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Last updated: 2 June 2009

British Resident

Collection | Ref # BR | Held by Archives New Zealand, Head Office, Wellington

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British Resident


British Resident

Level of description:



.5 linear metres

Reference number:


Former NRAM reference number:



The British Resident's Archives consist of Inwards Letters written between 12 October 1832 and 28 October 1834, and addressed to James Busby, New Zealand's first and only British Resident. Appointed by the Colonial Office in 1832, Busby took up residence at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands in 1833. The principle task of the British Resident, outlined in instructions from Governor Richard Bourke in New South Wales, was to protect settlers and traders, prevent outrages by Europeans against Maori, and to apprehend escaped convicts. In short, he was to provide a British presence. However, the Resident had no legal powers, and was not entitled to troops. His role, in effect, was that of mediator only.

The Inwards Correspondence covers all manner of requests directed to the Resident from individuals residing in New Zealand, Sydney and London. With the arrival of Hobson in New Zealand in January 1840, the role of British Resident effectively came to an end.

With the demise of the British Residency it is assumed the papers were taken over by the Colonial Secretary and later held by the Department of Internal Affairs. National Archives holds the Inwards Letters for the period 1832-1834 only.


Dates covered:

1832 - 1839

Access conditions:

Originals restricted. Microfilm copies available

Finding aids:

Record group list available

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Missionaries · British Resident

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