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Akaroa, 30 May 1840

Thomas Bunbury, Edward Williams, William Stewart and Captain Nias on HMS Herald arrived at Akaroa on 28 May 1840. On the same day Williams read out and explained the treaty. Stewart may have helped Williams, as he was well-known in the South Island and understood the Ngāi Tahu dialect. [1]

At a meeting at Ōnuku two days later, two chiefs signed the Herald sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi. The signatories were the chiefs Iwikau and Tīkao, who were given blankets. However, chiefs on the western side of the harbour, including Tuauau, Paruru, Tangatahara, Ruaparae and his son Akaroa, Mautai and Tamakeke decided to avoid meeting the British. [2]

By 31 May the Herald had sailed for Stewart Island, over which Bunbury claimed sovereignty on 5 June without having met anyone there. [3]

Hobson and Bunbury were concerned about the treaty being signed ‘intelligently’ in the South Island; if this could not be done, sovereignty would be claimed on the basis of discovery. [4]

[1] Claudia Orange, The Treaty of Waitangi, Allen & Unwin, Port Nicholson Press with assistance from the Historical Publications Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington, 1987, p. 78

[2] According to the French naval officer C.A. Lavaud, cited in Harry Evison,Te Wai Pounamu, p. 128

[3] Buick, The Treaty of Waitangi, p. 181

[4] Bunbury to Hobson, cited in Orange, Treaty of Waitangi, p. 77


Signature number Click to sort this column in Ascending order Signed as Probable name Tribe Hapu
7 Iwikau Iwikau Ngāi Tahu Ngāti Rangiāmoa
8 John Love Hone Tīkao Ngāi Tahu Ngāi Te Kahukura, Ngāi Tūāhuriri