child welfare

Events In History


Baby farmers

  • Baby farmers

    Baby farmers were paid caregivers who allegedly neglected children in their care, concealed their deaths or deliberately murdered the infants. The most notorious was Minnie Dean, who, in August 1895, became the first (and only) woman to be hanged for murder in New Zealand.

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  • Page 2 – From childcare to baby farming

    High-profile British and Australian court cases in the 1880s introduced New Zealanders to the sinister practices of baby farmers: paid caregivers who neglected children in

  • Page 3 – Minnie Dean

    In 1895 Southland's Williamina (Minnie) Dean became the first – and only – woman to be hanged in New Zealand. Her story exposed the stark realities of paid childcare and the

  • Page 4 – The Newlands baby farmers

    The sensational murder trial of Daniel and Martha Cooper revealed that the difficulties facing single mothers and unwanted children continued well into the 20th century.

The 1920s

  • The 1920s

    The 1920s was the decade that modern New Zealand came of age. Despite political and economic uncertainty, the country shrugged off the gloom of war to embrace the Jazz Age - an era of speed, power and glamour. Explore an overview of the decade and a year-by-year breakdown of key events.

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  • Page 9 – 1926 - key events

    A selection of key New Zealand events from 1926

Crèches and early childcare


  • King, Frederic Truby

    Dr Frederic Truby King provided the impetus for The Society for the Promotion of the Health of Women and Children, commonly known as the Plunket Society.