Story: Cultural go-betweens

Henry Williams and the Treaty of Waitangi

Henry Williams and the Treaty of Waitangi

The missionary Henry Williams helps chief Tāmati Wāka Nene to sign the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, in this 1938 painting produced to mark the centenary of the treaty. Missionaries such as Williams used their knowledge of the Māori language and the goodwill they had developed with Māori for political ends such as convincing them to sign the treaty. This caused ill-feeling among settlers, who felt that the missionaries unfairly favoured Māori, and among those Māori who later thought that their trust had been misplaced.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: G-821-2
Oil on canvas by Marcus King

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Cultural go-betweens - Political go-betweens', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 28 October 2021)

Story by Mark Derby, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 22 May 2018