On the 29th of January 1840, Lieutenant Governor William Hobson arrived in New Zealand. It was Hobson’s job to decide on the wording of the Treaty that he had been instructed to make with the Maori chiefs of New Zealand.
The following morning on Wednesday, February 5th, over 400 Maori attended a meeting in front of Busby’s house at Waitangi.
They were prepared to acceptthe extension of British power in New Zealand on certain terms such as equalrank of chiefs with the Governor.
There was also the important clause that Busby had inserted that guaranteed Maori possession of their lands, forests, fisheries and other prized possessions.
This is our land
On the advice of Henry Williams the chiefs decided to sign the Treaty the following day. On Thursday, February 6th 1840, over 40 signatures or marks were appended to the Maori
Over the next seven months, missionaries and officials carried the Treaty around the country and more than 500 chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi at approximately 50 meeting places.