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Waitangi, 6 February 1840

The Waitangi sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by 43* rangatira (chiefs) on 6 February 1840, at Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands. Most of those who signed were from Ngāpuhi, but there were also a few from Ngāti Wai, Te Roroa, Te Rarawa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa.

Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson had arrived in the Bay of Islands on HMS Herald on Wednesday 29 January and quickly set to work drafting and translating the treaty. James Busby, the official British Resident, was also present, along with the notable missionary Henry Williams, who came quickly from Waimate North.

Most rangatira arrived on 4 and 5 February. They camped south of the Waitangi River mouth.

The first meeting on 5 February took place under marquees set up in front of Busby’s residence at Waitangi. After some last-minute translations, the meeting began at 11 a.m., and the mood was cheerful. Hobson started by explaining the treaty and read the English text. Williams read the Māori text to the rangatira and explained it as a covenant between Māori and Queen Victoria. He stated that the treaty was an act of love from the queen, and that the missionaries fully approved of it. Busby then spoke about the sensitive issue of land, stating that the Crown would acquire land and return any that had been improperly taken from Māori. Five hours of discussion followed, with one short break to distribute tobacco.

A theme of resentment toward land sales ran through the speeches by the rangatira. Most expressed a preference for the missionaries and a desire to retain their services. In the first articulate speeches, Te Kāmera, Rewa, Moka and Hākiro asked Hobson to leave, and some accused the missionaries present of stealing their land. Five short speeches in favour of the treaty did not have much effect on the mood of the gathering. However, the subsequent speeches of Tāmati Wāka Nene, Eruera Maihi Patuone and Hōne Heke Pōkai in favour of the treaty were hugely influential. Nene stated that it was too late to stop the arrival of Pākehā and so the treaty was a suitable agreement. Patuone agreed with these statements, and then Heke reiterated that the treaty would be a covenant between Māori and the queen.

Despite a notice that the meeting would continue on 7 February, the rangatira decided they would end the treaty business immediately and assembled in front of Busby’s residence on 6 February. Hobson would not allow further discussion as there had been no official notice of this meeting. He only allowed signatures to be written on the Waitangi treaty sheet.

* There is some dispute over this number, see The Signatories



Signature number Click to sort this column in Ascending order Signed as Probable name Tribe Hapu
4 Hone Heke Hōne Wiremu Heke Pōkai Ngāpuhi Te Matarahurahu, Ngati Rāhiri, Ngāi Tāwake, Ngāti Tautahi
5 Hori Kingi Warerahi Hōri Kīngi Wharerahi Ngāpuhi Ngāi Tawake, Ngāti Tautahi, Te Patukeha, Te Uri-o-Ngongo
6 Tamati Pukututu Tāmati Pukututu Ngāpuhi Te Uri-o-te-Hawato, Te Uri-o-Ngongo
7 Hakero Hākiro Ngāpuhi Ngāi Tawake, Ngāti Rēhia
8 Wikitene Hikitene Ngāti Wai? Te Kapotai?
9 Pumuka Pūmuka Ngāpuhi, Te Roroa Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Pou
10 Marupo Marupō Ngāpuhi Te Whānau Rara, Te Whānau Rongo, Matarahurahu, Ngāti Rāhiri, Ngāti Pou
11 Te Tao Te Tao Ngāpuhi Te Kai Mata, Te Māhurehure?
12 Reweti Atuahaere Te Rēweti Atuahaere Ngāpuhi Ngāti Tautahi
13 Wiremu Hau Wiremu Hau Ngāpuhi Ngāti Te Whiu, Ngāti Pou, Ngāti Miru
14 Te Kaua Te Kaua Ngāpuhi? Te Herepaka
15 Toua Toua Ngāpuhi? Ngāti Rēhia? Te Hikutū?
16 Mene Mene Ngāpuhi Ngāti Rehia, Ngāi Tawake
17 Tamati Waka Nene Tāmati Wāka Nene Ngāpuhi Ngāti Hao, Ngāti Miru, Ngāti Pou, Te Roroa
18 Matiu Huka? Matiu Huka Ngāpuhi Te Uri-o-Ngongo
19 Te Kamera Te Kēmara Ngāpuhi Ngāti Kawa, Ngāti Hauata
20 Warau Wharau Ngāpuhi Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Tokawero
21 Ngere Te Ngere Ngāpuhi Te Urikapana, Ngāti Wai, Te Uri Taniwha?
22 Patuone Eruera Maihi Patuone Ngāpuhi, Te Roroa Ngāti Hao, Ngāti Pou
23 Paora Nohimatangi Pāora Nohi Matangi Ngāpuhi Te Popoto ki Utakura
24 Ruhe Ruhe Ngāpuhi Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Pou, Te Uri Taniwha
29 Rewa Rewa Ngāpuhi Ngāi Tawake, Te Patukeha, Ngāti Tautahi, Te Uri-o-Ngongo
30 Moka Moka Te Kāinga-mataa Ngāpuhi Te Patukeha, Ngāi Tawake, Ngāti Tautahi, Te Uri-o-Ngongo
55 Hara Hara Ngāpuhi Te Uri-o-Te-Hāwato, Ngāti Rangi
56 Hakitara Hakitara Te Rarawa
57 Hawaitu Hawaitu Tāmati Ngāpuhi Te Uri-o-Te-Hāwato
58 Te Matatahi Te Matataki Ngāpuhi Te Kapotai
59 Rawiri Taiwhanga Rāwiri Taiwhanga Ngāpuhi Ngāti Tautahi, Te Uri-o-Hua, Te Uri Taniwha, Ngāti Kura, Te Uri-o-Ngongo
60 Paraara Paraara Ngāpuhi?
61 Ana Hamu Ana Hamu Ngāpuhi? Te Uri-o-Ngongo?
62 Hira Pure Te Hira Pure Ngāpuhi Te Uri-o-Hua, Te Uri Taniwha
63 Iwi Te Iwi Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi? Ngāti Rangi, Te Urikapana
64 Wiorau Whiorau Ngāpuhi Te Whānau Rara, Ngāti Whānaurōia
65 Wiremu Whatipu Wiremu Whatipū Ngāpuhi Ngāti Whakaeke
66 Piripi Haurangi Piripi Haurangi Ngāpuhi Te Uri Taniwha
67 Pokai Riwhitete Pōkai Ngāpuhi Ngāti Rāhiri
68 Te Kauwata Te Kauwhata Ngāti Wai
69 Tuirangi Tuhirangi Ngāpuhi Te Matarahurahu, Ngāti Rāhiri, Ngāi Tawake
70 Hohepa Otene Hōhepa Te Ōtene Pura Ngāpuhi Te Uri Māhoe, Te Uri Kōpura, Ngāti Tama, Te Kohatutaka, Ngāpuhi
71 Hori Kingi Raumati Hōri Kīngi Raumati Ngāpuhi Ngāti Toro, Te Ngahengahe, Te Popoto
72 Tuhakuaha Tūwhakawaha Ngāpuhi Ngāi Tawake
79 Te Koroiko Te Korohiko Ngāti Tūwharetoa Ngāti Te Rangiita
80 Iwikau Iwikau Te Heuheu Tūkino III Ngāti Tūwharetoa Ngāti Tūrumakina