How the Rogue James Freeman Version Of The Treaty Came Into Being

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How the Rogue James Freeman Version Of The Treaty Came Into Being1 What evidently happened is that Clendon kept the final English draft amongst his private papers which, in due course (but before 1856), were passed to Henry Littlewood, his solicitor, who had practised law in Auckland since 1841. It then disappeared from sight until it was found by Beryl Needham, great-granddaughter of Henry Littlewood, in mid-March 1989 amongst domestic linen in a sideboard in the living room of her deceased mother’s house. It was in a rough envelope with ‘Treaty of Waitangi’ scrawled on the back in ballpoint. Thus, nearly 149 years after its disappearance, a document which is a vital link in the process of the founding of our country was found. Some civil servant decided to call it the ‘Littlewood Treaty’. What it says is virtually the same as Te Tiriti, the document in Maori signed at Waitangi. It has been ignored almost entirely by officialdom which clearly does not want to know about it, as it gives a severe jolt to official beliefs of which it is an indictment. Thus it was ignored on the ‘Treaty 2 U’ caravan which was paraded around the country in 2007, supposedly to inform the citizens (and particularly school children) Nabout these things. The quite spurious reason given to me is that ‘it isn’t signed’. Well, one doesn’t sign drafts formally! The explanation is something like this. While the cat was away the mouse was playing. I mentioned earlier James Stuart Freeman, 3rd class clerk in the NSW Government, was palmed off on Hobson by Governor Gipps as his private secretary – incompetent, pretentious, arrogant. Amongst English signatories to the Treaty he, uniquely, signed himself: ‘Jas. Stuart Freeman Gentleman’. Now, following his instructions, Hobson had been very careful to draft the Treaty in the plainest possible words. Freeman thought this was not good enough and set about drafting texts in very flowery language, as can be seen from his original rough drafts which survive, in what is now known as ‘Royal Style’. After the Treaty was signed he began writing English versions the way he thought they should be and over three months produced several versions in his flowery language. Five of these were sent overseas to important people whom he seemed to think ought to get this sort of thing. Hobson did initial two of them beforehand amongst material prepared by Freeman for despatch, but mostly Freeman just signed for him. Hobson was a very sick man and depended on his secretary who simply let him down. Proof of how sick he was? He had a huge stroke on March 1st, 1840, and died in 1842. Why did Hobson sign this rogue version? Answer? He was too sick to pay attention to great detail, so simply had to trust Freeman. To act in this way was a monumental error, as we have since discovered. On 13th March, 1840, a manuscript copy of the Treaty (in Maori), written by Freeman and signed by Willoughby Shortland, was issued to Captain W.G. Symonds who was assigned to collect signatures on the south side of the Manukau Harbour (with the help of James Hamlin, an excellent Maori linguist), at Waikato Heads (assisted by Rev Robert Maunsell, head of the

1 Credit to Bruce Moon. Twisting The Treaty, pp 39-41

Willoughby Shortland

mission there) and at Kawhia. Symonds himself was said to have a vocabulary of 3,000 Maori words and was a competent army officer. However, at Manukau he found the going tough - a chief, Rewa, a disciple of Pompallier, created a lot of opposition. By 3rd April, Symonds had collected only three signatures so he decided to head south. Meanwhile, Maunsell was anxiously awaiting his arrival as he wanted to use a large gathering on 11th April, planned by the Maori chiefs themselves, as an opportunity for Treaty signing. In fact 1,100 people assembled but, as Symonds had not yet arrived, Maunsell decided to improvise.

William Colenso

He had in his possession one of Colenso’s printed copies of the Treaty (in Maori), probably sent him by Freeman about 4th March when (as recent research has revealed2) Freeman, unauthorised, sent him a copy on a large sheet of paper of one of his ‘Royal Style’ efforts which had been signed by Hobson in a very feeble hand.3 (It is also possible that the printed copy of the Treaty was sent by Colenso on 4th March with a large consignment of printed material brought by Captain Gordon Brown.) Maunsell, who was himself a good speaker of Maori, was very successful unaided at the meeting and many chiefs wanted to sign. The problem was that there was only room for five signatures at the bottom of the printed Maori sheet. He could perhaps have used the back but instead he put the handwritten Freeman sheet (in English) to use for a further 32 signatures. He did not bother to comment on having done this or his reason for doing so. When Symonds eventually arrived with the official document, he found that so many southern chiefs had signed Freeman’s sheet that he did not ask them to sign again on the official document but sent it south by messenger for Rev. John Whiteley at Kawhia to get it signed by the few there who had not yet done so. Rev. John Whiteley, later murdered by rebel Maoris in Taranaki in 1869, obtained nine more signatures while Symonds returned to Manukau for another attempt, taking the documents Maunsell had used and getting another seven signatures on the Freeman paper. We know this from his official report, which says that ‘upwards of forty signatures were obtained’ (actually 47). He did not mention the Freeman paper whose use was a unique departure from the practice of signing the Maori version, before and after. If this had been of any importance or significance beyond merely being a place to sign, he would surely have said so. In fact, the clear official intention was that Maunsell should use the copy of the real Treaty (in Maori) being brought to him by Symonds as was the case everywhere else in the country, and not one signed by mischance because the official document (in Maori) was late in arriving. There was no need at any of the meetings for an English text. Proceedings would have been conducted entirely in Maori, given the ability in it of all concerned.

2 3

Martin Doutre, personal communication, May, 2007 R. Maunsell to Lay Secretary, 30 March, 1840 CMS Archives CN/M v 12 pp 308-9

Now here is the great irony of it all. In a spate of revisionist activity since 1975 this entirely spurious document has been elevated to being the “Signed Treaty in English”. Its text now forms Schedule One of the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 and it now officially displaces the real Treaty. For a start this is contrary to international law which states that the version in the native language takes precedence. Reams of paper have been used arguing that Hobson and his helpers did a poor job by producing English and Maori texts whose meaning was so different. Gallons of ink have been used to argue that, because this false treaty is so different from the real Treaty, the Williams were incompetent translators even though it has been admitted that the final English text went missing some time after the Williams had finished with it. Since three copies of that text exist in American archives, the officials concerned should have been able to find them, given that amateur investigators have done so since. From this spurious document, spurious conclusions have been drawn by officialdom. It is claimed now that the Treaty is a “partnership between the Crown and the Maori people”. It is not. In Article One of the real Treaty the Maori chiefs cede the entire sovereignty of the country for ever. Article Three in return grants all Maoris the rights and privileges of British subjects and the protection of the Queen which they wanted. Now usually overlooked, this unique award to a native race was a prize to be valued. To recognise this, we need only reflect on how many people around the world today yearn for British citizenship. Article Two makes certain guarantees to all the people of New Zealand, in effect affirming their rights as British subjects to own property, and specifies rules for the sale of Maori land. That is what the Treaty says – clear, short and succinct – and that is what it means. There was no time for deviousness and there was none. We may note that Article Three releases all Maori slaves held by other Maoris since, as already mentioned, slavery had been abolished throughout the British Empire in August, 1838. Hone Heke for one, failed to release his slaves forthwith. It also took some time for this to become effective in the Chatham Islands where the Morioris (an isolated Polynesian group) had been brutally enslaved by Ngati Tama and Ngati Mutunga from Taranaki. Just what property was guaranteed to all the people has been widely debated, since Freeman’s false treaty specifies ‘forests and fisheries’ which the real Treaty does not. We recall the Yate/Rewa letter of 1831 mentioned above and signed by 13 northern chiefs which says “We are people without possessions”. Six reasons why we should reject this document as the final English draft? First, to have Maori chiefs sign this English version of the Treaty was / is highly irregular. There are 47 signatures on this English version. The total number of chiefs who signed was 540. In other words, all the chiefs who signed, signed the Maori version, with the exception of this version. This alone raises a huge red flag. Second, Maunsell read the Maori version to the chiefs at Waikato heads, not the English version. So when Maori signed the English text, they thought they were signing for what they had just heard in Maori. So for modern day activists to run with the rogue James Freeman version is an insult to the chiefs who signed it. Third, this rogue James Freeman version of the Treaty varies enormously from the Te Tiriti, the Treaty in Maori. For example, the Treaty in English is 568 words, yet the Treaty in Maori is only 480 words. Fourth, the Littlewood draft, the genuine final English draft of the Treaty, is a mirror image of Te Tiriti. There are only two differences between the two. The first difference is the date. The date of the Littlewood draft is 4th of February. The date of Te Tiriti is the 6th of February. The second difference? The word ‘Maori’ was inserted into Article three of the Maori text last minute by the Treaty writers. This word does not appear in the Littlewood draft.

Fifth, forensic analysis proves that the Colenso copy read to the chiefs at Waikato Heads was pinned and wax sealed to the Rogue James Freeman version. What did this signify? It signified that the signatures gathered were from chiefs who thought they were signing for the Maori version read to them. In other words, they were not signing off on the wording of the James Freeman Rogue version. It was only used as paper to gather an overflow of signatures. Sixth, Hobson’s signature on the Rogue James Freeman version of the Treaty was weak and irregular. It bears witness to the fact that Hobson was sick and not in this right mind when he signed it. Below is the actual Colenso copy of the Treaty read out to the Chiefs on April 11. Notice the signatures on the bottom. This was on of 200 copies printed by Colenso on the 17th of February 1840 . This

was a direct copy of Te Tiriti, not a translation of it. What does this mean? It means it is a perfect copy of the Treaty signed on February 6th, 1840 at Waitangi. What is the significance of this? To establlish what the final English draft was, we need to translate this Maori text into English. Well, there are only two English texts of the Treaty. One is the Littlewood Draft, and the other is the James Freeman Rogue Version. By comparing these two English texts with the Te Tiriti text, we will be able to ascertain quickly and accurately which one is closest in meaning and translation to the Maori text. So let’s do that. Here is the Littewood draft.

The Littewood Draft. Preamble

The Rogue James Freeman Version. Preamble

Her Majesty Victoria, Queen of England in her gracious HER MAJESTY VICTORIA Queen of the United consideration for the chiefs and people of New Zealand, Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland regarding with and her desire to preserve them their land and to main- Her Royal Favour the Native Chiefs and Tribes of tain peace and order amongst them, New Zealand and anxious to protect their just Rights has been pleased to appoint an officer to treat with them and Property and to secure to them the enjoyment for the cession of the Sovereignty of their country and of of Peace and Good Order has deemed it necessary the islands adjacent to the Queen. in consequence of the great number of Her Majesty’s Seeing that already many of Her Majesty’s subjects have Subjects who have already settled in New Zealand already settled in the country and are constantly arriving: and the rapid extension of Emigration both from And that it is desirable for their protection as well as Europe and Australia which is still in progress to conthe protection of the natives to establish a government stitute and appoint a functionary properly authorized amongst them. to treat with the Aborigines of New Zealand for the Her Majesty has accordingly been pleased to appoint me recognition of Her Majesty’s Sovereign authority over William Hobson a captain in the Royal Navy to be Gov- the whole or any part of those islands—Her Majesty ernor of such parts of New Zealand therefore being desirous to establish a settled form of as may now or hereafter be ceded to Her Majesty Civil Government with a view to avert the evil conand proposes to the chiefs of the Confederation of United sequences which must result from the absence of the Tribes of New Zealand and the other chiefs to agree to necessary Laws and Institutions alike to the native the following articles. population and to Her subjects has been graciously pleased to empower and to authorize me William Hobson a Captain in Her Majesty’s Royal Navy Consul and Lieutenant Governor of such parts of New Zealand as may be or hereafter shall be ceded to her Majesty to invite the confederated and independent Chiefs of New Zealand to concur in the following Articles and Conditions.

Article 1 “The chiefs of the confederation of united tribes, and the other chiefs who have not joined the confederation, cede to the Queen of England forever the entire sovereignty of their country.”

Article 1

The Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand and the separate and independent Chiefs who have not become members of the Confederation cede to Her Majesty the Queen of England absolutely and without reservation all the rights and powers of Sovereignty which the said Confederation or Individual Chiefs respectively exercise or possess, or may be supposed to exercise or to possess over their respective Territories as the sole Sovereigns thereof.

Article 2

Article 2

Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and “The Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand chiefs and the tribes and to all the people of New Zealand, the possession of their lands, dwellings and all their and to the respective families and individuals thereproperty. But the chiefs of the Confederation of the United of the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other Tribes and the other chiefs grant to the Queen, the exclusive rights of purchasing such lands as the proprietors properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to thereof may be disposed to sell at such prices as may be retain the same in their possession; but the Chiefs agreed upon between them and the person appointed by of the United Tribes and the individual Chiefs yield the Queen to purchase from them.” to Her Majesty the exclusive right of Preemption over such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to alienate at such prices as may be agreed upon between the respective Proprietors and persons appointed by Her Majesty to treat with them in that behalf.

Article 3

“In return for the cession of their sovereignty 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.”


“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 of them and agree to them all. In witness whereof our names or marks are affixed. Done at Waitangi on the 4th of February, 1840”

------------As one author puts it “The Littlewood document’s text mirrors the Maori translation text perfectly throughout in terms of: a) sequence of statements, b) word weight per sentence, and c) the use of synonymous words in each language. Under the strictest crtieria one wishes to apply scientifically, the littewood document fits the expected profile of the final english draft.”

Article 3

In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.


Now therefore We the Chiefs of the Confederation of the United Tribes of New Zealand being assembled in Congress at Victoria in Waitangi and We the Separate and Independent Chiefs of New Zealand claiming authority over the Tribes and Territories which are specified after our respective names, having been made fully to understand the Provisions of the foregoing Treaty, accept and enter into the same in the full spirit and meaning thereof: in witness of which we have attached our signatures or marks at the places and the dates respectively specified. ------------------------

How do activists explain the vast difference between the Rogue James Freeman Version of The Treaty and Te Tiriti? They say that Williams was a poor translator! And I am not joking.

There are only two differences between the Littl- There are literally dozens of differences between The wood draft and Te Tiriti. Rogue James Freeman Version and Te Tiriti. The Littlewood final draft has 375 words. Te Tiriti has 480 words

The Rogue James Freeman Treaty in English has 568 words Te Tiriti has 480 words.

The Littlewood draft is a mirror image.

The mismatch is shockingly large.

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