Thursday, June 21, 2007

How was the Treaty of Waitangi Drafted?

On the 3rd of Feb 1840, Hobson with the help of Busby put together a draft Treaty.

It was up to the missionary Henry Williams and his son Edward who both spoke and new the Maori language, to translate the drafted document. They received the document on the 4th February and it was needed for the meeting of the chiefs the following day. This meant that they were rushed.

"Henry Williams realised that his role was critical. Like many others, he thought that Maori would be better off under British sovereignty. He knew that the chiefs would not agree if a treaty took too much power from them. The translation was key to getting Maori agreement. This may be why the words used in the translation had certain emphases and were not a mirror of the English but a particular type of missionary Maori language that would be familiar to the chiefs."


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