Explore the collection at Mangungu Mission

The small Mangungu Mission collection contains a number of items which relate directly to the original inhabitants of the Wesleyan Mission or are of particular significance to the history of the area or the Wesleyan Mission Society.

Treaty table at Mangungu
Mute witness to a founding moment.expand/collapse

These include:

  • Furniture which belonged to Reverend John Hobbs, who with his family occupied the house from 1840. It has been suggested that some of these items were made by Hobbs himself, who was a skilled carpenter and designed the Mission House.
  • Taonga Maori given to Hobbs
  • The table on which it is believed that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed when it visited Mangungu.
  • Various archaeological finds from the local area
  • The original mission bell
  • Communion and calling cards for John and Jane Hobbs
  • Contents of the family libraries of the mission families.

Treaty table - a silent witness

This mahogany table (pictured) belonged to John Hobbs, founder of the mission station at Mangungu that overlooks the Hokianga Harbour. It is basic in design – rectangular with four turned legs and tapered feet.  Yet its simple form belies its witness to a founding moment in New Zealand history.  From Waitangi on 6 February until September 1840, the Treaty made its slow progress around the country, in several copies. By 12 February it had reached Mangungu with Governor William Hobson, where more people put their names to the document than at any other site around the country – around 70 or so signatories, although this figure is in dispute.

Between 2000 to 3000 Maori attended the meeting at Mangungu. According to a biography of Hobson he experienced real opposition to the Treaty at the meeting, but through an interpreter warned that Maori would lose their lands to dishonest Europeans, and promised Crown protection.

It is believed that the signatories used this table to sign on, and it is still on display at the mission house.

Please note that due to conservation reasons not all objects may be on public display at any one time. If you are interested in viewing an item, please contact the Property Manager.  

Heritage New Zealand manages its collection of historic objects in its properties from a central database.  You can find out more about the how the Heritage New Zealand collection is managed, including donating items on this website.

To see further highlights from the collection online, search for Mangungu at New Zealand Museums