On January 22nd 1840, New Zealand was officially annexed to Britain, marking the transformation of the country’s tribal society into a unified British colony. The annexation is historically significant not only for the country’s own pride, but also in terms of global diplomacy. In contrast to Australia and many other British colonies, New Zealand was one of the first countries to be peacefully colonised, by means of the Treaty of Waitangi between the British and northern Maori tribes.
Whereas the Aboriginals were seen as savage, and thus subject to social Darwinism, Maori had already established some form of urbanisation by the time they contacted the British. As such, they were seen as somewhat civilised and the British settled for a peace treaty. Despite some disagreements over the treaty during the 19th century, the simple existence of the treaty allowed the process of British colonisation to occur in relative harmony.
At first, New Zealand was legally considered a part of the Australian colony of New South Wales, however it became a separate colony later during 1840. New Zealand became independent from Britain on September 26, 1907, however it remained a constitutional monarchy in the same sense as Australia is.