Hone Tuwhare narrating his poem in the 1975 Land March John Miller has interesting memories and eye-witness accounts and points of view that link the Maori struggle to world events

Interview with Ranginui Walker


91438 (3.5) Analyse the causes and consequences of a significant historical event.

Throughout history, trends over time have reflected social, economic and political forces that have influenced a significant historical event to occur. These forces - and the elements or expressions of these forces - can be identified individually, and they usually intertwine to cause events to happen or the preconditions for an event to happen. Thus, events have particular causes and consequences.

Significant historical event: The Treaty of Waitangi

ESSAY TOPIC: Analyse the social, economic and political causes of an historical event and its consequent impact on people's lives.

The Treaty of Waitangi is a significant historical event that occurred on the 6th of February, 1840 at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands. This essay explores the causes and consequent impacts on peoples lives, especially the Maori. The causes examine dinclude social causes, such as the New Zealand Company, humanitarian movement, religious evangelism, European lawlessness, as well as economic causes such as the New Zealand Company's wish for profit, the traders, sealers and whalers and the natural resources available in New Zealand; and finally political causes such as the "French Fear", Australian pressures and humanitarian pressures. Consequences of the Treaty identified include clashes around instigation of British law, the New Zealand Wars and the Kingitanga Movement. Later on leading to the fight for recognition of the Treaty: the Nga Tamatoa Movement, the Land March and the establishment of the Waitangi Tribunal..................................

Social Causes

There were many social causes to the Treaty of Waitangi that can be identified individually yet wind together to form the conditions for the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. The social conditions in Britain were bad, with overcrowding, unemployment and poverty causing hardship in the cities and some areas of the countryside as well. This was caused by a number of things - the Scotland Highland clearances where the English cleared many small crofters off their land to run sheep on the Highlands and meant many Scots moved to England's already crowded cities, or sought to look further to emigrate. Further the Industrial Revolution meant that work was often centralised in urban areas crammed with dwellings and factories. The squalor of Britain meant many wished to escape to a better life, such as the one New Zealand appeared to offer. The New Zealand Company, run by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, saw to exploit this desire to emigrate. The New Zealand Company believed that New Zealand was "the finest country in the world for colonisation" and wished to send many British over to create settlements - for a price, of course. They advertised heavily with the premise that life in New Zealand was greatly superior to life in Britain and that colonisation would be beneficial to both those moving to New Zealand, the Maori, and the British. they believed the Maori would benefit as through their 'tenths' plan Maori would retain the right to live on 1/10th of the land sold, scattered between "civilised" European settlers. In their view Britain would benefit as the settlers moving to the New Zealand settlements set up by Wakefield's Company would alleviate population pressure in areas of Britain affected by overcrowding and poverty. There would be reduced competition for wages in Britain. Those moving from Britain would inevitably benefit due to the opportunities offered in New Zealand, as shown by a New Zealand Company (NZC) advertising poster contrasting a sad, poor family in Britain,standing outside in the cold, to a happy warm family inside a home laden with food in New Zealand. This poster depicted lamb carcasses literally hanging from the ceiling in the New Zealand house and lamb and beef were considered to be rich man's food compared to fish at this time in Britain. New Zealand was therefore being sold to migrants as a "land of plenty". In this way, the forces of the social conditions in Britain and the entrepreneurial New Zealand Company's arrangements and advertising, interweave to produce a pressure enticing British settlers to New Zealand and this in turn, put pressure on the British government to legitimise New Zealand as a Crown colony and providing governance for the settlers.

Another causal factor that eventually led to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi was the Humanitarian movement that was picking up steam in England and in New Zealand prior to its signing. The Aboriginal Protection Society in England was gaining strength. The society's members were outraged by the ill-treatment of native peoples in other British colonies and humanitarians pushed for a Treaty between the Crown and Maori to protect Maori from unscrupulous Europeans. One of the numerous ill-treated colonies was New Zealand's neighbour across the Tasman, Australia. Australia had been claimed by virtue of "Terra Nullius" (meaning empty land) and Aboriginal Australians had been driven off their land, killed or forced to assimilate. The social pressure of the humanitarian movement put pressure on the British government and Crown and so can be closely linked to the political pressure felt by the Crown and government to sign a Treaty with Maori in New Zealand to make way for protection of Maori against unlawful land sales and ill-treatment by European settlers or traders. This political pressure felt by the British government is discussed later on in this essay.

Religion played a large part in the Treaty of Waitangi. Closely linked with humanitarianism, but with the added desire to educate Maori so they could learn about Christianity and therefore be saved and brought to God, missionaries ( most notably the Church Missionary Society, or CMS) were one of the main contacts/ or intermediaries for Maori in the early 19th century. Their influence aided Maori willingness to sign the Treaty, and the missionaries constant reports back to England about behaviour of Europeans and the vulnerability of Maori, put humanitarian pressure of the British Crown to formalise settlement and governance of New Zealand through a treaty with Maori. The missionaries believed, as the humanitarians did, that Maori needed to be protected from the lawless Europeans, and civilised with a healthy dose of evangelical spirit to convert Maori to Christianity. Samuel Marsden, leader of the CMS, said "they can never rise without the aid of the civilised world"and called a young Maori girl a "native heathen". Missionaries in general and the CMS in particular had strong influences upon the Treaty through both the close relationships to Maori and the strong support from James Stephen, the man in charge at the Colonial Office.

Finally, European lawlessness played a large part in the signing of the Treaty.As, according to Lord Normanby, they were "unrestrained by any law" and so prostitution, murder, drunkeness and thievery ran amok throughout the country, but especially in Kororareka/ Russell. Kororareka was where many sailors came ashore and was a 'hellhole', filled with ship girls (1 dress and a musket would buy a sex contract for 3 to 6 weeks), groggeries and general debauchery was possible. Lawlessness was not confined to Russell, however, with Captains James Stewart, and the HMS Elizabeth helping Maori Chief Te Rauparaha to ambush Maori setllements elsewhere. There were numerous tales of Europeans cheating Maori, which intertwines and strengthens the motives of the humanitarian groups wishing to bring about a Treaty with Maori to ensure Maori protection from Europeans. Without a Treaty it would be difficult to hold lawbreakers accountable, so therefore the European lawlessness was one of the many intertwining causes for the Treaty of Waitangi being signed in 1840. Further, examination of the social causes already demonstrates how the many-faceted causes of the Treaty intertwined to make it possible.

Economic causes

There were many economic factors relating to a call to have a Treaty signed with Maori which reflects how large a motivation money, or making money, can be.

The New Zealand Company (NZC) as previously mentioned, exploited the socio-economic situation in Britain to 'pull' potential settlers to New Zealand. They were also primarily motivated by profit. According to Paul Moon their plan was to resell the land for profit. The New Zealand Company massively influenced the Treaty through attracting potential colonisers and applying pressure to the British government to act keep conflict between the NZC, settlers and Maori from erupting. Further, they British Crown felt pressure to establish the governance in the country that leaders of the NZC were looking to put in place under their own authority.

Traders, sealers and whalers were important figures in early New Zealand history. They were, according to Frood, "among the first visitors" and through trading with Maori they helped increase race relations and make Maori more amenable to a Treaty with Britain in order to secure the potential of more trade with a larger "world" market.

The natural resources of New Zealand definitely meant that Britain was interested in the country's economic potential. Tying in with the traders above, Kauri timber and fax was traded/supplied to the British Navy (for masts, ropes, canvas, etc) and the land was in hot demand in certain places. As Lord Normamby stated in his instructions to Hobson, the British were not "unaware of the great natural resources which distinguished this country." This was further incentive for the British to formalise their relationship with New Zealand before other countries would. Imperial threats are discussed later in this essay.

Through these points we can see the individual economic reasoning for the Treaty of Waitangi and how they intertwined, both with each other and with social/political causes for the Treaty's signing in 1840. Thus making it evident that the causes or forces leading to the Treaty's signing were complex combinations of social/political and economic factors.

Political Causes

There were many political causes that influenced the Treaty of Waitangi. These include pressures both internal and external to Britain. A major external political cause was the threat another country would formally colonise New Zealand first. With the many social and/or economic reasons stated earlier, Britain 'needed' to enter an agreement (such as the Treaty) with the Maori. A major threat was the French. French interaction with NZ ran concurrent to British interactions and there were rumours that French Baron de Thierry was purchasing large tracts of land, such as Banks Peninsula, in preparation for a French colony. 12 Maori chiefs with the help of William Yates, petitioned King William to colonise New Zealand, stating that "we have heard that the tribe of Marion [the French] is at hand, coming to take our land." This 'French threat' lead to the Treaty of Waitangi because it helped solidify the need to formally annex New Zealand, instead of keeping it as part of an 'unofficial Empire". There was a definite economic desire to keep the vast natural resources in British hands.

The New Zealand Company (NZC) also influenced the Treaty politically. As stated before, Britain wished to contain sovereignty over New Zealand while the NZC planned to institute a government of their own. This raised the pressure on the British Crown to establish governance and culminated in a 'race' to New Zealand between settler ships and Hobson. Further, there was also significant political pressure from New South Wales/Australia to colonise New Zealand. The Sydney Gazette published that "nothing is more evident than that New Zealand must ...form an integral and productive part of the Australasian Empire."

There was also a lot of political pressure coming from humanitarian groups. As discussed previously in the "social causes" part of this essay, they wished to protect and 'civilise' Maori. Humanitarianism was well spread by this time, with the Aboriginal Protection Society well known and a brooch by Josiah Wedgewood, depicting an African slave bent at the knee inscrived with "am I not a man and brother?" becoming popular for society ladies to wear. This humanitarian pressure was a significant political cause intertwined with social pressure for the the Treaty to be signed with Maori. By looking at imperial threats, the NZC, Australian and humanitarian pressure, we can see how these interests intertwined to form a political force that called for and caused the Treaty of Waitangi to be signed.

Political and Legal Consequences of the Treaty being signed
The immediate consequences of the signing of the Treaty were political. Hobson proclaimed British sovereignty over New Zealand on the 21 May: over the North Island on the basis of cession through the Treaty of Waitangi and over the southern island by rights of discovery. Further political consequences followed with the New South Wales Continuance Act of 1840 under which New Zealand became a depency of New South Wales. Further, in 1840, Russell became the capital of New Zealand when Lieutenant-Governor Hobson established his seat of government near Okiato. this Capital was later moved to Auckland in September of 1840, much to the dismay of Bay of Islands Maori as they saw a drop off in economic activity in their areas as political representation shifted to Auckland. Finally, in 1841, New Zealand became a separate Crown Colony bringing its political connection with New South Wales to an end and making William Hobson Governor of New Zealand. William Hobson's choice of Executive Council, Colonial Secretary, Treasurer, Attorney-General, Legislative Council and three Justices of the Peace were all Pakea. So whilst the Treaty of Waitangi was incorporated in legislation under the Land Claims Ordinance also in 1841, the immediate political consequences for Maori werethat they were already alienated from both legal and political representation of what had at the beginning of 1840, been their own country! As a consequence of this adoption of British legal institutions the social consequences for Maori appeared tragic and negative by as early as 1842. A 16-year-old Maori boy, Maketu Wharetotara, was the first person in NZ to be executed in accordance with English common law.

War, clashes and legal changes as a consequence of the Treaty being signed
There were many clashes around the Treaty, especially for Maori. Starting almost immediately after the Treaty was signed, there were many violent outbursts when trying to enforce British law or in protest of the Treaty. One example is the 1843 Wairau Affair. where an attempt was made to arrest Te Rauparaha and numerous other Maori including a lower ranked chief which escalated to violence, leading to deaths on both sides. Another example is Hone Heke, who first chopped down the Russell flagpole in 1844 which eventually increased to killing guards and attacking the town of Russell. This was done in protest of the Treaty which Heke had signed but evidently regretted. These conflicts impacted the people involved lives' , but also lead to others fearing a full out conflict. According to the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Wars were due to follow the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 due to decreasing willingness to sell land to the government and increasing pressure for land for settlement. They began in 1859 after Governor Browne bought a large tract of land in Waitara, against the wishes of Chief Rangitake. The Wars waged from the early 1860's and 70's and impacted many lives from the Maori and Pakeha fighting them to those in the contested areas fearing for their lives when fighting erupted.

The New Zealand Wars led to the New Zealand Settlement Act of 1863 allowing Pakeha to confiscate certain areas of Maori land. Over 4 million acres were confiscated, from both Maori dissenters and supporters of the Crown. There were also amendments to the Native Land Court Acts (also introduced in 1863) in 1865, meaning that customary land ownership was converted to individual title. When sales were made, the sellers were required to name no more than 10 owners regardless of block size. These legal changes in response to the Treaty led to further life-style consequences for Maori as they dispossessed many Maori. Without the Treaty allowing British sovereignty and British control of the judicial and political systems in New Zealand, these Acts would never have been introduced.

The establishment of the Kingitanga Movement as a consequence of the Treaty being signed and disregarded.

Another political consequence of the Treaty was the establishment of the Kingitanga Movement (Maori King Movement) after the Treaty. Maori wished for someone to be able to talk to Queen Victoria and stand in as their royalty. Potatau Te Wherowhero was elected first Maori King in 1858. The Maori King movement impacted the Maori people by giving them an official leader above the Chiefs, though not all Maori accepted it.

At a later date, there was a large movement to get recognition for the Treaty as it was hardly mentioned originally. When NZ celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1890, the Treaty was not mentioned. It was celebrated on the 19th of January to commemorate when Hobson had arrived in 1840, not the 6th of February, when the Treaty of Waitangi and been signed. Later, in 1974, Waitangi Day was named New Zealand Day. ....................................... write about:

The Rise of Maori Protest in the 1960's and 70's - Nga Tamatoa
Consequences of the Land March and Nga Tamatoa actions

The Waitangi Tribunal - a consequence of the Treaty
the fight for the Treaty of Waitangi to be recognised led to the creation of the Waitangi Tribunal in 1975 which had the effect of bringing the Treaty into the public eye of recent generations of New Zealanders. The Tribunal was created to investigate breaches of the Treaty and compensate any wrongdoings of the past. While it only has the power to make recommendations, these are often followed. In 1985 the Tribunal was given the ability to investigate grievances which dated prior to 1975 and in 1990, the Tribunal gaive Maori Ngai Tahu $170m in land compensation and return of Mr Cook/Aoraki which was gifted back to the nation. The Waitangi Tribunal sees its backbone as the Treaty of Waitangi and has impacted many Maori through compensating for previous exploitation of Maori. Thus the Tribunal acts as a conduit for redressing issues associated with social and economic consequences of the Treaty not being upheld as far as Maori were concerned. The Queen and her representatives had not made sure that Maori leadership, social and economic needs, rights and property were protected from the growth and demands of the British settlers, or the imposition of British legal and political institutions as was promised in the Treaty.

After consideration of the immediate and longer term consequences of the Treaty's signing with Maori in 1840, one can deduce that the Waitangi Tribunal has been the most potent consequence for potential positive outcomes for Maori. This is because Maori rely on its decisions to rewrite past grievances that left its people without an economic and social base, loss of judicial and political voice, alienated from each other in cities, without the strength of their language or protection by the Maori legal system of restorative justice. One can consider that the Waitangi Tribunal is a significant consequence because it holds the ability to rebalance the economic resources within the country, and return economic resources lost to Maori as they were alienated from their land. Access to education at every level is key to returning strength to Maori economic and social power. As New Zealanders, we understand that as a nation on the international stage, we are only as strong as our most vulnerable citizens.

The Treaty of Waitangi continues to be significant to this day and with a major election approaching next year (2014) the shape of Maori political party representation and influence will be measured once more. Further, the discussion of the breadth of the Treaty's part to play in New Zealand's own Constitution only ended this year in July (2013). The event of the Treaty of Waitangi with its intertwining economic, social and political causes and interweaving economic, social and political consequences for Maori will continue to be a focus for reflection on the meaning of sovereignty, protection, rights to resources, independence and interdependence. As a result its focus will continue to play a significant part in both reflecting and shaping who we are as Maori, non-Maori and/or New Zealanders. It is a significant event because it was to form a basis for a contract between Maori and non-Maori to co-exist in New Zealand in the context of 1840. It has been pushed out of shape and pulled back into existence in ways that reflect world trends on forwarding the rights of indigenous peoples.