Waikato Heads, late March or early April 1840

Nga Wahi

Late March or early April 1840Sheet 3 — The Waikato-Manukau Sheet

Reverend Robert Maunsell held a meeting to discuss the Treaty of Waitangi at Waikato Heads in late March or early April. Many of the 1500 people present were enthusiastic about the treaty and Maunsell acquired 32 signatures on the Waikato-Manukau treaty sheet. Maunsell and Benjamin Ashwell, who were both Anglican Church Missionary Society missionaries in Waikato, witnessed the signatures. Although the sheet was dated 11 April, the meeting is thought to have taken place earlier.

Maunsell said he had received a letter from Colonial Secretary Willoughby Shortland in March with instructions to ‘obtain the signatures of the Chiefs of Waikato amongst whom we reside’. [1] Shortland did not send a true copy of the treaty in the Māori language, but one of the English-language versions that was pre-signed by Hobson and dated 6 February 1840. Of the nine treaty sheets sent around New Zealand, the Waikato-Manukau sheet was the only one in English. Maunsell explained the word ‘sovereignty’ in the English treaty as meaning that the rangatira (chiefs) would keep their rights over their land, while the English queen would gain the power to make laws.

Maunsell was not sent any gifts to distribute to the signatories, as some other treaty witnesses were. This was not an issue on the day of the meeting, but the group later heard about the events around signing in the Bay of Islands, and especially at Hokianga, where blankets had been given. When Police Magistrate W.C. Symonds arrived at Waikato Heads on 3 April with the Manukau-Kāwhia treaty sheet, he found that the signatories were about to destroy the Waikato-Manukau treaty sheet. He was able to distribute blankets to these signatories, which calmed the situation.

Symonds had intended to get signatures on the Manukau-Kāwhia copy, but he discovered that the 17 hapū (subtribes) represented on the Waikato-Manukau treaty sheet covered almost all of the west coast of the North Island as far south as Mōkau. The few exceptions were the rangatira of Kāwhia and Aotea. Hearing that the Wesleyan (Methodist) missionaries in that area, John Whiteley and James Wallis, were willing to help gain signatures for the treaty, Symonds cut his trip short and sent the Manukau-Kāwhia treaty sheet to them, along with instructions on how to proceed.

Symonds retrieved the Waikato-Manukau treaty sheet from Maunsell and travelled back to Manukau Harbour to meet again with the Waikato rangatira Te Wherowhero.


[1] Quoted in R.S. Bennett, Treaty to treaty: a history of early New Zealand from the Treaty of Tordesillas 1494 to the Treaty of Waitangi 1840, vol. 3, R.S. Bennett, Auckland, 2012, p. 283


Signatories

Signature number Signed as Probable namesort descending Tribe Hapū
14 Aperahama Ngakainga Āperahama Ngākāinga Waikato Ngāti Te Ata, Ngāti Te Uringahu
17 Hako Hakiwaka Waikato Ngāti Te Wehi
15 Hoana Riutoto Hoana Riutoto Waikato Ngāti Mahuta
3 Te Paki Hōne Wētere Te Paki Waikato Ngāti Ngaungau
20 Kemura Wareroa Kāmura Whareroa Waikato Ngāti Tāhinga
2 Kiwi Ngarau Kiwi Ngārau Waikato Ngāti Tahinga
10 Kiwi (Te Roto) Kiwi Te Roto Waikato Ngāti Māhuta
13 Maikuku Maikūkū Waikato Ngāti Te Ata
7 Muriwenua Muriwhenua Ngāti Hauā
4 Ngapaka Ngāpaka Waikato Ngāti Tipā
31 Ngawaka (Te Ao) Ngāwaka Te Ao-o-te-rangi Waikato Ngāti Hourua
8 Te Pakaru Nuitone Haupōkia Te Pakaru Ngāti Maniapoto Ngāti Apakura, Ngāti Urunumia
9 Waraki Nūtoni Te Waraki Ngāti Maniapoto
1 Paengahuru Paengahuru Waikato, Ngāti Maniapoto Ngāti Tipā, Ngāti Tāhinga
5 Kukutai Pāora Kūkūtai Waikato Ngāti Tipā
32 Peehi Pēhi Waikato Ngāti Ruru
28 Te Wharepu Pene Te Wharepū Waikato Ngāti Hine
21 Pohepohe Pohepohe Ngāti Hauā
26 Pohotukia Pohotukia Waikato Ngāti Apakura
22 Pokawa Rawhirawhi Pōkawa Rawhirawhi Ngāti Hauā
25 Pungarehu Pungarehu Waikato Ngāti Apakura
29 Te Kanawa Te Kanawa Waikato, Ngāti Maniapoto Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Naho, Ngāti Hine
12 Te Katipa Te Kātipa Te Awarahi Waikato Ngāti Te Ata, Ngāti Pou
27 Te Keha Te Keha Waikato Ngāti Naho
24 Te Mokorau Te Mokoroa Waikato Ngāti Ruru
6 Te Ngoki Te Ngohi Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Raukawa
11 Te Paerata Te Paerata Waikato Ngāti Pou
23 Te Puata Te Pūata Waikato Ngāti Ruru
16 Te Wairakau Te Wairākau Waikato Ngāti Te Ata
30 Te Whata Te Whata Waikato Ngāti Tīpā
19 Tuneu Ngawaka Tūnui Ngāwaka Waikato Ngāti Tāhinga
18 Wiremu Te Awa-i-taia Wiremu Nēra Te Awa-i-tāia Waikato Ngāti Māhanga
How to cite this page

'Waikato Heads, late March or early April 1840', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/treaty/location/waikato-heads/late-march-or-early-april-1840, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 30-Jun-2016

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