Treaty of Waitangi
Overview
 
The Treaty of Waitangi (Māori
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

: Tiriti o Waitangi) is a treaty
Treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

 first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown
The Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

 and various Māori chiefs from the North Island
North Island
The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island is in area, making it the world's 14th-largest island...

 of New Zealand.

The Treaty established a British Governor of New Zealand, recognised Māori ownership of their lands and other properties, and gave the Māori the rights of British subjects. The English and Māori
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

 versions of the Treaty differed significantly, so there is no consensus as to exactly what was agreed to.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
The Treaty of Waitangi (Māori
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

: Tiriti o Waitangi) is a treaty
Treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

 first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown
The Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

 and various Māori chiefs from the North Island
North Island
The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island is in area, making it the world's 14th-largest island...

 of New Zealand.

The Treaty established a British Governor of New Zealand, recognised Māori ownership of their lands and other properties, and gave the Māori the rights of British subjects. The English and Māori
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

 versions of the Treaty differed significantly, so there is no consensus as to exactly what was agreed to. From the British point of view, the Treaty gave Britain sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 over New Zealand, and gave the Governor
Governor-General of New Zealand
The Governor-General of New Zealand is the representative of the monarch of New Zealand . The Governor-General acts as the Queen's vice-regal representative in New Zealand and is often viewed as the de facto head of state....

 the right to govern the country. Māori believed they ceded to the Crown a right of governance in return for protection, without giving up their authority to manage their own affairs. After the initial signing at Waitangi, copies of the Treaty were taken around New Zealand and over the following months many other chiefs signed. In total there are nine copies of the Treaty of Waitangi including the original signed on 6 February 1840. Around 500 chiefs, including at least 13 females, signed the Treaty of Waitangi.

Until the 1970s, the Treaty was generally ignored by both the courts and parliament
Parliament of New Zealand
The Parliament of New Zealand consists of the Queen of New Zealand and the New Zealand House of Representatives and, until 1951, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The House of Representatives is often referred to as "Parliament".The House of Representatives usually consists of 120 Members of...

, although it was usually depicted in New Zealand history
History of New Zealand
The history of New Zealand dates back at least 700 years to when it was discovered and settled by Polynesians, who developed a distinct Māori culture centred on kinship links and land. The first European explorer to discover New Zealand was Abel Janszoon Tasman on 13 December 1642...

 as a generous act on the part of the Crown. From at least the 1860s, Māori have looked to the Treaty for rights and remedies for land loss and unequal treatment by the state, with little success. From the late 1960s Māori began drawing attention to breaches of the Treaty, and subsequent histories have emphasised problems with its translation. In 1975 the Waitangi Tribunal
Waitangi Tribunal
The Waitangi Tribunal is a New Zealand permanent commission of inquiry established under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975...

 was established as a permanent commission of inquiry tasked with researching breaches of the Treaty by the Crown or its agents, and suggesting means of redress.

Today it is generally considered the founding document of New Zealand as a nation. Despite this, the Treaty is often the subject of heated debate. Many Māori feel that the Crown did not fulfill its obligations under the Treaty, and have presented evidence of this before sittings of the Tribunal. Non-Māori New Zealanders have suggested that Māori may be abusing the Treaty in order to claim "special privileges". The Crown, in most cases, is not obliged to act on the recommendations of the Tribunal but nonetheless in many instances has accepted that it breached the Treaty and its principles. Settlements
Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlements
Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlements have been a significant feature of New Zealand race relations and politics since 1975. Over the last 30 years, New Zealand governments have increasingly provided formal legal and political opportunity for Māori to seek redress for breaches by the Crown of...

 to date have consisted of hundreds of millions of dollars in cash and assets, as well as apologies.

The date of the signing has been celebrated as a national holiday
New Zealand Day Act 1973
The New Zealand Day Act 1973 made the sixth of February a public holiday in New Zealand. The day had been known for some time as Waitangi Day and commemorated the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. In 1960 the first Waitangi Day Act was passed enabling any area of the country to substitute a...

, now called Waitangi Day
Waitangi Day
Waitangi Day commemorates a significant day in the history of New Zealand. It is a public holiday held each year on 6 February to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document, on that date in 1840.-History:...

, since 1974.

Background

Early in the 19th century, Māori were perturbed by the behaviour and intentions of traders, whalers and sealers who had come to the country, especially in the Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is an area in the Northland Region of the North Island of New Zealand. Located 60 km north-west of Whangarei, it is close to the northern tip of the country....

. The introduction of muskets devastated the Māori population in a series of Musket Wars
Musket Wars
The Musket Wars were a series of five hundred or more battles mainly fought between various hapū , sometimes alliances of pan-hapū groups and less often larger iwi of Māori between 1807 and 1842, in New Zealand.Northern tribes such as the rivals Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Whātua were the first to obtain...

 in the early 19th century. In 1831, thirteen chiefly rangatira
Rangatira
Rangatira are the hereditary Māori leaders of hapū, and were described by ethnologists such as Elsdon Best as chieftains . Ideally, rangatira were people of great practical wisdom who held authority on behalf of the tribe and maintained boundaries between a tribe's land and that of other tribes...

 from the far north
Far North District
The Far North District of New Zealand, as its name suggests, is the northernmost district within New Zealand, consisting of the northern tip of the North Island. The current mayor is Wayne Brown.-Geography:...

 of the country met at Kerikeri
Kerikeri
Kerikeri, the largest town in the Northland Region of New Zealand, is a popular tourist destination about three hours drive north of Auckland, and 80 km north of Whangarei...

 to compose a letter to King William IV
William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death...

 asking for help to guard their lands. Specifically, the chiefs sought protection from the French, "the tribe of Marion"
Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne
Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne , with the surname sometimes spelt Dufresne, was a French explorer who made important discoveries in the south Indian Ocean, in Tasmania and in New Zealand, where he died...

, and it is the first known plea for British intervention, written by Māori. In response, the British Government sent James Busby
James Busby
James Busby is widely regarded as the "father" of the Australian wine industry, as he took the first collection of vine stock from Spain and France to Australia. Later he become a British Resident who traveled to New Zealand, involved in the drafting of the Declaration of the Independence of New...

 in 1832 to be the British Resident in New Zealand. In 1834 Busby drafted a document known as the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand which he and 35 northern Māori chiefs signed at Waitangi on 28 October 1835, establishing those chiefs as representatives of a proto-state under the title of the "United Tribes of New Zealand
United Tribes of New Zealand
The United Tribes of New Zealand was a loose confederation of Māori tribes based in the north of the North Island.- History :The confederation was convened in 1834 by British Resident James Busby...

". This document was not well received by the Colonial Office
Colonial Office
Colonial Office is the government agency which serves to oversee and supervise their colony* Colonial Office - The British Government department* Office of Insular Affairs - the American government agency* Reichskolonialamt - the German Colonial Office...

 in Britain, and it was decided that a new policy for New Zealand was needed as a corrective.

From May to July 1836, Royal Navy officer Captain William Hobson
William Hobson
Captain William Hobson RN was the first Governor of New Zealand and co-author of the Treaty of Waitangi.-Early life:...

, under instruction from Sir Richard Bourke
Richard Bourke
General Sir Richard Bourke, KCB was Governor of the Colony of New South Wales, Australia between 1831 and 1837.-Early life and career:...

, visited New Zealand to investigate claims of lawlessness in its settlements. Hobson recommended in his report that British sovereignty be established over New Zealand, in small pockets similar to the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

 in Canada. Hobson's report was forwarded to the Colonial Office. From April to May 1837, the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 held a select committee into the "State of the Islands of New Zealand". The New Zealand Association (later the New Zealand Company), missionaries and Royal Navy all made submissions to the committee. The committee recommended a treaty be concluded with Māori.

Historian Claudia Orange
Claudia Orange
Dame Claudia Joseph Orange, DNZM, OBE is a New Zealand historian. She is best known for her book The Treaty of Waitangi, which was derived from her PhD thesis and published in 1987. It was highly successful by the standards of non-rugby related New Zealand history...

 claims that the Colonial Office had initially planned a "Māori New Zealand" in which European settlers would be accommodated, but by 1839 had shifted to "a settler New Zealand in which a place had to be kept for Māori" due to pressure from the New Zealand Company which hurriedly dispatched the Tory to New Zealand on 12 May 1839 (arriving in Port Nicholson (Wellington) on 20 September 1839 to purchase land) and plans by French Captain Jean François L'Anglois for a French colony in Akaroa
Akaroa
Akaroa is a village on Banks Peninsula in the Canterbury region of the South Island of New Zealand, situated within a harbour of the same name—the name Akaroa is Kāi Tahu Māori for 'Long Harbour'.- Overview :...

.

On 15 June 1839 new Letters Patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 were issued to expand the territory of New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

 to include the entire territory of New Zealand, from latitude 34° South to 47° 10’ South, and from longitude 166° 5’ East to 179° East. Governor of New South Wales George Gipps
George Gipps
Sir George Gipps was Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Australia, for eight years, between 1838 and 1846. His governorship was during a period of great change for New South Wales and Australia, as well as for New Zealand, which was administered as part of New South Wales for much of this...

 was appointed Governor over New Zealand. This was the first clear expression of British intent to annexe New Zealand.

Captain William Hobson was called to the Colonial Office on the evening of 14 August 1839 and given instructions to take the constitutional steps needed to establish a British colony. Historian Paul Moon
Paul Moon
Paul Moon is a New Zealand historian and a professor at the Auckland University of Technology. He is a prolific writer of New Zealand history and biography, specialising in Māori history, the Treaty of Waitangi and the early period of Crown rule....

 believes the instructions were written by Sir James Stephen
James Stephen (undersecretary)
Sir James Stephen was the British under-secretary of state for the colonies from 1836 to 1847. He was instrumental in implementing the slavery abolition act.-Early life:...

, then head of the Colonial Office. However, T. Lindsay Buick
Thomas Buick
Thomas Lindsay Buick was a Liberal Member of Parliament for Wairau, New Zealand, a journalist and a historian. He published under the name T. Lindsay Buick.-Member of Parliament:...

 in his landmark 1914 book 'The Treaty of Waitangi:or how New Zealand became a British Colony', clearly reproduces written instructions drafted by Edward Cardwell
Edward Cardwell, 1st Viscount Cardwell
Edward Cardwell, 1st Viscount Cardwell PC, PC , FRS was a prominent British politician in the Peelite and Liberal parties during the middle of the 19th century...

 of the Colonial Office (Cardwell later became Viscount Cardwell and was most noted for his reforms of the British Army after the disaster of the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

). Hobson was appointed Consul
Consul (representative)
The political title Consul is used for the official representatives of the government of one state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, and to facilitate trade and friendship between the peoples of the two countries...

 to New Zealand. He was instructed to negotiate a voluntary transfer of sovereignty from Māori to the British Crown as the House of Lords select committee had recommended in 1837. Hobson left London on 15 August 1839 and was sworn in as Lieutenant-Governor in Sydney on 14 January, finally arriving in the Bay of Islands
Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is an area in the Northland Region of the North Island of New Zealand. Located 60 km north-west of Whangarei, it is close to the northern tip of the country....

 on 29 January 1840. Meanwhile a second ship, the Cuba, had arrived in Port Nicholson on 3 January with a survey party to prepare for settlement. The first ship carrying immigrants arrived on 22 January – the Aurora.

On 30 January 1840 Hobson attended the Christ Church at Kororareka (Russell) where he publicly read a number of proclamations. The first was the Letters Patent
Letters patent
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation...

 1839, in relation to the extension of the boundaries of New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

 to include the islands of New Zealand. The second was in relation to Hobson's own appointment as Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand. The third was in relation to land transactions (notably on the issue of pre-emption).

Without a draft document prepared by lawyers or Colonial Office officials, Hobson was forced to write his own treaty with the help of his secretary, James Freeman, and British Resident James Busby
James Busby
James Busby is widely regarded as the "father" of the Australian wine industry, as he took the first collection of vine stock from Spain and France to Australia. Later he become a British Resident who traveled to New Zealand, involved in the drafting of the Declaration of the Independence of New...

, neither of whom was a lawyer. Historian Paul Moon
Paul Moon
Paul Moon is a New Zealand historian and a professor at the Auckland University of Technology. He is a prolific writer of New Zealand history and biography, specialising in Māori history, the Treaty of Waitangi and the early period of Crown rule....

 believes certain articles of the Treaty resemble the Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

 (1713), the British Sherbo Agreement (1825) and the Treaty between Britain and Soombia Soosoos (1826). The entire treaty was prepared in four days. Realising that a treaty in English could be neither understood, debated or agreed to by Māori, Hobson instructed missionary Henry Williams
Henry Williams (missionary)
Henry Williams was one of the first missionaries who went to New Zealand in the first half of the 19th century....

 and his son Edward to translate the document into Māori and this was done overnight on 4 February.

Debate

On 5 February copies of the treaty in both languages were put before a gathering of northern chiefs inside a large marquee
Marquee
Marquee may refer to:* A large tent, open-sided and installed outdoors for temporary functions* "Marquee", a song by Superchunk from their 1997 album Indoor Living* Marquee Cinemas, a movie theater chain in the United States...

 on the lawn in front of Busby's house at Waitangi. Hobson read the treaty aloud in English and Williams read his Māori version. Māori chiefs (rangatira) then debated the treaty for five hours, much of which was recorded and translated by the Paihia
Paihia
Paihia is the main tourist town in the Bay of Islands in the far north of the North Island of New Zealand. It is located close to the historic towns of Russell, and Kerikeri, 60 kilometres north of Whangarei. The origin of the name Paihia is obscure. One, possibily apocryphal, attribution is to...

 missionary station printer, William Colenso
William Colenso
William Colenso was a Cornish Christian missionary to New Zealand, and also a printer, botanist, explorer and politician.-Life:Born in Penzance, Cornwall, he was the cousin of John William Colenso, Bishop of Natal...

. Rewa,a Catholic chief, who had been influenced by the French Catholic Bishop Pompelier, said "The Māori people don't want a governor! We aren't European. It's true that we've sold some of our lands. But this country is still ours! We chiefs govern this land of our ancestors", Moka 'Kainga-mataa'
Moka 'Kainga-mataa'
Moka Kainga-mataa [Te Kaingamataa/Te Kaingamata/Te Kainga-mata/Te Kainga-mataa] was a Māori rangatira of the Ngā Puhi iwi from Northland in New Zealand...

 argued that all land unjustly purchased by Europeans should be returned. Whai asked: "Yesterday I was cursed by a white man. Is that the way things are going to be?".Protestant Chiefs such as Hone Heke
Hone Heke
Hone Wiremu Heke Pokai was a Māori rangatira and war leader in Northern New Zealand and a nephew of Hongi Hika, an earlier war leader of the Ngāpuhi iwi. Hone Heke is considered the principal instigator of the Flagstaff War....

, Pumuka, Te Wharerahi
Te Wharerahi
Te Wharerahi was a highly-respected rangatira of the Ipipiri area of Aotearoa/New Zealand.- Origins and mana :...

, Tamati Waka Nene
Tamati Waka Nene
Tāmati Wāka Nene was a Māori rangatira who fought as an ally of the British in the Flagstaff War.-Origin and mana:...

 and his brother Eruera Maihi Patuone
Eruera Maihi Patuone
Eruera Maihi Patuone , was a Māori rangatira, the son of the Ngati Hao chief Tapua and his wife Te Kawehau. His exact birth year is not know, but it is estimated that he was at least 108 years old when he died....

 were accepting of the Governor. Hone Heke said "Governor, you should stay with us and be like a father. If you go away then the French or the rum sellers will take us Māori people over. How to you. Some of you tell Hobson to go. But that's not going to solve our difficulties. We have already sold so much land here in the north. We have no way of controlling the Europeans who have settled on it. I'm amazed to hear you telling him to go! Why didn't you tell the traders and grog-sellers to go years ago? There are too many Europeans here now and there are children that will unite our races"..The French Catholic Bishop Pompelier,who had been counselling the many Catholic Maori in the north concerning the treaty,urged them to be very wary of the treaty and not to sign anything. He left after the initial discussions and was not present when the chiefs signed.

Afterward, the chiefs then moved to a river flat below Busby's house and lawn and continued deliberations late into the night.

Signing

Although Hobson had planned for the signing to occur on 7 February, on the morning of 6 February 45 chiefs were ready to sign. Hobson hastily arranged for this to occur.

Hobson headed the British signatories. Of the 40 or so Māori chiefs, Hone Heke was the first to sign the treaty. As each chief signed, Hobson said "He iwi tahi tātou", meaning (in English) "We are now one people".

Present at the signing were members of the United States Exploring Expedition
United States Exploring Expedition
The United States Exploring Expedition was an exploring and surveying expedition of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding lands conducted by the United States from 1838 to 1842. The original appointed commanding officer was Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones. The voyage was authorized by Congress in...

. . Altogether, 150 Northern chiefs ,mainly Nga Puhi signed the treaty. 44 Chiefs from the Waikato/Tainui rohe signed the treaty.

To enhance the authority of the treaty, eight further copies were made and sent around the country to gather additional signatures:
  • the Manukau
    Manukau Harbour
    Manukau Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in New Zealand by area. It is located to the southwest of the Auckland isthmus, and is an arm of the Tasman Sea.-Geography:...

    -Kawhia copy,
  • the Waikato
    Waikato
    The Waikato Region is a local government region of the upper North Island of New Zealand. It covers the Waikato, Hauraki, Coromandel Peninsula, the northern King Country, much of the Taupo District, and parts of Rotorua District...

    -Manukau copy,
  • the Tauranga
    Tauranga
    Tauranga is the most populous city in the Bay of Plenty region, in the North Island of New Zealand.It was settled by Europeans in the early 19th century and was constituted as a city in 1963...

     copy,
  • the Bay of Plenty
    Bay of Plenty
    The Bay of Plenty , often abbreviated to BOP, is a region in the North Island of New Zealand situated around the body of water of the same name...

     copy,
  • the Herald-Bunbury copy,
  • the Henry Williams
    Henry Williams (missionary)
    Henry Williams was one of the first missionaries who went to New Zealand in the first half of the 19th century....

     copy,
  • the East Coast copy and
  • the Printed copy.

About 50 meetings were held from February to September 1840 to discuss and sign the copies, and a further 500 signatures were added to the treaty. A number of chiefs and some tribal groups refused to sign, including Pōtatau Te Wherowhero
Potatau Te Wherowhero
Pōtatau I, Māori King was a Māori warrior, leader of the Waikato tribes, the first Māori King and founder of the Te Wherowhero royal dynasty. He was first known as simply Te Wherowhero and took the name Pōtatau after he became king...

 (Waikato iwi)
Waikato (iwi)
Waikato is a Māori iwi from the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand. Actually a confederation of smaller tribes, it is also part of the larger confederation of Tainui, consisting of tribes descended from Polynesian migrants who arrived in New Zealand on the Tainui canoe...

, Tuhoe
Tuhoe
Ngāi Tūhoe , a Māori iwi of New Zealand, takes its name from an ancestral figure, Tūhoe-pōtiki. The word tūhoe literally means "steep" or "high noon" in the Māori language...

, Te Arawa
Te Arawa
Te Arawa is a confederation of Māori iwi and hapu based in the Rotorua and Bay of Plenty areas of New Zealand, with a population of around 40,000.The history of the Te Arawa people is inextricably linked to the Arawa canoe...

 and Ngāti Tuwharetoa
Ngati Tuwharetoa
Ngāti Tūwharetoa is an iwi descended from Ngātoro-i-rangi, the priest who navigated the Arawa canoe to New Zealand. The Tūwharetoa region extends from Te Awa o te Atua at Matata across the central plateau of the North Island to the lands around Mount Tongariro and Lake Taupo.The iwi is identified...

 and possibly Moka 'Kainga-mataa'
Moka 'Kainga-mataa'
Moka Kainga-mataa [Te Kaingamataa/Te Kaingamata/Te Kainga-mata/Te Kainga-mataa] was a Māori rangatira of the Ngā Puhi iwi from Northland in New Zealand...

. Some were not given the opportunity to sign. A number of non-signatory Waikato and Central North Island chiefs would later form a kind of confederacy with an elected monarch called the Kingitanga. (The Kingitanga Movement would later form a primary anti-government force in the New Zealand Land Wars
New Zealand land wars
The New Zealand Wars, sometimes called the Land Wars and also once called the Māori Wars, were a series of armed conflicts that took place in New Zealand between 1845 and 1872...

.)

Nonetheless, on 21 May 1840, Lieutenant-Governor Hobson proclaimed sovereignty over the whole country, (the North Island by Treaty and the South Island by discovery) and New Zealand was constituted as a colony separate from New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

 on 16 November 1840.

The anniversary of the signing of the Treaty is now a New Zealand public holiday, Waitangi Day
Waitangi Day
Waitangi Day commemorates a significant day in the history of New Zealand. It is a public holiday held each year on 6 February to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document, on that date in 1840.-History:...

, on 6 February. The first Waitangi Day was not until 1947 (although there were some commemorations before that) and the day was not made a public holiday until 1974. The commemoration has often been the focus of protest by Māori and frequently attracts controversy. The anniversary is officially commemorated at the Treaty house
Treaty house
In New Zealand, the Treaty House refers to the former house of the British Resident in New Zealand, James Busby. The Treaty of Waitangi, the document that established the British Colony of New Zealand was signed in the grounds of the Treaty House on 6 February 1840.The grounds had previously been...

 at Waitangi
Waitangi, Northland
For the main port and settlement at the Chatham Islands, see Waitangi, Chatham IslandsWaitangi is a township located in the Bay of Islands on the North Island of New Zealand. It is located close to the town of Paihia , 60 kilometres north of Whangarei...

, where the Treaty was first signed.

Treaty copies

In 1841, the Treaty narrowly escaped destruction when the government offices in Auckland
Auckland
The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...

 were destroyed by fire. When the capital was relocated from Auckland to Wellington in 1865, the Treaty documents were fastened together and deposited in a safe in the Colonial Secretary
Colonial Secretary (New Zealand)
The Colonial Secretary of New Zealand was an office established in 1840 and abolished in 1907. The position should not be confused with the Colonial Secretary of the former Colonial Office of the United Kingdom....

's office. The documents were untouched until they were moved to Wellington in 1865, when a list of signatories was produced.

In 1877, the English language rough draft of the Treaty was published along with photolithographic facsimiles of the Treaty, and the originals were returned to storage. In 1908, Dr Hocken found the Treaty in poor condition, partly eaten by rodents. The document was restored by the Dominion Museum
New Zealand Dominion Museum building
The New Zealand Dominion Museum building was completed in 1936, and is located on Buckle Street in Wellington next to the National War Memorial. The building originally housed the National Museum, the National Art Gallery of New Zealand and the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts...

 in 1913.

In February 1940, the Treaty was taken to Waitangi for display in the Treaty house during the Centenary
New Zealand Centennial Exhibition
The New Zealand Centennial Exhibition took place over six months from Wednesday 8 November 1939 until 4 May 1940. It celebrated one hundred years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and the subsequent mass European settlement of New Zealand...

 celebrations – this was possibly the first time the Treaty had been on public display since it was signed.

After the outbreak of war with Japan, the Treaty was placed with other state documents in an outsize luggage trunk
Trunk (luggage)
A trunk, also known as a travelling chest, is a large cuboid container for holding clothes and other personal belongings, typically about wide, and each deep and high. They were most commonly used for extended periods away from home, such as for boarding school, or long trips abroad...

 and deposited for secure custody with the Public Trustee
Public trustee
The public trustee is an office established pursuant to national statute, to act as a trustee, usually where a sum is required to be deposited as security by legislation, where courts remove another trustee, or for estates where either no executor is named by will or the testator elects to name...

 at Palmerston North
Palmerston North
Palmerston North is the main city of the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand. It is an inland city with a population of and is the country's seventh largest city and eighth largest urban area. Palmerston North is located in the eastern Manawatu Plains near the north bank...

 by the local MP
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

, who did not tell staff what was in the case. However, as the case was too large to fit in the safe, the Treaty spent the war at the side of a back corridor in the Public Trust office.

In 1956, the Department of Internal Affairs
Department of Internal Affairs (New Zealand)
The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs is a state sector organisation whose roles include the issue of passports; administering citizenship grant applications, and lottery grant applications; enforcement of censorship and gambling law; registration of births, deaths, marriages and civil...

 placed the Treaty into the care of the Alexander Turnbull Library and it was eventually displayed in 1961. Further preservation steps were taken in 1966, with improvements to the display conditions. From 1977 to 1980, the library extensively restored the documents before the Treaty was deposited in the Reserve Bank.

In anticipation of a decision to exhibit the treaty in 1990 (the sesquicentennial of the signing), full documentation and reproduction photography was carried out. Several years of planning culminated with the opening of the Constitution Room at the then National Archives by Mike Moore, Prime Minister of New Zealand
Prime Minister of New Zealand
The Prime Minister of New Zealand is New Zealand's head of government consequent on being the leader of the party or coalition with majority support in the Parliament of New Zealand...

, in November 1990. The documents are currently on permanent display in the Constitution Room at Archives New Zealand
Archives New Zealand
Archives New Zealand is the National Archives of New Zealand, with overall responsibility for government recordkeeping and for community archives. Since 1 February 2011 it has been part of the Department of Internal Affairs...

's headquarters in Wellington.

Meaning and interpretation

The Treaty itself is short, consisting of only three articles. The first article of the English version grants the "Queen of England
Monarchy of the United Kingdom
The monarchy of the United Kingdom is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has reigned since 6 February 1952. She and her immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties...

" (actually the United Kingdom) sovereignty over New Zealand. The second article guarantees to the chiefs full "exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties." It also specifies that Māori will sell land only to the Crown. The third article guarantees to all Māori the same rights as all other British subjects.

The English and Māori versions differ. This has made it difficult to interpret the Treaty and continues to undermine its effect. The most critical difference revolves around the interpretation of three Māori words: kāwanatanga
Kawanatanga
Kāwanatanga is a word from the Māori language of New Zealand. The word kāwanatanga was first used in the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand, 1835. It reappeared in 1840 when the Treaty of Waitangi was being translated from English into Māori. It was used there to translate the concept of...

(governorship), which is ceded to the Queen in the first article; rangatiratanga (chieftainship) not mana (which was stated in the Declaration of Independence just five years before the Treaty was signed), which is retained by the chiefs in the second; and taonga
Taonga
A taonga in Māori culture is a treasured thing, whether tangible or intangible. Tangible examples are all sorts of heirlooms and artefacts, land, fisheries, natural resources such as geothermal springs and access to natural resources, such as riparian water rights and access to the riparian zone of...

(property or valued possessions), which the chiefs are guaranteed ownership and control of, also in the second article. Few Māori had good understanding of either sovereignty or "governorship", as understood by 19th century Europeans, and so some academics, such as Moana Jackson
Moana Jackson
Moana Jackson is a New Zealand Māori lawyer specialising in Treaty of Waitangi and constitutional issues. Moana Jackson is of Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Porou descent...

, question whether Māori fully understood that they were ceding sovereignty to the British Crown.

Furthermore, kāwanatanga
Kawanatanga
Kāwanatanga is a word from the Māori language of New Zealand. The word kāwanatanga was first used in the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand, 1835. It reappeared in 1840 when the Treaty of Waitangi was being translated from English into Māori. It was used there to translate the concept of...

is a loan translation
Calque
In linguistics, a calque or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal, word-for-word or root-for-root translation.-Calque:...

 from 'governorship' and was not part of the Māori language. The term had been used by Henry Williams
Henry Williams (missionary)
Henry Williams was one of the first missionaries who went to New Zealand in the first half of the 19th century....

 in his translation of the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand which was signed by 35 northern Māori chiefs at Waitangi
Waitangi, Northland
For the main port and settlement at the Chatham Islands, see Waitangi, Chatham IslandsWaitangi is a township located in the Bay of Islands on the North Island of New Zealand. It is located close to the town of Paihia , 60 kilometres north of Whangarei...

 on 28 October 1835. The Declaration of Independence of New Zealand had stated 'Ko te Kingitanga ko te mana i te w[h]enua' to describe 'all sovereign power and authority in the land'.

There is considerable debate about what would have been a more appropriate term. Some scholars, notably Ruth Ross, argue that mana
Mana
Mana is an indigenous Pacific islander concept of an impersonal force or quality that resides in people, animals, and inanimate objects. The word is a cognate in many Oceanic languages, including Melanesian, Polynesian, and Micronesian....

(prestige, authority) would have more accurately conveyed the transfer of sovereignty. However, it has more recently been argued by others, for example Judith Binney, that mana would not have been appropriate. This is because mana is not the same thing as sovereignty, and also because no-one can give up their mana.

The English language version recognises Māori rights to "properties", which seems to imply physical and perhaps intellectual property. The Māori version, on the other hand, mentions "taonga
Taonga
A taonga in Māori culture is a treasured thing, whether tangible or intangible. Tangible examples are all sorts of heirlooms and artefacts, land, fisheries, natural resources such as geothermal springs and access to natural resources, such as riparian water rights and access to the riparian zone of...

", meaning "treasures" or "precious things". In Māori usage the term applies much more broadly than the English concept of legal property, and since the 1980s courts have found that the term can encompass intangible things such as language and culture. Even where physical property such as land is concerned, differing cultural understandings as to what types of land are able to be privately owned have caused problems, as for example in the foreshore and seabed controversy
New Zealand foreshore and seabed controversy
The New Zealand foreshore and seabed controversy is a debate in the politics of New Zealand. It concerns the ownership of the country's foreshore and seabed, with many Māori groups claiming that Māori have a rightful claim to title. These claims are based around historical possession and the Treaty...

 of 2003–04.

The pre-emption clause is generally not well translated, and many Māori apparently believed that they were simply giving the British Queen first offer on land, after which they could sell it to anyone. Doubt has been cast on whether Hobson himself actually understood the concept of pre-emption. Another, less important, difference is that Ingarani, meaning England alone, is used throughout in the Māori version, whereas "the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

" is used in the first paragraph of the English.

The entire issue is further complicated by the fact that, at the time, Māori society was an oral rather than literate one. Māori present at the signing of the Treaty would have placed more value and reliance on what Hobson and the missionaries said, rather than the words of the actual Treaty.

Māori beliefs and attitudes towards ownership and use of land were different from those prevailing in Britain and Europe. The chiefs saw themselves as 'kaitiaki' or guardians of the land, and would traditionally grant permission for the land to be used for a time for a particular purpose. Some may have thought that they were leasing the land rather than selling it, leading to disputes with the occupant settlers. A northern chief, Nopera Panakareao, also early on summarised his understanding of the Treaty as "the shadow of the land is to the Queen, but the substance remains to us.", even as a British official later remarked that the
Māori would discover that the British had acquired "something more than the shadow.". Nopera's later reversed his earlier statement – feeling that the substance of the land had indeed gone to the Queen; only the shadow remained for the Māori.

Effects

In November 1840 a royal charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 was signed by Queen Victoria, establishing New Zealand as a Crown colony
Crown colony
A Crown colony, also known in the 17th century as royal colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and later British Empire....

 separate from New South Wales from May 1841.

The short-term effect of the Treaty was to prevent the sale of Māori land to anyone other than the Crown. This was intended to protect Māori from the kinds of shady land purchases which had alienated indigenous peoples in other parts of the world from their land with minimal compensation. Indeed, anticipating the Treaty, the New Zealand Company
New Zealand Company
The New Zealand Company originated in London in 1837 as the New Zealand Association with the aim of promoting the "systematic" colonisation of New Zealand. The association, and later the company, intended to follow the colonising principles of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who envisaged the creation of...

 made several hasty land deals and shipped settlers from Great Britain to New Zealand, assuming that the settlers would not be evicted from land they occupied. Essentially the Treaty was an attempt to establish a system of property rights for land with the Crown controlling and overseeing land sale to prevent abuse.

Initially this worked well. Māori were eager to sell land, and settlers eager to buy. The Crown mediated the process to ensure that the true owners were properly identified (difficult for tribally owned land) and fairly compensated, by the standards of the time. However after a while Māori became disillusioned and less willing to sell, while the Crown came under increasing pressure from settlers wishing to buy. Consequently government land agents were involved in a number of dubious land purchases. Agreements were negotiated with only one owner of tribally owned land and in some cases land was purchased from the wrong people altogether. Eventually this led to the New Zealand Wars which culminated in the confiscation of a large part of the Waikato
Waikato
The Waikato Region is a local government region of the upper North Island of New Zealand. It covers the Waikato, Hauraki, Coromandel Peninsula, the northern King Country, much of the Taupo District, and parts of Rotorua District...

 and Taranaki.

In later years, this oversight role was vested in the Native Land Court
Maori Land Court
The Māori Land Court is the specialist court in New Zealand that hears matters relating to Māori land.The Māori Land Court was established in 1865 as the Native Land Court. In 1954, the name was changed to the Māori Land Court...

 under the Native Land Court Act of 1862, and later renamed the Māori Land Court
Maori Land Court
The Māori Land Court is the specialist court in New Zealand that hears matters relating to Māori land.The Māori Land Court was established in 1865 as the Native Land Court. In 1954, the name was changed to the Māori Land Court...

. It was through this court that much Māori land was alienated, and the way in which it functioned is much criticised today. Over the longer term, the land purchase aspect of the Treaty declined in importance, while the clauses of the Treaty which deal with sovereignty and Māori rights took on greater importance.

The treaty was never ratified by Britain and carried no legal force in New Zealand for over a century, finally receiving limited recognition in 1975 with the passage of the Treaty of Waitangi Act
Treaty of Waitangi Act
The Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 established the Waitangi Tribunal and gave the Treaty of Waitangi recognition in New Zealand law for the first time. The Tribunal was empowered to investigate possible breaches of the Treaty by the New Zealand government or any state-controlled body, occurring after...

. The Colonial Office
Colonial Office
Colonial Office is the government agency which serves to oversee and supervise their colony* Colonial Office - The British Government department* Office of Insular Affairs - the American government agency* Reichskolonialamt - the German Colonial Office...

 and early New Zealand governors were initially fairly supportive of the Treaty as it gave them authority over both New Zealand Company settlers and Māori. As the settlers were granted representative and responsible government
Responsible government
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability which is the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy...

 with the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852
New Zealand Constitution Act 1852
The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that granted self-government to the colony of New Zealand...

, the Treaty became less effective, although it was used to justify the idea that Waikato and Taranaki were rebels against the Crown in the wars of the 1860s. Court cases later in the 19th century, especially Wi Parata v the Bishop of Wellington
Wi Parata v the Bishop of Wellington
Wi Parata v the Bishop of Wellington was a New Zealand court case of 1877 which ruled that the Treaty of Waitangi was a "simple nullity" having been signed by "primitive barbarians"....

(1877), established the principle that the Treaty was a 'legal nullity' which could be ignored by the courts and the government. This argument was supported by the claim that New Zealand had become a colony when annexed by proclamation in January 1840, before the treaty was signed. Furthermore, Hobson only claimed to have taken possession of the North Island
North Island
The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, separated from the much less populous South Island by Cook Strait. The island is in area, making it the world's 14th-largest island...

 by Treaty. The South Island
South Island
The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean...

 he claimed for Britain by right of discovery, by observing that Māori were so sparse in the South Island, that it could be considered uninhabited.

Despite this, Māori frequently used the Treaty to argue for a range of issues, including greater independence and return of confiscated and unfairly purchased land. This was especially the case from the mid-19th century, when they lost numerical superiority and generally lost control of most of the country.

However irrelevant in law, the Treaty returned to the public eye after the Treaty house
Treaty house
In New Zealand, the Treaty House refers to the former house of the British Resident in New Zealand, James Busby. The Treaty of Waitangi, the document that established the British Colony of New Zealand was signed in the grounds of the Treaty House on 6 February 1840.The grounds had previously been...

 and grounds were purchased by Governor-General Viscount Bledisloe
Viscount Bledisloe
Viscount Bledisloe, of Lydney in the County of Gloucester, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1935 for the Conservative politician Charles Bathurst, 1st Baron Bledisloe, upon his retirement as Governor-General of New Zealand...

 in the early 1930s and donated to the nation. The dedication of the site as a national reserve in 1934 was probably the first major event held there since the 1840s. The profile of the Treaty was further raised by the centenary of 1940. For most of the 20th century, text books, government publicity and many historians touted it as the moral foundation of colonisation and to set race relations in New Zealand above those of colonies in North America, Africa and Australia. Its lack of legal significance in 1840 and subsequent breaches tended to be overlooked until the 1970s, when these issues were raised by Māori protest
Maori protest movement
The Māori protest movement is a broad indigenous rights movement in New Zealand. While this movement has existed since Europeans first colonised New Zealand its modern form emerged in the early 1970s and has focused on issues such as the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori land rights, the Māori language and...

.

Legal standing

The Treaty itself has never been ratified or enacted as statute law in New Zealand, although it does appear in authoritative collections of treaties, and is sometimes referred to in specific pieces of legislation. There are two major points of legal debate concerning the Treaty:
  • Whether or not the Treaty was the means by which the British Crown gained sovereignty
    Sovereignty
    Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

     over New Zealand, and
  • Whether or not the Treaty is binding on the Crown
    The Crown
    The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

    .

Sovereignty

Although the Treaty was considered to be Māori consenting to British sovereignty over the whole country, the actual proclamation of sovereignty was made by Hobson on 21 May 1840 (the North Island by treaty and the South by discovery
Terra nullius
Terra nullius is a Latin expression deriving from Roman law meaning "land belonging to no one" , which is used in international law to describe territory which has never been subject to the sovereignty of any state, or over which any prior sovereign has expressly or implicitly relinquished...

 – Hobson was unaware his agents were collecting signatures for the Treaty in the South Island at this stage). This was in response to New Zealand Company attempts to establish a separate colony in Wellington. The proclamation was published four months after the signing of the Treaty, in the New Zealand Advertiser and Bay Of Islands Gazette issue of 19 June 1840, the proclamation "asserts on the grounds of Discovery, the Sovereign Rights of Her Majesty over the Southern Islands of New Zealand, commonly called 'The Middle Island' (South Island
South Island
The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean...

) and 'Stewart’s Island' (Stewart Island/Rakiura
Stewart Island/Rakiura
Stewart Island/Rakiura is the third-largest island of New Zealand. It lies south of the South Island, across Foveaux Strait. Its permanent population is slightly over 400 people, most of whom live in the settlement of Oban.- History and naming :...

); and the Island, commonly called 'The Northern Island', having being ceded Sovereignty to Her Majesty."

In the 1877 Wi Parata v Bishop of Wellington judgement, Prendergast argued that the Treaty was a 'simple nullity' in terms of transferring sovereignty from Māori to Britain. This remained the legal orthodoxy until at least the 1970s. Since then, legal commentators have argued that whatever the state of Māori government in 1840, the British had acknowledged Māori sovereignty with the Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand
Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand
In New Zealand political and social history, the Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand , was signed by a number of Māori chiefs in 1835, proclaimed the sovereign independence of New Zealand prior to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840....

 in 1835. Therefore, if both parties had agreed on the Treaty it was valid, in a pragmatic if not necessarily a legal sense.

There has been some popular acceptance of the idea that the Treaty transferred sovereignty since the early twentieth century. Popular histories of New Zealand and the Treaty often claimed that the Treaty was an example of British benevolence and therefore an honourable contract.

The Waitangi Tribunal
Waitangi Tribunal
The Waitangi Tribunal is a New Zealand permanent commission of inquiry established under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975...

, in Te Paparahi o te Raki inquiry (Wai 1040) is in the process of considering the Māori and Crown understandings of He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga / The Declaration of Independence 1835 and Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi 1840. This aspect of the inquiry raises issues as to the nature of sovereignty and whether the Maori signatories to the Treaty of Waitangi intended to transfer sovereignty.

Binding on the Crown?

While the above issue is mostly academic, since the Crown does have sovereignty in New Zealand, the question of whether the Crown is bound by the Treaty has been hotly contested since 1840. This has been a point of a number of court cases:
  • R v Symonds (1847). The Treaty was found to be binding on the Crown.
  • Wi Parata v Bishop of Wellington (1877). Judge James Prendergast
    James Prendergast (judge)
    Sir James Prendergast GCMG was the third Chief Justice of New Zealand. Prendergast was the first Chief Justice to be appointed on the advice of a responsible New Zealand government, but is chiefly noted for his far-reaching decision in Wi Parata v The Bishop of Wellington in which he described the...

     called the Treaty ‘a simple nullity’ and claimed that it was neither a valid treaty nor binding on the Crown. Although the Treaty’s status was not a major part of the case, Prendergast’s judgment on the Treaty’s validity was considered definitive for many decades.
  • Te Heuheu Tukino v Aotea District Maori Land Board (1938). The Treaty was seen as valid in terms of the transfer of sovereignty, but the judge ruled that as it was not part of New Zealand law it was not binding on the Crown.
  • New Zealand Maori Council v Attorney General (1987). Also known as the SOE (State Owned Enterprises
    State-Owned Enterprises of New Zealand
    State-owned enterprises in New Zealand are registered companies listed under Schedules 1 and 2 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986...

    ) case, this defined the "principles of the Treaty". The State Owned Enterprises Act stated that nothing in the Act permitted the government to act inconsistently with the principles of the Treaty, and the proposed sale of government assets was found to be in breach of these. This case established the principle that if the Treaty is mentioned in a piece of legislation, it takes precedence over other parts of that legislation should they come into conflict.
  • New Zealand Maori Council v Attorney General (1990). This case concerned FM radio frequencies and found that the Treaty could be relevant even concerning legislation which did not mention it.


Since the late 1980s the Treaty has become much more legally important. However because of uncertainties about its meaning and translation, it still does not have a firm place in New Zealand law or jurisprudence
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

. Another issue is whether the Crown in Right of New Zealand is bound. The separate New Zealand Crown was created when New Zealand adopted of the Statute of Westminster
Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947
The Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947 was a constitutional Act of the New Zealand Parliament that formally accepted the full external autonomy offered by the British Parliament...

 in 1947, which granted legislative independence to New Zealand and created the Crown in Right of New Zealand. Dr Martyn Finlay
Martyn Finlay
Allan Martyn Finlay was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party, a lawyer and Q.C.- Member of Parliament :He represented the North Shore electorate from 1946 to 1949, when he was defeated...

 rejected this contention.

Legislation

The English version of the Treaty appeared as a schedule to the Waitangi Day Act
Waitangi Day Act
There have been two Waitangi Day Acts passed by the New Zealand Parliament: the Waitangi Day Act 1960 and the Waitangi Day Act 1976. Neither made the sixth of February a public holiday; this was done by the New Zealand Day Act 1973. The first Waitangi Day Act was a token gesture towards...

 1960, but this did not technically make it a part of statute law. The Treaty of Waitangi Act
Treaty of Waitangi Act
The Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 established the Waitangi Tribunal and gave the Treaty of Waitangi recognition in New Zealand law for the first time. The Tribunal was empowered to investigate possible breaches of the Treaty by the New Zealand government or any state-controlled body, occurring after...

 1975 established the Waitangi Tribunal
Waitangi Tribunal
The Waitangi Tribunal is a New Zealand permanent commission of inquiry established under the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975...

, but this initially had very limited powers. The Act was amended in 1985 to increase the Tribunal membership and enable it to investigate Treaty breaches back to 1840. The membership was further increased in another amendment, in 1988.

Although the Treaty has never been incorporated into New Zealand municipal law
Municipal law
Municipal law is the national, domestic, or internal law of a sovereign state defined in opposition to international law. Municipal law includes not only law at the national level, but law at the state, provincial, territorial, regional or local levels...

, its provisions were first incorporated into legislation as early as the Land Claims Ordinance 1841 and the Native Rights Act 1865. Later the Treaty was incorporated into New Zealand law in the State Owned Enterprises
State-Owned Enterprises of New Zealand
State-owned enterprises in New Zealand are registered companies listed under Schedules 1 and 2 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986...

 Act 1986. Section 9 of the Act said that nothing in the Act permitted the Crown to act in a manner that is inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. This allowed the courts to consider the Crown's actions in terms of compliance with the Treaty (see below, "The Principles of the Treaty"). Contemporary legislation has followed suit, giving the Treaty an increased legal importance.

The Bill of Rights White Paper proposed that the Treaty be entrenched in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, however this proposal was never carried through to the legislation, with many Māori being concerned that this would relegate the Treaty to a lesser position, and enable the electorate (who under the original Bill of Rights would be able to repeal certain sections by referendum) to remove the Treaty from the Bill of Rights altogether.

In response to a backlash against the Treaty, politician Winston Peters
Winston Peters
Winston Raymond Peters is a New Zealand politician and leader of New Zealand First, a political party he founded in 1993. Peters has had a turbulent political career since entering Parliament in 1978. He served as Minister of Maori Affairs in the Bolger National Party Government before being...

 the 13th Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand
Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand
The Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand is second most senior officer in the Government of New Zealand, although this seniority does not necessarily translate into power....

 (and founder of the New Zealand First
New Zealand First
New Zealand First is a political party in New Zealand that was founded in 1993, following party founder Winston Peters' resignation from the National Party in 1992...

 Party) and others have campaigned to remove vague references to the Treaty from New Zealand law, although the New Zealand Māori Council case of 1990 indicated that even if this does happen, the Treaty may still be legally relevant.

"Principles of the Treaty"

The "Principles of the Treaty" are often mentioned in contemporary politics. They originate from the famous case brought in the High Court
High Court of New Zealand
The High Court of New Zealand is a superior court of New Zealand. It was established in 1841 and known as the Supreme Court of New Zealand until 1980....

 by the New Zealand Māori Council (New Zealand Māori Council v. Attorney-General) in 1987. There was great concern at that time that the ongoing restructuring of the New Zealand economy by the then Fourth Labour Government
Fourth Labour Government of New Zealand
The Fourth Labour Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 26 July 1984 to 2 November 1990. It enacted major social and economic reforms, including reformation of the tax system. The economic reforms were known as Rogernomics after Finance Minister Roger Douglas...

, specifically the transfer of assets from former Government departments to State-owned enterprises. Because the state-owned enterprises were essentially private firms owned by the government, they would prevent assets which had been given by Māori for use by the state from being returned to Māori by the Waitangi Tribunal. The Māori Council sought enforcement of section 9 of the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 "Nothing in this Act shall permit the Crown to act in a manner that is inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi".

The Court of Appeal
Court of Appeal of New Zealand
The Court of Appeal of New Zealand, located in Wellington, is New Zealand’s principal intermediate appellate court. In practice, most appeals are resolved at this intermediate appellate level, rather than in the Supreme Court...

, in a judgment of its then President Sir Robin Cooke
Robin Cooke, Baron Cooke of Thorndon
-External links:*, The Times, 22 September 2006*, The Daily Telegraph, 26 September 2006* House of Lords minutes of proceedings, 9 October 2006*, 4 September 2006...

, decided upon the following Treaty principles:
  • The acquisition of sovereignty in exchange for the protection of rangatiratanga.
  • The Treaty established a partnership, and imposes on the partners the duty to act reasonably and in good faith.
  • The freedom of the Crown to govern.
  • The Crown’s duty of active protection.
  • The duty of the Crown to remedy past breaches.
  • Māori to retain rangatiratanga over their resources and taonga
    Taonga
    A taonga in Māori culture is a treasured thing, whether tangible or intangible. Tangible examples are all sorts of heirlooms and artefacts, land, fisheries, natural resources such as geothermal springs and access to natural resources, such as riparian water rights and access to the riparian zone of...

     and to have all the privileges of citizenship.
  • Duty to consult.


In 1989, the Fourth Labour Government
Fourth Labour Government of New Zealand
The Fourth Labour Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 26 July 1984 to 2 November 1990. It enacted major social and economic reforms, including reformation of the tax system. The economic reforms were known as Rogernomics after Finance Minister Roger Douglas...

 responded by adopting the following "Principles for Crown Action on the Treaty of Waitangi":
Principle of government or the kawanatanga principle : Article 1 gives expression to the right of the Crown to make laws and its obligation to govern in accordance with constitutional process. This sovereignty is qualified by the promise to accord the Māori interests specified in article 2 an appropriate priority. This principle describes the balance between articles 1 and 2: the exchange of sovereignty by the Māori people for the protection of the Crown. It was emphasised in the context of this principle that ‘the Government has the right to govern and make laws’.
Principle of self-management (the rangatiratanga principle) : Article 2 guarantees to Māori hapū
Hapu
A hapū is sometimes described as "the basic political unit within Maori society".A named division of a Māori iwi , membership is determined by genealogical descent; a hapū is made up of a number of whānau groups. Generally hapū range in size from 150-200 although there is no upper limit...

 (tribes) the control and enjoyment of those resources and taonga that it is their wish to retain. The preservation of a resource base, restoration of tribal self-management, and the active protection of taonga, both material and cultural, are necessary elements of the Crown’s policy of recognising rangatiratanga.
The Government also recognised the Court of Appeal’s description of active protection, but identified the key concept of this principle as a right for iwi to organise as iwi and, under the law, to control the resources they own.
Principle of equality : Article 3 constitutes a guarantee of legal equality between Māori and other citizens of New Zealand. This means that all New Zealand citizens are equal before the law. Furthermore, the common law system is selected by the Treaty as the basis for that equality, although human rights accepted under international law are also incorporated. Article 3 has an important social significance in the implicit assurance that social rights would be enjoyed equally by Māori with all New Zealand citizens of whatever origin. Special measures to attain that equal enjoyment of social benefits are allowed by international law.
Principle of reasonable cooperation : The Treaty is regarded by the Crown as establishing a fair basis for two peoples in one country. Duality and unity are both significant. Duality implies distinctive cultural development while unity implies common purpose and community. The relationship between community and distinctive development is governed by the requirement of cooperation, which is an obligation placed on both parties by the Treaty. Reasonable cooperation can only take place if there is consultation on major issues of common concern and if good faith, balance, and common sense are shown on all sides. The outcome of reasonable cooperation will be partnership.
Principle of redress : The Crown accepts a responsibility to provide a process for the resolution of grievances arising from the Treaty. This process may involve courts, the Waitangi Tribunal, or direct negotiation. The provision of redress, where entitlement is established, must take account of its practical impact and of the need to avoid the creation of fresh injustice. If the Crown demonstrates commitment to this process of redress, it will expect reconciliation to result.

The "Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi Deletion Bill" was introduced to the New Zealand Parliament in 2005 as a private member's bill
Private Member's Bill
A member of parliament’s legislative motion, called a private member's bill or a member's bill in some parliaments, is a proposed law introduced by a member of a legislature. In most countries with a parliamentary system, most bills are proposed by the government, not by individual members of the...

 by New Zealand First
New Zealand First
New Zealand First is a political party in New Zealand that was founded in 1993, following party founder Winston Peters' resignation from the National Party in 1992...

 MP Doug Woolerton
Doug Woolerton
Doug Woolerton is a New Zealand politician.-Early years:He was educated at Hamilton Boys' High School, and has a background in agriculture, having been a farmer for twenty-one years and director of a milk company for nine....

. "This bill eliminates all references to the expressions "the principles of the Treaty", "the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi" and the "Treaty of Waitangi and its principles" from all New Zealand Statutes including all preambles, interpretations, schedules, regulations and other provisos included in or arising from each and every such Statute". The bill failed to pass its second reading in November 2007.

Claims for redress

During the late 1960s and 1970s, the Treaty of Waitangi became the focus of a strong Māori protest movement which rallied around calls for the government to "honour the treaty" and to "redress treaty grievances." Māori expressed their frustration about continuing violations of the treaty and subsequent legislation by government officials, as well as inequitable legislation and unsympathetic decisions by the Māori Land Court alienating Māori land from its Māori owners.

During the early 1990s, the government began to negotiate settlements of historical (pre-1992) claims. , there have been 23 such settlements of various sizes, totalling approximately $700 million. Settlements generally include financial redress, a formal Crown apology for breaches of the Treaty, and recognition of the group's cultural associations with various sites.

Public opinion

While during the 1990s there was broad agreement between major political parties that the settlement of historical claims was appropriate, in recent years it has become the subject of heightened debate. Claims of a "Treaty of Waitangi Grievance Industry", which profits from making frivolous claims of violations of the Treaty of Waitangi, have been made by a number of political figures, including former National Party leader Don Brash
Don Brash
Donald "Don" Thomas Brash , a New Zealand politician, was Leader of the Opposition, parliamentary leader of the National Party from 28 October 2003 to 27 November 2006 and the leader of the ACT Party for 28th April 2011 - 26 November 2011...

 in his 2004 "Orewa Speech
Orewa Speech
The Orewa Speech was a speech delivered by the then-leader of the New Zealand National Party Don Brash to the Orewa Rotary Club on 27 January 2004. It addressed the theme of race relations in New Zealand and in particular the special status of Māori people...

". Although claims relating to loss of land by Māori are relatively uncontroversial, debate has focused on claims that fall outside common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 concepts of ownership, or relate to technologies developed since colonisation. Examples include the ownership of the radio spectrum and the protection of the Māori language
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

.

The New Zealand Election Study of 2008 found of the 2,700 voting age New Zealanders surveyed, 37.4% wanted the Treaty removed from New Zealand law, 19.7% were neutral and 36.8% wanted the Treaty kept in law. 39.7% agreed Māori deserved compensation, 15.7% were neutral and 41.2% disagreed.

See also

  • Constitution of New Zealand
  • Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 / Māori Land Act 1993


Further reading

  • Simpson, Miria. (1990). Nga Tohu O Te Tiriti/Making a Mark: The signatories to the Treaty of Waitangi. Wellington: National Library of New Zealand
    National Library of New Zealand
    The National Library of New Zealand is New Zealand's legal deposit library charged with the obligation to "enrich the cultural and economic life of New Zealand and its interchanges with other nations"...

    .
  • Buick, T Lindsay
    Thomas Buick
    Thomas Lindsay Buick was a Liberal Member of Parliament for Wairau, New Zealand, a journalist and a historian. He published under the name T. Lindsay Buick.-Member of Parliament:...

    (1916). The Treaty of Waitangi: or How New Zealand became a British Colony (the first substantial work on the Treaty)


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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