Treaty of Waitangi

Date taken: February 6, 1840
Location: Waitangi, New Zealand

Historical Context

Designed to share sovereignty between the British Crown and Māori chiefs the Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document of New Zealand.

Although intended to create unity, different translations, understandings of the treaty and breaches of it, have caused conflict.

From the 1970s the New Zealand public gradually came to know more about the treaty and efforts to honour the treaty and its principles expanded.

Historical Events

  • 1840-01-29 First Governor of New Zealand and co-author of the Treaty of Waitangi Captain William Hobson arrives in the Bay of Islands, NZ
  • 1840-02-06 The Treaty of Waitangi is signed between 40 Māori Chiefs (later signed by 500) and representatives of the British crown in Waitangi, New Zealand. The treaty was designed to share sovereignty between the two groups.
  • 1845-03-11 The Flagstaff War: In New Zealand, Chiefs Hone Heke and Kawiti lead 700 Māoris to chop down the British flagpole and drive settlers out of the British colonial settlement of Kororareka because of breaches of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.

Historical Photos