Story: Kotahitanga – unity movements

Treaty of Waitangi

This is the Treaty of Waitangi, which was signed on 6 February 1840. In the Māori version of the treaty, Māori ceded 'kawanatanga' (translated at the time as sovereignty) and Māori retained 'te tino rangatiratanga' (translated as ownership). However, 'rangatiratanga' had been used to mean independence in the 1835 Declaration of Independence, Te Whakaputanga o te rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni. Later kotahitanga or unification movements interpreted 'rangatiratanga' as meaning independence or sovereignty. There are nine different sheets of the treaty, as it was taken around New Zealand to be signed by Māori chiefs. Apart from the Manukau–Kāwhia sheet, which was in English, the remaining sheets are in Māori.

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Kotahitanga – unity movements - The first Kotahitanga movements, 1834 to 1840', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 June 2024)

Story by Basil Keane, published 20 Jun 2012