Kia forty chiefs signed te Tiriti o Waitangi


            Kia whakat?muri te haere whakamuaLCL1 , I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past. The signing of Treaty of Waitangi was a momentous part of our history. Treaties aid peace, harmony, trade, allegiance, and expansions of kingdoms. They are agreements between two peoples. The Treaty of Waitangi is the most significant treaty in New Zealand. The Treaty is the epicenter of our beginnings of a nation. In 1831, thirteen chiefs petitioned King William IV. The chiefs requested protection from the Anarchy caused by British subjects. The King responded by appointing James Busby British resident. Masses of British migrants arrived in New Zealand in the 1830’s. Lawlessness, international trade difficulties and fears of French annexation continued. In 1835, James Busby and rangatira declare New Zealand an independent nation under Maori sovereignty. With no laws or law enforcement, British subjects continued to act recklessly. The British government decided to annex New Zealand to secure the Crown’s own trade interest, protect Maori and regulate British subjects. Around forty chiefs signed te Tiriti o Waitangi on February 6, 1840. In 1856 Parliament became responsible for New Zealand with minimal input from the monarch. This To this day the Treaty has an influence on all citizens and the development of New Zealand.          

The Treaty of Waitangi influences contemporary New-ZealandLCL2 . The Treaty gave the Crown the right and responsibility to govern. Historically the Crown and government ignored and violated the Treaty. The current government strives to adhere to the Principles of the Treaty. New-Zealand does not have a constitution. New Zealand law is built on a collection of common laws, customs, and legislation including the Treaty. Laws are determined by the government and are important for ensuring “peace and good order” (The Treaty of Waitangi, 1840). The rights proclaimed by the Treaty are now enforceable in the courts. The Waitangi Tribunal hears claims by Maori who have been prejudicially affected by practices of the Crown. The Tribunal also reports whether any proposed legislation may run contrary to the Treaty of Waitangi. The government also has the responsibility to manage and protect natural resources alongside local iwi. The Ministry for the Environment and the Te Tiriti have a cohesive relationship. The Ministry recognizes the kaitiaki role M?ori play in managing natural resources. According to Dr. Betsan Martin, “the crown has the responsibility to protect the resources of land and sea, and the integrity of the natural world for future generations” (the state of the p?keh? nation, 2015). This partnership with te Tiriti has ensure the natural environment is preserved for future generations. Additionally, the government controls immigration. Te Tiriti remains the terms of settlement. Te Tiriti was the first immigration document authorizing the lawful settlement of New Zealand. M?ori agreed to co-inhabit Aotearoa with all other people who immigrate to New-Zealand. Currently, immigrants only need to swear to be faithful to the Queen and observe the laws of New Zealand. Several immigrants choose to informally pledge an oath to honor the Treaty along with the Oath of Citizenship. The treaty of Waitangi acts as a foundation for a transparent government that respects the rights of all New Zealanders.

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 Toi t? te kupu, toi t? te mana, toi t? te whenuaLCL3 , hold fast to M?ori culture, for without language, without mana, and without land, the essence of M?ori would be lost. Modern New Zealand is a multicultural nation, made up of many ethnicities and religions. New Zealand prides itself on being accepting and hospitable to all races and religions. The New Zealand appreciated today is the direct results of applying the principles of the Treaty. The New Zealand courts and Waitangi interpreted the Treaty of Waitangi to provide the same human rights as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Treaty is essential in maintaining the rights of all citizens. Modern New Zealand is a stark contrast of its juvenile beginnings. Before the signing of the Treaty, humanitarians realized the need to protect Maori from the devastating effects European colonization has had on other indigenous cultures. Despite their best efforts, in the years the proceeded the signing of the Treaty it was largely forgotten and disregarded. Basic human rights were ignored and the quality of life for Maori diminished immensely, in fact the cultural damage suffered by Maori sill endures today. The Treaty of Waitangi is fundamental to ensuring history does not repeat itself for Maori or any other minority. Citizens have the right to learn and speak any language. Immigrating to a new country can be exotic already. Imagine losing the right converse with family in native tongue. Maori language once was prohibited from use in schools and public. Slowly the language declined. The Aboriginal of Australia experienced the same misjustice. According to Korff “Many Aboriginal languages are lost because up until the 1970s government policies banned and discouraged Aboriginal people from speaking their languages” (2015). Language is important to indigenous cultures as much history is spoken orally. Maori language is now an official language of New Zealand. The Treaty of Waitangi aided in establishing means to protect and preserve Maori language. The treaty also protects the rights of all immigrant’s native language thus ensuring the cultural diversity of the nation. Equally important is the right of religious freedom. Religious freedom is rare in many parts of the world. New Zealand caters to many faiths. Citizens are allowed a place of worship and the rights to practice. At the signing of the Treaty Catholic Bishop asked if “the several faiths of England, of the Wesleyans, of Rome, and also Maori custom shall alike be protected” (statement on religious diversity, 2017). Governor Hobson confirmed his query. Today this translates to include all faiths and acknowledges the diversity of New Zealand. The Treaty enforces many human rights. There are many examples of breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi that impeded on basic human rights. The Treaty acts as a pou tokomanawa in the sense it supports all citizens rights.



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