Te Tiriti
Treaty Texts

Te Tiriti o Waitangi 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 Atanoho hoki kua wakaaro ia he mea tika kia tukua mai tetahi Rangatira – hei kai wakarite ki nga Tangata maori o Nu Tirani – kia wakaaetia e nga Rangatira Maori te Kawanatanga o te Kuini ki nga wahikatoa o te wenua nei me nga motu – na te mea hoki he tokomaha ke nga tangata o tona Iwi Kua noho ki tenei wenua, ae 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 Maori ki te Pakeha e noho ture kore ana.

Na kua pai te Kuini kia tukua a hau a Wiremu Hopihona he Kapitana i te Roiara Nawi 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 ki hai 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 wakaae ki nga Rangitira ki nga hapu – ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani te tino rangatiratanga 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 e te Kuini hei kai hoko mona.

Ko te Tuatoru
Hei wakaritenga mai hoki tenei mo te wakaaetanga ki te Kawanatanga o te Kuini – Ka tiakina e te Kuini o Ingarani nga tangata maori katoa o Nu Tirani ka tukua ki a ratou nga tikanga katoa rite tahi ki ana mea ki nga tangata o Ingarani.

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 Pepueri i te tau kotahi mano, e waru rau e wa te kau o to tatou Ariki.

The Treaty of Waitangi 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 has 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 authorised 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 to authorise 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 Preemption 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 the dates respectively specified. Done at Waitangi this Sixth day of February in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty.

"My view of the Treaty of Waitangi is, as it ever was, that it was the Magna Charta of the aborigines of New Zealand."

Henry Williams

to Bishop Selwyn (12 July 1847)

THE TREATY OF Waitangi 1840


Victoria, the Queen of England, in her concern to protect the chiefs and the subtribes 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 Maori 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 subtribes of New Zealand and other chiefs these laws set out here.

Ko te Tuatahi (Article 1)
The Chiefs of the Confederation and all the Chiefs who have not joined that Confederation give absolutely to the Queen of England for ever the complete government over their land.

Ko te Tuarua (Article 2)
The Queen of England agrees to protect the chiefs, the subtribes 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.

Ko te Tuatoru (Article 3)
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.

So we, the Chiefs of the Confederation of the subtribes of New Zealand meeting here at Waitangi having seen the shape of these words which we accept and agree to record our names and our marks thus. Was done at Waitangi on the sixth of February in the year of our Lord 1840.

Modern rendering/translation of Maori Treaty text by Sir I. H. Kawharu http://www.tiritiowaitangi.govt.nz, 2009 (used with permission).

Henry Williams’ account of his Māori translation of Treaty

That the Queen had kind wishes towards the chiefs and people of New Zealand, and was desirous to protect them in their rights as chiefs, and rights of property, and that the Queen was desirous that a lasting peace and good understanding should be preserved with them. That the Queen had thought it desirable to send a Chief as a regulator of affairs with the natives of New Zealand. That the native chiefs should admit the Government of the Queen throughout the country, from the circumstance that numbers of her subjects are residing in the country, and are coming hither from Europe and New South Wales. That the Queen is desirous to establish a settled government, to prevent evil occurring to the natives and Europeans who are now residing in New Zealand without law. That the Queen therefore proposes to the chiefs these following articles

Article 1
The chiefs shall surrender to the Queen for ever the Government of the country, for the preservation of order and peace.

Article 2
The Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and tribes, and to each individual native, their full rights as chiefs, their rights of possession of their lands, and all their other property of every kind and degree. The chiefs wishing to sell any portion of their lands, shall give to the Queen the right of pre-emption of their lands.

Article 3
That the Queen, in consideration of the above, will protect the natives of New Zealand, and will impart to them all the rights and privileges of British subjects.

Henry Willliams to Bishop Selwyn, letter of 12 July 1847, cited in H. Carleton, The Life of Henry Williams (vol 2, 1877), pp. 155-157.

Williams was responding to Selwyn on the issue of ‘waste-lands’, a policy set out in a letter of Earl Grey (Secretary of State) to Governor George Grey. In his letter to Williams, asking him to explain how he (Williams) had explained the Treaty to Maori, Selwyn had referred to Earl Grey’s letter as ‘distinctly den[ying] the right of the New-Zealanders [i.e., Maori] to their unoccupied lands, – in entire violation, as I conceive, of the Treaty of Waitangi’. Selwyn also stated that he was ‘resolved to act with you and the other members of the Mission in defence of the Treaty’. Williams letter in response stated:

“…I am truly grieved to find that the Queen of Great Britain can be thus dishonoured [by the actions of the government]. I have always maintained to the aborigines that her Majesty’s word was sacred and inviolable. This treaty between her Majesty the Queen and the chiefs of this country was made in the presence of the whole world, and now, by the flourish of the pen of her Majesty’s Minister, seems to be revoked and scattered to the winds. In like manner as Tahiti, so is New Zealand to fall a sacrifice to the avaricious designs of a company [the New Zealand Company], whose views are said to be confirmed by royal mandate, after a public and unexpected indignity towards her Majesty the Queen.

I cannot be surprised at the very light estimate in which the Missionaries are held who took so prominent a part in the explanations of this treaty between her Majesty and the chiefs of New Zealand. That we should fall a sacrifice, may be desired, but there are further points for consideration: the extermination of the native race, with proportional numbers of British subjects, who must fall with the aborigines in their struggle for freedom. As I was satisfied that I was discharging my duty as a loyal subject of her Majesty, and as a faithful Pastor of the aborigines, I executed the duty requested of me by her Majesty’s representative, Captain Hobson, and am now prepared for consequences. As I did explain the nature of the treaty in 1840, I must continue to explain, in self-defence; for I must not be accessory to such deception, but continue to stand upon the treaty alone.

By what we have seen, we may infer what will be the extent of indignation of the most faithful of native allies, when they find they have been thus deluded, and made the dupes of such duplicity, after such repeated assurance made to them, in her Majesty’s name, of her Majesty’s determination to preserve faithfully the treaty entered into with those at Waitangi….

My view of the Treaty of Waitangi is, as it ever was, that it was the Magna Charta of the aborigines of New Zealand.

Your Lordship has requested information in writing of what I explained to the natives, and how they understood it. I confined myself solely to the tenor of the treaty.”

Williams then goes into his explanation, which is reproduced above.

“I was necessitated, therefore, to fall back on the Treaty and by explaining and distributing several copies amongst the chiefs, maintained my ground and the honour of the Queen; all acknowledging that the terms of the Treaty were good and honest. But for the timely distribution of the Treaty I hesitate not to say that the native population to a man would have been in arms and the question of possession might have been settled for a time by the extermination of all the Europeans in this part of the Island, leaving, as in the melancholy affairs of Kabul, others at some future date to seek for recompense. Feeling, as I did, that the terms of the Treaty were a sacred compact between the British Government and the chiefs of New Zealand, I was enabled to speak with confidence as to the integrity and honour of England, that it was impossible that the Queen or Governor could admit of any deceit towards them.”

HENRY WILLIAMS – to Bishop Selwyn (20 February 1845)