Thomas Lindsay Buick's classic history of The Treaty of Waitangi is a mainstay of New Zealand history. Buick wrote 12 books on New Zealand historical topics after working as a political journalist in Wellington. He became an influential figure in the historical field despite a lack of academic qualifications. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1914, when this book was first published.
In this book Buick recounts the events leading up to the Treaty of Waitangi, the controversial document (even now) signed by British officials and Maori chiefs which ceded New Zealand to the British Empire in 1840. Buick claims that the need for a formal handover of authority to Britain arose from the rowdy misdeeds of sealers, whalers, and escaped convicts from Australia, who needed to be kept in check. The work was first published in 1914; a revised edition in 1933, and a third edition was published in 1936. The Lakeview Publishing reprint is of the first edition.
One of the great strengths of this book for modern readers is Buick's extensive quotes from earlier eye-witness publications about the treaty. He brings many points of view and uses a reporter's eye to quote without making his own judgments. Buick's work has been recognised as establishing the Treaty of Waitangi as the nation's founding document.
388 pages, A5 format paperback.