Treaty of Waitangi

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Waitangi, Treaty of a treaty signed in 1840 at the settlement of Waitangi in New Zealand, which formed the basis of the British annexation of New Zealand. The Maori chiefs of North Island accepted British sovereignty in exchange for protection, and direct purchase of land from the Maoris was forbidden. Subsequent contraventions of the treaty by the British led to the Maori Wars.
Waitangi Day the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, celebrated as a public holiday in New Zealand on 6 February since 1960.

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Waitangi, treaty of, 1840. In 1839 the British government dispatched Captain William Hobson to New Zealand where piecemeal and uncontrolled development had already undermined traditional Maori culture. At Waitangi in February 1840 a majority of the Maori chiefs present agreed to cede sovereignty to Queen Victoria in exchange for confirmation of their land and protection. Hobson declared himself lieutenant-governor and proclaimed British sovereignty in May 1840. But Maori disappointment at the persistent encroachments upon their land led to the Maori wars from 1844 until 1872. In 1994 a New Zealand government apologized for breaches of the treaty and promised compensation.

J. A. Cannon

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Waitangi, Treaty of (1840) Pact between Britain and several New Zealand Maori tribes. The agreement protected and provided rights for Maoris, guaranteeing them possession of certain tracts of land, while permitting Britain formally to annex the islands and purchase other land areas.

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