Nga Wahi

14 May 1840Sheet 8 — The Cook Strait (Henry Williams) Sheet

After travelling to the top of the South Island to collect signatures for the Cook Strait (Henry Williams) copy of the Treaty of Waitangi, missionary Henry Williams, on board the Ariel, returned to the North Island, arriving on the Kapiti Coast on 14 May 1840. Missionary Octavius Hadfield witnessed the North Island signatures in place of the ship’s captain, George Thomas Clayton. Williams remained the only negotiator, as Hadfield ‘would have preferred to have no connection at all with the government’. [1]

Four signatures were gained here for the treaty, including that of Te Rauparaha, the important rangatira (chief) of Ngāti Toa. Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson had told Williams that his ‘principal object’ was to gain the agreement of Te Rauparaha, because this would give the Crown ‘undisputed right of sovereignty over all the southern districts’. [2] This was an over-simplification, but Te Rauparaha’s consent would undoubtedly influence other rangatira in the area.

Another signatory on this date was Te Rauparaha’s son Tāmihana Te Rauparaha, who wrote ‘Katu’ (a name by which he was also known) as his signature. Tāmihana’s cousin Hēnare Mātene Te Whiwhi wrote his name as Te Wiwi. His mother, Rangi Topeora (aka Te Rangitopeora), Te Rauparaha’s niece, also signed. Both Te Rauparaha and Rangi Topeora made unique markings next to their names, which were written by Williams.

[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. 72

[2] Quoted in Orange, p. 72


Signature Numbersort descending Signed as Probable Name Tribe Hapū
75 Te Rauparaha Te Rauparaha Ngāti Toa Ngāti Kimihia
76 Katu Tāmihana Te Rauparaha Ngāti Toa Ngāti Kimihia
77 Te Wiwi Hēnare Mātene Te Whiwhi-o-te-Rangi Ngāti Raukawa Ngāti Huia, Ngāti Kikopiri
78 Topeora Rangi Topeora Ngāti Toa Ngāti Te Maunu, Ngāti Kimihia

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