The Crown has made its opening submissions in the Waitangi Tribunal hearing of the Ngapuhi sovereignty claim.
The tribunal is in session at Whitiora marae, north of Kerikeri, for the final week of its inquiry into events surrounding the Treaty of Waitangi and the Whakaputanga, or Declaration of Independence.
Ngapuhi say their chiefs declared their sovereignty in the 1835 Declaration, and did not cede it when they later signed the Treaty.
The Crown is calling four historians to give evidence, including Professor Alan Ward.
Professor Ward says the Treaty is arguably the single most important effort in the 19th century to control European imperialism in the interests of an indigenous people.