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Te Tiriti ki Te Tairāwhiti | East Coast sheet | by Archives New Zealand
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Te Tiriti ki Te Tairāwhiti | East Coast sheet

On 8 April 1840, Henry Williams delivered this copy of te Tiriti to his brother William Williams, who was based at the CMS mission in Tūranga (Gisborne). His task was to gather the signatures of rangatira from East Cape to Ahuriri (Napier).


Between 5 and 12 May, 25 chiefs at Tūranga signed, which according to Williams was almost the whole leadership of the district. However at Uawa (Tolaga Bay) on 16/17 May, prominent rangatria Te Kani a Takirau refused to sign, making this claim doubtful. Two rangatira signed at Uawa.


Seven rangatira signed at Waiapu (Whakawhitira) on or around 25-31 May, and three at Waiapu (Rangitukia) on 1 June. During his return to Tūranga, four signed at Tokomaru on 9 June. Williams had planned to gather further signatures south of Tūranga in July or August, but this did not happen.


The signatures were witnessed by William Williams, Henry Williams Jnr, and George Clarke Jnr, and made a total of 41. In his letter to Wiloughby Shortland on 8 May, Williams refers to this sheet as a "draft of [a] Treaty", indicating that he expected a subsequent confirmation or ratification. He is the only missionary to suggest this.


The sheet itself is in the same handwriting as the one used by Henry Williams (the Cook Strait Sheet) and also has a ruled double border. It has a genuine but shaky signature by William Hobson, showing that he was recovering from his stroke.


Archives Reference: IA9/9 Sheet 9


This sheet, along with the 8 other Tiriti o Waitangi sheets, He Whakaputanga and the Women's Suffrage Petition, are now on display at the National Library:


You can view the names of those who signed, as well as an interactive map, at the NZ History website ‘Making the Treaty’ page:




This record is part of #Waitangi175, celebrating 175 years since the signing of of te Tiriti o Waitangi. You can see other real time tweets on Twitter (, or explore the Waitangi 175 album here on Flickr.


Caption information from New Zealand History and Claudia Orange, 'The Treaty of Waitangi'


Material from Archives New Zealand Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga


Guidelines on re-using this image:


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• portions of the Treaty of Waitangi can be used for stylistic effect, but any portion so used will not include Māori signatories

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Taken on November 8, 2017