Karaka Bay signing, 4 March 1840

Nga Wahi

4 March 1840Sheet 1 — The Waitangi Sheet

Lieutenat-Governor William Hobson’s official party travelled from Kaitāia to Waitematā aboard HMS Herald, captained by Joseph Nias. W.C. Symonds, a British army officer, and Felton Mathew, the acting surveyor-general, accompanied the group to share their knowledge of the Tāmaki (Auckland) area. On 4 March 1840, 17 Tāmaki rangatira (chiefs), mostly from Ngāti Pāoa and Ngāti Maru, signed the Waitangi sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi at Karaka Bay on Waitematā Harbour.

Though no official records were kept of the explanations of the treaty that were given, or the discussion before signing, the missionaries would have been convincing advisers for these rangatira, especially as Henry Williams had played an important role in negotiating peace with their enemies in 1836. A battle against Ngāpuhi on Great Barrier Island in 1838 showed just how vulnerable they were to attack, and the treaty may have seemed a better guarantee of safety than their former peace agreements. Many years later, local Māori recalled that the treaty offered them protection from Ngāpuhi to the north and Waikato to the south.

The week leading up to the signing on 4 March had been difficult. Captain Nias took over as the head of the official party after Hobson suffered a stroke on 1 March. Henry Williams left the Herald on 23 February for William Fairburn’s mission station at Maraetai to arrange a signing of the treaty for Hauraki rangatira. On 3 March news reached the Herald from Williams that the rangatira were prepared to sign. Nias sailed in one of the Herald’s boats to a pre-arranged meeting place near the mouth of the Tāmaki River. The ‘most notable’ Ngāti Pāoa rangatira who came with the missionaries Williams and Fairburn were Wiremu Hoete, Te Karamū Kahukoti, Hōri Pōkai Te Ruinga, Te Hīnaki and Mohi Te Ahi-ā-Te-Ngū, who were lived on Waiheke Island and on the western coast of the Firth of Thames.

Not all rangatira from Waitematā signed the treaty, as the visit was cut short due to Hobson’s poor health. The Herald sailed back to the Bay of Islands and anchored at Kororāreka (later Russell), from where Hobson was taken to Waimate North. The task of collecting signatures across the country was then divided among colonial officials, traders and missionaries, with Colonial Secretary Willoughby Shortland chosen as Hobson’s deputy. 


Signature Number Signed assort descending Probable Name Tribe Hapū
165 Anaru Anaru Ngāti Pāoa?
161 Hinaki Te Hīnaki Ngāti Pāoa
158 Hohepa Hōhepa Ngāti Pāoa
152 Hokopa Hākopa Ngāti Pāoa
160 Inoka Ēnoka Ngāti Pāoa
156 Kahu Kote Te Karamū Kahukoti Ngāti Pāoa
162 Keka Keha Ngāti Pāoa, Ngāti Naho
164 Mohi Mohi Te Harere?/Mohi Te Ahi-ā-Te-Ngū? Ngāti Pāoa?/Ngāti Tamaoho? Te Ākitai?
163 Paora Pāora Tūhaere?/Pāora Te Putu? Ngāti Whātua?/Ngāti Tamaterā?, Te Patukirikiri?, Ngāti Whanaunga?
159 Pouroto Pātara Pouroto Ngāti Pāoa
157 Ruinga Hōri Pōkai Te Ruinga Ngāti Pāoa
153 Te Awa Te Awa Ngāti Pāoa
154 Te Tapuru Te Tapuru Ngāti Pāoa
155 Te Titaha Te Tītaha Ngāti Pāoa
166 Waitangi Waitangi
167 William Korokoro William Korokoro Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Wai, Te Parawhau Ngai Tāwake, Te Kapotai, Ngare Raumati
151 Wiremu Hoete Wiremu Hoete Ngāti Pāoa

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