Story: He Whakaputanga – Declaration of Independence

1831 letter to King William IV

This letter was sent to King William IV by 13 Māori chiefs from the Bay of Islands in 1831. Its main aim was to seek the king's protection against the French, who had recently sent a naval vessel to New Zealand. The chiefs were also concerned about inter-tribal conflict and the misconduct of British subjects, and wanted the king to defend them against lawlessness so everyone could live peaceably together.

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United Kingdom National Archives
Reference: CO201/221 Enclosure 8, no. 4

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'He Whakaputanga – Declaration of Independence - Background to the declaration', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/zoomify/35114/1831-letter-to-king-william-iv (accessed 21 November 2019)

Story by Basil Keane, published 20 Jun 2012