Waitangi Tribunal – Māori and the British – From the arrival of James Cook
Te iwi Māori me ngā tangata nō Ingarangi
Māori and the British
TREATY 2 U tells the story of New Zealand’s founding document: the Treaty of Waitangi. It covers the events that led up to the Treaty. It explains what is written in the documents, and the crucial differences between the Māori and English versions.
Māori and British first met when Captain James Cook visited these shores in 1769. Over the next seventy years contact increased, until the two cultures were linked by complex personal, political, and business relationships. This relationship built up and led to the signing of the Treaty in 1840.
British representatives wrote the Treaty in a hurry, then spent seven months working to get as many rangatira (chiefs) to sign it as possible. But the Treaty meant different things to different people.
Nearby you can find out exactly what the Treaty said, and see why it has caused so much debate – both in 1840 when it was signed and now.
With the signing of the Treaty in 1840, Māori and Pākehā began the long journey towards creating a nation together.
Throughout this time, the Treaty has never lost its importance. And today, perhaps more than ever, it is helping to forge productive working relationships between Māori and other New Zealanders.
The journey continues – and it involves everyone living in this country.
The Treaty of Waitangi is an agreement signed by representatives of the British Crown and by representatives of Māori tribal groups, in 1840.
The Māori population was estimated at just over 100,000 at the beginning of 1840. The settler population was 2000. The two populations drew even by the late 1850s
English and Māori versions of the Treaty are not the same. The words used in each have different meanings. Around five hundred Māori signed the Māori version that was translated from the English version. Only thirty-nine signed the English version.
Are issues over treaties and indigenous rights being debated inother countries or just here in New Zealand?
Yes – other countries are addressing similar issues such as treaties and indigenous rights. Canada and Australia, for example, are each dealing with these matters in their own way. More than a dozen countries have visited New Zealand to see how we are doing things.
by Malcolm Evans, 12 August 2003, New Zealand Herald.
by Bob Brockie, 6 February 1997.
by Tom Scott, 12 September 2000, Dominion Post.
by Bob Darroch, 13 May 2004, Whangarei Report.
by Tom Scott, 6 February 2004, Dominion Post