this.