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Treaty of Waitangi

Chronology | The English Version | Māori Version | English Translation | Treaty Facsimiles

The Chronology of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi:

In the days before February 6, 1840 -
  • On 3 Feb an English-language draft of the Treaty is prepared by Hobson, Freeman (Hobsonís secretary) and Busby. (Ian Wards, Shadow of the Land, Wellington, 1968, 42 also gives the names of J R Clendon and A Brown as participants at this stage). This first English-language draft has not survived.
  • On 4 Feb the draft is given to the Rev Henry Williamís for translation into Māori.
  • On 5 Feb there is a preliminary discussion of Williamsí translation, and some alterations are made to it.
  • A revised Māori version is copied out onto parchment by Rev Richard Taylor. The original of this Māori version has not survived either.
  • A fair copy of the revised Māori version is presented to the chiefs for signature on 6 February.
  • Five English versions are sent abroad by Hobson, but none of these are translations of the 6 February Māori text, nor is the Māori text a translation of them. One of these versions sent abroad is now the official English text of the Treaty.

Boast, Richard, Andrew Erueti, Doug McPhail and Norman F Smith: 1999: Māori Land Law: Butterworths of New Zealand Ltd. Boast, Richard.
Chapter 14 - Māori land and the Treaty of Waitangi p270.

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The Treaty of Waitangi: English Version 1840:

HER MAJESTY VICTORIA, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, regarding with Her Royal Favour the Native Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand, and anxious to protect their just Rights and Property, and to secure to them the enjoyment of Peace and Good Order, had deemed it necessary, in consequence of the great number of Her Majesty's Subjects who have already settled in New Zealand, and the rapid extension of Emigration both from Europe and Australia which is still in progress, to constitute and appoint a functionary properly authorized to treat with the Aborigines of New Zealand for the recognition of Her Majesty's Sovereign authority over the whole or any part of those islands. Her Majesty, therefore, being desirous to establish a settled form of Civil Government with a view to avert the evil consequences which must result from the absence of the necessary Laws and Institutions alike to the Native population and to Her subjects, has been graciously pleased to empower and authorize me, William Hobson, a Captain in Her Majesty's Royal Navy, Consul and Lieutenant-Governor of such parts of New Zealand as may be, or hereafter shall be, ceded to Her Majesty, to invite the confederated and independent Chiefs of New Zealand to concur in the following Articles and Conditions.

Article the First

The Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the separate and independent Chiefs who have not become members of the Confederation, cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England, absolutely and without reservation, all the rights and powers of Sovereignty which the said Confederation or Individual chiefs respectively exercise or possess, or may be supposed to exercise or to possess, over their respective Territories as the sole Sovereigns thereof.

Article the Second

Her Majesty, the Queen of England, confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand, and to the respective families and individuals thereof, the full, exclusive, and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates, Forests, Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess, so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession, but the Chiefs of the United Tribes and the Individual Chiefs yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of Pre-emption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate, at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.

Article the Third

In consideration thereof Her Majesty, the Queen of England, extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her Royal Protection, and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British subjects.


Now, therefore, We, the Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand being assembled in Congress at Victoria, in Waitangi, and We, the Separate and Independent Chiefs of New Zealand, claiming authority over the Tribes and Territories which are specified after our respective names, having been made fully to understand the Provisions of the foregoing Treaty, accept and enter into the same in the full spirit and meaning thereof, in witness of which, we have attached our signatures or marks at the places and dates, respectively specified.

Done at Waitangi this Sixth day of February in the year of Our Lord One thousand Eight hundred and forty.

(Here follow signatures, dates, etc)

Department of Māori Studies Massey University 1995

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Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Māori Version 1840:

Ko Wikitoria, te Kuini o Ingarani, i tana mahara atawai ki nga Rangatira me Nga Hapu o Nu Tirani, i tana hiahia hoki kia tohungia ki a ratou o ratou rangatiratanga, me to ratou wenua, a kia mau tonu hoki te Rongo ki a ratou me te ata noho hoki, kua wakaaro ia he mea tika kia tukua mai tetahi Rangatira hei kai wakarite ki nga tangata Māori o Nu Tirani. Kia wakaaetia e nga Rangatira Māori te Kawanatanga o te Kuini,ki nga wahi katoa o te wenua nei me nga motu. Na te mea hoki he to komaha ke nga tangata o tona iwi kua noho ki tenei wenua, a e haere mai nei.

Na, ko te Kuini e hiahia ana kia wakaritea te Kawanatanga, kia kaua ai nga kino e puta mai ki te tangata Māori ki te Pakeha e noho ture kore ana.

Na, kua pai te Kuini kia tukua a hau, a Wiremu Hopihona, he Kaptiana it e Roiara Nawa, hei Kawana mo nga wahi katoa o Nu Tirani, e tukua aianei amua atu ki te Kuini, e ,mea atu ana ia ki nga Rangatira o te Wakaminenga o nga Hapu o Nu Tirani, me era Rangatira atu, enei ture ka korerotia nei.

Ko Te Tuatahi

Ko nga Rangatira o te Wakaminenga, ,me nga Rangatira katoa hoki, kihai i uru ki taua Wakaminenga, ka tuku rawa atu ki te Kuini o Ingarani ake tonu atu te Kawanatanga katoa o o ratou wenua.

Ko Te Tuarua

Ko te Kuini o Ingarani ka wakarite ka whakaae ki nga Rangatira, ki nga Hapu, ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani, te tino Rangitiratanga o o ratou wenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga katoa. Otiia ko nga Rangatira o te Wakaminenga, me nga Rangatira katoa atu, ka tuku ki te Kuini te hokonga o era wahi wenua e pai ai te tangata nona te wenua, ki te ritenga o te utu e wakaritea ai e ratou ko te kai hoko e meatia nei i te Kuini hei kai hoko mona.

Ko Te Tuatoru

He wakaritenga mai hoki tenei mo te wakaaetanga ki te Kawanatanga o te Kuini. Ka tiakina e te Kuini o Ingarani nga tangata Māori katoa o Nu Tirani. Ka tukua ki a ratou nga tikanga katoa rite tahi ki ana mea ki nga tangata o Ingarani.

Signed William Hobson,
Consul and Lieutenant-Governor

Na, ko matou, ko nga Rangatira o te Wakaminenga o nga Hapu o Nu Tirani, ka huihui nei ki Waitangi. Ko matou hoki ko nga Rangatira o Nu Tirani, ka kite nei i te ritenga o enei kupu, ka tangohia, ka wakaaetia katoatia e matou. Koia ka tohungia ai o matou ingoa o matou tohu.

Ka meatia tenei ki Waitangi, i te ono o nga ra o Pepuere, i te tau kotahi mano, e waru rau, e wa tekau, o to tatou Ariki.

Department of Māori Studies Massey University 1995

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English Translation of Māori Text by Professor Kawharu:

VICTORIA, the Queen of England, in her concern to protect the chiefs and sub-tribes of New Zealand and in her desire to preserve their chieftainship and their lands to them and to maintain peace and good order considers it just to appoint an administrator, one who will negotiate with the people of New Zealand to the end that their chiefs will agree to the Queen's Government being established over all parts of this land and (adjoining) islands and also because there are many of her subjects already living on this land and others yet to come.

So the Queen desires to establish a government so that no evil will come to Māori and European living in a state of lawlessness.

So the Queen has appointed me, William Hobson a captain in the Royal Navy, to be Governor for all parts of New Zealand (both those) shortly to be received by the Queen and (those) to be received hereafter and presents to the chiefs of the Confederation chiefs of the sub-tribes of New Zealand and other chiefs these laws set out here.

The first

The Chiefs of the Confederation, and all the chiefs who have not joined the Confederation, give absolutely to the Queen of England forever the complete government over their land.

The second

The Queen of England agrees to protect the Chiefs, the sub-tribes and all the people of New Zealand in the unqualified exercise of their chieftainship over their lands, villages, and all their treasures. But on the other hand the Chiefs of the Confederation and all the Chiefs will sell land to the Queen at a price agreed to by the person owning it and by the person buying it (the latter being) appointed by the Queen as her purchase agent.

The third

For this agreed arrangement therefore concerning the Government of the Queen, the Queen of England will protect all the ordinary people of New Zealand and will give them the same rights and duties of citizenship as the people of England.

Signed WILLIAM HOBSON, Consul & Lieutenant-Governor

So we, the Chiefs of the Confederation and the sub-tribes of New Zealand meeting here at Waitangi having seen the shape of these words which we accept and agree to record our names and marks thus.

Was done at Waitangi on the sixth day of February in the year of our Lord 1840

Royal Commission on Social Policy Vol 2, 1988

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