Attitudes in New Zealand to Scandinavian immigration, 1870-1876
Grigg, A R
Preface: This study makes no attempt to examine in any detail the establishment and the administration of Scandinavian immigration to New Zealand. The methods used in forming special settlements and the regulations surrounding the obtaining and shipping of these people have only been felt necessary to give some ideas of the background in which attitudes of individuals and groups were being shapes. The administration of the whole project has been ably covered in an M.A. thesis by the late Professor J.W. Davidson entitled “The Scandinavian Immigrants in New Zealand.” Very little work, however, has been done on the attitudes of New Zealand towards this immigration. In looking at this subject several questions have arisen. What is it that moulds the attitudes of the public on certain issues of common interest? Are they the product of one’s independent thoughts; or are they dictated, to some extent at least, by the influence of one’s environment in the way of attitudes of others and the effect of the news media; or is it a mixture of both? This study is based on the belief that individual attitudes and group attitudes interact on each other. Contemporary public opinion upon an event of history is always difficult to measure. Unless one has been able to resort to masses of correspondence from hundreds of unconnected individuals one is forced to rely on the opinions of a few in public and private documents and on the expressions of opinion in the contemporary newspapers, bearing in mind that both these sources reflect the subjectivity of the writer. It has been said that “newspapers are unique barometers of their age. They indicate more plainly than anything else the climate of the societies to which they belong.” This may be true, but while they reflect public opinion they can also guide and influence it by the way in which they report and comment upon events. Public opinion and editorial opinion can and do interact on and follow each other. Thus although newspapers are the main source for studying public opinion upon a certain issue they have to be approached with some caution and criticism. Editorials are useful so long as the interests of the editor or the management are known. Letters to the editor provide another useful source of information, but these too are only the expressions of individuals, and could easily have been selected for publication by an editor with a particular bias on a given subject. Bearing all this in mind I have made much use of some of the newspapers of the period. Similar influences are at work on the speeches of men holding public positions, especially of members of Parliament. While their speeches may express their own convictions, they are also guided by their electors to whom, in New Zealand at least, they are ultimately responsible. The difficulty is knowing when a person is giving his own opinion and when he is repeating that of those around him. Correlation between newspapers and reported speeches of Parliamentarians, therefore, can be a useful means of arriving at a more definite conclusion as to the majority opinion of the public. By trying to answer these questions about public attitudes in relation to Scandinavian immigration to New Zealand in the years 1870 to 1876 I hope that some insight will be gained as to the character of the colony at this time and as to its development as a nation.
Advisor: McLeod, W H
Degree Name: Bachelor of Arts with Honours
Degree Discipline: History
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Dissertation
Table of Contents:
Preface; Chapter I: Public Works and Immigration; Chapter II: The First Steps; Chapter III: 1871: the Experiment at Palmerston; Chapter IV: A Divided Mind; Chapter V: 1872: Mauriceville; Chapter VI: The Beginning of Assimilation; Chapter VII: The Final Steps; Chapter VIII: Conclusion; Appendix A.; Appendix B.; Bibliography.
Description: vi, 125 leaves ; 30 cm. Notes: Bibliography: l. 120-125.