Imbecile Passengers and Commercial Paradoxes, New Zealand 1880–1898

  • Jennifer S. Kain
Part of the Mental Health in Historical Perspective book series (MHHP)


This chapter traces the increasing prominence of the Imbecile Passengers Act, and its 1882 overhaul which aimed to modernise and centralise its administration. The Act’s flawed operations were increasingly challenged by parties with different protectionist and commercial agendas. The need to attract moneyed ‘nerve-exhausted’ tourists for restorative purposes stymied calls for tighter measures. Despite numerous attempts to extend the reach of border control by creating a legal system of deportation, day to day operations were driven by the whim of the shipping companies.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer S. Kain
    • 1
  1. 1.School of History, Classics and ArchaeologyNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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