Year 10 - Lesson 3

Curriculum level:
Programme focus:
Case studies
Length of lesson:
45 – 90 minutes

Focus learning areas

  • Articles one and two of the Treaty.

Achievement objectives

Students will gain knowledge, skills, and experience to:

  • Understand how exploration and innovation create opportunities and challenges for people, places, and environments.
  • Understand that events have causes and effects.
  • Understand how the ideas and actions of people in the past have had a significant impact on people’s lives.
  • Understand how the Treaty of Waitangi is responded to differently by people in different times and different places.

Learning outcomes

This programme will provide students with opportunities to:

  • Discover the definitions of words that may be new to them.
  • Discuss the differences between words in the Māori and the English language texts of the Treaty.

Suggested activities


  • What is in the Preamble?
  • Summarise the main reasons for the Treaty of Waitangi.

Article one

Words that are commonly used to summarise the overall agreement for Article one of the Treaty (in both languages) include:

Power and participation – who gains the most power is different within the Māori language and English language texts. However, the word ‘power’ can be used as a prompt to remember what this Article addresses.


Focus on the English text first. Ask the students if they can find a word that starts with s and means absolute power (sovereignty). Students could look up the definition in the dictionary.

In the English version, Māori are signing away absolutely all of their power. The word that is used instead of power is ‘sovereignty’.

You can explain the term sovereign, meaning King/Queen, and therefore sovereignty illustrates the power of the King/Queen.


The word used in the Māori translation is ‘Kawanatanga’, meaning governorship = limited power. (Definition: The political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states).

Differences in translation

This diagram that explains the English text in orange and Māori text in blue:

British Crown British Crown British Crown
British settlers and Māori British settlers Iwi (Tribe)
Hapu (Sub-tribe)
Whanau (Family)

An alternative to drawing this diagram is to ask some students to stand up and show this diagram. Ask the remainder of the class what option would you prefer?

The word for chiefly power and independence in the Māori version is in Article two. In this version, the closest word for power is ‘Tino Rangatiratanga’ and instead of giving it away, Māori keep their power – chiefs’ rights are confirmed/guaranteed.

Article two

Ask for a volunteer to read out loud Article two (in English).

  • What does the Queen guarantee ‘full exclusive and undisturbed possession’ of? (‘Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties’)
  • Ask the students to think of words that begin with p that could be used to summarise Article two. (Protection, property, possessions could be used.)


Recall the reasons that were listed in the Preamble. What did Queen Victoria promise to protect? (Māori Rights and Property) This is what Article Two covers.

Ask for a volunteer to read Article two out-loud.

  • What does the Queen guarantee, ‘full exclusive and undisturbed possession’ of? (‘Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties’)
  • Ask the students to think of words that begin with p that could be used to summarise Article two. (Protection, property, possessions could be used.)

Differences in translation

  • Looking at the Māori text of the Treaty, ask the students to locate and highlight the words ‘ratou taonga katoa’. This is the translation of the English text ‘other properties’.
  • Ask if anyone has heard the word taonga before and if so, do they know the meaning?
  • The closest English translation of taonga, is treasure. Therefore, in the Māori translation, the words ‘all treasures’ have been used for ‘other properties’.

Taonga / treasures

  • Have a class brainstorm on what people consider to be their treasures. Encourage the students to not only think of material items such as cell phone, clothing etc, but also of things such as family, culture, language, friends.
  • Discuss the fact that most of the Māori chiefs who agreed to the Treaty signed the Māori language text (more than 480 of the approximate 520). The chiefs therefore believed, that not only their lands, estates, forests and fisheries were protected, but also other treasures such as their culture, rituals and language.

Promises kept / promises broken?

The agreements in Article two were not always upheld. The students will be given the opportunity to research this further in future lessons.

Supporting information

Text of the Treaty

King, Michael

The Penguin History of New Zealand

Penguin Books Ltd, Auckland, 2003

Orange, Claudia

An Illustrated History of The Treaty of Waitangi, Revised edition

Bridget Williams Books, Wellington, 2004