The Web of the Spider
The Maniapotos, or Ngatimaniapotos, are the most important of the tribes into which the Maoris are divided, and together with the Waikatos amd the Ngatihaua, occupy what is known as the Waikato country in the North Island of New Zealand, and the mountain fastnesses below it. It was against these tribes that the Waikato campaign in 1863 was directed. The war, which had been long threatening, may be said to have formally begun upon the crossing of the Maungatawhiri Creek by General Cameron on July 4th; it practically closed with the evacuation of Maungatawhiri on April 5th 1864, though the struggle lingered in Tauranga for some time longer. From about this time, however, dates the rise of the Hauhau fanaticism in Taranaki, which was the cause of a vexatious guerilla warfare prolonged through several years. The Ngatiawas, the leading tribe on the west coast, were instrumental in raising this new revolt, and were afterwards joined by the more active and malcontent of the crushed Maniapotos and Waikatos.
The Arawas, a tribe occupying a central part of the island to the south of Waikato, were from the first faithful to the Government, and rendered considerable service at one time by preventing the hostile Ngatiporo and Uriwera from passing through to the assistance of the northern rebels.
According to the common belief of the Maoris the Taniwha is a saurian monster residing in the caves and recesses of the forests and mountains. No one was ever found among them who had seen one of these creatures, but smaller taniwhas in the form of lizards have been page 375encountered at intervals. These the natives never fail to destroy, and they are convinced that some evil will fall upon the man who first espies one of these lizards. The taniwha superstition has been peculiarly deep-rooted in the Maori, and an ache or a pain in any portion of the body was supposed to be the work of the particular taniwha who had power in that part.
Note C, p. 88.
The following account of the origin and nature of the Hauhau fanaticism is given by Sir William Fox ("War in New Zealand," p. 126). "Kaitaki Pah, a very strong position held by the rebels about ten miles south of New Plymouth, was taken by Colonel Warre and a combined force of regulars and local forces, on the 24th of March, 1864. The native works were taken possession of and occupied by a detachment of the 57th Regiment under Captain Lloyd. A few days afterwards (4th April) that officer, with a force of one hundred men, was scouring the spurs of the adjacent hills to see if there were any cultivations in that direction, with the view of destroying them if found. Having traversed a considerable distance without seeing any traces of natives on the move, his men appear to have got into loose order, when they were suddenly set upon by a body of rebels, who came over a ridge, their front and rear separated, and completely defeated and routed with a loss of seven killed and nine wounded. Captain Lloyd, who exhibited great gallantry, was among the killed. The rebels drank the blood of those who fell and cut off their heads, burying for the time the heads and bodies in separate places. A few days afterwards, according to the native account, the angel Gabriel appeared to those who had partaken of the blood, and by the medium of Captain Lloyd's spirit, ordered his head to be extermed, cured in their own way, and taken throughout the length and breadth of New Zealand; that from henceforth this head should be the medium of man's communication with Jehovah. These injunctions were carefully obeyed, and immediately the head was taken up it appointed Te Ua to be high priest, and Hepaniah and Rangitauira to be assistants, and communicated to them in the most solemn manner the tenets of this new religion, namely:—The followers shall be called 'Pai Marire.' The angel Gabriel, with his legions, will protect them from their enemies. The Virgin Mary will constantly be present with them. The religion of England, as taught by the Scriptures, is false. The Scrip-page breakpage 376tures must all be burnt. All days are alike sacred, and no notice must be taken of the Christian Sabbath. Men and women must live together promiscuously, so that their children may be as the sand of the seashore for multitude. The priests have superhuman power, and can obtain for their followers complete victories by uttering vigorously the word 'Hau.' The people who adopt this religion will shortly drive the whole European population out of New Zealand; this is only prevented now by the head not having completed its circuit of the whole land. Legions of angels await the bidding of the priests to aid the Maoris in exterminating the Europeans."
Note D, p. 255.
Wiremu Tamehana (William Thompson) Te Waharoa was the most notable figure amongst the Maoris at the time of the last wars. He was the chief of the Ngatihaua tribe, and it was at his instance that the Maoris elected a king for themselves—a proceeding which was the origin of the "king movement," and much of the subsequent trouble. Tamehana declared that his object was to supply the want of a government among his people. He has given the following account of his action. "In the year 1857 Te Heu Heu called a meeting at Taupo, at which sixteen hundred men were present. When the news of this meeting reached me, I said 'I will consent to this, to assist my work' (i.e., to cause the blood to 'diminish in the land'). I began at those words of the Book of Samuel, viii. 5: 'Give us a, king, to judge us.' That was why I set up Potatau in 1857. On his being set up the blood at once ceased, and has so remained up to the present year. The reason why I set up Potatau as a king for me was because he was a man of extended influence, and a man who was revered by the people of this island." The king-maker displayed throughout a reluctance to come into conflict with the colonists, and after the war was precipitated he was ever on the side of moderation and against the more violent of his party. When he saw there was no possibility of worsting the Pakeha he submitted with dignity. He was altogether a remarkable man.
Rewi was the fighting chief of the Maniapotos, a hot-headed warrior against whom Tamehana was continually in the scale of peace.
Note E, p. 308.
This prayer is given by Lieutenant-Colonel McDonnell in "Heroes of New Zealand" (Brett: Auckland).