The Treaty of Waitangi (Waitangi
means weeping (or noisy) waters) was finally signed on 6th
February 1840, after a great gathering at Waitangi (Bay of
Islands), which commenced on the morning of 5th February.
Discussions and arguments for and against the Treaty continued
until the morning of the 6th. Among those chiefs in favour
of the Treaty were Rawiri Taiwhanga, Hone Heke and Tamati
Not all Māori chiefs were present at Waitangi to sign
the treaty, and Hobson set off traveling north and south
gathering further signatures. It was not until the 3rd September
that the final signature was obtained. In all, over 500
Chieftains had signed, although a number of important Chiefs
had not signed the Treaty, including Te Wherowhero of Waikato,
Taraia of Thames, Tupaea of Tauranga, the Te Arawa of Rotorua,
and the Ngati Tuwharetoa of Taupo.
In May 1840 Hobson declared British sovereignty over New
for more details on the circumstances of New Zealand's annexation.
From the start Hobson experienced difficulties with the New
Zealand Company settlers. The first arrival of settlers wanted
to set up their own government, in spite of the Treaty which
had just been signed. Hobson viewed their actions as being
disloyal to the Queen. It was this which pushed him to declare
British sovereignty over the totality of New Zealand.
Difficulties with the settlers continued. They objected to
Hobson's plan to make Waitemata Harbour the capital, instead
of Port Nicholson. The land owners objected to Hobson's offer
of higher wages to labourers for work on government buildings.
This naturally led labourers to leave the south for the more
The settlers were not happy with Hobson's Māori policy,
feeling he was too pro-Māori in keeping to the conditions
of the Treaty of Waitangi. In addition to this, neither the
British nor the American settlers wanted British rule. They
wanted a self government. Hobson was continually obliged to
fight an uphill battle with the settlers. He died in office
in September 1842.
Captain Robert FitzRoy, another naval officer, succeeded
Hobson and difficulties with the settlers still followed.
As far as the settlers were concerned, FitzRoy was continuing
with Hobson's policy of favouring Māori interests over
those of the Europeans. In addition to FitzRoy's problems,
the Government he inherited was bankrupt.
The New Zealand Company in London was at the same time experiencing
severe financial problems, and this was causing discontent
among the settlers. Those who had bought land from the Company
found they were unable to have it properly surveyed. Labourers
who had emigrated via the New Zealand Company, following the
promise of employment and pay, found themselves jobless.
FitzRoy's relations with the settlers came to a head with
accusations concerning his "pro-Māori" policy.
The settlers demanded that Britain recall FitzRoy. They were
supported by New Zealand Company allies. The Māori themselves
were beginning to regret the annexation of their land, and
relations between Māori and the settlers deteriorated
to a low point.
The Māori realised that they
were no longer free to sell their land as they wished. The
government began to force the Māori to sell land at low
prices, in order to resell the land to settlers at much higher
prices. This situation eventually led to first hostilities
known as "The Flagstaff
The Colonial Office was eventually
obliged to give in to the settlers' demands, and in 1845 FitzRoy
left office. Governor George Grey, an army officer, was nominated
as FitzRoy's successor. The British Government granted subsidies,
and the Colony's finances soon became stable. With financial
assistance from Britain, Grey was able to do that which Hobson
and FitzRoy before him had been unable to do, purchase land
from the Māori on a large-scale basis.
The New Zealand Company had been rescued from financial disaster
by Britain, (Britain having been obliged to accept the presence
of the Company). The Company purchased the Canterbury Plains,
and the "Canterbury Pilgrims", 3.500 in number, settled on
some of the finest pastoral land in New Zealand.
Land in the South Island was easily purchased, as Te Rauparaha
and his war parties had seriously reduced the number of Māori
in the south. Apart from the gold miners from Australia and
America, who appeared in growing numbers during the gold rush
era of 1861, when gold was discovered in Otago, the majority
of European settlers were from Great Britain : England, Scotland
and Ireland. This group made up approximately 40% of the Europeans
in New Zealand in 1886. They were principally from lower and
middle class labourer backgrounds.
After this group were the Germans and Scandinavians with
some Asians and southern Europeans. Several hundred Dalmatians
from today's ex-Yugoslavia settled in North Auckland during