Understanding the Treaty of Waitangi 101

Hinemoa Elder: We should all be familiar with the Treaty of Waitangi, here’s a 101

Much has been made of knowledge of the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. How many of us can recite the preamble and all the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi? I’m thinking not many, if any. How many can recall these in Te Reo Māori, and English, and talk about the differences in interpretation and the inherent cultural clashes?

To manifest a rigorous and mature capacity for fostering a strong, healthy, national identity we need to fully embrace these foundational aspects of our history. The critical thing for me is that, yes it is necessary – but not sufficient – to know the wording of each part of our Treaty.

I don’t think it is necessary to be able to recite the Treaty word for word, but understanding it better is worthwhile.


Treaty of Waitangi – Preamble

English version – British intentions were to:

  • Protect Māori interests from the encroaching British settlement;
  • Provide for British settlement; and
  • Establish a government to maintain peace and order.

Māori version – the Queen’s main promises to Māori were to:

  • Provide a government while securing tribal rangatiratanga and Māori land ownership for as long as they wished to retain it.

Te Tuatahi, article one

Ko nga Rangatira o te wakaminenga me nga Rangatira katoa hoki ki hai i uru ki taua wakaminenga ka tuku rawa atu ki te Kuini o Ingarani ake tonu atu – te Kawanatanga katoa o o ratou wenua.

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 Individual Chiefs respectively exercise or possess, or may be supposed to exercise or to possess over their respective Territories as the sole sovereigns thereof.

Kawanatanga – Article 1 provides for the Government to govern, though not in isolation from other provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi. The right to govern is qualified by an obligation to protect Māori interests. This aspect of the agreement is further established within the other articles of the Treaty.

Te Tuarua, article two:  

Ko te Kuini o Ingarani ka wakarite ka wakaae ki nga Rangitira ki nga hapu – ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani te tino rangatiratanga o o ratou wenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga katoa. Otiia ko nga Rangatira o te wakaminenga me nga Rangatira katoa atu ka tuku ki te Kuini te hokonga o era wahi wenua e pai ai te tangata nona te Wenua – ki te ritenga o te utu e wakaritea ai e ratou ko te kai hoko e meatia nei e te Kuini hei kai hoko mona.

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 preemption 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.

Tino Rangatiratanga – Article 2 provides for iwi to exercise authority in respect of their own affairs. To some extent, tino rangatiratanga denoted the prerogatives of iwi/hapu in controlling their own affairs including their physical, social cultural resources, within a tribal development context. A characteristic of tino rangatiratanga is iwi autonomy.

Te Tuatoru, article three:  

Hei wakaritenga mai hoki tenei mo te wakaaetanga ki te Kawanatanga o te Kuini – Ka tiakina e te Kuini o Ingarani nga tangata maori katoa o Nu Tirani ka tukua ki a ratou nga tikanga katoa rite tahi ki ana mea ki nga tangata o Ingarani.

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.

Oritetanga – Article 3 contains a provision which guarantees equality between Māori individuals and other New Zealanders. As long as socio-economic disparities remain, the provision is not fulfilled.

Additional source: Introduction to the Treaty of Waitangi

Korero about Te Tiriti o Waitangi

From

Morena Aotearoa. Let’s have a korero about Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

First off, can everyone please stop calling it the Treaty of Waitangi.That refers to an unsigned English translation of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi is an agreement in Te Reo Māori which guarantees kawanatanga to the British and Tino Rangatiratanga to Māori.

Kawanatanga is a transliteration of governor taken from the reference to kawana in the Māori translation of the bible in reference to the Roman governors in place throughout the occupied territories of the Roman Empire. These roles were peace keeping more than anything.

At the time, the main thrust of the Māori request for intervention by the British was to provide policing over the lawless hordes of Pākehā who had settled in the North. Local Māori had become increasingly nervous about imposing Tikanga over the immigrants.

Tino Rangatiratanga refers to the absolute right of Māori to control their own affairs over their home territories, people, & resources.

Read together, Kawanatanga & Tino Rangatiratanga set up a dual governing arrangement with Māori & British responsible for their own people.

And this is how it operated for about a decade after the signing nationally, and for another 60-70 years in other parts of the country.

Te Rohe Pōtae, for instance, remained largely self governing until the late 19th, early 20th century.

This is useful, I’ve learnt something from it.

Self government and responsibility for one’s own people becomes tricky where and when extensive integration has occurred.

Under TToW, Māori never ceded sovereignty. This is not an opinion but a matter of law as determined by the Waitangi Tribunal.

But while Māori sovereignty remains intact, the practice of sovereignty has been usurped by the Crown primarily through occupation & force.

We are seeing Māori start to reclaim their sovereign practice through a range of activities that give expression to Tino Rangatiratanga.

And the more these progress, the more Pākehā NZ will have to become comfortable with models of dual sovereignty so common elsewhere.

And finally, the principles of the Treaty, as 1st laid down in the 1987 Lands Case, provide a good framework for the Māori-Crown relationship.

Principles such as partnership, consultation, active protection, the right to development, and so on form the basis of Crown engagement and provide a legal framework for assessing breaches of Te Tiriti by the Crown. Which is why the Waitangi Tribunal performs an important function in NZ society as the arbiter of that relationship and the adherence of both parties to Te Tiriti and its principles.

Hope you found some of that enlightening, and provides some ideas for reflection as we recognise today the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Certainly some ideas for reflection there.

Who’s country?

If we had a New Zealand flag that showed us as belonged by someone how would it look?

This flag was adopted as our flag about halfway through the period when Great Britain dominated here, setting New Zealand up as a colony and sending many immigrants from the other side of the world. They dumped us in the 1970s but we have retained their Union Jack on our flag.

NZ-Flag_of_New_Zealand_svg

 

If you listen to some of the opponents of the TPPA, US ship visits and many other things involving the US we are effectively owned and ruled by the United States.

NZ-US-Flag

If you listen to Phil Twyford and Winston Peters New Zealand is in danger of being owned by China if we don’t stop immigration and foreign land purchases and investments.

NZ-Chinese-Flag

Tino Rangatiratanga is officially recognised as the national Māori flag. Some Maori would like to take charge of New Zealand on their own but the Tino Rangatiratanga flag won’t be affected if we change our flag.

NZ-TinoRangatiratanga-Flag

This could be Maorified more by replacing the Southern Cross with Matariki.

NZ-TinoRangatiratanga-MatarikiFlag

One of the flag change submissions comprised of just Matariki on a blue background.

25755-sevensistersflag

 

It’s designer described it:

The Maori new year is Matariki. It is represented by The Seven Sisters (The Pleiedes) and is, amomgst other things, a symbol of renewal. The red, white and blue colours remind of Britain and the red and white stars of the old flag and New Zealand. I like my design because it represents us all and I like its simplicity and, I hope, its elegance. It’s also “flaggy” and not a logo.

But it is a logo. Matariki/Seven Sisters/Pleiedes is has been known as Mutsuraboshi (“six stars”) in Japan, and also and Subaru, meaning ‘unite’.

subaru-logo-500x300

 

Best we stick with a logo that’s more exclusively used by New Zealand interests.