Ko Te Wakaminenga o Nga Hapu o Nu Tireni

Sovereign Hapu Parliament

In our constitution, He Wakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni 1835, stipulates our sovereign authority as being “Ko te Wakaminenga o Nga Hapu o Nu Tireni”, which means the gathering of the many hapu (tribes) of Nu Tireni.  (Nu Tireni is sometimes spelt  – Nu Tirene, or Niu Tireni, or Nu Tirani depending on the scribe at the time as the Maori language was mostly unwritten).

The Wakaputanga (Constitution) provides a framework for national self-governance and consists of four [4] articles and four [4] major objectives of the Wakaminenga.

These include:

  • Framing of laws
  • Dispensation of Justice
  • Maintaining Peace and Good Social Order
  • Regulation of Trade.

The need for constitutional transition came about due to our chiefs participating in global trade mainly to Australia and the Pacific Rim.  However, trade also reached as far as America, Africa, and Europe. Back in the early 1700s, many Maori were crewmen on whaling and trading ships, some even owned their ships. It wasn’t until 1830 some of the chiefs were stopped from trading in a foreign port that they realized the need for a national flag and ship register for our country, beforehand they had come under the protection order of the NSW Governor-General that later transpired to the Pacific Order for the Protection of Pacific Islanders. The chiefs then wrote to the English King William IV about the issue and then the King gave the St Georges Cross flag for them to use while trading under a British Protectorate. A few years later in 1834  with the help of missionaries, the chiefs then chose a flag for our country. This is called the Te Kara Kotahi (the first flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand).