The attention of the Hauhaus was turned first to the south; but, at Otaki, Hadfield's influence once more availed to save the settlement, and to block the road to Wellington. Some months later, however, a second attack was made on Wanganui, and the crisis brought out the magnificent heroism of another of Selwyn's old students, "John Williams" Hipango.
Within fifty miles of Wellington was Rauparaha, who, had he appealed to his race, could probably have mustered a force strong enough to loot and burn the town. Some wondered why he did not; perhaps Hadfield's influence amongst his tribe supplied the answer.
The crafty Rauparaha, fearing a terrific act of vengeance on the part of the white men, resolved to forestall any such danger by driving them out of the country. He felt certain of his own Ngatitoas, but between them and Wellington lay Waikanae, where Hadfield's influence was strong, and where Wiremu Kingi, the father-in-law of Ripahau, was chief. To Waikanae accordingly he steered his boat.
Its population was small and had been greatly reduced by Rauparaha, but the readiness of the people was great, if we may judge from one of the most pathetic passages from the old Maori days. The events relate to a time a little later than that of those already described, but they must look back to the early days of Hadfield's residence at Kapiti.
Hadfield's staunch ally, Wiremu Kingi te Rangitaake, had, in 1848, carried his tribe back to Taranaki, where his ancestral possessions lay, and he too kept aloof from the movement.