DISCUSSION BY CHIEFS.
POSITION OF, WAIKATOS
A meeting of chiefs representing the Waikato, Ngatiwaru, Ngapuhi, and Ngatipaoa tribes was held at the Maori Hostel, Auckland, last week, to discuss the proposed conscription of Maoris.
• The principal speaker was Keritoki Te Aim, who stated that he considered the proposal was aimed principally at the Waikato tribe. In his opinion the matter needed the most careful consideration, as the Waikatos were different in many respects from the Te Arawas, Ngatiporous, and Hawke's Bay natives, who had contributed to the later reinforcements. Unlike the Waikatos, these tribes had no longj standing difference with the Government. Had the other tribes approached the Waikatos the matter would have been fully thrashed out, and, in all probability, the Waikatos would have gone as willingly as any others/ Although the Government -had stated that. only.a few of the Waikatos had ' t gone, he asserted that, over 200 were now in different reinforcements. Ho also claimed that under the Treaty of Waitangi the Government could not. force conscription on the native race. i Matena Te Waero, of the Ngatipaoa tribe, stated that he did not consider the present was the time to discuss bo important a question, as only a few of the chiefs of the leading tribes, the Haurakis and Waikatos, were present. He suggested, therefore, that the meeting be adourned until a representative gathering could be called. j The chief of the Taupo tribe, Te Heuheu Tukino, advocated conscription, and spoke eloquently on the subject, stating that the Maoris should go, if only to maintain the reputation their ancestors had as a fighting race. Many of the best warriors had sprung from the Waikato tribe; let them, therefore, put all past grievances aside for the present and fight for the Empire of which they formed a part. A future meeting, ho said, might be too
lake, and he advocated immediate action, unless otherwise ordered by the Maori King and Tupu Taingakawa. He would always advocate the proposed conscription.
After a considerable amount of further discussion it" was decided to adjourn the .meeting to September 14; at'-'■'Mor'rinsville, and to request the Government to withhold its decision until after that date.