High Street quaking : a history of Dunedin’s "Inner Circle"
Sinclair, Fergus R. J.
This study plots the history of Dunedin's "inner circle", a group roughly equivalent to the "limited circle" of Stone's Auckland business community. The "inner circle" is defined and located in the structure of business around 1870. Its role within the major limbs of the Otago economy is assessed and the social development of the wider business community is examined against the background of demographic and economic change in the 1860s. The influence of business interests in Provincial politics s examined and the constraints upon that influence are considered. The business community is shown to have become a more conspicuous social group through its political opposition to the Otago "Liberal Party". Otago's interaction with other centres of business power is illustrated by several developments arising from the expansion of the BNZ and its associated companies. These events aggravated divisions within the "inner circle", producing antagonisms that affected ventures such as the New Zealand Agricultural Company. Revisionist interpretations of the Long Depression are reviewed as part of a survey of the Otago economy in the 1880s. This discussion forms the background to the later progress of the "inner circle". The idea of the business community as a social elite is tested against the experience of this group as revealed in preceding sections. There are also some observations about the supposition that Otago exhibited a distinctive morality of business because of its Free Church origins.
Advisor: Brooking, Tom; Hearn, Terry
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: History
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Business networks New Zealand Dunedin; Social networks New Zealand Dunedin; Business and politics New Zealand Dunedin; New Zealand Economic conditions 1840-1876; New Zealand Economic conditions 1876-1907
Research Type: Thesis