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An Epitome of Official Documents Relative to Native Affairs and Land Purchases in the North Island of New Zealand

Treaty of Waitangi

Treaty of Waitangi

[i roto i te reo Māori]

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 authorized to treat with the aborigines of New Zealand for the recognition of Her Majesty's sovereign authority over the whole of any part of those 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 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 page 16Confederation or individual chiefs respectively exercise or possess or may be supposed to 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 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 on 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 Victoria, in 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 one thousand eight hundred and forty.

[512 signatures.]