Wasn’t there a Declaration of Independence before the Treaty? Seems to be a lot of conflict over the Treaty! …flagpoles, gunpowder. But that was in 1840! Meaning? Interpretation? …who cares? So where to now…?
Declaration of Independence • 28 October 1835 • Signed by 34 Chiefs • Translated by missionaries • Tribal agreement (mainly Northern tribes)
English Text-Article 1 Independence Independent State English Text-Article 2 All sovereign power and authority Legislative authority Government Maori Text-Article 1 Rangatiratanga Whenua Rangatira Maori Text-Article 2 Ko te Kingitanga ko te mana Wakarite ture kawanatanga Declaration of Independence – translation of Texts? INTERESTING LANGUAGE! CONSPIRACY THEORISTS OF THE WORLD UNITE!
Moves to establish British Sovereignty • June 1839: Letters Patent issued, annexed NZ to NSW • Hobson appointed Queen’s Consul in NZ to establish British sovereignty • Assume complete control over land matters; and • Establish a settled form of government • Suggest protection of Maori interests high priority in decision to colonise and enter into treaty negotiations
Moves to establish British Sovereignty • Gipps NSW Governor proclaimed himself Lieutenant Governor of NZ • Jan 1840 further proclamations by Gipps • Declared NZ dependency of NSW • Titles to future land purchases would not be recognised by Crown • Hobson made similar proclamations when he arrived in NZ. Legality dubious. Why? • At time of proclamations, cession of sovereignty to Britain not yet taken place • Assumed by Britain that measures necessary to protect their interests in NZ
Treaty of Waitangi / Tiriti o Waitangi • 6 February 1840 • 2 texts • English Text signed by 39 Chiefs • Maori Text signed by 530-540 Chiefs • British Colonisation Policy
English – Preamble “sovereign authority” “…establish a settled form of Civil Government…” English – Article 1 “…cede…absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty…” Maori – Preamble “kawanatanga” “kawanatanga” Maori – Article 1 “…te Kawanatanga katoa o o ratou wenua” Treaty of Waitangi – Note translation of Texts
English – Article 2 “…the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess…” “…[Maori] yield to [the Queen] the exclusive right of Preemption…” Maori – Article 2 “…te tino rangatiratanga o o ratou wenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga katoa.” “…te hokonga o era wahi wenua…” Treaty of Waitangi – Note translation of Texts
English – Article 3 “…the Queen... extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British subjects” Maori – Article 3 “…Ka tiakina e te Kuini …nga tangata Maori katoa…ka tukua ki a rite tahi ki ana mea ki nga tangata o Ingarani” Treaty of Waitangi – Note translation of Texts
English – Preamble Sets out desire and justification for the estab of Brit sov and civil govt in NZ English – Article 1 Required Maori chiefs to cede absolute sov to Crown Sov would estab Crown’s jurisdiction & abililty to make laws for NZ that would be recognised nationally & internationally Maori – Preamble “kawanatanga” used to denote both “Sovereign authority” and “civil government” Maori – Article 1 “kawanatanga” used to denote sovereignty On strict interpretation“kawanatanga” means “governance”, implies lower standard of authority than Sovereign rulers Therefore, Maori version cedes less to Crown and reserves much more to chiefs, than English version Interpretations of the Text
English – Article 2 Queen confirms and guarantees to Maori full, exclusive undisturbed possessionof properties Maori – Article 2 “tino rangatiratanga” used to convey meaning of undisturbed possession of properties. Literal translation = the unqualified exercise of chieftainship over their properties Interpretation of the Text
Interpretation of the Text • Maori – Article 2 • “tino rangatiratanga” denotes concept closer to sovereignty than “kawanatanga” • Involves more than concept of possession described in English text • Waitangi Tribunal – meaning tantamount to “the sovereignty of lands” • When viewed in conjunction with Article 1, Maori Text irreconcilable with English Text • Maori Text can be interpreted to mean Maori were to maintain their sov, with lesser concession of authority to Crown
English – Article 2 contd Purports to secure to Crown exclusive right of preemption Technical term, grants first right of purchase to Crown before anyone else Maori – Article 2 contd No equivalent Maori term for “preemption” “Hokonga” meaning buying or selling was used But full implications of Crown’s exclusive right never conveyed Interpretation of the Text
Interpretation of the Text • Article 3 • Extends to Maori the rights & privileges of British subjects • Maori & Pakeha “equal before the law”
Translation problems Coverage Oral/Aural Eurocentrism Versions Contradictions Speed CCVOTES
CONTRADICTIONS 1. Sovereignty and tino rangatiratanga are not clearly distinguished. The intent of Article 1 of the English version was to gain sovereignty but Article 2 of the Maori version allows Maori to retain their chieftainship: Role of government contradicts the role of tribal authority (Article 1 versus Artlicle 2) Prerogative of government versus prerogative of tribes (Article 1 versus Artlicle 2) 2. The pre-emption problem (Article 2) Pre-emption has always been a problem area and has caused confusion. Hobson took it to mean that only the Crown could buy land from the Maori, but in fact the word means ‘first offer’ and if the Crown did not want to or could not afford to buy, the sellers believed that they could sell to others. The idea that only the Crown could buy land does not come through very strongly in the Maori version. Note that Maori were guaranteed full authority/possession of their land but they had to sell to the Crown. By saying to Maori that they had to sell only to the Crown, they were denying Maori the ‘rights and privileges of a British citizen’ that they were offering under Article 3.
SIGNERS AND NON-SIGNERS (Coverage) • Not all Chiefs signed the Treaty eg Te Wherowhero did not sign. Some say he was offended because he had not been invited to Waitangi - only the ‘feeble’ Manukau signing. • 2. Other chiefs did not want restrictions on their control of their affairs eg Taraia of Thames and Tupaea of Tauranga. • 3. Mananui Te Heuheu of Ngati Tuwharetoa (Taupo-Tongariro) returned the blankets given to his brother at Waitangi because he did not want his mana under that of a mere woman (Queen Victoria) • 4. Treaty not offered to some chiefs eg most of Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa. • Note: this argument (non-signers etc) may not be as significant as other points because ‘custom and usage’ i.e. acceptance of European settlers and their institutions over time meant that it was increasingly irrelevant whether they had signed or not. But there were still clear Maori ‘zones’ later in the century.
NUMBER OF VERSIONS • The fact that there are a number of different ways of gaining an understanding of the treaty is in itself a problem. There are six at least - • English written • English oral • Maori written • Maori oral/aural • Another version could include the understanding from the hui that went alongside the Treaty. The understanding of Maori chiefs would be enhanced by the korero that occurred into the night of the 5th • and the version that came to be applied through custom and usage throughout the century once the institutions of government had been introduced and applied.
ORAL VERSUS WRITTEN • 1. The way that the Treaty was understood was different depending upon whether you read or listen. Consider that if you read a joke it may or may not be funny. If you tell the joke, again, it may or may not be funny - tone, intonation, body language, timing are all important to the way that you communicate to your audience i.e. the way that they receive the message. eg some words only need a very slight change in inflection to change the meaning of the word - fool, bastard. There can also be implied adjectives to enhance your meaning. • 2. Considering thatMaori had very little experience with English but a very long oral and aural tradition, it is reasonable to argue that Maori understanding was primarily from the aural Maori version. This would include the korero that went with the spoken text.
TRANSLATION PROBLEMS • 1. Translation from one language into another has always brought problems (literal translations are words or expressions that just do not translate into the other language). These problems are aggravated with translations over long periods of time because words change in meaning. Eg chauvinistic, gay • 2. The language of the Treaty is semi-legal but not written by lawyers (written by Hobson, Busby and Henry Williams) • 3. The major areas of translation contention are: • sovereignty versus kawanatanga or governorship • exclusive possession versus rangatiratanga or chieftainship • pre-emption versus right of first refusal • rights and privileges versus rights only • 4. The translation was in ‘Missionary Maori’ i.e. using words familiar to readers of ‘Te Paipera Tapu’ (The Bible) therefore kawanatanga used to translate sovereignty carries different meanings according to who is reading or listening to it eg it could mean - ‘the Governorship of Pontius Pilate suggesting some independence of action’ or it could mean - ‘ the use of authority as exercised by the NSW Governor who treated Maori with respect and friendliness’
TRANSLATION contd. • 5.There is a school of thought that argues that the word ‘mana’ would have conveyed the idea of sovereignty better. Mana is a ‘context-concept’wordi.e. it can mean different things in different circumstances • eg authority, control • influence, prestige, power • psychic force • binding effectual, authoritative • to take effect • So words such as mana were probably avoided because Maori would not have signed if they had used it. • 6. In the Bible the word rangatiratanga is used to describe power and authority, kingdoms, lordships and having dominion over both places and people. eg ‘Thy Kingdom come’ translates as ‘kia tae mai to rangatiratanga’ • This translation seems to come closer to the idea of sovereignty than kawanatanga yet it was usedfor translation of possession only.
EUROCENTRISM • Part of the problems can be attributed to the Eurocentric view that coloured every aspect of the negotiation. Of course in 1840 they would not have recognised their view as being Eurocentric. it would have been the only view that they would have, however they were trying to be sensitive and humanitarian to Maori within that Eurocentric view. • (You could also argue that Maori were being • Maoricentric in their turn!)
SPEED • This idea can operate in both directions. If you argue that the hui at Waitangi was moved along by Maori who were keen to get the Treaty signed on the morning of the 6th, then clearly Maori were responsible for the speeding up of the signings, however if you believe that the whole process of writing and translating was hastily put together, then Pakeha were responsible for the speeding up. Even on the 6th, Colenso asked whether Maori really understood what was being asked of them.