The Treaty - a summary
These are a few of the main points about the Treaty. The signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, how it is to be interpreted and applied, is an incredibly complex undertaking. This page is not designed to be comprehensive or reductive, but as a starting point.
These points are taken from http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/treaty/treaty-faqs and www.bibleandtreaty.co.nz):
· The Treaty of Waitangi is a founding document of New Zealand. It is an agreement
entered into by representatives of the Crown and of Māori iwi (tribes) and hapū (sub-tribes). It is named after the place in the Bay of Islands where the Treaty was first signed, on 6 February 1840.
· More than 40 chiefs signed the Māori copy of the Treaty at Waitangi on 6 February 1840. Copies were then taken all around the country, and chiefs from many places signed. There were about 50 signing meetings between February and September 1840 and about 540 chiefs gave their agreement. All but 39 chiefs signed a Māori-language copy of the Treaty.
· The missionary Henry Williams and his son translated the Treaty into Maori.
· The missionaries (Anglican, Methodist and Catholic) travelled the length of the country with copies of the Treaty, to make sure that Maori knew the meaning of the treaty before they signed it and to help gather the signatures. They hoped it would not only bring some checks to the lawlessness among the British citizens at the time, but also protect Maori from those wanting their land at any cost.
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