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Treaty of Waitangi

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The Treaty of Waitangi is an agreement between the British Crown and the Maori people. The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on the sixth of February 1840 by 43 Northland chiefs and Lieutenant Governor Hobson. The Treaty recognized Maori people occupied New Zealand prior to British. The Treaty of Waitangi allowed the Crown to set up a government to establish laws, and recognised that Māori people owned their lands and other properties. The immigrants (British citizens) could come and live here in peace. Meanwhile, Maori gained the some rights as British citizens. At the signing of the treaty got around constraints in both British and Maori , but in a large number of immigrants on the demand for land and under the pressure of the United Kingdom authorities to his authority, which weakened the influence of the Treaty. The treaty was never ratified by Britain and carried no legal force in New Zealand until receiving limited recognition in 1975. The Colonial Office and early New Zealand governors were initially fairly supportive of the Treaty as it gave them authority over both New Zealand Company settlers and Maori. As the Crown acquired more substantive sovereignty over New Zealand, the Treaty became less useful, although it was used to justify the idea that Waikato and Taranaki were rebels against the Crown in the wars of the 1860s. Court cases later in the 19th century established the principle that the Treaty was a 'legal nullity' which could be ignored by both the courts and government. This argument was supported by the claim that New Zealand had become a colony when annexed by proclamation in January 1840, before the treaty was signed. Furthermore, Hobson only claimed to have taken possession of the North Island by Treaty. The South Island he claimed for Britain by right of discovery, by observing that Māori were so sparse in the South Island, that it could be considered uninhabited.



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