Te Tiriti o Waitangi/ Treaty of Waitangi

​The Rotorua Library is committed to Te Tiriti o Waitangi/ Treaty of Waitangi this is reflected in the Local Government Act 2002 (link to local Government Act 2002). The Treaty of Waitangi ensures that Library Services meet the needs of the Community as those needs change, the library

  • Acknowledges the Treaty of Waitangi obligations flowing from Central Government
  • Applies Treaty of Waitangi Principles in their work policies and protocols
  • Recognises Te Reo Māori as an Official language of New Zealand

Historical Background: Te Arawa’s involvement regarding the Treaty of Waitangi. 

It is well known now that the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed on the 6th of February 1840; it established a British governor in New Zealand. It recognised Māori ownership of their lands and gave Māori the rights of British subjects. It also opened the door to systematic colonisation. 

The missionary Thomas Chapman was authorised to collect signatures for the Treaty in Rotorua, but Te Arawa did not sign. Te Arawa was confident they did not need the protection of the Queen. Two decades later, many realised that the times had changed, and that pākeha were here to stay. With this in mind a group of Te Arawa leaders signed a covenant at Kohimarama (in Auckland) recognising the Treaty as a binding document of partnership with the Crown.

Te Arawa did not sign the Treaty, but agreed to its terms in 1860. Like iwi all over the country they suffered many negative effects from colonisation. In 2009, the Government formally apologised to Te Arawa for past wrongs as part of New Zealand’s largest ever Treaty settlement. It included the return of the land and a multi-million dollar cash injection. With other outstanding claims still in the pipeline, the Te Arawa Treaty settlements will permanently change this region’s economy. Now the iwi faces its greatest challenge – managing its assets for future generations.

Articles of the Treaty of Waitangi:

  1. Article 1 grants the Queen of England governorship over New Zealand.
  2. Article 2 guarantees Māori leaders their continued rangatiratanga (absolute sovereignty and self-determination) and ownership of their lands and taonga (treasures). It also specifies that Māori will sell land only to the Crown.
  3. Article 3 guarantees Māori the same rights as British subjects.

It is written in two languages, English and Māori. The interpretations have led to strife and debate throughout New Zealand’s history. The most fundamental difference revolves around the interpretation of two Māori words: kawanatanga (governorship) and rangatiratanga (absolute sovereignty and self-determination).


Te Whare o te Mātauranga (Rotorua Library) would like to acknowledge Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (Rotorua Museum) and the Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa (National Library of New Zealand) for their support. This collective effort will inform our communities of how Te Arawa saw the Treaty in a historic and contemporary context. 

Tiriti o Waitangi/ Treaty of Waitangi Resources

The lists of books below are accessible the Māori Collection, this collection is on the second floor. The information covers history and the Waitangi claims process; for assistance please ask a librarian for support.

Always Speaking: the Treaty of Waitangi and public policy – Veronica Tawhai
Healing the Breach: one Māori’s perspective on the Treaty of Waitangi – Tauroa Hiwi
Illustrated History of the Treaty of Waitangi – Claudia Orange
Ngā Tohu o te Tiriti: making a mark – Mīria Simpson
Our Treaty: the Treaty of Waitangi 1840 to the present – Ruth Naumann
Pākeha Change and the Treaty of Waitangi – Ingrid Huygens
Te Ara ki te Tiriti: the path to the Treaty of Waitangi – Paul Moon
The Great Divide: the story of New Zealand & its Treaty – Ian Wishart
The Story of a Treaty – Claudia Orange
The Travesty of Waitangi: towards anarchy – Stuart C Scott
The Treaty/ Te Tiriti – Mere Whaanga
The Treaty and its Times: the illustrated history – Paul Moon & Peter Biggs
The Treaty: every New Zealander’s guide to the Treaty of Waitangi – Marcia Stenson
The Treaty of Waitangi - Marcia Stenson & Tū Williams
The Treaty of Waitangi – Ross Coleman
The Treaty of Waitangi: a plain meaning interpretation – Richard A Epstein
Treaty of Waitangi companion: Māori & Pākeha from Tasman to today
Treaty of Waitangi: questions and answers
Twisting the Treaty: a tribal grab for wealth and power
Waitangi: Māori & Pākeha perspectives of the Treaty of Waitangi
Waitangi Day: special day series – Kevin Boon
Waitangi Revisited: perspectives on the Treaty of Waitangi
Weeping Waters: the Treaty of Waitangi and constitutional change

Website links:

Archives NZ: http://archives.govt.nz/treaty-waitangi-te-tiriti-o-waitangi
Te Ara: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/treaty-of-waitangi
Treaty Resource Centre: http://www.trc.org.nz/
Waitangi Tribunal: http://www.justice.govt.nz/tribunals/waitangi-tribunal

Page reviewed: 28 Jan 2018 3:50pm