He Whakaputanga, English

A DigitalNZ Story by National Library of New Zealand Topics

He Whakaputanga was signed on 28 October 1835 declaring New Zealand an independent nation. These resources cover the declaration, its significance, the articles, translations, signatories and why this document still matters today. SCIS no: 1894406

social_sciences, arts, Māori, english, history

New Zealand Company / United Tribes flag

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

The United Tribes Flag design, 1834

Te Kara - The United Tribes Flag, 1834

Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga

People associated with He Whakaputanga

He Whakaputanga: The Declaration of Independence

DigitalNZ

The Declaration of Independence

He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni (known as The Declaration of Independence), 1835

Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga

- He Whakaputanga - Declaration of Independence

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Ngā haki – Māori and flags: Early national flags

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

United Tribes' flag

Manatū Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Lost in translation

Services to Schools

United Tribes flag

Services to Schools

United Tribes flag

Services to Schools

King William IV

Services to Schools

The need for a flag became urgent when a Hokianga built ship Sir George Murray was seized by customs in Sydney in 1830. The reason? It did not have a flag declaring its nationality so it could potentially have its cargo seized. Missionary Reverend Henry Williams was selected to design the flag. This flag received the majority of votes from the United Tribes of New Zealand at Waitangi on 29 March 1834 became New Zealand’s first recognised flag. James Busby saw the flag as the first step towards getting Māori chiefs to work together on some form of collective government.

United Tribes Ensign

Alexander Turnbull Library

James Busby

James Busby was born in Scotland on 7 February 1802. He arrived in New Zealand in 1833 to become the first official British resident. In 1834 he held a meeting with the Māori chiefs at Waitangi to select a national flag. Later in 1835, he persuaded 34 chiefs to sign the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand. This document in-part asserted that sovereignty and mana resided with Māori and since Maori were “showing friendship and care for the Pakeha” that the British King continue to act as their protector. It was his version of the declaration that was sent to both the New South Wales government and the Colonial Office in Britain. In 1840 he helped William Hobson to draft the Treaty of

McDonald, James Ingram, 1865-1935 :James Busby, British Resident, 1830. 1903.

Alexander Turnbull Library

Eruera Maihi Patuone

Eruera Maihi Patuone was principal leader of Ngāti Hao. He was one of the 13 Māori leaders who signed a petition in 1831 asking King William IV for protection from the French. Patuone also signed He Whakaputanga sometime between 29 March 1836 and 25 June 1837 and Te Tiriti o Waitangi in 1840. Baptised and christened Edward March by Henry Williams, he was known as a friend of the Europeans, a supporter of Queen Victoria and also a peacemaker.

Photographer unknown :Portrait of Eruera Maihi Patuone

Alexander Turnbull Library

Waitangi from the air

Waitangi, one of New Zealand’s most historic sites is located in the Bay of Islands. ‘Wai’ means waters and ‘tangi’ means noisy or weeping. Waitangi was where (in 1834) Māori chiefs gathered to select a national flag, and in 1835 to sign He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand. On 6 February 1840, the site again made history with the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Treaty of Waitangi. This photograph was taken in 1952.

Waitangi Treaty House and grounds, Waitangi

Alexander Turnbull Library

Treaty of Waitangi

National Library of New Zealand