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HIROKI

[FROM THE “OTAGO DAILY TIMES.”] The crime of which Hiroki is accused was committed on 19th September, 1878, at the surveycamp near Waverley, in the Waitotara district. From official records we find that the murdered man, John M‘Lean, was cook to the party. He was found dead, and a bullet was extracted from his body. The official report -of the district constable, dated 23rd September, 1878, was as follows :—“ The natives tell me that the native Hiroki: has, they believe, fled to Waikato, as rj his mother lives there ; and that there is no political significance to be attached to it. He had no reason for doing' it that they are aware of. He is a man of a very bad character; is of ' a thievish nature. The whole of the ; natives came in from Papatupu this morning and told me they , were very i much cut up about it, asking me what-i i they were to do, as they were afraid to r live up the river for fear the pakehas would shoot them down if they caught . them prowling about. I told them to t go home and have no, fear, as Hiroki was pretty well known to Europeans about. They have gone home, and promised to give him up if he attempts ; to come back; also to let me know if he is in the neighborhood. The natives here deny all knowledge, act or, part, in the murder.” From further reports it appears there had been a slight quarrel with natives about pigs and a dog, which a European of the party charged Hiroki with stealing. The evidence given against Hiroki was to the effect that he had been heard to say some time previously that he would kill Murdoch M'Lean, a brother of the deceased, and further, that some natives had stated to the witness’ mother that Hiroki had told them that he had gone to the survey camp on the 19th, an< f ;:1 had quarrelled with the cook, who had fired at him, and that he (Hiroki) had returned the fire, and shot M‘Lean dead. Hiroki was afterwards seen by a party sent out to capture him, and fired at. A reliable native subsequently! ! reported (2nd November, 1878) that, Hiroki had escaped unhurt to Parihaka to Te Whiti, who had asked, “ Have , you fled hither?” He answered, “Yes.”—How many of them did you kill?” He answered, '‘One, and put his body and their tents into ' the river.” —“Why did you spare them ? Had you killed them all there would have been nothing more of it j no measures would have been taken 7 , but as you spared them, do not meddle further with them.” Hori Tauroa reported that he knew Hiroki would riot ; be given up; that there was a cause for what he had done. The surveyors had been warned not to proceed, blit took nq notice, and therefore it was not murder to kill them. In April, 1879, Major Brown reported as follows :—“ A small matter, as. little desired by Te Whiti as it was by the Government, and that might have . hap- ! pened at any time since hostilities ceased on the coast- —the murder of M'Lean by Hiroki a Waitotara—-has • ? changed the whole aspect of affairs. There are not the slightest grounds for regarding the murder as a political one , ! connected with the survey of the con- , fiscated land; but Hiroki, having escaped and reached Parihaka, although. ,wpupded, claimed' thatrif endTe * whiti felt obliged_on_diat_ground_to__ —

afford Kim an asylum, and he became the'possessor of a white elephant. Te WHlti said to tne very plainly, “If he bailbefen killed'.on the way ! should h^£|had ( Nothing to say ; as he has reached me« T am prepared to hear what the Native Minister has to say aibai it’ ; Sifice then the aspect of the confiscation- question has materially altered. The native mind sees it in the Sr that, if the Government cannot ’ ’with Hirpkii itcannot deal ter with the confiscated lands. And, Te Whiti, .when recently asked by the Hon. the Native Minister to give up Hirokito be tried, feeling himself in a dgemma, lost his temper, and departure rof the Hoh. J. Sheehan, yielding also probably to pressure, oiderfed,that the Surveyors should be removed from the plains, which may be taheh asa reply to the request to give lip Hirpkl. I believe still‘that Te Whiti |s anxious to avoid bloodshed ; hjithe'has, felt obliged to take the step he has to maintain his position, and he is not in; a: position, nor. has he the will* to prejhdiee it by retreating ; nor can he chOose' what further steps he will take.” It will thus be seen that the taking of Hiroki along with Te Whiti himself is'-a ■ very important step, significance of which cannot fail to be understood by the ’ natives. It is at once the assertion, of the supremacy of the law and the realty of the confiscation.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18811110.2.4

Bibliographic details

HIROKI, Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 497, 10 November 1881

Word Count
824

HIROKI Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 497, 10 November 1881

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