NZI Agency advertising sign; New Zealand Insurance Company Ltd


NZI Agency advertising sign

About this object

Enamelled metal sign, 60 x 46cm, with portrait believed to be of Potatau Te Wherowhero Tawhiao, the second Maori king from 1860-1894.
1882 Lindauer painting Click here
1897 Photo Click here

A fire in Queen St on 7 July 1858 prompted the establishment of the New Zealand Insurance Company in Auckland on 3rd June 1859, to transact fire and marine business. It was the first underwriting company in the colony of New Zealand.

Thomas Henderson, the first Chairman of the Company from 1859-1862, was an early Auckland settler, who owned the Commercial Hotel in Shortland St, then the most pretentious building in Auckland. One of many pioneer merchants, Mr Henderson pledged £5000 of his own money to help form the company. However the Company office was uninsured when a fire caused damage on 27 May 1860. The Chairman, Thomas Henderson, offered the Company the use of a wing of his store in Lower Queen St and the business continued. Soon afterwards it established its own fire brigade, a 28-man team under Captain Daldy, who was one of the original directors.

Thomas Henderson remained a Director of the Company until 1863. He also was a partner in the shipping firm of Henderson & Macfarlane (est.1842) which established a sawmill at Henderson. He assisted in establishing the Bank of New Zealand in 1861, the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company in 1865, and the Auckland Gas Company.

By 1897, the NZI Company was offering accident insurance. After the San Francisco earthquake the Company raised its capital to £1,500,000 in 1906, a sum which continued until 1950.

For more information read the book: Bold Century - The New Zealand Insurance Company Limited 1859-1959.
Online info about NZI


New Zealand Insurance Company Ltd

Inscription and Marks

Bottom right: GEO ????FIELD, WELLINGTON, NZ

Subject and Association Description

VF Hsn 124



Copyright Licence  

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