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Kiwi of the Week

  • James Hēnare

    James Henare was Nga Puhi leader, soldier, farmer, and community leader. After the Second World War he helped set up the kohanga reo programme and fought for recognition of Maori rights under the Treaty of Waitangi

Today in History

1865 Native Rights Act declares Māori British subjects

The Act deemed all Māori to be natural-born subjects of the Crown, confirming in law the Treaty promise that Māori were to be accorded the same rights and privileges as other British subjects.

Under Article Three of the Treaty of Waitangi Māori gained ‘all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects’. When the position of Māori was challenged because of their ‘non-British’ (communal) form of land tenure, their status as British subjects was confirmed by the Native Rights Act 1865.

How to cite this page: 'Native Rights Act declares Māori British subjects', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/the-native-rights-act-declares-maori-to-be-british-subjects, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 20-Dec-2012