Treaty of Waitangi

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Waitangi, Treaty of

(Feb. 6, 1840), a pact between some Maori tribes of New Zealand and the British Gov. William Hobson. The treaty protected Maori land interests in exchange for recognition of British sovereignty, though the Maori version used a term better translated as governorship. Infractions by the settlers' government led to tensions and eventually war. Waitangi Day (Feb. 6) is New Zealand's national birthday.