Author(s): Claudia Orange
Few subjects in recent years have created as much debate as the Treaty of Waitangi. Its history is a fascinating one, that embraces not only events of 1840 but also forces leading to the making of a treaty and the impacts, protests, and negotiations that followed for the next century and a half. Claudia Orange offers here a straightforward account of a complex narrative. A wide range of illustrations brings the history to life: the different kinds of people who negotiated and signed the Treaty are vividly presented, the many periods of our past are portrayed; the context of this important document comes to life throughout the book.Perhaps the most significant feature of this book is the remarkable summary of the events of the 1980s and 1990s. In these years, the Waitangi Tribunal and iwi undertook massive research, to establish the validity of land claims; major settlements were made, and more claims are close to settlement. The Tribunal process has been questioned, changed and established. Protests have continued ÂÂ? have impacts that were not foreseen even twenty years ago. Tribal identity has been challenged; major disputes about the distribution of resources remain unresolved. The climate of Pakeha opinion has shifted ÂÂ? there is a groundswell of comprehension of Maori grievance, and a substantial backlash against settlement and ÂÂ?grievance. In two compelling chapters, Claudia Orange describes the contemporary world of the Treaty of Waitangi with elegance and simplicity. Again, excellent photographs capture the spirit of the times.A final feature of the book is the list of signatories ÂÂ? a list that is of great interest to Maori, as well as historians. First published 2004 Format 265 x 215 mm Length 200 pp Approx 180 black and white illustrations Claudia OrangeÂÂ?s authoritative history, The Treaty of Waitangi (Allen & Unwin 1987; BWB, 1992), won the Goodman Fielder Wattie Award in 1988, and has informed current debate about Treat issues ever since. General editor of the award-winning The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, and Director of History and Pacific Cultures at the museum of Te Papa, she has been working for many years at the centre of historical research and writing in Wellington.