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Treaty of Waitangi Case Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 20 March 2017

Treaty of Waitangi Case

At around 1830’s there were about 120,000 Maori aborigines in New Zealand, added with around 2000 settlers from other places. There was an influx of immigrants at that time. Because of that efforts for negotiation between the Maori and the British government were made. After that, several instructions regarding the issue were given to the person in charge for the country at that time.

            The instructions given were for the interests of the Aborigines of the country, wherein all transactions and important dealings with their land should be done with utmost sincerity, justice and good faith. It is also necessary that governing these transactions should include the proper recognition of the Sovereign British power at that time. Since it is for their interests, they should not be permitted to engage in various contracts or dealings that they could not be aware of, so that further dangers and injuries could be avoided because of their ignorance. This includes the purchase of territory that is held as essential for the sake of the aborigines.

Their comfort, safety and subsistence are one of the top priorities to consider. This means that if ever the British government would deem the need to acquire land, the ones that they will get are those who are not that substantive to the natives, without causing further inconvenience to these people. This task is placed as one of the primary tasks by the official protector of the country, the ones delegated by the British government to act as the head at that time.

            The treaty of Waitangi was then signed on the sixth of February, 1840 at the Waitangi Bay of Islands by Hobson, wherein there were several English inhabitants. There were also 45 Maori representatives who took part in the creation of the treaty, which was then passed around the Northland to acquire additional Maori signatures all over the country. After the year has ended, there were more than 500 Maori signatures gathered.

            The Treaty of Waitangi is mainly composed of two different texts, which are the Maori and the English. But the English version or text is not necessarily the exact translation of the Maori text, hence it has been agreed to recognize both. This is because in essence, they contain similar things, wherein it places an agreement that the Maori has given the right of governance to the British Crown, making it as a British settlement or colony. On the other hand, the British Crown is the ones who are responsible to protect the interests of the Maori, giving them full protection of the rights, their interests, status and citizenship.

            In the treaty, it was stated that the British intentions are primarily to protect the Maori interests even though there is the settlement of the British. Another is to be able to provide British settlement, and lastly was to be able to develop or establish a government that would be able to maintain peace and order all over the country. On the other hand, according to the Maori texts of the treaty, one of the provisions that the Crown should be able to give was to secure tribal chieftainship for the Maori people, and to be able to secure land ownership for these Maori people.

            The contents of this treaty was the belief of the Maori that they gave the British government the right of governance in exchange for their protection, without them losing their essential rights to authority and the management of their own affairs and concerns. Land sales have also been regulated in favor of the Maori. This is to ensure that they receive sufficient lands that they can use for their own, despite knowing that they are govern by rulers from other countries. Pre-empting land sales reduced the occurrence of the sales of important lands for the Maori people, and the land which were acquired by the British government where the ones who they doesn’t necessarily need.

            It also contains texts pertaining to the recognition of Maori as equals. They are given the benefits of royal protection and full citizenship, and not looked down as the natives or the aborigines. Promoting equality is the sign of recognition of their existence, that the British government is actually acknowledging them as equal beings. Equality is an important aspect which was brought about to the Maori. They are recognized as citizens of the country and are respected as such.

            Since the establishment of the Treaty of Waitangi, it has been the basis of Law making in New Zealand. The laws that were several laws passed in relation to the treaty, and were mainly for the interests of the people. British settlement in New Zealand has definitely caused an impact to the people living in the country. The state policies of made by the British government has opened the door for the opportunity of coming into terms with the history of the country. This would lead to the establishment of unity and relationships between the different people of the country.

            The treaty however was more of a one-sided contribution from the British Crown. They were the ones devising the rules and regulations being implemented in the country, thus this doesn’t mean that they are not the ones being protected by these laws. However, the Maori input in the policies being observed in the British settlements were through consultation or reactive litigation, wherein they react on the government policies which have failed to acknowledge the interests of the Maori people.. The Waitangi Tribunal that was established after the ratification of the treaty has also acknowledged the Maori’s right to lodge or give out claims.

            The policies made by the British government were in line with the political happenings of the present time. These policies were never meant to be long-term goals that the people should look after. Because of these, a few of the Maori people were able to fully understand these policies made by the government. Because of this, some were appealing that the Treaty of Waitangi is a case of nullity, wherein its legalities are being questioned. This is because of the fact that the treaty did not specifically feature all the national issues and concerns at all, including politics or the laws.

            Because of these, the Government policy was forced to answer the early manifestations of these protests being given by some Maori people. These includes the political demonstrations made and organized by the Nga Tamatoa or the “young warriors” and the Waitangi Action Committee, and other petitions and movements that encourages the Maori language as the language to be used in the country.

The government addressed the problem by treating it in another perspective: the country is one of the happiest multiracial society in all of the countries in the world. This is because of the co-existence of the Maori and other cultures of people. The government said that these outbursts being exhibited by the Maori were being caused by European “stirrers” which are more into causing a ruckus in the country, between its government and its people.

            After the year 1975 ended, the National Government returned to powere, wherein it has marginalized or somewhat ignored the various Maori issues, and instead of focusing on those problems, has turned to focus on social concerns and housing programs. They are more concerned on the promotion of multiculturalism rather than addressing the issues of grievances from the various Treaty-based arguments. They have defensively reacted when they deal with the various protests and calls for change by the Maori people. The Waitangi Day, instead of a day of celebration and commemoration, has been a day of protests by the masses.

            Public support has been given to the Maori leadership which has launched the Walk to Waitangi, from Waikato, an effort of refocusing on the Treaty policy for the labor sector of the country. The Treaty was a product of an afterthought by the Government, wherein the prompted litigation had been the cause of the rising crises all over the country. An example of this was the section 9, which requires the Crown not to act in a manner that is consistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, wherein it has been drafted abruptly and was then just inserted into the State-Owned Enterprises Bill of 1996, something which was done out of urgency, rather than passing through conceptual and critical thinking.

            Another is the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1988, wherein there were various statutory mechanisms that were made for the protection of the Maori people’s interests. This was developed out of the negotiation with the Maori litigants, wherein it was their cases that was considered in the creation of the Act. This gives the Maori people a right to claim, wherein they are safeguarded before the Crown could transfer any State-owned enterprise.

However, it was well documented that the government at that time had no real intentions of making section 9 to be paramount with the Act of 1988. However, it was deemed that the Court of Appeals could not read down what the section is trying to mean, since the Parliament has intended for it to have meaning and effects rather than that of which is being read. Another is the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, which was created at around 1989.

This is what funds the Maori movement now against the Crown itself, when the Court of Appeals was able to discover a breach in the side of the Government in its section 9, which are the statutory obligations to the Maori people. Another issue that proves great concern is the Corporatisation of the coal industry, where the Crown has shown its interests n the lands of the Maori people, arguing on the mining rights of the Crown, which is a clear circumvention of the section 9.

            Even though there were Maori oppositions, what the Crown proposed has always been what is being followed. What the crown proposes becomes the Crown policy, and is still the policies that are being recognized today. The New Zealand First Party when in coalition with the National at around the year 1996 has wanted to remove the fixed fiscal cap for the settlement envelope, wherein they really showed how much they have opposed what was primarily made for their interests. There were treaty settlement policies which were made and enacted, but it has just narrowly focused on the land grievances and not onto what they really need to focus to.


A Quick Guide and Brief History of the Treaty of Waitangi. (2005). Te Pumaomao-An Awakening to Rediscover and Celebrate Mana Maori   Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://aotearoa.wellington.net.nz/back/quick.htm

Te Mana I Waitangi. (2005). Human Rights and the Treaty of Waitangi   Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://www.hrc.co.nz/index.php?p=23990

Laurie, J. (2006). Waitangi: Treaty and Tribunal Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://www.library.auckland.ac.nz/subjects/maori/guides/waitangi_treaty_and_tribunal.htm#LAW

Loveridge, D. (2005). The Treaty of Waitangi.   Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://www.treatyofwaitangi.net.nz/

Mohi, J. H. (1999). A New Zealand Perspective on Managing Cultural Diversity.            .   Retrieved April 8, 2007, from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=1&hid=119&sid=f02c08c1-1a8c-494b-818d-831be211c7f2%40sessionmgr109

Waitangi Tribunal. (2006). Introducing the Treaty.   Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz/treaty/

Waitangi Tribunal. (2006). Meaning of The Treaty.   Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz/treaty/meaning.asp

Waitangi Tribunal. (2006). Principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.   Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://www.waitangi-tribunal.govt.nz/treaty/principles.asp

Williams, D. (2002). Honouring the Treaty of Waitangi – Are the Parties Measuring Up?   Retrieved May 8, 2007, from http://www.murdoch.edu.au/elaw/issues/v9n3/williams93_text.html

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