This fascinating book is the first to explore the entrepreneurial activity of Maori in the early colonial period. It focuses on two industries, coastal shipping and flourmilling, where Maori were spectacularly successful in the 1840s and 1850s - the 'golden age' of Maori enterprise. Historian Hazel Petrie shows how quickly and effectively Maori society adapted to accommodate and develop such capital-intensive investments, harnessing tribal ownership, existing skills and a keen eye for commercial advantage. She also charts the sudden decline of Maori economic success by the 1860s, as market conditions, a rapidly increasing and individualistic Pakeha population, land alienation, and other factors had a severe impact. Chiefs of Industry draws on a wide range of sources in both English and Maori, is attractively illustrated and is written with clarity and elegance. Fascinating for general readers and essential for historians, researchers, teachers and students of history, business, commerce, law, politics or Maori Studies, libraries.
Publisher: Auckland University Press