The ‘Blue Books’ detailed statistical information from New Zealand’s early Colonial period (1840-1855). ‘Blue Books’ were produced in all colonies of the British Empire in order to provide Imperial Officials with the necessary knowledge for good government. They contain information about population, revenue, military, trade, shipping, public works, legislation, civil servants, foreign consuls, land transactions, churches, schools, and prisons.
From 1848 to 1852, while New Zealand was divided into the provinces of New Ulster and New Munster, each province had its own ‘Blue Books’. Archives New Zealand does not hold a copy of the ‘Blue Books’ for 1846, or the copies from New Munster for 1848 and 1850. The 1851 (New Ulster) Blue Book is copied from an original held at the Auckland Public Library.