Following on from the two lectures on the Battle of Gate Pā, the Anglican Parish of Gate Pā was very fortunate to have the Rev Dr David Williams FRSNZ give this talk on the Treaty of Waitangi.
Last year David was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Royal Society Te Apārangi in recognition of his research, scholarship and the advancement of knowledge in the areas of constitutional law, colonial legal history and the Treaty of Waitangi.
In this talk he describes both his own journey in understanding the Treaty, and the changes in how it has been understood by both "crown agencies" and other historians. He looked at why the Treaty came about, what happened during the days around Feb. 6th 1840, how the Treaty came to be signed by iwi around New Zealand, and how it was understood by the British Government at the time and the years following.
In essence he suggests that when we look at how "sovereignty" was understood in that time, the English and Te Reo Maori texts say the same thing. That is there was no understanding that English Law would apply to Maori, just the settlers. He wonders what it would look like today if we applied that understanding to our life here in Aotearoa.