18th Nov 1872

The minutes of the Otaki sitting of the Maori Land Court, held in Foxton (Manawatu) on the 18th November 1872.

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Monday November 18th 1872

Present:

His Honour Judge Rogan     Presiding
His Honour Judge Smith
Assessor: Hemi Tautau
Clerk to the Court: M Grey
Native Interpreter: T Young

Court opened at 10 a.m.

Major Kemp: I have prepared a list of witnesses but I have declined Counsel and I wish that Ngati Raukawa Tribe should have their Counsel.

Mr Cash: Applied to be allowed to appear and act for the tribes of which Keepa is the representative.

Hari Wirikaki: (Ngati Raukawa) Objected to these tribes having Counsel as Keepa had in the first instance objected to them being represented.

The Court refused the application.

Major Kemp: Stated that Hoani Meihana would conduct their case as he did not feel he could do so.

Hoani Meihana: Stated that he would appear and act for 5 tribes before named by Keepa. He gave the names of witnesses he intended to call – Keepa, Hunia, H. Meihana, Manihera, Hamuera, Ihaia, Hera Tangoro, Te Peeti, Matiaha, Karaitiana.

Hoani Meihana: Asked for an adjournment for 2 days in order that Mr Cash could be made acquainted with their case.

Hari Wirikaki: Objected to the adjournment. He wished the work to go on at once.

Adjournment not granted.

Hoani Meihana:

I will state the claims of these tribes to the land. They claim this land as having (derived ? claimed?)  it from their ancestors. Their ancestors were the owners. It then descended to theirs from them, to the people now present in Court.

When our ancestors first came here they settled on the land. They settled on land from Whanganui to the Ngati Kahungunu country. This [is] all I have to say. What I shall say next will be against the claim of Ngati Raukawa. I know nothing of the Pah. The may have taken or battles may have won at which I was defeated or through which my land was taken from me by Ngati Raukawa. All that I know is that this tribe came here peaceably. Te Whatanui was their principal chief. On his arrival he entered into friendly negotiations with a Chief Nukerengu, a great chief of these tribes and also with Taiweherua.

After this he returned quietly to his own place. After this he came back again. When he did come back he found these tribes in a state of peace and dwelling at large in the country. He came in peace according to friendly relations he had entered into with Kekerengu. These people were living without any fear or doubt. Whatanui himself came along the coast. Some of his hapus came a different way through the country. They came upon some places where men and women were living. They were defenceless places. They killed them. Whatanui at this time was coming along the coast. They though had gone across the country. These people came on further and killed some others who were living there. When they arrived at Upper Manawatu they found some places where people were living. They killed a few of them. The people living at these places were quite ignorant that any danger would happen to them. These people joined Whatanui and went down the coast to Waiwiri, Ohau, Waikawa, Otaki and Kapiti. When the Ngati Apa and Rangitane heard their men and women had been killed they came down in pursuit of that party. They came to the Horowhenua and proposed to the chiefs to join them to persue the Ngati Raukawa party. During the time they were talking about this Whatanui and his party came back up the coast to the mouth of the Manawatu and went up the river to a place called Karkare [Karikari] about 6 miles from this town. They found some women there. They were in a lagoon. One of the women escaped and went across the river and went down to Horowhenua. When the people at Horowhenua heard this about Raukawa they started to fight with Whatanui at Karekare (sp). When they got near Karekare (sp) they met a woman sent by Whatanui, This woman delivered this message “Whatanui says it is peace, there is no evil”. The party came on and arrived at a place on the southern side of the river opposite Karekare (sp). Whatanui then proposed that there be peace, that there should be no fighting and all the chiefs of Raukawa spoke to the same effect.

The chiefs of Rangitane, Ngati Apa and Muaupoko spoke in favour of peace. It was agreed to and peace was then established. I am speaking now respecting the Ngati Raukawa not the Ngati Toa or Ngati Awa.

I have nothing more to say at present.

I shall call my first witness Te Keepa.

Major Kemp (Sworn)

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