The Treaty of Waitangi is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand. It resulted in the declaration of British sovereignty over New Zealand by Lieutenant Governor William Hobson in May 1840.
The Treaty established a British Governor of New Zealand, recognised Māori ownership of their lands, forests and other properties, and gave the Māori the rights of British subjects. In return the Māori people ceded New Zealand to Queen Victoria, giving her government the sole right to purchase land.
Almost 150 years after the signing of the Treaty, the government tried to give judicial and moral effect to the document by defining another, new version, the "spirit" or "intent" of the treaty through specifying the principles of the Treaty.