www.waitangi.com

The Trail Of Waitangi

"THE AUTHENTIC AND GENUINE HISTORY

OF THE

SIGNING OF THE TREATY OF WAITANGI ."

WILLIAM COLENSO, F.R.S., F.L.S. (Lond.), Etc.

Published by the Government Printer in 1890, and reprinted by Capper Press, ChCh in1971. Available from libraries or interloan.

green line


MEMORANDA of the Arrival of Lieut.-Governor Hobson in New Zealand, and of the Subsequent Assembling of the Native Chiefs at Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands, the Residence of the Iate British Resident, James Busby, Esq., on Wednesday and Thursday, the 5th and 6th days of February, 1840, for the Purpose of meeting His Excellency.


1840, January 29th. - This morning Her Majesty's ship " Herald," Captain J. Nias, arrived in the Bay of Islands and anchored in the harbour, having on board Lieut.-Governor Hobson and his suite.

30th. - Early this morning circular letters were printed at the press of the Church Missionary Society for the assembling together of the Native chiefs at Waitangi, to meet the newly-arrived Governor, on Wednesday next, the 5th day of February.

Two Proclamations were also issued by the Governor - the first stating that he had been appointed Lieutenant-Governor over any territory which is or may be acquired in sovereignty by Her Majesty within the Islands of New Zealand, and that this day he entered on his office; the second stating that Her Majesty does not deem it expedient to recognise as valid any titles to land in New Zealand which are not derived from nor confirmed by Her Majesty; and that all purchases of land in any part of New Zealand made after the date of this Proclamation will be considered as absolutely null and void, and will not be confirmed or in any way recognised by Her Majesty.

In the afternoon the Governor landed at Kororareka, and, walking to the church there belonging to the Church Mission (the only large building), publicly read his Letters Patent and his two Proclamations.

Wednesday, February 5th. - This morning at an early hour, the Natives, who had been gathering together all day yesterday, began to move towards Waitangi, the appointed place of meeting. About 9 a.m the Lieutenant-Governor, accompanied by the captain of the " Herald," arrived at Waitangi; and from 9 to 10 a.m. the officers of the man-o'-war, the suite of the Governor, all the members of the Church Mission residing in or near the Bay of Islands, together with different European and American residents and settlers, kept arriving. The day was particularly fine, and the spectacle of the most animated description. On the water were to be seen the numerous canoes gliding from every direction towards the place of assembly, their respective rowers straining every nerve to gain and keep the lead, whilst their paddles kept time with the cadence of the canoe-song of the kai-tuki (canoe-song singer), who, standing conspiciously erect in the midst of each canoe, and often on the thwarts, animated the men by his gestures as well as his voice; the boats of the many settlers and residents living on the shores of the bay, together with those from the different ships and vessels at anchor in the harbour; and the ships and vessels decorated with the flags of their respective nations.

On shore, in the centre of the delightfully-situated lawn at Waitangi, a spacious tent was erected, which was tastefully adorned with flags, &c., &c., over which England's banner streamed proudly in the breeze; 1 the whites, many of whom were new-comers, who seemed to be much delighted with the scene before them, were comfortably walking up and down in different little parties, socially chatting with each other ŕ l'Anglais ; whilst the countenances and the gestures of the Natives, who were squatting grouped together according to their tribes, bore testimony to the interest which they took, if not in the business, in the gaiety and life of the day. Nature appeared for once to have consented to doff her mantle of New Zealand grey, 2 and to have become quite exhilarated. Even the cicada, those little gallant monotonous-toned summer gentlemen, sang livelier than usual. Everything, in fact, wore the appearance of cheerfulness and activity. Whist all this was exhibited and enjoyed without, the Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Busby, and Rev. H. Williams were engaged within, translating the treaty, and arranging other preliminary matters for the meeting. About half-past ten a.m. the French Roman Catholic Bishop Pompallier, dressed in canonicals, attended by one of his Priests, arrived. They landed, and walked onwards, without the least hesitation, into the room in Mr. Busby's house where the Lieutenant-Governor and others were closely and privately engaged, brushing by the [mounted] police, 3 who, in uniform, were keeping guard before the door. At this a buzz might be heard among the Natives, one saying to another, " Ko ia ano te tino rangatira! Ko Pikopo 4 anake te hoa mo te Kawana " (i.e., " He, indeed, is the chief gentleman! Pikopo (Pompallier) only is the companion for the Governor"). Hearing the observations made by the Natives, I repeated them to my brethren, Messrs. King, Kemp, Clarke, and Baker, at the same time calling their attention to what had just taken place, saying, " If Pikopo and his priest go in, we, for the sake of our position among the Natives, should go in also." To which the brethren assenting, we walked on towards the house.

Just as we had gained the verandah an invitation was announced from the Lieutenant-Governor for all those who had not and who wished to be presented to him to come in through one door, be presented, and then pass out through the other. On this some of the brethren were going in with the settlers and residents, who were pressing forward, when I said, "I pray you do not go in and out in this manner while Pikopo and his priest remain in the room." On which they all, with myself, remained without. After the several persons who had entered had been introduced, which was soon done, the Lieutenant Governor came out to proceed to the tent, His Excellency, the captain of the " Herald," and Mr. Busby, preceded by some of the (mounted) police, leading the way; on which the Roman Catholic bishop and his priest stepped briskly up close to the heels of the Governor, so shutting us out unless we chose to walk behind them. " Brethren," I exclaimed, " this won't do: we must never consent to this position." "No," rejoined the Rev. B. Taylor; " I'll never follow Rome." And on his so saying we stepped on one side, out of the line of procession. Arriving at the tent, the Governor and captain took their seats in the center of a raised platform, when Pikopo and his priest immediately took possession of the seats on the Ieft next to the Governor, 5 we, the Church of England missionaries, standing behind. The Rev. H. Williams was now directed to a chair placed on the Governor's right, on which the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Willoughby Shortland, came over to us, took me by the sleeve, and said, " Go over to that end and support your cloth" - an intimation we lost no time in attending to, ranging ourselves as we best could behind the Rev. H. Williams. The tent was all this time rapidly filling with the different persons assembled. The scene was very interesting and impressive. In the centre of the narrow raised platform were the Governor and captain of the man-o'-war in full uniform; on the Governor's left were Mr. Busby, and the Roman Catholic bishop in canonicals, his massy gold chain and crucifix glistening on his dark-purple-coloured habit; on the right of His Excellency were the members of the Church of England mission, in plain black dresses. The different officers of the " Herald," together with His Excellency's suite, stationed themselves as they best could -some here and there on the platform and some immediately before it. In front of the platform, in the foreground, were the principal Native chiefs of several tribes, some clothed with dogskin mats made of alternate longitudinal stripes of black and white hair; others habited in splendid-looking new woollen cloaks of foreign manufacture, of crimson, blue, brown, and plaid, and, indeed, of every shade of striking colour, such as I had never before seen in New Zealand; 6 while some were dressed in plain European and some in common Native dresses. Nearly in the midst stood Hakitara, a tall Native of the Rawara Tribe, dressed in a very large and handsome silky white kaitaka mat (finest and best kind of garment, only worn by superior chiefs), fringed with a deep and dark-coloured woven border of a lozenge and zigzag pattern, the whole of Native (I might truly say of national) design and manufacture. 7. The sunlight streaming down from an aperture in the top of the tent on this beautiful white dress threw the figure of this chief into very prominent and conspicuous relief, forming a fine contrast to the deep and dark shades of colour around; whilst here and there a hani (or taiaha, a chief's staff of rank, &c.) was seen erected, adorned with the long flowing white hair of the tails of the New Zealand dog and crimson cloth and red feathers. In the distance the raven-black and glossy locks of the Native, gracefully ornamented with the snow-white and drooping feathers of sea-birds and of the white crane, forming a striking contrast, adding much to the tout ensemble.. Around the sides of the tent were the whites, residents and settlers, by far the greater part being very respectably dressed; and outside of them, against the walls of the tent, were flags of different nations, which, from the vividness of their colours, especially when the sun shone brightly on them, gave a charming air of liveliness to the whole.

A few little matters having been adjusted, the governor arose, and, addressing himself briefly to the whites, said that the meeting was convened for the purpose of informing the Native chiefs of Her Majesty's intentions towards them, and of gaining their public consent to a treaty now about to be proposed to them. He then addressed himself to the Natives, in English, as follows, the Rev. H. Williams acting as interpreter: -

" Her Majesty Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, wishing to do good to the chiefs and people of New Zealand, and for the welfare of her subjects living among you, has sent me to this place as governor.
" But, as the law of England gives no civil powers to Her Majesty out of her dominions, her efforts to do you good will be futile unless you consent.
" Her Majesty has commanded me to explain these matters to you, that you may understand them.
" The people of Great Britain are, thank God! free; and, as long as they do not transgress the laws they can go where they please, and their sovereign has not power to restrain them. You have sold them lands here and encouraged them to come here. Her Majesty, always ready to protect her subjects, is also always ready to restrain them.
" Her Majesty the Queen asks you to sign this treaty, and to give her that power which shall enable her to restrain them.
"I ask you for this publicly : I do not go from one chief to another.
"I will give you time to consider of the proposal I shall now offer you. What I wish you to do is expressly for your own good, as you will soon see by the treaty.
" You yourselves have often asked the King of England to extend his protection to you. Her Majesty now offers you that protection in this treaty.
" I think it is not necessary to say any more about it. I will therefore read the treaty."

Here His Excellency read the treaty in English, and the Rev. H. Williams read the translation of the same, which had been prepared in the New Zealand language, to the Natives.

The treaty having bean publicly read in English and in the Native tongue, liberty of speech was granted to any one who felt inclined to speak on the subject, or to make any inquiry relative to the same

Some brief preliminary proceedings followed, during which Mr. Busby addressed the Natives to the effect that the governor was not come to take away their land, but to secure them in the possession of what they had not sold; that he (Mr. Busby) had often told them that land not duly acquired from them would not be confirmed to the purchaser, but would be returned to the Natives, to whom it of right belonged ; that this the Governor would be prepared to do.

Suddenly, Te Kemara, a chief of the Ngatikawa, arose and said, " Health to thee, O Governor! This is mine to thee, O Governor! I am not pleased towards thee. I do not wish for thee. I will not consent to thy remaining here in this country. If thou stayest as Governor, then, perhaps, Te Kemara will be judged and condemned. Yes, indeed, and more than that - even hung by the neck. No, no, no; I shall never say 'Yes' to your staying. Were all to be on an equality, then, perhaps, Te Kemara would say, ' Yes; ' but for the Governor to be up and Te Kemara down -Governor high up, up, up, and Te Kemara down low, small, a worm, a crawler -no, no, no. O Governor! this is mine to thee. O Governor! my land is gone, gone, all gone. The inheritances of my ancestors, fathers, relatives, all gone, stolen, gone with the missionaries. Yes, they have it all, all, all. That man there, the Busby, and that man there, the Williams, they have my land. The land on which we are now standing this day is mine. This land, even this under my feet, return it to me. O Governor! return me my lands. Say to Williams, ' Return to Te Kemara his land.' Thou " (pointing and running up to the Rev. H. Williams), " thou, thou, thou baldheaded man - thou hast got my lands. 0 Governor! I do not wish thee to stay. You English are not kind to us like other foreigners. You do not give us good things. I say, Go back, go back, Governor, we do not want thee here in this country. And Te Kemara says to thee, Go back, leave to Busby and to Williams to arrange and to settle matters for us Natives as heretofore."

This chief spoke in his energetic, peculiar manner, as if very angry; his eyes rolling, and accompanying his remarks with extravagant gestures and grimace, even for a Native. The officers of the man-o'-war, and all strangers, were wonderfully struck with his show of himself. To any one unacquainted with New Zealand oratory it is morally impossible to convey a just idea of his excited manner, especially when addressing himself to Mr. Busby and to the Rev. H. Williams on the subject of the land. 8

Rewa, chief of the Ngaitawake Tribe, arose, and said (his first short sentence being in English), " How d'ye do, Mr. Governor? " which, unexpected as it was, set all hands a-laughing. "This is mine to thee, O Governor! Go back. Let the Governor return to his own country. Let my lands be returned to me which have been taken by the missionaries - by Davis and by Clarke, and by who and who besides. I have no Iands now -only a name, only a name! Foreigners come; they know Mr. Rewa, but this is all I have left -a name What do Native men want of a Governor? We are not whites, nor foreigners. This country is ours, but the land is gone. Nevertheless we are the Governor - we, the chiefs of this our fathers' land. I will not say 'Yes ' to the Governor's remaining. No, no, no; return. What ! this land to become like Port Jackson and all other lands seen [or found] by the English. No, no. Return. I, Rewa, say to thee, O Governor! go back ."

Moka, chief of the Patuheka Tribe, arose and said, " Let the Governor return to his own country: let us remain as we were. Let my lands be returned to me - all of them - those that are gone with Baker. Do not say, ' The lands will be returned to you.' Who will listen to thee, O Governor? Who will obey thee? Where is Clendon? Where is Mair ? Gone to buy our lands notwithstanding the book [Proclamation] of the Governor."

On this being interpreted to the Governor, His Excellency said "that all lands unjustly held would be returned; and that all claims to lands, however purchased, after the date of the Proclamation would not be held to be lawful." This was also interpreted to Moka by the Rev. H. Williams; when

Moka rejoined, " That is good, O Governor! that is straight. But stay, let me see. Yes, yes, indeed ! Where is Baker? where is the fellow? Ah, there he is - there, standing! Come, return to me my lands." This he addressed to Mr. Baker, coming forward as near as he could to the place where Mr. Baker was standing on the raised platform, and looking up, waiting for a reply. To which question Mr. Baker quietly replied, " E hoki, koia?" - equivalent in English to, "Will it, indeed, return?" On which Moka continued, " There! Yes, that is as I said. No, no, no; all false, all false alike. The lands will not return to me."

At this juncture a white man came forward, and, addressing His Excellency, said that the Native speechs were not half interpreted by Mr. Williams, neither were His Excellency's remarks fully interpreted to the Natives; that a Mr. Johnson 9 was present who could interpret well, &c.
The Governor: " Then, pray, Mr. Johnson, do me this great favour and come forward and interpret for me. I am anxious that the Natives should know what I say, and also that I should know what they say. Mr. Johnson, do you fully understand the Native language? "
Johnson, (coming forward): "Why, I can't say I do, but I know how to speak to them, and know also what they say when they speak to me.; and" -
The Governor: "Then pray tell me what has not been interpreted."
Johnson: "No, Sir, I beg to be excused. The gentlemen of the mission ought to be able to do it, and can do it very well; only let Mr Williams speak out loud so that we may hear - we here in the back part of the tent; and let all that the Natives say be interpreted to the Governor. They say a great deal about land and missionaries which Mr Williams does not translate to you, Sir," &c. 10

The Rev. Henry Williams, having obtained permission of His Excellency, addressed the whites in English, and said, "A great deal has been said about the missionaries holding land, and their farming, and what not; but the Commissioners who are about to sit will examine into the lands held by the missionaries, and their titles thereto, as strictly as into any other. I wish for this to be done, and I have already applied to His Excellency for the lands in the possession of the missionaries to be first brought before the Commissioners. People should recollect that were it not for the missionaries they would not be here this day, nor be in possession of a foot of land in New Zealand. If any one person has a prior claim to land in this country, that person must be the missionary, who had laboured for so many years in this land when others were afraid to show their noses. I have a large family -a family of eleven children -more, probably, than any one present; and what are they to do when I am taken from them if they are not to have some land? Much has been said about my land, but I believe that when it is seen and known, and shared up between my children, no one will say that I have been over the mark, but, on the contrary, under. All I shall say at present is, I hope that all that hold lands obtained from the Natives will be able to show as good and as honest titles to the same as the missionaries can do to theirs."

Mr. Busby, having also obtained permission of His Excellency to speak a few words to the whites on his purchasing of land, rose and said in English, " I deny that the term ' robbed ' has been used by the chiefs Te Kemara and Rewa with reference to my purchase of land, as indicated by the white man who spoke, and coupled by him with Mr. Williams by gestures, though not plainly by name. I never bought any land but what the Natives pressed me to buy, for which I always paid them liberally. Allusion has been made to my possessing large tracts of land: I am happy to say that I do hold some land; but I did not make any extensive purchase until I was out of office, and then, on my finding that, after having served the Govermnent for fifteen years, not any provision was made, nor was likely to be made, for myself and my family, I purchased land. I only regret that I had not done so at an earlier period, and that to a larger extent. In all my purchases, also, I have reconveyed to the Natives both habitations and cultivations, by an unalienable deed of gift, according to the number of persons thereon."

Tamati Pukututu, chief of Te Uri-o-te-hawato Tribe, rose and said, "This is mine to thee, O Governor! Sit, Governor, sit, a Governor for us -for me, for all, that our lands may remain with us -that those fellows and creatures who sneak about, sticking to rocks and to the sides of brooks and gullies 11 may not have it all. Sit, Governor, sit, for me, for us. Remain here, a father for us, &c. These chiefs say, ' Don't sit,' because they have sold all their possessions, and they are filled with foreign property, and they have also no more to sell. But I say, what of that? Sit, Governor, sit. You two stay here, you and Busby -you two and they also, the missionaries."

Matiu, a chief of the Uri-o-ngongo Tribe, rose and said, " O Governor ! sit, stay, remain -you as one with the missionaries, a Govemor for us. Do not go back, but sit here, a Governor, a father for us, that good may increase, may become large to us. This is my word to thee: do thou sit here, a father for us."

Kawiti, chief of the Ngatihine Tribe, rose and said, ('No, no. Go back, go back. What dost thou want here? We Native men do not wish thee to stay. We do not want to be tied up and trodden down. We are free. Let the missionaries remain, but, as for thee, return to thine own country. I will not say 'Yes ' to thy sitting here. What! to be fired at in our boats and canoes by night! What! to be fired at when quietly paddling our canoes by night! I, even I, Kawiti, must not paddle this way, nor paddle that way, because the Govemor said 'No' - because of the Governor, his soldiers, and his guns! No, no, no. Go back, go hack; there is no place here for the Governor."

Wai, a chief of the Ngaitawake Tribe, rose and said, "To thee, O Governor! this. Will you remedy the selling, the exchanging, the cheating, the lying, the stealing of the whites? O Governor! yesterday I was cursed by a white man. Is that straight? The white gives us Natives a pound for a pig; but he gives a white four pounds for such a pig. Is that straight? The white man gives us a shilling for a basket of potatoes; but to a white he gives four shillings for a basket like that one of ours. Is that straight? No, no; they will not listen to thee: so go back, go back. If they would listen and obey, ah! yes, good that; but have they ever listened to Busby? And will they listen to thee, a stranger, a man of yesterday? Sit, indeed! what for? Wilt thou make dealing straight?"

Here there was an interruption by a white man named Jones (a hawker and pedlar of Kororareka), and by the white man who had previously addressed the Governor, and also by another young white man, who all three spoke to the Governor at one time from different parts of the tent, calling on His Excellency to have the speeches interpreted for the whites to hear, and also to have them interpreted correctly. Johnson was again called for to come forward, who, on the Governor desiring him to do so, interpreted the speech of the last speaker, Wai, commenting on the same, after first remarking that " it was great lies."

Pumuka, chief of the Roroa Tribe, rose and said, " Stay, remain, Governor; remain for me. Hear, all of you. I will have this man a foster-father for me. Stay, sit, Governor. Listen to my words, 0 Governor! Do not go away; remain. Sit, Governor, sit. I wish to have two fathers -thou and Busby, and the missionaries."

Warerahi (George King), a chief of the Ngaitawake Tribe, rose and said, "Yes! What else? Stay, sit; if not, what? Sit; if not, how? Is it not good to be in peace? We will have this man as our Governor. What! turn him away! Say to this man of the Queen, Go back ! No, no." 12

Here a commotion and bustle took place among the Natives, who were sitting closely packed, in consequence of a lane or open space being made in front of the platform for Tareha, and for Hakiro, and for other chiefs to make their running speeches in, ŕ la Nouvelle-Zélande.

Hakiro (son of Tareha, but who on this occasion appeared and spoke on behalf of Titore, 13 deceased, principal chief of the Ngatinanenane Tribe) arose and said, "To thee, O Governor! this. Who says ' Sit '? Who? Hear me, O Governor! I say, no, no. Sit, indeed! Who says 'Sit'? Go back, go back; do not thou sit here. What wilt thou sit here for? We are not thy people. We are free. We will not have a Governor. Return, return; leave us. The missionaries and Busby are our fathers. We do not want thee; so go back, return, walk away."

Tareha, chief of the Ngatirehia Tribe, rose, and, with much of their usual national gesticulation, said, " No Governor for me -for us Native men. We, we only are the chiefs, rulers. We will not be ruled over What! thou, a foreigner, up, and I down! Thou high, and I, Tareha, the great chief of the Ngapuhi tribes, low! No, no; never, never. I am jealous of thee; I am, and shall be, until thou and thy ship go away. Go back, go back; thou shalt not stay here. No, no; I will never say ' Yes.' Stay! Alas! what for? why What is here for thee? Our lands are already all gone. Yes, it is so, but our names remain. Never mind; what of that -the lands of our fathers alienated? Dost thou think we are poor, indigent, Poverty-stricken -that we really need thy foreign garments, thy food? Lo! note this." (Here he held up high a bundle of fern-roots he carried in his hand, displaying it.) "See, this is my food, the food of my ancestors, the food of the Native people. Pshaw, Governor! To think of tempting men -us Natives -with baits of clothing and of food! Yes, I say we are the chiefs. If all were to be alike, all equal in rank with thee -but thou, the Governor up high up, up, as this tall paddle " (here he held up a common canoe paddle), "and I down, under, beneath! No, no, no. I will never say, 'Yes, stay.' Go back, return; make haste away. Let me see you [all] go, thee and thy ship. Go, go; return, return." 14

Tareha was clothed with a filthy piece of coarse old floor-matting, loosely tied round him, such as is used by the commonest Natives merely as a 'floor-mat under their bedding. He was evidently dressed up in this fashion in order the more effectually to ridicule the supposition of the New-Zealanders being in want of any extraneous aid of clothing, etc., from foreign nations. He also carried in his hand, by a string, a bunch of dried fern-root, formerly their common vegetable food, as bread with us. His habit, his immense size -tall and very robust (being by far the biggest Native of the whole district) -and his deep sepulchral voice, conspired to give him peculiar prominence, and his words striking effect: this last was unmistakably visible on the whole audience of Natives.

Rawiri, a chief of the Ngatitautahi Tribe, arose and said (first sentence in English), " Good morning, Mr. Governor! very good you! Our Governor, our Father! Stay here, O Governor! Sit, that we may be in peace. A good thing this for us -yes, for us, my friends, Native men. Stay, sit. Do thou remain, O Governor! to be a Governor for us."

Hoani Heke, a chief of the Matarahurahu Tribe, arose and said, " To raise up, or to bring down? to raise up, or to bring down? Which? which? Who knows? Sit, Governor, sit. If thou shouldst return, we Natives are gone, utterly gone, nothinged, extinct. What, then, shall we do? Who are we? Remain, Governor, a father for us. If thou goest away, what then? We do not know. This, my friends," addressing the Natives around him, " is a good thing. It is even as the word of God " (the New Testament, lately printed in Maori at Paihia, and circulated among the Natives). " Thou to go away! No, no, no! For then the French people or the rum-sellers will have us Natives. Remain, remain; sit, sit here; you with the missionaries, all as one. But we Natives are children -yes, mere children. Yes; it is not for us, but for you, our fathers -you missionaries -it is for you to say, to decide, what it shall be. It is for you to choose. For we are only Natives. Who and what are we? Children -yes, children solely. We do not know: do you then choose for us. You, our fathers -you missionaries. Sit, I say, Governor, sit! a father, a Governor for us." (Pronounced with remarkably strong and solemn emphasis, well supported both by gesture and manner.)

Hakitara, a chief of the Rarawa Tribe, rose and said a few words; but, in consequence of several talking (both whites and Natives) the one to the other at this moment, remarking on Hoani Heke's speech and manner, and from Hakitara speaking low, what he said was not plainly heard. He spoke, however, in favour of the Governors remaining.

Tamati Waka Nene, chief of the Ngatihao Tribe, rose and said, " I shall speak first to us, to ourselves, Natives " (addressing them). "What do you say? The Governor to return? What, then, shall we do? Say here to me, O ye chiefs of the tribes of the northern part of New Zealand' what we, how we?" (Meaning, how, in such a case, are we henceforward to act?) "Is not the land already gone? is it not covered, all covered with men, with strangers, foreigners -even as the grass and herbage -over whom we have no power? We, the chiefs and Natives of this land, are down low; they are up high, exalted. What, what do you say? The Governor to go back? I am sick, I am dead, killed by you. Had you spoken thus in the old time, when the traders and grog-sellers came -had you turned them away, then you could well say to the Governor, 'Go back,' and it would have been correct, straight; and I would also have said with you, 'Go back;' -yes, we together as one man, one voice. But now, as things are, no, no, no." Turning to His Excellency, he resumed, "O Governor! sit. I, Tamati Waka, say to thee, sit. Do not thou go away from us; remain for us -a father, a judge, a peacemaker. Yes, it is good, it is straight. Sit thou here; dwell in our midst. Remain; do not go away. Do not thou listen to what [the chiefs of] Ngapuhi say. Stay thou, our friend, our father, our Governor."

Eruera Maehe Patuone (the elder brother of Tamati Waka Nene, who has for some time been living in the island of Waiheke, in the Thames, and who only came up from thence a few weeks back) rose and said, " What shall I say on this great occasion, in the presence of all those great chiefs of both countries? Here, then, this is my word to thee, O Governor 'Sit, stay -thou, and the missionaries, and the Word of God. Remain here with us, to be a father for us, that the French have us not, that Pikopo, that bad man, have us not. Remain, Governor Sit, stay, our friend."

Te Kemara (who had spoken the first) here jumped up, and, in his usual excitable, lively, and flourishing manner, said, " No, no. Who says 'Stay'? Go away; return to thine own land. I want my lands returned to me. If thou wilt say, ' Return to that man Te Kemara his land,' then it would be good. Let us all be alike [in rank, in power]. Then, O Governor! remain. But, the Governor up! Te Kemara down, low, flat! No, no, no. Besides, where art thou to stay, to dwell ? There is no place left for thee." 15 Here Te Kemara ran up to the Governor, and, crossing his wrists, imitating a man handcuffed, loudly vociferated, with fiery flashing eyes, " Shall I be thus, thus? Say to me, Governor, speak. Like this, eh? like this? Come, come, speak, Governor. Like this, eh?" He then seized hold of the Governor's hand with both his and shook it most heartily, roaring out with additional grimace and gesture (in broken English), " How d'ye do, eh, Governor? How d'ye do, eh, Mister Governor? " This he did over, and over, and over again, the Governor evidently taking it in good part, the whole assembly of whites and browns, chief and slave, Governor, missionaries, officers of the man-o'-war, and, indeed, "all hands," being convulsed with laughter. This incident ended this day's meeting.

His Excellency then gave public notice that on Friday, the 7th instant, at 10 a.m., the meeting would be reassembled.
Three cheers were then given for the Governor, in which all lustily joined. Soon after the several parties separated, apparently, I thought, pleased.

A truly laughable event (serio-comic, I might call it) happened as the Governor and his suite, with the captain and officers of the man-o'-war, were embarking. The anecdote is too good to be wholly lost. I was one of those who escorted the Governor to his boat, some distance off on the sandy beach below. His Excellency was talking with me, by the way, about the printing of the treaty and other kindred matters. To get to the boat we had to go down a short, easy, though rude pathway in the side of the hill (Waitangi House being situate on high ground). We had arrived near the boat, which the sailors were launching -it being low water -when a Native chief, an elderly man from the interior, who had only just arrived (a few others had also kept dropping in during the morning) -almost another Te Kemara -rushed down the decline, burst before us, laid his hands on the gunwale of the captain's launch to stop her (the sailors, half-amazed, looking at their chief), and, turning himself round, looked staringly and scrutinizingly into the Governor's face, and, having surveyed it, exclaimed in a shrill, loud, and mournful voice, " Auee! he koroheke! Ekore e roa kua mate." (I felt "wild" at him) The Governor, turning to me said, " What does he say? " I endeavoured to parry the direct question by answering, " Oh, nothing of importance. A stranger chief only just arrived from the interior, running hither to catch you, and bidding you his greeting." But, as His Excellency's desire to know was keenly aroused, with that of Captain Nias and his officers by his side, and perhaps that of many of the whites present, including the sailors, who had ceased dragging down the boat, the Governor rejoined imploringly to me, " Now pray do, Mr. Colenso, tell me the exact meaning of his words. I much ravish to know it all." So, being thus necessitated (for there were others present who knew enough of Maori), I said, " He says, 'Alas! an old man. He will soon be dead!' " His Excellency thanked me for it, but a cloud seemed to have fallen on all the strangers present, and the party embarked in silence for their ship.

In the afternoon a quantitv of tobacco (negro-head) was distributed among the Natives, or, rather, was intended to be so, for they soon upset the superintending officer (who was obliged, nolens volens, to put up with the loss of his dignity), and so got the tobacco among them, by which, however, some got a large share, and some got little, and others none at all. This occurrence occasioned much dissatisfaction among the Natives, and for some time I feared the result.

Notwithstanding the public notice given by the Governor that the next meeting would be held on the Friday, 7th, it was found on consideration this evening that it would be advisable to hold the same on to-morrow, Thursday, 6th, inasmuch as the number of Natives gathered together was large, and they had no supply of food with them; neither was there any place at hand (or within several miles, and only situate on the opposite shores of the bay) where they might obtain any. Several of the Native chiefs said they could not possibly remain so long at Waitangi; that they should be " dead from hunger," &c. It was therefore proposed that the second meeting should be held on the next day, Thursday, instead of the Friday, as first agreed on, and that the Governor should be made acquainted with this necessary alteration in the day.

green line

SECOND DAY'S MEETING

Thursday February 6th 1840. -Thismorning at 9.30, we (the missionaries) left Paihia Station for Waitangi, a mile and a half distant. On our arrival we found that the Natives were already there -not, however, such a large party as was present the day before. The fierce squabble about the tobacco yesterday, coupled with the remembrance of the sad murderous affray which took place here on the Whananake question, 16 had sent several to their respective homes. Nevertheless, there were several present -not less than 300, or even 400 -scattered in small parties according to their tribes, talking about the treaty, but evidently not clearly understanding it. Time passed by, 11 o'clock came, but no Governor, nor could any movement be discerned on board H.M.S. " Herald" from which it might be inferred that His Excellency was coming; the Natives, too, were becoming impatient. About noon a boat from the ship came ashore, with two of the officers of His Excellency's suite, who seemed surprised at our saying we were there waiting for the Govemor, as they said " His Excellency certainly knew nothing about a meeting to be held there this day." It was now evident that a mis-understanding had somehow arisen. A boat was instantly despatched to the ship to let the Governor know; and he soon arrived, in plain clothes, except his hat, and unattended by any of the officers of the " Herald." He assured us he had not the least notion of a meeting to be held this day; but that, as it was, he would take the signatures of the Native chiefs who were present and desirous of signing the treaty: still, he must have a public meeting on the morrow (Friday), pursuant to the notice he had already given at the close of the meeting yesterday, &c.

We then Proceeded to the tent, where, after some little delay and difficulty, the Natives assembled together. Some few necessary arrangements having been entered into for the better and more regular signing of their names, the Governor rose and said, " I can only receive signatures this day. I cannot allow of any discussion, this not being a regular public meeting." At this stage of the proceedings a messenger came to the Governor, informing him that the French Roman Catholic bishop and a priest were at Mr. Busby's house, and that they wished to be present at the meeting, &c.; on which the Governor despatched his secretary to bring them over to the tent. They soon came, and took their seats in the same places they had occupied on the preceding day. His Excellency then proposed that the Rev. H. Williams should read the treaty to the Natives from the parchment (as that read the day before was from the draft on paper), which was done by Mr. Williams.

Here the Roman Catholic bishop made some remarks to the Governor in an undertone, which were not heard by us; and the Governor, addressing himself to the Rev. H. Williams, who was acting as interpreter, said, " The bishop wishes it to be publicly stated to the Natives that his religion will not be interfered with, and that free toleration will be allowed in matters of faith. I should therefore thank you to say to them that the bishop will be protected and supported in his religion - that I shall protect all creeds alike."
On which Mr. Williams, addressing the Natives, said, "Na, e mea ana te Kawana" -("Attend, the Governor says " -) when he stopped, and, turning to Mr. G. Clarke, of the Church Mission, standing next to him, said something that was inaudible beyond the spot on which they two stood. Mr. Clarke, however, appeared not to understand -at least, not to hear plainly what Mr. Williams had said. Seeing this, I, who stood next, said to Mr. Williams, "Pray, sir, write it down first, as it is an important sentence." Then Mr. Williams, taking paper and pencil, proceeded to do so. The paper, when written on, was passed to the Governor for the Roman Catholic bishop's inspection, who, having read it, said in English, "This will do very well"; on which the paper was returned to Mr. Williams, who read the same to the Natives.
The slip of paper contained the following words: "E mea ana te Kawana, ko nga whakapono katoa, o Ingarani, o nga Weteriana, o Roma, me te ritenga Maori hoki, e tiakina ngatahitia e ia." ("The Governor says the several faiths [beliefs] of England, of the Wesleyans, of Rome, and also the Maori custom, shall be alike protected by him.") I got Mr. Williams (though with some little hesitation on his part) to insert " me te ritenga Maori hoki " (" and also the Maori custom, or usage") as a correlative to that "of Rome."

All being now ready for the signing, the Native chiefs were called on in a body to come forward and sign the document. Not one, however, made any move nor seemed desirous of doing so till Mr. Busby, hitting on an expedient, proposed calling them singly by their names as they stood in his (private) list, in which list the name of Hoani Heke (known, too, to be the most favourable towards the treaty) happened to be the first -at least, of those who were this day present. On his being called by name to come and sign, he advanced to the table on which the treaty lay. At this moment I, addressing myself to the Governor, said, -
" Will your Excellency allow me to make a remark or two before that chief signs the treaty?"
The Governor: "Certainly, sir."
Mr. Colenso: " May I ask your Excellency whether it is your opinion that these Natives understand the articles of the treaty which they are now called upon to sign? I this morning" - -
The Governor: " If the Native chiefs do not know the contents of this treaty it is no fault of mine. I wish them fully to understand it. I have done all that I could do to make them understand the same, and I really don't know how I shall be enabled to get them to do so. They have heard the treaty read by Mr. Williams."
Mr. Colenso: "True, your Excellency; but the Natives are quite children in their ideas. It is no easy matter, I well know, to get them to understand -fully to comprehend a document of this kind; still, I think they ought to know somewhat of it to constitute its legality. I speak under correction, your Excellency. I have spoken to some chiefs concerning it, who had no idea whatever as to the purport of the treaty."
Mr. Busby here said, "The best answer that could be given to that observation would be found in the speech made yesterday by the very chief about to sign, Hoani Heke, who said, 'The Native mind could not comprehend these things: they must trust to the advice of their missionaries.' "
Mr. Colenso: "Yes; and that is the very thing to which I was going to allude. The missionaries should do so; but at the same time the missionaries should explain the thing in all its bearings to the Natives, so that it should be their own very act and deed. Then, in case of a reaction taking place, the Natives could not turn round on the missionary and say, ' You advised me to sign that paper, but never told me what were the contents thereof.' "
The Governor: "I am in hopes that no such reaction will take place. I think that the people under your care will be peaceable enough: I'm sure you will endeavour to make them so. And as to those that are without, why we must endeavour to do the best we can with them."
Mr. Colenso: " I thank your Excellency for the patient healing you have given me. What I had to say arose from a conscientious feeling on the subject. Having said what I have I consider that I have discharged my duty;"

Here Hoani Heke signed the treaty, on which several others came forward and did the same. Whilst the treaty was being signed, Marupo, chief of the Wanaurara Tribe, and Ruhe, a chief of the Ngatihineira Tribe, made long speeches against the signing of the same. Both declaimed strongly in true New Zealand style, running up and down, flourishing their hands and arms, stamping with their feet, &c. Marupo was stripped naked to the loins, and continued his oratory and gestures until he was exhausted. Both, however, of these chiefs subsequently came to the table and signed the treaty. Marupo, having made his mark (as he could neither read nor write), shook hands heartily with the Governor, and seized hold of, and much wished to put on, His Excellency's hat, which was lying on the table. After some little time Te Kemara came towards the table and affixed his sign to the parchment, stating that the Roman Catholic bishop (who had left the meeting before any of the chiefs had signed) had told him "not to write on the paper, for if he did he would be made a slave."

Rewa was now the only chief of note present who still refused to sign, but after some time, being persuaded by some of his Native friends as well as by the members of the Church of England Mission, he came forward and signed the treaty, stating to the Governor that the Roman Catholic bishop had told him not to do so, and that he (the Roman Catholic bishop) had striven hard with him not to sign.

During the signing of the treaty a few chiefs arrived who were not present on the tirst day from not receiving their summoning letters in time and from the long distance they had to come -of course on foot. They, however, Signed the document.

Forty-five chiefs signed the treaty at this second day of meeting. The greater part of them were from the Bay of Islands and its immediate vicinity. Among them, however, were not many chiefs of the first rank. In fact, there were none present from any distance save Tamati Waka Nene and his brother Patuone, from the Hokianga district; and Kauwata, Warau, and Ngere, from the Wangaruru district.

His Excellency appeared to be in good health and spirits, and to be much interested in the scenes before him. As each chief affixed his name or sign to the treaty the Governor shook him by the hand, saying (in Maori), "He iwi tahi tatou" ("We are [now] one people"), at which the Natives were greatly pleased. All that were disposed having signed, the Natives gave three cheers for the Governor.

His Excellency, on leaving, requested me to attend to the distributing of a bale of blankets and a cask of tobacco to the Natives, which occupied me till late, each chief who had signed the document getting two blankets and a quantity of tobacco. By dint of close and constant management the said distribution went off well without any mishap or hitch.

Friday, February 14th, 1840. - This morning was ushered in with very heavy rain, which continued with hardly any intermission till towards evening. Consequently it could not but be considered as a very fortunate occurrence -as far, at least, as the holding of the second meeting went -that it was held yesterday, on the Thursday; for had it not been held on that day it could not possibly have been held on this day (Friday), as originally fixed, and many of the Natives, who could not have remained together until Saturday (to-morrow), would have returned to their several villages -and, perhaps, displeased and disheartened.

Saturday, February 8th - This morning H.M.S. "Herald " hoisted a profusion of British colours and fired a Royal salute of twentv-one guns in honour of the new British Colony of New Zealand. At Kororareka, too, there was a great display, &c. The members of the mission went over to Kororareka, but I could not possibly go, being very busy in the printing-office with Proclamations, two treaties, &c.

Monday, February 10th. - This morning the Governor and suite and the captain of H.M.S. "Herald" rode to Te Waimate Mission-station, in the interior, where they obtained some signatures to the treaty. On Tuesday, the 11th, they Proceeded on to Hokianga, where they obtained a great number of signatures. On Friday, the 14th, they returned to the Bay of Islands and to their ship.

The total number of signatures obtained at Waitangi, Te Waimate, and Hokianga was about one hundred and twenty.

green line

1 The flag was taken down while the proceedings were going forward - J.B. Return
2 Mr Busby has here, in the margin of the MS., "?. J. B." My allusion was to the rather sombre appearance of the fern, and manuka, (Leptospermum scoparium) scrub, and rushes on the barren hills around.Return
3 A small body of them had accompanied captain Hobson from Sydney.Return
4 The common Maori name by which the Roman Catholic Bishop and the priests were known.Return
5 Mr. Busby was on the Governor's immediate left, and the Roman Catholic bishop next to him. - J. B.Return
6 The gifts of the Roman Catholic Bishop - J.B.Return
7 This garment was afterwards much admired and talked of by the Natives themselves. I have only seen one similar one, which I early (in 1836) had obtained from Rotorua.Return
8 And yet it was all mere show -not really intended; as was not long after fully shown, when they gave their evidence as to the fair sale, &c of their lands before the land commissioners, I myself acting as interpreter.Return
9 Johnson was an old resident (dealer in spirits &c.) of Kororareka.Return
10 This can only refer to their immense amount of repetition: otherwise Mr. Williams translated fairly what they said.Return
11 "Pirotaka" and "piriawaawa" -words of deep metophorical meaning: anglice, homeless wanderers, skulks, loafers.Return
12 After him a chief of the Waikare spoke of the unjust desires of the whites, saying that for a very little thing -a shilling -they wanted a pig as big as himself, and much more to the same purpose. Would the Governor cause them to give as large a payment as the article they got? -J. B. (meaning its fair value.) Not much noticed in the bustle.Return
13 I may here briefly state, in a note, that Titore was one of the most powerful and best of the many Ngapuhi chiefs of high rank -so much of Natures' true nobility of manner and appearance about him; his voice, too, was mild, yet firm, possssing more ot the suaviter than the fortiter, so contrary to the usual loud bluster of the Maori, especially of those chiefs residing on the shores of the harbour, whose manners were not improved through their common intercourse with shipping and low-class whites. I had visited him on his death-bed (he died comparatively early, from consumption),, and, though he was not a Christian, I was much pleased with his demeanour. Our parting way a mournful yet very affectionate one. There is a very fair likeness of him (there Called "Tetoro") given as a frontispiece in Captam Cruise's "Ten Months' Residence in New Zealand," taken before the invention of photography.Return
14 Here I should state that those chiefs, Rewa, Moka, Tareha, and Hakiro, were all from Kororareka, their residence being close to the Roman Catholic bishops.Return
15 When Te Kemara said to the Governor, "There is no place left for thee," I said that my house would be occupied by the Governor;" which intimation served to produce the change in his demeanour. -J. B.Return
16 In 1836, when two natives were killed and several wounded of the Christian and unarmed party by their heathen relatives, on judgment being given against them.Return

THIS work by W. Colenso is authentic. It is his own condensed version from his notes taken on the occasion, and they were also checked for accuracy by several present at the time, including (up till the time), the British Resident Mr. James Busby (The 'J.B' in the footnotes).


Both Maori and European wordings of the Treaty

home