Story: Economy

‘Maori bargaining with a pakeha’

‘Maori bargaining with a pakeha’

This drawing (around 1845) by John Williams shows a European male, thought to be the Jewish trader Joel Polack, facing three Māori. One has a basket of potatoes at his feet, the second has potatoes on his back and the third is holding a pig. Potatoes and pigs were a major item of trade as Māori responded quickly to the opportunities offered by the arrival of the Europeans.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, John Williams
Reference: A-079-017

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:

Brian Easton, 'Economy - The Māori economy: a history', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 December 2023)

Story by Brian Easton, updated 1 Sep 2016