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The Treaty of Waitangi happened on Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. It was a treaty between the British Crown Government and 540 Maōri chiefs, natively known as “rangatira”. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on the 6th of February, 1840. This day is now a public holiday in New Zealand.
See the fact file below for more information on the Treaty of Waitangi or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Treaty of Waitangi worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE TREATY’S MOTIVES
- In the late 1830’s, the British government contemplated plans for extensive settlement as a growing population of British migrants arrived in New Zealand.
- There were wide-scale land-transactions with the Maōri, who experienced unfair and unruly behavior from French settlers.
- This behavior showed that the French were interested in making New Zealand an annex.
- This made the British Government, who were unmotivated to act at first, think that annexing New Zealand could help in protecting the Maōri, regulating British subjects, and securing their commercial interests.
- 540 Maōri chiefs signed the treaty.
- Almost all Maōri signed the the Maōri version of the treaty.
- The treaty still took effect even on those who did not sign.
- On the 21st of May, 1840, British Sovereignty over New Zealand was proclaimed.
THE TREATY’S OVERVIEW
- The Treaty of Waitangi is a document that has three articles, containing broad statements and principles on which the British and Maōri people arbitrated a political pact to found and build a nation state and government in New Zealand.
- The English version contained three articles with these premises:
- (1) Maōris give the control of their sovereignty of New Zealand to Britain.
- (2) Maōris give the British Crown exclusive rights to buy lands they are willing to sell, in return, the Maōri obtain full ownership of their lands, forests, fisheries and other possessions.
- (3) The Maōri and the British Subjects gain equal rights.
- Hobson reassured the Maōri rangatira(s) that the treaty would raise and improve their status. In return, many chiefs were convinced into agreement.
- The person who was given the task to secure Britain’s control over New Zealand’s sovereignty was Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson.
- Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson had advisors who he relied on, but the one who stood out was James Busby. James Busby was a British Resident, and a consular representative in New Zealand.
- James Busby was also hailed by the Maōri as the “Man-o-War without guns” .
- His main duty was to protect the British settlers and traders, and prevent outrage amongst the Maōri.
- Two days before the treaty was initially signed, the Missionary Henry Williams, and his son Edward Williams, stayed overnight to translate the English draft of the treaty into Maōri.
- 40 chiefs or rangatira initially signed the the Maōri version of the treaty on the 6th of February, 1840.
- The first chief to sign the treaty was Hōne Heke.
- 500 more Maōri chiefs signed the copies of the treaty that were spread around the country as the month of September approached.
- Some chiefs signed despite being uncertain, and other chiefs refused or did not get the chance to sign at all.
DIFFERENCES OF THE ENGLISH & MAORI TREATY
- The Maōri version of the treaty was deemed to convey the same message the English version has, however, there are notable differences.
- First and foremost, the word ‘sovereignty’ was translated into ‘kawanatanga,’ a Maōri word for governance.
- This resulted to the beliefs of some Maōri that they were giving up their government over their lands without the invasion of their own affairs.
- In the English version of the Treaty, the British Government guaranteed “undisturbed possession” of all the Maōri’s “properties”.
- But in the Maōri version of the Treaty, it guaranteed “tino rangatiratanga,” or full authority over their “taonga” or treasures.
- The treasures may be tangible or not.
- Amidst this differences between the English and Maōri version of the treaty, explanations were given to the Maōri.
SIGNIFICANCE IN THE PRESENT
- The understanding of the Treaty has varied and has been a subject of debate.
- While many Maori have chosen to honor the treaty, some protested by marching to the Parliament and occupying land in the 1970s.
- The varied understanding of the treaty sparked studies and helped cultivated the awareness of its meaning in New Zealand today.
- The Treaty Of Waitangi is often referred to as the founding document of New Zealand.
- Now, Waitangi Day is celebrated annually in New Zealand, marking the date when the treaty was officially signed: February 6, 1840.
- Waitangi Day was first commemorated in 1934 and has been a public holiday since 1974.
Treaty of Waitangi Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Treaty of Waitangi across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Treaty of Waitangi worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Treaty of Waitangi which happened on Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. It was a treaty between the British Crown Government and 540 Maōri chiefs, natively known as “rangatira”. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on the 6th of February, 1840. This day is now a public holiday in New Zealand.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Treaty of Waitangi Facts
- Where is Waitangi?
- Digging Up History
- Image Analysis
- Treaty Rephrase
- Key Figures
- Flag Making
- English vs. Maori
- Event Aftermath
- Maori Culture
- Waitangi Day
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Link will appear as Treaty of Waitangi Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 14, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.