The banks first Prospectus
On 11 June, 1861, The Southern Cross newspaper reported that a meeting had been held in Auckland the previous day to discuss the establishment of a bank. The newspaper reported that.
‘A highly influential meeting was held in this City yesterday to discuss the propriety of establishing a bank for the Colony of New Zealand. Gentlemen from the South were present and took part in the proceedings, and a handsome capital was subscribed... The prospect is a good one and has been undertaken at a favourable moment, and under proper management it cannot fail to advance the interests of New Zealand’.
By 14 June the first printing of the prospectus had been undertaken and it named provisional trustees for six provinces. The share lists were advertised as opening on June 25. The Capital would be £500,000 in £10 shares, half of which would be called up for the present.
On June 14 the same newspaper reported that ‘the prospectus is an able document and deals with the question of Colonial bank accommodation in an appropriate spirit. It looks hopefully forward to the future and argues immediate success…’ the article then goes on to state that the large profits shown by the other banks currently operating in New Zealand, who currently have a ‘monopoly on banking’ will make this a success and that the bank is ‘fully entitled to public confidence’.
The New Zealand Bank Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on June 19, 1861, as a private members bill by Thomas Russell (City of Auckland East). The motion was supported by the Premier, Edward Stafford.
After passing through the Select Committee, the Legislative Council, and going before the Governor to the Secretary of State for consideration the Act was then laid before the Queen.
On 6 August the Southern Cross article on the passing of the Bank of New Zealand Act conclude rather poetically.
‘We believe that the bank will commence business within four months of this time…It has already struck its roots deep into the soil, and we hope before many years are past to find our commerce protected by its sheltering branches, and our Colonial interests resting against its stately trunk.’