The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. It was an agreement between the British Crown and Māori chiefs. Prior to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, Māori conducted their affairs in accordance with tikanga Māori (Māori customary protocols). As a consequence of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, the English legal system was established as the legal system of New Zealand. Today the Treaty is widely accepted to be a constitutional document that establishes and guides the relationship between the Crown (the Government of New Zealand) and Māori.