Story: Economic thought

New Zealand Company propaganda

New Zealand Company propaganda

The New Zealand Company tried to attract settlers from Britain by publishing romanticised images of New Zealand. A major source of this propaganda was Edward Jerningham Wakefield’s book Adventure in New Zealand, published in London in 1845. It contained many coloured lithographs. This one, from a drawing by William Mein Smith, the first New Zealand Company surveyor general, shows the company settlement of Petre (Whanganui) in September 1841. Edward Gibbon Wakefield’s core insight was that colonies added to the land supply of the colonising country and so minimised the negative effects of a growing economy.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PUBL-0011-05
Hand-coloured lithograph after a drawing by William Mein Smith

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Gary Hawke, 'Economic thought - Wakefield and the economics of colonies', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 June 2022)

Story by Gary Hawke, published 11 Mar 2010