From the Hawera & Normanby Star, 8 September 1885.
Great consternation was caused in Waitara this morning by seeing our energetic police officer, Constable Day, hurrying with great speed towards the river, getting into one of the boats in less than half-a-minute, and pulling into the middle of the river, where, for nearly three-quarters of an hour, he was busily engaged with a 20-foot pole, evidently trying to pick up the body or bodies of some unfortunates.
Quite a crowd was gathered on the banks of the river (consisting of one Maori woman and her little white dog), who were anxiously watching the course of events.
After diligently working until all efforts to hook anything were found to be utterly useless, the officer pulled to shore, and then we heard what fearful accident had happened. It appears that one of our citizens was met by a Maori named Rona, who told him that a black boy and white boy were drowned in the river. He immediately went for the police. But it seems that the native not being able to talk English, and our citizen not being able to understand Maori, things got mixed ; for what the Maori told the white man was that his whitebait net had fallen into the river, and that he had asked some white boys to watch and see if it was washed up !