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THE BATTLE OF MOUTOA, Wellington Independent, Volume XIX, Issue 2090, 13 August 1864
THE BATTLE OF MOUTOA
The following account of the late fight at Wanganui is taken from tha New Zealand Gazttte :— Report h\) his Honor the Superintendent of Wellington, of the battle of Moutoa, and subsequent event's on the Wanganui River. AHMVAL AT WANOANUI. Immediately on receiving inlpllitrpnce on the IHh Mjy of i»n intended attack hy the rebel natives upon the settlement of Wanganui, I made arrantre-npnts for taking up with me in j one of the N.Z.S.N. Company's steamers some 25 men of the Colonial Defence Force, for the purpose of strengthening the troops stationed on the upper part of Ransritikei, which, exposed as it is to attack from the Tnupo and Waikato natives, is perhaps the most vulnerable point in this Province. Owing fo delay in the arrival of the steamer in this port, we did not sail (ill the evening- of the 14th. On arriving' at Wanganui the following 1 afternoon, I found the whole population.. European and Maori, in a state o r gieat excitement in consequence of news having arrived early that morning that an engagement had taken place some sixty miles up the river between the rebels (composed- chiefly of the adherents of the new religions sect — or fanatics os they are appropriately termed) and the friendly natives, in which Ihe later hnd gained a most signal victory. As to the ilctails of the battle the must contradictory statements were afloat. The settlers were enthusiastic in their praises of their native allies, and the Maoris, elated beyond measure with (he success their friends and relations up the river had achieved, were prepared at once to clear the Wang.imii river of all Kingifes, and at the same time to march to Taranaki, sweeping all before them. Some hundred natives were preparing to reinforce their friends up the river. Having ascertained that our native allies were really short of ammunition and guns, that it was more than probable that tho Waikatos, Taianaki«, and NusUiruanuis, and other tribes would at once muster in force to avenge the defeat and death of so many of their relations and chiefs in the hattle of Monton, T determined to furnish the friendly natives with arm 1 ;, ammu. nition and food, and to proceed myself "p the river with the reinforcement, t:»king with me Dr Fletcher to attend to the wounded, and Mr Booth as ,uy interpreter. I f.iiled in pivcurinjr more than seven gun?. Previous to leaving, having heard that the Nsratiupns were ausious toj)in the Wanennni nalires, and that the latter were nothing loth to accept their assistance, I rfiqnestrd Mr White to write to the Ngatinpas forbidding tbem to mive from ibrir district, and then explained to the Pntiki chiefs that in the present state of relations between the Ngaliapas and N&atiranlcawas, nothing would tend somnch to em broil them with the Nsratirankawas as their seeking ihe aidoftheN^iiliapas, it being 1 well known that the Wangumi natives are I backing the Niraliapas tvgaiust the Ntjatiraukawas in their Tiangitikei land dispute. They all once admitted that such in all probability would be the result, and pledged themselves not to allow a single Ngatiapa to accompany tbem up the river— a pledge they most faithfully kept. .TOrjUNEY TJP THE RIVER. Tuesday, May 17th.-— We left Wanganui about 1 p.m., in a canoe manned by a crew of some fifteen mcD, under the guidance of Hoani Wiremu (John Williams)— the main body under Hori Kingi, ?Mawai, and other Putiki chiefs, had started some two or three hours amidst the cheers of the Wanganui settlers, who bad loaded the canoes with provisions of various kinds. Few who witnessed that scene will forget the heartiness with which the Maoris responded to the hip, hip, hurra, hurra, hurva of the settlers. And yet, while these Maoris were going again to engage in a contest in which they had little or ao concern — to risk their lives a second time almost solely in defence of the Europeans — there were still some few settlers who grudged them tbe arms and ammunition the Government had supplied them with, and deplored the infatuation of the Government in tvusting them, or as they expressed it, ia arming savages against their own race. It was dusk before we reached Raorikea (Laoflicea) where we found Hori Kingi and his people engaged in a tangi which lasted nearly the wholfi night. We pitched our tout on the opposite bank of the river.
Wednesday, tbe LSlli. — Owing to a heavy fresh in the river, and to ihe necessity of having a langi at each pa for the killed and wounded, our progress was so slow that we did not to-day make more than about twelve miles, arriving at Purikino, where we halted for the night at 4 p.m. Ten natives belonging to the pa who hud been engaged in the fight at Moutoa, had just returned. Kawana Paipai (Governor Pipev) one of our Pntiki chiefs after conversing with these men for tx few moments, came t*o me in great tribulation saying that the two chiefs Hemi Napi (a near relation of his own) and Itawai, who had fallen on the field of battle, had been buried like dogs— thrown into the ground without coffins. lat once assured him that I would have their bodies exhumed and coffins made for them, and that they should be buried wherever he pleased, and further that a suitable monument should be erected to tbe
memory of them and all the brave men who had sacrificed their lives for the Pakehas on the field of Moutoa. Kawana Paipai went away with his heart, if no longer sad, at ftny rate highly lightened.
Thursday, the 19th. — We left Parikino early. The fresh in the river (it having been raining nearly all yesterday much increased. On arriving at Atene (Athene) [ found it was not their intention to land ; hut on my declaring that it was my determination to visit every pa, whether friendly or hostile, theypaddled to the ltndingplace. This pa really consists of ttr* pas, distant fro 11 each other about a coil pip of hundred yards, the one occupied hy friendly native?, the ! other hy the rankest Kingites and scoundrels, | [ headed by old Ha ma ram a, the brother of either Pehi or the late Hori Patene (I forget which.) ' At this pa, situate midway between Tawilinui and Wangunui, Mateue and his gang, had they succeeded in forcing the river, were to have halted for a night. An ample commissariat had been provided for them, and the next morning the whole of HRinararna's mob would have nc coinpanied them in their descent upon Wanganui. Our interview with FJamarairu was very brief. Humaranri, after greeting us, expressed himself as ranch hurt at our apparent intention to pass his pa without landing. I replied J had landed to tell him that 1 was well «wure of the designs of himself and hi* followers lo warn him against persisting in them, and to let. him and other Kingites know that the Government were not merely arming the loyal natives, but were prepared, if necessary, to protect them with troops. His reply was to the effect that he was an old and infirm man, that he took no part in such matters, that he stood on the outside, that I must speak to Pehi, whatever Pehi said you must do, you will be able to make arrangements with Pehi. H»ri Kingi, who appears to have an intense contempt and hatred of the people of this pa, then stood up and said, " H;imara»na. I have only a few words to titter. I am going up the river to speak to Pehi, when I return I shall have a word or two to say "to you," and off we inarched to our canoes. The meaning of H<>ri Kingi's words to Hamarama is this — Hori Kingi has.made up his mind that he will have no Kingites in his rear, between his advanced post and Wanganui, and that if Hamarama dues not quietly and speedily accept this polite notice to quit, he will summarily 1 eject him. We arrived, just as it wan getting dark, at Otumairo, and knowing th.it several of the wounded men were at Koroniti (Com.th), a few miles higher up, I urged that we should push on ; but they pleaded that it would be a gross breach of Maori etiquette to approack after dark a pa where there was a war party, even though that war party was a friendly oue. There was no getting over this and I had ceased to argue in the cause of the wonnded, when luckily a messenger arrived with a letter from the chiefs of Koriuiti, who had heard of our being on our way up, urging that I should come on at once and bring the doctor with me as some of the wounded were very vety bad. After some hesitation,and very manifest reluctance, the chiefscouser.ted to my going, providing me with a most Atnp'e crew. At Koroniti we found seven wounded men, the majority of them very severely. Dr Fletcher dressed their wounds, and extracted a ball from one of them, and I made arrangements for their being started off to Wauganui early on the following morning. STOUY OF THE BA.TTLS. Friday, the 20th — At this pa, (Koroniti) we met the chiefs Mete Kingi and Hannona, who were on their way to Wanganui to receive instructions as to their future proceedings, but who stayed here as soon as they heard I was coming up. List night I addressed the people in the rtinanga house, and as at this pa all the leading surviving chiefs, who were engaged at the battle of Moutoa were present, and gave me in presence of their people, the minutest details of the fight, itmay perhaps he well heretogivean amount of the battle of Moutoa. Msitene and his folio wersimtnediataly on their arrival on the Wanganui rirer, entered in to negotiation wi'h the friendly natives for pei mission to pass down the river to attack the town of Wanganui; but not only were all their overtures indignantly rejected, but they were toll that their passage wuuM be prevented, no matter at what sacrifice »f life. Matene then s.rid he would wait two mouths, if at the expiration of that time the loyal natives would give way. The latter, at length, sick and wearied of these negotiations, on Friday the 13th May, sent a special messenger to Miitene and his fanatics proposing that they should do battle on the following day, at a certain kour, on the island of Moutoa. The challenge was at once accepted, it being stipulated that neither party should attempt to surprise (he other, or in any way to violate the conditions of the duel. The lime fixed was the break of day. The island of Moutoa, almostinid way in therirer, may be 300 yards long, and some 20 wide, and about 12 or 15 feet above the level of the river ; it is thinly covered with manukau scrub and fern, but presents certain irregularities of ground which afford considerable shelter, and except when there is a fresh in the river it is surrounded by a bed of shingle. On the day of the battle there was so little water in the river that the friendly natives on the left bank had not to wade probably more than 30 yards through water not more thau a foot or 18 inches deep to get to the island. The rebels located atTawhitinui, nearly opposite the north eastern extremity of the island, could only reach the island by canoes, the river between it and the right bank being both steep and rapid. The friendly natives say that they mustered some 300 strong, and that the rebels did not number more than from 120 to HO, of whom not a few were mere boys. Before daybreak, a party of the loyals headed by Hemi Napi, were on the island, and posted themselves at tho extremity at which their foes were to land. They were shortly followed by the remainder of their force under Mete Kingi. The advance parly was formed of three companies, one, consisting of Roman Catholics, and numbering ten men, were led by Kereti ; another, consisting of nine men, was commanded by Heme and Riwai ; and the third, numbering 15 men, was led by Aperaniko aud Ilaimona. The reserve companies were some distance in the rear. Matene ond his fanatics landed out of seven canoes on the shingle spit without opposition about seven a.m. Their forces were arranged in a similar way to that of the loyal natives. Immediately after they were formed they commenced their incantation, shouting " Hau, hau!" — Up, up! and using gestures not unlike the passes made by mesmerists. They labored under the strange delusion that while they themselves were invulnerable, their opponents would be forced by their incantations to approach close to them without power to offer any resistance. For two hours were these incantations kept up, the advanced companies being not more than twenty yards from each other. As soon as the first shot was fired by one of the rebels (Hoani Wiuihere, of Pipiriki) the opposing force slowly advanced till they were within thirty feet of each other, when a volley was exchanged, several fell on both sides, and amongst them the chief Kereti, whose loss seems to have dispirited the loyal natives, for they immediately
commenced to retreat, slowly at first, but when after another volley or two their two other leaders, Hemi and Riwai, were killed they fairly broke and fled. The reserve, instead of coming to their support, also fled, most of them recrossingr the river. The b.ittle seemed at this moment completely lost, and probably would not have been retrieved had it not been for the Chief Hitimona Hiroti, who when hit reached the end of the island shouted " I will go no 1 further," and immediately rallied some twenty t men just in time to pour a deadly volley into the rebels, who were close upon them. After this it seems to have been a hand to hand fight; but the rebels having lost several of their leaders and Mele Kingi, with the reserve having rejoined Haimona Hiroti, soon broke and fled, being hotly pursued till they reached the head of the island, when all who survived (with the exception of a few who escaped in a canoe) took to the river, and were most of them shot down. Matene though he was badly wounded while swimming sueceeeded in gaining the bank, but was almost immediately tomahawked by a native policeman, Te Moro, who lost no true in swimming after him. It is scarcely possible to state what the rebels loss was, but forty dead bodies were found on the island, an I several more were seen to sink while i attempting to cross the ri»er. Nearly all the survivors areknown to be wounded. The friendly natives had twelve killed, and from 25 to 30 wounded. Several spears and other weapons of war were taken, and also Pehi's King flag, which was found in a large c.inne, and on searching Matene's whare the conquerors obtnined a prize of ninety sovereigns. It is only fair to add that amongst the friendly natives were sora<, % 30 or 40 Kingites, who have most of thtm since renounced Kingism and taken the oath of allegiance to the Queen. MEKTINGS WITH THE NATIVES. The meeting last evening already alluded to as taking place in the runauga house lasted several hours, but as the purport of the speeches was the same as at the great meeting held today at Runana (London) it is needless to report them.
In the course of this morning (Friday, 20th,) Hori Kingi and his party, whom he left behind at Olumairo, arrived, and after a tangi and some speechifying we proceeded to llanana, where now nearly the whole of the loyal natives were assembled.
At the meeting; held in the litter part of the day nearly all the chiefs spoke, so that it is impossible to give more than one or two. Mete Kingi : " I was on my way to town to ask for instructions as to our course of proceeding for the future, to ask for assistance in the way of arms and ammunition, and to know what Eamto do about the prisoners. Now you have come, our way is clear; it is a good thing you hive done in coming here. You, the representative of the Governor. Our hearts are light through seeing you this day." Haimona : "We want guns ; old fashioned muskets with e-ips for the older men, double barrelled guns and rifles for the younger men, with powder, lead, caps, and most of all we want soldiers to be stationed at each pa as they are on the Waikato. We also want big guns to protect our pas, and to be assisted in our commissariat, for most of these men have left homes and cultivations. We want military settlers the same as they have on the Waikato. We are prepared to give thorn land if they protect us; but above all things let us have roads made into this river to bring up supplies, nnd also that soldiers may be brought toour assistance."
Hoani Wiremu: " Let my r«ad be made at once through the K»koro to come out neai Paiikino, and let Pukeha and Maori work together at this road.' Hori Kingi and others chiefly referred to the prisoners, the purport of their speeches being : " We have fought for the Queen and the prot«ction of the pakehas. We have killed iv (lie battle of Moutoa many of our nearest relations and friends. We have taken others of ihein prisoners. Have we not done enough f«r the Queen and our friends the P.ikehas? Must we surrender these prisoners to be sent to Auckland or Wellington and tht-re put in g.iol But if they must be surrendered whatever you .«.ay shall be done. Cannot Te Ll.iimonn be given up to us? He is nearly related to erery chief of this river, to sill of us ; but if you decide that they must all be given into your hands, we will do so." In replying, I stated that I had come up on behalf of the Government and settlers to thank them for the stand they had made against Matene and his fanatics, far bavin;; displayed such bravery, and for having achieved such a signal victory; that I sympathised deeply with all those who had lost their friends and lel.itions in the fight ; and that I felt certain the Government would provide for the widows and orphans, and also for the wounded; that with respect to assistance, I had already supplied them with ammunition and as many guns as I could piocuie at Wanganui, that more should be sent from Wellington ; that I would supply them with provisions from time to time as long as they were kept away from their homes and cultivations ; that with regard to the prisoners, they w»re rebels taken fighting against the Queeu, and were therefore Queen's prisoners; that I was bound to insist upon their all being hauded over to tne ; that the Governor alone had the power to pardon and liberate them. To all this they answered, " Good ; it shall be as you say, we will go with you and take the prisoners." INTERESTING INCIDENT. Saturday, 21st. — This morning I proposed tbat I should go and see Pehi accompanied only by my interpreter, and asked for a canoe. Hori Kingi at once got into a stats of great excitement, and while addressing the natives said, "Is Petatone mad, is he come up here to bring confusion amongst us?" When I asked for an explanation, he replied, " Am not I responsible for your life; if you are killed and I kill Pehi, will that be sufficient utu for your death ? When I left. Wanganui I promised that if you were killed I would be killed also. I allowed you to go from Otumairo to Koroniti without me the other evening, because you were only to pass friendly pas ; but beyoud this you are not safe unless protected by a sufficient force. Hori Kiugi must and will go wherever Petatone goes. Wait till Monday, and we will all accompany you to the pa where Pehi at present is." There was no resisting such an appeal as this. In the afternoon, however, they sent me with a large force to Tawhitinui and Kaueroa, two pas where there was a considerable number of wounded rebels, and where the majority of the prisoners were being kept under a sort of surveillance, for they could scarcely be said to be in custody, Dr Fletcher having dressed their wounds, we returned to Ranana. Late at night all the principal chiefs came into my tent, and again asked whether I could not let off the prisoners, especiaily Te Raimoua; when 1 1 repeated that I had no power to comply with their request, they went away saying, " We will say no more about them, but will surrender all of them to you on Monday." THE PRISONERS. Monday 23rd. — I started early this morning with a force of 130 armed men iv six large
canoes. There was evidently a gloom hanging over them— they paddled lustily enongb, bn*. there was no singing, no chaffing, none of that exuberant excitement which usually prevails amongst Maoris congregrated in numbers, especially when engaged upon an expedition attended with danger. Our programme was first to proceed to tho appointed place of meeting with Pehi, and then to take the prisoners. On | parsing Tawhitinni, where th ) chief Te Rai. mona was, Hoii Kingi, who was sitting behind me, said, in a low tone of voice, almost in a whisper, *• Petatone, my heait is very daik about my children, especially ab#ut Te Riimona. This is the first lime I have passed this place without calling; the he.uts of nil the chiefs and their people are dark, very gad this morning." Hori Kingi here paused and sobbed bitterly, and then continued," So sad are the hearts of all «f us about these prisoners that many of our people proved this morning that they might be excused from joining this expedition. These prisoners, you have said, ute the Queen's prisoners, and must be surrendered to the Queen. We come with you to take the prisoneis, and we shall take and surrender them into your hands. But f till our hearts are sad because of these prisoners, they are our friends and nearest relatives; but we i sh-\ll take and give them up lo you. This is simply a precis of Ht.ri Kingi's a;>peal. To understand and appreciate its pathos every word must have been heard and the speakers seen. I replied that the Governor alone had the power lo pardon the prisoners; that my duly was simply to insist upon their being surrendered to me; that they had been taken fighting against the Queen, ami were rebels liable to a severe punishment, but " Hori Kingi, so fully do I recognise the services that you have rendered, and the reason why a'l your hea»ts are dark, that 1^ promise this — if you and the other chiefs wiiTwi'ie to Governor Grey, explaining <be services you have rendered, how, in your successful attempt to protect your Pakeba friends, you have fought against and killed your relatives aud friends, and how you have further shown your loyalty by surrendering the prisoners, and will then ask the Governor to grant a free pardon to the prisoners, I will as strongly as I can back your request, and I don't think Governor Grey will refuse our united prayer, and until Governor Grey's answer is received 1 promise that the prisoners shall not be removed from Wanganui, and that the wounded amongst them shall be sent to the hospital and treated as kindly as the friendly ones." The old chiefs eyes glistened with delight : ! lie sprang up and bailed the five canoes in adrance to stop, and then as soon as they were all close together, ha did not repeat our conversation, hut simply gave them in a few words the slightest possible hint of what had taken place between us. But ibis was quite sufficient; the gloom which hitd hung over them instantly disappeared ; a cry of joy burst from the whole of them, and off they stalled, plying their paddle 6 witb terfold vigor, and there was no longer silonce, but the usual cries and songs resounded from every canoe. INTERVIEW WITH PEHr. 1 On arriving at Peteribama (Bethlehem) Hori Kingi came up to me and said " You must keep in the middle of us." Here we found Pehi accompanied by no great number of followers. After a tangi of no long duration hod been performed, Hori Kingi got up and addressed the meeting. I ought to mention that he and Pehi uevei approached within ten yards of each other. Hori's speech was simply one of saluta tion. Pehi replied in a similar stia'n, but deprecated in the strongest possible terms the conduct of Matene and his fanatics, whom he designated as " mad dogs." After he had sat down, Hori Kingi said to me, " You m«st get up and broach the subject of the prisoners," to whom neither he nor Pehi bad made the slightest allusion, though they were uppermost in the thoughts of each. They both knew it was delicate ground, and most diplomatically avoided treading 1 upon it. I reminded Pehi of the visit I had paid to him and Mori Patene in September, 1862, at Pipiiiki; recalled the pledges they had then given me tb-it they would not allow the pence of the Wanganui ever to he disturbed ; expressed my regret that after what Hori Patene had then said to me that he should have gone to Tataraimaku and there fallen, for that there was no chief in whose word and good faith I had ever reposed more implicit confidence; admitted that Pehi had so far fulfilled his promise to me, that he had done his utmost to dissuade M.itene and his followers from making their recent raid, but that I could g-ive him credit for nothing more ; that be had hitherto stood on " thfi outside," ami had rendered no active support to the Government; that the time hud wow arrived when he inu«t declare himself; that it was always bettei in time of war to have an open enemy than a doubtful friend; that when the bouse was set on fire, as the Wanganni river bad been by Matene and his " mad dogs," as he (Pehi) had called (hem, the Governor could only regard those who sat idly by, without making any attempt to extinguish the flames, as something worse than doubtful friends; hut that the Government did fully recognise and appreciate the conduct of the friendly natives engaged in the recent conflict, who had, at the snerifice of their lives, endeavored to extinguish the fire. " You, Pehi, must declare on which side you are; you can no longer be permitted to stand on the outside." I then told him that I intended to take the prisoners down to Wanganui with me, and the promises I had made, in regard to them, to Hori Kingi and the other friendly chiefs. Pebi replied, that "as the prisoners had not been taken iv battle, they belong to me ; your share in the great number killed," and then made an appeal to Hori Kiugi to this eftect— -" If you will assist me in preventing these prisoners being taken to Wanganui, I promise that henceforth (here shall be pence between us a,nd between our people." Hori Kingi, without replying to him, whispered to me, '• Who believes him ; he has said nothing ; what guarantee can we have that Pehi will keep his word ?"
I reminded Pehi that, instead of assisting the friendly natives in repelling Matene and his fanatics, he had himself kept out of the way, whilst most of his people had joined Matene, and had taken part in the engagement atMoutoa ; that it was absurd in him, or any chief, to lay claim to men taken prisoners while fighting against the Queen. Pehi made several more appeals to the friendly chiefs and to myself, to be allowed to keep the prisoners, but when I finally told him that it was no use talking more about them, that I had come up to take them, and take them I would, ho got up in considerable excitement, and said, " If you take the piisoners, I follow you down the river quickly," and so ended the horero. It was no sooner finished than thirteen kingites carce forward, and expressed their desire to take the oath of allegiance to the Queen. In Pehi's presence I administered to them on the Testament the following oath : — " In the presence of the chiefs and their people here assembled, I, A.8., do hereby renounce Kingism, and further swear henceforth to bear true allegiance to our Sovereign Queen Victoria—so help me God."
GETTING POSSESSION OF A PRISONER. In this pa there was only one prisoner, rather severely wounded. Dr Fletcher in examining him expressed his doubts whether he would bear removing. On hparing this the natives bi:rst into a roar of laughter — '" What ! not well enough to be removed ? he was jolly and hearty enough when we arrived ; we know belter, be's only shamming, we'll have Lino,' and off they bundled Kirn U> the canoe. Just as we reached our canoes a vollry was fired apparently in the rear of where P«hi received us. In an instant the natives, who suspected treachery — that Pcbi bail probably concealed a hody of \nen ready to fall upon them if it were prudent —threw themselves into skirmishing order, and availing themselves as if by instinct of every tree and of the slightest unvenness of ground, rapidly advanced to the pa, and demanded the meaning of the volley. It turned out that it was merely v salute fired by Topia (Pehi's eon) and other rebels. just returned fiom Waikato, on paying a viti t to Pehi.
The first place we slopped .it on our returning was Knunroa Pa, wliere we look the prisoners without difiicnUy, ami received from ibe Rev Mr Lunpila an abundant supply of grapes, which proved most refreshing to the wounded. On arriving ut Tuwhitinui, beimr tinder the impression that the on 1}- prisoner to he taken was the chief Te lUhnona, I did not at first leave the canoe. After nearly «n hour had elapsed and no appearance of the prisoner, I .went up to the pa and ftiuu;: a rather angry discussion going on. Te Raimona, who was wounded in the groin, was sitting under a verandah, and his wife was, in nut very complimentary language to the loyal chiefs, protesting against his being sunendered, Te liaimona himself declaring that he would not be taken. Hori Kingi, leaniug on his spear, seemed to be arguing the point at issue veiy calmly. Seeing no propat>le termin^gn to the discussion, I asked Mete Kingi whyTßly did not take the prisoner. He at once replied, •' He is a great chief, he is nearly related to all of us, if we lay bands on him he will he degraded and looked upon as a slave for ever. We are, therefiuv, trying to persuade him to walk down to the canoe without our touching him. Give us limp." "Take your own time; I will wait as long as you choose." Auother half-hour elapsed without the negotiation having apparently advanced a single step, when Mete Kingi came to me and said, " What is to be done ? be won't come." " Send a file of men on each side, and I will then order the constable to take him." Without a moment's hesitation, Mete Kingi said, "It shall be done," and was giving the orders to his men, when Te liaimona, probably seeing the movement, got up and said, " I will go." He was no sooner in the canoe than Hori Kingi said, " There are a few other prisoners, all old men ; have we not done enough tor to-day?" an npiniou in which I .so entirely concurred that I ordered him 10 push off at once. When we arrived at Banana, Te liaimona was treated with the greatest possible respect, a tangi was held over him, he was shown into the runanga house, supplied with the best of everything they had, the other prisoners being pi iced in a whare by themselves, but nevertheless treated most kindly, and yet strange to say at Tawhitinui, the pa fY.iin which Te Raimona was taken, Matene and his fol'oweis (including of course their prisoners) bad dug two large ovens in which they intended to have cooked (had they proved victors) their opponents, whether killed or taken prisoners.
Tuesday, 24th.— We left Kanaua about 9 a.m., and touching at the several pas where natives were desirious of takinu the oath of al'egiavtce, reach Wanganui about half past six p.m. when the wounded were sent to the hospital, and the unwounded prisoners handed ove* to the military authorities. A REBEL MEETING PREVENTED. Late in the erening 1 , Mr White informed me that the next day at twelve o'clock, there was to be a large meeting of the Taranaki, Ngatiruanui, and Ngaraunt rebel chiefs at Pakarakfl, a pa within the recently purchased Waitotara block, and about seveuteen miles from Wangav nui. The chief Rin, who brought the news, was anxious, knowing that I was expected, to have waited to see me, but he was advised to return to Pakaraka, to be in readiness to receive the expected visitors.
It appeared to me so degrading to the Government, and so calculated to lessen its iuflucnce with the loyal natives, besides being dangerous to the settlement, to allow such a meeting, uot merely of rebel 1 ?, many of whom had been engaged at Moutoa, but of known murderers, t" take place on Crown land, and in such immediate vicinity of the town of Wanganui, where there wers 350 troops in the garrison, and 400 or 500 well traine.4 militia out on actual servic, Hint I determined to proceed myself to P.»knraka' and wuro the rebels off the Queen's territory; and in order to convince them that thp Government was in earnest, I requested Mujor Rookes to accompany me with Captain Cameron's troop of volunteers. Major Rookes with the greatest readiness complied with my request, and though he had only that afternoon dismissed the troop, telling them that their services would not be required for some days, yet the next morning he had the whole troop ready at ten o'clock (Wednesday, the 25th). We rode at a tolerable good pace, and came within sight of the pa at about one o'clock. Wheu within three or four hundred yards of it, I requested Major Rookes to halt the troop and remain there till I returned. I then rode off to the p&, accompanied by my interpreter, Mr Hamlin, Captain Noake, (of the Colonial Defence Force) aud Mr C. Broughfon. Instead, however, of encountering the great gathering of rebels we had been led to expect, we only found the friendly chiefs Rio and Piripi, and a few of their people, with a slight sprinkling of Kingitcs. The meeting, it appeared, had been postponed. I had, therefore, to content myself with requesting Rio to proceed to Wait»tava, wtiere ibe rebels were, and tell them that they would not be allowed either to hold meetings or to remain on the Waitotara block, and that if they did not obey my order they should be driven off by force. Rio promised that he would start at once, and deliver every word of my message. We then returned to town.
On Saturday, the 28th, just befoie leaving Wanganui, Rio sent in word that he had seen the rebels; had told them every word I had said; that they had held a rnnan^a, and had decided upon finally abanding the Waitotara block and retiring to the north side of the Waitotara River.
On my way down the coast, I held meetings with the natives at several of their settlements; but as you visited them a few clays aftei wards, it is unnecessary that I should report what took place at these interviews. Suffice it to say, that the impression left on my mind was that Kingism was doomed, aud that there never was so little prospect of the peace of the West Coast beiag disturbed. I. E. Fkatheuston, Superintendent Superintendent's Office, Wellington,
THE BATTLE OF MOUTOA, Wellington Independent, Volume XIX, Issue 2090, 13 August 1864
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