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An important part of the living history of New Zealand, the Treaty of Waitangi, its origins, purpose, meaning and effect in today’s multi cultural New Zealand. This is “must know” information when considering immigrating to New Zealand.
The Treaty of Waitangi was an agreement made between Maori and the British Crown in 1840. Today it is considered to be New Zealand’s founding document. This is a brief background to the Treaty and an introduction to recommended resources.
On 6 February 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi was signed at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands by Hobson, several English residents, and approximately 45 Maori Rangatira, Hone Heke being the first. The Maori text of the Treaty was then taken around Northland to obtain additional Maori signatures and copies were sent around the rest of the country for signing, but the English text was signed only at Waikato Heads and at Manukau by 39 rangatira. By the end of that year, over 500 Maori had signed the Treaty. Of those 500, 13 were women.
The Treaty can be read in full here.