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«TE WIREMU, TE PUHIPI, HE WAKAPUTANGA ME TE TIRITI HENRY WILLIAMS, JAMES BUSBY, A DECLARATION AND THE TREATY A report commissioned by the Waitangi ...»

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In light of this discussion, the words used in article one of He Wakaputanga, in particular ‘he Wenua Rangatira’ and ‘Rangatiratanga’, expressed as best they could Te Wiremu’s conception of ‘an Independent State’ and ‘Independence’. Whether they conveyed to Māori the various conceptions analysed above is a further question for consideration. The fact that ‘rangatira’ was a status and title embedded in Māori usage and practice suggests that its uses in He Wakaputanga would have conveyed the ideas of social or ‘civil’ freedom and liberty, to rangatira. The contrast between ‘he Wenua Rangatira’ and its hypothetical opposites, ‘he Wenua Pononga’ or ‘he Wenua Taurekareka’ would doubtless have lingered in their thoughts. Ngāpuhi still had slaves or was in the process of releasing them in 1835. The discourse of taurekareka(tanga) or slavery to Queen Victoria assumed some prominence in1840 and the years following, and had to be

245 Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language. 83

combated by missionaries who did not believe such talk. The spiritual connotations of these contrasting states of rangatirataga and ponongatanga/taurekarekatanga would perhaps also have been understood by those rangatira influenced by missionary teaching.

Article 2

Ko te Kingitanga ko te mana i te wenua o te wakaminenga o Nu Tireni ka meatia nei kei nga Tino Rangatira anake i to matou huihuinga, a ka mea hoki e kore e tukua e matou te wakarite ture ki te tahi hunga ke atu, me te tahi Kawanatanga hoki kia meatia i te wenua o te wakaminenga o Nu Tireni, ko nga tangata anake e meatia nei e matou e wakarite ana ki te ritenga o o matou ture e meatia nei matou i to matou huihuinga.

The second article of Busby’s English text enumerated the powers to be exercised by the independent state of the United Tribes of New Zealand. The generic supreme or ‘sovereign’ authority came first, followed by all legislative powers, and lastly, all executive powers or ‘function[s] of government’. The exercise of these powers was expressly limited to the territories of the said United Tribes. These powers could also be delegated by way of legislation (Busby being a likely ‘delegate’). All legislation was to be made ‘in Congress’, the first of two uses of this word.

Te Wiremu’s choice of ‘Kingitanga’ (‘Kingship’) for ‘sovereign power and authority’ was obvious: the King was the English sovereign. Some Māori understood the nature of ‘Kingship’, ‘Kingitanga’ or ‘sovereign power’ from visits to England where they saw the opulent possessions and palaces of the monarch. Many more visited NSW and saw the powers exercised by the King’s governors there. ‘Mana’ for ‘sovereign power and authority’ was also a natural choice. Its various meanings span ‘authority, control’, ‘influence, prestige, power’, and the adjectival forms of these words, ‘effectual, binding, authoritative’, and ‘having influence or power’.246 Mana was however not the Māori equivalent of Kingitanga. A king was someone who 246 H W Williams, Dictionary of the Māori Language, seventh edition (Wellington: G P Publications, 1971), p 172 (for mana).

84 exercised supreme authority; mana was the authority itself. If an equivalent had been sought by the translator, ‘Rangatiratanga’ was the obvious choice, but it was not used, perhaps for the reason that it had already been used in article one for ‘Independence’.

Another reason for not using ‘Rangatiratanga’ was that, arguably, Māori rangatira did not exercise a ‘supreme power and authority’ over their hapū in the same way that the British monarch was conceived to hold such a power (even if it was a symbolic supremacy).247 Arguably, also, there was no Māori word that denoted or connoted a ‘supreme’ power, ‘mana’ representing any kind of authority or power (although conjunctions could be found in ‘mana nui’ and ‘tino nui’). ‘Ariki’, meaning the first born of a leading family, hence a chief or priest,248 was a possible candidate for a ‘sovereign’ or ‘supreme lord’,249 but to use ‘Arikitanga’ might not have been a judicious choice as it might have demeaned or excluded rangatira who could not regard themselves as ariki. Whatever the reason, Te Wiremu chose to conjoin the English derived proper noun ‘Kingitanga’ (itself a missionary conjuction of ‘Kingi’ and ‘tanga’) with the Māori noun ‘mana’ to convey the phrase ‘sovereign power and authority’. It is submitted this conjunction would have conveyed the English sense appropriately to rangatira.

Like the English text, the Māori text confined the exercise of this authority geographically to ‘te wenua o te wakaminenga o Nu Tireni’ (the lands of the assembly of New Zealand) and to the hereditary chiefs and heads of tribes in their collective capacity, rendered ‘kei nga Tino Rangatira anake i to matou huihuinga’ (at/in the True Chiefs only of our gathering/meeting).

The proposed legislative power of te Wakaminenga was expressed in the Māori text by ‘te wakarite ture’, literally, ‘the arranging/preparation (of the) law’, or simply ‘the law making’.

‘Ture’ was a missionary word introduced from Tahiti where the missionaries used it to denote 247 This is notwithstanding the fact that a ‘Chiefdom’ was defined as a ‘sovereignty’ in Johnson’s Dictionary (1824).





‘Chief’ was defined as: a military commander (Milton); ‘chieftain’ as: a leader; a commander (Spenser), the head of a clan (Davies); and ‘chieftainship’ as: headship (Smollett). Chapter four on the Treaty translation argues that Māori chieftainship was a different kind of sovereignty from English monarchy. It was akin to a military commander’s authority, not a governmental institutional authority like that of Her Majesty the Queen.

248 Williams, Dictionary of the Māori Language, p 15.

249 Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language (1824).

85 the Torah, that is, God’s law, or the Mosaic Law of the Old Testament.250 The use of this missionary-derived word in Biblical translation and in He Wakaputanga would have conveyed to rangatira a notion of law or custom different from Māori tikanga. The notion that this law was to be ‘enacted’ by them (‘e meatia nei e matou’) in their collective capacity (‘i to matou huihuinga’) was also a foreign notion. Māori tikanga was not so much made as inherited by each generation.

That law should be made by the Wakaminenga in their huihuinga only was contrary to the existing model where each rangatira and hapū conducted their own affairs in accordance with tikanga.251 A supra-tribal authority was being created. How much rangatira understood these introduced notions in October 1835 is difficult to say.

Another Māori word for custom, ‘ritenga’, was used in article two. The phrase in which it was used meant something like ‘the custom of our laws’ (‘te ritenga o o matou ture’). This attempted to convey the English reference to persons appointed by the Wakaminenga ‘acting under the authority of laws regularly enacted by them’. ‘Ritenga’ translated ‘authority’ in this sentence.

This reflects a missionary attempt to weld together Māori and English notions of law or custom, conveying to rangatira that the procedures of the Congress would reflect both sources. It might also express some of the whakaaro articulated by rangatira at the 28 October 2009 kōrerorero in an effort to incorporate Māori modes and custom.

The exercise of any ‘function of government’ was also reserved to chiefs in the English text (along with the legislative power). As with Kingitanga and ture, an English word was used.

Kāwana was used in Te Kawenata Hou for the Roman Governors. Williams used ‘Kawana’ conjoined with ‘tanga’ to make ‘Kawanatanga’ – ‘Governorship’ or ‘Government’, in the Māori text. This borrowing indicates a missionary view that the notion of a national government was a British one and had no Māori equivalent. Māori had some conception of ‘governors’ from NSW 250 Williams, Dictionary of the Māori Language, p 459. The Torah also referred to the first five books of the Bible containing the law, also known as the Pentateuch.

251 Henare, From Tribes to Nation, p 191, makes a similar point: ‘In the 1830s, tikanga and ritenga (custom law) applied to hapu only, namely, to those people who belonged to particular kinship groups. In this context, no single rangatira or tohunga could assert, except through the ringa kaha [strong arm] principle, an overarching set of tikanga or ritenga that applied across tribal boundaries. However, should a new level of rangatira and tohunga authority be established and accepted on a wide basis then perhaps a transformation in cultural terms might be possible. The Biblical notion of new laws, ngā ture, began to gain some credibility’.

86 and perhaps other places, so this word should have likewise conveyed more foreign notions of government, not their own notions.252 The notion of a Congress however was not translated with a borrowed word. Nor was this notion reified into a proper noun or title, as with the ‘Wakaminenga’ or state of the United Tribes. In article two Congress was simply translated as ‘our gathering’ (‘i to matou huihuinga’). In article three, another Māori term was used – ‘runanga’, meaning ‘assembly’ or ‘council’. This suggests that the notion of a Congress was a reasonably generic one for the missionaries, and that the Māori notion of runanga sufficiently represented its meaning.253 The function of this Congress or runanga was however new. As Henare puts it: ‘The idea that Māori would pass legislative law and that it was to apply to all Māori represented a radical development in Māori custom law and practice’.254

Article 3

Ko matou ko nga tino Rangatira ka mea nei kia huihui ki te runanga ki Waitangi a te Ngahuru i tenei tau i tenei tau ki te wakarite ture kia tika ai te wakawakanga, kia mau pu te rongo[,] kia mutu te he[,] kia tika te hokohoko, a ka mea hoki ki nga tauiwi o runga, kia wakarerea te wawai, kia mahara ai ki te wakaoranga o to matou wenua, a kia uru ratou ki te wakaminenga o Nu Tireni.

The third paragraph in the English text specified how the United Tribes were to conduct the business of government. They were to meet in Congress at Waitangi in the autumn of each year to legislate on the subjects of justice, the peace of the realm, and commercial regulation. This article also contained an appeal to ‘the Southern tribes’ to join this new confederate state, so unifying the country.

–  –  –

The Māori text of this article expressed in simple Māori idioms the meaning of the English text.

A few phrases are of note. ‘Runanga’ for ‘Congress’ has already been mentioned. The English phrase ‘for the purpose of framing laws for the dispensation of justice’ was rendered ‘ki te wakarite ture kia tika ai te wakawakanga’. This phrase appears to say, idiomatically, ‘for the arranging of laws to make straight the ridges/furrows’. The word ‘wakawaka’ refers to a bed or furrow in a plantation. The word ‘justice’ was partially expressed by the word ‘tika’, meaning correct or straight.

Te Wiremu’s use of ‘tauiwi’, meaning ‘strange tribe’ or ‘foreign race’, for the tribes south of Hauraki, was an interesting choice.255 It indicates that he expected difficulties in developing friendship or political alliance between Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whatua, Waikato, Ngāti Porou, and the others. In view of Hongi’s southern raids and the inter-iwi warfare in which he had mediated at Hauraki and Tauranga, it is not surprising that Te Wiremu considered these southern iwi as ‘tauiwi’ in the eyes of Ngāpuhi. If there had been specific objection to this term at the October 1835 kōrerorero, it would probably have been discarded. Although there were whakapapa ties between Ngāpuhi and southern iwi, including notable examples of alliances formed through intermarriage, these relationships were still strained during the 1830s.256 The concept of a formal confederation, embracing a number of rohe and iwi of Aotearoa, was not a concept embedded in Māori thought or practice. The nature of Ngāpuhi itself was Ngāpuhi-kowhao-rau (‘Ngāpuhi-ofa-hundred-chiefs’).

Key southern rangatira signed He Wakaputanga between 1835 and 1839, including Te Wherowhero of Waikato and Te Hapuku of Ngāti Kahungunu. The advantages of confederation may have been attractive, but so was the appeal of an alliance (if informal) with te Kingi o Ingarangi. The Māori text exhorted these southern rangatira to ‘discard’ or ‘forsake’ (‘kia wakarerea’) their ‘fight(s)’ (‘wawai’) with Ngāpuhi and join (‘kia uru’) te Wakaminenga, the Independent State or Assembly of New Zealand.

–  –  –

Article 4 Ka mea matou kia tuhituhia he pukapuka ki te ritenga o tenei o to matou wakaputanga nei ki te Kingi o Ingarani hei kawe atu i to matou aroha nana hoki i wakaae ki te Kara mo matou. A no te mea ka atawai matou, ka tiaki i nga Pākehā e noho nei i uta, e rere mai ana ki te hokohoko, koia ka mea ai matou ki te Kingi kia waiho hei matua ki a matou i to matou Tamarikitanga kei wakakahoretia to matou Rangatiratanga.

Paragraph four in the English text consisted of diplomatic overtures to the English monarch, thanking him for acknowledging the New Zealand flag and asking for his parental protection of their independent ‘infant State’. This paragraph expressed Busby’s conception of New ZealandBritish relations already referred to, namely independence founded on British protection or dependence.

The Māori text of this fourth paragraph appears to appropriately encapsulate the English text and convey its meaning. ‘Pukapuka’, meaning book or letter, was a missionary-introduced word. The signatories say they will ‘write’ a book/letter to the King in the likeness ‘of this our declaration’ (that is, send a copy of it to him). Their thanks for his acknowledgement of the flag is expressed as ‘aroha’ for his agreement to the ‘Kara’. The King’s ‘subjects’ is rendered ‘Pākehā’. He is asked to remain (‘kia waiho’) to be a parent or father (‘hei matua’) to them in their Infancy or Childhood (‘Tamarikitanga’) – ‘lest our Independence be destroyed/made of no account’ (‘kei wakakahoretia to matou Rangatiratanga’).



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