What the heck happened in Waitangi?
In 1972, the New Zealand Journal of History published an article “Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Texts and Translations” by Ruth Ross (1920-1982). The impact continues fifty years after him, and he could still have a great impact fifty years from now. This is one of the most influential works by a New Zealand historian, not only because of his impact on our understanding of history, but also because of the role he played in establishing the Waitangi Courts. is also clear. However, when work on the article was first undertaken twenty years before him, it had been dismissed by historians as of little importance.new book Bloody and difficult subjects: Ruth Ross, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the making of history A paper by New Zealand historian Bane Atwood, professor of history at Monash University in Australia, tells the story of the paper, traces its consequences, and shows how the history of Te Tiriti and related texts have been written over the past 50 years. It poses a more general question about whether Influence of History on Occupations.
Ross had been commissioned by John Beaglehall in 1953 to write a new preface for the government’s reissue of a copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Treaty of Waitangi. Roth met this challenge by treating the texts not as sacred texts, but as human documents written by humans in a context that could be analyzed in a scholarly way (in the early 19th century German theologians as it did for the Bible). She spent a lot of time rummaging through archives. Atwood’s accounts of this period suggest that this was unusual.
Ross concluded that there was, in fact, no Treaty of Waitangi. Indeed, there was a document signed at Waitangi on 6 February 1840, Te Tiriti o Waitangi. When she read her paper for the first time, she remembers being amazed by her conclusions. She was looking up the meaning of “taonga” in Waitangi’s claims. Until then, I believed the popular story that she had two documents of roughly equal status on the date of signing. (International law takes precedence over indigenous languages.) However, there was no English version. Using the term “Waitangi Treaty” as if it existed in her 1840 means that its user is 50 years older than her.
Governor William Hobson forwarded five different English editions to his superiors in Sydney and London. Shortly after the signing, U.S. consul James Clendon scoured for an official English document, but no one could provide it. , if there was an official English version of Te Tiriti, it would have been totally unnecessary.
I carefully explained the drafting of the text. What is called the “English version” is one of his later drafts. It may not even be the last English draft (if it existed, it’s lost). We know that the last English manuscript was translated into Māori by missionary Henry Williams and his son and presented to Rangatira at Waitangi on 5 January. At night, the Maori text was changed. I don’t know what was revised. Ross believes that the 1835 Declaration of Independence may have changed the term “kingitanga” meaning “sovereignty”, or perhaps “mana” to “kawanangatanga”. It would have been a small change for the British, but a big change for the Maori (and us). They signed the revised treaty the next day.
(The treaty signed by the Maori at Waikato Heads – one of five English versions submitted by Hobson – is often referred to as the “Treaty of Waitangi”, as in the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975, changing the facts of history. I can not do it.)
In her summary, Ross writes: [Māori and Pākehā] The signatories of 1840 were uncertain and divided. [Te Tiriti’s] Meaning; who can now say what the intention was? … no matter how good the intentions, a close examination of the events reveals that [Te Tiriti] It was hastily and unfamiliarly produced, vague and contradictory in content, and chaotic in execution. It is sheer hypocrisy to continue to claim that this is a “covenant.” ”
She announced her findings at a seminar at Victoria University College in 1956. Her response was contemptuous. Attwood writes: Ross said his close friend, the historian Mary Boyd, “said I was wasting my time” and “dismissed.”[ed] My obsession with “historically worthless” texts. ”
Ross told the seminar that he had found one of Hobson’s proclamations of May 21, 1840 in the Dominion Archives. She said, “The whole gang was armed….No such declaration existed – it was final…I didn’t know what I was talking about…that No such declaration ever existed.” Ian Wars, an investigator in the War History Branch, came to her aid. He saw the document in question. He also looked through the archives.
Atwood portrays Ross as lacking confidence. It made her vulnerable to criticism, but it was also her determination to seek and publish the truth, which she said she found studying her treaties to be a “bloody and difficult subject.” Stated. she might be too. She also suffered from the handicap of a woman born in 1920 in modest surroundings. “I never seem to have encouraged the able-bodied schoolgirls to go to Oxford, Cambridge, or London to get a doctorate”. like”.
The seminar’s reaction sparked a personal crisis. She abandoned her assignment to write her forewords, retired to her teacher’s wife’s house (initially in Hokianga), raised two children, and used a typewriter for school publications. bottom.
But in the 1960s the “Treaty of Waitangi” crept into the public consciousness and in 1972 Ross spoke at another Wellington seminar. This time we were greeted more warmly. Keith Sinclair, another investigator, encouraged her to submit her paper to the New Zealand Journal of History. After some revisions, the paper was published, but as they say, the rest is history.
This includes Ross’ contribution to the law that established the Waitangi Courts. It leads Atwood into a lengthy discussion of the issues historians have worked with in court and the broader implications for history writing in general. There are over six books on this topic by some of the oldest members of the profession.
A treaty was offered to Rangatira, who was visiting Sydney. It was written that in exchange for becoming British subjects, they were to cede sovereignty.
One of Ross’ most important conclusions is not yet generally understood. The Māori and Pākehā signatories of 1840 were uncertain and divided. [Te Tiriti’s] Meaning; who can say now what the intent was? ”
I would be surprised if the Māori agreed among themselves about what they were signing. we may never know. They died a long time ago, and there are few documents of their time (some have been lost). One hint comes from an “unofficial” Clendon back-translation that Clendon (almost certainly) commissioned Williams to do. It shows what the missionaries thought the Maori texts were saying. This is the closest thing to the “English version of te tiliti”.
I’m pretty sure Hobson thought he was following the orders of the Colonial Office. But they were loose and open to a wide range of interpretations. We know this from the “unsigned treaty” of the Governor of New South Wales, George Gipps. He was responsible for Britain in New Zealand at the time. In February 1840 he signed a treaty with Rangatilla, who was visiting Sydney. It was written that in exchange for becoming British subjects, they were to cede sovereignty. Wisely, Rangatira refused to sign. If Hobson thought he was carrying out Colonial Office directives, so was Gipps.
Hobson must have left Sydney with views similar to those of Gipps in the unsigned treaty. However, after a discussion with Busby and Williams at Waitangi, he changed his mind, leading to a much different approach to his approach. Ned Fletcher describes the unsigned treaty as “similar in its wording and effect to the draft treaty”. There is a distance of (Fletcher also noted that while Robin Cook was Chief of the Court of Appeals, “[a]As is well known, the English and Māori texts of Schedule 1 of the Treaty of Waitangi 1975 are not separate translations and do not necessarily convey exactly the same meaning. ”)
There are significant changes here. Roth’s story gives Maori agency. Through Busby and Williams, indirectly by responding to what they thought was the Māori situation, and directly when the Māori rejected the text on February 5, to be accepted by them Fletcher gives them no power of attorney.
It would be against history to ignore Ross’ warning that the Waitangi participants could not agree on the meaning of their signatures. We can try to understand what certain participants think, but that is very different from the Supreme Court of Public Opinion seeking its own intentions for the treaty. The road, further he goes through the desert of 183 years. As long as we follow it, we will fail the real work: What does Te Tiriti mean to us today? and will continue to be important to Aotearoa New Zealand in the future. Ruth Ross would agree.
‘A Bloody Difficult Subject’: Ruth Ross, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the Making of History Bain Attwood (Auckland University Press, $59.99) is available in bookstores nationwide.
Bain Attwood will deliver the annual Keith Sinclair Memorial Lecture tonight (May 9) at 6pm at the University of Auckland Lecture Theater in the Faculty of Engineering, Simmons Street, and at the National Library in Wellington on May 17 at 12pm To do. You are most welcome.
https://www.newsroom.co.nz/book-of-the-week-the-first-tiriti-fraud Book of the Week: The First Tity Scam