Lord Normanby (Constantine Henry Phipps, 1st Marquess, 1797-1863) was the Secretary of State for the Colonies from February 1839, when the British relationship with New Zealand was being finalised. It was he who approved the annexation of New Zealand to Britain and approved Captain William Hobson as the first Lieutenant-Governor. On 14 August 1839, Lord Normanby issued the final version of the detailed instructions guiding Hobson as to how he was to proceed, including gaining Maori approval for a cession of sovereignty, the broad outline of the need for a treaty to be signed with Maori and the way in which existing purchases by Europeans were to be dealt with.
In those instructions, Normanby confirmed that the British Government had already recognised New Zealand as "a sovereign and independent state" (to the extent that was possible with a non-centralised group such as Maori) and insisted that there was absolutely no intention to seize the country. Instead, he said, Hobson was to gain "the free and intelligent consent of the Natives according to their customary usages" for "the recognition of Her Majesty's sovereign authority over the whole or any part of those islands which they may be willing to place under Her Majesty's dominion".
This Lord Normanby was the first Marquis of Normanby; the third Marquis of Normanby was Governor of New Zealand from 1875 to 1879.