Topic: Barrett Street/Road (TDN 23/04/2011)

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Barrett Street  

At 16, Richard (Dicky) Barrett was a crew member aboard a trading vessel.  By the time he was 20 Barrett was first mate and shareholder in the 60 ton schooner "Adventure" along with Captain, John Agar (Jacky) Love. 

In February 1828, a local rangatira, Te Wharepouri and his crew approached the "Adventure" off the North Taranaki Coast.  Wharepouri convinced Love to sail into Ngāmotu to collect a cargo of muka (flax fibre) and pigs.  After gaining the trust of local iwi, Barrett (Tiki Pareti) and Love (Hakirau) were presented with high born wives.  Barrett's wife was Wakaiwa/Rawinia.  They married first in 1828, and again in a Wesleyan marriage ceremony at Ngāmotu on 28 March 1841. 

They had three daughters Caroline, Mary Ann, who died, aged 8 years, and Sarah.  Caroline and Sarah married the Honeyfield brothers James and William. 

Using their three small cannon, in February 1832, Barrett, Love, and shipmates helped Te Ātiawa successfully defend Otaka Pa against Waikato.  The battle left many unsettled and expecting fierce reprisals from Waikato, survivors including Barrett, decided to leave Ngāmotu, in 1833, in what was known as Te Heke Paukena.

On the 15 February, 1840, nine days after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, a small group of Māori at Ngamotu signed a deed of sale surrendering their lands to the New Zealand Company.  Barrett, whose command of the Māori language was believed to be poor, translated the deed.  Chiefs who in most cases had little direct connection to the land in question, signed the document in the absence of owners.  The full implication of the New Zealand Company's purchase, crafted by Colonel William Wakefield, became apparent when settlers began arriving in large numbers, most with promises of land. 

On the 24 October, 1840, Barrett opened a hotel in Wellington known as Barrett's.  Barrett returned to Ngāmotu, from Wellington, in February 1841, on board the Brougham with Carrington's survey party, which was to layout the town of New Plymouth. 

Later in 1843, Barrett and three stockmen drove 70 head of cattle from Wellington to New Plymouth.  Barrett retired to his Moturoa whaling station at Ngamotu in 1844 and was hurt in 1846, when a whale he harpooned struck his boat with its tail.  Although he didn't appear badly injured, he never recovered.  Barrett passed away on 23 February, 1847, aged 40 years.  His wife Rawinia died two years later, on the 12 February, 1849, aged 38 years, they are buried at Waitapu Urupa in Moturoa.

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Barrett Street/Road (TDN 23/04/2011) by Christine Nana is Copyright Act 1994