Social aid in Otago and Canterbury up to 1885, with special reference to Oamaru and Ashburton.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This study examines the way in which charitable aid was administered in Otago and Canterbury leading up to, and slightly beyond, the Hospitals and Charitable Institutions Act of 1885. It utilizes a variety of sources, including archives pertaining to local authorities, organisations that administered charitable aid and documents created to establish the two provinces under study. Otago and Canterbury administered charitable aid sometimes in dissimilar ways. This thesis suggests that this was because the two provinces were founded by different countries (Scotland and England respectively) that had developed their own philosophies surrounding the administration of aid. Following an explanation of the Poor Laws of England and Scotland, the study will explain how Otago and Canterbury were founded and discuss how aid in these two provinces was influenced by the country of origin. After documenting how Otago and Canterbury administered their charitable relief, two towns ‒ Oamaru and Ashburton ‒ will be used to show how these different methods of administrating and viewing aid affected people in the community. The thesis concludes that a Scottish influence of community involvement enabled Oamaru to administer its aid effectively and efficiently. Ashburton, however, was hampered by Canterbury’s adherence to civic-led charitable administration, as occurred in England. This saw aid for the majority of the province being administered from Christchurch, with the result for Ashburton that aid was often less effective, impacting on both the community as a whole, but especially the local people who were in need.