Te Papa and Queen Victoria’s charter

Opinion by Ross Baker, Spokesperson for the One New Zealand Foundation Inc.
On a recent visit to Te Papa I was surprised that there was no mention or display of Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter dated 16 November 1840.

The One New Zealand Foundation Inc wrote to Te Papa under the Official Information Act on the 17 February 2014 asking, “Does Te Papa have a copy of Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter and if so, why is it not given its rightful place at Te Papa?” On the 23 March 2014 I received the following reply from Clair McClintock, Senior Advisor, Office of the Chief Executive, Te Papa Museum of New Zealand, Wellington, “Te Papa does not have a copy of the Charter. As you are aware, a copy is held at Archives New Zealand. However, we are well aware of its significance in establishing the colony of NZ and would take that into consideration if we were re-developing an exhibition as e.g. on the Treaty of Waitangi or the founding of NZ”.

The One New Zealand Foundation Inc is absolutely appalled that Te Papa does not have a copy of Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter dated the 16 November 1840. The Royal Charter has far more significance to the majority of New Zealanders than the Treaty of Waitangi and should take pride of place at Te Papa.

Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter dated the 16th November 1840 is the most important document in the Constitution Room in Wellington. It was the document that made New Zealand into an independent British Colony with its first Governor, first Constitution and a government to enact laws with courts and judges to enforce those laws, all under the watchful eye of Great Britain. It was our true Founding Document and first Constitution.

We became independent from NSW on the 16th November 1840.

Once the 540 chiefs had signed the Treaty of Waitangi, it had achieved its purpose; to cede the chief’s territories and governments to Queen Victoria in return for, “the same rights as the people of England“. Lt. Governor Hobson was not instructed or had the authority to give Maori special rights in the Treaty not already enjoyed by all the people of England. With New Zealand now a British Colony, all the people of New Zealand came under the jurisdiction of one flag and one law, irrespective of race, colour or creed To wait until Te Papa “re-developing an exhibition as e.g. on the Treaty of Waitangi or the founding of NZ“, will further misleads the thousands of New Zealanders and people from overseas that visits Te Papa each year to learn our history.

Now is the time Te Papa must be “re-developed” as it has misled the people for far too long by omitting Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter dated the 16 November 1840.

November the 16th should be celebrated as “New Zealand Day”.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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  1. Ellie, 2. April 2014, 10:10

    The charter should be displayed along side the Treaty of Waitangi.
    That would show that the bipartisan foundation of New Zealand and the fact that the Maori were not accorded the same rights as British citizens

  2. Robin Tamihere, 4. December 2014, 1:47

    Whilst Maori carried out utu & war..ed between tribes & sub-tribe, the introduction of muskets simply took it to another level. However while others war..ed, there were those that learnt adjusted and traded. History has made Maori out to be unintelligent & this is not the case. About the time Captain Cook located NZ, 1769, George William Frederick aka King George lll came calling on Maori in the Far North, struck up a contract on a 60/40 share paid in Gold Bullion with King Tautari, for ALL of the Kauri the Maori could supply. Kauri was harvested all over the top half of the North Island and shipped all over the planet, eg Sydney, and England to name two. King George lll set up an account for Maori in England and paid 60% in Gold Bullion to Maori. This account was used to fund other Nations and to establish sixty (60) commercial Trading Banks around the globe. The 60th Bank was the NZ BNZ. That’s right, the BNZ was set up using Maori funds, however a few years back the NZ Government and I believe the FBI & CIA sold that Bank for 1.5 trillion dollars. NZ or Maori saw nothing of those funds. Now remember Winston Peters and the “Wine Box Inquiry”; well that was to do with the sale of the BNZ, and the suitcases of money that were laundered in one of the Pacific Island tax havens. (merchant bankers Michael Fay & Richwhite ) & nz government… Well that was all covered up, people paid for their silence… Anyway from 1770 to 1840 Maori owned their own sailing ships and traded all over the globe until the Treaty of Waitangi was signed and they were shut down, wiped out by the European. But the multitude of Bank accounts still exist today. NZ & Maori should be wealthy, why not?? This is only a drop in the bucket of the Wealth in these accounts. But we are being ripped by this government. You figure it out… My name is Robin Tamihere I’m Tangata Whenua not Tangata Maori?.

  3. Robin Tamihere, 4. December 2014, 8:30

    Greetings Ross, I believe you will not receive an answer to your emails on your suggestions for a constitution. Because I believe this government has not the authority to progress the constitution into reality. Why can’t they progress the Flag issue any further?. This may be the reason: that the Declaration of Independence 1835 (DOI) is the real deal. That the United Tribe’s Flag is the real deal. Here is the History on the United Tribes Flag, the Independence Flag. King William lV helped to design the flag and in it he put his Sovereign Seal, he also placed the 4x black fribians to represent ALL Indigenous races on this planet (not just Maori), It also has the King George’s Cross within the flag. Now King William lV than gave the Flag “Royal Assent & Letters Patent”, than asked New South Wales (NSW) Parliament to issue a Gazette Notice regarding the flag, and also dispatched notices to all British Posts around the globe to recognize the United Tribes flag. When the flag finally arrived back in Waitangi, it received a 21 gun salute, and a ceremony, and was used thereafter on trading ships entering ports around the globe. It appears on a Boer War Medal. This Flag is a Sovereign Flag, an Independence Flag, an Indigenous Flag, and it has its own jurisdiction and laws. There is no other flag today within NZ that even comes close, or that has even received even one of the attributes/recognitions that this flag has received. WHY?. Ross you can’t just take the DOI or the Treaty of Waitangi (TOW) on face value meanings, there is a more expansive explanation to each Article within those documents. My opinion is in the TOW, Maori ceded only the sovereignty of the incoming settlers to Queen Victoria and not their own sovereignty. With people such as Busby assisting Maori (and I applaud Busby) as he knew sooner or later Maori would get screwed. And this is what has happened from 1840 through to today. Ask yourself why were all of Queen Victoria’s laws & statutes written to protect Maori from the “NSW NZ Settlers and Immigrants Parliament” also called the NZ Settlers Parliament and just plain old NZ Parliament?. And ask yourself why in the 1901 Australian Constitution it states NZ is a state of Australia?. [Abridged]

  4. Ross Baker, 22. February 2015, 14:43

    Thanks for your comments Robin. I think it’s best if you talk to Professor Ranginui Walker, past Professor of Maori Studies at Auckland University when he stated in the “1886 NZ Year Book” page 18: “The traditions are quite clear on one point, whenever crew disembarked there were already tangata whenua (prior inhabitants). The canoe ancestors of the 14-century merged with these tangata whenua tribes. From this time on the traditions abound with accounts of tribal wars over land and its resources. Warfare was the means by which tribal boundaries were defined and political relations between tribes established. Out of this period emerged 42 tribal groups whose territories became fixed after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the establishment of Pax Britannica”. (Pax Britanica – British Peace).

    Over 500 chiefs signed the Tiriti o Waitangi under the name “tangata Maori”, not tangata whenua.

    As for the Declaration of Independence, Lt Governor Hobson made sure he had a majority of the chiefs that signed the Declaration sign the Tiriti o Waitangi.

    As for the BNZ this was set up by early settlers using their money. My ancestor Alfred Buckland was involved in its creation.

    The Treaty was between Queen Victoria, representing all British Subjects and 512 Maori chiefs representing their tribes/hapus.

    New Zealand separated from NSW dependency on 3 May 1841 by Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter dated 16 November 1841.

    Unfortunately, Hongi Hika changed everything in New Zealand when he returned from England with an estimated 1800 muskets (1000 in total) and went on the rampage south killing thousand of his unarmed country men, women and children for the sport and the feasts that followed. From then, Maori were in chaos and asked the King for protection, not only from the French who had supplied Hika with the muskets in England but from extinction/genocide by their own hand.

    Yes, I agree Robin, there is more to the Treaty and the history that surrounds it than we are being told, but I believe our ancestors both Maori and Pakeha did a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances and must be honoured for their efforts.


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