The Treaty of Waitangi, How New Zealand Became a British Colony



By Lindsay Buick

A history of how the Treaty came about. Contains a copy of the Treaty in both English and Maori.

Chapter 1. THE BEGINNING – The Islands of New Zealand have long been resorted to by British subjects on account of the valuable articles of commerce which these Islands produce, and by reason of peculiar advantages which they offer to whale ships requiring repair. But the nearness of these Islands to the British penal settlements of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land has also led to their being resorted to as an asylum for fugitive British convicts, and such persons left in New Zealand by whale ships and other vessels, have formed a society which indispensably requires a check of some contending authority. Her Majesty’s Government has, therefore, deemed it expedient to station at New Zealand an officer, with the character and powers of a British Consul.

  • Chapter 2. SEEKING A WAY – The cry for better Government in New Zealand was thus becoming imperative, and the demand was not a new one.
  • Chapter 3. FINDING A WAY – The favor of Ministerial selection for the onerous task of bringing New Zealand within the British realm fell upon Captain William Hobson.
  • Chapter 4. THE MAORI MAGNA CHARTA – While the Herald was working her way into the Bay, an unfortunate difference arose between Captain Hobson and Nias, a difference the would shortly widen into open rupture.
  • Chapter 5. IN SEARCH OF SIGNATURES – Although Captain Hobson had every reason to be gratified with the mission at Waitangi, it was perfectly obvious that the signatures obtained there were only sufficient to give him jurisdiction over a very circumscribed area of the country.
  • Chapter 6. THE TREATY – Captain Hobson having now by his own efforts and the agency of those who were associated with him, completed his negotiations with the native chiefs.
  • The Treaty of Waitangi is a document of few clauses and precise terms. Yet under the conflicting interest which it was designed to harmonise, few documents have been more generally misunderstood or more persistently misinterpreted.
  • APPENDIX I. Treaty of Waitangi – in English and the Maori Translation.
  • APPENDIX II. The Trust set up afterward, and letters relating to this.



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