What is the Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi is an agreement signed between the British Crown and Maori people on 6th February 1840 by 43 Northland chiefs and Lieutenant Governer Hobson. He was the official representative of Queen Victoria, the young woman reigning over the British empire.

Over the following eight months the originals and copies were taken by Captain Hobson around Maori communities, mostly in coastal locations. After several discussions and debates, over 500 chiefs including 6 women signed. Most of them used a cross or moko (a signature tattoo). Some of them (less than 15%) signed their names in a wobbly hand. The Maori text has the most of signatures. The English text has an extra 39 Maori signatures. Today, both originals and copies are in the National Archives in Wellington.

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