The Treaty in English and Māori

The Treaty of Waitangi was written in English and translated into Māori. Examine and compare these versions and find out what happened to the original documents.

New Zealand History online: Read the Treaty (

The Declaration of Independence

In 1835 northern chiefs signed a Declaration of Independence, asserting their sovereignty over New Zealand. Find out about the background to this event.

Te Ara: The Declaration of Independence (

Discover the 1831 petition from 13 chiefs to King William about lawlessness and the Declaration of Independence document.

William Colenso’s account

Missionary William Colenso was present at the meetings where the Treaty was first debated and on the day it was signed – 5 and 6 February 1840.

Read the dramatised eye-witness account that he wrote of these events.

NZ Wars: The Stories of Ruapekapeka

The Stories of Ruapekapeka, a documentary highlighting Northland's most infamous armed conflict.

Find out more



Following is a selection of significant people – Māori and European – who were associated with the making of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Māori chiefs

Hone Heke (
Kawiti (
Tamati Waka Nene (
Patuone (
Pomare II (



James Busby (
William Colenso (
William Hobson (

James Kemp

Jean-Baptiste Pompallier (
Henry Williams (

Māori women who signed
the Treaty

Anna Hamu
Widow of Te Koki, and the original patron of the Paihia Mission

Kahe Te Rau-o-te-Rangi (
Rangi Topeora (
Rere-o-Maki (

High-born wife of Nopera, chief of Te Rarawa

Māori and Europeans
before 1840

These people had died by 1840 but their doings and relationships with Pākehā and Māori had an influence on later events associated with the Treaty.

Hongi Hika (
Pomare I (
Ruatara (
Te Pahi (
Samuel Marsden (
Thomas Kendall (



Discover sites that have significant connections to the Waitangi story

Bibliography / Reading List

The following list of books are recommended reading, some of which are referred to in articles on this site. Books that are particularly recommended for school students are highlighted.

Treaty of Waitangi

  • An Illustrated History of the Treaty of Waitangi, Claudia Orange.
  • An Unsettled History, Alan Ward (1999). Bridget Williams Books, Wellington.
  • Busby, James – Biography, Claudia Orange
  • Healing our History, Robert & Joanna Consedine (2001). Penguin Books, Auckland.
  • Living Relationships, Ken S. Coates & P.G McHugh (1998). Victoria University Press, Wellington.
  • Our Treaty, The Treaty of Waitangi 1840 to the Present*, Ruth Nauman (2002). New House Publishers, Auckland.
  • The Story of a Treaty*, Claudia Orange (1989). Bridget Williams Books, Wellington.
  • The Treaty of Waitangi, Claudia Orange (1987). Port Nicholson Press, Wellington.
  • The Treaty of Waitangi*, Ross Calmon (2003). Reed Publishers, Auckland.
  • Treaty of Waitangi – Past & Present. National Archives, Waitangi Tribunal.

General NZ History

  • Between Worlds, Anne Salmond (1997). Penguin Books, Auckland.
  • Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou-Struggle Without End, Ranginui Walker (1990). Penguin Books, Auckland.
  • Making Peoples, James Belich (1996). Penguin Books, Auckland.
  • Te Wai Pounamu – The Greenstone Island, Harry C. Evison (1993). Aoraki Press
  • The Penguin History of New Zealand, Michael King (2003). Penguin Books, Auckland.
  • Two Worlds, Anne Salmond (1991). Penguin Books, Auckland.


  • Being Pakeha Now, Michael King (1999). Penguin Books, Auckland.
  • The Dictionary of NZ Biography, Volume One 1769 – 1869 (1990). Wellington.
  • The People of Many Peaks, Department of Internal Affairs (1990). Bridget Williams Books, Wellington.

Resource Downloads

Treaty of Waitangi – Social Studies Levels 4 and 5
Social Studies and History Classroom Resources
Achievement Objectives – Social Studies and History Curriculum
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