Getting Local

A Brief Overview Of The Treaty Of Waitangi

By Wild Kiwi Team
on  February 03, 2018

Throughout your Wild Kiwi adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of New Zealand. The following (very brief) account of the Treaty of Waitangi will give you a glimpse of what you can expect to discover during your trip.

The Founding Document Of New Zealand

In the late 1830s, increasing numbers of British migrants were arriving on the shores of New Zealand. For this reason, plans were in place for the establishment of a widespread British settlement. However, this was at a time of turmoil and the British government was reluctant to secure British sovereignty over New Zealand. As a result, the French government began to demonstrate an interest in annexing New Zealand. And finally it was decided the British government would allow New Zealand to both secure their commercial interests and protect Māori.

The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in early February of 1840 by Māori chiefs and representatives for the British Crown, an expansive set of principles which formed a political union. Namely, it was to develop a nation-state and construct a functional government within New Zealand.


Differing Understandings Of The Treaty

The writers of the Treaty actively downplayed the effects that British sovereignty would have on the author of Māori chiefs.  For example, the word ‘sovereignty’ itself translated as ‘governance’ in the Māori version.

Some Māori understood the Treaty to mean that they were giving up governance of their lands. But they would also retain the right to fully oversee their own matters. Similarly, while the English version of the Treaty promised undisturbed possession of their properties, the Māori version promised full authority over their treasures.

Learn About The Treaty’s Evolution During Your Wild Kiwi Adventure

The status of the Treaty of Waitangi has evolved over the centuries and has now transferred to New Zealand’s Parliament. Most importantly, the Treaty is still considered as significant to the life and existence of New Zealand.

Hit the road in New Zealand and expand your understanding of this country - See its history in action

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