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Tho “Times” cox-respondent, telegraphJ ing from Normanby on the 29th, says : The Armed Constabulary are making rapid progress with the formation of the road, nearly one mile and a half being already prepared for metalling, contracts for which are out. At this rate it will be necessary to move the camp further towards Opunake in about a fortnight. The working parties pile their arms on the roadside, within handy distance, and then set to work with pick and shovel with a will, while tho covering party keep a careful lookout. On Tuesday ni"ht the picket heard sounds from Tito Kowaru’s place, some four miles distant, indicating that a waxdance was going on, but it is thought ixx the meantime that it was a mere piece of bravado. Early the following (Wednesnesday) morning, when Thompson, the interpreter to the foi’ce, was xip on the xxative tx-acks, a Maori named Toro came to him with a bit of fruit, and asked if the drays had arrived at the camp. Latexin the day two drays, accompanied by 37 natives, reached the camp at Kaipipi. Tho natives unloaded, and laid in a heap on the ground two pigs, 40 kits of potatoes, one kit of peaches, and a number of geese and fowls. Ngatiawahuihira, of Motemate, then, in native fashion, striking the heap with a wand, said —“This is a present from the Maoris to Colonel Robex-ts and the Europeans who arc here with him.’ Colonel Roberts briefly thanked them, but made no commexxt on their action, nor anything in the nature of a speech ; he ordex-cd out the baxxd to play for them, at which they seemed much pleased. When asked if Te Whiti had sent them, they looked hesitatingly at one another, and at last said a Maori word, ' the neax-est equivalent of which in English is, “It maybe so.” Subsequently they were allowed to wander about the camp, but one was discovered lying in a listening attitude outside a tent, and was quickly removed. Some time previous to the 37 Natives coming in, eight ox- ten others came and squatted down in the lane cut thi-ough the fern leading from the road to the camp, but said nothing abut the. present. Subsequently I asked Colonel Roberts what significance he attributed to the present, when he replied “ Only this, that I shall be nxore vigilant to-night than ever,” at the same time reminding me of the Turutiiromokai affair during last war there, that the same Natives brought a present in precisely the saxxxe manner, and during fixe night attacked the camp, killed Caplain Ross, and cm out his heart and x-oasted it, besides slaughtering many more. Whexx Major Yon Tcixqxskey- x-e----lieved them there were only six survivors. With this in Colonel Roberts’ recollection, he saw double reason for being on the qui vive. I also asked the opinion of an old settler, who has hitherto taken a very hopeful view of things, axxd he said he did not like it at all, while all agi’ee that it would be a grave mistake to accept it as an act of submission or friendliness. Mr. Bryce has been suddenly called to Wellington. A field telegraph office will be open at Kaipipi Camp immediately. The xxews that Mohi Tawhi had resigned his appointment on the Royal Commission on Native affaix-s has been received with rejoicing by the Natives, to whose mind it confirms the opinion that the Commission and the forcible taking of the plains are incompatible. The effect is likely to be to make Te Whiti more influential, and tho Natives generally more stubborn than before. The greatest dissatisfaction has been expressed with Katene, axxd threats to shoot him have openly been made. There is a rumor about that, ixx the course of a few days, there is to be a great gathering at Oeo, a place some six miles south of Opunake.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 55, 31 January 1880

Word Count

NATIVE AFFAIRS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 55, 31 January 1880