Thursday, 20 February 2014

Remembering Rangiaowhia: 150th Anniversary

21 February marks the 150th anniversary of one of the most painful and contentious incidents of the Waikato War. To call the British raid on the settlement of Rangiaowhia a ‘battle’ would be misleading. Most of the residents of the village were women, children and a few elderly men. Once British troops had bypassed the formidable Paterangi line of pa in the dead of night, Rangiaowhia remained more or less defenceless. It was attacked at the break of dawn on a Sunday morning, the fire from cavalrymen as they entered the village causing its startled occupants to run in terror in every direction. Some sought shelter in churches, others in their thatched whare. Some did not get away.

According to considerable Maori testimony, the makeup of its residents reflected Rangiaowhia’s status as a place of sanctuary for non-combatants. It was understood that some kind of message had been exchanged with British commanders, possibly through Bishop Selwyn, to this effect, as a result of which the British raid was considered an act of great treachery. After Rangiaowhia, Wiremu Tamihana later stated in a petition to Parliament, ‘I discovered that this would be a very great war, because it was conducted in such a pitiless manner.’


The British Attack on Rangiaowhia (source: www.teara.govt.nz)
Of particular anguish was what appears to have been the deliberate torching of a whare in which at least seven people were burnt to death, along with the probable deaths of a number of women and children. It was later a matter of some embarrassment to military authorities that of the 33 prisoners rounded up in the aftermath of the attack, 21 were women and children, and the remaining 12 apparently elderly men. There are multiple and often contradictory accounts of the attack, and these need to be carefully handled. But the pain and anguish caused by the British attack remains all too evident a century and a half later. As Whitiora Te Kumete told J. C. Firth and Charles Davis in 1869:

here are your foul murders: - General Cameron told us to send our women and children to Rangiaowhia, where they should remain unmolested; but he went away from Paterangi with his soldiers after them, and the women and children were killed and some of them burnt in the houses. You did not go to fight the men; you left them and went away to fight with the women and little children. These things you conceal because they are faults on your side, but anything on our side you set down against us, and open your mouths wide to proclaim it. That deed of yours was a foul murder, and yet there is nobody to proclaim it. (AJHR, 1869, A-12, p. 12)

Following the British attack on Rangiaowhia, the main body of Kingitanga defenders manning the Paterangi line abandoned their position, but suffered further heavy losses in their hastily constructed new defensive post at Hairini the next day. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi Texts

Te Tiriti o Waitangi as signed at Waitangi on 6 February 1840

Facsimiles of the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Waitangi, Government Printer, Wellington, 1877.

Ko Wikitoria te Kuini o Ingarani i tana mahara atawai ki nga Rangatira me nga Hapu o Nu Tirani i tana hiahia hoki kia tohungia ki a ratou o ratou rangatiratanga me to ratou wenua, a kia mau tonu hoki te Rongo ki a ratou me te Atanoho hoki kua wakaaro ia he mea tika kia tukua mai tetahi Rangatira – hei kai wakarite ki nga Tangata maori o Nu Tirani – kia wakaaetia e nga Rangatira Maori te Kawanatanga o te Kuini ki nga wahikatoa o te wenua nei me nga motu – na te mea hoki he tokomaha ke nga tangata o tona Iwi Kua noho ki tenei wenua, a e haere mai nei.

Na ko te Kuini e hiahia ana kia wakaritea te Kawanatanga kia kaua ai nga kino e puta mai ki te tangata Maori ki te Pakeha e noho ture kore ana.

Na kua pai te Kuini kia tukua a hau a Wiremu Hopihona he Kapitana i te Roiara Nawi hei Kawana mo nga wahi katoa o Nu Tirani e tukua aianei amua atu ki te Kuini, e mea atu ana ia ki nga Rangatira o te wakaminenga o nga hapu o Nu Tirani me era Rangatira atu enei ture ka korerotia nei.

Ko te tuatahi
Ko nga Rangatira o te wakaminenga me nga Rangatira katoa hoki ki hai i uru ki taua wakaminenga ka tuku rawa atu ki te Kuini o Ingarani ake tonu atu – te Kawanatanga katoa o o ratou wenua.

Ko te Tuarua
Ko te Kuini o Ingarani ka wakarite ka wakaae ki nga Rangitira ki nga hapu – ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani te tino rangatiratanga o o ratou wenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga katoa. Otiia ko nga Rangatira o te wakaminenga me nga Rangatira katoa atu ka tuku ki te Kuini te hokonga o era wahi wenua e pai ai te tangata nona te Wenua – ki te ritenga o te utu e wakaritea ai e ratou ko te kai hoko e meatia nei e te Kuini hei kai hoko mona.

Ko te Tuatoru
Hei wakaritenga mai hoki tenei mo te wakaaetanga ki te Kawanatanga o te Kuini – Ka tiakina e te Kuini o Ingarani nga tangata maori katoa o Nu Tirani ka tukua ki a ratou nga tikanga katoa rite tahi ki ana mea ki nga tangata o Ingarani.

[signed] William Hobson, Consul & Lieutenant-Governor.

Na ko matou ko nga Rangatira o te Wakaminenga o nga hapu o Nu Tirani ka huihui nei ki Waitangi ko matou hoki ko nga Rangatira o Nu Tirani ka kite nei i te ritenga o enei kupu, ka tangohia ka wakaaetia katoatia e matou, koia ka tohungia ai o matou ingoa o matou tohu.

Ka meatia tenei ki Waitangi i te ono o nga ra o Pepueri i te tau kotahi mano, e waru rau e wa te kau o to tatou Ariki.

Marcus King, 'The Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, 6 February 1840, [1938], G-821-2, ATL


The English translation

Facsimiles of the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Waitangi, Government Printer, Wellington, 1877.

HER MAJESTY VICTORIA, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, regarding with Her Royal Favour the Native Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand, and anxious to protect their just Rights and Property, and to secure to them the enjoyment of Peace and Good Order, has deemed it necessary, in consequence of the great number of Her Majesty’s Subjects who have already settled in New Zealand, and the rapid extension of Emigration both from Europe and Australia which is still in progress, to constitute and appoint a functionary properly authorized to treat with the Aborigines of New Zealand for the recognition of Her Majesty’s Sovereign authority over the whole or any part of those islands. Her Majesty, therefore, being desirous to establish a settled form of Civil Government with a view to avert the evil consequences which must result from the absence of the necessary Laws and Institutions alike to the Native population and to Her subjects, has been graciously pleased to empower and to authorize me, WILLIAM HOBSON, a Captain in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy, Consul and Lieutenant-Governor of such parts of New Zealand as may be, or hereafter shall be, ceded to Her Majesty, to invite the confederated and independent Chiefs of New Zealand to concur in the following Articles and Conditions.

Article the First.
The Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand, and the separate and independent Chiefs who have not become members of the Confederation, cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England, absolutely and without reservation, all the rights and powers of Sovereignty which the said Confederation or Individual Chiefs respectively exercise or possess, or may be supposed to exercise or to possess, over their respective Territories as the sole sovereigns thereof.

Article the Second.
Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand, and to the respective families and individuals thereof, the full, exclusive, and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates, Forests, Fisheries, and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess, so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession; but the Chiefs of the United Tribes and the Individual Chiefs yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of Pre-emption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate, at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.

Article the Third.
In consideration thereof, Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her Royal protection, and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.

[signed] William Hobson, Lieutenant-Governor.

Now, therefore, We, the Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand, being assembled in Congress at Victoria, in Waitangi, and We, the Separate and Independent Chiefs of New Zealand, claiming authority over the Tribes and Territories which are specified after our respective names, having been made fully to understand the Provisions of the foregoing Treaty, accept and enter into the same in the full spirit and meaning thereof: in witness of which, we have attached our signatures or marks at the places and the dates respectively specified.

Done at Waitangi, this sixth day of February, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty.

From: Vincent O'Malley. Bruce Stirling and Wally Penetito (eds), The Treaty of Waitangi Companion: Maori and Pakeha from Tasman to Today, Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2010.