Skip to Main Content

New Zealand : legal resources: Treaties

Treaty of Waitangi: founding document of modern NZ

"On 6 February 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi was signed at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands by Captain William Hobson, several English residents, and between 43 and 46 Māori rangatira [chiefs]...The British Government was considering establishing a form of civil government in New Zealand because of the increasing number of British people who were coming to live in New Zealand. However, a plan for private settlement by the New Zealand Company forced the British Government to act. The government instructed Captain William Hobson to act for the British Crown in negotiating a treaty on the grounds that it was necessary to obtain Māori consent before establishing any form of government...After the signing at Waitangi, the Māori text of the Treaty was taken around Northland to obtain additional Māori signatures. Copies were also sent around the rest of the country for signing. By the end of that year, over 500 Māori had signed the Treaty. Of those 500, 13 were women. The English text was signed only at Waikato Heads and at Manukau by 39 rangatira." Taken from official website. (see first link below)

Finding New Zealand treaties

Commentary on Waitangi