Te Tiriti O Waitangi
Discuss the society European settlers arriving in Aotearoa- New Zealand wanted to create and the place of Maori and the Treaty of Waitangi within it.
The settlement of New Zealand as an independent nation was driven by politics and culture with very Eurocentric values. Christianity, trade and policy established the British society in New Zealand. The Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti O Waitangi) sought to give Maori people the same rights as the British settlers, and also protection against potential enemies. However the accommodation of the indigenous Maori people into the British society was controversial in many ways. This essay will discuss the society that European settlers wanted to create in Aotearoa and following this will draw on how Maori and the Treaty fell into the British society within New Zealand.
In the mid nineteenth century, Britain was one of the most powerful and superior nations in the world. British civilization was seen to be crucial for the advancement of knowledge and development of humanity (Williams, 1989). British values were thought to be the dominant paradigm (Williams, 1989). Through the colonization of New Zealand, a British-like society was desired and Eurocentric values were endorsed in the British colonization of countries around the world. From a Eurocentric perspective, New Zealand was part of the uncivilized world until it established a British society with common English law (Adams, 1977). Politics motivated the actions of these nations. At this time, Christianity and the drive to build civilization were two of the leading components the establishment of society in New Zealand (Adams, 1977). The terrible social conditions that existed in Britain during the early nineteenth century, spurred a humanitarian movement in which New Zealand would hold work and opportunities for the unemployed and those seeking a better life (Sinclair, 1981). As a result of this movement, The New Zealand Association was administered in 1937, which attracted wealthy men who were motivated by the economic principles and opportunity within New Zealand (Sinclair, 1981).
New Zealand was also attractive to Britain for other reasons. Firstly, the settlement and colonization of New Zealand by Britain glorified the position of the European superpower even more. It gave Britain another foothold in the southern hemisphere and added to the nation’s collection of dominions in which it held a large handful of political power. This would benefit Britain in the event of war with other foreign superpowers. Secondly, power would be extended to the Queen as she was appointed as the Head of State. Thirdly, one of the major reasons for the establishment of civilization and society in New Zealand was the abundance of resources, where economic prosperity was sighted by Britain. The European society in New Zealand pillaged the many resources that the country had to offer at this time. There was a large area of land and fresh water, which was able to support a growing civilization. The land had a substantial supply of timber to support a local and international trade. Flax, fish, whales and seals were some of the other valuable resources that could establish a trade and prosperous economy in New Zealand. The boom of the whale and seal industry during the nineteenth century is the leading cause of the decline of these animals in New Zealand water today. Land also became an incredibly controversial issue almost immediately and continues to be so today.
Amidst the colonization of New Zealand, were the indigenous iwi and hapu. The success of the colonization of foreign countries such as the Americas and Australia, were based on harsh exploitation of the indigenous inhabitants. Because of the humanitarian movement in Europe in the first third of the nineteenth century, Britain was encouraged to establish controlled settlement in a...
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