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ŌTAUTAHI

LEGISLATIVE VIOLATIONS OF THE TREATY 1840

Text on a Silver background compiled from sources other than Network Waitangi.

1840

Māori owned 66,400,000 acres of land

1841

Land Claims Ordinance stated that lands not actually occupied or used by the Māori belonged to the Crown. This contradicted Article 2 of the Treaty.

1844

Governor Grey abolished the Protectorate Department, which had the responsibility of protecting Māori rights, and gave the New Zealand Company the exclusive right of pre-emption.

1852

Māori ownership of land reduced to 34,000,000 acres. In 12 years since 1940, almost half of Māori owned land had been lost.

The Constitution Act saw the establishment of Provincial government. Those entitled to vote were males over 21 who had individual tide to property of a certain value. Very few Māori males were able to vote.

1859

Te Ati Awa Chief Teira sold the governor land at Waitara without seeking the agreement of the other chiefs who had an interest in the land, especially the Senior Chief Wiremu Kingi. This was in breach of the Treaty's land guarantee.

1860

Māori owned land reduced to 21,400,000 acres.

1862

Native Lands Act designed to break down Māori communal ownership of land. A land court was set up to individualise tide. An amendment to the act meant Māori owners could sell to anyone. This breached the pre-emption Clause in Article 2.
Aboloshing the crown pre-emptive purchase right may have been intended to help Māori, since the government was funding itself by using its monopoly on Māori land purchases to buy land at far below market rates and then selling the land to settlers at its true value. For example, in the early 1840s the government purchased the Auckland isthmus of 3000 acres for £500 and sold 90 acres of it within a year for £48,000.

1863

Governor Grey invades the Waikato region.

Suppression of Rebellion Act. No right to trial before imprisonment. Its intention was to punish 'certain aboriginal tribes of the colony' for rebelling against the Crown. Māori had been forced to take up arms to protect their land.

New Zealand Settlement Act. Over 3 million acres of Māori land was confiscated to pay for the war.

1864

Native Reserves Act. All remaining land reserved for Māori use was put under settler control.

1865

Native Land Court.

Designed to determine ownership. Māori owners had to spend many months in town waiting to have their cases heard. If they did not show up they lost the right to the land. This caused many of them to build up huge debts and they had to sell a lot of their land to pay for them. Māori owners had to pay for any surveying work that had to be done.

Many Māori owners sold land rather than go through the humiliating experience of a Land Court sitting. Between 1865 and 1875 10 million acres of land was lost by Māori.

1866

Oyster Fisheries Act. Prevented Māori from fishing commercially. Māori Commercial fishing enterprises at the time went broke and they had to sell land to meet their debts.
The East Coast Land Titles Investigation Act (and the East Coast Act, 1868) authorised the issue of proclamations of confiscation. This was used to force unwilling sellers to accept offers for their land under threat of confiscation.

1867

Māori Representation Act. Four Māori seats in Parliament established. A response to Pākehā fear that Māori who by now had a majority under the property qualification Clause of the 1852 Constitution Act in a number of electorates, could gain a majority in government.

1868

East Coast Act see The East Coast Land Titles Investigation Act, 1866.

1869

The Government requested a new Māori version of the Treaty. 'Kawanatanga' in Article 1 is replaced by 'Nga mana Katoa o te Rangatiratanga'.

1871

A government stipulation that instruction in Native Schools had to be in English.

1873

A new Native Land Act increases the individualising of Māori land tides.

1877

The Treaty is declared a nullity by Judge Prendergast in the Bishop of Wellington v Wi Parata case.

Legislation was also introduced to allow direct purchase of Māori land. This was another breach of Article 2.

Fish Protection Act A rare early example of the treaty being enforced in legislation. "Nothing in this Act contained shall be deemed to repeal, alter, or affect any of the provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi, or to take away, annual, or abridge any of the rights of the Aboriginal natives to any fisheries secured to them thereunder."

1879

An amendment by Grey of the Native Land Act made it easier for small farmers to get Māori land. The Government sabotaged the Commission that was set up to investigate land confiscation in Taranaki.

Peace Preservation Bill. One year's hard labour for Māori people who refused to leave their abodes.

1880

Māori Prisoners' Act. 200 Māori arrested in Taranaki for preventing the surveying of confiscated land were kept in prison for an indefinite period without trial.

1881

West Coast Settlement Act. Any Māori in Taranaki could be arrested without a warrant and jailed for 2 years with hard labour if he built anything or in any way hindered the surveying of property.

Native Reserves Act. The control of Māori reserves is taken over by the Public Trustee.

2500 troops invade Parihaka and Te Whiti the prophet is arrested.

1886

Native Lands Administration Act. Rejected the traditional right of communal ownership. Māori land was given over to small groups of trustees who had the right under this Act to sell it.

Te Whiti was re-arrested (under the West Coast Preservation Act of 1881) without warrant, charge or trial, and jailed for 3 months.

1887

Native Land Act. Large scale direct purchase of Māori land. Bastion Point, Auckland, appropriated for defence purposes.

1891

Māori land stood at 11,079,486 acres.

1892

The Native Department was abolished.

1893

Native Land Purchase and Acquisition Act. Designed to speed up the purchase of Māori land

1894

Advances to Settlers Act. Low interest loans were available to white settlers to buy land from the government and develop it.

Native Land Court Act. Names on the certificate of title were deemed trustees beneficial owners.

Validation of Invalid Land Sales Act. Any pākehā misdealings concerning Māori land were legitimised.

Māori Land Settlement Act. Māori land was put under the control of Land Councils with no Māori representation. The settler population had increased and so had their desire for land.

1897

92 Māori in Taranaki were arrested for ploughing land in protest against Public Trustee control of their lands.

1903

An Act reaffirms Judge Prendergast's 1877 ruling that the Treaty is a nullity.

1905

The abolition of Native Councils that had slowed down the Government's land purchases.

1905-

There were amendments to the Native Land Act that forced further sales of Māori land.

1908

Tohunga Suppression Act. Penalties were imposed on Tohunga who were practised in the art of Māori medicine and Māori spirituality.

1909

Native Health Act. Māori could no longer use the whāngai system for adopting children. Māori women could no longer breastfeed.

1911

Māori owned land now amounted to 7,137,205 acres.

1918

Māori servicemen who returned after World War I were not eligible for the benefits of the rehabilitation Scheme.

1920

Māori land reduced to 4,787,686 acres.

1923

Wiremu Tahupotiki Ratana was snubbed when he took Treaty grievances to King George.

1932

Ratana MPs present a petition with 30,000 signatures calling for the ratification of the Treaty. It was ignored.

Māori received half the unemployment given to Pākehā. A single Māori received 7s 6d and a Pākehāgot 15s.

1939

Māori land 4,028,903 acres.

1953

Māori Affairs Act. If Māori land was not occupied or being used then it was declared 'waste land' and taken by the government.

Town and Country Planning Act. Prevented Māori from building on their land. This forced many Māori to move from rural areas to the cities.

1960

The Hunn Report. Jack Hunn a top civil servant recommended a stepping up of the assimilation process.

1967

Māori Affairs Amendment Act. Māori trustee had the right to ask individuals to sell their interests to the Government. Also land owned by fewer than 4 people had to be put under one tide.

Rating Act. Māori freehold lands subject to rates.

1975

Māori owned land 3,000,000 acres.
Treaty of Waitangi Act established the Waitangi Tribunal to study crown breaches of the Treaty on or after this date.

1986

The Crown created a property right with the introduction of a fisheries quota system. A breach of Article 2.
The jurisdiction of the Waitangi Tribunal extended to include retroactive claims from 1840.

1990

Māori Fisheries Act. Re-definition of a part of Article 2. The treaty guarantees Māori '...full exclusive possession of the Lands and Estates, Forest, Fisheries...' By 1992 Māori are to be granted 10% of the fishing quota. The government has redefined full as 10%. A further breach of the Treaty agreement.
1992
The Crown provides $150m to the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commision to enable it to purchase Carter Holt Harvey's 50% stake in Sealord. Since Sealord owned 24% of the quotas for fish species under quota management, together with the 10% already assigned this bought Māori ownership of commerical fishing quotas to 22%.
1995
Waikato-Tainui Deed of Settlement signed at Turangawaewae Marae. The settlement included a crown apology, the return of about 40,000 acres of land (of about 800,000 acres confiscated) valued at about $100m and a land aquisition fund of $65m. Total value of the redress was about $170m.
1997
Māori interests control about 50% of all commercial fishing in New Zealand. The Crown had returned or agreed to return Māori assets valued at about $600m.

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This text supplied by Network Waitangi Ōtautahi. Trustbank Community House, 187 Cashel St, Ōtautahi (Christchurch). Ph (03) 365-5266; Fx (03) 366-8535.
Text on a silver background compiled from other sources, including Trick or Treaty? Douglas Graham (Institue of Policy Studies, 1997).

Last updated 21 April 2001. Site History. Contact me.

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