Nga Tohu

In 1840 more than 500 chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document. Ngā Tohu, when complete, will contain a biographical sketch of each signatory.


SignatureSheetSigned asProbable nameTribeHapūSigning Occasion
179Sheet 1 — The Waitangi SheetTokitahiTokitahiKaitāia 28 April 1840

Tokitahi signed the Treaty of Waitangi on 28 April 1840 at Kaitāia.

Although little is known about Tokitahi, he gave a speech at the hui: ‘I have no land to give the Governor … We were gentlemen before, we will be greater now. Now we have more blankets, shirts, and trousers. Our houses were once made of rushes; they are better now. I have made my speech.’ [1]

[1] Quoted in T. Lindsay Buick, The Treaty of Waitangi: or, how New Zealand became a British colony, Mackay, Wellington, 1914, p. 148

If you have more information about this treaty signatory please add a community contribution below or contact us at [email protected].

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