Monday, 15 February 2016

The Treaty Of Waitangi

The Treaty Of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in Waitangi on the 6th of February 1840. The first to sign the Treaty was Hone Heke and because he was a powerful chief who everyone followed. Many of the other Maori chiefs had different motives and were very confused as to why they were signing the Treaty. The British wanted power over New Zealand but the Maori wanted protection and control. They promised each other what they wanted, but, the British Crown broke their promise. Many of the Maori didn’t really want to sign the Treaty as the Maori representative had said to be careful and to not sign the treaty with their mana (power) because he didn’t trust the Crown. Over time the British didn’t only get control they also got the land and its treasures. After the Treaty was signed there were lots of wars and immigration between the years 1852-1860. The Maori’s point of view was no-one owned the land because it was a very special gift to them this meant that they belonged to the land not that the land was belonged by them. This was not how the Crown saw land ownership - if you can get the land  then you own it. During all the wars in New Zealand the Maori people were known as the “Rebels”. In the land wars there were about 2000 Maoris .VS. 14000 British men.That wasn’t really fair because there was also a declining population of Maori people. The European population was increasing because many settlers were arriving in New Zealand by ship. Many things were happening in NZ, there was a new law in 1867 and the government excluded the Maori. Finally they invited the Maori to be a part of the government but there were only 4 seats which was unfair for Maori.

The British Crown and settlers committed group sin against the Maori by dishonoring The Treaty of Waitangi and by not sharing with the land with the Maori. One example of this is that the British sent their army over to Taranaki, where the Maori chief Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake could surrender and give up his land. Another example of a group sin is that the British Crown were executing some of the Maori Chiefs without a trial.

Christian people can restore tika (truth) and pono (honesty) to the Treaty of Waitangi by learning the Maori culture like how they prepare their food, how they manage to live and how they work as a community. We can continue to give back the land where it is possible and to respect the Maori language.

By: Faith