The Formation and Meanings of the Waitangi Treaty

The Formation and Meanings of the Waitangi Treaty
The Formation and Meanings of the Waitangi Treaty

The first issue to be covered is that of the texts of the Treaty, and their various meanings. Differences between the Maori and English versions of the document will be considered, with a focus on some of the key words in both versions. There will also be some background on how and why the Treaty was formulated. Some of the main points to consider here are the reasons the British had for formulating the Treaty, the significance and meaning of the terms such as ‘kawanatanga’, ‘rangatiratanga’, ‘sovereignty’, and ‘governance’, and the distinction between the Maori and Pakeha perceptions of the Treaty.

The instructions for the Treaty of Waitangi emerged from the British Colonial Office in the late 1830s. These instructions were then interpreted by the authors of the Treaty and written as the text of the Treaty in early 1840. Since that time, there has been an enormous amount of debate relating to what the Treaty actually means. In this assessment, you will have the opportunity to explore some of these interpretations, and reach your own conclusions on the meaning of the Treaty.

Your task
Discuss and evaluate some of the aspects of the meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi, focusing on the terms used, and the differences in interpretation that exist.

Write a brief introductory statement (no more than 100 words) outlining the fact that your essay will be exploring aspects of the formation and meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Cover the Following
1. An outline of some of the British intentions for the treaty of waitangi
2. A discussion of differences between the Maori and English versions of the Treaty
3. A discussion of the terms ‘rangatiratanga’, ‘kawanatanga’, and ‘sovereignty’
4. An overview of Maori understandings of the Treaty in 1840

Finish the essay with a conclusion which sums up the main points relating to the formation and meaning of the Treaty.

Important note: at least six published sources are required for this essay (these will mostly be found in journal articles on AUT library or Google Scholar, books, newspaper articles, films, transcripts or recordings of live events, speeches etc. Please google published sources if there is any confusion on published sources.


Adams, P., Fatal Necessity: British Intervention in New Zealand 1830–1847, Auckland, 1977.
Moon, Te Ara Ki Te Tiriti: The Path to the Treaty of Waitangi, Auckland, 2002.
Orange, C., The Treaty of Waitangi, Wellington, 1987
Walker, R., Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou: Struggle Without End, Auckland, 2004.


Evidence of research (at least six published sources should be referred to)
Coherence of argument and use of appropriate writing style
Full discussion of the various details of the topic
Presentation, full referencing, bibliography

what is the treaty of waitangi all about,

who signed the treaty of waitangi,

who translated the treaty of waitangi,

treaty of waitangi articles,

treaty of waitangi principles,

what does the treaty of waitangi say,

why is the treaty of waitangi important today,

where is the treaty of waitangi kept

The Formation and Meanings of the Waitangi Treaty

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