From Marist Studies
Jump to: navigation, search

15 January & 10 April 1850. — Report for use in the history of the Catholic mission station at Rangiaowhia (Waikato), in the north of New Zealand – by Jean Pezant

An exercise book made up of 38 pages stitched together, of which there is a cover page (same type of paper as that of the exercise book), a page left blank, the title page, a page of notes, then 30 pages numbered from 1 to 30, followed by two supplementary pages, a page left blank, and the back of the cover. These last pages will be numbered 31, 32 and 34 below.

A report for use in the history of the Catholic mission station of Rangiaowhia (Waikato) in the north of New Zealand up to the end of February 1846.
A report for use in the history of the Catholic mission station of Rangiaowhia (Waikato) in the north of New Zealand from its beginning in 1840 up to the end of February 1846; that is, until Bishop Pompallier's departure for Europe.
A(d) m(ajorem) D(ei) g(loriam)
Ad m(ajorem) h(onorem) b(eatae) D(ei) g(enetricis) M(ariae) s(emper) v(irginis)
[To the greater glory of God.
To the greater honour of the Blessed Mother of God, Mary ever a virgin.]
Mission station of the Holy Angels,
at Rangiaowhia (Waikato)
If I have reported a lot of little details which are of no interest for the people living in New Zealand and which are even really detailed for people living in Europe, it is because they are of use in showing the character, the type and the outlook of the people we are evangelising: their morality, their customs; the differing circumstances of our situation, the ministry in New Zealand, the country that we travel across etc etc, and I thought that, for this reason, these little details, which are insignificant in themselves, could perhaps be interesting to you.
I really ask Very Reverend Father Superior General to forgive me for sending him a draft so badly written, in so careless a style, and, in sum, so unworthy of being presented; but, really, I have not had the time either to check over the style or to transcribe this work. I have, this year, been overwhelmed with difficulties over the sawing of wood for the mission station Chapel. I have, as well, been forced to make several journeys and, on top of that, to carry out the holy ministry which in this area demands a great deal of concern.
Notes on the pronunciation of the New Zealand language.
U: must be pronounced 'ou' without any exception: Hōkau, Hokaou; Tuakau, Tuakaou; Mangapōuri, Mangapōouri; and so on always. Te ruku, to dive (neuter verb), Te roukou; mōku, for me or, as well wet, mōkou.
G: must always be pronounced hard without any exception; as in the French words guérite, guichet; Rangiaowhia, Ranguiaowhia; Rangitoto, Ranguitoto; ngeru, eat, nguérou; ngeri, war dance of the New Zealanders, ngueri, and so on, always.
E: must always be pronounced closed, without any exception, as in Latin: anake, only, anaké; ngenge, nguengué, tired; hope, navel, hopé; whare, wharé, house.
H: must always be aspirated a little strongly, a bit like the aspirated 'h' in English; this is almost the only difficulty French people have in pronouncing Maori or New Zealand speech; and, with a little care and practice, it is not much.
A(d) m(ajorem) D(ei) g(loriam)
Ad m(ajorem) h(onorem) b(eatae) D(ei) g(enetricis) M(ariae) s(emper) v(irginis)
[To the greater glory of God.
To the greater honour of the Blessed Mother of God, Mary ever a virgin.]
Report for use in the history of the Catholic mission station of Rangiaowhia (Waikato) from its beginning up to the end of February 1846.
In March 1840, Monsignor the Vicar Apostolic, called by the principal chiefs of Tauranga Harbour, who had written to him at Kororareka, visited this harbour and decided that the attitudes of the natives were favourable enough to leave there a priest who was accompanying his Lordship, and who was Reverend Father Viard (now Bishop Viard, Bishop of Orthosia). The Tauranga natives urged Monsignor the Vicar Apostolic to visit as well a pagan tribe called Ngati Haua then living at Matamata, a day’s walk from Tauranga. This tribe, a friend of that at Tauranga, was one of the tribes of the huge district which gets its name from the Waikato River which waters it. This tribe is distinguished by its fine language and its beautiful way of speaking, even among all the Waikato tribes which are reputed to speak the New Zealand language best in all New Zealand. It also has a reputation for bravery, and one of its warriors, Te Waharoa, has left a name famed throughout the surrounding area for his courage. The bulk of this bellicose people had always resisted the invitations of Protestant ministers. Having been misinformed that the new way of worship, that is to say, the Catholic Church, which people had begun to hear about in these areas, permitted war and material pleasures and especially that the leader of this way of worship in New Zealand gave away a lot of clothes, the Matamata natives told their Tauranga neighbours of their willingness to go over to this way of worship. Bishop Pompallier, therefore, having gone to them in March of that year 1840, they received him very well and gave him all their names, gave him presents in New Zealand style - food and clothing, and begged him to give them also a priest. Monsignor the Vicar Apostolic was delighted with these Matamata natives; he maintained the greatest love for them, he never spoke about them without high praise. But then, not having any priests, he consoled and encouraged them, answered their suggestions, led them to hope for a priest, promised them to come back as soon as he could, and so left them. On his return to Tauranga he asked Father Viard to try to visit this Matamata tribe from time to time, so as to commit them to patiently wait for the time when he could give them a priest; his Lordship then went back on board the ship to see other tribes on the same coast. Reverend Father Viard, having been left at Tauranga, the only priest in all this part of New Zealand, and made responsible for the care of several tribes in his mission district, still found time to visit Matamata. During one of these visits, he had a chance to see some pagan chiefs from several districts of the Waikato, more inland; he gave them some copies of a little booklet that Bishop Pompallier had published, which contained a summary of Christian teachings, the 'Our Father', the 'Hail Mary', the Creed and a hymn. For the same reasons as the people at Matamata, these chiefs, their friends, who no more than they had ever wanted to yield to the demands of Protestant, Anglican and Methodist ministers, declared in favour of Catholic worship, and took back to their homes everything they had heard said, and about the Bishop and the priest. They spoke about this, on their way, to the people at Raroera,[1] who since then have come and settled here at Rangiaowhia where the present mission station is located; and having got back home, at Rangitoto and at Mokau, their people began to pray in the way set out in the little booklet. The same thing happened with the people of Raroera, of Ngauhuruhuru, and of Pokuru, who had until then remained obstinately pagan, to whom they had given one or two copies of the same booklet which had only four pages. Even today my natives quite often talk to me about the four-page booklet. So their prayer was only mechanical; it was rather a sort of game and amusement than anything else, as they have since told me on many occasions. But God used all that to bring them seriously to the faith. That was in 1840 and in the first months of 1841.
However the Matamata natives, who had caused the first gleams of the faith to shine in the eyes of the natives belonging to the present mission station at Rangiaowhia, suddenly cooled in ardour themselves. As they expected to soon see back again the Bishop bringing them clothes in quantity, and Bishop Pompallier not having been able to come back to Tauranga until a very long time later, in this period of time they came to believe they had been deceived, murmured, complained that the Bishop had not yet reciprocated their gifts and the majority became very indifferent towards prayer. This situation lasted until about the end of May 1841 when I arrived at Tauranga. The Bishop, when he had sent me from the Bay of Islands, had given me on my departure a letter for Reverend Father Viard, in which his Lordship told him to come back to him at the Bay of Islands. Father Viard left, and I remained alone, barely stammering a few words of the language, and now responsible for continuing Father Viard's work. I set myself to visiting the various tribes of Tauranga Harbour. I was busy in this ministry, new for me, when after about three weeks there came from Rangiaowhia, three days’ travel away, some natives bringing me a letter from the chief of the Raroera tribe, addressed to the priest, in the belief that this was still Father Viard. But I was the one who received it. The chief said that the Protestants were bothering him and his people a lot, that they were endlessly pointing out to him that he had no take for his way of praying near him, that is, no European minister of his religion in his area to instruct him, him and the people of his tribe. So the chief begged the Tauranga priest to come and be seen in his area, and to silence, through his presence, the ministers of error; that he was overwhelmed with shame and quite distressed to see himself assailed every day without much knowledge of what to say in reply. This letter, which I had a lot of difficulty both reading and understanding because it was only written with charcoal on a poor piece of rag, and because, as well, I was quite a novice in the language, was explained to me by a Frenchman who worked at the mission station and by the catechists at Tauranga whose words I understood a bit better than those of strangers. I enquired about the distance to the places, the number and attitudes of the tribes needing to be visited, and after some days thinking things over, seeing that there was nothing really important that demanded my staying at the mission station, recalling especially certain words that I had heard from the mouth of Bishop Pompallier a short time before my departure from the Bay of Islands, I decided to undertake the journey to the Waikato, with the added reason that in returning I wanted to go through Matamata, and so my journey would have some benefit for my mission station at Tauranga. So I left Tauranga on the 22nd June 1841, accompanied by the Frenchman who worked for me and some natives who carried the luggage. It was the first missionary journey I had made by land in New Zealand. Having arrived in a place near the end of our journey, I was assailed by a New Zealand Protestant catechist who, burning with rage at seeing a Catholic priest go through there to try to convert the people of those districts, tackled me like a fury. As we hardly understood each other, our conversation did not last long. In another place, another Protestant fanatic, not having food ready on the Sunday, preferred to eat nothing all day, with his family, rather than get some ready on Sunday, although all the natives’ preparations for eating usually (only) amount to pulling some potatoes out of the ground, peeling them and cooking them. Having discovered, near evening, that they were still fasting, for lack of prepared food, from the night before, I sent to offer them a basket of ours, but he did not want to accept them, because they had been got ready on the Sunday. For all that, they made no scruple about heaping all sorts of lies and calumnies on the Catholic Church. But, on Sunday observance, they are more than pharisaic. The basket of potatoes that they must eat on Sunday must not only, absolutely, be taken from the ground (no problem there), but peeled and washed on Saturday. We have all, since then, noticed this on a multitude of occasions.
To get back to my journey from Rangiaowhia, as we were held up in populated areas by bad weather, we did not get to Raroera, the pa of the Ngatihinetu tribe, the object of our journey, until the afternoon of the 30th of June. Raroera, now abandoned, was the end of quite a big and fine pa, situated on a point of land which projected into the swamps not far from the little patch of bush where the natives found their fire making material. The palisades of the pa, almost all made of totara (the most durable New Zealand wood) were all topped with hideous faces, roughly carved, as is the New Zealand custom. This tribe received me well and seemed to hear favourably what I told them about religion. I very much insisted, during the two or three days I stayed there, on the legitimacy of the Catholic Church and the falsity of Protestantism. What struck them most is that one day, the idea having come to me of taking a branch of a tree to show them religious matters in a sensible way, I told them that the main branch could serve as a symbol of the mother church, alone true, and, breaking off from it a little branch, I added that it was a symbol of Protestantism, a new branch and dried up since its beginnings. This symbol struck them forcefully, and they remembered it a long time. On the Saturday they took me in half an hour to Ngauhuruhuru, the pa of the Ngatiapakura tribe, to spend Sunday with them. On the day after the Sunday, after the prayers of the holy Mass, I was told that two Protestant ministers were going to present themselves to attack me publicly in the presence, and, indeed, they soon appeared. One of them was, of all the ministers in New Zealand, the one who spoke the New Zealand language best: the natives have told me since that he spoke better than they did. I, on the other hand, had actually been among the natives only a month, I was hardly intelligible, and I understood even less what was said to me in Maori. Fortunately the Frenchman who was with me knew enough of the New Zealand tongue to confound the Protestant preachers and to leave our natives satisfied. They were strong in their opinion and covered those ministers of error in humiliations. So this cowardly and presumptuous attack of heresy served only for its disgrace and the affirming of our Catholics in the faith. Before my departure, they put to me all sorts of practical questions as the natives usually do; unfortunately I could hardly understand their questions; which saddened them. They urged me so much to ask the Vicar Apostolic for a priest for them and at least to come back and visit them in three or four months that I was forced to promise them so. Then I left them full of joy; they showed me great affection on my departure. I returned via Matamata which I felt I had a duty to visit. The people there did not seem to me to be really fervent, but at least they gave me a good welcome and showed themselves still to have a liking for the Catholic mission. I could only spend a night there, because they had nothing at all to eat. But I promised them to come back soon to see them and tried to encourage them by telling them that I was waiting for the Bishop’s ship at Tauranga. I thought, indeed, that I would find it in this harbour, but his Lordship only arrived more than six weeks later, that is, on the 17th of August in that same year 1841. The Bishop was bringing some priests which he was thinking of scattering among the natives along the coast; one was destined for Akaroa, a French colony in the Middle Island. The Tauranga natives, having found out that among all these priests there was not one destined for the tribes at Matamata and Waikato who were their friends, resolved to make great efforts to get one for them. The chief Te Motu in particular had a terrible encounter with the Bishop; full of anger he threatened his Lordship with totally destroying worship at Tauranga and told him that he had in mind to send his priest away from there if he did not give one for Waikato: he was furious. The Bishop, frightened, so as not to risk the stability of the faith in Tauranga and see collapse in a day what had been striven for, for 18 months, agreed with this chief's request, and Father Séon, who had been destined for Akaroa, was sent to evangelise the Waikato tribes; it was resolved that he would set himself up at Matamata. Reverend Father Baty, the apostolic pro-vicar, was sent to help Father Séon found this new station. They left Tauranga for Matamata together on the 25th of the same month of August. They were well received by the natives who rejoiced to have a priest living among them. Father Baty rented a house where they stayed for the time being and where, in the evenings, the natives who prayed, about 40 in number, gathered to hear the instructions and catechising the Father gave them. It was decided that the natives would build a house for the missionary and a house of prayer for divine worship. After a few days Father pro-vicar returned to Tauranga, leaving Father Séon and Brother Euloge at Matamata. At almost the same time, and while the natives began the house of prayer and the priest's house, he, accompanied by the Brother, undertook a great missionary journey among the natives. Guided by Poutama, also known as Nga Waka (the canoes), chief of Rangitoto, who was then at Matamata, he travelled towards Maungatautari, a mountain where the tribes were already Protestant, and from there all went to Rangiaowhia where his arrival fulfilled the promise I had made to the natives of that place two months before, to visit them. He was welcomed with great joy by the people of Raroera and Ngauhuruhuru. After having spent some days among them, he and the Brother were taken by Poutama to his country at Rangitoto, where the natives of the place received him with great joy and great cordiality. Although the Father could not express his feelings to these people nor understand their words, his presence itself consoled them and encouraged them, his virtues won them over and touched them. On his return to Matamata, he devoted himself to strengthening in faith and fervour the people of that tribe who attended worship: they had already very much diminished in number. Then he went back to Rangiaowhia and Rangitoto; this time he was taken even further, to Whawharua and Te Paripari tribes: the first obstinately pagan, the other, which had declared itself Catholic only a short time beforehand, and neither of which had ever seen a priest. Father Séon was well received everywhere; everywhere his visits consoled and animated these new peoples. During these two journeys the pious missionary and his good Brother had much to suffer; partly because they were not used to living among the natives, sleeping in their houses, eating their food; partly because they could neither speak nor understand; partly because this season of the year 1841 was very rainy and floods were frequent; but, as they were suffering for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, their patience and their faith led them to see as a real blessing in God's sight what was painful to nature.
When they got back to Matamata, after a few days’ rest, they went to Tauranga, where I had the great consolation of receiving them. When he went back, Father Séon left Brother Euloge to await the return of the Bishop's ship and lived alone at his mission station with a French seaman. This man helped the natives to build the poor presbytery and the humble chapel. Everything was finished in December of that year 1841. Unfortunately Bishop Pompallier could not come back, as he had left the people of Matamata to expect. It was at that time that his Lordship, having found out at Akaroa (in the island of Te Wai Pounamu) about the martyrdom of Reverend Father Chanel, went to visit the tropical islands with a warship. Perhaps his return to Matamata would have done a lot of good; perhaps as well this warrior and pagan tribe would have anyway persisted in its religious indifference in spite of the visit from the Vicar Apostolic. In any case, it is only too true that in nearly all of this tribe did not respond to grace. Not only did the people not carry on worship, but they mocked it and even sometimes came to disturb the divine service. There were only a very small number of natives who were assiduous at prayer and profited from the instructions and from the good example given by the Father. There were also a certain number of children who came regularly to catechism classes and were fairly interested. The Father, with great zeal, patience and care, cultivated the children and the few adults who showed some good will, and this small number of worshippers became stronger every day in the faith and in knowledge of the mysteries of religion. As the missionary made progress in the language, his instructions became more interesting. The rest of the people were steeped in paganism and in all the vices that go with it. Perhaps, if there had been two priests, this little core group would have grown in size, but during the priest's long apostolic journeys to distant tribes, the good he had tried to bring about, and that which still seemed possible, was lost or became weaker. Several times, while the Father was away, they stole his property. They did not want to go with him on his long journeys, and nearly always the Father found himself forced to carry a good part of what he needed on the journey and to walk heavily burdened for whole days. Besides, Matamata was not centrally situated, rather, it was on its own at an extremity of all the rest of the mission district. The upshot was that he found himself settled amongst an ill disposed tribe who did not benefit from his ministry, and that he could only with great difficulty visit the other distant Waikato tribes, who were much better disposed than the one at Matamata. He experienced all the drawbacks of his situation. He saw clearly that Rangiaowhia was where he should have gone and set himself up, this area was more central, and the tribes of those districts were much more inclined to the faith. But he was afraid of isolating himself too much; the Bishop himself still held great hopes for the natives of Matamata. On the other hand, the spiritual good of the greater part of the mission district required that the priest live elsewhere than at Matamata, at one end of the district, among people who were indifferent. Indeed, the other Waikato tribes were more numerous and better disposed; the more the zealous missionary visited them, the stronger these tribes became in the faith and in the practice of religion. The good news spread even further, into country around Mokau, which gets its name from the river which waters it and flows into the sea in the west. During the two and a half years he lived at Matamata, Father Séon made fairly frequent journeys to Rangiaowhia, Rangitoto, Whawharua, Te Paripari and Mokau. During two of these evangelising visits, he was attacked in the presence of the natives by Anglican and Wesleyan ministers: apart from the fact that the Father completely confounded these ministers of error, God himself seemed on one occasion to noticeably take up the defence of his cause, by allowing it to happen that at the end of one discussion the Protestant bled abundantly from his nose; which was taken by the natives as a sign of defeat and heavenly anger and was noised throughout the neighbouring districts. Father Séon won over hearts everywhere by his gentle and modest virtues, his goodness, his cheerfulness, his patience, his courage, his apostolic simplicity; he more and more won over minds and hearts, the faith spread and consolidated, the number of adult baptisms grew appreciably; even in the Matamata tribe a certain number of people showed beginnings of a desire for baptism, some seemed to change their opinion when many people from that tribe left the pa to settle at Otorokai, Maungakawa, and Horotiu, a former dwelling place of Ngatihaua, on the bank of the Waikato River; soon the emigration grew. At this moment, the Vicar Apostolic believed he needed Reverend Father Séon and called him back to entrust him with the general administration of the business affairs of the mission. That was at the beginning of 1844. The Father left his mission station without saying anything, and on 12th January he took ship with Father Reignier, who was in charge of Rotorua, for the Bay of Islands, where he was kept back to be procurator, a position he managed with so much courage, care, patience and charity.
On the 29th of February following, Bishop Pompallier's ship arrived at Tauranga. I was at Maketu where I had gone to see a sick man. Early in the morning of the 1st March, I was surprised to be woken by Brother Euloge, whom I had left in the establishment at Otumoetai, and by a French sailor whom the Bishop had sent to look for me. The Brother told me that the mission ship had arrived the previous day at Tauranga, that the Bishop was telling me to go to him at once, that I was being replaced at Tauranga and that I myself was named to replace Father Séon at Matamata. His Lordship himself soon communicated to me his orders. After having brought Father Bernard up to date with the situation at the Tauranga mission station, I got ready to leave for my new station. Father Bernard had given me a letter from Father Séon, in which the Father informed me that several times he had asked the Bishop to allow the mission station to be moved from Matamata to Ngauhuruhuru, having realised from experience that it was there that it ought to be, all the more because many natives had left Matamata to be scattered in various places, but that the Bishop was reluctant that this be done, and that he had told him to wait longer. Therefore, seeing myself appointed to this post, and knowing the district and Father Séon’s difficulties at Matamata, and afraid of experiencing them for myself, knowing the attitude of the people, I asked his Lordship for the same authorisation as Father Séon, to move the Matamata station to Rangiaowhia. An amazing thing! Bishop Pompallier, who had always refused to allow such a thing, had almost no difficulty in allowing me to do it; so I asked his Lordship to be so kind as to sign my faculty sheets as for Waikato; which he deigned to do immediately. A short time after that, he left for Maketu, Whakatane and Opotiki, advising me to set up only a provisional mission station in the Waikato, to come to Tauranga from time to time, and finally, he gave me reason to hope that after having visited the other stations in the south he would then visit the one in the Waikato. The Bishop having left, and after having spent some days getting Father Bernard up to date with the situation of the Tauranga station, of which he remained in charge, I got ready to leave myself for my new station in the Waikato.
So on the 17th March of that year 1844, I left Tauranga for Matamata; the next day I arrived there with two natives from Tauranga who had agreed to come with me and two from Matamata who had gone to Tauranga for a gathering. Although the people received me well, they showed the greatest distress at the departure of Father Séon, their apostle and their father. As I was only coming among them in order to go and live somewhere else, and as nearly all the people of this tribe were pagan and ill disposed, reputed to be thieves and libertines, I was forced to carefully hide my plan and be a bit cunning. In order to have some men to carry the goods belonging to the station where I wanted to set myself up I took advantage of the availability of the two natives from Tauranga. This availability was what led me to carry out immediately the moving of the mission station, without that I would have been very pleased to spend some time at Matamata. But the situation was delicate and pressing. So I persuaded the two Tauranga natives and the one from Matamata[2] to go with me to Ngauhuruhuru carrying the goods there on a roundabout excuse. I was careful to put in the boxes to be carried all the sacristy items as being the most important, so that they at least would arrive at their destination before it was suspected what was going on. So we left Matamata for Ngauhuruhuru (Rangiaowhia) on the 20th March, and we arrived that day, in the evening, at the Waikato River which we crossed on the new bridge made by the Maungatautari tribes. I was the first European to cross, because the natives asked an exorbitant price for crossing this bridge. Having arrived among them at Ihipa the next day, they forced me to give 22 maoris of tobacco, in other words, all that I had, for this bridge, so giving the right to me and all the clergy, the Brothers and even the employees of the whole Catholic mission, to cross with our men in perpetuity.[3]
On the evening of the same day we arrived at Ngauhuruhuru. I left the goods with a European who lived in that pa and went to stay with Te Wharaunga (now Penetila), one of the leading chiefs of Ngauhuruhuru, to avoid both of the groups who then divided this tribe and who were very embittered towards each other. Te Wharaunga had remained neutral; that is why I went to his home on arriving and stayed there, in line with the advice that [p536] Father Séon had given me in his letter. I did not tell the natives that I was coming to set myself up in the district, for fear that if the people at Matamata came to know about that through one of the people who had come with me, they would pillage the property of the mission station. I made haste to ask for some men to go and fetch these goods under various plausible pretexts; I sent ten of them, and we went to Matamata, where we arrived the next day. In the evening Te Pakaroa, the chief of that place, who had always shown a great love for the mission, came and asked me whether I was giving up Matamata and told me that the people, who were working in great numbers at Otorokai, seeing so many people passing by the previous day, following me, had become convinced that I was indeed leaving them. I got out of that situation as best I could, without being open with him. He saw things as they really were, so, as he was well disposed towards us, he advised me not to go back by the usual route, which went through Otorokai, where I ran the risk of being plundered, but rather through Horotiu, on the direct route to Rangiaowhia. In order to more effectively commit me to it, he told me that the route he was advising me to take was direct, shorter, that I would get to Ngauhuruhuru by it in a day, that it was very good, without any swamps etc. It was false. I realised afterwards that this route was not shorter than the other, that it was full of swamps everywhere etc, but this chief thought he was acting for the best by deceiving me in order to help me. I decided to follow his advice. So I spent the whole of the following day making up my bundles, sent back my natives from Tauranga, and on the day after left with nearly all the mission station’s effects. At the moment of our departure a lot of natives of the pa came, I believe, with the intention of robbing me; one of them had already put his hands on a bag of tobacco, but Te Pakaroa forced him to let go of it; this chief watched over us and our effects at this critical moment, protected us, lead us out of the pa for the same reason and, without telling me anything got his brother Te Paihi to go with us to protect us during the whole journey. Te Paihi’s presence, and his stated intention of travelling to Otawhao worried me; during that whole day I was afraid of some malicious plan and some sort of surprise from this native in the deserted places we were travelling through: in the evening, by way of precaution, he did not allow us to enter the inhabited areas of Horotiu, although he went to stay there overnight himself. The next day he came to look for us early in the morning, led us among the natives of the area, where we waited for lunch, and afterwards he got us across the Waikato River in a waka, helped the last man to cross, and when I had at last crossed myself and we were in the territory of the people of Ngauhuruhuru, instead of continuing on his claimed journey to Otawhao, he told me unexpectedly that he was going back. I then realised that his intentions had been entirely benevolent and that he had only come to accompany us and to protect us. In my mind I admired so kindly a way of acting on the part of the natives and especially the thoughtfulness which went with it. Since then I have rewarded them. I will not leave Horotiu without speaking about a sick young man whom I found there. While the midday meal was being got ready I spoke to him, and against any probability of success, to relieve my conscience rather than to win him over, I suggested that he let himself be baptised, and encouraged him to it in a fairly pressing sort of way; but, as is usual among the people of that tribe, his only reply was mockery. He told me several times, among other things, that he would not allow himself to be baptised until my fifth journey to that place; all that I could say to him about his sickness and the uncertainty of the time of his death made no impression on him; he was still riding a horse the fifth time I came to Horotiu: he seemed to find delight in this reply. The wretched man! He was in this way abusing a decisive grace which he did not realise would never have been refused him. I have never since had any reason to go back to that place, nor in any other priest either. A few months after my journey I was told he had died, with neither baptism nor faith. To get back to our journey, rain forced us to stop in an unpeopled area, and we had to spend Sunday there, and it was only on the Monday that we arrived, quite exhausted, at Ngauhuruhuru, after having suffered a great deal, all of us, from bad travelling conditions. It was only then that it became known in the area that I was coming to settle there. All the natives were very happy. The chief of Terako,[4] Koipu, called a meeting for me in which he jumped with joy.
All the things from Matamata having in this way arrived, I had only to choose a site and set myself up there. That became my next concern. As the natives were then very much taken up with their harvesting, and I had to get myself some shelter[5] before winter, which was close at hand, I had some Europeans saw 3000 feet of wood to serve as timber for a wooden house, having in mind to finish it later on, and, for the time being, to cover it and roof it with thatch only. While the wood was being sawn, I looked for an appropriate site. I experienced a great deal of effort and difficulty in doing that. I successively considered several pieces of land, but had to give them all up, because then I found out that they had been sold to other Europeans, as least doubtfully. Finally I asked for a piece of land which suited me because it was really central: it was part of lands occupied by the Ngatihinetu tribe, whose chief Kahawai was the principal chief of the district; he was the one who had written to Father Viard at Tauranga in 1841; it was on his land that I found it appropriate to stay... The people who were using it granted to me, but a young Protestant man named Piritaha declared he was in control of it: all the natives gave him the right over it, and for several days he obstinately refused to sell it to me. I was in quite a bit of difficulty, all the more because my things had arrived; I was on the point of either pulling out, or looking for another piece of undisputed land in an undesirable site, when on May 1st (and I saw this unexpected success as an effect of protection given by Mary and the Apostles St Philip and James) on May 1st, I repeat, the chief Te Waru,[6] a Protestant, but a good man and a friend of the Europeans, who had come from Kawhia for this reason, so affected his nephew Piritaha through his representations and requests that he agreed that very day to give up that piece of land for 2 pounds sterling which I promised him. There was a good acre of land. As quickly as possible I had it enclosed with fences. The matter having been dealt with in this way, I had the sawn wood immediately carried to the site, bought from the natives thatch and everything needed for the house, then got a carpenter to put up this humble dwelling, and got him to make a deal with some natives for the part of the work which concerned them. When they began the work most of the natives then went to Kaitotehe, on the Waikato River, for a great feast put on by the Chief Te Wherowhero (or Pototau) pronounced Pōtataou,[7] and I went off to Matamata to see the natives and to bring back from there the little that remained of my things. I was delayed there by a boil I had on a foot, and by the bad weather -- which was awful the whole of this time. When I was able to get back to Rangiaowhia, I found my house almost finished: the next day I was sheltered in it from the rain. Then the carpenter made the framework for the kitchen, which the natives finished, as with the main house, in thatch. All that was left to be done were the doors, some poor windows and some necessary furniture. I set the worker on to that. As he was not very skilful, all the features of this building were fairly badly done and, summing it all up, ended up fairly expensive. At last, after four months, everything was finished for the arrival of the Vicar Apostolic.
As for spiritual matters, when I arrived in Rangiaowhia, I found a huge difference between the natives at Tauranga and those of the Waikato, to the advantage of the latter. I noted in them more gentleness, simplicity and openness, more dispositions and inclinations toward the faith, and infinitely less attachment to the former superstitions of the country; I found some, almost all of whom regularly attended prayers; they allowed me, without difficulty, to baptise all their sick; they were numerous in the district and attached to the Catholic faith; in all, I was satisfied. Every Sunday we gathered in a house belonging to the natives and then in one at the mission station when it was finished. I taught them to sing Vespers and, when I was cleared of my greatest difficulties (that is, about the month of July), I held every evening a catechism class to which many natives came to learn about the truths needed to prepare themselves for baptism; I then, for a certain number of days ran a catechism class for the baptised (there were ten active adults in it) to prepare them for confirmation and first Communion. At last, on August 3rd, the feast of the finding of St Stephen, the first martyr,[8] the Vicar Apostolic arrived in Rangiaowhia, coming from Tauranga, accompanied by Reverend Father Bernard and several natives who brought things for me, among others, a clock. On the following day, Sunday, and the following days, his Lordship baptised solemnly and confirmed many adults. On Thursday he gave confirmation and had first Communion given to those formerly baptised by Father Séon, to the number of ten. He measured and definitively purchased the land for the mission station, and drew up the deed for it, a copy of which he kept and took away to give to the government, and which[9] he left with me after having got it signed by the natives, gave permission for building a chapel and decided its location. The natives demanded two blankets and three pounds sterling in gold as the price of the land and the Bishop was forced to agree to that. He gave the two blankets, and, as he had no gold on him, could only promise to send from Auckland the three pounds agreed on. On Friday, August 9th I went with his Lordship to Rangitoto, one day from Rangiaowhia, and on the day after the next, Sunday 11th, the Bishop baptised and confirmed eleven adults there. On the evening of that day I heard the confessions (it was their first confession) of those formerly baptised by Father Séon who were ready. The next day they received the sacrament of confirmation. The weather was bad, we stayed there.

History of the mission station up till March 1846 – continued

August 1844 – continued
On the 13th, the Bishop went with the natives to Whawharua, a pagan village four hours from Rangitoto, while I went to a mountain to baptise a sick man who died two days later. During the evening, while I was sleeping, (I had arrived tired and wet) the Bishop had an interesting conversation with a young man of that place, who was a pagan and had a Protestant attitude and has become, since then, basically so. The Bishop found he had spirit, deep down, and this young man only gave in to the reasoning of his Lordship after having talked strongly and with a lot of thinking. Unfortunately he abused grace. The Bishop had never seen so pagan a people: we had been housed in fact with an old tohunga, the oracle of all pagans, the depository of all the secrets of the gods and the knowledge of ancient things, the genealogies of the gods etc. we spent the feast of the Assumption there: the Bishop celebrated Mass, without anyone but our travelling companions assisting at the holy sacrifice. In the evening, the Bishop had Vespers sung in Maori. Between Mass and Vespers, Tawhaki (this was the name of the old tohunga) held a conversation with the Bishop about the Maori gods, the origin of the New Zealanders and New Zealand, on the origin of the world, on the genealogy of the first people etc. The conversation lasted quite a long time and was lively. When the subject was the origin of the first people, the Bishop, by pushing his adversary from question to question, from person to person, reduced him to being unable to name any creator of the most ancient people whom the native mentioned; this good old man was embarrassed and did not know what to say. Then the Bishop, taking up the history in Genesis, the first people etc, spoke about the Creator and the patriarchs, the fall of Adam etc. A lot of natives were listening, and were listening with interest; there was deep and general sensation; people were struck by Tawhaki’s predicament and the Bishop’s entirely satisfying explanations; it was agreed that the New Zealanders knew only half the story and that this European had it, deeply and exactly. Tawhaki was more reserved and more modest, more adaptable; he was not put out, but recognised with gentleness the incompleteness of his knowledge. When he came by again, on our return from Te Paripari, he was seen to be very respectful and affectionate towards the Bishop. Unfortunately he died suddenly while at a meal, a few months later, without faith and without baptism. The day after the Bishop’s conversation with Tawhaki, August 16th, his Lordship baptised in the morning, at this place called Whawharua, a young married man, the only one who was then saying the prayers, confirmed him, and straightaway left for Te Paripari, where the Ngati Rora tribe lived, who were thought to be religiously minded. We got there after three hours’ walking. There were a lot of people there. The next day, the Bishop solemnly baptised eight adults, among others the wife of a white Protestant man who agreed to be married. He even allowed to be re-baptised conditionally his little daughter whom he had had baptised by a Wesleyan minister. On Monday 19th August we left Te Paripari to come back to Rangiaowhia, where we arrived, wet through with rain, on the second day, August 20th. On August 22nd, the Bishop baptised at the station 33 natives, almost all adults, and straight after, his Lordship insisted on leaving for Auckland, to where he agreed I might go with him. We went to sleep that day among a little Catholic tribe at Te Tumu, near Waipa, and the next day the Bishop baptised and confirmed eight people, the last ones that his Lordship baptised in the Waikato station. After the ceremony, we left that place to travel by canoe. At midday we had embarked on the Waipa; the next day, at about eleven in the morning, we met the Waikato River which we went down to Tuakau, the place where you disembark to travel by land to Auckland; a distance of two and a half days’ travel.[10] But, before that, on the river itself we met a Catholic lady, who having found out that it was the Catholic bishop who was going past, persuaded his Lordship and all of us to go to her house. Her husband was a Protestant, but he and his wife had the greatest respect for us and gave us the most generous hospitality for two days we were delayed there by bad weather. When I went by on my return from Auckland, I was received there not only with goodness, but even with affection. We needed three days to get to Auckland, because it was still winter and the roads were in a bad state and the rivers swollen. Reverend Father Petit-Jean, the parish priest of Auckland, and all the Catholics were happy to see the Bishop again in good health after such a long and exhausting journey. I have to say that personally I was welcomed and given accommodation, with my natives, for eight days, in a most generous way. The Bishop gave me, in Auckland, enough money to provide me with all that I needed in terms of dishes, kitchen utensils and household items. Further, he gave me for the Waikato station a large picture which he had, at that time, the opportunity of buying in the town. Then he left for the Bay of Islands. Shortly after I left for the Waikato, where I arrived after nine days. That journey provided nothing interesting to talk about, apart from this, that on leaving Auckland after having barely taken the time to have lunch, Father Petit-Jean came to accompany me out of the town. There, I don't know how, we lost sight of our natives, and we got lost. We went backwards and forwards to find the track to the Waikato, we inquired, but in vain. To put it briefly, we roamed the whole day until nightfall over uneven ground, climbing up or jumping over stony walls or mounds, moving through scrub and ravines; finally, night forced us to stop, without food, without blankets and nor cloaks; without fire or shelter; we placed ourselves back to back to warm ourselves up, but in spite of this precaution it was impossible for us to sleep. At first light of day, we got up and fortunately we soon found our way again. As we were very distant from the town and we were fainting from hunger, we went to the home of Mr Fairburn, the Anglican minister, whose dwelling was not very far away (we had gone past quite close to it with the Bishop on our way north) to ask him quite simply for something to eat. Gratitude obliges me to say that we were received and heated very well. A short time later, fortunately, we met up with the travelling companions again, who for their part were very anxiously looking for us.[11] 2. The other circumstance worthy of some attention is that, the natives having wanted to disembark at a place on the Waikato River called Whangape, I was taken into a large Maori house, where there were a lot of natives; the conversation soon turned to religion. I spoke to them about the Catholic Church, about Protestantism, its human origin, its novelty, its thousand sects; they told me that they had heard Europeans say that, that we were a great nation, that our Church was the mother Church, and that if we had been the first to come to New Zealand, all its people would have been Catholics; but what could be done now that they were Protestants, used to their way of worship; that almost the whole island was pretty well Protestant[12] and that the Governor and all the rangatira pakeha (European leaders) were Protestant? That is still the situation that these poor people are in, without there being any way of getting them out of it.
At last, I happily got back to Rangiaowhia in mid-September. I then had a chance to begin a task at the mission station which I thought I had to do to tidy up the property: this was to level the ground at the station, which was quite uneven. But the task was much larger than I had imagined, it was done in several attempts, and was finished only three years later, in April 1847: although the natives were not paid very much in relation to the amount of work done, the expenses very much exceeded my predictions, and, if the property now looked tidier, the quality of the ground suffered considerably in certain places due to the successive movements. Before beginning this work I was careful, when I arrived from Auckland, to pay the natives the three pounds sterling brought from the town as the price for the land as promised by the Vicar Apostolic. Then as soon as I could, I busied myself with building the chapel. The natives gave the trees free of charge and also provided free the preparatory work for the sawing, but slowly and nonchalantly; one Sunday I was obliged to deprive them of Mass to spur them on and that is how I persuaded them to work. It was in October. About the beginning of November, the natives brought the sawn wood to the site, and a workman straightaway began to prepare the framework. On the 26th November it was put up in spite of the rain, and on the 7th December it was finished. Only the natives took a long time to board over and cover that framework. They were all very busy that summer fishing for eels for a great feast they had to put on for the natives from the Waikato. It was only in the following year that they did that work. The concerns and difficulties which I had with the Europeans and the natives over the building of the chapel made me ill, especially with boils, for ten days, after which I was able to go to Tauranga to see my confrère. The exhaustion arising from the journey in addition to the already mentioned concerns, brought back this illness on my arrival at Tauranga, and I was confined to bed or in my room there by a lot of boils on my feet and on both legs for three weeks. I suffered a lot during the Christmas celebrations from seeing that while my confrère was taking care of his flock’s spiritual needs and provided the sacraments for them, I was not able, amongst all the problems I had that whole year, to give much spiritual care to my sheep, not having any chapel in a state to be used for worship; I consoled myself with the thought of the will of God and my desire [to do it -- translator’s note]; I also hummed the Church's hymns -- during this great solemnity, alone in my room, while I heard the hymns of the natives who were at the ceremonies. At last, thanks to the remedies and continuous care of my good confrère, Reverend Father Bernard, I was pretty well cured by the 31st December of the year 1844, and resolved to set out the next day for my mission station.
And indeed 1845, on the first day of the year 1845, I left Tauranga in the morning with my two natives, and a last remnant of the foot problem having been cured while walking in the mud of the bay, rather than aggravated by it as I feared, I arrived in the evening at Matamata, so worn out with tiredness that I will remember all my life that I could only drink a drop of good red wine which happened to be there and, after some short prayers, get into bed, where, literally, it was impossible for me, having got into it, to move until the following day, which I was obliged to spend still in bed, though without any other harm than this extreme exhaustion. It is the only time in my life that I have experienced such exhaustion, and I attribute it, not precisely to lack of energy or to the forests and marshes on the way from Tauranga to Matamata, but rather to all of that together, added to the total lack of exercise which the problems I had had with my feet had forced on me for three weeks. I had only gone to Matamata to pick up my mattress, having handed over to Father Bernard, at the request of the Vicar Apostolic, when he visited Rangiaowhia, the spiritual care of the faithful who still persevered at Matamata. On the 3rd January I left Matamata with my two natives, and on the 4th arrived with them at Rangiaowhia. A robbery had been committed while I was away; the theft of Father Colin’s seal. I stayed two Sundays at the station to see something of the natives in the main settlement and to encourage them; then, as soon as possible, that is to say, on Saturday 18th January, I set out with two natives to undertake at last, as I had been so impatient to do for a long time, a journey among the distant tribes. Mokau is a huge district scattered with mountains, quite cut up with valleys, rivers and swamps, lightly populated and where the tracks are poorly cleared. I saw the various tribes of Rangitoto, where I performed 29 baptisms, mainly of adults; Whawharua, still obstinately pagan, Te Paripari where there was almost no one; two tribes where I could only travel through, Mania[13] entirely Wesleyan, and the other tribes of Mokau I went through for the first time; Ahipopotea, where I did two adult baptisms, Punihangarua and Motukaramu, where I did no baptisms, but where I confirmed the people in the faith: especially the chief of this last place, Ngature, who had a German Lutheran minister living in his home. In spite of the presence of this preacher who lived there nearly two years, this young chief, whom I found very interesting and very able, always persevered, and still perseveres, with his whole tribe, in the Catholic faith. I then saw Nga Tamahine and Puketui, from where I came back to Te Paripari, and from there to Rangiaowhia, where I arrived on the 2nd March, after six weeks away. It was the longest journey I have made. If I put so much time into this journey, it was (1) because I was held back in several places by heavy rains and floods, and (2) because I was very happy to stay a long time in the main places in order to console the inhabitants for the long periods of neglect they had experienced since Father Séon’s departure, and to strengthen them in the faith and to reanimate their fervour.
The next day, the 3rd of March, I was called in the afternoon to go and minister to a sick man at Pokuru, a two and a half hour journey. As it was on the way to Kawhia, where I very much wanted to go, and I expected that I would need only eight days to do this journey, I thought I could get there and back before the retreat which was going to take place in Tauranga, the letter notifying me of it not having yet arrived. So in going to Pokuru I made up my bundles as if going to Kawhia, and took some books on religious controversy in case I would be attacked by the Wesleyan minister who dominates that area. It would be the first time that a Catholic priest appeared at this harbour. So I left in the evening, and I arrived at Pokuru just in time to minister to and watch die a good old man whom the Bishop had baptised during the previous August. The next day I baptised an adult woman and three little children. I was asked to stay till the next day to bury the man who had died; I gave in to the natives’ wish, being quite happy as well to see them at greater length. The next day, after the burial, the arrival of the chief of the Kawhia district and a group of his people was announced; they soon appeared. This unexpected event forced me to give up the journey to Kawhia at that time and to go back to the mission station, were very soon I was sent Father Baty’s letter calling me to Tauranga for the general retreat. I saw in that circumstance a merciful sign of Providence, and the next day I left for Tauranga with some natives who had to carry some of my things.
When I arrived at Tauranga I found the retreat had already been going a day. Father Baty was the one giving it, and he did it was a lot of conviction. The retreat having come to an end at the beginning of Holy Week, several of us stayed in Tauranga for the Easter celebration. I was among the number with Father Baty’s permission, because I did not have in the Waikato any place where I could get the natives together and appropriately carry out my tasks. The weather having been bad on Easter Monday, I could not leave Tauranga to return to my station until Easter Tuesday, the 25th of March. I got to Rangiaowhia on the 28th March with a good deal of my things, and in particular two new pictures which I had been given to go with the big picture of the Crucifixion. I spent about three weeks at the mission station to arouse of the fervour of the natives in the locality, had some little jobs done at the station, straightened out the property boundary by buying a little strip of land, and urged the natives to work at finishing the chapel that we needed so much. But they were too busy harvesting their crops, which, that year, were extraordinarily abundant. For my part, I set up for myself in my room a little oratory where I started celebrating Mass every day.
Then, the young catechist at Kawhia having come to see me, I took advantage of the opportunity to at last undertake the so much desired journey to this harbour on the coast. We took three days to get there; two of these days were pretty exhausting because of rain and wind. I spent a Sunday there, I counted 35 worshippers. All the other inhabitants at this harbour are Wesleyan and very much attached to their minister and their sect, but they are all Waikato natives, good and friendly. I marked out the site of the chapel, which was not built until much later, and came back. When we got back to the mission station, the Kawhia catechist asked for baptism. As he was informed and well disposed as well, I granted his wish. Some days later I paid a visit to Mangapouri, near Waipa, the home of the Ngati Pou tribe, but, although they received me with civility, they showed no desire to embrace the Catholic faith, and soon I found out that they had declared themselves to be Protestants, and they still are.
At last the natives belonging to the main settlement of the mission area began to board up and cover the chapel in the New Zealand style. It was mainly the Pokuru tribe who carried out this work. After a month, that is, on Sunday the 29th of June, the feast of St Peter, I was able to celebrate Holy Mass in the presence of all the faithful in the new house of God which had just been finished, and, after the holy Sacrifice I baptised a child there. Before the chapel was entirely finished, there took place at Rangiaowhia the great meeting of Te Wherowhero or Potatau and all the natives of Waikato. You would have to have seen the amount of potatoes and eels given to these visiting tribes by the people of Rangiaowhia to have an idea of it. The handing over and distribution of them was done, of course, with all the New Zealand solemnities and ceremonies. During this feast, which lasted about a week, the Protestant European catechist having attacked on the road a Catholic native, a servant of the mission station, and wanting myself to have an opportunity of introducing our holy religion to this great entirely Protestant gathering, I took advantage of this attack by the Protestant minister to go and ask him for an explanation in front of all the natives. I had made, in a prominent place, a sort of diagram of religion since the beginning of the world up to our time by fixing in the ground branches of fern which represented Adam and all the patriarchs up to Moses, then Joshua, the judges, the Kings, the high priests up to Our Lord, then the Apostles, the Popes, and finally the main reformers, Luther, Calvin, Henry VIII, Elizabeth etc. As my adversary had nothing to say about all that, he was seen as completely defeated in the minds of firstly the Catholic natives, and even in the minds of the Protestant natives from Mokau and Maungatautari, Waipa, Whakatereparera and Kihikihi: if the Protestant natives from Waikato gave some support to the Protestant preacher because of a coarse joke he made about the Pope, it was purely party spirit and the fanaticism of heresy which inspired them; everyone agreeing that the Protestant had only been abusive. This meeting took place on 21st June, the feast of St Louis Gonzaga.[14]
The chapel having been finished, I persuaded the natives to surround it with a fence: that was done in the month of July which was very fine that year. I also had a long fence made around the mission station, so as to completely enclose the station's land which was still quite open on that side.
At the beginning of August, having engaged a workman to build a communion rail [15] and a floor in the sanctuary[16] I set out on a journey to Rangitoto. On the 11th of August I performed at Ohinekura, on top of one of the two mountains between which flows the Waipa (Rangitoto) River, 17 baptisms, mostly of adults, and, on the 16th of August, at Whakataratara (Otoru, the other mountain) five other baptisms, four of which were adults and one a child. While I was still at Ohinekura, we heard there the noise of two musket shots fired at Whawharua at Te Rahui, a local man, who was massacred by a man of the same district, because the natives accused him of causing the death of many people through his spells and curses. It was this business which held back in paganism the people of this place up till the end of 1846 and the majority even until July 1848 when Bishop Viard made his episcopal visit there. To return to my journey to Rangitoto in August 1845, I had bad weather almost every day, which in addition to the rising of the rivers prevented me from getting to Rangiaowhia for the feast of the Assumption as I had planned when I left the station and wanted so much to do, in order to bring the sacraments to the tribes of the main settlement.
From my return to the station up to the end of September, I did twenty baptisms, most of which were adults; among others I baptised two people from a Protestant family at Keriaka, which has since become wholly Catholic.
About mid-October, I left with two natives from Pokuru on my second journey to Kawhia, where I baptised the newly born daughter of the chief. From there I made my way to Te Piripiri from Marokopa, in the interior, where I was delighted at the simplicity and goodness of the worshipping natives who were 35 in number. I baptised the wife and son of the young chief Te Wharenui, a very good and very interesting young man: his wife was very good and full of simplicity, although the daughter of Wesleyans (Methodists). Those poor people begged me to send them books and to come back to see them so urgently, that I was remarkably moved with compassion and leaving them like this, alone and without a shepherd, in their forests and mountains.
On my return to the mission station about the 25th October, I performed in different ceremonies eleven baptisms, half of adults and half of children, up till the 28th of November when I left to make the journey to Mokau. On the way I stopped neither at Rangitoto, which I had visited in the month of August, nor at Whawharua, still obstinately pagan; I went straight to Te Paripari, where I did eight baptisms, five of which were adults; from there I made my way to Kahuera, where I did twelve baptisms, of which only one was a child; to Punihangarua, where I did four of them, all of adults; to Motukaramu, to Puketui, where I did two baptisms, one of a child, the other of an adult; finally I came back to Te Paripari, where I baptised another child. I noticed in these various places that after the baptism ceremony these people who were new in the faith, who had never seen any baptism ceremonies nor a Catholic priest carrying out his ministry, wept over the newly baptised for a long time as if they had died.
Hardly had I got back from this journey, on the 20th December, to the main settlement of the mission district, when I was called to go to a place to visit a sick man. Fortunately I decided to do it immediately, and happily he agreed and his parents agreed as well that I should baptise him, because he died during the baptism ceremony at a time when no one expected it; I was even obliged to promptly put forward the pouring of the water.
The celebration of the following Christmas was the most beautiful that had yet been seen at Rangiaowhia, whether in terms of the number of natives, strangers or from the district, in terms of the decoration of the chapel, or in terms of the piety and the number of communions (there were 105 of them); there were also six baptisms, four of adults and two of children.
On the following days, up to the end of the year, almost all the people of Pokuru and some from the main settlement of the mission district were baptised. It was one of the times when I saw the greatest movement towards goodness and piety. On the last day of that year 1845, I went with the people of Pokuru to Oteruahine, so as from there to make a routine visit to Rangitoto. We arrived in the evening at the said place, Oteruahine, and there we began the year 1846.


We were only going through Oteruahine, and, on the 1st January 1846, in the afternoon, I left with my natives for Rangitoto. In the evening, we slept at Manukarere, a totally Protestant tribe. However by chance there happened to be a Catholic man who got me to baptise his son there. The next day I left that place for Whakataratara (Otoru), where we arrived at midday in extreme heat; after a brief rest, we set out again for Pikikuao, where we ate; then, we went down to Waipa and up the other side to Ohinekura, where we spend the Sunday between the Circumcision[17] and Epiphany,[18] and where I announced that in the evening we would all go to Whakataratara to celebrate the latter feast there. We all, in fact, left Ohinekura after Vespers, and we went and spent the night at the already mentioned place. I announced that I would hear confessions the next day: the next day was totally taken up with hearing confessions, which were made with a great deal of faith and piety. On the following day, the feast of the Epiphany, I had 38 communions, which were first communions for most of these newly baptised people. As I was clearing an entirely new piece of ground, I had a lot of difficulty in instructing and preparing these natives.

History of the Rangiaowhia mission station (Waikato) up till the 1st March 1846 continued

January 1846 -- continued.
On the next day, the 7th January, after having baptised two women and a child, I sent the catechist from Ngauhuruhuru, Wakaria Te Hura, to visit the tribes at Whawharua, Te Paripari, and Mokau (Mōkău) as far as Tongaporutu, the last place where there are Catholics near Taranaki. Everywhere he did a lot of good, he strengthened and instructed people in the faith. After having sent him off, I myself left with several natives to go and visit, a few hours’ walk away, the little tribe at Waimahora which I had seen for the first time almost a year before, but which had not the slightest wish in the world to benefit from grace. I was told that it was now better disposed; I left and was already half way there, when I was caught up by a man from the mission station who had come on horseback to fetch me and go back to see a chief who was dying, he said. (That was the first time I saw a messenger on horseback in New Zealand.) So I retraced my steps, and in the evening, at sunset, I left Otoru for Rangiaowhia. It was the height of summer and it was going to be a moonlit night. We took hardly the time to hastily swallow some potatoes: it was impossible for us, during the journey, to get any fire; so we had to arrive the next morning at the mission station, without having eaten. The sick man was not in immediate danger; however, after finding he had deteriorated the following night, I gave him the emergency baptism and on the following Sunday I supplied the ceremonies for him. Two days later I left for Tauranga. I went through Te Hunua, Kaitorenui and Kopu-nui-o-roku, and I came back through Te Wairere, a route which I realised as better and shorter by a day than through Kaitorenui and which for that reason I have always preferred since. I brought with me a French workman who was going to saw the wood for a house for me and then build the house itself.
On my return, I found that my sick man had died a few days after my departure and that the natives were impatiently waiting for me to bury him. As he was a very great chief and a near relative of Potatau and the other principal chiefs of the Waikato, they had come together at Rangiaowhia to pay their last respects to the dead man. Some favoured burying him in the ancient way of the New Zealanders, others wanted to see him buried with the ceremonies and prayers of the Church. A catechist gave me reason to hope that they would allow me to do the burial if I asked the chiefs for it. After he had informed me of this, I went and looked for Potatau and all the old men, his friends, who were talking together, and I said to Potatau: Potatau, give me my dead man: he is mine; I baptised him, and I must bury him. You who know European customs, you have seen in Auckland that the dead are carried into the chapel; that is what must be done for all the dead who have been baptised. So do not be reluctant to leave Peter Te Whareponga (the name of the dead man in question) in the chapel and to let me bury him according to my religion. Those old men agreed immediately. I was told, the next day, to hurry up with the burial, for fear that the relatives would change their minds. It was quite a business carrying him to the chapel: as there were crops on every side near the chapel, and rottenness was flowing from the coffin, the body beginning to decay, in spite of the fact that efforts had been made to stop up all the cracks in the coffin, the old chiefs were saying: Let us be very careful that rottenness does not flow out. In that case the crops and even perhaps the chapel would become tapu.[19] In the event everything went off well, as they wished.
I was forced to stay at the mission station for about three weeks, in other words up to about the 10th of February, to get the sawing going. My time was not quite diverted from spiritual things. In that time I baptised two children and seven adults, one of whom was a sick woman in danger of death, who died after my departure.
When the sawyers were settled into their work, I left to visit of the tribe at Waimahora, whom I was going to visit five weeks before, at the time when I had been called to the sick man. The natives of this tribe were living in a new location called Te Whiti, at the foot of the Rangitoto mountains, a place where they have since settled down. I made my way there and stayed among them for three days and four nights. This time I found them well disposed, and there I baptised four adults and a baby girl. Something happened there which I will remember always. On the day before the baptism ceremony, during the night, I was surprised and even frightened to suddenly hear the savage and raucous voice of a woman calling out in the middle of the silence of the night, and which seemed crazy and even furious: her voice had something terrible about it. I was told that she was the wife of one of the natives who were going to be baptised the following day, who was angry with him because he was getting baptised; she was a Maori tohunga, that is, a priestess of the New Zealand gods, a sorceress; she took on the sound that these tohunga take on when they speak under inspiration; but never had I heard it take on such a strange and frightening aspect. Anyway, I have to say, in defence of this good woman's honour that at the time of another journey I made later to her tribe, she got baptised and that she has never since gone back to her gods and her superstitions, which is rare among these sorts of people.
On the 13th of February I left this tribe to see again on the way the other main tribes of the Rangitoto which I had visited a month before. I stayed a night at Ohinekura, where I could not succeed in persuading a young slave girl to give up an evil trade nor her master to give her in marriage to her accomplice. The natives of that place took me on the same day (I willingly allowed this) to Whawharua to persuade the local people to declare themselves Catholics and, at last, begin [Catholic] worship. So I went and spent Sexagesima Sunday, 15th of February, there, with most of the natives of the Rangitoto.[20] The Whawharua people demonstrated a significant willingness to perform Catholic worship, but at that time did not want to commit themselves absolutely. They wanted to wait until they had been freed from the difficulties caused by the people who had come from various tribes, related to the sorcerer they had put to death a few months earlier. They kept their word later. We left Whawharua on Monday morning to come back in humid weather which made the journey very difficult, the route from that place to Rangitoto being entirely made of ups and downs. Having reached a hilltop, we found a native from Rangiaowhia who was coming to bring me a letter. I opened it, and was really astonished to see that it was signed by Bishop Viard, Bishop of Orthosia. His Lordship, without any other explanation, was asking me to go into meet him as soon as possible at Tauranga. Soon we arrived at Te Piripiri, the home of the chief of the Rangitoto. We were dropping with exhaustion, and the rain began: it became considerable, it lasted all that day and all the next day. While waiting until the potatoes for dinner were cooked, the chief's wife served me some Maori wine, called tutu in the New Zealand language; it is a very sweet liquid, refreshing and nourishing, the colour of a wine that is dark rather than red, which never has any heady vapours; but it must be prepared with great care; otherwise, if the pips of the little clusters of berries are left in it, this liquid becomes a very powerful poison. I have heard of several illnesses since I have been in New Zealand. While I was at that place, several people asked me for baptism, but having examined them, I found that they knew nothing and was obliged to delay their baptism. I gave the sacrament of regeneration only to a boy who died some time after. On Wednesday I left the Rangitoto to return to the station where I arrived the same day, the rivers not yet having flooded, because of the long preceding drought.
I could not leave on Thursday, both because of tiredness and several matters which I had to fix up with the natives. But we got underway on Friday morning with some natives from the mission who wanted to see the new Bishop, the first priest at Matamata, he who had formerly given them the first Catholic prayer books, now become a Bishop. We didn't get to Otumoetai until after three days, at the moment when his Lordship was readying himself to go on board his ship to leave Tauranga. After I had the happiness of paying my respects to the Bishop, he was anxious to talk at length to me. I then found out from his Lordship what had happened; the departure of Bishop Pompallier for Europe and Bishop Viard's own promotion to the episcopate to govern the Church in New Zealand after Bishop Pompallier's departure. The next day, early in the morning, Father Bernard and I went to accompany his Lordship on board; his ship left Tauranga harbour immediately and two days afterwards I also left Tauranga to go back to Rangiaowhia, where I arrived in three days.
That is it, for what is mainly the history of the spiritual side of the Rangiaowhia mission station in the Waikato. As for the material side, it has had absolutely no resources during this whole period. And even now, after several years, except for a garden which provides some vegetables it still has none. The natives do absolutely nothing and are not inclined to do anything for the priest who lives in their midst. On the contrary, the priest has, absolutely, to do everything for them when they are ill, to give them medicine without charge (the most common and most simple are meant here, he has no other) sugar, and other forms of relief, and even sometimes to help them without charge when they are well. The upshot of this is, that if help from the [Society of the] Propagation of the Faith failed today, the Waikato station would collapse immediately. And I see no immediate reason for hope from the natives’ side. It has been like this since the beginning of the station and it is still the same now in 1850. Here, as in all of New Zealand, the natives would not lift a straw from the ground for nothing, neither for us nor for others, perhaps even less for us than for others. They could, all the same, do something.
May Jesus Christ be praised.
Honour [be given] to Blessed Mary ever Virgin, Mother of God.
History of the mission station

Facts omitted

1844. See [14]

Discussion in English, in October.
It was about that time that a young Irishman, well brought up, who lived with the family, also Irish, in the former pa of Raroera, brought to my attention, through Borel, the Frenchman who was working for me, that Mr Morgan, the Anglican catechist in the district, wanted to have a discussion with me in English in front of the Europeans.[21] I should have replied to Borel: let Mr Morgan write to me about what he wants, and I will then see what I must say to him in reply; right now, it is not appropriate for me to respond to an indirect invitation.
But I did not think of that. I replied that as according to St Peter[22] a Christian ought always be ready to give an account of his faith, I was quite ready to give an account of mine; but however, to do this in a better and more appropriate way, I asked for a week's preparation. My adversary accepted, but looked for an excuse to break off the discussion. He laid down as an essential condition that both of us would only bring arguments drawn from Holy Scripture. I said in reply that I left him the possibility of bringing whatever arguments he wanted and drawn from wherever he wished, but that I wanted to have the same possibility, and that I didn't want a discussion based on Sacred Scripture only, because such a discussion would be logically interminable. He persisted; I replied that by refusing my conditions which were just and reasonable he was acknowledging that he had a bad case. I again had reason to write various notes to him through the same young man as an intermediary, which ended up overwhelming this unfortunate man who barely knew how to write and even not to read very well. The matter rested there.

1848. See [17]

Disappointed to see that good was not being done because of the lack of a chapel and that those who had been baptised remained deprived of the sacraments, I began to hear confessions in my little oratory, and most of the baptised came to the sacrament. On Ascension Day, I gave a few natives their First Communion. On the holy day of Pentecost I had many communions, as well as on the following Sundays: they were almost all First Communions. In this way the natives gradually developed a taste for the frequentation of the sacraments, and that piety went on growing in the Mass. Several people came from a distance to have such a blessing.

1845 See [22]

On Saturday 4th of October, Mohi Tuhinete,[23] a catechist from Pokura and certainly one of the best Catholics in the island came to the mission station with a Maori translation of Exodus which Mr Morgan had told him to show me, about the commandments of God, of which, he claimed, the Roman Church had suppressed the first. It was the second time in a week that this heretic had attacked this young man in this way on the same matter. To settle the matter for good, I decided to play a trick -- and to get it ready secretly, so he could not sneak out of it. I spoke about it to Mohi and to some others among the best catechists, recommending them not to speak about it. Early on Monday morning I left with them, being careful to take books and food, and we went to Mr Morgan’s house to ask him up for an explanation in his own home. When we arrived he had not yet got up; we waited a good while, at last, he appeared. He wanted to deal with the matter in a few words at the door, but I told him in front of the natives that the subject was too big to be dealt with like that, that he was the one who had provoked an explanation and that he would receive it in public. He then invited me to breakfast with him, I thanked him and told him that I had brought something to eat, that he should make haste to eat, so that we had time to talk. He was forced to give in. He made us wait a long time. At last, about ten o'clock, he called us into his living room. His wife left the door of his bedroom half open all day so as to hear what was said. I said simply an Our Father and a Hail Mary with my natives; Mr Morgan improvised a prayer which made all of us, my young Catholics and I, burst with laughter in secret. It was agreed that we would each speak for ten minutes and alternately. I gave him the right to speak first. I took the approach, throughout that day, every time he quoted Holy Scripture to me, of saying in reply that the meaning he gave to this or that passage was wrong, that Holy Scripture was not his possession, that he had nothing to do with it, that God had not given him either the meaning or the words of that book, that it was the Catholic Church that had written it, interpreted it, handed it on, and preached it, for several centuries before there was a single Protestant in the world, that it alone had the right to quote from that book, to interpret it, etc; that he was a foreigner, without commission, without authority, a bastard (poriro) even (you can say that in Maori); all day I did almost nothing but repeat that in different ways and forms. As he could say nothing in reply to that, he was forced to avoid the issues and change the subject; his natives saw that themselves, and in shame, left one after the other: only one stayed till the end. My Catholics, on the other hand, listened until the evening, even some new ones turned up on hearing a rumour of what was going on. They asked that we should continue on the following days so as to deal with all the suggested subjects: but my adversary replied that the natives were too busy to come and that was that. He stayed quiet for some time.
Rangiaowhia 14 February 1850
Rangiaowhia 6 April 1850
Father Superior
To give you a complete idea of the story of the Waikato station, I finish with a summary of the spiritual and temporal aspects from the beginning of the station up to now.


Years 1841, 1842, 1843 under Father Séon

Belonging to the present station of Rangiaowhia (Waikato), 68 baptisms of children or adults. (Not included in this number are the baptisms of people whose districts have been combined since.)

(1844 to the station at Tauranga)

13 marriages of people in the present Waikato station.

1844 (Year when the mission station was moved to Rangiaowhia)

Baptisms done by Bishop Pompallier during his pastoral visit. 127 baptisms.
Baptisms done by Father Pézant, in charge of the station. 26 baptisms.
Marriages performed by Bishop Pompallier. 4 marriages.
Marriages performed by Father Pézant. 8 marriages.
Confirmations done by Bishop Pompallier. 145 confirmations.


Baptisms done by Father Pézant. 151
Marriages performed by the same. 22


Baptisms done by Father Pézant. 150
Marriages performed by the same. 11


Baptisms done by Father Pézant, or by the New Zealand catechists. 80 (I only baptised, that year, especially towards the end of the year, people who were in some need of receiving the sacrament of regeneration, because I was waiting for the Bishop's visit, which did not take place until the following year)
Marriages done by the same. 11

1848 (Year of the Episcopal visit of the Bishop of Orthosia)

Baptisms done by Bishop Viard, Bishop of Orthosia. 323
Baptisms done by Father Pézant, or by the New Zealand catechists. 88
Marriages performed by Bishop Viard. 94
Marriages performed by Father Pézant. 27
Confirmations done by Bishop Viard. 577


Baptisms done by Father Pézant, all by the New Zealand catechists. 85
Marriages performed by the same. 19

1850 up to 6th April

Baptisms done by Father Pézant. 12 baptisms, all of children except two.
Marriages performed by the same. 2
From the beginning of the station in September up till the 6 April 1850

of which 878 still are living; all who are roughly old enough to go to confession, Communion etc


There are roughly 155 people who are not baptised but who generally attend worship; in all about 1033 in the Waikato station.

Total of marriages in the station (up to now)

Total confirmations

I was wrong not to preserve the summary of confessions and Communions, but Bishop Viard has all of that and he is sending it to you, I think.


A quite poor establishment at Matamata; even the chapel, quite poor as it was, could not be finished until near the end of the year or the beginning of the following year. Purchase of about a third of an acre of land.
Payment to the natives for this land. Extreme poverty of Father Séon at Matamata.
Transfer of the mission station from Matamata to Rangiaowhia (Rangiaowhia, as operating fairly strongly the ‘h’); a day and a half from Matamata in the interior of the country and three days from Tauranga, the neighbouring seaport, by Father Pézant, recently posted to this station in the Waikato, with the authorisation of Bishop Pompallier (for the transfer of the station).
Temporary establishment, that is, presbytery and framework for the chapel, at Rangiaowhia (Waikato).
The finishing of the temporary chapel by the natives. Some work done in the presbytery.
Sawing of some of the wood needed for the construction of a more durable presbytery. Near the end of the year, completion of this sawing, with the authorisation of Bishop Pompallier, for the first and greater part of the wood.
With the permission of Bishop Viard and the funds allocated by his Lordship, the construction of the presbytery in wood, begun in March and continued during all the rest of this year.
On the 9th of January, completion of the presbytery: four bedrooms, one dining room and an attic [grenier]. Here there is the advantage of not needing a cellar and being removed from opportunities for drunkenness.
In June of the same year, at the natives’ request, permission from his Lordship the Bishop of Orthosia [Bishop Viard] to build a very fine chapel in wood, to decorate the interior with carvings and other works in the style of the New Zealanders. These works are very beautiful, when they want to put effort into them. Consent from the natives to collect among them for the expenses of this chapel.
On the 15th of August, the feast of the Assumption of our good mother, I receive the first money from the natives, and by Christmas Day I have received in all from them 35 pounds sterling, that is, 875 francs. I am basing all the plans of the future chapel on the one in Tauranga, and am adding a lot of interior decorations to it.
The collection goes on all the year and it provides roughly as much. In April, I called two French seamen from Tauranga to saw the wood. This work begins and goes on for the rest of the year. It costs me a lot of work and difficulty to get the natives to cut down, trim and move the trees to the sawpit. I do a bit of axeman's work all year, because they need to be taught by both word and example, and often I have had moved by 30, 40, 60, 80 and even 100 natives, the enormous blocks of wood to the sawpits. This whole year has gone by in this way. Even ministry suffered a bit, but it was made up: the Easter celebrations were quite edifying -- I was moved to tears.
The sawing goes on and will be finished, I hope, in six weeks or two months; but unfortunately then we will be in winter. As well, the news has come, about the middle of March, that Bishop Pompallier has been at Sydney since the ninth of February, and Bishop Viard has already written to me to tell me to leave the station straight after Easter and to get myself to Auckland to go together with his Lordship and some confrères to the south of the island at Port Nicholson. I received the Bishop's letter on the evening of Good Friday.
Sic vos non vobis… mellificatis, aves.

Sic vos non vobis nidificatis, aves. Sic vos non vobis aedificatis… [And so you, O bees, make honey, but not for yourselves, And so you, O birds, make nests, but not for yourselves, And you build, not for yourselves... -- a proverbial statement attributed to Virgil the Roman poet – C Girard note].

I have written to his Lordship to point out to him that I am quite taken up with the business of sawing and that I cannot leave until it is finished. But, if the Bishop insists, I will really have to try to get myself out of it and to leave everything in order to obey. So,
without drum, without trumpet,
without oboe, nor musette,
fife nor clarinet

I will take off down the west coast, on foot, inasmuch as I am free to, and will make my way to Port Nicholson, having visited many tribes on the way through. I have been six full years in the Waikato, and I admit that it will cost me a lot to separate myself from my good neophytes.

10th April 1850
The station is almost completely baptised; there remain only about 155 people unbaptised, scattered here and there and lost in the masses of faithful; about 20 in the main settlement, 10 somewhere else, one in this tribe, two in that one, three in this other one, four in this other one etc. And, if such a great number of them remain, it's because the difficulties that arise out of my isolation prevent visits being made to the distance tribes as often as I would like. Because in all these visits, apart from giving the sacraments to the newly baptised, I always have, as well, a good number of baptisms of adults.
Our neophytes, once baptised, are not all saints: there are a good number, even, who give up worship and never approach the sacraments. There are others who always attend worship and who give rise to great scandals, for example, who take back one or several of their wives whom they abandoned at baptism or who fall into other great disorders against morals. But it needs to be remembered that these people are quite new in the faith, that they were quite recently polygamous and very immoral, that they are still exposed to frequent occasions of offending God by their nakedness (that is, their ragged way of dressing which easily lets everything be seen) and their wandering way of living, that they are witnesses to many scandals; and all the same I notice with consolation that all of that is being put right in due time, with the exception perhaps of the sin of renewed polygamy (and isn't concubinage, in European countries, a very difficult vice to root out?). There are even some of them who, having been baptised, confirmed, made their first confession and received holy Communion, have become Protestants, because these people live among Protestants, mix with Protestants, are related to, or allied with or dependent on Protestants, because the Protestants having come first, have gained moral influence, inasmuch as they come from the nation that governs the country, that they have this government for themselves, they have well produced books, they speak the language well etc. Then, these defections come from people who are more fickle than others, endowed with little judgment, strange or a little difficult in character; over inconsiderable things, little annoyances, antipathies between relatives, sometimes over causes of discontent which they believe have been the fault of the priest etc... These people are children, and they are often scandalised, really like children; you have to take care of them like children, calm them down, console them, again and again hunt them out, urge them to return to the Christian duties and bring them back; sometimes pretend, especially at the start of the defections, not to care about them, to abandon them, and then, after this first bout of stupidity has passed, when they are seen to be ashamed, visit them, and, sometimes through a great deal of effort (which is done for the love of God and out of consideration for children) you succeed in bringing back these straying sheep; then, little by little they set out again on the right way and do better than ever. Sometimes you have to overwhelm them with shame to get them to look at themselves, to burden them with deserved reproaches. Then overwhelmed, brought low, these people give in, if not at first because of a remnant of self love, at least soon. The others have to be caught through gentleness and tenderness. People are the same everywhere. I see that almost all of these apostates come back. They do not care about feast days: no outward worship, no confession; for Communion, a piece of bread, that mouthful of wine, without ceremony, without anything that speaks to the heart, all that sort of thing kills them; they stop attending Protestant worship. There is hardly anything but the shame of returning to overcome; it is not, in fact, glorious. The faithful Catholics make fun of them, have them on.[24] So help them to overcome this unpleasant shame; try to visit them and you will have them back. It is a common saying here that the Catholics who become Protestants die, that is, they are punished with death by the good God, and there are many examples of former Catholics who, having become Protestants before there was a priest here, died suddenly or miserably at least. It was the natives who noticed that and drew it to my attention; one day they counted them in my presence. Truth convinces hearts here as it does everywhere; the faith is deep and ineffaceable: Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret ["You may suppress nature with punishment, nevertheless it will return" -- a proverb of the Roman writer Horace. Underneath naturam Pézant wrote fidem – C Girard footnote]; it penetrates everywhere, even in these apostates, and that is what brings them back sooner or later. Truth convinces minds, it is only the passions which lead hearts astray. But faith remains.
Our newly baptised people love confession very much; when I go and visit the tribes, everyone goes to confession: children, old people, men, women; I have no time to breathe, in view of the short space of time I can stay in each little place. On feast days I have a lot to do here; I need several days to hear all my people, I have absolutely no time for myself. These poor people come to Communion with great simplicity and faith. But there is little observable devotion; they are people who are slow to show emotion and stolid, with little imagination. They are, therefore, firmer in faith than they seem, but nevertheless quite edifying. Generally they are steadfast in the faith, in spite of all the dangers of their situation. Our catechists are well enough informed to confound the Protestant ministers: they are very attached to our holy religion. So how great a grace it is to be born in the bosom of the true Church! God could never be thanked enough for it. But heresy needs to be seen close at hand, to be heard, its works and thinking to be observed, to better appreciate the gift of the true faith. I would have a lot to say about Protestants and Protestantism, unfortunately I have no more room. I will only say that here Catholics, heretics and pagans can be known by nothing more than their appearance. Catholics have a calm appearance, an open look, simple and honest; pagans look stiff and severe, Protestants, especially the most committed and zealous, look fierce, and as Erasmus said about the first reformers, they look like people who had just been concocting dark plots among themselves, and, I dare to say, people who had just killed a man. I say that especially about the new districts, new for us and old for the Protestants. Generally the Protestant natives of the Waikato are an exception. You can easily see that they do not have in them the spirit whose fruits are faith, goodness, love, kindness, gentleness, peace etc etc. These last, in our opinion, are violent people unbelievable in their fanaticism. I would have some strange things to mention.


  1. a pā of the Ngati Hinetu tribe, now abandoned – C Girard footnote
  2. celui -- above, he has said there were two natives from Matamata -- translator’s note
  3. maoris of tobacco -- tobacco at this time was used as currency among many Maoris, so a maori of tobacco must have been some generally acceptable amount -- translator’s note
  4. Te Rahopera, according to David Simmons, or Te Rahu, according to Fr Noel Delaney – C Girard footnote
  5. il fallait me longer – should be il fallait me loger? - translator’s note
  6. Te Waero according to Fr Noel Delaney – C Girard footnote
  7. Te Wherowhero, an important Waikato chief, who after a series of meetings in 1857 and 1858 was proclaimed king of the Maoris in the North Island, under the name of Pototau I – C Girard note
  8. According to the new Catholic Encyclopaedia: 13:p692d, the feast of the finding of the body of St Stephen by the priest Lucian – circa 415 -- was celebrated in the Latin Church on August 3rd from about the 10th century, though since 1955 it has no longer been a feast for the universal Church of the Roman rite - translator’s note
  9. this 'which' applies to the original deed and not the copy – C Girard note
  10. l’espace de deux jours et demi de pays -- the expression seems to describe the time it took to get from Te Tumu to Auckland, rather than from Tuakau to Auckland -- translator’s note
  11. William Fairburn had been a CMS lay missionary in New Zealand since 1823. In 1843 he was put in charge of the Anglican mission station at Otahuhu, and this was no doubt where Pézant met him in 1844 – C Girard note
  12. comme aux protestants
  13. Maniapoto abbreviated -- translator’s note
  14. now more commonly known as Aloysius Gonzaga -- translator’s note
  15. balustrade
  16. of the chapel -- translator’s note
  17. January 1st -- translator’s note
  18. January 6th -- translator’s note
  19. 'tapu' in its secondary sense of 'forbidden' -- translator’s note
  20. In the pre-1970 Church calendar, Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima Sundays were the last three Sundays before Ash Wednesday -- translator’s note
  21. John Morgan (1806/7?-1865), born in Ireland a CMS missionary, was in charge of the Anglican mission station at Otawhao from 1841 to 1863. He encouraged agriculture among the Maoris in his area. Present at the enthronement of the Maori King Potatau Te Wherowhero, he became aware of the nationalist and independence seeking movement among the Maori, against which he strove to help the colonial government – C Girard note
  22. 1 Peter 3:15
  23. Mohi is the Maori form of the name Moses
  24. ? les goaillent