In 1835 Maori chiefs made a Declaration of Independence. This declaration was acknowledged by the British government and signed by James Busby, the British government’s representative in New Zealand. The Declaration of Independence declared New Zealand a sovereign state and stated that the chiefs would meet every year to discuss the welfare of the country. Britain wanted New Zealand to become a part of its empire and in order for that to happen, they had to organise a treaty with New Zealand before any of the other powerful European countries like France or Germany did. William Hobson was sent to New Zealand to organise and get a treaty signed with the Maori chiefs. This would make New Zealand a colony of Britain.
Meanings of the words:
Declaration: Making an announcement
Acknowledged: recognised, accepted
Representive: someone who represents their country, community, school
Soverign: King or Queen
Welfare: the well-being of someone
Colony: A country that is under the governance and protection of another country.
The main reasons for presenting a treaty:
- Maori and the missionaries were worried about the lawless Europeans. They wanted the British to make New Zealand a colony so laws could be created that the Europeans would have to follow and be punished.
- The missionaries were worried that Europeans were buying the land unfairly and wanted there to be a fair system that protected the Maori from greedy land buyers from Europe.
- The British did not want France to have possession of New Zealand.