Story: Constitution

The Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi was signed by more than 500 Māori chiefs in 1840. Under the English version Māori gave up sovereignty to the Crown, but in the Māori version, which was the copy most chiefs signed, they ceded governorship (kāwanatanga), a lesser power. While it represented an agreement between the Crown and Māori to share power, the different wording made the power relationship unclear right from the start.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Matthew Palmer, 'Constitution - Constitutional relationships between the Crown and Māori', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 June 2024)

Story by Matthew Palmer, published 20 Jun 2012