James Busby’s final English [language] draft, written on 4th February, 1840, from which Te Tiriti (the true and only Treaty, signed by over 500 chiefs), was translated into the native language by Rev. Henry Williams and his son, Edward. This is known as the Littlewood document and is the only English document that cross-translates perfectly with Te Tiriti (apart from the necessary date change from 4th February to 6th February). It was signed by over 500 chiefs whereas the bogus Freeman document, that is used by the Government as the “English translation” does not match the final English language draft and was signed by only a few chiefs who were not present at Waitangi for the 6 Feb signing.

The reason why the Government promotes the false Freeman version at the expense of the Littlewood document is that it (and Te Tiriti) mentions only “lands, dwellings and all their property” whereas Freeman’s false version mentions “lands and estates, forests, fisheries and other properties.” Freeman’s falsehoods start at the very first line, with this opening:


the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland . . .

Compare that to the final English language draft, below.

The Final Draft in English

Her Majesty Victoria, Queen of . . .

England . . .

. . . in Her gracious consideration for the chiefs and people of New Zealand, and her desire to preserve to them their land and to maintain peace and order amongst them, has been pleased to appoint an officer to treat with them for the cession of the Sovreignty [sic] of their country and of the islands adjacent to the Queen. Seeing that many of Her Majesty’s subjects have already settled in the country and are constantly arriving; And that it is desirable for their protection as well as the protection of the natives to establish a government amongst them.

Her Majesty has accordingly been pleased to appoint me William Hobson a captain in the Royal Navy to be Governor of such parts of New Zealand as may now or hereafter be ceded to her Majesty and proposes to the chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and other chiefs to agree to the following articles:

Article First

The chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes and the other chiefs who have not joined the confederation, cede to the Queen of England for ever the entire Sovreignty [sic] of their country.

Article Second

The Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and tribes and to all the people of New Zealand the possession of their lands, dwellings and all their property. But the chiefs of the Confederation and the other chiefs grant to the Queen the exclusive right of purchasing such land as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to sell at such prices as shall be agreed upon between them and the persons appointed by the Queen to purchase from them.

Article Third

In return for the cession of the Sovreignty [sic] to the Queen, the people of New Zealand shall be protected by the Queen of England and the rights and privileges of British subjects will be granted to them.

William Hobson
Consul and Lieutenant Governor.

Now we the chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand being assembled at Waitangi, and we the other chiefs of New Zealand having understood the meaning of these articles, accept them and agree to them all. In witness thereof our names or marks are affixed. Done at Waitangi on the 4th of February, 1840.

Note: the word “sovereignty” is misspelled three times and the date, 4th February, reflected the date of the draft and not of the signing. This document is the only one in English that is a true match for Te Tiriti in the native Maori language.

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