Ned Fletcher, ‘A praiseworthy device for amusing and pacifying savages?: what the framers meant by the English text of the Treaty of Waitangi’, PhD (law), University of Auckland, 2014
The thesis addresses the meaning of the English text of the Treaty of Waitangi to those who had a hand in framing it. By “English text” is meant the English draft from which the Treaty in Maori was translated. Despite all the scholarship concerned with the Treaty, the English text has been comparatively neglected. Its meaning has variously been treated as self-evident or irredeemably ambiguous, and therefore unrewarding as an object of study in itself. Most recent writing has taken the view that the Maori and English texts differ significantly. That has led to some focus on whether the differences were the result of deliberate mistranslation to make the Treaty acceptable to Maori. This thesis is concerned with the anterior question of the meaning of the English text to its framers. It therefore begins by identifying the framers and reconstructing the English text, which has been treated by some historians as lost and unknowable. The meaning of the English text requires consideration of the text itself (itself a neglected topic) but also of the context in which it was drawn up. That context includes the backgrounds and motivations of the framers and the wider experience of Empire and the currents of thought of the time. The thesis concludes that the English and Maori texts of the Treaty appear to reconcile. It takes the position that the principal framers, William Hobson, James Busby, and James Stephen, understood the Treaty in much the same way and that such understanding was one generally shared by contemporaries. That shared understanding was in part because the Treaty followed British imperial practice elsewhere, and in part because the Instructions given to Hobson in the name of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, but almost entirely the work of Stephen, were clear and were faithfully carried out in the English text. The principal conclusions of the thesis are that British intervention in New Zealand in 1840 was to establish government over British settlers, for the protection of Maori. British settlement was to be promoted only to the extent that Maori protection was not compromised. Maori tribal government and custom were to be maintained. British sovereignty was not seen as inconsistent with plurality in government and law. Maori were recognised as full owners of their lands, whether or not occupied by them, according to custom.
(the full text thesis can be obtained from the following link, used with author’s permission: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/24098)
Alistair Reese, ‘Reconciliation and the Quest for Pākehā Identity in Aoteroa New Zealand’, PhD thesis, University of Auckland, 2013.
Abstract: The interdependent but at times fractious relationship between Māori and Pākehā in Aotearoa New Zealand has been indelibly shaped by its complex association with colonization. From the 1970s onwards, a period that marked a political and cultural renaissance amongst Māori, Pākehā began to renegotiate their identity and the way they belonged to this land. Prominent amongst these renegotiations were claims of ‘indigeneity’ and revisionist ideas about the Treaty of Waitangi...
Samuel Carpenter, ‘History, Law and Land: The Languages of Native Policy in New Zealand’s General Assembly, 1858-62’, MA thesis, Massey University, 2008
Abstract: This thesis explores the languages of Native policy in New Zealand’s General Assembly from 1858 to 1862. It argues, aligning with the scholarship of Peter Mandler and Duncan Bell, that a stadial discourse, which understood history as a progression from savage or barbarian states to those of civility, was the main paradigm in this period. Other discourses have received attention in New Zealand historiography, namely Locke and Vattel’s labour theory of land and Wakefield’s theory of systematic colonization; but some traditions have not been closely examined, including mid-Victorian Saxonism, the Burkean common law tradition, and the French discourse concerning national character. This thesis seeks to delineate these intellectual contexts that were both European and British, with reference to Imperial and colonial contexts. The thesis comprises a close reading of parliamentary addresses by C. W. Richmond, J. E. FitzGerald and Henry Sewell.
Helen Robinson, ‘Remembering the Past, Thinking of the Present: Historic Commemorations in New Zealand and Northern Ireland, 1940–1990’, DPhil thesis (history), University of Auckland, 2009
(used with permission)
Abstract: This fascinating thesis compares the commemorations of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day in New Zealand with historic commemorations in Northern Ireland.
Truth, Repentance, and Naboth’s Vineyard
Alistair Reese ‘Truth, Repentance, and Naboth’s Vineyard: Towards Reconciliation in Aotearoa New Zealand’, MPhil Dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2007.
This dissertation explores a theology of reconciliation between people-groups or ethnic groups and applies this theology to the New Zealand context of land loss suffered by Maori in the 19th century. Within a context of reconciliation or forgiveness the author examines the role of restitution of land and other resources. The responsibility of the Christian Church in this process is the primary focus. Insightful and provocative. (used by permission of the author)