James Busby (7 February 1801 - 15 July 1871) was involved in the drafting of the Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand, the Treaty of Waitangi and is widely regarded as the "father" of the Australian wine industry, as he took the first collection of vine stock from Spain and France to Australia. He was New Zealand's first public servant.
Busby soon returned to England where he worked for the government before visiting Spain and France to study viticulture. In March 1832 he was appointed to the position of British Resident of New Zealand and went to the Bay of Islands, taking with him some of the vine stock he had collected in Europe. He married Agnes Dow at Segenhoe, in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales on 1 November 1832.
A house was completed for him at Waitangi where he planted a vineyard from which wine was being made before his vines were productive in Australia. (Long before Busby arrived at Waitangi, missionary Samuel Marsden had already planted vines at nearby Kerikeri, on September 25 1819). His duties were to protect British commerce, control and mediate between the unruly Pākehā settlers and Māori in New Zealand. However he was not provided with any resources to impose this authority.
James Busby proposed that New Zealand should have a national flag, after an unregistered New Zealand ship was seized in Australia. A selection of three or four designs was sent from Australia, and one was chosen by the Māori chiefs at a meeting at his residency on 20 March 1834; see United Tribes of New Zealand.
In 1835 Busby learned that Baron Charles Philippe Hippolyte de Thierry, a Frenchman, was proposing to declare French sovereignty over New Zealand. He drafted the Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand and at a meeting in October signed it together with 35 chiefs from the northern part of New Zealand.
After the arrival of William Hobson, he co-authored with him the Treaty of Waitangi. It was signed on 5 and 6 February 1840 on the lawn outside his residence. Busby and his family left Waitangi that year.
He died in Anerley, England of 'congestion of the lungs' in 1871 and is buried at West Norwood Cemetery in London. His wife returned to New Zealand where she died, at Pakaraka in 1889, and is buried at Paihia.
james busby is cool