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The New Zealand Treaty of Waitangi

            Account for the existence of different texts of the Treaty of Waitangi. Assess the importance of this difference in explaining Maori and Pakeha understandings of the Treaty up to 1865.
             In the short course of New Zealand history the Treaty of Waitangi, as New Zealand's founding document, has been the cause of much controversy over the intent and later interpretation and preference given to the English version.
             Much of this is due to the existence of differences in the texts.
             There are five English versions of the Treaty and several Maori versions.
             The Maori versions are not correct translations of the "official English version" there are even slight differences between the various copies used to collect signatures.
             Once the decision was made to take control of New Zealand. Instructions were prepared for Captain William Hobson.
             Normandy gave Hobson his instructions, and he was concerned that everything must be done correctly. Hobson needed to get the free and intelligent consent of the Maori.
             Any misunderstandings would have to be overcome by mildness, justice and perfect sincerity. An important aspect (condition) was that the Maori must not be allowed to sign (enter any) contracts in which they might be ignorant and unintentional authors of injuries to themselves. Hobson found this to be the greatest challenge.
             Hobson created an English version of the Treaty then gave that to Williams to translate in into Maori. Hobson then spent the next two days re-drafting the English version. Thus meaning the Treaty was produced in haste. Hobson cutting the discussions short added to the hastiness of it.
             Due to these circumstances there were some large differences between the Maori and English text.
             Henry Williams translations were in missionary Maori using words familiar to readers of Te Paipera Tapu (the Holy Bible) because of that the word kawanagatanga as used to translate sovereignty carried different meanings to those who heard it.

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