This is essay will begin with a disscusion on the social systems in place and the conditions of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Treaty of Waitangi signatories. It then focuses on the influences and comparisons on the signings, of the Te Tiriti and the Treaty. I will describe the Tangata Whenua and the Tangata Tiriti ideologies and apply historical examples leading up to the signings and look at values and beliefs of each Tiriti/Treaty partner. I will then discuss the changes and responses that evoked Māori after the signings of The Treaty and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Finally, I will reflect on my own personal philosophy, or ideology, of the Treaty of Waitangi and the Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Before colonisation Māori had traded with whalers, sealers, and timber and flax merchants. This brought about social and economic change for Māori with the introduction of various crops including potatoes and corn. Māori had built up a viable support system based upon close relationships with the land, forests, rivers and surrounding seas (Manu Ao Academy, n.d.). The Māori way of life pre- 1840’s was predominantly tribal, and the early European settlers incorporated some of the Māori values into their own, with some assimilating into Māori culture (Owens, 1992). Europeans felt that Māori society pre the signing of the Te Tiriti/Tiriti of Waitangi was “ homogenous, with a shared belief system, culture and language varied, with a strong tribal identity based on kinship” (Orange, 1987, p.7). One of the reasons Māori signed the Treaty of Waitangi was to protect themselves because of mounting interest by Europeans who wanted to settle in New Zealand. For the Europeans, the added advantage of having the use of natural resources on hand made New Zealand an attractive proposition (Hayward, 2010, p.155). In contrast to the Māori understanding of Te Tiriti, The Crown’s or in this case Hobson’s, purpose was to “proclaim sovereignty over the country and bring it into the family of nations called the British Empire” (King, 2003, p.165). Contact between Māori and European was beneficial to both parties at the time: trading and bartering aided both parties, tools and weapons were useful for Māori while Europeans needed the expertise of Māori with their knowledge of the land and resources (Durie, 1994). “Prior to colonization Māori did in fact have a well developed mechanisms for health promotion, and a comparatively advanced knowledge and understanding of how diseases were transmitted” (Durie, 94, p.29). Furthermore, when colonization took effect, many of the customary practices and the complex systems surrounding Māori health for hundreds of years were discontinued (Kingi, 2002). Health for Maori people, aside from land and sovereignty, was another significant factor in the signing of the Treaty (Kingi, 2005). With the arrival of the Europeans came a raft of diseases, including “germs, and viruses, measles, some forms of influenza, typhoid, cholera and a host of other diseases, reducing the Māori population radically” (Sinclair, 1980). The missionaries set up hospitals for Māori in the 1840s, however, there was mistrust around hospitals for varying “cultural reasons” and the cost of care. Traditional medicine was still a prominent form of treatment, but unfortunately it was having no effect on the introduced diseases (Lange, 2014). Education for Maori was initiated through the early missionaries, who felt it was their duty to educate and assimilate Māori into the European way of life. The European missionaries mainly disregarded the Māori way of life, or the tikanga, and strongly disapproved of such practices. Māori realized the necessity of literacy to keep up with the changes in working with colonials (Smith as cited in Hokowhitu, 2010, p.191). I will now describe the tangata whenua and tangata tiriti ideologies, with historical examples that demonstrate values and beliefs of each Treaty/Tiriti partner. New Zealand Law Commission (2003)...
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