‘A Blot on the Statute Book’: Imprisonment for Debt in New Zealand 1840-1990

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In the 150 years from 1940 to 1990 more than 15,000 people were imprisoned in New Zealand for not paying their debts.  This fascinating book, the last work by the noted historian of America and New Zealand, Peter Coleman, covers the history of this Dickensian practice. The book treats the origin of imprisoning debtors in Britain, the revision of the law in New Zealand, a profile of the imprisoned debtors and their experiences in prison, and a revealing account of how and why the fourth Labour Government finally agreed to abolish this unfortunate legacy from New Zealand’s colonial past.

Available May 2016 – $20.00

If you want this book, email shock@xtra.co.nz with:

  • your name
  • address
  • email
  • number of copies