Story: History

The Treaty of Waitangi in art

The Treaty of Waitangi in art

When Britain finally decided to annex New Zealand, it took possession of the country not on the grounds of discovery or by force of arms, but by signing a treaty with the Māori people. Under the Treaty of Waitangi of 1840, Māori passed sovereignty to Britain in return for guarantees about their land and other possessions. No pictures were made at the time the treaty was signed. This reconstruction of the event, painted by Marcus King in 1939, is idealised but a reasonably accurate depiction of who was there.

About this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: C-033-007
Photolithograph by Marcus King

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

How to cite this page:

John Wilson, 'History - British sovereignty and settlement', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 5 December 2016)

Full story by John Wilson, published 8 Feb 2005