[from our own correspondent.] December 12. — Te Puni, a Maori chief, was buried at the Hutt on Friday. From the first lauding- of the whitetnan, this chief had been their friend. In the early days of the colonists, he could muster nearly a thousand fighting 1 men amongst his followers. Now his tribe is dispersed, and has nearly died out. Any attack by hostile natives on the colonists, was resented to the full power of this chief's ability. He was well known, and bis residence (the verandah of which was his favourite resort) would be sure to be pointed out to any stranger visiting the Hutt. To testify appreciation qf the loyalty so long shown, the Government gave their employes a holiday that those wishing to do so might attend the funeral. The Banks were closed, and, also, a few of the large business firms. The ' Rangatira' was chartered to take the members of two brass bands and the Nolunteers from Wellington, together with prominent members of the Government, — and, in fact, any one caring to avail themselves of the opportunity of going. A number of vehicles were, also, chartered to take visitors free of cost. The day opened gloomily, and many, who arranged to go, stayed away. Visitors were allowed inside the old chiefs late abode where the coffin lay. The place was moderately well furnished. The most striking feature, to a stranger, was about a dozen splendid green-stone meres suspended round the room. Two or three near relatives were showing grief for ' the dead in the usual characteristic mariner. Iv other respects the funeral assembly — excepting the damper caused by an occasional shower — had more the appearance of a gala day. Every fresh batch of arrivals was heartily and loudly welcomed by the natives who had come to show respect to the .deceased chief. Hospitality seemed to be the order of the day. An abundance of eatables and drinkables provided. It was a case of help and come again, and nothing to pay. About half-past ten the funeral procession formed. The Honorable D. McLean — who only arrived from VVanganui that morning— was one of the pall bearers ; and after the funeral service was read, he addressed the natives in Maori to the following effect :—": — " Ngatiawa and the people of the other tribes now present, the Europeans whom you see assembled have come to pay the laat tribute of respect to their old and well tried friend Honiana Te Puni. He was among the first who welcomed the Europeans to these shores, and he has been their firm and steadfast friend ever since. Ranikitua, Wharipouri, and other chiefs also welcomed the pakeha ; they have passed away, but Te Puni survived until now, and throughout his long career gave constant proofs of his regard for the strangers whom he first welcomed. Many old settlers have come here to-day to show their great regard for your chief. He has gone in peace to his long rest, but it is hoped his actions and good conduct will not die with him. His thoughts will live aftur he has passed away, and -will, it is hoped, be treasured up by hi& tribe and descendants. I am sure it is most gratifying to all the Europeans, as well as to the natives and friends of Te Puni, to witness the cordial good will that accompanies him to his grave ; and this is owing to his freedom from faults, and to his numerous good deeds and actions, which will be long and gratefully remembered by his friends the Europeans." The Honorable Mr. Fitzherbert also said a few words to the old colouists. A Maori reputed. to be over one hundred years of age. attended the funeral. After the funeral, the weather turned out five, and the inconveniences of the morning were soon forgotten in the sunshine of tho afternoon aud the hospitality of the residents. The fire brigades of the Empire Citjr are locally well known for the bellicose disposition of their respective captains. One brigade is formed mostty of carpenters and out-door workers — a sturdy lot of fellows. The other of shp-pkeepers and assistants, not so hai'dy-' looking or so strongly bnilt, but equally daring, willing,
and: jigefal.^ ? The, /Hyaky^is ? great. Scarcely a fird.(tf;"aby magnitude has occurred withouta misunderstanding between the two T chiefa~T having •' taken place — occasionally blows: — ~ The Municipal Corporation has ordered- the-ftppoint'ment of a Fire Inspector, who will have sole command in case of- fire, 'and 'power to order buildings to bepulled down if needful for the safety of othe* large properties. The difficnlty of rivalry has been met by_ appointing 1 one of: the captains to be Inspector in Lambton and Thorndon Wards, and ' the* other captain to be Inspector in Te Aro Wardl An Inspector of nuisances has also been appointed, aud as new brooms, proverbially, sweep well, there has been a tremendous stirring up, clearing-out, and sweeping up of rubbish heaps. Gas has been introduced on a small scale at the offices of the Gas .Company, a small retort having been erected for the purpose of testing the gas making qualities of the several samples of coal obtainable in New Zealand, and the result exhibited in a lamp at the entrance to the works. A Reform Association has been founded by some of the leading citizens, and its first j principles have been shadowed forth by the^ Post. Although the Association -is, afl yet, in the embryotic state, work haS^eeu done. An influential politician has been asked to stand for the City of Wellington. He has refused — pre-engaged. The general pnblic knows nothing of the workers as yet, — but the Post does. The public will be told by and bye. T, he gentleman promoters are going to do 'all the work — send petitions to one or anrser" politician till one is dropped on whu"i\3 willing to stand, and then he will be announced, shown up, and all the public will have to do will be to vote for him. All the trouble, expense, and squabbling of public meeting will thus be avoided. Peace and quietness and a good representative will be secured and no expense incurred. Generous, noble, reformers ! It is well known that Wellington has been miserably represented in the ' late Assembly. The people have been too lethargic to look out for and endeavour to get a good mau to stand. Pity they should be disturbed now by having a public meeting of electors called to discuss the state of the Province aud its requirements for the future. It shall be done for them. The Reform Association shall do it. More anon. The Provincial Council has met and dispersed. The bankrupt state of tho * Province was clearly shown by the Treasurer. Plenty of liabilities —no assets. The only way of carrying on the necessary business of the Province is by getting the General Government to find the money. For a long" while the Proviucial servants have been in arreai*, — now they are under notice for a reduction of pay. The police are the best off for they do occasionally take a rise out of some unfortunate moneyed inebriate ; — fur instance, if a bit of a hole is made in their thread-bare clothes, the unfortunate cau be made to pay for a new suit or a part. Mr. Ludlan has given way to the Honorable Mr. Fitzherbert, in the Hutt District, at the forthcoming general election.
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Taranaki Herald, Taranaki Herald, Volume XIX, Issue XIX, 4 January 1871
WELLINGTON. Taranaki Herald, Volume XIX, Issue XIX, 4 January 1871
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