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The Taranaki Herald. NEW PLYMOUTH, MAY 28, 1859.

Duiuno the present week large meetings have been held by the different tribes in the immediate vicinity of the settlement to receive Wiremu Tako of Wellington the well known chief and now active and influential partizan of the rebel Maori King movement. For several weeks past it has been rumoured that the Ngatiruanui and Taranaki tribes had declared for Potatau, though it had been supposed that the latter tribe did not favor the project, but the arrival of W. Tako amongst them has removed any doubts that may have lingered on their minds, and he exultingly boasts that they are now to a man for the Maori King. At "Whanganui we are told that the natives are for the piesent loyal, but both at Wellington and Ahuriri, and indeed along the whole of the East coast froih Cape Palliser to Auckland, there are comparatively few who have not joined tile league. Next week W. Tako goes to Waitara where we know he will be well received by the majority of the Natives, and from thence, we hear, he journeys to Mokau and Kawhia, visiting Ihaia and Nikorima en route. The movement has therefore, it will be perceived, already extended over the greater portion of the northern island, and although the powerful tribes of the Ngapuhi, the upper Waikato and other northern tribes have hitherto kept aloof, the same causes are still at work which have induced so many to join the standard of Potatau, and it would appear to require but a few men with the tact and ability of W. Tako to make converts of nearly every native in the island. Much has been written and said on the subject of the present movement, and many have been the attempts to discover the causes which have led to it, and many the remedies suggested for its cure, but hitherto to little or no purpose, and the broad and startling fact remains that an extensive and well organised movement is taking place amongst the maories to support a King of their own, chosen from amongst themselves whilst they are bound by solemn Treaty to bear true allegiance to the sovereignty of the Queen. But by far -the most important circumstance in connection with this election of a King is the significant fact that the Maori can combine for a common object — a thing hitherto deemed impossible — and when we reflect how much of his nature still remains, how readily he returns to his old customs and superstitions, how shallow and superficial is the material advancement he has made in civilisation, it must be felt that the present movement is fraught with the most serious consequences. In the circumstance, too, that Potatau has commenced his reign under a government which has shewn an anxious solicitude for the mpral and physical welfare of the Natives, it will be seen how imminently the peaceful relations of the two races is jeopardised. Jealousy of the increasing power of the white man has no doubt been one motive which has urged him to the step he has taken, and his ignorance of the good tendency of that power may have tempted him to oppose it. But it is as a protective measure adopted by the Maori with the determination to prevent, if possible, the advance of the white man that the movement must he consideied. The position too of the principal supporters of it is somewhat singular. No maori has experienced more attention and consideration from the government than Potatau, (more familiarly known as Te Wherowhero). He is well aware of the innumerable advantages which the presence of the white man lias conferred upon his race ; he has hitherto professed to be well disposed towards and in cordial alliance with the government. It may be true that he is still incapable of lending himself to what might be considered an extreme step towards us, but he is an old man and in the natural course of events must soon disappear from the scene. And what we ask would be our position if some turbulent and disaffected chief, ■ as may probably be the case, were to succeed him 1 Wi Tako, again, has been noted for years past for his friendly disposition, and observance of our habits and customs. Yet

he now openly boasts that lie will put a stop to our progress by preventing the sale of land, and cunningly enough quotes some act in reference to land at Wellington reserved for Native uses, as a justification of his present conduct, though he well knows the proper quarter to apply to for redress if any ground of complaint exists. The success which has attended W. Tako's progress from Wellington to this place has beyond doubt been increased by the allegation that the reserves in question are not managed with the approval of the Natives and that they derive no pecuniary benefit from them. The complaint has an air of truth about it, because it is openly made, and we know that several natives hitherto favorable to us have been turned by the adroit manner in which the matter is made to tell against the government. . It is the fashion with apologists to treat the King league as a harmless device of the moment, calling for no interference ; but experience shows that it is by far too formidable and menacing to be viewed with indifference or unconcern, and it is inconceivable upon what plea an act the consequences of which must be apparent to every one should not already have received a check. We are not inclined to impute blame to any one for the untoward position ■which a large section of the native population now assume towards us. It is the result of many influences, but the neglect of the government to buy land when opportunity offered was a manifest injustice to both races and by retarding colonisation lias led to the present complication of affairs. But whatever the consequences the movement must be boldly met. The very tendency of it, indeed, will compel the government to do so. The Natives must be told that the step they are taking is one opposed alike to the Queen's authority and the peaceful footing of the two races. It is reasonable to expect the government to act towards the Natives with the undisguise they exhibit towards us in the matter. Correct without further delay any impression they may cherish of enjoying immunity for their present misconduct. Call rebellion by its right name, and warn all concerned of the consequences that sooner or later always result. The government, in fact, add to the difficulty by their silence, whereas a few words of friendly caution might keep many natives true to their allegiance, and would diffuse throughout the colony a general confidence in the ultimate prevalence of law and order.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TH18590528.2.9

Bibliographic details

The Taranaki Herald. NEW PLYMOUTH, MAY 28, 1859., Taranaki Herald, Volume VII, Issue 356, 28 May 1859

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1,149

The Taranaki Herald. NEW PLYMOUTH, MAY 28, 1859. Taranaki Herald, Volume VII, Issue 356, 28 May 1859

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