Monday, February 6, 2012

ZenTiger Were the evil consequences averted or not?

The Treaty of Waitangi, as founding documents go, is fairly short and concise. One of the key reasons for its existence is stated in the treaty itself - that failure to bring Maori and British subject together under one common rule would be disastrous. This treaty was to avoid bloodshed and strife on a scale already witnessed in far too many other European colonies. I think that the treaty achieved this, and that benefit should not be dismissed lightly.

I'd like to see Waitangi Day as a day of national celebration of a unified country. 

Instead, it's largely a day for Maori and Maori use it as a "health check" as to where they sit in ensuring they have adequate money, resources, power and legal support to ensure their culture is not just protected, but exalted. 

If only we (Westerners) cared about our own culture as much.
I thought it would be useful to post the text of the treaty on the blog, which is just below. If you are a Kiwi, it's worth a read every few years. Especially when, by all accounts, the modern interpretations seem to confer all sorts of extra rights and obligations from such a small document.

By the way, I found the graphic on this blog (copyrighted, all rights reserved etc) - Not Quite Perfect. I recommend you click through and look at some of the artwork by Dzeni. Very nice.

The Treaty of Waitangi

HER MAJESTY VICTORIA Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland regarding with Her Royal Favour the Native Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and anxious to protect their just Rights and Property and to secure to them the enjoyment of Peace and Good Order has deemed it necessary in consequence of the great number of Her Majesty's Subjects who have already settled in New Zealand and the rapid extension of Emigration both from Europe and Australia which is still in progress to constitute and appoint a functionary properly authorised to treat with the Aborigines of New Zealand for the recognition of Her Majesty's Sovereign authority over the whole or any part of those islands – Her Majesty therefore being desirous to establish a settled form of Civil Government with a view to avert the evil consequences which must result from the absence of the necessary Laws and Institutions alike to the native population and to Her subjects has been graciously pleased to empower and to authorise me William Hobson a Captain in Her Majesty's Royal Navy Consul and Lieutenant-Governor of such parts of New Zealand as may be or hereafter shall be ceded to her Majesty to invite the confederated and independent Chiefs of New Zealand to concur in the following Articles and Conditions.

Article the first [Article 1]
The Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the separate and independent Chiefs who have not become members of the Confederation cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty which the said Confederation or Individual Chiefs respectively exercise or possess, or may be supposed to exercise or to possess over their respective Territories as the sole sovereigns thereof.

Article the second [Article 2]
Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession; but the Chiefs of the United Tribes and the individual Chiefs yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of Preemption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.

Article the third [Article 3]
In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.

(signed) William Hobson, Lieutenant-Governor.

Now therefore We the Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand being assembled in Congress at Victoria in Waitangi and We the Separate and Independent Chiefs of New Zealand claiming authority over the Tribes and Territories which are specified after our respective names, having been made fully to understand the Provisions of the foregoing Treaty, accept and enter into the same in the full spirit and meaning thereof in witness of which we have attached our signatures or marks at the places and the dates respectively specified. Done at Waitangi this Sixth day of February in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty.

Maori Text
English Text

3 comment(s):

Dzeni said...

Thanks for your kind words about my graphic. You might enjoy this year's image which features a word cloud based on the Treaty of Waitangi.

Andrei said...

Denzi's link It is pretty good, go check it out.

Dzeni said...

Thanks Andre :)

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