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5 March 1840 — Father Catherin Servant to Father Jean-Claude Colin, Bay of Islands

Translated by Fr Brian Quin SM, May 2010

To the Very Reverend Superior of the Society of Mary

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

5th March 1840

Very Reverend Superior and dear father in Jesus Christ,
The letter with which you honoured me on the 21st May 1839 got to me[1] and gave me great pleasure. I don’t know how to express my gratitude to you for the holy exhortations and the friendly concern of your quite fatherly charity towards me. In return it is my wish that God in his infinite goodness holds you in high esteem. That is the desire of a heart that is truly grateful to you.
Today I have the honour of writing to you from the Bay of Islands where I have been staying for a few weeks and where I will stay for some time more, because our Lord the Bishop has called for my presence here to help him write instructions in the natives’ language.
As you recommend me to not let chances of writing pass by and to go into detail, I see answering your wishes as a duty.
Since my last letter, sent from the Hokianga and dated 12th October 1839,[2] my journeys among the tribes have been frequent. My first stay was with the tribe at Whirinaki[3] where there are about 300 souls. That tribe, situated in a beautiful valley, provides a pleasant view because of the forest-clad mountains bordering it, and the rich native and European crops whose usefulness the natives are beginning to appreciate. This valley is watered by a little fresh water river which winds through its whole length, (and) is settled mainly at three different places about ¼ of a league [1½ km] apart from each other. The natives of this tribe who, before our arrival in New Zealand were reputed to be among the most wicked and unruly, were the first to receive the teaching of our holy religion, and in spite of the threats of extermination that heresy made against them, they have not failed to persevere and have erected a little chapel while waiting to build a larger one later. During the last stay I made among them there were at least a certain number of them zealous for instruction, but there reigned among the three main villages a spirit of division and dislike which stopped them from coming together for the instructions; I was forced to consider their level of receptiveness and to go in turn to the three villages. Sometimes young people kept me most of the night discussing religious matters, setting out to me their doubts and overwhelming me with questions. At this same time I was visited by a proselyte of heresy who, on meeting me, made known the desire he had had for a long time to meet me, to persuade me to become a Protestant. He challenged me to a public debate, but the result was not good for him. As I had pointed out the lies that heresy spreads around this country by many signs that were easy to recognise, each sign brought forth bursts of laughter from the listeners, but our adversary, covered in confusion, showed signs of distress, and did not want to allow the completion of the plan I had begun to carry out; then the leading chief of Whirinaki wanted to know the difference between the Catholic and Protestant religions. He wanted to know the origin of the two religions by means of the genealogical tree, and the explanations given forced the adversary to admit I was right. I had to get involved in another dispute, but it was against superstition; some natives and a chief at Whirinaki did not want to allow me to give Church burial to one of their people whom I had baptised “in danger of death”, giving me the explanation that because the dead man had not had time to convert to the Catholic faith, his body did not belong to me. To the contrary, I proved that the body and the soul of the dead man did belong to me because the dead man himself had agreed to receive baptism, but in spite of any entreaties, I was not able to get what I wanted. The burial took place with Maori ceremonies. However the superstitious chief promised me that by going to visit them more often, I would be free to bury as I wished. But alas, the distance and the number of tribes mean that we can only rarely visit the same tribe, which means that the instruction of the natives is slowed up. Those of the inhabitants of Whirinaki who seem most favourably disposed are waiting until they are better instructed to be baptised. My stay among them was not long. The chief of another tribe called Tei Hutai came and found me so I could go and instruct his tribe. I left and I came to a new place for me; finding there only a very limited landscape. I was able to see only a small extent of sky, but I had a peaceful stay among the woods, receiving through the day objectionable visits from a sort of little mosquito that the natives call namu[4] and during the night the long-legged wairua[5] came and disturbed my sleep. As the natives of this tribe worked a good distance away, I had few people to instruct. They came together completely only on the holy day of Sunday, and they seemed to me to number about a hundred. Then I learned with pleasure that an old man, attacked over his religion by heretical natives (because this tribe lives in the middle of supporters of heresy) had defended himself with the courage of a lion against his attackers. As the natives of this tribe are often plagued by heresy, they bound me to develop at length some proofs in favour of our holy Church. Several of them put to me as well a host of questions on the spirituality of the soul, death, and eternal life. There was one among them who shared with me a dream he had had during the night: it seemed to him that he had seen the resting place of the damned. Seized with horror at this sight, he had made the sign of the cross and prayed like this: O God, I am wicked! Give a little light to my mind, have mercy on me! Before leaving that tribe, I baptised two adults and one of the children of the leading chief. When I was about to leave, I found that the heretical ministers had planned to come and find me, so as to discuss religious matters with me at a great gathering of the natives. But their whole plan amounted only to words. At that same time the news got around that heresy was carrying out its destructive work in one of our tribes situated at the mouth of the Hokianga River, which had not as yet had the happiness of receiving the blessing of instruction. As a result Father Baty and myself travelled as soon as we could to the natives of that tribe, we declared the reason for our visit, we asked to speak to the leading chief, and were turned down. Then seeing that a general meeting of the natives of this tribe would have a better effect than a great number of them wanted, we wrote to the leading chief to ask for this meeting and to get him at least to tolerate freedom of worship among his people, telling him of the example of civilised nations which allow freedom of religion and expressing to him some reasons for adopting this view. But unfortunately the chief consulted a minister of intolerance, and in reply told us that not only did he not agree to a general gathering of his tribe but also he did not want us to stay on his territory, and so we would have to leave. Then night fell and under cover of darkness I cleared up the doubts of some natives who were still loyal to us and who, afraid of arousing the anger of the chief or being expelled from their land or being maltreated, did not dare resist the demands of their consciences, and did not want to become heretics. We left and went and spent the night on the other side of the Hokianga River. However we hope that eventually that ignorant tribe will become aware of the deceitfulness of heresy and will return to the bosom of the true Church. The next day dear Father Baty went back to our mission station, and I set out for a tribe located along the coast about a half day from the Hokianga River, and going back up the north coast of this part of New Zealand I crossed hills of shining sand about two leagues [10 km] in width which border the sea coast, and I came to a steep mountain from which could be seen, in a very narrow valley, a tribe of about 110 people that we had not yet visited. The local chief gave me a very warm welcome; he called all of his people to come and greet me and shake hands as a sign of friendship. In the conversations I had with him, he informed me that formerly the population of Wairoa[6] was very great, but that it had been greatly diminished by war. He pointed out to me four mountains on top of which there were fortifications and many natives whose throats had been cut in the battles their ancestors had carried on. During the short time I had among these good natives I had the consolation of seeing them come together in good numbers for prayer and catechesis, and at the end of my stay the leading chief gave me one of his children to be baptised, and told me that if I wanted to baptise him, he would never leave the Catholic faith. He also offered to get a chapel built for his tribe. After leaving that tribe, I went to rejoin dear Father Baty who was gathering stores of merit by his patience with importunate natives, and we were soon filled with joy at seeing the return of about twenty natives belonging the tribe at Whirinaki who, in the name of the tribe, had set out for the Bay of Islands with the intention of asking His Lordship our Bishop for a priest to instruct them and were coming back with dear Father Comte, exultant at having succeeded in obtaining a priest that they had wanted for so long a time.
At the same time – it was the 11th January – I was ordered to make a longer journey than those before. I set out for Ahipara[7] which is about 30 leagues [150 km] from our mission station and situated on the north-west coast. While going up towards North Cape, I was accompanied by a chief who was one of the first that the Bishop baptised, he received the name Francis. This chief is noteworthy for his simple and innocent personality and his jovial and warlike attitude. The first tribe we met was Tairutu,[8] located at the mouth of the Hokianga River, near the hills of sand which border the sea. There are about 60 natives in this tribe. On arriving there I held evening prayers and instruction, and then the natives kept me discussing things religious for a large part of the night. Among other things they talked to me about their ancestors who have been in the darkness of error, and asked me if they could pray for their ancestors – the affirmative response gave them great delight. The next day we set out alongside the sea. On the way, we came across some rocks which we climbed over for about an hour, and came to a place called Whangape,[9] where there are three or four Catholic tribes. We went to stay for the night in a village which the natives call Pawera. There, not only shouts of greeting and joy signalled my arrival, but also musket shots. The next day, after prayers and instructions, I left and met a native who had been sent by a chief to ask me to visit his tribe which wanted to belong to the Catholic religion. After the formalities of greeting, we went down into a valley where there was a gathering of natives from several tribes who had come to have what the natives call a hakari,[10] that is, an exchange of their food and their fish. The chief got me to sit on a thick mound of brushwood which had been covered with woollen blankets to shelter me from the sun’s rays; it was from there that I answered all the questions that could be addressed to me. At that juncture the chief of a tribe called Motu Tapu[11] appeared – he invited me to visit his tribe; then I suggested to all the natives that we go and visit the last-mentioned tribe, which was accepted with pleasure. We set out, and arrived at nightfall. At Motu Tapu there is a huge enclosure surrounded with planted trees which formerly served as fortifications for the natives; that was where their houses were gathered together. Half of this tribe are heretics, and the other half, which included the leading chiefs and numbered about 60, wanted to hear me talk about reasons which could induce them to embrace the Catholic religion. I spoke for more than an hour, after which I gestured to Francis, my travelling companion, to speak up, which he did with interest and enthusiasm. He emphasised the unity of the Church established by Jesus Christ, and when he needed a text, he turned to me, and then he plausibly refuted the absurd objections that heresy is pleased to spread through the tribes. Among other things, here is how he refuted the objections concerning idolatry, with which heresy continually accuses the Catholic Church. The chief Hinematioro[12] (one of the ancestors of the New Zealanders) had two daughters who were taken from him by death; now, wanting to have a lasting memorial of his two daughters, whom he loved very much, he made two statues in human form; in the same way, in the Catholic Church, we have crucifixes which we do not see as gods, but which only recall to us the memory of Jesus Christ, whom we love very much. We have medallions, pictures and other things which represent for us the saints whom we love. In former times when chiefs died on the battlefield, our ancestors made images on top of the palisades to recall to children the memory of their fathers who had died fighting; now, it is the same in the Catholic Church: the items of worship which we venerate are not divinities for us; they are only the focus of precious memories. This simple argument won the support of all the listeners.
But Francis was not content with attacking heresy. He went further and took issue with the superstitious beliefs of the Maoris. Which would have been a difficult thing for anyone else to accomplish, but he emphasised with so much hilarity and simplicity the contradictions of this way of thinking that everyone found the matter quite laughable. When Francis had finished speaking, the chiefs discussed things among themselves, and took the option of embracing the Catholic religion. The natives at Motu Tapu who live under the same roof saw themselves, as a result, divided in religion; the Catholics said their prayers in one place and the supporters of heresy in theirs. When everything was finished, we set out on our journey again, and came to the Herekino River which we had to cross very carefully. Francis, who was carrying me on his shoulders and who pulled me through the water as best he could, said to me, “True missionary, pray for me”, because he was afraid of falling in the river, but we happily got to the other side, and after half an hour’s walking we got to Ahipara. Ahipara is a green plain extending over almost all the width of New Zealand at this point. The population seems in excess of a thousand. When we arrived, the natives were absent, [but] there remained the wife of the leading chief who received us, and an old woman from the same family who unexpectedly came to press her nose against mine. Which gave my travelling companions reason to laugh. Alluding to Maori superstitions, they said to her jokingly, “You will die because you have pressed your nose against that of a priest.”
The leading chief soon appeared. He came and greeted me with affection. Straight away orders were given to bring material made of phormium tenax which would serve me as a seat, and to have pigs killed. We began a long conversation about the pitiable protests of heresy, whose supporters were numerous in Ahipara. The natives were in peace during the week I stayed among them; the heretics did not come and harass them to encourage them to become Protestants. On the very day of my arrival, the leading chief asked me if he was allowed to visit a brother [of his] whom the heretical ministers wanted to baptise, telling me that he was willing to visit him or not, as I decided. I answered that he could undertake this visit, provided that he did not take part in the heretics’ prayers. So he left, and when he returned he reported that among a great number of natives whom the heretical ministers were intending to baptise, some chiefs, having been questioned on religious matters by these last-mentioned, and not having satisfactorily answered their questions, had been threatened with not being admitted to baptism. Then these same chiefs let it be understood that, if they were not admitted, they would go to the Bishop. Frightened by this reaction, the Protestant ministers made haste to admit the recalcitrants to baptism, taking little notice of their good or bad dispositions.
A few days later, rumour announced the anger of heresy, for which, no doubt, the progress of the Catholic religion at Ahipara was the cause; one of the Protestant ministers and some of his proselytes were so foolish as to give the name of our worthy Bishop to foul animals. In former times such an insult given to a chief would have started a war of extermination, and it strongly aroused the natives’ indignation; concerning this, several chiefs declared to me that they saw with some satisfaction that the heretics had uttered these insulting words, because, they said, they could see in that fact that the heretics were supporting a bad cause. Apart from that, these sorts of insults are not rare in words spoken by heretics; a printed item they have just published which speaks only with charity about the natives, ends charitably by characterising our Bishop as Satan sending his representatives.
I said that the fury of heresy at Ahipara could have been occasioned by the progress our faith has made there. Indeed, beyond a hundred natives who had declared for the Catholic Church during a visit that the Bishop made to Ahipara last year, a hundred more joined the first group on the occasion of the most recent visit I made there, and who knows how many children, consequently, would our holy church count in that place if there were priests to staff a mission station there? Apart from the 200 Catholics, there are 200 more of them who will embrace the Catholic faith when a legitimate minister comes to live among them. Already a chapel has been built out of raupo, which is an aquatic plant which the natives use to build their houses. That chapel can hold 200 people. That is where I instructed the natives, evening and morning. Often I developed and had Francis develop proofs in favour of the Catholic Church; and I also explained the chronological tree to them. Aware of the great need to receive the blessing of instruction, these poor natives never let up speaking to me about their desire to see a priest living among them.
When the time came for my departure, each of them hastened to shake my hand and we separated with full hearts; the leading chief wanted to come with me for nearly half an hour; every moment he stopped and made me retrace my steps and sit down: the sole subject of his conversation was the need for a priest, which must be brought to the Bishop’s attention, and his last words in saying goodbye to us were about his tribe’s need of a priest.
Having bid our farewell to the leading chief of Ahipara, we set out on our journey and directed our steps toward Motu Tapu where the chief offered us a native to go and get from our station some little booklets with which to instruct his tribe,[13] and some medallions. From there, we went and visited another tribe of forty people named Maraewae, where the natives wanted to hold me for a day so as to instruct them. From Maraewae I went to Pawera, where the night was falling and the natives were beginning to say their prayers. Very pleased to find out what they were doing, I gestured to my travelling companions to stop and not make any noise. We sat down and listened in silence. How much I was moved, considering that these people, formerly cruel savages, found delight in offering their prayers and in singing the praises of the Lord! These good natives, like those at Maraewae, wanted to delay me for a day to hear the word of God and made me promise to visit them later on. From there I went through Wairoa, but the natives were away. Then we arrived at a little tribe of 20 people, named Matamata and situated on the Hokianga River. The chief of that place is completely committed to the Catholic faith, but he gives his people complete freedom in religious matters. After prayers and the evening instruction, I continued my journey, struggling through a swamp for more than an hour and, finding a canoe, got back to our mission station. Having got there, I did not stay long. The chief at Tairutu came to urge me to go and celebrate Holy Mass on Sunday among his tribe. I left and baptised an adult and two children, then I came back to our station.
At this same time there was a lot of talk about a chief living near the Bay of Islands and who had come to Hokianga where he had great influence over a certain number of tribes, and where he was almost seen as being a prophet.[14] He showed himself to be in favour of the Catholic Church, which he hailed as being the true one, but he has not yet been taught about the mysteries of our holy religion; yet he constantly looses his fury against the heretics, and this is the way he describes them: he sketches a tree growing in an upright direction and another tree growing in a curved line, the direction of which starts at the bottom of the upright tree. At the extremity of the curved tree are the heretics who, while praying and reading their Bibles, are taking the road that leads to the fires of Satan; they go forward quite triumphantly while the noise of the demons echoes around about. Then Nakahi (a god in the new system of Maori superstition), Nakahi goes under the curved tree and goes and stirs up the eternal brazier, then he climbs the upright tree to the top which touches heaven; the heretics also make efforts to climb it, but when they think they are about to get up to heaven, heaven flies up from them and they fall into the abyss.
After a few days’ rest at our Hokianga station, I left for the Bay of Islands. On the way, I baptised a European child, I saw the tribe at Waihou where the natives persuaded me to stay the night: in general these natives did not seem to me to yet be very keen on being instructed. From there I set out and got to a place called Waimate where the heretics have a mission station.[15] At the very door of this station is a little Catholic tribe. The chief of this little tribe begged me to stay two days to work on instruction. I accepted his wish. Then I continued my journey and got to the Bay of Islands, where I had the consolation of receiving His Lordship’s apostolic blessing, and the pleasure of greeting dear Fathers Petit and Viard, whom I had not yet seen.
At the same time, it was the 3rd February, a governor for New Zealand, who came directly from England, appeared at the Bay of Islands.[16] On the 5th of the same month, the governor called together a general meeting of the whites and natives. The Bishop, already forewarned as a result of the good will of the governor, responded to his Excellency’s wishes and was present at the gathering. I had the honour of accompanying His Lordship, very content to hear what the natives were going to say about the political change which was going to take effect for New Zealand.
The governor suggested to the native chiefs that they recognise his authority, making them understand that this would be for good order and their own welfare, while pointing out to them as well that they would remain chiefs in their tribes and masters of their possessions. Thereupon many chiefs spoke up in turn and deployed all their Maori eloquence: most of the speakers did not want the governor to extend his authority over the natives, but only over the Europeans: others didn’t even want the governor to stay in New Zealand. Among this last group an old man stood out, quite angry, who repeated many times: No, no, no governor! Go away, governor, go away, go back to your country! We do not want a foreign authority, we fear that. Another (an heretical chief) said that the foreigners had come to take their land from them, to insult their names by reducing them to slavery, to steal from them and deceive them, that they had been given a Bible, but they would willingly give it back, since they had been robbed of everything else. A great number complained about the huge areas of land that the heretical ministers had acquired.
Finally, at the end of the session, some more favourably disposed chiefs came forward, and spoke a great deal in favour of recognising the governor’s authority. Soon the time came for signing a document by which the chiefs undertook to recognise the British authority. I was told that in the meeting that had taken place in the Hokianga, a chief had said to the governor: the Queen of England wants to rule over New Zealand; but if a chief from here goes to England, will he have the right to become King?
We leave aside politics, to which we are entirely strangers. Let us concern ourselves with the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the welfare of souls, those things must be the total goal of our efforts. May we strive to effectively bring about the salvation of the natives, and may the crowds of foreigners not be harmful to it.
I cannot end, Very Reverend Superior, without emphasising somewhat the urgent need we have here for good numbers of workers for the gospel! How many thousands of natives are crying out for priests! The tribe at Ahipara which I have just visited cannot yet have any of our men. Kaipara, which is thirty leagues [150 km] from Hokianga on the northwest coast of this part of New Zealand, has been waiting for priests perhaps for eighteen months. Waikato, where some of our Hokianga natives have relations, would be a very favourable place for a Catholic mission station.[17] I am not mentioning a great number of distant tribes who are awaiting Catholic ministry. In order to yield to the urgent requests from some of them, the Bishop has just boarded a little schooner.
Apart from the urgent need of men to staff it, the mission, especially in New Zealand, involves great expenses. The numbers of ships and foreigners are making food more expensive: the natives who live in poverty are asking for more than they give. It is often sad not to have gifts to offer the natives to encourage them and maintain their friendship, to keep up a sort of competition with the heretics who abound in everything; sea voyages are excessively costly.
As for the missionaries, they are not short of hardships to bear, especially when they are living with the natives and when they are travelling: at those times their diet is simplified, their appetite is better than that of people used to delicious meals. Nothing is easier for them than finding a place to rest: in the forests, in the fields, on the sand a bed can easily be found, when during hot weather they want to get away from the attacks of the enemies of rest which abound in the natives’ huts, but with these hardships they can very well keep in good health.
Please, Very Reverend Superior, do not, in the presence of the Lord, forget the missionaries and the natives. As well, please commend them to pious souls.
Please accept my deepest respects. I have the honour to be, in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Very Reverend Superior and dear father in Jesus Christ,
Your most humble, obedient and faithful servant,
Miss(ionary) apost(olic)


  1. Colin’s letter of 21st May 1839 is not to be found in APM, but it is known that Colin wrote to the missionaries of the time, because we have his letters to Bataillon of 19th May (CS, Doc 69) and to Pompallier on 24 May (CS, Doc 72)
  2. The preceding letter from Servant to Colin is dated 15th October 1839 (doc 39); on the 12th October 1839 he had written to Claude Besson (unpublished letter, APM dossier, Claude Besson)
  3. Servant spoke of an earlier visit to Whirinaki in two preceding letters (docs 31 [10-13], 39 [4])
  4. Namu, a Maori word, a sort of simulie. – Girard. I couldn’t find this word in my dictionary, but namu is a sandfly [PM Ryan – A Dictionary of Modern Maori] - Quin
  5. Wairua – a Maori word for a sort of insect
  6. Wairoa (‘long water’ in Maori) is the name of a river in the north-west of the North Island, formed by the confluence of the Wairoa and Mangakahia rivers, and forms a wide estuary before flowing into the Tasman sea via Kaipara Harbour. According to Servant (cf Doc 93[3]) the name also applied to a tribe in the area. A different river with the same name, Wairoa, flows in to Hawke Bay in the south-east of the North Island. It is the region around this last mentioned river that Baty will evangelise (cf Docs 86 [4], 114 [9], 232 [10-29]). – Girard [Re the footnote on Wairoa. I am pretty certain that the editor has in mind another ‘Wairoa’ from that mentioned by Servant. Servant talks about crossing “hills of shining sand about 2 leagues wide”. They are on the north side of the Hokianga Heads – still today. Servant’s ‘Wairoa’ by that indication seems to be north of the harbour and this judgment is confirmed by his saying he went through ‘Wairoa’ travelling south from Ahipara back to his Hokianga base. The Wairoa River mentioned in the footnote is Northland’s largest river, and is south of the Hokianga, not north. It is now called the ‘Northern Wairoa’ river. I base all of this on my own knowledge of Northland, having lived in Okaihau two years and travelled around it a lot in visiting my brother in the Hokianga. - Brian Quin
  7. Ahipara is today a township on the far north west coast of the North Island, north west of the Hokianga and west of the Bay of Islands. The name refers as well to the nearby lowland area.
  8. Servant will go back to the Tairutu people in 1841 (cf Doc 93 [3-4])
  9. Whangape is on the estuary of the same name, north-west of the Hokianga. It is not the village and lake of the same name in the Waikato district (cf Doc 865 [13])
  10. Hàkari – Maori for “celebration, gift”
  11. Motu Tapu (the tribe and its territory) is between Whangape and Ahipara according to this document. It is not the island of the same name in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland.
  12. Hinematioro (died 1823) was a woman of high status in the Ngati Porou tribe. Her influence spread beyond her clan of Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti. Of her four daughters, two died very young (Cf Dictionary of NZ Biography Vol 1, p192). Servant speaks here about a male person who was “one of the ancestors of the New Zealanders”, but it is possible that he did not properly understand the speech given by Francis that he sums up.
  13. Concerning these “little booklets with which to instruct”, see Doc 71 [1].
  14. This ‘prophet’ was no doubt Papahurihia, also called ‘Te Atua Wera’. His religious movement, which first came to attention in the area of the Bay of Islands in July 1833, and later in the Hokianga, mixed elements of missionary teaching with Maori traditional religion. In this religious system, heaven and hell were held to exist, but under a changed form which excluded missionaries from heaven. The god Nakahi, derived from the serpent in the book of Genesis, shared traits in common with the Maori Ngarara, a lizard spirit. The cult had influence in the revolt of Hone Heke in the years soon after 1840 (Oxford History of NZ, p 38-39)
  15. The Church Missionary Society station at Waimate (Te Waimate) in the Bay of Islands, founded in 1831, included a model farm (Cf Doc 127 [8], Dictionary of NZ Biography, vol 1, p83)
  16. It should be observed that Father Servant had just returned on the 3rd February. In fact it was on 29th January that Captain William Hobson arrived at the Bay of Islands. The next day, after announcing that he was Lieutenant-governor under the authority of the Government of New South Wales, he had two proclamations read, one of which called together, for the 5th February, the meeting about which Servant’s text speaks. The discussions went on until the following day, when was signed the famous Treaty of Waitangi, which established British sovereignty over New Zealand (Cf Oxford History of NZ, p 51-52; Encyclopaedia of NZ, Vol 3, p526; see also the description of the event by Pompallier, Doc 59 [13-14].
  17. Waikato, a district in the centre of the North Island, was visited by Pompallier in the course of a journey begun on 2nd March 1840 with Viard and Brother Michel (Colombon) (cf Docs 57 [1], 58 [3]; Father Jean Pèzant worked there from 1840 until Easter 1850 (cf Doc 865)

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