Last week in Writing Room 4 used their knowledge about the Signing of the treaty to write a historical recount as someone who was there. Here are some examples of our writing.
I was sitting at the head of the table patiently, waiting for William Hobson to walk through the door of the marquee. I was nervous and my hands were shaking because everyone trusted me to say the right thing, while my eyes were ready to sleep. I had finished translating the maori treaty into english in one night with my son, Edward . William Hobson walked through the door of the marquee and everyone was looking at him. He sat down next to me and put on a hat. There were other missionaries behind me. William Hobson looked nervous because he didn't know that they were going to sign the treaty today the 6th of February. He wanted to sign it on the 7th but all the maori chiefs wanted to go back home to their families. William Hobson said
“ LETS BEGIN!”
Hone Heke stood up and told the Maori why they should sign the treaty, in Te Reo Maori. He walked towards the Treaty and gave me a little smirk. He picked up the feather and signed the Treaty. Other chiefs signed the treaty after him. Most of the chiefs were wearing feathered clothes. Some people had something to say while others choose to say nothing. When everybody had finished signing the treaty, the Maori all received a blanket and some tobacco.
Overall I think the meeting went very well and everyone seemed happy with the outcome. I only hoped that it would bring lasting peace because as William Hobson said “ We are now one people.”
As I advanced closer to the marquee I thought about how unprepared I am. I’ve been tricked by the maori chiefs, I feel so silly. All I wanted to do today is relax, writing a treaty for 540 chiefs isn’t as easy as it sounds and I only had 6 days. When I took a step into the tent I felt so shaky because they had all turned and were now staring at me. I felt like turning around going back to the ship, but instead I took a deep breath and walked to my seat that was at the head of the table. The maori had followed me with their eyes and they were still staring at me.
Sitting on my left side was Henry Williams the missionary that had translated the treaty the night before, and on my right was the owner of the land James Busby. Next to Henry was all of the other missionaries that had turned up today. In Front of the table sitting on the floor were all of the maori chiefs that were there to sign the treaty, even though most of them were unure, Hōne Heke convinced them to sign it anyway. I got up all of a sudden and shouted “LETS BEGIN”. Then Henry translated, half of them became excited at the idea of having their land back and getting rid of the whalers and sealers. Some of the chiefs were still thinking. I felt confident.
Hōne Heke was the first to sign the treaty. Before he got up to sign it, he gave a long speech in te reo to convince the other maori to sign. After he gave them all his reasons he stepped forward to sign his moko on to the treaty. After that we shook hands and performed a hongi. Then I said “Inaianei he kotahi matou (Now we are one).” After that they came up one by one, some of them had something to say and some just signed and left. When someone left they received a gift of tobacco and a blanket.
I had a tough day, when I went back to the ship all I felt like doing was going to bed and sleeping. I was exhausted and felt good about my job.
I woke up from my tent and one of the other chiefs was making breakfast for all of the chiefs. I ate my breakfast as fast as I could, so I could be the first one to sign this piece of paper that the Pakeha wanted us to sign. I strode into the marquee feeling confident and relaxed but I didn’t see the main pakeha anywhere. So I waited and waited. He still wasn’t here, so I exclaimed “I have had enough of waiting for Captain William Hobson.” All of the pakeha sitting at the table looked at me as if I was from another world, then I heard a little giggle and a whisper from the pakeha. Finally I saw the main pakeha entering the giant tent. He was shaking. It looked like he was made of jelly and his face was turning red. When he entered the marquee I tried my hardest not to laugh at him as he still tried to look confident for us but some of the chiefs were shaking their head in disappointment. Then he sat at the front of the table looking like his head was about to explode. Then I saw my most trusted pakeha Henry Williams. Having arrived in 1823, we had known him for a long time as he was a missionary in the area. Fluent in maori, he was the only reason I was signing this thing called a treaty. Williams had told us it would help us to keep our land and restore peace. Trusting him, I hoped nothing would go wrong. I looked around at all the other chiefs. But I was particularly looking at the chief from Ngati Porou as he was looking tired and not really convinced that the treaty was a good idea. But he was still going to sign it for the same reasons as I was going to sign. I was ready to sign but instead I hesitated long enough so I could encourage the other chiefs to sign the treaty. I approached the table and signed the treaty sitting on the wooden table. I had a hongi with William Hobson and then shook his hand. Afterwards I strutted back down to the other chiefs and waited for them to sign. Finally we were done so we went back to camp to sleep
Overall today was exciting and hilarious. Today was a success as I helped to convince the other maori chiefs to sign the treaty of Waitangi.