People’s History Series 2014: ‘Cook Strait Immigrants in the 1840s and 1850s’

People’s History Series 2014: ‘Cook Strait Immigrants in the 1840s and 1850s’

The Labour History Project is pleased to be again working with the Museum of Wellington City and Sea to present the 2014 People’s History Series. This year on the topic of immigration. More information is here: People’s History Series 2014.

LHP Chairman Jim McAloon kicks off the series on 22 October with a talk looking at early settlers to Wellington and Nelson.

Jim McAloon: ‘Cook Strait Immigrants in the 1840s and 1850s’

Museum of Wellington City and Sea
Oct 22nd 2014, 5.30pm

Labour Day commemorates the struggle for the 8 hour day. The first demand for an 8 hour day in New Zealand was, apparently, made by Samuel Duncan Parnell at Petone in January 1840. Who were the immigrants to the Cook Strait settlements of Wellington and Nelson in the 1840s? The New Zealand Company founded both settlements, intending to replicate a stable and hierarchical slice of a mythologised England. The Company didn’t recruit everyone who came to Cook Strait, though, and even those whom it did recruit often had diverse ideas about what sort of society New Zealand should become. This talk will look at these themes, with some emphasis on democracy and dissent.


Image credit: New Zealand Company :Regulations to be observed in the selection of labourers for a free passage (including provisions and medical attendance during the voyage) to New Zealand; and also the conditions on which the passage, when granted, must be understood to be accepted. [Front. 7 March 1842].. Ref: Eph-D-IMMIGRATION-1842-01-front. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.