Flax was a sought-after commodity in early 19th century New Zealand. Flax stations established by Pākehā traders were most often found near the swampy areas in which flax grew most prolifically, and where Māori were prepared to work at processing the plants into fibre. The largest number of flax stations were found in the north, the Bay of Plenty, and on the east coast of the North Island.
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Source: Roger Philip Wigglesworth, ‘The New Zealand timber and flax trade 1769–1840.’ PhD thesis, Massey University, 1981