treaty of waitangi

Events In History


Waitangi Day

  • Waitangi Day

    Every year on 6 February, New Zealand marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. For most people, Waitangi Day is a holiday; for many, and especially for Māori, it is a time for reflecting on the Treaty and its place in modern New Zealand.

    Read the full article

  • Page 3 – Waitangi Day 1940s-1950s

    From the 1940s the Treaty and Waitangi began to find a place in the national consciousness. For most New Zealanders, they were of historical interest only.

The Treaty in practice

  • The Treaty in practice

    Amalgamating Māori into colonial settler society was a key part of British policy in New Zealand after 1840. Economic and social change, along with land-purchase programmes, were central to this process.

    Read the full article

  • Page 2 – Slide to war

    War raged in the North Island in the mid-19th century. The period from 1860, when conflict broke out in Taranaki, through to about 1872, is commonly called the New Zealand Wars

  • Page 3 – Obtaining land

    How to obtain land for European settlement was always a key issue in New Zealand. With the wars of the 1860s, a new legal system backed up conquest as a means of gaining Māori

  • Page 4 – Shared issues and approaches

    Prospects for Māori looked bleak at the beginning of the 20th century. A shared sense of grievance emerged, and new leaders paved the way for new approaches to the Crown.

  • Page 5 – Growing interest in the Treaty

    The early 20th century saw new approaches to dealing with Māori grievances and a renewed interest in the Treaty of Waitangi as the nation's founding document.

  • Page 6 – The Treaty debated

    Modern New Zealand has debated the Treaty of Waitangi as never before. Understanding, reconciliation, protest and confrontation have been part of this process.

  • Page 7 – The Ngāi Tahu claim

    Ngāi Tahu signed a Deed of Settlement with the Crown in 1998. This completed almost 150 years of the tribe's struggle to have the Crown honour its obligations under the Treaty

  • Page 9 – Further information

    A selection of further information on the Treaty in practice.

Treaty signatories and signing locations

Treaty timeline

Treaty biographies

The Treaty in brief

  • The Treaty in brief

    The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s founding document. It takes its name from the place in the Bay of Islands where it was first signed, on 6 February 1840. The Treaty is an agreement, in Māori and English, that was made between the British Crown and about 540 Māori rangatira (chiefs).

    Read the full article

  • Page 2 – Treaty FAQs

    Answers to some common questions about the Treaty of Waitangi.

  • Page 3 – Further information

    More information, in brief, on the Treaty of Waitangi.

Treaty of Waitangi

Political and constitutional timeline

A history of New Zealand 1769-1914

  • A history of New Zealand 1769-1914

    In the period between the first European landings and the First World War, New Zealand was transformed from an exclusively Māori world into one in which Pākehā dominated numerically, politically, socially and economically.

    Read the full article

  • Page 1 - History of New Zealand, 1769-1914 In the period between the first European landings and the First World War, New Zealand was transformed from an exclusively Māori world into one in which Pākehā dominated

Read the Treaty

History of the Governor-General

  • History of the Governor-General

    New Zealand has had a governor or (from 1917) a Governor-General since 1840. The work of these men and women has reflected the constitutional and political history of New Zealand in many ways.

    Read the full article

  • Page 3 - Crown colony eraNew Zealand became a British colony in 1840, legitimised by the Treaty of Waitangi and Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson's declaration of 21 May declaring sovereignty over the

Māori King movement origins

  • Māori King movement origins

    In May 2008 Māori gathered at Ngāruawāhia to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the formation of the Kīngitanga, or Māori King Movement. The current king, Te Arikinui Tūheitia Paki, was crowned in August 2006 following the death of his mother, Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

    Read the full article

  • Page 3 - The land issuePressure to sell land was a key factor in the creation of the Kīngitanga. Before European settlement Māori had no concept of selling land and few chiefs had the authority to

Māori King movement - 1860-94

  • Māori King movement - 1860-94

    King Tāwhiao's reign was dominated by the Waikato War and the fallout from it.

    Read the full article

  • Page 4 - RaupatuUnder the terms of the New Zealand Settlements Act 1863 the government confiscated huge areas of Māori land in late

Network Waitangi Ōtautahi

The 1940 Centennial

  • The 1940 Centennial

    The centennial celebrations of 1940 marked a century of European effort and progress. Māori history and the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi took a back seat.

    Read the full article

  • Page 5 - The Treaty of WaitangiDespite all the talk of the 'birth of a nation', the place of the Treaty of Waitangi or Māori in the centennial celebrations was less

Taming the frontier

  • Taming the frontier

    In 1832 James Busby was appointed as the official British Resident to New Zealand. After arriving in the Bay of Islands in May 1833 he took steps to tame what he saw as a chaotic frontier society.

    Read the full article

  • Page 5 – A separate Crown colony

    Protecting Māori, regulating land purchases, controlling the activities of settlers and dealing with the potential influx of migrants underpinned British policy in 1839. New

Links - Treaty of Waitangi


  • Heke Pōkai, Hōne Wiremu

    Ngāpuhi chief Hōne Heke was an influential northern Māori voice in favour of the Treaty of Waitangi. However, he later became a leading opponent of British rule in New Zealand.

  • Kahutia, Riperata

    Riperata Kahutia became a well-known figure in the Poverty Bay region through her claims in the Native Land Court and the Poverty Bay Commission.

  • Kawiti, Te Ruki

    A notable Ngāpuhi chief and warrior and a skilled military tactician who reluctantly signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.

  • Nene, Tāmati Wāka

    Renowned Ngāpuhi chief, Tāmati Wāka Nene, was an early friend of Pākehā. He was one of its most influential supporters in the debate at Waitangi over the Treaty and he was among the first to sign.

  • Ngāpua, Hōne Heke

    Hōne Heke Ngāpua was elected to Parliament in 1893 and represented the people of Northern Māori almost continuously until his death in 1909.

  • Pomare

    Pōmare II was a prominent Ngāpuhi chief who signed the Treaty of Waitangi. He was later arrested by the British on suspicion of treason but released on the intervention of Tāmati Wāka Nene.

  • Taonui, Aperahama

    Aperahama Taonui, of the Te Popoto sub-tribe of Ngāpuhi, was a founding member of the Kotahitanga movement, which evolved into the Māori parliaments of the 1890s.

  • Taraia Ngakuti Te Tumuhuia

    Ngāti Maru and Ngati Tamaterā chief who rejected the intrusion of Europeans in the traditional Māori world.

  • Te Hāpuku

    Hawke's Bay chief, Te Hāpuku, signed the 1835 Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Waitangi. He opposed the King Movement fought against the Hauhau and Te Kooti.

  • Te Heuheu Tūkino III, Iwikau

    A paramount chief of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Iwikau Te Heuheu was an ardent proponent of Māori nationalism, supporting the movement to set up a Māori king.

  • Te Rauparaha

    Te Rauparaha was a Ngāti Toa chief and warrior. Sometimes called the 'Napoleon of the Southern Hemisphere', he ruled the lower end of the North Island from his base at Kapiti Island for the best part of 20 years

  • Te Whiwhi, Hēnare Mātene

    Hēnare Mātene Te Whiwhi promoted the idea of a Māori monarch, which he believed would be vital to protect Māori land.

  • Te Rangitopeora

    A signatory to the Treaty of Waitangi, Rangi Topeora was often referred to as the Queen of the South. She was a noted composer and mediator, and rejected European clothing throughout her life.

  • Hobson, William

    After a lengthy Royal Navy career in which he saw action in the Napoleonic Wars and was twice captured by pirates in the Caribbean, William Hobson (1792-1842) became New Zealand's first Governor.

  • Buick, Thomas Lindsay

    Politician, journalist and historian Thomas Buick produced a  biography of Te Rauparaha before publishing his best known and most important book, The Treaty of Waitangi, in 1914

  • Bunbury, Thomas

    Biography of Thomas Bunbury gathered signatures for the Treaty of Waitangi in the South Island and Steward Island.

  • Busby, James

    Edinburgh-born James Busby was British Resident, a consular representative, in New Zealand from 1833. Based at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, he was given little material support to achieve British policy aims, but in early 1840 he helped William Hobson draft the Treaty of Waitangi.

  • Prendergast, James

    Lawyer James Prendergast was New Zealand's third chief justice.

  • Spain, William

    William Spain was a land commissioner who investigated the New Zealand Company's claims that it had purchased 20 million acres in 1839. The claims were not settled until several years after Spain's death

  • Colenso, William

    Colenso arrived at the Bay of Islands as the Church Mission printer in December 1834. His achievements include printing the New Testamont in Māori and the Māori version of the Treaty of Waitangi.

  • Williams, Henry

    Henry Williams was a missionary who supported British annexation. He believed that Māori should be protected from lawless Europeans and fraudulent dealings. He and his son Edward translated the Treaty of Waitangi into Māori.

  • Te Kawau, Āpihai

    Te Kawau was a Ngāti Whātua leader who signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Manukau Harbour in March 1840. He later worked with European magistrates to settle disputes among Māori.


Related keywords