By W. C. Watt
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Extra resources for 666
Hone Pihama, a Ngaati Ruanui chief and former ‘rebel’, owned 2,000 acres, interests in other land, was paid as an Assessor and as a guard on the Cobb & Co. 6 Other Maori, though only a small minority, were wealthy. The Bay of Islands Maori were reported, in 1875, to be well off, earning good prices for kauri gum, land sales and pay for working on installing a telegraph line. 8 Not all could do that, even if they so wished. Maori agriculture had, in many districts, been disrupted for a decade or more.
Sharron Mary Cole wrote a useful thesis on the Repudiation movement, but did not make use of the Maori language sources, which makes her viewpoint rather different from mine. Despite the growth of the historical literature, some important aspects have still been neglected. The kupapa are largely ignored in our general histories. There is virtually nothing published about the Maori committees of the period or about the early Maori Members of the two Houses of Parliament. Almost nothing has been published about Tawhiao and there is only one article about the teachings of Te Whiti and Tohu.
Many Maori earned a living as seamen, and many more by securing employment on road works or bush clearing. Most shearing gangs in the North Island were Maori by the 1870s. Maori flour mills, which had been busy in the 1850s but had fallen into disrepair during the wars, were being repaired. Where Maori were building or repairing mills, the Native Minister, Donald McLean, subsidised them to the extent of £50. 5 In many parts of the North Island Maori owned large flocks of sheep, sometimes numbered in thousands, as well as other stock.
666 by W. C. Watt