The making of the Treaty of Waitangi
The British government appointed William Hobson as consul to an independent New Zealand. It sent him here with one goal – to get Māori to sign over sovereignty of all or part of New Zealand to Britain. Hobson would then become lieutenant governor over those areas.
Hobson sailed into the Bay of Islands on Wednesday 29 January 1840. James Busby, British Resident, met him, and the two began planning a treaty that would carry out their government’s intentions.
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The Treaty of Waitangi trail
Over 40 rangatira signed the Treaty at Waitangi, among them many who had signed the Declaration of Independence. Their agreement was important, but Hobson wanted a lot more signatures so he could confidently claim British sovereignty over New Zealand. To get those signatures, he took the Treaty on the road.