Round the bays: a quick tour of key Treaty locations
by John Ansell
Thought I’d try and narrate the story of the drafting of the Treaty while panning around the four relevant locations:
- Russell (then Kororareka), to which Hobson escaped from HMS Herald’s cantankerous Captain Nias to spend the night of February 3rd
- Okiato, the point just around from Russell where Hobson and Busby composed the final English draft at the 8-room home of US Consul James Reddy Clendon on February 4th.
- Paihia, to which Hobson and Busby were rowed in the afternoon of the 4th, in time for Hobson to deliver his final draft to translator Rev Henry Williams at the Church Missionary Society’s mission station, now a church.
- Waitangi, to which the Maori Tiriti was taken on the morning of February 5th, along with the final English draft from which it had been translated overnight by Henry and his son Edward Williams, and read to a large crowd of Maori and Europeans in a marquee constructed by Royal Navy sailmakers. After much discussion on the night of the 5th, 40 chiefs decided to sign the Tiriti on the 6th, surprising Hobson and forcing him to come ashore in his suit — and not the full naval regalia depicted in paintings.