Talk:Treaty of Waitangi

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Discussion on what should be in the Lede (including orthography)[edit]

A recent edit war indicates that a discussion is needed. First a summary of how the edit war progressed.

  • Prior to 30 November, 2020, the text of the lede was:

    "The English version was translated into Maori before being signed. See Te Tiriti o Waitangi for that text."

  • @Te Karere: adjusted the text to say:

    "Te Tiriti o Waitangi was written on nine separate sheets. The original sheet (the Waitangi sheet) was written in te reo Māori. The Waikato-Manukau sheet was the only sheet written in English. Signed by 39 of the over 500 non-British signatories, its text is found below. See Te Tiriti o Waitangi for the original text."

    N.B. This change corrected the wrong statement of translation. The English and Māori versions are not direct translations in either direction.

  • @TE(æ)A,ea.: stated that they were shortening the description and made two edits changing the text to say:

    "The Treaty of Waitangi was made and signed in two languages: the English and the Maori. The English language version is given below; see Te Tiriti o Waitangi for the Maori language text."

  • I reverted this change on the grounds that it changed the meaning of what Te Karere wrote.
  • This reversion was undone by TE(æ)A,ea. claiming that their change was a correction based on the enWP article.
  • I then adjusted the wording to correct the word "made" to "written" and to use the official name of the Māori language. The text then said:

    "The Treaty of Waitangi was written and signed in two languages: te reo Māori and English. The English language version is given below; see Te Tiriti o Waitangi for the version in te reo Māori."

  • TE(æ)A,ea. then reverted this on the grounds that "te reo Māori" is incorrect, but did accept the change of "made" to "written" and the reordering with Māori before English.

At this point I should state my biases in this matter. I am a New Zealander, I consult regularly with Māori colleagues on matters that relate to Māoritanga [Māori culture], and the Treaty of Waitangi is a part of my worldview.

My new proposal for wording the lede includes some of Te Karere's recension:

"There are nine copies of the Treaty of Waitangi. Only one is in English with the others in te reo Māori. The text of the English sheet is below. See Te Tiriti o Waitangi for the version of the text in te reo Māori."

If it is felt that using "te reo" is a step too far, I can accept that, nonetheless the macron must stay on the a in Māori. The word is incorrectly spelt without it. Beeswaxcandle (talk) 07:59, 1 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Beeswaxcandle: I have not engaged in “edit-warring,” as you have accused me, and I resent the allegation. You have (above) misrepresented my actions. The first edit I made was intended to shorten the description; but, noticing a mistake in the proposed new text, I corrected the whole, using the Wikipedia article on the same as context. Your proposed paragraph is incorrect as well, as there are many more than nine copies of the Treaty. It is also incorrect to say that the copy hosted on the English Wikisource is the “English sheet,” as it is more likely that this copy is derived from a secondary government source (as it is not scan-backed to the original English language copy, and no source information was originally provided). The removal of the macron in “Maori” is consistent with contemporary sources, and should be maintained. The use of “te reo Māori” is wholly inappropriate in this context; it is also not the “official name” of the language—not in the English language, at least. I believe “made” is more appropriate (as it represents an agreement made between two parties), but the text itself was “written.” The original Maori language version of the Treaty was translated from the English, and that should be represented. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 20:14, 1 December 2020 (UTC).Reply[reply]
I thank Beeswaxcandle for opening this discussion. Having allowed time for TE(æ)A,ea. to supply evidence of their position, I now propose to amend the lede to the following:

"The Treaty of Waitangi was written on nine separate sheets. Eight of the sheets, including the first (known as the Waitangi sheet), were written in the Māori language. The Waikato-Manukau sheet was the only sheet written in English. Signed by 39 of the over 500 non-British signatories, its text is found below. See Te Tiriti o Waitangi for the text of the other eight sheets."

I have maintained orthography per WP:NCNZ, hence the macron on the word 'Māori'. I am downloading the files from Archives New Zealand's Flickr and will upload them to Commons. Once the index page is complete, I will check here for further discussion. There being none or only support, I will amend the lede within seven days.Te Karere (talk) 19:41, 11 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All of the files were already available at the Archives New Zealand Tiriti category on Commons. I will now complete the index page.Te Karere (talk) 21:28, 11 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Can be viewed at Page:Te Tiriti o Waitangi - The Treaty of Waitangi - Te Tiriti ki Waikato-Manukau - Waikato-Manukau sheet..jpg. Current status: Not proofread.Te Karere (talk) 22:18, 11 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The source page has been proofread and awaits validation. Preliminary transclusion complete. I will now amend the lede.Te Karere (talk) 01:29, 13 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Te Karere: I emended the note again, without noticing this discussion had occurred; my apologies. I objected to the use of “nine copies” because there are obviously more than nine copies in existence; your reference was to the original nine sheets, which should be distinguished (if it should be mentioned). The Wikipedia article states that the Maori text was a translation of the English text. I completely reverted your change to this description, because I believed that it was made without discussion; for which I apologise. However, I believe that some of the information in your proposed note is unnecessary. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 01:46, 7 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • TE(æ)A,ea.: According to Orange (2021, p. 48)[1], there were over 200 copies (all bar one in te reo Māori). Only nine are held by Archives New Zealand. Only one of those nine is in English, the Waikato-Manukau Sheet. This page is about that one sheet. Wikipedia is a place for reliable sources, citation, and reason. Before editing the lede further, try validating - this would be a contribution of value to this page. Te Karere (talk) 02:26, 7 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Sorry - just realised somebody else already validated it back in May. Te Karere (talk) 02:32, 7 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Te Karere: The page is already validated, so my contributions on that front are unnecessary. I cannot read the book. The Wikipedia article gives nine sheets, one of which (the one transcluded here) is in English. TE(æ)A,ea. (talk) 02:33, 7 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. Orange, Claudia (2021). The Treaty of Waitangi = Te Tiriti o Waitangi : an illustrated history ([3rd] ed.). Wellington. ISBN 9781988587189.