Born at Eddingley, Kneesall, Nottinghamshire, Whiteley cane to New Zealand in 1832 to join the Wesleyan Mission Society's station at Hokianga. In 1834 he went to establish a mission at Kawhia, Waikato, where, after one brief interlude when the station closed, he worked with great influence and mana among the Maoris until 1855. In 1856 he went to Taranaki where he was in charge of the Grey Educational Institution at Ngamotu, built a native chapel at Kawau pa, New Plymouth, and then at Henui. As an unsalaried Commissioner of Native Lands, he again used his influence in the Land Wars, successfully, and was engaged in ministering to Maoris when he was ambushed and killed at White Cliffs, near Waitara, during the Hauhau rising.
The collection includes inwards correspondence from H.R. Richmond, 1868; J. Buller, 1859 and Josiah Flight, 1849.
1.) Letter from Whiteley, Kawhia to Josiah Flight. 7 Feb.1849.
2.) Copy of a letter from Whiteley to H. R. Richmond. 17 Nov.1868.
3.) Letter from Whiteley, New Plymouth to Rev. J. Buller. 3 Feb.1859.
4.) Transcript of letter from Whiteley to Buller. 3 Feb.1859.
5.) Newspaper. Whiteley Memorial Supplement to the Taranaki Daily News, 7 Jan.1899.
6.) Booklet. He rongo mau, he rongo mau, ka pai kia mau te rongo.An exhortation to Maori to maintain the peace in the wake of the Tai Tokerau War 1845-46: "Peace, peace, 'tis good that peace should last", written by the John Whiteley at Kawhia. 1847.