When the Wesleyan missionaries transferred their operations from Whangaroa on the east coast to Hokianga on the west, they seem to have taken it for granted that the whole of the west coast was to be reserved for them, while the east was to be the sphere of the Church. But the physical features of the island were opposed to such an arrangement.
The one which killed him went through his throat. As soon as he fell all his followers fled, leaving about nine of their companions dead on the field, amongst whom was Oro, the chief who commenced our Whangaroa robbing. This ended the contest.
Stormy weather delayed the progress of the brig and brought much misery to those on board. Three weeks passed before the New Zealand coast was sighted, but Saturday, December 17th, brought the travellers opposite to Tasman's "Three Kings," and on the following Tuesday they were off the harbour of Whangaroa, where the remains of the Boyd still lay.
Some go and come between Auckland and Grahamstown, or Coromandel, in the Hauraki Gulf; others go to Tauranga, the Bay of Plenty, Napier, Wellington, and the South Island; one or two go northward to Mahurangi, Whangarei, the Bay of Islands, Whangaroa, and Mongonui.
In the face of hardship, insult, and plunder, the work went on. A schooner, the Herald, was built in the Bay of Islands to act as messenger and carrier between the missionary stations, which pleasant oases in the desert of barbarism began to dot the North Island from Whangaroa as far south as Rotorua among the Hot Lakes. By 1838 there were thirteen of them.
Tarore's copy was not the only one that found its way into the wild southern lands. Hence it was that Marsden's last visit bore the aspect of a triumphal progress. Landing at the Wesleyan station on the Hokianga River at the end of February, he was received with the utmost joy by the missionaries, who remembered his constant kindness to them, especially at the time of their flight from Whangaroa.
The immense piles of sawn timber lying here give to us new-chums some notion of the vast timber-trade of Northern New Zealand, especially since we learn that much which goes to the South Island and elsewhere is shipped direct from Whangaroa, Hokianga, the Kaipara, and other ports in the north.
The late plundering of the missionaries at Whangaroa was a peculiar circumstance, which might have happened even in civilised Europe, had the seat of war approached so near their place of residence. If their houses and chapel had been on the plains of Waterloo during the June of 1815 they would not have experienced a better fate.
In the worst of times no missionary's life was taken. The Wesleyans at Whangaroa did indeed, in 1827, lose all but life. But the sack of their station was but an instance of the law of Muru. Missionaries were then regarded as Hongi's dependants. When he was wounded they were plundered, as he himself was more than once when misfortune befel him.
The presents which he carried home, and the house built for him by Governor King upon his island, excited the envy of his neighbours, who eventually found a way to compass his destruction by means of the Europeans themselves. Te Pahi happened to be at Whangaroa when the Boyd was captured in 1809, and he did his best to save some of the crew from the terrible slaughter that followed.