Up to 1830
- There were about 115,000 Māori and about 2000 Europeans living in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
- European traders, sealers and whalers along with other European settlers were here.
- New Zealand was populated by many independent Māori tribes with small European settlements scattered throughout the country.
- Māori and Europeans were already trading and the exchange of land for goods was already happening.
- Māori and Pakeha were living side by side. There was no one set of formal laws and as settlement increased, rules and guidelines were needed.
- Both Māori and Pakeha groups asked Britain to provide some sort of protection from the increased population of criminals and misbehaving migrants in New Zealand.
- James Busby arrived in 1833 as the ‘British Resident in New Zealand’.
- First official flag: the flag of the United Tribes.
- The New Zealand Company was planning large scale settlement in New Zealand. More and more British immigrants were arriving.
- Conflict was increasing between Māori and non-Māori.
- He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni / Declaration of Independence of New Zealand — 34 chiefs signed — first indication that an agreement between Māori and British Crown could be made.
- Captain William Hobson arrived in 1840 as the British Crown’s Lieutenant Governer — his job was to negotiate a treaty with Māori. The crown hoped that New Zealand would become a British Colony.
- 29th January 1840 — Hobson arrived at Waitangi and invited several hundred Māori to Waitangi on the 5th of February 1840.
- 29th January — 5th February 1840 — Hobson, with Busby’s help, wrote up a treaty in English.
- Henry Williams and his son Edward translated the Treaty into Te Reo Māori.
5th and 6th February 1840:The Signing At Waitangi
- The hui with Māori and the Crown began on the 5th February.
- Hobson spoke in English of the Crown’s intentions and Henry Williams translated his words into Te Reo Māori.
- 5 hours of discussion and debate followed.
- The English and Te Reo Māori versions of the Treaty were read out to all attending the hui.
- The talking among Māori continued into the night.
- Thursday 6th February the chiefs who were present at the hui decided to sign and return home.
- A total of 43 chiefs signed the Treaty at Waitangi. The first to sign was Hone Heke.
May–August 1840:The Travelling Treaty — Te Wai Pounamu
- May 1840 — Henry Williams negotiated signings in Queen Charlotte Sound and Rangitoto Island.
- Major Thomas Bunbury and Edward Williams sailed on the HMS Herald to the South Island to gather signatures.
- 30th May 1840 — the Treaty was signed at Ōnuku on Akaroa Harbour. Chiefs Iwikau and Hone Tikao (John Love) signed here.
- 10th June 1840 — Chiefs Tuhawaiki, Kaikoura and Taiaroa signed at Ruapuke Island.
- 13th June — Signed at Otago Harbour.
- 17th June — Signed at Cloudy Bay.
By the end of 1840 over 500 Māori had signed the Māori text.
- Have a look at another timeline on New Zealand History Online.
- The meaning of the Treaty — what were people agreeing to?
- Interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi — a look at the language differences between the Te Reo Māori and the English versions of the Treaty.
- 1843 — Wairau Affray. Conflict between the New Zealand Company and Māori chiefs Te Rauparaha and Te Rangihaeata came to a head.
- 1844 — Hone Heke, disillusioned with what had happened since the Treaty was signed, decided to protest by chopping down the British flagpole at Russell (known before as Kororāreka).
- 1858 — First Māori King. Waikato chief Te Wherowhero (who had not signed the Treaty) became the first King, taking the name Pōtatau Te Wherowhero.
- 1860–1880 — Dishonouring the Treaty
- 1940–2000s — Honouring the Treaty
- Ngāi Tahu Land Claims against the Treaty started early and were widespread.
- In 1998 Prime Minister Jenny Shipley came to Ōnuku Marae and presented the Crown Apology to Ngāi Tahu.