The Weller's whaling station : the social and economic formation of an Otakou community, 1817-1850
This dissertation examines the structures and processes that underpin cultural formation at Otakou from 1817 to 1850. More specifically, I use the Wellers' whaling station, which was established in 1831, as a lens to explore the importance of family, kinship, and marriage to economic and social bonds forged between Kai Tahu and newcomers at Otakou. The word 'newcomers' is used rather than 'European' to show that these men were from many different backgrounds and ethnicities, and they cannot simply be classed as European sealers, whalers, or settlers. I focus on the Wellers' station because it had the longest life of a southern shore whaling station, dating from approximately 1831 to 1841. The whaling station was also an important contact zone between Maori and the newcomers, where people came together in economic partnership and also formed social bonds and affective ties. Whaling stations, like Otakou, are an important part of New Zealand's history as they formed some of the earliest interracial households in the country and heralded the beginning of permanent colonisation in many areas, particularly southern New Zealand.
Advisor: Wanhalla, Angela
Degree Name: Bachelor of Arts with Honours
Degree Discipline: History
Research Type: Dissertation