The Treaty Of Waitangi, By James Busby

1825 Words Mar 31st, 2016 8 Pages
1. The Treaty of Waitangi is a written agreement between the British Crown and over 500 Maori chiefs and is considered New Zealand’s founding document. Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson was in charge of securing British sovereignty over New Zealand, supported by James Busby, the British Resident in New Zealand. The Treaty was created in just a few days, and translated into Maori by Missionary Henry Williams and his son Edward overnight on the 4th of February 1840. The document was signed at Waitangi, Bay of Islands on the 6th of February 1840. Some 40 Maori chiefs signed the Maori version that day, the first of which was Hōne Heke. During the following 8 months another 500 chiefs signed the various copies of the Treaty that had been sent around the country. It was declared by England’s Colonial Office that the Treaty applied to all Maori tribes, including those whose Chiefs had refused to sign. The British proclaimed sovereignty over New Zealand on the 21st of May 1840.

The Treaty contained broad principles on which the British and Maori used to found the nation of New Zealand and build its government. The document consists of three articles; “Māori cede the sovereignty of New Zealand to Britain; Māori give the Crown an exclusive right to buy lands they wish to sell, and, in return, are guaranteed full rights of ownership of their lands, forests, fisheries and other possessions; and Māori are given the rights and privileges of British subjects.” (Ministry for Culture and…
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