United Tribes of New Zealand

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United Tribes of New Zealand

Te W(h)akaminenga o Nga Rangatiratanga o Nga Hapu o Nu Tireni
1835 (1835)–1840 (1840)
UnitedTribesUnofficial.svg
Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand.svg
Flag
New zealand 1832.jpg
New Zealand in 1832
StatusIndependent State
CapitalWaitangi
Common languagesMāori, English
Government Confederation
Hereditary chiefs and heads of tribes 
 1835–1840
Northern chiefs
British Resident  
 1835–1840
James Busby
LegislatureCongress at Waitangi
Historical era Colonial period
1835 (1835)
1840 (1840)
 Colony of New Zealand
1841
Succeeded by
Colony of New South Wales Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Colony of New Zealand Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Today part ofNew Zealand

The United Tribes of New Zealand (Māori : Te W(h)akaminenga o Nga Rangatiratanga o Nga Hapu o Nu Tireni) was a confederation of Māori tribes based in the north of the North Island.

Contents

History

The confederation was convened in 1834 by British Resident James Busby. Busby had been sent to New Zealand in 1833 by the Colonial Office to serve as the official British Resident, and was anxious to set up a framework for trade between Māori and Europeans. The Māori chiefs of the northern part of the North Island agreed to meet with him in March 1834. Rumours began spreading that the Frenchman Baron Charles de Thierry planned to set up an independent state at Hokianga. The United Tribes declared their independence on 28 October 1835 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence. [1] In 1836, the British Crown under King William IV recognized the United Tribes and its flag. Busby's efforts were entirely too successful: as the islands settled down, the British began to consider an outright annexation.[ citation needed ]

By 1839, the Declaration of the United Tribes had 52 signatories from Northland and a few signatories from other parts, notably from the ariki of the Waikato Tainui, Pōtatau Te Wherowhero. [2] In February 1840, a number of chiefs of the United Tribes convened at Waitangi to sign the Treaty of Waitangi. [3] During the Musket Wars (1807–1842), Ngāpuhi and other tribes raided and occupied many parts of the North Island, but eventually reverted to their previous territorial status as other tribes acquired European weapons.[ citation needed ]

From a New Zealand standpoint under the settler government, the Confederation has been considered to have been assimilated into a new entity after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi; the Declaration is viewed in large part as merely a historical document. [1] In recent times, questions have arisen regarding the constitutional relevance of the Declaration. [4]

New Zealand Company use of United Tribes flag

In 1840 the New Zealand Company raised the flag of the United Tribes at their settlement in Port Nicholson (Wellington), [5] proclaiming government by "colonial council" that claimed to derive its powers from authority granted by local chiefs. Interpreting the moves as "high treason", Governor William Hobson declared British sovereignty over the entirety of the North Island on 21 May 1840, [6] and on 23 May declared the council illegal. [7] He then despatched his Colonial Secretary, Willoughby Shortland, with 30 soldiers and six mounted police on 30 June 1840, [5] to Port Nicholson to tear down the flag. Shortland commanded the residents to withdraw from their "illegal association" and to submit to the representatives of the Crown. [8]

Modern developments

As of October 2010, the Waitangi Tribunal began investigating the claim by Ngāpuhi that their sovereignty was not ceded in their signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. [9] The Tribunal, in Te Paparahi o te Raki inquiry (Wai 1040) [10] is in the process of considering the Māori and Crown understandings of He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga / The Declaration of Independence 1835 and Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi 1840.

The first stage of the report was released in November 2014, [11] [12] and found that Māori chiefs never agreed to give up their sovereignty when they signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. [13] [14] [15] Tribunal manager Julie Tangaere said at the report's release to the Ngapuhi claimants:

"Your tupuna [ancestors] did not give away their mana at Waitangi, at Waimate, at Mangungu. They did not cede their sovereignty. This is the truth you have been waiting a long time to hear." [16]

While final submissions were received in May 2018, the second stage of the report was still in the process of being written up as of October 2020. [17]

Flag

New Zealand United Tribes flag, 1833-1835, drawn by Nicholas Charles Phillips of the man-of-war HMS Alligator. New Zealand United Tribes flag c.1834.jpg
New Zealand United Tribes flag, 1833–1835, drawn by Nicholas Charles Phillips of the man-of-war HMS Alligator.

The idea of a flag to represent New Zealand first arose when the New Zealand-built trading ship Sir George Murray was seized in Sydney for sailing without a flag or register in 1830. British navigation laws applied in Australia and ruled that every ship must carry an official certificate that included the nationality of the ship. New Zealand was not yet a British colony, so could not sail under a British flag or register. With no flag to represent the islands, trading ships and their cargoes could be confiscated. [18] While a temporary licence was granted for the Sir George Murray by New South Wales authorities, it was clear that a more permanent solution was needed. Busby was approached by Maori chiefs in 1833 about the matter of a flag. Busby asked Reverend Williams and the Colonial Secretary Richard Bourke in New South Wales for assistance, and, with additional consultation with tribal leaders, three designs were drawn up.

The official national flag of New Zealand as at 20 March 1834. The winner of three designs put to 25 northern Maori chiefs at Waitangi by James Busby and Captain Lambert of the man-of-war HMS Alligator. The-official-national-flag-in-1934.png
The official national flag of New Zealand as at 20 March 1834. The winner of three designs put to 25 northern Maori chiefs at Waitangi by James Busby and Captain Lambert of the man-of-war HMS Alligator.
The flag pole at Waitangi, flying (left - right) the Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand, the Ensign of the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Union Flag, 5 February 2006 The flag post by the treaty house - Waitangi (square).jpg
The flag pole at Waitangi, flying (left – right) the Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand, the Ensign of the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Union Flag, 5 February 2006

On 20 March 1834, three designs were put to 25 northern Maori chiefs at Waitangi by James Busby and Captain Lambert of the man-of-war HMS Alligator. By a vote of 12-10-3, the design now widely known as the United Tribes Flag was chosen. [19] British, American, and French representatives witnessed the ceremony, which included a 13-gun salute from the Alligator. [20] [21]

The flag was based in part on the St George's Cross that was already used by the Church Missionary Society, with a canton featuring a smaller red cross on a blue background fimbriated in black, and with a white eight-pointed star in each quarter of the canton. [22] When officially gazetted in New South Wales in August 1835, the description did not mention the fimbriation or the number of points on the stars. [23] The description was: "A red St. George's Cross on a white ground. In the first quarter, a red St. George's Cross on a blue ground, pierced with four white stars." [24] This version of the flag served as the de facto national flag of New Zealand from 1835 until the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840, [25] although the United Tribes flag continued to be used as a New Zealand flag after the Treaty, for example the flag features on the medals presented to soldiers who served in the South African War (1899–1902). [26]

The version of the flag with black fimbriation and eight-pointed stars is widely used today as a flag by Māori groups throughout New Zealand, who also refer to it as the He Whakaputanga flag.

In July 2009 it was proposed as one of four possible designs for an official Māori flag at a series of hui around New Zealand. The flag is also occasionally encountered with black or white fimbriation and six-pointed stars.

As stated in E.M.C. Barraclough's book Flags of the World ( ISBN   978-0723220152), The Shaw, Savill & Albion Line used this flag (though with white fimbriation instead of black and a proportions change from 1:2 to 3:5) as its company flag during its existence from 1882 to 1974.

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

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  5. 1 2 "New Zealand Company / United Tribes flag". Te Papa . Retrieved 6 April 2019.
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  17. Te Paparahi o Te Raki". waitangitribunal.govt.nz. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
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  19. "United Tribes flag". NZHistory. Ministry of Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
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  21. "History", united-tribes.com. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
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Further reading