Section 2: 1846-1850


9 December 1846. Letter from Wiremu Kīngi to McLean.

Friend McLean my love is great for my land at Waitara – The land of my forefathers & parents. Do not listen to what people say respecting it (meaning the sale of it) nor consent to their words. You know Hurataonga [sic] (or the Hutt) was the land that occasioned Rangihaeata’s fighting, and therefore be thoughtful. (Quoted in Parsonson 85)


January 1847. Ihaia Te Kirikumara of Otaraua ‘reported that a meeting had been held of the people of Huirangi, Mamaku, and Mahoi (pa on the Waitara River) to discuss (among other matters) a sale. The people from Kuhikuhi did not attend, evidently because they opposed a sale’ (Parsonson 85, Ihaia ma to McLean 24 January 1847).

February 1847. Grey arrived in Taranaki with the goal of enforcing Spain’s land deal, which Fitzroy had overturned. Secretary of State for the Colonies W. E. Gladstone had asked Grey to ‘solve the problems’ of the settlement (Parsonson 68). Accompanying him were Colonel Wakefield, Te Puni, Wi Tako and Wiremu Kīngi Te Rangitāke and other Te Atiawa from the South who he hoped would influence Māori at New Plymouth.

1 March 1847. First meeting held between Grey and Māori community. Te Rangitāke talked of returning with his people from Waikanae, disagreeing with Grey’s plans for the settlement (69).

1847. In response to Grey’s attempts to settle land deals, Parsonson writes that, ‘Te Ati Awa, for their part, were determined to resist Grey’s assertion of authority over their ancestral lands. They had reached an agreement with one Governor; now another was trying to overturn it. Yet though this must have been very unsettling, Te Ati Awa stood firm’ (Parsonson 73).

April 1847. Mangati. Various hapū of Puketapu disputed the Mangati land. Parsonson recounts how ‘It had been offered for sale by the elderly chief Paora Horoatua of Ngati Huetu as a result, it seems, of a dispute which broke out among the Puketapu as the northern boundary of the Grey block was being defined’ (79).

11 May 1847. Tataraimaka block (3,500 acres of land between Timaru and Katikara rivers) was sold to the Governor by a group of 20 Taranaki people for 150 pounds (Parsonson 73). Negotiations for this block and another two carried out by McLean. They were paid in yearly instalments.

9 August 1847. Parsonson quotes from Edwin Harris’s letter to McLean:

When the inland boundary of the Grey block was being cut, for instance, the Puketapu turned back the surveyor when he proceeded from the junction of the Mangorei stream up the Waiwakaiho river, and sent him back to the Mangorei; nor were the surveyor’s assistants (Ngati Te Whiti) willing to go any further. The Puketapu then camped on the other side of the Mangorei and, as Harris cut his line on the west side, cut their own line on their side of the river, some 6 miles, to mark the extent of their claims. (75)

30 August 1847. The Omata block (12,000 acres to the south of the surveyed line of Spain’s award to the Company) sold to the Governor by Tamati Wiremu Te Ngahuru and some 60 others for 400 pounds plus a cask of tobacco (73).

11 October 1847. The Grey (or ‘Mangorei’) Block (9,770 acres east of the FitzRoy Block) sold by the Ngāmotu people for 390 pounds – people of Ngāti Te Whiti and other hapū. Wiremu Kawaho first name on deed (74). 960 acres of reserves marked out, 450 of them for the Ngāmotu people (77). Tension between settlers and Government over the ‘native reserves.’

Late 1847. Mamaku. Large hui held about Waitara where Ihaia reiterated his wish to sell land (Parsonson 86).


27 February 1848. Governor Grey returns to Taranaki, authorising further purchases of land.

1 March 1848. Grey draws up a set of Instructions respecting local land purchases (Parsonson 79).

22 March 1848. Waikanae. Large meeting at Waikanae with McLean. Wiremu Kīngi spoke up, advised McLean to wait until all parties were in agreement (Parsonson 92).

April 1848. Mangati. Parsonson recounts how those who opposed the Mangati land sale, led by Te Huia and Katatore, ‘started to cut their own boundary lines first, and when Ngati Huetu arrived the two parties cut their lines alongside each other,’ each defending their claims (80).

17 April 1848. Wiremu Kīngi led a heke of nearly 600 people (Ngāti Kura, Puketapu, Ngāti Rahiri, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Tama, Taranaki hapū, Ngāti Ruanui) from Waikanae, travelling slowly north towards Taranaki along the coast.

2 Nov 1848. Moturoa. Kīngi’s Heke reached Moturoa.

16 Nov 1848. Waitara. Kīngi’s heke reached their destination of Waitara, a home-coming for the northern Te Atiawa people. They settled in three pas on the south bank. Parsonson writes:

Grey’s plan for the resolution of the tensions left in the wake of the Spain/FitzRoy decisions thus failed. It failed because it took no cognizance of the unwillingness of Maori to settle on lands to which they believed themselves to have no claim, and because Kingi and Te Ati Awa refused to accept the premise on which it was based, namely that the Government had somehow acquired a right to direct which part of their ancestral lands they should occupy. This Kingi refused to accept; he is reported to have told Grey in 1847 that he would build his pa where and when he pleased. (93-95)

The return of Kīngi’s heke balanced settler and Māori population (1116 / 1100). Te Atiawa offered their services to work for settler farmers, ‘breaking in’ the land and harvesting wheat, and began to acquire their own stock and seed and farming. Despite co-operation, settler unease continued. They wanted more land and British people to grow the settlement and didn’t want to give income to Māori (93-95).

29 November 1848. Puketapu land deed transacted by around 75 men and women. Paora Horoatua and Rawiri Waiaua signed first. Disputed sale, not everyone paid, terms misunderstood, like so many other sales (Parsonson 82).

Growing division between Taranaki Māori as a result of land sales and the growing pressure of settlers. Parsonson writes how a narrow Pākehā view of Māori ‘led to the alienation of some Maori leaders who were not anti-Pakeha at all, but only anti-the attitude they perceived, which sought to deny them any future at all on their own lands’ (84).


March 1849. Meeting held where settlers appealed to the NZ Company Directors to develop the New Plymouth colony (Parsonson 94).

July 1849. Settlers wrote to Government asking for the return of McLean and efforts made to repurchase Taranaki land, particularly between Waiwhakaiho and Waitara (Parsonson 95).

Late 1849. Waiwhakaiho River. A group of Puketapu people had erected a carved pou, 40 feet high, on the northern bank of the Waiwhakaiho river, near the Devon Road (Parsonson 99).


19 January 1850. Grey returned to New Plymouth. Met with William Halse (Resident Agent of the NZ Company) who agreed with Grey that Taranaki would be ‘a most desirable place’ in the colony to settle soldiers from India (Parsonson 96). Grey has turbulent meetings with Puketapu and Waitara Māori. Ihaia and Matiu of Waitara offered land to Grey but ‘”the opposition mustered in large numbers … and were firm and haughty in their refusal to part with the land. Wiremu Kingi called upon his people to dispossess his brother and Ihaia of the land they had just offered to the Governor.”’ (97)

Early 1850. Mamaku. Kīngi and his people burnt ‘presents’ received from the Government, fearing that these blankets would later be misconstrued as accepted payments for land (97).

February 1850. Pukerangiora. Governor met with opposition at Waiongana River, on his way to visit Pukerangiora pā. Chief Whatitiri and twenty men armed with spears blockaded the road. Whatitiri quoted as saying ‘”that he had caused many quarrels in New Zealand; but he sh’d not produce one at Pukerangiora the burial place of his people…’ (97, McLean to Grey letter 12 Feb 1850). Board addressed to Grey at the turn off to Pukerangiora: ‘Friend the Governor go back go back from here, we are all very dark, or displeased’ (quoted in Parsonson 98).

21 March 1850. W. Halse recounts in a letter McLean meeting with Te Atiawa:

One of the Waitara people planted his spear in the ground, indicating that he made Waitara tapu to his people and their descendants. McLean went over, drew it out of the ground and, as he walked to the Governor to give it to him, sang a waiata to the effect that the tapu was broken. Te Ati Awa were ‘astonished’. (Parsonson 97)

17 March 1850. Grey left New Plymouth.

8 April 1850. Crown grant issued to the NZ Company for the FitzRoy, Grey, Omata and Tataraimaka blocks.

July 1850. NZ Company ended, passing to the Crown the Company’s lands in NZ (Parsonson 100).