The Treaty of Waitangi

and the issues surrounding it


The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on the 6th of February, 1840. The purpose of the treaty was to settle the constant disagreement of the way New Zealand should be run. Each race believed that, if their ideals are followed fully, they would lead the country to greatness. This was between the native Maori people and the European settlers. In the end, poor translation & miscommunication led to many more problems than initially anticipated.


  • It uses the word sovereignty which means main authority is now with the British not the chiefs
  • English just thought Taonga meant property and possessions. English thought the crown had the sole right to buy land (and they could set the price)
  • They thought they would now bring all their social systems like law from England, as this is now a British country.


  • Uses the word kawanatanga which is a made up word by the missionaries and means governorship. It means the chiefs kept control
  • They thought they would keep the right to rule and make decisions about their own tribal land and all things that are precious (tanga) to them such as forests and food
  • Thought the British would just settle conflicts and sort the behavior of the bristish settlers out.