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Object Detail

Handwritten address presented to John Bryce by the Kai Iwi Yeomanry Cavalry Volunteers, 19 July 1883.

The address reads:
To the
Hon. John Bryve
Minister for Native Affairs
Dear Sir
We the undersigned members of the late Kai Iwi Troop of Volunteers Cavalry formerly under your command, in the War of 1868-9 on the West Coast of the North Island of New Zealand having seen an extract from a work professing to be a “History” of this Colony in which you are charged with having when engaged with your Troops “Dashed upon women and young children, and cut them down gleefully and with ease” assisted by Sergeant Maxwell who to our great regret fell afterwards whilst nobly fighting for his country, and that in consequence of the above act you are known amongst the Maoris by the appellation of “Kohuru or Murderer” hereby wish to give a most emphatic denial to such statements which are grossly untrue in every respect.
We are given to understand that the writer is referring to an attack upon a marauding party of the enemy then engaged in pillaging a settlers homestead at Nukumaru on the Waitotara Block and whilst within the limits of a protest of this nature it would obviously be out of place to attempt a full and explicit description of the events as they occurred at the time, we wish nevertheless to call attention to some facts which must be the strongest possible evidence of the falsity of the charges viz (first) That you were not in command of the joint party then present, (secondly) That on account of the extended position of the Troop and the nature of the ground your attention was for a time entirely directed to extricating from a perilous situation two Troopers who were dismounted (one of whom had received serious injuries) that consequently you took no part in the skirmish which ensued (Thirdly) That although most of us have been continuously resident upon the Coast where the campaign in which we took part was conducted and have had more or less friendly intercourse with the same natives, against whose outrages we were then called upon to protect our homes, we have never yet heard of any such term “Kohuru” being applied to you, nor have we ever been led to suppose that the Natives regarded you in any unfriendly light in consequence of your proceedings at that period.
And we now earnestly wish to express our sympathy with you, whilst labouring under such imputations, and to bear our tribute of respect to your public and private character and to express our confidence, derived from practical knowledge in your abilities as a leader in time of War – a time passed we hope never to return.
Most, if not all of us have had the pleasure of a long acquaintance with you, and can bear ample testimony to the humanity of your disposition even if we were not aware from actual observation of what took place at the time referred to.
We consider the publication of such unfounded charges in a work presumably designed to impart information of a reliable character to its readers as a proof of its worthlessness as a “History” and trust that if it ever succeeds in finding a place amongst the chronicles of past events it may be read with due caution as to its details.
Finally we look upon the fact of these charges being made against you as an insult to yourself to your Colleagues in the Ministry, to the late members of your Troop, to the people of the District you represent in Parliament, who have returned you to the position continuously for a period of at least twelve years, and to the Colony at large, to which you have, more especially of late years, rendered such valuable and efficient service.
With every expression of respect
we subscribe ourselves
your faithful friends
and hearty well wishers
Roland Garrett Robert Kidd
Henry L. Peake George Mitchell
G. L. Wright A. D. Cunnabell
Joseph Handley John N. Jones
George Peake James Carroll
G. W. Campbell Arthur Wickstead
John William Peake John Handley
Anthony Rowbanch Andrew Hunter
Moore Hunter A. Wright
W. H. S Nicholls Henry G. Mussen
Edwin R. Morgan George F. Baker
Edmund James Morgan Andrew Watt
Com Henry Morgan Robert Evans
Philip Mussen Joseph Dyer
Alfred Morgan G. Dyer
Anthony Nathan Joseph C. Nathan
A.S. Campbell R. W. Littlewood
William Lingard William Comlinson
L. Wright James W. Baker
George Johnston

Wanganui July 19, 1883
Production Date
Subject Person

Archive Contents


Address. 2pp.

Accession No


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