Section 1: 1841-1845


January and February 1841. Plymouth Company surveyor Frederick Alonso Carrington arrives in Taranaki.

30 March 1841. The barque William Bryan arrives off the coast of Taranaki with the Harris family on board. During this year, two more emigrant ships from Plymouth, England, arrive in Taranaki as Carrington lays out the site of New Plymouth and some rural sections for purchase by settlers.


July 1842. Waitara. During the 1820s and 1830s, tribal battles had driven many Māori north or south. Many Te Atiawa began returning to their ancestral land in the early 1840s and challenged settler attempts to take up their land. Parsonson writes that in Waitara,

an armed party drove off two settlers, and warned them to keep to the south of the river. Wicksteed, the Company agent, went with a posse of special constables to threaten the leader with arrest and trial at Port Nicholson, and to take formal possession of the land for the Company. The Waitara people were not impressed. (36)

4 July 1842. Puketapu. The first settlers who went onto land at Puketapu met ‘people ready to contest their occupation’ (37).

November 1842. Te Wharepouri (Ngāti Tawhirikura and Ngāti Te Whiti of Te Atiawa at Taranaki, Waikanae, Ōtaki and Te Whanganui-a-Tara) died at Ngauranga, Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington region. Te Wharepouri grew up in Taranaki and was involved in the sale of Taranaki land to the New Zealand Company in 1840. According to Wakefield he said,

I know that we sold you the land, and that no more white people have come to take it than you told me. But I thought you were telling lies, and that you had not so many followers. I thought that you would have nine or ten, or perhaps as many as there are at Te-awa-iti. I thought that I could get one placed at each pa, as a White man to barter with the people and keep us well supplied with arms and clothing; and that I should be able to keep these White men under my hand and regulate their trade myself. But I see that each ship holds two hundred, and I believe, now, that you have more coming. They are all well armed; and they are strong of heart, for they have begun to build their houses without talking. They will be too strong for us; my heart is dark. Remain here with your people; I will go with mine to Taranaki. (Quoted in Parsonson 25).


July 1843. Waitara. Peaceful protest. Parsonson recounts: ‘100 men, women and children of Otaraua and Ngati Rahiri sat down to block the path of surveyors, and refused to shift, quietly declaring “that they would not allow white men to occupy any land at the Waitara”’ (36-37).

December 1843. Mangaoraka River. ‘Josiah Flight was prevented from taking his sheep across the Mangaoraka River’ (Parsonson 37).


January 1844. North of Waiwhakaiho River. ‘A hundred armed men with their families (200-300 people in all) cut down acres of trees at John Cooke’s property, to the north of the Waiwakaiho River, and prepared to burn off the timber so that they could plant potatoes on the ground’ (Parsonson 37).

31 May 1844. William Spain’s court opened in New Plymouth for land claim disputes.

When Spain opened his proceedings at New Plymouth, both settlers and some 300 Maori were present. (The interpreter and Protector’ had visited Te Ati Awa settlements the day before, to request their attendance.) Evidence was given by Richard Barrett (who was examined by Colonel Wakefield), and by Awatea, Edward Pukiki, John Ngamotu, Taituha, Haki and Te Huia and Mane – all called by Wakefield in support of the Company’s claim. George Clarke junior, the Protector, called one Te Ati Awa witness ‘on behalf of the natives.’ (Parsonson 45-46)

June 1844. Ngāmotu deed complaint proceedings. Parsonson describes how:

The Te Ati Awa witnesses who gave evidence before Spain in June 1844 were clearly in a very difficult position. Surrounded by their relatives, with the fate of their ancestral lands hanging in the balance, they had no way of explaining to an English lawyer why it was that they had never expected their receipt of trade goods in 1840 to result in the occupation of their own lands by hundreds of British settlers. One man, Te Tua, answered Spain’s questions as honestly as he could: ‘After you had taken payment for the land, do you think it would be just and fair to claim it again?’. ‘Yes’, he said. (Parsonson 47)

8 June 1844. Spain delivered Taranaki judgment, concluding that the New Zealand Company did make ‘a fair purchase’ and recommended a Crown grant to the Company of 60,000 acres of land between the Sugar Loaves and the Taniwha, with one-tenth, 6,000 acres, as ‘native reserves’ (Parsonson 47). Parsonson recounts how:

Within hours [following the Taranaki judgement], the Puketapu leader Katatore led a party of 50 men to destroy the homes of the Mangaoraka outsettlers, and drive their occupants into town; and they desisted only when the Protector of Aborigines, George Clarke junior, assured them that the Governor would listen sympathetically to their case’ (Parsonson 53).

July 1844. Donald McLean sent to New Plymouth to be new Protector for the District, with instructions to ‘“do all in [his] power to allay excitement of feeling [arising chiefly from disputes about Land] and to preserve the peace”; and to report on the “Natives” in his district’ (Parsonson 55).

3 August 1844. Governor Fitzroy, having arrived to New Plymouth, meets with Māori leaders. Katatore has ‘a great deal to say.’ He opposes Commissioner Spain’s recommendation (Parsonson 56-57).

31 August 1844. McLean reports ‘the anxiety of the Huatoki people, who had come to see him to ask about the Governor’s intentions towards them’ (Parsonson 61).

2 September 1844. Report of 3 August meeting published in Māori language newspaper Ko te Karere o Nui Tireni. It says that Fitzroy will not take the land of people who had not agreed to sell as that would be stealing: ‘Mehemea, e wakaae ana ahau, kia tangohia noatia o koutou whenua, i rite ahau kit e tahae. Kihai ahau i haere mai ki Nui Tireni ki te tahae’ (quoted in Parsonson 56-57).

9 September 1844. At a meeting with McLean Poharama (Ngāti Te Whiti) stated that ‘the land from Ngamotu to Waiwakaiho [sp] “belongs to me, I will not part with it. Sometime ago I was foolish and wd. have sold it, but now that I know the value of it I will not. I don’t want to part with my Lands to be made a slave of by the Europeans”’ (Quoted in Parsonson 62).

Late September 1844. McLean meets with Ngāmotu people to discuss boundary from the Mangotuku towards the Waiwhakaiho River and records in his diary that Poharama says

…but I do not wish them to extend their cultivation, our cultivations on the sea side are not to be trespassed – our Pah at Huatoki is to be left in our possession and Puki Ariki is an old favourite Pah of our forefathers and we wish to have it back… As also the Pah that Honi Ropiha and tribe occupy at Waiwakaio and from that Pah down to Seaward.

He also records Te Waka as saying: ‘the Lands the Europeans are cultivating is all that they are to have’ (quoted in Parsonson 63).

26 November 1844. Ngāmotu. ‘Over 80 (Ngamotu) Te Ati Awa men and women entered into a transaction by which they received payment “in full·consideration of our altogether parting with all our pieces of land and places within all our lands described in this deed that is to say all the places at Ngamotu within the following boundaries…”’ (Parsonson 58). Parsonson comments that ‘The signing of the Fitzroy deed might well have seemed to the people as much a safeguard of the rest of the Te Ati Awa lands, as an acceptance of the loss of the New Plymouth lands’ (64).


May 1845. Governor Fitzroy recalled.

2 September 1845. Letter from Wiremu Kīngi to Kemp et al in which he talks of the people’s wish to return to Waitara (Parsonson 85).

November 1845. Captain George Grey arrives in Auckland, Fitzroy’s successor.