Excerpts from ‘The Treaty of Waitangi’ by Dame Claudi Orange, recognized authority on the Treaty. She is a distinguished historian, and the author of The Treaty of Waitangi (1987) and An Illustrated History of the Treaty (2021).
“…all Māori leaders signed a copy of the Māori language Tiriti, which did not convey the full meaning of the English text, especially the extent of sovereign powers. Only some would have been able to read Te Tiriti, even if they had been given the chance.”
“Governor William Hobson was caught by surprise. Summoned ashore late in the morning of February 6, he arrived in plain clothes but having snatched up his plumed hat. Several hundred Māori were waiting for him in the marquee, and several hundred others stood around outside. Many had arrived since the meeting the previous day, including some high-ranking women. Only James Busby and about a dozen Europeans had turned up, among them the Catholic Bishop Pompallier. Hobson, nervous and uneasy, more than once expressed concern that the meeting could not be considered a “regular public meeting” since the proper notice had not been given. He would not allow discussion, but would be prepared to take signatures.”
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Photo: Wikipedia “A later reconstruction in a painting by Marcus King, depicting Tāmati Wāka Nene in the act of signing. Hobson is falsely shown in full uniform (he was actually wearing civilian clothing).”