Declaration of Independence New Zealand becomes a legal state.
United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, 2010 • “the most significant day for Maori rights since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.”
All Good? • Article 31: Self-GovernmentAs a form of self-determination, indigenous peoples have the right to self-government in relation to their own affairs.These include culture, religion, education, media, health, housing, employment, social security, economic activities, land and resources management, environment and entry by non-members.
All Good? • Article 36: Treaties and AgreementsGovernments shall respect treaties and agreements entered into with indigenous peoples. Disputes should be resolved by international bodies.
Primary causes of the Declaration • Seizure of the Sir George Murray – occurred when two Maori chiefs were aboard. • Need to free up trade between New Zealand and NSW • James Busby – New Zealand Resident arrived in 1833. • Flag as common rallying point for Maori and a method under which Maori could work together.
Step one - Maori Chiefs sign up to a flag • 20 March 1834 – 25 chiefs from the far north gathered to choose a flag to represent New Zealand. • A number of Missionaries, Settlers and the commanders of 10 British and 3 American ships attended.
National flag chosen • From three designs they chose the Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand, which was already in use by the CMS. • Busby declared this the National flag of New Zealand and had it hoisted up the flagpole accompanied by a 21 gun salute by the HMS Alligator.
Busby freaks out • Worried about the actions of the French • Oct 1835 learns about ‘Baron’ Charles de Thierry who claimed that he would set up a ‘sovereign and independent state’ in the Hokianga. • Busby seems to have used de Thierry's plans as an opportunity to carry out his instructions to set up a settled form of government among Maori. • He saw the declaration as a means to make the country a dependency of the British Empire in everything but name.
but Maori freak out too.... • chiefs met with King George IV in 1820 • 13 petitioned King William IV in 1831 for formal protection from other powers
The Treaty and its Times Pg 102 • Read now
Step two - Declaration of Independence • On 28 October 1835 James Busby called a hui (meeting) at Waitangi. • 34 northern chiefs, known as the Confederation of United Tribes, signed 'A Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand‘. • called upon King William IV of Britain to become their 'father and protector'. • They also thanked the King for acknowledging their flag. • Signings continued until 22 July 1839, totalling 52 names
Step two - Declaration of Independence • Seen by Maori as British recognition of an independent Maori nation. • Also seen as the foundation of their assertion of autonomous rights
The Declaration • all sovereign power and authority in the land resided with the chiefs 'in their collective capacity’ • the chiefs would meet annually at Waitangi to make laws • In return for the 'friendship and protection' that Maori were to give British subjects in New Zealand, the chiefs invited King William IV 'to continue to be the parent (matua) of their infant state and its Protector from all attempts upon its independence'.
Perspectives • Busby saw it as a step towards making New Zealand a British possession. • The chiefs saw it as a guarantee of their independence, a strengthening of their relationship with the British and a promise of protection.
Effects • very little practical effect at the time • the chiefs told Busby not to expect any chief to subordinate his mana to that of the United Tribes • There is no evidence that the confederation of chiefs was ever reconvened, except at the time of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840.
Law and Order • One of the original reasons for the declaration • In the hands of the Kororareka Association, a group of local settlers that worked with Busby, and some of the local chiefs. • Effective sovereignty lay not with the United Tribes but with the chiefs of individual iwi and hāpu
Long term ramifications • It proved to be an impediment to the annexation of New Zealand • A purpose of the Treaty of Waitangi was to revoke the declaration to permit the transmission of sovereignty to Queen Victoria • That is why the chiefs (or their successors) who had signed the declaration were called up first to sign the Treaty.