Friday, February 17, 2012

Treaty of Waitangi

Once upon a time New Zealand was an uninhabited Island. Then the Maori arrived from Hawaiki. Later the traders, whalers, sealers and missionaries arrived. By the 1800’s there was a lot of lawlessness. There was conflict between the British settlers and the Maori, so to help this problem, the British set up a treaty to keep peace between these two people.

What are the main ideas of the treaty, I hear you ask? Well they were about the 3 P’s which stand for: Protection, Partnership and Participation. Protection meant that the British would help the Maori protect their land and their people. Partnership meant that the British would keep peace with the Maori. Last but not least, Participation meant that they would let the Maori participate in sports and other worldwide things.

Last week Room 21 watched a re-enactment of what really happened in the days leading up to the signing of the treaty of Waitangi. This is what I learnt from the movie:

“These people are filthy savages” James Busby whispered. It was February 1840 and James Busby was waiting outside of William Hobson’s room. William Hobson was the British Governor at the time, but unfortunately he was sick. James needed to see him urgently because it was a few days before the signing of the treaty. They hadn’t started the draft yet and only few chiefs supported the treaty, one of them named Hone Heke. He married the daughter of a legendary chief. Adding to that problem, if they hadn’t started the English version of the treaty, how could they finish the Maori version in time?

It’s the 4th of February 1840 and the British are rushing to draft the treaty. The scene was set in a little cottage in Waitangi. Arguments were forming, on what to write in the treaty. They would have to work it out soon, or they would let down The Queen Her Majesty.

It’s the 6th of February and the Treaty is being set up in front of James Busby’s house. Crowd’s of Maori and Pakeha were rolling in quickly. Amongst those people was Hone Heke. He was trying to persuade his people that the Treaty was good for them, and their land. The Maori looked up to see William Hobson, James Busby, Henry Williams and many other correspondents standing before them.

While William Hobson was reading the Treaty, Henry Williams was translating it for the Maori people. Who is Henry Williams I hear you ask? Well he is a missionary that arrived to Aotearoa to spread the word of God. While he was here, he became fluent in Maori. Back to the story, When William Hobson was finished, Hone Heke’s uncle Te Kemera Kaiteke stood up proudly, walked over to William Hobson and punched the table. He disagreed with the treaty and didn’t want to sign.

That is all we watched. By the end of the year, about 540 chiefs all over New Zealand signed the treaty and to this day we live under the treaty. Actually us, Pt Englanders go by the treaty at school. Protection means that we protect each other from bad stuff happening to one another. Partnership means that we have a good work relationship with other peers. Also if we get partnered up with different people, we try to work together nicely. Participation means to let people participate in games and sports.

So the treaty plays a big part in our everyday lives. We should be thankful that the treaty was signed.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Selena,
    What a good story about the Treaty of Waitangi. I like how you use all sorts of vocabulary, it shows that you really did do your research and listened to the movie very well. I didn't even know that 540 chiefs signed the Treaty.
    Good Job!

    From Seini-Mino

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