“People are still grieving” māori and non-Māori adolescents’ perceptions of the treaty of Waitangi
Sheehan M., Epstein T., Harcourt M.
The Treaty of Waitangi (commonly referred to in New Zealand as the Treaty) was an agreement made in 1840 between the British Crown and the majority of indigenous Maori chiefs. The Treaty enabled New Zealand to be incorporated into the British Empire and in return, the Crown guaranteed Maori rights over their lands, forests and fisheries and those cultural practices they valued. However, over the last 175 years Maori (indigenous) and Pakeha (New Zealanders of European descent) have typically seen the Treaty differently, in part because there were differences between the Maori and English versions of the Treaty, and because settlers dispossessed the Maori of the vast majority of their land. The Treaty retains its relevance today because in recent times the government has relied on its principles as the framework to negotiate the relationship between Maori and Pakeha (including compensating Maori for historical grievances). Throughout the nation’ s history, however, the meaning and significance of the Treaty has been contested.