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Waitangi, Treaty of

(Feb. 6, 1840), historic pact between Great Britain and a number of New Zealand Maori tribes of North Island. It purported to protect Maori rights and was the immediate basis of the British annexation of New Zealand. Negotiated at the settlement of Waitangi on February 5-6 by Britain's designated consul and lieutenant governor William Hobson and many leading Maori chiefs, the treaty's three articles provided for (1) the Maori signatories' acceptance of the British queen's sovereignty in their lands, (2) the crown's protection of Maori possessions, with the exclusive right of the queen to purchase Maori land, and (3) full rights of British subjects for the Maori signatories.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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