Public History Talk: The financial colonisation of Aotearoa, Catherine Comyn, 28 May 2024

Tuesday 28 May 2024, 12:10pm to 1pm
Taiwhanga Kauhau — Auditorium, (lower ground) National Library Wellington. Entrance on Aitken Street or on Zoom.

In this talk, Catherine Comyn reframes the financial colonisation of Aoteaora — a history of the joint stock company, a speculative London property market that romanticised the distant lands of indigenous peoples, and the calculated use of credit and taxation by the British to dispossess Māori of their land and subject them to colonial rule.

Finance at the centre of colonisation

Finance was at the centre of every stage of the colonisation of Aotearoa, from the sale of Māori lands and the emigration of early colonists to the founding of settler nationhood and the enforcement of colonial governance.

Join Catherine Comyn for a talk on her Ockham-longlisted book, The Financial Colonisation of Aotearoa (ESRA, 2023), hailed by Jane Kelsey as “the most stimulating book I have read on the colonisation of Aotearoa from the exciting new generation of scholars”.

The anti-colonial struggle today

Catherine tells the story of the financial instruments and imperatives that drove the British colonial project in the 19th century. By illuminating the centrality of finance in the colonisation of Aotearoa, Catherine not only reframes the understanding of this country’s history, but also the stakes of anti-colonial struggle today.

About the speaker

Catherine Comyn (Ngāti Ranginui, Pākehā) is a PhD candidate in International Political Economy at King’s College London. Her research focuses on finance capital and colonisation, and possibilities for their overcoming.

More information can be found here.