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The Treaty of Waitangi

‘Her Majesty Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, regarding with Her Royal favour the native chiefs and tribes of New Zealand, and anxious to protect their just rights and property, and to secure to them the enjoyment of peace and good order, has deemed it necessary (in consequence of the great number of Her Majesty's subjects who have already settled in New Zealand, and the rapid extension of emigration, both from Europe and Australia which is still in progress) to constitute and appoint a functionary, properly authorised to treat with the aborigines of New Zealand for the recognition of Her Majesty's sovereign authority over the whole or any part of the islands. Her Majesty therefore being desirous to establish a settled form of civil government with a view to avert the evil consequences which must result from the absence of the necessary laws and institutions, alike to the native population and to Her subjects, has been graciously pleased to empower and to authorize me, William Hobson, a captain in Her Majesty's Royal Navy, Consul and Lieutenant Governor over such parts of New Zealand as may be, or hereafter shall be, ceded to Her Majesty, to invite the confederated and independent chiefs of New Zealand to concur in the following articles and conditions:—

Article the First.—The chiefs of the confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the separate and independent chiefs who have not become members of the confederation, cede to Her Majesty, the Queen of England absolutely, and without reservation all the rights and powers of sovereignty which the said confederation or independent chiefs respectively exercise or possess over their respective territories, as the sole sovereigns thereof.

Article the Second.—Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and tribes of New Zealand, and to the respective families and individuals thereof, the full, exclusive and

* Parliamentary Papers, 1840 [560]. By order of the New Zealand Government a fac-simile of the original document and signatures was published in New Zealand in 1877, together with the declaration of independence of 1835.

page 5 undisturbed possession of their lands and estates, forests, fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess, so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession. But the chiefs of the United Tribes, and the individual chiefs, yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of pre-emption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate, at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective proprietors and persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.

Article the Third.—In consideration thereof, Her Majesty, the Queen of England, extends to the natives of New Zealand her Royal protection, and imparts to them all the rights and privileges of British subjects.—W. Hobson.

Now therefore we, the chiefs of the confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand, being assembled in congress at Waitangi, and we, the separate and independent chiefs of New Zealand, claiming authority over the tribes and territories which are specified after our respective names, having been made fully to understand the provisions of the foregoing Treaty, accept and enter into the same in the full spirit and meaning thereof.

In witness whereof we have attached our signatures or marks at the places and dates respectively specified.

Done at Waitangi this 6th day of February in the year of our Lord, 1840.” (Many Maori names were subscribed).