Finance was at the centre of every stage of the colonisation of Aotearoa, from the sale of Māori lands and the emigration of early colonists to the founding of settler nationhood and the enforcement of colonial governance.
Described as “Theoretically sophisticated, historically precise, and politically urgent” by Max Haiven, this book reveals the financial instruments and imperatives that drove the British colonial project in the nineteenth century. This is a history of the joint-stock company, a speculative London property market that romanticised the distant lands of indigenous peoples, and the calculated use of credit and taxation by the British to dispossess Māori of their land and subject them to colonial rule.
By illuminating the centrality of finance in the colonisation of Aotearoa, this book not only reframes our understanding of this country’s history, but also the stakes of anticolonial struggle today.
Available soon from Unity Books, Strange Goods, and ESRA.nz
CATHERINE COMYN is an ESRA researcher and PhD candidate in the School of Politics and Economics at King’s College London. Her work explores intersections of finance and colonisation, and possibilities for their overcoming.