The evolution of socio-political cartoon satire in the New Zealand press during the 19th and early 20th centuries : Its role in justifying the alienation of Maori lands
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis examines the evolution of socio-political cartoon satire and how it came to be used as a weapon in the Pakeha media campaign to facilitate the total alienation of Maori land in New Zealand in the nineteenth century and the first three decades of the Twentieth century. The thesis begins by examining the role of key media controllers and relevant elements of their backgrounds. Outstanding from among these elements is the initial overlap of the business and political interests of the key players. Intrinsic to this overlap is the split which occurred from about the 1860s. This split saw certain media controllers divorce themselves from direct political involvement in order to pursue an agenda which necessarily included the unfettered and total alienation of Maori land and the resouces contained on, in and around them. In particular, the thesis focuses on Wilson and Horton, leading Auckland provincial as well as national media controllers who, by 1900, were pushing the message of total land alienation through two publications: the daily New Zealand Herald on the provincial level and the weekly Auckland Weekly News on both a provincial and national basis. The evolution and rise of socio-political cartoons and their use in the above and other publications will be discussed in depth - particularly the work of artist Trevor Lloyd over the period 1902 to 1930. Lloyd, who produced a prolific supply of cartoons, dramatically encapsulated Wilson and Horton's campaign to justify the total alienation of Maori land. Lloyd's work was used to drive home the message that Maori were, apparently, not able to manage their own affairs and that their lands would be better managed by the Pakeha. Trevor Lloyd's replacement by Gordon Minhinnick in 1930 will be shown to coincide with the shift in attention by Wilson and Horton, and the media generally, away from land alienation toward socialism and unions as virtual alienation of Maori land had been achieved by 1930. The core economic elite, therefore, turned to confront that more considerable threat to the fulfilment of the larger agenda which is identified within the thesis.