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The Treaty of Waitangi was created in 1840 as an agreement between the British Crown and a large number of Māori chiefs. The purpose of the Treaty was to establish and guide the relationship between the Crown in New Zealand and Māori, while also giving the Crown the right to govern New Zealand and represent the interests of all New Zealanders. The Treaty promised to protect Māori culture and enable Māori to continue to live in New Zealand as Māori. Reasons why chiefs signed the treaty included wanting controls on sales of Māori land to Europeans, and on European settlers, as well as wanting to trade with Europeans and stop fighting between tribes.
The Treaty has three articles, with the English version stating that Māori cede the sovereignty of New Zealand to Britain, give the Crown an exclusive right to buy lands they wish to sell, and are guaranteed full rights of ownership of their lands, forests, fisheries, and other possessions, while also being given the rights and privileges of British subjects.
The Treaty was signed on February 6th 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and more than 500 Māori chiefs. However, there were different understandings of the treaty which caused conflict. Today the Treaty is widely accepted to be a constitutional document that establishes and guides the relationship between the Crown in New Zealand (embodied by our government) and Māori.
Here are some websites that discuss Why Was The Treaty Of Waitangi Created:
– [Ministry of Justice](https://www.justice.govt.nz/about/learn-about-the-justice-system/how-the-justice-system-works/the-basis-for-all-law/treaty-of-waitangi/)
– [Te Ara](https://teara.govt.nz/en/te-tiriti-o-waitangi-the-treaty-of-waitangi)
– [New Zealand History](https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/treaty/the-treaty-in-brief)