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Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand

A Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand was the title of a declaration of independence of the "United Tribes of New Zealand", drafted by the official British Resident of New Zealand, James Busby, and signed by himself and 35 Maori chefs at Waitangi on October 28, 1835.

The document was a reponse to concerns over the lawlessness of British subjects in New Zealand and to a fear that France would declare sovereignty over the islands. It also arose from a desire in Maori society to establish a form of Maori government.

The hereditary chiefs and heads of the tribes of the Northern parts of New Zealand declared the constitution of an independent state. They agreed to meet in Waitangi each year to frame laws, and invited the southern tribes of New Zealand to "lay aside their private animosities" and join them.

A copy of the document was sent to the King of the United Kingdom, asking him to be the protector of the new state.

However the claim to independence only lasted until the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, in which soverignty was ceded to the United Kingdom.

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