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TAURANGA.

1 (FBOM eTJtt OWN COBMBPONDEHT.)

. August 25. oINCE my letter by the e. Tauranga, nothing of importance has transpired in this district, .excepting the inquest on the remains of poor Campbell, the search for which I referred to in my last. I shall forward the evidence almost in. ex ten so, believing wUh many others, that in justice to" all parties tho whole should be published. It will be Been that Mr. Commissioner Clarke intimated to the jury that fuilhor disclosures had come into his possession wheh necessitated further enquiries nnd search before tho present inquest terminated. Indeed it is now certain that the information given by Stnngor, already published in the Herald, distinctly refers to another murder where the body was decapitated. Mr. Clarke also remarked at a later stage of the proceedings that he feared other murders had been committed; several men were missing, amongst them two soldiers of tho 12th regt., and notwithstanding all his efforts he had failed in eliciting any information as to thoir fate, from the natives. It is perfectly clear from the evidenco adduced, that if blame be attributable to any person .with regard to tho long postponed search for the unfortunate victim, that person is not our worthy Besident Magistrate.

August 26th. _ A mounted party left Te Papa this morning consisting of Colonel Harrington, Mr. Commissioner Clarke, Captain Skeet, and Lieutenants Turner, Alloes, Mair, and Atkyn, for the purpose most' probably of exploring cortain places indicated in portions of the evidence taken at the iiiqrest on Saturday last, in conjunction, it is believed, with other facts that have come to Mr, Clarke's knowledge. Prospecting is still in abeyance. The committee waited upon Mr. Commissioner Clarke last week, and were promised by that officer all assistance it was in his power to afiord.

CORONERS INQUEST ON THE REMAtN.S OF

ALFRED A. J. CAMPBELL, LATE Ist WAIKATO REGIMENT. An Inquest was held on Saturday, 24th instant, at the Resident Magistrate's Court, Tauranga, before Colonel Philip Harington, J.P., Coroner. Mr. Clarke, addressing tlie jurymen summoned, said, before they were sworn he wished to inform, them that from more recent and peculiar disclosures tbat had been made to him with regard to the enquiry about to take 'place, lie should deem it necessary to institute a further search in the district, and that it was his intention after a portion of the evidence had been taken, to request an adjournment of the inquest until Tuesday ; that the ends of justice demanded this mode of procedure. 1 Such j being the case, should any of the gentlemen sum- / moned feel ccrtain that it would be impossible to attend on that clay, they had better so state. Capt. Fraser and Mr. Henderson hereupon stated that they were both summoned to attend the Supreme Court, Auckland, [and would be going by the steamer now due. They were therefore discharged. The following 'gentlemen composed the j uiy :— Messrs. Ball, Norris, Douglas, Samuels, G'anu, Lazarus, Bradley, Hill, Byrne, Tunks, Turner and "Wrigley, foreman. The jury on being sworn, and being briefly addressed by the Coroner as to the importance of the enquiry, at once proceeded to view the skeleton remains of the deceased deposited there, of which they made a most minute inspection. On the return of the jury, the first witness examined, was H. T. Clarke, Esq., Chief Commissioner and R.M., who, on oath said : to the best of my belief, it was on the 21st January last, I was coming past the Gate Pa accompanied by mounted orderlies when Mr., Franßhaw came to me and asked whether I had heard anything of a man named Alfred A. J. Campbell. 1 said I had not, and his reason for making enquiry ;'he informed me was that Campbell had been missing for 14 days, that nothing had been heard of him, that he had gone on his land in the direction of Oropi (Europe) to lot 34 as he thought, that Campbell had taken with him provisions, biscuit, meat, &e., n-Titl also a mare and foal. I rode into camp, and at once, without getting off my horse, communicated with the officer commanding the'district. I also acquainted the hon. the Defence Minister, Col. Haultain, then in Tauranga, with what I had heard. I also suggested that a party should be sent in search, but there was another expedition then going out. 14 days after, I again mentioned the matter and was informed that Campbell was seen on board the steamer bound for Auckland. I considered this information conclusive. Mr. Fransham again, about six weeks ago, asked me if I had heard anything about Campbell. I replied that I had not. Last week Mr. Fransham came up to my office and told me that there was a European named Stanger who had been living with the natives at Haerim ; that he, Stanger, had been told by one of them that a pakeha had been murdered on the road to Oropi, and that by the description he understood the murdered man to be , Campbell. I immediately sent for Stanger, and requested him to give me all the information he possessed He expressed fear in doing so, lest his name should be known by the natives. I assuredhim that I -would not make use of his name; I only wanted sufficient for me to institute an enquiry. He then informed me that a young native, named Keweti, had told him that it was a fact that a pakeha had been murdered on his road to Oropi by the Ngatiporou. On this I immediately sent for the principal man at Haerini, named Ranapia, who came to my office on Monday, and said what is this about the reported murder ? 1 wish to hear what you have to say about it. I then repeated to him what I have already stated in e.vidence. He directly said it is correct, the man has been murdered. On my mentioning the name of the Ngatiporou, he exclaimed, it may be the Ngatiporou, or it may be some one else. I was particularly struck with this answer, and stated so to' Mr. Gill at the time. I then offered Ranapia a reward if he would discover the body. I got a tracing of the survey of that part of the district, and requested him to search particularly on lot 34, Turner and Brown's survey, on the rifflit hand side of the road going to Oropi. On Wednesday afternoon last, Te Ranapia came and told me that they had discovered the body, and according to the instructions I had given him before he went. Nothing had been touched by them. On Thursday, a party, consisting of Colonel Harington, Uapfc. Skeet, Doctor Henry, Mr. Gill and myself, with. Kahapia, proceeded to the spot. About a hundred yards from the road, 011 the right hand, side, lot 33, Turner and Brown's survey, we found the remains of a horse and foal, about ten yards from which we came on the remains of a human beii)" Toctor Henry carefully collected the bones of the latter and put them 111 a sack The feet were towards the S.W., clown a hill: the head about N.E. Before anythiu* Wiis touched I called the attention of our party to some fern which had been pulled up by the roots, evidently long ago, and which had apparently beeu covered over the upper part of the body, as the cap lay underneath it. We also found a diggers belt, which had encircled the body, it had not been uufastened; also a waist belt, and a sheath knifo lying under the body; also picked up his pocket knife, pencil, and a small leather purse under the right thigh. After collecting these things, and putting them in sacks, we cast about to discover anything that would throw any light as to how the man came by his death. We found, after a little Search, not ten yards distant fern the body, on the .•'Oropi side, remnants of regulation enheld. ball cartridge, also a piece of what appeared Maori cartridge, it being printed paper, somewhat burnt ; and. near the same spot, a Maori picked up a round bullet, and 1 picked up another bullet. All these things ate taken care of. "We then directed our attention towards the horse, which was lying with his head down hill, the rope still} attached to the neck, apparently not touched. To it were fastened a pair of hobbles. These I took off myself. The saddle was there also, and had not been taken oil the horse, as both ends of the girths were still fastened. The skeleton of the foal was 2 yards from the horse, and, on moving its scull, I found an enfield bullet flattened, as if it had come in contact with some hard substance. On examining the skeleton of the horse, found one of the leg bones fractured broken right through. Bone produced. (The fracture was between the knee and foot, right through. The rope was coiled round the horse's neck and had not been' undone.) (The bullets, cartridge remaius. huinanhair, digger's belt, portion ' of clothing purse, knife, pencil, matches and all, i articles mentioned in the evidence up to this stage where here shown to the jury.) Yesterday I went • to the dead house, where the bones are deposited, ; accompanies! by Dr. Henry, Mr. Gills, and Mr i Sanderson, district Constable. We proceeded tc > examine the clothing, purse, &c., beginning witi i digger'B belt. In the first compartment we «P we xound eight £1 notes (Ba*k of New Zealand), ir I 2nd compartment found papers, on which wa! , writing much obliteration, in 3rd wefoundpaperi f produced, on which are these words,. Alfred A. J Campbell, pounds 4 sterling." This is all I cai

decipher. Also another paper, like a ration ticket. On it are the words, "Waikato Regt., Tauranga, January. Issued to A. Campbell" In the other compartment was a Bank deposit receipt, Bank of Auckland but the writing is. almost obliteroted; the words "not transferable" can be traced. I then examined the purse, which also had to be cub open. In it were a Bank of New Zealand £1 note, a half-crown, and paper produced, bearing the words "A. Campbell, Ist "VVaikato Rejjt., January." After examining purse and belt, ,1 watched Dr. Henry put thfiiskeleton together, and it appeared to me the only injury apparent was the two lower vertebrae of the back, which w_ere literally smashed. One of the thigh bones was missing; otherwise the bones were complete. By the Coroner : There is a mark on the saddle that I believe to be a bullet mark. Saddle shown to the jury. A Juror: Who was the pei-son who informed you that Campbell had been seen on board the steamer? Witness : Colonel Harrington. Thomas Fransham, sworn, said I am a military settler, residing at Tauranga. On the 2nd or 3rd Januaiy I sold Campbell a mare and foal for £14, which were paid for by cheque on the Bank of Auckland, which money 1 have not received, I went to the Bank and was told it should be deducted when Campbell withdrew his money. On the 7tlx January, Campbell returned from paradfe with me, as far as the Gate Pah, at which place he provided himself -with 121b biscuits and a commensurate quantity of meal, for the purpose of consumption on his laud. At the time he left me he had neither I'itio, nor belt, nor ammunition. I remarked this to Vii™ ; he said he had left them with' a friend at Te Papa. He then left me to go on his land, iu direction of lot 34, Turner and Brown's survey. I have not seen him since. After the first week I began to get uneasy about him, and frequently looked in the direction o£ his land with a glass, and on the day the expedition was out I saw a small column of smoke in the direction of where his house stood, which led me to believe him to be still alive.. A few. days afterwards the Resident Magistrate rode by my residence at the Gate Pah, and I stated to .him my fears as to the safety of Campbell. I had heard it rumoured that Campbell Jiad gone to Auckland, and soon afterwards T proceeded to Auckland, and* called at the bank to enquire if the money had been withdrawn. I found that £50, for which Campbell held a deposit receipt, still remained in the Bank of Auckland. About a week ago a man named McGill informed me that Stanger had made some remark to him to the effect that Campbell had been tomahawked by some of the natives of the Ngatiporou. limmediately went to the R. M. Coart and lodged the information. "By the jury: The ropeheliad on the horse's neck is a remarkable one, a continuation of halters looped into each other ; that is it now produced. Campbell had a peaked cap on when he left me. (Cap and peak produced). Matthew Keefe deposed that about 7 months ago he sold saddle, bridle, and hobbles to Alfred Campbell for £2 10s, and identified those shown to him as being the same. John McGill, deposed : About the 13th-instant, a man named William Stanger came to where I am living, and in course of conversation about natives said that he had been informed by natives that Campbell had been murdered. Soon afterwards I saw last witness, to whom I communicated what Stanger had said. We both proceeded to the R.M. Court,, ■Where we were instructed to have Stanger at the R.M. Court at 12 o'clock that day. I then brought Stanger to Mr. IVanshaw. William Stanger sworn,.stated that about-two weeks ago some natives told me that a pakeha had been killed : that he was taken to the Akeake, and his head cut off. I enquired who the natives were who killed him; they replied the Ngatiporou. That his head was cut- off with a tomahawk. It was a young man named Hewete who told me. . I asked if lie saw it done : he said yes. I asked if he knew the name of the man who cut the head off j he told me that it was Te Kawana, of Mataoa. He said that they took his head away, but did not know where the body was buried. He came to Haerini theifollowing day, and had not been with the Hauhaus since.

By the jury: from Rawiri that tlie murder -was committed before the last fighting at Wakamarama. X was in the same whare with, him about 3 weeks, and have not known him longer than that time. I believe he is now at Matapihi. I last saw him at Te Papa two days ago. I slioiild know him again if I saw him. I thought Campbell was referea to as baing murdered. ; X. heard but one murder sx)oben of. * 1 know CampbeU. I have said I thought the Ngatiporou had killed him. I have not seen the natives making preparations for fighting, nor making bullets. I have never said so to any European. By the Coroner: The native told me that they took the pakeha from Oropi. What led to the conversation was, I had been at Oropi a week, and was asked to go again. I said I would not; there were too many fires, and I was afraid of the Hauhaus. He said it was not the Ngatirangis who were murdering, but the Ngatiporou*. I had heard about the murder of Campbell. It was on the beach I saw Rawiri two days ago. He did not speak of Ranipia going out after the murdered man* Mr. Clarke here addressing himself to the jury, said he appeared there in some measure as an advocate on behalf of the Crown, and would draw their attention to the remarkable fact that the information obtained from last witness' evidence distinctly referred to auother murder, although it led to, the discovery of that under investigation ; he also stated that .although several men were missing, amongst them two of the 12th Regiment, and supposed to have been murdered, he had never fyeen able to discover the fate of any one of them. All his endeavours, by making enquiries from the natives and otherwise, having hitherto proved of no avail. Ranapia, a chief residing at Haerini, beiucj sworn (through the sworn Interpreter), states : Ihe first time I heard of the murder was from a native called Peter, who told me that Mr. Clarke had enquired - from him whether he had heard of a pakeha having been murdered iu that district, and that Reweti had given the information. There is no person named Rewiti living in the settlement, and* no one of that name is in the habit of visiting there. Mr. Clarke told me on the 16th inst. the same that he told Peter, that a man had been murdered near Oropi whilst proceeding to his-allotment. I then said it may be true, but that Ihadnotseenorheard anything. I went back to my settlement, and after considerable reflection returned to Clarke on the 18th, and said something must be done for the missing man. Mr. Clarke said he would go in search himself. I tendered my services, and Mr. Clarke said J could go. I said that if I did not return on the morrow I would on "Wednesday, but before, if I was sue- : cessful. X went back to Haerini and told Peter and Matahaera what had been arranged between Mr. Clarke and myself. We accordingly went out and searched over ridges and valleys in the neighbourhood of Whakapoukarekare, and at length. Mataha- | era discovered the remains. We touched nothing, but let everything remain as we found them, and ! then returned to Haerini, and the day following, in the afternoon, I waited upon Mr. Clarke and informed him of the result. Next day I guided Mr. Clarke and party to the spot. By the jury: Mr. Clarke said to me, probably it was the ISgatiporou who committed this murder. I replied it might, ov by some other parties. I meant by this it might have been done by any of the Hauhau natives. I know this person (Stanger shown to him). We call him WiJliam. I know the person whose house he stopped in at Haerini. His name is Te Hapu: he has no other name* 1 believe the deceased, subject of this enquiry, met his death by a party of armea men having fallen upon him. My reasons for believing so are the number of I^^£ e , re * aau s? bullets found 011 the spot. The bulleta (produced) now'shown me are the same, ana are Maori bullets. Neither I nor my people had heard of tlie murder before, or should all have gone out before in quest of the body. Shortly before the series o£ engagements I went to Oropi for the women and children. Since then I been in the habit of going there. of a murder having being committed at Akeake by Te Kawana or anyone else. _ I have not heardof a person being murdered and his head cut ofi. We have been to Oropi lately, haviug a from Mr, fflarke to 20 and get our crops. William (.Stanger) SS US. & ball (produced) is' a mime rifle bullet The] Hauhaus have plenty of them; probably they buy them from Europeans at Te Papa and other places where Europeans, rande. I have not been engaged in traffic in ammunition, but have always been friendly, as the surveyors and other Europeans present (pointing to the jury) can questions put to the witness ""jtk i great rapidity from nearly all the members of toe i Jury ; some that were irrelevant are this stage the Inquest was adjourned till Tuesday, . the 27th.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH18670829.2.25

Bibliographic details

TAURANGA., New Zealand Herald, Volume IV, Issue 1183, 29 August 1867

Word Count
3,312

TAURANGA. New Zealand Herald, Volume IV, Issue 1183, 29 August 1867

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