1814. Three lay missionaries, William Hall, Thomas Kendall and John King, helped him set up the first mission in New Zealand, at Rangihoua. The local chief, Ruatara, who had met Marsden on a ship returning to Australia from England, interpreted the sermon for Māori.
1831 Māori petition the British government growing lawlessness among Europeans in New Zealand and fears of a French annexation of the country led 13 northern chiefs to ask King William IV for his protection. Missionary William Yate helped the chiefs draft the letter to the King. The Crown acknowledged the petition and promised protection.
1833 British Resident arrives
To protect Māori, the growing number of British settlers and its own trade interest, the British government appointed James Busby as its official British Resident – a type of junior consular representative with little power. He arrived in May 1833 and built a house on land he bought at Waitangi.
1835 Declaration of Independence
was drawn up by British Resident James Busby without authorisation from his superiors. It asserted the independence of New Zealand, with all sovereign power and authority resting with the hereditary chiefs and tribes. By 1839 the declaration had been signed by 52 Māori chiefs.
1837 Britain decides to establish a colony
In December 1837 the British government decided in principle to intervene in New Zealand to ensure that colonisation was regulated and that land transactions that defrauded Māori were stopped. The government had initially tried to avoid assuming responsibility. Instead it had attempted to influence the interaction of Māori and British settlers through the missionaries and by sending British Resident James Busby to work with chiefs. In mid-1839 the British government decided to annex at least part of New Zealand to New South Wales.
1839 Tory sets sail
The first of the New Zealand Company ships, the Tory, set sail for New Zealand in May 1839. The company had an ambitious plan to settle New Zealand, and its agents aboard the Tory were to buy land at Port Nicholson (Wellington Harbour). The first shiploads of company emigrants left for New Zealand in September 1839.
1839 Consul appointed
The British government appointed William Hobson as consul to New Zealand in 1839. Hobson was instructed to obtain sovereignty over all or part of New Zealand with the consent of a sufficient number of chiefs. New Zealand would come under the authority of George Gipps, the governor of New South Wales, and Hobson would become Gipps’ lieutenant-governor. Land-buying agents continued swarming over New Zealand in anticipation of purchases.
1840 Land purchases prohibited
Governor Gipps prohibited further private land purchases from Māori, and no existing claims were to be recognised until they had been investigated by the authorities. William Hobson repeated the proclamation at the Bay of Islands on 30 January 1840.
1840 Treaty of Waitangi signed
The Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February 1840. The previous day a draft of the Treaty in English and Māori was discussed before about 500 Māori and 200 Pākehā. Many Māori were suspicious of what was intended, but Tāmati Wāka Nene among others helped sway the chiefs towards acceptance. The meeting reassembled on 6 February; the text was read again, and signing commenced. About 40 chiefs signed on the first day; by September 1840 another 500 chiefs around the country had signed. Almost all of the chiefs signed copies of the Māori text of the Treaty.
1840 Sovereignty proclaimed over New Zealand
On 21 May William Hobson proclaimed sovereignty over all of New Zealand: over the North Island on the basis of cession through the Treaty of Waitangi and over the southern islands by right of discovery. Māori agreement to the terms of the Treaty was still being sought. Hobson may have wanted to declare the Crown’s authority over the whole country because he had learned of possible moves by the New Zealand Company to set up its own administration around Cook Strait. His deputy, Major Thomas Bunbury, also made proclamations of sovereignty over Stewart Island on 5 June by right of discovery (he claimed that no Māori could be found there to sign the Treaty), and over the South Island on 17 June by virtue of cession.
1841 Native Protectorate Department created
Lay missionary George Clarke became chief protector of aborigines in 1841. Clarke and his staff were also given a second and conflicting role as land purchasers for the Crown. Clarke persuaded the governor to free him of land-purchasing responsibilities, but his sub-protectors retained their dual roles. In 1846 Governor George Grey, suspicious of anyone other than himself exercising influence over Māori, disbanded the Native Protectorate and appointed a native secretary to implement his instructions.