Talk:Treaty of Waitangi

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File:Treatyofwaitangi.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Treatyofwaitangi.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on March 28, 2016. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2016-03-28. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 00:55, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

Treaty of Waitangi
One of nine extant copies (all damaged by water and rodents while in storage) of the Waitangi sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi, first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand. Consequently, Lieutenant Governor William Hobson declared British sovereignty over New Zealand in May 1840. The treaty also established a British Governor of New Zealand; recognised Māori ownership of their lands, forests, and other properties; and gave the Māori the rights of British subjects. In return the Māori people ceded New Zealand to Queen Victoria, giving her government the sole right to purchase land. Owing to significant difference in the English and Māori versions, there was no consensus regarding governance. The courts long ignored the treaty, but in 1975 the Waitangi Tribunal was established as a permanent commission of inquiry tasked with researching British breaches of it, and suggesting means of redress.Document: William Hobson, James Freeman, and James Busby (English version); Henry Williams and Edward Williams (Māori translation)
Good summary, although a rather ugly dangling modifier in that text. BlackCab (TALK) 02:16, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

Quote from English version[edit]

I've added the exact text from the Engish version of the treaty, The Chiefs "cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty". I think it's an important detail to contast against the text of the Maori version of the treaty. I've also supplied references to this quote so I think it's an accurate quote from the English version of the treaty. (talk) 05:30, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

I've reverted this change. Quoting the treaty in this way is basically doing original research from the primary source. We need to rely on reliable secondary and tertary sources not primary ones. Stuartyeates (talk) 10:20, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Can you explan how it is it OK to quote from the second article where it guarantees to the chiefs full "exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties." but not balance it with the quote from the first article saying the Chiefs "cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty? The section lacks balance without this. (talk) 13:06, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
I would appreciate it if you could discuss this with me. User_talk:Gadfium reverted the original edit saying "That wasn't an exact quote". I think it IS an exact quote and provided a reference. User talk:Stuartyeates has revered this saying I can't use that quote because it references a Primary source and later claims it's "original research". My position is that it's important to quote theexact text from the first article to go with the existing quotes from the preamble and the second article so it can be compared and contrasted with the Maori version. Can someone please explain why this is a problem. (talk) 12:26, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
Settle down, everyone here is a volunteer and we don't spend our whole lives on the Internet just in case someone might want to ask a question.
Why is it so important to add the exact wording of that section added to the article? The section about 'full, exclusive and undisturbed possession' is quoted because that phrase was extensively used in discourse about the Treaty in the 1980s and later.
In any case, the full English text of the treaty is freely available at [1]. It's not as if it's being hidden from view. Daveosaurus (talk) 05:31, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for taking the time to reply and sorry for being irritated that no one has found time to discuss this over the past few days. I'm going to reinstate the quote based on what's written above. The reason are are as stated above. I think I have answered the points raised "That wasn't an exact quote" (it is infact a direct quote) and it's not "original research" - here is a reliable source which discusses the treaty in much the same way. The same paragraph already quotes the treaty text from article 2 so I'm going to restore the quote from article 1 so it can be contrasted against the Maori translation. (talk) 10:28, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
I suggest you don't add it again without making a better case for why it should be added. You haven't explained why it is necessary, and I've explained why 'because another section is quoted' isn't a valid reason in this case. Daveosaurus (talk) 02:00, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

We are discussing the intro here, not the body text. Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section clearly states "The lead section....serves as an introduction to the article and a summary of its most important contents." The word "Sovereignty" adequately summarises the phrase "rights and powers of Sovereignty", and the full quote is correctly used in context in this section within the body text. Consequently I am amending the intro. Moriori (talk) 22:50, 24 June 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for joining the discussion but, I really don't understand what this has to do with the lead as this is well down the article. The section which was edited quotes other articles of the treaty but it seems that we can't quote this one? I also disagree that the word "Sovereignty" conveys the same understanding as "absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty". I am trying to add this text so it can stand with the existing quotes from other sections of the treaty and be compared and contrasted to the Maori translation. What do you think of the suggestions by the other participants that this is a Primary Source, Original Research or "not an exact quote"? 23:31, 24 June 2017 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
You say "I really don't understand what this has to do with the lead as this is well down the article. What it has to do with the lead is that you want to put it in the lead. You are ignoring the bit about the MOS which I included above, which says the lead is a summary. Also, the term "British sovereignty over New Zealand" and "Britain sovereignty over New Zealand" both appear in the lead.Moriori (talk) 01:42, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
His/her last attempt to insert the full quote was nowhere near the Lead. Here's the diff. Read what I wrote below. Akld guy (talk) 01:58, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
I can see no reason why 119.224's edit should not be allowed. He/she wants to quote the words in the "Meaning and interpretation" section, and a full quote should be permitted there to allow the reader to study the nuances of what the English version says. Furthermore, the sentence that immediately follows quotes the guarantee to the chiefs of "exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties." The ip makes a good point in asking why the full quote from the second article of the treaty is permitted but the full quote from the first article is rejected. I support the ip. Akld guy (talk) 00:57, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
In that case perhaps you can explain what the IP has not: why is it so important to add the exact wording of that section to the article? Daveosaurus (talk) 02:00, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
I did, above. It's the "Meaning and interpretation" section. Isn't a reader helped by seeing the exact quote so the nuances can be clearly seen? Akld guy (talk) 03:20, 25 June 2017 (UTC)
With respect, Moriori can you please put the edit back since it's not in the lead so you reverted it in error. Thanks. (talk) 10:42, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

Well, I'm disappointed that Stuartyeates and Moriori are apparently unable to join in the discussion at this time but thanks to Akld guy for taking the time to join the discussion and I see that the edit is now reinstated. Keep up the good work guys! (talk) 08:42, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

GA review[edit]

I suggest you add something about the Murders Abroad Act 1817 to the section 'Background'. Schwede66 08:42, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

Schwede How does it relate to the Treaty of Waitangi? All I can find is a tangential connection via New South Wales attempting to claim sovereignty over the "Aboriginal people of New Zealand" and being denied because of the Murders Abroad Act 1817 [2]. Does the Murders Abroad Act specifically state that New Zealand is not part of His Majesty's Dominion as implied by citation 67 in the above source? — InsertCleverPhraseHere 08:57, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, it does state this in the article on the subject. I'll work on including it. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 08:59, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
 DoneInsertCleverPhraseHere 09:08, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
Well done. Would have done it myself but working with refs is clumsy via smartphone. Schwede66 09:13, 23 July 2017 (UTC)
I feel ya. Mobile editing sucks except for the most basic of tasks. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 09:20, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

Ok. I've added a bunch of citations to the article, and I've also gone through the article and added citation needed tags to the article where I think they need them to be added still. I think we have citations for some of these already in the article, and I'll work on citing those around where appropriate as well as finding new ones. In most cases they aren't necessary as the statements are supported by other linked articles, but they are going to be good to have, especially as some of the linked articles are undersourced as well. For once the issue isn't having sources, it is sifting though the shear volume of sources available to choose from. I'll come at this again tomorrow evening after work. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 13:38, 23 July 2017 (UTC)

Ok, It took me a few days, but I've added a dozen new citations to the article (many of them cited several times). I believe that the sourcing of the article is now sufficient for GA Review to continue. — InsertCleverPhraseHere 12:27, 25 July 2017 (UTC)

I'd add more (and a better variety) of images distributed more evenly through the article. Maybe one of the treaty grounds? Maybe a map of where abouts in New Zealand it was signed? Think images that would be useful in high-school homework assignments. Stuartyeates (talk) 20:42, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for this suggestion Stuart, I'll work on finding additional images. I presume you are talking about the treaty house grounds? Do you think any of the photos over at that article would be suitable? — InsertCleverPhraseHere 22:10, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
There are lots in commons. Things like
Treaty House, Waitangi 20100301 1
Waitangi flagg staff
Maori Carvings (3347346902)
Whare Runanga poupou and tukutuku 2
20110205 PH T1015674 0125 - Flickr - NZ Defence Force
etc. Stuartyeates (talk) 20:23, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Treaty of Waitangi/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Te Karere (talk · contribs) 23:35, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

The article inadequately covers the topic. The English language text is outlined in the first paragraph of section 6, "Meaning and Interpretation". One subsection, 8.4, is dedicated to "Principles". The outline of the Māori language text is limited to a comparison with the English language text. The article could be improved considerably through a discussion of both languages' texts following the format of treaty article quotations in Treaty of San Francisco. It is unlikely that this improvement could occur within seven days.

The article offers an interpretation of the topic that is not neutral in its point of view. This causes internal discrepancies to appear as early as the Lead's second paragraph. For example, the first statement with citation indicates cession. In sections 6 and 8, the article outlines the Waitangi Tribunal (2014, Wai 1040) decision concluding that cession did not occur. No amendment is made to the Lead. — Te Karere (talk) 23:35, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

Good point. I have amended the lede to remove that bit. I'll see what I can do about the interpretations of the text using your suggestions. — InsertCleverPhraseHere (or here) 03:04, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
A review to determine the reliability of some sources is required. You may wish to begin with citations that require inline qualifiers. For example, "Some non-Māori New Zealanders have suggested that Māori may be abusing the Treaty in order to claim special privileges" (from Lead) is presented as a statement of fact. The first citation (credited to Donald Brash) does not count as a reliable source, the research self-published, and the link no longer works. The second citation might be (at best) described as an opinion piece. With link rectified, the inline qualifier would identify those "non-Māori New Zealanders" such that the sentence would read "Don Brash and Michael Laws have suggested that Māori may be abusing the Treaty in order to claim special privileges."
The primary concern, however, is the article's lack of neutrality. Undue weight is given to a viewpoint not found in commonly accepted reference texts, namely that "the subject [being the Treaty of Waitangi] is of heated debate, and much disagreement by both Māori and non-Māori New Zealanders" (from Lead's fifth paragraph, uncited). Whilst there continues to be critiques of the reference texts (for example, Orange 1987), and the area is one which continues to grow (partly as a consequence of reports of the Waitangi Tribunal), the Treaty itself has been accepted as a "founding document of government in New Zealand" [1] and "a significant element in our constitutional arrangements" [2]. Like the United States Constitution, matters for debate that are based in reliable sources (for example, the right to keep and bear arms) could be contained within other articles. Greater prevalence is therefore required for the majority viewpoint as held by reliable sources. Thank you for your continued work on this matter. —Te Karere (talk) 07:33, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
I fixed the referencing for Brash's speech and added an additional reference from the New Zealand Herald. I have made a couple changes regarding the "heated debate", including the removal of the sentence you highlighted in the lede. I largely agree that the sources do not support the view that there is "heated debate, and much disagreement". I hope this addresses NPOV concerns for this issue. I will have a look through the other sources in the article over the next couple days. — InsertCleverPhraseHere (or here) 00:01, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
@Te Karere. I have been through all of the sources in the article. A lot of the online sources had broken URLs, I fixed these, or if I couldn't fix them replaced them with another, better, source. I also found a couple of other errors in references that needed fixing. Tomorrow I'm going to work at expanding the "Meaning and interpretation" section, with an additional section "Text" using your suggestions of adding quotes of the text. — InsertCleverPhraseHere (or here) 14:42, 19 August 2017 (UTC)

I am published (one textbook plus conference papers) and have taught in this area, so am a subject expert. I, therefore, hold a real interest in improving this article so that it reflects NPOV as shown in the majority viewpoint held by reliable sources. To give an example of how the NPOV matter might be resolved, I suggest a rewrite of the Lead per below. The rewrite emphasises the bilingual nature of the document. After checking and failing some sources' verifiability (including the NZ Herald article you added), I have removed sentences in my rewrite, which are not supported by citation.

Following much thought, I have deleted the Don Brash and Michael Laws sentence. I considered retaining it as I know scholars who have developed positions in response to this racism. However, it is not reflected in the majority of the Treaty literature (primary or secondary) and therefore irrelevant.

Please note: alone, my suggested rewrite is insufficient, requiring a significant shift in tone across the whole article. However, I accept that the GA nomination is a genuine attempt to develop an article that reflects the scholarship in this area:

The Treaty of Waitangi (Māori: Tiriti o Waitangi) is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand. The Treaty is bilingual being written in Māori and English. It resulted in the declaration of British sovereignty over New Zealand by Lieutenant Governor William Hobson in May 1840.
The Treaty established a British Governor of New Zealand, recognised Māori ownership of their lands, forests and other properties, and gave Māori the rights of British subjects. An immediate result of the Treaty is that Queen Victoria's government gained the sole right to purchase land.[3] After the initial signing at Waitangi, copies of the Treaty were taken around New Zealand and over the following months many other chiefs signed.[4] In total there are nine copies of the Treaty of Waitangi including the original signed on 6 February 1840.[5] Around 530 to 540 Māori, at least 13 of them women, signed the Treaty of Waitangi.[6][7]
The English and Māori versions of the Treaty differ significantly. For example, the English text gave Britain sovereignty over New Zealand. Comparatively, the Māori text allows the Crown a right of governance without Māori giving up authority over their own affairs.[8] In 1975, the Waitangi Tribunal was established as a permanent commission of inquiry tasked with interpreting the Treaty in order to give effect to the words used.[8]
The Tribunal researches breaches of the Treaty by the British Crown or its agents, and suggests means of redress. As “almost all Māori signatories signed the Māori text, considerable weight [is] given to that version” and contra proferentem applied.[8] In most cases, recommendations of the Tribunal are not binding on the Crown.
Today the Treaty is generally considered the founding document of New Zealand. [9][10] The date of the signing has been a national holiday, now called Waitangi Day, since 1974.

I have added tags to Section 1 as this strikes me the easiest to rectify. Thank you again for your work. It is very much appreciated. —Te Karere (talk) 03:15, 20 August 2017 (UTC)

I Think we should close this GA as failed. I was not aware of the scope of the NPOV issues before starting the process, but it is clear that the article will have to substantially change before meeting GA. Thanks so much for your work so far, and I am very keen to work with you over the coming weeks to improve the article to the point where it might pass a future GA review. — InsertCleverPhraseHere (or here) 08:53, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
Until the GA nomination, I had made no edits to this article. Given the scope of the NPOV issues, I did not want to enter an editing war. My position remains the same. I will now withdraw and allow the article's primary contributors to consider my feedback. It is the interest (and sometimes obsession) of enthusiastic editors, which allows particular articles to progress. I thank you for being one of those editors. —Te Karere (talk) 09:28, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
@Te Karere I'd prefer if you would stick around. your experience is invaluable for improving the article. While I have a good amount of knowledge on the topic, the depth of that knowledge leaves much to be desired. If you decide that you have some time available, I'd quite like to collaborate on a reconstruction of the article. — InsertCleverPhraseHere (or here) 18:47, 20 August 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ "New Zealand's Constitution". Government House. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  2. ^ "New Zealand's constitution – past, present and future" (PDF). Cabinet Office. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  3. ^ Patricia Burns (1989). Fatal Success: A History of the New Zealand Company. Heinemann Reed. p. 153. ISBN 0-7900-0011-3.
  4. ^ "Treaty of Waitangi signings in the South Island", Christchurch City Libraries
  5. ^ "Treaty of Waitangi – Te Tiriti o Waitangi". Archives New Zealand. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Treaty of Waitangi". Waitangi Tribunal. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  7. ^ Orange, The Treaty of Waitangi, Bridget Williams Books, 1987, Appendices p. 260
  8. ^ a b c "Meaning of the Treaty". Waitangi Tribunal. 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  9. ^ "New Zealand's Constitution". Government House. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  10. ^ "New Zealand's constitution – past, present and future" (PDF). Cabinet Office. Retrieved 17 August 2017.

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GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Treaty of Waitangi/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Maunus (talk · contribs) 16:55, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

I will conduct this review over the next week. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:55, 13 January 2018 (UTC)


  1. Well written:
    1. the prose is clear and concise, and the spelling and grammar are correct  Done
    2. it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation. Done
  2. Verifiable with no original research:
    1. it contains a list of all references (sources of information), presented in accordance with the layout style guideline; Done
    2. all in-line citations are from reliable sources, including those for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines; Done
    3. it contains no original research;  Done
    4. it contains no copyright violations nor plagiarism.  Done (taking this on good faith)
  3. Broad in its coverage:
    1. it addresses the main aspects of the topic  Done
    2. it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style). Done
  4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each. Done
  5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute. Done
  6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:
    1. images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content;  Done
    2. images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions. Done


  • I have misgivings about the articles coverage of the topic: these come first from looking at the literature list. It has a lot of citations, which is laudable, but vey few of them are to works that are scholarly academic treatments of the various aspects of the treaty. A search in google books, shows that there are many academic books written about the treaty - recent as well as early ones - that are not cited in the article. Some of the books in the "further readings" section look like they should probably not only be cited, but also be a major source of information (Moon 2002, Orange 1989, 1990, Durie 1990, Simpson 1990): Additionally books like these, which look highly pertinent are not cited at all:
    • Ross Calman. 2001. The Treaty of Waitangi.
    • Matthew Palmer. 2008. The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand's Law and Constitution
    • Ian Hugh Kawharu. 1989. Waitangi: Māori & Pākehā Perspectives of the Treaty of Waitangi
    • Gareth Morgan, ‎Susan Guthrie - 2015. Are We There Yet?: The Future of the Treaty of Waitangi
    • Bob Consedine, ‎Joanna Consedine - 2012 Healing Our History: The Challenge of the Treaty of Waitangi
    • Ruth Naumann. 2007. Our Treaty: The Treaty of Waitangi 1840 to the Present
    • Vincent O'Malley (ed.) 2013. The Treaty of Waitangi Companion: Maori and Pakeha from Tasman to Today
    • Marcia Stenson. 2004. The Treaty: Every New Zealander's Guide to the Treaty of Waitangi
    • Michael Belgrave, ‎Merata Kawharu, ‎David Vernon Williams - 2005. Waitangi Revisited: Perspectives on the Treaty of Waitangi
    • Hiwi Tauroa - 1989 Healing the Breach: One Maori's Perspective on the Treaty of Waitangi
    • Janine Hayward - 2003. Local Government and the Treaty of Waitangi

I realize that it will not be possible to incorporate all of this literature very quickly, but it will be hard for me to defend passing this under criteria 3 when such a major body of literature has apparently not been surveyed.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:38, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

The content of these sources is well represented in the article, I have actually had an opportunity to read a more recent edition of Orange 1989, I just found it more convenient to cite online available summary sources. I'll get it out of the library again and put some citations through the article, as I work very nearby the Wellington public library. I'll see if they have a more recent edition of Moon, Durie or Simpson (late 80s and early 90s is a bit out of date given all the stuff that happened with the treaty through the 1990s).
Some of these books in this list tend to overemphasise the controversy of the treaty. For example: the Morgan and Guthrie book was controversial in and of itself, with reviews and articles flying back and forth when it was written. The last GA review failed because the article had too much emphasis on controversy. Instead I've tried to keep this version to the facts, while briefly discussing all the major points of controversy and legal discussion as discussed by summary sources. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 19:02, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
I am of the opinion that it is one of the main jobs of a wikipedia article to summarize the academic literature about the topic and to cite it in order to point the interested reader towards it. What I don't like is that there are so many citations to sources that are either not about the treaty, or which seem to be institutional or official online sources rather than academic works. It is of course true that when a topic is controversial it is important to take care in portraying the controversy in a well balanced and neutral way, which is not always easy, because it requires a very good understanding of the topic. On a first glance it seems to me that sme of the sections are a little lacking in prose - for example the history and background section could give a lot more detail. I assume that some of this litearature will be able to provide additional historical context and details about the negotiation, elaboration and signing of the treaty, which should not be particularly controversial. The controversies and differing views of its meaning and significance - and future, could resonably be segregated into a section or two towards the end of the article (the current sections 8 and 9 seems like the place for this).·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:10, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Ok. I'll head over to the library today on my lunch break and pick up a few of these sources (I suspect that they have all of them as this is the central Wellington library). I'll add citations from some of these sources throughout and look for additional information to add to the sections you have highlighted. This is likely to take a couple days, so if we can put the review on hold for a bit while I address this, that would be great. Thanks for your input. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 21:10, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Ok. I got these books out:
  • The Treaty of Waitangi -- Claudia Orange 2011 Second Edition
  • The Story of a Treaty -- Claudia Orange 2013 Second Edition
  • The Treaty of Waitangi Companion --Vincent O'malley, Bruce Stirling, and Wally Penetito 2010
  • The path to the Treaty of Waitangi -- Paul Moon 2002
  • The Treaty and its Times, the illustrated history -- Paul Moon, Peter Biggs 2004
  • Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou / Struggle Without End -- Ranginui Walker 2004 Revised Edition
I will work on incorporating these sources and expanding the article over the next couple days (and probably into the weekend), I would ideally like to get this through GA and DYK in time to go up on the main page on Waitangi Day (Feb 6th). — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 06:51, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Ok, I will do my best not to hold up the process. Another thing that I can see at a first glance is list incorporation (the ratio of lists to prose seems a little high). If you can get your hands on Tauroa and Kawharu's books they seem as if they would offer valuable Maori perspectives on the treaty.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:17, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
You ask me to set the review on hold: I don't know if it is necessary to do formally? And do you mean that you would prefer me not to proceed with reviewing other aspects of the article untill you have incorporated this literature? If you are afraid that I would fail it while you work, then don't feat, I wouldn't do that, my aim in a review is always to pass the article, so when the nominator is actively working on improving it I don't care how long it takes.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:30, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Sorry some people are kinda strict on the '1 week' limit, I'd rather you continue the review of course. I'll see if I can get Tauroa and Kawharu, though I got Ranginui Walker's book for the Maori angle as well. I'll have a look at the 'lists to prose ratio' issue and see what can be converted. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 07:45, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Ok, good. I am anything but strict on that limit - unless the nominator wants it. I will keep going with more detailed review of the rest of the article then.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:59, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page).

Section by Section Review[edit]

Background: We get the British side of the background, but we don't hear much about the Maori. The first sentence mentions Cook, but not the Maori. Why did they seek protection from the French? What were their social and political organization? What are rangatira? Was there no resistance to British colonization? The article says that Claudia Orange claims something about the British intentions gradually shifting, but does she claim this, or does she in fact argue it? If she argues it what is her argument and data? I would also encourage consolidating the sentences into paragraphs with a topic sentence - and perhaps renaming the section something like "early colonization" and perhaps consolidate sections, 1, 2, 3, 4 into a single section on "History" with 4 or more subsections. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:27, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

I didn't get this book by Orange out (two others), but it is online. The answer to your question is on Page 22, which is the only bit that states "Māori New Zealand".[3]Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 10:20, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Great! That looks like an argument to me more than a claim, and we should probably mention the instructions which she interpret as indicating this shift.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:30, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
The instructions mentioned are the ones from Normanby, I reordered the section a bit to make this make a bit more sense, and clarified the bit by Orange to match the source better. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 12:36, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
 Done I think I have addressed the concerns you brought up above about this section. Anything else needed here? — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 03:52, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
I think so too.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:33, 21 January 2018 (UTC)

Treaty text, meaning and interpretation: I understand why the Maori text is included (having read the previous GA review) but I nevertheless wonder if it is useful to reproduce the entire text in both English and Maori. Is this not wikisource's job? The Maori text is not very helpful for the general reader, but it could potentially be helpful if there was a third column which provided a backtranslation of the maori text into English so that the reader can assess the extent of the differences between the two texts. Do any of the books have an English translation of the Maori text that could be used for such a purpose? I very much like the section on differences, but I think it could esily be consolidated with the subsequent short section on intercultural communication. I think anything that could be added to this section in terms of additional detail in prose form would be worthwhile. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:08, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

I very much like the idea of including a back translated version. I've spent the last hour or so researching and the version I think we should use is the one by Prof. Sir Hugh Kawharu, which is often called the 'official' modern english translation of the Māori version,[4] was used in the Treaty Times Thirty translation collaboration,[5] and is listed on various NZ govt sites [6], [7], including the Waitangi tribunal site.[8] The question is whether to also include his footnotes, or whether this would constitute a copyright violation (or would be considered fair use)? In any case, I am not sure how to integrate this, or how Wikisource is integrated into a wikipedia article. If including the back translated version, perhaps we could also include the original Māori version in Te reo, but have it be 'collapsed' by default. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 10:20, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
I am in fact in doubt whether even including the back-translation in toto would be a potential copyright problem. We might check this with the copyright notice board.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:29, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
I missed this message before adding the translation but I had thought about this. I believe it meets all the criteria for fair use WP:FREER. There is no free equivalent of sufficient quality, and by some rationalle there cannot be one, if it is an accurate translation as everyone seems to agree. I do not believe that Hugh Kāwharu's footnotes meet fair use, for example here shows that they copied the text with no comment, but the footnotes they say that they only copied with permission. I have therefore not included the footnotes. I have no problem with checking with the copyright noticeboard. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 11:40, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
I have posted a question over at Wikipedia:Media_copyright_questions#Treaty_of_Waitangi about the translation. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 12:02, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Ok, that is good. I hope there are no problems using it.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:11, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
Another possible solution is simply to not include the entire treaty, but only give an example, for example one article. That would serve to illustrate the writing style of the English text, the maori text and the discprenancy in translation between them. Then the full text could be located at wikisource with a link to the translation at the government website. Also, I would suggest using a style that shows the text in three columns, which will make it easier to compare them visually.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:14, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
There was a response over on the noticeboard that seemed negative to the idea of a translation. While I don't agree with GB's assessment, I have removed the text in the meantime and instead collapsed both texts. I don't see the point in having the text unhidden by default, as an english only speaker will not be able to compare the texts anyway. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 11:43, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
I imagine that if setting it in a table format it should work on a mobile device. But it would likely take some experimentation to get the best solution. it is not a major issue, though I don't think the current way of showing it would be palatable for example at FAC.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 13:28, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
That's fair. It could be better as a table, potentially as a borderless 'invisible' table (or mostly invisible). I'll look into addressing this sometime in the future, but possibly not as part of this GA review if the current version is 'good enough' for now. I actually have a fair amount of experience formatting tables after working on the FL review of List of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches, but it is pretty time consuming to work out all the column scoping and row scoping for accessibility to screen readers, and I think there are more pressing things in the article to work on for GA at the moment. The current version is accessible as is I think; it will work on mobile (where it becomes unhidden by default) and will also work for screen readers, which will read it out like any other article content. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 22:14, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. In a GA review, I much prefer to focus on content and sourcing than on form.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 06:37, 19 January 2018 (UTC)
 Done I think that the treaty text bits are as resolved as they are going to be for now. I did a bunch of work on the differences section and merged the 'cross cultural' section into it. Anything else needed here? — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 03:52, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
I think it is fine now.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:33, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Debate and Signing: I think I would consolidate these two sections into a single one. I also would like to know more about the signing. How where the signatories chosen? Who were the "Northern chiefs" present at the debate?Who were excluded from the process of signign (i.e. not asked to sign), who refused? It would be useful to have more understanding of Maori political organization - who are entitled to speak and sign on behalf of whom in Maori culture? Did the people who spoke out against the signinf have any effect on others choosing not to sign? ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:27, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
There is quite a bit in Orange's book about the 'confederation' of chiefs, and the original intention to only have the treaty apply to them, but wording was generalised to apply to all Maori. I'll add a bit on it sometime soon. There is a bit on 'invitations' being sent out, i'll add a bit on that too. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 10:39, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
I have added a bunch on this, and merged the sections. Anything else needed here? — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 03:52, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
I like this a lot. Good work.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:33, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I reread te Karere's review and thought this: Would it be possible to give a paragraph summarizing the English text and a paragraph summarizing the Maori text before the collapsible sections? Here you would be able to cite and summarize Sir Huh Kawharu's translation of the Te Reo text. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:58, 24 January 2018 (UTC) (You may have missed this comment in the back and forth)
I did indeed miss this. It is a good idea, and in line with the comments over on the COI noticeboard. I'll work on it this afternoon. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 21:16, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Effects: This section covers a long history and it is not completely clear in its progression. You might be able to do some work to signal the historical progression, for example with some topic sentences establishing the different periods of the treaty's influence and connecting them to changes in the way the treaty was used and conceived. For the land confiscations and the New Zealand Wars, I think I would prefer a better source than the history site - maybe Wrights book on the New Zealand Wars? Also it seems clear that at this point the treaty was violated by the Crown - probably some author has written about that? Also woulædn't the Waitangi Tribunal be considered an "effect" of the treaty?·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:37, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
Yeah this section needs a lot of work actually. Orange has quite a bit on this and I'm hoping that Ranginui Walkers book has a bunch on this from the Maori perspective. I'e got quite a bit of time tomorrow to research for this. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 09:17, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Legal standing: I think this is the most sensitive part of the article, and I would really appreciate any input from Te Karere (talk · contribs) regarding this section. It is a little weird that th Tribunal is mentioned out of the blue, without having described when and why the Tribunal was formed. This I think should be done either in this section, or in the "effects" section. There also seems to be some repetition between the last paragraph of the "sovereignty" section and the "Waitangi Tribunal's Te Paparahi o te raki inquiry" - or if there is not it should be specified how the two reports. It is also unclear to the reader what the function of the Waitangi Tribumal is and what legal standing its findings have. I think the "Binding on the Crown?" section is a little odd, with the list of court cases with short descriptions. I think this would read better as a prose section that gives the context of the cases and describes how the standing of the treaty was interpreted in each case, and how these interpretations changed over time. Why did the treaty become more importnat after 1980 - and in what way? I also think we should not use primary sources here (e.g. the links to the parliamentary debates) - because we don't know their degree of relevance to the issue, and by using them we create the assumption that they are relevant. I would much prefer academic secondary literature to be used as sources in this section. The legislation section finally describes the creatoin of the Tribvunal of Waitangi, but there are some chornology issues appearing here then. Would it be possible to rewrite the "legal standing section" in a more chronological way so that the different trials, legislation and inquiries occur in chronological order. If I was a historian of the Treaty I would start by identifying different periods in which the treaty's legal history. It seems there is a period where the treaty was considered irrelevant for legal purposes - followed by a period where it suddenly became very important, which led to the creation of the tribunal and subsequent debates about legality, sovereignty, which in turn led to legal and political changes. Have none of the books you have read given a summary of the legal history of the treaty that could be used for such a chronology and periodization? ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:22, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Claims for redress: This section seems like it fits into the middle of the previous section because it explains the movment for Māori rights that led up to the creation of the tribunal, and to the renewed view of the treaty. I would suggest writing the "effects", "legal standing" and ""claims for redress sections into a single section titled "Role of the Treaty in New Zealand Society" (or something like that) with chronologically ordered subsections, such as for example "19th century", early 20th century, "Māori rights movement" (or whichever term may be more appropriate) (1960s and 1970s), and recent developments. This would allow writing the changing interåpretations of the treaty and its public significance as a historical narrative which describes the different viewpoints neutrally, without doing so from a presentist perspective.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:04, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
Sigh... Ok. I think we are getting there. It wasn't easy but I shuffled everything around and removed a bunch of extraneous bits that repeated themselves in various sections. I have largely followed your advice above, though not precisely. I kept the Waitangi Tribunal section separate, though its establishment and expansion is mentioned in the 1960-present section. I also stripped it down to a short summary, merging some of the more detailed information over to the main article on Waitangi Claims. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 11:55, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for your work! This looks good, I have no problems with this structure. I will read it in detail over the next days. One thing: If the Waitangi Da Act was passed in 1960 the movement for recognition of the treaty must have begun earlier (in fact the article on Waitangi Day Act says that it started especially among the Ngapuhi and that the promise of the holiday (and presumably implicitly the primise of more recognition of the treaty's significance) was a cause of the 1957 Labor Party election win). So some tweaks for chronology seem appropriate here. Also maybe elsewhere it bears mention that many of the Northern Chiefs who signed were Ngapuhi, which presumably means that Ngapuhi have more stakes than some other Māori in working for respecting the treaty. If any of the sources support this notion.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:21, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
Yeah that makes sense. I'll look into the chain of events that led to the 1960 act and clarify that in the article (I suspect it is as simple as local campaigning that led to it, then it spread nationally before becoming a national holiday in 1976, but I'll verify this suspicion and source it tomorrow). I think this local campaigning is a bit separate to the Maori Protest Movement heating up in the late 1960s and 70s though. In any case, I can't do any more tonight, as it is about 1:30 AM here at the mo. I'll have a crack at this and any other issues you highlight tomorrow evening. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 12:35, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Last three sections: These sections both seem to describe into two historical moments "1990s" and "2008". Would make sense to me to move them into the "resurgence and place" section. But I will not be adamant about this, but I think in an FA review this will likely be mentioned. However I do feel that some of the critical statements e.g. the bit about removal from law, the bit about the "grievance industry" and the Orewa speech probably should be sourced to secondary scholarly sources instead of news sources. Scholarly sources are more likely to situate the opposition within a political and historical framework, which would be a good way of attributing the anti-treaty viewpoint, and it will also be clearer which views are notable from scholarly secondary sources. By using news sources we do run the risk of inflating minor viewpoints that have made sensation in the news. I think I am about ready to finish the review soon, so let me know if there are major changes that you will undertake before I finish up.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:22, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
Ok. I joined in the 'public opinion' and 'removal' sections into the continuity section, but kept the Waitangi Tribunal bit separate for now, as it does not really fit anywhere in particular in the chronology (it spans 1990s to present with ongoing cases). I cited the Orewa speech to the Treaty of Waitangi companion, which has 7 pages devoted to it (it definitely warrants inclusion). The intro to those 7 pages describes it very similarly to how the articles does currently, so no changes are necessary (though it could be expanded in future for FL purposes). — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 09:04, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
  • The Lead: I had purposely kept the lead for last because it needs to reflect the rest of the article. I don't it currently gives a full and adequate summary of the contents of the article - but it should be fairly easy to rewrite it to do so - with the information organized into about four paragraphs in the order and context it is found in the article. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 08:25, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
I'll have a look at the lede next, it needs a bit on unfair land deals for sure. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 09:04, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
OK, I updated the lede, anything else that I forgot that should be in there? — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 09:22, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
I would suggest a more thorough rewrite of the lead - that recapitulates the actual structure of the article and the relative weighting of the different sections.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 09:36, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
OK. I'll need to think about it a bit and get onto it some more tomorrow. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 09:41, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
I posted a draft of a lead at the article talk page - it will give you an idea about what I mean, though it probably needs tweaking.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:04, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
 Done. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 19:09, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
  • DYK: On an unrelated note; for the DYK hook I'm thinking about "...that a luggage trunk containing the Treaty of Waitangi spent World War II in a back corridor of the Palmerston North Public Trust office?". Having read the article, if you can think of any other good options, please do suggest. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 09:04, 24 January 2018 (UTC)

Past tense[edit]

In the "Effects" section, I have been trying to change the tense in the sentence "Anticipating the Treaty, the New Zealand Company made several hasty land deals...." to "had made", but have been reverted each time by @Insertcleverphrasehere:.

The change seems justified to me because the section starts with the sentence "In November 1840 a royal charter was signed by Queen Victoria...." and is followed by: "The short-term effect of the Treaty was to prevent the sale of Māori land to anyone other than the Crown...."

Then follows the disputed sentence which refers to the New Zealand Company's actions prior to the signing of the treaty, ie. prior to Victoria's action in November and any short term effects that might have resulted from the treaty. Therefore, we must change to "had made" because the simple past is not right and at first reading implies that the NZC's land deals chronologically followed the first two events. Akld guy (talk) 02:13, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

I modified the sentence in question to make it more clear and I also added back the 'had been'. It wasn't clear what you were talking about in the edit summaries, and I wasn't convinced at the time that adding passive was correct. Thanks for discussing here in more detail. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 05:08, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Suggestion for Lead rewrite[edit]

The Treaty of Waitangi (Māori: Tiriti o Waitangi) is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand. It is a document of central importance to the history and political constitution of the state of New Zealand, and has been highly significant in framing the political relations between New Zealand's government and the Maori population. 
The Treaty was written at a time when British colonists were pressuring the Crown toestablish a colony in New Zealand, and when some Maori leaders had petitioned the British for protection against French forces. It was drafted with the intention to to establish a British Governor of New Zealand, recognise Māori ownership of their lands, forests and other properties, and to give Māori the rights of British subjects. The Treaty is bilingual, written in Māori and English. It was intended to ensure that when the declaration of British sovereignty over New Zealand was made by Lieutenant Governor William Hobson in May 1840, the Māori people would not feel that their rights had been ignored. Once it had been written and translated it was first signed by Northern Maori leaders, and subsequently copies were sent to Maori leaders across New Zealand for them to sign it. Around 530 to 540 Māori, at least 13 of them women, signed the Treaty of Waitangi, though some Maori leaders cautioned against it.[1][2] An immediate result of the Treaty was that Queen Victoria's government gained the sole right to purchase land.[3] After the initial signing at Waitangi, copies of the Treaty were taken around New Zealand and over the following months many other chiefs signed.[4] In total there are nine copies of the Treaty of Waitangi including the original signed on 6 February 1840.[5] 
The text of the treaty includes a preamble and three articles. Article one of the English text cedes "all rights and powers of sovereignty" to the Crown. Article two establishes the continued ownership of the Māori over their lands, and establishes the exclusive right of preemption of the Crown. Article 3 gives Māaori people full rights and protections as British subjects.  However, the English text andthe  Māori text that was signed by the signatories differ significantly, particularly in relation to the meaning of having and ceding sovereignty. These discrepanciesled to disagreements in the decades following the signing, eventually culminating in the New Zealand Wars.[6]
During the second half of the 19th century, Māori generally lost control of the land they had owned, some through legitimate sale, but often due to unfair land deals or outright seizure in the aftermath of the New Zealand War. In the period following the New Zealand War, the New Zealand government mostly ignored the treaty and the judgment in 1877 declared it to be "a simple nullity". Beginning in the 1950s, Māori increasingly sought to use the treaty as a platform for claiming additional rights to sovereignty and to reclaim lost land, and governments in the 1960s and 70s were responsive to these arguments, giving the treaty an increasingly central role in the interpretation of land rights and relations between Māori people and the state. In 1975, the Waitangi Tribunal was established as a permanent commission of inquiry tasked with interpreting the Treaty in order to give effect to the words used in the Treaty. Its mandate was later expanded to include research into breaches of the Treaty by the British Crown or its agents back to 1840 and to suggest means of redress.[6] In most cases, recommendations of the Tribunal are not binding on the Crown, but settlements totalling nearly $1 billion have been awarded to various Māori groups.[7].[6] Various legislation passed in the later part of the 20th century has made reference to the Treaty, but the treaty has never been made part of New Zealand municipal law. Nonetheless, the Treaty is generally regarded as the founding document of New Zealand.[8][9][10] 
Waitangi Day is a national holiday established in 1974 commemorating date of the signing of the Treaty.

This is my suggestion for a lead that includes most of the important points from the article as it is currently written. It probably does need some major tweaking for accuracy and language, but this illustrates the type and depth of information I think it needs and how I think it would be best organized.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 10:35, 24 January 2018 (UTC)

I have modified your original version above, and have copied the modified version over to the article. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 19:08, 24 January 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Treaty of Waitangi". Waitangi Tribunal. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  2. ^ Orange, The Treaty of Waitangi, Bridget Williams Books, 1987, Appendices p. 260
  3. ^ Patricia Burns (1989). Fatal Success: A History of the New Zealand Company. Heinemann Reed. p. 153. ISBN 0-7900-0011-3.
  4. ^ "Treaty of Waitangi signings in the South Island", Christchurch City Libraries
  5. ^ "Treaty of Waitangi – Te Tiriti o Waitangi". Archives New Zealand. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  6. ^ a b c "Meaning of the Treaty". Waitangi Tribunal. 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2011.
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference Settlements was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ "New Zealand's Constitution". Government House. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  9. ^ "New Zealand's constitution – past, present and future" (PDF). Cabinet Office. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  10. ^ Palmer, Matthew (2008). The Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand's Law and Constitution. Rochester, NY.

Treaty vs treaty[edit]

User:Insertcleverphrasehere has twice reverted my change from Treaty to treaty when it's used stand-alone, on the basis that I am untrustworthy in such matters. Yet if he were to read his own souces given in this article he would see that my position is supported by, for instance, Patricia Burns in her book Fatal success, in which she writes on page 284 "Land regulations could be so framed as to take as little cognisance as possible of the Treaty of Waitingi, this idea inspired by the lie that the treaty 'has force nowhere but in the Northern Island.'" I would also argue that the MoS, while not addressing this specific example, makes it very clear when to capitalize and when not to. Eric Corbett 12:27, 25 January 2018 (UTC)

I really do not want to get into a dispute over this. But for example see:
I'm not pulling this out of my ass, I literally have a stack of books on my desk that all use the capital. Do all sources use 'Treaty'? I guess not. But it seems the vast majority of experts on the subject do, and the style of using the capital has been in the article for quite some time (far before I started editing it), if applied a bit inconsistently. If it helps, think of 'the Treaty' being a shortening of 'the Treaty of Waitangi' (if there are any capitalised versions that are not shortenings, they should not be capitalised and are a typo).
Also, why would you change only a couple instances, when 'Treaty' (caps) is used many dozens of times throughout the article? — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 13:47, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
It doesn't help and it's just plain wrong, but let's see what other editors think. To answer your question, I didn't have the time to look for all the stand-alone instances of treaty before you started reverting. Eric Corbett 15:10, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
I'd personally prefer 'Treaty' to 'treaty', as 'Treaty of Waitangi' is a proper name, but it matters less which version you choose to go with than it does to keep the style consistent within the article. Daveosaurus (talk) 17:56, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
There's a deeper consistency though, between WP articles. Take a look at Treaty of Versailles for instance, which correctly does not capitalize the word treaty when it's used stand-alone, although it's not entirely internally consistent. Eric Corbett 19:21, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
My change to "treaty" several times in one section was also reverted by Insertcleverphrasehere. To me, it's very clear. The word treaty is not a formal title when used alone, and should not be capitalized. It's perfectly clear from the context which treaty is being referred to, so "treaty" is appropriate, unless the sentence is a direct quote, e.g. from Orange, in which case the sentence will be enclosed in quotes or some other formatting. Akld guy (talk) 18:59, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
To be perfectly honest, my reversion of both of you is less a desire to be right than to keep the article consistent with the system that it had to start with. Before I reverted you, I looked in this stack of books and all used 'Treaty'. And since I have looked, the majority of academic sources do seem to use a capital T. Hits on the first page of Google Scholar are much the same. From what I can see there is no rule in grammar that says that the word has to be capitalised, but I'm not sure how this can be "very clear" to anyone, given that there are a stack of books by experts on the subject that you are in effect calling wrong. Grammar sources online seem clear as mud, as they generally say that it should not be capitalised "unless you are referring to a specific treaty", which could be interpreted either way. I think this is one of those cases where English grammar rules just aren't very clear one way or the other (which would explain why some sources don't and some do). In any case, WP:MOSCAPS is entirely unclear about rules for shortened titles of works (the most relevant sections are probably THIS, THIS, and THIS but none of them are clear). However, MOSCAPS does say: Wikipedia relies on sources to determine what is conventionally capitalized; only words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources are capitalized in Wikipedia. If you can prove to me that the majority of reliable sources on the Treaty of Waitangi use the lower case, I'm happy to change it myself, but that is not what I am seeing currently. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 19:52, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
WP:MOSCAPS, scroll down to "Institutions", look at "Generic words". The correct version is shown as The university offers programs in arts and sciences. and the capitalized "U" is explicitly said to be wrong. Here, university is referring to a specific university. In our article, treaty when used alone refers to a specific entity and should be uncapitalized. Akld guy (talk) 20:45, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
Equating those two scenarios is not the same. While both are proper nouns, the Treaty is not an institution or organisation, it is a document. In law scholarship there are some odd conventions regarding capitalisation when referring to documents (for example see: #3 on this page), which is possibly where the convention comes from originally. MOSCAPS is clear (see above) that we should follow the style used in the "majority of independent, reliable sources". Though it does say that it should be a 'substantial majority' of such sources, and that it shouldn't be capitalised otherwise. I am currently seeing "a substantial majority" of high quality sources using 'Treaty', but there are hundreds of books on the subject, so it is possible, albeit unlikely, that I ended up with a biased sample set by coincidence with the sample of books that I got out of the library and the books that are view-able in Google books on the first few pages. Once again, if I am wrong about the number of sources using the capital, I'm happy to change it, but the evidence seems pretty clear at the moment in favour of 'Treaty'. I agree that this is a super odd situation, that kind of falls through the grammar cracks of title case.
NOTE: this is not the only Wikipedia article that follows this convention. The Treaty of Lisbon, and Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe use caps as well, though other articles such as Treaty of Versailles and Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo do not. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 23:10, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
Authors may be experts on the Treaty of Waitangi, but they are not experts on any kind of manual of style, so let's take a different tack. How, for instance does the Encyclopedia Britannica refer to the treaty? Exactly as Akld guy and I have suggested: "In May 1840 Britain annexed all of New Zealand, the North Island on the basis of the Waitangi treaty ...". In other words that exactly parallels the example given in the MoS concerning the capitalization of king: "Louis XVI was a French king". The reliable sources you need to be looking at when considering capitalization are not subject-matter experts but reliable tertiary sources. Eric Corbett 01:01, 26 January 2018 (UTC)
Again, following the guideline, it specifically refers to how the subject is capitalised in reliable sources about that topic. MOSCAPS: words and phrases that are consistently capitalized in a substantial majority of independent, reliable sources are capitalized in Wikipedia. We therefore should be looking directly at how subject matter experts format it in their publications, in addition to reliable tertiary sources. It is true that the Treaty of Waitangi article at Britannica (which is an incredibly brief and misleading article by the way) does use the lower case, but if you look at the bottom of that article, there is a link to another article "New Zealand: Annexation and further settlement" (which is behind a paywall) and in the snippet shown, it clearly uses 'Treaty'. So even EB isn't consistent across its articles. However, Te Ara encyclopedia uses the lower case and seems very consistent among all the articles that mention the Treaty of Waitangi. Interestingly, the main article on the Treaty there was written by Claudia Orange, who uses the capital in her own books, and the article on the principles was written by Janine Hayward, who also uses the capital in Local Government and the Treaty of Waitangi. Additionally, the article at Te Ara about the settlement process was written by Richard S Hill who also uses the capital in his book. All this might indicate it as an editorial decision of Te Ara. Interesting to say the least. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 01:39, 26 January 2018 (UTC)
Well, I've given you my opinion, and I'm absolutely certain that I'm right. But it seems that I'm not going to change your opinion on the correct capitalization, so I'll have to leave it there. But it's a very nice article in any event. Eric Corbett 02:11, 26 January 2018 (UTC)
Well I'll take the compliment, thanks. It has been a lot of work to get it from its previous state to where it is now. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 02:18, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

Click [show] to view[edit]

On the mobile version of Wikipedia, there is no [show]—it's there by default. Compare this to this. Is there a better way to display the text in a way that works across platforms? Perhaps a blockquote? cc GA nominator Insertcleverphrasehere Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:03, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, I am aware of that bug. Better than the other 'hidden' templates, which don't have 'show' but also don't unexpand by default (making it impossible to see the text at all). I'll look into a hidden template that works on mobile. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 04:15, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
@Insertcleverphrasehere: Does it need to be hidden? I've added a quotebox at 80% width for those on desktop, and for which a border will show up to set it off on mobile. I also added a |title=, similar to what you had for the hidden template, but removed it because it said the same thing as your third-level header. Thoughts? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:35, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I don't hate it. Looks fine. It was originally set to hidden before I expanded the sections and when they were right next to each other, but it looks fine now with the explanatory sections breaking it up between the versions. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 04:37, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
@Insertcleverphrasehere: Great! Glad we were able to solve it. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 04:53, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Demographic Change[edit]

In David Slack's Bullshit, Backlash & Bleeding Hearts - A Confused Person's Guide To The Great Race Rowlaw lecturer Alex Frame proposes that the Treaty was a gamble. Crucially Maori had little idea about the numbers of colonists who would arrive?

People sometimes ask me, ‘How do I see the Treaty. How should we think of the Treaty?’ I’ve always said that the first article of the Treaty – the kawanatanga part – is very strong – much stronger than some Maori are prepared to concede, and the second article, which guarantees rangatiratanga is also very strong – much stronger than many Pakeha are prepared to concede. So how can we have these two strong articles sitting there? I’m tempted sometimes by this idea. In a way both sides gambled. The Crown gambled. Why was it prepared to sign up to Article II? Well, in a sense the Crown gambled that there would be assimilation. And therefore if there was assimilation, as you will see. Article II would become increasingly unimportant. On the other hand, Maori gambled. After all, why did Maori sign up for Article I – and by the way, don’t go for these readings that say Article I was only giving the Queen power over Pakeha. The most elementary reading of the Maori version of the first article shows that that is completely untenable. It gives the Queen te Kawanatanga katoa – all – of the kawanatanga; o ratou wenua – of their lands. Now, which lands is that? That’s the lands of the chiefs. That’s all it can be -have a look at the structure and I challenge anyone to show me an even faintly tenable reading which can dispute that it’s all the territory of New Zealand.
So why did Maori sign up to that? Well, I think they gambled. I think they gambled that demographics in New Zealand would stay, not exactly the same as they were in 1840, but would stay approximately such that there would be a preponderance of Maori and that the newcomers would be relatively few. I know there is a reference in the preamble to others coming, but I think the gamble was that if the demographics stayed favourable to Maori then this kawanatanga thing would be a really abstract sort of notion in the background.

In Penguin History of NZ Michael King writes

The Ati Awa chief Te Wharepouri told William Wakefield that when he had participated in the sale of land to the New Zealand Company he had been expecting about ten Pakeha, to settle around Port Nicholson, one Pakeha for each pa. When he saw the more than 1,000 settlers who stepped off the company’s ships, he panicked. It was beyond anything that Te Wharepouri had imagined.

This view challenges the notion that the Treaty as a "foundation stone" for the modern state. King's Te Wharepouri quote seems to back it up?Yonk (talk) 23:48, 2 June 2018 (UTC)

That may sum up the situation at Port Nicholson (which we now call Wellington), but the first chiefs who signed were in the Far North District, up around the Bay of Islands. Pakeha were far more numerous up there, weren't they? That's why Russell was made the capital. You'd have to ask why all those northern chiefs signed if they had reservations about the number of Pakeha already there with more to come. It was only later that copies of the Treaty were taken around the country for signing. Akld guy (talk) 02:04, 3 June 2018 (UTC)
Akld guy. Are you serious? At that time there were only 2000 Non Maori in NZ. Even if they were all in the Bay of Islands in roles integrated with Maori, I can't imagine the chiefs had any idea of numbers. By 1858 there were as many Pakeha as Maori.Yonk (talk) 23:01, 3 June 2018 (UTC)
But you haven't made reference to all chiefs. You've picked out a statement by one chief in order to make a POV declaration. To balance it, you'd need to state that other chiefs, particularly those first ones in the Far North, signed apparently without reservation, or with similar reservations as the case may be. If you're intending to add content stating that the chiefs unwittingly signed away their sovereignty, you'd better do it properly. Akld guy (talk) 00:17, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
I'm not intending to attempt to edit the article but there must be some references to the chiefs expectations about the number of Pakeha who would live amongst them? Yonk (talk) 00:37, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

New Discourse of the Treaty[edit]

Kia Ora, My name is Hemopereki Simon and I am a researcher affiliated to The University of Wollongong and Charles Sturt University. In 2017 I wrote a journal article that is considered the new discourse on the treaty. Please read In the next six months there will be three more articles which support this one. I want to improve this page. It is lacking Maori perspective and writing by Maori academics which would led me to question the neutrality and authority of the article. Your whitewashing the Maori understandings of the treaty. So lets work together to improve it.

Lets start: In a year one treaty paper at any University in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia we teach that that it is more then mistranslation. Both documents Te Tiriti o Waitangi and The Treaty of Waitangi are in reality two different documents altogether. In the notes of the article I wrote:

The Treaty of Waitangi (English version) and Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Te Reo Māori version) are accepted to be two very different documents, due to their content and understandings. For more information, refer to Ani Mikaere, ‘Te Tiriti and the Treaty’, 123–146. He Whakaputanga is also refered to as The Declaration of Independence in English is an important constitutional document that led to the eventual creation of Te Tiriti.

On this point work by Margaret Mutu also points this out — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hemopereki (talkcontribs) 19:00, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

@Hemopereki:, This sort of article isn't the place to publish 'new discourse on the Treaty'. This sort of article should follow the lead of other highly respected tertiary sources, not summarise new writings by unknown authors. In short, Wikipedia is not the place to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. The section on 'differences' covers this already in any case, and clearly states that the two translations are significantly different in meaning from each other. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 23:36, 13 October 2018 (UTC)
@Hemopereki:,With regards to Mutu, her work is cited in the 'differences' section, and the Maori view of 'completely different texts' was never removed. I have added a bit more here on how the Waitangi Tribunal treats the different treaty texts. I've made some compromise edits with regards to changing 'version' to 'text' wherever it refers to the different language translations of the Treaty and re-adding some information from Margaret Mutu (paraphrased rather than quoted) as well as some information on how the Waitangi Tribunal treats the texts differently. Please discuss additional changes you would like here, and it would be better to propose specific changes, rather than generic complaints. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 16:28, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

Contra Proforentem[edit]

This article needs to comment about the legal principle of Contra Proforentem. It is highly held in academia that this applies to the treaty refer to:

for criticism on the lack of recognition of this legal principle:

The consistent redefinition of Te Tiriti by the judiciary questions their role in the suppression and subjugation of iwi and hapu by implementing the law. Although it may seem progressive, The New Zealand Māori Council v Attorney-General case, if seen from a non-signatory hapu and iwi perspective, can only be described as an attempt by a white possessive society to subjugate these groups further. This is made worse by the lack of recognition (for the common law doctrine around treaties and contracts) of contra perferentem. This is acknowledged as being applicable to Te Tiriti but has not been implemented by the government due to its potential ramifications for the white possessive state. Ultimately, the judiciary and its decisions are consistent and desperate attempts by the white possessive state in Aotearoa New Zealand to deny hapu and iwi their history and lived experiences as non-signatory hapu and iwi. In doing this they seek to void tikanga and its key principles surrounding mana being: mana whenua and mana motuhake.[1]

Hemopereki (talkcontribs) —Preceding undated comment added 19:22, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

I've started adding a bit on this, with regards to the Waitangi Tribunal, but it could use some more. I'll look into it and get back to you. Thanks. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 16:23, 15 October 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Simon, Hemopereki (2017). Te Arewhana Kei Roto i Te Rūma: An Indigenous Neo-Disputatio on Settler Society, Nullifying Te Tiriti, ‘Natural Resources’ and Our Collective Future in Aotearoa New Zealand. Te Kaharoa 9 (1),

Further reading[edit]

need to add these to further reading list.

Simon, Hemopereki (2017). Te Arewhana Kei Roto i Te Rūma: An Indigenous Neo-Disputatio on Settler Society, Nullifying Te Tiriti, ‘Natural Resources’ and Our Collective Future in Aotearoa New Zealand, Te Kaharoa. 9 (1),

Malcolm Mulholland and Veronica Tawhai (2017). Weeping Waters: The Treaty of Waitangi and Constitutional Change. Wellington: Huia.

Katarina Gray-Sharp and Veronica Tawhai (2011). Always Speaking: The Treaty of Waitangi and Public Policy. Wellington: Huia.

Jones, Carwyn (2017). New Treaty, New Tradition: Reconciling New Zealand and Maori Law. Vancouver: UBC Press.

The list requires more Maori perspectives which these should add. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hemopereki (talkcontribs) 09:30, 13 October 2018 (UTC)

Texts in the 'further reading' section should be widely cited texts, not very recent texts which haven't had time yet for people to widely discuss them. Putting a journal article written by yourself on that list is definitely not appropriate. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here) 16:21, 15 October 2018 (UTC)

"the Treaty has never been made part of New Zealand municipal law."[edit]

This isn't correct, and is contradicted by the sentences after it (the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975). It also ignores the massive body of case law that has come about over the years (which is regarded as part of municipal law, esp since New Zealand is a Common Law country). It is true to say (however) that the Treaty isn't part of statute law other than as a schedule to the 1975 Act. That is what the wording should be. --HuttValley (talk) 08:06, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

I've added Matthew Palmer's book as a reference and will (if I get a chance today during my lunch break!) add in references to where the Treaty is part of New Zealand's law. I suspect what the sentence is trying to get across that the Treaty is not strictly part of NZ's constitutional law. --LJ Holden 20:18, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

"We are one people"[edit]

Just reverted Whareras removal of this. The URL he provided in his edit summary looks pretty compelling - but this 'fact' is so much of the story as understood by many - and apparently baked by A C. Orange ref - that we should not simply zap it, but instead give both sides, via some sort of " widely believed, but in fact looks pretty shaky" explanation. - Snori (talk) 12:46, 17 February 2020 (UTC)

Right then. I have Claudia Orange's The Treaty of Waitangi on my bookshelf, so it's easy enough to check what she had to say about this detail. I found it on page 55 (my edition was printed in 2004):

As each Maori signed, he shook hands with Hobson (and with the other members of the official party), the Lieutenant Governor repeating, 'He iwi tahi tatou' – 'We are now one people.'

I'd be interested to know what Orange makes of the 2017 The Spinoff article / thinks of Dr Danny Keenan. She is, after all, the acknowledged authority on the Treaty. Schwede66 21:31, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
Schwede66, I keep trying to get in contact with her to get her to do a review of this article but no luck so far... — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 18:18, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
Insertcleverphrasehere, have just tried to establish contact via LinkedIn. Schwede66 18:29, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
Schwede66, Well, If you get in contact let me know. I've tried via her work (Te papa), but no dice. I think to get this to FA we need the advice of a true expert. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 10:25, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Insertcleverphrasehere, just letting you know that I have not heard back. Schwede66 01:30, 8 March 2020 (UTC)

Locations where the treaty was signed[edit]

One of the details that's missing from this article is the signing locations of the various copies. I see that Orange (1987) has a map and a location list for the first eight copies. The printed list is not included there (and I haven't read up on why it's not). To me, this would be a useful addition to this article. In fact, given that we are talking eight separate documents (plus the printed copy, which Orange says may have gone round in 1844), all with their individual stories, this may lend itself to a standalone article. We should also do related work on Commons and on Wikidata. This won't be straightforward at all; for example, in her list, Orange refers to Akaroa. That's not very precise, as the treaty was signed at Ōnuku Marae. What do others think? Schwede66 01:30, 8 March 2020 (UTC)

Great idea! --LJ Holden 22:58, 23 May 2020 (UTC)

Reference clean-up[edit]

I'm working my way through cleaning up the references. It's a bit of a challenge given some of the references don't have page numbers. --LJ Holden 22:58, 23 May 2020 (UTC)

LJ Holden, Yeah, It was an issue during the GA review as well, I tried adding page numbers to refs that I added, but there were a lot of older references in different styles. There is a digital version of Claudia Orange's book available online though, if that helps. [9]Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 07:56, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
Brilliant, thanks. There seems to be multiple references to different variations/editions of the same book. --LJ Holden 09:26, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
LJ Holden, Yeah, I had one of them out of the library, so not sure if the pg numbers I added will match. Looks like the online version has some pages missing as well... :/ — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 09:48, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
If page numbers are missing, record "p=?" in the sfn template. I have Orange's book on my bookshelf and could do some winter reading... Schwede66 10:36, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
Schwede66 - cool, I've done my best reading through Orange's book plus the Illustrated Guide, there's a few other references that still need to be tidied up which I'll get on to over the next week or so as I get time. I also think we need to cover the "Crown" --LJ Holden 04:57, 7 June 2020 (UTC)
LJ Holden – you legend! Schwede66 05:49, 7 June 2020 (UTC)

The French and The Maori book[edit]

I'm still working on cleaning up references on this article... does anyone know which book "P.Lowe. The French and The Maori, Heritage 1990." actually is? there are a few with similar / same titles according to Google, but with different authors and different dates.--LJ Holden 00:06, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

I've gone back through the edit history and this reference was added by an IP user. First mentioned in an edit summary and then added as a crudely formatted reference. The IP last edited in 2011. Schwede66 04:18, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
Hmm... this book looks like the one it's referring to. --LJ Holden 08:31, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
John_Dunmore certainly looks like a mainstream modern historican whose work would count as a reliable source. Stuartyeates (talk) 08:58, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
He is, what I'm trying to figure out is who "P.Lowe." is. Not sure if anyone has seen this book? --LJ Holden 09:19, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
This looks like the book on Google books --LJ Holden 09:20, 13 June 2020 (UTC)