Section 3 : The signing of the Treaty of Waitangi - Questions and activities

3a. Agreements and Contracts

People make all sorts of agreements and contracts with other people. The agreement might be in writing or it might be a spoken agreement. The agreement or contract might be that if you do the dishes you will get pocket money. Adults have contracts about paying rent for the house they live in or paying money back to the bank that lent them money to buy a house.

  • What sort of agreements or contracts have you made? Who with?
  • Why do you make them?
  • What happens if you break them?
  • Who decides that a contract is needed?

Make a Contract

Signing a contractIt may be between:

  • you and another person in your class;
  • two groups in your class;
  • you and the teacher;
  • a group and the teacher; or
  • you and someone in your family.


What is the expected behaviour from those who sign the contract? Remember the British Government's instruction to Hobson to make 'fair and equal contracts.'

One month later, look at:

  • whether the contract was kept or broken; and
  • why it was kept or broken.

Think About These Points

  • Did you understand what you were expected to do in the contract?
  • Was the contract written in a way that was easy for all people who signed it to understand?
  • Did you and the other people who signed the contract talk about what was expected in the contract before you signed it?
  • Did you trust that the other people who signed the contract would do what they said they would? Do you still trust them?
  • Did you respect the rights of the other people who signed the contract? Do you still respect them?

3b. Treaty Signatures

  • Look at the map which shows where Māori rangatira signed the Treaty and how many signed in each place.
  • Look at the places where no signatures were collected. Work out why none were collected there. Discuss whether the British had enough signatures to set up a government for all of Aotearoa.

3c. Selling the Land

  • Why do you think it was written in the Treaty that if Māori wanted to sell land they had to sell it to the Government rather than to settler families?

3d. Settlers and the Treaty

The Treaty was a contract between Māori and the Queen.

  • Why do you think so many settlers came to the debate?
  • Why do you think some settlers supported the Treaty and some were against the Treaty?

Next: What Happened after the Treaty was Signed?

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