Publication details [#7285]

Fenton, Sabine and Paul Moon. 2002. The translation of the Treaty of Waitangi: a case of disempowerment. In Tymoczko, Maria and Edwin Gentzler, eds. Translation and power. Amherst: University of Massachusetts. pp. 25–44.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Source language
Target language
Person as a subject


In this paper, the authors discuss a treaty signed in 1840 that has come to represent the birth of the New Zealand nation. They show the role that translation of the treaty played in the British colonization of the Maori. The translator, Anglican missionary Henry Williams, had little experience in translation, but he was well versed in the strategic goals of colonization, for missionaries had colluded with the colonizers by creating the orthography and the dictionaries of the Maori language and then translating a host of religious documents from the West into Maori. In the treaty in question, the manipulation through translation of crucial terms led to Maori acceptance of the treaty. The authors demonstrate how an old translation is one reason for revolutionary unrest.
Source : Based on publisher information