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Bibles, Prayer Books & Dictionaries (te reo Māori)

Church Missionary Society papers, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington

Treaty of Waitangi sheets, Archives NZ, Wellington

  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi | Waitangi sheet
    This is the Waitangi Sheet of te Tiriti o Waitangi, signed at various places around Aotearoa New Zealand in 1840. The document itself was drawn up on the night of 5 February by Richard Taylor, who was given the Māori language draft used at the Waitangi hui by Henry Williams. Although this sheet is the most known, te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi is not a single large sheet of paper but a group of nine documents: seven on paper and two on parchment. Together they represent an agreement drawn up between representatives of the British Crown on the one hand and over 500 representatives of Māori iwi and hapū on the other. The other 8 sheets follow below.
  • Manukau-Kāwhia sheet
    The Manukau-Kāwhia Sheet is the only surviving copy with the signature of Colonial Secretary Willoughby Shortland (rather than by Hobson, who had been paralysed by a stroke on 1 March). It was also the last copy to be returned, in 1841. It was first sent to Captain William Symonds on 13 March 1840, and he gathered signatures from chiefs around the Manukau Harbour. On 20 March Symonds and James Hamlin organised a hui at Orua Bay on the Manukau Peninsula. Although none of the Waikato chiefs would sign (including Pōtatau Te Wherowhero), three from Ngāti Whātua did so (Te Kawau, Te Tinana, Te Reweti). There were further signings at the Manukau Heads and Kāwhia Harbour.
  • Tauranga sheet
    After William Hobson’s stroke, various missionaries were authorised to act as official negotiators in order to gather signatures to the Treaty. By 1 April 1840, the CMS missionary in Tauranga, Alfred Brown, had received two copies of te Tiriti. One of these was a finely-written copy on paper with three wax seals, but it was never used and never returned. It is now in private ownership. Another copy, without seals and on which the signature of Hobson is thought to be forged (by who is not known), is this Tauranga sheet. Alfred Brown mostly gathered the signatures of Ngāi Te Rangi chiefs, although leading chiefs of this iwi did not sign.
  • Waikato-Manukau sheet
    This is the Waikato-Manukau Sheet, the only sheet to be written in English. It is a neatly written copy on paper bearing William Hobson’s seal and signature. The signature was very shaky owing to his stroke on 1 March (some have argued that Hobson may have signed with his left hand). 39 rangatira signed this sheet, and at least one woman, Hoana Riutoto was one of them. Missionary Robert Maunsell, whose station was near the mouth of the Waikato River, received the sheet in late March or early April 1840. The sheet notes that it was witnessed on 11 April. Maunsell received this sheet just as around 1500 Māori were assembling at the Mission for a meeting. Taking advantage of the gathering, he secured the signatures of 32 rangatira. They were mainly from the lower Waikato region, with some from Ngāruawāhia and further upstream.
  • Printed sheet
    This Waikato copy is one of 200 copies of the Māori text printed in Paihia on 17 February 1840 by CMS printer, William Colenso. The dates of when this was signed are unknown, but it is most likely an adjunct to the Waikato-Manukau sheet (which is in English) that missionary Robert Maunsell received and was signed in late March or early April 1840. Maunsell witnessed all five names on the sheet. The chiefs, from Ngāti Pou on the Waikato River and Ngāti Te Wehi at Raglan, may have been visiting Maunsell’s station at the mouth of the Waikato River.
  • Herald-Bunbury sheet
    For more than two months in 1840, Major Thomas Bunbury sailed around New Zealand obtaining signatures to te Tiriti o Waitangi. His sheet became known as the Herald (Bunbury) Sheet. With him was Edward Williams, son of Henry Williams and a co-translator of the Treaty into Māori. Their instructions were to complete negotiations in North Island areas that had not been covered and to secure agreement in the South Island. They obtained 27 signatures during their travels.
  • Bay of Plenty (Fedarb) sheet
    After arriving in Tauranga on 11 May 1840, Major Thomas Bunbury had missionary James Stack produce two copies of te Tiriti o Waitangi. One of these was this Bay of Plenty (Fedarb) Sheet, given to the 23-year old trader, James Fedarb. He was to receive compensation for each signature he gathered, although in the end he was never paid. Fedarb left Tauranga aboard the Mercury on 22 May, sailing around the Bay of Plenty. He gathered 26 signatures during his trip, which he mixed with his own trading interests.
  • Cook Strait (Henry Williams) sheet
    The Rev. Henry Williams, translator of the Treaty, left the Bay of Islands on the Ariel on 2 April 1840 with two sheets. One was given to his brother William Williams at Tūranga (Gisborne) on 8 April (the East Coast sheet). The second was this Cook Strait sheet, also known as the Raukawa Moana sheet and the Henry Williams sheet. Williams arrived at Port Nicholson (Wellington) in mid-April, but for 10 days no rangatira signed. A meeting was finally arranged on Williams’s schooner Ariel on 29 April, and 34 rangatira signed. Further rangatira signed at Queen Charlotte Sound (4-5 May) and Rangitoto (D’Urville Island, 11 May). He then travelled along the west coast of the North Island and received the agreement of several chiefs at Ōtaki, Waikanae, in the Manawatū, at Wanganui and Motu Ngārara, a small island off Kapiti.
  • East Coast sheet
    On 8 April 1840, Henry Williams delivered this copy of te Tiriti to his brother William Williams, who was based at the CMS mission in Tūranga (Gisborne). His task was to gather the signatures of rangatira from East Cape to Ahuriri (Napier). Between 5 and 12 May, 25 chiefs at Tūranga signed, which according to Williams was almost the whole leadership of the district. However at Uawa (Tolaga Bay) on 16/17 May, prominent rangatria Te Kani a Takirau refused to sign. Two rangatira signed at Uawa. Seven rangatira signed at Waiapu (Whakawhitira) on or around 25-31 May, and three at Waiapu (Rangitukia) on 1 June. During his return to Tūranga, four signed at Tokomaru on 9 June. Williams had planned to gather further signatures south of Tūranga in July or August, but this did not happen. The signatures were witnessed by William Williams, Henry Williams Jnr, and George Clarke Jnr, and made a total of 41.

Text credit for this section: Archives New Zealand, IA9/9, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, The Treaty of Waitangi | Flickr

Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives

  • AJHR 1860 E-09
    Minutes of the Kohimarama Conference, July-August 1860
  • AJHR 1863 E-12
    Papers re Native Meeting at Peria, October 1862
  • AJHR 1865 E-11
    Correspondence of Wiremu Tāmehana Te Waharoa with Government

Governors’ Duplicate Despatch Series, Archives NZ, Wellington

Significant correspondence, 1830s-50s