The New Zealand Cartoon Archive

The New Zealand Cartoon Archive was launched in 1992 and is situated in the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library, Wellington.

There are over 50,000 cartoons—originals and copies—in the New Zealand Cartoon Archive collection. More than 60 cartoonists are represented, and the archive continues to grow with new digital images added every week.

July’s Memorable Cartoon

Cartoon: Spineless

The Liberal government’s ambitious farm settlement programme in the 1890s involved a mix of property and absentee-owner taxes, low-interest-rate loans and the purchase and subdivision of Cheviot Hills and other large estates. Under the Land for Settlement Act, small farmers could occupy this newly available land on 999-year leases. Between 1891-1911, the number of farms nearly doubled to 74,000 and land privately held in 10,000 acre holdings was halved. As time went by, the new leasehold farmers, once placid supporters of the Liberals, grew prosperous and more conservative. The Farmers’ Union, founded in 1899, challenged the growing influence of trade unions and the government’s unwillingness to freehold their properties.

William Blomfield, NZ Observer, 22 July 1905. ATL: J-065-013

View Spineless on the National Library of New Zealand website.