The “ Times” correspondent, telegraphing from Normanby on the Ist, says : Nothing startling has occurred yet in connection with the occupation of the plains, and the natives continue to visit the camp and mix freely with the constabulary. Preparations are being made for the native gathering at Oeo, mentioned in a previous telegram, but it will not be held until the return of Mr. Parris. Nothing definite is known about it, except that Te Whiti docs not in any way recognise it. The natives are all looking forward to the March meeting to provide a solution of the difficulty, but not one of them will venture to say what that solution, from a native point of view, will be. There are many who think that Te Whiti’s policy is to lull the pakehas into a sense of false security, and then surprise them. Colonel Roberts is fully aware of this is the last man in the world to be decePT A. by present appearances. The constabulary having completed the formation of the road from Kaipipi southwards towards the Waingongoro, have now commenced forming northward towards Kaupokonui, that is, towards Parihaka. Te Wetere, the celebrated Mokau chief, who is well known as the murderer of the Rev. Mr. Whitely, visited the camps on Friday, and was in Normanby to-day. He attended the great Waitara meeting and visited Parihaka last year, but has not been so far since he marched down to the Waitotara during the war,, at the same time that Hone Pihama was against us. It is Te Wetere’s boast that upon that occasion he wont to Waitotara with 200 men, and returned with the same number, not losing a man. It is impossible to say, with regard to the present state of affairs, whether this visit has any significance or not. Colonel M‘Donnell, whose name is well known in connection with the last war, has gone to Parihaka, and it was rumored that he was in some way connected with the Government, but I am in a position to say positively that he is in no way employed by the Government, and that he goes merely in his [capacity as a Justice of the Peace to witness signatures to certain deeds. It is somewhat puzzling to many persons that, while the Plains question is in the present unsettled condition, and the attitude of the Natives towards the Government is one of passive opposition, liable at any moment to become active, persons known under that most elastic and comprehensive of titles, “ Native Agents,” seem to be busier than ever. Many far seeing men think that martial law should be proclaimed, and that all transactions relative to land between Europeans .and disaffected Natives on the Waimate Plains should be suspended. The present state of affairs with regard to this is certainly very anomalous.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 56, 3 February 1880
NATIVE AFFAIRS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 56, 3 February 1880
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