Auckland Libraries: Women mean business

Colonial businesswomen in New Zealand

Wednesday 6 November 6pm to 7.30pm Free

Join us to hear about Dr Catherine Bishop's book 'Women mean business: colonial businesswomen in New Zealand'. Join us for a cuppa from 5pm. Event starts at 6pm.

Women mean business book cover.

The greatest comefort to me is to get an honest living for my familey’. 

Boarding-house-keeper Susannah Wall’s words echo the sentiments of many colonial women in New Zealand who ran small businesses - although not all were as concerned about the ‘honesty’ of their living. Female-founded businesses include ‘Milne and Choyce’ and ‘Smith and Caughey’s’ but what about the Mclaughlin sisters’ drapery, Mary Ann Brassey’s school, mess-woman Louisa Darby or Sophia Paris James’ Q.C.E. Hotel? 

In this talk, Catherine Bishop, the author of Women Mean Business (Otago University Press), explores the stories of some of New Zealand's colonial entrepreneurs - the successful and the outright failures, the heart-warming and the tragic, the everyday and the scandalous.  


Born and raised in Whanganui, Dr Catherine Bishop is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Macquarie University in Sydney. Her first book Minding Her Own Business: Colonial Businesswomen in Sydney (NewSouth Publishing, 2015) won the prestigious 2016 Ashurst Business Literature Prize. This is her second book. Booking is not required but is recommended. 

To book please phone Research Central on 09 890 2412 or book online. 

About HeritageTalks

Interested in history and heritage? Are you interested in family and local history; the historical stories of New Zealand, the Pacific, and beyond? Then why not come along to one of our HeritageTalks - Waha pū-taonga and hear more about both our personal and our shared heritage? Experts in specialised fields deliver these talks and provide insight into our histories. 

HeritageTalks take place at least fortnightly, in the Whare Wānanga, Level 2, Central City Library unless otherwise stated. Booking is recommended although not essential.​

Women mean business book cover.

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