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ATTEMPT TO SURVEY DEFEATED BY FEMALE NATIVES.

The following account (says the " Thames Advertiser," of February 7) of how the natives at Ohinemuri have a second time opposed the survey of the Paeroa at Ohinemuri, is furnished by a correspondent : — " Mr. E. Wood and party left Shortland on Wednesday evening, and arrived at Puketea Wainui (Rapata's settlement) the following morning about eleven o'clock, having previously sent on a boat with sufficient hands to row a raft of timber for pegs. The men had reached Ohinemuri river without hindrance, and I have no doubt would have got as far as Eapata's settlement, but the tide had turned and the raft was too heavy to stem the current. The men were told by Hohepa and other natives on the river side to take the timber back to the Puke (Cashers),astheHauhaus would

not allow it to go to the Paero. The men refused, and continued towing the raft. The natives then sent oft' a messenger to Mere Kuru. Whilst , waiting for the flood tide, Mere Kuru I and five others arrived on the bank j opposite where the raft was moored. The numbers were soon increased by some of the pakehas living on Cashel's land, who came to see the fun, and appai'ently were rather pleased than otherwise that difficulties were put in our way. After a few Hauhau prayers and responses, the women asked us to take the raft to where it came from. We took no notice, and continued to stay by the raft. The women then came off in a canoe, pulled up the anchor, and towed the raft out of the Ohinemuri and sent it adrift in the Thames River. As soon as they left it we again took possession, and mooredit about three miles above Cashel's. Next morning Mere Kuru and Mere Titia, and four other women, arrived before breakfast. As soon as they arrived they had prayers, Mere Kuru sitting with an iron rod stuck in the ground in front of her. Her hair was tied with a piece of flax, and three pheasant feathers stuck in front. She was supported on either side by her female executive. As soon as we had finished our tea and potatoes the women sat down in front of the whare, where the iron rod was again fixed in the ground. Prayers for the occasion were again repeated, with numerous responses. Mere Titia then asked Mr Wood to go away, and take his timber back ; that he had no right to come to Rapata's settlement, as the land on which we Avere living was hers. He replied that tho timber was his, and that he would fetch it where ho liked ; that Rapata was his friend, and ho would stay with him as long as he wished. Mere Kuru then told Mr. Wood that all Ohinemuri was hers. Paeroa was also hers. She admitted that Mr. Wood had it on lease for the purpose of buying pigs, potatoes, corn, &c, and keeping a store, but he had no right to give it to other pakehas. She did not know anything about a Crown grant having been issued for the Paeroa. It was all hers. Whilst Mere Kuru was speaking she was brandishing her iron sceptre far too close to be pleasant, but afterwards cooled down, and we parted as if she had everything her own way, and apparently were better friencls than before. During Mere Kuru's speech, Mere Titia, and our friend Riki Paka, were reckoning their respective genealogies as to who was who ten generations back. lam not prepared to say who was the best man, but the women had the most to say in this instance, and our friend Rike very good-natured-ly gave her the last word. We determined not to take any action in commencing the survey until Rapata arrived in Shortland. February s.— About mid-day the surveyors arrived, and we determined to proceed at once to the ground, as we heard that all Te Hira's female friends were waiting for us at Paeroa When we arrived part of the fern within the boundaries of the land was fired, and on inquiry Aye found that some of the survey staff had planted their fern hooks, and the natives fired the scrub to find them. We found Mere Eluru and her friends waiting for us, and as soon as we were seated the Hauhau service commeuced, and lasted fully an hour. Mere Titia commenced the korero, and Mere Kuru followed in the same strain, repeating generally the statements she had made before. She passed her mere over the heads of ourselves and Mr. Jordan, by way of an incantation, as Aye suppose. Mr. Wood replied that the survey Avould be carried on, as he held a valid lease for twenty-one years from Rapata, and others mentioned in the Crown grant, and that if the survey was stopped, he Avould return and compel them to allow the survey to be made, as the pakehas were determined to live on this land. A number of chants and prayers were then indulged in, and as this seemed to be interminable, Aye decided that the surveyors should set to work and bring matters to a point. Two men at once started off, and commenced clearing a line for the main street. They had cleared about a quarter of a mile, when four of the Avomen Avent forth and pulled up the ranging rods, and broke them in pieces. The men still continued their work, and the women saw that Aye were determined to carry out the survey, unless forcibly driven from the ground. They held a consultation, and about thirty of them started off to talce the fern hooks from the men ; and after some difficulty they managed to chase them into camp, but did not secure any of their fern hooks. As we saw it Avas useless to contend with the Avomen, Aye sent the messengers back to the Puke, and again stated to them all that we would return, and force the survey. One of their party then asked us to " shout." They Avere told that we only drank with our friends, and much to their disgust, we left them in possession of the grouud, without having the pakeha liquor.

Jefferson Davis, on his way home from England to Mississipi, passed through New Orleans. Many visited him, while one admirer carried his idolatry for the leader of the " lost cause" so for as to stoop and kiss the name of the ex-President on the register of arrivals at the Sb. Charles Hotel.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TT18700305.2.30.1

Bibliographic details

ATTEMPT TO SURVEY DEFEATED BY FEMALE NATIVES., Tuapeka Times, Volume III, Issue 108, 5 March 1870

Word Count
1,101

ATTEMPT TO SURVEY DEFEATED BY FEMALE NATIVES. Tuapeka Times, Volume III, Issue 108, 5 March 1870

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