Story: Medicines and remedies

Permit to import opium, 1906

Permit to import opium, 1906

Opium was widely used for medicinal purposes in 19th-century New Zealand, but it came to be seen as a dangerous and addictive drug. Its use was strictly regulated from the early 20th century. This permit was issued under the Opium Prohibition Act 1901, which made it unlawful to import opium for the purposes of smoking it. Chemist George Mee would have kept a register which recorded the amount and form of opium imported, what it was made into and to whom he sold it.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, E. Plummer Collection
Reference: 76-031

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.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Pauline Norris and Rosemary Beresford, 'Medicines and remedies - Plant extracts to modern drugs, 1900 to 1930s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 July 2024)

Story by Pauline Norris and Rosemary Beresford, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 23 May 2018, updated 1 Apr 2020