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The woman drought was a lie!

August 22, 2013

ladyGood news, New Zealand. The woman drought of 1860 seems to have eased.  The 1860 yearbook shows that for the European population, there were approximately 70 females for every 100 males, but Statistics NZ’s latest estimate is actually 100 females for every 97 males. Phew!

Digitised versions of early statistical resources dating from the 1840s to the start of World War I are now available on Statistics NZ’s website. The earliest statistics go back to 1844 and are from Nelson, New Munster, and New Plymouth. Information from the 1857-58 Māori Census is also available.

“These old documents have been available in archives and libraries, but getting them online where anybody can look at them is a window into the way of life in early New Zealand,” information management manager Evelyn Wareham said. Early census publications (1860–1916) provide information on life in early New Zealand, which can be very interesting historically and shows all sorts of information, such as what people did for a living, how many people could read or write, how many people were in prison, etc.

The Official Handbook of New Zealand (1875–1892) covers everything from climate to crops to the cost of cottages. It was the forerunner of the New Zealand Official Yearbook. A highlight of the 1890 Official Handbook of New Zealand is a map that shows how long it took to travel around New Zealand. “The trip from Auckland to New Plymouth overland was a three-day adventure by rail, horse, and canoe,” Ms Wareham said.

Using the same technology as the digitised New Zealand official yearbooks, users can now search the collections by typing in keywords, and copying and pasting tables of data into software like Excel.  Visit these digitised resources here.


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