An organization formed in 1837 by E. G. Wakefield to colonize New Zealand. It was denied a charter by the British government, largely because of fears that it would come into conflict with the Maori. Nevertheless, in May 1834 the company began sending out agents and settlers, buying land from the Maori. The establishment of the crown colony in 1840 led to a review of the company's grandiose land claims. This, and Maori resistance, prevented the settlements developing as planned and in 1843 a rash attempt at Wairau, near Nelson, to assert authority over the powerful Te Rauparaha resulted in the deaths of 23 settlers. By 1846 the Company had secured recognition from the Colonial Office, a loan, and a settlement of its land claims but it became commercially unviable and was dissolved in 1858.
Subjects: World History.