Outline the various views of contemporaries of the Treaty when it was signed in 1840? (New Zealand History)

Essay by LozzUniversity, Bachelor'sC, May 2006

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Prior to 1840, New Zealand was an unlawful state: the population consisted people both Maori and European, who were bound to no law. This led the British Government to present a treaty with to Maori. This was a form of legal documentation, which the British needed to secure the rights of Maori, by making the Crown in New Zealand the sovereign. The British saw it as a way to protect Maori interests, while several Maori viewed it as an acknowledgement of their mana. The various views of both the British Government and Maori will be outlined in relation to the Treaty when it was signed at Waitangi in 1840.The views of the British Government, Lord Normanby, Captain William Hobson, Henry Williams, and several Maori chiefs and tribes were all different, as they all had different objectives.

Because there was no law or any form of civil government, in the 1830s in New Zealand, the British Government found it difficult to sort out the problems which had been caused by their British subjects.

At the same time; Britain was concerned that other European states might invade New Zealand and take over. The British Government had been influenced by the missionary advisors, who wished to protect the natives of New Zealand, as they felt that it was important to safeguard the rights of Maori in relation to their lands. This led the British Government to take an interest in New Zealand, and it wanted to ensure that Maori land rights were protected by exploitation by settlers and foreign states.

The British Government needed to establish a form of civil government, in order for this to occur. Therefore a treaty needed to take place, because it was a form of legal documentation. Claudia Orange says, "It was considered only just...