Two contrasting perspectives

About the treaty of Waitangi on the day 6 February 1840

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William Hobson

Hobson was a captain of her majesties royal navy who later on in life would become the Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand. Hobsons perspective on the treaty was that it was a document that would give the Maori protection of the English crown and also allow the English crown first pick if the Maori wanted to sell land. It was of Hobsons opinion that the person that had purchased the land owned it and it was theirs to choose what they did with it. He had these perspectives partly because that was what the British government wanted him to do and partly because he was born into a culture where the owner of land was whoever had purchased it. Because of this he was for the treaty. Another influence in his decisions was that it was his job to get a treaty.Once the treaty was signed Hobson did not change his mind on the treaty and on the subject of land ownership.
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Te Ruki Kawiti

"The Duke' Kawiti was a significant Maori chief who originally resisted the treaty. His reasoning on this was because he believed by him agreeing to the treaty the British government could begin to take his lands leaving his tribe homeless. This is partly because once when Kawiti was not in some of his lands a British missionary approached one of the lesser chiefs in the area and purchased lands of him which in theory belonged to Kawiti and his tribe. This made Kawiti angry because the English missionary had brought his peoples land with out him knowing about it.

On February 6 1840 in Waitangi, Kawiti refused to sign the treaty. However his people pressured him to sign the treaty so in May 1840 Kawiti reluctantly signed the Treaty of Waitagni. Another reason that he signed is according to him the Maori population was declining so quickly the Europeans would likely get the land anyway.



Nzhistory (no date) William Hobson. Available at: (Accessed: 5 November 2015).

Teara (no date) Hobson, William. Available at: (Accessed: 4 November 2015).

Teara (no date) Kawiti, Te Ruki. Available at: (Accessed: 5 November 2015).

Teara (no date) Treaty of Waitangi. Available at: (Accessed: 4 November 2015).

By Angus Cuthbert