Following the recent television debate on TV One Close Up 4 May 2011 between Hone Harawira and Don Brash about what is and isn't in the Treaty of Waitangi Archbishop David Moxon offers the following reflection as one perspective and contribution to the debate. "I understand the Anglican Church to have discerned partnership principles in the Treaty of Waitangi and to have re-orientated its own constitution and ecclesial life in the light of this freedom, responsibility and mutuality. In speaking to politicians about this it is helpful to look into our own nineteenth century story and our own relationship by history and heritage to the founding document of this nation. Here is one particular analysis."
THE TREATY AND THE BIBLE
IN AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND
by David Moxon
The Bible, Te Paipera Tapu, was first published in Maori in 1836 for use in Aotearoa through the early Anglican mission networks, and quickly became of enormous significance to Maori. The Bible was seen as an opportunity to explore Maori language in written form, to acquire literacy and also to discover the spiritual treasures of the Gospel itself. Often ahead of the Pakeha Anglican missionaries, Maori returning to their own homes from captivity in the far north brought Scripture portions and preached Christian messages to areas that had not yet encountered the Gospel at all. The Gospel engaged the imagination and hearts of thousands of people and many Maori became courageous and creative ambassadors of this faith to other tribes, and often to former enemies.
As the late Maori Queen Te Ariki Te Atairangikaahu, said in 1995, in a Maori Language Year:
"Ka tika hoki te tatou whakaara i tenei o a tatou taonga i to tatou Reo Maori hei whakanuinga ma tatou mo tenei tau 1995. Koia tenei tonu hoki te tino taonga i hikoia ai e o tatou tupuna te mata o te whenua ki te rapu i nga tuhituhinga o te Paipera Tapu i te taenga mai o nga Pakeha me to Rongo Pai.
Ka rua ai enei taonga i matenuingia e o tatou Tupuna ara ko te Rongo Pai me te tuhi i to ratou reo hei whakamahi ma ratou.
Na nga tupuna Pakeha i timata nga kaupapa e rua, he aha ra he koha ma tatou ki o tatou tupuna Maori a, ki aua tupuna hoki o te iwi Pakeha?
E mahara ana ahau koia tera te tuuturu a te Kaumatua i ki raka:
"Kotahi te kohao o te ngira e kuhuna ai te miro ma, te mira pango me te miro whero. A muri i au ki te aroha, ki te ture, ki te whakapono."
Noreira whaia ta te ngakau i mate nui ai, he whakaari atu ki te ao whanui kei te toitu tonu tatou. Ma to tatou Atua tatou hei arahi i roto i a tatou kawenga i tenei koha whakamiharo i homaingia nei e ia ki o tatou tupuna.
It is timely for us to uphold another of our treasurers and to set aside this one year 1995, of our millennium of our Maori language. For their language, our ancestors trudged the landscape simply to secure printed copies of the Good News brought by the Pakeha missionaries. So, these were the two treasures sincerely sought by our ancient warriors - the Good News and their language set down on paper. The Pakeha ancestors initiated both and I wonder how we can show our appreciation to our two sets of ancestors.
I think of the vision of that ancestor of ours. This man looked into the future and hoped for a multi race of people to rise in a world of harmony.
"There is but one eye of the needle through which the white, the blac k and the red thread must pass. After I am gone, hold fast to love, to the law and to the religion of Christ." Therefore, let the heart dictate the learning of our language and let the world know we still live. Only our God can guide an lead us in keeping alive this precious gift that He bequeathed to our ancestors."
The Book Mission and Moko edited by Robert Glen describes the extent of the Gospelsâ€Ÿ journey through the country via the first Church Missionary Society (CMS) mission stations.
The '30s and '40s saw a major expansion of the network of CMS mission stations:
To Puriri (Thames - 1833), Kaitaia (1834), Mangapouri (1835), Matamata
(1835), Tauranga (1835), Rotorua (1835), Maraetai (Waikato Heads – 1839)
Otaki (1839), Turanga (Poverty Bay – 1840), Otawhao (Te Awamutu – 1841)
Wanganui (1840), and Taupiri (1843). Apart from Kaitaia, the thrust was
southward, and the Bay of Plenty/East Coast, Waikato, and the Manawatu
were all to develop as areas of CMS strength. Yet more missionaries arrived,
Among them Colenso (1834), Ashwell (1835), Maunsell (1835) and Hadfield
Dr Cathy Ross has also documented the role of four of the CMS missionary women of this time in her book Women with a Mission published by Penguin. Cathy identifies Elizabeth Colenso, Kate Hadfield, Anne Wilson and Charlotte Brown as representative of the first two waves of pioneer Pakeha missionary women.
The late Archdeacon Kingi Ihaka recorded a similar list of Maori Missioners as they too bore the seeds of the Gospel through the different tribal regions of Aotearoa. Kingi cast this story as a poi chant now presented in A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa.
To give glory
When you have crossed
And at Wanganui
One of the most powerful examples of the Gospel in written Maori, being seeded by a Pakeha missionary but then communicating itself within Maori communities, by Maori for Maori, is the well-known story of Tarore the child martyr of Waharoa. In 1836 Tarore, at the age of 10, was given a copy of the Gospel of Luke in Maori, published earlier that year. She was taught to read it by Charlotte Brown CMS who had arrived in the Matamata area in April 1835. Tarore often recited portions of Lukeâ€Ÿs Gospel in Maori to large crowds of her own people of Ngati Haua and her father, Ngakuku, supported her as a lay evangelist. The Gospel was often seeded in the hearts of many as Lukeâ€Ÿs narration spoke for itself in Maori.
Lukeâ€Ÿs Gospel was particularly engaging in Maori, perhaps because of its powerful and evocative descriptions of Jesusâ€Ÿ parables. A number of these would have resonated immediately with some of the key virtues of Maori life, including hospitality (The Parable of the Great Feast), communal responsibility for misdemeanour, (The Parable of the Prodigal Son) radical solidarity for those in need (The Parable of the Good Samaritan), and horticulture (The Parable of the Sower).
It has also been argued that the linguistic style of the Gospel in Maori may well have had echoes of the linguistic style of the original Aramaic language of Jesus. Both Aramaic and Maori have no verb to be and are verb orientated grammatical systems. Although the Maori version of the Bible and Luke's Gospel, in particular, was translated from English into Maori, nevertheless, the dramatic sense and flow of the parables, especially, still convey something of their original dynamic in the Aramaic thought form of Jesus. The Greek language in which these messages were written down sought to convey the poetic sense of the Aramaic origin. On this basis it has been argued that Maori language speakers had an intuitive appreciation and respect of the thought forms of the parables in the Gospel.
It was natural that when the British came to negotiate terms of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, they relied heavily on Gospel-based Maori literacy and/or mission network influence throughout the land. By this means they communicated and commended the idea of an agreement to a written document in Maori, for a partnership between the Crown and the Maori chiefs. Further, this document would only be credible if it was in written Maori, using concepts familiar to Maori. Some of these were from the written Maori of the Bible. In fact, Claudia Orange has shown that the idea of the Treaty as a Covenant derived from Maori reading of the Bible, and was one of the key images that resulted in Maori signatures.
Another significant element in persuading chiefs was the tradition of a personalised, caring Crown, an image long cultivated by the British among northern Maori. Williams, for example, played on this idea by presenting the Treaty as the Queenâ€Ÿs „act of loveâ€Ÿ towards the Maori people. He perceived, too, that for Maori converted to or associated with Christianity there was an additional spiritual dimension – under one Sovereign, Maori and British could be linked as one people with the same law, spiritual and temporal. Hobson prompted perhaps by Williams, also promoted this concept, with his greeting
“He iwi tahi tatou” („We are now one peopleâ€Ÿ). Chiefs had indicated already that they were disposed to think of the Treaty in spiritual terms; Heke and Patuone had both likened the agreement to the new covenant.
The role of the English missionaries in determining Maori understanding, therefore, was crucial through the way explanations were given. It determined that Ngapuhi, in particular, would understand the Treaty as a special kind of covenant with the Queen, a bond with all the spiritual connotations of the Biblical covenants; there would be many tribes, including the British, but all would be equal under God.
Within Lukeâ€Ÿs Gospel, Te Rongopai a Ruka, are several key ideas that became crucial to the political developments that followed the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. Maori reading the Treaty for the first time in Maori would naturally associate the central Treaty concepts Kawanatanga (governorship) and Rangatiratanga (chiefly rule) with their first original written context in the Maori version of the Gospel.
In the Maori version of Lukeâ€Ÿs Gospel, Chapter 3 verse 1, Pontius Pilate is described as a governor Te Kawana. Rangatiratanga is referred to in the images of the Kingdom of Heaven throughout this Gospel (Te Rangatiratanga o Te Rangi). In Luke, Chapter 11, verse 2, “Kia tai mai tou Rangatiratanga” is a translation of the words, “your Kingdom come”. When the Treaty document in Maori referred to Kawanatanga, meaning governance and Rangatiratanga, meaning chiefly rule, it would have been natural for Maori to recognise these written words in their own language, within the context that they appeared in Lukeâ€Ÿs Gospel. They would have brought their understanding of these words from the Gospel to their use in the Treaty. The Treaty in Maori therefore appeared to be offering a kind of balance between Kawanatanga and Rangatiratanga, where Queen Victoria would offer governance and the structures that go with that, while the chiefs would retain their rule within their tribal territories, particularly over matters like land, fisheries, forests and other treasures. Each party had a responsibility to honour the good faith of the other party in Treaty terms. The Treaty was signed with a calendar reference "in the year of our Lord" as a sign that this was an agreement between peoples working with a Christian understanding of history and time.
The United Nations have ruled that the language form of any treaty between an indigenous community and another party who wishes to treat with them, has to be determined on the basis of the indigenous communityâ€Ÿs own language. It is the wording of the Treaty of Waitangi in Maori that is determinative of its meaning. The Maori understanding of the Treaty in this way, together with the original English Version is attached at the end of this Paper.
Therefore, that it would have been natural for mission-educated chiefs present at Waitangi, using the Maori language version of the Treaty, to come to think of Queen Victoriaâ€Ÿs Governor exercising a particular and limited responsibility: Kawanatanga. This mean the Crown provided the structures of governance for the country as a whole, leaving chiefs with much of their regional and traditional powers, their Rangatiratanga. If this is the case then here is a further indication that Maori were not
thinking of ceding their tribal sovereignty as such at Waitangi, but agreeing to exercise a form of mutual sovereignty with the Crown, for Aotearoa throughout. Each party had their particular kind of jurisdiction and each party understood the nature of the common ground. Today the words Partnership, Participation and Protection are often used to describe the principles of mutual inter-dependence offered in the Treaty. Claudia Orange gives the background for this kind of trust and vision of partnership.
More generally, missionary influence was significant simply because many Maori trusted the missionariesâ€Ÿ good intentions. This appears to have added a religious aspect to Maori understanding of the agreement. At Waitangi, Henry Williams was responsible for developing the idea that Maori and Pakeha could be one people in both a spiritual and a temporal sense. The Treaty could therefore be construed as a covenant between the Maori people and the Queen as head of the English Church and state (a concept that had its parallel in Maori society where a chief might also hold the rank of tohunga).
Other aspects of the covenant analogy might have encouraged its use. Heke, for example, spoke of the Treaty as the New Covenant. As Christ was the New Covenant and as the old Mosaic Law was put aside on conversion to Christianity, so the Treaty, with its promise of a new relationship between the Crown and the Maori chiefs, could be likened to the New Covenant. The idea had been echoed at Kaitaia when one young chief expressed the hope that „if your (British) thoughts are towards Christ as ours are, we shall be oneâ€Ÿ.
It can be seen then that Biblical literacy provided a context for much of the discussion that led to the signatures of many chiefs at Waitangi. In 1986 the Anglican Church of the Province of New Zealand received a Report Te Kaupapa Tikanga Rua Bi-cultural Development, which discussed this history and concluded that the Treaty vision of bi-cultural development and the principle of partnership were consistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Report recommended that the Church restate its own Constitution as a way of honouring the Treaty and as a way of witnessing to the nation.
To the British Crown the Treaty of Waitangi was a serious document, valid and binding. When, in 1846, Governor Grey asked the Colonial Secretary, Lord Stanley, how far he had to abide by the Treaty, the unequivocal reply in the name of the Queen was: “You will honourably and scrupulously fulfil the conditions of the Treaty of Waitangi…”
For more than a decade following the Treaty signing, this official attitude prevailed and the Treaty was recognised and observed as a contract binding on both parties.
The influence of this attitude, however, diminished considerably as the administration of New Zealand passed to a Settler Government under the Constitution Act of 1852.
Continuing immigration created increased demands for land and assertion of Crown authority. Pressures between settlers and the Maori people finally culminated in the New Zealand wars of the 1860â€Ÿs.
By 1877 recognition of the Treaty by settlers had declined to the point where Chief Justice Prendergast was able to say that the Treaty was „a simple nullityâ€Ÿ. Until 1975, New Zealand courts continued to hold that the Treaty had no legal status in domestic law. In 1975, however, Parliament passed The Treaty of Waitangi Act, establishing the Waitangi Tribunal to investigate Maori claims against the Crown dating from 1975.
This law was amended in 1985 to permit the Tribunal to examine claims dating back to the first signing of the Treaty on 6 February 1840. In 1987, the Court of Appeal was required to consider the principles and relevance of the Treaty of Waitangi.
A special full court of five judges unanimously confirmed the partnership established by the Treaty and the duty of both Maori and Pakeha to act „reasonably and in good faithâ€Ÿ toward each other. The Treaty of Waitangi is the founding document for our nation. Our modern independent state was not based on colonial conquest or the illegitimate invasion of settlers.
New Zealand is founded on an agreement which continues today as a pact of partnership between Maori and Pakeha. It is an agreement which established our continuing links with the Crown; an agreement which continues to act as a national symbol of unity and understanding between cultures. Today, the Treaty continues as a „living documentâ€Ÿ – a focus for all New Zealanders to consider its on-going role for our nation and in the partnership between our cultures – today and in the future.
Because of its crucial role at the time of the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi, the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, Te Hahi Mihinare ki Aotearoa ki Niu Tireni, Ki Nga Moutere o te Moana Nui a Kiwa, is implicitly involved in the on-going story of Treaty justice and Treaty partnership. Members of this Church translated, preached and facilitated chiefly signatures in 1840. The Churchâ€Ÿs own Bible literacy programme provides some of the linguistic background to the concepts of the Treaty document itself, particularly as The Reverend Henry Williams presented them in the Maori version.
The Anglican Church in these Islands has an historic, moral and spiritual responsibility to see that the covenantal theology in the Treaty signing process continues to be honoured, enacted and lived. To this end the Anglican Church here has restructured its constitution to live within Treaty principles as a means of practising what was preached in 1840.
Barlow, Cleve (ed), Ko Te Kawenata Hou/The New Testament, Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa, Rotorua, 1991
Glen, Robert (ed) Mission and Moko, Latimer Fellowship of New Zealand,
Orange, Claudia, The Treaty of Waitangi, Allen and Unwin, Wellington, 1987
Ross, Cathy, Women with a Mission – Rediscovering Missionary Wives in Early New Zealand, Penguin Books, Auckland, 2006
Snedden, Patrick, Pakeha and the Treaty: why itâ€Ÿs our Treaty too, Random House, Auckland, 2005
Te Ripoata a te Komihana mo te Kaupapa Tikanga Rua mo te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Report of the Bi-cultural Commission of the Anglican Church on the Treaty of Waitangi, Provincial Secretary of the Church of the Province of New Zealand, 1986
Temm, Paul, The Waitangi Tribunal, Random Century, Auckland, 1990
The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, A New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, Genesis, Christchurch, 1989
Williams, H. W., Dictionary of the Maori Language, Legislation Direct, Wellington, 2003
English Version of the Treaty's three articles
Article the first
The Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the separate and independent Chiefs who have not become members of the Confederation cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty which the said Confederation or Individual Chiefs, respectively exercise or possess, or may be supposed to exercise or to possess over their respective Territories as the sole sovereigns thereof.
Article the second
Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession; but the Chiefs of the United Tribes and the individual Chiefs yield to Her Majesty the exclusive right of Pre-emption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.
Article the third
In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British subjects.
Maori Version of the three articles
Ko te tuatahi
Ko nga Rangatira of te wakaminenga me nga Rangatira katoa hoki ki hai I uru ki taua wakaminenga ka tuku rawa atu ki te Kuini o Ingaraangi ake tonu atu te Kawanatanga katoa o o ratou wenua.
Ko te tuarua
Ko te Kuini o Ingarangi ka wakarite ka wakaae ki nga Rangatira ki nga hapu ki nga Tangata katoa o Nui Tirani te tino Rangatiratanga o o ratou wenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga kotoa. Otiia ko nga Rangatira o te wakaminenga me nga Rangatira katoa atu ka tuku ki te Kuini te Hokonga o era wahi wenua e pai ai te Tangata nona te
wenua – ki te ritenga o te utu e wakaritea ai e ratou ko te kai hoko e meatia nei e te Kuini hei kai hoko mona.
Ko te tuatoru
Hei wakaritenga mai hoki tenei mo te wakaaetanga ki te Kawanatanga o te Kuini – Ka tiakina e te Kuini o Ingarangi nga Tangata maori katoa o Nui Tirani ka tukua ki a ratou nga Tikanga katoa rite tahi ki ana mea ki nga Tangata o Ingarangi.
Translation of Maori Version
(Professor Sir Hugh Kawharu)
The Chiefs of the Confederation and all the Chiefs who have not joined that Confederation give absolutely to the Queen of England for ever the complete government over their land.
The Queen of England agrees to protect the Chiefs, the Sub-tribes and all the people of New Zealand in the unqualified exercise of their chieftainship over their lands, villages and all their treasures. But on the other hand the Chiefs of the Confederation and all the Chiefs will sell land to the Queen at a price agreed to by the person owning it and by the person buying it (the latter being ) appointed by the Queen as her purchase agent.
For this agreed arrangement therefore concerning the Government of the Queen, the Queen of England will protect all the ordinary people of New Zealand (i.e. the Maori) and will give them the same rights and duties of citizenship as the people of England.