This coin was struck to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840.
It depicts Chief Tamati Waka Nene shaking hands with Captain William Hobson, R.N., beneath a crown.
Chief Tamati Waka Nene is described in the Annual Report of the Royal Mint, 1934 as "one of the paramount chiefs of the time, who was largely instrumental in persuading his fellow chiefs to sign the Treaty". He is depicted shaking hands with Captain William Hobson, the Lieutenant- Governor. The Treaty was written shortly before it was signed and translated into Maori on 4th February for consideration by about 500 Maori people. On the 6th. February about 40 chiefs signed the Maori version of the document starting with Hone Heke. Copies of the document were then sent around the country and by September 1840 about 500 more chiefs had signed.
"The Treaty is a broad statement of principles on which the British and Maori made a political compact to found a nation state and build a government in New Zealand. The Treaty has three articles. In the English version, these are that Maori ceded the sovereignty of New Zealand to Britain; Maori gave the Crown an exclusive right to buy lands they wished to sell, and, in return, they were guaranteed full rights of ownership of their lands, forests, fisheries and other possessions; and that Maori would have the rights and privileges of British subjects."
The coin was not issued to mark a particular anniversary of the signing of the Treaty, nor, as is sometimes suggested, was it to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of George V which occurred in 1935.
According to Te Ara, The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand:
"The Waitangi Crown, which was issued in 1935, is not strictly a commemorative coin, but the circumstances of its issue means it functions like one. It was struck after the New Zealand Numismatic Society approached the government to suggest a new coin marking the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand's founding document, in 1840. The coin was designed by New Zealand artist James Berry and adapted by British artist Percy Metcalfe. It shows Ngāpuhi chief Tāmati Waka Nene and the first governor of New Zealand, William Hobson, shaking hands above the legend 'Waitangi'.
Because the issue was limited (1,128 coins were struck) and the government charged more for each coin than their face value, they were purchased as souvenirs and did not circulate."