Imbecile Passengers and Commercial Paradoxes, New Zealand 1880–1898
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.