Australasia 1840: Colony of New Zealand
After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi (1840), the British proclaimed their sovereignty over the main islands of New Zealand, thereby thwarting French and New Zealand Company attempts to establish their own administrations. Initially a dependency of New South Wales, New Zealand was made a separate Crown Colony in November 1840.
21 May 1840 Hobson’s Proclamation▲
William Hobson, Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand, proclaimed British sovereignty over all New Zealand—the North Island on the basis of cession through the Treaty of Waitangi and the southern islands by right of discovery. The proclamation—made months before the last signings of the Treaty of Waitangi—prevented the New Zealand Company from forming its own government around Cook Strait. Traveling south with the treaty, Hobson’s deputy, Major Thomas Bunbury, made further proclamations confirming British sovereignty over Stewart Island on 5 June and over the South Island on 17 June.
17 Aug 1840 Settlement of Akaroa▲
In 1838 Captain Jean François Langlois purchased land in the Banks Peninsula of New Zealand from 12 Kāi Tahu chiefs, founding the Nanto-Bordelaise Company on his return to France. With support from the government of King Louis-Philippe, the company transported 80 colonists aboard Comte de Paris to New Zealand in 1840 only to discover that the British had preemptively claimed the entire country. Nonetheless, the colonists proceeded to found the settlement of Port Louis-Philippe (Akaroa), hosting a British Magistrate while the French maintained law and order until the question of sovereignty was settled. Eventually a deal was reached and the colony’s formal ties with France ended in 1846.
18 Sep 1840–3 May 1841 Founding of Auckland▲
Soon after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the new Governor of New Zealand, William Hobson, chose to transfer the capital from Russell in the Bay of Islands to the better situated Waitematā Harbour. The new settlement was named Auckland for George Eden, Earl of Auckland, then Viceroy of India. In 1841 Auckland was officially declared the capital of New Zealand, while the old capital of Russell was soon abandoned.
16 Nov 1840 Colony of New Zealand▲
The British government issued the Charter for Erecting the Colony of New Zealand, establishing New Zealand as a Crown Colony separate from New South Wales. Accordingly, Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson was promoted to Governor on 3 May 1841 and an Executive Council and a Legislative Council set up.