THE NATIVE WAR. (From our Special Correspondent.) Taranaki, March 31st, 1860.
Since the depaiture of the last mail for Auckland, most serious events have taken place, and happily the result of the second collision between our forces and the insuigent natives has been a heavy loss on the part of the latter. To resume the lelation of occurrences since Saturday lost . it will be remembeied that a large force of Ngatialanui were reported to be collecting in the Omata district, and engaged hi erecting apa there. At the same time it was generally supposed from information principally obtained through the friendly natives, that an attack on the town was in contemplation, and sub«equent enquiries have proved that such was the case. The alarm of the towns-people may well be imagined, the more so as the greater part of the regular troops were still in camp at the Waitaia, which lies about ten miles to the noith of tho town, the opposite side fromthat on which the attack was expected. At night, however, to the great delight of all, the 65th under Colonel Gold arrived from the camp, having left Colonel Sillery theie, in command of a sufficient force to defend it from a sudden rush. At 2 o'clock on the Sunday morning a party consisting of 200 of the militaiy and ]40 rifles and militia left town, and proceeding by the Omata stockade, reconnoitered the position taken up by the natives at Rutapihipihi, which, however, was considered too strong to be attackedjby so small a body. The force was accordingly withdrawn into town, and all remained in hourly expectation of an attack. The arrival of the troops on tho previous evening had to a certain extent restored the confidence of all ; and it was anticipated that should the native! venture to approach the town, we should be in a position to repulse, and inflict a heavy punishment on them. In this state matters remained till Tuesday last, when the whole town was plunged into a state of gloom and horror by the news, that Mr. S. Foid, of Tavauaki, who, contrary to all advice *nd warning, had persisted in going some distance into the Omata block for the purpose of bringing back some sheep belonging to himself, running there, had with two men who accompanied him, Pasimore and Shaw, been surprized and murdered, Ford was shot, and fell from his horse completely riddled with balls, and his two companions were savagely butchered with tomahawks. Their bodies were found near the Omata Inn, on the high road. It was evident to all that the character of the war was rapidly changing, and that it would soon become one of extermi nation, and when a short' time afterwards the 'bodies of two boys were found of the names of Pote and Parker, who had been likewise tomahawked, the horror , and rage of the community reached its climax. Great : anxiety naturally immediately arose as to the fate of j several families, numbering nearly 40 souls, who, not- • withstanding the wise injunotioni of the authorities, , had not yet come into town, but had preferred reI maining on the properties, in what had by this time I become the rear of the hostile natives' position. The I recklessness, or rathor folly of those who were willing , to run the risk of seeing their wives and children butchered, needs no comment ; nor can their conduct deserve the credit of daring, for* it arose in faot from a senseless trust that these savagei with whom they had been hitherto on friendly terms, would not molest them. The authorities were now, however, determined to oblige these settlers to place their familie* in a place of safety, events having shown that' neither youth nor old acquaintance—Mr. Ford had been one of the beit cu«tomera of his murderers for yoars — would have any effect on the minds of these natives, who aaama J after the first taste of blood, to be rapidly returning ta thair old and savage condition. Accordingly on Wj Inaa ly morning an expeJition was forwarded from tj.vn with the objeot of escorting theie familio* into town. Tin force consisted of IGO militia-men and q lu'ifc33M, 95 of
the 65th, and * rocket party under Lieut. McNaughton It. A., of 6 meu. About' the same time, the gun at [ Marsland Hills was fired, repot ts being abroad that the natives were in march upon the-town, and Captain Cracroft landed from the Niger with a force of 7 officers, 43 'seamen, and 10 marines, and held his party in readiness on the beach. The plan of the expedition was for the Militia and Volunteers to proceed by the beach, thus reaching the settlers in the rear of the, Natives and their pah, and the force under Colonel Murray was to proceed m a support by the Omata road, thus threatening the Natives in front and keeping up the communication with the town, the latter party were to halt at the Whalers' Gate, & cross road on the townside of the Omata stockade. Both bodies left at about 2 p.m., by the routes described, and additional <force of 25 men having joined from the Niger redoubt under the command of Mr. Blake, Ist lieutenant 1 ; they preceeded the column on the Omata road at some distance in skirmishing order. In the meanwhile the Militia'and Volunteers marched through the heavy sand, at a pace which soon brought them to the Sugar Loaves — the prominent rocks to the South ' of Taranaki — where, for some distance, it was necessary to take the inland road, and about a mile from the rocks, they suddenly found themselves in front of a large force of Natives, who crowned tho ridges of the gullies running inland from the sea, and poured down on the right of the advancing force, apparently with the intention of cutting them off from the beach road, at the same time attacking them in front. The chiefs were seen encouraging their men and waving spears, and for some time the Natives apparently despising the Pakeha exposed themselves openly. They found out, however, their mistake before night. The" first of the Volunteers engaged were Captain Atkinson's company, who advanced in skirmishing order under a heavy fire and succeeded in holding their ground, though with the loss of one vomp. badly wounded, till the mainbody came up when a skirmislf began, which lasted till after sundown. The nature of tho ground was remarkable, and well adapted for Maories and Light Infantry fighting. The ground from the sea at the Sugar Loaves rises gradually towards the South, terminating in a lofty ridge on which the Natives had erected a pah. The- fall of this hill is intersected obliquely with gullies debouching on the beach with flats between them, and it was across these gullies and plateaus the skirmishers were extended ; their right near the sea, and their left separated from the Omata Eoad by deep gullies. In a short time it became evident that they were almost completely surrounded, and by an overwhelming body, who, however, as the lifle balls began to tell amongst them became more wary, and although they approached in more than one place to within 50 yards never ventured to rush the Europeans. The Militiamen and Volunteers hard pressed on all sides fought with undaunted bravery, led on on by Captain Stapp, Charles Brown, and \V. Atkinson. The rifle balls told with unerring precision, and the loss of the natives subsequently proved to have been very heavy. The settlers fought well under cover, and the Natives who had previously laboured under the impression that Europeans could only fight in line, and on a level ground acknowledge since that they have been beaten in what they considered their own Vpeculiar mode of warfare. Notwithstanding the num(ber of hour 3 the fight lasted, and the large force opposed only one of the settlers was killed here, Serjt. Fahey of the Militia, who received a musket ball in the throat. Whilst^ these operations were going on upon the right, the force under Colonel Murray had arrived at the Whalers' gate, and had subsequently pushed on to the Omata Stockade, whence Lieut. Blake and his blue jackets and the advanced guard under Lieut Urquhart and subsequently Lieut. Whitbread, with further assistance were sent forward to support the left of the Militia, and to this movement the latter certainly were indebted for their safety. Here, unfortunately, Lieutenant Blake, whilst engaged with the Natives skirmishing on the right, received a shot in the right chest and was carried, to the rear ; but great execution was done upon this side, and had there been a gun instead of a rocket tube on the ground, a large body of Natives in a gully might have been utterly destroyed by a few rounds of canister. It will be remembered that Captain Cracroft was in readiness in the town at the time of the departure of the troops. As soonas news arrived that fightinghad begun, he started with his force for the scene of action, taking the beach road for some distance, and then passing round to the rear of the troops reached the road which led to the pah in the rear of the enemies' position where a flag was flying and a large force collected, The sailors were most impetuous and eager to storm, but they were kept in check till a few rockets had been sent into the pa, when Captain Cracroft let them loose at it, with a promise of ten pounds to the man who would carry away the flag. The blue-jackets made short work of the place tearing down and s\v aiming over the palisades — pistol and cutlass in hand, and dropping on to the heads of natives who had stowed themselves away in the trenches with hurdles and other substances above them, and who wounded several of the Sailors from below before they could be got at when the cutlasses soon finished them. As the Sailors rushed in on the one side many of the Natives rushed out apparently panic struck on the other and escaped, as it was now getting daik, but a large numbei were cut down in the pa, and of the ten or twelve leading chief s of the tribe, who are reported to have been killed during the day the greater part are supposed to have fallen here. Ammunition was now getting scarce on the right, and night falling it was deemed advisable to retire upon the pa. The pa was abandoned, and Capt. Cracroft and his sailors returned by the road. The retreat was sounded, and the advance guard after some delay withdrew towards the Omata road. Lieutenant Whitbread's party had been previously retired, leaving the Militia and Volunteers on the right still occupying their old ground where many of them could not hear the bugle,- and whence it was difficult to withdraw on account of gullies still occupied by the natives. Lieut. Urquhart remained as long asjjosaible, and before retiring sent as much ammunition as could be spared to those still engaged. The Militia and Volunteers were now in an awkward predicament ; but, fortunately, the Natives seemed to have had enough of fighting, and as it was now dark they succeeded at last in retiring by the beach road, although it was past midnight before they reached town where the greatest anxiety existed on tlieii account. A party of the 65th and Militia, who had been sent out to their relief met them on the road. The number of killed and wounded on the side of the Natives was very great. They immediately owned 65 dead, but the number is supposed to have been considerably greater, many dead bodies having been subsequently found in one or two gullies. The wounded must have been likewise very many. Some settlers who saw them retreating the next day remarking the great number of bandaged heads and limbs amongst l them. Our loss was comparatively small. Killed.— Serjeant Fahey, Militia ; Millard, Marine ; and one seaman. Wounded. — Lieut. Blake, Niger ; Lieut. Hammerton, Volunteer Rifles ; F. Eawson, W. Oliver, W. Messenger, sen., Pope, Climo, Inch, and Hawken. About 600 natives are said to have been engaged, but judging by their confidence and the position they occupied, it is probable that there were many more present. They were well armed ; rifle balls tining by eveny now and then, and men being hit at long ranges. They turned out in every possible rig — blankets of all colours, but a good many with nothing but a waist cloth. The pa when visited yesterday, was full of bloodstained mats and clothing, spears, fee. ; but the dead had been removed. Among3t those who were ■lain in the pa, there is said to have been one whiteman who called out for quarter, and waa cut down by a sailor. It is supposed to have been a man who was connected with the Natives, and lived with a Native woman. Everybody speaks most highly of the behaviour of the Rifles who pulled their maiden trigger ; the Natives gave them no chance of trying the bayonet on this occasion, and showed themselves equal to any troops for dash and pluck, though still in want of a few lessons in prudence. The manner, however, in which when surrounded a party threw up a breastwork of straw, &c., from which they kept the Natives at bay, killing * great many without losing 1 , proved how well they had inbibed the principles of the science of guerilla rifle warfare. The town is in great excitement. The Airedale is „ leaving with a great number of women and children, and the Nig«r is starting immediately for Auckland I ,omiijted,to mention that the settler for whose relief the expedition of Wednesday was sent out, were not'molested and arrived in town the following evening Wjipnu .Kingi .is said to be greatly disgusted with tie southern natives,, and they equally sojwithhim. The Ng'atiruanui Spy they' have, been deluded by W. Kingi,, who shpu]^ have aUowpd them to pass behind the Mountain,' and join hinv;at Watyara, instead of recommendjn'g tken^to^ttac^ from the South, > Tie next fighting, if any, is to be at the Waitara, so •ay the, Natives, 'jFkt i rejected party, .however talk of coming back to attaok the, town.
V~ -- WATER' SUPPLY, , .'^Publi'd'MeetingyiuiheldTnthe H*U of the Me- -, chanic<« Institute 'OH Friday evening the 30th ult;, for 1 ." EipoVt'of thVPrfiliipiimry $e& TOotqimttet, • «ppoiiit«a .to collect .information oh tho S^^^W^JSuppiy^tlie City, ,- , ./^
The meeting was attended by Thomas Buuoll, Esq., Dr. J- L. Campbell, Archibald Clark, Eiq., T. Hoale, Esq., A. Kennedy, Esq., R. B. Lusk, Esq., J. S. Oliver, Esq., G. P. Pierce, Esq., and numerous other gentlemen of influence and position in the City. His Honor J. Wiluam&on, Esq., Superintendent, in the Chair. The Chairman, after a few introductory remarks, called on Air. Hansard to read the Advertisement convening the meeting ; which, being read, The Chairman next called upon Mr. Hansard to read the Report of the Preliminary Committee appointed at a Public Meeting held on the 9th November 1859. It will not be necessary that we should publiih thii Report in extenso, as it will shortly be issued under the authority of the Company to be formed to carry out the object of the meeting. Briefly, however, it may be stated — That this Report contains very important additional information from Mr. Stewart, C.E., obtained by a closer attention to the lubject for the purpose of confirming his former general calculations, and with a view of reducing the scheme to its simplest and most advantageous form. He considers that the position best adapted for the construction of a Service Reservoir ii the field on the South of the highest point of the Kyber Pass Road, close to it's western end, being about SO? feet abovo high water, and 16 feet above the top of the Windmillthereby commanding the whole town ; and as pressure could be employed to raise water to a much higher level if required — as in case of fire, &c. — that would be sufficiently high. He also recommends the adoption of a lower reservoir than that originally proposed, — and which' he thinks higher than ne«e*sary, — by employing the old crater to the west of it, which is 68 feet lower, and capable, with a twelve-inch main, of discharging one million N gallons per day. He also suggests that the main pipes should be heavier than he formerly advised, for reasons which he assigns '; and he is convinced that the estimates he has previously given will be ample. The Report also states that two Sub-Committees had been formed ; — One for the purpose of examining the sources from whence a supply could be drawn and to report on their several advantages": the other "to ascertain, as far as possible, the rental of the houses within reaoh of the supply of One Tree Hill" : and that in order to leave no source from whence information could be obtained untried, a Deputation was appointed to wait on the Superintendent to ascertain from him what information the Provincial Government had respecting the Water Supply to the City of Auckland, and to confer with him generally on the subject. Tmough the labours of these Sub-Committees, and that of the Deputation, the Committee were of opinion that all the necessary information had been obtained and furnished in their reports, and that immediate steps might be taken for the formation of a Company. The sources of supply which the Sub-Committee thought worthy of consideration, as severally affording a basis for a practicable scheme aie :—: — 1. The Lake Waiatarea, near St. John's College. 2. The Western Springs, near Mr. Edgecombe's and Messrs. Low & Motion's Mill. 3. The Southern Springs in and near Onehunga, The respective advantages and disadvantages of these sources are then indicated, so far as known to the Committee : from which it would appear that those of Onehunga present many points ef superiority, which may be said to be, Ist.. The largenesi of the supply ; no less than 8 millions gallons being now wasted in every 24 hours. 2nd. The comparative shoitness of the pumping main, viz.. Ij miles; a mile less than those of the Western Springs, and 3 miles less than those of St. John's College. 3rd. The natuial facilities for making a Reservoir, furnished by the crater of the One Tree Hill, and its suitable elevation. 4th. The abundance of scoria fit for building purposes on the site of the proposed works. sth. The cheapness of fuel ; Drury coal being now 255. a ton, with every probability of its being cheaper, and which can be delivered close to the works. 6th. The fact that all the land lequired for every purpose in connection with the proposed works is public property, with the exception of a part of the pipe track, and the small piece requiiedfor the construction of a reservoir in the Kyber Pass Road. 7th. The consideration which far outweighs all the others in importance arising from the fact " That the scheme, if carried out, will provide a supply, not only for Auckland, but for the whole of the Isthmus, including the townships of Onehunga, Epsom, Newmarket, Mount jSt. John, and the other highly valuable suburban districts, in which the scarcity of water is at times severely felt. The Committee feel confident that the revenue which would be derived from the districts just mentioned would not only compensate for any additional outlay that may be found necessary in the commencement, but would also greatly reduce the current cost of the supply to the people of Auckland. The Sub-Committee appointed to ascertain as neaily as possible the rental of the houses within reach of the supply from One Tree Hill, gives the following digest as the result of their labours. The Rent Roll of Auckland furnishes a total revenue of £85,522 ; that of Parnell £8,638, to which may be added £1000 as^the amount to be derived from the population of the country adjoining the proposed line, and £6,600 from various other sources of revenue, such as the Barracks, Breweries, Bakeries, Shipping, Water Power and Water Rates, and for the purposes of Irrigation, &c. The rates charged by the various London Water Companies were stated, — from'which it was argued that no Water Company was ever projected under more favorable and promising circumstances, or with a better prospect of success. The hope was expressed that the urgent necessity of the case would induce the Citizens of Auckland to unite with hearty good will in carrying into effect the suggestions embodied in the Reports of the Sub Committees and those of Mr. Stewart, with as little delay as possible.
Archibald Clark, Esq. : — in mo-ring the first resolution, which read as follows — "That the Report of the Preliminary Committee be adopted by this Meeting," said "In moving this resolution I think that after the elaborate Report which has been read by Mr. Hansard coupled with the Report to which is appended the name of Mr, Stewart, and which hai appeared in the newspapers ; it is unnecessary for me even if I were able to say anything to induce you to pass this resolution. There is hardly a house in the town in which a glass of pure water can be obtained — the best is mixed with all kinds of deleterious matter, and there is even a scarcity of that ; which has been felt by every one. Perhaps a sufficiency has been found for culinary purposes, but water i« required in abundance, so that we may preserve health by an attention to sanitary measures. Our city requires drainage, and could easily be drained, and if there was a. sufficiency of water to flush those drain* from time to time; one great cause of disease would thus be removed. In cases of fire too, how much, and seriously do we feel the want of an abundant supply of water. On the occasion of tho calamitous fire on Tuesday morning last, this was specially noticeable. I firmly* believe that if we had at the first even the supply which was latterly obtained, that the fire would have been confined to the house in which it originated. For these reasons I hope that the Citizens of Auckland will consider that this ia an affair of their own, one in which they have a deep and personal interest, and one in which, if with unanimity they resolved to do their utmost, they could, I have no doubt, accomplish the work as laid down in the Reports which have been read.
G. P. Pierce, Esq., in seconding the above resolution, said : I can odd but little in favour of this icheme after what has fallen from Mr. Clark. The first great want of the place is pure water ; and secondly, efficient diainage ; and we cannot have the one without the other. The want of water wh never more painfully evident than on the morning of the late fire, and I quite agree with Mr. Clark that much valuable property might have been saved if only a moderate supply of that necessary element had been available. Dr. J. L. Campbell, in moving the second resolution, " That it is desiraMe that the necessary steps should bo taken to form a ' City of Auckland Water Company,' on the plan proposed in the Report now adopted," said : This meeting having confirmed the Eeport of the Preliminary Committee — x. report which has been gone into with the utmost powrible care, and by which it appeared that Auckland and its suburbs could be supplied with water for the small cost of £60,000 — that sum including the branch service piping in the city— it only remained to be seen if any feasible plan could be proposed by which the money necessary for the works could be raised. I have often heard it objected to, that money which could be raised in the colony should be sought for elsewhere, and that the .colonists should be paying away interest which they might keep among themselves, but it appears to me that/j if we could obtain foreign capital at 8 per cent., that "was a figure at which we would not be'i inclined .to lend! money our ' selves, and ti)at therefore 'we should be , the gainers. Now the difficulty before us was tfl raise the £60,000 ; and I believe that.ifcwe could raise one' third of the amount—£2o,ooo—among ouwelvei, .the remaining £40,000 might be got in the London market. , But it was decenary that" we should ,raUe the£2ojooo, as our doing so would be a. guarantee that we" behoved "in the feasibility .of the intellect \jroiks." The, Pr#vinpial Go-, vernme'nt had intimated Ahat it would, gijrj), rip 'mpney and material, a num equal to £7000'; "this would only leave the Small sum of £18,000 to be raised by tho public. ' This ,C20',000 subscribed and , a Provincial Act
obtained authorizing the letting of a water rate and giving the Company power to iuue their own debentures; the Company might then contract with an engineering firm of repute at home who would take the debentures as part payinont of the works, which such Finn would construct. Failing these ways of- raising the capital, a third might be fallen bock upon, namely, procuring a Government loan, and appointing Commissioners ; but I think that the public would prefer doing the work for themselves. I'have heard that it has been rumoured that the Onehunga Springs were drying up. I can only state that they were measured lost week, and that the portion of the spring* from which an estimated supply for 70,000 people wan taken, had given a supply for " twice that number," and that there waa " another spring," at a short distance, whioh had not been taken into calculation, and which was said to be as large as those measured. Tiieofhii.cs Heal*, Esq., in seconding this motion said : — On the necessity of bringing water into the City it is unnecessary for me to watte one word. The urgency of that need was forced into all our minds so overpoweringly last Tuesday morning that the impression could only be weakened by words. The only question that Can arise is, whether the means proposed, — the Company whiqh had been sketched out by the preceding speakers— is the best mode offsupplying this pressing want. Now, for my part, I maintain that all works of this kind are better in the hands of individuals deeply interested in their success, than of any Government whatever ; and I appeal to the uniform experience of England and elsewhere, which proves that Government works are always more costly^ and worse managed than those ".conducted by private parties. It is the great boast of our nation that we alone, of all the people of Europe, are able to carry out great improvements without the continual interference of the Government. The British Empire is covered with a net work of railways, as before it had been by turnpike roods ; every city and every considerable town is abundantly supplied with water, and with gas, and the streets, with hospitals and other public institutions, all provided, and managed by the people themselves without any interference from the Government. This self-reliance is, oi all things, most desirable to introduce here, and I deprecate the eternal crying to the Government to supply all our wants. Besides, the Government would still have their full share in carrying out this work, — the Government will be applied to for the requisite power, and would have to superintend the exercise of that power ; they might also be called upon to aid the Company in obtaining funds, by affording such guarantees to the Company's debentures as would make them acceptable in the English market, thus by this soheme both the people and the Government would have their fair share in the work in their proper and appropriate sphere, and I maintain that the promoters of the scheme have done right in making this no duty of a section, but in calling upon the inhabitants of all classes, of every trade and profession, and of every shade of opinion, to be up and aiding in providing the town with a requi-, site essential for health, and for the comfort and even the safety of our existence. Thomas Kusseix, Esq., said : — The real business of the meeting has been effected by the last resolution, so ably moved by Dr. Campbell. From the remarks mode by that gentleman we have before us a simple proposition. One third of the sum of £60,000 ii to be raised in Auckland, and the community are required of that third, to raise £13,000, the Government contributing the other £7,000. As to our ability to do this there can be no question, but will tho public respond to the call ' The resolution 1 have to move is intended to test the matter. Tt is necessary that application should be mode to the various Insurance Companies and others interested in this important matter, and for that purpose a Committee or Provisional Directory is needed. I beg therefore to moye — " That the following gentlemen be appointed Provisional Directors, to carry the second resolution into effect, viz., A. Clark, Esq., Dr. J. L. Campbell, T. Heale, Esq., J. Kussell, Esq., and J. A. Gilfillan, Esq." Mr. SANDKBBON said : — I beg to second this resolution, and I think that the thanks of the public generally are due to those gentlemen for their willingness in undertaking the onerous duties which will devolve npon them. , A vote of thanks to his Honor the Superintendent, for having taken the Chair on the occasion, was then passed, and the meeting separated. A universal feeling being entertained that the proceedings had been conducted in a. most oatisfactory and busineis-like manner. We sincerely trust that ere long we shall have to speak of the " Auckland Water Works" as anotqer indication of our social progression.