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Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Parihaka Speeches and Native Office Report, 1885

Copied from the Appendices to the Journal of the House of Representatives, G. 8, 1885.

Telegrams: 30th June 1885 to Under-Secretary, Native Office | 1st July 1885 to Under-Secretary, Native Office
Report: by Lieut.-Colonel Roberts on Native meeting at Parihaka.

Laid on the Table by the Hon. Mr Ballance, with the Leave of the House.

Telegram - Speeches of Te Whiti and Tohu at Parihaka on the 29th June 1885.

Lieut.-Colonel Roberts to the Under-Secretary, Native Office, Wellington.
Opunake, 30th June, 1885.
Yesterday Te Whiti and Tohu spoke in the marae nothing but "peace, peace." Mr Messenger will send full account by mail.
J.M. Roberts, Lieut.-Colonel.

Telegram no. 2

Lieut.-Colonel Roberts to the Under-Secretary, Native Office, Wellington.
Opunake, 1st July, 1885.
THE following are the speeches which I wired you yesterday and were delivered on Monday:-
Te Whiti said: The people are dead and the land is dead. This gathering here today is the gathering that was scattered to be destroyed, but here we are today. The only work for this generation is work like this table of today, and we shall live. The trouble is past and gone and lost sight of, it will never be seen any more - never, never again till the end of the world. What I say is the same as Titokowaru said yesterday. What he said was quite true.
Tohu said: I am a bad man. The trouble is lost sight of and we shall never see it again. Let them (the Europeans) stop on the land; we must wait. There will not be two floods. We do not gather in the marae the same as we used to, waiting to hear me tell you what to do. No; that is a thing of the past; and, if any one of you be dark and ask me what you are to do, I shall say you had better go to England or Russia, where the trouble is, and ask them. If any one thinks he is going to bring on trouble here, as it used to be, he will have to answer for it. If you cook a potato you cannot make it raw again. The fruit of trouble is a man is killed and rots and is lost sight of; but this (pointing to the table) we see and see again. We will gather in this marae. This will not be done away with till the end of the world. Weeds will never grow in this marae, but I will keep it for my people to gather in. Waikato, Taranaki, Ngatiruasnui, don't say, "This is what he says to day, but tomorrow he will tell us different." No; not tomorrow - next month - a year - it will be all the same; we shall live; this generation will not be lost sight of.
J.M. Roberts, Lieut.-Colonel.

Report of Native Meeting at Parihaka in June, 1885.

Report by Lieut.-Colonel Roberts to the Under-Secretary, Native Office, Wellington.

Armed Constabulary District Office, Opunake, 4th July, 1885.
SIR, -
I have the honour to submit the following report on the late meeting of the Maoris at Parihaka, compiled from information supplied by Mr. Charles Messenger, the Interpreter:-

The Natives commenced to assemble at Parihaka on the 15th ultimo, the first to arrive being the Urenui and Waitara hapus, and later the following were represented : The Waikato, Wanganui, Ngatiruanui, and Ngatiapa, altogether numbering about a thousand visitors. For the first few days nothing of importance occurred, and the Natives were busy draining their whares and potato-pits, which had been flooded by the heavy rains.

On the 20th all assembled in the marae, as it was rumoured among them that Te Whiti would deliver an address, but he did not appear, and after food was distributed they broke up.

On the 21st Bob Rangi (Ngarongomate) died. This man was a chief of Oakura, who, at one time, had much influence amongst the Maoris, but which had lately greatly declined owing to hapu quarrels. The usual tangi was held over him.

On the 22nd various sums of money, amounting altogether to 47 pound, were presented by Titokowaru and his party to Te Whiti. The party, marching in Indian file, passed Te Whiti's house, each depositing his gift on a table.

On the 23rd the Maoris again met in the marae to partake of a great dinner given by Tohu. This dinner was entirely different to the ordinary run of Maori foods: confectionery, puddings, cakes, &c., being supplied, and everything carried out in European style; waiters in attendance, &c.

On the 24th Titokowaru, who evidently acts as leader in getting up the hakas and amusements, sent to New Plymouth and advertised a haka for the following Sunday.

On the 25th, at the request of Te Whiti, Titokowaru's party performed a haka in the marae, all the Maoris meeting to witness it, and at the conclusion 68 pound was collected. Immediately after an old chief of Parihaka stood up and made the following speech : "This is June. June was to be the month, the 18th (our 17th) is gone. My ears are tired, nothing has been said but 'beg, beg, for money,' and I am sick of it." Nothing was replied to this.

On the 26th it was reported Te Whiti would speak on the 1st July (our 30th June), and the conversation among the Natives was principally as to what he intended to say, all being anxious to know what the speech would consist of. From this date until the speaking of Te Whiti in the marae, which actually took place on the 29th, great preparations were made with the food for the feast.

On the 28th Titokowaru held the haka advertised, about fifty European being present, from whom a collection was made. A Mr. Elwain was requested to leave Te Whiti's house by Te Whiti's son on account of a threat of a whipping which a Maori boy said Mr. Elwain had threatened him with whilst he was catching a horse on Mr. Elwain's farm some time ago. At the conclusion of the haka Titokowaru made a speech similar to that he delivered in Opunake anJ reported in my telegram of the 16th ultimo.

On the 29th the large assembling of the Maoris, about eighteen hundred took place in the marae, Te Whiti and Tohu speaking, translations of which speeches I have already furnished in my telegram of the 1st instant. These speeches closed the meeting, and the Natives afterwards commenced returning to their homes, the last to leave being the Waikatos on the 2nd instant.

This meeting has been looked forward to by all the Maoris along the coast, as it was expected that Te Whiti would make a speech of great importance, rumours of all kinds as to what he would say being circulated by them. It would appear to me that the speeches are very satisfactory, and evince a strong desire on both Te Whiti's and Tohu's parts to preserve order and peace amongst the Natives. That Te Whiti's influence over them is as great as ever is shown by the means which they adopt to procure money to present to him; horses, cattle, and other property being sold to obtain it. There are large quantities of food at Parihaka, such as potatoes and the usual kind of Maori food; but at all their feasts at this meeting they endeavoured to copy the European meals, preserved milk even being procured from the stores, and everything was carried out in true pakeha style. No spirits or beer were allowed to be brought into the pa.
In conclusion, I may state that the whole meaning of the speeches appeared to be peace,
I have, &c.
J. M. ROBERTS, Lieut.-Colonel,
The Under-Secretary, Native Office.
Commanding Provincial District of TaranakL

Korero o te Wa I Raraunga I Rauemi I Te Whanganui a Tara I Whakapapa