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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

1840 The Treaty of Waitangi is signed

More than 40 Māori chiefs, led by Ngāpuhi’s Hōne Heke Pokai, signed a treaty with the British Crown at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. The Treaty of Waitangi, as it has become known, had been prepared in just a few days.

Missionary Henry Williams and his son Edward translated the English draft into Māori overnight on 4 February. About 500 Māori debated the merits of the document for a day and a night before it was signed on the 6th. By September 1840, another 500 Māori had signed copies of the treaty that were sent around the country.

Image: reconstruction of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi 

How to cite this page: 'The Treaty of Waitangi is signed', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/the-treaty-of-waitangi-is-signed, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 15-Nov-2013