The Treaty of Waitangi Maori Tiriti o Waitangi is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand.Almost 150 years after the signing of the Treaty, the government tried to give judicial and moral effect to the document by defining another, new version.
Treaty were taken around New Zealand and over the following months many other chiefs signed.Today the Treaty is generally considered the founding document of New Zealand as a nation. Despite this, it is often the subject of heated debate, and much disagreement by both Māori and non-Māori New Zealanders.
Between 1795 and 1830 a steady flow of sealing and then whaling ships visited New Zealand, mainly stopping at the Bay of Islands for food supplies and recreation. Many of the ships came from Sydney. Missionaries, initially from Sydney and later from England arrived in small numbers to try to convert Māori to Christianity, but were shocked by the frequent scenes of drunkenness and debauchery as single women and girls flooded on to the ships to service the sailors' needs in exchange for goods such as iron nails. Trade between Sydney and New Zealand increased as traders sought kauri timber and flax and missionaries purchased large areas of land in the Bay of Islands.