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In 1831 and again in 1833 Buller and Molesworth backed Wakefield as he took to the Colonial Office elaborate plans to recreate a perfect English society in a new colony in South Australia in which land would be sold at a price high enough to generate profit to fund emigration.The Whig government in 1834 passed an Act authorising the establishment of the British Province of South Australia, but the planning and initial sales of land proceeded without Wakefield's involvement because of the illness and death of his daughter.It reached the peak of efficiency about 1841, encountered financial problems from 1843 from which it never recovered, and wound up in 1858.The company’s board members included aristocrats, members of Parliament and a prominent magazine publisher, who used their political connections to ceaselessly lobby the British government to achieve its aims.

The company was formed to carry out the principles of systematic colonisation devised by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who envisaged the creation of a new-model English society in the southern hemisphere.The company viewed itself as a prospective quasi-government of New Zealand and in 18 proposed splitting the colony in two, along a line from Mokau in the west to Cape Kidnappers in the east—with the north reserved for Māori and missionaries, while the south would become a self-governing province, known as "New Victoria" and managed by the company for that purpose.Britain's Colonial Secretary rejected the proposal. Only 15,500 settlers arrived in New Zealand as part of the company's colonisation schemes, but three of its settlements would—along with Auckland—become and remain the country's "main centres" and provide the foundation for the system of provincial government introduced in 1853.The price for the land was "five muskets, fifty three pounds powder, four pair blankets, three hundred flints and four musket cartridge boxes".After several weeks Herd and the New Zealand Company agent decided the cost of exporting goods was too high to be of economic value and they sailed to Sydney, where Herd paid off the crew and sold the stores and equipment, then returned to London.

The company was formed to carry out the principles of systematic colonisation devised by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who envisaged the creation of a new-model English society in the southern hemisphere.The company viewed itself as a prospective quasi-government of New Zealand and in 18 proposed splitting the colony in two, along a line from Mokau in the west to Cape Kidnappers in the east—with the north reserved for Māori and missionaries, while the south would become a self-governing province, known as "New Victoria" and managed by the company for that purpose.Britain's Colonial Secretary rejected the proposal. Only 15,500 settlers arrived in New Zealand as part of the company's colonisation schemes, but three of its settlements would—along with Auckland—become and remain the country's "main centres" and provide the foundation for the system of provincial government introduced in 1853.The price for the land was "five muskets, fifty three pounds powder, four pair blankets, three hundred flints and four musket cartridge boxes".After several weeks Herd and the New Zealand Company agent decided the cost of exporting goods was too high to be of economic value and they sailed to Sydney, where Herd paid off the crew and sold the stores and equipment, then returned to London.Wakefield's plan entailed a company buying land from the indigenous residents of Australia or New Zealand very cheaply, then selling it to speculators and "gentleman settlers" for a much higher sum.